Monday, March 30, 2009

All Together Again

I want to start by saying thank you to everyone who followed along online and sent your words our way. People with big bank accounts are trailer trash compared to us, we're the wealthy ones. To say that your words to us are like gold doesn't begin to to justice to the way we feel.

Today was a great day. My mom showed up before dawn to get Miss O off to school and take care of the boys. She was relieved by Nana, the mother of a friend and H-Bomb's favorite person in the whole wide world. The Short People held up really well through the whole ordeal. Miss O was a total trooper in the delivery room, even remembering to snap some photos with her little pink camera. Little H-Bomb, who has been clinging to his moma like a little spider monkey even did allright in her absence.

I found a number of excuses to visit The Missus in her room today. She was looking great. Seeing her curled up in her bed, looking much thinner and smiling away in the sunlight slanting through the blinds was good medicine for me too. We had lunch together and it was the best date we've had in months. We just sat and ate and paid attention to each other while Elliott snored away in his blanket.

She got discharged right after I got out of work and we headed home to the fam. There was a lot of bouncing and shouting but the littlest monkey just snored right through it all. He was kind enough to sleep all the way through dinner. The grandparents made the trek up the street for a little visit around bed time. Grampa hadn't gotten a chance to hold him yet and he got a long turn.

Once the shorties were snuggled off to bed I ran to the store for a few things. Among them a sixer of Yuengling Black & Tan. For The Missus is very medicinal. Helps with the belly and also the milk production. I had one too in support of her recovery.

The house is clean (ish) the children are well behaved (ish) and it's looking like things will be back to normal by the end of the week. The flood of meals has already begun. We likely won't have to cook for a month. Stay tuned to The Dayton Time for a host of guest bloggers. You know my girl hit up the best of the best so don't miss it. Thanks again for all your support and good night.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Elliott Samuel Dayton

Elliott Samuel Dayton
9lbs 0oz
6:12 am

This is our newest Short Person getting his "Rough Morning" photo taken on the warming table, still wet. I got woken up around 5:30 and told it was time to go. We shook Miss O awake and were at the hospital by 5:54. I snagged a wheelchair and breezed right by admissions. We hit the L&D and charged down to a room. They had an ER doc speed up there to catch who was telling The Missus to hold off on pushing. Yeah right! After about five minutes of hard labor, she pushed twice and he was out just as the midwife walked in.

The quote of the day, from the nurses' desk, "I guess we can have a baby without paperwork!"

Everyone is resting comfortably and I'm even taking a gig tonight that I got a last minute call for. It's a place I've been wanting to get my foot in the door and could lead to some regular sound work. (The Missus was excited about it too, it's allright.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

9:45 Any Time Now

6:45 pm
I'm not going to do a separate post until the baby arrives. So if you're interested in the ongoing details just keep coming back to this one. Here's the current skinny. Or rather here's the current lack of skinny. We decided to go for a walk after dinner so the Short People could splash in puddles and get worn out. Also to hurry the labor on a little so The Missus can go get checked into the hospital.

As we were tromping around the block to get to the good puddes my supervisor drove by and waved. He was apparently so impressed by the baby belly that he whipped it around to get a closer look. (That just means he pulled a u-turn. I don't know if folks other places call it that.). I told him I may be at work tomorrow, just not at work.

She's on the phone right now to see when her midwife wants her to come in. Looks like it might be another long night. To make matters only slightly more complicated I've got an event to do the sound for starting at 6 am. I'm already too tired consider the ramifications.

10:35 pm
A little bit ago Miss O was feeling like the best way to cope with her impatience was to kick the wall and scream, "I CAN'T WAIT!!!" I scooped her up and swept her outside. We stood in the fifty degree air, blinking around at the streetlights beaming down through the misty pre-spring air. We started talking about the lights and the color, the sounds and the damp in the air around us.

