Hutch Makes Me Sick, originally uploaded by Hutch.

My wife and I are in full-on panic mode preparing for the Craftstravaganza, which is a week from today. We run this craft fair in our spare time. Suddenly, there's no time to spare, and a thousand things to do. So here's a grab-bag post today.

The personal tweeting wasn't going so well and I gave it up. We set up a new Twitter feed for our craft show and I link to that one on the sidebar now. It will be about local arts events and handmade stuff. This blog will still sometimes be about babies.

Speaking of arts & crafts, the St. Paul Art Crawl is this weekend. It's fun times! We're going today. You might even see some tweets about it over there.

Ashley cut her molars and she takes great joy in biting anything she can wrap her little jaws around. That includes mommy (who is still breast feeding) but daddy's arm and the dog are also fair game. She's basically crawling now and has entered the destructive phase of babyhood. Look out world, here she comes.


coffee!, originally uploaded by susanrudat

When I was in college I felt awake, alert, and productive most of the time. It seems like I've lost a lot of energy since then. I started to wonder what had changed that should make it so. Of course six years ago I didn't have a wife, a baby, or a full-time job. Those things would make anyone sleepy, but they aren't things I can change (or want to!).

One more thing I wasn't doing back then: drinking a cup of coffee every morning. That's something I can quit. Coffee screws up your natural energy levels and makes you tired and cranky. At least that's what it did to me. I thought that maybe my morning cuppa was the culprit of my pep deficit.

So I gave up drinking coffee as an experiment. The first couple of days were rough, but now my body is taking control again. I wake up gradually but fully (it helps that I do yoga daily), and stay balanced throughout the day; no more spike in the morning followed by afternoon naptime. I still drink caffeine as a special treat, but I am no longer an addict!

Things I learned from the fast

2008.04.11 :: bento diary :: day 2, originally uploaded by vingt_deux

Easter happened, so Lent is over and so is my fast. I wasn't very good at it! Here's what I learned:

  1. Milk is in everything. When I started reading the ingredients of my boxed and processed foods, nearly everything contained milk. Even food you wouldn't think contains milk. My normal diet is packed with milk and dairy byproducts. Ergo:
  2. Veganism is hard. I kept it up for about three days. It turns out that beyond meat, I have trouble giving up delicious food. Kudos to you, vegans, you are better than me.
  3. I'm not an alcoholic. Good news mom! I can't go a week without cheese, but I skipped liquor for 40 days (except Sundays when I had one beer each in the great tradition of feast days). The rest of the time, I barely noticed that I wasn't drinking.

So my fast didn't go the way I planned, it was a journey in self-discovery anyway.


Fashionista / Manuel Viejo ©, originally uploaded by Manu Viejo ©

Our baby can't stop moving. I was sitting on the floor with her and she started pulling herself towards my cordless drill that I had left lying around after doing manly projects.

"Uh oh," I thought. "She's crawling towards my drill."

Then I said, "wait a minute... she's crawling towards my drill!" So I called for my wife and we both watched her go. She's an unstoppable force.


I made this poster for our upcoming craft show in St. Paul. My wife did the background and layout. She also created our logo which we have used for the past three years. I did the illustration and color.

There are things I would change but the nice thing about a deadline is that it forces you to finish. I hope it makes sense what it is. See, this girl has taken her hot rod and bolted a sewing machine on where the blower would go. The blow torch is just for fun.

We print these up as gig posters and hang them all around town. You might see one if you're around the Twin Cities in the next few weeks. If you're here on May 2, you should totally come to the fair!

Yoga Flame

If you have ever played Street Fighter II, you probably recognize Dhalsim, the Yoga master from India. For me--and, I suspect, for many men around my age--this video game character was my first exposure to the concept of Yoga. What we learned about Dhalsim (and, by association, about Yoga) is that he can levitate, teleport, and breathe fire. He can also stretch his arms and legs to ridiculous lengths.

Those who paid attention to the story know that Dhalsim is a pacifist, who only fights for money to help the poor. Moral of the story: Yoga gives you superhuman powers, but it should only be used for personal growth, not to beat people up (except for a good cause). Does that mean that "Yoga championship" is an oxymoron? Nope, it's real, and these contenders will kick your ass at Yoga.

So if Yoga can be a competitive sport, then maybe the idea of a street-fighting yogi isn't so far fetched, after all. Who knows? Maybe there is a real-life Dhalsim out there, training in secret, biding his time until the inevitable Yoga Martial Arts Tournament.

Da da (da da da)

Ashley can now say a solid "da-da" when she feels like it.

"Da" is currently her default babbling sound, so there's also a lot of "dadadadadadada" when she's just talking. But that's distinct from her singular "da!" when she sees our Pug come into the room. And it's totally different from the crystal-clear "dada!" when she wants to get my attention.

Well, I'm not sure she's actually calling for me. But it has that effect anyway; I smile and run to her and pick her up. Maybe it's a cliche that fathers want to hear their kids say "da-da" more than anything. All I know is it's a feeling like none other when your daughter reaches for you and says your name for the first time.