Thursday, December 23, 2004


David is sitting on my lap while I eat a cranberry-walnut bagel.
Between bites, he holds the bagel and gnaws on it. Jaime looks him
over as I finish.

Jaime: "You are covered in crumbs."
Me: "That's so he can find himself."

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


They have finally marketed the cardboard box. Now I know what to get David for Christmas (next year).

Props to The Morning News for the 411.

kid o : Modern Design for Children: "A simple yet magical piece of plastic that unlocks passion, creativity, and curiosity. Children find endless uses for Bilibos: they lie under them, fill them with things, rock in them, spin around in them, and use them as theater props. Great for hand-eye coordination, motor skills, balance, and imagination. "

david jaime jason

I'm just testing the "blog this!" feature of my blog by blogrolling my own blog. Whether you understand or don't, you can ignore this post.

david jaime jason: "He is still cute as a whip. He smiles and laughs, babbles, plays and shows genuine interest in you. His bright eyes garner a constant stream of compliments when we are in public. As long as his diaper has been changed, he thinks win/win. He seeks first to understand; he synergizes. In short, he is becoming a highly effective baby. "

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

david's birthday would be on thursday

Reading Metafilter, I saw this article about a proposal for a new calendar.

I think it is intriguing, so I am sharing.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Superman no more

I am sorry to report that it has not been a good week for our hyperactive super baby. While he may have the strength of ten normal babies, his reflexes and abilities to problem solve are still at the eight month old level.

Our week began with a trip to the doc on Monday due to his instant healing super powers failing. He now has three meds to control the over abundant mucus production he likes to maintain. While two of the meds don't seem to have strong side effects the liquid Albutorol sure does rev him up. Shake, shake, shake, ...... shake, shake, shake, .... shake your groove thang.....

A few days later he decided to test out his super baby strength on a wire shelf at the babysitters. Needless to say the shelf was over powered by David but came back in the last round to inflict a nasty knot on top of his round melon. Both contenders suffered a TKO and a repair crew was needed to reinsert the shelf.
Later that same day he lost control while trying to stand in the bathroom and introduced the back of his head to the top of the floor.

Not to be over done, the next day at the sitters he got his first bloody nose from a face first dive onto the floor.

Last night he discovered the true meaning of gravity. Another head first slide off the bed onto the floor. No knot, just a nice sized redspot.

Please pray for Christmas that David discovers the true meaning of gravity or regains his super powers.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


David has had cold symptoms since Thanksgiving. Recently they have
gotten worse and we slept less Friday, Saturday, and Sunday than when
he was a newborn. Miserable.

Jaime took him to the doctor's yesterday. She diagnosed him with "baby
asthma." She really didn't elaborate. Suffice to say that he has some
allergies and breathing problems that are exacerbated by respiratory
problems like a cold. It is hard for him to shake off colds and the

She prescribed an antihistamine. It is gray, but he loves it. She
also prescribed a nose spray. He doesn't love it so much.

I was pretty distraught by the diagnosis. Visions went through my head
of David sitting by the window looking out on all the other kids in the
neighborhood having snowball fights--a wheezing, sniffling child unable
to enjoy the outdoors because of constant breathing problems.

Then, we gave him his medicine and slept ALL NIGHT.

I felt much better. At this point, he can sit in a plastic bubble if
it would allow us some extra sleep.

Later, wheezers

Friday, December 10, 2004

funny, but trashy, story

David spends his mornings at a baby-sitter's now because we don't love
him enough. She told me this story when I picked him up today:

She lets him hang out in a walker, which he loves. Apparently from
this walker, he can reach the kitchen trashcan--a white, plastic
affair with a pivoting lid. He will reach out and pull it to himself,
but can't really do anything beyond that, so he releases it. As it
falls back into place, it smacks the wall and the lid pops off. Then
he can pull it to himself again, reach in, and dig around. She watched
him do this three times.

The cat is way jealous.

sit-ups, skooches

Yesterday evening David FINALLY moved himself from being on his tummy
to sitting upright on his bottom. He has been struggling for a couple
of weeks. He would get in a reclining position, leaning on one arm,
and push and push, but just couldn't get upright. Now he is all about
sitting up, playing with something, laying down, scooting across the
room to something new, sitting up, and playing with it.

All that is left is crawling (and gainful employment).

I have concluded that our slick floors work against us in two ways:

Firstly, they make it more difficult to keep his knees beneath him.
Secondly, they remove much of the incentive to try. He can get around
pretty good with his little soldier scoot. Actually, "wounded soldier
scoot." I noticed that when he scoots along he only pulls himself
forward with his right arm. Sometimes he will grab his right wrist
with this left hand to assist, but he never puts the left arm out to
pull himself forward with it. I also noticed that he picks up more
Cheerios with his left hand. I should point out that his grandpa Brice
is ambidextrous--he powers with his right hand (batting, pitching) and
details with his left (keeping score).

later, score keepers

clapping to please

Here is something that I have noticed with a couple of different
children: once they have learned something that pleases you, they will
try it out at odd times to see if they can get the positive reactions.
As an example, I'll use . . . David!

I mentioned earlier that he learned to clap, which earns cheers from us
all. So, out of the blue he'll clap and look at me like "are you going
to cheer?" But it gets more interesting. He now claps when upset. He
now hates being on the changing table because it interferes with
sticking every object in the house into his mouth. So when I lay him
down and start to undress him (which he hates) he'll whine, and then
start to clap. I assume that he is trying to turn the situation
around. "Dad is putting clothes on me, he must hate me, I'll clap to
win his favor." I've been doing some work with a learning-disabled
toddler who is struggling to learn speech. Every new word is cause for
celebration. When asked to do something he has not yet learned (or
just doesn't want to do) he will point to something that he knows the
word for and identify it.

Me: "What sound does a dog make?"
Him, pointing to the clock: "clock!"

In grown-up terms it is something like this:

Press: "Why is the economy in the hole?"
President: "I unified this nation after 9/11."

or, to be fair:

Press: "How are you going to get the economy out of this hole?"
Candidate: "three purple hearts!"

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

yell. . .yell . . . yell . . .

Something Dooce said reminded me of something David does that I didn't
tell you about.

David has discovered that his voice is louder and more powerful in the
large, acoustically superior nave of the church. So he yells. Short,
sharp "uh"s. Over and over.

