Hip-Hip Huzzah!

“I’ve, like, got a note from a pastor and that’s totally as good as one from a doctor, right?

Keely and Kevin
I apologize for the lack of posting that has plagued the blog since Thursday. Wife, child, future child and I have been out of town attending my (only) sister’s wedding. It was a great weekend and, except for an overabundance of heat and humidity on the afternoon of the ceremony, everything went swimmingly. My dad even made it through his part of the ceremony without breaking down (there were some mild tears/sniffles).
My sister married another P.K., so both my father and the groom’s father officiated over the ceremony, which was pretty cool. If this was any indicator, “Too many pastors spoil a wedding” isn’t likely to replace “Too many cooks…” anytime soon.
Her new hubby is, by all accounts, a great guy, an assessment that I definitely agree with based upon the time I’ve gotten to spend with him. I’m looking forward to getting a chance to get to know him better, as everyone else in the family has gotten to spend a good deal more time with him since he and my sister started seeing each other.
The reception was a blast for all, including most especially Will who got to dance with his first flower girl:
Will and Hailey
That’s m’boy!
As for me, I’m bedward-bound, as I’m just about plum tuckered out.


Numero Dos
That’s right, ladies and gents: Numero Dos is on the way, and boy ain’t he/she a beaut? (We’re going to be surprised as to the sex as we were with Will).
Baby is healthy, although the ultrasound tech said they’re a little on the small side. They said the same thing about Will, and look how he turned out…CORRECTION: On the small side for us. Which means they’re still big. *grin*
In any event: yay! Now we’ve just got to agree on some names.

Our Own Southern Strategery

Last week was a week full of fun, family, friends, frivolity and lots of driving.
Brad has already admirably covered our brief stint in Norf Caruhlienuh, so I will decline to comment upon it except to note that I look far more like John Belushi as “Samurai Delicatessen” samurai than the prototypical Westernized depiction of Jesus.
So wife, child and I bundled ourselves into our Folks Vaagen Wagon Of Misery two Saturdays ago and made our way towards the shores of northern South Carolina. We stopped overnight at my aunt’s place in Richmond, VA and set off towards North Myrtle Beach somewhat refreshed and reinvigorated on Sunday morning (as refreshed, etc. as one can be when sharing a room with a 20-month-old in unfamiliar circumstances, that is).
My brother’s in-laws own a series of 4 condos in NMB and so they graciously allowed us to use all four for the week. We arrived in North Myrtle Beach and spent the better part of the next four days trundling ourselves between our condo and the beach, accompanied by 25 of my relatives — parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and even a great aunt. We slathered on great amounts of 30+ SPF sunscreen, thus I returned no tanner than I had left, which is to say: I am visible at out to 1800 yards with the unaided eye. I reflect more light than three Moby Dicks and roughly 103.5 reams of 20-weight copier paper.
I golfed with my brothers and father on Wednesday afternoon and scored (and I am not making this up) a 133. The course is a regulation one, meaning that par is 72 strokes per 18 holes. That’s right: I scored 61 over par. With cheating. Hooyeah!
We dined out at a seafood buffet on Wednesday night to celebrate my grandfather’s 80th birthday and managed to make an already loud restaurant that much louder. A good time was had by all.
After our two day foray into NC, we headed northwards again. We stayed at my aunt’s again Friday evening and then trekked our way back towards Philly, detouring from I-95 briefly around Frodericksburg (“Eyegor!”), VA to visit a Sonic Drive-In, a culinary treat that is prolific in the South but sadly lacking in the Yankee hinterlands. That, plus the Krispy Kreme run I made and the hushpuppies consumed at the seafood buffet almost made for a Southern fast-food delicacy trifecta; unfortunately, I was unable to obtain any SC mustard-based BBQ, thus I think the trifecta was more like a 2.5/3.0-fecta. Ahhh well, there’s always the next time.
In all, ’twas fun-but-draining. As so often is the case, I need a vacation after my vacation…
(Left undiscussed due to space constraints are GPS devices, Women of the Night, drug deals, manta rays and a rousing game of twilight beach bocce.)

