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"Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
Elizabeth Stone

10.4.the end Part 2.2007

I have decided to keep the flickr page. However, to see the pics, you will have to set up a flickr account. All pictures of people are set to be viewed by friends only. If you start a flickr account, which is not hard, you can send me a request to be added as a friend. Then you will be able to see the pics I add. I may eventually move this site to something where only friends can view it. You can do that with myspace, so I may do that.

10.4.the end is near.2007

In the interest of privacy, and the safety of our children, we have decided that the web site will cease to exist. Nothing has happened to us to cause this descision. It is simply a result of asking the question "Could something happen?" The flickr page will soon disappear as well. I thought about quoting The Doors "The End" here, but it doesn't seem appropriate. Maybe Ecclesiastes is better "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

8.29.the toughest day.2007

Payne started kindergarten on August 22. I expected that day to be hard on Keri (and yours truly), but it really wasn't too bad. I struggle a little bit because I know that I'm not old enough to have a child in school, but he still insists on going. As it turns out, the following Tuesday was the hardest day of our son starting school. For the first four days, Keri parked the car and walked him in. On day five, Payne decided on his own that he was ready to find his classroom alone. Keri said she almost cried watching his backpack as he walked into the buidling. I almost shed a tear when Keri told me about it. When he reached the door of the school, he whipped around, and waved really big at Keri before disappearing into the building. It's the kind of moment that should have a voice over from "The Wonder Years" narrartor even as it happens. I guess having your first born go to school isn't such a big deal. Discovering that your child no longer needs your guiding hand to lead them down the proper hall is when it really hits home.

8.20.attachment issues.2007

Gabe has started eating in a booster seat at the table, and not using the high chair. Yesterday, I took the high chair apart, and put it back in the attic. Gabe was watching as I took it apart. Every time a removed a piece of the chair, he would start crying. I would pick up and console for a few minutes, and then go back to work. When the next piece came off, he would start crying again. He was very sweet during the times when I was trying to console him. He would give me a big hug, and put his head on my shoulder. He gave me a few kisses on the cheek. He was fine watching me work, but couldn't handle the pieces coming off.

8.16.anger management.2007

I know it may not be obvious from my steady hand and cool demeanor, but I am a sensitive person with a temper. My feelings are easily hurt, and my rage lurks just beneath surface of my laid back facade. Payne is a lot like me. He wants everyone to be happy, and he doesn't understand when people are not nice. His feelings are easily hurt, and he worries. Knowing exactly how he feels, I get upset when I see other kids doing things that I know will hurt his feelings. Usually it is little things that may not bother other children, but I know will bother him. Unfortunately, "upset" is not a strong enough description of the current fire I have burning inside.

There is a child that Payne plays with on a fairly regular basis. This child is known to have difficulty following adult instruction, and shows a tendency to be destructive of other people's property. These things upset me. They do not draw out my rage. The thing that has my insides twisted like a balloon at a carnival is that for three nights in a row, we have been summoned to Payne's room to calm his worries. This child Payne spends time with apparantly became angry and told Payne "I'm going to fire bomb your house, and burn it to the ground!" Payne can't sleep at night, worried that our house is going to catch fire at the hand of a small child. This has me angry, and I am not good at dealing with anger.

7.24.but i play one on tv.2007

At dinner, Payne asked if the human ear was comprised of bone. I launched into a brief, yet detailed, explanation that the ear was formed of cartlidge (which I can't spell). It's kind of like bone, but not as hard. Payne replied, "Did you go to medical school or something?"

7.23.monkey see.2007

Payne is cautious. Gabe is fearless. Payne is just now reaching a point where is brave about things such as jumping off furniture. Gabe seems to have been born ready to follow Payne in any adventure big brother can dream up. Gabe will climb into his high chair, on top of Payne's desk, anything he can find footing on is a mountain to summit. I was talking to Keri on the phone the other day, and she stopped talking to me to tell Payne, "Please don't do things in front of your brother that he shouldn't do. He is going to do whatever he sees you doing." It seems Payne was doing flips off of the couch, and Keri was concerned that Gabe's turn was up next. A few seconds later, once Keri had resumed our conversation, I heard Payne say in the background, "Turn around Gabe!"

