Thursday, December 31, 2009


Cash and Dad's First Year and Three Quarters

Working at Bell Labs in 1964, our friend Arno Penzias was experimenting with a super-sensitive antenna when he observed a low, steady, mysterious signal in the receiver. It was so unexpected, so unexplainable, he cleaned pigeon droppings from the antenna to eliminate possible causes. In spite of the scientific community's sentiment that his signal was just noise, Arno steadfastly hunted for an explanation for years.

I have great empathy for Arno’s experience because finding something so unexplainable is maddening. Take the way you talk, or don’t talk. These days, your gobbledygook teases us with tantalizing morsels of signal, signs of communication. So we parse your verbal landscape looking for crumbs of logical expression. Instead, we have discovered a singular "word" expressed with such delight, such intent, that I know it has meaning, but you won’t find it any dictionary.


I’ve taken this word, turned it over and over in my head, picked away at piece sounds like Arno did his bird droppings hoping to find a recognizable word remaining. No luck.

I accept that our world is a churning sea of fascinating but often incomprehensible phenomena. Distilling a signal from a vast ocean of noise, and believing in that pattern recognition, is fundamental to mankind’s ability to establish beachheads of comprehension. In Arno’s case, he eventually found researchers at Princeton that had predicted radiation with the same characteristics as his observations, a radiation signature proving the Big Bang. Arno won the Noble Prize in Physics in 1978. His persistence paid off.

But I still don’t know what deeyah means. You remind me of that daily restating your case with the incomprehensible! We can decipher this much: Deeyah is an exclamation of happiness ... and we love hearing you say it. When you do, the entire Weller clan repeats the call in unison, “Deeeyah!” and we smile together. Deeyah is becoming our family call to action! Like Arno, I’ll be persistent about uncovering the specific meaning, but I know it has something to do with family happiness.

Your lack of words strikes a contrast to your love of books. You are a book worm. Promptly after slurping down your baba every morning, you go and grab a book, waddle over to me, turn around so your butt faces me, and back up like a blind beeping garbage truck until you plop into my lap. We churn through four or five books. Your favorite book right now is Little Gorilla.

The issue is, your book reading endurance far exceeds mine, particularly for the very same books. You love revisiting the same worlds, but for me its like eating the same candy over and over. There are sores in my brain. I can't contain a moan when you bring over Thomas Rides Again!

This quarter, we had our very first Cashy injury. You fell on a piece of glass at the restaurant Open City. Rachel had to take you to the hospital and you got stitches that crossed pass your thumb onto your palm. As you got your stitches, the doctor was impressed at how little you cried.

Maybe its in response to falling on something hard and sharp, but we've noticed that you've taken shine to soft things. You climb on to our bed, stand up, and then fall like cut tree onto our down comforter. Strangely, you just lay there, face down in the comforter for minute relishing the warm cuddly feelings. If someone leaves a pillow on the floor, its not uncommon to find you face down on it, silent, blind, and, apparently, completely content!



Monday, November 30, 2009

Fall Roundup

Top three household events this quarter:

1) Vanessa's Wedding in XXX, NY!
2) Cabining at the beach with the Silvergleids.
2) Luke and Daddy went to the "Walking with Dinosaurs" at the Verizon Center and went to the Annapolis sailboat show.

Three Songs I’ve been listening to:

1) Fireflies, Owl City, Ocean Eyes (released 2009)
2) M79, Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend (released 2008)
3) Get it On (Bang a Gong), The Power Station, The Power Station (released 1985)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Crying Wolf

Luke and Dad’s Third Year and a Quarter

Your morning is a giddy white canvas anticipating the painters touch. The darker shades of evening, however, has depth your imagination reaches into. It's a magical time of day and you don't relish the end. "I want to stay up ALL night!" You resent the unrelenting bosses who impose sleep. So you stall!

