30 November 2008

Glad Anders Dag!

Shakin' his boo-tay
Glad Anders Dag, or Happy Anders Day! In much of Scandinavia (or at least in Norway and Sweden that I could verify), November 30th is the day to celebrate those with the name of Anders. It seems many countries have an official "Name Day Calendar" like this.

We didn't know any of this - including that this idea even existed - until Reidar called to wish Anders a happy day. Go figure! I guess we'll have to add this to our holiday calendar. (It would have been nicer, though, if it had fallen somewhere else in the year; we have enough to celebrate in November/December as it is!)

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

29 November 2008


Corinne and Anders were in Seattle the weekend prior to Thanksgiving for the rescheduled Seattle shower, so they just stayed there for the following week. Actually, getting them to Seattle actually turned out to be a logistical challenge. Corinne didn't really want to do that whole drive by herself with Rocket; if he got cranky or hungry on the trip she would have to stop to resolve it, prolonging the trip. And since I was planning to work the Monday through Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, it didn't make much sense for me to go with them. We ended up having Donna take the train to Vancouver, WA where Corinne picked her up and she acted as a driving companion. Rocket ended up sleeping for the whole trip after all, but it was a less stressful trip as a result of having the backup available.

Leif and I drove up early on Thursday morning to join the rest of the family for the holidays. We stopped along the way to take some photos of a wooded area that burned about a year ago. The overcast sky and low-hanging fog made for an interesting setting.

In Seattle we didn't have much in particular planned. There was, of course, the traditional dinner, only ours included two turkeys - Taryn and Aunt Joie each prepared one using the Cook's Illustrated "High-Roast Butterflied Turkey" technique. I brought the dressing again this year, and last year's dual-purpose turkey dressing and oyster casserole was repeated. Everything was delicious, as usual.

One common activity on lazy mornings with Corinne's family is to stay in pajamas, grab some coffee, and all pile into bed together. Great conversation always ensues. Here we have Donna, Rocket and Corinne, Taryn, Mazzi (Taryn's dog), and Aunt Joie (who asked to be cropped out). This was Rocket's first experience with this tradition, and he had a nice snooze while they all chatted.

One evening Pete and I made homemade sausage. I brought all of the ingredients with me, including venison that was given to me by a friend who, for the purposes of this blog, shall remain nameless. I hadn't made sausage in quite some time, but the free venison was an opportunity that I figured I shouldn't pass up.

Other than that, there was a lot of ooing and aahing over Rocket, with time for everyone to hold him.

We had originally planned to return home on Saturday, but it didn't take much convincing to get us to stay that additional day before heading home. Thanksgiving only comes once a year, after all!

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

27 November 2008

Baby Showers, Take 2

Rocket's arrival preempted both the Gorge and Seattle baby showers. My theory is that Rocket knew that everyone thought he was a girl and therefore he wanted to arrive before receiving a bunch of cute dresses. Both showers were eventually rescheduled for November, after giving us a few months to recover and adjust.

Gorge Shower
The Gorge Shower was co-ed and hosted by friends Amy, Anna, and Jen. The theme of the shower was "Green", so everyone was instructed to bring a green (literally) food item to share and a green (figuratively) baby gift. For food we had amazing salads, a green curry, green egg nog, and more. We even had green M&Ms custom-printed with "Mike & Corinne" and "It's A Girl", the last one a personal favorite of mine. For green gifts, we had everything from hand-me-down clothes, toys, and books; handmade items such as quilts and knitted sweaters; to a little pair of Tom's shoes (for every pair purchased, Tom's donates a pair to a child in need).

For entertainment, we played a pregnancy-themed game of pictionary, with "sore nipples" being one of the most entertaining drawings.

Seattle Shower
The Seattle shower was hosted by my college friend Malinda, cousin Taryn, and my Mom. Malinda designed rocket themed invitations. We had delicious hors d'oeuvre, played a few games including one in which there was a race to see who could be the first to "birth" the plastic baby inside their drink ice cube.

Taryn made a yummy cake. (She made cupcakes for the first shower; we enjoyed those in the hospital after he was born.)

