May 2010


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We just returned from our second annual camping trip to Clifty Falls State Park, Indiana.  Actually, this was the second time for Chris and Everett but about the 30th or 40th time for the Barber, Birch and Singer families.  The drive from Milwaukee is pretty long for us so we break it up by leaving at Everett’s bedtime on Thursday evening, driving to Indianapolis and staying at a hotel. We have been having a lot of trouble sleeping in the same room with Everett, but we are always optimistic so we were hoping that upon arrival at about 1am we would quietly transfer him to his crib and he would stay asleep the whole time. However, as soon as we stopped the car and his eyes started to flutter open he said “Hotel?”, and this was followed by a continuous commentary once we got to the room:
“We at the hotel?”
“We got a dog in here!  She saw herself in the mirror!”
“I love this bag.”
“Daddy will get the baggage.”
“Hey Chris!!!!  It’s the Daddy show!”
“Where’s the shower?  Get in the bed?”
“I need a stool.”
“It’s nighttime”
Melissa: “Everett, Are you sleepy?
We finally got him to settle down but were never able to sleep much.  He wouldn’t stay in the crib without screaming, but having him in bed with us is like trying to sleep with a tornado. The next morning when we were desperately trying to get a few more minutes of sleep while Everett explored the room, he walked up to Melissa and said “I need some scissors.” (?!?).

The camping trip was fantastic. Lots of visiting (in the midwest sense of the word) and a few adventures here and there, like the geocaching expedition led by the Silverbacks (Grandads) and a trip to the swimming pool. This particular pool has sort of a beach section to it where you can wade in. This was perfect for Everett to get used to the water and to have some control over how deep he wanted to be. We learned about shallow and deep, had some ice cream and generally cooled off from the hot summers day.  Pictures from the trip are here.

An aside about The Daddy Show: this term originally started as the Everett Show, which refers  to when we watch movies or pictures of Everett on the poopooter (a.k.a. the computer). It’s pretty clear when this is what he wants because he says something like “WatchEverettShow? WatchEverettShow? MoreEverettShow? MOREEVERETTSHOW!!!”  After the Everett Show became part of our vocabulary, the next step was to start talking about the Daddy Show, which is when Dad is in taking care of child care or bedtime. Because Dad is less familiar with the rules, it’s usually a more rambunctious, less stringent version of when Mom is in charge.

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Mother’s Day

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For Melissa’s third Mother’s Day, which includes two since Everett’s birth and one where she was eight months pregnant, we traveled to Kensington, Maryland.  Chris attended a conference in Bethesda on Thursday and Friday while Melissa and Everett spent time with friends and family.  Dillon, Connor and Everett got to spend a fair amount of time with each other, which was great.  On Mother’s day Everett and Dillon got up about 6:30am, followed by Chris and Sean, while the Moms slept in for a while.  Then we had breakfast with Gary and Linda, followed by brunch with Noni at Mon Ami Gabi in Bethesda.  Then nap and a trip to BWI for an evening flight home.

While we were waiting to board the airplane, Chris folded up the stroller to check it at the gate.  Everett watched this closely, examined the stroller, and then asked us earnestly for a screwdriver (???).  Chris doesn’t carry tools on flights since the time he had a set of allen wrenches confiscated by TSA (although on that flight he sat next to a woman with sharp, foot-long steel knitting needles which are apparently ok, whereas the sharpest angle on an allen wrench is 120 degrees), so we didn’t have a screwdriver for Everett and didn’t get to find out what he had in mind.  Photos of the trip are here.

This was likely Everett’s last free flight because most airlines allow children to fly without a ticket until age two, which is in less than a month (unless we get him a fake ID).  This also symbolizes a progression of attempts by both parents to stay one step ahead of him in terms of keeping him happy and occupied.  When he was an infant we had two go-to moves that almost always made him feel better: nursing and going for a walk in the stroller.  Later he discovered Dad’s cell phone (not a good idea), and then movies.  However, these don’t hold his attention like they used to, and for the duration of the two hour flight from Baltimore to Milwaukee he did alligator rolls in our laps.  So perhaps providing him his own seat would be a good idea for everyone.

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