An Important Discovery

Before Elliott's birth, we ran a pool to guess Elliott's birth date, time, length and weight.  We all expected Elliott to be early, as Tessa felt very strongly that this would happen and her information should be better than anyone's.  There were two stragglers at the end of the month, well past his due date (10 days).  Both were smart women from my college days, both are PhD students now, but only one of them knew enough about babies to expect that a 10 day late baby born with our genetics would not be small.

When Elliott was born, 11 days late, the winner was obvious.  But the prize was not.  Hopefully this exclusive comic triptych of a birthday card is a grand enough award.

Happy birthday, Maryz, from the Heller-Vogel family.

Weekend visiting

Weekends are for visitors and visiting.  This is a mega-post to clear the backlog.

The Langes (April 16th)

After our dear friends Mandy and Donovan announced that Mandy was twelve weeks pregnant, they simply had to return to see Elliott.  When last they visited (our first non-caretaking visitors), Elliott was a little fuss-machine.  Now he is a slightly more mellow, and significantly bigger, fuss-machine. 

In addition to the celebration of their impending induction to parenthood, Donovan had additional cause to celebrate -- the Microsoft Office ship party.  See the final picture in the series for evidence that he wasn't... completely sober.  He had the manners, however, to have showered and washed out the purple hair coloring before visiting us.


Ballard Farmers' Market (April 18th)

In the months prior to Elliott's birth, Tessa and I regularly visited the Ballard Farmers' Market.  Indeed, on the day Tessa went into labor, I shopped the Market with my mother before the abrupt call home.  After missing most of the past six markets, we decided as a family to make the attempt.

In the dead of winter, the Market is still full of vendors, but less packed with people.  Arriving late, most things we wanted had been sold.  We took this as an excuse to try to get a real lunch at the local vegetarian Thai restaurant.  Elliott was happy and accommodating.

He also reminded Tessa that she should get him more hats because he wears them well.


The Holleys (April 23rd)

Brian and Erica have intended to visit for weeks now, but scheduling (and illnesses) can be tricky.  Finally, on Friday the stars aligned.  They arrived with delicious sandwiches and chocolate cake.  Note to future visitors: the bar of our expectations of tribute to Elliott has been raised again.  They have no immediate plans for children, beyond their high-maintenance cats, but both look pretty comfortable with a big baby.  


Kelli Ireland (April 24th)

Kelli is a good friend from Pittsburgh who happened to be in town.  Kelli has served as a reference point throughout the pregnancy and first eight weeks, so it was nice to be able to catch up and introduce her to Elliott.  Kelli is my age, and a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh in Computer Engineering.  Kelli has a (practically) eleven year old daughter who she raised, mostly, as a single mother starting as an undergraduate.  Whenever things seem difficult in our charmed little babyhood, that puts things in perspective.  

This picture was perilous for Kelli, however -- it is always dangerous for a mother to hold someone else's new baby.

Sometimes, sleep required odd contortions

I call this the "Bed Head" series.  To get him to sleep, Tessa needed to have her face against him.  The prior session, he had required an awkward snuggle (head rotated in the armpit) with me.  But he spent most of the night asleep on the couch with me, which was lovely.