Round 1: Feeling each other out

2 09 2008

Nathaniel likes to be held.  All the time.  But one day last week we set him down beside Ben for a while so they could get to know each other.  Nate was very taken with Ben, and was doing all sorts of messing with him.  Ben is used to being messed with (he’s got big brothers you know), so he took it in stride, all the while bopping Nate on the head with his forearm.

…because it was 68 degrees outside

17 08 2008

Being married to someone from the Caribbean is kinda cool.  No, it’s really cool.  I love Karen’s heritage and the culture of Trinidad.  And the food is pretty awesome too.  But here’s the thing.  In Trinidad they have a different definition of the word cold than we do here in the temperate zones.  Chilly in Trinidad is 70 degrees (21 Celsius).  Cold is anything below 70 degrees.  They wear jackets in Trinidad on chilly evenings.  Some even have electric blankets for when the nights drop below 70.  I, on the other hand, have trouble sleeping if the room is above 70 degrees.  So at home I turn the thermostat way up during the day and way down at night.  Karen has adapted to this for the most part, but the rest of her family isn’t so used to it.  During a visit in December I found her brother sleeping bundled up with a blanket and comforter as well as his winter coat and hat.

The good thing about Karen being pregnant during the summer is that she never complained about it being too cold in the house.  But she’s not pregnant any more, so it has returned.  And I thought she was finally adapting to the climate.  So when we had some unusual weather last week with rain, hail, and cooler temperatures, it took her (and us all) by surprise.  We took the kids to Borders one evening after it had finished raining, and Karen was shocked at how the temperature had dropped.  It was 68 degrees outside, and when Karen felt that cold Pennsylvania air she went and put on some long pants and long sleeves.  And since her motto is “If I’m cold then the baby must be cold,” she also found some warmer clothes for Nathaniel.

To be fair, he is less than a month old and this was one of our first outings with him.  But I thought it was pretty awesome to have him bundled up like that in August.

Their first group activity

5 08 2008

Baby? What baby?

29 07 2008

This is the first in a new series I’m doing.  It’s very similar to a Wordless Wednesday, but since I now have two babies at home I’m calling it Twosday Tuesday. (Get it? I thought of it all by myself.)  I even made a new category for it so if you click on that you can see all the entries and feel yourself become happier as you gaze at the incredible cuteness.  This series will focus on the dynamic relationship between Benjamin and Nathaniel.  In this picture we’re in the “I’m gonna ignore it until it goes away” phase of the relationship.

A study in procrastination

24 07 2008

I’ve heard the grumblings.  “Where’s Mark gone?”  “Is he back yet?”  “What’s he up to now?”

Okay, maybe you didn’t care, but we have been busy.  More accurately, Karen has been busy.


Little boy #4 showed up on Tuesday morning, just before lunch.  Well, he didn’t just “show up,” he had to be forcibly cut from Mommy because Monday night he did a somersault and turned breech.  He’s the fourth child, the fourth boy, he had to be the first at something.  So he’s the first c-section.  Wonderful.  At least there’s not going to be a #5 (sorry Bennie) thanks to the other procedure they did Tuesday morning.

“Yeah, yeah, what’s his name?”  His name is Nathaniel.  After my contest I’m sure I had my mother in law worried that he’d never have a name.  And with good reason.  He didn’t have a name for the first 27 hours.  We introduced the boys to him that first night and told them “No, he doesn’t have a name yet.”  To be honest we probably won’t call him Nathaniel much.  He’s already been graced with a few nicknames.  I’ve been calling him Mr. Cheeks.

We finally brought home mom and baby on Thursday at lunchtime, and everyone is glad that they’re home.  Ben seems the happiest though.  Many posts later dealing with his reactions to baby brother.

Ben is getting big

9 07 2008

It’s funny. There have been a lot of people telling us that Ben is “growing like a weed.” It seems that we hear it at least twice a week. We smile and nod, but we had Jonathan. Jonathan was 27 pounds when at six months old. Ben is two years old and 16 pounds (give or take). Ben isn’t really growing like a weed, it’s more like a bonsai.

But every now and then we are struck by just how much he has grown. For example, Ben’s physical therapist first brought a gait trainer for him back in February. I thought it was way cool so I took some pictures.

Lately Ben has really liked getting in the gait trainer so we’ve been putting him in it more often. This past Sunday I took some more pictures.

It may be a little misleading because he is wearing sandals, but he is definitely growing.

He is getting longer (taller? When do you start saying “taller?”) this summer. Why is it that kids always grow the fastest in the summer? He’s too long (tall?) for his 9-month sleepers that I bought him in May. I’m having to go to the attic to find some 12-month sleepers for him. And I’m very glad to do it.

Ben was having such a good time in the gait trainer on Sunday that we kept him in it for a while, and I guess he got tired.

A very comfortable position, wouldn’t you agree? Yes I took him out of it after I snapped the picture.

Daddy! I’m Squidward!!

25 06 2008

What happens to the Bumbo seat once the older brothers start messing with it?

Next will be the toilet seat I’m sure.

The real reason cameras were invented

17 06 2008

Watching people fall down is pretty funny. Watching your kids fall down can be funny too, as long as nothing gets broken. So when Isaac got an invitation to a birthday party at the roller rink I made sure the batteries were charged and the memory card was empty. Big photo op since it’s been over a year since Isaac skated, and Jonathan has never skated before. I was sure Jonny wouldn’t do it, but once he saw me lacing up Isaac he demanded a pair of his own. He hesitantly stepped out onto the rink just in time for the hokey-pokey.

Standing still on skates is easy, right?

Isaac did really well this time around,

for a while.

Jonathan took my advice to cling to the walls for dear life.

He did venture out quite a bit, and had a ton of fun. Benjamin had fun too; someone bought him a new toy.

And when I got him out of his stroller he was laughing and giggling doubled-over. He had a blast.

It was a surprisingly enjoyable birthday party, which is quite an achievement. Usually I’m stabbing myself in the neck with plastic knives halfway through. A great time was had by all, and the kids fell asleep instantly at bedtime.

Isaac asked to go back the next day.

…and one more on the way

5 05 2008

find the adult in the picture

Life is very interesting when you have all boys. I have three, very soon to be four.

Life with boys includes, but is not limited to:

Farting noises

Uranus jokes


Video games

Toy dissection

Knights and battles

I have also made some observations along the way:

1. Never say “okay” if you weren’t paying attention to the question.

2. Fighting over the baby brother can quickly turn into fighting on the baby brother.

3. A single baby fart can entertain the older brothers for hours.

4. So can a baby booger.

5. Boys have the coolest section in the toy store and the Disney store.

6. But not the clothing store.