Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Well that suct

For nearly 8 months, Wes’s left eye produced more goop than a lame celebrity blog. Which is why, during a recent trip to the pediatrician, we were told it was time to clear out the blocked tear duct we’d been hoping would correct itself. Dr. Dehovitz assured us it was a painless procedure, and recommended we go see her colleague Dr. Eyeballstabber* in Midtown.

The first time we visited Dr. Eyeballstabber, he seemed like a nice enough guy, very professional, good bedside manner, complimentary of Wes’ dashing good looks. But there was just something a little off about him…maybe he was a little too complimentary, or a little too casual…something. Anyway, he gave us some eye-drops to dilate Wes’ eyes before the procedure and told us to come back in a week.

So last Thursday, we took Wes back to the office in Midtown, eyes dilated like a rich kid at a Phish show. Knowing how squeamish Crissy can be about these things, we both agreed it would be best if I accompanied Wes into the procedure.

The first thing Dr. Eyeballstabber did was peer into Wes’ retinas and compliment him. “Ooh, great eyes. No glasses for this guy.” Okay pal, I thought. Kindly dispense with the flattery and get on with it.

He reassured me that this is a very quick and painless process. There are very few nerve endings in the tear duct, and the entire process is only a couple minutes. In fact, Dr. Eyeballstabber said, the worst part will be strapping him into the little padded straightjacket. “They never like that part.”

The weird thing is, I remember that little straightjacket. My brother Tommy pushed me lips-first into a coffee table while dancing to Saturday Night Fever when I was three, and they strapped me into one of those things for the stitches. It’s just one of the few, random memories I have left from my childhood, and I actually remember it not being that painful or scary.

It’s worth noting here that I have the world’s least dependable memory.

As soon as Dr. Eyeballstabber pulled the strap tight across Wes’ forehead, he started crying. Hard. Suddenly my neck got all clammy and my palms moistened. “Whoo! Sweatin’ over here,” I said. Dr. Eyeballstabber assured me that everything would be fine. Then he pulled out a 6-inch syringe.

Dammit. I knew there was something about this guy.

To be fair, he didn’t actually stab Wes’ eyeball. He inserted the needle into his tear duct, which is right next to his eyeball.
To a new dad on the verge of a panic attack, it was definitely his eyeball.

Just as the good doctor promised, it was all over in a matter of seconds. A couple quick pokes of the tear duct, and they swept him out of the straightjacket and back into Dad’s arms, happy and cuddly as ever.

I’m happy to report that the little dude has been 100% goop-free, 5 days and counting. And Wes, if you’re reading this in 20 years, and you still remember this event, I hope your memory is as inaccurate as your old man’s.

*There’s a chance I’m remembering his name wrong.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Hazel

My sister Heather and her husband Tom had a baby girl yesterday named Hazel Nicole Guillen. We haven’t met her yet, but, like everyone else, we’re already smitten with her luxurious locks, pouty lips, and glamorous eyelashes.

Although it’s not her looks we’re most interested in. I’m counting on her big brain to discourage Wes from doing stupid things like sneaking out of our futurehouse or stealing my futurecar.

You hear that boy? No drinking my futurebeer, either.

Anyway, yesterday was Hazel’s day. We love you already, little girl. Do Uncle Kev a favor and go easy on your parents. They love you more than you’ll ever understand.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Expanding the repertoire

Christine’s in town this weekend, so I’ve been solo with Wes most of the day. Which means I’ve been free to suck my teeth and clear my throat with impunity. It also means I can play my guitar as much as I want, since Wes and Franny don’t speak English well enough to tell me I suck.

When people ask me to describe how good of a guitar player I am, I tell them I sound like I’m awesome for 7 minutes. At first, I rule. Then I run out of material. So I’m trying to expand my repertoire.

Ideally, I’d like to play Wes songs to sleep, instead of reading him stories. In part to satisfy the rockstar oblongata in every dude’s brain. In part so I don’t have to read the same story over and over again. But mainly to brainwash my son into liking my music.

So I spent most of the day crooning my way through a bunch of Stones songs that I can hack out on the guitar. Midway through my 14th rendition of Loving Cup, Franny looked up at me sharply, jumped off the couch, and trotted over to the farthest point across the room from me.

Which is the universal language for you suck.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My new Thanksgiving joke

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

Two Canadians, two Americans, and a dog sit down to Thanksgiving dinner.

Canadian dude says, “Where does your dog poop, eh?”
American guy says, “No, she poops on the rug.”

What do you mean you don't get it?

I’ll explain. Thanksgiving dinner was at our place this year. Crissy prepared her 3rd consecutive ridiculously delicious Thanksgiving meal. Except this year we invited our hilarious Canadian friends over to celebrate the day that the Pilgrims and the Indians invented sausage gravy. As I understand it.

