Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The little things

One of the joys of being a new father is being able to see Jack's reaction for experiencing new things. Today, it was banana baby food! At first, Jack looked a little hesitant. He didn't seem to quite know what to make of my excitement over this new thing I kept calling "banana". But- as you can see, there was nothing to worry about.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Couch potatoes!

from left to right: Jack "I want to eat your head" van Alphen, James "Cookie Monster" Weiland, Maeve "I don't know about this" Weiland, and Olive "I'm outta here" Hinton

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's all about manners

Grandpa Joe teaching Jack how to sit up straight.

Sweet freedom

Even though Jack is trying to chew his way to freedom, he really does love his activity mat...I swear.


Vicki, Jack and Hopper enjoying a quiet evening at home.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Metallica + baby = awesomeness!

Last year for Christmas, uncle Matt gave us this cd and I'm still playing it. Nothing beats putting your baby to sleep to the sounds of Master of Puppets and Enter Sandman. Rockabye Baby! transforms timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies. The soothing sounds of the glockenspiel, vibraphone, melltoron and other instruments will lull your baby into a sweet slumber. They also make versions of other groups such as Nirvana, U2, Bob Marley and Led Zepplin.

What the...?

Since Jack has come along, I've seen a lot of crap aimed at the gullible new parent. This has prompted me to start a new section of posts called "What the...?". I came across My First Oddsocks Bear while browsing the web ealier today. Don't ask me how. What will they think up next? Here's their sales pitch:

"I'm no ordinary bear, because if you buy me, I come to you wearing a pair of 'My First Pair Of Oddsocks' which are ready to be worn by you, too ! I keep them warm for you on my feet ! In the picture I am wearing 'Beep Beep' but I will choose one of my 45 different pairs for you."

If you know of any strange and unusual items I can include, please send along.

A must read

Being an artist/ gallery owner/ stay-at-home dad, I like to consider myself an "Alternadad", so I decided to pick up this book and give it a read. It was amazing!

Author Neal Pollack writes about life with his artist wife, and the couple's decision a few years ago to have a baby and the attendant strains that his son, Elijah, wreaks on their hipster lifestyle. Pollack details the kind of problems that can be found in almost every memoir on child-rearing, from how to clean up baby poop to figuring out how best to be a "Dad" while being a friend. But he never really defines what it is that makes his parenting so alternative other than that he wants to be a parent and still get high and stay out late. Nevertheless, Pollack hasn't lost his flair for tongue-in-cheek commentary ("I'd begun exerting cultural control over my son; I was going to shape his mind until he was exactly like me").

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A visitor!

Thanks to aunt Andie for coming over yesturday to watch the little guy while Vicki put up the Christmas tree and I put up the outdoor lights.


What was your reaction to the first time you tried peas?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One of Jack's favorite things

I don't remember how I got the idea, but before Jack was born, I wanted to get Vicki a little stuffed animal that she would be able to hang on to and squeeze after I had fainted and been carried off. My idea was to get a little Westie that would look like our beloved canine Hopper. What I didn't know was that Jack got a little antsy and wanted to show up earlier than expected. Unfortunately for me, I hadn't gotten the stuffed animal yet so I knew I would have to hang in there and support my wife on my own. In th wee hours of quatro de Mayo, Jack Reid van Alphen was born. Unfortunately, our new baby had to spend two weeks in the NICU. The hardest part for me was having to leave him at the end of the night. The thought of him being there alone tore me apart so on Jack's second night, I decided to still get a stuffed animal, not for Vicki, but for him. As originally planned I wanted to get a little Westie dog but where on Earth would I find one in the middle of downtown Chicago? My worst fears came true when I realized that my only option was to go where no other man has ever wanted to go before....The American Girl store. One of the characters/ toys is a little Westie dog named Coconut and the only option around. Though I didn't enjoy the experience, I felt better knowing that Hopper was keeping Jack company.
To this day, Hopper is right by Jack's bedside keeping a close eye on him while he sleeps.