Herding a thousand cats is nothing compared to putting you to bed. The wrestling starts with dinner which you view as the bedtime on-ramp, so you look for cover. I've tried many tactics to lure you to the dinner table. Creating a sense of urgency by counting down -- "I want you at the table in ... Three! Two! One!" -- used to work. Then a few weeks ago I started my countdown and was interrupted, "Daddy, Three! Two! NOOO!"

Eventually, hunger overcomes theatrics. Once you've eaten, it's bath time with Cashy. Unfortunately, entering and exiting the bath is a negotiation of flailing arms and legs thrashing for purchase and delay. Everyone gets soaked. I've created a nice incentive for you to get your pajamas on: I keep the temperature low!

As Rachel puts down Cash, you and I watch exactly 10 minutes of a Thomas the Train Engine video. Then we go to your bedroom carrying a baba and two passies, read one book (Sheep on a Ship is our current favorite) and head to the bathroom for the highlight of my day: brushing your teeth. Brushing your teeth involves thwarting germs that, left unabated, paint your teeth yellow with tiny paintbrushes. You are a very enthusiastic tooth brusher! When we are done, we smile together into the mirror comparing white teeth and test new facial expressions.

Now your mother takes over, reading a second story then she sings your special song, "My Lukey flies over the ocean, My Lukey flies over the sea ..." She plops you down to sleep.

By this time, everyone is exhausted from the ordeal and Rachel and I usually flop on the couch. Then, invariably, a call rings out from upstairs, "Mommy!! Daddy!! Come upstairs! I neeeeeeed you!" You cry wolf nearly every night and you are getting more and more creative with your call to action.

Luke's Top Ten Reasons for Calling Wolf

10. "Daddy, I peeped in my dipes!"
9. "Da Da, a storm is coming!"
8. "Daddy, I don't need you, I need ma ma."
7. "Daddy, leave the door WIDE open!"
6. "Da Da, I don't like my shirt."
5. "Daddy, what are you doing downstairs?"
4. "Daddy, my guitar is looking at me."
3. "Daddy, I'm sweating."
2. "Da Da, my passy has a dog hair on it."
1. "Daddy, why do I poop?"

Needless to say, you've developed a keen sense sense of humor. Even funnier are the collisions I have with your learning curve, or perhaps my learning curve? Last week you tired of one of my lectures, stuck a finger in each nostril and said, "Daddy, I can't hear you!"

Hilarious mistake or calculated humor?



Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Cash & Dad’s First Year and a Quarter

I believe in evolution ... but it's perplexing. Take the eye. What is the halfway point to an eye, half an eyeball? To work, the eye seems to require, from the start, all the pieces in place.

Nonetheless, I see evidence of in-between states all the time. Cash, you happen to be proof-in-point. Racewalking, the half-state between running and walking, would be hard to imagine if it didn’t exist in its awkward form. Racewalking seems less an evolutionary step than an unnatural, man-made concoction between two natural states -- yet it turns out to be your most cutting edge from of transportation. You cannot run. Instead, you’ve evolved a fast forward shimmy, fists pumping, legs scissoring, knees snapping back in the inefficient pace of a racewalker!

I’ve taken to following you. I slink around, stalking your two foot high spiky hair as you bounce from curiosity to need, from your blue monkey to a hug from mama. More often than not, you are interested in whatever Luke is playing with, generally a truck or train. You particularly relish surprise assaults on Luke’s intricate train formations, quietly getting in position before hitting them hard. As the engines and cars rain down, Luke shrieks each of their names, “Thomas! Hank! Charles!” You finish the hit-and-run with something in-between.

Most of my attempts to tail you fail. You sense my presence. You accelerate giggling wildly. The chase is on and I transform into a heavy footed monster, pounding behind you. You screech with delight and we chase from the kitchen, into the foyer, to the dining room, into the living room and back into the kitchen -- a well worn loop we call the "Racing Track". With Luke frequently joining us, we go round and round crescendoing in a big tickling, screaming pileup!

