How Toddlers Can Accomplish What You Can’t.

My wife has accused me of being secretly delighted by our son breaking things. She is, of course, correct.

Any proper geekly father should be. To us, items around the house (particularly those which use electricity) should be replaced as often as they can be reinvented by adding new letters to their name. Hence a Nintendo DS is all fine and good so long as there’s no Nintendo DS Lite, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo DSi XL or certainly a Nintendo 3DS behind the glass at Wal-Mart.  Instead, my wife believes that they should be replaced according to the same strict criteria I have for replacing underwear: When they absolutely can no longer continue to serve their designated purpose.

Our son helps us bridge this gap by destroying things before they have a chance to stop working on their own, but so far not before the next generation of the technology is out.

In 2000 I bought the JVC RX-7000BK. It was a beautiful audio receiver, and packed full of technology for the time.  5.1 multichannel surround sound, Dolby Digital and DTS decoders built in, multiple optical digital inputs, on-screen display for configuring and even video-passthrough to watch different sources … Okay, I know it sounds remarkably vanilla now, but eleven years ago, this stuff was amazing to have inside a home.

It all finally came to an end the other night as D.L. happily pushed buttons and turned knobs which had the effect of making lights change, scrolling words across a display and making things really loud or immediately quiet. It’s kind of the best thing ever for a fifteen-month-old to get his hands on.  Somehow he pushed one button too many, and the display turned off forever.  Followed about half an hour later by the sound, which for some reason continued to function and amuse the child for a while.

Before I had even ascertained that the receiver was, in fact, dead, I heard someone say, “You officially have the family’s sanction to search for a replacement.”  Or something like that.  Whatever the exact words were left the distinct impression that my wife was planning to pick up where Tony Soprano left off and refusal of this offer was not so ambiguous a choice as it might otherwise have seemed.  Come to think of it, I definitely should have capitalized Family in the quote above.

Just like that, my boy had done in fifteen short months what I hadn’t been able to do in five years: convince my wife that it was time to upgrade the receiver. And he’s split his time between working on that, and learning how to walk.  (This appears to have been a 50/50 split.)

The new Onkyo TX-NR509 is every bit as advanced as the JVC was in its day, and I’m certain that it will be completely useless to me in another three years.  I hear that four-year-olds are much more destructive than fifteen-month-olds.  Keep it up, son.  Keep it up.  I’m still stuck with the eleven year old speakers.

Baby Man Cold

My poor son is sick. More sad than that, though, he doesn’t seem to understand that he has Man Cold. Or maybe he has to grow up first to get that.

Sunday night, we noticed that he had a tiny little cough. He’d do it about once an hour, and we didn’t really think much of it since he didn’t have a fever.

The next day, though, a tiny disaster struck. (Most people probably wouldn’t consider it a disaster at all. Nursing mothers, however, might well consider it a tragedy.) The breast milk that had been stored in the fridge over the weekend had soured, and we had to send frozen breast milk with our son to daycare. This resulted in the milk not having the antibodies from mummy, who’d had the same cold the week before.

So on Monday, things went downhill for the little guy pretty quickly. He had a cardiologist appointment that day (he seemed to enjoy being handled by strangers while naked, we’ll have to have a talk about that) and nothing was caught during his exam. He also wasn’t coughing very much more that evening. There might have been a few extra minutes of crankiness.

Tuesday morning was a different matter. His breathing was raspy, there was more coughing, and his tiny little cooing voice was deeper. (Not like Barry White cooing, maybe, but enough for Tiny Tim to be jealous.)

With how quickly this had progressed, and with his first cold coming at a week shy of four months old, and with Whooping Cough going around, we figured we should get him into the doctor if for nothing else than to tell us what we should be doing for him. (I only trust the parenting books so far. They’re typically written by parents, and parents can be a little nuts. Also, how crazy long was that run-on sentence?)

Anyhow, his doctor wasn’t too worried, but told us what to watch for to see respiratory distress (mostly a sucked-in belly when breathing), and told us to call again if that happened, or if it hadn’t gone away in another week.

Wednesday was when our son had what should have been Man Cold. A regular cold is what women get, which allows them to continue to raise a family, go to work, take care of the household, and not complain.  Man Cold, however, must somehow interact with the “Y” chromosome, making every cold much more severe for men. We can’t fix our own meals, can only get out of bed long enough to find the comfy chair in front of the TV, and the pain is only relieved through a constant dialogue of complaining how bad we feel. (Example: When my wife got this cold, she once asked me for some water, and once commented that her throat was itchy. When I got the same cold, I took two days off work, and got yelled at for not taking a third off.)

