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Ever have the itch to create a table? Yeah, me too.
I wanted to start this record of JaM preferences before they fade from memory. Not surprisingly, the entries in the following table reflect my personal interests: language, music, and dogs.
I’ll need Katie’s help to add some more.
|Catchphrase (under 2 yrs)||“What’s that right therrrrrre?”||“What’s that guy doin’?”|
|Baby & toddler nicknames||BK (Beanie Katie), Chaygers, San Diego Chaygers, Jacks, Bowl Full of Happy Jacks, Jacks on Jacks on Jacks||LOB (Little ‘ol Boy), John C. McGinley, Emcee Lain, Bigun, Brooklyn, Sprite Remix|
|First indie rock song sing-along||“While You Wait for the Others” by Grizzly Bear — the “OooAaaOooooOooo” part||“Wordless Chorus” by My Morning Jacket — the “OoooAhhOooooOoOo” part|
|Favorite dog||Baxter (even though he growled at her a lot when she was a baby)||Robah (even though he accidentally knocks McLain down to this day)|
|Most endearing mispronunciation||“Re-lune-lun” (Reunion)||“Gael” and “Waeld” (Girl and World)|
|Favorite adverb to start a sentence||“Actually, blah blah blah…”||“Yesterday, blah blah blah…”|
|Favorite song from an old kids’ movie||“I Want It NOW” sung by Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory||“It’s a Hard Knock Life” from Annie|
|Favorite old song that Dad sings poorly||“On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady, written by Frederick Loewe||“I’m An Old Cow Hand” sung by Bing Crosby, written by Johnny Mercer|
For four years, our house has had at least one baby. For maybe a month or so after McLain was born, there were two babies. I don’t think Katie and I slept at all that month, and I don’t think we had a single sad moment or dark cloud in the sky.
Then one day around Christmas of 2010, Jackie told me (in her own words) that she didn’t see how Santa could defy the space-time continuum to deliver presents via billions of chimneys worldwide. I muttered something about magic and reindeer, and then changed the subject. She’s a believer again now, but she hasn’t been a baby since that day she questioned Santa.
Lately, McLain is leaving the baby category behind. He’s different than his sister of course, so it’s not that he exposed the Elf on the Shelf for what it really is. He doesn’t doubt the Tooth Fairy, or any other tall tales for that matter. He talks all the time, and tells his sister angrily, “I’M TALKING RIGHT NOW” when she interrupts him, but that isn’t what qualifies him as a toddler. So what earned him a promotion from babyhood?
He has a legit jumpshot.
He follows through.
And, he shoots about 75% from the 2 to 4-foot range.
Katie and I aren’t planning to have a third child. Our second child is leaving the baby stage, and we need to cope somehow with our growing children and time passing (in general). What do we do to slow down the fleeting of time?
Answer: Don’t cut the youngest child’s hair. Those ends that either curl or stick out in every direction are as old as he is. You can still look at him and see baby as long as he has original locks. It doesn’t matter that he counts to twenty, speaks in sentences, and zones out when focusing on song lyrics; those McLain curls are the trademark of our baby.
One of these days, when his bangs obstruct his vision and he walks into a table or something, Katie will suggest that he get a haircut. I really believe it will take a safety concern for us to take action.
We get pretty stoked around here for Halloween, so we’ve been talking tricks and treats lately. Coincidentally, McLain has a new-found confidence on his feet. That’s right — he’s now ambulatory. He’s going to be a spider for Halloween, but as our friend Sarah suggested, his walking style and grunting evoke a miniature Frankenstein.
Jackie and I were busy this weekend with a new art project.
We made these light-up haunted houses that are pretty darn spooky when you turn them on in the dark.
Here are two more pictures from our family trip to the state fair on Friday. Katie took both kids on a tour through Jalopy Junction.
McLain is posing here with a sweet potato that’s close to the same weight as he is, with about the same amount of hair as he has.
McLain has almost a full week of worldly experience, and he couldn’t be doing better. His mother, when she isn’t cuddling with him or taking care of the rest of us, has his nursing schedule completely under control. His sister adores him, asks to hold him at least 10 times a day, and hasn’t poked him in the eye (yet). His canine brothers have only licked him (Baxter) and drooled on him (Robah) once.
