Monthly Archives: June 2008

Isn’t it great to have great-grandparents? Oliver thinks so …

Oliver is really lucky to have met five of his great-grandparents. He’s so blessed to have been able to meet these wonderful family members (and share in the collective 400-plus years of wisdom!). This past weekend, he met his Great-Grandma Carol for the first time. She was in the St. Louis area by way of Springfield, Mo., by way of Las Vegas by way of La Joya, Texas (long story!).

Anyway, it was awesome, and you could really see the love in Great-Grandma Carol’s eyes. We can’t wait to see her again.

The great-grandparents are wonderful people, all of them, and we love them very much. Pictured with Oliver below, from top, are Great-Grandma Carol, Great-Grandpa Gilbert and Great-Grandma Marie, Great-Grandma Frieda and Great-Grandma Lil.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Emotional Intelligence Test concludes that I may have a chance …

There’s been a lot of talk about emotional intelligence at my office of late, and for good reason. There are studies out there that show employees who score highest on EQ (the abbreviation – don’t know where the “Q” comes from) measures rise to the top of organizations. EQ is one’s understanding of emotions, in oneself and others, in a way that allows you to deal effectively with people and problems in ways that reduce anger and hostility and increase collaboration, life-balance and creativity.

Always a person who thinks I’m smarter and more stable than 99 percent of the people I encounter, it’s hard to back it up. Though it’s not a thorough examination, I recently took this “scientifically validated,” 106-question EQ test:

According to the results, I am able to overcome difficulties in my life and control my mood in all but the most trying of times. I’m easily motivated to overcome obstacles and achieve results. I also find social interactions easy and fulfilling. Oh yeah, and I have an empathetic nature and a clear mind when it comes to helping others and offering good advice.

If you have 15 minutes to spare, try the test and let me know what your results say about you. Are you ready to rise to the top of your organization (as I apparently am)? Or do you think it’s a bunch of new age B.S.?

First Father’s Day – Poll to help pick the best pic

My first Father’s Day is pretty much over (Oliver’s in bed for the evening — well, at least until his next every-two-hour-every-night feeding). It was nice. We spent the day over at the in-laws. We barbecued and played Wii Fit, which was pretty cool.

Afterward, I made the long trek from this hills behind Six Flags and Jellystone Park down to Brentwood for an ice hockey game.

This afternoon, Grandma Annette took some nice pictures of me and the little one. I thought I’d pick the best of the bunch to put into the new swivel picture frame that Oliver Sarah picked out for me. Then I can put it on display at my office. Here’s where I need your help. Please let me know what picture you like best. Just leave a vote for your favorite photo as a comment. At the end of the week (say 6 p.m. Friday), I’ll tally the votes and have a print made of the most popular shot (unless I change my mind, of course, which I have the right to do!!!).

Option A: Giving the boy a lift.

Option B: Monkey/senior pic pose.

Option C: The Charlie Brown and Linus shot.

Option D: The neither-one-of-us-really-knows-how-to-play-piano shot.

Visit by Aunt Carrie, a baby girl for Jason and Jamie

First, I would like to congratulate one of my best friends, Jason, and his wife, Jamie. They had a beautiful baby girl on Saturday afternoon. She looks just like her daddy, who I’ve known since the summer prior to third grade (for the math whizzes out there, that’s more than 20 years ago).

At our household, Saturday brought a visit by Oliver’s Aunt Carrie and her boyfriend, Eli. They stopped by for a couple days after moving from Florida on their way to Springfield, Mo., where they are staying before starting their next roving medical gig in Seattle in a couple weeks.

Carrie hadn’t seen Oliver since the day after he was born, so much had changed. She seemed really surprised by how big he is (well, he HAS more than doubled in three months, so what’d she expect?), and she was a really caring aunt. When they left on Monday morning, they left a nice little gift for Oliver: An Elmo doll they had pooled their tickets for during an outing at a Dave & Busters. I’m sure Oliver will love it as much as I loved my Grover back in the late 1970s.

We had a great time, and I thought I’d just share a few of the pictures we took over the past couple days. Enjoy.

