Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Connor practiced his very best "trick-or-treat", and he loaded up on the loot at area events. Hopefully he won't be too surprised by what's left - or not left - when he wakes up tomorrow! We started a few days ago at a party our realtor threw. It poured, but we figured a monkey wouldn't be deterred with a little rain - particularly when Mom seemed to allow endless cookies and cider! A bonus on this adventure is that Connor spotted a gazebo and we headed down there for a bit of supper. Lo and behold, Connor spotted several deer in the distance, proving once again that his eyes are better than mine and Ed's.

A few days later, we went to "Boo-at-the-Zoo" and met our friend Eamon - also a monkey! The boys loaded up on treats, and Eamon taught Connor a new trick. We call it "run, and run, and run, and run...". This was the second time in as many days that Connor learned he could make our lives more exciting. At the park, he learned a very effective "passive resistance" movement that he seemed quite intrigued by. I suspect either Ed or I will see it in the near future. But, we can't be mad at Eamon for sharing his free spirit, because if his mom hadn't talked us into Saturday night, we would've missed the whole event because originally we were planning on going to Boo-at-the-Zoo on Friday - and weather on Friday was miserable.

By the time the big day arrived, the costume had been well broken in. We went to the annual neighborhood parade and got more cider and some popcorn. Last year at this parade, Connor started out in the middle of the pack and ended up about a block behind the nearest other walker. This year, he started at the front and completed the walk (about 4 blocks) before some of the other kids. Of course, his path was not as straight as the path taken by many, and did involve bestowing on me a rather nice pocketfull of leaves!

Helen put up with it all in her pumpkin costume (borrowed from big brother). She may look like she's sleeping most of the time, but you have to keep your eye on her. Who knows what she was thinking when she got into Connor's basket of candy?!? It's not like she has teeth yet. Maybe this explains how she climbed back to her birthweight this week. (Go Helen!)

Once Ed and Connor had left the joint to go fleece the neighbors, Helen woke up and played until the noisemaker returned home. Then, she slipped back to sleep while he tried to ply her with candy.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Public Service Announcement

For my non-baseball loving friends, as a result of a stolen base in the World Series, Taco Bell is giving away free tacos tomorrow (Tuesday) from 2 - 5, local time.

From Forbes:
Taco Bell pitched a softball during the World Series. On Tuesday, it will pay.

The official quick-service restaurant of Major League Baseball is offering everybody in America a free taco between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in their local time zones. The offer is good in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


And on the 18th day...

she opened her eyes - and started doping.

Sadly, Helen has developed a bit of reflux, which makes life rather unpleasant for her after she eats - and rather unpleasant for the laundry committee around here who must constantly wash spit-up out of everything Helen comes near. I took her to the pediatrician on the off-chance that they could do something for her. And indeed, we left with a prescription in hand for Zantac which should help her both keep her meals down and make them less painful when they spew out of her body exorcist style. The first dose does not appear to have done anything, but hopefully once we get a few doses in her, life will get better for her.

For my part, I'm giving up chocolate. This is the second time in as many pregnancies that chocolate has been black-listed from my diet. With Connor, I started getting massive heartburn during my third trimester, and had to give up this culinary love of mine. The nurse at the pediatrician's said it was a big culprit in causing intestinal distress in babies, so hopefully Helen will benefit from my loss. I guess this makes Ed the chief raider of Connor's loot on Halloween.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Be careful how you answer that

Apparently, the concept of synonyms is starting to cross Connor's mind. A couple of nights ago, we were driving and this is what we heard from the backseat.
"Daddy, is this a street, or a road?"
"Daddy, are you wearing a jacket or a coat?"
Tonight Ed told Connor he would carry Connor's bike over the stone path, and Connor said "No, these are rocks."
We've discussed whether something is a merry-go-round or a carousel, and a few days ago, Ed walked into this conversation at the Air and Space Museum: "I think it is a rocket."
"No, it's an airplane."
"No, a rocket."
"No, an airplane."
and on and on. With the way Connor was laughing, I'm certain Ed thought we were discussing something much more interesting.

But sometimes, these queries are just setups by Connor. You might hear him ask:
"What is this?" and as soon as you answer he will reply, "No, it's an X". And at the end of the day, it's awfully hard not to scream "if you knew what it was, why did you ask me?"


Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Forgot

During the last few months of my pregnancy, Ed and I often commented that if someone offered to allow us to fast forward through the next six months of our lives, we would both take that deal in a minute. I think we were both caught remembering all the crap that goes with a newborn, and forgot how incredibly cool it is as well. We knew the second time around would be better if only because we now know that in a couple of years, you get something as amazing as Connor - and that makes the early stuff totally worth it.

I remember the sleepless nights.
I remember feeling like a couldn't put a complete sentence together.
I remember looking at the clock at the end of the day and being crushed if Ed came home even a few minutes late because I was exhausted, and overwhelmed, and wasn't sure how much longer I could be alone with a baby.
I remember not being able to take a shower because Connor would cry.
I remember the house being a total disaster and being so grateful when my parents bailed Ed and I out on more than one occasion.
I remember wondering if Ed and I would ever get our groove back.
I remember questioning whether having a baby was a good idea.
I remember my home being taken over by primary colors and plastic.
I remember the crying in the car and my dad and I checking to see if there was a piece of glass stabbing Connor in the back because that's certainly what his cries in the carseat sounded like.
I remember the sage advice of my mother who had watched me spend too much time worrying about Connor. "Just call the pediatrician. That's what they're there for."
I remember eating oatmeal every day for over a year while I nursed Connor because it's supposed to be good for milk-making.
Heck, I remember the hemorrhoids.

But now that I have Helen, I realize I forgot a few things.
I forgot how amazing it is when a 6 pound person looks up at you with wide open eyes.
I forgot how sweet it is when a tiny hand grips your finger and acts as if they're never letting go.
I forgot the little squeaks that escape a newborn's lips.
I forgot the feeling of a little heart beating next to mine.
I forgot all the hours spent wondering what would come of this little person that just entered the world.
I forgot how sweet it is to look over and see a baby asleep a few inches away.
I forgot how precious those early smiles are - even if they're not true signs of happiness.
I forgot about the strong Moro reflexes that come with a baby. The baby will be lying there totally serene, and then all of a sudden all of their limbs shoot out of their body in total surprise - and they look up at you with an expression that says "who the heck just stuck my legs and arms out like that".
I forgot how sweet it is to come home and see your baby sleeping on top of your husband's chest as he catches a snooze.
I'm going to try and remember these things this time around.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This is really the father of my children?

"I climbed a telephone pole a few days ago."
"Why would you do that?"
"Because it was there."
PAUSE with a confused look on my face.
"You see, normally there are these things at the bottom of the poles that prevent idiots like me from climbing up them - but some old ones in our neighborhood don't have them so I could easily climb up."
"And you did this in front of Connor, I presume?"

I think Ed should go back to work soon. I'm not sure he can handle the freedom of being out and about in the neighborhood for so many hours each day.

As I write this, Ed is reading from one of his homebrew newsletters and advocating that "table beer" ought to be offered in public schools, much like it was in Belgium many years ago.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Week 1 recap

Well Helen, it's been a little over a week now. Your jaundice officially added 20 years to my life. Add this to the years your brother has added to my life, and absent all the heartburn and distress K-State football has caused my parents, I would be older than them.

For the most part, your brother adores you. He asks if he can hold you many times throughout the day. Of course, he is a very busy toddler, so he can't hold you for long periods at a time. He is more than happy to entertain you, and he's come up with quite a few games to play with you.

1. Give Helen quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies!
2. Shower Helen with little seeds from the magnolia tree.
3. Pull the little cow that plays "Old MacDonald" that is attached to the bouncy seat about 346 times in a half hour while playing on the deck.
4. Tickle Helen.
5. Give Helen a little truck to hold onto.
6. Shout at Helen, just because it's fun!
7. Crawl in the co-sleeper every morning and tell Helen it's "wake-up" time.

I often think about how safe our house used to be when Connor was little, and how many choking hazards you will encounter in your life from all the crap your brother loves to play with. We'll try very hard to keep you safe.

You still spend most of your time sleeping. I know the golden rule of "never wake a sleeping baby" is generally followed in this house, but with you, we must break it regularly. Every three hours, I wake you up to eat. In the past day or so, you've actually started to wake on your own to eat, which both your father and I see as a good sign. Of course, we do hope you return to your sleep-loving ways after you get bigger and it's no longer necessary for me to feed you every three hours.

Today, we went downtown for a meeting with other moms of infants, and at least two people clucked their tongues at me when they saw how small you are. One man even said "the wind", because I guess he was worried that this nice breeze would knock you out of my arms, or something like that. Little did he know, you've been to the park, the petting farm, a haunted train ride, a pumpkin farm, and generally around the neighborhood.