When I was childless, other people's kids would do this and the parents
would scuttle the offender out of the room so as not to disturb anyone.
This always made me feel bad. I am pro-child in church. A nave full
of squirming, barking toddlers is the sound of worship as far as I am

So, when David discovered that he could be just as loud as the guy in
the brocade cape, I knew that I had to just stay put out of principle.
I had to visualize roots growing out of my feet into the ground in
order to make myself stay put, though.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

general-purpose update

I haven't blogged in awhile about the boy. He is developing fast, so I have a lot cover.

David can get where ever he wants by sckooching on his tummy like that plastic soldier crawling on the ground with the rifle in his hand. If you squint, you can almost see the barbed wire over his head. This mobility means lots of new things to explore, like my books, and he tries to follow the dogs around. It also means a greater understanding of possession. Not only does the thing in his hand belong to him, so does anything he sees that he may be able to get to. When he is prevented, he gets really irate. For instance, while sitting in my lap, he gets ticked off when he can't have my plate or my glass.

His extended index finger is the body part of the day. It is now the first thing that he uses to explore new objects (the second is still his mouth). He can switch the lightswitch off and play with the various knobs and levers on a toy we borrowed from a friend. As mentioned before, he can stand himself up in his crib, but not really anything else yet.

He eats all of the strained vegetables and applesause. We are working on solid foods, but he doesn't quite have the hang of it. Cheerios are the only thing in the world he will NOT put in his mouth. During his meals I give him a small bowl with the Cheerios in it. He grabs handfulls and flings them around as the dogs gather under the highchair. He will get a bunch of them on his tray and slam his hand down to watch them jump around. He will take his index finger and press down on one until it shoots out onto the floor. I will sneak one into his mouth occationally. He keeps up his playing but gets a perturbed look on his face while he moves his jaw around. After several seconds, a mushy Cheerio will work its way through his lips into his lap. Occationally, it goes the other way until he gags and throws up. Sometimes, it stays put until it disolves enough to be swallowed. Bits of teething biscuit, zwieback toast, and communion bread meet the same fate.

One upper tooth broke through yesterday.

He has a word--"Mamamamama," but it doesn't mean the same thing to him that it means to you. It is the sound he makes when he is upset and we don't stop doing whatever is upsetting him, such as changing his clothes. He is very consistant about saying it at these distressed times, and only then. To him, this sound has meaning--the definition of "word." As a word, it is sort of redundant since we can gather that he is upset from the crying and thrashing.

He still is waking twice during the night for a substancial meal. I look forward to an uninterupted night's sleep like the end of a drought.

General charming demeanor
He is still cute as a whip. He smiles and laughs, babbles, plays and shows genuine interest in you. His bright eyes garner a constant stream of compliments when we are in public. As long as his diaper has been changed, he thinks win/win. He seeks first to understand; he synergizes. In short, he is becoming a highly effective baby.

subdeacon tikhon no more

Today, Subeacon Tikhon was ordained to the diaconate. He is now Father Deacon Matthew Thurman.



God Grant You Many Years.

Few men have the oportunity to become fathers twice in as many weeks. If he can father a major theological movement by the end of the month, he will win the paternity trifecta.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Thursday, November 25, 2004


Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


You should know by now what the all-caps "congrats" means. That's right, a new baby.

Benjamin James Thurman was born today to Subdeacon Tikhon and Rachel Thurman at 3:49 pm eastern. The baby is 8 lbs 8 oz, 20 inches long. Mother, father, and baby are doing well.

May God grant them all many many years.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

open letter

Today, David spent the day with Grandma Susie, who is in the state for Thanksgiving. In his bag Jaime included this letter:

For those that are not the Momma,

I would like to start with a disclaimer. I am going through a rough time. Doctors tell me it might be awhile before I get better and this "spell" could last until my early thirties. I ask for your forgiveness and understanding.

Contained in my bag are three containers of baby food, bottles, and formula, and one container each of rice and oatmeal. Please microwave my food for ten seconds, but not the bottles. I'm picky and distacted when I eat. If I fuss a lot, I probably want water or diluted juice. If I start to gag and throw-up, I've either had enough or I don't like the consistancy. I don't eat fast and I like you to talk, sing, or make silly noises. Remember, you are my floor show, make it good.

After you microwave the food, stir it with the spoon. If the food is too hot, then spoon will turn white. If this happens, just test it with your finger and use your judgement.

Keys to success:

Naps! Good luck :-).

Right now, I am a pill and have no nap routine. Some days I sleep 20 minutes two-or-three times. Other days, I sleep for one-to-three hours twice a day.

If I am overly fussy and not hungry and/or rubbing my eyes, try to put me down.

Because my parents love me so much (and are idiots) I still need to be held/rocked/accompanied to sleep. If you don't have a rocking chair, the best thing to do is lie down with me on the bed. I want to hod your hands and occationally grab your face. Usually, you will fall asleep first and then I will follow your lead.

It's a crap-shoot whether I will fall asleep in the car or not. Remember, I don't like lots of car rides in one day.

Mommy says I'm not supposed to grab faces, necks, hair, etc. So please take my hand and gently say, "no."


stand up and be counted

So, it happened like this: when I left him, he was sitting.

I had to use the restroom. Sometimes, I take him to the bathroom with me figuring that someday he is going to have to learn things that I am uniquely qualified to teach. But this time he couldn't come and everyone else was busy, so I set him in his crib facing his toy that hangs on the side with the switches and levers that he loves. He was happy.

When I returned, he was standing at the end of the crib facing me and smiling.

I called to mom in the next room, "mom, did you stand David up?"


I yelled downstairs to Jaime, "did you stand David up?"


He did it himself and he was darn pleased with himself.

I have been waiting for this. He has been trying hard for a week or so and we have been very careful to raise the gate after we put him down so that he doesn't pull himself up and over and down head-first.

Interestingly, he cannot sit up on his own yet so we are still not at the point where he will be waking up and then standing to let us know about it. But he is on the way.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

good quote

. . . an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy, . . . and considered only in its quality, it might almost equally well be called a particular kind of unhappiness or grief. But then it is a kind we want. I doubt wether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures of the world. But then Joy is never in our power and pleaure often is.

--C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Friday, November 12, 2004


I am agonizing over a decision.

I haven't been blogging about what is going on with my state of employment since the museum closed. Basically, I decided a couple of months ago that I would like to be a freelance writer and have been doing the research to see if it is feasible or not. Freelance writers write all the words that get you through life but that you basically ignore--brochures, marketing stuff, annual reports, newsletters, Web copy, ad, copy, whatever copy (and quite a bit journalism and magazine writing, but that is lower-paying). I've been writing, editing, and producing this kind of stuff (except journalism) for years now in my various jobs. It's something I enjoy, and there is a market for freelancers.

