Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lego's, phase 1

He's either a Lego-maniac or a future engineer in training... or both.

On another note, and this will warm his Auntie's heart: when he looks at our family pictures, he can identify most of the faces, and when we say, "Where's Auntie Em?" he points right to his Auntie.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Product Reviews

Most of the tales on this blog are about Lincoln and other Gates Family Events... that's why most of you come here. Thank you for stopping by as often as you do. Every now and then, however, Jenn and I have a conversation about one topic or another and we say to each other, "We ought to write about that on the blog sometime." Well, this is one of those times.

We were out walking with Lincoln a while back, using his Combi stroller (similar to the one pictured here), and we came to the conclusion that this brand of stroller just isn't what it's cracked up to be. The folks at Babies "R" Us talk about it like it's one of the best, and it gets pretty good reviews, but our experience with it just doesn't match up. It's not a crappy stroller, it's just not luxury like we were led to believe.

So we got to thinking, "Why does it get such good reviews?" and we came up with a theory. We believe that most reviews are written on the internet shortly after the product is opened and used. Rarely will one come back months or years later and review a product. There are probably several reasons for this: lack of time, sometimes an original receipt or code is required to leave a review, forgetfulness, etc. So the theory is that folks open a product (a product that came highly recommended), and the buyers use the product and find it satisfying to one degree or another. The buyers don't often want to feel like an idiot who bought a lousy product, so they'll convince themselves, usually subconsciously, that the product is at least as good as advertised. It's a theory in progress, and it's the best we've been able to come up with.

How else can one explain how some of these baby products, electronics, pieces of furniture, kitchen-wares, etc. get fantastic reviews and reputations, only to be brought home by you to ask of yourself, "Is this the best I could have done?" So if we think about it, we'll talk about some of our experiences with regard to this phenomena in future posts. So far, off the tops of our heads, the Combi Stroller and the Chico Highchair fit into this category: nice, but not worth the money. You future mothers and fathers out there, before you make a purchase or fill out your registry, feel free to contact us to get some thoughts that you may not find on the other websites. We're lookin' out for you.

Big Breakfast

Lincoln and I went to his doctor's appointment on Wednesday and learned that he'll wear his cast until July 16. He's up and around like little is wrong. So just a few more weeks.

We're looking forward to Auntie Haley's visit in a couple of weeks. What started out as just a weekend visit has been extended because she's going to take care of Lincoln on Monday and Tuesday while Jenn and I are at work. He'll get some quality-Auntie-Haley time! I understand Great Grandparents Mullen will be over on Sunday and Monday, as well. Lincoln really does enjoy visitors.

In my last blog post I mentioned the Shaquisition, and suggested a potential nickname. Apparently some others had come up with The Big Walleye, as well. I read another one that I liked: The Big Witness. So we'll see how things shake out. There's definitely a small buzz of excitement about the trade... usually it's Cleveland shipping its own stars out to save a little money. Also, I wonder if the Indians kicked in a little money to help out the Cavs... I think the Indians ownership would do just about anything to get off of the front page for a while given all of the losing that's taken place.

As usual, Saturday marked our trip to the bakery to get some breakfast. Today we got a loaf of day-old white bread, and we made French Toast. Let's just say it was a winner in Lincoln's book.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I like the move

Cavs get Shaq! Count me as one who likes this move. The nay-sayers will say Shaq is old, but so what? He averaged 18 & 8 last year, and he'll have greater motivation this year. Good move, Ferry & Gilbert!

The Big Walleye?

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Home-Work

Our new bedroom furniture ought to be delivered soon, and that means we need to get off of our fannies and get painting in our bedroom. It's only been 3 years!!! Jenn did a great job of pulling the wallpaper in the room. You may recall the crazy border application:

Improvement is being made:
bedroom 2bedroom 1

Surprisingly, Lincoln has been very good at being patient when Jenn and I are working. He's been playing by himself very nicely in the bathroom right next to where we're working.

Another fun development is that Lincoln has learned to feed himself toast. He's been quite curious about watching our hands when we're turning things on and off, and when we're cutting food or patting burgers. Lately one of the fascinations has been his watching Jenn tear off pieces of toast. Today, Jenn handind him a piece of toast for him to tear bits himself, and he did a good job. He tends to let his mouth get a little bit too full, but he hasn't choked yet!

We'll post some progress pics as they come.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Managing just fine

Lincoln hasn't spent a minute feeling sorry for himself. He's been a man on the move despite his cast, and because he's got an anchor attached to his leg, he gets tired of moving more easily, so when he's decided he's had enough of moving, he just sits in one place and plays very nicely.

Jenn's been working her way through the Twilight series for the third or fourth time. She says it's the best series of novels she's ever read. I finished Atlas Shrugged last week, and it was an amazing novel. Written in the '50's, Ayn Rand, the author, darn near wrote about our current events 60 years ago. But more than that, she told a story that verbalized the moral foundation for capitalism and detailed the segment of society that vilifies and attempts to punish the successful. Rand touches on science, government, business, farming, art, industry and medicine, claiming that one's pursuit of success in their chosen field is not only in their own best interest, but is also in the best interest of society. Taking from one's success to supplement the failure of another is immoral, and Rand points out why. The premise: John Galt, a brilliant engineer, decides he's not going to follow the new CEO's plan of compensation: to each according to his needs, from each according to his ability. And as the government takes over more and more of the private sector, more and more industrialists join Galt. You can probably guess what then happens to the nation, and just like governments of all time, they make the wrong decisions, and things spiral downward. Will the industrialists return to save the nation? Will the bureaucrats loosen their grip on an ailing economy? How much taxation can a business owner stand before he decides to give up? It's a long read, but a wonderful one.

So now I'm on to Tom Sawyer, which is quite the shift in gears. I've been laughing out loud through the first couple of chapters.

