Saturday, December 30, 2006

grown up

At work, we have a large book case. It's probably 7 feet high by 5 feet wide. Three years ago I would have admired this well-built case and wished I had it to store my library. Last week, I realized that, laid on its face, the back of it would be a great play table for David's new wooden train set.

Friday, December 29, 2006


We had a great holiday, but not a greatly-documented holiday. Here are a few images worth display.

On Saturday, we Baptized Simon.

Simon's baptism

David with his trains
David playing with his new train set

David with his drill

Gargles? Check. Pants? Um, not so much.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

the secret to happiness

Wow. It is 7:13 am and neither David nor Simon are up. This is amazing, rare, and allows us some alone time--just you and me, Internet. So I can share with you the secret to happiness.

It is a baby that smiles when he sees you.

I don't know what kind of day you are having--it is not even 8:00 yet--but it could already be going pretty lousy and, by 8:00 pm, you could be ready to jump of a bridge. But if you can just get past the bridge and into the house to a baby that breaks into a big gaping drooling grin whenever he focuses his gaze on you, then you are set for another 24 hours at least. Warm, positive energy flow from the smiling mouth of a baby--like a tractor beam from the Death Star--sucking out the bile that builds up because we can't deal with life as well as a baby can.

Later, secret fans

Friday, November 24, 2006

promises promises

What the heck happened to me and my promise to post every day in November? Did the kids just stop doing anything worth writing about? Well, no. I have picked up an important new project that is taking up a lot of my time. It's called being "responsible for my life." Step one is cleaning up all of the various promises and projects that I have been neglecting for the past few years. It is quite a pile, let me tell you. I expect to get "caught up" by the end of the year. The only way to do this and not get behind on current and new commitments is to really dedicate all of my time to working hard--"all" of my time being about 30 minutes a day that I am not working, sleeping, and not tending to hyperactive littlings. Thing is, I'm still new at this whole really-working-hard-to-do-everything-I-said-I-would-do. A pro would have found the 30 minutes a day that I need to blog, but I am not a pro--nowhere near it. I am not even on one of the AAA pro farm teams. I'm just playing ball in the alley at this point. But I am playing pretty good alley ball. By next November, I'll be good enough live up to this task and still get to bed on time. Promise.


dudes, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Izzy loves abuse; something that her dad might want to have looked at by a professional. As such, she loves to come over and play with David, who thinks that she is the bomb and tries to demonstrate his love aggressively, much like a pro wrestler. Thing is, she is five, which means that she is just responsible enough to leave alone for 15-20 minutes at a time without destroying something and if I leave David with he, she'll totally rat on him when he steps out of line. This means Skylar can drop her off and I can alternate my time hanging out with them and actually getting productive things done. Wonderful wonderful. There are a several photos of them over at Flickr as well as some of the little one.

wedding photos

_DSC7951.JPG, originally uploaded by tinaandgrant.

Go see the photos of the Wedding of the Year and weep. You will never be this hip.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

on the ropes

OK, I dropped off of map there for a couple of days. Word of advice: don't teach your son knots. I figured David is so manipulative that he would really get into knots. So, I got some rope and taught him some knots--stoppers, bends, loops, hitches, just the basic stuff every salty veteran of the high seas knows. Big mistake. I've been hog tied to the play table for four days. He finally relinquished when he ran out of yogurt and Zionist hot dogs. But I'm back on the wagon (it's David's wagon; I like listening to him scream at me to get off so he can ride) and recommitting myself to daily blogging for the rest of November (NaBloPoFNi (National Blogging Fortnight)).

Later ropes fans

Friday, November 10, 2006

Statistical Correction

Simon is 25inches long (and she used his short leg) and 11lb 8oz (with a wet diaper).

This puts him in the 93% for height (the same percentage of people who think the arts are vital) and 26% for weight (the same percentage who think the Yankees will win the 2006 World Series).

tall, skinny

Jaime took Simon to the doctor this morning for a routine checkup, weighing, and measuring. She didn't actually tell me what his weight and height are, but she said his height is in the 94th percentile for his age (the same percentage of public places in Latin America found to have second-hand smoke), but only 24th percentile for weight (same percentage of Americans under 30 who voted Tuesday (I hear republicans drafting a constitutional amendment raising the voting age to 40) ). So he is not gaining weight at a rate that is keeping up with his height. No need for action yet, but the doctor is going to keep an eye the issue.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I have written many times about the pattern of adjusting our expectations and schedules to fit our kid's behaviors only to have that behavior change, requiring reevaluation and adjustment.

It used to be that David could be trusted to play by himself every now and then while we took a shower, made a phone call, or locked ourselves in our room and reminisced about those light, carefree days before we had children. I knew that our time with David being content to content himself were limited. I only hoped that the warning signs would not involve child protective services.

That time has definitely come. Left alone upstairs while I changed Simon in the living room, David plastered the lower part of himself with diaper rash ointment. He has attempted to brush his teeth with an entire tube of toothpaste. Several days ago, Jaime went downstairs to find him standing on the kitchen counter getting a cup for himself out of the cabinet. He keeps turning the cold dial on the refrigerator all the way up and freezing everything. Last night, I knew he was out of bed, but didn't bother to take action until I heard the familiar notes of one of the computers shutting down. Several days ago, I pulled a pad of stickers out of the CD-Rom drive. He has made my iPod do things that no documentation indicates it should do.

So we adjust. We had settled into a routine that was working for us and now we will settle into a new, more vigilant, one. I am looking for the next change to come from Simon. In a way it has. He has slept through the night every night this week. I know that sounds to you like a good thing, but I had set up a schedule for myself that depended on him getting his morning feeding out of the way around 5:00, not 6:00, and suddenly, with two kids and a commute, that difference is everything.

Fortunately, the overriding adjustment that has yet to change is the need to be continually adjusting.


Serveral times while out in public I have had women look at me and ask if my son's name is David. When I confirm this as truth they begin telling me stories of how they know my son.

"Oh I know him through Mommy's Club" or "I'm friends with Nikki".

It's almost like being out with Hollywood elite.

This morning as we soaked up the sun and enjoyed a warm fall day we happened upon two cute blonds around David's age at the park. Sure enough they were part of his fan club.

Perhaps if I get a few more sons under my belt my dream of having a Baldwin or Wayne family in Hollywood will come true.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

photo update

While working on a project for grandma, I loaded some new photos to Flickr. Some haven't previously been uploaded and some are printable versions of previously-loaded images.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


My aunt, who has five daughters and no blog, sends me this email today:
Years ago, when we first moved to Ohio, we had a horrible time getting "A" to go to bed. She would get up sometimes right on our heels. We’d battle every night for several hours at a time, for weeks on end. Nothing changed no matter what we tried. We finally asked our pastor and his wife for advice. They had a couple of children older than Andrea and we thought they might have some insight for us.

Days after we talked with them, Andrea broke her leg. When "S" (our pastor’s wife) heard this and called me. “I think breaking her leg was a little extreme!”

I’d like to tell you it will get better but then they become be teenagers and…


Here's a fun new game. You need a toddler and an mp3 player that shuffles. Put them in a room together.

Song 1) Clash (I'm not sure which one, I'm new to the Clash): David starts bouncing wildly on the floor and then on the couch. He has this move where he spins around and the flops on the floor over and over

2) Mile Davis, something from "Birth of the Cool": David's whole composure and attitude changes as he begins this jerky, arrhythmic dance reminiscent of the death throws of a spider.

3) Fiddler on the Roof, "Miracle of Miracles": not so much a dance tune, but the chorus is repeated enough that, by the end, he is singing along.

4)Quartetto Gelato, Leoncavallo: "Mattinata": This is an Italian Aria. By this point David has returned to assembling his jigsaw puzzle (oh? I didn't mention he is doing jigsaw puzzles? Yeah, has been for weeks. [Jason casually stares into distance, sips martini]). Without looking up, he says, "meatball music."