The main reason is this: in about five (less that four-and-a-half!!) years, David will be ready for formal education. I would like to give him that education myself. Chances are, Jaime's Social Work degree is not going to support our family by itself, so I will need part-time income. My goal is to work full-time for five years and then be able to cut to part-time and still earn enough per hour to contribute to the family income. Ideally, Jaime and I would both have part-time-but-good-paying jobs and we would both share the schooling, but those jobs are few and far far between. (Also, I hope that writing regularly will hone my skills and contribute positively to my writing novels someday, when the kids are in school or jail or whatever gets them out of the house.)

As part of my research I took a class on creating a business plan and starting up a business. This 36-hour class is a requirement for someone wanting a small business loan from the Chamber of Commerce. I wasn't intending to get a loan, but took the class because I wanted to start my business right. In the process of taking the class, I have put together a fairly comprehensive cash-flow report, and it has me depressed. With modest expectations for startup income, minus expenses and a very low salary (barely what unemployment insurance pays me), I will have to run a deficit for the first eight or nine months.

That is standard business, I know. But it poses two problems for me: 1) I hate debt; I loath it. Debt is the #1 reason that I haven't really ever been interested in being an entrepreneur. 2) I have an unreasonable amount of unsecured debt--especially for someone who hates debt soooo much. It's mainly wedding and Cambridge debt, and it's way below the national average, but it don't like it. Plus, as soon as Jaime graduates, that will be more school debt. Even though I currently own four cars (more on that later), they are not worth much so I am not sure that I could get a small business loan if I wanted too--even by the liberal standards of the COC.

I have this vision of myself in six months or five years failing in this business and being saddled with so much debt that I have to miss large chunks of my children's lives working to get it paid off.

If you have read this far, bless your little heart. You have to be wondering, "so, what is your point? What are you going to do?"

Funny, I am wondering the same thing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

backlog cont.--congratulations to the Dales

Me, I'm a looser. At the end of September, our friends Jason and Amy Dale had a baby. Not only did I not post in a timely manner, I lost the email with the details (date, weight, length). But I have this picture of me holding the baby a week later:

Yes, the father is named Jason and the baby is named David. We are greatly admired and often imitated in our little community.

later imitator

let's have a big round of applause

I've been paying "Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, bakers man" with David for months--clapping my hands and clapping his hands--because a book told me to and we are pretty much raising David by the book. He enjoys it, but hasn't shown any real aptitude for the manual dexterity needed to participate. He couldn't clap.

I just finished a 36-hour business course and we had a "graduation" ceremony Monday evening. Jaime and David went. You can perfectly imagine the event--men and women in suits giving inspirational speeches about how most of us will fail but we shouldn't feel bad about that because failure is part of success--even though most of us will never succeed unless we change our definition of success to "my wife didn't divorce me for bankrupting us"--and being an entrepreneur is so great. There were about three-dozen of these short speeches followed by applause.

I've mentioned before that I think Topekans like to applaud more than average and this evening was no exception. At one point I looked down at David on my lap and realized "hey, he is a Native Topekan, look at him applaud." Yep, he was clapping his little hands. Now, it's his new trick.

But he is not content just to clap. What he really likes to do is just grasp his hands in front of his face and hold them there. This cracks him up. He grabs them and giggles and laughs about what he has accomplished.

David: "Look! I and hold this thing here with this other thing and that thing with that other thing! Cool!

Me: "Yes, David, very cute, now move them so I can put food in your mouth. Come-on, just lower them a bit"--smack!

David: "Look! I can smack things like that spoon and then go back to holding these things like this!"

I also forgot to mention that he can finally shove his toes into his mouth, but that was weeks ago.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

backlog cont.--labor day

We spent Labor Day weekend in Salina with Grandpa Brice. On Monday, we visited Lindsborg, where Uncle Cory goes to school. Lindsborg is a beautiful little town with a great park.

The city mascot is the Dala Horse, shown here with David and Grandpa Brice.

David's first (and second) swing in a park.

We also visited Bethany College, where Cory goes to school. The highlight (after sneaking into Cory's dorm room and rearranging)was the gym, where Grandpa Brice and I played "Stroller Catch." I think this should replace Dwarf Tossing as the international sport of choice.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

C is for cookie

Last night I read through the "baby manual" to find the answer to the question:
Why is my son eating soooooo much?!
Never found the answer but what I did find was a shock. At 7 months he could be eating chicken and fish and crackers and porterhouse steaks.......

"W" I bought the wrong kind of greenbeans the other day and he won't eat those unless you blend them up again. It has little pieces of rice in it that he gags on.

So the book says to get the new textures in now because as he gets older it will be more difficult. This morning I tried oatmeal. I cooked it up, put it in the baby food processor and gave him some. Gag, Gag, Gag.

We tried a cracker next. He picked it up, rotated it in his little hands, making sure to hold his pinkie finger out, and then stuck it in his mouth. As he broke off chunks of the cracker he would make a face and let the pieces fall out of his mouth.

It was like watching Cookie Monster eat in slow motion.

Lets hope next time some of it stays in.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

backlog 2--balloons

Back in early September, David, Skylar, and I went to the hot-air balloon rally out at the lake. Here are a few images.

We miss you too, Aunt Skylar

Shopping for the 21st century

One day Grandma Suzie called me and said she wanted to get David some Old Navy clothes she had found online on sale. In a matter of moments I jumped online and joined her at the Old Navy site. We spent the next 30 minutes looking at cute outfits and complaining that everything we wanted was not availible in his size. In the end we found some cute things, grandma ordered them and had them shipped to me. A few days later David's new clothes arrived and there was much rejoicing.

And now Skylar is a Victoria's Secret girl. Oh the fun that shall be had. Call me and meet me online. I can't wait.

So, for all you new and soon to be parents with family in far off places. Give 'em a call, catch up on current events and then shop til you drop and have them ship it right to your front door.

For dinner tonight David ate 6oz of Squash and 4oz of peas with 4oz of diluted apple juice to wash it down.

Grandpa Alex and I have named his tapeworm Bob.

In talking with a coworker I came up with a cheap solution. Remember the little pill thingies you could buy. When you put them in water they would inflate into foam shapes like dino's or barn yard animals. I think tomorrow night I will give David one of those to take up space in his tummy and give Bob something to play with.

Happy Birthday Grandma Carla & Grandpa Alex! Thank you so much for everything!


I took David to the polling station today. He was content until I got to the booth. I turned my back on him and just as I started marking the ballot, he started to cry.

