Old stale summer post

I just found this old blog post festering in my draft folder.
  • House hunting has gobbled up lots of our life cycles. We’ve got a ton of education to show for it, but no house. We’ve ridden through some intensely stressful weeks. The fact that I didn’t total melted down during our peek intensity moments is directly attributed to the personal growth I’ve had in the past year. It’s nice to have concrete metrics.
  • We had a miraculous crib -> bed transition. Jasper is about to start pre-school next week. In the future we’ll need to tackle potty training, and a moving to a new house. Then we get a special prize.
  • We were magically gifted free tickets to the circus, so we decided to see how Jasper would fare. It turned out pretty amazing. Jasper was spent the first half completely captivated, occasionally standing up to do some dancing. The lure of the elevator we found during intermission was strong during the 2nd half, so we split out time between the epic circus and a bemused arena elevator operator.
  • me: “can I eat some nectarine?”
    Jballs: “No. No nectarine.”
    me: *makes sad face*
    Jballs: “Are you sad?”
    me: “A little.”
    Jballs: “Shall we get blanket?”
  • right before eating spicy green salsa: “I’m going to eat this and then I will cry”. And then he totally did.
  • We had our first full ballz to wallz Krudden epic summer in a couple years. SCI, parents, Seattle, Boston, three weddings, cape code, fun the sierra mountains, and a cooking class to boot.
  • We pushed Jasper pretty hard at Jordan and Lisa’s ridiculously awesome farm wedding. We manged to stay until the funk band started up around 8:30, and then Jasper went ballistic on the dance floor. He was on fire. He had a circle of women around him, and his characteristically reserved manner was put on hold for some mad awesomeness. It was a best case scenario, and it was my happiest moment I’ve been lucky enough to share with him. He barely left the dance floor during the entire first set.
  • Jasper actively likes the dark. He’ll go around and turn off all the lights on the regular, and prefers to sleep in total darkness.


Visualize Raising the Anchor

  • In early May, our landlord dropped the “wanting to sell our house” bomb, and we are now expected to form an exit strategy. My initial strategy involved shitting my pants. Stina seems to have adopted a more constructive approach. The deadline for our departure hasn’t been set, nor have we been able to secure our next domicile, but we are expending a lot of energy on it. At the same time I’ve transitioned to a completely different job in my company. Needless to say, any illusions of life stability have been shat upon with great shittings of fuck. This is also may explain the dearth of quality pics and videos for the past three months.
  • We’ve been playing a lot of “Is it dog poop?”, which is inevitably followed by “Daddy I touch?”
  • Jasper often uses the word “something” which he uses conviction and urgency, granting us no clue to what he wants.
  • During a recent diaper change dance, he said “big penis” and pointed at his johnson. This is a very advanced 2 year old. On that note, after all the water has drained out of his bath, he likes to pee into a cup and then pour it on himself.
  • He keeps asking for different music until I put on the 80’s hair band station on Pandora. His absolute favorite song is “Love in an Elevator”, because he thinks its a song about loving elevators. Gates, elevators, and rail road crossings still have prime seating in his frontal lobe.
  • Jasper drew a dot using a crayon and said “Booger”. I then verified he really said what I thought he did.
  • Jasper: “I need spoon.” Me: “What do you need a spoon for?” Jasper: “For the internet”.
  • I’ve been cultivating new styles of patience in my life. Since my back has been hurting a lot as late, so I’ve had to  train myself from trying to pull or lift Jasper from point A to point B. I need to guide him, and if he isn’t interested in going the way I want him to go, I basically need to wait it out. I’m also working on restraining myself from stopping Jasper from doing things I know won’t work out (as long as there is no danger). Otherwise the consequences of pulling the fire alarm is only heresay.
  • When he discovers something in his vicinity, everyone nearby needs to know about it. He doesn’t get too discouraged when people don’t pay attention to him. Also, in this regard, Jasper has suddenly become assertive in ensuring other people, especially little ones, follow our arbitrary rules, even though he doesn’t necessarily subscribe to them himself.
  • Jasper requests a new song almost every night before going in the crib, and he gets to choose the subject matter. I enjoy developing a new improv skill.
  • I usually skim and discard most parenting blog posting that come my way. This article, even though I’ve heard some of it before, it really resonated with me, and changed the way I approach tantrums. I now lean into tantrums, imaging that as a blockage that needs to be cleared.
  • There was some recent Bostony goodness. Sucks to be near us on a plane, though really, it sucks to be us. We spend some time with our folks, the MA crew, some Obie’s, Jasper’s g-parents, and hit up Special K’s beautiful wedding in VT.