5) Sheryl Crow, "Mother Nature's Son": sings along with the doo doo doo doo doo doo-doo-doo

And that is it. The iPod died at that point. It's been acting funny all day but I have been coaxing it along. I couldn't coax it at this point. I read the entire Apple support Web site looking for hope. My only hope is finding a place that will service it for less than the cost of a new one. That part about looking over the entire site is important for the last part of my story here.

David was a bear to get to bed this evening. Really testing my patience by getting out of bed and wailing constantly. Around 9:00 I hear him upstairs wandering about, but I don't think much of it. Finally, he announces that he has pooped. I have run out of patience, but poopy diaper is admittedly a legitimate reason to be up. I go up to find him stinky and holding my iPod, which I had left on my desk like a cadaver on a slab at the morgue. I take it from him and look at it. The screen says, "TESTING." Like a reminder from God or something. Yes, I know, testing.

Now, I have been over the entire Apple support site and nowhere does it talk about the iPod declaring that it is "TESTING" anything. I ask David what he did and he assures me that he did nothing. I have no idea what it meant or how it got there. Just Apple's way of keepin' it real, I guess.

later, Clash fans

new photos

David Jaime Simon

say ahhhh elephant, crocodile Simon Jaime crocodile rock crocdile activity time girl crocodile girl

Monday, November 06, 2006


I'm just phoning this one in today. Frankly, they take it out of me sometimes. I think they have a special secret communication where they tag team needs with the goal of wearing me down so I'll do whatever they want. Lately, David has simply refused to go to bed--getting out over and over. I feel like I have to stay on top of him because he has to learn to stay in bed. Not tonight. Tonight, I wanted to accomplish something with my evening besides mastering the stairs. So I let him wander around upstairs while I did laundry and dishes with a sleeping Simon strapped to my front side (because, if I put him down, he would get unhappy). Finally, David comes downstairs and tells me that he took a nice long nap this weekend. That's great, but where are you supposed to be now? He seemed honestly perplexed. It didn't take much to jog his memory at set him bawling again. But that was the last time.

If I were feeling creative, I would use the magic of words to paint you a picture of what it feels like for Simon to drench my pants with the partially-digested contents of his last two meals. Mighty Girl says you don't care what I had for lunch, but she doesn't rule out telling you what I had for Simon's. Regrettably (or, fortunately, it's all about point of view), I am not feeling creative.

Later, phone phans.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Oh man, sorry I missed yesterday. Total forgetfulness, total lack of integrity, I know. And you, my poor readers, suffer. Oh, the sorrow. Misery like, for instance getting soap in your eyes, which I think is some sort of rite of passage for the toddler. He hollers about it loud loud loud. I don't even try to wash his hair anymore because of the screaming. The neighbors probably think I'm applying hot irons. So Jaime has the job of trying to wash the hair and she is progressing, the bold girl. This evening there was some wailing from the second floor as the soap ran into the eyes. Meanwhile, the second child is hollering on the first floor because his wee little tummy is as empty as a promise to blog everyday for a month. Wailing in stereo is some sort of hell for bad parents, I'm sure of it.

David was upstairs and quiet for a very long time this evening. When he's this way for long enough, the fear sets in. In a film, this silence would be represented by a sustained minor key on strings. Armed only with courage, we crept upstairs. The bathroom door was closed. Bad sign. Behind it, we found David with my toothbrush in his mouth and our $5.00 tube of Sensodyne swashed in his hand. The amount of toothpaste on that brush--I don't use that much toothpaste all year. It wasn't until after he took it from him that he realized something about grown-up toothpaste--menthol, it doesn't feel great to have a mouth full of it. "It's spicy!" he wailed.

later stereo fans.

Friday, November 03, 2006


We have a new schedule in the morning. I get up early and do personal work and then sign on at the office and work for an hour. This allows me to go in late so I can let Jaime sleep in a bit. The wrench in the system is that, since the time change, David has been getting up at 6:30--right in the middle of my work. The solution--I caved.

My position on TV was simple. Absolutely no TV until his fifth birthday. I thought I had everyone in my life enrolled in this plan but it turns out everyone in my life are traitorous lagabouts intent on the early TVification of my children. So he gets to watch a fair amount of television--primarily "Dora, the Explorer," "Blues Clues (sp?)," and the like. I can't stand the slack-jawed gape that he affects in front of the boob tube and I get tired of the whining during all the times when he is not allowed to watch it--which is pretty much anytime I am around and able to even partially engage with him.

However, at 6:30 in the morning, when I am trying to work, I have given in and allow him to watch a video if all else fails. That is, if he refuses all of my suggestions that he play quietly with a puzzle or the like.

This morning I put in Dora for him and the DVD was freezing and bumping and skipping. I eject it and examine. There is a fine film of toddler fingerprints over most of the playing surface. David observes, "It's broken"
"No, its just coated with little yogurty fingerprints"
Presenting his yogurt-free fingers, he is indignant, "nuh uh, I licked them."

later, slack-jawed lagabouts.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

conversations in dreamland

Everyday, David becomes more like a real person as his conversational vocabulary expands. He'll reflect on past events, respond, empathize, chew the fat. But it is often like holding a conversation with a schizophrenic in dreamland. He has no concept of time. Ask him what he did today and he'll tell you what he did last week in great detail. He told someone at church that he was going to McDonald's to have chicken nuggets, fries, and chocolate milk. In fact, that is what he had done the day before with Auntie Skylar. At random times, he'll blurt out some little fact or bit of conversation that he picked up in the last two or three days.

And when he not confused about reality, he is fabricating it from whole cloth. His imaginary world grows in depth and detail every day. I asked him to hand me something earlier this week and he simply handed me the pretend version, pantomiming the act. Last month, he was riding his tricycle when dad called. Jaime stepped out to tell David that grandpa Brice was on the phone and wanted to talk to him. Without missing a stroke, David took one hand off of the handlebars and put it to the side of his head with the pinky extended towards his mouth and the thumb towards his ear, "hello." He rode on past the apartment carrying on a conversation with his grandpa, who was waiting patiently on the phone.

later dreamfans

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

text book: bounderies

(something is wrong with blogger, so I'll spell check this later)

The setting: Jaime was home Friday evening, which is unusual since she normally works evenings. I asked David what he wanted for dinner and we settled on scrambled eggs--a new favorite because he can scramble them himself. He helps me make his dinner and we all sit down at the table to talk and eat.

David was picking at his food but not eating. We have a rule that if we prepare a reasonable meal and he doesn't eat a reasable amount, he doesn't get anything else to eat the rest of the evening. We have gotten pretty good about not being emotional and nagging about it--eat if you want, don't eat if you don't want, but no snacks. So we simply reminded him of this rule and resumed our conversation. At one point he started playing with this plate--scooching it towards the edge of the table and tipping it. We let him know that, if he dumped it, he would have to leave the table and, since we are having an unusually late meal, it is bed time, so he'll go straight to bed. He paused, affected wry grin and turned his plate upside down.

We totally kept our cool. As if nothing unusual happened, I asked him to get his broom and dustpan out of the closet and help me clean up the mess. Then I told him to give his mother a hug and kiss goodnight. Reality must have set in at this point and the wailing began. I redirected (! (I'm lousy at that) by reviewing everything we'd be doing--potty, brush teeth, pjs, prayer, read books. Distracted, he headed for the Dora toothbrush in the bathroom. All was good until he struck up a conversation about the subject while getting stapped into the pjs. I don't remember how he brought it up, but we began reviewing the events of the past 15 minutes. He need to clarify the "no more food" part, "can I have a bisquit?"



So I walked out letting him know that when he was calm, he could let me know and I'd return. The rest of bed time went normally.

