Category Archive for: ‘text’

July 2014

The main event from this month was a stay at Wilderness at the Smokies in Tennessee for my Grandmother’s 90th birthday. Nearly all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren made it and we stayed for a long weekend. It went as well as we could have hoped, which was nice. Henry is a flight risk and hotel rooms are not very good at being able to lock you in. Turning the handle from the inside of the room automatically unlocks the door. So we had to use the chain and it was constantly being pulled on and banged around. My daughter was up for 3 hours one night. I walked the halls of the hotel for what seemed like forever in flip flops while my daughter was in a front harness. I ended up hurting my foot from all the barefoot walking with the added weight. It feels better some days but then the pain comes back.

Overall it was a good trip (“within driving distance” is extremely helpful for us) and it was great to be there to support my grandmother on her 90th birthday. We took over the back room of a restaurant for the birthday celebration. I felt bad for the other people who were stuck with us for that lunch. The indoor water park at the Wilderness at the Smokes was cool. I was a fan.

June 2014

What happened this month? Hmm… Well, both of the boys’ preschool years ended. The second-to-last day of Henry’s preschool was a party with the parents/families invited. It was great to see him in his element. He did very well and exceeded our expectations. Basically we are not expecting enough out of him on a regular basis. Two days before said party, we went to a developmental pediatrician and procured a diagnosis for Henry. “Renowned” is maybe too strong of a word, but this doctor came highly recommended by nearly everyone in the area. She exuded confidence and experience. She told us what many others would not: that Henry has autism.

What does this mean for us, exactly? Well, it means a lot of the same things will continue. We will continue to search for a therapist we like that does home visits. He will continue to go specialized preschool provided by the county. Going to restaurants and traveling may continue to be difficult for a while. It means his speech may not emerge for a long, long time… possibly ever. It also means some other things that you’d rather not think about as a parent. It means I have to cringe for the rest of my life as “short bus” (and related) jokes are pervasive in society. It means I have to cringe even harder when I realize I am guilty of this myself, probably several thousand times over. It means that I have to worry about Henry attending “integrated” (aka normal) elementary classes and how he will be treated by other students. But all worrying aside, it certainly doesn’t amount to a whole lot of change for us. Henry is Henry. He’s been a handful since he was in the womb. Henry is affectionate, loves jokes, loves books, and loves his “videos.” We didn’t pursue a diagnosis so we could “fix” him, but rather so we could help learn what things we need to do, force our insurance to cover some more services, and speak knowledgably with his teachers and therapists about his condidtion (as opposed to “we’ll see, we’ll see”).

We have a lot of relatives asking (either directly or indirectly) what his prognosis is going to be. And the answer is: no one knows. One tenth of autistic children shed their symptoms by adulthood, and no one knows why or how to predict this. Fortunately I am comfortable with not knowing the future; my wife is still coming around to the idea.

We also attended Stephen’s preschool graduation with my parents. It was a disaster. So poorly run/organized. It was adorable, though. I [embarassingly] “pulled a move” with the camcorder, and by the end I was turning it on when I thought I was turning it off and vice-versa. Yes, it’s the same move your parents pulled when you were a kid. It’s the same reason my parents have hours of video of walking around with the camera pointed at the sky or ground. That’s what I get for trying to use the camcorder instead of settling for phone videos. The worst part for me is that they sang a Bob Marley song and I didn’t get to record it! It was awesome. The family behind us started singing along. It was probably my favorite moment of the year so far.

I abruptly stopped watching television. My “job” of watching children is a non-stop thing lasting from 6am-8pm, seven days a week. Watching TV felt like another job even though I barely watch anything. I’ve got this one hour before bed that I can watch tv and it became a nightly “assignment.” I’m trying to add to my life by taking away things I consider distractions. Addition by subtraction.

The cat has been officially moved outside. I scheduled to have her euthanized but I couldn’t go through with it. She seems to be doing better than ever now that she’s outside. Her coat looks good and she’s maintaining a healthy weight. She’s killed a couple of lizards, a mole, and a few bunnies. She shows up in the morning and evening to be fed, and I hide her medicine in her food.

April 2014

We finally moved the couch out of the house. When the new couches came, we just sort of moved the old couch into “the other room.” Then we jumped and played on it for a couple months before having it hauled away. I saved a couple of cushions from the old couch and placed them around for dog beds. There are two beside the couches and one beside the piano. We got a new bed and new couches in the past year, and have enacted the “no dogs on the couches or beds” rule. So far it’s not working so well. Chloe sleeps on the couch every night. First thing I do is kick her off the couch in the morning.

Jaime’s father had a sudden business trip he needed to take to our area, so his wife came along and my kids got to see their Nana and PopPop for a few days. Just some good catching up.

