The (mis) adventures of our (sort of) young family

Posts Tagged ‘Smiths’

Sleep anyone?

I know it’s been a long time since we’ve posted, but now I’m going to post about why it’s been a long time since we’ve posted. Jordan is an exciting, fun kid who makes our lives so much better. He turns one on September 28, and the time has just flown by, as all of you said it would.

So now we’re back for round two of advice and our first “whining post” in awhile. Jordan does not do that sleep thing like babies are “supposed” to. That whole 10 hours they’re supposed to start doing? The six month point where it’s supposed to “turn the corner?” Yeah, not so much.

We have made progress. Jordan has been sleeping in his crib for a few months now (he used to scream bloody murder just seeing his crib), and we can put him down to bed after his story and small bottle. But he just won’t make it through the night. Most nights, he doesn’t even make it past midnight before he wakes up the first time. If we don’t go get him, he either: a) screams until he throws up all over or b) screams until we think the neighbor who shares Jordan’s wall is going to call the cops on us.

He tries to sleep. When we go in to check on him when he starts screaming, he will lie down and try to shut his eyes and sleep. He will try over and over, but especially at the 3am wakeup, he just can’t do it.

HELP!!! We love Jordan and want him to get sleep as much as we desperately need a night or two of sleep ourselves. We have tried Ferber (neighbors make this difficult), we have tried Supernanny. We have even given him Benadryl when he had hives and still had him getting up at 3am.

You all have kids – what do you think? What have you done? Any reasons other than being stubborn or not needing a lot of sleep that he could be doing this?

Breast Cancer 3-Day

This post is way later than I expected it to be, and it’ll probably be shorter than I would’ve liked, but look to the next post for why (someone doesn’t like to sleep).

For those of you who have been hiding in a hole the past few months, I decided to participate in the Cleveland Susan Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day in August. Three days, sixty total miles of walking, and every participant raises $2200 for breast cancer research and support. Thanks to everyone who donated to me and especially to my brother, David, who issued a last minute call-to-arms to all his friends, I finished raising the $2200 the day before the race. Then it was just about making it through the walk.


Chicken Little

Until about two weeks ago, Jordan was not a fan of meats. He didn’t want anything to do with any baby food that had meat in it, even when we tried to hide it under some sweet potatoes or carrots. Relentless in our quest to make our little one a meat-o-saurus, we tried everything. But Jordan was much happier eating garlic rolls at the Damon’s than turkey, rice and vegetables out of the jar.

Then one day, Jordan started taking food off other kids’ high chairs at daycare and eating it. In this feat of tallness, he discovered his best friend Drew’s chicken nuggets and ate them all. Now, I think he’s in danger of becoming a chicken nugget. He eats three a meal, lunch and dinner. If you don’t give him nuggets, he sits there and yells. If you have no chicken nuggets, the only other placating item is Townhouse crackers.

So after all our hard work had no effect whatsoever, Mr. No Meat has become Chicken Little all on his own. There’s probably a lesson in this, but since he’s still not sleeping through the night, we’re too tired to find it.

(Food note: He also tried hot dogs, but he went so crazy over them that we were worried he’d choke and put them away for another couple of weeks. And I mean crazy, like won-the-lottery crazy or when-he-almost-catches-one-of-the-cats crazy.)



Originally uploaded by Zyka

Look at that face would you?


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Before There Were Three

For Cheryl’s birthday, I made this video for her. Thoughts of life “before there were three.”

The Beauty of Family

Well, it’s 4 am and I’m up again because Jordan is up.

He’s not a particularly good sleeper and I’m afraid that–despite the benefits of daycare–the seemingly endless cycle of colds and sickness that he drags home doesn’t make the situation any better. Every time we get him into a good rhythm, he gets sick and wants to sleep on or with us and then gets more demanding when its time for him to return to his crib as he gets better.

Jordan is particularly sensitive to music and sound. The other night as he literally wrestled to avoid sleeping, I watched Cheryl practically hypnotize him just with the gentle sounds of her voice. It was one of the most beautiful things that I’ve seen.

The love of a mother for a child expressed in the soothing tones of singing and quiet whispers was a powerful thing to witness. It reminded me of the moment that I fell in love with Cheryl. I’d heard her use this voice in a similar way at the beginning of our relationship and I knew that it could only come from someone with a deep and caring soul.

