12-19-10 - It's a Girl!

I don't regularly update this page with family news updates anymore, since Facebook has effectively surpassed it in both ease of use and likely readership. Still, it wouldn't be right to let such a major life event pass without documenting it here.

Abigail Grace

Abigail and Mommy

Yes, we have just added a little girl to the family. She surprisingly weighs in at only 7lb. 2oz. - our lightest yet after an 8-6 and 9-7. She is about 19" long. As of right now she has no name, but we are working on it. Esther is excited to have a sister, even though she was sure it would be another brother. I don't think that Josiah really knows what is going on yet. Hopefully he transitions well from being the baby to being the middle child.

I have taken a few pictures, but do not yet have the cable to hook the camera up and post anything. That will come soon.

UPDATE: Her name is Abigail Grace. And here are some pictures.

11-1-09 - It's been a while

I realize that five months is a long time to go without updating a family website, even by my standards. The reasons behind this inexcusable slacking are many. I was hoping to have transitioned the site into something easier to manage, code-wise, by now. I've been busy at work and at home. Nothing really interesting has happened to prompt me to share the excitement. I know, it's all lame.

I still hope to transition the site to a combination of my stuff and perhaps WordPress software, but a nice clean implementation of that is challenging and time-consuming. Perhaps when things inevitably slow down at work over the winter, I'll attempt it. Something like that would make an update like this as simple as posting on the forum. In contrast, right now I have to create/modify and upload four files every time. It isn't hard, but it does take far more time than I feel it should - hence the long time between updates.

In preparation for that big change, I also decided to change the decor around here at the same time. The decor change is ready to go now, however, so I'm going ahead with that. Let me know how you like the new colors. My eyes say it's better, anyway.

On to the family, and how we're doing. The kids are growing and thriving. Esther alternates between sweet and sour attitudes, but she is still showing us daily how smart she is. She can draw stick-persons, certain Veggie-Tales characters (recognizably), and the like. Her sentence structure, grammar, and vocabulary could put some public school graduates to shame. She's also more-or-less toilet trained, but we still mop up the occasional mess. Josiah, meanwhile, is almost walking. He eats a lot - almost anything the rest of us can eat, with the obvious exceptions that are dangerous to babies, like peanuts. I think we've finally got a grasp of how to get him to go to sleep in his crib vs. in the car seat. On the bright side though, he's a very good traveler; he sleeps the whole way. Josiah also shows some mad skills. He is very good with his hands, nests things like cups, and likes to put items into containers. Sadly he still isn't saying much besides ma-ma and da-da. His personality is also changing from a cranky 'mama's boy', to a good-natured happy kid - usually. Beka is excited to be started on the South Beach diet, and that seems to be working out well for her so far. About the only thing new for me is that I've bought an old road bike from the thrift store - a Fuji Palisade from around 1986 - and look forward to getting out for some rides on that as the fall weather permits. My other bike is just a cheap Huffy mountain bike, so it's a big difference. Otherwise, I am just busy with work and trying to get the outdoor chores caught up for winter.

Work is very steady right now, which is much better than this time last year. Hopefully that bodes well for the slow winter season, which last year reduced us to four-day weeks. Three-day weekends were nice, four-day paychecks during the heating season were not.

So that's our life in the past five months or so. We did take some pictures, and I should have those up soon.

5-19-09 - Generic status update

Life has been rather busy lately, and I admit I've been in a mood where I do things more, and write about things less. Too busy living life to report on it, in other words. Still, that's no excuse to leave the faithful readership of TheJMFC.com hanging now, is it? With no further introduction, here is a generic status update, in all of the usual categories.

The kids: Esther is two, and as evil and frustrating as most two-year-old children are. On the upside, she's cuter than most. Somewhat neutral is the fact that she seems to be smarter than average, since the downside to that fact is that she can use her brains for more complex evil tasks. Complaints aside, she is learning to do more things in life. She can use a computer mouse or trackpad to draw or play simple games now. She can draw smiley faces and other simple objects on paper. She knows most if not all of her letters, though some still get mixed up. Speech isn't really worth mentioning anymore, since she talks all day long in complex, well phrased sentences.

Josiah is progressing as well. He still doesn't actually have teeth sticking through, though he has been working on it since he was born, it seems. We even thought he had one sticking through months ago, but now whatever we saw then is gone. Just suddenly, he seems to be growing real hair, which is good. He's been rolling over for a few weeks now. He can scoot around a bit, but crawling is probably a ways off yet. Josiah is a very happy baby, always ready with a great smile. He's set to be baptized on the 31st.

Work: Work is still slow, but there is rumor of a 5-day week this week. We shall see...

