Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fun With The Sun!!

Wyatt, sleeping in his rather palatial bed. One of three, really.

   Recently, Wyatt became absolutely enthralled with the rising and setting of the sun. I mean, every day we are aware of the following three things: If the sun is up, if it's getting dark fast, or if it is dark.

   One day, late in the summer, we were at the park. All the big kids were playing, and lately Wyatt has loved making friends with the big kids at the park. (He'll walk up to some big kids that are playing. He'll stand silently, about 4 feet from them, and look at them. He'll look at me, smile, and point to the big kids. Then he'll say "These my friends!" It doesn't always progress to him making friends beyond this stage.) The big kids, all at once, left. We needed to leave too. Wyatt asked why, and I said "It's going to get dark soon!"

   He. Was. In. Awe. How did I know? I could predict the light? I said "Look over at the sun!" (Disclaimer: This is not always good advice.) He saw that it was setting, and immediately understood.

Wyatt's learned how to "cheese" for pictures, meaning his smiles are now more just like dental examinations. Also, he complained about splinters FOR DAYS.

   That night there was a fantastic sunset. I sat in a chair in the middle of my driveway and watched it all, and he ran around me, watching too. He pointed out every color, and how the colors would change every couple of minutes. SPOILER ALERT. Then it got dark.

   He. Was. So. Sad. Where'd the sun go?! And all the pretty colors!? We had to leave the park and the colors left and it got dark. His sadness was palpable. I quickly told him the sun would come up tomorrow. 

   He. Was. So. Relieved. We talked about the sun coming up tomorrow all night long. Bet your bottom dollar. 

   This cycle has been on repeat for well over a month now. Every day it's all about the sun and what it's doing. Luckily, we've had the greatest October in US history here in Eugene, and it's been warm, bright, and dry. I worry about what this kid's going to do when the sky turns grey for the coming winter, which will probably last eleven years.

   But in the meantime, he wakes up every morning happy that the sun is up. Pretty much every day since has started like this:

   He just wakes up extremely happy that (a) the sun is up, and (b) one of his parents is around. It's quite wonderful. Sure, he was sad that mom was going to work, but he waits for her a bit like a lovesick puppy. And he had a great time at church (I think. I just drop him off for some childcare and then go play Keno).

My mood: meh
Wy's mood: it's dark.
Cara's feeling: acid reflux
Listening to: Powerline. No, seriously.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Big House Project!!

   We lost a beloved member of our household last winter. Our 20+ year old pellet stove, that we'd been using for 20+ months finally died. Its burn pot cracked beyond repair. After much weeping and introspection, I hauled it out to the garage, and started to look for a replacement.

When you walked into our house, there was kind of this shrine to the ancient pellet stove. As it should be.

   The Wife really wanted a gas fireplace instead of another pellet stove. The Man Of The House wanted more of that hot, dry heat that the wood burning stove provided. After a long, thorough, spirited discussion, The Wife won. So not only did I have to get a new fireplace, I had a project to do.

   I've done little projects around the house. Flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms, building planter boxes in the yard, mounting a TV and hiding the cords in the wall, and helping Wyatt draw on the walls. These are all pretty simple and just require following some basic instructions. The project I had before me was a whole new beast. Luckily, it required cutting lots and lots of wood with fun saws.

He really wanted to play in the sawdust. For some reason, he really wanted his shirt off, too.

Mission Accomplished.

Now let's see how this sawdust tastes!

Ahh!!! Dad's running a saw!! I need to shut my eyes to completely keep the sound out!!

Oh good, dad's done. Dad's the best.

   The above pictures remind me of one of my favorite Wyatt moments ever. Whenever I was about to run a saw, I'd let him know and he'd try to hide from the noise. A couple times, as I was ready to turn the loud suckers on, I'd warn him and he'd run to a box of pellets and bury his head in them. He'd hide his head in the pellets until I was done cutting, then go about playing. This happened three times. I never got a picture of him ostriching, but sheesh it was cute.

   Speaking of "Sheesh that's cute," here's some videos of Wyatt helping us build, starting with his paint job:

   Here he does some critical measurements, and you get a good look at daddy's tramp-stamp (which - I'm pretty sure that's why you are here in the first place). Hurry! Watch it before my wife makes me take it down!

   Wyatt measuring things is really no surprise. This was taken back when he was just learning to walk (so, I don't know, he was maybe 9 days old?). It's from an early blog post, but I've gained like 8 new readers since then (up to 15!), so I'll share it again:

What a stud. Also, this picture was taken with what appears to be one of those cameras you make in a high school Intro To Photography class.