7.8.child prodigy.2007

Payne was explaining age to Gabe the other day. Payne told Gabe that Payne was 5, and would be 6 at his next birthday. He followed that by saying "You are one, and at your birthday, YOU WILL BE TWO! Then at your next birthday you will be three. Then at your next birthday you will be four. Then at your next birthday you will be five. Then at your next birthday you will be six. Then at your next birthday you will be seven. Then at your next birthday you will be eight. Then at your next birthday you will be nine. THEN, YOU GET TO GO TO COLLEGE!"

6.11.road rage.2007

We recently took the boys to Branson, MO for a visit to Silver Dollar City. Payne had a blast (so did we). If you are headed to Branson for the specific purpose of visiting SDC, I recomend a stay at the "The Village at Indian Point." We had a two bedroom/two bath + a sleeper sofa, with full kitchen. It was perfect for us. Maybe a little pricey, but not a lot more than your going to pay for a decent hotel room. AND, it comes with the added bonus of getting sleep. No babies waking up, and realizing they are in the same room as everyone else, which must mean it is time to play. No doors slamming across the hall at all hours of the night. Best of all, you can stay up AFTER the kids go to bed.

Gabe spent most of our two days at SDC strapped to his stroller. We would stop occasionally, and let him run around. He did pretty well, but by the time we headed home, he was tired of being restrained. He made a little noise about it for most of our journey. At one point, I noticed his tone change from frustration to anger. I looked back in time to see Gabe raise his snack cup, and attempt to throw it at Payne. The cup went straight up, and landed in his lap. As I was driving, I thought it prudent to return my gaze to the highway. A few seconds later, I heard the snack cup smack into the window on Payne's side of the car. I have no idea what Payne did, but Gabe wasn't going to take it sitting down. Well, he was strapped in, so he took it sitting down, but he wasn't going to let it slide without letting his anger be known. The little guy is a scrapper.

I go one tiny month without posting anything, and everyone quits checking in.


Last night, Keri noticed that Payne has a freckle on his nose. "Did you know you have one little freckle on your nose? I never noticed it before." She said. Payne got a somewhat perplexed/horrified look on his face and shot back "Did you get it off?"


I recently purchased a new CD. Payne was with me in the car for the first spin. He was very excited to listen to a new CD, and asked, "Daddy, is this a rockin CD? Is it going to rock our heads off?" "I hope so, son. I truly hope so."


On Wednesday, I made a quick trip to St. Louis. When I came home Wednesday night, Payne asked "Daddy, did you see anything on your trip besides offices, airports and restaurants?" I laughed a little, because he rattled off verbatim the list I give him when I return from any trip, and said "No, that's about it." Payne replied, "Not even any castles?"


"Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt."

3.30.the great debate.2007

Keri and I have been struggling a lot with sending Payne to Kindergarten next year. We both think he is ready, but the Owasso school system advises that boys born before some arbitrary date should wait a year. Payne was born before said arbitrary date. Yuppieville also has a growing trend of holding boys until they are 6 to start kindergarten. So, we hate for Payne to be the only 5 year old in a room full of 6 year old boys. At the same time, we are convinced that he is ready, and worried that he will be bored if he doesn't. Plus, he is excited about going. I think he would be crushed if he didn't get to start. To help with this descision, we have been soliciting input from all available sources. The school system doesn't do a screening, so we are going to have him screened. Keri also asked his preschool teacher, and got the following email:

"Payne is doing great. He is a bright, articulate, caring young man. He is a great friend to the entire classroom. I enjoy his sense of humor - he has a real twinkle in his eye. He is very sensitive -- he really wants to do things right!! He takes responsibility for his actions - eventhough it costs him alot to do so. Then, he bounces back just fine. He is a great kid. He compromises, shares and makes allowances for others. In circle time, he always listens and asks appropriate questions or makes theme related remarks. He is very proud that he is "beginning to read". I just really enjoy having Payne in my class and I believe all his future teachers will feel the same way -- he is a joy."

Just wanted to save that here for Payne to come back and read someday.

3.29.fifteen months.2007

Gabe's 15 month check up was yesterday. Keri had the joy of taking him. Ever since I had to take him to get a breathing treatment during an asthma attack, he screams from the moment you enter the Dr. office. This time, Keri said they couldn't even weigh him. They had to weigh her, and then weigh her holding him. Good times. Gabe weighs about 24 pounds, which puts him in about the 25th percentile for weight for his age. He is in the 95th percentile for height for his age. Tall and skinny like his dad?


