Two Years

Two years ago today, I had just gotten out of a meeting and was sitting in my office. The phone rang. It was my wife, and she thought she was going into labor. I dutifully drove home, though I expected it was a false alarm. After all, it was her exact due date and everybody knows babies are never born exactly when the doctors predict they will be. In fact, read my post from that morning: Somebody is Gonna Be Late. Here’s my post from the next day: Spoke Too Soon.

Baby two came into the world much faster than baby one. I think she was only in labor a few hours. I don’t remember exactly. I do remember that she had to wait a while in the visitor’s lounge while they got a room ready for her. Once she got a bed I didn’t even get to spend those first few moments with her because I had to hang out with my daughter while we waited for my Mom to arrive (45 minute drive). Crazy times.

I think we all had head colds when Mr. T arrived in the world. Sleepless nights and illness. Great combination. I remember having a little cry when we got home from the hospital, fueled in part by lack of sleep, but also from an overwhelming feeling that things were changing. My wife and daughter were so close before this new guy arrived, and now that would be different, if only slightly.

The little guy has grown on me, obviously. He learned to talk a little later than his sister, but learned to walk sooner. He now knows his letters by sight, and can say most of them. He’s stringing words together more and more regularly. A favorite sentence of his lately is this: “Daddy’s home!”.

He loves trucks and cars and also the movie Cars. He loves doing what his sister is doing. He even loves Barbie and especially Barbie’s car. He loves pizza and fruit and juice, and touching me with his slimy hands. He’s a pretty cool little guy.

I think year three (counting from zero, right?) is gonna be a pretty interesting year for all of us. We’ll have to cross that potty bridge, and begin the “terrible two’s” journey. On the plus side, he’s going to settle even more into this whole sleep thing, I’m sure of it. Either way, it’s going to be an interesting ride. I can’t wait.

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Open Letter To The Horn Honker

An Open Letter to the Person Who Honked Their Horn Outside My House at 8:55 Tuesday Night

Dear person who either just recently discovered their car horn or is too lazy to step out of their car and knock on a door,

I’m not sure if you are aware of this or not, but there are other humans living on this planet besides you. Sure, who doesn’t love a double *honk honk* at nearly nine o’clock at night, on a beautifully cool Pennsylvania evening. I just wish I would’ve known in advance so I could’ve properly thanked you for waking the toddler I had just gotten to sleep.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a one year old to sleep? Children at that age have the stamina of a world class marathoner in the first mile of a race. They will outlast you. I hear again and again there is an energy crisis in this country. I think we just haven’t tried hard enough to tap the energy of toddlers.

You’ve rocked them for ten minutes in the 80 degree heat in your house, up and down the stairs, around all of the rooms in the pitch dark, expertly avoiding the toys you haven’t yet cleaned up. Those big blue eyes start to roll back and those tiny eyelids flutter. You smile to yourself, though not too broadly as they can sense when we are relaxed and happy, and not too loudly as they can be startled by something as tiny as an ant fart.

And then some jagoff decides to honk their horn.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you can’t honk you horn whenever you please. That’s a guaranteed right in the United States Constitution. Somewhere near the bit about the right to dress in silly hats with tea bags hanging on them. It’s in there somewhere. Next time, though, before you decided to regale the neighborhood with an impromptu car horn concert could you instead maybe call the person on your cell phone if you are too lazy to knock on their door?

If not, the next time you better duck, because there’s a tiny metal car I just gashed the bottom of my foot with heading your way.

Sincerely,
Ineed Sleep

Party Success

Well, the birthday party went pretty well, in my opinion, even though it was nearly 90 degrees outside. I’m pretty sure the ten or so kids attending had a good time, and I know the birthday girl did. That is what matters most, in my opinion.

A couple moments stand out for me. One, was the boys at the party. The boys were mostly brothers of my daughter’s girl friends (save for one boy classmate of hers). The boys had fun mostly playing in the sandbox, including my one year old son who seemed to get along quite well with the other, older boys (mostly 3 and 4 year olds). It was funny really. Five or six boys, all playing together elbow to elbow, without a word between them, but no fights, either. Boys.

Another was my daughter starting the singing of “Happy Birthday” for herself. We tried to hold her off, so my wife didn’t miss it, but it was just too cute.

I’ll get some picture out once we get a moment to transfer them to the computer. Right now we’re just trying to recover from the wild party. I’m yet again reminded that I’m getting old.

Cuddly Duck

Tomorrow afternoon my little girl has her first ever dance recital. Having witnessed their dress rehearsal earlier in the week, I’m certain it’s going to be epic.

It’s just amazing when I look back at it, how far she has come. It feels like just yesterday I was holding her in the crook of my arm like a football and driving her around at 3 AM to get her to fall back to sleep, and now she’s dancing in recitals and attending preschool.

Time, is a funny thing. It can be so excruciatingly slow when you are experiencing it, but so rapid fast when you look back on it.

Parenting = Voluntary Insomnia

Ever go a year without sleeping the whole way through the night? Well, that’s what we are experiencing in our house right now, and although for the most part my body has adapted to it, sometimes it wears on me a bit. I call these times Monday.

Things are better than when T-Mike was a newborn but he is still up twice a night. Rare are the nights when I get into a deep enough sleep that I have a dream.

Things will improve, though, I know. Our daughter is almost four years old and has been sleeping like a champ since three or so. When she was going through this same sleeplessness, I seriously felt like she would never sleep at night, even in the teenage years. Silly thought, I know.

My writing has been non-existent lately, and I know this is part of the reason (though laziness on my part is a big contributor as well). It’s just so easy to come home from work at night, help get the kids to sleep and all that, and then just watch a movie or mess around on the Internet. It’s very hard to find motivation to write, but I’m working on it.

So that’s where I am this beautiful, chilly and blue-skied Pennsylvania morning. Tired, yet hopeful.

Walker

I’m still sick, and now sound like a 10 pack a day smoker. However, something momentous happened that I just had to post about. My son, Luigi in the picture above, has taken his first steps at 10 months of age (almost 11 months). Walking is not his only means of transportation right now. He still likes to crawl and is much better at that. However, he’s becoming more brave with the walking.

Anyhow, just thought I’d share the good news. Now back to the sniffle sniffle, cough cough.

Singin’ and Dancin’

I couldn’t just post a picture of the son, without following it up with a photograph of my daughter. 🙂 Here she is, wearing her aunt’s glasses. I think they look good.

So my daughter, who is three, had a dance recital yesterday for us parents. It went really well. The most shocking thing for me was how well she listens to her dance teacher, because at home here…

Anyhow, it was so cool seeing my baby out there dancing and interacting with the other girls. The dust even kicked up in that place at one point causing my eyes to water. They really need to work on that in there.

Anyhow, have a nice weekend everybody. Mine will most likely be crazy and go too fast. Like usual 🙂

Still Recovering

Well, I’m still recovering from NaNoWriMo. That, combined with the boss of the house (the 9 month old) keeping me awake, I figured I’d take the easy way out today and post a picture. And what do you know, it’s a picture of the boss himself!

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.

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.