Two for two

Our little sperm egg happy meal turned two years old. Crazy pants.

I’ve heard several parents say: “the days are long but the years are short”. They were all wrong. These have been the longest two years of my life. For that, I am both grateful and exhausted. Older folks keep reminding me that it will all go by so fast. I’m old enough to know that this is true. Therefore, I try to make choices that maximize the time I have with my buttermilk pancakes. Onward with the bullet points.

  • Jasper finally seems age appropriate for the zoo. He can name animals, and sometimes describe what they are doing. Though to be fair, there’s not a huge range of activities that these animals can engage in. If you ask Jasper about the zoo, he will tell you about the gates on the train tracks, because that’s all that matters anymore. As you can see, gates are the new doors.
  • On that note, I find myself grading automatic doors on their sensistivy, responsiveness, and hazardness potential. Whole foods is where its at. I’ve started using this system to rate people too
  • Jasper’s surprisingly good at evaluating what he is capibile of doing, and pushing himself to the limits of his physical abilities. Jumping is on the rise, though that is always going to be the case.
  • He literally has no inner voice. He verbalizes his entire thought process. It’s fun to follow his train of thoughts, and then say something like “elevators” and watch him kareen off his path.
  • J-balls regularly lights up when he sees me, which is seriously rewarding. Stina stopped doing that about 8 years ago.
  • I’ve been amazed by his generosity with other children, his attention span, and his obvious enjoyment of music. He has initiated some really tender moments where I split open and melt.
  • He can also incarnate the whiny tantrum devil on a whim, and then it’s all about management and a special kind of patience that I generally lack. I’m working on not getting so wrapped up in his bursts of unhappyness, which are growing in intensity and fortitude.
  • Sometimes he says things that we interpret as things he wants right now – but what he is really doing is reliving a moment from the recent past. He doesn’t know how to modify words or inflection to describe past events, so everything is in current tense.
  • We went to see the Alphabet Rockers at the Freight and Salvage. One of the Alphabet crew is a high school class mate. I ended up talking with a guitar player from New Monsoon, who was in the audience with his two small children. I reveled in how many different segments of my life collided.
  • I streamed five nights of Soulive from NYC to my living room. I love a good east coast couch tour. Stina summarized it well: “a really good keyboard player is amazing – its like watching a guitar player go nuts on keyboard”
  • Finding moments of peace in my life is still a high level goal. I’m really getting good at zoning out. Another important aspect of being peaceful is patience. The more I practice being peaceful, the more patience I have overall, which is a really critical skill set. It allows Jasper to explore his world at his own pace. The flip side is that I way over indulge him. So much for having him bend to my will. I rarely take a hard line with his desires unless its a Daffy no-no.
  • Jasper has several times taken his socks off and picked at his toe cheese for a couple minutes. Stina’s genes are starting to flex their muscles. They can not be stopped. I’ve gleefully learned this the hard way. In this case, you have no idea what I mean. Might as well just go about your business. Your salty, sexy business.