So what did he spend his time doing? Laughing. He’d laugh long enough to hurt his throat, then he’d cry that his throat hurt, and then he’d start smiling and laughing again. He eventually decided that laughing wasn’t worth it, but he wouldn’t give up the smiling. All night long he’d interrupt any of his fits of crying with smiles. He couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, but he was still so happy that he couldn’t keep it off his face.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, does anybody know how to convince an infant to stop doing drugs? Because I don’t see how his attitude could come from anything else.

How to cheat at knitting

I’m now adding Knitting alongside Guitar Playing and Balloon Animal Twisting for things I’ve learned for my son.

Technically, I learned how to knit about five years ago when I stole a knitting book and needles from my mother. (These have not been returned.  She can deal with it.) I got about a dozen rows into a sweater and decided that sweaters were a terrible first project, homespun yarn is a terrible first fiber, and the Xbox has a higher return-on-investment if my investment is only going to last for a few hours.

My opinion on the ROI was reversed, however, when my mother-in-law met her grandson.  She bestowed upon him two of the most gorgeous cardigan sweaters I’ve ever seen in my life.  Gorgeous hand-knit items aren’t really new to me, as literally everybody in my family besides me (before this month) either knits or crochets.  (My dad knits, my brother crochets, and my mother and two sisters do both, though I think they all prefer crochet.) For some reason, these sweaters were what inspired me to finally start creating.

Well, the sweaters and his mobile.  My sister crocheted an incredible mobile for my son.Crocheted by his Auntie Brenda I think I got jealous that he had such amazing hand-crafted gifts from both sides of his family, but nothing from his own mum and dad.

I picked up that same stolen knitting book and those same stolen needles, and started making a baby afghan.  It’s a little ribbed blanket with a simple pattern, and it’s going well … but taking a loooong time.

While I was looking for yarn to use at the Walmart, Gemma saw a Knifty Knitters round loom set. She asked me what it was and how it worked. When I described it to her, she excitedly told me that she’d had a small spool knitting loom as a child, and loved it. Apparently she’d been wanting to knit something for our son, too, but didn’t feel like she could develop the skill to pick up needles and create something.  (She’d gotten as far as casting onto a needle, then knitting one row four or five times before ripping and starting over, and over, and over.)

We bought the looms, and about three hours after we got them home, she’d already completed Devon’s first hat! In the meantime, I’d had about 10 days with his blanket, and it wasn’t even a foot long. Gah!

The next day, Gemma had completed a hat for herself, and was planning other projects. I felt like I was making no progress on my baby blanket, so I went to the store to buy some new yarn, once again stole knitting implements (this time one of her looms) and started a scarf.

It took 10 days, but it’s done and it’s fantastic and I don’t care if it’s cheating. I’ve found some techniques on the Internet and figure that I can get the time on these scarves (even at 8 to 9 feet long) down to three to five days.  Even with an infant, I have plenty of time to work on them while mummy is nursing our son.

I’ll have more pictures of the things I’ve created after Thanksgiving (which is when we’re celebrating half of our Christmas with my family in Utah), after I’ve given them to their intended recipients. The loom is FAST and easy.

Meanwhile, I continue the slow, plodding work on the baby blanket. I hope to be done with it by the time real Christmas rolls along. Although I’m happy with the work that the looms turn out, the items made with needles are the ones that are exciting me. I can’t wait until I’m done with all of the Christmas items, so I can turn my attention to knitting socks in the round using the Magic Loop technique, a new baby blanket for an expecting family member, and eventually sweaters for the whole family.  Just probably without homespun yarn.

Apparently somebody reads my blog

Just a quick update to my last post. The author of sent me an e-mail asking why I hadn’t used his site instead of Well, I simply hadn’t tried it.

Now I have! I was going to mention it here and state all the reasons why I preferred instead … But I think I actually like more. A lot more.

  • In addition to cropping for you, will let you rotate the photo, too. Especially for an infant photo, this can be invaluable.  I don’t mean just 90-degree rotations, but if the baby’s head is drooping a bit to the left, you can fix that.
  • A major problem with ePassportPhoto is that once you’ve guessed at how big your crop will need to be, then you move that crop and position it over the face, and you can not change the size of the crop without starting over. With, you can move, resize crop, rotate, resize, move again, etc., in any order, allowing you to get things just right very quickly.
  • This is a minor detail, but the face guide that uses is easier to understand at a glance.

