Saturday, July 30, 2011

Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Today, we took the boys (all three of them, and yes, it still feels weird to type that) to the movies to see the new "Winnie the Pooh" movie. It was quite an exciting day, considering that it was Little Bear's first movie. It was The Baby's first movie, too, but it doesn't really count because he wasn't really watching anything.

The movie itself was quite good. It was preceded by a short film about how Nessie (the Loch Ness monster) came to be in Loch Ness, which was normal, cute Disney stuff. The Winnie the Pooh movie took several stories from the original book and mashed them together in an entertaining whole: the search for Eeyore's tail (spoiler: it was Owl's new bell pull), trapping the monster in the pit (when everybody falls in), and hunting for Christopher Robin when he had to leave for the day.

I liked that this movie stayed pretty close to the books and the spirits of the characters in the books; the recent Winnie the Pooh stuff (with the girl Chris Robin) has been so sanitized that it's almost unwatchable. The characters in the original book were all flawed an imperfect; the more modern stuff has iron out those flaws and, essentially, made every character the same. This movie allows the characters to breathe and to be imperfect: Owl is self-important and loves to lecture, Rabbit is bossy and shrewish, Tigger is self-absorbed and arrogant, etc. The characters are not quite as extreme as in the original stories, but it is quite pleasant to see them with their own personalities intact.

The slapstick humor in this, although not really from the stories, was appreciated. The boys enjoyed seeing people fall down or have things fall on them. There was no moral lesson, which was also appreciated; it was just stories without the self-important preaching. This is suitable for even the smallest audiences, although the scene when the backson (the monster) is described is a little bit more intense than the rest of the movie.

The boys were so good! The Baby slept through the movie entirely. The Boy sat through the movie, ate lots of popcorn, laughed at all the appropriate spots, and was very, very good. Little Bear flipped out when we sat down and the advertisements started playing; they really do play those way, way too loud. He doesn't hear stuff that loudly often! He settled down in my lap through the short film, and he stayed between my lap and the end of the aisle. He did some wandering, but stayed close and watched the movie. Halfway through, he lost interest and started wandering around the theater, occasionally returning to our seats and watching some more of the movie. He was good, though; he wasn't bothering other people and stayed quiet. The theater was a tiny theater that was mostly full, so there was some space for him to move around.

It was quite a good experience today! The boys had fun, and we chalk this outing as a "win." I don't think that I'd take Little Bear for a movie that was longer than an hour, but this was a great length and subject. The Boy, on the other hand, would be great regardless.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Parental Damages

I wonder what kind of damage I'm doing to my sons, that they pick fruit over chips and candy as a snack.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Middle Child

Contrary to our expectations, Little Bear has been having a really difficult time adjusting to the new paradigm. We had kind of thought (hoped) that he would continue his independent means, living his life with his usual aplomb and utter lack of... or rather, his usual Little Bear-ness. Unfortunately, he's been having a hard time.

It's hard to kind of quantify exactly what he's feeling. He's used to having the full attention of his mother and usually his grandfather. The division of labor usually has The Boy with me or Grandma and Little Bear with Mum or Grandpa. Because the newborn is, well, a newborn, he is 95% Mum's responsibility. Little Bear is off-balance and unsure of how to handle himself. He's acting out: hitting for no reason, throwing things for non-playing reasons, pestering his brother more often.

To make matters a little more difficult, he spent the early part of the week sick with a high fever, which he has now passed around to various family members.

We have decided to respond by trying to make sure he has a lot more single attention than he was receiving earlier. He's normally a sweet, loving boy, and getting your brains scrambled by a fever and dealing with a new baby brother is enough to rock anyone's world.

The rest of us seem to be adjusting to the new baby fairly well. The Boy has been having a great time with his baby brother. He's been telling everyone about "Mum and the little bitty baby!", and he talks about the baby a lot. He loves playing with his brother and giving kisses. He sings songs to him, which is funny and cute!

