Monday, March 26, 2007

Videos of Emelia

At 4.5 months, while she can't sit up on her own, she can sit and listen to her silly Dad encouraging her. Remaining upright, however, is still a work in progress. This video was taken today...

And maybe this is what she'll look like in a few years...

(Isn't youtube fun?!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Urban Dog Owner's New Pithy Maxim

Find a poop, pick it up, and all day long you'll have good luck.

After all, why should you have good luck for finding something that enriches you (however slightly)? It would make much more sense to think that the good deed of picking up the poop of someone else's dog would be good for your karma, resulting in your getting good luck. Besides, you've obtained immediate good luck by eliminating the possibility of stepping in it.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Example #769 on How My Life Has Changed From Last Year, and #34 on How it Hasn't

Last year I took late and long lunches to watch some of the first round NCAA basketball games. This year I didn't watch a minute of them, even in the evening. That's not to say that I didn't even fill out a bracket, but still.

* * * * *

Wednesday evening the weather was sunny and 72 degrees. Thursday evening it was 48 and raining steadily. It therefore goes without saying that the DC United match against Chivas of Mexico was held on Thursday, and that I was pretty wet by the end of it. Chivas is one of the most popular clubs from Mexico, and it rarely makes a trip to the East Coast. So not surprisingly, Chivas had more supporters in attendance than United did.

The match was the first leg of the semifinals in the regional (North and Central America) club tournament that United qualified for by finishing with the best record in MLS last year. United advanced by clobbering Olimpia of Honduras by a 7-3 combined score. Three of the seven goals in the two matches were scored by our new striker, Luciano Emilio, a Brazilian who we signed in the offseason from, ironically, Olimpia. He's showing himself to be a strong finisher, something United has lacked for several years.

As for the game itself, Chivas looked like the team in the middle of its season, while United looked like the team still in preseason. Which in both cases was true. Chivas' speed/fitness/positioning (not sure in which proportion) made it look like we were playing a man (or two) down for most of the match. Chivas did an excellent job of smothering Christian Gomez, United's playmaker (and the league's MVP last year) to the point that he looked nearly invisible for most of the match. One of the reasons Chivas could bottle up our attack is that we had a defensive midfielder, Clyde Simms, playing on the wing, where he posed little threat offensively. It's the position that Freddy Adu occupied last year, and his replacement, a Brazilian ironically named Fred, hasn't been cleared to play yet (technically his former club has his rights until June 30, and the teams are negotiating on getting him released sooner). United did assert itself for some of the match, but for the most part they had to absorb Chivas' attack rather than dictate the pace. Fortunately, although Chivas dominated possession, it didn't do much around the goal. It scored in the second half on a deflected ball, and a 1-0 score would have been a deserved result. To our benefit, it didn't work out that way, as United scored the equalizer in the waning minutes off a free kick by Gomez that was headed in by Emilio.

The second leg will be April 3 in Guadalajara, Mexico, at 5000 feet above sea level, among a crowd that will be 100% for Chivas, so United will have its work cut out for it. I can't say our chances are good, but there's at least some reason for hope -- United will be training at high altitude for a week before the match, Fred hopefully will have joined the team by then, and the team should keep making strides as it approaches the regular season.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Have You Heard From Me Lately?

Yesterday we almost had a fallen baby. The changing pad was no longer squarely on the table it's sitting on, as more and more stuff was getting crammed onto the far edge. And Emelia likes rolling, so in a flash while I was reaching for the new diaper, she rolled toward me and both she and the changing pad went off the edge. I caught them both before they hit the ground, no harm other than a scared child. Kathy was relieved that I was the one that happened to, given my excellent reflexes. And for the future, we removed stuff off the far edge and the changing pad is once again squarely on the table.

But that was an unusual event. Most days are pretty routine, with little to distinguish them from each other, which is why I haven't been posting much lately. I've been enjoying being home with Emelia -- there have been challenges, but there have been lots of joys as well. I've settled into a comfort zone of knowing what to do during the day, and am fully capable of adjusting to whatever comes our way (assuming she doesn't get into the habit of falling). She's learning new stuff every day, as am I. She currently thinks she's a rooster, crowing to her heart's content. Her big milestone on Friday was not stopping when she rolled from back to stomach -- she kept rolling until she was back on her back. I've discovered that her latest favorite thing for me to do is lift her in the air, and wiggle my nose into her belly. She has started teething, with occasional associated fussiness. Everything checked out fine at her four-month-old checkup this past Thursday. But I can't imagine people who aren't her parents (or perhaps her grandparents) really care about such things, or to the extent that they do, they wouldn't want daily blog entries devoted to such trivialities. And even if they do, I'm not sure I want to discuss such minutiae regularly -- I don't have much interest in babbling endlessly about my child doing things and reaching milestones that all children do and reach.

I can say that the weather's gotten better (in fact this weekend was fantastic), and that's meant we're getting outside a lot more. That makes me happier, and it gives us lots more to do. Ok, it gives me lots more to do, seeing as how most of the time she's still in her stroller.

The big thing that's going on in our lives is the making of a decision. Namely, what are we going to do with Emelia in seven weeks, when I go back to work. Kathy's considering staying at work full-time, going to part-time (or if that's not ok with her work, finding a part-time job), or being a full-time stay-at-home-Mom. Of course it's a big decision, and not an easy one. And if she ends up choosing to work part or full-time, we'll need some sort of child care, likely a nanny share (which is a very common arrangement where we are). The day care facilities in our area don't seem to have vacancies at the moment (we applied at the end of August), and they've indicated that it's likely to be August before they'd have an opening.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007