Some things are a bit better on ePassportPhoto, however.

  • ePassportPhoto has default templates for over sixty countries. Though most of these all have fairly common rules, it’s nice that you don’t have to look them up for yourself.
  • Passport photos are printed in a landscape aspect rather than portrait, so you get an extra picture. (Not that this makes any real difference, but it’s nice not to have wasted space. The extra photo can always be used in a project for grandparents.)
  • Links are included to have the pictures printed and mailed for you.

There are other minor differences that someone might have a preference for, such as allowing you to print bigger sheets with more photos, if you’d like. The bottom line for me, though, is that it took me about 10 seconds to get things just right with compared to about a minute with ePassportPhoto.

On a side note, how hilarious is it that somebody read this site and cared what was on it?

How to Get an Infant Passport: The Bad Parenting Way

With my son being multiracial (his mum is British and I’m from Idaho/Utah, so his races are White and Whiter) and having families on multiple continents, it was necessary for us to get his passport early.  He will be traveling to England for Christmas this year, and we wanted to make sure we could get his passport before we dropped money for three international plane tickets during the holiday season.

Getting a passport at all was actually in some degree of doubt. You see, his birth certificate is currently wrong. When I signed his birth certificate, I had only two hours of sleep after being awake for 27 hours, that sleep was in a very uncomfortable chair, and I’d gone to sleep with my hours-old son strapped to machines in the NICU and awoken to the news that his heart was on the wrong side of his chest. (The possibility that such a thing could be temporary was not relayed to me.) These are about half the excuses I use when I have to admit to what I did: I signed the birth certificate with my own birthday wrong. Worse, I noticed it was wrong when I signed it, but in my memory, I thought I’d alerted someone to the inaccuracy … but signed anyway. No matter. It was wrong.

Our first stop was by the Los Angeles County Department of Vital Records. On the day we noticed the error, they said if we got down to them that day before 3:00 PM, we’d be able to make the change the same day. We were there by noon, but it was apparently too late. They’d already sent the batch of birth certificates our son’s was in to the state department in Sacramento … about a week earlier. They’d looked up the wrong one when they told us we could change it that day.

Once a birth certificate goes to the state of California, it takes about 15 months to get it changed, and that’s not counting the new Furlough Fridays that state employees don’t work due to state legislature unable to pass a budget. So not only can’t we get it fixed by this Christmas, but possibly not by next Christmas, either.

We called the Passport Authority and spoke with Brian. If you’re lucky enough to speak with Brian at the Passport Authority, please call him four-letter words, curse his children’s children, describe lewd acts for him to perform with whatever demeaning objects you can think of, and hang up on him. You will be doing me a favor, having some fun yourself, and saving the universe from having to serve up the tiniest slice of Karma he deserves.

Brian “informed” us that it was absolutely impossible to get a passport if even one character on a birth certificate was inaccurate, and there was zero recourse. He informed me that in the history of the United States of America, there has never, ever been a passport granted with incorrect or incomplete information on a birth certificate. When I said that simply wasn’t true, that for centuries record keeping was notoriously bad and many people still alive had no earthly idea what year they were actually born in, and asked to speak with a supervisor, Brian hung up on me.  (He also shouted at one point that he was in charge, apparently of me from the context of the statement, and that I had to speak to him on his terms.)

After brainstorming for a bit over a week, my wife and I decided that the best way to get the passport with the least chance of it being rejected would be to get the passport face-to-face, where they’d have to look us in the eye and tell us that either they didn’t believe I was our son’s father, that they doubted the legitimacy of his U.S. citizenship, or that he was a citizen who was not entitled to a passport.

The hurdle here was that in order to go into the passport authority and get an expedited passport, you have to have proof that you’ll be flying in the next two weeks. Which meant getting tickets, which we didn’t want to do without knowing we’d get the passport. So after calling pretty much every airline, my wife was able to get reservations with Virgin Atlantic (we were very grateful and now have bought the actual tickets for Christmas from them) without a credit card, she got an appointment with the passport authority in L.A., and we were in.