The sleeping situation has been challenging, to say the least, but not for the reason one would suspect. The Baby has been sleeping like a newborn; he does wake up every couple of hours or so, but he usually feeds and goes right back to sleep. Last night, he was awake for a half hour or so at 4am, but he wasn't screaming or uncomfortable: just awake and in need of attention.

The most difficult part of the last week has been dealing with the other two boys, who have been sleeping poorly. Last night, The Boy was up at 12:15, 2:30, 5:30, and 6:00. Little Bear was up at 3:00, 5:50, and 6:10. The Baby was up at 1, 4-4:30, 6, and 7. The rest of the week has been similar. Considering that naps have been more difficult because of the third addition, it's been a hard week. I know it'll be better.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Little Bear started coming down with a fever late yesterday morning. It's maxed out at 102, so far. We knew he was feeling rotten when we got home from The Wife's interview and he was still in bed with Grandma. He spent most of the day in bed or near one, truly an odd event for him.

The problem with having more children than parents is that it's hard to comfort one and take care of the others. Little Bear really needed someone with whom to snuggle, yet The Baby and The Boy needed their own time as well. Don't get me wrong - the other two children were actually in fairly decent moods. The Boy had a great day at school, and The Baby was in a good mood for most of the day.

Naps were a problem during the day, as they weren't tired. This let us get the kids to bed early, although I was doing work until late. The night went smoothly, with baby wake ups at 2 and 4. The boys were not awake all night until 5:30, when Little Bear woke up for good.

I love my children; maybe not quite so much at 5:30 in the morning. Now that it's 8am, I love them again.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Sleeping Like a Newborn

The first several nights of The Baby's at-home life have really been fairly decent: he's had at least one stretch of uninterrupted 2 to 3 hour's sleep. That's exceptional for a little, little person ("He's an itty-bitty baby!" The Boy says). Since I am of limited use at this point, the stress of dealing with The Baby has fallen on The Wife. I can - and do - assist in the changing process, but I can't help feed him and he hasn't been that interested in playing in the middle of the night yet.

The worst culprits of my current lack-of-sleep have been the two older boys, and, yes, that is still weird to type. Then again, I just put 2010 on a check last week, so it can take me time to adjust to things. But, I digress.

Last night was relatively typical: Little Bear was asleep around 8:15, 8:30. I brought The Boy into his room, watched a storybook, read three stories, watched another short storybook, then he went to sleep around 9:10. I had a snack, ran for a half hour, then did some miscellaneous housework and music studying. I was in bed around 11, watched a television show, and fell asleep before midnight.

The Baby's feeding was 12:30.

The Boy was up at 2:30 to go to the bathroom.

Little Bear was up and stirring around his room at 3, although he never opened his door and went back to sleep relatively quickly.

The Boy was up at 3:45 to go to the potty and was shuffled back in bed with orders to not emerge until daylight.

The Baby was fed and changed at 4:00. He woke briefly at 5:30 for a quick snack and snuggle.

Little Bear was up for good at 6:30, and The Boy joined us ten minutes later.

Total sleep for Musical Daddy? Right around four hours, broken into six chunks. I'm getting too old for this.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Start of Phase Two

So, now we are into the next phase of the rest of our life. The bris is over, our third child is now our responsibility for 18 years or so, and we now resume our steady march towards employment. It all begins tomorrow morning, when I drive The Wife to a job interview at a nearby district, where she will interview for a position that she never applied. We aren't complaining, mind you; just pleasantly surprised. What makes it somewhat more interesting is that I have to drive her, because she's still on doctor's orders and not able to drive. We'll see what happens.

The whole weekend was really, really nice. The bris went off quite smoothly, with no fights and arguments breaking out between anybody save for some disagreements over toys. This moyel - different from the one we used in New Jersey - didn't use a clamp during the procedure, so it was a little rougher to watch. Considering some of the medical things that I had to view and to do to my oldest son, it wasn't that big of a deal, but nobody wants to see their infant's blood. Once the snippy-snippy was done, it was a nice party, with special thanks to my friend Guru for fixing a cabinet door that came loose.

