Monday, February 25, 2008

zoe's bright future

Ever since Zoe was born we’ve heard countless opinions about which parent she resembles most: “Oh! Zoe has Biff's eyes!” Or conversely, “Oh! Bunna! She has your eyes.” Perhaps our friend, Marcus, said it best: “She has Biff's eyes and Bunna's hair.” Although the latter half may be true for now, we are, quite frankly, at a loss when it comes to assigning her features any particular parental origin. But it got us thinking. Since she’s only six months old and it’s difficult to determine what she’ll look like when her features start to take on a more permanent cast, we underwent the self-deprecating process of amateur web-based composite portraiture to get a glimpse of Zoe’s future.

The results were, needless to say, shocking and we can only hope that she grows up to resemble one of us—even if it is her mustachioed old man—and not both. It’s the thinning hairline/comb-over that scares us the most. Good thing Biff is the other genetic donor here; she has good hair and she couldn’t grow a goatee even if she tried.

To try and put these nightmarish images behind us we began focusing on Zoe’s other developing characteristics in hopes of finding something of ourselves in her that we could be proud of. That process has not been fruitless. Zoe is a good sitter. I think she got that from me; I’m a good sitter. She can lie on her back and giggle really well. I’ve seen Biff do that—she must get that from Biff. She can wear socks for hours on end. Biff’s good at wearing socks; she must have gotten that from her. At six months she loves to eat books (and, well, anything that comes near her mouth). We’ve both been known to consume lots of books. So, when we really started looking we found so many things that gave us hope. Despite her parents' grotesque facial composite, Zoe future seems bright.

Monday, February 18, 2008

finally some real food - er, kind of

Zoe has been trying to snag food off our plates for the past couple of weeks, so we decided to celebrate her six month birthday by shoving a spoon full of cereal in her mouth. Bunna has been waiting nearly six months for this day, but he can see now that her current mode of eating is preferable and much easier to clean up. Eating solids is like learning to ride a bike - it's going to take some practice. But to her credit, Zoe seems to be a fast learner. About half of what we put in her mouth stayed there. As you can see, she also enjoys drinking out of a big person glass. I think that was her favorite part.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

don't tell me what to do, mom!

Zoe is already asserting her voice, or at least silencing someone else's. This one was just too cute to pass up.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

bunna and the big 3-0

Today Bunna turned 30. This special day offers us a unique occasion to explain his middle-child complex. Not only is Bunna a semi-forgotten second child - somewhere in between the favorite oldest and the spoiled youngest - he even has to share his February 14th birthday with the rest of the romantically inclined world. Maybe a few pictures can help illustrate. While his brothers were surprised each year on their birthdays with Dad's latest cake design featuring frosting-covered football helmets, basketballs, and even their (or Dad's) favorite Sesame Street characters (fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Dad with a Grover cake. Nice glasses!

Bunna was never so lucky. While he longed for the big red block letter "U" or the Los Angeles Raiders (before they moved back to Oakland) football helmet, he was yearly presented, to his snowballing disappointment, with a pink heart cake. Though the cake was always decorated a little differently - candy hearts here or a maybe some red M&Ms there, the basic pattern was the same: bright pink frosting covering a double-layer, heart shaped chocolate cake (fig. 2-5). Maybe some pictures will help illustrate the extent of the pain Bunna has suffered over the years.

Fig. 2: Bunna's second birthday. We can see here that the basic pattern has been established.
Fig 3: Bunna's third birthday. Note 1981's improvisation: the candy-clustered center.
Fig. 4: Bunna's fourth birthday. As if the shape of the cake wasn't already apparent, it gets emphasized in the 1982 edition with the red candy heart border.
Fig. 5: Although blurry, we can see by Bunna's sixth birthday that the cake has risen to new heights.
This painful past has caused Biff to look for alternatives when it comes to the traditional birthday cake. This year the candles were placed atop Bunna'a favorite: a cinnamon roll. Biff used the heart-shaped cake pan (an unthinkably cruel wedding gift) to store the other birthday goodies. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BUNNA!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

overdressed in illinois

Sometimes when we're sick and we have the chills, the only thing we feel like doing is bundling up and taking a nap or maybe watching one of our favorite movies. Zoe is no different. Or anyway, since she can't tell us how she feels, we have to guess. So yesterday Biff thought it wouldn't hurt to cram an under-the-weather and already-overdressed Zoe into her Antarctic expedition gear to go get the mail. Official temperature in the greater Champaign-Urbana area at the time of mail pick-up: 48 degrees. Un-official temperature inside Zoe's snow suit: accurate reading difficult to determine due to melted display screen. For those of you who haven't seen Zoe in a while, or for that matter, at all, we included a kleenex box as a handy reference. Zoe is now 2 and 1/2 kleenex boxes long (not including the snowsuit).