I carried her up to our bed where The Missus was racked out, talking on the phone and preparing for a nap. We shared a few words. I tucked her back in her own bed. I'm pretty sure she's asleep now. As disconnected from reality and unable to probe the possibilities of the next few hours as I am right now, I can't even imagine what's wheeling around in her little head.

Ah well... blessed slumber and a warm cat on the blanket is a wonderful cure.

5:30 am
We all went to bed around eleven or so. Everybody's sleeping sort of fitfully, but at least they're sleeping. Contractions have slowed down, but that usually happens when she holds still. Once the day gets going she'll likely be off to the hospital. As for myself, I'm off to the gig. Looks like everything might actually fit in to this day after all. Stay tuned...

3:30 pm
The gig went off without a hitch and The Missus told me to take my time because the inactivity had slowed things down. I just got home though (after picking up primrose oil and a cheeseburger sub, both labor inducing?) and she was having her second doosie of a contraction in eight minutes. Apparently walking a mile and a soak in the tub got things moving.

I've been in touch with my girls up in L&D and they're swamped today but things are lightening up. If we head in after an hour or so they should have a nice spot open. Keep your mouse on the reload button. I'll be in touch.

9:45
Yeah... so... we went to the hospital. Things had quieted down and the department was jammed. There was no reason to try and get things going because there was no place for her to labor. So she was given an Ambien to take because sometimes getting some rest helps. We went on a little mini date to Target to pick up some big-sibling gifts for the rest of the Short People and put them to bed. The Shorties, not the presents. Man I'm whupped. Better luck tomorrow, or in the middle of the night. We're ready.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

OH Baby!

Don't get all excited. The wee one hasn't arrived just yet. The Missus went in for a doctor visit today and found out she was 2cm and 70%... whatever that means. You would think with this being our fourth child that I would be all up on the terminology but I never bothered. My girl sort of throws convention out the window though. Usually she goes past her due date, then has a fairly long labor, which appears to stall out at some point, then randomly decides it's time to have the baby and twenty minutes later there's one more person in the room.

We're pretty casual about the whole thing. Even when our first came into the world all the nurses thought we had been through it before. That's why I was not surprised to find out the details of today's development on Twitter and not via excited phone call. Mostly I'm writing all this just to get people braced up. Specifically the dozen or so people who will be guest posting in her absence. Have your topics ready, stick to the schedule, don't push and nobody will get thrown out of the pool.

As for myself, I'll just be chilling out, as usual. When our last baby was born The Missus actually got tired of having me around and sent me off to work for a while. Lucky for me I work at the hospital now so the girls from Delivery can just call me on the radio when it's time. Nice.

That's all, thanks to everyone for the encouragement. It's not easy on a girl, or her family. Pretty soon though, the sun will be shining down on our newest addition while he sleeps peacefully by the garden while we pull weeds and cheer on the tomatoes. Actually, he'll be in the shade of the maple tree, we're not stupid around here, we've done this a time or two. Keep your cell phones on and Twitter open, reload our blogs constantly and soon you shall be rewarded for all the waiting.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ohhhh, Mah Doze!

Spring is here. Not that you can really tell because I live in Western New York and there's still forty-one and a half inches of frost in the ground, and it will still be another month before it's warm enough to shave my beard off. There is one sure sign of Spring that will never fail. Well... apart from me wanting to tie the cats in a knot and throw them in the street.

There is some hearty plant that is not the least bit scared of twenty degree temperatures. Right about this time of year it gets down to business. There is something truly awesome about an organism that can drill down through frozen earth to find nutrients. It instills wonder in my soul to picture fauna that will melt snow to get a drink. And it really pisses me off that it does all this so it can release pollen that is on a mission to fly directly up my left nostril. I my mind I imagine something like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors sprouting in my back yard with a blowgun.

I'm out of practice with the allergy pills. Loratadine is great (That would be Claratin to those of you who still buy brand-name). But something about my body chemistry causes the twenty-four hour formula to run out at about twenty-three hours and forty-nine minutes. I have to really stay on top of the creeping dosage schedule or I wind up suffering while the antihistamines play catch-up.