Once the party was done, we all crashed pretty hard and napped until late. I took The Boy out to a local Barnes and Noble, where we hung out with my father for a couple of hours. The Boy was quite cute and endearing, particularly when we went over to Panera Bread for a snack. He's just a nice kid, and he was showing off his words and his playing for his Grandpa. Of particularly entertainment earlier in the day was, "Wow! I have two grandpas sitting right here! That's SOOOO many Grandpas!" Tonight, The Boy was even helpful cleaning up the bath toys and the toys in his room, singing the Barney cleanup song while he worked. His pitch is getting much better. His range is limited because he's little, but he's doing a nice job keeping intervals and pitches in his range. His voice tends to match the lower harmony parts; The Wife thinks that it's because of his hearing issues, that his ears are naturally going where they are stronger.

Little Bear has been a bit of a concern over the last couple of days. He's been throwing a higher number of more intense fits, which is not unexpected considering the major upheaval in our lives with the introduction of The Baby. He threw a massive Mega-Fit at the outdoor concert this morning, meaning that our stay was approximately ten minutes. He hasn't been sleeping well, either; most of the week, he's been in bed at normal times (around 8, 8:30) and up before 6am, with a normal nap during the day. He felt a little warm to me this morning before we left, but it might have been y imagination. We'll see. Still, he's been doing a pretty amazing job with puzzles - he isn't matching up the pictures on adjacent pieces very well, but when given the next piece, he finds a way to make it fit. He's also insanely good at shape identification games and at fruit matching games on the iPad - it has the whole fruit and cut pieces, and you match them together.

The Baby has been... well, a newborn. Newborns aren't difficult for which to care, but they're not easy, either. They just require work and attention. I haven't been much help thus far, as Grandma and Mum have had the baby most of the last couple of days. I've done some pretty decent calming of the baby, and I've done some nice snuggles at night with him. He's come through the bris easily, and he's starting to fill out white nicely. He should be a pleasantly chubby baby pretty soon - he has a second chin, sometimes, and his legs are getting some meat on them. He will be a little bruiser, just like his brothers.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bris, Redux

Today was The Baby's bris, which is the ritual circumcision done on the 8th day of the boy's life. The bris is not my favorite part of the whole newborn experience, because anything that involves surgery and my son's junk makes me nervous. The whole thing went off without a hitch, all thanks to an incredibly large cast of characters starting with Grandma, The Wife, and Aunt M. We had a huge crowd, around 50-something people, in the house for the ceremony and the feeding afterwards. We ran out of bagels pretty quickly, and the Mac and cheese was a big hit.

The boys had a nice time, evidenced by The Boy chasing C around the house for about forty-five minutes straight. Little Bear was extremely over-stimulated by the end of the day, and he didn't respond well to the end of his nap. He didn't even want to go on a walk after his nap, so instead I took The Baby. He had his first experience at Dunkin Donuts.

At night, I took The Boy and met my father at Barnes and Noble. The By played with trains and some other toys while we hung out and caught up on life. We went to Panera Bread for a late dinner, and The Boy exhibited his cuteness for the world to see.

I intend to do a catch-up on the boys' milestones and quirks, s soon as I catch my breath. It's been a heck of a busy week, and theext couple of dys aren't any better - The Wife has an interview on Monday, and we also have an appointment to get The Boy's new ear molds for his hearing aids.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Day In Pictures

The boys playing in the pool given by Aunt J:

The Boy gets the hose, and then he goes after his giggling brother:

Karmic revenge: "What happens when I look at it and pull the handle?"

About twenty seconds before he takes his life in his hands:

The Baby placidly rests and helps with diaper laundry:

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Night

The Wife and The Baby got home yesterday morning, around 10 o'clock. The Boy was at camp, and Aunt J was around to help take care of Little Bear while Grandma did the whole work thing. Mum and baby went upstairs to rest, while I cleaned and Little Bear played with Aunt J. No worries.

