August 2013

My cousin Sean stopped by for a few days in the first week of August. We did some recording again, but I was mostly too exhausted to do anything this time around. I was glad to offer up my recording services to him, though. There is no better feedback than listening to yourself, and most people do not get that opportunity. Recordings do not lie. Oftentimes they are too objective. If you are not your own harshest critic, then you probably have the wrong attitude.

After Colorado, I really did not want to go on another “vacation” this year. We decided to forgo the cabin in the woods vacation that we usually take with my extended family and instead drive down to see my family in Georgia.

The boys behaved impeccably on the way down and the way back up. In fact Henry would cry when we stopped to gas up or get out. We made it down in ten and a half hours and we made it back up in nine and a half. In time for dinner both ways. We had a lot of visits: a pool party at my Aunt’s, some time at the neighbor’s pub, a day spent at my brother’s, a trip to the petting zoo, and a pretty large gathering at my parents’ house. Stephen got to log some time playing with his second cousins and they did awesome! There wasn’t any of this lack of sharing nonsense that drove me crazy in Colorado. I guess maybe Stephen is learning to navigate interaction with other children. Stephen is pretty terrified of pools that he can’t stand up in, even though one of his cousins was swimming and jumping off the diving board with no life vest. He just stood on the steps for hours and squirted with a pool toy. We took Henry’s pack and play, noise maker, and baby monitor everywhere we went and he was able to get a nap every day in all sorts of different locations.

The night we got back, Stephen threw up in the tub. The next morning, Henry threw up his whole smoothie. The kids had hand, foot, and mouth disease, probably from the livestock at the petting zoo. Oops. Stephen had it much worse so my wife took him to urgent care. We have never been to urgent care so we had to search google maps for 20 minutes to find the closest one that was still open at 7pm. The doctor did not give him a diagnosis and gave him three prescriptions. By the way, you’re just supposed to let hand, foot, and mouth disease run its course. I hate doctors.

The sad truth that I am starting to understand is that Henry can only do as well as I do in a given situation. I’m somewhere between an old soul, a stick in the mud, and a homebody. I like old things that are tried and tested. I like being home around all my stuff. Driving my preferred route to Georgia still fits into the homebody comfort zone. It’s the house I grew up in, after all. I grew up taking long trips in a car with nothing but music and my imagination to soothe me.

I am so far behind on editing and posting pictures. I’m trying to make this site a permanent, searchable photo album. As long as I eventually slog through it, I’ll be okay. The recency effect makes things slightly more interesting, and I’m seriously lacking that right now.

I’ve finally done it. There is no TV or movie watching in this house. Ever! (At least not until the boys go to bed, but don’t tell them). If you ask Stephen if he wants to watch something, he will even turn it down. He’d rather pretend to play Plants vs. Zombies – wearing different hats while trudging around the house or making up new pea shooters that don’t exist in the game. I give them each 30 minutes of “screen time” (the lame parenting term for playing with touch screen devices) in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. We do, however, listen to A LOT of music. I have an audio station in the front room of the house that has an iPod, laptop, and turntable hooked up to large speakers. At least once a day, I load a KidsTV123 Playlist and turn the laptop monitor off so it’s just the music coming through the speakers. We’ve also been digging this Edward Sharpe audio.

We got Stephen a magnetic chore chart and it’s going very well. He’s setting the table, doing the laundry and dishes with me, cleaning up his toys, and feeding the dogs. Actually it went very well for two weeks and then we left on our trip. We’re slowly getting him back into it.

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