I was just so proud of Jaime and I for keeping our cool that I had to share. I notice that when I lose my cool with David it is partially because I was lazy at some earlier point and didn't establish clear and reasonable boundaries, leaving me nothing to work with when it hits the fan.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Special Delivery

UPS finally sent Simon's personality upgrade.

That's right, we have smiles!

(Warning: Smiles contained on said baby are inconsistent and do not indicate true affection or genuine pleasure in the moment.)

love hate?

Lately, David has been mean to Grandpa-Great (dad's dad). He pointedly does not give his great-grandfather hugs, tells him they are not friends or that he doesn't like him. Yesterday, I sternly rebuked him for this behavior so he ran to Grandpa-Great and hugged his knees. Grandpa picked him up, gave him a kiss and they were best buds. Granny Great asked me where he learned this "you are not my friend" stuff. Well, from some other kids he has played with, I guess. Jaime and I were discussing it last night. We don't think he means it or understands it. He has seen the behavior go unchecked in others, he assumes it is appropriate, and imitates it. As soon as I point out that it is inappropriate, he is happy to drop it.

This emotional disingenuousness extends to other places--such as crying. He has this fake cry he does when he is peeved that he is not getting his way. He curls his mouth down, squints, and moans. The fake is pretty easy to detect--it comes from nowhere without any build up, is absent of tears, and can disappear just as quickly--"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa--hey, a bug!" The frequency of this fake crying has increased since he has observed the level of attention Simon gets for similar-sounding behavior.

Here is the problem--how much of his emotional signaling can I believe is tied to genuine emotion and how much of it is simply this parroting of other's behavior? Early Monday morning, he woke up crying (genuinely) and got out of bed and headed for our room. I headed him off at his bedroom door, herded him back to bed, laid down with him, and rubbed his back. He was snuggled right up against me. "Dad," he said.
"Yes, David"
"I love you."
So, am I touched by my son's expression of genuine love for me or do I assume that this is on par with telling his grandpa that they are not friends? (Actually, the answer to that one is pretty easy--I don't care. My boy told me that he loved me and I'm taking it, I don't care where it came from. I only wish I had recorded it to play back in 13 years.)

later, fans (genuine and otherwise)

Monday, October 16, 2006


Val has convinced Ed to particpate with her in National Novel Writing Month. My question: "Who will raise their children?"

I calculated the amount of time that I would need to dedicate each day to produce the required number of words and subtracted the amount of time each day I have if I want to maintain my marriage. The answer is a negative integer. So until I have developed my space-time warping skills, NaNoWriMo is not for me (we could go into why I am not dedicating what little time I do have to writing novel I've begun, the other one I've outlined, and the two others I'm mentally gestating, but you are not my therapist).

Fussy to the rescue (via Laid Off Dad). She is challenging those of us in blogland to make November National Blog Writing Month. So I have taken up the challenge to post to this blog every day in November, wether I have something post-worthy or not--photos don't count. I want to be a writer not a photographer (not entirely true, ask my therapist). You may ask, "if you have the energy and content to post every day for a month, then why do you only post fortnightly? Again, not my therapist.

Later fans of foster parents of NaNoWriMo orphans.

Urchins of the literati

Saturday, October 14, 2006

i'm a pro, so you can print

You can now purchase prints of photos that you see on this blog.

Most of the photos that will be posted from today forward (including the two below) will be loaded in a file size that allows you to buy prints from Flickr's photo-finishing service or download large-sized images that you can print elsewhere. I will attempt to go backwards and upload new, larger versions of older photos as I have time (ha!).


First, you have to get your own Flickr account. Regrettably, this means that you also have to get a yahoo account (sbcglobal is a Yahoo account).

How do you know if the photo is suitable for printing? Click on it. Above the photo is a series of little icons. One shows a magnifying glass and says "ALL SIZES." Click on it, then pick the original size. If it is HUGE, like, larger than your screen, then is a suitable resolution for printing.

Go back and click "order prints." Or your can just download the big size image and print it wherever you want.

Call with questions.

enjoy, photo-emulsion fans

new photos

Simon David
I did a photo shoot with David a Simon last week but new security measures are getting in the way of me posting to this blog. So click through this thumbnail to see some gorgeous photos.

Steve, Mr. Potato Head, David

Grandpa Steve rushed in from Colorado to play with David. Click through the photo to see a couple more shots.

David Steve Simon

David Steve Simon .JPG, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

David Simon

David Simon, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Jaime asked me to put this together for her desktop.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

fish omelet

David often gets up and around in the morning before Jaime does or while she is in the shower. Usually, he is ok, but he can get into things. One time he came upstairs with a bottle of lemon juice and a bottle of soy sauce saying that he wanted a drink. A couple of days ago, he had two eggs in one hand and the "Finding Nemo" dvd in the other.

stop panicking

So the Barium swallow went predictably well. Like the rattle in your car that you only hear until you go to the shop,he didn't spit up or show anything abnormal. Nevertheless, Jaime managed to rangle some anti-reflux meds out of our doctor. Suddenly, we are experiencing a barf drought at chez sdjj. It's going to wreck our entire barf-based economy. We're going to have to apply for barf subsidies from the department of barficulture.


They weighed and measured him. He is 22 inches long and weighs 9 lbs, 10 oz.
His weight puts him in the 22nd percentile for his age, the same percentage as women who test too high for levels of mercury.

Simon is definitely more an "infant" now rather than "new born." He's looking around, cooing, holding up his head and responding to the world. He will sit on my lap looking around, I'll move my face into his line of site, and his expression will change, like "oh hi, where did you come from?" This evening, I fed him a bottle for the first time. It was bonding and all, but doesn't seem the same without getting barfed on.

In other news, David and I hit the gym(nastics school) again this evening and were informed that a boy who jumps as well as he does should also be standing on one foot unassisted. So, when we got home, I tied one foot to his waist and told him he could have a glass of chocolate milk just as soon has he can get into the kitchen and get it. I'm confident that his monopedalism will improve by next week.

I'll be sure to report on his progress.

Later, mercury fans.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Tomorrow we poison the baby. Then, the radiation.

Have I ever told you about the time my old friend Jay nearly died? We were at Perkins with a group and Jay took a drink of soda while talking or laughing and choked. This was not the typical sputtering and gagging that we all encounter when something "goes down the wrong pipe." Jay stopped breathing. You've probably been around someone when this happens: they gag and try to swallow, being casual, not making a big deal. A worried look comes over them and they try harder to clear the problem by flexing and expanding the throat muscles. People stop talking and exchange concerned looks. Someone might make a joke to gauge the seriousness of the situation. A straight question would be more appropriate but few of us have been in this situation often enough to think clearly. Panic overtakes the victim, who stands and tries anything to begin breathing. Everyone else is up, wondering if they can live up to this moment--do what is required. With Jay, we were at the point of getting up and clearing space around him in case the heimlich would need to be done, when suddenly, spontaniously, he began to breath again. I had no idea that a person could choke so severely on a liquid. It was terrifying.

Something like this happens to Simon a couple of times almost everyday.

So, he is going to a "Barium Swallow" tomorrow.

Wikipedia says:
[He] will swallow a suspension of fine particles of Barium Sulfate in an aqueous solution with sweetening agents added. Then, we'll X-ray his esophagus. The suspension appears white on the x-rays, and outlines the internal lining of the esophagus.

Barium sulfate is the white crystalline solid with the formula BaSO4. It is very insoluble in water and other potential solvents. The mineral barite is composed largely of barium sulfate and is a common ore of barium.

Although barium is a heavy metal, and its water soluble compounds are often highly toxic, the extremely low solubility of barium sulfate protects the patient from absorbing harmful amounts of the metal. Barium sulfate is also readily removed from the body.

The compound works due to barium's relatively high atomic number (Z = 56), since large nuclei absorb X-rays much better than smaller nuclei.

It doesn't sound too traumatic. I'm not sure how they will do the X-ray. Ideally we would wait for him to fall asleep in order to hold still enough, but I don't know how much time we'll have after the swallow.

