Tag: babies

Cats in the cradle

On Thursday evening at 8:29 PM, Sadie Evelyn Ashlock was born and Jen and Jason became parents.  Congratulations he11o_sunshine  and stubiebrother !

Jen is 7 years younger than me and definitely falls into the category of "baby sister".  When she was born, we lived in a small house in Somerset, New Jersey (see picture to the right).  I clearly recall visiting her in the hospital a day or two after she arrived.  She was in the nursery along with rows of other babies and Dad pointed her out to me.  When I got home that night, I threw up.  I’m told the two events are not related.

I remember the day Jen came home pretty clearly.  There was a crib or playpen of some kind set up in the family room and I recall watching her lay there, squirming around, making all kinds of faces.  Naturally I thought that she was making faces at me, something that I took personally for a while.  I made faces right back at her.  Funny thing is, to this day, she still makes those faces.  (See picture below).

When Jen was about six months old, we moved from the little house in Somerset to a bigger house in Warwick, Rhode Island.  It was at that house, when Jen was two or three years old, that we had our first significant bonding moment.  Mom and Dad had gone out somewhere and I was left in charge to babysit.  Like any big brother, I thought it wise to teach my sister the kind of things that she would find useful in making her way in the world.

I decided, in this case, to teach her to do spinning jumps off the railroad ties by the driveway.  The railroad ties were about 3 or 4 feet above the surface of the driveway.  A spinning jump, for those of you unfamiliar with this vital skill, is where you jump into the air while performing a 360 turn.  I demonstrated the jump for Jen several times, and then asked her to perform it, to ensure that she’d understood the instructions.

Poised at the edge of the precipice, I recall watching Jen as if in slow motion, bend her knees and then gracefully leap forth into the air, applying just the right amount of torque to spin her counterclockwise.  I watched as her legs seemed to continue to rise into the air, while the rest of her body began to descent.  I watched as she cracked her chin into the railroad tie on the way down–which, incidentally, was not part the instruction I gave her; but this is why we perform tests.  When she pulled herself up from the pavement she was actually very composed, a kind of weird smile on her face.

It was I who lost my composure.  Her face was bloodied–so much so that I couldn’t even tell where the blood was coming from.  I panicked, and of course, Jen panicked, too.  (I never failed to miss the irony that she could imitate my panic, but not my smooth, spinning jump.)  I rushed her across the street to our neighbors, Debbie and Dave.  Debbie, I knew, was a nurse, and a nurse could fix things right up.  Mostly, I just wanted her to stop crying.  Naturally, I felt terrible about the whole thing.

For some reason, I was never able to keep my composure around my baby sister, although she was very composed around me.  Years later, after we moved to L.A., we flew together, just the two of us, back to New York.  We had a stop in Chicago, but we given strict instructions not to get off the plane.  When the plane arrived in Chicago, there was some mechanical problem and all passengers were told to get off the plane.  I must have been thirteen years old by then, and standing in O’Hare airport, uncertain of what to do, I panicked.  It was by six year old sister who put her hand on my back and said, "It’ll be okay."  And of course, it was.

My favorite picture of Jen has always been one of the two of us that I took back in April 2003 while we rode a trolley together in San Francisco.  By then we were both grown up, but she was still my baby sister.  Now, my baby sister is also a mother!  It’s a strange phenomenon, but one that I imagine most people experience, particularly in siblings with whom they have a 7 year advantage.  As I said, I can remember when Jen was still in the nursery at the hospital.  I can remember when she came home, squirming and crying, and making faces.  I can still see her in mid-air, suspended above the pavement in Rhode Island.  Years pass.  There are graduations, weddings, moves across the country, trips up to New York to visit her in Astoria and Manhattan.  All the while she was my little sister, and now my little sister is a mommy.

So while I still love the picture of the two of us on the trolley in San Francisco, I think I have a new "favorite" picture of Jen.  It’s one that was taken yesterday by Mom or Dad in Jen’s hospital room in New York.

When you see the picture below, I think you’ll understand why.

So congratulations, lil’ sis.  Congratulations, Jason!  Kelly and I can’t wait to come meet Sadie.  And while we are not yet parents, we offer some humble parenting advice:

Keep your eyes open when Sadie is near railroad ties.  If she’s inherited any of Jen’s sense of coordination, it could spell trouble.

Congratulations Andy and Mandy!

