Monday, October 30, 2006

A Full Plate (Among Other Things)

Owen’s routine is pretty simple: sleep, nurse, diaper change, play and then repeat. Sometimes we mix it up a bit by throwing in a bath or changing his diaper before he nurses, but this is the basic order of things. More importantly, we generally don’t like more than two hours to elapse between waking from sleep and drifting back into it.

There are times, however, when we attempt to work his routine around our own personal agendas, and last Saturday was one of those times. I wanted to go to the grocery store, bake a pie, unblock a clogged milk duct and run to Crate & Barrel and the Container Store before heading to our friends Brad & Marlo’s place for dinner. Allen wanted to make a mold of Owen’s feet, give Owen a bath and indulge me.

We managed to accomplish all of this, but in doing so, Owen missed two of his afternoon naps resulting in his being awake for seven hours straight without a real nap. While Allen was painfully aware of Owen’s sleep deprivation (having unsuccessfully tried to get him down for a couple of naps while I was otherwise occupied), I didn’t realize it until we were headed to Brad & Marlo’s and I started doing the math (I know, I know, this is precisely why we have the Trixie Tracker…).

We quickly developed a plan of attack: as soon as we arrived we would give him a bottle, change his diaper and then I would rock him to sleep. Unfortunately, this was one of those times we should have changed up the order, for while we were getting a bottle ready and Brad was holding Owen, a rumbling could be heard emanating from Owen’s posterior.

At which point he pooped all over Brad.

As Allen later pointed out, there are far worse people Owen could have unleashed his colon on. After all, Brad and Marlo are expected their first child in February and Brad had said before we came over that he really wanted to get the full infant experience. And while we’re happy to accommodate him, we would generally prefer our child to not cover our friends and loved ones in crap.

We quickly changed Owen (Brad changed himself), got him to sleep for an hour, and gave him a bottle which resulted in a much happier Owen. After another hour or so of socializing, we took the little guy home, fed and changed him again and put him down for the night where he slept soundly for over six hours.

I’m pretty sure there’s a lesson here, but if it involves keeping Owen up all day so he’s cranky and pooping on our friends just so he’ll sleep through the night, I think we’ll keep looking.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Head Turning Excitement!

Owen astounded us once again the other day by watching me walk across the room! (I know, it doesn't take much...) I came home from work last Wednesday, and while Elaine was holding him, Owen turned his head to look at me as I walked through the door! Then, as I walked across the room, he turned his head tracking my every move. To prove this wasn't some fluke, he later watched Elaine walk around the room while I was holding him. Now, through the miracle of modern technology, we bring you startling video evidence of Owen's new found awareness of the wider world!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fun n' Games

Owen turned two months old on Friday, and hints of the new and improved interactive Owen are starting to emerge. I've always felt I was better with kids and babies once they were old enough to play with, and while Owen has been ridiculously adorable these past two months, I can't help but think things will be more fun once we're able to play and interact with each other. Elaine is great with newborns, but I can't help but think that playtime will be daddy's time to shine (we know where are comparative advantages are;-).

This past month we've started to develop a few little games. Owen likes it when I hold him and we look at ourselves in the mirror, and when he's in a really good mood he'll laugh when I smile and make funny faces. Another 'game' he likes is the standing game. The rules are really pretty simple, I hold Owen up with his feet on my lap, and he stands up supporting his own weight while I help him keep his balance. We don't keep score, but as long as he's smiling and exercising those legs, I figure we're both winners.

The newest game is flying time, which is best illustrated with a picture:

The game is pretty self explanatory, and I think the next picture will show just how much he likes it:

"Daddy that was so much fun I can't decide if I should smile or spit up all over you, so I think I'll do both!"

Monday, October 09, 2006


Last week the anti-Owen was born to our friends Tracey and Nathan. Satya Effie Cook was born several days early in the Southern hemisphere after a two-hour labor involving no drugs. The only commonality between the two births is that neither Tracey nor I got dessert the night labor began (though Tracey at least got dinner).