We had Easter alone this year (read: no family in town) and it went pretty well. We dressed the kids up and arragned a self-taken family picture. We had a Easter egg hunt for the boys (mostly Stephen, as the video shows), and we successfully dyed eggs without help from a single grandparent!

We had some people over for a “watch bad movies and laugh” event at our house. During this event, M.V. astutely supposed that maybe Barry is a female Betta and not a “Barry” after all. Although the Betta is not mature yet, I do believe M.V. is right. I sort of mockingly asked Stephen what we should name Barry if it was a girl, since Stephen is notoriously bad with naming things. Guess what?! He came up with a pretty good name! Sally! Barry is Sally now. We’re pretty sure. He said he came up with the name based on The Cat in the Hat.

We moved the garden outside. Now, in all honesty, it’s not much of a garden by now. A lot of the plants sprouted from the dirt pods and then promptly perished indoors. We moved some stuff outside into the raised beds, and we re-planted a lot of the seeds and updated the garden legend/guide.

Not much else going on. Still trying to get used to the “new routine,” which is having a baby in the house and my wife at work. We are getting back into it but it really hampers our ability to go anywhere! The baby is still really good at being a baby. The boys are cruising through preschool.

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.

February 2014

Note: I am writing much of this at the end of June. While I do leave some notes/drafts/breadcrumbs along the way, the details are pretty much lost. My server has been on the fritz (certainly my fault), and I have been busy and just plain lazy.

More bitter cold. More snow. In fact, in three Winters of living here, I had never had to shovel the driveway until this month. This month I did it twice (once with help). The first time was a lot of snow. I had my father in law helping, and we did too wide of a path for about half of the driveway. We did two car widths because we had two cars in the garage. It was a lesson. The next time, when I had to do it by myself, I just shoveled one car width for the length of the driveway, and widened it a little by the garage.

Stephen has turned into an eating machine again. He wants to eat all day. We’ve been sticking with one dessert a day, and we still have some of Stephen’s Halloween candy, not to mention Christmas and Valentine’s candy of course.

The children’s Nana and PopPop came for a visit. We mostly just hung around by the fire. We had a big snow storm while they were here. I definitely will always have the memory of watching USA/Russia Olympic Ice Hockey that Saturday morning, when T. J. Oshie became a household name and an American hero. What a great memory. Those weird shootout rules suddenly became the most exciting thing I have seen in a long time.

We got a fish tank going after we realized that our well water kills fish. That honestly took me too long to figure out. A bottled gallon is enough to change the water in the bowl, though. Stephen wanted a green Betta. Green is pretty hard to find. We looked through the whole pet store and finally found a green one in the “baby” section. It was so tiny we could hardly see it, but it was two bucks and green. It’s named Barry. Barry the Betta. He’s thriving… we think.

The boys had Valentine’s day at preschool which was a first for us. To be honest we forgot Henry’s entirely. Oops. Fortunately there are only three kids in his class and it’s a two year old preschool class. Stephen’s we actually remembered, and I think he had fun. Brought home a lot of cards and candy.

Henry is showing a lot of improvement in the areas of eye contact and seeking personal interaction. He walks up to everyone who visits the house. Wants a hug. Wants to “say” hi.

At the very end of the month we bought some new couches. They haven’t been delivered, but I hope it works out. The two couches put together were cheaper than our old sectional, and it should give us more room in the center of the living room. Hope we don’t regret it.

Correction: After looking at some pictures, it appears we bought the couches on Valentine’s Day weekend, and they were delivered in about 7 or 8 days. We even went back and bought the end tables before the end of Februrary. The couches are not as nice as our old one, but the setup is better. The couches are just barely deep enough to sleep on, but they don’t seem as hot as the old microfiber one.

Charlotte is doing well, but I’m still afraid of my wife going back to work. Charlotte eats a lot. Sleeps a lot. Is generally happy. Baby stuff. She seems more responsive than the boys at an earlier age. Interested in faces, that sort of thing. I like having a girl. It makes all the cutesy baby stuff so much easier. Just put in her in some cute clothes and talk baby talk to her all day. Seems more acceptable with a daughter.

January 2014

January was cold. I mean cold with bold and italics. It’s shaping up to be the winter we were promised. We went out as a family maybe three times? It takes a lot of effort at the moment. When we first got back from the hospital I was feeling guilty for having to be generally more permissive with the boys; by now I am used to it. I am sort of dreading getting Henry back “on the wagon” (limited touch screen time and time watching videos). We are settling into a pretty good routine. Jaime takes Stephen to school a lot of the time, when school is open.

That was another theme of January: no school. After the MLK holiday, schools were closed for two weeks, more or less, sometimes for as little as .75 inches of snow. It seems we spent the month huddled by the fire. I got a better handle on the fireplace this month, I think. It takes a while to get used to the fact that there is a 45-60 minute delay when you make the fire bigger/smaller. Shamefully, it took me a couple of months to tone down the size of the fire when necessary so that everyone’s not sweating. This month got down pretty cold for this area (negative temperatures) and we were burning a lot of logs every day.