Of course, the moment didn’t last and neither did Jordan’s calm. It was bedtime and I had to take him to his crib so that he could work this sleeping thing out.

I put him in his crib. He clearly didn’t want me to leave. So I kneeled on the floor and we watched pictures of the moon and stars from his night light projector mobile dance across the wall.

We sat in the room together cheek to cheek as the light from the projector softened the darkness in the room and the sounds of twinkle twinkle little star came from the little projector. He would lay his head on my shoulder, then turn back to watch the stars go by.

I remembered thinking how much I loved this little person who couldn’t even talk to me. I remembered thinking that I didn’t want this moment that we were sharing to ever end. I remembered thinking how I would want to protect him from the bad things in life. And I remembered that we would both get older as time went by and that one day our roles might be reversed as I might look to him for comfort.

Then I thought about how beautiful life is now with my family, despite the day to day grind that the routine of it can be and I was thankful for the moments that I had seen and been a part of that night. And I couldn’t imagine that it had ever been any different.

Jordan didn’t sleep well that night either, but it didn’t matter.

Challenging Conventional Wisdom about Child Carseats

(This is a cross post from our new tech blog called Hacking The Bus. I found this information so surprising that I thought it a useful exercise to show it here as well. )

There’s nothing that fires me up more than someone looking at something from a completely different angle and challenging my assumptions about it. This talk from the TED Conference given by Steven Levitt threw me for a loop.

Why should you listen to this guy?

First, because he’s the award winning economist who co-wrote the New York Times Bestseller Freakonomics. And secondly, because he’s about to tell you that everything you think you know about child carseats is wrong.

Just to be clear, I’m neither advocating or denouncing his findings, but I think you should have this information, especially if you’re a parent of young children.

Still kickin’…

Just wanted to apologize for not having anything super-incredible to post about lately. We are still looking at houses, Jordan is still growing up ridiculously fast and getting over a cold, and work is still work. After surgery and plenty of fantastic friend visits, we are seeking and finding solace in our daily routines. I always thought they were for Jordan, but I’ve learned they are just as much for me.

We are staying away from town this weekend because it’s apparently a bunch of OSU and high school graduations and a track meet. Oy. Maybe we’ll tackle the pile of laundry our tired selves keep letting build up, or maybe we’ll just try to nap after Jordan’s super-hungry attack all last night.

I am training for my 60 mile walk for breast cancer with Allen and Jordan by my side. Some of you have promised donations – “Uncle” Ken and G-ma, you’d better get your tushes over to and donate. Don’t get shown up by Nicole, David and Aleah (and Lucy!), who made a very generous contribution just this week.

Uncle Ken Takes Jordan to the Columbus Zoo

Well, actually we all took Jordan to the Zoo. Ken is here visiting with us from Boise. Its a beautiful day here in Columbus and we decided it would be great to take Jordan out to the zoo. We were accompanied by one of Cheryl’s coworkers and her coworker’s kids.

Needless to say, Jordan was very impressed with the Rhinoceros. He was also impressed with the paper napkins that he ate. So we figure that he has a little way to go before he can truly appreciate the animals. But he still had a great time. He really did enjoy the fish–particularly the rays.

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Ken served as hat wrangler for Jordan who wore his first summer hat that his grandmother GG gave him when she came up from North Carolina. It was windy and Jordan had figured out how to take the hat off.

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We’re looking forward to more of the holiday weekend with Uncle Ken. Ken and Christopher hit it off really well.


And Jordan got to see his favorite baby sitter.


We got a picture with Christopher with the Silverback Gorilla that just previously banged on the glass in front of him.


All in all it was a great day. We can’t wait to take Jordan back.

Thanks to my awesome team!

Just a quick thanks to my great coworkers at Schottenstein Property Group. These beautiful, beautiful flowers really brightened my afternoon just when things got a little rough. You guys are the best!


Surgery Update

I just wanted to post a little note saying that my surgery seems to have gone well today. I’m still on pain meds (oxycodone, for those of you who are painkiller aficionados), but I am home and already trying to find things to do. All in all, I went in at 5:30am (that’s 5am in married with one child time) and got home around 11am, so not as bad as I thought. Certainly nothing compared to what my “BFF” Ian went through when he selflessly donated part of his liver to his dad, so I’m trying to be a trooper. They gave me a bracelet that says “Fall Risk” for when I was on the meds…seems like something I should be wearing all the time.