A few of my favorite things

A few of my favorite things about J-Balls right now:
  • His over use of “TADA!”
  • Ice is a delicious treat.
  • Watching his face while works something through in his noggin. You can actually see the gears tunring.
  • He regularly congratulates himself with a “good job!” – like when he peels a clemetnine.
  • A couple times we’ve walked to the BART station to ride the elevators and escalators for a long hour. Maybe we’ll hit the auto-door at Trader Joes afterwards. He’ll talk about the experience for the next few days. Yesterday we spent an hour and half at the downtown Hyatt enjoying their up / down / auto-door facilities.
  • We have our first pretend game. We now play “elevator” at home.
  • We also play drop, which is a beloved game from my childhood.
  • When we change his diaper on the changing table, he often says “don’t pee!”
  • The placid expression on his face when he’s experiencing something he wants to do (like ride escalators and elevators). The only indication that he enjoyed the experience is that he immediately asks for more whenever it ends.
  • When he spots our neighbors cat, Zoe, he gets right up in her face and enthusiastically yells “hello! hello cat!”. Zoe takes it very well, but doesn’t say “hello” back, much to Jasper’s disappointment. He thinks it hilarious when Zoe eats food.
  • I was manipulated into being obsessed with parrots when I was growing up by my grandmother. Now, with Jasper being almost 2, I get live out my not-really-my-fantasy of living with a parrot, since he repeats most things that come out of your mouth. Also, since he hasn’t mastered a lot of syllables yet, it’s awesome when he says “chalk”.
  • Anytime I fart, he says “Daddy’s pooping!”
  • We stood and watched the traffic light down the block change colors for over 20 minutes.
  • He makes funny faces at himself in the mirror and then cracks up
  • He laughs loudly a little bit after everyone else laughs.
  • My absolute favorite thing is the naked dance.

Fun notable events:

  • The Ruddens came for two weeks. He got really excited on christmas, and kept bring presents over to mommy saying “open! open!”
  • We saw the new Muppet movie, had drinks, then a ridiculous dinner, caught a TLG show, stayed in a  hotel, followed by a leisurely brunch during a single 16 hr MEGA-DATE.
  • My mom came for week. It took approximately 30 seconds for Jasper to warm up to Grandma this time.


The J-Balls Adventures Resume

  • The verbal switch was unexpectedly thrown on sometime a few weeks back. All the sudden he starting asking for stuff by name and tossing out the odd verb. His mastery of consonants is a long way off , and he can get frustrated when his request gets lost in translation. We all need to level up on patience, but we are accumulating experience points. I’d say he learns a new word every day. For example, I was blissfully lost in my thoughts during my morning shower, when I hear “shower”. I look down to see a smiling Jasper in his PJs. He then pointed at my shlong, and said “wang!”. Or at least thought that while he pointed.

  • General cognition is on the rise, which is leading to all sorts of new activities. Back in the day (6 months ago), the highlight of our Fairyland visit was banging on a trash can with a stick. During our last visit, he was excited by just about everything, and the giant hugging bunny freaking blew his mind.
  • Contrasting sharply with last year, Halloween was a complete success. We ran across a skilled drum group in the madness that is Russell street, and Jasper went to town. He danced with them for over 20 minutes. His joy was very infectious (much like the rotovirus that hit us a week ago).

    The absolute highlight of Halloween was when we were walking home. I pointed up in the sky and asked Jasper what the big white thing was. I watched the comprehension sweep across his face, and he excitedly pointed and yelled “Moon”. It was the first time he knew what it was, and the moment was priceless.

  • We took our first family vacation – a long weekend in Santa Cruz. Baby steps.

  • He caught a plush ball for the first time. He didn’t inherit his Daddy’s lack of coordination. I saw him climb up a curvy slide today at 20 months old. This was shortly after he sat for almost 30 minutes during an orchestra concert for children. I totally rolled the dice with that one, but was super glad we went.
  • For all my posturing about how good I felt about my album, the crash eventually occurred. I had doubts about some songs. There were some smallish spikes of depression and anger. I attempted to allowed these feeling to occur, even somewhat expanding upon them, instead of immediately throwing up defensive emotional walls. These feelings were not overwhelming, and then after a week I felt better. Receiving a handful of emails and donations helped. Last week I learned that “miles tones” ranked #9 on echoes preliminary top 10 albums for 2011. Booyeah.
  • This seems like a very transitional time for a lot of people I know, myself inclusive. There’s a lot of changes going on at work, I have a number of large scale personal projects I’d like to tackle, my wife needs watering, there’s talking children at home, etc. My personal growth is on the rise, nicely balancing my lack of physical growth.