I also don't know what they are looking for or what they will be able to do when they find it.

As a matter of fact, if it were not for Wikipedia, I wouldn't know squat--a sad state of affairs indeed.

Of course, I'll completely forget to post an update after this is over to let you know how it went, so just imagine the best.

Later, Perkins fans

Thursday, September 21, 2006


This very blog is #18 out of 147 returns in a Google search for "amloidosis."

It is also #20 out of 145,000 returns for "worms in raisins."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

toddlers tumbling--duh

Tonight, David and I paid five bucks to hang out with about 20 other toddlers in a big room with springy floors covered in inches of foam. A room full of padded ramps and things to bounce on and climb over and and and


They had a big inflated runway for toddlers to bounce down over and over and over and over and over. Remember the parachutes we had in gym in grade school? They had one of those!

For me, the most interesting thing was watching David try to grasp a new skill--paying attention to a teacher in a group setting. It's hard enough to get him to listen to me when we are the only people in the room, he is inches from my face, and I am bellowing. In a room full of two-year olds, some lady is trying to make herself heard and he is supposed to pay attention? Read the instructions for setting the clock on your VCR to a room full of cats and see what happens.

Fortunately, we, the parents were present to keep things moving along:

Ok, she said walk sideways, David, no this way, see how she's doing it, wait, ok, she said go the other way, no, wait come back--no, sidew--oh wait, now we are--come back, no--now we are jumping, we are jumping backwards, I think, now wait watch like this--no, stop--come back wait, ok, 1, 2, 3, jum--oh wait, now we are running--follow that little girl--woops! don't step on her! just go around, follow that one with her mommy--

My main reason for going is that I really want David to meet and interact with others his own age. Maybe form some friendships so that he can have a social life that we don't have to pay five bucks for. Problem is that, like paying attention to the teacher, striking up friendships with strangers in a group situation is not a skill he was born with. This is where I come in. This is where I come in and stand uncomfortably in the corner looking at the floor. If memory serves, the last time I tried to introduce myself to strangers, they laughed at me from their tree house, so that is not something I'm best qualified to teach the boy. Fortunately, we have the five bucks.

I think we'll have to bring mom along sometime. She is one of those people that talks to people in line at the store and chats with the cashier. I went to Wal-Mart yesterday and the credit card swiper displayed the question, "Did your cashier greet you? Yes, No, Ignore" There was no option for "No, thank goodness, I was spared small talk with someone who, when distracted, will bag five pounds of potatoes on top of my eggs." Jaime wouldn't have waited for the cashier to greet her, she would greet him. And, in tumbling, she would have had David a play date with the cutest two-year-old girl in the room by the time we left.

But we'll be going back. I think David has Olympic somersault potential.

later, cat fans

Monday, September 18, 2006

a nearly proverbial suffering almost unlike any other

David loves sticks. With the high value he puts on them, you would not think they grew on trees. He picks them up, he uses them as guns (don't ask) and fishing poles (I don't know). He insists that you have some. When we go for a walk, he wants to stop and gather every stick we cross. He'll ask me to carry his trike so that he can walk and gather sticks.

He loves to take big heavy sticks and fling them carelessly up into the sky.

If you don't see where this is going, you are as naive as he is was.

I've watched him do this, the stick flinging, and I've thought to myself that he is asking for trouble, but I have not thought of any way to adequately explain the physics of a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. So, I figure the worst that can happen is a scratched cornea. Corneas heal. And if it doesn't, well, so he won't be a fighter pilot.

Sure enough he comes in the house tonight all crying and moaning and bleeding out of his eye and wah wah wah.

In fact, he was smart enough to close the eye as the stick approached and just scratched his eye lid. Nothing poetic or eternal about a poke in the eye lid with a sharp stick, and I am sure that there are plenty of things worse, so we let him go back out and try for something a more literary.

later metaphorical fans


Val, Bas, and Dar came by last evening (eventually) for some barely-controlled chaos. Regrettably, Ed had to work (killer fact: every member of this family actually has a polysylabic name!) David was thrilled to be host to the boys. Loudly thrilled.

First, stair games. This began with David asking "do you want to see my room?" But their cumulative attention span is simply not adequate for such a tour. Bas and Dar (B&D, for short) live in a vertically-challenged environment, so our flight of steps is a delightfully distracting treat for them. The primary activity was to sit on a step, slide to the edge, and drop down to the next step over-and-over, giggling squealing with each thud. This is something that can only be done by the diapered. I think if I were to try this, I would have to use a donut to sit for the rest of my life--even with the ample padding in that area I got for my 30th birthday.

Stair time led into squealing time, which was followed by pulling out every toy David owns for experiments in "sharing." "Sharing" was defined by David as grabbing a toy out of someone's hands and declaring that the original possessor is now sharing. This a similar concept to Lenin, Mao, and Bush defining "Liberating" as the use of force against the liberated.

We also witnessed the Great Circle of Imitation. B&D (BD, for short) watch David and imitate him, David also watches them and imitates. So, I had to give David very clear instructions not to jump from the third step up and they were not in the house for five minutes before David started using their 23-month-old verbiage.

It was great fun. The three toddlers are now old enough to really interact despite a six-month age difference. They have also been around each other enough not to be shy. Three non-shy toddler boys in a small room together full of toys--it was like being inside a tin of Jiffy Pop. I can't wait until they can play together again!

later bas and dar fans (BDF, for short)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

here thar be asphalt

At the edge of the park behind our home is an asphalt area with basketball hoops, some broken-down pic-nic tables, and tennis courts. It is an area of crooked railroad ties, cragged asphalt, and the occasional broken bottle. Metaphorically is the chaos lurking around the edge of our play area of orderliness. It is the edges of our map beyond which lie dragons where no one under 36 inches should venture for fear of life and limb. It is the unknown regions of the world, nay, of existence.

David loves it over there. He likes walking along ties, leaping down the steps, examining rocks, etc.

Well, today, our little Captain Cook got bit by the dragons--a stumble on the steps and a face plant on the asphalt, his first true sacrifice to his spirit of adventure.

Update: I totally forgot to tell you the rest of the story.

So, he comes back home with grandma Susie bloodied and crying and we get him cleaned up. He immediately wants to return to the scene of the accident and give the offending steps a good scolding, which they do.

When he returns, I fix him lunch. He has, or rather had, this habit of putting chunks of food in his mouth that are entirely too large to manage. This, combined with a gag reflex that is as delicate as a codependent's sense of self-respect, makes for explosive family fun. He attempts to swallow a piece of grilled-cheese sandwich the size of his fist, gags, and barfs on himself.

So his clothes are now stained with blood and vomit and I think to myself, "we could take him down by the university and lay him on the lawn of one of the fraternities. They would surely mistake him for one of their own, take him in, and raise him."

later, frat fans.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

from st francis

from st francis, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Simon's first home page

Here is the official hospital page for Simon. Click on "August," then on "Simon Jonathan . . ."