The rest of the day went quite smoothly, as both boys were relieved and excited to see Mum and intrigued about the baby. The best hitch came late afternoon, during one of Pittsburgh's gentle thundershowers (meaning raining like animals were coming along in pairs), when there was a huge snap and the lights and power shut down. One of the high tension wires across the street snapped due to the storm, and it scared the crap out of my children.

Long story short, we didn't get power back until around 3am. The Boy was absolutely flipping out about sleeping in his own room, considering that he's a bit nervous in the dark by himself. It was also stiflingly hot upstairs without the air conditioning, which didn't help anyone's mood. So, once the boys went to bed, Mum and I did, also. I think we were both asleep between 9:30 and 10:00, at the same time as The Baby fell asleep.

We woke at 2! That's an awesome stretch of sleep for a newborn. We were up for a couple of hours, because the work trucks were outside and not subtle. The Baby was a little fussy because he was hungry, then wet, then hungry, then wet, then sleepy, but he settled down until 6:30.

So, not an awful night. I won't get used to it, I promise.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

First Day

Things have gone quite well during the first day of The Baby's life. Grandma, Grandpa, and the boys came by around noon, and it was amazing. The boys were so cute and so attentive and so good! The Boy sang The Baby some songs and marvelled at the little tiny toes and ears and fingers. Little Bear was somewhat interested, but not as much as his brother.

Once we spent enough time, Grandma volunteered to stay with The Wife and The Baby. I went home with Grandpa and the boys, and the three of us napped for quite some time. Once we got up and had a snack and some potty time, the grandparents took the boys to dinner and I came back to the hospital to hang out.

The evening has been nice. I've hung out here and held the baby and watched movies on the iPad. I'm going home in an hour to put the boys to bed and get ready for my rehearsal tomorrow.

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Location:Boulevard of the Allies,Pittsburgh,United States

Funny Thought...

My youngest son has only ever lived in a world where the Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place. Bizarro World?

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Andrew Evan May, born 5:47am, 8 pounds, 12 ounces, 22 and a half inches long.

Funny and entertaining how the whole thing worked out: The Wife was in the beginning stages of labor for a couple of days, starting roughly Wednesday afternoon (the official due day). Labor only started getting interesting around midnight tonight (it's Saturday), and she tried to get some sleep around 2am. Little Bear was up at 2:30 for some snuggles and hugs, and The Boy was up around 3:15 for some of the same. Around 3:44, things started getting a little more intense, and I got an hour's sleep while she contacted the doctor. At 4:45, she woke me up and told me, "We gotta go. Like, now."

Threw our stuff in the car, got dressed (not in that order), and left around 5. We were in the triage room around 5:25, which was when I checked us in via Facebook. The triage doctor checked for dilation, said, "She's fully open. She's going." The nurses threw together the labor and delivery room, I helped them move her onto the l&d bed, and the baby was already crowning. One push, he was out, born at 5:47. This kid was not messing around!

I still haven't stopped cackling over it. Sure, labor sucks, but this sucked way less than the others. My only complaint: the coffee machine in the lounge dispenses about a shot's worth of coffee flavored drink. If I'm paying a machine 50 cents for coffee, I should get more than a shot.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Nothing New

Nothing new to report. We stopped for pancakes on the way home from the hospital - if we couldn't come home with a baby, pancakes are an acceptable consolation prize. We arrived home around 3:15, 3:30-ish. The boys actually let us sleep in until around 7:30, and they've been playing hard ever since. Fortunately, they are very cute, and fortunately, I have a lot of coffee. We shall see.

The Wife is still active, and the labor is kind of working its way through its paces. She's not comfortable, but she is also not uncomfortable. I think we are going to go outside to play, then maybe for a very nice walk down the block for lunch or playing. Walking is good for her labor process, you know.

