Mr. 100%

Peter has started to exhibit a pretty interesting characteristic. I'm not sure if it's all 14 month olds or if it's just in his wiring. We don't remember Vincent being like this.

Everything he does, he does it with 100% of his being.

If he sees something across the room that he wants, he runs top speed to get it. If he's eating, he's EATING. If you're holding him and just so happen to be watching TV for a split second longer than he's comfortable with, he will grab your face with a force so strong it's amazing it comes from someone so young.

He's caused me to bleed on occasion. He's that powerful. You know those videos of alligators where they spot prey across the river and the prey doesn't see them, so they quietly sneak up and get really, really close then....ATTACK!

That's what it's like. He's just so energetic and so curious that it's like he doesn't have time for any other way. It's all or nothing, pal.

I see him as the Pete Rose of Toddlers.


Musical Theater?

A fun clip of Vincent hamming it up on the deck before having his prop forcibly removed by "Peter Pumpkineater."


The Move: Q&A Session

This is the back of the house. Note the giant tree trunks. We live in a redwood forest.
I’ve received a handful of questions about our recent move that I’ve assembled here in a handy Q&A format. Enjoy!

So overall, how was the move?
Really good, thanks. We had tons of help from family & friends not just in loading and unloading (Will, George, Joe V., Erick, Rose’s Dad, my Dad, Kate), cleaning & unpacking (Ellen, Amy, Rachel, Rose’s Mom) but also in the essential and difficult task of keeping the boys entertained in record temperatures (Sts. Mom-Mom & Grampa, Sts. Chief & Nan, Kate & Kyle).

Not only that, Rose, Chief & Nan were able to get the boys’ room primed and painted in basically one day. While we were moving in.

I know it sounds crazy but actually, everything seemed to be under control. Other than us losing Amy & Will's tiny Jack Russell, Sophie, and introducing ourselves to multiple neighbors with the phrase, "Have you seen a tiny dog?"
Yes - she was found. The kind person "wasn't sure if it was a rabbit or a dog" she saw running through her yard, but it was indeed Sophie.

Did that whole POD thing work out?
Totally. We packed the thing to the gills and it was delivered 3 weeks after it was picked up, with everything completely intact. I thought we’d have a casualty here or there – a broken table leg, scratched cabinet, pulverized chair. Nope.

So with the POD, 3(ish) U-Haul trips and the titanium backs & legs (and balls) of our crew, we did it ourselves. We’re punk rock.

So I understand you now have Vincent and Peter in the same room?
That’s right. It’s something we wanted to do eventually, so we figured – why not combine two major changes to the sleeping routine?! Since Vincent really sleeps better knowing there’s a human near him (or next to him), we’re thinking that having Peter there will be good for him and vice versa. And since Peter is totally fine on his own as long as his blanket is nearby, it sounded logical.

So far so good. We’re going to tweak the routine a bit but they’re both going to bed at the same time, in the same room. One or the other tends to wake up during the night but oddly enough, they don't wake each other. I’m waiting for the day when we wake up to find Vincent in the crib with Peter.

Who knows though? As we’ve learned in 3 ½ years of sleep training, there are sharp turns.

How are the new digs?
Really great so far. We’ve been here a week and can’t get over how it feels to have room to move around. We’re faaaar from finished but the house is livable right now. The boys are enjoying their new basement and backyard and Rose is enjoying having places for things in the kitchen that aren’t an overcrowded counter or another room.

And the neighbors?
Seriously nice. It’s almost weird. The gentleman next door actually shouted, “Heey neighbor!” to me so we could shake hands and introduce ourselves. Another offered to help us pump up our kiddie pool with his air compressor (!) just because he saw us struggling with our pump. Another is a New York sports fan (Rangers too, Kevin & Julie) but I'm not holding that against him.

Not that our old neighborhood was unfriendly. People just kept to themselves a bit more. Now everyone knows everyone else. I’m not used to it yet.
Best part - lots of familes with kids Vincent and Peter's age.

Now tell me about the bugs, Jim.
Ok, so there are more bugs than our previous address. That’s what happens when you move to a slightly wooded area. Stinkbugs, massive mosquitoes, you name it. They’re cool though. Only the mosquitoes deserve to die. The rest we leave alone. There's a stinkbug directly above my head as we speak. I will usher him outside upon completion of this document.

I hear your lawn is bigger. How does that make for upkeep?
I was scared sh*tless for the week leading up to my first mow. The dude next door wished me luck because I was using a push mower.

It wasn’t bad, though. It used to take me 30 min. to mow. Now it’s about 75. Throw in some stick cleanup and a little weed-whacking and I’m at about 2 hours. I can handle that on a weekend. I’m tough.

Now the flowerbeds – those are intense. The previous owners were landscaping junkies so there will be plenty of weeding to do.

I will pay you ten whole dollars to help me.

And the (gulp) commute?
There had to be a negative, right?

No matter how I cut it, it’s a solid hour to work. I’ve tried at least 5 different routes in 6 days. What the hell – gas is cheap enough, right?

Congratulations on everything!
Thanks, buddy. Talk to you soon.


Still Breaking S*%t

Add these to the list of things we've broken while living with my parents:
  • A small, black labrador figurine (Sorry, Maggie!)
  • A wine glass
  • A drinking glass
  • A green plastic toy croquet ball

So the Break Count looks like this:

Jim: 4

Rosalie: 3

Vincent: 0

Peter: 0

They really need to adultproof their house.



Remember when I wrote about Vincent’s obsession with The Wizard of Oz?

Well a local, independently-run movie theater (Yes – they exist.) opened up their childrens’ programs for the summer with a matinee showing this past weekend. Thanks to frequent commenter, “CB,” for the tip. I knew we had to go. That film tends to get re-released every now and then but the timing was too perfect.

So after my Mom kindly volunteered to watch Pete for a few hours, V-Man and I headed out there (Rose had to work). It was only the second movie he had ever seen in the theater, so he started out with some apprehension. I told him that because this theater was older (and less technologically advanced), it wasn’t as dark, loud, and scary as the big theater where we saw Ratatouille.

That really seemed to do the trick. He got used to being there more quickly than he does most different locations, although he couldn’t get over the fact that it would be the same, exact movie we’ve watched on DVD 785 times. When Dorothy first appeared, he said (loudly) “It’s the same Dorothy!” to the chuckles of those around us.

In fact, he kept a full-voiced running commentary throughout.

“Are they going to meet the Cow-ard-lee Lion now?
“What’s a twister?”
“I think that the scarecrow takes off his mask when he goes home.”

And spoken in dead silence directly following the Wicked Witch’s melodramatic death sequence, to big laughs around us...


He sat through the whole movie with minimal antsiness. Not easy for a kid that young in a 69 year old film. So it was great. I hope to coerce Vincent into seeing more movies in the future because of the success of this trip. Oh – shout out to the theater –
http://www.thecolonialtheatre.com/. It was $4 admission and popcorn was $2! Can’t beat it.