You seem to take it all in stride, and for that we are grateful.


Happy 26 month birthday

Dear Connor,

Eight days ago, you turned 26 months old – and while normally I would’ve taken the time that evening to sum up what went on the past month, this month we all spent the evening getting to know your sister. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t have another incredible month.
You have absolutely sorted out your pronouns. I must admit that I miss you coming up to me and saying “Carry you, Mommy” I always thought it was such a sweet sentiment that you were willing to pick me up, because Connor, you do pick me up many days. Now, I can no longer pretend that you’re trying to tell me you’ll carry me because when you want to be carried you very specifically say “Carry me, Mommy”.

You’ve become quite the brute when it comes to playing with your friend Zoe. Prior to Helen’s arrival, you shared her nanny for a couple of weeks since your nanny got a new job. And I don’t know what exactly went on during the day, but now whenever the two of you are together, you spend a good deal of the time tackling her. She thinks this is very funny. I was worried you had turned into some sort of playground bully, but Erin came over a couple of weeks ago, and you were your normal self, not attempting to tackle her at all. Of course, you did show her how to make “poopies” with the play-doh, and I swear, Connor, it is moments like these that I really wish you couldn’t talk. Erin’s mom took it all in stride.

Your climbing skills have become quite impressive. You can climb almost anything at the playground – and you’re totally willing to do it without assistance. At one park we frequent, there is a very long, tube slide that twists around. I think it is terrifying to get up to the top of the structure, and I hate the slide. So, I simply don’t do it anymore. I tell you my rear end is too big to fit through the little thing you have to climb up to get to the top of the slide, and you seem to think this is a perfectly reasonable explanation. You used to also fear this slide, but now you just tell me “I’m goin’ to go down dat slide” and up you climb. It’s totally OK because every other mother at the park is completely freaking out that someone of your stature is climbing this contraption solo – so I’m really not putting you in any harm by refusing to go up that thing with you. You have many eyes keeping track of you.
Somehow, you have gotten the impression that you are as big as your dad, and you often announce to him that you are going to kick him out of bed, and then proceed to jam your giant head into his back and push with all your might. When he comes running toward you, you never back down – you just scream and go at him.

You came down with some flesh eating bacteria on your legs (diagnosed by your dad as such), but you seem to be on the mend now. I mention this only because when we went to art class last Tuesday, we were making some spots with the end of a q-tip and a bunch of colors all mushed together and you announced to the class you were painting flesh eating bacteria. That totally rocked because nobody knew what to do with this statement.

You have welcomed your sister with so much love and that makes both your dad and me incredibly happy. You do take advantage of the fact that you sense we want to make sure you don't feel left out of the action, so you ask for more candy than typical and of course, we give it to you. And, while you were certainly very excited to meet Helen, you were also very excited to get a toy vacuum. Tough to tell which was more exciting. You’re a great little guy, Connor. We love you tons.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

We're back!

Helen's bilirubin levels were down to an impressive 14.2 today - so she's sleeping on the light blanket now but we'll send it back to the rental company tomorrow. Upon hearing the good news, Connor wasted no time in getting Helen straght to the park.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Almost in the clear!

Helen's bilirubin levels dropped to a nearly acceptable 16.2 today. The pediatrician wants us to come back tomorrow morning and he's assuming we'll be in the clear after that. She definitely looks better, and she's starting to have more alert periods - though she still sleeps a ton.

Chapter nearly ended, phew!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I wasn't going to cry this time...

At Connor's first visit with his pediatrician, I left the office in tears. In fact, a little girl in the waiting room asked me why I was crying when my baby was not. I told her "because the baby is fine, and I am not". Basically, I was having a whole load of nursing troubles and my hormones were clearly out of whack. This time, though, it was going to be different.

I showered and put on lip gloss. I put on my post-maternity jeans (not the regular size, mind you, but only one size up) rather than wearing sweats. I put on my favorite nursing shirt and I thought I really looked like I had it all together. But I still walked out in tears.

You see, my pediatrician only works on Thursdays and Fridays - which is fine for routine care. But I have to see her partner if I need to bring one of my children in any other day. So on Monday, we went to see her partner. He was concerned about Helen's bilirubin levels (she's certainly on the yellow side) and sent us to the lab. But when he sent us there, he told us to be prepared for a hospital stay. He thought Helen was too yellow, she had lost too much weight since birth, and the only treatment option he offered us was hospitalizing Helen. There are no words that could possibly express how devastating putting my 3 day old daughter into the hospital would be.

