Showing posts from May, 2009

Advice from another Microsoft parent

At Microsoft, we've got a bunch of differnt e-mail discussion groups. One is for "Working Parents at Microsoft." It's a place to ask other parents for advice or recommendations.

One woman recently e-mailed asking for help with her child her is pitching major fits during diaper changes. Here was one of the responses. Great advice for all parents:


The “Legal Restraining Techniques” at the bottom are to be used only after all other recommendations have failed and you are in a situation where you just need to use brute strength. These are NOT techniques to be used on infants or the elderly :-)!

Survival Guidelines:
1. Remember there is nothing wrong with your child. You want your child to potty train as soon as possible, so it’s better for your child to dislike the diaper changing process. Remember, when the child grows up, you want him/her to be strong enough to resist this kind of treatment from the world, therefore you should focus more on your own survi…

Check the diaper!

So, after my screaming post, Desi is starting to get the hang of sleeping without his swaddle. Mom and dad are starting to get used to it, as well. Although, I still get up about twice a night to make sure he's breathing. Aside from the 2 times per night he still wakes up.

He's waking around 2:00, but just briefly. Usually, some snuggling with the weird duck headed washcloth is enough to put him back out. Yesterday, he woke at 2. The duck-cloth was just out of his reach. So, I got out of bed and handed it to him. He took it, but kept crying. Not the screaming cry. Just the regular one. I was watching him on our video monitor and I could see him lifting his head up and looking around in a "Daddy, where did you go?" fashion. It made me a bit sad. But, I was tired and I knew he would fall asleep again soon...which he did.

When he woke at his regular 4:00 feeding time, I went in to get him. I've been changing his diaper before feeding so he can eat and …

Are the lambs still screaming, Clarice?

Yes! Yes, they're still screaming. They're screaming every two hours. They're waking me up all night long. They won't stop SCREAMING!

Oh, wait...that's not the lambs. It's my son!

I've mentioned before that Desi has been swaddled at night. The doctor told us that when he's ready to be out of the swaddle, he will let us know. Well...we interpreted Desi's rolling over and pitching a fit while swaddled as his way of telling us that he was done with the swaddle.

So, we did away with the swaddle.

And, I am hating life, right now.

One of the reasons we continued with the swaddle for so long is that Desi only sleeps for a couple hours at a time when not swaddled. Now that he is not swaddled at night, he wakes up every couple of hours. Usually, all he needs is to have the sucky plopped back in his mouth and he's asleep shortly after. But, then...there are the times when that isn't enough. There are the times when he absolutely wants us to pick him up. An…

Recipe of the week - Texas Cheese Potatoes

This recipe is courtesy of Jodi, fellow Peps parent. I think her sister gave it to her, or something. Anyway, Jodi and her husband Tom had us all over to their place for a BBQ one weekend. I provided some absolutely delicious Red, White and Blue potato salad that I made by driving to Safeway and buying two containers of it from the deli.

There were quite a few dishes at the BBQ, but this one stood out. I cooked it tonight to go with the free burgers I got from Amazon Fresh.

Here's the recipe. It's pretty simple and pretty straightforward. I didn't change anything.

Texas cheese potatoes

Frozen hashbrowns (cubed)
8 oz sour cream
1 stick of butter
2 cups corn flakes (crushed)
1 can cream of chicken soup
16 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Take greased 9 x 12 pan and fill with hashbrowns. Mix together ½ stick melted butter, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and cheese. Pour mixture over hashbrowns. Mix together ½ stick melted butter and crushed corn flakes. Place over top. …

More photos by Meghan Herring

Met my HR mentor, Meghan for lunch, today. I brought Desmond. She brought her camera. It's a good pair, in my humble opinion.

Meghan's really good. Her site is in the links on the bottom right.

Haven't had much to say, so here's some pictures.

We had a crazy sleet storm the other day.

Desi chillin' with Meghan over sushi.

After hanging out at Alki Beach.

Desi's new Microsoft "Future Employee" badge.

Teething or sick or seething?

This pretty much sucks. We have one cranky baby. He came home sick from daycare on Friday. He had a temp...daycare said 102, but it was only about 100 when I got him home. The rest of Friday, he seemed alright.

Saturday is another story. This poor kid is miserable. M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E. He's still running a fever and he is clearly not comfortable. We're pretty sure it's teething because he's drooling like a band geek outside a sorority house and he's sticking everything in his mouth. His sucky (pacifier) has even become his chewy, today.

He won't nap for longer than ten minutes. He's having a hard time nursing. He did eat his "solid" food, though. So, at least we know something's going in. He's had 2 huge poops, so we know it's coming out, too.

Poor kid. Crying is definitely getting more time than the happy play time, today.

We all fall down!

It was bound to happen. Every time we walk down the stairs, especially if we're holding the baby, we worry about falling., I did it. I slipped on the way down and landed on my back.

I had Desi held pretty tight, so he didn't hit the ground. However, we bonked heads pretty hard. He cried, but only for about 45 seconds. Then, he realized it was about time to eat. Still...I checked over his head for goose-eggs and told the daycare to watch out for any weird symptoms.

Shaundar, of course, was very understanding about how I was feeling about almost dropping my kid on the stairs. She consoled me by saying, "My baby better not die."

Oh...and, now, my back hurts.

Recipe of the week: Mark and Meghans Yummy Creamy Sausage Pasta Stuff

That's the new official name.

So...this recipe comes from my HR mentor and friend, Meghan. Mark and Meghan can be found by following the Our Fish Family link on the right side of the page.