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Temporary Pause

Not quite false alarm, but we are headed back home. Don't fill up the party balloons quite yet.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Update: Heading In To Hospital

So, we're about to leave for the hospital. The Wife's contractions are getting closer together and just about at that magical 5-minute mark. They are definitely uncomfortable and all-encompassing. She says they shifted to "real" contractions a few hours ago. Still had time for a saxophone lesson and for a conference call board meeting for one of my choruses, and a nice run, and some chase-The-Boy-around-the-house time.

Gonna be a long night. Stay tuned for more updates.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Losing Your Hippy Card

I think Mum is temporarily forfeiting her hippy card, as she uttered this phrase to Little Bear tonight: "No more fruit for you. You need to save room for your cake!"

Other items of interest: The Boy found a rainbow on the wall because of the light refracting off of a Mylar balloon, and he liked having the rainbow reflect onto people's hands.

Happy birthday, darling!

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Logical Progression

No news on the baby front, although The Wife thinks that there's some motion towards goal. No pain yet, no discomfort; just some moving around. I can certainly understand and appreciate her annoyance with the whole "is the baby here yet?" questions, as I'm rapidly growing tired answering the same questions. Price of life, however, and I do consider myself lucky that so many people care enough about us to ask.

Last night was a wonderful Little Bear moment for me. Around 11:15, right in the middle of watching the season premiere of Eureka, he woke up and flipped out. I mean, a five-alarm wig out, for sure. Since the wife is as gravid as she is, I went upstairs to see what I could do. He was sitting in his bed, screaming his head off.

There was no body pain, watching him move around. He's not normally afraid of the dark, so I guessed that he had a scary dream. I picked him up, and he snuggled his head right into my shoulder and began to calm himself. It was really quite nice, as he has been doing a really good job of snuggling with Daddy lately. He calmed down and wanted to get back into bed, so I tucked him in and asked, "Do you want Daddy to stay or to go?" Usually, he picks the second option of any choice that you give him. He thought about it for about a minute and a half, then he whispered in his cute, tiny voice, "Daddy stay."

Unlike almost every other time, he fell asleep after a few minutes. Quite cute, quite engaging, and moving beyond belief.

This morning, he was playing with Mum but kept asking, "Where's Daddy?" He would then come and find me, give me a hug, and resume playing. I guess his bad dream had something to do with me last night.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Early Morning Consequences

The largest unintended, unanticipated consequence of potty training Little Bear has been the earlier morning starts around the house. Before potty training, he would play in his room for a long time, sometimes making his way back to bed and back to sleep until the preferred wakeup time of 7:30am. Now that he is starting to understand the whole going-to-the-potty thing, he's starting to find some of the loopholes in the system. Now, at 6:15am for the past week, he's opened his door and said, "Need go potty!" repeatedly until someone goes to get him and take him to the potty. At that point, he's awake.

Unlike his brother, he won't snuggle with us in bed and watch a show except for rare occurrences, so this set of activities usually means all or most of the family is awake. Most of the mornings, The Wife has let me sleep an extra half hour or so, which is quite nice of her.

Mind you, he's still not quite getting the poo thing, which can be kind of annoying and gross, but it's not the worst thing in the world. He's doing a much, much better job of asking to go to the potty than The Boy did for the first six months of his own potty training.

I know that we need to get used to the whole early morning wakeup thing for when the new baby arrives, but that isn't the point. I'm just starting to wonder if there is a problem with Little Bear waking up so early and not going back to sleep, or if the problem is with us and our refusal to adjust our schedule to something a little more young-child-friendly.

Still, this whole lack of snuggling thing is starting to get old. With the older one, he will sit on your lap and let you catnap while he watches a show. Little Bear? Not so much, and it's annoying. If your catnap is less than five minutes, then he's good. Again, this is area that starts to look vaguely like something that is our problem and not his problem.

I think we are trying to keep him awake a little longer at night so that he sleeps later in the morning, but I'm not certain that that is going to work. We shall see.

