September 2013 [Part 2]

My parents came for part of a week on their way up and down the east coast. My dad and I did a few projects around the house. Stephen’s room is the only room without an overhead light, so we installed a dome light on his ceiling. It involved me spending a good 90 minutes in the attic drilling, measuring, cutting, and running wire. In an unusual twist, it turns out that we did everything correctly on the first try. We didn’t even have to go back to Home Depot, though I was forced to cut a hole in the drywall with a steak knife. The attic is not made for storage (that’s in the basement) so I had to stand on joists the whole time. I kept cramping up. We also secured Stephen’s monstrous dresser to the wall to get ready for Henry moving in. Oh yeah, and we fixed the ice maker! Not surprisingly, it didn’t require any knowledge – just brute strength and ignorance. Ain’t that the way it goes?

I dragged my feet a bit on trying to move Henry into Stephen’s room, but we’ve done it. No turning back. It’s going quite well. We took the oversized teddy bear that Henry sleeps on and put it right on the bottom bunk. The first two nights, they were getting up at 5am and playing in there, but sleep deprivation caught up with them and they slept twelve solid hours the next night – from 7pm to 7am.

Our daily routine (when the weather is nice) is that I go outside with the boys, push them on the swings, then we move to the trampoline. After a little bit, I go inside and leave them outside. Sometimes one or both of them follow(s) me inside; sometimes they stay outside for quite some time by themselves. The other day they opted to stay outside and play on the playground after I went inside. I peeked out the window to check on them and Stephen was standing up, peeing in the middle of the back yard. I had to explain to him that he can’t do that. He asked me why and I really didn’t have a good answer. “You just can’t, man. We don’t have enough land for that. People will think you’re weird.” The truthful answer is “I really don’t care, but it reflects poorly on me as a parent if you pee outside like our ancestors no doubt did.”

This particular strain of hand, foot and mouth disease came with a bonus. A few weeks after it had run its course, some of the boys’ fingernails and toenails fell off! It’s disgusting and I can’t even look at it. The boys don’t seem the least bit bothered by it, and there’s a new, tender nail growing underneath it by the time it comes off. That has been.. interesting.

Yesterday we went to Cox Farms‘ Fall Festival. It’s 90 acres of slides, rope swings, hay rides, food stands, and kids play areas. They had live music, a pretty good band that played classic hits by the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, and The Band while we ate lunch. The problem is that it doesn’t open until 10 and Henry naps at 12:30 or 1pm. We paid $14/person and stayed for less than three hours. The other problem is that Henry can’t tell us what he wants to do and Stephen only wants to do the big slides. We did every slide in the place, most of them a few times. Then we went to the little kids section (mostly because it’s more escape-proof) and let Henry run around playing in the bubbles or banging on some makeshift musical instruments they had.

Henry starts preschool tomorrow. The bus will pick him up right in front of our house. He’ll be gone for over 4 hours on Mondays and Wednesdays, with 3:15 of that being spent at preschool. That is preferable to Stephen’s situation where I have to get both boys dressed complete with socks and shoes, put them in car seats, get them both out, traverse the street and/or parking lot twice, put Henry back in the car seat, and go home to do it all again in two and a half hours. Not to mention Henry loses his mind every time I drop Stephen off and we have to go back out to the car.

Speaking of preschool gripes, Stephen brought home germs and got us all sick for a week. Boy did we use a lot of tissues.

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