Monday, September 04, 2006

simon david

So, how is David adjusting to Simon so far?
For the most part, he behaves as he always has, but the context has changed, creating some problems. He is used to being the one that is the center of attention and he still demands the attention that he has normally gotten--but he isn't getting it. Instead, he is getting on our nerves as we try to take care of the baby, talk about the baby, sleep with the baby, etc. The same is true with attention from his mom. I can't say that he has been more demanding of her per se, but she doesn't have the normal amount to give that he is used to getting.
So, how is he responding to that diminished attention? Well, he is not showing jealously or resentment yet. He simply persistently demands more until we get irritated with him. So, he's getting called down a lot more often for simply trying to maintain the status quo.
There is some unfortunate timing with his normal 2.5-year-old behavior conflicting with parents-on-the-edge. Being stubborn and contrary would be fine if we had all of our energy to cope with it. The zig-zag pattern of a new-born is lovely, as is the criss-cross pattern of a toddler. But they don't go well together in the same room--the drapes don't match the curtains--if you will. Something to get used to.
But it's no worse than that--not for us, anyway. David is still exceptionally well-behaved and seems to be coping ok. I try to remember to take time to focus just on him, which is pretty easy since Simon only sleeps and eats. Grandma Susie is here to provide a buffer and take up some slack with things like household chores. So far, nothing adequately dramatic to report.
Plenty of uber-cuteness, though. Every time Simon cries, David rushes to him and squeaks "it's ok, it's ok." When he is not crying, David is still squeaky, "ahhhh, hey little guy, hey there, hey little guy," patting and fawning. It amazes us how big David seems next to his brother. It really drives home how much David has grown; we can hardly imagine that he was so tiny (were it not for a well-illustrated blog accounting for every step of his growth).
The two of them together are a delight, but a rare event. Simon is generally eating or sleeping and David is either demonstrating the latest height from which he can jump or falling off his tricycle. I hope that I can get them together soon for a photo shoot.
I promise I'll share.
Later, zig-zag fans.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Simon, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Ladies and Gentlemens:

Simon Jonathan Gilbert.

Born, August 31, 2006, 12:28 am
Weight: 7 lb 15 oz
Length: 20 in

simon david

Simon David, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

he's here!

Simon Jonathan has arrived! 7 pounds, 15 ounces, 20 inches, APGAR-9, hair? Yes! Black. And, of course, he is beautiful.

It was sort of non-climactic. Compared to David--much easier on all fronts.

We came into the hospital Wednesday morning, for the scheduled induction. As planned, they started slowly. As feared, not much happened. I even went home and did some work mid-morning. Around 4:00, Dr. Wiley came in and I figured that he would just send us home pregnant.

Instead, he ruptured the membranes. This kind of frustrated me. As previously mentioned, he said that they would apply a modest effort to see if things would kick in naturally. Now, without discussion or preamble, he breaks the waters, committing us to a birthing within 24 hours. We had gone through this with David--a lengthy process of agressive drugs forcing the issue.

From there, everything progressed normally, until, at midnight, Jaime was pronounced ready to birth a baby. Skylar had been with us most of the day and was planning on attending the birth, but by 11:30 she was tired. She went home, leaving instructions for us to call her when something happened. So, thirty minutes later, I summonsed her back. She nearly missed it. By the time she came in, everything was prepared and Jaime was pushing. Grandma Suzie was also part of the team this time. Not quite 30 minutes of pushing and he came out without a hitch and with very little tearing.

Jaime used the same pain meds that she used with David, but less of it, so she was able to feel much more the experience.

This morning a nurse ran in to our room, waking us up and asking us where he is. We didn't have him. They had taken him for a bath sometime in the night and we fell sound asleep, so they kept him. Seeing we didn't have him, the nurse ran back out. She returned a few minutes later to assure us that they had found him. Appearantly the security device had fallen off of his ankle, setting off the alarm. The security device has a unique code that matches bracelets we are wearing. It is the primary way that we identify what baby belongs to whom. So now, we'll never be absolutely sure that he is ours until a decade from now when routine bloodtests after a skate boarding accidents reveal a shocking secret that leads to a 20/20 special investigation.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ready to roll

Well, in spite of some days with long periods of regular, but light contractions, and some days with heavy, but irregular, contractions, no baby has arrived.
So, tomorrow morning we are off for an inducin'. We'll arrive to the hospital around 7:00 and start things going. So, I don't expect to sleep a lot tonight, which is why I am blogging at 11:00.
The feeling is somewhere between the excitement you feel the night before going to Disney World and the foreboding you feel the night before . . . well, before you'll submit your wife to one of the most physically painful experiences she'll ever have.
Grandma Suzie is here and pretty excited to be able to participate this time. Everyone is on high alert, waiting for the phone call, which you already know, because you are pretty much everyone.
So, here we go, perched at the top of the roller coaster after a long nerve-wracking tug up the hill. Ready to roll.
later, Disney fans

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

our best-laid plan

OK, we have a plan, which is a great relief.

Jaime and I have been torn between waiting until spontaneous labor and going completely batso insane. The litany of fears basically boils down to "in another week, this child will spring, fully grown (and armored) from my forehead." You may recall that David got stuck and we had a few scary moments because of that. This is not an indicator that the same thing could happen again, but the specter is ever-present cloud over our desire for a natural childbirth.

We met with the OB today to discuss the issue in a more rational, less metaphorically soupy way. On one hand, he is willing to induce Jaime when ever she feels like it at this point. On the other, both she and the baby are healthy and he is happy to let the pregnancy go until September 7. He has very little advice to offer otherwise. I wish I could get paid so much for so little.

But he did have this: in a study, 328 near-term pregnant women who have previously had a child were asked to guess the weight of their baby. Then, the OB did his exam and made a guess as to the weight and the women were given a sonogram and the weight was determined from that. On average, the doctors' guesses were off by 1.5 pounds plus/minus, the sonograms were off by 1 pound, and the mothers' guesses off by .5 pounds. Our doctor used this to illustrate where the decision for the next step ultimately lies. He could examine and guess and make a recommendation, but it is less likely to be as accurate as what Jaime thinks. If she thinks it is getting too big and wants to go ahead an induce, then that is what he'll do.

Another fact I didn't know: inducing doesn't always work. They'll give it a try for about a day--less, if the weather is good for golfing--but if the mother and baby are honestly not ready, then it won't work and the woman will go home as pregnant as when she arrived--but more batso insane. That helped me. David was induced because Jaime's water broke. It was an unpleasant and drawn-out process. But in that case, they wanted the baby to come before the risk of infection developed from the ruptured membranes. So they were much more aggressive than they are with a voluntary induction. I am relieved to know that induction is actually a good try to get things started--not an attempt to artificially force the issue.

Lastly, Grandma Susie is coming next week. She'll be here for several weeks.

So, this is the "plan." Our OB is on call for deliveries tomorrow, this weekend, and next Wednesday. The plan is that we'll wait one more week. If we don't have spontaneous labor or a nervous breakdown by Wednesday--which is the day before the "due date," then we'll induce and Grandma Susie will get to be there, which wasn't possible with David.

Why are we relieved to have a plan? Because it allows us to stop thinking about it and relax. That, combined with our decision to wait until Grandma Susie can be with us, will cause the immediate onset of labor, which is what we are counting on.

So, mark your calendars. Sometime in the next eight days we are goin' to the hospital to have a baby or give it our best effort.

Later, batso insane fans.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Jaime emailed me.
Well the good news is that I am dilated to a 2 and Simon is head down.

The bad news is that Wiley said he would not let me go past my due date of "September 7th". I almost wanted to die.

In a passive-aggressive attempt to get him to think about going earlier, I asked him to compare my current size to that of David at 36 weeks.

I am dilated which I don't think I was at that time, I weigh almost 10 pounds more, and Simon measures 3cm bigger than David did. And after all that he still won't let me go past September, oh lucky me.

Wiley asked if he was moving ok and I said the movements have seemed to slow down a bit so he ordered a stress test. Simon is fine and moves like a champ, I even had two mild contractions during the test. The nurse was really nice and talked to me for a bit after it was done. She said the August 31st (according to the sono) was probably the most accurate date and to give it until this weekend when I hit 38 weeks.

I still feel like crying, which I am getting sick of but I will try to remain patient.

Monday, August 14, 2006

david & the tummy

david & the tummy, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


restin, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

david & the tummy 2

david & the tummy 2, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


wedding, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Here we have a rare shot of David watching TV in his underwear. And who is that hansom couple on the screen? Tomorrow's Hollywood superstars? Nope that is Uncle Grant and the now-officially-Aunt Tina recently married in Seattle. Jaime couldn't attend because she is knocked up so she is just outside the frame, crying.

