Saturday, April 27, 2013


First, the obligatory cute-ass picture of Marissa.

I never wrote anything about the Boston Marathon bombing and I feel that in the future I'll regret not having something about that week. 

It was a week ago Monday that I came back from getting coffee after another late start to the day when LL told me some kind of explosion happened at the Boston marathon. We turned on CNN (she had heard about it on the radio while getting ready) and initially I thought it was a restaurant or something as the thought of it being a terrorist attack never crossed my mind. The reporters quickly dismissed it being a restaurant though. Initially they weren't even reporting where the two explosions occurred or that there even was two explosions. Information and video trickled in though and when they said it was some sort of attack I immediately said "find the muslims in the crowd". Sounds potentially racist (or prejudiced), but is it if it's true? 

LL's mother called to see if we had heard about the explosions because they were out and had not heard. I said we had and, knowing that they watch Fox News exclusively, I asked if they were blaming Obama for the explosions yet. In retrospect that was a little insensitive, but the nonsense they spew on there is infuriating. I even pointed out to LL how when the Potus has a news conference, they will center him in the screen closely enough that the flags on either side of him are cut out. It's those sorts of subliminal or subtle things they do to manipulate their message that I find really annoying. Yes, I'm aware MSNBC does similar things in the other direction, so I try to stick to CNN or avoid TV news entirely. 

However, during the next few days, much like after 9/11, we had CNN on at all times. It was just indescribable I guess how we felt infuriated and violated to some degree. At the same time, I realized that bombings like this happen all the time in the middle east. Just another day for those people. Still, it doesn't happen over here and it was really unexpected. Who did it? Were they supported by al quaeda? Were other bombings to come? Time passed, more video came out, then the FBI released the video of suspicious young men that ended up being the attackers. That was late in the day. That night a guard was shot at MIT. Seemed unrelated, but it wasn't. A car chase ensued, one of the attackers was shot. The other took off in a car and ran over his own brother while doing so. He was eventually cornered and captured while hiding in a boat. Apparently he tried to commit suicide in there, but failed. The chase was over and now it was just a matter of who, if anyone supported, financed or motivated them. The older brother turned out to be the instigator. Interviews with an uncle showed him calling them "losers" and that they weren't "real Chechenians". Their father declared that they were framed. Their mother went one better and said all the blood was really paint and the whole thing was staged! After she was flown in for questioning and shown some of the victims, she finally admitted that it actually happened, but still believed her sons were innocent. So delusional!

It feels like we've moved on fairly quickly from this tragedy. Not sure why. Maybe because they got the perpetrators is why. Not sure, but it does seem resolved. What's unresolved is how another country can worn us about the older brother being a problem, having the FBI interview him and nothing being done even after he goes to a radicalization camp in old Russia. Not coincidentally, yesterday, the Russians raided said camp and hauled away 140 extremists. Nobody wants to have the label of "harboring terrorists" on them. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

No interesting title

It's been another crazy week at the Sutton household, but it ended on various positive notes. Saturday night, LL and I were able to step out to the Blackhawks game as well as grabbing dinner before.  LL's parents came out on Saturday and spent the night. Sunday morning, LL and her mom were going to a friend's christening and I had a softball tournament, so LL's dad took over babysitting duty. All went well! We went 4-0 in the tournament to top it all off. Good fun. 

Second row in the 300 level. Great seats! Hawks lost in a shootout. Bah.

Now for the Marissa pictures!

I think this is my favorite set of pj's for her. Very cute.

Look at that sly look! What is she planning??

Super cute outfit!

Pondering what she'll do today. "Maybe I'll sleep a bit, possibly get some crying in, eat a bunch and then stay up all night!"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Non-baby entry

Well, mostly non-baby. There are no baby pictures. She's doing well, but still not on a schedule which means we're not on a schedule. Yesterday, I finally got out of bed around 11:30 after being on 5-7 a.m. duty and also being awake from 2-3 a.m. in anticipation of Marissa being awake. Even when she sleeps we don't get sleep! Then, this morning, I was up at 8 as LL took baby duty. So it's still a little bit crazy around here.

For dinner, we had no idea what to eat after having some fish, then steak and then pork chops over the last few days. So tonight I gave LL a choice of fish or burgers and she chose burgers. I decided to up the ante a bit on them though and made blue cheese stuffed burgers with an egg on top. If I had bacon and some bbq sauce, it would have been just like Kuma's Kitchen! Here's how it went down:

First, make thinner patties than normal and put some blue cheese in the middle. It's probably BEST to NOT put it on both patties as I've done here as you have to put the patties together without spilling the cheese. Not easy. 

Anyway, you put the patties together and pinch the sides together all the way around. 