Anyway, Jesse and Holly brought their 7-month old daughter Pippa over just after noon, which meant that Jesse and I were legally allowed to begin consuming alcohol thanks to the Holiday loophole. I cracked a bottle of red, babies were sprawled on the floor like squirmy landmines, Franny disapproved from afar, and we were off to the races.

And then, for some reason, out of the blue, Wes decided to deliver a Christmas miracle early this year. He busted out a 2.5 hour nap… Right. Through. Thanksgiving. Dinner.

It was truly amazing. Crissy and I were positive he’d be up any minute, so we touched wine glasses and swallowed our turkey whole like seagulls. Which left 2.4 hours to sigh deeply, groan, and drink wine. Also invented by the Pilgrims.

Eating so fast also meant that there were plenty of table scraps left over for Franny. Too many.

Once the Holy Nap, Forgiver of Sins finally ended, we all went for a great walk along Brooklyn Bridge Park. The sun was setting, the kids were happy, and all was right in the world.

Jesse, Holly, and Pippa were troopers. We put Wes to bed around 7, they put Pippa in Wes' swing, and they both slept soundly in the next room while the grownups contributed to the obesity epidemic. They stuck around until around 11 o’clock, chatting and laughing while the kids slept, which is about as close as you get to an adult pajama party. It was a fantastic time.

The next morning, Crissy was awakened by the smell of fresh corpse. She asked me to investigate. I tiptoed out into the main room to discover that Franny had absolutely destroyed two of the Flor rug squares, which she hasn't done in a really long time. She was very sorry, and very worried. We assured her it was ok, it was our fault for giving her so much food. But that smell...my god the smell. It was indescribable. Is decomposition-ey a word? It should be.

As we searched for replacement squares at the new Flor store in Brooklyn, the employee asked us what happened. I pointed to Franny. “Too much turkey for the mutt.”

The employee looked concerned.

“I don’t think you’re supposed to feed dogs turkey. It’s really bad for them.”
“Noo, I don’t think that’s right. Is it? We just ahh… that can’t be right.”

Yes. It is right. Don’t feed your dog turkey. It can actually be very, very dangerous for them. The skin and bones can even kill them. Or at least make their poop smell dead. Which is almost as bad.

Get it? The Canadian is saying “eh,” but the American thinks he’s saying “hay.”

Forget it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Halloween #1

Yes, I know it’s December 5th, but I figured it’s time to catch up on some oldies but goodies. Like Halloween.

First of all, Wes’s first two teeth came in just in time for Halloween, aka our nation’s collective middle finger to the American Dental Association. His little blade-like teeth jut out of his lower gum, so when he smiles, he looks like a liquored up hobo riding a boxcar to Fresno. We contemplated giving the teeth names, but we never did decide on anything. So let’s do it right now:

Henceforth, Wes’ two bottom teeth shall be referred to as Tin Pan Jeb and Harlan “Scrappie” Jenkins. And so it was.

Anyway, Halloween fell on a Monday this year, and if anyone remembers, things get a little crazy on our block. This year was no exception. Well, two exceptions. We were slightly more prepared for the insanity thanks to 1. The $50 bucks we spent on candy, and 2. The booze. Neither was any match for the voracious hordes of trick or treaters that descended on our stoop like a flock of adorable zombie vultures.

We invited a bunch of our new parent friends over for the festivities, who all seemed a little overwhelmed by the mania. Not that I blamed them. Costume highlights included our friend Ashley who was dressed a the Empire State Building, and her 11-month old Roman who went as King Kong, Jessie/Holly/Pippa who went as a trio of astronauts, Leslie and her son Owen, who went as Teen Wolf and Frauke/Jeff’s son Julian who went as a pocket-sized Springsteen.

Crissy, Wes, and I went as Run DMC this year, with Wes owning his role as a mini Jam Master Jay. Since Crissy’s mom was in town for the weekend, we all met at my office for a quick photo shoot on Friday night, before Crissy and I headed off to a couple adult (get your mind out of the gutter) Halloween parties in the city. Wes responded to this plan by instantly barfing all over his costume.

Not to be outdone, Crissy and I felt like barfing all day Saturday. Thank god for mothers-in-law.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

sir barfsalot

The other day Wes barfed three times over brunch at Bocca Lupo with some new parent friends of ours. It was nice of him to contribute to the conversation. I think that’s what it was. He kept trying to make interesting and insightful counterpoints, but puke just kept coming out.

He’s a good barfer, the boy. It just falls out of his face, and he’s right back in his groove, like, what? I’m good. I think the nonchalance is working for him. Isn't that what they say about doing bad things in public? The more obvious you are, the less people notice. Like crack smoking. Or adults on razor scooters.