Hannah Riley Owens arrived this morning via c-section, weighing in around 6 pounds, which is only slightly smaller than her mother. Congratulations Andy and Mandy! That’s awesome news. I love days like this. We haven’t seen pictures yet, but Andy described his daughter as having a birthmark that looked strikingly similar to the NY of the New York Yankees. He also said that her gentle cry sounds similar to a crowd shouting, “Jeter! Jeter!”

It’s fitting for Andy and Mandy that Hannah was born on the Jewish New Year. As strausmouse has said, Happy Rosh Hash-Hannah! Even though there is supposed to be no labor on the Jewish New Year, my guess is that not only would rabbis make an exception in this case, they’d probably say it was a sign of good fortune.

So congratulations once again, kids. You have all sorts of amazing things to look forward to. Just read strausmouse‘s blog to see what I mean.

I can’t wait to see her!

Congratulations Eric and Ryane!

I was going to wait until strausmouse posted something on his blog announcing the birth of their son, back on April Fools Day, but it occurred to me that Eric may never post another entry again, now that he has been promoted to the ranks of parenthood. Or at least, he may not post again for the next 18 years. My understanding of parenthood is that would-be parents can’t wait for the baby to be born and, once born, can’t wait until the kid is 18 and has moved out of the house.

Congratulations Eric and Ryane

I spoke with Eric about 3 hours after the baby was born and he sounded more or less in shock, although in good spirits. For a while, I thought that Eric and Ryane might be the mysterious couple attempting to name their baby Metallica. But when I spoke to him, he said that as much as he would have liked to name the boy Metallica (or even better, Slayer), they decided on Damian Lucas Straus. Damian is, of course, Eric’s middle name and comes from the movie The Exorcist (I’m not kidding). Eric is a big George Lucas fan and he explained to me that is where the middle name came from.

Actually, Eric and Ryane will make super parents. Eric, of course, will ensure that Damian has an excellent memory for rock and roll music, to say nothing of volumes of useless information. (Believe it or not, Eric knows far more trivia than I do. I am an amateur by comparison.) Ryane will see to it that Damian has common sense, to say nothing of a deathly fear of ever using Wikipedia for his homework. Damian’s big (and rather hisute) sister, Cali, will have him talking before he’s six month old. Of course, he’ll be barking…

It will be interesting to see if Damian turns out to be a Cardinals fan or an Angels fan. Of course, the Cardinals have lost every game they have played since Damian was born, so he might want to look closely at the Angels…

Seriously, though, congratulations to both you guys. I can’t wait to come and visit, knowing full well that I will be able to go home afterward… 😉

Come on, suck it up already!

It was hard enough for me to understand exactly why people were offended by Janet Jackson’s “accidental” exposure during the Superbowl a few years back. But I suppose a weak argument could be made over the fact that it was during prime time television, with lots of children watching, and that was not the appropriate forum for such an exposure.

I must say here that I feel sorry for any children not so familiar with human anatomy that they feel uncomfortable seeing it. I feel sorrier for the adults who are, more than likely, the one’s who were really uncomfortable

Fine. The Superbowl is not an appropriate place to expose breasts.

Today, I read that a parenting magazine, called BABYTALK is the next victim of such shock and offense. The cover of the latest issue contains a picture of a baby breastfeeding. In case you are trying to visualize just how offensive this must look, I have reproduced the image here to help you.

One woman from Kansas wrote to the magazine, saying, “I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine.” Apparently, this was one of more than 5,000 letters of complaint the magazine received.

Give me a break! It seems to me that a magazine called BABYTALK is the perfect forum for this type of discussion. It is a magazine likely to be read only by young parents, or soon-to-be parents. It is a far cry from the Superbowl. The cover picture was for an article entitled, “Why Women Don’t Nurse Longer?” Apparently, the answer is that they can’t stand the sight of breasts.

It’s strange, but I don’t see anyone complaining about the nude photo of Britney Spears on the cover of Harpers Bazaar recently.

More on Carson

I spoke to Doug again yesterday evening. Little Carson is doing great, as is Rachel. Both are coming come later today (they keep them both in the hospital 24 hours before releasing them). Doug sent some pictures of Carson yesterday and said he would try and send a few more soon. He brought Ruby to see her little brother for the first time, he said, and she was hugging and kissing him.

The official statistics, as I know have them are:

Name: Carson Hamilton Rubin
Sex: Boy
Birthdate:March 8, 2006 1:00 AM PT
Weight:8 pounds, 3 ounces
Length:20 inches

Incidentally, Carson’s due date was March 7, 2006. I don’t know how often it happens that a baby is born so close to the due date (he was an hour off of being born on the due date), but that’s a pretty darn good guess on the doctor’s part.