I turned to comfort him: "It's ok, your mom will come this afternoon and cancel my vote anyway."

step two

I don't remember learning how to crawl, so I am not clear how to help David along.

I posted quite awhile ago that he went from a sitting to a crawling (to a hitting the floor with his face) position and he has kept that up. However, if he doesn't fall on his face, he just lays on his tummy.

Today, he was on his tummy on our bed when pushed himself up onto his hands and knees and rocked back-and-forth several times. Then, when I put him down for a nap, he hit the mattress with his hands and knees and remained that way for a moment. I have previously not been able to get him to do that.

So next is learning to do that contrapostal thing with his shoulders and hips while lifting alternate knees and arms. How does someone who has never used his arms and legs for locomotion, and who has never seen someone crawl, figure that out?


David has barfed on me, peed on me, drooled on me, coughed on me with a mouth full of strained peas, and he has gummed me--alot.

Today he did something new.

He bit me.

He grabbed my finger, shoved it into his mouth so that the knuckle is right in the middle, and then chomped down.

Actually, he chomped up, two new, little, barely-visible teeth sinking just far enough in to make me yelp.


keeping pace

In that last email, Jaime was complaining that her post took several days to actually appear on the blog. Sometimes we post by sending an email to blogger. Lately that doesn't seem to be working, so by the time you get the information, it is outdated.

David now eats like a fiend. This morning, he ate a full jar of green beans and half a jar of peas. An hour later, he drank 8 oz. of formula. We are trying to figure out just how much to feed him. The doctor says he won't over eat. If he is eating, he needs the food. But the problem is, when he is hungry, he SCREAMS for food. Then, he will eat enough to satisfy him to the point that he is distracted by the dogs, shadows, curtains, bugs, whatever, but he hasn't necessarily eaten enough to fill him up so that he can go more than a couple hours before he needs to SCREAM again.

This is a particular problem at night.

Again, the doctor said that if he is waking in the night out of habit just to nibble, then he needs to be taught to just sleep through the night. By seven months, a baby should not need to eat at night. Well, maybe 90% of babies don't need to eat at night, but up at the 97th percentile, babies appearantly need to eat at night--six-to-ten ounces every two-to-four hours. The doctor says that if he is eating that much, then he needs it.

So now we are being more persistent during the day. Instead of holding back and stopping just when he seems done, we are being more insistent. Even so, we can't keep pace--at the dinner table or on the blog.

Later, famished fans.

Not always what they seem....

OK, that last post was sent a WEEK ago and FINALLY posted.  Stupid internet.
He eats a lot more than a tablespoon.  He is up to almost a half a jar a sitting.  And no matter how much begging and pleading we do he will not eat the cereal.  If we want to see projectile vomiting for old times sake we give him some, but other than that we have given up on it.  Next week is mom's all time fav, green beans.
So, the teeth.  Teeth.  Teeth.  Teeth.  Teeth. 
The word has lost all meaning to me.   Teeth.
I used to love teeth.  Bright shinny teeth.  Grandpa O plays with teeth all day.  Keeps em nice and smooth.  Love the teeth.  Alas, no more.
Teeth are evil.  Vile.  Loud.  Screaming.  Pain in the.........
And not just evil in a, put your pinkie finger to the corner of your mouth Evil.  I'm talkin' total and complete evil.  The kind that keeps you up ALL NIGHT LONG.  With the screaming and the screaming and the spitting the bink out with the force of a bullet.
After a while your finger ventures in and you discover a new feeling.  The top of the tooth. 
Hooray!  It's hear!, you scream.  It broke the skin.  The sun is shinning.  The fuss is over.  Life is back to normal.
Your tongue counts the number of teeth you have in your head and you realize you have that many more nights x3 of the screaming and the screaming and the spitting the bink out with the force of a bullet.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Goodbye financial stability, hello to lots of babies.

Sunday, October 31, 2004


At Ss Peter and Paul we have a "Family Fun Night" every October 31st. The feature event is that the children (and a few adults) dress up as their favorate saints. We have a little show in which each person give the audience clues to guess which saint they are.

We dressed David up. The clue was Matthew 2:18. He are the photos:

(I'm not sure what's up with Jaime)

"Et tu? " Getting ready before the show.

Later, innocents

what david eats

Carrots were a debacle.

Peas got off to a rough start, but he eventually came around. After a
week of peas, we introduced squash.

"Squash, David. David, Squash"

Squash, "Eat me"

David, "pthptptptptp"

But he took to it quite nicely after a couple of sittings. Now we he
sits for an actual meal from a spoon two or three times a day. This
meal consists of maybe a tablespoon of strained squash, peas, and/or
rice cereal, and a bottle.

The bottle is still pretty important--four-to-six ounces every
two-and-a-half to three hours. At bed time, he often demands an extra
bottle. We can get him down between 7:30 and 8:30 and he will sleep
for four to seven hours, wake up, demand a bottle, and then sleep
another four or hours demand another bottle and then sleep until we
wake him around 8:00 am.

The books say that he should be able to get through the night without a
meal. The Doctor says that if he is eating a full bottle, then he
needs it. If he were just "munching"--eating a couple of ounces for
comfort, then we should start trying to get him to skip it. So, we are
waiting for the big day when the "munching" begins so that we can spend
a couple of weeks trying to get him to learn to sleep through the night.

Later, peas and squash fans.

Friday, October 29, 2004

global identity disorder syndrom

I can't wait for Psych Post-Grads to start doing papers on the effects of growing up with parents who blogged about you.

And I can see the freshman Social Work Classes now:

"I'm the child of bloggers myself, so I want to learn how to help other children of bloggers."

Later, psychos.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


I have a tremendous number of photographs backlogged that I have been meaning to get onto the blog. I am going to attempt to get them all up over the course of the next week or so. That way, you can stop complaining.

This was taken back during Labor Day weekend by Grandpa Brice. He sent it in response to my complaint that David never smiles for the camera.

This is also one dad took that weekend with Aunt Skylar--this was our last weekend together before she left.

More to come.

Achtung! Boy, it's October and I have already found what I'm looking for

You may begin your Christmas shopping now.


Several months back, I lamented the loss of my reading partner to the the great cycle of life.

Well, after months of gestation and blogging, Val and Ed's Excellent Adventure has come to an end. Now begins their super somnambulance. I hope it's everything they ever hoped for, times two.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

proof of life

We got 'da the tigger.

You got 'da cash?