So now I've got drippage. I've got drainage. I've got pressure on the inside of my skull that is actually causing a not alltogether unpleasant sort of a high that would almost be enjoyable but for the river pouring from my sinuses.

I have to get out of the shop, it's in danger of flooding. I'm going to go bow bah doze and see if I can't rustle up a post for Simple Terms in a bit. Hit me up on Twitter yo.

*************************
Just took a peek at my Google statistics and it amazed me to see that two people from France spent a few minutes here. Bonjour! (That's about the only French I know despite being the son of a French teacher, sorry.) Also, a big Merkan "What Up" to my new follow in fricking Kuwait! of all places.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Interviews

I've been dying to ask the Short People these questions ever since The Missus did her interview with them in this post. I hit em up after dinner tonight and here are their responses. J-Man is in blue, Miss O is purple. Lil H-Bomb was making bubbles in the tub at the time.

1. What is something dad always says to you?
Get your puw-up on and get your jammies on and go in bed.
Maybe
2. What makes dad happy?
Doing things that are right!
When we listen.
3. What makes dad sad?
When you're not doing stuff that's right.
When we don't listen.
4. How does your dad make you laugh?
Tell funny jokes!
Funny dances.
5. What was your dad like as a child?
Hmmmm... Getting wike Sis and H-Bomb.
Probably like wierdo J-Man and H-Bomb.
6. How old is your dad?
I don't know.
Thirty-two and a half, right?
7. How tall is your dad?
BIG and STRONG!!!
Six feet something... OK what was it? Six foot five?
8. What is his favorite thing to do?
Do stuff on da computer and work and go in da shop and do stuff.
Play with us and be home with his family.
9. What does your dad do when you're not around?
Find us.
Sleep and clean up.
10. If your dad becomes famous, what will it be for?
Getting stuff dat is famous and den I will Karate!
Maybe your radio stuff or maybe if you do running cause you already have a trophy.
11. What is your dad really good at?
Hmm... running and wooking and dwiving.
Being a good dad!
12. What is your dad not very good at?
Doing ingredients.
Being a mom and putting new games on the computer.
13. What does your dad do for a job?
Work eb-wee day at da Boi-wer Howse (the shop at the hospital)
Sound Guy!
14. What is your dad's favorite food?
Eggs and spicy on your spicy!
Everything!
15. What makes you proud of your dad?
Doing stuff dat I wike you to do.
I think maybe that you're a good Dad.
16. If your dad were a cartoon character, who would she be?
A guy dat is strong and does woud (loud) music!
The wolf in Hoodwinked!
17. What do you and your dad do together?
Waff! (laugh)
Read and play games.
18. How are you and your dad the same?
Hmm... Cause... I'm growing and you are.
We both are... like... the funniest ones.
19. How are you and your dad different?
Cause you're bigger and I'm not.
You wear glasses and I don't.
20. How do you know your dad loves you?
Cause I do evwy-ting dat you ask me.
You take care of us.
21. What does your dad like most about your dad?
Pway wif Mom! Yeah! Yeah!
That you both drink whiskey!
22. Where is your dad's favorite place to go?
To WORK!
Um, I think it would be Scotland!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bright Side

The fam is nuts. The kids are exhausted, The Missus is nine months preggers and at that point where she's really just over it and ready to go into labor already. Miss O is constantly on the brink of flipping out. J-Man will not listen to a single word spoken to him, good or bad. Poor little H-Bomb has a fever and his little noggin is hot enough to cook an egg on.

People all around keep giving me the same response when they find out how many kids we have and that we're about to have one more.

"You're NUTS!"

That's the usual response. I usually just shrug and tell them they're right. I don't agree though. I think most people are just so caught up in themselves that they can't imagine putting their extra time into more kids. I understand to an extent. We've already cut out TV for grownups, vacations, family outings for anything but shopping and free activities, a good deal of sleep and any number of luxury items. One friend of mine is absolutely dead set against having kids because he can't bear the idea of spending his "toy money" on diapers and missing out on hunting season to watch Sesame Street.

