Monday, February 26, 2007

Little Motor Man

Last night, Alastair toddled around the kitchen for about 20 minutes while we ate our dinner. I think he sat down once. That kid is having so much fun with his new-found ability to walk.

Saturday we went to Joseph Stanley's 3rd birthday party. Alastair got to see little boys playing, and he got really excited and tried to join the fun. Joseph was super sweet and gave him a kiss on the cheek, and they posed for some pictures. He wasn't as successful walking on the floor at church, though, so he needed a lot of help getting around (he's not accustomed to wearing rubber-soled shoes).

But the highlight of his day was walking on the gravel in Mr. Kimmelshue's alley. He just teetered around like a wild man for the 15 minutes we were there, and crashed like a champ as soon as we got home.

Sadly, this was my weekend to not see much of Little Man. I spent a huge amount of time outside working on the Miata, and there's a lot left to do before the first autocross (March 18). I'm trying to keep my time on the car to a minimum, but I think Mr. Gohlke (my co-driver) is going to come over this Saturday and help bang out a bunch of work.

Should be fun, and I can't wait to get back to spending weekend-time with Amanda and Alastair.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

13 Months and All's Well

Aside from periodically using his head as a hammer, Alastair's doing great! He's happy, alert, knows what the cow, horse, sheep, and dinosaur say, has been working on the beginnings of a fledgling vocabulary, and LOVES his family.

He has a great time, and I'm super proud to be his papa.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bastards tried to keep me from my pancakes!

WTF is up with Aunt Sarah's? Amanda and I went over there for dinner last night (annual Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner), and the marquee was all lit up with their hours posted, there was a Help Wanted sign in the yard, and the hours were posted on the door, but the place was closed. No cars in the parking lot, very few lights on inside.

Ok, if you're closed, turn off the f'ing marquee! Or at least put some sort of note on the door. Something. Anything!

So we gave up in despair. We didn't have the time to go to IHOP or River City Diner before Amanda had to get to church for choir practice, so we went home, and she sang hungry.

I will not be denied my Shrove Tuesday meal, though, so I went to River City Diner and got us some yummy breakfast goodness to go. Ha! So there!

Sadly, I think I've made up my mind never to bother wondering if they're open again. Our dinner was very good: good enough, in fact, to forgo any future trips to Aunt Sarah's. Their loss.

Oh, and for all of you following the latest gossip news, Anna Nicole is still dead. More details to come.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fun Weekend

Amanda and I had a great weekend. Nothing spectacular happened, but it was great, just the same.

Saturday night was the church Valentine's banquet. Amanda's mother came over to baby-sit, and off we went. We sat with Chris & Stephanie Stanley, old friends we don't see often enough, and really had a good time (except for the exceptionally long sermon/discourse/ramblings of the youth minister--not bad, just way too long). Chris even offered that he might be willing to buy that monitor.

Sunday was fun, too. After MonkeyMan's nap, we went to Jeff & Evelyn's house so he could see their menagerie: 4 male cats and a very silly dog. The cats showed absolutely no fear at first, getting close enough to sniff his face. Then, when we sat on the sofa, Maggie (the dog) started licking his fingers and generally acting silly. Alastair was in hog heaven, and after about 30 minutes of stomping around their kitchen and chasing the cats, he was pooped.

We took him to his grandparents' house to spend the night and embarked on our big date: Chipotle and Borders Books & Music. This was actually a recreation of our very first post-baby date (thanks for reminding me, Amanda), and we finished it off with some tasty hot cocoa from Starbuck's, a really bad movie (Bubba Ho-Tep), and brain-frying TV until 1am. Good times.

Then, decadence upon decadence, we slept in until 9:40am. Ed & Leigh were to keep Alastair through his morning nap, so we didn't even know what to do with our morning! We had lots of coffee and just sort of blundered through until it was time to pick him up.

And when we did, I was like a kid with a new toy. I didn't realize how stronly I had missed him, but having him out of the house was like having a little piece of me gone. Oh how we hugged, and we had a great time playing and cuddling.

We finished the day by selling his swing, getting rid of the cable box (basic cable for us now: $10.75/month for a clear signal on local channels), taking runs, and the wildest baby bath ever. Mr. Splashtastic made a mess of the bathroom, but boy-o-boy did he have a good time.

Now it's Tuesday, and I'm back at work, but I can't wait to see my wife and my little boy. (And eat pancakes--it is after all Shrove Tuesday!)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

In with the new, THEN out with the old

We bought a new sofa a few weeks ago. We'd gotten tired of sore backs and busted baby lips from the futon, and it was time to complete our transition to "adult" furniture in the den. We managed to find the right sofa for us in just one attempt at just one store. Score!

So the sofa was to be delivered on Friday while I was at work. Great plan, except when the delivery guys got it to the bottom of the stairs, they couldn't turn it. At all. At 82" long, it was a full 2 inches taller than the standard door-frame, and at almost 40" deep and 33" tall, it was unmaneuverable. After breaking a large picture frame and smashing our walls a few times (and disassembling a light fixture), they gave up and abandoned the sofa in our living room.

Great, thanks. We really didn't need 2 sofas in that room.

Anyway, I beat a hasty path home, did some measurements, and found to my great relief that our windows were a full 3 inches larger in both height and width. And since both the upper and lower panes are easily removable, Amanda and I took the sofa outside and fed it through the window.

So now we have a beautiful new sofa that can only ever be taken back out of the room through the window.

