Sunday, May 15, 2011


Little Nate had his first time in a swing and he was all smiles. Of course, he's usually all smiles so it's hard to tell how much more he liked being in the swing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I'm often asked how Eli is coping with having a little brother. The good news is that once in a while, it looks like this:

Yep, I'm proud of that picture.

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Friday, April 29, 2011


You know it's always been my life-long dream to be the creamy center of a baby sandwich. Dream has been achieved, documented below.

But first, I started the hike by letting Eli hike on his own. We had done this before and Eli made it a few feet before he stopped to look at....anything. Then all forward progress would be lost and we'd have to call him down.

Today, however, he shot like a rocket. He was a man with a mission, trotting, navigating tree roots, climbing up stairs. He was on fire, tripping only once. I'd say he covered between 3/4 and 1 mile, with maybe 250 feet up in elevation.

That also explains why, when he got into his backpack, he drooped to the position you see in the sandwich below.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Take Full Responsibility

For the past few days, every time Eli sees the Golden Arches, he says, "I want fries!"

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Friday, April 1, 2011


Eli's been babbling continuously for the past few weeks. Maybe this has happened before, and I just wasn't paying close enough attention to the babble to hear it. But today, we were walking along a parking lot, Eli put his hands on our Toyota, looked at me and said "This is our car." That's officially his first sentence.

He followed that up with "This is the bath", "That is a plane", and "I said 'Stick'" (That's one of his snacks.) You wouldn't have understood the sentences out of context, but in context it was very clear.

We had a great family day. We did a hike in Pacifica from the pier, over the hills, to Rockaway Beach, where we hung out and lunch. We hike back a different route, took the kids on a drive so they could nap, walked around Twin Peaks where tourists wanted their pictures taken with our kids. But most of all, I got a bit of a baby sandwich.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Eli knows how to hug. Sometimes when asked. Sometimes without being asked. Mommy, daddy, Nate, everyone. Even the most exhausting of days can be turned around with those two little arms around your neck.

(picture taken at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where he loved the waves splashing overhead.)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Central Ave,Pacific Grove,United States

Monday, February 21, 2011

And the Winner Is

While we are all reluctant to admit it, it is undeniably true that, at times, parenting is less of a cooperative endeavor than it is a competition.

We've been needing to cut Eli's and Nate's claws, I mean, fingernails for far too long. While I was in the other room (doing the dishes, thank you very much) Susie tried to cut E's. She begged, pleaded, offered a check ("A what?" Well, that's a separate post) a check for just one fingernail even. There was no cutting, only whining, complaining, and crying, and Eli wasn't behaving well either.

Enter daddy. I offered to cut his nails and he walked across the bed to where I was sitting, handed me the clippers, sat in my lap, and politely held out his fingers so I could cut them. Mission accomplished.

This made Susie mad, and she started to hit me. Repeatedly. On the shoulder and on the back. The hitting was more like a massage from my perspective, but that's just between you and me. But what should happen a few minutes later? Eli comes up to me and starts hitting me. Repeatedly. On the shoulder and the back.

I call this one a draw.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 7, 2011


We've taken Eli on the muni trains a couple of times in the last few weeks, and each time it, well, it ended in tears. Started in tears, too. And the middle had more than it's share of tears.

But today, I kept talking about how awesome the train is, and when it arrived, he was excited to see it. For the entire twenty minute ride downtown, his face looked exactly like this:

Nate is now getting into wiggling, and batting at the toys hanging above his play mat. But mostly he likes to be held by his mommy, and hopefully not kicked by his brother.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Powers Ave,San Francisco,United States

Saturday, January 29, 2011

If we're both off work, then we need to make the most of it. So off we went to Santa Barbara for a week. We had been there once before with Eli (when we took the train) and it was a perfect place for hiking, city walks, and the beach.

We did three hikes, each 4-6 miles long, two of which weren't disasters. We strolled State street many times. We visited the courthouse, and nearby, the best wooden-structure playground we have ever seen. We ate at a restaurant on the beach (beware, those seagulls really aren't afraid). And we played on the beach.