Congratulations from the Gilbert family to the newly-weds. We wish more than anything we could have been there--well, more than anything but giving birth in the isle of a 737.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

hurrying up, waiting

Well, we are disappointed to have no real news yet. When Jaime lost her plug Monday, we were pretty excited. Yes, one can unplug as much as three weeks prior to the birth, but with David that was only five days and the second is supposed to come faster, right? Additionally, Jaime was showing several other signs of a pending birth. So, we have been preparing for a birthin' this weekend. Alas, no. Not only is there baby yet, but most of the symptoms have subsided.

We went to the mall today for a long walk--because that is supposed to help. Sure enough, while walking through Dillards, Jaime had a pretty significant contraction--the first in 24 hours. It maintained while walking and while not walking whereas false labor generally subsides when you change modes. So, we were stoked. But it subsided and nothing followed. Jaime is convinced that it has something to do with Dillards.

We were trying to remember details from David, but are not recalling much. I didn't record enough information. For instance, there is a scale from -5 to +5 that tracks the baby's progress. -5 is just starting, not even in the birth canal yet, and +5 is crowning. The baby is -2. I don't remember where David was when, so I can't compare. Jaime is partially, but not fully, effaced. Again, I don't remember when David met this milestone.

I do, however, remember that, when Jaime's water broke with David, I was surprised--even a little incredulous. I recall thinking that there had been no accompanying signs, perhaps she is mistaken. I was prepared to take Jaime to the hospital in labor, but that didn't happen, we had to induce the actual labor. So, this one could take us by surprise as well.

Nevertheless, we wait. It is hard, especially for Jaime. I am trying to get us in the mindset of abandoning the idea that it will come this week. Let's just assume that it will come next week. That way, if it comes earlier, great. But, if it does not, then we'll at least get out of this craziness of planning to be at the hospital sometime in the next 24 hours. It is an impossible level of hyper-readiness. I am cramming as much work in to every day in preparation for leaving at a moment's notice and I am putting off any project that will take more than 24 hours to execute.

So, we hope it will come sooner, but are trying to resign ourselves to it coming later. Or later still.

Later, fans.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

perhaps on the mtv blog

--I've gone acoustic [giggle].
--I'm unplugged.
--oh. Ha! That's pretty good
--You should blog it.

Monday, August 07, 2006

labor: true or false?

For the time being, false.


Has Jaime birthed that baby yet?


The OB, Dr. Wiley, has the due date set at August 31 (cute story, David has a baby cousin named "Riley." When they were introduced on Saturday, David called him "Dr. Riley"). Jaime's calculations, based on being present at certain stepping-stones in the process, put her at August 11. However, Dr. Wiley trusts her instincts. If labor has not begun by the weekend, he is willing to order sonograms or measurements or whatever it takes to determine how big the baby is and induce if necessary. The goal is to avoid a baby bigger than about eight pounds--one that raises the possibility of needing an emergency c-section.

So, there are two issues at work here--uncertainty about the due date, and concern about the size of the baby. It is common knowledge that due dates are highly unreliable and nearly arbitrary. People often say to us that baby will come when it is ready to come, regardless of an established date. That may be true, but having a due date helps with addressing the size problem. If the due date comes and goes, then that will trigger doctors to monitor the size to be sure that the extra time is not causing problem. Having such a wide discrepancy as we makes it difficult to address this issue.

You may have noticed that white American people are having larger and larger babies these days. While certainly not a health crisis, it does pose interesting issues. We have gotten very good at promoting prenatal health to middle-class women--maximizing every opportunity for the fetus to develop as much as possible. They are so healthy that they are reaching birthing weight and beyond just a little quicker than they should.

What facts am I citing to support this supposition? You are clearly not familiar with the way blogging works. I'm just typing to kill some time. If you want facts, go watch Fox News.

It just seems to me like babies are getting bigger, that's all. I would be curious to know how many women of my grandmother's generation had to worry about an emergency c-section because the baby would be too big at the onset of labor.

later, big baby fans

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


brushing, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

terrible, even when entertained

Val said:
I challenge this statement, based on research and experience. Boredom is certainly a huge problem with two-year-olds, but even if it were not a contributing factor, the twos would still be terrible. The terribleness comes from a developmental stage common to both people and dogs. The Scientist in the Crib and Super Puppy both discuss this. Little'uns go through a stage where the want nothing more than to please you. This is a primary learning stage--imitation. But that would only get them so far-right? You can't learn everything about the world by just doing what your parents/owners do. So, the question becomes, "what can I do that is not what my parents want me to do?" Eventually, the moment comes where that you'll suggest to a toddler that he/she spends some time doing the one thing in life they most enjoy doing--"Let's spend the afternoon eating ice cream!" They will think to themselves "she wants me to eat ice cream, and she doesn't want me to stick a wet screwdriver in the electical socket. Hmmm. I wonder what she'll do if I go with the screwdriver plan anyway."
Of course this thought is deep below the consciousness, way down in the primordial brain. It doesn't translate well to the conscious brain and seems to cause them as much stress as it does you. I think this may be presenting itself in David's decision-making abilities. We'll give him a choice, he'll decide, then change his mind, and then again. We have to set a boundary about many times he can do this (the boundary is generally, "ok, I'm annoyed"), but no matter which choice we finally settle on, he'll cry, wanting the other one. "I want yogurt, no, I want raisins, no, yogurt, raisins, aghghghgh!"

As I understand it, this is the case no matter how "entertained" the two-year old is. Eventually, they will want to do something you don't want just to shake it up.
Later, terrible fans.

Friday, July 21, 2006

skylar thinks david is cute

From Skylar:
Since you are on a conversation post kick.... last night we went to Grandma Honaker's and took David (Jaime was having a bad night), he wanted some soda and I wanted to give him water so we settled on Gatorade. He drank the first half glass full and came to me, "Auntie Skylar, I want some more aligator please". I thought that was cute.

Then on the way home he was screaming to keep himself awake, Mom asked if she needed to pull over on the highway and give him a time out, he of course said yes. She pulled over and whispered to me "how am I going to do this"? I thought that the guard rail looked nice, dangerous but nice. She talked to him and then she started to take off and he said "whats that all about".

He then told me on the way home that daddy was not home, he was flying the airplane to Colorado.

You really should not have taught him to speak.

Hope your flight was good.
He has been doing the "what's that about" quite a bit, lately. I assume he picked it up from Nikki as I don't think Jaime and say it much. He seems to have some idea of what it means.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

hold on

-Where are you goin'?
-I'm going to Colorado.
-Are you walkin' to Colorado?
-Nope, I'm going to fly on an airplane
-You're flyin' on a airplane?
-You're not drivin' to Colorado?
-Nope, I'm going to fly.
-You better hold on tight.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Are you being nice?
Why aren't you being nice? Did I hurt you?
No, I hurt you
Yes, you did hurt me. Are you mad at me?
Then why did you hurt me?
I'm mad at you.
Why are you mad at me?
I [garbled] you.
Say again?
I [garbled] you
You hurt me or you hate me?
I hurt you.
Why did you hurt me?
Because I'm not being nice.

Monday, July 17, 2006

mastery of our mother tongue

Now that David knows enough words to work for the state, he is beginning the lifelong journey of learning all the wonderful ways he can put those words together to create meaning. We all know that grammar ain't easy and anyone who knows me knows that this post is about to digress to a discussion of English grammar that has nothing to do with David.

I've heard some say that English is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn. Actually, linguists put it somewhere in the middle of the worlds' languages when measuring difficulty. One of the many reasons that English is both easier and more difficult than other languages is that one can play loose and fast with its grammar and still produce meaning. One does not have to get it "right" to be understood, which makes many of the rules defining what is truly "right" a little elusive, which brings me back to David. He is usually able to convey meaning, while also butchering standard grammar--which is adorable.

