Wednesday, August 31, 2005

nature's rack

This is what is currently keeping me up at night.

I measured David with a yard stick recently. He is between 31 and 32
inches tall. Those of you with score cards will note that this is the
same height measured at his last doctor's appointment two months ago.
When people see him, they comment on how much he has grown, which is
not true. He has not gained a pound or an inch in two months. What he
has done is convert fat to muscle (I know, you don't "convert" fat to
muscle, but you know what I mean. Get off my back) and simply lose
some fat. So he is thinner and looks taller and less baby-like.

None of that is the worrisome part. Stay with me.

I am 72 inches tall. I assume that David is also going to be about
that hight. Upon reflection, I don't know why I assume that. I guess
I formed the assumption back when he was regularly clocking in the 80th
percentiles for height-to-age. Here is the thing. If he is going to
be around 72 inches in 16 years, then he will be around 36 inches by
age two. That is seven months to grow four-to-five inches. That is a
serious growth spurt. A seriously painful, my bones are stretching we
have to buy all new cloths every two weeks, dear Lord if you look
closely you can see him growing like the Incredible Hulk when you've
just pissed him off kind of growth spurt.


but he still has to be told, or he won't notice

I had heard news of this behavior, but had not witnessed it first hand.

This morning David grabbed one of Nina's gardening books off of the coffee table and laid it on the couch to look at. Nina was sitting next to him. He opened the book and Nina said, "you've got it upside-down, David."

So, he turned it around.

Monday, August 29, 2005

ideas to pay for david's college

Great new idea: a device that you can buy at the cell-phone store in packs of three or four. All new buildings, public and private, would be built with them installed. They would hang just inside a bathroom door and signal your cell phone that you have entered the bathroom. Then, if people call, they would get your "I can't answer the phone, I'm in the John" message. Higher-end cell phones would include an option of having a special "In the John" group for people you are willing to talk to on the comode. These phone numbers would be allowed to ring through.

the (inevitable?) fall

Yesterday, at grandpa Gary's, David fell down the stairs. Top to bottom. Grandpa Gary's stairs are carpeted, which was part of the cause and part of the reason we didn't have to go to the hospital.

He had been going up and down them all day. Typically, I am pretty uptight about staying down-gravity of him, but he never ever slips anymore. So I got lax. For some reason he tried to walk them rather than tummy slide. He can do this at home but at Grandpa Gary's, the railing is higher. He tried to take step and hold the rail, lost his balance, and twisted, losing his grip. I lunged for him and missed. He slid and tumbled down the 13 steps. At the bottom is a door. On the other side of the door was Jackie, Grandama Kim's daughter, who opened the door to look in and see what the commotion was about. David's head hit the door. It did not hit very hard--not even a real bruise. Jackie felt horrible, but if she had not done that, then his head would have hit the tile floor.

From the intensity and length of the crying, he was not injured as badly as he has been in the past. The carpeting and the wall really broke a lot of the downward fall. But he was sweating profusely and vomited the meal I had just fed him. In the absence of clear head trauma, I assume that he was terrified. But he recovered well. I squeezed and bent all of his joints without any protest from him. We called the doctor who told us what signs of problems to look for. I remembered the head-trauma maxim--"you should be worried if he doesn't cry."

In the end, all is well--except in my head. If I don't keep from thinking about it, I can still vividly see him tumbling down the stairs--still feel the terror and panic--and am still brought to tears. In the next three weeks, I will have a nightmare about it.


We have been teaching David church stuff. He can Identify several icons now, including the Virgin Mary--his favorate. The term we Orthodox commonly use for her is "Theotokos." David simply says "Tokos." It is very cute in church.

Grandpa Gary and Grandma Kim have a kitten named "Coco." This confuses David who chases her around yelling "Tokos, Tokos!"

"No, David, the cat is not the Mother of God."