Home Life: Things around home are fine. The house is in a constant state of disaster, but what home with two kids under age 3 isn't? The yard looks relatively nice right now. It often does in the spring, when rains keep it mostly watered. The garden is somewhat planted with early crops. The grape vine and raspberry bush look great. I've managed to get the garage somewhat cleaner, so it's more inviting to be out there working on cars now. I've even got some old speakers mounted to the wall, so I can listen to the radio while cursing my 16-year-old car.

Pets: We seem to have lost a fish. Our disturbingly-large algae-sucker turned up (literally) dead this past week. It's sad. As disturbingly-large and ugly as he was, he provided some continuity in the fish tank.

And that's about it. Look for some new pictures soon-ish. Better yet, don't look for them; subscribe to the RSS feed. It'll tell you when to visit again.

3-20-09 - We're sleeping again, and etc.

Josiah got sick. Actually, first Beka got sick, and Esther too somewhat. Eventually though, Josiah was doomed to get the cold, and so he did. Suddenly he came down with a nasty cough, and had a hard time breathing when he was all worked up and crying. We made it through one night of that, taking him in the foggy bathroom as necessary. The next evening though, we decided to be cautious and take him into the local urgent care center. Well, they decided to be cautious and send us to the ER. There, they gave him some breathing treatments and steroids, and decided to watch him overnight to make sure he didn't stop breathing. So, he got to spend the night hooked up to monitors, and we got to stay with him there. It was not restful.

The upside to this is that the trauma of a hospital stay seems to have jolted him into a very reasonable sleep schedule. He now sleeps from about 1-2:00 in the morning to about 1:00 in the afternoon, with a feeding or two in there somewhere. Beka and I are sleeping, both in the same bed, at the same time. It's great. People without children cannot understand the simple pleasure that comes with being able to sleep, after surviving on less than you need for a few weeks. Josiah is also becoming a very happy boy, despite still being somewhat sick and currently teething. There may be hope for him yet.

In other news... the weather is getting nicer out lately, and Esther and I got in our first bike ride of the year the other day. I have one of those seats that go on the back of my bike for her to ride in. You really don't see those around much anymore; everyone uses one of those trailers that seat two kids. Those look nice too, but we haven't got one yet. The ride was fun, but I'm out of shape. I'll have to work on being active this spring and summer.

Esther also has a little tricycle, and she has just about got the idea of how to make it go. She enjoys being pushed around, but isn't really good at pedaling yet. She has almost got it though. Maybe next time out. We did kick the soccer ball around for a while though, and she enjoys that.

3-4-09 - Late nights, fresh teeth, and a short political rant.

Josiah has decided that he isn't going to be the perfect baby that we thought he might have been. He has been keeping us up until 6:00 AM or later lately. Not every day, but more than we would like. It is a sad turn of events, but it seems like now he might be getting better again. At any rate, it looks like he might have an excuse; he seems to be sprouting teeth at only two months old. Not tooth, but teeth. A couple on the top, and one on the bottom. Only time will tell if we're right, but it sure looks like Josiah got his first tooth at just under two months old. Esther at least had the decency to wait until she was three or so months old. For reference, I looked up my baby book. I got my first tooth at six months.

I heard an interesting statistic at work the other day. At age two, most people are very close to half of their eventual height. Again, looking at my baby book for reference, it was pretty close within an inch. Based on that, Esther should grow up to be around 5' 4-5" tall. It will be interesting to see what Josiah measures at two years old. At two months, he is at the 90th percentile for weight, and 75th percentile for height. Josiah is a big boy.

Work is slow right now, but thankfully I still have a job. My job seems to be secure as far as I can see into the future. Reduced hours, yes, but no real risk of being laid off. I blame Governor Granholm, the Michigan House Democrats, and the UAW for the economic mess this state is in. In approximately that order, too. Yes, the whole nation is hurting right now, but Michigan was hurting long before the rest of the country felt it. Thankfully, this is Granholm's last term. Her Lieutenant Governor and would-be successor, John Cherry, says he is proud of the administration's record, and willing to run on it in '10. Fortunately, I don't see that working out to well for him. I feel there will be a general call for widespread change in the whole state, as poorly as we have been served by our Democratic leadership in the past few years. Things are tough now, but sometimes hitting rock-bottom is the best motivation to change. We're looking forward to some real, positive change in '10.

1-10-09 - A two-week-old (or so) update

Now that we're home, and somewhat settled down, and I actually have some free time to quick type something up, I can say how things are going around here.

