Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Old Dad

For regulars this story will be familiar; for me it's just getting old.

The day of our new one's arrival was a bit busy as you can imagine. I didn't get much to eat. On the way home from the hospital to the existing brood I stopped to nourish myself at a Quiznos. I was the only customer in the joint until a family entered. A youngish man and woman with a 13 year old boy and an obvious newborn in a carrier. As the man and boy ordered the woman sat down at the table next to mine and put the carrier up on the table. I could see the baby sleeping. After a little while I asked how old the child was. The woman told me the girl was three weeks. I wished her congratulations. She said it was strange because it had been a long time since her 13 year old's birth and they had been quite young then.

She asked me if I had children and I said, "Well yes, I just had a brand new daughter today as a matter of fact." She congratulated me and we chatted a little more.

When her son and husband came over she told them that I had just had a baby today. Her husband said he had overheard us talking and wished me his best. I went back to eating and then he turned in his chair and asked me very nicely, "Is this your first grandchild?"

"Daughter - she's my daughter."

His wife looked like she was going to kill him.

This is my life.

Friday, February 27, 2009

There's Been A Mistake

the Questionable One

If I hadn't seen this kid being born, I would swear there had been a switch. This Inuit infant can not be our offspring. I know what our kids look like and this just isn't it. Unlike her siblings, this baby is not a poster child for Hitler Youth.

the Boy


the Girl

I need to have a talk with my wife.

Joe The Author

Joe the Plumber had a book signing yesterday for his tome. He sold five copies.

Joe, meet Joe Isuzu, Clara Peller & Donna Rice. They saved a place for you.

The Colonel Called

A KFC in New Hampshire got a call from "corporate". The sheep just did as they were told. I like when they became suspicious.

A Hazmat call to a Manchester Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant was determined to have been sparked by a hoax call, police said. Firefighters were called to the restaurant on Hooksett Road because employees reported eye and skin irritation from a fire extinguisher. When emergency crews arrived, they found three employees disrobed outside of the building. The employees told police that the restaurant got a call from someone claiming to be from corporate headquarters who asked them to test their fire suppression system. When they did and reported that they had chemicals from the extinguisher on their clothes, the caller told them they needed to take their clothes off. The workers said they became suspicious when the caller then told them to urinate on each other.

via JMG

More Birthday Wishes

Sharing the birthday with the Girl - A happy (mumble, mumble) birthday to you, RC!
Sorry we couldn't make it a twofer.

Don't you love that I have all the old pics.

Two Today

Lest the week's other activities shunt it aside for our little Jan Brady, Happy Birthday Flyn.

We love you very much and you will never be replaced.

Now get off the baby.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Douchenozzle Of The Week

We interrupt this lovely week of birth happiness for this moment of insanity. Where do they find these asshats, anyway?!

The Colorado Senate voted yesterday on a bill to pay for HIV testing on pregnant mothers. It passed the senate 32 - 1. The lone nay vote came from state senator Dave Schultheis. His reasoning for voting against the bill was:

because the disease “stems from sexual promiscuity” and he didn’t think the Legislature should “remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior.” The Colorado Springs lawmaker then proceeded to cast the lone vote against SB 179, which passed 32-1 and moves on to the House.

Hey, reporters asked him to clarify his remarks:

“What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that,” he said. “The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior.”

This is an elected official who has stated, on the record, that he hopes a baby gets AIDS because then mom won't be a slut.

Google Douchenozzle and you're gonna get this guy's picture for a while.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Separated At Birth


Greer Update

The girl feeds like there's a cut-off date for meals. Eats all the time - like she was born to it (heh, heh).

Size (particularly hers) has its drawbacks. Though mom had very little problem with the delivery, the Girl #2 suffered somewhat, coming out of the process with a broken clavicle. She got stuck and something had to give. It isn't a problem - there isn't anything done for it. Our pediatrician says that with infants, one need only put both sides of the broken clavicle in the same room and it will heal.