Sorry to leave you hanging like that. Last week, I said that David was sick. Well, he stopped vomitting after only a day two days, according to Jaime. That was nice, but he still showed other sypmtoms. So, Jaime took him to the doctor on Friday. He has another ear infection. For those of you playing along at home, that is something like four ear infections in as many months. So, we are taking him to a ENT for evaluation to see if he needs something like "tubes." In case you don't know, you can put little tubes in the eardrum to allow excess fluid to drain out to reduce infections. I'll be doing a lot of research before we allow this proceedure. It is a low-risk, common proceedure, but, since the day that Jaime got pregnant, I have learned a great deal about "common" proceedures that turn out to be less useful than advertised. Meanwhile he is on an antibiotic. His mood is rapidly improving. Which is nice since his mood has been bipolar. He's been happy as a camper unless he doesn't get his way, which causes him to scream like he has been hit.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Abigale the dog has a new habit of sounding a whiney reverie from her kennel every morning at 06:00. She has gone from Beagle to Bugle.

sick and tv

Wow, long time since the last post. Sorry, time just flies when you are gainfully employed.

David is sick. Fever, vomiting, cranky. I spoke with our doctor's nurse's assistant's chauffeur's dog walker who said that the vomiting should stop in five-to-seven days. I informed her that we would be filing with foster care after five-to-seven days of vomiting, thank you very much. But, as of this morning, he had gone over twelve hours of chucking anything up.

David is around TV at the sitter's house a lot. But not at home. We only watch movies on the TV and only when he is gone or in bed. When I have seen him at the sitter's, I have not seen him show any interest in TV whatsoever--except for pushing the buttons. Night before last, Grandma Carla ("Nina") put in a DVD while he was still up. The DVD started playing the theme music of the main menu and David began dancing. Then, Nina pressed "play" causing the music to stop and the screen to go blank long enough for David to say "g'in" ("again")? Then the music started again and he started to dance again. The opening scene features an aerial shot of a bus. David pointed and said "bus." At one point one of the characters waved and David waved back. I watched this, horrified that the moment had finally arrived when David would take an interest in TV. On the bright side, now I have something to ground him from. I whisked him away to play with books and educational toys (actually, I think I gave him a bath).

later TV fans

Monday, August 15, 2005

movie ideas

I am trying to think of new word to fit the definition: "the pastime of casting a movie that does not actually exist." Something like "Fantasy Directing," but not lame.

Jaime, mom, and I filled out my "Wizard of Oz" idea. In addition to Depp (21 Jump Street) as the Wizard, Fanning as Dorothy, and Bonham-Carter as the Wicked Witch, we decided that Jack Black would be the lion, David Hyde Pierce, the Tin Man, Will Smith the Scarecrow, Bett Midler as the good witch of the north and Vince Vaughn as the driver of the cart pulled by the horse of a difference color. I think Burton should mine the books as source material and leave the original film alone.

Jaime and I were also trying to cast a "Mary Poppins" directed by Burton. She would like to see another pairing of Rene Zellweger and Ewan McGregor (a la "Down With Love") as Mary and Burt. But I think they are a wee young--not convincing enough to have a "history" as eluded to in the film. Reflecting on this, I hit upon the solution--a new film about the time Mary and Burt met. I shove together a plot and send it to Burton, stat.

Ooh! Bob Dole should play the tree that the Tin Man almost cuts down.

later, fantasy film fans


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

We went to the garden to take advantage of having Grandpa Brice, Skylar, and Cory all together. Here are some of the photos. Click through to Flickr to see the rest.

Brice, David

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

David, Brice, Skylar

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Skylar, David

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Of a series that I shot, this is the only one where everyone has a respectable look and no one has their eyes closed. If you look closely, you can see why dad and Skylar are smiling.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

willy wonka

With the release of "Sleepy Hollow," I was afraid that we had lost Tim Burton forever. "Planet of the Apes" is watchable, but it feels like it was directed by the AutoHollywoodDirectron6000 rather than one of the creative geniuses of film. "Big Fish" restored hope as Burton returned to his strength of telling tall tales. But I remember thinking that "Fish" isn't quite as tall as I would expect from him. I would expect something a little more insane from a director who gives us a man with scissors for hands and Christmas stockings with severed heads. I thought that he could have pushed the envelope just a little more.