But with the new sofa, there was no need or room for the futon. One quick turn to Craigslist took care of that, and since I was there, I also posted Beeboo's first car seat and a 21" monitor. I think I wound up corresponding with 12 or 13 people over the futon. Everyone was excited about it!

The car seat was actually out the door first this morning, sold to a young lady in North Carolina who was looking for a match to her Peg Perego Primo Viaggio. She's having twins and needed to color-coordinate.

The futon followed it out a few hours later, sold to the first person who responded to the ad.

So we're making space around here, recouping a bit of cash, and streamlining.

And we're cutting cable. Again. Again again. I think this is the 3rd time, although by far the least committal. We've cut the plan to "Basic Cable", by which they mean local channels, C-SPAN (1 & 2), and home shopping networks. We realized that we were never watching the cable channels, and paying over $630 / year just to watch local networks.

Now, I don't mind shelling out a few bucks for a clear signal, but not over $500. Hell, not over $200, if I can avoid it. Now we're paying $10.75/month, and we don't have to worry about Tivo randomly deciding not to record a program because the signal wasn't clear enough. Yippee!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Beeboo's Bad Mood

Evidently I pissed Alastair off pretty good yesterday. We were playing downstairs when I decided to have a piece of candy. He loves to play with the wrappers, and will take trash to the trash can now if you ask him. So I gave him the wrapper and asked him to throw it away. He did! Great!

So I had another piece of candy, but this one had a different type of wrapper. He was so fascinated with it that he reached into the candy dish and started pulling out more. When I took the piece of candy from him, he got really mad. While he was fussing at me, though, Amanda removed the candy dish from the table. Behind his back. When he turned around and discovered it was missing, he freaked out at me. He was unconsolable by me and only wanted his mommy. Dammit, I was framed!

Hours later, when they came back from choir practice, he was still pissed at me. Well, I suppose the upshot is that he most likely doesn't have ADD if he could remember something so trivial and still be upset about it.

That boy is so kooky!

We're getting our new sofa delivered Friday. Yippee! And I'm calling to get our cable cut down to Basic Cable this week, thus reducing our monthly expenditure for TV by $40. We've been paying over $600/year for the privilege of having a clear signal on the 4 major networks. That's dumb.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

First Blood

It had to happen, but knowing that didn't make it any more fun.

Yesterday afternoon, after a nice snack-time, Alastair went downstairs to play in the den. His usual play-pattern includes his rock&roar dinosaur, his activity cube, and perambulating around the coffee table. When he's doing this last routine, he will sometimes spin around and grab on to the futon, shuffling his way up and down the length of it.

Yesterday was no exception, except when he spun, he didn't do such a hot job of grabbing the futon. At least not with his hands. Amanda and I both heard the thump/crack of baby on wood, and the position his little body was in looked awful. His head was on the edge of the sofa, but was wrenched back on his little super-arched back. I'm not sure his little arms even reached the floor. Uh oh.

I moved him and the wailing began in earnest. Amanda grabbed him to comfort him, and he would have none of it. A quick trip upstairs for better light revealed some blood on his face, and after a moment or so, I figured out it was coming from his mouth.

Amanda was not calm. Alastair was not happy.

But when he opened his mouth to scream again, all was clear: he'd pierced his tongue with his little teeth. Nothing worse. We gave him a cold teething ring, dabbed off the blood with a paper towel, and held him tight for a few minutes.

It was awful, but 10 minutes later, we were playing like champs.

(Ok, ok, so it wasn't really the first time he's bled. I did cut his fingers with the nail-cutter when he was a month old, but this is the first time his own actions have lead to blood loss.)

I swear, that kid has a great future as a civil engineer, so long as he focuses on his interest in testing structural integrity. I just wish he'd find different instruments to use; his head won't always suffice.

On a side note, we got some great pictures of him wearing a coffee-filter on his head. In one of them, he gave Amanda this wonderfully psychotic face with his fists extended. Fists of fury, indeed.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Stuck at work...Again!

I understand there's some big football game going on right now.

No matter, because I'm at work, recreating an effort that went down in flames last week, and looks destined to do the same thing tonight. The difference? I'm ready for failure tonight.

I'm ready to sit here, at my desk, until 3 or 4am if necessary. I'm ready to forgo a night's sleep and come strolling leisurely in here tomorrow around noon.

Why so chipper? I got a lot done this weekend on Project Miata, I got to spend some quality time with my boy, and I just ate a food brick. All of the above and a knowledge that February's going to kick ass with overtime add up to one relatively happy Adrian. And a happy Adrian is a productive Adrian.

I got to see some really quality chaos in Wife's family on Saturday. Her parents kept Alastair during the day so that I could get my wrenching done, and they were expecting company in the form of my father-in-law's half sister and her son. They invited themselves. Or rather, she invited herself and dragged her pre-teen son along. He's kind of spoiled. Kind of a lot. And she's overly permissive, where her half-brother is not.

So there was some butting of heads. But the good drama came when she announced the loss of her ATM card, decided to call it in, and then realized she'd "lost" her phone, too. She evidently brought no other money, no checks, no credit cards. Nothing.

The kid apparently grew more and more tedious, the mother more frenetic, and my father-in-law, shortly after we arrived to pick up BabyMan, suggested they might want to leave. Awkward moment, anyone? Whoa, nelly! Whoa, Camel!

So they quickly grabbed their stuff and began the drive back to VA Beach. No dinner, no parting gifts, but a veritable treasure-trove of leftover things that she forgot in her haste.

Yeesh. Thankfully, today had a much lower drama-factor, with a short visit to my dad's house and a few hours of good old-fashioned baby pandemonium.

And coffee. Lots of coffee.