Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Have a guiltlessly commercial Merry Christmas!
Christmas in America is an exuberant display of human ingenuity, capitalist productivity, and the enjoyment of life.

In fact, Christmas as we celebrate it today is a 19th-century American invention. The freedom and prosperity of post-Civil War America created the happiest nation in history. The result was the desire to celebrate, to revel in the goods and pleasures of life on earth. Christmas (which was not a federal holiday until 1870) became the leading American outlet for this feeling. The holiday was inherently a festival of earthly renewal.

Historically, people have always celebrated the winter solstice as the time when the days begin to lengthen, indicating the earth's return to life. Ancient Romans feasted and reveled during the festival of Saturnalia. By the fourth century, they were worshipping the god of the sun on December 25.

Then came the major developments of 19th-century capitalism: industrialization, urbanization, the triumph of science -- all of it leading to easy transportation, efficient mail delivery, the widespread publishing of books and magazines, new inventions making life comfortable and exciting, and the rise of entrepreneurs who understood that the way to make a profit was to produce something good and sell it to a mass market.

For the first time, the giving of gifts became a major feature of Christmas. Thanks to capitalism, there was enough wealth to make gifts possible, a great productive apparatus to advertise them and make them available cheaply, and a country so content that men wanted to reach out to their friends and express their enjoyment of life. The whole country took with glee to giving gifts on an unprecedented scale.

All the best customs of Christmas, from carols to trees to spectacular decorations, have their root in ancient ideas and practices. These customs were greatly amplified by American culture, as the product of reason, science, business, worldliness, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reia Ann Wolfe - Dec 15, 2009, 10am

Who says IVF kids are scrawny? 7 lbs - 12 oz, 19 inches long. The picture below was taken at 2 hours old.

And she has my feet. Mine are less wrinkly.

Here's a shot a 12 hours.

And one at about 24 hours with Susanna's hat on. She'll grow into it.

A happy momma:

The first bath was pretty entertaining. While the nurse was toweling her off I had to run back to Lia's room to get the camera, since her whole body took on a beautiful ruby tone.

All in all she's pretty easy to take care of. With exception of the above incident, and whenever she gets a little cold, she just hangs out with us, sometimes awake, sometimes not. The doctor said to expect a little jaundice, and the first sign of it is yellow eyes, but hers are as white as the driven snow, as far as I can tell. Tomorrow we have our first checkup!

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and to those who stopped by. It was good to have people around during our short hospital stay.