Otherwise all is well and she is delightful. The Boy and the Girl agreed upon their first meeting, though based on that meeting a soft touch is apparently an aquired one.

Road Hazards

Artist Rex Mueller paints... on streets...


Part of a street painting competition, the images are painted on the pavement, creating disturbing commutes.


Here is an image of Mueller doing one of the paintings.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

At Last

Better late than never.

Greer Audette ______.

10 lbs, 4oz, 22 inches long

11:17 am, 2/24/09

Join the party girl. Your mom and dad are indeed charmed (and a little intimidated by your size).

Kudos to your mother who, despite your above average dimensions, handled your delivery like a freaking pro - 4 major contractions and 7 minutes of pushing to get you here. (And the woman was emailing from her delivery bed between contractions.) All this au natural - no meds - just plain old pioneer breedin' woman spirit.

Hey kid, I hope you get a little of your ma's fire.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Missing Pieces

Our best wishes go out to Mrs. Curry after her unexpected delivery of a bouncing baby appendix this afternoon. A speedy recovery to you and we hope you know you didn't really need it anyway.

At least you got your act together and delivered something today.

Bathtime

Last night as the Boy and the Girl bathed,we listened from the living room. They splashed and bickered, as usual. At one point some disagreement over toy ownership or unfair tub-space intrusion boiled over into yelling and screaming from them. I yelled, "Get along or get out!" from my chair and the spat ceased. After a pause we heard the Boy speaking to the Girl...

"I sorry. I love you. You my little sister and I love you."
(another pause)
"I love you so much. I love you even though you don't have a penis."
(another pause)
"You don't have a penis, you know."
(another pause)
"But let's check."

My wife moved faster than she has her entire pregnancy, "Ok, bathtime's over!"


Oh, and Threepeat is still fighting the inevitable.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Update

Yeah, nothing. Patience.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Money-Making Reminiscence

In the lull before the storm my mind wanders...

Tough economic times call for creative measures and this is one the Padre and I came up with many years ago when we rolled across the landscape and burrowed into sleeping bags on other people's floors out of financial necessity.

Buy an old beat-up delivery van. Cruise major freeways. Drive as badly as you can. Make other drivers nuts with rage. Make certain you have a bumper sticker affixed to the van that reads:

"How's my driving? Call 1-900-(your number)"

Everytime you cut someone off it's worth $2.00 a call.

You're welcome to use it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Third Time's The Charm

My wife and I went to a movie yesterday afternoon for the first time in ages. The children hung with grandma. We saw Milk in the hopes that the title itself might stimulate hunger in Threepeat and thus drive her out. Not so much. She is apparently content to remain cramped and wedged.

The Girl was a week late. She didn't want to come out. After much discussion we finally opted for an induction much to my wife's initial objections. We scheduled for early the next morning. When we arrived and got settled they slapped on the monitor and lo and behold labor had already ensued - no pitocin. The Girl got her act together and got the hell out. Unfortunately she showed up with a congenital defect (thanks for the gene pool, honey) that caused hip dysplasia. She was in a brace for the first three months of her life that kept her constantly in the most un-ladylike of positions. She was also big - over 9 lbs and Threepeat appears to be attempting to beat that record so we would prefer to not go a week overdue.

As it stands, today is the official calendar due date (the widget was set to the sonogram due date and btw, it gets all messed up if you go past the date). We will just wait and see if Threepeat is uncomfortable enough to beat a retreat. If she doesn't we will no doubt go through the same arguments regarding induction as last time, though our midwife appears to be more accomodating to my wife than our previous OB. Either way it will probably work out better than the Boy's birth. It would be hard to be worse than his.

Four years ago my wife and I were having an early dinner. It had become a regular ritual to visit a little brewpub close to our OB's office after our visit to her. We would slip in and my wife would satisfy her cravings for garlic fries. We had only left the office 15 minutes earlier and just ordered when my lovely wife leaned across the booth to tell me she thought her water had just broken.

"Are you sure?" I inquired in that way only dumb expectant fathers can.
"Yes, I'm sure," she answered.