Carrie gave Oliver a bath (I’d give her an A for effort and a B for quality!):

Oliver was nice and clean, and happy, when finished:

He was all smiles this weekend, as seen here:

Carrie was a sweet Aunt, and gave us a nice break by holding him (often!):

Flip-flops on the outs?

Sarah’s favorite footwear, the flip-flop, appears to be in some trouble. Or, better yet, Sarah may be in trouble for overwearing the darn things. A new study by the American College of Sports Medicine says that walking in flip-flops is a possible cause of aches and pains all over the body.

ABC News has a story on the flip-flop fallout. Here’s a quote from the article:

“The major shock absorption occurs back on the heel, and if the surface between the heel and the ground is not supported it does not allow the heel to absorb shock as well as it should. Which means the foot works harder than it should and people tend to develop overuse injuries such as tendonitis, or in this case, lower leg, knee, hip and back problems,” explained Dr. Rock Positano from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

What’s Sarah to do this summer? I haven’t seen her feet flip-flopless in quite some time!

Sarah’s first week back at work

Sarah’s first day back at the office after a three-month maternity leave was this past Monday. She says it was difficult being away from Oliver. “Obviously, he was in me for nine months, and I felt him kick and move and then, after he was born, I’ve been around him 24-7 for more than 12 weeks,” she said. “Not having him with me was like losing a little part of myself.”

Yes, Sarah has found the experience of leaving little Oliver behind for the day to be sad. She’s probably going to kill me for writing this, because she’s the type of person who hates to show her emotions, but she confided in me that she cried several times on Monday. It started as Grandma Annette drove off Sarah’s work parking lot with Oliver in tow. It continued just about every time somebody asked how Oliver was doing, how she was doing, whether she wanted to grab lunch, and just about anything else. You name it.

Her second day back was today, and she said it was a little easier. However, I don’t think she’ll ever really get over not being able to spend her days with the boy.

On Monday, I captured a picture of Sarah and Oliver in the classic “first-day-of-school” pose. Check it out:


And, after much anticipation, here’s the first really good Oliver smile photo we have been able to capture. Enjoy:


Sarah’s maternity leave comes to an end

Sarah’s maternity leave comes to an official end tomorrow, with her return to work. She’ll be working Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for a few weeks while we resolve our childcare situation and work out details with Sarah’s mom regarding watching the boy.

We have decided to split overnight “Oliver duties” on the nights before Sarah works. We did a test run last night, and my end of the deal was quite raw. If it’s like this every night, I could return to my “zombified” and cranky employee status of a few weeks ago.

To start, Oliver is not sleeping through the night yet. We had a breakthrough a few weeks ago, but it was short lived. He’s been eating every three or four hours, 24-7.

Last night, we set up his new FisherPrice monitoring deviced (the Sony ones we had been using made terribly hissing and popping noises) and put him to bed around 10 p.m. Around 2 p.m., we could hear him crying and the receiver for the monitor was flashing red lights (the louder Oliver is, the more lights that flash). Our room lit up like a police crime scene. It was obnoxious.

I agreed to take the first shift, so I went down stairs, warmed some milk for a bottle and went to Oliver’s room. It took about 30 minutes to feed him, burp him a few times and rock him back to sleep. I hit our king-size bed around 2:30 a.m. I had a million thoughts in my head and my heart rate was up pretty good due to walking around and flipping lights on and off. I must have been in bed a full hour before I decided to get up. I went into the computer room and played an old Nintendo game for over an hour. Then I went downstairs and had a bowl of cereal and played with the dog. Molly wanted none of me, giving me a “please just let me sleep” look.

Finally tired, I went upstairs around 5:30 a.m. I heard Oliver screaming as I turned to enter our room. Sarah was getting out of bed for her feeding shift. I threw my Springfield Cardinals baseball cap over the monitor receiver to block the flashing lights and went to sleep. Was up for good around 8 a.m. What a night.

I’m sure it was equally rough for Sarah, who’s really upset that her three-month maternity leave is coming to an end. I told her I could return to my roots (as Jen and Kristine suggested a while back) and move to a more affordable house in Florissant so she could stay home full time, but Sarah wants nothing to do with my old ‘hood. Guess we’ll just see how it goes. I’m sure I’ll post something in a few days to let you all know. In the meantime, keep Sarah in your thoughts.