Slept Like a Baby? Ha!

Whomever coined the phrase “slept like a baby” must have never had any kids. In fact, I’m pretty sure that person was never a kid themselves and is in fact some type of alien. I’m pretty sure this is gonna be part of Obama’s agenda in his second term.

Actually, my baby son (now four months old!) does pretty well sleeping. Much better than his sister at that age. Still, I would hardly call the way a baby sleeps anything but a fragile situation, just one floor squeak, or big sister scream, or ant landing on a bed of feathers away from awake baby time.

It’s even more amazing to me the process involved in getting a baby to sleep. I’m convinced they are all different. Our first ate to sleep. Always. It was the only thing other than a half hour car ride that would get her to sleep. The boy is different. He eats to sleep, but sometimes as soon as he’s put in the crib he wakes up. Then Daddy gets his time for action.

In the past week or so, I’ve found my baby wrangling touch. I’ve been able to rock him to sleep. It’s silly, but it makes me feel good that I’m able to contribute a bit to our rest.  There’s nothing worse than a wide awake baby at 4:00 AM when you have to wake up at 6:30. Every tick of that clock is a tick you aren’t going to be able to use for sleep. Very rough.

Well, I hear the guy now. I may have to work my magic. In conclusion: guy who coined the phrase “slept like a baby” is an alien, Obama is on it, and I am awesome.

***UPDATE***

Wouldn’t you know it that what I described above actually just happened? I was able to use my weird pretend jog/rocking thing to get the baby to sleep. I feel like a wizard right now.

A Job Done Well

I mentioned last week that my Dad and I spent six hours sanding away paint on one of my porches in preparation of painting the porch. Well, we ran out of daylight that day, so the porch remained paintless for the past week. Yesterday, Friday, we were able to finish the job. Here is the before and after:

Before:
BeforeDeck1

BeforeDeck2

After:
AfterDeck

We have a few touch-ups left to do, but overall I am very happy. We were drained by the end of the project, but we feel great about the improvement. Thanks Dad!

Me VS Babies

I had such plans for last night after the kids went to sleep. I was gonna grab a lawn chair, go out on my deck, and do some writing old school pen and paper style and enjoy the weather. It was gonna be grand. Of course, it didn’t happen. Instead, the baby stayed awake until 10:15.

We tried everything to get the little guy to sleep. My wife fed him a bunch of times, I sang to him, and we both took turns walking him around the house. At 10:00 my wife collapsed from a day of dealing with the kids and fell asleep. My sanity was in my own hands.

I took the son to the living room, made sure the lights were out, and tried to rock him. That didn’t work. Then, for some reason, I tried a complicated tip-toe, slow motion jog move. Wouldn’t you know, this calmed him down and he eventually fell asleep. You should’ve seen me. Or maybe not.

So, did I finally do any writing? Not exactly. Instead, I cut myself a piece of the pie, layed down on the couch, and watched a replay of the brilliant US vs Spain soccer match. Good times. Hopefully I can do some writing tonight. I really hope I don’t have to do the slow motion jog again.

The post I was gonna write today was about the new Transformers movies and how much they bug me. Then I went to Tor.com and say somebody had written about the topic much more eloquently than I. Check it out:
The Transformers Live-Action Movies, as they should have been. For me, the movies would be fine if they dropped the Transformers name because with the ones in the movie are really Transformers In Name Only.

Learning a New Language

I’m learning a new language. No I’m not learning Spanish, or French, or German, or whatever they speak in Philadelphia (zing!). No, I’m learning a new programming language.

In my day job I’m a computer programmer and they have me learning Java.  Now, before you take away my Geek membership card, I already know Java. It’s just I don’t work with Java and don’t know Java here (the programming environment, workflow, etc). I’m excited to be learning something new, but I also know it’s gonna mess with my head a bit.

In general, I don’t have a lot of trouble picking up a new programming language or technology. I’m actually pretty good at learning new things.  However, for the past eight or so ways I’ve been programming in VB .net, which does things a certain way. Now, I’m gonna be doing things the opposite way. Dyslexia, you are about to become my friend.

For example I’m used to doing this:

Dim X as int = 1

and Java does this:

int X = 1;

See? They’re the reverse of each other. Not a big deal really, but I can only imagine how many times I’m gonna screw that one up.

Now, I leave you with a comic:

java_joke

Advice For New Parents – Remember the Floorboards

Having spent a late night with a baby that just wouldn’t fall back to sleep, even after a 3:30 AM car ride, I thought now would be a good time to share some advice with those of you who are soon to have a baby, or are contemplating it. This is one of the most important decisions you can make in your preparations, though you would not think so. I’m talking about the location of the baby’s crib. It’s too late for me, but it might not be for you.

The room you pick for your infants crib is very important. I’m not talking about a location near your room, or one in a shaded/warm part of the house, or one lacking lead paint on the walls, or the one room of the house not infested by rabid chihuahuas. I suppose these are nice qualities to have in a room for your progeny.  No, I’m talking about the floorboards, ie you need to choose a room you can walk across without it sounding like the first rehearsal of a kindergarden string orchestra.

This is my problem. We live in an older house. It’s in nice shape, really, even though things have “settled” in the house. And the room we chose for the baby is the squeakiest in the house.  I really should put a web cam in there, just so you all can see the contortions and ballerina moves we use to leave the room once we’ve gotten the little guy to sleep. You put one foot down, hold your breath, stand on your tip-toes, put your weight on the door frame, say a prayer, and hope for the best. All the while knowing one wrong move and those cute, adorable, little eyes are gonna open and you’re gonna up for a while.