The boys have a night light that turns green at 6:30 when they are allowed to get up. It already has solved a lot of problems and should be even more helpful later in the year as the sun starts to come up earlier and earlier. My new favorite time of day is 6:30am when I go into the boys’ room and snuggle Henry on the bottom bunk. His biggest blanket barely covers me, and it has recently been cold in the morning. Half the time Stephen comes down and snuggles with us which is helpful for warmth.

My parents and grandparents came for a great visit near the end of the month. My grandparents stayed down the street at a hotel with a pool, and different combinations of us would visit in the morning for hotel breakfast and swimming. Charlotte was five weeks old and I’m not sure Jaime had been away from her for a second. Jaime got some pumping in so we could leave the baby home with my mom while we went swimming. I think it was a much-needed break for Jaime to go to the pool with her boys at that point. Then different combinations of people would come back to our house to spend time together by the fire. Watching playoff football. Taking turns holding the baby. Family stuff.

As I mentioned in last month’s update, my good friend and bandmate Steve passed away in December. The memorial was on the 18th of this month. It’s a strange and difficult thing to deal with. You say all of the cliché phrases you’ve heard all of your life, like It still doesn’t seem real or I still think he’s going to call me and say what’s up. The reason people say these things is because these are all the very weird things you think when someone close to you dies. I keep finding stuff that I want to show Steve, only to realize a second later that I can’t. During his memorial service I got a very painful pit in my stomach. It actually felt like a peach pit was on fire in my stomach. It hurt badly until well after I got home. I guess that’s what it’s like to have an ulcer? I don’t know and I don’t want any more experience with that. That evening was a musical tribute to Steve at Jay’s house. I played a few songs first and then played one song with the rest of the musicians who were there. It was an excellent evening – one that I’d like to re-create every six months or so.

A growing compendium of Steve’s songs/recordings/music can be found here: I recorded a lot of this stuff at my house and I am still going through everything. More to come, more to come. Here are some of his cover songs he did, both alone and with other people:

December 2013

When the calendar flipped to December, my parents were still here on Official Baby Watch 2013 duties. We were convinced Charlotte was going to come early, but she didn’t. She held out until December 9th, her planned c-section date. Jaime’s parents arrived on the 7th and my parents went to a hotel for three days because they were not going home without seeing the baby.

Our new guests arrived with a sick one in tow and left with about three sick ones in tow. Honestly December can best be summed up as “Oh, I’m so sick I can barely walk. Can I hold the baby?” We had germy visitors in the hospital and for our first two days home. Then my parents came by after Christmas and my mother was so sick she hadn’t eaten in 2 days. And what’s the first thing all these people want to do? Hold the baby, of course. (But really, who can blame them?)

Charlotte’s birth experience was the best one yet in my opinion. There was no labor, only a calm, on-time, scheduled c-section. We were in the hospital for two nights instead of four. My wife and daughter were mostly assigned nice and competent nurses, and my wife was walking the day after her surgery. We had a room on the other side of the birthing center this time and we had a nice view of the snow in the courtyard. They had a new system at the hospital so the baby doesn’t have its own nurse anymore. This is good because the nurses that were assigned strictly to the babies were usually just condescending baby snatchers. They would come into the room, act like you were not taking good care of the baby, and take the baby away for hours at a time. This time Charlotte stayed in our room with us almost the entire time for recovery. The only thing we missed out on was our hospital tradition of watching a movie from the birthing center’s VHS library. We didn’t stay long enough to get the three-day boredom itch, I guess.

Charlotte sleeps pretty well; we had her in her own room by the time December was over. She hardly ever spits up and generally seems to be reasonable for a baby. My wife planned to take 12 weeks of maternity leave and our plan was that she was going to take care of the newborn girl and I was going to take care of the boys. We have stuck to that. This means that Jaime’s bedtime is largely unpredictable/nonexistant and I am getting up at 6:30am sharp every day.

Stephen had his preschool Christmas “musical” on the 21st and it was pretty cute. They put him front and center and I soon found out why – he knew all the songs! Most kids just stood there swaying their hips and staring into the spotlights.

We had Christmas as a family with no visitors in town. It was a new thing for us, but it was nice. We started some new traditions this year. We made fire-roasted hot dogs and s’mores for dinner on Christmas Eve and watched the half-hour cartoon version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Since then my wife has become a marshmallow roasting master. She has a stainless steel marshmallow poker and everything. Henry didn’t care about his presents, but we just tried to let him play iPod and have a fun day. Stephen was cute and had a ton of fun. Charlotte cooperated and let us open presents which is all you can ask of a 2 week old.