Things are going really well for the expanded family unit. We truly appreciate the ongoing help and love from his grandparents, as well as the calls, visits, and food from friends and family. Two special shout-outs are warranted: to Nana for quarantining herself Saturday when she had a stomach bug, and Sarah for joining Katie and me the early morning of his arrival.
I plan to make a couple of more polished posts after I go through the many pictures and videos waiting for me on our hard drive. In the meantime, here’s a link to a Picasa album, and the first picture of our expanded family: http://picasaweb.google.com/katiebjones/McLainIsBorn?authkey=Gv1sRgCLmdkYDDzPuZowE#
Forgive me for these two transgressions:
- In a lazy attempt to summarize all of the late-summer events for our family, I’ve crammed two months worth of highlights into one video.
- This post has nothing to do with dogs. Don’t worry, I still love my boys.
My family has been busy in July and August. My amazing, pregnant wife and my amazing, pre-toddler daughter have been traveling — Katie (for work and pleasure), and Jackie (for pleasure). I have been renovating a girl nursery for a baby boy and a guest bedroom for a growing little girl. Katie and Jackie spent some time in Simsboro, Louisiana, with the Jeffcoats and Gordonsville, Virginia, with the maternal grandparents. All three of us have made a couple of trips to Boone to hang with my folks. We also hosted Katie’s college girlfriends and their kids, and attended a wonderful Dubberly wedding.
All the while, we are prepping for the arrival of McLain Moore Jones; this boy will expand our family no later than September 14 (and possibly earlier). We are ready for the little guy, save for finding some indie-rock (or dad rock?) onesies that will help me project my tastes onto my new son. At 14, he’ll probably go through an Eagles phase just to get back at me (other than vengeance, why would anyone go through an Eagles phase?).
I hope to document the room changes in a near-future post. Jackie has handled the transition from a crib to a real bed in a new room like a 12-year-old. At the risk of bragging, I will tell you that Jackie has made parenting easy for Katie and me so far.
Here’s the video:
Every summer, I compile my favorite tracks of the year so far and force the compilation on the people I know will give them a listen or two. Sometimes they hit, sometimes they miss. I don’t know the adoption rate, or catchiness quotient, or conversion statistics for the stuff I share with friends and family, but I do know that I like the idea of collecting, sorting, and imposing subjective evaluation on new music.
For me, I can attest as of August 20 that this is the year that the album was resurrected. I’ve purchased 18 complete new albums this year so far, and if you break down those acquisitions into individual tracks, I’ve picked up and broken in about the same number of song downloads here and there, thanks mostly to Peel and the blogs that provide the mp3s. By the way, if you have a Mac and love music, Peel is the best $15 you will ever spend on anything in your life (I don’t care if the code is three years old).
Here’s a rundown of what stands out to me so far in 2010. You might notice that hip-hop, R&B, and electronic are missing, and conspicuously so, but it’s only because the new recordings I love from those genres don’t have standout tracks. I can justify those omissions; I limited this list to 18 songs, and like I said before, the album has made a comeback this year in my estimation.
Note: An asterisk in the list below denotes one of my daughter’s favorite dance tracks.
I Was Thinking… — Gauntlet Hair
Heart to Tell* — The Love Language
Odessa* — Caribou
The Suburbs — Arcade Fire
Mouthful of Diamonds* — Phantogram
Marathon — Tennis
O.N.E.* — Yeasayer
Round And Round — Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Albatross — Besnard Lakes
Promises — The Morning Benders
Empire Ants* — Gorillaz
Lucidity — Tame Impala
Gold Skull — Miniature Tigers
Walk in the Park — Beach House
Shadow People — Dr. Dog
Bloodbuzz Ohio — The National
That’s Some Dream — Good Old War
Sinister Kid — The Black Keys
The most popular of the tracks listed above contains a close-to-home-hitting verse:
So can you understand
Why I want a daughter while I’m still young?
I want to hold her hand
And show her some beauty
Before all this damage is done…
I finally sorted through the video from the Burns Family Reunion. A lot of good footage ended up on the cutting room floor, but I managed to post some of the highlights from the week.