These adventures leave me in awe of your self contained, independent mind and how you challenge your comfort zone daily. Your growing independence is sometimes a shock. “He is doing his own thing,” said Icland, your half-day nanny and frequent baby sitter a couple days ago. Responding to my confused look, she said, “Cash doesn’t need you all the time anymore. He’s entertaining himself!” Why did I feel like the young child reaching for his departing parent? The depended becomes the dependent.

Balancing these tether snapping events are your ever strengthening relationships, most particularly with Churchill. The dog, already hampered with identity issues (he pees without lifting his leg), now believes he is a horse. You routinely climb on top of him as if hopping into a saddle. You are the only person who plays fetch with him, though its a strange form of fetch. You give him ball only to scream as if he swiped it from you; then you take the item back, hold it, hand it back to him, and scream again! You have a strange relationship, like a marriage.

Your appearance has undergone quite a transformation. You are thin and tall versus most children your age. Your hair is electricution spiky and the darkness has dissolved away to blondness and a trace of red, a gift from Grangie. You have two upper front teeth and two teeth only. Our strawberry blond chipmunk!



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Summer Roundup

Top three household events this quarter:

1) Cash's 1st and Luke's 3rd birthdays!
2) Long vacation in Boulder, CO where you guys met Melinda the rock star babysitter.
3) Daddy and mommy went to Rome without the kids!

Three Songs I’ve been listening to:

1) Brother Sport, Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion (released 200x)
2) M79, Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend (released 2008)
3) Get it On (Bang a Gong), The Power Station, The Power Station (released 1985)

Friday, July 31, 2009


Luke & Dad’s Third Year

In the face of innovation, many normal human activities become extinct over time. Some simply become unacceptable. Despite millions of years of good service, peeing outside is now ostracized. Fighting that genetic memory, however, is a colossal problem for Rachel and me. The only place you will “peeps” is the beautiful outdoors (which includes city sidewalk greenery).

The random slamming of our front door is the sign of nature calling in our home. It would be a testament to ancient excremental history if you maintained a similar practice with pooping. You don’t. With that category only a diaper will do; otherwise, you stick your finger in your butt and become monumentally constipated. Yes, you really do that.

A former partner of mine, Gene Riechers, once said, “Most of the world’s problems would be prevented if we required as much training to have children as we do to drive a car.” I once thought there was great wisdom in that comment. Now I see it as impractical. If anyone anticipated the process of potty training, we’d go extinct.

Thankfully, the delights of raising you eclipse the challenges! Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing the delight of a birthday boy! Happy third birthday Luke! Or, I should say, birthdays, plural. For days now the Beetles song “Birthday” has been ringing in my ears as Amazon boxes sent by loving family members have been piling up at our doorstep.

Once you catch site of the delivery man, we cannot wrench your mind from the mysterious boxes. You have to see what’s inside and, of course, we relent. You’ve become accustomed to opening a presents as they arrive. This pattern has led you to a simple conclusion: every day is Luke’s birthday. “Today’s Your Birthday!” echoes in my brain.

Every day being your birthday is a rather nice way to live life. However, Rachel and I have tired of wading through a snow drift of toys. So, Rachel delivered a rather devastating message to you recently: your birthday is over. You seemed stunned and you said, “Today’s not my birthday?!? ... today’s not my birthday … today’s not my birthday …” trailing off as it sunk in. Life’s tough man!

Our big present for your birthday was a "Thomas the Train" train set and a table which depicts the island of Sodor (Thomas’ home). Like most island residents, you don’t care much for storms and, unfortunately, the play room is hurricane prone. Cashy, the hurricane, can't be stopped just like his brethren in the Atlantic. So, you barter with him, giving him toys to distract him from your carefully orchestrated rail world. Your birthday has reintroduced the concept of negotiation into your life. The casual observer might conclude you are playing together, but we know better.

Still, your love for him shines through. At the MacArthur Post office, you shielded Cashy from the road as he dashed off the sidewalk. When we stayed in a cottage with the XXX’s on a beach in Maryland, you locked the doors to make sure Cashy wouldn’t fall down the steps. You’ve become our chief safety officer! You even demand everyone put on their seat belts when we get in the car.