   And here's Wyatt working with Papa G.

   With all the construction and finish work done, it looks like this:

This isn't a DIY blog, so don't expect a bunch of perfect pictures of clean houses, okay. We still need to paint it, and by "we" I of course mean "not me." Painting is hard.
   If you look closely, you can see that the inner, decorative walls are falling over. We can't get them to stay up. I've tried Silly Putty and gum and even a whole roll of Scotch tape, but nothing works!! You'll notice we wasted absolutely no time cluttering that mantle shelf. And we still need to find the right picture to place in the white space above,. Probably an oil painting of me with my chin resting on my fist. That I'll paint myself. I'll be looking right at you as you come in to my house. Saying "I'm here and this is kind of creepy, so check yourself."

   I couldn't have done this project without my dad doing some last-minute electrical and wood cutting heroics, Cara's dad helping with all sorts of little things, and all the tools that both of those men have given me over the years or loaned me for this project. Thanks so much. I also couldn't have done it without Cara screaming at me "If you don't get this done I will throw all of your Nintendoses in the lake!" It was too bad that her pronunciation of "Nintendos" as "Nintendozzes" kind of ruined her moment, but she had a point. Although, in my defense, summers are for napping or playing and nothing more.

My mood: proud and relieved and also kinda gassy
Wyatt's mood: wanting me to play with him ALL THE TIME
Cara's mood: got bit by a spider, so, she's about ready to call the National Guard on our drive to the hospital.
Listening to: Sam Cooke

Friday, October 10, 2014

Big Boy Backfire!!

   When Wyatt turned three a couple weeks ago, he had a proclamation to make: He had entered the world of the big boys.

   "Wy three, Wy not two-half. Wy not little boy, Wy big boy." It was easily the longest story he had ever told with words. (You should have seen the story he told with his hands when his star balloon floated away. Tragic.) It was the closest thing he's come to a full sentence since that time he said "Why doesn't dad pay any attention to me when he's playing Nintendo, mom? It hurts my feelings." (Kidding!! He never said any of that stuff!! It was more like whine whine fuss fuss "dad pay me pease?" So there's no scarring of any sort going on in this home!)

   Well, I've been holding the "big boy" card over his head for a long time now. You see, his favorite people in the world are a pirate named Jake, a certain fire-truck driver named John (who he just calls "J" now, because they are on a nick-name level of friendship), and the four boys who live across the street. These boys are aged 5 - 13 or something, and I've talked about them before, so stop making me repeat myself over and over.

   Wyatt wants to play with them all the time, but when they are playing a real game of basketball or soccer or "throw the littlest one in a trash can," I tell him. "No, Wy, that's for big boys."

   Big boys. All he wants to be in the world is a big boy. So when he turned three, he was ready.

Big boys sleep with the sharks.

   But do you know what else big boys do? Poop in the potty. Eat their whole dinner. Go to bed without fussing. Grade daddy's papers. Pick up their toys. Make dinner. The list goes on and on.

   This worked for a while. Sure, he never once pooped in the potty for this reason, and he has no idea how to grade anything, let me tell you, but he went to bed well and put on his clothes and ate all his food and even made a decent roast.

   But now?! Oh no. The magic is gone. I asked him to take a bath, like a big boy, and he said "Wy not big boy, Wy little boy." It was horrible, Then, later we were at a two-year-old's birthday party, and everyone kept saying how the little punk was a Big Boy now, and Wyatt was kind of in shock. His eyes were all like "Wait, what, THAT'S a big boy? I was a big boy when I was two?! You've been lying to me this whole time. I still like you better than mommy, but this hurts." Shut up, eyes!!

   I had to do something. So you can imagine how awkward it was when I screamed "No! Jason is not a big boy! He's only two!! How can a two year old be a big boy!?" Jason wasn't really getting it, so I had to get down on his level and say into his face YOU. ARE. NOT. A. BIG. BOY. Then I turned and winked at Wyatt, grabbed some pizza, and left.

   Saved the day there.

Big boys take artsy photos. Wyatt grabbed his baby cow, put it on the couch, grabbed mom's phone, logged in with the password, opened up the camera app, took this picture. Big boy stuff. Cara still can't manage to get her thumb out of her iPhone pictures.