  • There’s been a few excellent extra curricular activities as of late. I saw an awesome house concert with Garren Benfield. I’m hoping to work with him for future general fuzz releases.
  • One of the added benifits of sending out a mass email about a new album is that I always reconnect with a few people whom I’ve lost touch with. An old acquaintance of mine realized my ultimate 10 year old fantasy and built a full arcade in his house. Occasionally he opens it up to his friends, so Zack (the actual original lego manaic) and I spent a blissful evening at the happiest place on earth.


Summer Whiplash

  • Summer manhandled me a little bit this year. You’d think my primary focus at this point would be my child, but this summer I had to focus a little more on me. My emotional baggage area was filled to overcapacity, and some of that baggage came tumbling out. It was both scary and enlightening. Working on yourself is a challenging endeavor, but it was overdue. I’m viewing my present behaviors through the lens of my past and its been a little illuminating.  Instead of just accepting my feelings and actions as they occur, I’m occasionally trying to step outside the moment and ask why I’m responding that way.
    [youtube_sc url=]
  • Along with some heavy internal re calibration thats going on, this summer has been pretty bat shit crazy ever since we returned from Europe. We’ve had four sets of people come and visit with us, sadly said goodbye to the Kirkbutts, attended numerous small child related celebrations, went back east and to Colorado. We pretty much discarded the notion of downtime.
    [youtube_sc url=]

    [youtube_sc url=]

Dave, Erin, and Mica


Josh and Jo and Dan, Abby, and Abra Fae visited as well.

  • I went to LA for 48 hrs to visit with Dave, Keri, and Juila. And since I was already there, Dave and I meandered over to the hollywood bowl to see Phish. The parking lot antics set a new bar for behavior awesomeness. We managed to cobble together the tagline our new company: “We stream shit to your business”. Our first product is “vacusuck”.

    [youtube_sc url=]
  • I’ve also been rather preoccupied trying to finish up album numero 6. Finishing an album is never that fun, and takes a lot of time, which I seem to have less of then I used to. Its finally all starting to come together, which is quite a relief. I’m ready to move on to other musical pastures. I’ve also invested far too much time into my website, making it twice as spiffy, and forcing it dump oodles of useless data in my database. Now I know where all 14 of you live. Reading blogs has consequences.
  • I love this kid too much. I like him most of the time. Spending long stretches of time alone with him, something that happens with some regularity,  has become much more enjoyable. Behavioral firsts are popping up with a little more frequency these days, and the occasional new word sneaks into his incomprehensible babbling. He fucking knows things, man. When I read books, Jballs now points out the things that he recognizes. We’re regularly attempting to introduce sharing into his repertoire. He’s really generous with the high fives and hugs though.

    [youtube_sc url=]
  • Stina and I have different strategies for dealing with behavior that violates the principals of our cookbook for awesome living. Unfortunately, she is unable to accept that I am right all the time, so I’m resorting to smiling patronizingly at her every time Jasper hits me with a stick. This kid has quite an arm, and might be getting mixed messages. I blame mommy.
  • Jasper has found his 3rd gear. His favorite things right now are bubbles and balloons. He loves to be chased, so were are considering adopting a tiger cub.
  • His ability to comprehend what we are saying is increasing rapidly. Unfortunately, that skill set seems come with some fairly sharp “No!”s and the occasional tantrum. We are in the pre-2 zone, and trouble is on the horizon. We are aware this is a sweet spot, and are treasuring it when we remember to.
  • Stina and I used to argue nature (me) vs. nurture (stina) when we were teenagers. It’s amusing to catch 1.5 year old Jasper compulsively put things back in their “place”. One point for Stina.
  • We caught the first day of Outside Lands, since Phish was headlining. Grandma flew in for the weekend, and good times were granted. I saw an AMAZING show of Zappa plays Zappa opening up for Return to Forever. Blew my mind. Definitely the top show for 2011.