Thankfully, my husband got his MD on google Monday afternoon while Connor napped and I was at that lab. Ed learned that there are blankets that can be used to treat jaundiced babies at home. When the news came in that Helen was a 17.9, the pediatrician told me we needed to hospitalize Helen. Ed had learned that while 17.9 is certainly high, it's not so dangerous that it can't be treated at home, so I told the pediatrician I wanted to talk to someone else before I agreed to hospitalize Helen. I called Ed with the news, and luckily Connor had just awakened from his nap so Ed and Connor came to pick me and Helen up. I called my midwife and she said she'd start looking for a blanket. There was apparently a run on "bili blankets" and the first one she could find would be available on Friday - which was too late for us. But...another midwife in the practice knew of another pediatrician who she thought had a blanket - but we'd have to be a client to get it. So, I called there to see if I could get a second opinion. I begged to see the doctor that afternoon, but it just wasn't possible. The best they could do would be Tuesday, late morning. But, I did get to talk to a nurse there and she knew a few more places to try and get a blanket from and she gave me their phone numbers. I passed these along to my midwife and a blanket was located. I called back to order it and learned that we'd need the pediatrician's order to get it. Crap.

The pediatrician was not in favor of any type of treatment other than the hospital, so Ed and I played hardball. And after a serious show-down, he ultimately agreed to give the order, in exchange for us promising to get Helen's bili levels tested this morning and coming back in to get her weighed again. This bought us the time we needed to get into the other office.

This morning, the numbers were worse - 19.5 - but that was to be expected because she should peak this morning. The numbers were actually better than the ped thought they would be, but he said we needed to hospitalize her. So, we told him we were getting a second opinion and the ped actually helped us get in a few hours earlier and was super nice about going over the case history with the doctor. The happy ending is that this doctor took another blood sample, the number was down to 18.3, and he's happy to manage her care at home.

So, at the end of probably the most stressful 24 hours of my life, my baby girl is at home and I have a new pediatrician.

She's eating formula for 24 hours because there is a chemical in breast milk that slows down the process of the liver breaking down excess red blood cells, so we don't want Helen to have any of that. I would've agreed to feed her just about anything to keep her out of the hospital. Connor totally loved helping feed Helen.

If we'd been in the hospital, Connor never could've tortured his sister with a bath tonight!

Helen wears this little light thing on her back which is connected to a machine about the size of a slide projector (and sounds about the same with a fan going) whenever she is not being bathed, so we won't be out and about town for a while. We are so grateful to this new pediatrician. Tomorrow, we're hoping for some lower numbers.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Day 2

Connor continues to be a champ around his little sister. He enjoys bringing her toys,

insisted she be allowed to take her first ride down the slide at the park,

and even wanted to be tucked in with her when she was taking a nap.

While she doesn't seem to possess the energy of her brother,

Helen seems to take it all in stride, spending most of her day sleeping, with occasional looks around the room and nursing fit in when she deems it safe.


And now there are two!

Helen Carlin MyLastName made our family number four instead of three. No more posts will appear at this address. Instead, you can keep up with Connor and Helen at


Friday, October 12, 2007

Helen Carlin MyLastName Arrives!

This morning, at 7:41, I gave birth to Helen Carlin MyLastName. While Connor's name was chosen via a game of chance (Ed had even days, I had odd days), I saddled Helen with my last name with no game involved. There are enough people with Ed's last name in the household. Just like her big brother, she was born at home with no complications, on the 12th of the month, weighing 6.5 pounds. She was measured at 19.5 inches, slightly shorter than Connor who was 21 inches at birth. Unlike her big brother, she was slightly posterior for most of my labor, which was much more painful. But, she redeemed herself in the end by taking only 5 minutes to get herself out once the pushing stage began. Thank you, Helen, for that gift at the end.

Connor has been a champ. He woke up at 5:15 this morning, and Ed was able to coax him back to bed until 6:40. My friend Laurie came over and picked him up to spend the day with her daughter. He did ask Ed to go play with him, but Ed told Connor that he needed to stay home today.

At this moment, 45 minutes after his normal bedtime, I can hear Connor singing "Happy Birthday to Helen" over and over, and it makes me want to cry tears of joy.