Like anything else though, you get used to it. When it comes right down to it nobody really needs a fancy vacation or bigger TV. There's not much on TV anyway. When I think about all the nice moments I've had with the kids the rest of it just doesn't matter so much. Now that the majority of them are able to speak with us and are developing a sense of humor, you can't tell me that there's something better on TV than swapping chicken and monkey jokes with the Short People.

Even my poor downtrodden Missus will immediately break forth with the heartwarming tales, no matter how awful the Shorties are to her sometimes. Being at home with the kids 24/7 can certainly be a drag, but there's a lot of really good moments in there that I miss out on when I'm off at work.

And besides all that, there's one other good reason to have a good sized flock. The more kids we have, the more likely it is that one of them will hit it big and be able to take care of us in our old age. It's not like we're able to save a dime now, it's pretty much going to be up to those guys when the time comes.

So to all of you out there who wouldn't dream of trading in your Beamer for a mini-van, and shudder at the thought of swapping vacations in the islands for trips to the amusement park...

You think you know... but you have no idea.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

One Of Those Days

Ya know when you have one of those days. One of those days when:

Your wife makes batches of peanut butter all morning, and two batches of yogurt, and granola, and bread, and pizza, and several other things that you can't remember.

Your boys scream, wail, and fight over possession of not one but both of the two IDENTICAL dump trucks.

You have to brow beat the children to eat PIZZA!

The cat barfs on The Missus' side of the bed.

You get your paycheck and it's a lot smaller than you're used to because you're not allowed to work overtime any more, except for the ten hours of overtime you worked during an emergency, and you start thinking about how small the next paycheck is going to be when you're just getting paid straight time for the week and it kind of makes you want to drink except that alcohol is probably one of those luxuries you're going to have to take a pass on except that well, there is the grape arbor out back and maybe a little basement fermentation project would serve the family better next summer than making grape jam

(breath)

You spend two hours hunkered down in the shop watching Primus videos on your iPod and totally neglect cleaning up dinner.

Yeah... it was one of those days.

But fear not for your beleaguered host. There's a rock show tomorrow night. It's on somebody else's system. No heavy lifting. There is a Stromboli Express around the corner and the band is buying.

We shall rise early (except for The Missus who shall "have a lie-in" as the Brits say). We shall eat pancakes. They shall be drenched in maple syrup that was made just up the road. We shall lounge in our PJs and watch cartoons animated by Canadians noises and have their royal . The cats shall make horking noises and get their royal heinies tossed out the front door. We shall eat leftover pizza for lunch and grind it into the rug. We shall lounge. We shall vegetate. We shall quite likely send the Short People outside for a game of run-around-screaming-and-blowing-whistles. We shall lay about and absorb the restorative aura given off by our couches. And we shall nap.

Oh, yes... we shall nap.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pointing Fingers

Nobody's in trouble. I'm just to whupped to write much today and wanted to point out some stuff that's popping up other places. I slapped together a short fiction piece on Simple Terms the other night. And The Missus has a couple good ones, including one that may still be pending in which she had Miss O answer all the questions from an Effbook meme. Totally hilarious.

There's not much fodder for the family-type blog today either. Unless you count head-butting and wailing. Those guys can't take much more of the cabin fever. Let me know if you see any of my Short People for sale on eBay. The Missus promised she wouldn't do that again, but you never know what might happen if she's near the keyboard in the middle of a head-butting spree.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Green With...

I got a call from The Missus today shortly after I got out of work. She was asking what my plans were like for the afternoon. Just had to cash a check and head home. Good. She sounded tired. When I got home I found out I was tired too. Two weeks of CPAP haven't quite kicked the ass of the ol' sleep apnea and I'm still pretty worn from the last year or so of my life. I passed out on the couch for an hour.