Sunday, October 24, 2004


Aunt Skylar sent the following email to a bunch of people today. Oddly, she didn't post it to her blog, which is too bad because it speaks volumes. So I am posting it for her--because I care:

"I need a HUGE favor from one member of this e-mail group. My Tigger costume[1] is in the basement of Grandma H's house in (I think) one of the large blue bins. I need someone to HELP and fish it out and mail it to me. The box it not in the hand and I'm not sure which box that is in. If you see it great if not that's great too. Halloween is Sunday and Pernille[2] has never done Halloween and I did not know we would be doing halloween this year so I did not bring it.

"I will reimburse however mails it to me. PLEASE HELP. I know this is an inconvenience but I would appreciate it. Also, please talk to each other about this so that someone is not looking for it when someone else got it. Maybe if one person found it one person could mail it. Grandma V knows what to use to get it here quick and cheap.



(1) Yes, my 25-year-old sister has a full Tigger (from Whinny (sp?) the Poo (sp?)). I haven't seen it. My wife is super-jealous of it. These are the women in my life.

(2) Pernille is the Dane who lives with the Trospers (where Skylar is living), whom Skylar adores. Apearantly Pernille has never spoken her native language to Skylar, which would cause Skylar to cover her ears in pain and run screaming from the room. Or is that Finnish? I can't remember now. Oh, well, I've already said it and it's too late to be editing.

Later, desperate Tigger fans.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Our little freak

There has been an on going discussion in the Simmons/Gilbert house about David, his ultra freakishness this last week and the ever illusive teeth.  I have to admit that I don't carry much weight on the subject because I have been attributing all of his problems since JULY to his teeth.  But come on, one of these days I will be right and there will be a pearly white tooth to blame all our troubles on.
So for the record heres whats going on.  Almost two weeks ago there was the mysterious rash.  Possibly carrots, maybe not.  Then last Saturday the eye.  We still have an APB out for the arrest of Grover in connection with the incident but no sightings as of yet.  He ate like a high school quarter back on a growth spurt last week and is now refusing food for the most part.  Still has a slight rash on his tummy going down onto his legs.  Can't seem to sleep well until 7am.  And to top it off, tonight he threw up his toes.  At least thats how Grandma Carla described it. 
I refuse to accept that my son is a freak so until he becomes normal (around age 30) I will hold fast to this one fact.  Its the teeth.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

you should see the other guy

David woke this morning with a shiner. His right eye was swollen about 3/4 shut. We took him to the doctor, who looked him over and said that it was nothing to be alarmed about. Bring him back if he gets a fever or if whoever gave it to him returns with friends.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


At the doctor's office, we always get a handout listing what typical behaviors we can expect for our child at that moment's age. For six months, one of the items is that he is probably exressing emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, and disgust. Happy, sad, and angry we have seen, no problem.

But disgust?

I don't think that we had ever seen what we would define as "disgust".

Until we tried to feed him mushy carrots.


Then, he looked me straight in the eye with the most frowning sorrowful look. It said "but I thought you loved me, daddy".

Finally, he barfed.

Twenty minutes later, he developed a rash. While a rash from first exposure to carrots seems highly unlikely, there was no other change or new event that provides a more reasonable explanation. The best alternative explanation is that it was a coincidence and we will not know the cause. However, to be on the side of caution, Dr. Colburn, whom we imediately called at home, recommended holding off on carrots for a couple of months, and then trying again.

When the rash goes away, we'll try peas.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Six (-and-a-half)-month check-up

We went to Dr. Colburn for the six-month check-up.

David is going great. To begin with, he was measured and weighed.

Are you ready for this?

He is 29-inches long/tall
He weighs 19 lbs 5 oz

His height is in the NINETY-SEVENTH PERCENTILE. This is the same percentage as breast augmentation patients happy with the results of their surgery.. Only 3% of children his age are taller.

Dr. Colburn was amazed that he can sit up by himself without falling (from the exam table). She said that most babies his age cannot yet do this (I question the accuracy of that statement). She tested his eye coordination with a little sticker that has a smiley face on it. She moved it up and down and all around while he watch attentively, waiting for the right moment to grab it and shove it into his mouth. Then. . . THEN she moved the sticker down and under the blanket he was sitting on. He continued to look for it, pulling up the blanket. This was particularly impressive since babies his age usually have not worked out the concept of things existing that they cannot see. When she hid the sticker, he should have assumed that it disappeared from existance.

He got more shots. This time they added a flu shot. More accurately, because of the shortage of vaccine, he got YOUR flu shot. Of course he cried when they stuck him, but not as much as when he fell on the floor.

We will start him on solid (ish) food this week. I attempted to boil carrots to mash up, but got distracted trying to teach David how perform a triple lux and forgot about the carrots until they were charred. I bet he eats them anyway.

97% of you, stay tuned.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

all fours

It happened like this.

David was being the primary post-meal entertainment at a dinner party hosted by Fr. Joseph's family. We had moved to the floor-show portion of the evening wherein David demonstrates how well he can sit and chase his pacifier around just within arm's reach. The focus of conversation was speculating when and if he might crawl. Some thought soon. I said he may go directly to walking; we pointed out that he gets too little floor time with four adults in the house, and a bouncy, and a saucer, and a chair to fall from. We noted that he has never successfully gone from the sitting to crawling position.

At that point, he didn't actually look at us and say "oh yeah, watch this." He simply turned to his left, put his weight on his hands and tucked his knees under him.

He was in the crawling position.

We cheered and clapped. We were so elated that we didn't bother to react when he then tilted, swayed, and fell forward onto his face.

More wailing.

We may need the baby gates and outlet covers soon.

Stay tuned, crawling is coming.


He said it. Last night (1:00 am) on the changing table. Two "ga"s
followed by a "goo".

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

black things david cannot put in his mouth (much to his dismay)

The phone
Daddy's PDA
Daddy's cell phone
The mouse
Daddy's socks
Daddy's shoes
The TV remote
The DVD remote
The VCR remote
The stereo remote
The computer keyboard
The PDA keyboard
Daddy's satchel
Ladle, spatula, tongs, slotted spoon
Daddy's hair
Daddy's beard
Daddy's pen
The watch
The prayer rope

Monday, October 04, 2004

david's first fall from furniture

It happened like this.