Welcome, little baby. We all love you so much.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Conquering the chain link ladder thingy

Yesterday, Connor got his third haircut (I'll post a photo soon). And guess what? I can actually comb his hair again without it being a tangled mess. It still looks like a tangled mess all the time, but that's the fate of us curly haired folks.

After the haircut, we went to the "blue park" - which is just a little park across from the salon I take him to, and has apparently become a mandatory part of the haircut process for Connor ever since I took him there the last time. Seriously...our conversation yesterday went like this.

"Connor - it's time to lop off some of those curls so we can comb your hair again. We're going to the haircut place."
"And I would like some some popcorn."
"Yes, Connor may have some popcorn."
"And play with the new toy?" {Translation, little big bird thingy that you push a button on his tummy and it alternates between playing two songs. The button can be pushed appoximately 207 times during one haircut.)
"Yes, and play with the new toy."
"And then I would like to go to the park."
"Yes, Connor, the park will be a fun place to go after you get a haircut."
Upon seeing the park out the window. "I think we should go to the blue park."

Important note: While Connor still uses his name in place of "I" sometimes, he totally gets pronouns these days.

While at the park, Connor looked at the chain link ladder thingy, plopped his first foot on, and climbed about 4 feet up to the slide and then slid down. The look of pure joy and satisfaction at accomplishing this feat unassisted was amazing. What next?


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sloth Bears

My friend, April Dawn Gladu, wrote the musical adapation of "The Jungle Book" that is being performed at Imagination Stage in Bethesda right now. If you have a child in the area who is age 4 or older (or a younger child with a long attention span), I highly recommend the show. Connor and I had the pleasure of going as her guests on opening day, and even though he's only 2, he sat through the entire perfomance and has talked about it enough afterwards that he appears to have followed the show pretty well. He has even asked to go to more musicals which makes my heart leap with joy since it may mean in the future I have a partner to do these sorts of things with. Ed would rather watch paint dry than attend most musicals.

There was a review of the performance in last weekend's Post and when Connor saw the photos, he instantly recognized the monkeys. He has also talked about the tigers, and the birds in the show. However, try as I might, I have been unable to convince him that the lead character was a sloth bear. He just doesn't buy it.

I think this is because a few weeks ago, my friends invited Ed, Connor, and me on a backstage tour of the sloth bear house. Here, we got to meet - and feed - real sloth bears. You put worms on your hand, raise your hand to a tube, and then the sloth bear sucks them right in. Not surprisingly, Connor loved this. He did it many times (the joy of being the only kid on the tour). He still talks about it several weeks later. Often, when he sees a yellow line that he's not supposed to cross, he reminds me it's just like at the sloth bear house. Maybe I should put a yellow line on the kitchen floor to see if it would keep him out, on occasion.

Elaine - who also helped Connor feed the sloth bears and did not jump in horror when a few of the gross worms fell on her hand and squiggled about.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Collecting Souveniers

A few weeks ago, Connor discovered the power of the pocket. He learned that he could now not only go through my wallet and remove all the coins, but he could squirrel them away so that they need never be returned.

Today, at the National Zoo's Annual Fall Festival at the Conservation and Research Center, he proved just how great pockets can be. The festival is billed as an education activity, though it's designed for children a bit older than Connor. We collected our first prize, by running beneath a net towards some candy. We were supposed to grab the candy and get out before the net dropped, which of course was impossible.

Perhaps we got caught because I am not running as fast these days as I have in prior days. It didn't seem to bother Connor much, because he still got the candy. And Connor didn't stop at one piece of candy, he got three. After all, he needed one for himself, one for me, and one for Ed. Connor stuffed one package of candy in his pocket.

Next, Connor found a ditch! And do you know what this ditch had? It had rocks...and acorns! Both of these objects fit in pockets - so in they went.

Finally, Connor found some nice brown leaves that made a most satisfying crunch when stomped upon.

And, since there was still room for a few more things in the pocket, Connor decided to take a few home.

I suppose there were some animals around to look at as well, but they don't fit in pockets.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Public transportation and golf

This morning, we asked Connor what he wanted to do. The only restriction we had placed on our approval was that we were not going to attempt to cross a bridge into DC either today or tomorrow because the AIDSWalk and the Army 10 miler are in town - and that means traffic is assured to be a mess. With that in mind, Connor decided he would like to take a subway ride. Woohoo baby! Dream big! To be fair, after I told him I didn't want to drive into DC, he wanted to take the subway to a play place we frequent on our way to RFK - but it's a really long ride so I wasn't up for that.