Summer has taken hold here in Washington and you have graduated from Miss Smith’s toddler class at Aiden Montessori. This fall you are heading into Mrs. Antenucci’s kindergarten class. In preparation for thetransition, Rachel and I met with Miss Smith and Mrs. Antinucchi where I was roundly criticized for filling your head with images of hobbits, dwarves, dragons, elves, vampires, Woobops and other such, supposedly, imaginary creatures! I got three stern stares when I said, “You mean I should stop reading him Lord of the Rings?”

One last thing. I played you a sad song the other day. You listened. Then you cried. Don’t tell Mrs. Antonnuci.



Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Cash & Dad’s First Year

In most “guys” movies, the hero, on the precipice of conflict, has a pause, a flash of fight-or-flight. The gladiator eyes the tiger in the Coliseum, the quarterback stares into the teeth of the defense, an Admiral spots the wake of approaching torpedoes. Then comes the deep breath, the clenched jaw, and the decision. “Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!” growled Admiral Farragut in 1864. That moment makes the man. (Actually, the torpedoes were mines in Farragut's case, but you get the point.)

You do not (yet) have the bulging pecks of a gladiator, but you face similar tests in our normally jolly house. Skirmishes erupt not over land or oil but rather … toys. These items, like most of your belongings, predate you as does the former owner who adheres strictly to “first dibs”. Despite being vastly outgunned, you always waddle into the fray for what you want. You choose fight!

Rachel, Luke, Churchy and I capped several months of your rocketing development with your First Birthday Party! Happy Birthday Cashy! We unveiled many “Cashy Only” toys and we celebrated the remarkable changes in you as well as the many Cashy characteristics that haven’t changed at all. You remain a sweet and warm child with a solidity derived of intelligence and, yes, courage.

Did I mention waddling? Oh yes, you waddle around like E.T. stumbling out of Elliott’s closet, arms in the air and screaming! I first witnessed you stand on May 24th, 2009 and shortly after that, on June 7th, you kamikazed across our MacArthur living room into my arms in what I would categorize as a “walk”. Here is the some video of that day:

Bringing up children is navigating one fear after another, some real, others planted unnecessarily by hearsay. It's bad enough that you sleep every night looking like you leapt off a four story building, face planted into your mattress, nose squashed, your butt in the air. But, on top of that, we heard it’s possible for a baby’s head to flatten from sleeping too much in one position. Babys’ skulls are malleable. So how are we going to keep your face from looking like a pancake?! I just remind myself that in parenting as in life there is a vast difference between what’s possible and what’s probable!

The subject of probabilities reminds me that your first words speak to the likelihood of something bad happening:

“Uh Oh!”

Not “Mommy” not “Daddy” but “Uh Oh!” I can’t believe it. I'm not sure how you came up with this. My theory is that your hands go where they aren’t supposed to be, and that we are too lazy to do anything beyond commenting, "Uh Oh!" The other possibility is that, like any good showman, you know suspense should be teed up. Another of your great exclamations drives the show home. You pick up your arms, lift your head, peer at your audience and scream, “Whhooooooaaaaaa!” It’s like you are saying, did you see that?! Waay coool! You did finally say "Da Da" on June 1st, 2009. Whooaa did I feel great.

One final note, you dig music like the rest of us. Interestingly, you've seemed to enjoy watching Luke bang on his drum. Imagine our shock when you picked up the drum sticks on June 21st, 2009 and started beating to the rhythm of Vampire Weekend!



Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spring Roundup

Top three household events this quarter:

1) Vacation in Park City with Rick, the Kramers and Icland.
2) Luke rode his first horse at Rose Park in DC.
3) Alpine roller coaster ride!