"He/him/his" vs. "She/her/hers" poses a real problem. This is not strictly grammar. Firstly, I have no idea how good his grasp of gender is. Secondly, he just doesn't seem to understand why one word is better than another if I know what he means. He usually defaults to "he" and regularly refers to his mother that way.

Past tense: he understands regular past-tense construction and applies it to all verbs and some adverbs as in "I fall downded"

Yesterday, I thought our friends had arrived early for a visit but I was mistaken. David was anxious to see them and put out by my mistake. "Is they are not here yet?"

I relish in the adorableness of it knowing that the persistent, nagging correction of his speech throughout his life will turn him into someone who can talk real good. Additionally, teaching him turns of phrase like "whilst supping cold plum porridge" helps immensely. I can't wait for the day he says something like, "I fall downed whilst supping waisins."

later, grammar fans

Saturday, July 15, 2006

it's not a pirhana!

So, after he has been asleep for an hour or so, we hear David crying in his bedroom. We both go up to tend to him. The crying doesn't seem very concerning. It is a regular slow "wah" that I usually associate with simply being upset. I attempt gather from him what the problem is but he won't answer and I assume that he is still asleep. I feel around to verify that he has a pacifier handy. There is one in his hand--fine. Then I notice that the sheets are wet. So, I give him to Jaime who sits and rocks with him while I changed his sheets. He continues to cry, and she tries to console him without success. Then, she exclaims and calls me to the rocking chair. I look to see what's up and she is holding up his hand.

He had not been holding a bink. The bink was holding him. Somehow a savage, flesh-eating bink had gotten into bed and was had consumed about 3/4ths of his indexed finger. Jaime could not get it off. So, she held his hand, I held the bink, and we pulled. David bellowed. The bink released its vise-like hold and came off. I stomped on it and tossed in a jar of formaldehyde that David was preserving a miniature T-Rex in. He seemed relieved and didn't cry anymore. The finger was saved.

Pirhana bink

Pirhana bink, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

in love

Jaime and I have developed a little ritual. Each night before we go to bed, we check in on David. We make sure that he is sleeping ok, has his various sleeping crutches close at hand, that he isn't too cold or too hot. And then we just stand and look at him being the calmest stillest he has been all day. While staring at him a couple of nights ago, I reflected on what I was feeling. It took a moment to search around the attic of my psyche and lay my finger on just what I was experiencing. Then, I hit on it. I was in love. It was the very same giddy, I-want-to-stay-up-all-night-on-the-phone, I-want-to-write-bad-poetry, my-life-is-now-perfect, feeling of being in love right at the beginning of the relationship when you finally realize how you feel about the person. David inspires that almost every day. That inspiration, whether it is in teenage boys, or sentimental fathers, always makes one look at life differently. "My life is wonderful because of this, I never want to let it go." How could this happen every day? Perhaps it is because of the rate at which he is changing. Perhaps it is because I only get about three solid hours with him a day. Perhaps it will kill me, being too taxing on my heart. I don't know. Of course, I will have to let it go someday, which is fine too. There are 1,000 thousand different facets of love, and I have only experienced a few dozen so far. It would be stunting to cling to the most passionate ones forever.

Of course, he sleeps through all of this. The highlight of his day is riding his new tricycle and being able to share with you that he just farted and then giggling hysterically. Until he is a parent, he will not be able to comprehend what I am talking about. I'm sure no child has felt the same love for their parents that parents feel for their children. It is the ultimate unrequited relationship. Fortunately, I can share it with Jaime, whom I am confident feels the same way and we can commiserate that our sleeping little boy will probably spend most of his life unaware of 90% of the feelings that we have for him. If we can even convey to him even 10%, though, he will feel overwhelmed and probably resort to fart jokes to get us to back off. This will work. I have always hated fart jokes.

later, love fans


frown2.jpg, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


tricycle, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


tricycle, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


grass, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

interview with laid-off dad

Since I am not actually updating this with my own stuff, here are three two very good excerpts from this interview with this daddy blogger.

"Most people think the usual things about New York, but not enough is written about how great a place it is to raise young children. It’s very neighborly; the coffee guy knows my usual, the deli guy has Robert’s bagel in the toaster before we walk in the door. Everything I need is less than three blocks away, and we don’t spend all day strapping babies into car seats. But we’ll never afford the space we’ll ultimately need, and on one very sucky day we’ll have to leave."

"I love how marriage and fatherhood have made me a better man."
Now, go read the whole thing yourself.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

off with (the dirt on) his head!

Jaime says: "d was up at 6:30 this morning. as punishment i washed his hair. maybe next time he will listen when I say go back to bed."

Monday, June 26, 2006

worms, roxanne, i'm afraid of worms!

So, David is eating his dinner last night with an unusual level of cooperation--eggs with pees and corn, raisins, and chili-power-covered pistachios. A few minutes in, he declares that he doesn't like worms.

"Great" I say, "I'll leave them off of the grocery list."

A few minutes later, he announces that there are worms in his raisins. Ha ha, what a tremendous imagination. I assume the funny voice, "there are not worms in your raisins, sillyhead. Now, eat your eggs"

A few minutes more and he points at the raisins, "see, worms right there."

I'm a good sport, so I look. Holy leaping larvae, there ARE worms in his raisins! There are two or three tiny white wormy things the look a lot like inch worms would look if they were quarter-inch worms.

"I don't like them," he says.

This final statement begs a question: Does he know he doesn't like them because he has tried them, or is he just assuming he doesn't like them because daddy served them and he is an obstinate two-year-old? Because you know that, the next time I try to feed him, all he is going to want is the raisin worms.

later, worm fans.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

big music

Hi, I just have moment, but the guilt of no blogging is becoming overwhelming. We could all be dead, for all you know. Actually, if we were dead, you would know. I'd be sure to post about something so monumental. That would really increase my traffic--blogging from the grave.
"Monumental" is the problem--nothin' much is going on. David is still two and reminds us about that every couple of days. Jaime is still prego and reminds me about that even more frequently. Let me put it this way--I don't see the title of this blog getting all that much longer in the future.
David has crossed another language line. At this point he is talking primarily in sentences and putting together and rearranging words with increasing skill. Now he moving to the point--which he'll perfect by age four--of being able to form complete sentences that make no sense. A couple of times lately, he has uttered a perfectly articulated sentence and Jaime and I have looked at each other and said, "what the heck does that mean?" He is also getting frustrated if he still has simply not learned the word to express a thought. Often, in the car he will want to listen to music. But when I turn the radio to a music station, he complains, "no, big music." Big Music? What does that mean. Louder? No. I'm not sure. I think it might be classical music. He seemed satisfied once when I turned the dial to opera.
I am writing from a hotel in Amarillo, TX. I'm heading down to El Paso to get a look at this border situation first-hand. I'll submit my conclusions in shreadible memo form.
later, big music fans.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

busta rhymes, sunbeam

Back at Christmastime, Granny Great gave David a book of children's Sunday School songs that includes a little electronic music box. It has buttons for each song and plays them in that high-pitch mobile-phone ringer timbre. He enjoyed it mildly at the time, but about a month ago, it became his most favorite book ever. So, we spend a portion of our bedtime routine running through the songs that I first learned in the basement of West Side Baptist Church. All except "Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam." I had heard of this song before, but I hadn't ever actually heard it. In my humble opinion--and I think Jesus would agree with me--this is a terrible song. Equal parts half-boiled sentimentalism and neo-gnostic-cabalistic mysticism set to a tune so catchy that I need a drill to get it out of my head.

So, I won't sing it.

So, it is David's favorite.

He attempts to push the "Sunbeam" button over and over while I block it with my thumb and insist that I won't sing it. Eventually, he gets past my thumb and pushes it. The music plays, he prompts me "sing daddy," I remind him that I refuse, and sit in silence. I suspect he loves this game. Someone has been singing it for him, though, because he knows most of the words.