15 Months

  • I’ve been doing a lot of solo Jasper care since Stina’s been working evenings and weekends, along with the household plague thats been haunting us for the past few weeks. I’m rather intimidated by the idea of entertaining the little nutball for 3-4 hours in a row. You have to constantly distracting him from whatever terrible idea he concocts.  He’s unaware of the dangers of pretty much everything, likes to get most things in his mouth, and has no concept at all what a bathroom is. In my old life, that time would be filling with dicking around, watching movies, computery goodness, and more sweet dickery. The time NEVER flies by. When I reflect upon these days, there’s often a moment or two that was really amusing or special. It probably makes it all worth it. I’m aware that I won’t regret it in the long run. We’re particularly bonded right now. Now might not be the perfect time to leave him for two weeks, but really, when is?

  • I often find feeding JBalls to be very stressful. I’ve been observing Stina during meals, and have picked up that what I’m really lacking is patience. Just cause he initially rejects everything doesn’t mean all is lost. Sometimes he’ll get around to eating those dreaded vegetables. Or not.  Theres always the potential for cheese in the future. Possibly words to live by.

  • Rocking your half awake baby back to sleep at 5am is totally awesome when you only have to do it once a month. Whoohoo for not having an infant anymore.
  • Its fun to see the little guy keep hitting plateaus. There’ll be a stretch of days or weeks with little change, and then BAM, new behavior. New words appear out of nowhere.  Where it took us 6+ months to teach JBalls to sign “more”, he learned “please” in a week. The learning train seems to be accelerating.

  • Tantrums also seem to be on the rise. This kid is so strong, I’m worried that he’s going hurt himself with his arching and flailing. You never know which Jasper you’ll get when he wakes up. We roll the dice three times a day. Sometimes life gives you whammies.
  • I’ve never known such joy from bubbles or a blanket. As of now, I rather enjoy being a human jungle gym. That, I’m sure, will be fleeting.
  • I went though another spurt where I was obsessed with coding for my website and working on music. There were also several bouts of insomnia. One night, I ended up getting out of bed at 3am and coded for a couple hours. Stina asked whether I wanted to work on my website or I needed to. I was unable to answer that question, and after pondering it for a couple days, I’m still not sure.
  • We got a bike attachment for Jasper, and now we have access to the enormous playground of the Berkeley campus.
  • My mom came out for a visit, which was excellent. Up next is the Rudden invasion for a 3 weeks. Of course, Stiners and I will be absent for 16 days of that as we valiantly attempt to make nice with the Swiss.
  • The continued existence of the ball pit establishes Stina’s boundless love for Jasper. Picking up 50 balls from all over the living room multiple times a day is apparently a small price for Jaspers happiness. I’m pretty stoked that it just went into hibernation.
  • I had my final recording sessions for my next album. It’s really coming together, and the drive to finish it is making an unwelcome appearance. I’m doing my best to quell the beast, but it’s sitting shotgun in my frontal lobe, and its got a riding crop.
  • Once again, I’m really trying not to take my health, family, and friends for granted. I’m so freaking lucky. Not everybody gets to drink from the fire hose.


There can be only ONE!

Little JBalls is no longer 0 years old. This has been, by far, the longest 365+ days of my life. His too, by definition. The transformation from oppressive larvae to little boy has been astonishing. I now belong to the not-so-exclusive club of people who have experienced the magic of watching a child become aware of the world around them. The dues are pretty steep, but membership has its privileges.

I’ve learned I could operate on much less sleep then I imagined I could. I now see both danger and wonder in every new environment. Silly noises consistently punctuate most of my actions. I’ve never done so much dancing in my living room before. My life is basically not recognizable to my pre-child self. It’s not like I can’t remember what my life was like with out him, but I can’t imagine my life without him. The thought of leaving him for two weeks (which I will do this summer) makes me feel sad and empty, so I plan on filling that void with delicious alcohol.

Little JBalls now points incessantly. He’s able to comprehend a little bit of what I’m saying. His first word is “dog”, and we hunt them with ease on our street. He will select a favorite book from his box, I will sit down cross legged, he’ll crawl into my lap, and we’ll read it 4 times in a row. He’s very generous with hugs, especially if he hasn’t seen me in 30 minutes. He loves to spin. When he wants to go out side, he fetches his shoes, and sometimes ours as well.

I reached an unrealized parenting milestone when I was talking on the phone and a squealing naked baby came zooming past me.