Last Thursday, I took the afternoon off of work. Keri went to the mall that afternoon, and to dinner with friends that night, leaving me to answer Payne's questions for an extended period of time. As luck would have it, Payne was full of questions that day. For the entire afternoon and evening, he would hit me a follow up question before I could finish my previous answer. It was exhausting. When I put him in the tub that evening, the questions continued with extra push on his part. This is one of the many techniques he employs in the evening to delay his trip to bed. He will ask an unending barrage of questions about completely random topics, and ask them with a tone that implies the utmost urgency. As if, should these questions not be answered at this very moment, he would be unable to take another breath. To drive home the urgency, each question is both preceeded and followed by clearly addressing the examinee.

"Daddy, would it hurt if you got hit by lightening? Would it, Daddy?"
"Daddy,do worms bite? Do they, Daddy?"

Being an expert in the area of procrastination, I find this somewhat irritating. From my own past delay tactics, I immediately recognize the attempts to stall, and quickly become agitated. "Daddy," Payne said. "What Payne?" I responded with more than a hint of agitation in my voice. "Daddy," long pause, "I'm going to ask a lot of questions. Okay, daddy?" No kidding. Thanks for the warning. I don't know how Keri does it. She has amazing patience and dedication to be able to stay home with our boys, and I'm extremely grateful. I love that she does it, and every time there are lots of questions, I find myself amazed that she has not pulled out all of her hair.


My blackberry recently let it's smoke out. As Dr. Whaley (an engineering professor at OC) used to say, "Once you let the smoke out, it's very hard to get it back in." Our IT department got me a new one. I asked if they could make it just a regular cell phone, and they replied, "I wish I could. I miss the way my life was before my first blackberry." My thoughts exactly.

Another favorite Dr. Whaley Quote - "This aint rocket science. Rocket science is easy."

In other news, I'm the newly elected volunteer parent coach of Payne's soccer team. Turns out soccer wasn't all that popular with my generation of Oklahoman's. I was the only one present with any experience at soccer. At least, the only one willing to admit it. His first experience with organized athletics, and I'm going to be right there to mess it up for him. Son, I promise to try not to leave any permanent scars. Physical or emotional. Last night he told Keri, "I'm going to tell all my teammates that the coach is MY DAD!" If only he could feel that way forever. I always enjoyed having my dad coach, so maybe he will too, but I know the day is coming when he will realize I'm not as cool as I appear to be. I came to grips with it. I suppose he will too.


"Daddy, that's what it called when the team gets together to try decide what to do, huh? Like in football, when the whole team gets together to talk. That's called a cuddle, huh?" - Payne


A few days ago, Payne greeted me at the door when I got home from work. He had exciting news, and was eager to share. "I know how to spell apple!" he told me. Keri was behind him smiling, and mouthing instructions to me on how to react. Apparantly I can't spell apparently. Apparently, he had spent some time sounding it out, and come up with it all on his own. "You Can! That's great! Let me hear!" I replied. He then proceeded to sound it out again, and spell it for me, "Aaa - A - puh, puh - P - LLLL - L. A - P - L!" For those of you who spell as well as I do, that is not correct. However, it is a great step! Since then, he has been really tring to sound words out and spell them. Keri checked out a "Dick and Jane" book for him, and he sounded out a few words. It's a very exciting step. At the same time, I can't believe I have a child old enough to learn to read.

In the last few weeks, a light has gone off for Gabe. He has really started using his signs to communicate. He still tries to say it instead of signing, but usually follows it up with the correct sign right away. He is also just on the verge of walking. Several times now, he has stood without holding on to anything for support. Most of the time, he doesn't realize he is doing it, and sits down when it occurs to him. Gabe is constantly making us laugh. He uses his little walker to zip through the house. Before he starts to go anywhere, he concentrates very hard and hits the one button that plays long songs. Once the travelling music is on, he's off to the races. When it stops, he will usually stop and turn it back on. If he walks by and Payne pushes a different button, Gabe will stop and push the correct button again before proceeding. He gets tickled when he notices us watching him, and gives a big grin and giggle. When Payne I wrestle around on the floor, Gabe will get to safe location nearby, and roll around the floor and laugh like he is in on the rough housing. He always wants to do whatever big brother is doing.