Three Songs I’ve been listening to:

1) Brother Sport, Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion (released 200x)
2) M79, Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend (released 2008)
3) Get it On (Bang a Gong), The Power Station, The Power Station (released 1985)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Doing It

Luke & Dad’s Second Year and Three Quarters

When you were a baby, I anticipated the days where you’d start doing things yourself -- the vision of Rachel and I released from the routine tasks of raising you. I assumed Luke automation would mean extra time for us.

Wrong. The math doesn’t work that way. It turns out the driving force behind the “terrible” in the twos is captured in the phrase:


No phrase portends such vast inefficiencies.

Preparing you a bottle of milk takes me about 30 seconds. Watching you tip a gallon of milk precariously over a tiny plastic bottle (with a surprisingly good 50% success rate) doesn’t free me up; I’m the safety net. You take each step methodically, painstakingly. If I intervene in any way, I get a Lukanese tongue-lashing and you start all over again. Between your time, my time, the stress impact on my life expectancy, and the expected time value of the mistakes, it’s an order of magnitude longer!

You are a fiercely independent soul. Figuring things out on your own is a defining personality trait. Behind this is a deep curiosity in how things work. Take your new toy Jeep: you turn it over and over, your fingers surgical, exploring every crevice. You pull, twist and tug exposing secrets in the structure. You animate machinations repeatedly, slowly, your mind parsing every interaction and then putting them all back together. Your thoroughness is stunning, and watching you enraptured in these explorations is a fascinating.

Infuse this curiosity into a child fascinated by the heavy duty (the bigger, the better) and life gets interesting. Every car ride is a safari. A bright red dump truck generates such a gasp of awe from you I'd swear I’m in Kruger Park, Africa goggling elephants with your godfather Rick. Rhinos and leopards have nothing on backhoes and, my god, crane trucks!

Alongside your growing self reliance is a developing self consciousness. In an effort to steal a smile from you at Palisades Pizza on March 13th, 2009, I contrived tragedies like stubbing of toes (you think its funny when I "bonk" myself), making a fool of myself, when I saw you reining in a bursting smile. I was embarrassing you. “Daddy, go sit over there!” It is going to be fun to torture you.

I got a Valentine's card from you this year:

You also received your very first Valentin's card, from Henry XXXX in your class:

This quarter we went on vacation in Park City, Utah where we rented a house on the edge of the town. Rick and Thomas, Jessica & Matts came to visit us. Unfortunately, you were sick and, in that condition, you didn’t have patience for jackets. Getting you outdoors was a challenge.

Nonetheless, you and I had a blast at Park City Mountain where we rode the Alpine Coaster, a one car, miniature roller coaster. The car had brakes so we could control speed. We flew down the mountain, measuredly. It was hilarious listening to you boss me around: “Faster, Faaaster, FAAASTER … Stop, STOP, Daddy! STOOOOOOOP! … Faster, Faster, GO Daddy!”

By the way, your interest in music continues. You now want to create sounds as opposed to just listening. On February 20th, 2009, you and I bought some drum sticks at Middle C music store. I had an old bongo drum and you’ve been hammering on it ever since!

I also took you fishing at a National Park where, randomly, they also had some paint where we could paint the fish we didn't catch:



Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First Second

Cash & Dad’s Third Three Months

Cash you are our first second child, forever. Being the first second has significant advantages. Your parents are less likely to fumble you as experience reduces game time choking. You also have a larger fan base that includes an enthusiastic (though reluctant toy sharing) brother and an adoring (though smelly) golden retriever. Most importantly, the household has already adjusted to the shock of being, well, a family.

You see, becoming a parent is being plopped unceremoniously into a vast ocean of uncertainty. Or, I should say, back into that vast ocean. When I was young, I struggled to break free of family in a campaign to forge my own identity. I succeeded … only to find myself splashing around, flailing for a social beachhead, a place to belong. Eventually I grasped islands of friends, developed a craft to voyage, and learned to navigate life’s geography with a semblance of grace.