So that’s already a fair bit of bad parenting, but this is where the infant-specific stuff comes in. Passport photos. The first question I had about an infant passport was, “What are the different requirements for an infant’s passport photos?” The answer is, “None.” Infants have all the same restrictions that adults have when taking passport photos, which include:

  • White or off-white background with no distracting shadows
  • Neutral expression with no smile or other emotion on face (such as crying), mouth closed, eyes open
  • Must look directly at the camera with both ears visible
  • 2-inch by 2-inch photo, with face 1-inch to 1-and-3/8-inches large, with the eye line between 1-and-1/8 to 1-and-3/8 inches from the bottom of the photo
  • No hands in photo

Now this last one seems so simple that it’s not even mentioned in most adult requirements … but try telling that to an infant who thinks the point of life is sucking on his fists.

With all these requirements for an infant, it seems impossible to get in a couple of shots. A low price for passport photos is about $14.  No way were we going to pay $14 a pop for what we thought would be a dozen shots to get an acceptable one.

It actually turned out to be 136 shots. (To be fair, there were four acceptable pictures out of those 136.) Thank goodness we found a better way.

My wife found epassportphoto to help us with taking our own photos, and turning them into acceptable photos. Basically, they help you crop the photo to the correct proportions, then they turn the cropped image into a photo sheet for you to get printed as a 4×6 photograph. We printed it at CVS for 19 cents.  (Side-note: They also do countries besides the U.S., completely free.)

After those 136 shots, here’s the final photo, the final sheet, and the Bad Parenting way to make it happen:

So, here you have the first secret: Tie the baby down. Yes, I’m a terrible person. I never claimed differently. I promise he was unharmed, and he wasn’t tied tightly. In fact, he was able to untie the left knot several times just by jiggling his arm a bit.

The white blanket on a crib should be obvious.

Next secret: Fill lighting. We had four lamps pointed at him from the sides. This on its own is not good enough, because they’ll all cast conflicting shadows (remember the shadow rule above). You need this fill lighting with the flash. The flash alone will leave very bad shadows.

Final tip: Plenty of help. We could have avoided the tie-down if we’d had two more people, one each to reach through the side of the crib to hold a hand. As it was, I was operating the camera, my wife was manning the lamps, and her father was shaking a rattle for him to look up at.

Even with all this, it still took over a hundred tries. Good luck.

As for the passport authority, everything went smoothly. They accepted his passport, they accepted our ID, and there wasn’t a single lie or half-truth uttered or written, except by Brian. We went in on a Friday, and picked up his passport after the weekend on the next working day. We needn’t have worried, everything would have worked fine by mail. On the bright side, though, we got the passport back weeks ahead of schedule, and were able to book his tickets earlier than we’d planned.

Screw you, Brian.

Devon’s First Adventure

My son, Devon, was born last Friday, July 23, 2010 at 12:51 AM.  He was born 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long.  He currently has dark brown hair and blue eyes.  His mother was amazing during the delivery and didn’t use an epidural or have any pain killers in her system when he was delivered.  She’s a superhero.

Devon was born with Maconium Aspiration Syndrome, breathing in a tiny amount of fetal feces during the very long, very difficult birthing process. Because of this, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurses were on-hand for his birth, and performed his evaluation.  Although he received a 9 and 9 for his APGAR, the one point he missed was for gaspy, grunty breathing, and with the aspirated maconium, that made them worry.

His mother was able to hold him during the evaluation, but I wasn’t able to get more than a few photographs and touch his arms, head and chest. Immediately following, they took him out of her arms, and rushed him down to the NICU.  I went with him, intending to hold him before they started work, but it wasn’t allowed.  They separated him from me before I had a chance to get near him, and when I had scrubbed up and saw him again, he was already attached to machines.

The main machine at the time was a CPAP. It wasn’t giving him oxygen, it was just forcing the air in the room into his lungs when he breathed.  An x-ray confirmed the maconium in his lungs, and also revealed that his heart was on the wrong side.  They forced me out of the room to move my wife out of her Labor & Delivery room and into her Postpartum Recovery room.

The next morning my mother came to visit him while my wife was still recovering. We came down to the NICU to discover he was now in an oxygen tent.  I put my hand into it to stroke his back, and he rolled over onto it.  It was the closest I’d come to holding my son at this point.

Devon’s mummy finally got to visit him later that day, and it was heart-shatteringly sad. The nurses weren’t relaying information from his doctors, his doctors weren’t telling us half of what they thought they were, and we were mostly in the dark regarding his care. We’d been told he’d require at least a 3-day or 7-day  course of antibiotics, but not if those would have to be administered on an in-patient basis, if he could leave immediately after that, or what tests were being done alongside this.  Direct questions asking about these were brushed off by both the nurses and doctors.