We stayed in a one bedroom house, where Nate got to share the bed with Mommy, daddy got to sleep on the couch, and Eli got to sleep in a shower. With such close quarters, I think the boys managed to bond just a little bit.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, January 17, 2011


The big event? Unkie Mark came to visit! And we had a great time. We went to the children's museum, bought unique root beers at BevMo, multiple walks around town, clothes shopping in the Castro, In-n-Out, Angry Birds, lunch with his client (my boss), and best of all, played played played. Eli started to warm to Mark, calling him "Mar" once or twice. Mark would make random noises and faces to make Eli laugh. He'd do that to make Susie and me laugh, too. We're sorry he had to go, but apparently he has a job and and a family of his own.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Church St,San Francisco,United States

Monday, January 3, 2011

Your Mother Should Know

Today was Nate's Father's Day hike. That is to say it was his first real hike. It was Father's Day in 2009 that Susie had the bright idea to take Eli on his first hike. I encourage you to look back through the archives to see how that hike went. I'd link to the post here, but I'm still trying to forget it ever happened. Today was much better. The whole way up to Pt. Reyes, he snoozed. For the whole hike in Bear Valley, he snoozed. On the way can't have everything. He and Eli get each other worked up in a good cry, and that's what we had for the drive home. Although it was pretty cute when Eli, to comfort his brother, leaned over and said, "Shhhhhhhhhhhhh."

This was also Eli's first time riding in a full-frame backpack. It could have been worse (he threw up in REI when we tried it there). For the most part, Eli watched the birds, the stream, and the trees. He'd look up at a tall tree and say, "Hi!" and as we walked away from a tree he particularly liked, he'd say, "Buh-bye!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:San Jose Ave,San Francisco,United States

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Baby's in Black

Nathaniel had his bris today. Instead of 8 days later, it turned out to be 28 Days Later. Mom-mom and pop-pop were here of course, but grandma and grandpa listened to the ceremony on speakerphone. We offered video Skype but they suggested that this might be one ritual that is better without seeing it. They were right. Nate did ok. He was fussy but not really from pain, since he did get a shot of lidocaine. We expect it to get a bit worse tonight.

Susie asked me if, religious custom aside, I would want the boys circumcised. I don't know. At a very basic level, it is barbaric and has no practical value. So why do we do it? The U.S. is apparently about the only country left that generally circumcises its boys without religious commandment. But this seems to be changing very quickly. So, if Nate weren't Jewish, I don't think I'd do it.

But, Nate is Jewish.

(By the way, an "update" to my blogging software has taken away my ability to post pictures. Hopefully that will be corrected soon.)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Day St,San Francisco,United States

Drive My Car

Eli has started singing along with his music. Well, "singing". He says "la" or "nnn" repeatedly, but the way his tone and rhythm changes, it's clear he's singing along. Then "Drive My Car" came on, a song we haven't listened to any more than any of the other 200 Beatles songs. When John starts singing, Eli joins in. And when John first sings, "Baby you can drive my..." just before John says it, Eli loudly sings, "car!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 12, 2010

All Together Now

It's been two busy weeks since Nate was born. At the beginning, he was such a good sleeper that he wasn't a very good eater, and he dropped more than 10% of his birthweight. This made life pretty rough for us, and by "us" I mean "Susie". For about a week, Susie would feed Nate, pump, then give him more milk with an eye dropper, and about an hour later, start the process over again. But he bounced back very fast and is doing great.

Eli has been having a harder time over the past week. Part of that may have been that grandma and grandpa were here, which was great, except we think it made Eli feel even more insecure. But, we made it Golden Gate Park and Sunnyside park, where he now goes down slides on his own.

Susie is doing great, and hasn't had any trouble going out on our long walks.

There seem to be a number of reasons why you don't take as many pictures with the second one, but we did at least manage this:

It makes me laugh too. If you're wondering, she's trying to get Eli to smile by saying "Eeeeeee."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:28th St,San Francisco,United States

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Across the Universe

Yesterday, at 6:29 PM, we welcomed Nathaniel Smith Mitton into our family. He was 10 days late, but when he decided it was time, he came fast: just 30 minutes in the hospital before he was born. Everyone is doing great. Eli came to meet his little brother this morning, and he was very excited to be here, albeit because of all the buttons on the hospital bed and not so much his brother. They'll be friends soon enough.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 26, 2010

Good Night

When Susie was working, she always wanted to maximize her time with Eli between work and bed. This meant that she nearly always gave Eli his bottle. As Susie's pregnancy progressed, it became harder for her to get Eli into position, so it became habit for Susie to sit down, I'd hand her Eli, hand Eli his dragon, and then Susie the milk. Then Eli would drink.

