March 2014

My wife went back to work on the 3rd. Actually I’m pretty sure the 3rd was a snow day. I was terrified at the prospect until about 20 minutes before she left for work. Then I was just like “Let’s do this.” We established our old routines in one or two days. We signed Stephen up for ‘kiss and ride’ at his preschool so I can just drop him off without having to take three kids in and out of preschool. It has worked like a dream.

My parents came into town for Henry’s birthday. It was on a Friday this year. We decorated the dining room with Dr. Seuss stuff and I think he liked it. We went out of our way to make a Henry-friendly birthday for him. My wife only wrapped two of his presents (for photo ops) since he hates opening presents. We also only got him things he was already familiar with. We replaced some broken toys and got a few things we knew he would recognize from school. It felt good for him to have a good time. We made the whole family just do things that Henry likes for once.

My brother Robert stayed here for his Spring break. He just wanted to relax and not play piano and hang out with his niece and nephews. So that’s what we did.

Oh, and it just so happened I was going to see Leo Kottke when Robert was visiting, so I bought another ticket for him. I have been hesitant to see Leo Kottke because I didn’t want to ruin the mystique. Now I can that say I’ve watched him play for 90 minutes, and I’m still as mystified as ever. Leo Kottke is a pro’s pro. The room was silent and the crowd was mesmerised. Two things that are very rare to see are complete mastery of the 12-string and the slide. I didn’t know if Robert was going to like it but he thoroughly enjoyed himself so that was an added bonus.

I am loving Spring so far. Rabbits running around in the snow with a few warm days sprinkled in there. Snow just continued throughout the month. We had a white St. Patrick’s day, if I recall. Chloe is getting older – 12 this Spring, to be exact – but she still acts young in the snow. Usually when she goes outside it’s all business, but not when there’s fresh snow on the ground.

Stephen started piano lessons at the end of the month. Every Tuesday at 3. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen. He’s still four for a couple more months. The first couple of weeks are simple rhythm exercises and just sort of getting to know each other.

I was checking back to my November 2012 post recently, trying to retrieve some information about Thanksgiving that year. I noticed that I was talking about how Stephen didn’t use a pull-up at night anymore and that Henry didn’t bang his head anymore. I’m here to say, in the interest of fairness, that those did not hold out. Eighteen months later, Stephen still wears a pull-up at night. And Henry didn’t stop his head banging until about January of this year. Speaking of that, I took Henry to his 3-year-old checkup at the doctor, and it did not go well. Let’s just say Henry was quite resistant and the doctor at one point basically told me to expect a diagnosis of autism. Not a good day.

Hopefully this month puts an end to the daily fireplace maintenance. Did we heat the whole house with a fireplace? Absolutely not. Did we save money on our electric bill by burning a fire? That answer lies somewhere between “Not really” and “Probably not”. Did it make the living room really cozy all winter? Yes indeed. Was it worth 400 dollars in wood? To me, yes. It was also really great to have with the baby around. We had a ceramic space heater in her room and a fireplace in the living room. These were the only two places she hung out all winter. Everywhere else was pretty cold.

Speaking of Baby #3, she is progressing right along. Beating the boys in all the milestones it seems (just like most people who have girls say). One week she’s sitting up with assistance, the next she’s standing with assistance. It’s hard to believe that Henry was out-pacing her in both length and weight, because she seems so big for her age. Charlotte really can sleep through anything. Having two older brothers who don’t nap means she has to get sleep in the midst of a lot of insanity, and she does it every day.

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