She slipped off to the bathroom while I told the waiter we wouldn't be eating and he probably needed to get some towels. I called our OB and we raced home to pack the bags. We hadn't done that yet - my wife was only 36 weeks along.

When we got to the hospital they put her directly into a delivery room, skipping triage entirely. It was fast and relatively efficient. Our OB wasn't on call but whe wanted to deliver so monitored progress from home in order to race in for the actual delivery. Unfortunately things went more quickly than expected and as the Boy crowned my wife was told to hold off - don't push - the doctor hadn't arrived. For twenty minutes we waited. When she finally got there it took a little work, but the Boy popped out. He had the cord wrapped around his neck (oxygen deprivation explains a lot about that kid), but was otherwise fine. His little Apgars were 9 and 10 and he was a 6 pound bundle of joy. The three of us hung out together for a while, cooing and snuggling, wondering at it all. Then I stepped out to make the phone calls. It was after 2 in the morning so I woke a few people. They didn't seem to mind.

When I returned I came across the nurse wheeling the Boy out of our room. She said the blood pressure monitor wasn't working and wanted to take him down to the NICU to get a better reading. It wouldn't take but a minute and I could come along. So we wandered down the hall and started taking the reading. Pretty simple stuff until...

Everything got crazy. The neonatalogist in the NICU took a look at him and suddenly started shouting orders. I was confused but stayed out of the way as an army surrounded my newborn son. They were strapping him down in an imitation of Christ and trying to shove a line in his umbilical stub. The doctor for some reason assumed (possibly because I was quiet and calm) that I was a physician. He turned to me and said the Boy was crashing. He told me that he suspected an infection in the Boy's lungs and considered it unlikely he would live through the night.

"Um, what? He was fine fifteen minutes ago."

At that point the doctor realized I wasn't a member of his select profession and was instead the father. He tried to temper the scalding water he had just subjected me to, but it was too late. Although I remained calm my mind was racing. Despite my primal concerns for the Boy my biggest worry at that moment was having to return to the room and tell my wife that the child she had just seen leave for a simple blood pressure reading was not likely to return.

When I entered the room my wife told me they had taken the Boy down for a blood pressure reading. I said that I knew and had gone along.

"Where is he?" she asked - um - demanded.

Then came the most uncomfortable moment in our relationship.

A long night followed. And a long week after that. The boy recovered, his tiny body intubated and bily-lit in the NICU as it fought off the infection. During that stay they also discovered a hole in his heart (a hole that was finally pronounced closed last year by our pediatric cardiologist).

It sounds strange but as harrowing as the experience was it was good for us. Like a new car that you fret over until sombody finally dings it, our Boy doesn't get us terribly concerned. We love - no, adore - him, but once you've been through a night like his first, a scraped knee or nasty cold is nothing. We seem to take every day we get with him as a bonus. I wouldn't recommend it, but it had upsides.

I also never want to go through that again. So a little extra womb time for Threepeat beats the alternative. Just once we want a birth with no added bells and whistles - no extraneous issues - no visits a week later to Children's Hospital for a workup.

Threepeat, hear my plea, make it simple, make it easy, make it on time, but most of all, make it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Threepeat Update

Still tucked away and resisting all temptations to come out and play.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Scene Of The Crime

When I returned from the computer-fixer-man this afternoon I noticed my next door neighbor chatting it up with a man and a woman. I pulled into my driveway and they walked over to me. It seems they had some questions they hoped I could help answer.

Our home is older - built in 53. It has history as does the neighborhood in which it is situated. I've written about our house before at length so I don't need to detail it except to say that the people that built it lived in it for nearly 50 years.

The beauty of old houses is the fact that things have happened there - other lives have shared the space that you now occupy. I love that. Children have been raised, hearts broken, love made, meals partaken, holidays celebrated, souls released in the house that I call home.

