Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What the hell?

tree on house

This has been a weird year. I came home from Nashville to see this scene in my front yard. This same scenario unfolded in our back yard only two months ago. Suni was home alone with Waylon (well, I guess that makes her not alone) when this happened. She tried to call me three times. I was in Nashville eating and didn’t hear tree fullmy phone. She was pissed… yes, Suni pissed about someone not answering his phone… hmmm, very ironic. Thank God everyone is safe. That is really all that matters.  When I saw the four missed calls from the Missus in a row, I was more than a little scared.  Now that I know everyone is fine, I really would have loved to seen the look on Suni's face when she heard the crack of the tree splitting off. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Names and what not...

Horace Update: So, here we are on “our” fourteenth week of pregnancy, and still no freakin’ name. Granted, we do not know the sex of the baby, but that is hardly relevant. I have been urging Suni to pick a girl name and a boy name. The obvious alternative is to select a name that's unisex. Someone suggested “Pat.” That ain't gonna work.

The most frequently asked question regarding the naming of ours second child is “Are you going to name him/her Hank, Willie, Merle, Kitty, or [some other old country music star]?” The answer is no, although I am doing some backroom politicking for Conway Twitty Stinson. Suni actually likes “Hank,” but she thinks that would be over the top. It would be.

Please take our poll (bottom right). I'll leave the boy name up for a month then put a "girl name" poll up for a month or so.

Night on the Town: I have to say a word about this. In Nashville on business, I had planned to go to a Verlon 189x182Thompson show over at the venerable Station Inn, a complete dive but maybe the best bluegrass venue in the country. My buddies and I were the first ones there and we took a table right up front. To my amazement, Guy Clark showed up and played the first hour-an-half long set with Verlon. Waylon Jennings is the only artist I like more than Guy Clark, and Guy is a close second. I was ecstatic. The Station Inn didn’t advertise the fact that Guy was playing, so there were no more than thirty people there. (The bartender told us Dierks Bentley dropped in like that a couple of weeks before). I got the chance to talk to him for a bit while he was out back smoking. I couldn't have been happier.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

One Year Later...

With our Iowa trip on the horizon, I thought it would be interesting to post a couple of photos from our trip to Iowa last August. Here are a couple of Waylon and Grandma. It is amazing how much the little guy has grown in the past year.

W, Grandma J, and the rats Picture 042

I know that he will be thrilled to see his “brother” and “sister” again. Briggs and Mary are seen in the picture on the very top. Since these pictures were taken, Waylon has learned to talk, knows 15-20 different words, understands virtually everything, feed himself all kinds of food, and today he even told us he had to “poop” before pooping!! Despite having the same amount of time in which to learn, Briggs and Mary still do nothing but yelp at the top of their lungs, pee and crap all over the place, and probably eat the poop.

Here are two more: Waylon getting a bath and Grandma Jonnie’s and trying to tell his cousin Owen about classic country music. I don’t think Owen was interested. He’s really more into hip hop, apparently.

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Ahh... Milk, Cookies, and Wonder Pets

Today has been a pretty uneventful, unproductive start to the weekend. Waylon and I did get to enjoy some Nila wafers and milk while watching the Wonder Pets on demand. (Today they saved the baby sea lions and the joey… again… for about the thirtieth time).

It is really hot here today, and is supposed to be in the 90s for the next few days. I wish we could summer in Nova Scotia.

Tim Whitehead has rejoined the land of the living bloggers, where he is lamenting the five happy years of his nine-year marriage. Happy anniversary, Whiteheads!
Despite the heat, Waylon apparently thinks it's winter. He's packing for Iowa, and I guess he thinks he will need his stocking cap.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

He Gets It!

It has been a rare week in that I have been home every night. This has afforded me the opportunity to take Waylon to daycare in the morning and be home at a reasonable hour (today at the unbelievably early time of 5:45). Although I do not enjoy the screaming and clinging that characterizes the daycare drop-off, I have really enjoyed getting to be a part of Waylon’s morning routine the last few mornings. Unfortunately for you, this means I have something to blog about, so my long-windedness will continue to plague TeamStinson.com in lieu of my wife’s pithy posts. Sorry.

Waylon continues to amaze me with how much he comprehends. Yesterday, I had to buy some time to take a shower, so I basically just took him in the bathroom with me and talked incessantly at him about God knows what all. To my amusement, he listened and attempted to repeat many words. As I was about to step out of the shower, I decided to enlist his help.

“Waylon,” I asked, “will you please go into the kitchen and get your medicine?” (He is again on amoxicillin and we have been giving him Tylenol, as he has been running a slight fever).

Now, I must admit that I thought it was a long shot. You never know how much a 15-month old really understands because they are so limited in what they can communicate. But, I figured what the hell. To my utter surprise, Waylon got his now-trademark look of determination on his face and bounded off for the kitchen. I could hear his little footsteps trailing off as he ran into the kitchen.

Seconds after Waylon had disappeared from the bathroom, I heard a tremendous crash in the kitchen. Then silence. Just when I was going to run into the kitchen in my towel, I heard the pitter patter of little feet again. After about three footsteps, I heard something hit the floor and skid across the hardwood. Nearly immediately, the footsteps resumed. But, again, something fell to the floor. This process repeated itself until Waylon rounded the corner and I everything was clear.

