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.

chemo blog

Dad says: "Greetings Medical fans and/or Those who get off on gruesome details & you all know what category you fit into!" He is journaling his treatment in Wichita for the AL Amloidosis previously discussed here.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

toddler as tabla rasa

spider, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

I was reading Dooce's 27-month letter to her daugher and comparing her happy happy sentiments to my recently more dour tone. I am confident that David is every bit as charming as Leta and that, conversly, Leta is just as much a pain as David. The difference? The parents, obviously. Toddlers are generally a pretty good mix of wonder and disaster, so we parents have the option of focussing on one aspect or another. All who have read Dooce are very aware of her ongoing battle with depression an the struggle to balance her family, her life and her medication to stay on top. Readers of "david jaime jason" don't get quite so much candid discussion of personal struggle because I am way too lazy to write as much as Ms. Armstrong. Also, I am generally a happy guy, so it would be pretty dull reading.

So why am I currently projecting so much misery on the little guy? Well, things are a little stressfull around chez Simmons/Gilbert right now as we go through a major life change of Jaime graduating and becoming employed, us moving, and then birthing a baby. The next six months represent a crossroads for me personally as full time employment for Jaime gives me the freedom to really figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I don't particularly like my job and don't and want do be gone nine hours a day for the rest of my childeren's lives. So I am working through options. Plus, well there is other stuff that Dooce might get into, but that I will not, which distinguishes this blog, with its dozen-or-so visitors a day, from hers, with about 48,000 visitors a day.

All of that being said, I will try to be a bit more chipper about the boy from now on. Here is a picture of him smiling about a giant spider that has landed on his head, for starts.

later happy happy fans.


swingin, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

spring light

sunset behind curtains.jpg, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

sunset behind trees, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

bubbles, originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

ticking time bomb of fury

David is lapsing into cliche and is forcing me to be cliché with him. His clichéd behavior is that of the "terrible" two and my cliché response is terribly impatient. Jaime proposed that I behave more originally and try to divert David out of his stereotypical behavior, but I'm not having much luck, which is causing she and I to exhibit some rather trite tension-between-parents-of-a-cliched-two-year-old behavior. I would rather David take the lead on originality and think outside the tiredly proverbial "box," but he really likes boxes--typical. So there is a lot of loud-but-dull crying performances from him and some ham-handed pulling of hair from me.

He went from learning how to jump, to jumping up and down while screaming and clenching his fists. I would see it as somewhat cute if I were not blind with my own rage just at that moment. The whole world can prattle on-and-on about the terrible twos, but it is a very different thing to actually come face-to-face with the hellish fury of a 35-inch tall boy deprived a cookie before dinner. This is why everyone always talks about it--because nothing can really prepare you for it. So, when it happens, you are positive that no one has actually ever experienced it before--they would have described it better. But, if they would have described it accurately, I would have rolled my eyes and said they were over-reacting. Nevertheless, I'll waste my breath on future generations: A two-year-old tantrum is just like sitting beside a serene mountain lake in the summertime and then suddenly being hit repeatedly on the chest with a roofing hammer wielded by an angry momma bear. It is confusing, sudden, scary, and painful.

Without segué, I will report on a great breakthrough in the park yesterday. A friend of his, with whom we often play at the park, had brought a ball. It was lying around and David wanted to play with it. As soon as he picked it up, the friend wanted it and a fight ensued. So the boy's father and I separated them and gave them instruction on how to play catch. They did really well for two or three throws/kicks, until David spied another ball that the boy's sister brought and abandon the game to get it. However, over the course of the rest of the evening in the park, David played catch at various times with his friend, another much older boy, and me. It was great progress.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Hide and Seek

This morning at the OB office the physician assistant was trying to get the heartbeat of the little one.

Each time she found a good spot the sound would shortly disappear.

Apparently he likes to swim laps early in the morning.