Every year, in mid-June, Vogel State Park in north Georgia is taken over for an entire week by Burnses from all over the country. It’s the Burns Family Reunion, and this was Jackie’s second experience with Katie’s great uncles and aunts, second cousins, third cousins, sixth cousins twice removed, and so on. Jackie shared the spotlight with a few other children this year (including Henry, Audrey, Emilyn, and Emory), but she somehow managed to get plenty of attention and/or ice cream whenever she wanted either or both.
This was the first year of the BFR (of 44 years total) that Katie served as co-organizer and chief cabin coordinator. With her Uncle Robert’s tutelage, she did an outstanding job making sure that everyone had comfortable accommodations.
I brought a special non-Burns friend along to the BFR this year. Robah made the trip southwest, and I really appreciated him coming. He’s always been a true friend, but I was surprised to learn what a good hiking partner he is. You could say that Robah is a dog’s dog, except that he doesn’t really like other dogs. He does love people though.
Here’s a generalized schedule of the typical day during our week at Vogel State Park:
6:30 — Katie, Robah, and I wake up. Robah goes out to relieve himself, sees a deer in the woods, and takes off for about two minutes (the amount of time it takes for the deer to lose him)
7:15 — Katie heads up to her parents’ cabin, where Jackie is sleeping
7:15 – 8:00 — Robah and I listen to Tame Impala, Ariel Pink, The Arcade Fire, Tennis, and others as we get ready for the day
8:00 – 11:00 — Robah and I hike one of trails that head at VSP. Katie and Janet cook for the family members hanging around Janet and Ben’s cabin (at least 5 guest eaters total, maximum of 15). Jackie entertains, or is entertained, and then naps.
11:00 – 12:00 — Robah and I eat leftovers and snacks for lunch while we catch up with Jackie and Katie on the morning events
12:00 – 4:00 — The Joneses change into swim gear and enjoy the lake, except for Robah, who naps
4:00 – 7:00 — Jackie naps, and Katie, Robah, and I read and relax
7:00 – 9:00 — BFR dinner gathering (everyone), socializing or planned event (e.g. talent show) afterward
9:00 – After reading books with Nana and Papa, Jackie goes to bed in cabin #25
9:00 – 11:00 – Before bed Katie reads, Robah snoozes, and I play with my new phone
The schedule listed above shouldn’t leave you with the impression that every day at VSP is the same. Every day brings nuanced surprises, or in the case of our next-to-last day there, a fairly major event. Robah and I had a scary and exhilarating hike to wrap up our week, but I won’t go into details here.
Katie is lucky to have an amazing extended family (both paternal and maternal), and I’m lucky to be accepted by them (Robah was also accepted, except for the few isolated instances when he slobbered on someone).
Here are pictures from the week. Video will follow when I get around to editing and polishing.
Updated: I added several good pictures, including the Witkin family of Winston-Salem, horses, and a modified garden wagon.
I don’t have time right now to go into details about our weekend in Boone. Of course, Jackie’s time with her grandparents on Blue Knob is always post-worthy, and our most recent visit included feeding horses and the Cadillac of kids’ wagons (or maybe Humvee of kids’ wagons) — she rode in comfort and rugged style down the winding gravel road. Maybe after we return from holiday I’ll sort out the many videos and pictures from last weekend.
Our fun wasn’t limited to Watauga County. We also had a good time at a party thrown for the upcoming Halsey/Busick union. In fact, I would bet the ranch that no one at the party had a better time than Jackie.
Here she is running happily amok, as the band played on:
Updated: the following pics were added on July 13.
Annie Dillard wrote, “The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out.” Well, when the sea spoke to Jackie this past weekend, she talked back to it.
The three of us really enjoyed our first nuclear family vacation (and only nuclear family vacation for just the three of us, considering that McLain arrives in September). We spent four days and three nights in Nags Head over the Memorial Day weekend. Our home base was within walking proximity to a public beach access, a grocery store, an ice cream shop, and Sam & Omie’s — we had everything we wanted adjacent to our modest motel suite. Katie deserves all the credit for coming up with the idea and putting it all together.
Jackie loved the beach with the exception of that huge body of bothersome salt water; it must have seemed so unpredictable to her, the way it continually advanced and retreated. Whenever the tide came within ten feet or so, she scolded it, shouting, “NO wa-wa.” In her defense, the water was pretty chilly.
Jackie is a little beyond 17 months old, and it’s hard for me to imagine a child being more fun at any other age. Here’s some holiday video.