Friday, November 28, 2008

Other Aidan stuff :-).

Last of the catching-up posts, I think. It's getting late ;).

He's really been a superb big brother. One of my favourite episodes thus far was when he decide that Keiran must want a little house of his own, and started walling him in with magnatiles:



...but in general, he's really good at caring for Keiran, and Keiran really seems to like him, too.



Other stuff that happened to Aidan this month: the big one was his 6th birthday. First time we've had a party where parents dropped off their children and didn't stay!





Our wonderful friend Margot sent us some new-parent-care food, which came on dry ice, and Aidan got a huge kick out of seeing what that did in his bath.



...and we'll finish up with a 'no special occasion' photo. Phew - ok, I skipped a bunch of stuff (my trip to DC for the Neuroscience meeting, the whole process of cooking Thanksgiving dinner [it was great!], a pretty decent baroque concert) - but I can at least pretend to be up to date. If anyone is actually reading: Happy Thanksgiving!

Aidan and hallowe'en

We *almost* had a real Guy Fawkes' night - a holiday that is my favourite but which is sadly unknown over here. Melanie, from my lab, graciously offered to host, and we had a reasonable fire...



...but apparently fireworks are **illegal** (!!!) in New York, and everyone felt the need to be law-abiding. Bah ;).

So instead, we had the modern US version of Hallowe'en: costumes and candy.










(Aidan is inside the Power Ranger outfit. Elana - in the angel costume - kept denying that she was in costume at all :). She also led the kids through the neighbourhood holding a flashlight overhead that made her look extremely ethereal - neat effect.)

Then Aidan threw a fit, and got put in time out... which is far less effective when one's hosts' daughter comes and decides to join you in 'time out' :-). Oh well.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Keiran and Aidan

While the house was going up, our boys - boyS. Plural. Yeah. - were of course doing other stuff.

Aidan has been in a cute phase of wanting to draw maps for things, and especially of making multiple maps into a treasure-hunt sequence.



So I made a slightly more complex one for him to follow - big hit! (Sorry for potential poor quality - the original file is over 200MB :). video
Keiran has been a very sociable child - the folks from my lab were the first visitors.


I'm not going to hit you with a zillion photos of Keiran - but here are a couple :-).












OK, this post is long enough and that last pic gets you up to date on Keiran - so more on Aidan next entry :).

Combined house post

OK, this covers both pre- and post-Keiran, and is maybe redundant now that we're almost at closing - sorry.

[I'm also skipping some stuff - for example, the security system details!]

We got to see the kitchen cabinets and wood floor for the first time Oct 16; the floor guys - as honestly all of the craftsmen we met - were extremely pleasant, seemed happy to answer our uninformed questions, and look to have done great work. If you're building a house in Albany and want references, ask!



Then life - and Keiran - intervened, and the next time we were at the house, ten days later, the cabinets were all in.



At that point, finishing touches were just *starting* to appear - things like the tile on some floors (here's the boys' bathroom floor)



and random items would appear in the garage - ok, so Keiran is a lawbreaker from an early age (that's my boy!). See also the light that would be going in Aidan's "secret room" - he got to pick this one as a reward for tolerating so much time spent on house stuff.




And now we're almost up to date: the photo below has the floors in their final form, but the fireplace is now stained to match the kitchen cabinets, the kitchen counters are in, lights are installed and as of today the only major things remaining appear to be the cooktop installation, a bit of tiling, and touch up stuff. Hope so - we're supposed to have the final walkthrough on Monday!










Finally, we'll be out of the cramped apartment and into what we hope will be our home for a long time. Come visit!

Last days of 'bleep'

- which was Keiran's foetal name. Here he is trying on clothes for size :-) two days before he arrived.



[What was Aidan doing? Playing with colour-mixing in the bath. He's been learning recently about hypotheses, observations, predictions and experiments. Moulding? Me? :)]

Aidan and football.

Sorry, "soccer." [This is one of the Americanisms that annoys me most :). Why the need to use the word football to describe a game played with the hands (and body armour)? Argh. Oh well :).]

It was good to see Aidan's skill developing this year - he's still one of the smallest kids on the field, but now more willing to get involved and able to control the ball. He's very proud of the trophy he won - even if he did get mad when I (as occasional coach) made him sit out for longer than he thought appropriate!


Pre-Keiran: ultrasound and nesting.

So: this time around much more so than with Aidan, Jenny got great ante-natal care (hat-tip, Upstate ObGyn here in Albany!); this included lots of ultrasounds. Here's the final one we have of Keiran, taken Sept 30.



[As I just went through the summer's photos, it's clear that I need to do a much better job of keeping on top of this! Lots of stuff went unmentioned - the Highland Games, house-hunting, first experiences in Albany... anyway, I'll try to be more up to date. In my copious free time. Riiiight.]

It was amusing to see Jenny in full-blown nesting mode. Here she is having sterilised and cleaned the car seat in preparation :-).



And here's the crib I was supposed to have put together. I guess I wasn't quite nesting :-).

Catching up!

OK, so Keiran arrived and posting went to the proverbial handbasket.

Now he's almost six weeks old, and it's Thanksgiving, and I have a lot of catching up to do... here goes. Backlog of photo posts should arrive shortly...

[Will I get to putting actual science content up here? Well, I hope so, but it's not yet the major reason for the blog. We'll see.]