Monday, August 31, 2009

The Seven Year Twitch

Today I have been married to the only woman on the planet that would have me most wonderful woman on earth for seven (7!) years.

My standard line for such occasions is to ask, "Can you imagine what that woman has been through?" But seriously, can you?! Roughly 2,555 days of completely legal and binding marital entrapment with yours truly have had to have taken their toll.

Sure, the first 365 days are typically your Omaha Beach scenario, with war and carnage everywhere. Fine. But that still leaves 2,190 for cleaning up the hedgerows.

Happy anniversary, Babe. Your Purple (and black, and blue) Heart is in the mail. Love ya, dude.*

Now that I think about it, at this point, Jacob was still strawbossing for Laban and was about to be hornswoggled into marrying two (count'em, two) wives. And after his seven years, that dude in The Seven Year Itch was having to endure the sight of Marilyn's levitating dress. I guess things could be a lot worse.

H.M. successfully coordinated childcare for 60+ kids at the church marriage seminar this weekend. She's exhausted. The catch, here, was that neither she, nor her bumbling assistant (giveya 3 guesses) got much of any marriage advice. Ironical, huh?!

In other news, Jack now helps end our nightly prayers with "Amen." He tries to beat me to the punch, so I really have to nail my "'NJesus'nameweprayAMEN" before he gets his little "Amuh" out. IN YOUR FACE, BABY!

*Can we negotiate speaking terms, now?

A special thanks this week to Cake Wrecks (and I suppose The Office) for the cake above.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What is Your Emergency?

Just some random stuff to post today.

I finally squeezed in some much needed yardwork on Saturday. While I'm sinking my new Persian lime into the muckety-muck, I could hear this sound. Could NOT figure out what it was. I finally looked at the window to see F.M.B. staring at me vacantly. Wasn't her. "Vacant" is pretty much by definition "quiet." But the next window over, I see Jack, his face screwed up into the biggest pouty cry ever, just wailing. That, mis amigos, was the sound.

He's a dude that's easily offended. If I don't immediately come over and hobnob upon arrival from the soul crushing but financially expedient cinnabar mines, the lèse majesté is on! I mean, it's a grave insult to our Fearless Leader.

So when I blew him off to go work in the yard, that didn't go over well. At all. I think he still gives that lime tree dirty looks.

I didn't know when I posted last that my title was soon going to be the name of the movie in the ship's DVD player. Her Majesty's new favorite comedy is now I Love You, Man. Yes, parts are crude. A lot of parts, actually, so be ye warned. But all told, a funny, funny movie. Not so funny to me was H.M.'s selling pitch: "It's about this guy that doesn't have many guy friends at all (like you!) and he goes around desperately trying to make friends! It sounds great!" Yeah.

A shout out and halloo this week to my neighbor for apprehending the First Mate after she chewed/busted a setter-sized hole in my front gate and made a break for it. The guy uses his belt as a leash to lead her home, and calls us as the daft animal is swimming in his pool. It still amazes me how darn nice Houston people are.

I'm a little surprised Belle's tag doesn't just say
We've got her in an orange jumpsuit down in solitary.

Jack had a rough Sunday, though. He momentarily forgot how to crawl (two arms, TWO arms) and bashed his chin on the floor (House 1, Jack 0). He tripped and hammered his forehead on the baseboard (House 2, Jack 0). He did his triple lutz changing table flipperoo on the counter and whopped the back of his head on the sink (House 3, Jack 0). The house always wins, y'know.*

Have I talked about our live studio audience? Jack now has this hilarious knack of knowing when jokes have been told. At the correct moment, he belts out a HA HA! I call him "canned laughter" and it sounds like an episode of the original Scooby Doo.

OK, last night at church the guest speaker popped off a few jokes. Jack twice, right on cue (and LOUD) yelled HA HA! I thought a dude about 3 rows back from us was going to spontaneously shoot milk out his nose.

That wasn't all of the hijinks in church. Jack decided to make his first cellphone call. To 911. He's playing with H.M.'s phone and I hear a little voice saying something vaguely familiar. Something awfully like "what is your emergency?" I'm whisperyelling to Melanie, "Shut it off! Shut it off!" 911, sure that there was an actual emergency in parenting, made sure to call back as we pretended that it wasn't our phone. Umm, we screened that one.

At least he doesn't know the number for CPS.

*Heck, I even got into the action and choked on my Cocoa Krispies. Even shot one out my nose. Really! It was neato. (Breakfast Cereal 1, E.C. 0)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Birthday Apocalypse Now

In the words of Joseph Conrad and Marlon Brando, "The horror. The horror."

These are in no particular order, since I can't figger out how to refangle this confangled montage.

Suffice it to say the week was a full one. There.

While you peruse, feel free to turn up the Hag for some theme music (embedded at bottom).

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Monday, August 17, 2009

I Love You, Man

Lots and lots to cover this week:

Any visit to the way cool pediatric ER counts in my book as a grade 1 fiasco. Her Majesty rightly pointed out that this could have easily been a post all to itself. The (mercifully) short story was that a very high fever yielded Jack a few phone numbers from the ER nurses. As for the cause, yours truly (Mr. Mystery Illness) was implicated. I made smalltalk and tried not to look guilty. Didn't work.