There’s no going back for me. We already gave the other spare room to our daughter. There’s no way she’s going to go to the squeaky room, unless perhaps I paint the walls pink, and that ain’t happening. So, I’ll continue my nocturnal dance. You, however, still have a chance.  Go ahead, walk throught the potential baby’s room at 3:00 AM. Here any noises? If not, you’re good to go. If you do hear the squeaks, pick a different room. If you have no other room, build one. Or move. Just trust me.

I Had a Good Year This Weekend

What’s up with me lately? A bunch, actually.

Friday, my Dad and I spent the day preparing my side porch to be painted. We thought we were going to paint Friday, but that didn’t happen. What did happen was a LOT of sanding, sweeping, and scraping. There were three layers of paint on the deck, so it took a lot of hard work.

We worked for five or six hours on the deck, but just ran out of daylight. Let me tell you that I’m soooo sore. I’ve spent the past few days making old man noises when I’ve had to bend down to pick up toys, or the baby, or to just lift up the baby.

We’ll most likely paint this week. I’m hoping to get some pictures, so I’ll share them when they’re available.

Saturday we had a party at a co-worker’s house. That was a lot of fun. My daughter was able to play cars with a little boy around her age. I got a kick out of the kids talking to each other in their kid language. I didn’t know what they were saying all the time, but they seemed to be communicating. Nobody was shoved to the ground, so I consider that a win.

Sunday we travelled to my parent’s house for Father’s Day. That is always a good time. We got to spend time with my family, ate a bunch of food, and were able to hand off the baby for a while.

We also went for a walk Sunday in the neighborhood I grew up. That was probably my favorite part, seeing the old stomping grounds. We walked on the road I used to take my bike on to my best friend’s house. So many memories. Just off that road is the forest I spent much of my early childhood exploring. I’m pretty sure my old paths are no longer there, but I’m itching to veer into that forest and find out. Maybe next time.

So, it was a full, but great weekend. I can’t wait until the next one. 🙂

Marital Advice – The Tuck Rule

I’ve been married for five years.  It feels like it has only been a day, like we were just yesterday living in our little one bedroom apartment in the nearby college town frantically planning for the big day. In this short period of time I’ve learned a few things. I thought I’d take today and share with you one thing I’ve learned, at no cost to you. I’m just that generous.

A great philosopher once said that love is a battlefield. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be.  Just follow my advice.I call it The Tuck Rule.

Let me break it down for you. Married people sleep in the same bed. This bed usually only has one set of covers. Right? Also, people move around a lot when they sleep. Some people move more than others. Most likely, the person that moves more winds up with the covers at the end of the night. These are the facts.

Maybe you are the stationary sleeper, waking up in the middle of the night frozen as a popsicle, resenting your beloved. It doesn’t have to be this way. All you have to do is tuck.

Tuck? You ask. Yes tuck. All you have to do is grab a little bit of the covers before you go to bed and tuck them under your body. Now, no matter how much your spouse moves around you still have your share of the covers.

This technique isn’t without controversy, of course.  If one person is following the Tuck Rule and the other is not, well, the non-tucker is probably going to wind up being cold. This is easily avoided, however, if both people simply agree to tuck before going to bed. Marriage is about communication, people!

So that’s really all there is to it. Tuck and be warm all night and wake happy and rested. Stay tuned for “Part 2: Why is the Other Side of the Pillow Always Colder?”.

Excuses, Excuses

I haven’t had any time to write lately, mostly because of three things:

  1. My son’s baptism, and subsequent party we had at our house – it was a fun time and was great to see everybody, but we had to do the whole clean the house and do the yardwork thing to make it look like we’re neat and tidy people (my wife is neat and tidy, but my daughter and I are not so much)
  2. The son deciding he doesn’t want to sleep much anymore – he was up until 10:00 last night. The only way I was able to get him to sleep was to sing the ABCs to him. Actually I think he was just pretending to sleep so I would stop singing.
  3. The Penguins Stanley Cup Win – what an amazing moment. Here is a video from yesterday’s parade in Pittsburgh. I would say I would have wanted to be there, but I would not have wanted to fight traffic in the city to be there.

Finally, here’s a really done web show titled Yinz Luv ‘Da Guins! If anything, check out the really cool intro animations about a minute and a half in as well as the video at the end (around the 8:30 mark) of the Pens fans celebrating in a bar in New York. Awesome!

Anyhow, I hope to be able to do some writing tonight. Not holding my breath, though.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship of Her Own Making

Catherynne M. Valente is posting her YA Fantasy novel, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship of Her Own Making, a chapter a week each Monday starting today. I think it’s worth checking out, based on that title alone. Here’s a blog post explaining the “hows and whys of Fairyland”.

This is the novel described in the author’s words:

This is a book about a little girl named September who gets herself a ticket to Fairyland on the back of The Green Wind and a somewhat cranky Leopard. There she discovers the realm of the capricious Marquess and the dangers of the Perverse and Perilous Sea. It is going to be something else.

Anyhow, why not check it out and if you like it put a few bucks in the tip jar to help a fellow writer out. Or just read it and enjoy.

The Penguins Win the Stanley Cup!

What an unreal game. Maxime Talbot cemented his name in Pittsburgh sports history. Same with Fleury. I feared the Red Wings so much, but it’s even more sweet that the Pens beat them to win the Cup.

I don’t expect to be able to fall asleep any time soon and my stomach is a wreck. It was worth it. In related news, my lucky boxer shorts were 2-0!  🙂

Woooo hooooo!