I’m not looking forward to not being able to lift Jordan for two weeks. Luckily, both sets of grandparents will be here to help him maintain the cuteness, but how can you not want to pick this up?


He has started eating everything. His favorite food is software, but he also likes to indulge in the occasional menu:


I guess Bob Evans’ breakfast is so good, even the menus are edible. Nothing right now looks edible to Allen, who is very sick with Jordan’s last-week stomach bug, so please keep him in your thoughts. Throwing up is 100 times worse as an adult than as a kid, and he put on such an amazing brave face to be with me at surgery today, probably exacerbating the situation in order to be there for me. So please send him your Pepto prayers.

Is “bling” dead?

Now, I’ve never been one to use a ton of slang, and I don’t really keep up on the “latest” things. But I a had quite a realization today when I received the following ad in my email from Costco:

I was both surprised and amused. I never used the word bling very much, but I kind of liked it. It was one of those slang words that creates a lot of imagery. I’d heard bling said by some people that made me think that it was in the hospital or maybe a bit sick, but I had no idea that bling was so far gone until I got this Costco Mother’s Day ad .

So I looked a bit and found that as early as August of last year Kanye West fired the first major shot at bling.

Comments on Kanye West Denounces ‘Bling’ As ‘White People’s Slang’

Kanye West Denounces ‘Bling’ As ‘White People’s Slang’
Kanye WestRapper Kanye West no longer uses the word ‘bling’ – because it’s now considered “white people’s slang”. The Gold Digger star is famed for his love of expensive gold plated and diamond-encrusted jewellery, but refrains from describing it as ‘bling’ because it is out of fashion.

Now, I don’t share in any way whatsoever the sentiment that Kanye insinuates which is “slang used by white people is bad.” If you haven’t gotten a chance to see my 5-foot-nothing, Jewish mother-in-law sing DMX’s Party Up you’re missing a real treat.

But the moment a giant shopping warehouse feels comfortable attracting business using certain slang terms, all sorts of red flags should fly up.

So I think the question must be asked, has “bling” officially died?

I’m not sure, but I think the answer might be yes.

Ok, now for a brief public service announcement. I’ve been told that I cannot blog unless I make certain that everyone knows that Cheryl is doing the Susan Komen 3 Day walk in August and she needs to raise $2200. The walk will be a good challenge for her. If you can and are willing, please chip in. It’s for a great cause.

Boobs and bladders

For those of you who haven’t heard, my gallbladder has decided not to really do what gallbladders do anymore. Consequently, Dr. Dick Schlanger (nice guy, but his parents must’ve had an odd sense of humor) will be taking my gallbladder out on May 5. The procedure is supposed to be very routine, and both sets of parents are going to take a turn lifting all 23 pounds of Jordan for a week while I can’t. They wanted to schedule the surgery sooner, but we have tickets to see The Police in concert on May 4, so we’ll be pretty much walking out of the concert and into the hospital. At least the concert should keep our minds on something fun the night before.

The doctor said that, barring any unforeseen complications, I should be just fine to walk 60 miles in 3 days in August with the Susan Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day. It took me a long time to decide to make the commitment to do this walk, because I have to raise at least $2200 and because of the arthritis in my ankles. Every year, I’ve found a good excuse not to try to raise the money and walk.



Jordan has a floating bath toy that sprays water straight up in the air. It is a turtle. He has been named Tito. Jordan likes to pick him up, only to get sprayed in the face. Tito rocks. Today, I ordered a Tito 2, just in case Tito 1 has some sort of accident.

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Jordan has a loofah friend. He is a frog embedded in a loofah. The name on his tag when we got him was Frankie. Jordan likes to eat Frankie, then make a face about the taste, then eat Frankie again.


Jordan also likes to eat carrots. We did not know that everything touched by baby food carrots will be orange forever and ever. Jordan likes to touch everything when he is eating carrots.


I wish I could say our lives were more exciting than this, but they’re really not. We’re learning what routines are and about the beauty of six hours of continuous sleep. We’re cheering for Ohio State (yay! we’re the 65th best basketball team in the nation!) and watching way less TV. I think the saving grace is that it doesn’t take a whole lot of excitement to get great pictures out of a baby. We’ll have to be careful over Passover, though, since everyone in our family takes a ton of photos, and we all have the exact same camera. No, I’m not kidding. It’s really the same camera. We know ours as the one with the sticker off, so you all better still have your stickers on!