After 3 days, Devon’s doctor was finally ill, and couldn’t come into the hospital.  Her backup was on duty, and the backup finally answered our questions.  Devon would have to have three consecutive days of negative cultures before they could take him off of his IV, and once he was taken off of the IV they couldn’t send him home until they had proof that he was gaining weight by being fed.  We could start trying to feed him then to get ready for it.

My wife (and I) wanted to exclusively breast feed Devon, but that seemed to offend everybody in the NICU, since it was an inconvenience to them. They knew and agreed that breast milk was best, but only wanted it pumped and fed by a bottle.  They allowed her to breast feed, but they made it very difficult.  When she couldn’t get into the NICU at the feeding times they’d decided on (and didn’t bother to tell her) they practically yelled at her and stopped just short of calling her a bad mother.  (Later on, there was a nurse who basically did call her a bad mother for leaving the room for literally 40 minutes.  I threw her out of the room and reported her to the Charge Nurse.  We didn’t see her again after that.)  We were camping at the hospital at this point, sleeping on chairs in the lobby, and spending every moment we could scrubbing up or with our son.

One of the better nurses spent a few hours on the phone fighting for space for Devon in a different NICU (NICU 4) where mothers were allowed to room-in with their babies to make breastfeeding a plausible opportunity.

Things were much, much better in NICU 4.  We got to spend as much time with our son as we wanted without being made to feel unwelcome, we got to change his diapers, dress him, give him baths, and hold him any time we wanted without asking permission from the nurses.

We finally felt like a family. It was such a relief.

Meanwhile, he was finally gaining weight on the breastfeeding, though we had to switch to bottle-feeding breast milk for a day to prove to his actual doctor that he was eating enough.  Thankfully, she was out the next day, and her backup stepped in again and released him!

I’ve skipped a million parts of this story, good and bad.  He was in there for only five days, but it feels like at least half a year’s worth of experiences.

Currently, he has no infection, his lungs look good.  His heart was shifted to the right side only due to the birthing process and has now shifted back.  There was a PDA discovered in his heart, a specific valve not closing, but that appears to have sealed.  Devon still needs to see a cardiologist, though, due to an enlarged heart.  We’ll see how that goes, but I suspect all will be fine with that, as well.

Our boy is safe, home, and healthy. We love him more than words can say, and it turns out we’re better parents than I’d have suspected.  Which means I’ll have to really step up my bad parenting.

Balloon Animals: Because I hate my child.

I’ve got a Woot! related project that’s going on, but I don’t have time to finish up the paint on it right now.  My Beetlebot write-up is taking as long as the project itself did.

I’ll be talking instead about one more reason why I shouldn’t be a parent.

Talc has been linked to cancer and respiratory issues, which is why you won’t find much baby powder in many diaper bags anymore. Bits of thin, flexible rubber are an obvious choking hazard to all small children.  Contact with latex is the leading cause of latex allergy, followed by inhalation of small latex particles.

What do all these things have in common?  Balloons. (Minute amounts of talc coat the inside of balloons so they don’t stick together on the inside when you try to blow them up.)

In completely unrelated news, I’ve started learning how to make balloon animals the other day.  Either three or four days ago.

It’s insanely simple. I’m surprised it’s a fairly rarely practiced skill.

When I was rooting through the pack of balloon rejects I got at the dollar store for the Hover-Crap project I found a twisty balloon.  I thought it was pretty funny, so I blew it up, and twisted together the classic dog shape from what I remember them looking like.

It does take some practice, I suppose. I think some people might be put off because that practice takes specialized equipment like a balloon pump.  Thankfully, I finally found a use for years practicing trumpet and paying for private lessons: I can blow up even the really difficult ones by mouth. So no special equipment, just the balloons.

Speaking of twisty balloon pumps, I found one at a NEW dollar store in our neighborhood, the Dollar Dollars store.  As the name hints, it’s NOT actually a dollar store.  It’s faking.  It’s like the Family Dollar.  Everything in the store that costs 99 cents costs 99 cents.  Other items will cost other amounts.  As for the pump, it lasted for 0.05 balloons.  It got about 1/20 of the way in, and then stopped pumping.

So in the last couple of days since the first dog, I’ve made a poodle and giraffe, which are pretty much dogs, a teddy bear, which is pretty much the dog, a turtle, which is a very, very small dog, an alien (two dogs and a water balloon), a couple of swords (half dogs), elephant (which is a large turtle, but still a small dog), and several different Tiggers.