Gabe is getting to the age where he likes parts of Seseme Street, or Street as Payne used to call it. Keri related this story to me, so some of the details are purely made up. Just kidding. The boys were watching Street, Payne sitting across the big chair with his legs over the side, and Gabe riding his rocking horse. When Elmo's World came on, Gabe stopped rocking, and started talking to Elmo. While sitting atop his trusty steed, he waved to the TV and said "HI MO! HI MO!"

2.28.old person.2007

Last night, I was pretending that Payne's belly button was biting my finger. He thought it was funny, but insisted it was not biting. To prove it, I showed him two creases in the end of my finger. He ended the discussion rather abrubptly by protesting, "Those aren't teeth marks, those are just your old person things."

2.13.the picture of health.2007

Payne was drawing pictures last night. First, he drew a picture that he declared was himself. He had no arms. Next he a drew a figure that was slightly more round. The second picture also had legs, but no arms. He informed me that the second picture was a drawing of a walking potato, which kind of fit. He later changed his mind, and said it was a picture of me. If your portrait can be that easily mistaken for a walking potato, it might be a sign that change is in order.

2.12.romantic, ghost hunting weekend.2007

Happy New Year! I can't believe I haven't updated in almost 2 months. Part of it is my horrible short term memory. Every time I think about writing something, I can't remember what I wanted to write about.

Keri and I went to Eureka Springs, AR this weekend for a little weekend retreat. I made us reservations to stay at the Crescent Hotel. We had visited the Crescent on our previous trip, but didn't stay there. It is beautiful old building that sits on the highest point in Eureka Springs. It is open to the public, and you can go up to the fourth floor and look out over the entire city. We had also eaten breakfast there on our previous trip. They use the old ballroom as the dining room, and the food is excellent. There is also a spa in the hotel, so I had made reservations for each of us to have a 1 hour massage, and Keri had a facial and a pedicure. The spa = also wonderful. I highly recomend visiting Abra and ___ (I can't remember the person Keri had at the moment). The hour flew by, and contemplated trying to arrange some sort of room and board deal with our massage therapists. We both truly enjoyed it. However, there was one tiny thing about the Crescent that I never given much attention. The Crescent Hotel is known as "The Most Haunted Hotel in America." This is a fact documented by the discovery channel in a special, which apparantly captures the permanent residents on film. Not being particularly disturbed by "paranormal activity," I didn't think much about it. I figure if they want to hover around, so be it. It seems that not all who stay at the hotel share my position. Across the hall from us, two rooms overflowed with teenagers intent on viewing some of the long-term tenants. At approximately 2 AM, I showed them a real ghost, appearing in the hall in my boxer shorts and an undershirt insisting that they "shut up, it is 2 AM, and I am trying to sleep!" I received a surprising response. One of the young men replied "I apologize, sir," and they actually got quiet. Just as Keri and I drifted off to sleep, there came a not so gentle rapping, followed by a loud voice yelling "Get your backside out of bed." At first, I thought perhaps the hotel management had contacted the adults, and they had come to put an end to the noisy adventures of the children. I was wrong. It seems the adult sponsors of the group were engaged in similar ghost hunting activity, and had come to share the fruits of their hunt with the younger ghostbusters. After about 30 minutes (now almost 4 AM) I called the front desk to request that they do something about it, and to inform them that we would be leaving the hotel in the morning.

The next morning, Keri and I arose promptly at 8 AM so we could have breakfast before our massages. We did very much enjoy both the breakfast and the massage. We also enjoyed the rest of our day in Eureka Springs, and spent the following night at the lovely Best Western, which is not haunted. The moral of the story: Never underestimate the power of the paranormal. AND, don't stay at the crescent if you want to sleep.


As a follow-up to my last post, I would like to publicly apologize to my mom for all the times I asked her to stop singing when I was little. To quote a cartoon character "Hey, that hurts." - Nelson Muntz

12.11.no respect.2006

Occasionally, we let Payne play games on the internet. Disney and Nick Jr have pretty kid friendly sites with games he can play on his own. Last time he was playing, I started imitating one of the characters. Payne laughed, and said "That's funny, Dad." Since he thought it was funny, I kept doing it. After my second take, Payne told me "I was just kidding. It's not really funny. Please stop."