But...we did get to ride that subway. First, we got to walk from the parking lot to the subway - on an above ground, indoor walkway. We hung out at a fountain, a playground, a bookstore, ate at a restaurant, visited a toystore, and then capped our adventure with a bus ride. A ride. It's the best $1.25 of entertainment around - I suspect because little people are allowed to not be strapped down in a car seat.

Then we came home, had a quick nap, and Connor was ready to head out to the golf course. Lately, this has been among his favorite hangouts. I think he's preparing for the next family vacation when I'm sure he will deal a crushing blow in the game of miniwalk to whatever cousin tries to challenge him. He starts out the game acting like a fish out of water, but once he hits the greens, the tables turn.

Golfing, for Connor, presents a different experience than to most people. For example, unlike most golfers, Connor does not fear having his ball hit the water hazard. In fact, one might say after they saw Connor's signature move of picking his ball up and tossing it directly into the water, or his more subtle move of aiming his little body directly at the water while he hits his ball that he relishes being in the water. Personally, I think he does it just so he can impress my dad with how well he can fish a ball out of the water - something my dad is no stranger to. Note to my dad - the bigger the splash, the higher the probability that the ball will be retrieved.

What, you ask? So few shots of actual golf playing? All I can say is, we are all presented with many opportunities every day - and we have the task of making the most of them. Connor takes his task very seriously.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

The trouble with being skinny...

For the most part, having a skinny kid is great. I get to let him have a glass of the now forbidden fruit known as juice every morning while I have a glass of juice without feeling any guilt. Because frankly, childhood obesity has not made it to my list of things to worry about, and I'm not about to start my day without my ritualistic OJ or listen to Connor complain that early in the day how unfair it is that I get juice and he doesn't. And, just like any kid, sometimes Connor gets tired of walking, and it usually falls to the parent to scoop them up and carry them to the intended destination. I figure I might as well scoop up a kid who doesn't weigh much more than 20 pounds as one who tops the scales several pounds above that. Only trouble is, when Connor got curious and turned on the fan the other day, I thought we might lose him!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Closing down RFK

Ed and I have had a piece of a season ticket for the Nationals since they arrived in town three years ago. Mounted down in Grateful Ed's (our basement bar) is a little collage that holds an Opening Day ticket, a photo of the scoreboard advertising Grateful Ed's Brewhouse, and now the Closing Day ticket. Prior to its opening, Ed announced that the fact that RFK was serving veggie hotdogs was a sign of the decline of baseball. You see, Ed is one of those guys who thinks Yankee stadium is the ideal setting for a baseball game precisely because there are no amenities. You cannot even get fresh popped popcorn at Yankee stadium - only prepackaged crap. Unlike me, Ed is not at all excited about the new stadium because he just knows there's going to be a bunch of fun extra stuff to do, and that is not what baseball is about to Ed (though we both think the sandbox located in front of the outfield seats, but behind a large fence in the San Diego ballpark is nothing short of brilliant - now that we have a kid!).

Connor has been to an enormous number of games for someone his age. His career of going to games started within his first three weeks of life when Ed and I were both at home on maternity / paternity leave and there was a day game. Before age 2, he'd probably made it to a dozen games or so, and now I'm certain the number of games he has attended tops 20. Over time, he's gone from nursing to sleep in my lap every game to being among the more energetic fans. He can even do "the wave" (another thing Ed hates when baseball fans do, though he finds it enormously entertaining when Connor participates). Probably the most frequently asked question Ed or I get from folks is "Does Connor need a ticket?" and Ed's standard answer sums our gameday experience up perfectly "Technically, no, but he does need about 20 seats". Fortunately, our row happens to be populated rather sparsely, so it's usually not a problem.

In all of the games Connor attended this year at night, he did not fall asleep once.

He laid on the ground a few times, he put his head in my lap a few times, he would even settle down with a nice cold bottle of milk for a few minutes - but sleep did not visit him, regardless of how long past his usual bedtime we were out. But on Closing Day - when the stadium was practically sold out - and we had almost no room for Connor to do his usual roaming (I think we were limited to about 5 seats), and the stadium was noisier than it's been since Opening Day, Connor climbed up on Ed's lap at naptime...and slept. He slept soundly for several innings, and while uncomfortable for Ed (normally it would've been my lap, but these days, I have no lap!), we got to once again experience the joy of watching the same innings of baseball, on a beautiful day in September.