Note: If you do not already know who I am, then you are advised to turn back now, lest ye die of boredom. This is not the blog of someone who is trying to become a famous blogger. This is meant as a memory bank for our future and as a way for our out-of-town families to keep up with the goings-on around here. I am increasingly bothered by the permanence of the internet, particularly in regard to children who have no choice in the matter. As a result, I intend to keep things pretty matter-of-fact.

New Playground Routine

A couple videos from earlier today…

March 20, 2011

Day 2

March 08, 2011

Mother and Child

March 08, 2011

Awkward Group Shot in the OR

March 07, 2011

8lbs, 8.3oz

March 07, 2011

First Picture of Henry

First picture I got of him in the operating room.
March 07, 2011

Notice he has sort of an uncentered cone head? That’s from the vacuum. They tugged on his head pretty hard, and he was a little askew coming down the birth canal. The result was that they pulled his head up and a bit to the side. That shape cleared up in the first 24 hours though. Looks rather frightening in this picture.

Overstayed Our Welcome

What day is it? How long have we been in the hospital? How are our dogs? This sucks.

Baby Henry

Not two minutes after I made that last post, my wife’s water broke. Henry Jackson Valentine was delivered via c-section last night (March 07, 2011) at 11:41pm. Mother and baby are well. I have not had a chance to go home and process the pictures off my camera, but I was able to take this video and upload it from my iPod touch. I’m also posting this from my iPod, so I can’t even test this video. I hope it works.

Senseless Musings of a Senseless Past

As far as I can tell, I’m the only one in my immediate family who is stubborn. From where did I get this trait? Mom’s brother? My grandfather that I never knew? Not sure. When I was in tenth grade, my parents punished me for something-or-other by not allowing me to watch TV for a month. I didn’t watch one minute of television for the next five years, even after I moved out of their house. It was like saying “You call that a punishment?” In college, a lot of the members of my extended family loved telling me that my psychology undergraduate degree was going to be next to useless in the job market. This had the result of me staying in the psychology program long after I lost interest in it. I lost such interest in it that I never finished my degree, actually. (Not that I have anyone to blame, of course. That’s not what I’m saying.) At least now it gives me something to say when they try to admonish me for not finishing my degree. “Well you always said it was going to be useless anyway!”

Jaime and I were watching a short segment in between some PBS shows where they were going around DC asking people what their biggest regret/mistake in life was. Jaime and I were thinking about our answers for a while, and mine was pretty easy: going to college. Not dropping out of college, but going in the first place. Especially since I went through a series of nondescript majors that would have landed me some nondescript desk job with a cubicle, a computer and a phone. If not for college, I would have had five years of work experience (not to mention income) under my belt before I moved here. Add to that the fact that I am now a stay-at-home Dad and that is something I always wanted to do–something I always knew that I’d be good at. Looking back, it’s kind of disappointing that I was pursuing a degree for vanity’s sake. If you’re not going to use it, a degree is a good way to waste money. I understand that a good portion of college grads actually use their degrees, but I for one was never going to. The one aspect of college that turned out okay was the money part. Neither me nor my parents paid a dime for my tuition because of Georgia’s “Hope Scholarship.” I’m just another example of wasted tax dollars. Although… having to pay for it may have caused me to drop out sooner and get a bloody job!

I yelled at some lady this weekend whose aggressive dog got away from her and charged into my dogs like a rocket. This is the second time this has happened with this lady. The first time I was very nice and understanding. This time I disgustedly screamed “Oh Christ! Not even a leash can stop him?! Give me a break!” My dogs are fairly dog-aggressive, but they have never once gotten away from me and I take a wide birth around anyone who comes by, even with a stroller and two dogs to mind. This story has a point that ties in… at what point did I learn to act like this? Some would call it being a jerk, some would call it standing up for yourself and not allowing others to run all over you. Neither of my parents would have ever EVER done anything but be overly polite to others in public.

I think your kids are basically who they are and there’s not much you can do about it. My brothers and I grew up in the same house and all have different levels of ambition, different tastes in music/entertainment, different views on religion/politics, and different ways of dealing with those around us. It’s certainly not due to a lack of consistency on the part of my parents. I’m starting to believe that nurture vs. nature is about 95% nature. Stephen loves music and instruments. Is this because he is my son (encoded in his DNA) or because he is growing up surrounded by instruments? It’s a mystery.

Henry’s Room