The high point is "Jesus Loves Me." I will concede that, as poetry goes, this is not a great hymn, but I learned it just moments before I learned to be critic, so it falls into the sacred realm of "good because of nostalgia" along with the Thompson Twins. In David's mouth, it becomes the hymn of the Angels. He still doesn't have much sense of tune or rythm, so he provides a churchy, hip-hop, Orkish-war-cry interpretation. This morning, I was putting my shoes on, getting ready to leave for work when I heard him get out of bed upstairs and pad across his room to the song book. Then, the "Jesus Loves Me" ringtone starts and I can hear him singing/rapping. It's no St. Symeon The New Theologian, but it is more praying than I did this morning.

But "Jesus Loves Me" is not his only rhyming. I recently picked up a copy of Mother Goose rhymes, which is now the other half of his bedtime routine. His favorites are the songs like "Three Blind Mice" and "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep," as well as "The Man in the Moon," "Humpty Dumpty," and the one that ends "How do you do, how do you do, how do you do again." When we get to "Jack be nimble" he always points to the picture of Jack and asks what he is doing, then I read the poem and he asks again, and I read the poem, and on and on until I decide to turn the page. Most of these he knows partially or completely and we can recite them together while playing.

As you know, I am a language-development fan, so it thrills me to hear David tackle these little ditties. Additionally, singing with David and reading Mother Goose (he calls it "Another Goose") fits that idealistic vision of parenthood that I held before becoming a parent. Most of those dreams get dashed by inconvenient reality, but any frustration simply melts away when I hear my two-year-old work out the line, "With supping cold plum porridge" while sitting on my lap in a rocking chair at sunset.

later, sunbeam fans

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


The World's Biggest "Congratulations" goes out today to my Aunt Karen and Uncle Paul, who are expecting a new baby in January! However, I think we can assume that this the most unexpected expecting that you could expect.

Let me reminisce. Karen's current pregnancy is not her first. It is her sixth. Her first was 19 years ago. I was a mere 15 years old. I had some vague awareness of how these things come about, but no real concept of what conception really means. She continued to build up her beautiful family while I finished high school and went on to college, where my concept went from vague to silly. I became that annoying radical that made sarcastic comments like "You know how this happens, right?" and "So much for population control." I think my worst was when she told me she was pregnant with four or five and my immediate, unthinking reaction was something along the lines of "really? Is that good news?" I did a lot less thinking then than I should have; just ask anybody. But Karen was patient and forbearing with me and I thank her. At about the time that we all assumed that the Burns family was complete, give or take a pet, I began to shed the ridiculous sets of values of the University and got to get a glimpse from more experienced people of what real family life and values mean. It is an ever-growing concept, but the Burns family is one of the primary images of Family that I hold in both its ideal and its hard, everyday, practical, reality.

So, I am very pleased that Karen has decided to have another baby and give me the opportunity to say "that's great! Congratulations!" I also took the opportunity to ask her a question:

"When you were pregnant with [your first child], what do you recall was the most important thing on your mind? How do you view those concerns now?"

. . . boy, that was a few years ago (she was 19 in Feb.). I think when I was pregnant with her I was simply excited, scared and tired . . .all the time. You always go through a fear of “what if” sort of fear for the baby’s health. With your first one it is out of everything being so new and different, and from those well meaning acquaintances that insist on telling you about so and so and the troubles they had. I didn’t think much then of what sort of parent I’d be, but that is a very real concern now! Funny, you wouldn’t think so after already parenting five kids, two of whom are close to adulthood, but I think it is that very fact that I am concerned. I know the mistakes I made (some I don’t know--those are the worst). I also know the things I would do different so that is helpful, but each child is so incredibly different from the other that changes in my parenting might not make any difference at all! I have learned the best way to approach children is as an instructor. They don’t know something so you have to explain it, show it and be patient when they don’t seem to have a clue. Keeping this in mind has prevented the screaming and yelling so often accompanied by a tired, frustrated mom. Being an “old" mom will have some advantages simply because with age comes wisdom. I hope I have a little more now than I did nineteen years ago.

I also asked her if she told her husband yet.

It took me three days to convince Paul that I was indeed pregnant. The next day he had a rather dazed look on his face most of the day. I now have four doctors (or groups) taking care of me, two that are specialist in high risk pregnancies. I’m going to be totally worn out by the end because of the kind of time I will have to spend at the doctors' offices. We are over the shock and pretty excited.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's official

I'm officially employed. St. Francis called today and gave me a start date of June 5th.

I will need someone to come over and orient me to the "real world" before then.

Middle Management

David has a new game he likes to play with his Doodle Pro. He likes to sit on the floor and ask you your name (over and over and over and over and over and over again) then he looks down and says "Okay!" and starts to scribble lines on the Doodle Pro.

He repeats this over and over again. He never gets tired of asking you what your name is.

Of course, this only applies to mom and dad. When ever we meet a new child at the park or zoo this skill is lost and replaced with the "duck and cover" behind the leg move.

I see a bright future for the little guy as an intake worker for the state.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hang in

On behalf of the family I would like to apologize for the lack of updates on the old blog. For those of you who don't know, we are in the middle of a move and things are a little crazy. If you are needing updated info, just email and we will get it to you in good time.

Up dates, short and sweet:

David is out of the crib and in a twin bed in his own room. Overall things are going good and he is still sleeping through the night. Bedtime is rough but I am about to set new limits in the hopes of shaving our time down from two hours to 45 mins. Wish me luck or send duck tape, either one is fine by me.

I made it through graduation and the state exam. According to the Washburn site I maintained a 4.0 through Grad school. According to my bank account the "Appreciation Notes" I wrote to my professors have cleared.

Now all I need is for St. Francis to call me back on a start date.

The new place is a mess but my daily affirmation tells me "That's OK". If you feel like hanging out and unpacking just give me a ring.

I would like to thank everyone for helping over the last four years with school, David, or by providing emotional support and the occasionally slap in the face for a reality check.

In a week or so we will be fully operational and up and running, so hang tight and check back.

because i should

I feel bad that I haven't updated in a week, so I thought I would drop a
line. We are, probably, 80% moved. The new place is full of boxes, the
old place still has 1,000,000 odds-and-ends--like the office, that still
need to be moved. It creates a lot of tension--having your stuff spread
out like that.

David LOVES his new bed and his new room but Jaime and I agree that he
looks very small in it. If you come over, he will take you up to his room,
climb up on his bed while announcing that it is "my bed, my bed," grab the
head rail, and jump up and down violently until he finally bumps his head
on the wall.

He is not 100% thrilled, though. Our first night was Monday night. We
grabbed the minimal food and dishes to get us through Tuesday
morning. David got up particularly early that morning, while I was getting
ready for work. He was hungry. "I want a yogurt."
"I'm not sure that we have yogurt"
"I want a bar"
"Well, I'll check, but I am not sure that we have bars."
"I want a biscuit"
"I don't think we have any biscuits. We have fruit and apple sauce. Do
you want that?"
"I want to go home."
"Bad news, kiddo . . ."

later, home fans


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Winds of Change

It's Tuesday night at 10:50 and I am surfing the web. I've checked the Daily Show site and caught up on my daily news. I've checked my email and tomorrows movie show times.
My anxiety level is moderate. That would be due to the years of procrastinating homework assignments and papers.

I no longer have homework assignments and papers to do.

Some say it will take a while to get rid of the sense of dread in the pit of my stomach every time I dink on the internet or sit down to watch a movie (did that tonight too) instead of focus on my educational responsibilities.

All I can say is.......


That's right, the Deedo is back. No longer do I have to feel preoccupied with all the things I "should" be doing with school while I'm doing other things.

David has a full time mother, for the first time in his Life!! (Until my job starts in June)
Jason has a wife again.
I will soon find my sanity.

Netflix, here I come!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Brice and David, July 2004

Brice and David, July 2004, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.