12.8.what we have here.2006

The following is an actual conversation that has taken place repeatedly over the past few weeks. No names have been changed. The facts are true.

Me: Can you say Daddy?
Gabe: MaMa
M: Da Da
G: Ma Ma
M: Daddy. Can you say DaDa? DaDa.
G: MaMa
M: DaDa, Dada, Daaa Daaaa, D, D, DaDa
G: MaMa
M: Da Da
G: MaaaaaaaaaaMaaaaaaa

Now, which one of us do think is not getting it?

12.4.deck the halls.2006

We put up our Christmas tree on Saturday, and Payne couldn't wait to put the "Garlic" (garland) on the tree.

12.1.promises promises.2006

While taking a bath, Payne likes to pretend he is cleaning the bathroom. A few nights ago, I had stepped out of the bathroom, and he decided the bath mat was desperately in need of a good washing. Payne managed a minor flood in the bathroom before I returned. When my tongue lashing concluded, Payne apologized profusely. After he had cleaned up the mess, he apologized again saying, "I'm sorry daddy. I promise I won't ever do it again. Not even tomorrow night."


Last night, the ice started coming down. During our nightly "day in review" with Payne, he started talking about playing in the snow when he got up. "Can we take Gabe out and put him in his bouncy seat? Can we throw snowballs at him?" Brotherly love. The only thing better than pelting your little brother with snowballs is pelting him snowballs when he is trapped in a chair.

10.27.we have.2006

Last night, Payne woke up crying. He sounded very upset, so I rushed to his room as quickly as my half-asleep, fat body would go. When I got there, he was facing the wall, whimpering, and saying "we have, we have, we have." I said, "What's wrong buddy?"
"We already have, daddy. We already have."
"We already have what?"
"I don't know." Then he was back to sleep.

10.24.the little easy.2006

This past weekend, we went to Hugo. Upon our return home, Payne asked, "When can we move to Hugo? I want to be a Hugo a Buffalo."

10.18.uh oh.2006

Gabe has started saying "Uh Oh." It typically comes out more like "uuhhhhhhhhhh uhhhhhhhhh." He's in the stage where is favorite pass time while sitting in the high chair is to pick up whatever is in front of him, inspect it, hold his arm out straight to the side and bombs away. Then he looks over the edge for it, and says "uhhhhhhh uhhhhhhhh," looks at us and grins.

10.17.he's a wilson.2006

The other night, Keri and Payne were discussing something. Payne asked a question, and Keri answered it (correctly). Payne said "No," and rattled off his own version (not correct). He followed it up by saying, "You were wrong, huh momma."

10.13.chapter 11.2006

If I ever write a book, it will not have a chapter 11.

9.19.checked out.2006

Gabe had a check up today, and it's all systems go. He now weighs 19 lbs and 6 oz.
Gabe is in the 75 percentile for length, but only in the 20th percentile for weight. Keri asked if there was any concern, and the doctor said "No." I think that is a complex medical term that doesn't translate well to redneck, but could roughly be interpretted as "Naw."

9.13.upwardly mobile.2006

Gabe has changed so much recently. It is difficult to imagine that the too small infant we worried so much about 9 short months ago is the same creature that now speeds through our home. He has not yet learned to crawl on his hands and knees, but army crawls on his belly so quickly that preventing a snack of dog food or fire place rock is a full time assignment. He recently started acting like he wants to crawl on his hands and knees. He will raise up off of the floor, and rock for a few moments, maybe move one hand or one knee. Then, he decides he would be there by now if he just got down and went. Gabe is also pulling up on things. A favorite spot is the narrow window by the front door. He will stand there, gripping the sill with both hands, and chat with the outside world for a long time before he realizes he is stuck there. Then, the cute chatter changes over to pleas for help. However, we did discover yesterday that he can sit up form a laying position without pullin on anything. It probably won't be long before he discovers he can sit down from a standing position.


Labor day weekend was a miniature tour of Kansas. We started by visiting my cousin, Lisa, in Leavenworth. I would say the drive time is about 4.5 hours. The boys were both awake most of the trip, but they were very good most of the trip as well. At one point, Payne got in trouble. He got a toy taken away as punishment, and sat in the back feeling sorry for himself. I looked in the mirror a few seconds later, and Payne had his hand over Gabe's mouth. I was already a little upset with him, and asked, with a touch more than a hint of anger in my voice, "What are you doing to him!" Payne replied, "He was laughing at me, and IT'S NOT FUNNY!"