I decided to film David solving the Two Pacifiers Problem. While
getting set up, the phone rang. David sits up swell now, so I felt
comfortable leaving him in the stuffed chair to answer the phone,
watching him while talking. During the conversation David took note of
the plant on the floor in front of the chair and dove for it figuring
that it probably tastes good. I shouted an explicative, dropped the
phone and lunged across the room. By the time I arrived, he had simply
laid himself on his tummy dangling his arm over the front edge of the
chair. I picked him up and finished the phone conversation with him
trying to eat the phone, the cord, my face, the lamp, the wall, the
table, etc.
I then finished setting him up and started filming. Towards the end,
he had solved the Problem, tasted the chair, played with the fringe on
the pillow and was looking around for something else to shove into his
mouth. Oh, yeah, the plant in front of the chair--LUNGE. This time,
though, I was not as frantic since he safely avoided falling the
previous time. So I actually took a fraction of a second to stop the
tape rolling. It was a fateful fraction. Oh bitter, bitter fraction.

Anyway, his head hit the floor first just as I caught the rest of him.

WAIL, deep breath, WAIL, deep breath, WAIL. Really, though, it only
lasted for a few minutes. He was more upset about being put to bed
this evening.

I felt terrible, worse than I thought I would. I had told myself that
a fifteen-inch fall would not kill him and it certainly would not be
his first. But the pitifully wounded cry tore me up. I felt terribly

He is over it, though, and is back to shoving the whole house into his

Later, pitifully wounded fans.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

the pacifier problem

"I have one binky in my mouth. So what do I do with this other one in
my hand?"

(if I can get a photo of him trying to solve this, I'll post it--jmg)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

i wish i could speak whale

You know that scene in the hit movie "Splash" when "Madison" (Daryl
Hanna) says her real name in her native language and the noise she
makes breaks all the TV screens? David can make that noise now. He
also has "ga-ga" (but not "goo-goo"), ma-ma, ba-ba, and

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Sorry that I am not posting as often these days.

I have recently switched computers.

and operating systems

and service providers.

It is easier to coordinate our nation's intelligence-gathering agencies That is the excuse the 9/11 commision could have used: "Well you see, the CIA was using WinXP, the FBI was using Mac OS X "Jaguar", the Clinton Whitehouse was using Linux, and "W" Switched everything to Dos and an old abacus."

I am super busy. Jaime and I now sit down weekly and schedule out EVERY HOUR of the following week, alotting blocks of time to each of us each day of uninterupted work at the computer while the other (or someone) occupies Mr. Gets-Bored-A-Lot.

David is now "high maintenance"--like a Frank Lloyd Wright building.

I have pictures--David's first experience of a swing and David's first contact with hot-air balloons. I will post them as soon as I load the photo software on this computer, transfer the images over, adjust them for your delicate connection, and get around to loading them to the Web.

Meanwhile, if you would like an accurate and up-to-date photo, do this: print a previous picture from this site or one of the links. Tape the picture to a can of paint; a gallon or a pint will work equally. Take the can of paint to Home Depot or the paint-purchasing venue of your choice. Ask them to place it on the paint shaker so that the photo is visable. Shake. That is about the level of energy and mobility we have achieved here.

Stay tuned busy fans.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

aunt skylar is leaving

Aunt Skylar told me back in July that she is leaving and I haven't posted about it. I have written several posts, but none of them seemed to actually express how I feel about this move.

When she told me, I cried. I cried for all the years that we have been together. I cried for all the time that we have NOT been together that I feel guilty about--time that I keep desperately hoping I will get a chance to make up for. Well, I can't make that time up. My kid sister who grew up to be my friend is leaving and I am going to be sorely lonesome.

I will keep a picture of her by David's bed always. And before he goes to bed, I wil read to him from her blog.

back in the saddle

I have fixed the recent problems with the image transfer on the blog. Now, the color of my son's poop is no longer left to your imagination.

later, imaginary fans.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

the giant new car seat

We graduated to the next size of car seat. The next size up is gargantuan. This is the last seat we will have to buy. It converts as he grows so that it will get him through college. But it is big. Gone are the days of pulling the car seat out and carrying David around by the handle. The car seat is now a permantant part of the truck--like an inoperable tumor.

This is now the routine: Carry David and all of his stuff to the truck. Dump stuff on floor of truck and set David in the back seat next to his giant new car seat. Climb into the back seat with David. Place him in his giant new car seat. Assemble the the various latches and binders while he whines. Climb out. Get into front seat. Arrive at destination. Pull stoller out of the back of the truck and open up. Climb into back seat. Disassemble the various latches and binders of the giant new car seat while David whines. Pull him out of the giant new car seat. Set him on the back seat next to the giant new car seat. Crawl out. Reach in and pull David out. Place him in the stroller. Assemble the various latches and binders while he whines.

Look around. If you happen to have a four-door automobile just lying about that you aren't using, please send it over.

later giant new car seat fans.


David has new laughs and new sylables. He is practically carrying on conversations. Really really funny conversations, apparantly.

When he sees me, he smiles. He wakes up in the morning and makes little sounds letting me know. I walk to his crib and he stares at me for a moment and then breaks into a smile. When he laughs and smiles, he scrunches his face, roles his eyes, pulls his knees up to his chin, his chin down to his knees, and puts his hands in his mouth. It is a totally bashful, delighted, full-bodied laugh. I get this laugh when I zerbert him, when I throw him in the air and catch him, and when we sing "Alouette."

I particularly like it when he smiles with his pacifier in his mouth. Hiding the mouth accentuates how much of the smile is in his eyes.

He has a different smile for the dog. That is a full-voiced guffah with the kicking legs and pumping arms. He strains and reaches for the dog, and if he gets it, he grabs it by the fur and tries to eat it.

We bought him one of those seats that hangs from a spring that hangs on the door jam. This was an event worthy of a whole new range of laughs and smiles while he pumped his legs making himself jump up and down and up and down for half an hour until finally I took him out.

Yesterday, in line at the post office, I was caught in a lengthy conversation with an admiring stranger about what a beatiful baby he is. While we talked, he smiled and giggled at her. Today at the doctors office waiting room, he grinned and laughed at another patient for about five minutes. She asked if he is always such a happy baby.

Yes, he is.

About the only time he doesn't smile is when we point a camera at him. He is way too interested in what that camera is than in smiling. So, like the Loch Ness Monster and Sean Penn, you don't get to see photos of his smile.


Sunday, August 29, 2004

we are experiencing technical difficulties

I am having some technichal difficulty with the blog that is preventing many of you from seeing the new masthead or the most recent images. I am working on correcting this.


Friday, August 27, 2004

the color and consistency of david's new poop.

As we should all have learned by now, when our diet changes, so does our poop. The only difference for babies is the monumental gross-factor. David has transitioned from a primarily mothers-milk diet to a primarily formula diet for reasons that I might discuss later. Accordingly, his poo has changed from mildly gross to revolting. This is enhanced by the fact that a baby his age only poops once or twice a week so when it is time to change the diaper, industrial machinery is needed. Babies and diapers have many wrinkles and creases capable of holding--of packing in--pounds and shillings of poop.

