Monday, March 30, 2009


As it turns out, this past weekend was not a fun one. Things were going along great until Lincoln threw up twice on Saturday evening. Then Chris and Val came over for dinner and we were having a great time when all of a sudden, I completely lost my appetite. This was a major downer because Jenn had made a great pork tenderloin and risotto. And then I proceeded to be sick as I haven't been sick in years... I actually had to go to bed before our guests left (that was embarrassing). So before Jenn came to bed, she checked on Lincoln and he had thrown up a couple of times in his bed. Then at 2:00 am Jenn began feeling as I had 5 hours prior, and we spent Sunday just trying to get through the day. Lincoln had it much better than the two of us. I called Dad on Sunday morning to see if he could bring us some groceries, and he sounded awful. He and Mom had what we had, and until they knew we were sick, they thought they had food poisoning.

So it's Monday morning. Jenn didn't go to work. I'm at work and though I'm not as achy as I was yesterday, I still feel like I don't have much energy. Dad isn't much better. I'm off to lunch now. I don't want to eat, but I know I should.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

On the move...

Lincoln got to know his Auntie Em during her couple of days in Ohio.

Lincoln is officially a crawler now. I saw it yesterday with my own two eyes. And he's doing it with ease. Having a mobile little boy in the house changes things: Can we leave the Wii on the floor anymore? Where can we put the dogs' toys? Why does he voluntarily bump his head on the coffee table, and will he decided to bump it harder if I'm not around to watch? These are the questions that went through my head the first time I saw him crawl across the floor.

And then...
When I got home from work today, Jenn had just put Lincoln down for a nap, but he was still making some noise (not unusual), and then he started crying very loudly (again, not unusual). So we went to his door to see if he was sitting up, and to our surprise, he was standing up! He has now officially learned to pull himself up. Two weeks ago he couldn't crawl forward to save his life, and now he's pulling himself into a standing position. Holy cow!

How big is Linocln??? Sooooo Big!

Chris and Val are coming over for dinner tonight, and Jenn is in the process of planning a really good dinner. We're looking forward to it. I understand we'll be adding a new element to our get-togethers this evening. We always have hours of great conversation, some good wine-tasting, the usual sprinkling of political banter... but tonight we're adding Mario Kart on the Wii. Nothing but high-brow entertainment for us!

I received Aaron and Randi's wedding invitation yesterday and I just had to laugh. If you know Aaron (for those outside the family, Aaron Bradley is my cousin from Denver), you wouldn't be surprised by the not-so-subtle humor sprinkled through the envelope. Anyway, Emily and I are both going to the wedding, and it is actually pretty convenient because there is a Frontier flight from Nashville and one from Akron that arrive in Denver within 15 minutes of each other. So we're both headed out to the Rocky Mountain Wedding and really looking forward to it.

After Grandpa Doug bounces Lincoln up and down, this is the smile we get.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Back Home

Jenn and Lincoln arrived back home yesterday and it was great to see them again! Lincoln is bigger now than when he left, and he's rolling over like a log, sitting up on his own, and definitely getting particular when it comes to what he wants now. Jenn was a great mom during the trip because with the travel and the time change, Lincoln's routine was way out of whack, and he required stimulation most of the time. Not-so-funny part of the trip: the kids that sat behind Jenn and Lincoln on the trip out (with the mother that talked rudely to her mother/the kid's grandmother) had the row behind Jenn and Lincoln for the return trip. Jenn couldn't believe it. But once again, it made Lincoln look like a little angel!

Lincoln made another trip to the Phoenix Zoo.

Grandma Paulette, Grandpa Doug and Auntie Em came over in the early part of the evening for a brief Birthday party for Jenn. We had a great take-out dinner from Pad Thai. The Grandparents gave Jenn a cake-decorating kit, which will be awesome for Lincoln's birthdays. And the Hopwood family gave her a giant Cook's Illustrated cookbook (with >1,000 recipes). It's the kind of book that is more than recipes... more like food science. So Jenn started working through it last evening in anticipation of Chris and Val coming over for a good dinner this Saturday.

Lincoln loved the pool.

And Lincoln loved the hikes.