Everyone also decorated bibs for Rocket. They will be great dinner conversation pieces.

Everyone gave us wonderful and thoughtful gifts. Thanks!

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket

26 November 2008

Hiatus From Horseradish?

When I was in Seattle prior to Thanksgiving, Aunt Joie served up a delicious dinner of corned beef. What is better on corned beef than sour cream with lots of horseradish mixed in? And by lots I mean sinus clearing amounts.

Well, the next day, there was a little blood in Rocket's spit up. I was a little suspicious of the horseradish and a call into the doctor confirmed that this was probably the case. Oops. Should I have known that?

I guess I'll be taking a horseradish (and wasabi?) hiatus for the foreseeable future.

- Corinne, Mike, & Anders Rocket

22 November 2008

Two Months with a Broken Furnace

One item which we haven't mentioned here - our furnace stopped working sometime towards the beginning of October. And it was only at the end of November that I finally got it fixed. Yes, I know, that's a long time. And with a newborn in the house, it's even worse! It's a long story...

Ever since we moved here, this furnace has given us trouble. First there was a blown gasket that resulted in exhaust fumes leaking into the house. Then the furnace would occasionally not come on, like during our Florida trip in January. Well, this year that latter problem went from intermittent to frequent to constant. No wonder some people have dubbed the "Heatmaker" brand as the "Hatemaker".

So for almost two months, we heated the house solely with the wood stove. The stove is actually fairly efficient at heating the place, although it certainly takes more work. We also went through our firewood stash much faster than we had planned, particularly since at least one of us was always home taking care of Anders.

Anyway, we eventually gave in and called the HVAC folks out again. The good thing about a constant problem (rather than intermittent) is that it is easier to debug. Thus, within an hour or so they had diagnosed it as a failed ignition circuit, and about a week later I received and installed the new unit.

At the moment, we're loving the heat from our "Hatemaker". It sure is nice to come home - or wake up - to a warm house!

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

21 November 2008

Smiles For Mom!

Finally! Eight days after Anders smiled at his Dad for the first time, he has finally smiled at his Mom. I guess he heard me discussing his lack of smiles with the doctor today and decided to get with the program.

- Corinne, Mike and Anders Rocket

20 November 2008

Two Months Old

Rocket turned two months on Nov 20th, but we didn't do anything exciting other than try to take photos after he should have been in bed.

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket

18 November 2008

Visit From Grandma and Grandad Daly

Sometime last April, when Corinne was about 3 months along, my parents booked their first trip to meet the soon-to-arrive addition. Since they had to book a flight to get here, they decided to play it "safe" and schedule their trip to start about 3 weeks after Corinne's due date of October 14th. Of course, that's not exactly how it went. When they arrived in early November, Rocket was already a month and a half old!

We spent most days at home with lots of napping and snuggling. After all, the main purpose of the trip was for Grandma and Grandad Daly to get to know Anders and give Mom & Dad (that's us) a little time off.

Grandma and Rocket

Like Grandad, like Grandson Anders and Grandma

Sleeping on Grandad's chest

Dad picking apples
By November the weather had turned pretty rainy so we didn't spend that much time outside. However there did happen to be an apple tree in our orchard that somehow still bore fruit - many weeks after all of the others had dropped theirs and been eaten by the deer and coyote. On one of the less rainy days, my parents used the orchard ladder to pick what was left, and dad (aka Grandad - I still can't figure out which one to call him!) made applesauce. We even sent some of the apples home to Drew, Michelle, Katya and Nadija. We're looking forward to the first time Anders gets to meet his cousins!

My parents also made a point of telling us that we should plan to go out a few times while they were here, and they would watch Anders. We took them up on that offer and went to town on two occasions for dinner with friends, including to a make-your-own-sushi party. We did make it out a few times as a group as well. Anders is still relatively easy to take out: he doesn't cry unless he's hungry or has gas (or gas+), and best of all he stays where you put him! We went to lunch in Hood River at the Full Sail Brewery.