Things are going fine. Josiah came home with us on the 26th, so we only spent one night at the hospital. It's not a very restful thing, staying at the hospital; nurses are in and out all night, poking heels for blood samples, taking blood pressure readings, etc. And the convertible chair that turns into a bed for the husband/boyfriend/committed-non-gender-specific-partner isn't all that comfortable either. It's nice to have help nearby, but we did this once before, and we decided we could handle things ourselves at home.

Once home, we let Esther spend another couple of nights at Grandma's house while we got the "baby thing" figured out again. Now of course, she is back. She loves her little brother, and gives him lots of hugs and kisses, and tries to feed him raisins, and so on. There is a nasty combination of the "terrible twos" and the "displaced former only child" thing going on, but it's not too bad really. We'll do our best to get her back on track in her attitude, and I'm sure she'll turn out fine.

Josiah is a good eater. He eats a lot, and he does it often. We can't really quantify how much he gets, since we don't bottle-feed him, but judging by how much he feeds, and how much comes out the other side, it's got to be a lot. I don't recall Esther ever being so... so... free-flowing. Then again, she had to be formula-fed because of a sensitivity to dairy, so it's a whole other thing this time around. Josiah did lose a bit of weight right off, but I'm sure he's gained it back now. Our digital floor scale puts him at around 10Lb., accurate to .5Lb.

Beka and myself are getting enough sleep. Not too much, but enough. So far, Josiah is an easier baby than Esther was. Esther had colic, and really needed to be held and interacted with constantly. This boy is usually pretty content to lay in his seat during the day, and he sleeps fairly well at night, with a couple feedings in there. Hopefully things will just get better from here.

12-26-08 - A name for the boy

Well, we've decided on a name for the boy formerly known as TBA. His name shall be Josiah Daniel. We think that he looks like a little man, and that Josiah is a good name for a little man. No Braydyn or Aidan or Tristan here. We didn't even choose to spell it Joesighah Danyell in a lame attempt to appear original or clever. Hopefully he likes it in the years to come.

12-25-08 - It's a boy!

Little TBA
There's the little man.

Well, we finally had our kid, and it's a boy. The boy doesn't have a name just yet, but we've narrowed it down to a couple. Beka is feeling great, and looking skinny. TBA is sleeping and eating the day away. Occasionally he wakes up to get pricked in the foot, or to get white goo scrubbed off of his bottom.

The boy is rather large; he is 9 lb. 7 oz, and 22.5 inches long. Probably a good half-inch of that length is from his very conical head. Fortunately he's wearing hats for a while, and it should fix itself.

Well, back to thinking up a name, resting, and entertaining the visitors which should filter in soon. We'll post a name when we have it. Got that RSS subscribed to yet?

More little TBA
There he is some more!

12-25-08 - Merry Christmas to all!

First of all, Merry Christmas. Enjoy the holiday.

Secondly, we now have an RSS feed! You can subscribe to that, and get all of the benefits of RSS feeds. It'll tell you when things are updated. I'm just learning about RSS feeds and all of their joys, but it seems like a really good thing. This way, if you subscribe, you won't have to check back daily for updates. Not that you do, but this way you won't miss anything in your lazy ways. You can subscribe in many ways, including an iGoogle page, if you have one, or using Firefox, Opera, etc. Give it a try, let me know what you think.

Oh, and we're at the hospital. Probably about an hour or three to go before push time. We're just chillin at about 9 cm. More to come. Meanwhile, RSS yourself so you won't miss any of it.

12-20-08 - Less than a week to go!

The baby is due tomorrow. Things could start happening at any time. We are becoming somewhat impatient. On the other hand, maybe the waiting is a good thing. I wrenched my back at work on Wednesday, to the point where I couldn't really do much but pace around and complain, so I came home. The entire family has also been fighting different diseases for the past week or so. Only now are the infections and pain going away to the point where we could possibly go in and have a baby without it being the worst experience in our lives.

We're in the middle of a batch of several snow storms hitting in the course of a week. Thursday evening and Friday morning we got hit pretty hard, and I just dug us out of that last night (despite my weak back, and I felt very good about the accomplishment). We're due to get another batch tonight (Saturday) and tomorrow morning, and then also on Tuesday. I figure we'll go into labor in the middle of one of these storms.

Sadly, we haven't been able to get out and play in the snow with Esther. Beka is still a little sniffly, very pregnant, and tired; I am a little sniffly, quite sore, and tired; and Esther is still fighting something, we think. I guess we'll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the snow, since it's only December. We're usually still hoping for a white Christmas at this point in the season. So much for "global warming".

Well, hopefully this is the last thing I write before I announce a new family member, or at least post something from the hospital

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