Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lincoln makes a friend


Lincoln made friends with Jonah today as Jeanine & Josh Muller came over for lunch.  Jonah is one month older than Lincoln, and it was funny to see about where Lincoln will be in a couple of weeks.  Jonah was an absolute all-star as he rocked out in Lincoln's Exersaucer during lunch-time.  Then Lincoln woke up from his nap and the two boys sat on the floor for a few minutes.  Though they're not exactly at the "playing together" stage, it was fun for us to hang out for a few hours.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Great Week!

BIG Smile!

It's been more of the same since the last post. Lincoln's been feeding like a champ, and sleeping fantastically. And when those two meet, awake time is a lot of fun.  Jenn commented the other day that she's now disappointed that his bedtime is so early.  He's a total pleasure to be around.


Lincoln is going to make an appearance at a birthday party this evening.  Though he doesn't know it, he's napping right now to gear up for it.  Jenn's office manager invited us and told us we could bring Lincoln.  Sounds good to us!  So Jenn is providing some of the dessert:
Tiramisu Cheesecake with Chocolate Kahlua Creme

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Three Good Days... Hurray!!!


Lincoln has embarked on the best three day stretch of his life. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but God has given Lincoln an extremely pleasant, happy, enjoyable, relatively-stress-free couple of days. He was an all-star on Monday with his Grandma Paulette, sleeping like a champ and having quality awake time. Then on Tuesday, he thrilled all of the ladies at Church in the Falls' Ladies Class, staying awake for 2.5+ hours without fussing. It seemed as though he was performing for his Grandma and Great Grandma. But then today with Jenn he was nothing short of the best little baby. (We've always known he was the cutest baby, now he's working himself toward the best baby overall!)

Mommy and her Little Boy

Today he was happy most of the day, and we took him on a walk at the Ira Trailhead.  He didn't know it today, but that's where his mom walked just 4 and a half months ago when he was in her belly.  Pretty crazy to think about that.  We saw a couple of herons, some fish, and possibly a beaver, but Lincoln didn't notice them.  He did hear the geese above and had fun watching them fly around.

Wetland created by Beaver Dam

Jenn also began reading to him from her old Disney books.  He stayed engaged for a long time during his morning story time.  There are a couple of interesting things about the old Disney stories.  First of all, they're kind of long, not short and compact.  Secondly, some of the illustrations are pretty graphic, like the picture of Old Yeller killing the wolf and getting blood everywhere.  


Thirdly, some of the stories probably wouldn't make it past today's publishers.  Such as Uncle Remus.  Reading to Lincoln about how Johnny, the young boy in the Uncle Remus stories, lived in a big house with big rooms, big doors, and big windows that looked out onto fields of cotton, tobacco and corn; while Uncle Remus lived in a small cabin with a fire place, one room where he cooked and smoked his corncob pipe, and one window that looked out onto a swamp.  Not exactly PC.  So guess which story I read first to Lincoln?  That's right, Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby!  I even gave him my Southern accent.  I'm willing to come read this story at your home for a small fee.

"Can I get a 'Whoop! Whoop!'?"

Some of you have been aware that Lincoln had been extremely fussy while feeding, especially at night, causing Jenn great frustration.  After some trial and error, she found the root of the problem, and he's been doing much better in this department allowing him to go to sleep absolutely satisfied and calm.  We couldn't be happier with our little boy!

Lincoln loves his Bumbo!

Looming on the horizon is our flight to Phoenix.  If he continues on this pleasant streak, the flight just may be a lot of fun.  We'll see.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday is Daddy-day

Jenn's at work today and I'm at home with Lincoln. He's been growing up so fast that the last time I was home with him on a Saturday morning, which was only a few short weeks ago, he wasn't nearly as playful as he is now.
During his first awake and nap cycle I put his Exersaucer together and set him in it during his second awake time. You could see it on his face... it was sensory overload. There is so much color, so many shapes, so many do-dads, that I'm not sure he knew what to make of it. After a couple of minutes, after focusing on two or three of the features, he began to enjoy it.

If you've been wondering how I've been handling the Buckeye's loss, I'd have to say that it's hard to say.  I've actually given serious thought to what my buddies from SEC country have been saying for a while:  maybe Ohio State isn't that good.  But then how do you explain the big number of Buckeyes in the NFL... Ohio State has talent, they've had it for years, and they'll have it for years to come.  Here's the question:  what's the common thread running through the past three Ohio State disappointments on national television (Florida, LSU & USC?)?  Jim Tressel.  I know it sounds like heresy, but maybe Tressel doesn't have what it takes to game-plan for the big one.  I'm willing to give it until 2010.  At that time, OSU will have the best athlete in college football in Terrell Pryor.
 If we're not steamrolling the competition, much like Vince Young and Texas did a few years ago, then I may have to officially get off of the Jim Tressel bus.

That was one major tangent.  Back to the Gates household.

Sleeping has been another story recently.  As I'm writing this, he's stirring up in his crib after sleeping for 30 minutes.  For those who don't know Lincoln's sleeping schedule and pattern, he often sleeps at least 45 minutes.  When he sleeps longer than 45 minutes, it's not unusual for him to stir at the 45 minute mark and then go back to sleep.  That hasn't been happening for the past couple of days.  So we'll see if he puts himself back to sleep (ha! ha! ha!... ha! ha!... that's a good one!  ha! ha! hmmmmmmm....).