Then babies: Curplunk! Back in that ocean again. Having kids is realizing your hard won individuality is a plurality. You are soul-tied to your children and you see things through their eyes pulling your heart and mind into a frame of reference outside yourself -- a more exposed, less controlled, vexing yet exciting perspective! With the birth of a child, a parent is reborn, wet.

That’s why it’s so fun to go to birthday parties with you! Watching parents wrestle with the new psychology of shared identity with every spilled milk or thrown cake (“shared-personality-development-episodes”) is a ball. At XXXX Burnquist’s party on April X, 2009, you took a toy from XXX Kissel and promptly smacked him on the head. His father, Aaron Kissel, who up until that moment was a friend of mine, flashed with anger at me -- as if I’d hit him!

You see, Aaron’s boy was manhandled by you, a much younger and courageous CASH MACHINE! (Mom's nickname for you). I shouldn’t have enjoyed this, but I did. My little perpetrator showed initiative and, despite my better judgment, I loved it. Yes, yes, it’s a sick, sick thing and it’s funny. Good thing Rachel isn’t reading this.

You, our first second baby, are about relishing this madness. Indeed, the first second experience turns our prior child rearing tenants on their head. With Luke I couldn’t believe how complicated “it” was to maintain with the dirty diapers, bottles, feeding, pooping, etc. In your case, Cash, I can’t believe what an elegant machine you are. Just feed you a little milk and you keep humming!

Or keep demanding. As your birthday party behavior hints, you’ve expanded your behavioral spectrum beyond cool blue into the redder, more aggressive regions. You’ve started jabbering and you’ve learned the power of volume. Your voice remains deep for a baby, and while you don’t scream much, you are persistent. You let us know what you want: a toy, food, a break from Luke. What you hate most is being left out of the action which is challenging because, in our house, the human train moves perpetually from room to room.

It’s no surprise then that you picked up crawling early on January 29th, 2009. So far, your approach is entirely an upper body effort with your arms and chest propelling you along with your legs free riding. This style of locomotion evolved out of Luke’s impatience with your crawling progress and the fact we have slick hardwood floors. Luke took to pushing/sliding you around the house with his arms, so you got the general idea of arm propulsion but got no reference for the use of legs!

You are now eating solids and, unlike your brother, you are an absolute omnivore. You eat anything and everything in sight. On top of our copper table, fastened into your eating chair, you power through food like a tree shredder splattering food all over your face. With your food war paint, you sit like a fat, satiated warrior having consumed his kill. You are still 70th percentile in height, but, in some gross miscalculation, they say you are still 50th in weight!? Kids in the U.S. must be getting incredibly fat.



Saturday, February 28, 2009

Winter Roundup

Top three household events this quarter:

1) Rachel and I had tickets with the Drants to go to Barak Hussein Obama’s inauguration on the National Mall, but instead watched it at Old Ebbitt Grill. Losers.
2) We celebrated Christmas in Atlanta with Grangie, Samantha & Rick.
3) You and I had a guy’s weekend in DC when Rachel & Cash went to Texas for a family get together.

Three Songs I’ve been listening to:

1) Brother Sport, Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion (released 2009)
2) M79, Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend (released 2008)
3) Surrender, U2, War (released 1983)

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Luke & Dad’s Second Year and a Half

The throng of besotted Jokers, drunken faeries and bloodied vampires was made further surreal by the trippy fluorescent lights of the emergency room. Moments earlier at home around 2 am, Rachel and I had woken to strangled hacking and choking. You couldn’t breathe. We ripped you out of bed and I dashed you to Georgetown University Hospital where the casualties of the town’s Halloween celebration gathered that Saturday night, November 1st, 2009, in a scene that would’ve inspired Tim Burton himself.

Croup was your nemesis and, like many scary things with children, it turned out to be common and easily treated. Sure, pediatricians suffer the repeated panics of the parents of first born, but, man, they need to hand out cheat sheets! Croup is damn scary and I should’ve been warned!