He had understood my request for help, alright. He was juggling an armful of crap – both of his medicines, an enormous bottle of ibuprofen, and two medicine droppers. It was all just too much for his little hands and arms to handle, which explained the noises I’d been hearing. The crash, I discovered when I did make my way into the kitchen, was the entire contents of the medicine cabinet. If you are asking (a) why our medicine cabinet is in the kitchen and (b) why it is low enough for our toddler to reach… well… those are good questions… ones I am sure Suni will address in her next post, whenever the hell that may be.

As far as Waylon’s help, I was impressed. Maybe I shouldn’t have been. When it’s your first child, you really have nothing for comparison. I give Suni a lot of credit for teaching him things that are really beyond his age. She has always treated him, especially talked to him, as though he were a little man, and almost always, he lives up to those expectations. (And, no, honey, I am not saying you don’t let him be a kid. He’s 15 months old, for God’s sake :))

Wow, I never thought I would be gleefully writing about the day my son recognized a simple term like “medicine.” The fact is, however, that it was the highlight of my day… and, inexplicably, that fact doesn’t make be feel even the slightest bit lame.

A Word About Horace: In one of my recent posts, I referred to our next child as "Horace," which has drawn some concern from certain quarters. This is just as I planned. Waylon was named months before his mom brought him into this world. Everybody started calling the baby Waylon before Suni was even showing, and it stuck. That is the way I like it. I like to "know" my child before I know my child. (I am weird; I acknowledge that). We can't agree on a name for this one, and Suni does not share my sense of nomenclature urgency. Thus my plan: call the baby Horace until Suni agrees to name the kid. Horace has raised more than a few eyebrows... yet, Suni seems in no more of a hurry than she ever was. Now, it's either give up the ghost or ratchet up the seriousness with which I intend to call our child Horace. I always was a fan of the Odes.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Team Stinson Hits the Zoo!

Waylon has this animal book with pictures of probably a hundred animals. He can probably identify 25 of them. We’re not talking just doggie and kitty cat here either. This kid differentiates between the parrot and macaw, the chimp and the gorilla, and the Owl Moth Butterfly and the Giant Owl Moth Butterfly. (Okay, I made the last one up, but he really can distinguish among the others).

So yesterday, after identifying the duck for the umpteenth time, he got bored and gave us a look like, “Seriously, people, I want to see the real thing.” So…

Today we took Waylon to the Knoxville Zoo. We saw gorillas, elephants, red pandas, and all manner of fauna. Nonetheless, the runaway favorite was (drum roll)… this “lella” in the elephant pen. Actually, a close second was the ceiling fans in the same exhibit.

Waylon had Suni had a lot of fun in the Kids Cove, where they have a concrete “creek” where the kids can play. Unfortunately, Suni was asked to leave due to her violation of the second prohibition listed here on the sign [bottom left photo on the grid to the right]. (Just kidding).

Waylon had fun sitting on the “water-spitting” frogs. [Top left photo]. Much to his chagrin, however, he could not sit on both frogs at the same time. He came to this painful realization when this unsuspecting Asian girl hopped on one of them. She ignored Waylon’s persistent whines of protest. Right now the boy shares about as well as Jonnie drives, which is to say all people in proximity are in danger.

W really liked this cage and would have run back and forth through it ‘til hell wouldn’t have had it anymore. We were finally able to divert his attention with promises of food. We ate lunch at the Safari Grill, where Waylon ate one French fry and about sixteen ounces of ketchup.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth, Everyone!

Two things to say about today (and there is no cause and effect, whatsoever, here people): (1) Suni slept much of the day, and (2) It was a really good day.

Mama wanted some sleep this morning, so Waylon and I decided to go to the park. Horace is making Mama much sleepier than Waylon did when he was in utero. Halfway to the park I remembered that I freakin’ hate the park. All the little kids trampling mine makes me a nervous wreck. A backup plan was needed, so we went to my dad’s house, where we had a good visit, which was cut short by the fact that Dad and his family went to the Fourth of July Parade in Greenback, the little town where I was born and raised. I really didn’t have much of a desire to attend those “festivities,” a term I use here loosely. For you Iowans, think Walker, but maybe a little smaller. For New Mexicans, think Mesquite with a three-building downtown.

Waylon is barely 15 months old, but he already loves golf. I sawed a golf club off just his size, and he carried it around pretty much all day, swinging it as best he could at the grass. Golf balls are about his favorite thing other than light. I hope to foster a love of golf in my boy in the great hopes of preventing the scourge that is soccer. For any of you who want to regale me with all the great things about soccer, save your breath. It is the most boring regularly played sport, period. I understand it has its place, but it ain’t in the Stinson household.

I hope everyone is having a great Fourth. Our thoughts are still with those spending our nation’s birthday digging out from the flood mess. With all its faults, our nation is still the greatest on earth, and we are thankful for that. Please say a prayer tonight for those protecting the freedoms we all take for granted entirely too often.

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

Back to Iowa: Oh yeah, by the way, we are coming back to Iowa the August 1-10, and we hope to see everyone possible. We had hoped to head up that way this month, but schedules would not permit it. Hopefully we didn’t pick a time when anyone is out of town.