He also had his first ear infection. This was the first time I heard his serious pain cry. My concern for him was overwhelming. It broke my heart, and I wanted to do everything in my power to make him feel better. After several poor nights of sleep, he woke us at 5:30am, and my very first thought was “thank goodness he let us sleep in an extra half hour”. Thats a thought my old self couldn’t comprehend.

His first birthday party was held at a local park. In typical Krudden fashion, it lasted for 6.5 hours. On his actual birthday, we spent the day trying to make him as happy as possible, and I believe we succeeded. It was a wonderful weekend.

In the last 30 days, we’ve had visitors for 21 of them. Stina’s parents came for almost two weeks, and celebrated Jasper’s birthday with us. It was a great visit, Stina and I caught up on some sleep, and the house now has a built in spice rack. We got out to see Trey Anastasio at the fox with Rachel. We even had a funtastic night out sans JBalls in Sausilto. I took the ferry out from San Fran after work for gorgeous view of the fog rolling over the GG bridge, met up with Stiners, and begin raging when my feet were on solid ground. We were asleep in our hotel by 9pm.
Tom came in for quick visit from Seattle. Gail and Dan flew in from Maui for a education conference, and they stayed for a few days at our place. I got an opportunity to talk with Gail about Graham’s passing, and that re-opened some pretty intense feelings of loss. There was a 45 minute window when Gail and Dan left and my sis-in-law appeared from Boston. Then Dr. Doug  joined us the next day. I do love me some visitors. JBalls takes a while to warm up to all these strange people.

And Haber learned to point too!

I’ve put in some hours in my studio on some general fuzz tunes as well. I had my first recording session with a professional classically trained vocalist, Phoebe Alexander. That was a pretty fascinating experience. She notated the music I send her to listen to, and proceeded to hit some wicked high notes. Color me impressed.


Intense Beginnings

  • Shortly into the new year we learned that a friend from college, Graham, died. It came out of nowhere, and I was completely unable to process it. This a friend we’ve known for 14 years. He lives on the east coast. We see him once or twice a year. He was literally one of the two smartest people I’ve ever known – like genius level. He was also warm, laid back, and quick to smile.  He really made an effort in our friendship. I can’t believe he’s gone. Since we don’t see him on a day to day basis, it has been especially hard to process. We had just seen him four months ago, and were talking about the next stages of his life.  I’m all too aware that I have a difficult time processing and expressing emotions, but this was so far off the charts that I couldn’t even compute what was going on. The universe is far worse off without Graham in it. Eventually, I shifted from obsessing about Grahams life, to the abruptness of death, which brought on a host of new issues to struggle with. I was unable to sleep for more then 5 hours a night for more then two weeks.
  • A few weeks into January we made a whirlwind trip down to LA to visit Dave and Keri before they pop out a little dudette. Jasper + their cats = endless entertainment. I dictated that we make an Oinkster and Dave’s Chillin and Grillin stop. When went to Dave’s C+G, in a moment of adventureness/instanity, I ordered the daily special instead of getting my beloved turkey sandwich. Stina, in an act of love that transends all boundaries, offered to trade sandwiches after she saw the overwhelming sadness / envy on my face. I’m still reeling from this. So much so that it’s dominated my bullet point about the LA trip.

  • My parents came out for an extended visit. By extended, I mean, they couldn’t go home since the eastern part of the country was buried underneath seven hundred feet of snow. It started out well, but slowly devolved into a full on stressy nutbag, bit by bit. Our plans and life did not align properly, and I think everyone was relieved when they got back home.
  • A last minute bonus idea was  to take my mom to a show at Yoshis Oakland – Mediski on keyboard, the guitar player from Living Color, the bass player from Cream, and Sanata’s wife on drums. The first tune was 10 minute free jazz improv, and 5 minutes in I was regretting taking my Mom to such an atontal avante garde show. Fortunately the rest of the show was more structured.  Santana joined in for the encore. Top notch show. I think my Mom enjoyed it. Real good times were also had at Yoshi’s SF with George Clinton + P Funk. There were at least 25 people on stage at once – 5 guitar players. I was so close I got to fist bump Mr. Clinton. Haven’t washed my hand since. Got to have that funk! Unh!
  • After the aforementioned not sleeping and stressful parental visit, I got really sick. I rarely get sick like this, and my body demanded that I sleep like 10 hours a day for a while. I’m still in the recovering stages.