The doctors shot you up with a steroid, plopped us into a hospital bed, and gave us a tube contraption that spat out a steaming cloud of medicated vapor. You, of course, wouldn’t touch it. The machine appeared overly eager to suck your soul not unlike the random wandering clowns in the hallway. I explained that a giant, kind, blue dragon named Galadriel was blowing magic smoke into the tubes from deep in the hospital. You were amazed and proceeded to gasp down the steam between exclamations, “Dragon Smoke! Galadriel! Devastating!” This earned us stares from the nurses but by that time we were having fun despite the chaos of the night.

This experience fed two already overactive imaginations. I’m probably not doing any favors introducing creatures like Galadriel, Sprites, Vampires and another dragon named George that lives in our humidifier (he blows smoke too). I suppose I should be happy you haven’t plucked out your hair. Then again, the Wooobops were your idea, and you’ve taken to animating your toys into full fledged personalities. Most prominent is Mater, as in “To-mater without the Ta!” -- the bumbling blue tow truck from Pixar’s Cars. Your godfather Rick gave you Mater and he is a rather demanding member of the family.

Your toys have organized themselves into cliques. My favorite is your bedtime crew. Your day ends in a two book reading accompanied by a ba-ba serving, then we brush your teeth, turn out the lights, lie you down, and then … The Posse! Just after you enter your crib, you are joined by three characters. First is Elmo, your nearest and dearest friend, and he is placed on your left. Second comes KungFu Panda who you and I acquired at the National Zoo (after seeing a real Panda) and he is placed on your right. Finally, Baby Beluga joins who was a gift from your Aunt Samantha after hearing about your fascination with the graceful whales at the Atlanta Aquarium. He lies between you and KungFu Panda. After your posse is assembled and your thousand pacis are within reach, you get two blankets, aptly named "Blanket #1" and "Blanket #2", placed upon you in that order. I tuck the blankets around you and The Posse and you look like a chunky burrito when I kiss you goodnight.

Bedtime is fun when you are amenable, but my favorite activity is playing “tent”. The two of us jump into bed and throw a down comforter over our heads creating a cream lit world where everything falls away but you and me. A little insulation from the torrent of color in the world helps us focus. Today, your language is not mature enough to explain everything on your mind, so the tent allows us, without distraction, to patiently explore avenues of thought. I find treasures in the tent, phrases that pop out of your mind reinforcing how incredibly observant you are.

I couldn't find a better place than the tent for our quarterly interview:

I have a bonus interview this quarter done at Rick's house where we spent Christmas. I captured you impersonating a reindeer in this video:

While in Atlanta for Christmas, we went on your very first roller coaster ride called "The Pink Pig." It's a famous coaster for children that used to be housed at the Macy's in downtown Atlanta but is now housed in Lenox Square on Christmas. Here is your ticket for eternity:

Before I sign off, I must mention your continued fascination with music. You’ve taken to singing and you’ll grab your partially strung toy guitar, sling the base over your shoulder violin-style, and strum it while singing “My summer giiiril!” with Beck. I can’t bring myself to correct your guitar posture because I think you like the sound close to your head. At least you play the harmonica normally. You also have some abstract painting talent:

Unfortunately, your musical genius carries with it a disease common to the Weller family. You have extremely little patience with songs you don’t like, tantrum style lack of patience, and, much to Rachel’s chagrin, you like songs LOUD and you've figured out how the volume knob on the stereo works! When you do like a song, the house quakes!

Ik hous van jou,


Top three household events this quarter:

1) Rachel and I had tickets with the Drants to go to Barak Hussein Obama’s inauguration on the National Mall, but instead watched it at Old Ebbitt Grill. Losers.
2) We celebrated Christmas in Atlanta with Grangie, Samantha & Rick.
3) You and I had a guy’s weekend in DC when Rachel & Cash went to Texas for a family get together.

Luke’s most requested song:

Blake’s Got a New Face, Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend (released 2008)

Three Songs I’ve been listening to:

1) Brother Sport, Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion (released 2009)
2) M79, Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend (released 2008)
3) Surrender, U2, War (released 1983)