The primary change in the poop has been its color and consistency. Last week, I could smell him from across town, so I came home and changed him. His diaper was modestly full of a substance that is the consistency of cake frosting out of a can and was a green-blue-gray color. This is a close approximation:

But I had changed him too quickly and he had more to produce. So, an hour later, I had to change him again. This time is was the consistency of lumpy chocolate syrup--like what is left on the plate after eating cake and ice cream. The color was more yellowy, like this:

Earlier this week, I waited longer to change him so when I opened the diaper, it was PACKED FULL. The majority was the green-blue frosting, but in the middle of that, like a topping, was the yellowy syrup. Like this:

Now I know that computer monitors vary wildly in how they produce color so you are not getting exactly the same thing as I am with my Adobe Gamma calibration and all. Feel free to come over and look at my screen sometime. Better yet, keep your nose open. When you smell him (which you will be able to from where you are sitting) come see what I am talking about live.

Later, smelly

Monday, August 23, 2004

self sufficient

Aunt Skylar pointed out that I'm neglecting my duties here. Last week, she began to feed David when he surprised her by grabbing the bottle and feeding himself. Yeah, I neglected to tell everyone that he can now hold his own bottle. He isn't great at it and drops it a lot if left alone, but he can hold it long enough for me to update the blog.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I thought about cutting the feet of this jumper

colorado images

As I still learn to navigate the wide, wide world of digital imaging, you get to suffer. I posted the five cutest David shots below and was hoping to create a wicked-cool slide show for the rest of them. Alas, I am not "there" yet. Additionally, some of you want to be able to print a few of these photos. So I have returned to Ofoto and posted the 48 best images in big chunky files for your printing pleasure. There is a caveat. I accidentally reformatted these photos so that they are HUGE. I don't know how that will affect print quality since it means that Photoshop upsampled them, which usually denigrates image quality. If you have no idea what I am talking about, that is ok. Clearly, I don't either. If you get a print, and it is lousy, send me an email. Customer satisfaction is somewhere in our top priorities.

Anyway, here they are.

I only have Sue, Nick and Nora's email, so please pass this link on to any other Oakson that might care.

Later, mountain rangers.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

With grandma Susie
Sleeping, with dad and Hildy
Cutest patriot
With dad in a field of Sage.
Hildigard, David's favorite thing about CO
Napping with Kramer

"In the event of a barf landing . . ."

The baby travels well. Grandma Susie took us to the airport and helped us load all of our luggage to checkout. After a tearful goodbye, I had to wrestle her to the ground and pry David from her arms. Then I strapped him into the baby carrier and we headed across the Eastern Plains of Colorado attempting to find our gate. Along the way, I got smiles and attention from everyone. Strapping a baby to your frontside is a sure way to get on everyone's good side. David, of course, returns the smiles with his own giggly response. It's great fun.

On the plane the woman trapped between us and the window was experienced with children, which was a blessing because even with two adults, it is still difficult to manage one's luggage and personal items in the cramped cabin of an airplane with sixteen wiggling fragile pounds of baby to keep off of the floor. She would pick up his binky when it dropped to the floor where I couldn't reach it, she dabbed his spit-up when I wasn't paying attention, she even got Jaime's water out of the bag at my feet when I was having trouble reaching it. It is a blessing that she had experience because it meant that she didn't mind getting spit up on at the end.

Jaime fed David when we boarded, but was concerned that he didn't get enough. He was content for most of the flight sucking on his pacifier, but started to get a little uncomfortable on the way down. So we gave him a bottle, which he eagerly consumed. He no longer seems content to drink his fill and be done. When a bottle with liquid is in front of him, he drinks. This will not serve him well in college. Well, that is new, so we didn't stop him as he emptied a rather large bottle of formula. Perhaps he was really hungry from traveling, right?

Then, I put him on my shoulder to burp.

But he didn't burp.

He barfed.

and barfed.

and barfed.

Everything that he had just eaten, everything he had eaten that day, everything that he had ever eaten came out of him. All that his mother had ever processed for him, all the formula that was ever made. At the reunion, we had some rockin' food prepared by people who spend a lot of time perfecting the preparation of food. Those folks can eat. Jaime processed a lot of great food into milk. It all came back--the brisket, the torte, the brownies, the baked beans, the pickles, those delicious little onions soaked in balsalmic vinegar. It poured over me like the Red Sea on Pharoah's soldiers. Thank God the seats can be used as flotation devices. Thank God the woman trapped by the window is forgiving, even with barf on her paperback. I have taken showers and have been less soaked. Remember that time, that one special summer when you and your love got caught in the tempest and didn't care because you were so in love and when you got home your soaked clothes clung to your skin, dripping and heavy and wet wet wet? That was merely humid dampness compared to the thorough soaking to the bones that I received as our plane touched down in Kansas. My clothes were soaked, all of our receiving blankets and barf rags, all of the barf rags of all the other babies on the plane, everything absorbent in the cabin, soaked. People started opening those little barf bags and filling them just to have a souvenir of The Worlds Biggest Baby Barf Ever.

The baby travels well, but don't burp him 'til you are out in the open.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

welcome to the rockies, where a baby's feet never touch the ground.

A few highlights of our trip to Colorado:

For David the highlight of the trip was Hildigard the Dog. Unlike Tuff, back home, Hildy's head and tale are in the same time zone, so he can see a whole dog, not just a tale or a head. And when he saw that dog he giggled his most excited giggle--pumping arms and legs in delight. Hildy was not quite so sure about David, who seemed to be butting in on the attention that we were supposed to lavish on her. But they got on well.

And David enjoyed much lavishing of attention. He was lavishingly lavished. For a week, he had Grandma and Grandpa and Great Grandma and Grandpa cooing and fussing and holding and laughing. He played his part well with his advanced repertoire of syllables, grins, and giggles. Then we would take him back for a night of screaming and fussing. The strange, thin, over-stimulating environment didn't settle well with him and sleeping was a real problem for the three of us. Also he is experiencing the chewing, drooling discomfort of early teething. If I leave out important details about the Colorado trip, it is because I was sleeping.

The weather was beautiful, so we spent a lot of time outdoors, walking, hiking, playing with Hildy. One day David, Hildy, and I went on a hike through a valley of sage-brush meadows. Another day, Jaime and I went horse-back riding in the mountains around Sweetwater Lake. You know in those movies where guys ride up on horses, jump off, and immediately start fighting with swords or guns or fists or whatever? Those are heavily edited. They totally cut out the part where the guys dismount and then limp around for ten minutes waiting for their knees to resume bending back-and-forth rather than side-to-side.