8.31.lights out.2006

Payne: Daddy, can you please come turn the lights on for me?
Me: Why can't you do it?
Payne: I already popped out a pooper.


Gabe is getting his first tooth. Keri just pointed it out to me today. I had my finger in his mouth the night before letting him chew on it, and didn't feel it then. He can't have teeth yet. He's too little.

7.30.smells like.2006

The other night, Payne had to use some of Gabe's bubble bath. He was upset that he smelled like a baby. We have been buying him Curious George bubble bath recently, so he was talking about how he usually smells like bananas. Then he asked, "Do they make bubble bath that smells like firemen?"

7.18.arsenio flashback.2006

Things that make you go hmmmmmm (puts index finger to temple as if engaged in deep contemplation of serious issue): Today at work, a girl had a sleeveless turtleneck.

7.17.cat park.2006

On Friday night, we took Payne to "Johnstone Park" in Bartlesville. The park has a "Kiddie Park," which has rides for children. Payne called at work on Friday afternoon to tell me that we were going to the Cat Park. I'm not sure what he expected, but he was very excited about the cat park.

7.14.it moves.2006

Gabe has been rolling around like crazy for a few weeks. He is really good at changing directions, and getting to what he wants. However, he is no longer content to move sideways. Yesterday, he started pulling himself forward. Still on the belly, but he can get to what he wants. This kid is growing up way too fast.

7.6.free to go.2006

When Payne gets truly scared at night, I usually sleep on his floor for a little while. He tosses too much when he is in bed with us, and no one sleeps. I actually get more sleep by sleeping on his floor. The other night, he was very scared by the fireworks, which were still going at 2AM. I went in his room, and laid down on the floor. I made sure to tell him I was only going to stay in there for a few minutes, and then I was going back to bed. A few minutes later, he leaned over the edge of the bed, and said, "Daddy, you can leave now."


I finally uploaded some more pictures.


Every night before bed, Keri asks Payne what the best and worst parts of his day were. I was thinking back to the day he got kicked in the face. If I remember correctly, the best part of that day was T-ball. What really surprised me was that the worst part had nothing to do with being kicked in the face. I would have to have had a pretty rough day for that not to rank at the top. I remember very clearly what the worst part was. By the time the question was asked, a little kick in the face was barely noticable on the radar screen of life. What was the worst part? Daddy didn't let me buy popcorn from the snack bar at Target. He made me wait until we got home, and made popcorn.

5.26.big brothers.2006

Last night, we were driving Payne to T-ball, and he was in the back talking to Gabe. After a few minutes of small talk, Payne says, "Pretty soon, we'll be the big brothers when we have another baby."
For the record, this is a true story, but not a true statement on the part of the 4 year old. At least, not the pretty soon part.

5.14.i love you, too.2006

Payne got kicked in the face at school the other. It's a long story, but the short version is that the kicker has some issues (this is his 3rd preschool of the year). Payne was just sitting there playing, and the child walked up and kicked him. The teacher was talking to them together to try to find out what happened:

Teacher: Kicker, why did you kick Payne?
Kicker: I told Payne I loved him, and he said he didn't love me.
Payne: You love me?
K: Yes.
P: I love you, too!

According to Payne's teacher, Payne the proceeded the hug the child who had just kicked him in the eye.

5.7.buidling blocks.2006

Payne likes to his blocks to build a city for his cars to drive in. Part of the process is to identify the building. This is a target, this is a factory that makes clothes, etc. Today he built a building and said, "Daddy, this one is a starbuck. What's a starbucks?"

5.6.a little help from a friend.2006

While getting dinner ready, Keri was telling me she thought Gabe had figured out how to roll from his tummy to his back, too. She mentioned that he had rolled onto his tummy, and she had left him that way when she left the room. When she came back, he was on his back, and rolled a off the blanket. While she was telling me this, Gabe rolled over onto his stomach. As she finished the story, Gabe decided he was tired of tummy time, and start to fuss. As we watched from the kitchen, Payne hopped up from playing with is cars, raced over to Gabe, flipped him like a pancake, and went back to the cars. Gabe may never learn to roll back over by himself. It was sweet, but Payne was a little rough about it.