   Wyatt gets that the definition of "big boy" is very fluid. He's starting to use it to his advantage. He's very smart, which is a direct result of me sleeping with my head really close to his on most nights. It's going to be a problem, how smart he is. Because, if you haven't noticed, he's also really cute. So he gets pretty much whatever he wants, whenever he wants it. And he's also kind of spoiled by absolutely everyone who comes in contact with him. And he's just the best little thing in the whole world, so I guess there's no way this could turn bad.

See!! I wasn't kidding!!

   What do I tell him next year? That he's a super big boy? That he's a huge boy?! How many superlatives can I tack on to the front of the word "boy" to keep him maturing and growing as a person over the next 15 years?! This is going to be hard. Crazy, enormously, gargantuanly, insanely, immensely hard. Okay, maybe not that hard.

My mood: hoping I didn't ruin a pretty good friendship with Jason's parents. Or Jason.
Wyatt's mood: not wanting to poop like a big boy
Cara's feeling: bigger and pregnanter.
Listening to: Future Islands

Monday, October 6, 2014

New Skills!!

   Wyatt has been doing all kinds of fun new things lately. He still loves his walks and his cars and playing at the park and renaming all my files on the computer to "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasd", that hasn't changed, but this stuff is going on too:

   He's doing that fake-reading thing. Nick Miller once said "I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words," and that's where we find our hero in this adorable little video:

   Ohmygosh that's adorable. Probably the cutest thing you've seen in days, right? Well, he also went to the dentist for the first time!! Since I am a great dad I don't miss important firsts like this, so I can tell you all about it.

Hanging out. Like a boss. You know how they say you are never more than eight feet from a spider? First: Gross. Second: Wyatt's never more than two feet from a car.

   We walked into the dentist's office at 6:00am and went up to the desk and said "Here we are!" and the dentist behind the desk was like "whoa okay great let's get right to it!" and Wyatt sat down in the chair and the dentist checked his ears and took his heartbeat and then brushed his teeth and then brushed Wyatt's teeth and gave him a shot of fluoride in the shoulder and wyatt didn't even cry! and then the dentist put on his dinosaur costume and made the "rawrr!" sound and Wyatt just loved that. Soon another dentist came in and was all "these are the best teeth I have ever seen on a kid." and I said "Well we brush them every week!" which probably isn't true and then they gave us our little ice-pick-for-your-teeth like they give everyone and OKAY FINE YOU CAUGHT ME I WASN'T THERE. YOU HAPPY!? I MISSED WYATT'S FIRST DENTIST APPOINTMENT BECAUSE I WAS TOO BUSY AT MY JOB WORKING FOR THE MAN. IT LOOKS LIKE I WILL NOT WIN "FATHER OF THE YEAR THIS YEAR" AND NOW I'LL NEVER HAVE A STORY TO SHARE ABOUT WY'S FIRST DENTIST TRIP. WHEN ALL THE OTHER DAD'S ARE LIKE "OH LITTLE AEDEN WAS SO BRAVE" OR WHATEVER I'LL JUST HAVE TO TRY AND MAKE SOMETHING UP AND WE CAN ALREADY SEE I AM NOT GOOD AT THAT AND I'LL PROBABLY JUST START YELLING LIKE I AM RIGHT NOW.

   So, yeah, Cara took him to the dentist. And Cara is the one he reads with. And Cara feeds him and does art projects with him. Great, Cara, we get it. You'll probably get a nomination for "Mother of the Month This Month" or something and we are all impressed. The worst part is, while she is collecting trophies, I still can't even get nominated for a "Best Mommy Blogger" award that I am sure is a real thing. They keep telling me I "don't have the right equipment to be a mommy blogger," and I'm like "what do I need an iPhone 4 or something?" Then they say "Grantina isn't even a real name - much less a girl's name - please leave us alone!"

   What else... what else. Oh, he loves to look for things he can't find, and walk around in circles saying "Oh no we went in a circle!!" Watch this boring video:

   There's one other skill that Wyatt has learned. For some unknown reason, Cara taught Wyatt to scream all his favorite noises in my face to wake me from my peaceful sleeps. It's the worst game ever, and yet it probably only endears her even more to the anti-dad voters on the board of Mom Of The Month This Month. Look:

   So there you go. That's my life, now. Getting screamed at and stepped on whenever I try to sleep at the wrong time, or in the wrong place. Now you know why I sleep during church. Or when I am driving. Or at work.

My mood: underappreciated and overworked!!
Wy's mood: don't let dad sleep!!
Cara's feeling: sore and cranky
Listening to: Red Hot Chili Peppers