Stuff from December, 2014

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on December, 2014.


The first time I really felt like a dad was when Esmé was riding face out in her Baby Björn and had the cutest tiniest sneeze you’ve ever heard. There was just something about her making the same sound an adult makes, but a very very tiny version. I couldn’t see her face but only her miniature noggin jouncing forward and then back. She didn’t think anything of it, but her dad sure did.

Car Seat

I love this photo of Essie. The car seat cover Mykala found and bought for her (which Ess loves, as much as a 4 month old can love anything, and by love I mean she doesn’t mind being put into her car seat at all when this is on it) makes a very nice frame for her face.


Fist of Gratitude

I really hate my dental school loans. This is not a feeling that changes when I dig into the twelve different payback models or daily interest tracking spreadsheets I have assembled to assuage my guilt that education loans financially hobbled my family when I thought they’d do the opposite. And really, the hobbling is an emotional feeling as well — not even three years out of school is a poor time to assess the unvarnished facts of an investment in higher education.


Not-silent Night

Mykala just told me a story about changing Ess, which inspires me to record this: I was changing Essie’s diaper a few days ago and she was a little squirmy, so I thought I’d sing her “Silent Night”. I began: “Silent Night,” so far so good “Hol-” *fart*. She only let me get through two words before she vetoed the song. Tried again later in the changing, same result.

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Christmas Time

This evening, I’ve listened to ten minutes and eight seconds of the new Ben Howard album I Forgot Where We Were and it is spectacular.

We did something today I hope will become a tradition — the Saturday before Christmas (today), we went over to my parent’s house and had some Christmasy time: decorated the tree, had a little lunch together, saw Katy’s new townhome! (it won’t be new every year, but it was part of of the time), just spent some time where no one had to leave or be anywhere. Wonderful. That’s the part I miss about holidays from my youth: uninterrupted stretches of time with family, being over at someone’s house for six, eight hours at a time. I remember during one of these long holidays, probably 1991, I was playing with my new Lego (Technic 8856 “Whirlwind Rescue”), and my grandpa Bup and I were looking at the mechanisms that made the winch work and the rotors tilt. There’s not time for that when you have Christmases on both sides to drive to. So, I hope we can do this Christmas-Time for years to come.



Before her nap, I was holding little Essie up at the top of the stairs, and she saw the Christmas tree down below. It’s so fun to see her focus in on something, and to feel her turn all of her attention toward it. Concentrating hard, she began to suck on her hand. She has been an absolute angel this past week—what more could you want for Christmas than a healthy, adorable baby?


Thought I worked yesterday, and it turned out I didn’t. Before I figured this out, I drove out to both of the places I normally work, then drove home after a tour of the Twin Cities in the still-dark cloudy morning, and had the privilege of reading Christmas stories to Essie. Next, the three of us went out to pick up a gift, wrapped presents, made salt dough ornaments, took a nap (the three of us! Essie woke up first…), and watched two Christmas movies: The Santa Clause and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.


Esmé’s First Christmas Eve

Esmé’s First Christmas Eve

Christmas 2014

We were everywhere we could go this Christmas. I was up at 5am on Christmas Eve to go exercise before I worked until noon, at which point I came home to see Essie and Mykala dressed up, Essie’s bottom half looked like a candy cane and Mykala was resplendent* of course. Then it was off to my parent’s for some home-made Dr. Fuhrman lasagna and cookies and presents. Essie opened first, her little hands grabbing each piece of tissue paper. I love to see her touch, feel, grasp things and she has suddenly become so skillful at grabbing everything. The presents were exhausting for her, though, and she needed a nap. This was a theme throughout our presents opening—frequent breaks!


Corporate dentistry

Patients, Pressure and Profits at Aspen Dental

Lili Reitz, executive director of the Ohio State Dental Board, said last year a quarter of her complaints – or 140 – were against dentists at corporate chains. Yet she has little authority to take action against the companies. Instead, her power comes from having control over the license of individual dentists.


Essie’s Handprint Ornament

Essie’s Handprint Ornament

Punch Date

Punch Date

Emily and Nick bought us a gift card for Punch Pizza and a movie. They did a smart thing and said we had to use the gift before they returned from Mexico (they correctly guessed we’d wait a really long time to get out of the house without Ess if they didn’t dictate a use-by date on their gift). So, here we are at Punch Pizza!

Backlit #1

Backlit #1

I noticed this great light coming in and was taking a few pictures of Ess, and then her mama came up behind me and started singing. This is her reaction.

Backlit #2

Backlit #2