5.5.roll over, rover.2006

Gabe is officially rolling over now. He has been close for a long time. For several weeks, he was at the stage where if he would just move his bottom arm, he would get it. He now rolling over, and pushing himself up on his elbows. Now if we could just teach him to wag his tail, we'd have ourselves a song and dance routine.

5.4.heaven and hell.2006

Waiterrant - this is a little long, but it is well written.

4.23.new job.2006

Wow, I haven't gone that long without posting anything in a long time. I have accepted a new position with Braden. I am now a "Program Manager", which basically means if something goes wrong on a project, I'm responsible. I now deal with everything from getting the equipment designed and drawn, to buying materials and getting it shipped. Last week was my first week in the new position, and it was rough on our entire family. I had some very long days. So, that is why I have not been sharing.

4.12.birthday boy.2006

Payne, it borders on impossible for me to believe that today is your fourth birthday. Gabe is almost four months old now, and it seems like just yesterday that you were that size. This morning, we measured your height. You stood by my side, as straight and tall (and skinny) as you could, and you are already up to my belly button. You amaze me every day with your memory, your level of comprehension, your vocabulary, and your caring. This birthday has been special to watch. You have been so excited about every aspect, from picking the theme and decorating to eagerly awaiting the slow arrival the date. You decided to have an "American Army Guy" party, complete with helmets and american flags. You insisted that mommy make an American flag cake. Last night, you were so excited to decorate that you couldn't stand to wait for us to get Gabe in bed. You had the hats and napkins distributed before your mom could get the tablecloth on the table. I hope this day was as special as you imagined it to be. I know the day is quickly approaching when I will become just that guy that dropped you off, but having you call me "your buddy" for the last four years has been truly awesome. I love you, Daddy

4.11.i miss you.2006

Julie and baby Paige (not so much a baby anymore) came to visit us for the weekend. We had a really good time having them here. Apparantly, Payne loved it. Last night when I put him to bed, he told me "I miss Julie and Paige. I wish they could still be here."


Recently, Payne has been trying to seperate what is real from what is not real. In particular, people in movies and on TV. I can really see how it would be confusing. When I was little, cartoons didn't look like real people. There was no claymation. It was a talking rabbit. Now,they have real actors in shows with computer animated characters. How do you wrap your 4 year old brain around that? So, anything that appears on TV has to be undergo the real or not real review. One such review took place at dinner last night, when Payne randomly started the following conversation:

Payne: Are Oprah and Kelly Rippa real?
Keri and I: Blank stares, followed by, "who?" P: Is Oprah real?
K: YES, Oprah is real!*
Is Kelly real? Kelly Rippa?
K: Yes, Kelly and Regis are real people, too.
P: Regis must be OLD!

I think those are fair questions, and I think our answers are a matter of public debate at an adult level.

*Punctuation and implied emphasis have been modified to fit my own personal sense of humor.

4.7.hostage situation.2006

I know you crave it, so here is some more bathroom conversation taken entirely out of context. Today's excerpt is taken from someone sitting in a stall, and talking on their cell phone.

"I don't know if they're even going to let me out of here for lunch. Hope I don't get too hungry."

Who is it that has you trapped in that stall? Why won't they let you out? It's only 9 AM, you're legs are going fall asleep if you sit there through lunch. What are you trying to imply when you say you hope that you don't get to hungry?

Just for the record, I don't ever need to talk to you so badly that it can't wait until your done.

4.7.not so much.2006

One packet of instant oatmeal doesn't seem like much. It doesn't look like much when you have it in your cup. It doesn't feel like much when you are done eating it. Only when you pour it out on your desk does it start to seem like that one little packet might actually contain a great deal of oatmeal.

4.5.cold blooded.2006

I went home for lunch today. I was standing in the kitchen when Payne yelled from the living room, "There's a bug on the wall." "A BUG!" I replied. "Yeah, get me a killer!" (he wanted to hit it with what is known in the scientific community as a fly swatter)

4.3.daytime in japan.2006

Last week, Payne was asking Keri to explain what a day is. Keri explained that a day was the time from when the sun comes up in the morning until the sun goes down at night. Payne's response, "Mommy, the sun doesn't really go down at night. It goes to the other side, and then it is daytime in Japan."