I also got my teeth worked on. I'm sure that many people think that their son-in-law talks too much, but few people can take such decisive action on the issue. My father-in-law is a dentist, so every trip to Colorado means a cleaning and checkup. He gave me a new filling and worked on an old one. It is a nice perk--especially if you are unemployed. Before being a dentist, Steve was in the Navy and was a football player. All I can say is--I had no idea how far a person's lips can stretch.

The Feast of the Transfiguration was also spent ascending mountains as we went over the Divide through Rockie Mountain National Park on the way to a family reunion in Estes. At the top, it did occur to me that this would be a good place to pitch some tents and camp.
The weekend of the end of the trip was a family reunion of most of Steve's siblings, nieces and nephews. This was even more people to hold David and coo and fuss over him. On the whole it was very relaxing a lot of fun.

The highlight for me was simply being reunited with my lovely wife and child. We could have sat around and picked each other noses and I would have been equally content after a week without them.

Sorry that I'm being pokey with the pictures. I am learning something new.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


We returned from our travels last night, and I promise words and pictures soon. But first, a couple of updates.

Firstly, Happy Birthday, Mom! Jaime turns 28 today. No longer in her mid-twenties or really even a "twenty-something," but more a "pre-thirties". Lets all join hands and wish her Many Many Years!

Secondly, we celebrated Jaime's big day with a special trip to the doctor's office for David's "Four-month" checkup and piercing.

The doctor says that he is doing great. He has mastered all of the things that a four-monther is supposed to have mastered. Additionally, he is vocalizing at a six-month-old level. He gets that from me. I vocalize at that level, too. Then she challenged him to a game of chess, which he won easily, which is good. When he loses, he spits up on the board and it's a pain to get that gook out of the knooks in the rooks.

He is 16 pounds, 2.8 ounces, and 26.5 inches long-- one half inch longer than what his car seat is rated at. So we had to walk him home. His weight is still average, but his height is in the 87th percentile, the same percentage as the five-year survival rate of heart-transplant patients at the University of Washington--well above the national average.

Lastly came the shots. This time, instead of watching his legs, where all the action was, I stayed focused on his face. I distracted him with Grover, which was making him giggle. Then, suddenly the grin was replaced with a startled look that I can only describe as "%*$#!" This time he cried less but I cried more.

At four-and-a-half months, he is a joy and a blessing. He talks and grins and plays and rolls over and holds his little feet with his little hands and sucks and drools and (still) barfs. He is also going through some weird night-time thing where he spends some time screaming for no apparent reason and can only be comforted by someone standing. He is also getting more difficult to feed--fighting and tugging with impatience at his mother. We fear that we are going to have to cut back on breast feeding--or perhaps wean him completely. Two nights ago, we were at grandpa Gary's and he was throwing fits all night but refused to be calm long enough to feed. A packing error left us without formula and we had to find a 24-hour Walgreen's at 4:30 in the morning to buy some.

But he travels like a cute-but-seasoned professional--more on that to come.

Stay tuned, chess fans.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

barf rush

Well, I'm headed West.
After a week of feeling undressed because there is no barf on me, of sticking my finger down the throats of passing children just to get a hit (Grandpa Gary's joke), after a week of sneaking into daycares, changing diapers, and sneaking back out just so my hands don't fidget nervously (Gary again), after a week in which I only did TWO LOADS of laundry, after a week of sore loneliness, I am headed to Colorado to be reunited with my wife and child--and my mother-in-law and father-in-law--and his parents and extended family.
I doubt that I will update from the Rockies.  I will be too busy watching "Koyanisquasti" on the 56-inch-screen TV with surround sound--oh yeah, and enjoying my wife and child and all that nature and stuff and the, like, 2% humidity.  I wanted to mountain-bike down the slopes at Vail but Jaime pointed out that we no longer have insurance coverage since Blue Crass, Blue Schlock wants to charge me $600.00 per month for insurance coverage now that I am unemployed.  I would go on about that, but this is a family program.
Take care, flatlanders.  I'll return with pictures.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

watching the sun move

Normally, we cannot perceive the movement of the sun. At one point it is at this place in the sky, later, it has moved, but if you were to just stand and look at it, you would not notice. This week I painted a barn and some other out-buildings on a local farm. I started at seven in the morning to get as much cool morning time in as possible. At one point, I was painting a south-facing wall as the sun was inching up in the clear sky. As I painted, the arc of the sun's course brought the first gauzy beam of light cross the wall. I watched it happen. It was a quiet, magical moment. If I had been looking for it, it would have happened in a moment of mental distraction and I would have missed it. I saw it because I was so intensely focused on seeing the surface of that wall as I gauged my progress with the paint.

When I was a child, I saw many Royals games at Kaufman stadium. The outfield wall is lined with small billboards that magically change throughout the course of the game. I would often stare at these billboards, waiting to see them change. I never did. I would look at one moment and it would be Pennzoil. Later, the same sign would be John Deer and would realize that I missed the transition. It drove me crazy.

When distant friends and relatives see a child they always comment on how much that child has grown, but parents don't comment from moment to moment or even day to day about that growth. It is happening imperceptibly so that the regular viewer doesn't notice. Like the movement of the sun and those outfield billboards, parents just occasionally notice that their child is different from before. Sometimes this drives me nuts. I want to just sit at stare at David and just watch him change. I will have moments away from him when I think "he is changing right now and I am missing it."

I wonder if a week away from him is enough to perceive any growth from the last time I saw him at the airport a week ago.

I have certainly noticed growth in me. I didn't used to miss people that I was away from. I prided myself on this but it drove Significant Others crazy. I would be gone a week and someone would ask if I missed them and I would look at myself and realize that I hadn't even given them a thought, actually. I learned to lie about that early. Yes, of course I missed you. I saved this bag of airline peanuts for you.

Not now.

Now, I miss my wife and my son so much that I can physically feel their absence in my chest. Tomorrow, I will see them again.

I wonder how much they have grown. Posted by Hello

Friday, July 30, 2004

Irish Eyes

Maire!  Thank you for visiting.  Jaime needs your new email!!!!  Please send to the email address in the sidebar beneath "rebuttals."

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

David is not around to photograph, so I'm picking on Tuff instead. Click on the image for a larger image. Posted by Hello
 Posted by Hello
 Posted by Hello