  • I had two excellent recording sessions. Its always a privilege to have Audio Angel in the studio. There were several spine tingling moments during that session. I later discovered that my primary goal of that session did did not turn out the way I had hoped – and have been shocked by my total acceptance of it. I figured out my mistakes and began plotting a new course of action to remedy the situation. Overall, music has been flowing particularly well in the past few weeks which is helping prop up the rest of my life.

  • I attended an awesome workshop with Rena Jones and Asher Fulero (two musicians I’m a huge fan of), where I was reminded that I’m a total amateur at music production. This isn’t terribly upsetting. I’m simply aware theres a lot to learn, and know why my productions don’t sparkle likes theirs do. Good thing I have confidence in my music and, more importantly, a day job.

  • Jasper is a walking machine. He now climbs down our front stairs, walks four houses down, then climbs up our neighbors stairs in search of their cat. Needless to say, we’re meeting more of our neighbors, and freaking out the animals in our path. He says “da” every time we see a dog. He’s constantly bringing us books to read to him. And, if you weren’t in the know, sticks are where its at. Along with yelling.  Nothing beats a stick and yelling sandwich. J-balls has fully transformed from baby to very little boy with insane amounts of energy. It doesn’t look like thats gonna taper any time soon, so, whoohoo.

  • It’s been an intense beginning to 2011, to say the least. Our lives are radically transforming, and we’re trying to grasp how to roll with the changes. We are overwhelmed by whats going on with our families, jobs, friends, social lives, and son. Every once in a while, we stop trying to wrap our heads around it all, and remind each other how lucky we are. That’s usually when I start pining for sex.



  • Since our Chrisnukah plans were thrown in a tizzy by the non-arrival of Stiner’s parents, we made up for it with a hunt for all the east bay baby friendly holiday events. We hit the Tilden merry go round, Fairyland with x-mas lights, and the 4th street lights. While we were really impressed by our inaugural trip to fairyland, J-Balls was enamored with a bell, which he rang for a solid 10 minutes, mouth agape, drooling in ecstasy. We hosted orphan x-mas, which to Kerry Jo’s chagrin did not involve actual orphans. Instead, the local Jewish folk with nothing better to do on Christmas joined us for fancy late lunch.
  • Though Jasper seemed to making efforts to walk by early December, in true Krudden tradition, he messed with us by ceasing most walking activity for over a week.  He then made a very last minute decision to become a walker in 2010. At this point, crawling is almost absent in his motion repertoire. He also deposited some mimicking, lots of clapping, and awesome self pillow smothering in the activity bank. He fucking LOVES doors. OMG. Doors are where it’s at. They open. . . .AND CLOSE!
  • Its been cold (for Cali) and raining, so we’ve also been scoping out the indoor baby places. Its turns out by throwing money at the problem, we can take him to these amazing sheltered play spaces that he totally won’t remember going to.
  • I got out to see the final Black Crowes run at the Fillmore. I also caught the pre New Year Furthur hippie festival at the Bill Graham with the old shakedown crew (which they appropriately opened with while our old landlord was chillin with us).  The Krudden clan celebrated NYE by streaming the MSG Phish show, which fit our lifestyle very nicely. Stina charged me 8 bucks for a beer, and I stood outside my bathroom for 10 minutes to make the experience more real. We raged until 1:30 in morning (east coast time). I heart east coast time. And streaming Phish. Enough that we did again the next night.
  • We’re gradually dusting the cob webs off our social life. We had some neighbors over for dinner, and are beginning to transform casual acquaintances into full fledged monkeys. I like monkeys.
  • Jasper really enjoys sucking on long thin things. We practically live in Berkeley, so it’ll work out.
  • Both Stiners and I found that over a recent two week period, we’ve transitioned from being in love with DroolyMcgee to being crazy in love with him. We were surprised to discover that it happened to us both during the same time frame. But there it is. We are no longer entertaining ideas of selling him. Renting may still be an option though.