3.30.don't talk to me.2006

I think I've made my feelings about bathroom conversation fairly clear. So, you won't be surprised to learn that I was disturbed yesterday when someone decided to strike up a conversation. I'm standing there, minding my own business (literally), doing my thing, and someone comes up next to me and says, "Hey Matt. How's it going?" Immediately, my head fills with all sorts of replies.

"Well, I was doing okay, but I seem to have sprung a leak."
"It doesn't hurt nearly as bad as it did yesterday."
"Oh, I'd say I'm getting a flow rate of about 1/2 gallon per minute. How about you?"

Hopefully, my silence said it all.

3.29.brotherly love.2006

It is amazing how much Gabe already likes Payne. Usually when Payne is in the room, Gabe is watching him, and smiling. If I'm talking to Gabe, and Payne walks up, he ignores me, and smiles at Payne.

On the way home from school yesterday, Keri looked in the mirror and saw that Payne was holding Gabe's hand while Gabe slept.

3.28.flickr note.2006

I have been adding pictures to flickr without putting any notification in this section. Also, the flickr bar at the top randomly chooses pictures. Just because you don't see any new pictures in that bar, does not mean there aren't new pictures. In fact, I have been trying to add at least one photo several times per week. Just FYI.


Payne and I were watching cartoons yesterday when an ad came on a for different cartoon. At the end of the commercial, the "star" of the other cartoon says "...and remember, if you work hard, you can be star too." Payne turns to me, a look of sincere belief in what he is about to tell me on his face, and says, "I'm already a rock n' roll star!"

3.26.first dollar spent.2006

Payne spent one of his dollars today. Honestly, he saved it longer than I thought he would. He saved for four weeks before he spent anything. He took all four dollars to the store, just in case. Upon arrival, he informed me he would only be parting with one. That's my boy! You'll have to look at the picture to see what he purchased

Keri noticed today that Gabe has started reaching for things. She thought he had reached for her when I was holding him, but decided it was just him jerking. Later, he was playing and was really reaching for toys. He also can focus on people as they move around now. We're also going to have stop putting the Gemini (the thing he lays on to play that we can hang toys from. The BRIGHT picture on flickr) in front of the TV. He has started wiggling around so that he can see, and will watch TV instead of playing.

3.25.new view.2006

Time for a change. Here it is.

Not everything works yet. I'm still working on it. It may change a little, but I think it will basically have this appearance for awhile.

New pictures will still be in flickr. The bar of pictures across the top is link to my flickr pictures.

There is a link in the left column called "archives", which will have (you guessed it) the archives of old stuff. You will be able to see all the old pictures there, and some of my silly ramblings.

This page was designed by someone else. I'm a nerd. In looking at an online nerd website, digg I think, I came across a post for winners of a best opensource (that means free program) web design. This design was one of the winners. The guy who made it said it was free to use, but asked that the link to his site be left in the lower portion of the column at left. There it is. I like the layout.

3.23.a break in the storm.2006

Payne is well. Gabe was much better last night. The Doc said Gabe just has a cold in his chest. He did a chest X-ray, and Gabe's lungs are clear. Gabe woke up screaming one time last night. Based on the explosion that occured shortly after the noise commenced, we determined that the likely cause of said disturbance was just a build up of excess methane in the vicinity.

3.22.a regular amusement park.2006

Payne did have strep throat. The Antibiotic did wonders. By the time I got home last night, he was back to going 150 mph. Gabe, on the other hand, was having a hard night. The boy rarely cries. Even when he is hungry, he just kind of starts talking in a fussy voice. He might belt out one loud note, but rarely gets very upset. Last night, he wouldn't stop crying. He was very tired because he didn't have a good nap yesterday, and he got some excess stimulation from having his 3 month pictures made. We couldn't decide if it was just those factors working against him or if something was really wrong. I ended up holding him on the couch until about 4 AM when he decided it was time to eat (we both got a little sleep on the couch). Keri is taking him to the doctor today. He is still wheezing and coughing. I tell you, having sick kids is a regular day at the amusement park. Just when you think you have had all the fun you can possibly stand, you turn around and see the best roller coaster you've ever laid eys. Good times.


what did it do