First of all...a shout out to these two. They took and edited the photos used in Desi's birth announcement, and the photos found here. They have a ridiculously adorable family. Meghan is my mentor at work and the person who helps me stay sane when I am ready to pitch a fit. And...they made us this really really good dinner after Desi was born.
- 2 lbs of sausage
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- Sage
- Basil (the leaf, not the butler)
- 2 cans stewed tomatoes
- 1/2 pint whipping cream
- Penne pasta

Here's the recipe, as Meghan sent it:

- Brown together 2 pounds of sausage ( you can use the Jimmy Dean brand 1 lb roll, usually 1 of Italian sausage and 1 of sage sausage but I use the Jimmy Dean 1 lb regular and 1 lb hot gives it more of a bite!) together with 4 - 5 cloves of garlic (I like to add …

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Especially to my wife, Shaundar, on her very first Mother's Day.

We're saving money and don't really have any to throw around at the moment, so I didn't get her anything. I threw some food together and we had a picnic down at Alki Beach. Oh...and I've managed to keep the house resonably clean. Seriously...this is saying something.

Desmond really showed me up this year. He got her some flowers and tickets to see Flight of the Conchords on Tuesday. Show off.

Daycare is disgusting

Desi just wrapped up his 2nd week of Daycare. He started the last week of April, only going a few hours a day, since my mother was in town. He spent 2 hours on Wednesday, 4 hours on Thursday...and then, we kept him out Friday so we could take him to the doctor because he had a cough and a disgustingly runny nose.

Fast-forward to the end of this week. Desi still has a runny nose, although not as bad. However, he has passed the bug on to Shaundar, who came home early from work on Friday.

When I took him to the doctor...the doctor asks, "Is he in daycare?"

I say, "Yeah...for about 6 hours."

Doctor says, "That's what this is. The more time he spends in daycare, the faster he'll become immune." is goes. Less than 2 weeks spent in daycare and he's already passed on the daycare crud. I haven't caught it, yet. Hopefully, I don't. But, I suspect this isn't the last time Desmond will bring a gift home from his friends.


I ordered the steak

Little man is on solid foods, now. And, by solid foods, I mean really really squishy foods.

Last weekend, we gave him some sweet potato. Now, the guy is a maniac. He wants his bloody sweet potato and he wants it NOW. As I was feeding him, I got up to let the dog outside. WAAAAAAAHHH. We ran out of sweet potato in the dish. WAAAAAAAHHH. I got up to get some more. WAAAAAAAHHHH.

Here's a little clip. Goofy boy also likes to sing while he eats.

Sweet potato is just the first round. We'll keep introducing him to new things. Things like carrots...peas...applesauce...jalepenos...etc.

New office digs

A while ago, I told you we were moving into a new office. Well, we're there now, and it's AWESOME.

Here's the outside, from the view of the courtyard area.
Here's my office...messy, as usual. And, pretty small, but I'll happily trade my old bigger office for this one, with a window!

The view...of...ummm...something. I'm sure this will be better once construction is complete.

My Monster, Joey. I think he killed Dilbert, on the top shelf.

The employee art gallery. Artwork made by Microsoft employees.

It's a completely different feel from our old office. The old office was about 3 miles away from the main campus. It was in a boring corporate plaza by the rock quarry. was lame.

This one has a great atmosphere. We've got a "mall" within the campus. Although, it's mostly just places to eat. But, I like to eat, so that works. It's got a soccer field, a basketball court and a volleyball court. There's a theatre, somewhere...altho…

More Microsoft layoffs

Another round of layoffs happened, today. Exact numbers haven't been announced, but it sounds like it's about 1200-1400 people. I'm still employed, thank God. But, a good buddy of mine isn't, and that's very sad.

Counting my blessings, tonight.

Recipe of the Week: Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

Okay...since we have a new baby and have to pay over $1000/month (no, I didn't accidentally add a zero) for daycare, we have no extra money to throw around on frivolous things like paying to have other people cook our food.

So...I am cooking more. Yay, me!

Now, I am not claiming to be any kind of culinary expert. I don't know how to mix flavors and I will often take the easy way out (ie: buying broth instead of making it like other hardcore people with more of a life than me). But, I figure, I am bound to come across some new recipes that maybe my 2 loyal readers haven't seen before.

I will post the good ones, here.

First up...Turkey and Wild Rice Soup. Full recipe found here, if you want to go crazy and try it the long and hard way.


2 cups cooked turkey (I used ground turkey...easier to deal with)8 cups chicken broth2/3 cup uncooked wild rice1 cup celery1 cup carrots1 yellow onion1 tsp Sage1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar2 cups spinach leaves My way is pretty straight forwa…

Bye, Grandma. Thank you!

Just dropped my mother off at the airport.

Other than gratitude for birthing me and stuff...I don't know if I have ever been more grateful to my mother.

She has been here for 7 (SEVEN) weeks. Basically, we needed someone to take care of Desmond between the time when I went back to work (Feb. 18) until he started daycare (last Wednesday). My mother was more than willing.

And, what a wonderful job she did taking care of the little rugrat. But, she went above and beyond that. The house was always clean, dinner was always on the table, and she was always another person to take the baby when Shaundar and I were going nuts. Grandma never had a problem taking Desi and keeping him occupied. We even got a "date night" out of it.

Now...Grandma is on a plane back to Arizona. I give the house about 12 hours before it's messy again.

I just prepared dinner for tomorrow (crock pot) and made a conscious effort to clean up after myself. That will probably last another day until I th…