When we moved in five years ago I would ask our neighbors or anyone else about the house and the people that lived in it before us. I got some good stories. One of them was about a peeping tom 35 years ago. I was told he had stolen underwear from clotheslines and peeked in windows. He developed an interest in the house next door and had gotten busted during a stakeout that had the cops hiding in what is now our garage. Hey, it was the best story we got - a mildly disturbing but classic case of a small-town perv. Not much happens here but everything gets remembered... just not too well, apparently.

The gentleman today introduced himself as a Detective; the woman was an author. They wanted to talk about that peeper from so many years ago. It seems the story I got was a little inaccurate. The cops did indeed use my garage to stake out the house next door. They did catch him in the act. They did run through my backyard. But they didn't catch him. He shot at them, exploding one detective's flashlight, the glass of which shattered into his eye and allowed the peeper to escape. And that wasn't all...

He was no ordinary peeper. He was known by a ridiculous name. His little crime spree wasn't just about peeping. He began that way with a little burglary thrown in, but by the time it had finished he had raped more than 100 woman and murdered at least 15 people in a wave of terror that engulfed California from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties. Bundy, Zodiac and Son of Sam had nothing on this guy. And unlike Bundy and Berkowitz he has never been caught. The closest the police ever came to getting their hands on him was that December night in 1975 in my backyard.

The detective and author were trying to follow old leads - trying to nail down a suspect so many years later. They had a theory but weren't sharing. Not that I had much to share either except info about what I had done to my yard and what I was pretty sure had been around back then. They looked in my garage at the window where the cops in 75 peered into the darkness to nab the perp as he looked in windows next door.

Less than two months before those cops missed their chance the peeper had killed a college professor a couple of blocks away who was responding to the screams of his teen daughter. The peeper would also be responsible for numerous burglaries and rapes in the neighborhood, as well as the murder of two young girls, their bodies left in a canal outside of town. The following March the terror ended here in our town. But in Cordova California it started anew. For ten years he moved through the state before the cops began to feel certain they were dealing with the same guy. And then suddenly he stopped, or moved out of state, or died... or just took a breather - no one knows.

My visitors today unnerved me not just with the story but with their serious sense of urgency. They were in a hurry, as if there was a clock ticking. It was weird. As they left I had more questions and they suggested I google the details. Of course I did. It only made me more uncomfortable.

There is history and then there is history. The lives that shared our home were no doubt similar to ours, just as all of our lives are basically similar. They laughed and cried and lived and died. They raised their families and hoped for the best. They watched the sun filter through the same trees and cuddled in front of the same fireplace. They also did something else I hope we will not share: they lived in fear in this house we call home. I can taste that a little tonight and our lovely home feels tainted now.

The Plague

Hey, my computer got all sick with a virus that nothing can kill. It's in the shop where the exterminator can hit it with everything he has while I pray for recovery.

That's what I get for using McAfee and looking for Etta Jones, Don't Go To Strangers(irony, heh, heh).

So I'm on my wife's laptop for now. Posts are more difficult this way. As if I've been manic of late anyway.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Power Of The Wind

Yesterday as the kids played outside I passed by the big kitchen window and saw that the Girl was wandering around totally oblivious to the fact that her pants were around her ankles. To keep her from eating pavement I raced out there. While restoring her pants to their proper position I asked, "How did your pants get down there?"

The Boy from a distance replied, "Well, it is pretty windy out here today."

Like I said, he needs his own blog.

Eat Up

Turns out my old buddy Kalal was right. Every time he got a new wrinkle he said he'd eat a cheeseburger and "pop that sucker right out."

Fat is the new young.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Arlobonics

The Boy describing an image of cupid:

"It's a boy with wings who's having an arrow"

ed note: at this rate the kid's gonna need his own blog

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Art

The Boy creates art. It's his thing. This morning, in a fit of rapid, manic creativity he made this.

When asked what he had titled his most recent work, he replied:

"U With Surprises"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Best Superbowl Ad

Forget all the others - this was the best Superbowl ad, bar none.

Viral Wal-Mart

The spread of Wal-Mart across the US. Creepy and effective.


via Flowing Data and JMG