I got woken up by my wife telling me we should talk about dinner. I fell back asleep and got woken up by a text message stating, "What I really want is Chinese." (Our phones don't have italics but I could feel the emphasis.) It got the juices flowing and I asked if we had the resources to accomplish such a thing.

It turns out that we did, and our order was large enough to score us the free order of Chinese biscuits, aka DONUTS! Despite the sumptuous fare the Short People were still cranky about eating. Meh. Whatever. We were mowing down some spicy goodness and that was all that mattered. Sometimes a few dollars squandered in the midst of hard times are all it takes to make you feel like royalty.

Two hours later The Missus had sworn off Chinese until after the blessed event. Apparently the baby doesn't like it that much. We'll have to have a talk with him after he gets here. Seriously though, I think an embargo against China isn't going to be all that big a deal. Broccoli cooked in a wok should be labeled as a weapon. Weather biological or gaseous I'm not sure. One thing that is for sure though is that this family reeks after diggin' some Chinese. I feel sorry for poor J-Man on the top bunk, he's surely getting the worst of it. Even the cats cut and ran for the great outdoors.

Anyway, that's the sad, sad tale I have to tell about dinner this evening. Hopefully you and yours are eating (and breathing) well tonight. As for me and mine, we'll be sleeping with the windows open. One eye open as well so as not to fall victim to the deadly Dutch Oven. I'll have to write a letter of thanks to the smarty pants who included a micro-fiber filter on my breathalizer.*

* One of the many nicknames I have been considering for my CPAP machine. For those of you who don't know, it blows a steady stream of air in my face to keep me well oxygenated throughout the night, even when I stop breathing. I'm casting around for alternate terminology because no matter how much I think about it, CPAP still sounds like something that ought to only be uttered within the confines of the OB/GYN's office. Any suggestions are welcome. So far I've got:
  • Breathalizer
  • Snorkel
  • Nose Nozzle
  • Huffer
  • Daddy's Little Helper
Several of those sound like drugs or drug parephernalia so I think I'm still searching for just the right balance of silly and medical-sounding.

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cinderella

I spent as much time as I could this weekend trying to catch up on the housework a little. That didn't stop me from over sleeping, much to the irritation of The Missus, but it's hard to be on point when you're unconscious. Not that folding five loads of wash and running the dishwasher a few times is a huge load of work or anything. But it's like I tell people that help me at work or on shows, "Anything you do that's done right is one more thing that I don't have to do. So don't worry about how little or how long it takes."

My lovely bride got to sit on the couch watching the Ann of Green Gables marathon on PBS all afternoon, so that's pretty sweet. What's also pretty sweet is the amount of sleep I've been getting lately. Not actually any more time wise, but I actually feel like I've been to sleep when I get up in the morning.

Turns out I have sleep apnea. After a couple sleep studies and a fitting for a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) my body isn't pulling that trick where it forgets to breathe in the middle of the night. While it wasn't enough to interrupt my slumber or cause serious health issues, it was reducing my blood oxygen levels to the low 80s instead of around 92%.

I can't even begin to describe what it's like to feel rested. Maybe you know but I don't. When I was younger it was just that I wasn't a morning person. In college it's the norm to be sleep deprived and in a fog. It had finally gotten to the point though that my resilience wasn't enough to make up for low O² and no REM sleep. For the first time in my life I don't feel like falling asleep around five in the afternoon (mostly).

I was talking about the problem at work and it prompted a co-worker to go get tested. Turns out his is so serious that he needs a CPAP and and oxygen concentrator. In his case it was compounding problems from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and basically making every aspect of his life wretched. As the improvements keep rolling in, the only complaint he has is of the straps on the mask.

Said all that to say this: we've all got health issues at our house. Some of us have been trying all sorts of things for years to try and get a handle on them. Everything from specialists to holistic medicine. My wife has discovered that her migraines were caused by a food alergy. Stuff like that. I just want to encourage you to keep looking at the stuff that ails you because man is it worth it when you finally find the answer. Chiropractor, witch doctor, prayer center... try it all. (Well, maybe not real witches, that's kind of fupped duck, but herbal stuff, you know.)