Funny story about the playground. Laura took Lincoln to a small playground in their neighborhood and he really seemed to enjoy it. Then on the following day when Jenn had him out for a walk, they went past the playground, but when Lincoln realized that they were going to stop, he pointed at the playground and started crying. I know, I know, not so funny, but 2 weeks ago he wouldn't have done that.

Maybe Lincoln will show better musical ability than his parents!

Jenn's last birthday present was a Wii, so you know where to find us after work... playing tennis and bowling in our TV room!

One last thing, check out this Pro Life website and look for them on facebook, too.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Watched Celebrity Apprentice

The soffet is done, the rooms are almost all cleaned, the laundry is done, and the dishes are clean and put away. Why can't Jenn be here now to see this?

I spoke with Jenn yesterday and they're having a big time in Phoenix. They've been on a number of big hikes, and Lincoln loves riding in his pack. One of the hikes was 3 hours, so he was able to enjoy most of it, nap through some of it, and then stop half-way through to eat. Sounds like a fun activity to me! On Friday Jenn and Elise went to The Melting Pot and got The Big Night Out w/ the Quattro Formaggio Cheese Fondue, The Fondue Feast (includes Filet Mignon Florentine, Limoncello Balsamic Sirloin, Shrimp Diablo, Sun-dried Tomato Chicken, Orange Fennel Pork Tenderloin & more), and the S'mores Chocolate Fondue. Wow. Jenn said they had a great time talking about lots of stuff. There's plenty of time to do that at The Melting Pot.

Meanwhile, back in paradise (Ohio... don't snicker), Emily and I got a pizza and hung out for a while. She got me caught up on Celebrity Apprentice. I had forgotten how much I missed that comb-over.

Tomorrow evening I'm going out for wings with some friends. What a way to spend Jenn's birthday, huh?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Coming Along

The designated project is coming along nicely, and faster than I thought it would. That'll leave more time for dusting!

The house is just not the same without Jenn and Lincoln. I just got off the phone with Jenn and things are going pretty well. Lincoln isn't sleeping much... at all. And he's getting up in the middle of the night, which is unusual. But he's mostly pleasant when he's awake, so they've been able to have fun going to the zoo, hiking and swimming.

Here's the latest from the kitchen:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Solo at home...

I miss my wife.

Jenn and Lincoln arrived in Phoenix yesterday safely, and I understand Lincoln was an all-star traveller. He didn't nap much with the transition yesterday, but when I spoke with Jenn today, she said Lincoln was doing well. He's apparently very interested in the pool. When Grandma Laura takes him for a walk in the back yard he points at the pool and waves his arms. He'll get a lot of swimming in this week.

Meanwhile, I'm by myself at home. It's not all wings, orange pop and lounging in boxers. No, I was charged with finishing the soffet (I'm not sure how to spell this, but it sounds right) in the kitchen. It's only been 2+ years, but I can't put it off any longer. So there's lots of drywall and joint compound dust flying around. This is the week to do it because I'm not sure Jenn could go without her kitchen for a week. The joint compound and sanding is moving along faster than I thought it would, and I seem to be on pace to get painting this weekend.

Emily is coming to town this week. We're going for a birthday dinner on Saturday, and then she's staying through Thursday so she can spend a day with Lincoln.

Right now I'm blogging while watching the Zips play the Zags. I just like to say that. Akron's keeping it close in the first half.

Monday, March 16, 2009

First Zoo Trip of '09

Since yesterday was the first nice, sunny, semi-warm Sunday we decided to make our first trip of 2009 to the Zoo. It had been years since I'd been to the Akron Zoo. I seem to recall that one of my elementary school classes went on a field trip, but I have no real memories of inside the zoo. On top of that, there have been so many changes and improvements that I wouldn't recognize it anyway. Jenn took Lincoln a couple of times last year and we have a pass, so it was the perfect idea (Jenn's a smart chick!). Many of the animals weren't too interesting to Lincoln at this stage of his life. He did enjoy the Condor when he spread his wings out.