After broiling the burgers for 7 mins on one side, flip them and broil for another 7 on the other side. After you flip them, you can start frying the eggs, which you want over-easy. Having them a bit runny is good for this meal!

And here's the finished product with a side of sweet potato fries!

Looking good!!  And they were!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sleep? What's that?

This week LL read up on all things baby feedings and sleeping. She continues to bear the brunt of the late night/early morning feedings, though I did have a few of the 2-4/3-5 a.m. shifts this week. Last night in particular was tiring for LL as she was up just about every hour or 90 minutes unfortunately. So this morning, having slept relatively well (though I do wake up when LL gets out of bed), I took care of Marissa from 8-12 or so, while LL slept and relaxed.

Anyway, the reading was about trying to get Marissa into a good routine now and how to go about doing it. The first month is pretty much "baby cries, you react" but now we should be able to start instilling some structure and get her to sleep at night a little more. The first night we tried all of the tips, she slept for 4 hours and then 3 hours. Night 2 was decidedly less successful though. A work in progress!

 Daddy's little Sweetheart!

I love this monkey outfit. Sooo cute.

On the rat front, it appears the poison was not as successful as I had thought. Most of the holes have reappeared and seem to be active. As important, they don't seem to be eating the poison now. Crap.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Four weeks or one month?

A short break from the baby talk to update you on the rat activity in Basra. The rats seemed to be held at bay all winter, but then they flourished in the span of a week going from one rat hole opening to about 8. Not wanting to be dragging rat traps through the house with the baby around (just being ultra, ultra conservative) I opted to buy some poison from Home Depot. They had packs that you don't even unwrap. You just put them in the holes and the rats will eat through the soft packaging to get to the bait. All the packets were taken into the holes, so I'm guessing the rats were feasting. The next day, the landscapers came and filled in the holes. Only two reopened, meaning the rats using the other holes probably died. So then I brought out a new T-Rex to kill the remaining rat or two. On the first night, BANG, nailed a big honking rat. Clearly this one had been around for a while. I put more poison out in the second hole as well as reloading T-Rex. I'm going for the clean sweep!!

Today was Marissa's four week birthday. Was it her one month birthday? I guess it depends on how you define a month. A month can have 28, 29, 30 or 31 days, so it's a little crazy when you think about it. A week is a week. She was born on the 11th, which was four weeks ago today. We decided that it was her one month birthday.

 Thanks to Kleveland Kim for the monthly stickers to use in pictures. Very fun.
 I couldn't get a smile out of her, but she's cute anyway. Last night was actually a tough night where Marissa didn't sleep much and then didn't sleep much during the day (this newborns sleep 20 hours a day nonsense is BS).

Marissa, your one month birthday was the Cubs home opener, which they lost 7-4 to the Brewers after a bases loaded two out shot by Castro in the bottom of the ninth was caught on the warning track after the wind changed directions from blowing out the first half of the game to blowing in the last few innings. It was a beautiful albeit windy day with temps easily in the 60's.

Your birthday also saw the passing of Margaret Thatcher and Annette Funicello. Two woman who were on opposite ends of the attractiveness spectrum and were both great in their own way.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

More pictures

I have to do some work and finish our taxes, so it's just pictures today!

I'm starting with pictures of the wedding calendar pictures for March and April, though I seem to be missing one picture.

And here are a few of the latest Marissa pictures.

I caught her smiling on this one!

And again here, with her Easter bunny.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

A Little TMI

From all sorts of sources we continuously hear about how we need to cherish this age with our little Marissa and that she grows up so fast and that this is the "BEST" time.  Well, look, don't get me wrong. Our little Marissa is awesome and we're very excited about being parents, but I refuse to believe that this is the BEST time. Last night I got 6 straight hours of sleep because LL needed to nurse and I have an amazing amount of energy. Six hours. That would have led me to be sluggish in the past. Normally I've been going on 5-6 total hours, broken up in chunks. It's even worse for LL. She doesn't complain at all, but she's only getting a few hours of sleep at a time, if that, and tries to nap during the day. So yes, we have a cute, healthy, little baby, but I'm looking forward to the time when she can sleep through the night!

Periodically I refer to our little angel as TMI.  Not "too much information", but Three Mile Island. She goes from sleeping and completely fine to total meltdown relatively quickly, which reminded me of a nuclear reactor. I guess if I was hungry and couldn't feed myself, I'd meltdown as well.  Fortunately that's really the only time she really has been crying.  She's also been taking to a pacifier a little bit here and there which seems to sooth her, so that's good.

Finally, just for my memory purposes, I wanted to note that a very bright comet was visible low in the horizon over the week that our little angel was born. Not saying it's a sign or anything, but I'm not, not saying it was! The comet is called Pan-STARRS. More comets are due to be see later this year and some are going to be very bright. Just thought I'd make note of this for future reference!