The Indians stink, and despite injuries, I'll still argue that it's time for change at the top. The Indians stunk before Grady and the others got hurt. Speaking of Cleveland sports, there's a Cavs rumor that looks pretty cool. LeBron to Yao?

Right now we're watching The Odd Couple... a funny flick.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First Week

The little man in the cast is doing great. He learned to crawl effectively with it within 24 hours. He's sleeping pretty well, too. And last night he had his first bath with the cast. This was the first time I've had experience with a wet cast, and it was a little odd seeing his cast fully submerged. But it dried out quickly, and there wasn't a problem at all.

We went on a walk yesterday afternoon. The neighborhood around downtown Hudson and Western Reserve Academy, right next to First and Main, has become our new favorite place to walk. Anyway, we've found a number of homes with Pugs, and when we walk past them, Lincoln says, "Puh!" or, "yip, yip," (the sound Betty makes when she's begging from the deck). Yesterday we stopped to talk with one of the owners, and the brewing storm moved in and we got soaked on our way back to the car. Lincoln didn't care, and we all looked pretty funny.

We're thankful for a healthy little boy, and we're all doing quite well despite a neon green cast in our home.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Lincoln is learning to talk, and one word that he repeats pretty well is "bummer." He's going to have ample opportunity to use it because he's got a broken leg with a cast on it. Bummer. He had a fall on Saturday, and was not interested in walking on it. After 36 hours of absolutely no improvement, I took him to the doctor. The pediatrician sent us to another place for radiographs, then we were sent to Children's Hospital in Akron for cast application. Aside from lots of crying during the films and the casting, Lincoln was an absolute All Star: waving to folks in the hospital, talking to the receptionists, playing nicely, etc.

The photo above is similar to Lincoln's fracture. It is an injury to one cortex, and when he wasn't putting pressure on it, he was comfortable, which is why he was so pleasant during the day when he wasn't scared. Toddler's Fractures are apparently a very common thing. Jenn and I don't deal with them in our line of medicine, but the Ortho Resident that applied Lincoln's cast said they get 4-5 of them per day. But when he would attempt to stand, he put pressure on the end of the fracture, and he was very painful. Long story short, the Ortho Resident said that he'll be healed in about 3-4 weeks.

We've been working on learning the names of the food Lincoln's eating, and now when he grabs a piece of banana, he holds it up on the air, says, "baaaaa!" and I finish with, "nana!!!!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More photos from the Gates-Gates-Hopwood Outer Banks vacation:

The wild horses made an
appearance on the beach.

The Hopwoods and Grandparents Gates
spent an afternoon of Putt-Putt.

Atop the Currituck Beach Lighthouse

Jeremy & The Shark.

How I spent my vacation.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lincoln Walks

We've known Lincoln's been able to take some unassisted steps for a while now, but yesterday was his biggest accomplishment to date. It started with Grandpa Doug and I sitting a few feet from each other with Lincoln walking back and forth between us. Sometimes he fell in a controlled way, but more often than not, he made it all the way. Then we started giving him more space to walk, and he handled that great. By the end, just before his little legs were too tired to keep going, he walked from the family room in front of dad's desk to the kitchen in front of the refrigerator. Good job, Lincoln!

Bookmark and Share


Lincoln's been making us laugh lately. Some of that has to do with the fact that he's been napping well lately. (Go back in our posts about 6-9 months and let that last phrase sink in.)
Here's one of the laugh-inducers:

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blog Modification & Baby Dancing

I've modified the right-hand column, removing the long "wish list" and replacing it with a link to a page with the same info. I don't want our Birthday and Christmas gift ideas to be a big focus of this site. For those who are interested, the information can be found by following the link on the right hand side of the blog.

I've had a bug in my mind lately recalling Auntie Em's old Disney CD's that had their classics from the movies and cartoons through the years. Unfortunately, those CD's were stolen when her Blazer was broken into during a visit to Columbus back in '01 or '02.

: (

So after some searching around, I've found the list of songs (Classic Disney volumes 1-3), and I've been pulling some from iTunes and putting them on Lincoln's playlist for when we're listening to music in the car. He's been really funny about music lately, bouncing up and down and "dancing" along with the beat. My particular favorites are "The Monkey's Uncle," "The Ugly Bug Ball," and "The Bare Necessities." Some of the songs we've been able to rip from Jenn's Disney soundtracks, like "Friend Like Me" (Robin Williams from Aladdin) and "Hakuna Matata."

Jenn and I have a big time "jammin' to the oldies," we enjoy watching Lincoln bounce around, and I'm looking forward to sharing some of these films with him when he's old enough.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Family Day

Today started with a bike ride on the Towpath through Peninsula. This is one of my favorite stretches of the Towpath, but Lincoln wasn't too into the bike riding today. He's been agreeable in the past, but I think he was hungry and tired for the majority of the ride, and he wasn't very happy.

He did give us a decent picture with his helment on...

After he ate some breakfast and took a bit of a nap, we had a fun rest of the day. I occupied him doing various things, like throwing his toys into the bathtub (a recent favorite), climbing the stairs a half-a-dozen times, and taking a stroll around the back yard... all while Jenn and I got lots of little things done around the house. It was a good Saturday at the Gates Home.

The blogging has been slow lately because I've been in the middle of a long book (Atlas Shrugged... comments to come). Once I'm through, I hope to do a bit more photo-taking and blogging.

One more thing: After I changed a particularly stinky diaper, one that needed to go straight to the trash can in the garage, I said to Jenn as I passed her in the kitchen, "There was as much poop as you'd think." (Lincoln had eaten a very large breakfast this morning.) Then Lincoln, while sitting on my arm, repeated, "Poo." I got a chuckle out of that one.

Bookmark and Share