Oh, Mr. Uncle Blake flew in this past week. I'm told he jumps in HMS Tahoe, and says "Hey, Jack!" and Jack starts screaming and crying uncontrollably. Evidently Blake's 3+ week old beard just freaked the kid right out. Blake spent the car ride to the house in the front seat, safely out of the skipper's view.

This week Jack renewed his HUUUUGE crush on Emily, Mr. Uncle Jay's wife. In the middle of a major fit, you can say, "Jack, where's Emily?" He'll stop, look around for her, and then put up the biggest, toothy, cheese-out smile ever. It's embarrassing. And completely shameless.

OK, let's talk some birthday party. The skipper couldn't figure out what the heck to do with the mammoth cupcake in front of him. No idea. And since he doesn't really get much of the sugary stuff from the ship's galley, what little cake/icing he did get was WAY too sweet for him. He looked over at me as if to ask, "Shouldn't this taste more like peas?"

He ended up patting the thing like a big frosted dog. That is, after he decapitated Part A from Part B. I might have gotten a shot of the cupcake before all this (see above). Anyway, BBQ was gobbled, lemonade was swilled, cupcakes were distributed. And silly numbers of presents of all sorts and sizes were opened, too. Hilarity ensued. Yeah, and then everyone decided to ruin a perfectly good tablecloth by writing birthday wishes on it with permanent ink. They didn't even get in trouble!

The plan right now is to post a big passel of pics and video separately. That's the plan.

Oh, I have a message from The Man:


I think my favorite part was the two little Jacks bearhugging. And then falling over.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ramble On

I've Been This Way Ten Years to the Day
I'm supposed to write something snappy about Jack's 1st birthday. That's today, if you're scoring along at home. But the AK-47 banana clip of ideas is empty. Yours truly feels yucky. So the synapses are struggling to fire at all this morning.

But your correspondent of years past was in there, kicking it, and writing with evil glee. For example:
I'm missing so much, but I'm seeing so much, too. I can never hope to record all the things I have seen, touched, heard, or smelled. Or tasted. This journal* only gives me a framework, I guess. And a framework for my kids or whoever finds it on some dusty shelf. I can only hope to have explained myself well.
I wrote those words 10 years ago this morning. And I had to smile at the odd subject choice for a 22 year old, and at what would happen precisely 9 years afterwards. That I'm having to dip that far back into the recesses of unimportant history is really a testament to what the last year has been. Exhausting. And so, so very fast. Jack's life, to me, seems just spectacularly fast.

And yet I can't imagine things any another way. We are truly blessed. Blessed with a wonderful life, even with its frustrations, and blessed with one of the most curious and kind little souls I've run across in my time. But I'm biased. I know that.

But to give you some objectivity, yesterday we found out that the curious and kind little soul had tottered up and taken two other kids' pacifiers during class. One of them twice. Hmmm. It is a bit early to be turning into the cradle roll bully. I'm worried that Bugsy Siegal and Machine Gun Kelly started out the same way. I told someone that my real concern now was how long it'll take Jack to outwit me. The more I think about that, the shorter the time period gets.

And Tho' Our Health We Drank a Thousand Times /
Its Time to Ramble On
Happy birthday, JackBaby. I love you more than my life. And I hear your mother is pretty fond of you, too. Many happy returns, kid.

Speaking of happy returns, Mr. Uncle Blake is repatriating his bedraggled, long-haired, neohippie vagabond self back to Los Estados Unidos this week. We're actually doing a waterfall start to Jack's birthday festivities, with just about every member of the family slowly trickling into Port of Houston until Saturday. Those that survive until the actual festivities will truly earn their BBQ sandwiches and lemonade. And they'll be able to watch the skipper demolish a cupcake of gargantuan proportions. Baked Goods + Toddler Bent on Destruction = Quality Entertainment.

Oh, and I realize that the non-Led Zeppelin fans might be a little lost on this post, but I've embedded the appropriate song below (I think). So have a listen and be ye enlightened.

*You should know that I'm one of those sickos that writes when they travel. So when everyone else is over Greenland, dunking Tylenol PM with their itty bitty bottles or watching Jingle all the Way, I'm writing. It's a little manic.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Because It's There.*

Someone once said, "I don't cut a record 'less I got something to say." By that logic, I probably shouldn't be posting this at all.

'Cause I don't have anything to say lately. But by golly, Jack does.
H.M.: "What does the dog say? What does Belle say?"
Jack: "Bow wow wow. Wow."
H.M.: "What does the kitty cat say?"
Jack: "Meeeeeeeee!"
H.M.: "What does the cow say?"
Jack: "Muuuuuh!"
As he opens the mysterious and alluring Forbidden Drawer, he even scolds himself as he's opening it, yelling "No, no, no!" At least there's a touch of conscience in there somewhere.

Oh, so he's climbing, too. And running around in these. And rigging up his crib with ropes, carabiners and Munter hitches.

I expected the whole Sir Edmund Hillary, scaling tall objects part to come after the walking part. But no, Jack (and his Sherpa guide Belle) pull out the bottom drawer on the oven to use as base camp for a summit attempt. It gets pretty tense when Jack uses the oven lock lever as his only handhold. Reminds me of Stallone in Cliffhanger.

It's a long, long way down.

*Thanks to British mountaineer George Leigh Mallory for the title. This was his pithy response to a reporter's question, "Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?"