Thank You Easter Bunny…Bawk, Bawk!


What a whirlwind weekend. After looking at a couple of houses (more about that later), we threw some things in the car and dashed off to Cleveland for Easter. It was our first trip there since we moved to Ohio and boy, is it a boring one. There is nothing between the two cities but dirt. And a lot of that was covered with snow.

First we went to a special and solemn religious ceremony on Saturday night for our brother David. We got there late of course. I think people with kids are deducted about 15 minutes of time per child from what they were able to do before. We normally ran about 15 minutes late before Jordan, so we were a total of a half hour late.

The fun began on Easter Sunday with Jordan and his Uncle Jeremy having a bit of Bob Evans together. Jordan likes to use his two teeth to munch on the banana bread. I told Cheryl he couldn’t have country fried steak until he had at least four teeth.

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Then we headed out to David and Nicole’s home where Jordan and his cousin Aleah got to meet in a more…let’s say coherent state.

At Thanksgiving, they were mostly two ships passing in the night, since both of them were still in the “fourth trimester.” This time they were two ships trying to avoid a collision–aware of each other’s presence, but barely managing to avoid demolishing each other with their kung fu action chopping arms and hands.

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As it turns out, Jordan, despite his seriousness, is quite impressionable and picked up a couple of things from his Uncle Alan at Thanksgiving.

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There might actually be a picture of Jordan with his mouth locked onto Aleah’s head.

I guess we already know what kind of influence we can expect Uncle Alan to be. We’ll return the favor when he has his own kids. Luckily, no actual babies where harmed during this Easter holiday.

Finally, the obligatory bunny ears came out. These will definitely come in handy when these two turn into teenagers and start taking themselves too seriously. Aleah’s were massive and I think Jordan might have had a bit of bunny ear envy.

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The trip back was hard. The traffic was everywhere and Jordan was so far off schedule that we had to stop a couple of times to put him back together post meltdown.

All in all though, it was a good time. There are a ton more pictures in the gallery.

It’s a bit late and we just wanted to get these pictures up before we went to bed so we’ll have to wrap it up for tonight.

To all of you who celebrate it, Happy Easter.

March Madness!

Are you ready? We are. Jordan already knows what to think about UNC. If only I had a shirt about Duke…



Jordan goes mobile and learns to love Propel

This weekend, Jordan decided to steal my Propel and drink directly from it. He didn’t want it in a cup or a bottle, and he didn’t care that he was pouring it all over himself. He just wanted as much of it in his face as possible. For all those interested, it was Kiwi-Strawberry flavor. I had always taken him for a Grape man myself, but I was clearly mistaken. He just cracked me up though, sucking on the side of the bottle.

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Jordan has also learned to scoot across the floor backwards on his stomach, apparently for quite a distance. We have only anecdotal daycare evidence about distance, but we have seen the backwards phenomenon in a small area ourselves. Now, he can’t move forwards or understand why he’s going backwards, so he ends up caught in a lot of corners, but he’s officially on the move. Our only respite is that he still can’t flip over from back to front (that we know of), so we can still flip him over like a turtle to run to the bathroom or grab a snack. It’s exciting, though, that he’s learned to move, and he looks pretty funny doing it, too.

Bath Time!

Okay. We couldn’t resist this one. We only had one thing to consider. In the event that he decides to run for President one day, we don’t want him to be TOO exposed…

He loves bath time and now that he has his new bath chair, he gets into it with a little “gangsta lean.”


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Once he’s done with his bath, we get him ready for bed.


Mom gets him ready for bed.


He’s gotten a bit “grabby” though and it makes it difficult for mom to get him dressed sometimes. Ouch!


Ok. I’m working again.

People, particularly my friend Steve (Warner) have been wondering if I’m going back to work. Since Jordan was born, I’ve stayed at home to take care of him while Cheryl went out and earned the family income.

Most people don’t have very positive opinions of men who stay at home with their kids. Our “lack of ambition” somehow makes us either lazy or irresponsible. I must say however, taking care of Jordan has been one of the most difficult jobs of my life. Not because he’s not fun to take care of, but because his needs are constant and he cannot express them in a way that makes it easy to satisfy them. Sometimes I get it right on the first shot, but most of the time I get it wrong.