As far as the new baby goes, no motion on that front. The Wife is starting to get really sick of the whole baby thing, mostly in regards to the whole talking-about-it area. She's tired of telling people that nothing is happening despite the due date being three days in the future, and she's tired of the constant observances by others that she's very, very pregnant-large. Yes, she knows. She's tired of hearing it. I certainly understand this; I just reread my post from 2009 about how tiresome it was to have to relate The Boy's whole treatment schedule to people when I spoke with them.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011


The Boy, as I've outlined before, absolutely loves letters and loves words and reading. His usable vocabulary of reading words is really quite large for a not-quite-four year old; I'm fairly certain that it's in the 150-200 range. He can usually pick out words out of context and tell me what they are. Thinking about it, he might be closer to 100 than 200, but not by much. He's quite a bit ahead of his grade level, so to speak.

One thing that he likes to do is take the iPhone, swipe over to the search screen (the screen to the left of the home screen), and type words into the keyboard that pops up. It's fun for him, and he will type sentences into the machine to see what happens. He usually separates words with periods, so he might type "," or something similar.

On several occasions, I've been text messaging my father while watching a baseball game or, in last night's fun, the barbershop contest. The Boy got ahold of my phone while I was distracted and started to type his sentences into the machine and pressing the bright blue button that cleared the line for him. Of course, that sends my father a text message. The first couple of times that he got texts saying "TheBoy," or "play," or "ball," he was understandably confused. Now, he rolls with it and will actually play along and send back text messages with words that The Boy knows. It's cute.

Last night, I got The Boy to text, "love.grandpa," which won him some points. Dad texted back, "love The Boy," which was appreciated.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Any Minute Now? Almost.

This morning, The Wife and I dropped The Boy off at camp and went to her normally scheduled checkup at the obstetrician's office. There's no unusual movement yet, just the normal stuff. We are officially at 39 weeks, with the due date next Wednesday, so we are officially on any minute now notice. We aren't expecting anything to happen soon (in the next day or so), particularly considering our history. The Boy, as you'll remember, was born ten days late. The Wife went into labor with Little Bear on the due date, giving birth the next day.

From there, we went to a northern suburb. This is a similar commute to my second New Jersey job, where there was no way to get there from home. It's about an hour's trip. The interesting thing? They had two jobs, and the principal (who seemed like a cool guy) interviewed us both at the same time. It was an interesting experience, working with my wife in that regards, because we play off of each other nicely. I think we make a really good team, and if we ever had the chance to work together... watch out!

The interview went well, then, although due to the vagaries of vacations, administrative furloughs, and Board meetings, we won't hear anything for a few weeks.

From the interview, we went and picked The Boy up at school. Grandma generously provided for him to stay at school in an afternoon session, which was called "cooking class." They cooked banana flavored mini muffins, then spent a long time playing outside. When we got there, The Boy was tired, hot, sweaty, and happy. He didn't like the muffin that he made, but he was happy to share it. He got quite upset when we left, even more so when we realized that we left his yellow construction hat at school. Nap time, indeed.

Little Bear, meanwhile, stayed home with Grandma and Aunt J. He made his first ever poo on the potty, which was a huge deal. When we got home, he even went to the potty twice for me, which he hadn't done before. The second time, he didn't even complain! Again, a huge victory for my wife. We aren't over the hill in the potty training thing, but we have at least started the way up and caught sight of the crest.

Barbershop convention and competition is live this week from Kansas City. Should be fun to hear!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Two years ago, we welcomed Little Bear into our lives amidst a flurry of crap: The Boy being admitted for another staph infection AND a port replacement surgery; Little Bear being brutally yanked from our arms and put underneath the ultraviolet lights; a family conflict that rapidly spun out of control and has had significant impact to this day; and, because of St. Barnabas's open hostility and resentment towards him and us, necessitated an emergency drop-all-and-move to Pittsburgh.