It’s been pretty boring around here. Going anywhere takes about 30 minutes of planning and 45 minutes of getting ready. I barely stayed up until midnight on New Years and I was the only one in the house who was awake.

One week before Christmas, my friend Steve passed away suddenly. The memorial was held a month later on January 18th. This news certainly impacted our Christmas and the Christmas of many people we know. Mixed feelings throughout Christmas this year.

November 2013

The first thing I remember from this month is voting. We had some local and state elections – one of only 2 or 3 governors races in the country this year. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that we had one of the worst governors contests in history. It was the classic “douche vs. turd sandwich” decision featured on my favorite-ever episode of South Park. The Daily Show (among others) talked about our governors race a lot. It was a choice between an extremist conservative candidate who has compared birth control to abortion and his fraudulent, corrupt, more-than-likely inept opposition who was a walking negative ad.

We finally saw Bill Burr on the 7th. I’m proud to say I see more live comedians per year than I do movies in the theater. The set was great. One of the best I’ve seen, especially in a theater setting (as opposed to the DC Improv, where nearly every set is fantastic due to the atmosphere). I thought his most recent hour-long special was a dip in quality so I was worried. However, I was not disappointed.

My parents stopped through quickly earlier in the month on their way up and down the east coast. Then they came back the day before Thanksgiving to begin the Official Baby Watch 2013. Our current situation is that we have no family or close friends with kids nearby. This means that anything other than 4-8 hours of babysitting falls under the category of “too much to ask of your friends.” Going to the hospital for a scheduled c-section certainly means you are going to be gone for more than 4-8 hours. In the event that the baby came early (as both of our other children did), we needed someone here who could watch our children for 2-5 days. Once my parents arrived (three weeks before the due date), we could relax and know that our children could be watched without complication if Charlotte decided to come early.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My immediate family was all here, which is pretty rare these days. I felt pretty bad for Billy, who stayed a long time (more than a week), didn’t get to see the baby, and had to get home 600 miles by himself on public transportation and a MegaBus.

October 2013

Henry is fully into the preschool routine by now. He loves getting on the bus and he hates getting off (read: he loves the bus more than he loves me). His teacher comes to the house once a week. His teacher says he is lucky to get the best, most caring bus drivers at the school. The bus drivers say he is lucky to have the best teacher in our county. The members of the school staff are having a love-fest (with kickbacks).

Two months ago, we had no kids in preschool, and it was bliss. Now we have two kids in preschool and are all sick. All the time. When I say we all got sick, what that generally means is that the boys were sick for 1-2 days and my wife and I were sick for 1-2 weeks. Before we can even get over the previous cold, the boys move on to the next sickness.

This past Tuesday (29th) was a tough one. Both boys were sick and the guys came to start our bathroom. The first days of this construction are especially loud as it involves drilling into concrete (framing) or jackhammering the concrete to install the additional drainage pump.

The first week of October ruined my no air conditioning edict. When it’s a high of almost 90 with excruciating humidity, the idea of saving money goes out the window for a couple of days. To break the heat, we needed a cold front with a little rain. And by “a little rain,” I mean an ungodly amount of rain that shut down streets and flooded our basement. I was very fortunate to discover the leak in our foundation just as it was starting. It was on the unfinished half of the basement in which I rarely step foot. We were cleaning up the paint/painting supplies from Charlotte’s room and I went in there and heard some water trickling. Fortunately I was able to contain it in the unfinished half of the basement with three hours of hard work. It would have been much worse if I wasn’t able to throw one of those flexible plastic tubes on the offending downspout to push the rainwater about 8ft from our house before it seeped into the ground. I did that in the worst part of the rainstorm; I had to steal one off of one of the other downspouts.

It’s been getting cold at night, so we gave the fireplace insert its inaugural fire on the 26th. I love it. It’s basically 400lbs of cast iron with a fire enclosed. The whole unit heats up and then a fan blows across it (not through it, or else it would blow smoke into the house) and forces hot air into the room. It seems to be really efficient. The inside is lined with 1″ thick ceramic tile for insulation, so the thing stays hot for a while after the fire has died.

Stephen continues to grow up. He is ordering his own food at restaurants, complete with water to drink. One of the things I like about his preschool is that you are supposed to bring healthy snacks (there is a snack co-op and we all take turns) and the children are only permitted to drink water. In fact I like this so much that it makes me a little bitter when I walk in and there are cupcakes because it is someone’s birthday.

On Sunday the 27th, we went to a church down the street for a “Trunk or Treat” Halloween thing with moon bounces and the like. It’s a good thing we did that, because the boys were sick the next week, including Halloween day. Fortunately Stephen didn’t really care and still has a huge bucket of candy from Truck or Treat.

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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