Then you add the loneliness that comes with being “off schedule” from everyone else, the loss of adult conversation and putting your career on the back and it can be tough.

Now that we’re settling down in Ohio, I’ve found a great opportunity with a medical company as a Business Analyst. It took less than 35 days for me to find an incredible job here. In Atlanta it was 180 days and counting.

It has snowed here nearly every week since we’ve moved here. I’ve had to adjust my brain to get used to the idea that because there’s a few inches of snow on the ground, I don’t automatically get a day pass to skip work and play in the snow. Yes. I have to slog my way to work in the snow and ice if at all possible. And I can’t really complain about it either.

Jordan is now in daycare. He’s enjoying it. He is making friends and learning. And I think that Cheryl and I enjoy it too. I think it brings a bit of balance to our lives. We get an opportunity to miss Jordan and each other during the day and we appreciate our time together as a family when the day is done.

So,…now that I have a job, we live here. There’s no turning back, and we’re settling in.

And it’s snowing at this very moment.

The Cost of Sanity is $99.95 ($94.95 with coupon)

Allen and I learned the cost of sanity this week, and that cost was the $94.95 we paid for our bouncing, rocking exersaucer thing. Jordan will spend what seems like forever pressing the buttons and talking to the little toys attached to it. We have now eaten meals, had discussions, even washed dishes while he entertained himself. It has been a beautiful, beautiful development.

There is one feature they don’t mention on the box, and that’s the fact that bouncing, rocking and standing nicely causes pooping, even when pooping is difficult that day. It’s like a beeping, flashing laxative.

Jordan has cut his first tooth, which is awesomely cute. It makes me a bit thankful I’m not breastfeeding, too, because even that little tooth bud is sharp. He also had his first bottle of Propel water today and liked it so much he decided to learn to hold the bottle so he could get it down faster!

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We had a snowy, icy storm today that kept me from getting to work. After half an hour of driving, I hadn’t made it one exit on the freeway. That didn’t seem very safe, so I had my first work-from-home day. Judging by the lack of missing cars in the parking lot, everyone else in our complex decided the same thing. I am loving Columbus, though, and I think Allen feels similarly. Jordan hates hats, but he likes the cold.

Jordan’s Favorite Toy

Jordan has firmly established his favorite toy. We’ve been putting things in front of him and shaking and jiggling them and he sometimes reacts and sometimes he doesn’t. You may be surprised at what his new favorite toy turned out to be.


Catching up a bit.

The past few weeks have been absolutely insane. As you know, we decided to escape Atlanta before they ran out of water and came to Columbus, Ohio. Serendipitously, it puts us closer to family as well. The move has been one of the most difficult things that I’ve had to do in a while. Trying to pack our house and take care of Jordan at the same time was extremely difficult. There were times when I thought to myself “why don’t we just stay here,” but we reached the half-way mark where it would have been as much trouble to undo the packing that we had done than to just keep going forward.

We then had to pack as much of what we owned in a 26 foot truck with the help of 1 neighborhood kid, attach a Nissan Altima to it and then do an 8 hour drive through sporadic rain in 12 hours with a baby who needs fairly frequent stops for feeding and diaper changes.



Jordan has Brontosaurus-itis

At least, the name sounds something like Brontosaurus-itis. Our little one has his first official illness, and Allen got to experience our first urgent care visit. They gave us an inhaler for him and told us it would make him a little hyperactive which, for those of you who know Jordan, wasn’t really a necessary enhancement. But he’ll get better over the course of this next week and has already decided to share the love by giving it to Allen. There’s really no avoiding getting sick from a baby, though, because all they do all day is slobber all over you, and you’re constantly having to put your hands in their faces…and if you’ve never gotten a straight on face-full-o’-sneeze, well, you’re a lucky parent.

On the plus side, we did get his official weight, since we’d just been guessing it was somewhere between a case of beer and Mary Kate Olsen. Jordan is officially 8.3 kilograms (for those of you who can’t convert that to metric in your heads, it’s basically 18 1/2 pounds). So he’s developing nicely. We have some new photos in the “Jordan getting bigger” photo gallery on the Photo Gallery page.

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Note from Allen: The Brontosaurus-itis is actually bronchiolitis.