“Inconvenience”, Through The Eyes Of A Toddler

I came home yesterday to find that my township, in a fit of civic brilliance, had decided to start a road infrastructure improvement project. Directly. Outside. My House. Now, while this is a wonderful thing (once everything is complete) it does mean that my normal parking spots have gone the way of the dodo. I had to park a good block and a half away and thus got home in a bit of a foul mood. I was met by my wife and son, at least one of whom showed a little sympathy as to my “plight”.
Then the construction trucks showed up.
Continue reading ““Inconvenience”, Through The Eyes Of A Toddler”

I’m Living In The Wrong State

Evidence just keeps cropping up that my wife is right and I simply need to bite the bullet and move to Texas. It’s culturally, legally and politically far more amenable to those of my particular persuasions. For example, the state legislature sees the idiocy that is speeding cameras and reacts accordingly:

[T]he Lonestar State will set yet another precedent by passing a bill onto the governor that would ban speeding cameras and require warning signs to be posted around red-light cameras.

The cameras are so obviously about making money for the localities that install them and so not about “public safety” that the TX legislature is acting to protect its citizens from bad technology/law greedily-applied.

My Son: An Orator Of Singular Talent

Daniel Webster.
Will has been getting increasingly verbal in the past couple of months, but unfortunately, it’s of a peculiar sort. He has said “kitty”, “cup”, “ball”, “truck” and a host of other words, but each and every one only once.
The words he drops are largely contextual — it’s clear that he understands what he’s saying and that he is referring to specific people, objects or concepts, but he gets an almost-embarrassed look on his face when we prompt him to repeat himself. This look quickly morphs into one that says “Nope, I’ve done it once and proved to myself that I can, so I’ll wait until I can speak in full sentences before I repeat myself.”
It’s not that he’s not intelligent. He is clearly gaining a love for reading books (he sat for a full half hour “reading” Malcolm X’s biography the other day — there aren’t even any pictures!) and he understands us fully. He conceptualizes well and he hears us just fine, so it’s not a hearing problem.
I’m not worried, really, although it is a bit concerning.

When Even Onomatopoeia Fails

My heart was in my throat as I sat in a rather uncomfortable chair, ears straining for the slightest sound. The woman swept the probe back and forth, seeking some sonic purchase. Will shifted uncomfortably, but silently in my lap, his tolerance for “grown-up” pursuits exhausted. The seconds stretched into what seemed like hours, each one more dread-filled than the last. Would she find it? Had something gone wrong? Could we handle the loss?
The tension got the best of me; I stood and began pacing slightly in the tiny room, clutching my son to my chest. I realized that I had been subconsciously holding my breath, almost not daring to breathe for fear of missing that sound. Silence. A slightly worried look flashed across the woman’s face — I cannot believe that our faces reflected anything other than worry.
Then, a final sweep across my wife’s belly, and there it was: the swishing, swooshing, steady “woof-woof-woof-woof” of our second child’s heartbeat. To hear it, to experience it brought reality crashing in — they’re real! And they’re coming soon!
I can hardly wait.

Third Time’s A Charm, If By “Charm” I Meant “Having Our House Eaten To The Ground By Filthy Winged Freaks”

My household’s run-ins with termites have been well-documented here. I say this because, like Punxsutawney Phil and the Easter Bunny, they’re back for their yearly emergence. Except this time, the exterminators are coming over immediately, as, and I am not making this up, we were unable to see a large portion of our living room floor due to the number of termites covering it.
I’m ’bout ready to turn a flame thrower on the whole lot, truth be told.

Bloody Weather, Part Deuce

It’s been a rough few Nor’easter-fueled days at the ol’ Stewart homestead, I tell you whut.
Sometime Sunday evening, the water rose high enough in our basement to snuff the pilot light on our hot water heater. The water only receded enough to attempt a re-light last night, a re-light which ultimately failed as the piezo-electric contacts were apparently wet enough to prevent a decent spark, meaning that we were without hot water until I managed to get the beast kickstarted this morning. Fortunately for me, the gym at work has a nice shower setup, so I was able to grab showers before work the last two days. Unfortunately for my wife and child, they remained at home, safely out of the reach of any hot water for the same timeframe. Ironically, the plumber that my landlords called to come and get the hot water heater working again arrived just as my wife was stepping out of her shower this morning, an embarrassing situation all-around, I’ll wager.
Thankfully the flood waters have receded and we suffered no worse than that.