He also liked the Barking Deer, and the Trumpeter Swan caught his interest when it started to trumpet! The Akron Zoo's claim to fame is their Jellyfish exhibit. The tanks are really cool and full of jellyfish and the lighting is phenomenal. Lincoln really gets into the jellyfish, probably because it's like a light-show that he can almost touch.

The Jellyfish really capture Lincoln's attention.

Lately, the cure to all of Lincoln's fussiness is Puffs. We've mentioned Puffs before, but we cannot sing their praises enough. Fussy in the afternoon? Puffs. Babbling during the sermon? Puffs. Interested in watching Lincoln doing something funny? Puffs. He likes Cheerios, but Puffs are like Cheerios on steroids. Jenn took him to Kim's house on Saturday morning while the two of us were at work, and when she handed Lincoln to Erin (Kim's daughter) he began crying. She then gave him some Puffs, and they were like best friends.

Lincoln reaches for Puffs.

So after a long day at the Zoo, and after eating some Puffs, Lincoln was completely tuckered out. He's been waxing and waning between 3 and 2 naps per day, and sometimes now when he gets really tired, instead of getting really fussy, he'll reach for his bear-blanket and suck his thumb. It's really cute!

Sleepy Boy

Jenn and Lincoln are excited about their trip to Phoenix on Wednesday! Keep Jenn in your prayers this week... the thought of moving Lincoln and lots of luggage through the airport is causing some anxiety. Thanks!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Toilet Paper and Fewer Naps

We're suspecting now that Lincoln may be moving down to two naps per day. There is still some evidence to the contrary, but yesterday we took him shopping with us to Aurora Farms and he stayed awake and mostly pleasant through what used to be a nap/awake cycle. We heard from at least 5 people while shopping that he was the cutest baby they'd ever seen. Lincoln responded, "Yeah. I get that a lot."

Before bath time, Jenn and Lincoln were watching the tub fill (this is apparently a fun thing to watch) and Lincoln noticed the roll of toilet paper. It was all downhill from there.

Also, yesterday was the first day that Lincoln began to repeat specific sounds. He's been imitating a few things like hand motions and fart-sounds. But yesterday Jenn said to him, "Hey, Lincoln... Da-Da." And he responded, "Da-Da." He still doesn't know what/who "Da-Da" is when he says it (when Jenn asks him where Da-Da is he looks around for me), but it's neat seeing him begin to make specific sounds.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Been a while...

Holy cow, it's been a while! You're probably wondering just how sick we all are since it's been several days since our last post. We're doing well. I've got a lingering cough, but Lincoln is doing well, and Jenn has not been sick at all. Contributing to our lack of posts is the fact that our computer is in need of repair after a fall. It will be going to Bill @ Housecalls for Macs for a check-up and hopefully a fix-up.

View from my room.

March, April & May are going to be busy times for the Gateses. Jenn's head to Phoenix in less than 2 weeks. Lincoln was shopping for warm weather clothes over the weekend. Then in April I'm headed to Santa Monica for a Pfizer meeting. I'm having a bunch of fun working with Pfizer as a Local Expert on canine obesity and Slentrol.

The Grand American,
Salt Lake City
I never wrote about it on the blog because my trip was before this wonderful piece of communication began, but in January of 2008 I went to Salt Lake City to learn about Slentrol and the latest research with regard to canine obesity. Since then I've spoken to a number of clinics about canine obesity and the role of Slentrol in helping dogs lose weight in a healthy way. So in late April, I'll be off to California to have a follow-up meeting. It ought to be fun, and I'm hoping to get some good pictures at the Santa Monica Pier during some free time.

Salt Lake City, 5:00am.

The Santa Monica trip is a new addition to the travel that I described in an earlier post.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Getting Better

Lincoln has improved significantly. He coughs here and there and his nose is runny here and there, but he's sleeping through the night again and he's napping well (at least until right now... he's been talking to himself for 10 minutes).

The bummer is that he's got me sick right now. My throat started hurting last night, and after reading to Lincoln for a loooong time, it's really sore. Hopefully Jenn won't catch it.

Jenn's been pulling the trim/wallpaper in our bedroom and she's made big progress today with the steamer. Perhaps the bathroom will pull as easily as the trim (fingers crossed).