My parents also brought more than just themselves with them from NJ. Mom brought the rust-colored blanket and matching hat that she made for Anders and are featured in several of the photos. These were the replacements for the pink-themed ones that she made back in September... They also brought some Italian salamis and hams that my brother picked up at a local deli in NJ. We can't figure out why, but it's more difficult than it should be to get good cold cuts on the West Coast! Thanks, Drew!

Anders must get his love of eating from his parents; here he is eating his own arm, his mother's chin, and contemplating his next meal.

Anders eating his arm

Anders, wide-eyed

Anders eating Mom's chin
The weather cleared up towards the end of their visit, so we did get a chance to walk down to the river on one day and take some family photos before they left. Three generations of Dalys!

3 Generations of Dalys!

Mom, Dad and Anders

- Mike, Corinne, & Anders Rocket

16 November 2008

No Smiles for Mom

Last Thursday morning, I was holding Rocket and when Mike greeted him, Rocket had big smiles for his Dad. It's now Sunday and Rocket has not yet smiled at his mother, you know, the woman who feeds him! Rocket's grandmother Lee reports that this morning he smiled at the garbage can. Well, that's just great...

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket

07 November 2008


Here's another video of Anders, this one from a few weeks ago. He starts out sleepy, but then something wakes him up.

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket

05 November 2008

A Part of History!

We don't usually talk politics here, though our leanings are generally well known. But we just had to exclaim our pride in being an active part of making American history!

- Mike, Corinne, & Anders Rocket

03 November 2008

Space Legacy

My aerospace colleague and friend Ed Burnett just pointed out another fun aspect of Anders' name. Bill Anders was a member of the Apollo 8 crew that flew the first lunar orbit. He is also the person who took the famous Earthrise photo that has inspired people since it was taken 40 years ago. That makes Anders and Rocket a perfect name pairing.

- Corinne, Mike, & Anders Rocket

02 November 2008

Anders Rocket in the Leaves

Before the weather gets cold and snowy - which is coming soon - we have tried to get Anders (and us!) outside to enjoy the crisp fall weather. Most of his outside time has so far been confined to walks to the mailbox, although Corinne did walk him down to the river and around the meadow once while Loren was here.

On the way back from one mailbox trip, we stopped to get some photos of Anders with some of the fall colors. In the span of about 10 minutes, we took over 200 photos, thinking that at least a few of them were bound to be interesting. These particular photos represent two of his distinct moods: suspicious and, well, crying. Okay, so crying isn't really a mood. Thankfully he switches between moods very quickly.

Through the magic of digital photography, I assembled all 200 still photos into a 30-second time-lapse video. Enjoy!

(If you received this via email and didn't see the video above, you'll have to check it out on the blog directly.)

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

01 November 2008

Halloween 2008

We were invited to a Halloween party by our friends Rob and Nikki - so of course we had to come up with something to wear. It's always been difficult for us to come up with good costumes, but after some last minute scrambling we think we came up with two ideas that we could do with materials on-hand and that were better than the default "sleep deprived parents". Corinne had the idea for me to go as Joe Six-Pack and she would be a Hockey Mom, but we couldn't pull together any hockey gear. In the end Corinne was a head of lettuce, complete with real lettuce leaves on her head. Sorry, Rocket - no costumes for you until you can control the movements of your own arms.

My Joe Six-Pack costume required a six pack of beer (obviously), which is something we don't usually have on hand but is easy to pick up on the way to the party. When we stopped at the local convenience store to find some cheap beer, I saw something that I'd never seen before: cans of "Budweiser + Clamato". Sounds pretty horrible to me, but I guess I don't drink Budweiser by itself, so I'm probably not the target audience. We didn't buy any.

The party was great fun, and it gave us an opportunity to hang out with a few of our friends who have babies of similar age: Rob, Nikki and their son Bridger, who is 3 months older than Rocket; and Jamie, Andy and their daughter Lauren, only 2 weeks ahead of ours. At several points during the night, the couch was dedicated to nursing. Apparently all of the mothers agreed that nursing is much more fun in a group.

We stayed for a few hours, but we didn't want to push our luck. Soon after the pie eating contest was over (hence, my face), we packed up the car and headed back home.

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket