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Dennis Comes Home

October 30, 2006 at 6:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

It was a harrowing journey at times, but Dennis—my new laptop—finally made it home. Read on to learn about my adventures with Dell and UPS.

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Watch Out World, He’s Mobile!

October 20, 2006 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Robbie added a new trick to his repertoire last night: he rolled! Not just front-to-back or back-to-front. He actually rolled about six feet. That was just shortly after he pulled a front-to-back-to-front combo for the first time. Frankly, I’m not sure if I should celebrate Robbie’s new mobility, or lament the fact that the days of leaving him “just for a second” are over. Maybe we can train Daisy to grab him by the diaper and stop him if he starts rolling his way into trouble. Hmm…

But seriously, way to go Robbie!

In Praise of Avante Card

October 19, 2006 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I don’t think I ever mentioned how Avant Card—that fantastic little card and gift shop on O Street—played a role in our adoption of Robbie. Here’s the tale:

The Missus and I already knew that we were being considered for the adoption of a newborn in Boston. We had only the barest details, so all we knew was that we might be chosen by the mother. Or not. We had already been passed over a few times before, so we knew not to get our hopes up too high.

Well, a few days later I received a call at work from the adoption agency with the good news. By coincidence, I was meeting The Missus at Planet Sub in only two hours. How could I tell her the news in a creative way? And by the way, how often does the dad know before the mom that they’re going to have a baby? This was new territory.

I decided to tell her with a card. I first said “I love you” with a card, so why not make greeting cards the medium of choice for big announcements? I really wanted a Mother’s Day card, since I was about to tell her she was a mom. But Mother’s Day was several weeks earlier. Clearly I needed a business I could count on. So I headed to Avant Card.

Surprisingly, the nice young lady behind the counter gave me only the tiniest hint of an odd look when I asked if they happened to have any Mother’s Day cards hiding in the back. She quickly began the search, and she came back a few minutes later, not with a couple cards, but with a whole friggin’ box of hundreds of cards. It took me a while to flip through them all—thank goodness they were sorted, so duplicates were all together—but I eventually found the perfect one. I paid, thanked her profusely, and left.

Not long after, The Missus opened the card and found out for the first time that she was a mom. Everything worked out just perfectly.

So there’s the story. Now you know one of the reasons I’m such so pro-Avant Card. Gotta love ‘em.

Hair-Raising

October 18, 2006 at 12:35am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Scenes from Robbie’s first haircut:

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Late Night

October 17, 2006 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Urgh, I’m tuckered today. I worked at the computer until 2:00am last night. A website client wanted some work done by yesterday, even though I didn’t even receive the bulk of the necessary material until 6:00pm last night. I could have just said “Yeah, right”, but a) I’m a pushover, and b) if I want that new laptop, I need the money. I was surprised to discover that I was able to cruise along pretty well until 1:15 or so. When Robbie started crying at 2:00, I took that as an invitation to shut down the computer and go take care of my sick kid.

And I’m glad I did. As it turned out, Robbie was crying mainly because he couldn’t sleep due to his cold. He wanted to cuddle, I wanted to sleep; I sensed a win-win situation. So I propped him up on my chest, propped myself up on the bed, covered up with a blanket, and watched as Robbie immediately passed out. I fell asleep a few minutes later, and I ended up having one of the deepest, most restful sleeps I’ve had in ages. It must have worked wonders for Robbie, too, because he was in fine form this morning.

It’s probably a good thing I got some practice at staying up late, because Saturday nigh I have two evening soccer matches, followed by a three-hour drive home. I figure I’ll pull into the driveway around 1:30am or so Sunday morning. Fortunately I’ll be traveling with a talkative guy, so I shouldn’t have to worry about dozing off.

Five and Fine

October 16, 2006 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Robert is 5 months old today. The milestone, such as it is, serves as a good time to reflect back on how many strides he has taken so far. In one sense he’s the same little Robbie he was four months ago in Boston. But then I look at him when he’s all stretched out and I think: he’s huge now! And you know what sticks out most about him right now? His voice. Robbie’s voice is becoming less like an infant’s and more like a baby’s. When he cries it sounds like a child’s cry, not a newborn’s cry. When he laughs, there’s a hint of the sound of a toddler laughing, rather than just his previous infant giggle. And when he babbles, though he has a long ways to go, I can already hear how he is beginning to think about giving meaning to his sounds.

Unfortunately, Robbie is celebrating the start of his sixth month with a cold. It drove him nuts last night. At 4:30 he had had enough, so I went into his room and slept propped up with him on my chest. Well, I say “slept”, but there was little sleep to be had with Robbie snoring and snorting and tossing and turning. But he was doing it very cutely (?), so it was easy to forgive him.

I think The In-Laws will be very surprised how much he has changed when they come for Thanksgiving. There’s a good chance he’ll be sitting by then. (He can already sortakinda sit, but he quickly folds in half.) And sitting means joining the family at the dinner table in a high chair. He’s going to like that.

Identify My Lunch

October 15, 2006 at 6:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Based on the ingredients and nutrition facts, can you identify what I ate for lunch today?

Ingredients:

  • pork livers
  • pork
  • calcium reduced (?!) dried skim milk
  • salt
  • corn syrup
  • water
  • sugar
  • ...and a bunch of preservatives

Nutrition facts per 2 oz. serving:

  • Calories: 200
  • Calories from fat: 160
  • Total fat: 18g (28%)
  • Saturdated fat: 6g (30%)
  • Cholesterol: 85mg (28%)
  • Sodium: 640mg (27%)
  • Total carbohydrates: 2g (1%)
  • Protein: 8g
  • Vitamin A: 240%
  • Iron: 30%

And by the way, it was goooood.

Collateral

October 11, 2006 at 10:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

A student came up to The Missus today and asked if he could borrow a pencil. She told him “Sure, if you hand over some collateral.” So he reached into his pocket and pulled out the only thing in there.

A condom.

Ahh, the joys of teaching America’s youth. On the plus side, at least he wears a helmet whle riding the village bicycle.

Eight is Enough

October 11, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Robert slept eight straight hours last night, for a total of ten hours of restful slumber. Needless to say, mom and dad woke up very happy this morning.

Lap Warmer

October 9, 2006 at 5:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

My home desktop computer is still humming along ok (knock on wood), but after four years it’s about time I supplemented it with something both more powerful and more mobile. Would anybody out there care to help me find the best laptop brand and/or line for my needs? Some notes:

  • Sorry, no Macs. It’s possible I may venture over to the fruity side in the future, but the switch just isn’t going to happen right now.
  • I’m looking more for a desktop replacement than a lightweight, ultra-mobile device. I value power over portability.
  • My rule of thumb with these sorts of purchases is to go for something that’s above the midline, but doesn’t cross into premium territory. I don’t need top-of-the-line right now.
  • Big monitor = good.
  • I’m not leaning toward (or away from) any particular brand. I have always had good luck with Dell, but I know that experience isn’t universal.

Add a Flop to the Flip

October 6, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

It’s official: Robert can now roll from front to back and from back to front. The latter milestone was achieved last night, three times in a row. Unfortunately for Robbie, he isn’t a big tummy fan, and he still can only go from front to back every now and then. I wonder if we’ll have ourselves a little tumbleweed in time for Grandma and Grandpa’s visit at Thanksgiving?

So Pretty

October 5, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

It has been a while since The Missus and I have heard an eyebrow-raiser related to Robert, but yesterday she got a good one:

I didn’t know an adopted kid could be so pretty!

Woulda Coulda Shoulda

October 4, 2006 at 4:30am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Here I am, sitting at my computer at 11:30 at night. That’s quite out of the ordinary for me. So why am I here? Because I just got back from reffing an exciting soccer match. Oh how I wish it hadn’t been so exciting.

I had to make an extremely difficult decision. It was 50% popular and 50% unpopular, as decisions so often are in sports officiating. It was the type of decision that, although it was correct, I kind of wish I hadn’t made. Sure, that would have been the weenie, weak-kneed way out. But it probably would have been easier to sell.

Seven seconds. That’s how much time was on the clock when I made the call. Seven lousy seconds. There wouldn’t have been any time on the clock if the defense hadn’t been stupid and made me stop the clock so the attacking team could take their free kick. If the defensive player would have just left the ball alone, rather than kicking it off the field after I blew the whistle, time surely would have expired as the attacking team got off a hurried—and therefore, likely poor—kick.

But the attacker took the kick, and it went toward the mouth of the goal. Waiting for it was another attacker, who had a very good chance to put his head on the ball. Except there was a defender behind him, riding his back. And then the riding turned to an all out push. The attacker’s head snapped back, and he sprawled forward onto the ground. I was right there to see the whole thing. It was probably the first time all game that an attacker had fallen in the penalty area and it hadn’t been a flop to try to draw an unjustified whistle.

So there it was. The moment an entire college came to hate my guts. I had to award the penalty kick. Fairness dictated that I give the attackers another chance, since the defense robbed them of their chance during play. Heck, forget fairness; the rules said I had to make the call. That’s a PK every day of the week. Even with only seven seconds on the clock. And a tied, 0-0 score.

Still, being hated isn’t fun. I could have said the attacker tripped, or that I didn’t see it. I would have been a lying sonuvabitch with the ethics of a Senator, but I could have gone that route. Heck, the attacking team might have even bought it. Well, no, probably not. They knew it was a foul. Even the defender who committed the foul knew it was a foul. How do I know? Rather than complaining to me, he ducked his head and hid off to the side. Players do that when they know they’ve screwed over their team. And I mean that seriously; I see it all the time. Not every time, but often.

But knowing that you’re right doesn’t make it any easier to essentially award a free goal to a team in a hard-fought, tied game with only 7 seconds on the clock. The call was correct, the call was just, and the call really makes me wish one of the zillions of mosquitos had chosen that moment to fly into my eye so I hadn’t seen the events unfold.

By the way, I’m not looking for sympathy here. A good official thinks about his calls, replays the match in his mind, and tries to find ways to improve himself. I’m “writing out loud” here as part of that process. Plus, I want to make the point that sports officials don’t enjoy making difficult calls, but the good ones do what they have to do. Our job is to be fair, and I think I did that tonight. Even when we think we’re right, or know we’re right, or whatever, we still want to get better.

That’s enough reflection for tonight. I need some sleep.

Robbie’s First (Half) Day

October 2, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus is heading back to work next week, so this week she is taking Robbie to day care for half-day trial runs. Although Robbie is beginning to show a mommy preference, I think he’ll be just fine. In fact, I think he’ll really enjoy being around the other children, even if it means giving up a share of the spotlight. The Missus, on the other hand, would probably prefer to win the lottery in the very near future so that she can stay home with her little Ethiopian lover. (You can thank Robbie’s aunt for that nickname.) Alas, that’s awfully unlikely. But just in case, maybe I’ll go buy a Powerball ticket or two this week. Couldn’t hurt.

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