A couple nights ago, I was busy in the kitchen. Susie pulled Eli onto her lap on her own, but Eli wouldn't take it; he just fought her. Finally, she says "Do you want daddy to put you in my arms?" He said yes (for him, "yes" is a grunt). She let him down, he trotted to the kitchen and held his arms out for me to pick him up. Then I put him in Susie's arms, and he drank happily.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:28th St,San Francisco,United States

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Word

No, still no baby. Yes, there's a million folk remedies to get labor started, but I'm too much of a statistician to believe any of them.

Eli's starting a word explosion. His pronunciation isn't great, but he's getting words down. New ones today were "squirr" and "showa". And recently we've had "door", "lif", "kitt-kitt", and "ray". Can you guess what words those are? He's now decided what a dog says, "nnn...nnn...nnn". Yes, he loves Sandra Boynton.

He's also started singing along to music. Whether it's the Beatles or one of his toys, he rhythmically hums or "aaahhh"s. He even recognizes words in the Beatles songs. He says "doc" in Doctor Robert (a word he learned from monkeys jumping on the bed). There's a couple songs that we dance to, and when they come on, he smiles to be picked up.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:28th St,San Francisco,United States

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Got to Get You into my Life

Susie's due date was yesterday, and still no baby. She's been having contractions off and on, but too much off and too little on to call it labor. So it's time for a hike in Tennessee Valley!

Eli still likes playing chase. Susie will get on all fours to chase him, but as you can imagine, she isn't very fast. So Eli takes off running, sees that he's left his mom behind, turns around, and runs back to her, as if to say, "Sorry, mom, let me know when you're ready."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:28th St,San Francisco,United States

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It Won't Be Long

T-minus five days to the due date. Any day now, we're going to sit down and think about some names. Eli is still super clingy to his daddy, which will be a lot of fun when #2 comes. Susie's off work now, yet I'm actually working. Hmm.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Still no Internet at home and this thing hasn't been playing well with 3G.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 18, 2010

A few days ago, I walked into Eli's room and he was playing with the fan, which he knows he's not supposed to do. In a stern but not angry voice, I said, "Eli! You know you don't touch that." He let go of it but just stood there with his back to me. After about 15 seconds, he turned around and I saw he was crying. He started walking towards me, and held his arms out to be picked up.

Susie came home today having had one of her best adventures ever with Eli. They were out on a walk and stumbled on a little street fair that had a petting zoo. I guess Eli just ran around, chasing the animals, yelling at the top of his lungs.

Speaking of Susie, an article about her project made the front page of the LA Times today: Seniors and Poverty

- Posted from my EliPhone

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Eli loves planes. He can spot a plane cruising at 30,000 feet and start shouting he's so excited. So of course that meant I had to take him to see the Blue Angels.

Yesterday, they were doing reconnaissance flights--pick landmarks, set lines, that kind of thing--and Eli was so excited. He'd cheer them each time they came by and watch them off into the distance. His enthusiasm was infectious, with people giggling while they watched him. We don't want him in a cast, but it did make the whole scene a bit more unique.

Today, we went back to watch the Blue Angels rehearse their snow. Eli was pretty excited watching the daredevil Red Baron, and even the c-130. Then came the Angels: Our first sight was four of them in a diamond formation, streaking towards us, then hitting a hard bank turn before shooting up....with their jets pointed directly at us. Well, that made Eli cry a little. I can't blame him; I think a couple of fillings are loose now. But after that rough start, Eli settled in. The only other scary moment was when a lone jet going as fast as they're allowed to go, flew overhead and startled Eli to death. Ok me too--hey, at those speeds they practically sneak up on you without a sound.

- Posted from my EliPhone

Location:S Van Ness Ave,San Francisco,United States

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Twist and Shout

Eli had his appointment with the orthopedist today. He wouldn't let the doctor touch him, but she saw him run around the office and put weight on his leg, so she was ready to send us home. I said, "maybe you can't, but he will let me touch him." So I started pressing on parts of his leg, and he started crying. "That's not normal." I calmed him down then did the same thing to his good leg, with no reaction. I went back to the bad leg, and this time when he started crying, the doctor said, "Yes, that was clearly acute pain...."

Another round of X-rays, this time confirming that he had a non-displaced, spiral fracture in his tibia. Eli is now the proud owner of a full-leg cast. I'll report on how he handles it later, but the early data doesn't look good. On the bright side, I've long argued that you can't feel good about yourself until you've broken a bone, so Eli now has that out of the way!