For those of you that don’t know the Cooks, Tracey is one of my college roommates. After college graduation she went to teach English in Japan for a year where she fell in love first with Asia and then with an Australian adventurer named Nathan. Together they organized the trip to Bali where Allen and I got engaged. They had their son Kailash in India, got married in Thailand and had Satya in Australia.

Satya’s arrival is a bit of a relief for us as so far, all of our friends that have had kids in the past year have had boys (Kelly & Channing, Bill & Katherine, Teresa & Mike, my cousin Joyce & Brian, my cousin Katie & Dennis all recently had sons, and our friends Eric & Kathryn and Allen’s cousin Thomas & Jen are all expecting sons in December) making the perpetuation of the species, let alone Owen’s dating prospects, worrisome (not that we would advocate Owen dating any of his second cousins). Satya’s appearance suggests that maybe the winds are shifting and gender equanimity will return, though it would be convenient if they shifted stateside.

Oh well, there’s always Suri Cruise…

Monday, October 02, 2006


We finally sent off Owen's birth announcements today. Elaine is convinced that we're late sending these out, but as far as I'm concerned we're doing great to get these out at six weeks. Any etiquette rule that requires sleep deprived new parents to put together a mass mailing in the first month is absurd. It took us a month just to get around to picking out the pictures, let alone design, print, and address these puppies.

On the back of the announcements, we included the web address for the blog, so I suspect we might have a few new readers. For all of you visiting for the first time, I'd like to welcome you to our blog and tell you a little about the site. (And for all of you die hard readers out there wondering where your announcements are, hold your horses, we just mailed them today.) The main reason we started this blog was to share pictures and stories (mostly about Owen) with our family and friends, without having to send out a mass email every time we snap a picture of Owen that is too cute to keep to ourselves. Whenever you feel the urge to see the newest pictures of Owen, or read our latest anecdote about our experience as new parents, just pay a visit to our blog.

So what all is on this site? In the sidebar on the right you can find out exactly how old Owen is, see our latest pictures, or click on the "more recent pictures" link to view all the pictures of Owen in my Flickr photostream. If you scroll a bit further down, you can jump to posts from any month in the Archives, or enter your email address at the bottom of the sidebar to receive a message whenever this blog is updated. In the main body of the page, you'll find all our latest musings on parenthood, and at th bottom of each post is a comments link where you can share your thoughts, suggestions, and well wishes with us. If you want to read some of the highlights to get a feel for the blog without wading through the archives, you can check out the ever popular "Reactions" post to see my mom's shock & awe at finding out she was going to be a grandmother, read the epic story of Owen's birth in the "Owen Grady Fawcett" post, or go back to where it all began with the "+ or -" post.

I should also probably say a little something about the name of the blog. The short answer is that when two economists start a blog, it's bound to have some sort of geeky econ name. The longer answer is that when we began the blog, we weren't telling people that Elaine was pregnant yet, so we couldn't pick a name that was obviously baby related like "Econ Baby!", "babyblogonomics", or "start-up dad". So why exactly "marginal benefit"? As economists, we're trained to think about decisions at the margins. For instance, when we're trying to put Owen down to sleep in the middle of the night, sometimes it helps if one of us sits by him and rests a hand on his chest. If you sit there long enough, he'll eventually fall asleep, but if leave too soon, even if he looks like he's asleep, he'll wake up and start fussing all over again. So in the middle of the night we're faced with problem of equating the marginal benefit of keeping a hand on Owen for another minute to increase the probability he'll actually fall asleep, and the marginal cost of not crawling back in bed as soon as possible. As for the name of the blog, it's really refering to a decision on a bit grander scale. Having Owen was probably the biggest decison of our lives, some of our posts dwell on the lack of sleep and mountains of diapers associated with parenthood (marginal costs), and other posts focus the little joys of parenthood or Owen's sheer adorability (marginal benefits). Years from now when we look back on all of this, hopefully we'll laugh at all of the marginal costs and cherish all of the marginal benefits.

Finally, since in this post I've been addressing readers and thinking of the future, I'd like to close with a note for all of you future readers that may be out there. If the year is 2024, this blog is still available online, and you happen to be Owen's prom date, please stop reading now, I'm sure we've embarrassed our son enough already ;-)