I barf and tell people for the next two hours to get sympathy, or to leave work, or to not have to do chores. Not Wes. He just blasts away. And he’ll do it anywhere too. The couch, the bed, the favorite t-shirts, over brunch, wherever.

Anyway, the waitresses were very nice about it, supplying us with plenty of extra napkins. And they had nice, thick, barf-cleaning napkins, come to think of it.

We should go back to that place. So we can tell them how well their napkins clean up barf.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

the first three months

Aaaaand, we’re back.

It’s hard to describe the first three months of your first child’s life to someone who’s never experienced it. If I have one piece of advice, it’s never rent a room to a newborn. They're loud, messy, and slow with the rent.

Wes’ first three months were defined by lukewarm takeout and prisoner lighting. Crissy and I rarely spoke. We lived in constant fear. We wept openly, but silently.

One of the worst things about the first three months is the conflicting Internet advice. Make sure he’s eating enough, but never let them overeat, unless he’s going through a growth spurt, which could happen between 1-2 weeks, 2-4 weeks, or 4-12 weeks. Keep him tightly swaddled unless he doesn’t want to be swaddled, which you’ll know when he either cries or doesn’t cry.

It was tough for us. We kept waiting for a sign that it was going to get better. And the longer it took, the more we wanted to punch all the people who told us it would get better.

By the time Wes was about 5 weeks, our days were loaded with weapons-grade frustration. If they could load that level of frustration into airplanes, and spray it all over Afghanistan, everyone would just quit. It would actually eradicate the concept of war as we know it.

It was probably the most painful for Wes, who was having a hard time swallowing and digesting his food, and therefore having a hard time sleeping.


In my bleary-eyed, zombie-like state, I started to think of my son as a tiny terminator sent back to earth to eradicate sleep for all mankind. I felt like Linda Hamilton every night, sweaty and filthy, desperately trying to extinguish the red light behind the evil machine’s eyes and avoid two crappy sequels.

And then one night, at about three in the morning, Wes looked me square in the eye, registered who he was looking at, and smiled so brightly I thought I was hallucinating.

Never has a smile seemed so extra-terrestrial. It felt like I was witnessing something I wasn’t supposed to see. Like I was catching a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster, alone, after a week-long whiskey bender, and nobody was ever going to believe me.

Suddenly, a wave of understanding gushed through me…

Everything’s going to be just fine.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

weston john mulroy

here was kevin's announcement to friends and family:

"At exactly 9:59 am this morning, Weston "Wes" John Mulroy karate kicked his way into the world, kissed both biceps, drank a cup of nails, and wrestled a small boar.

He's 7.4 ounces, has a clearly defined chin dimple, and is currently accepting feats of strength requests."

and up above is a pic of the little guy taken yesterday, almost 6 weeks later!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Life in Brooklyn

I guess we’re not doing a very good job of convincing the Brooklynphobes that we didn’t go off the grid when we moved to Brooklyn Heights. We were back home recently when a family member asked, “So does that mean you live with the Puerto Ricans now?” Not exactly.

Our landlords in Brooklyn live in the apartment above us. Ed is a shuffling, nebbish ex–lawyer in his early eighties with coke-bottle glasses and an endless supply of slow-to-develop stories. Anne is a scrappy, 70-something, sharp-faced woman who writes instructions and emergency phone numbers with perfect penmanship. They are very nice people who, once we declined multiple invitations to Sunday mass, decided to stop letting us use their over-sized washing machine.

Ed told us his family has owned the building since it was built in 1902, and informed us that he was born in the very room that we’re planning on turning into the nursery. I tried not to think of Ed in diapers, and failed. Crissy responded politely.

As for the neighborhood, it’s a lot like Sesame Street, if Sesame Street were gentrified by young urban professionals and old Jewish retirees, and invaded by a nation of baby strollers and dogs. For some reason, our street turns into the Bourbon St of trick-or-treating on Halloween, with considerably less boobs.

I think I mentioned that our place is far bigger than the shoebox we left behind in Tribeca. Which meant that we had to buy new furniture to fill up the extra space. Thankfully, Crissy and I don’t argue very often. Apparently, we like to save it all up for IKEA.

So to avoid clawing each other’s eyes out over particleboard dressers and rice paper lamps, I dragged Crissy into a series of filthy, asthma-inspiring furniture stores all over Brooklyn to look for “deals” on old furniture. We flirted with hepatitis at least ten times before settling on a couple chairs from Urban Outfitters and calling it a day.

So here we are, just a few months away from the must-have Brooklyn Heights accessory: Baby #1. Our place is really coming along and starting to feel like home. The nursery is beginning to fill up with boxes of baby furniture that I’ll have to get off my ass and put together one of these days. Which is fine. It’s the thought of future trips to IKEA that’s making my back sweat.