I've given it 25 minutes... and Lincoln is still protesting.  It's going to be a fun rest of the day!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Learning to Pet Bridget

Happy Lincoln

It's been an interesting past week and a half at the Gates Home. Lincoln has been doing well, though. He and I have a bit of a post-nasal drip/mild cough/sore throat thing going on, but it doesn't seem to bother him too much. In fact, twice this morning he was awakened from his nap by a cough and he was able to put himself back to sleep. This is a major development that Jenn was very happy to observe.
Learning to Pet

Lincoln's been very interested in the dogs recently. He loves to sit on Jenn's lap, especially in the morning, and watch the dogs come and go. Bridget licks him every now and then, and Betty's whisker's tickle his face sometimes. He doesn't complain at all.  He's also been quite happy in his Bumbo.  Now that he can control his head with greater ease, he's able to sit up and look around.

An cool thing happened the other day. Mom had my garage door opener, so I had to enter through the front door when I arrived home for lunch. Just as I got to the door, on the large spider web that's in front of one of the windows of the TV room, was an entangled wasp with the spider ready to pounce. It couldn't, though, because every time the spider came close the wasp would flex his "waist" and show his stinger. This lasted for a couple of minutes, and I ran to get my camera. The picture below is pretty representative. I got other pictures with the stinger out and pointed at the spider, etc., etc.
wasp, spider
Moving in for the Kill

For a very brief moment, I felt like an amateur version of the photographers of the Planet Earth series. I've mentioned it before, but I don't think I can say it too often: it is the coolest DVD series I've ever seen. Jenn and I have almost made it through all of the episodes, but we're by no means done watching it. There are animals and symbiotic processes featured that Jenn and I were completely unaware of. At times we just looked at each other and said, "Holy cow!" Truthfully, I'm not sure how anyone can watch this series and not, at the very least, believe in Intelligent Design. Micro-Evolution is clearly on display in the series, but to be fair, there is little to no mention of Macro-Evolution, nor are there obnoxious political messages. (Trust me, I was combing the episodes for them.) Well, that's enough of my commercial for Planet Earth.

For those into politics, check out this piece at the American Thinker.  It's pretty compelling.

Lincoln is asleep now, Jenn is reading on the couch, and things are pretty relaxing at the Gates Home.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lincoln goes to the Apple Orchard

Today we made our traditional Gates Family trip to the apple orchard to pick apples for pies, dumplings, sauce, glazes, etc.  Cortlands and Galas were ripe today, which are our favorites!  This was Lincoln's first trip with us, and he was an All Star!

It started with a hay ride back to the orchard. Lincoln loved this because it was breezy and he loves being outside in nice weather.  
He was in a pleasant mood because he actually slept well on the way out. Hillcrest Orchards is about an hour away from our place, and this made a decent length of sleep for him. He was the happiest baby in the orchard.
It was actually pretty sunny, which was a surprise to us (the weather report was 100% chance of rain), but it didn't seem to bother him. He liked to touch the apples here and there, but we can't say he was caught up in the spirit of the event.


Our stay in the orchard was cut short when Jenn felt a vibration around her belly through the Baby Bjorn that was long and sustained. She went back to where the wagon left us off, where there was a picnic table, to get him out of his Bjorn. The goal here was to relieve some of the pressure around his rear end and prevent poop from running down his leg and her front. But it was too late... poop had already leaked out. Not a lot... but enough. The Baby Bjorn will be heading to the wash today!

He's sleeping upstairs now.  He's had quite the busy day, but he's in the process of putting 3 very good days together!  We're also hoping that his pooping schedule has changed.  Our fear was that since he was pooping once per week, and on Wednesdays, that our trip to Phoenix, also on a Wednesday, would be a complete nightmare.  He's extremely pleasant after he poops.  Until then, however... look out.

Lincoln's Bumbo, Ryan's 30th

Yes, I turned 30 this week.  It was an interesting week for a variety of reasons, but as far as my birthday was concerned, we had a fun dinner with Mom, Dad and Grandma... good steak and potatoes, with a Boston Cream cake for dessert.  Most recently, Jenn and I have been enjoying the Planet Earth DVD set (from the Hopwoods ... THANKS!!!)

Last night was the Chili Party that we threw with the Wingaders.  Aside from the giant egg laid by OSU, the party was great.  We supplied two types of chili (a white chicken chili and a Cincy-style with chocolate), and two other styles were there (a red chicken chili, and a spicy w/ Italian sausage).  There were about 40 people, and they all seemed to have fun sampling the food.

Today we're going on our annual apple picking trip ... Lincoln's first!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Post shower rest

Yesterday was Elise's shower that Jenn had been planning for months (years). While I don't have pictures right now for you (they'll follow later), I can say that the event was absolutely wonderful. Jenn did a FANTASTIC job putting together a delicious menu, coordinating all of the food to be ready at the right time, and really making a beautiful memory for Elise. It was misting and raining at 9:00am with the start time being 10:30am. Most of the deck was covered, but enough of it wasn't to keep us from setting up the tables. Then I said to Chris Craft (Elise's dad), "Boy, Chris, we should have got an extra tent when we were at WalMart." He said, "Wait a minute, I have another tent." So we laughed, set up the tent, hung an awning that he had forgotten about, and then set the tables for the event. It turned out very pleasant and comfortable. The guests had a great time, lots of nice things were said about and to Elise, and I think everyone left having had a great time together. Meanwhile, back at home, Lincoln was good little boy for his Grandma Paulette, and was very pleasant on Saturday evening.

Today's Sunday and Lincoln has been perfect. He's sleeping well, he enjoyed his trip to Target, and I found a ticklish spot (it doesn't work when he's tired) that produces a very funny giggle.

It's official. With our anniversary last weekend, Jenn and I have been married more than 5 years now. I don't know that I can say we're having MORE fun than we've ever had, but we're certainly having DIFFERENT fun. We even got the same anniversary card for each other... now how's that for soulmates?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Visit from Great Grandparents

Lincoln went for a fun walk last night, and then had a fun visit from Great Grandparents Mullen.  He's been a happy baby recently except for the hour of screaming that preceded his big poopie diaper yesterday.