Toads and Kids

In late May, while Freyja took a nap, Sullivan and I went for a walk down the road. I didn’t really know where we were going to go, or what we were going to do; I think my initial thought was to go to the horse stables.

Along the way, we found a hole, probably 4 feet deep and about 6 or 7 feet across (dug out for some utilitarian purpose, I think) that was filled with a couple feet of water. I saw a giant frog, or maybe a toad, on the other side.

“Sullivan, look!” I whispered. “See the frog?”

When we stepped closer, it quickly hopped into the water, making an audible *PLOP*. And then two other frogs, that we hadn’t seen, jumped in too: *PLOP* *PLOP*. A fourth one jumped from about a foot or two from our feet: hop, hop, *PLOP*. This gave me an idea.

“Hey, let’s go check the pond for frogs! I bet we’ll find some!”

We re-traced our steps back to the pond we had passed earlier, and started to walk around the edge of it. About one-third of the way around, I glanced at the water and saw what I initially thought was some sort of aquatic vegetation or strange bed of rocks, but turned out to be a myriad of tadpoles! They wriggled and swam around. Sullivan didn’t see them at first, so I tossed a small pebble into the middle of one of the tadpole groups, and the tadpoles quickly dispersed in all directions; Sullivan saw them.

We kept walking around the pond, looking for more tadpoles and kept seeing more and more. On the far-side of the pond, there was a convocation of so many tadpoles that you could barely see the earth underneath. Remembering that he had his old aquarium in his closet, this gave me an idea. I sent a message to Melissa, telling her about the tadpoles and asking her if she could bring a bucket to us to catch some. We were going to raise some frogs / toads.

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One more week

My phone rings; a trip-hoppy ringtone reminiscent of Thievery Corporation.


“No, I don’t want to.”
“Talk to Daddy”
“I want to talk on the puter”
“Here, talk to Daddy.”

*a few moments of static*


“Hello?” I said, with a smile in my voice, “Hi Sullivan!”

“I love you, Daddy.”

“I love you too, Sullivan. Guess what! I’m going to see you in one week!”


“Seven days; I’m going to see you in seven days. Then we’re going to get a big truck, put all your things in it, and we’re going to move you up here to Ithaca!”

“Ok. … Bye!”

“Bye, Sullivan. I love you.”

*a few moments of static, then the phone hangs up.*

Freyja & the Hospital

Freyja in RileyAs some of you already know, we recently had to take Freyja to the hospital.

I had tweeted about it (which syndicated to Facebook and this blog), but was intentionally vague. You’ll get why in a moment.

My mom was visiting, and it was the last day of her stay. We had made plans to have a final blowout dinner, including orange & goat cheese Bruschetta, gnocchi in alfredo sauce, and zucchini bread. I had just gotten home from work and Melissa had just gotten the groceries, and we were getting ready to start making dinner.

One of us was changing Freyja (I can’t remember which one of us) and we noticed that the stool in her diaper was a darker hue than normal — almost a rust color. (You parents know what I’m talking about — non-parents may find it strange that we noticed, but when you see, and clean, poop 3 to 5 times per day, you can’t help but become accustomed to its properties)

My first thought was that it was blood in her stool, but we both agreed that it was worth having her doctor take a look at it. We weren’t especially panicked at this point. It was about 4:30pm. Continue reading

Introducing: Freyja Haiku Hill

Freyja, 15 minute oldAt 1:47pm on July 8th, Freyja Haiku Hill was born at McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital, weighing 9 lbs, 4.7 oz and measuring 22″ long. She has dark hair and dark eyes, although it’s too early to tell what color. (They look dark blue, but that will change)

Before you read any further here, I suggest you read my wife’s blag post about her pre-birth feelings and fears/reservations from last time. (The Jean Harper called it “sobering”) It’s not too long, I’ll wait.

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It’s like Deja Dad, all over again

In case I haven’t talked to you in a while, we’re having our second (and LAST) child; it’s a girl. It’s also nearly here — we’re in the final waiting days.

I’ve been mostly involved in the whole process so far; I go to all the OB appts, Mel and I have talked about the birth-plan, and I’m somewhat educated on the process (enough that I know some buzzwords and am able to ask some questions to our OB).

In spite of all that, it really hadn’t hit me that we’re going to have a little girl until Melissa made this:


I’m going to have a daughter soon. Continue reading