Don’t get me wrong, the Tiggers are also dogs, but they’re all different kinds of dogs.  The first one was a failed monkey, and the only one I have a picture of currently. I’m already moving on to “designing” my own animals/characters.  There’s more imagination in it than I thought, and it’s difficult not to be tempted to just look on the Internet to see how someone else made a character, but it’s pretty satisfying.  At first you could only tell my Tigger because of the face I drew on him. The most recent version looks a hekuva lot like Tigger without any Sharpie whatsoever.

The Internet thing should be making balloon twisting a skill that everybody has. You watch a video, you twist the shape, and then you go do it in the London Underground until you get chased away. I’d think that people who learned how to do this professionally (the second most exciting four hour course at Clown College) would be pretty angry that it’s completely demystified.

My plan is to pull this out whenever I’m forced to attend anything where my child is part of a group being led by another adult. This includes recitals, sports games, other kids birthday parties, and exceptionally well organized food fights.

(I will not be practicing this when my baby is still in the respiratory risk zone. I’m already well versed in tracking every scrap of popped balloon to keep our puppy from choking on them, because she will swallow them if I leave them behind. Not much I can do about potential latex allergies, but I won’t be letting my children sleep with them.  I recognize how fragile an infant’s ear drums are and the balloons will be absolutely nowhere near him until he’s quite a bit older.)

Quick note about our son: He’s due in one week.  Our doctor is threatening to induce our wife before her due date. We will be laughing at him. Regardless, our next two or three weeks will be hours of walking a day, feeding her all sorts of weird and spicy foods, oils and teas, giving her foot rubs, and, uh, special alone time.  All to get him introduced into the world in as natural (and non-painful) a way as possible. So this is why my projects are already slowing down in advance of his arrival.

Baby Names

So much for the Beetle Bot project.  Oh, I still plan on finishing it, but it keeps getting pushed back.  One-day-project my skinny white behind.

I did give it another go after I got proper motors, but my mounting solution for the motors failed miserably.  I have a solution ready to go, but just haven’t found the time.

Instead, I’ve been putting together furniture.  Two nightstands, a large dresser, a small dresser, attached a baby-changing station to the smaller dresser, removed the wooden frame from our bed, attached a metal frame, re-attached the metal frame after modifying the foot-board to accommodate the metal frame without being too wide (all this to lower the bed three or four inches to make the bed level with the baby’s co-sleeper and allow the dog to jump on the bed without worrying for ten minutes if she’ll be able to make it) … And I still have an end table and computer desk to put together, and we should really be purchasing a new TV stand.  And some more book shelves.  And we’re still waiting on the crib we want to become available.

As much as I hate IKEA right now, I have to grudge them some respect. Pretty much all of that fit in our tiny Chevy Aveo with room for the same amount again.  (The main reason we’re getting it all now is so that we can get it all home while there’s no baby seat in the car, so we don’t have to find a sitter to get a dresser.)

I’ve definitely lost the baby naming battle.  My wife will now take over all the naming duties, as I’ve been declared unreliable in this field.  Here is a (very small) partial list of names that have been vetoed:

  • Pwnz (my personal favorite, but I suspect it was vetoed because I initially submitted this name for the dog)
  • Razor
  • Rocker
  • Shadow
  • Blade
  • Westminster
  • Chopper
  • Thoreau
  • Sawyer (My high school buddy named one of his kids Finn.  How awesome would this be?)
  • Gemmo (pronounced Jem-Mo)
  • Kal El
  • Kirk

And a few broken down into categories:

Titles as first names:

  • Doctor
  • Mister
  • Professor
  • Major
  • Captain
  • Chief
  • President
  • Ambassador
  • Father

Middle names:

  • Danger (every guy since Austin Powers came out has tried to sneak this one in)
  • Trouble
  • Son-Of
  • Tiberius

Traditional names which should have been a lock:

  • Zebediah
  • Ezekiel
  • Judas
  • Brother of Jared (for any Mormon readers)
  • Thor

She even vetoed Thomas Christopher as the baby’s name.  This is half because a co-worker friend of mine recently named his son Thomas Christopher, and half because his initials would be TCB.  Which was the whole point, anyway.

Long story short-ish, I don’t get any say.  At least not for this child.  For the next baby, I’m hoping for a girl so I can try out Fluffypoo and Killer.