Well, I am pleased to say that Burton is back. Jaime and I saw "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" last night for her 29th birthday. It is as insane and delirious and bizarre and hilarious as I would expect from Burton. It is like the story was made for him to make of movie of.

I haven't read the book, so I don't know how it compares. I have always loved Gene Wilder's "Willy Wonka and the Focolate Chactory"--scratch that, reverse it. Now I can't think of another film where two versions have been made and I would be happy to watch them both--depending on the mood I was in.

But it gets better. The previews included Burton's next film "The Corpse Bride," a claymation feature a la "Nightmare Before Christmas." We are so there.

This morning, I found myself thinking, no one has done a good treatment "the Wizard of Oz" unless you are a fan of "The Wiz." Burton could do fantastic things with that. Depp would be the Wizard, and Helena Bonham Carter, the Witch. Can't think of who would be a good Dorothy--perhaps give Dakota Fanning a couple more years. Burton could put wings on all those extras from "Planet of the Apes."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

dogs bark, cats run, bugs bite, helicopters watch

We have missed all the services of preparation for Dormition for reasons good and bad. I was prepared this evening to attend by hook or crook.

When I arrive home from work David and Jaime are asleep. Jaime seems to have a bug and feels lousy. David refused to take a nap all day, and then fell asleep in his high chair. I had some dinner and woke him up. If he sleeps too late, he'll be up all night. Very unhappy to be awakened. Very fussy. The service begins at 6:30. At 6:45 it is clear that David would not be able to handle it. Jaime says, "he sounds like I feel." His nose is runny and he is generally miserable.

So we go for a walk. A casual stroll. He stops to pick up stick after stick. "sTIK," he declares with each new one. The mosquitoes are thick. Even with repellent, I can't keep them off of him. At the Devon we cut through the courtyard to find kitties. I ask him to put his stick on the ground before we see any kitties. He does. They run from him anyway. Too bad.

As we leave the courtyard, he steps down off the sidewalk. It is a about three inches--impossible a week ago without help. I praise him "good step!" So he steps back up and does it again and again saying "step!" each time. We finally move along identifying trees and cars. He is very curious, stopping and squatting over and investigating and looking up and around to identify sounds of things he can't see. After about five minutes of this he is walking steadily down the sidewalk. As he steps over the edge of a buckled slab, he stays "step."

We play hide and seek around an oak tree but he is quickly distracted by the barking of a dog.

He breaks a stick into a larger and smaller piece. After several unsuccessful attempts to put it back together, he brings it to me pleading "on? on?"

"I can't, it doesn't go on. It's broken."
"On? On?"
"It's broken." He looks at both pieces and then drops the smaller one mumbling "broken."

He calls a yellow Tom cat in the street a tiger.

The police helicopter circles the neighborhood. Whenever he sees it, he points, "hairpwane" (airplane).
"No, helicopter."
". . . "
"Try 'chopper'"
"Yes! Chopper"

We play hide and seek around the buick. He is still distracted by every dog he hears.

Papa Alex comes to clean out the Festiva. David is squealing thrilled. He climbs into the car and into the driver's seat. Alex shows him how to blow the horn, a mistake.

Back home finally after forty minutes just around the block.

Shower. Milk. Book. Songs. Bed. Blogging

I blog this haiku:
a chopper watches
hide and seek with mosquitoes
words for everything

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

rocks may be bad for you

Girl tried for felony over thrown rock

David is constantly picking up stones and putting them in his mouth. Should I turn him over to the authorities for attempted suicide?