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Summer In Texas
(August 27, 2010)

Last month's entry was a bit rushed, and any number of things got left out. I can only plead industrial-grade fatigue and apologize. Frankly, this month's not much better, but at least I can remember some of what's going on. We seem to be caught in this cycle where nobody ever quite gets well. Some of that's allergies, and this was supposed to be one of the worst summers for allergies in quite a while. I can't help but think that whatever British Petroleum and the Federal Government have been doing with the oil in the Gulf is partly responsible, too. And, of course, as the Metroplex generally produces at this time of year, our pollution levels are... "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups", which would definitely include our whole family.

Full Moon on Independence Day
The big thing that got left out of last month's entry involved Theron and our ongoing efforts at potty training. Since I'm not really up to editing that page - I hate to mess with them once they've been put on the site - I'm just going to tell the story here.

It was Saturday, July 3rd. There was a parade in celebration of Independence Day, in the neighborhood where my wife's parents live. We came along, of course, and we brought both boys. After a certain amount of walking and waving, we arrived at the... well, I'm not sure how to describe it. It's basically a small, private park which is run by the local Homeowners' Association. It has a tennis court, a large pool, a little kiddie pool, a playground, a barbecue grill... and a large amount of well-shaded open space. The parade ended there, with a sort of potluck picnic lunch.

At some point during this lunch, Theron realized that he needed to... well... urinate. And he did not want to wet his pants. So he left the picnic tables, went over to the grass, and proceeded to moon everyone at the tables while relieving himself.

Don't laugh. It's progress.

More Potty Training Progress
So, the day before yesterday - that'd be Wednesday, August 25, 2010 (I add for the benefit of posterity) - Theron actually managed to poop in the potty at his Nana's house. This was cause for much celebration and rejoicing. As a reward, the Beautiful Woman took him to Target yesterday and let him pick out a Ben 10 LEGO toy: Swampfire.

Being a LEGO toy, it came in pieces and had to be assembled. It could also disassembled and rearranged. (You see where this is going, don't you?)

So, they picked out the toy, purchased it, and went to my parents' house for dinner. There they opened the toy, put it together, and went to swim in the pool.

By the time I arrived after work, Swampfire had already lost his left hand. Everyone (except baby Roland) was involved in a hunt for it. Theron was, to his credit, not in tears, though he was obviously upset. So, I put on a swimsuit and went to join the search.

I found it, by virtue of my brilliant deductive skills (and a certain amount of experience with this sort of thing) floating in the catch-basket of the pool. My father restored it to its rightful place on Swampfire's arm, and Theron and I swam for a bit longer. As we were sitting down to dinner, he said: "I'm glad you found Swampfire's hand, Daddy."

I told him he was welcome.

Other Activities
Theron is continuing his gymnastics, though we've had to move him around a bit in order to keep him in a class that suits him. (He wound up in an all-girls-except-him class, which would have been fine except that the instructor expected everybody to wait patiently in line while she worked with them individually. Four-year-old boys do not wait patiently in line unless you've given them at least ten minutes of cardio, first.)

Oh, and Theron has spontaneously made the transition from summersaults to dive-rolls. I'm standing in the living room, and he's standing on the small wooden table we keep in there for his activities. He looks down at the gymnastics mat on the floor. (It's folded up in a big rectangle, so it's thick enough that the top isn't too far down.) Then he dives, rolls, and comes up in a sitting position. I wasn't entirely sure that I'd really seen it happen, but he's done it several times since then.

Last Saturday, we went to a bouncy place with some friends. This was beneficial on two levels: first, the kids loved it, and second, I now know where to find a bouncy place that hasn't, y'know, closed. This particular place was willing to let the adults get on, too, so the Beautiful Woman and I both got some exercise. My left elbow now sports a really prominent bit of rug-burn, but it was totally worth it.

Back To School
Theron's school started up again last Monday, which happily coincided with me taking three days off from work. (I mentioned that we've all been feeling about half sick for weeks, now? I was trying to slow down long enough to really recover. It didn't quite work, but it helped.) So Theron's first week of school started with Daddy being home, which definitely softened the blow.

He seems pretty happy with it, now. (It was a little more chaotic than he was used to when he first started.) He's in afternoon classes, and his teacher seems a decent sort. That's good, because I want him to think of school as something enjoyable.

Roland Grows
Roland is coming up on four and half months, if I have my math right. I tried looking back at the corresponding entries for Theron, but I didn't include enough dates. So, while I think they're basically following the same pattern of development, I can't be entirely sure.

Roland has gotten bigger. I mean, great, he's supposed to do that, and now he looks like a really big baby instead of a tiny little newborn. He's still basically occupied with the Four Activities Of Babies (Eat, Sleep, Cry, Poop). He's also added a couple of new one:

  • Flirting - Roland grins, giggles, and coos at people. He loves attention. He makes eye contact. The cute little baby noises are potent enough to make a blood-maddened lion stop in mid-charge and look for ways to help the baby.
  • Grabbing - He's figured out that his hands are part of him. Even better, he's figured out that he can do things with them. He's still got a long way to go in terms of aim and coordination, but he's very determined.
  • Rolling over - I'm not sure if he's doing it in both directions, but he can roll over well enough to roll across the floor. This is, on occasion, extremely inconvenient, but we're proud of him nonetheless. It also means that any time we put him in a seat, we have to make sure he's belted in.

I'm sure there are more things I could add, but that's everything that's fresh in my mind. Much as I sometimes miss my free time (and my disposable income), I'm extremely proud of the way the boys are turning out, and I'm very much looking forward to watching them grow.

And now... pictures and video. Enjoy.

How We Read At Night

I Can Grab My Toes!

Neener Neener Neener!

Roland Grabs The Book

Roland Grabs The Ribbon

Theron Explains His Spaceship

Theron Jumps In The Pool

Theron Swims Underwater

A Smooch For Roland