Now, he's a big dude: as tall as his brother, almost, and working his way up the hill towards potty trained. He is somewhat verbal and definitely opinionated, and he is Grandpa D's best buddy. He loves swings and Super Why, and he loves shapes like The Boy loves letters. He's even started asking us to draw shapes for him on any available surface! The fact that a two year old will ask us to draw a trapezoid still boggles the mind, and he gets mad if we draw a hexagon instead of an octagon. Today, when it was time for his nap, he told Mum, "I too old!"

Oh, boy. Something tells me that when he's almost four, like his brother, he won't be snuggling up nicely for a rest with Mum or Daddy.

He went to school for the first time without diapers, and he did a nice job. No accidents, although he created some dampness in front when he didn't quite make it in time. (That doesn't really count. We all have days like that.) I'm very proud of him. Mum even made cupcakes for all of the kids, which was a nice touch. They went over quite well.

He's even doing quite well with his puzzles. He does a hand-shaped puzzle quite easily now, particularly since he figured out that the numbers on the fingers correspond to the order in which they occur. He loves the Melissa and Doug wooden puzzles, which made shopping for his birthday quite easy. One wooden puzzle, and one wooden train from the craft fair where my new chorus performed last weekend.

I'm going to miss his birthday dinner tonight, because I have a saxophone lesson to teach followed by chorus rehearsal, but that's okay. He's awake from his nap - time for duty!

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Catching Up

I think this might be the longest I've ever gone in between blog posts, particularly since I have no good reason for neglecting my writing. There's been no hospital visits, other than well checkups for The Wife's pregnancy; there's been no excitement around the house, other than Little Bear's birthday party last weekend; and there's just been no drama around us. None of that is a bad thing, and other than the utter lack of movement in the employment front, things are good.

The biggest news is that Mum has decided to start the potty training process with Little Bear. He's ready, physically, in the sense that he has shown the ability to wake up from a nap dry and to go an hour or two in a diaper without dirtying it up. So, on Friday, she started the difficult and labor-intensive process of potty training a preverbal toddler. Basically, she ran him to the potty every 20 minutes and when he started squirming or grabbing at himself. The first day, much more miss than hit; second day was better; third day, yesterday, had no pee accidents at all. He's reticent about pooping on the potty, as are many children. Not too much of a big deal; it's not like we've got to deal with explosive chemo-poo or antibiotic-poo like we did with The Boy. Her general feelings on the matter were that she would rather deal with an infant and a potty-training toddler than try to train him when the new baby is mobile and curious. We had to wait with The Boy, for treatment-related reasons: chemo-pee during Diaper Hell time (that 24 hour period post-chemo when his body was peeing out the medication) could have seriously injured all of us.

I'm easy, I guess. I don't really have his signals matched up very well yet, and he's not really comfortable enough to use the potty for me, but give it time. It'll get there, particularly the longer he's doing it with me as a host. It's a little frightening how quickly he's taking to it. Put one in the win column for my wife, who again surprises and delights me with her ideas and work ethic. I married above my head, for sure.

Our anniversary went past, last week, the day after Little Bear's birthday party. We went out to dinner and discussed baby names. Not sure what we are going to call the little man yet. Hey, You! is definitely an option that is on the table. Seven years of marriage have passed; the first four in a flash, the last three in a slow, laborious process - not because of us, because of cancer.

The other excitement was that Grandpa and Mum took the boys to an outdoor concert, and The Boy escaped from custody and went wandering (the Wandering Jew strikes again). After interrupting the concert for help, they discovered that about 50 people at the show knew who he was, so a massive boy hunt happened. They found him splashing and swimming the fountain at the park. Good front? He had taken his shoes and socks off before he went swimming. Bad front? Still had his hearing aids on. Sigh. Now it is funny; not so much at the time.

Well, The Boy and I are going to Point State Park for fireworks tonight. Grandpa might or might not come. It will be fun, for sure.

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