- Posted from my EliPhone

Location:S Van Ness Ave,San Francisco,United States

Helter Skelter

By mid-morning, eli and I had made a trip to city hall to look for liens, and then the title company had figured out that they had made a mistake over the names. Having more than one middle name does complicate things. Then mid-day we got an email notice that our loan had been approved. Yea! And then mid-afternoon we found that they had approved us for less than they should have because we didn't get them the home owner's insurance policy and the exact property tax, neither of which they asked us to have ready. The seller wanted the loan contingency removed today or she would go to her backup buyer. So we lifted it at the lower loan amount, and hope that the amount goes back up when the paperwork is finished. Jake says that he reserves a dark place in his heart for the evil loan/title racket, a place previously reserved for tow trucks. Amen, brother.

I just downloaded a new blogging app that allows me to directly upload videos, so let me try this out with Eli pushing a merry go round.

YouTube Video

- Posted from my EliPhone

Location:S Van Ness Ave,San Francisco,United States

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Everybody's Got Something to Hide

It can't all go smoothely. We learned today that the seller of the house has an outstanding lien against a property she owns. The title company didn't say if it was our property. The seller says that she had been sued by a former client, never knew about the lawsuit, and apparently got a judgement against her. Hmm. Hopefully this will clear up very soon.

Happier: it's pretty reliable that if you lay down on the floor and put a cuddly blanket on you, Eli will come over and give you a snuggle-wrestle. After a bit of that, he will get up, go to the end of the hall, then come running toward you, screaming, for a tackle.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Offer made. Counter-offer made. Offer accepted. See it here:

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Getting Better

Every parent knows how fast kids go through stages. When Eli first stood up without using anything to support himself, I knew we had just said goodbye to the crawling stage.

Now, I'm not saying that Eli spraining his ankle was a good thing, but it has been fun watching him crawl around, complete with the butt wiggle. He is feeling better--he has walked some, albeit with limping, and he's stood at his toys playing for a while. I think he only needs a few days more.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If I Fell

Here's Eli at Sunnyside park today:

Little did he know what was soon to happen. As we rode the slide down together, his foot got caught on the side of the slide, and he twisted his ankle. He cried for a while. When he calmed, I touched his foot and ankle, which seemed fine. But he couldn't walk or stand. He'd take a few limping steps then fall to the ground in pain. It is so sad to see a 16 month old baby limping.

We went to the dr., and she was just going to send us home since there was no pain to the touch, and he was fine when I was holding him. I think she thought I was a crazy parent. But I said, "watch him try to walk." I put him down, and bad leg barely touched the ground when he started crying. He held up the leg, and stood on one leg for a few seconds before falling over. The dr immediately agreed to get him x-rays.

The good news is no fractures. The bad news is there isn't much we can do besides keep him off his feet, which is to say, there isn't much we can do. Well, children's Motrin!

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Baby You're a Rich Man

With less than two months before #2 arrives, we've finally gotten serious about buying a house. Since we live in San Francisco, this is no small commitment. But this is what people do when they have a family, right? I've never been convinced of this. Homes just aren't great investments. Seriously, they aren't, even with the massive government handouts. Is renting really so bad? Will our family be stronger and happier if we buy instead of rent? I'm not convinced.

But, I am happier with my new iPhone, which has a front-facing camera:

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Me and My Monkey

At the park today, Eli watched one of the big kids swing across the monkey bars and he was clearly jealous. So I held
him up, put his hands onto the bars, and then moved them from bar to bar. The next time we did, I noticed that he was actually holding some of his weight. I wanted to see what would happen. I let go and, arms fully stretched out, he hung on for 2 or 3 seconds! I did that twice more then, again just to see what happened, I held him a bit higher so that his elbows were bent nearly 90 degrees. Again, he held on for 2 or 3 seconds!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Russian River

We spent Labor Day weekend at the Russian River and had a great time. We walked through the redwoods in Armstrong park, ate cold pizza after Eli finally went to bed, but best of all, we went swimming. Eli got right into the river and sat down, playing with his toys.

The best Eli moment was in the hotel room. He was just tall enough that he could open the door to get out of the room. Which is why we locked it. Well there he is, trying to open the door, and getting frustrated because it wouldn't open. What would you do in this situation? That's exactly what he did: He walked over to the table, got the hotel keys, walked back to the door, and proceeded to mash the keys into the door knob. Is it too soon to call him a genius?

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Today at Safeway....

...our groceries were bagged by Michael Milken and Tommy Lasorda.

-- Post From My iPhone