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100th Post

Holy crap! I let my 100th post slide by without any notice. Ah well, it's not such a momentous occasion anyway. Still, time for a brief pause for reflection.

I started this blog becasue of all the hooplah about mommy blogs. I sensed that there was a specific audience for family type stuff and that while there are a few daddy bloggers around we're still outnumbered and one more couldn't hurt. Black Hockey Jesus didn't hurt either. Writing about your family from an oddball point of view makes for some fun reading, just ask The Bloggess.

The cool thing is that I turned out to be right. While I had a few nibbles around my other blog Simple Terms, it's been over here that I've really been connecting with people. I've got bloggy friends far and wide, many of whom I hope to meet in person some day (in a totally non-stalker kind of way).

So, despite the postings being a little thin over here lately due to overwork, having this place to post to has become a favorite part of my life. Thanks to all who stop by and comment.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Athletic Victories

After my last post I got a comment from across the pond requesting some tales of athletic victories. I would start by referring to a piece of fiction called The Swimmer I wrote back in November that's about 90% based on my actual experience. Come to think of it, the only part that didn't actually happen as written was the bit about the girl at the end. So dig into that for starters.

Swimming was really my thing in high school. I was mostly concerned with meeting the girls on the other bench, but eventually I passed six feet and developed some muscles. The advantage of being lanky was canceled out in running events due to my asthma. But the combination of the humid air and being able to rely on upper body strength set me up pretty well in the pool.

Not that I was the king of the sea or anything. There were some real super stars on my own team and a kid from a school up the road that even made those guys wither on the starting blocks. I have to admit that it was pretty cool though the first time I stepped up on the block and heard the kid in the lane next to me say, "ohhhhhh SHIT!".

The crowning achievement was in a relay event though. It was with three other guys swimming freestyle toward the end of the season my senior year. We demolished a record set by some of the aforementioned super stars. I think we may have actually lost the meet, but it wasn't really about that for us anyway. We were just out to have a good time competing and making friends on the other team. (It drove the coaches nuts when we'd loose and still be happy on the ride home.)


The Relay Team
Yours Truly at left, along with Rick Jablonski, T.J. Garrigan, and Max Schlaak all the way from Germany. You're lookin' at 700 pounds of stainless steel wrapped in leather (and 90's era Speedos) Also Coach Fix rockin the slick track suit.

About the only other thing that I was really good at was the pole vault. By my senior year I was in a position to tell the coach that I would only join the team if I didn't have to run. He bit. I couldn't quite reach the school record which was set back when the poles were a lot newer. The kid I taught smashed it two years after I graduated though.

I had this whole battle strategy cooked up to strike fear into the hearts of my opponents. I'd show up to the meet in full headbanger regalia. Flowing hair, goatee, biker jacket, ripped jeans, Anthrax t-shirt, and the obligatory combat boots (unlaced). I'd carry my sticks to the pit, dump em off and just lay down in the grass, blasting Overkill on my walkman while the rest of the team got warmed up. Usually by the time Hello From The Gutter was over I was ready to take a few practice runs.

I'd clomp down the approach, hair flying, and zoom over the seven foot qualifying height that everyone would be warming up on. Sometimes a couple guys would be squaring off, raising the bar and I'd wait till it got up near nine to start. Most of the time I'd bring the bar down but only because the buckle on my jacket would catch it. By the time the meet started I'd be back blasting some Megadeth to pass the time and keep passing on heights until it got up to nine feet. (I really hated to run, even the approach was too much.) Even if I missed a couple heights before going over, the competition was so sketched out that they were missing too. My crowning achievement was leaving all but one of the pack behind at ten feet and going on with one other guy up to eleven, nine. I wiffed, he sailed. Pretty frickin' sweet though.

So there's a little taste for ya. There's no trophies, just a few ribbons. I'm still friends with a lot of those kids that I met way back then though. Good times... good times.

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