Rough Isabelle night last night. Jennifer was up with her most of the night and I was even called into duty a couple of times last night.
Good news: Today our fence was completed. Bad News: Austin can slide between the bars and get out of the back yard. Fortunately he’s still a growing puppy so, we just need to feed him more and that should stop his escaping.
We ventured out to church on Sunday with all three girls in tow. We had ulterior motives, though. We met with one of our friends at church who is a lawyer to talk about what our options are with the play gym. It wasn’t good news. Because the Home Owners Association has the stipulation in their bylaws of approving or denying all claims, they can pretty much dictate whether something goes up or not without much reason why. So, our current plan is to go ahead and put the play gym back up sans the roof. Without the roof, the play gym is 9 feet tall and thus meets the original requirements. If our other application is approved or if our neighbors move away, we will put the roof back on.
Our fence started going in today as well. Jennifer also went to Home Depot and bought the plants we are going to use as the privacy hedge between our house and the neighbors in question. We also got a quote on hiring some guys to bring the sand and use wheel barrows to hand carry it back and level it in the sand box. However, they are back logged and that cannot start for another two weeks. So, things are looking better in the back yard, but we are still two to three weeks out before the girls will be back in their play gym. The sooner the better. The natives are getting restless.
It appears that Isabelle has picked up a runny nose from Emily, so we may have a couple of rough nights ahead of us.
We had our Executive Review of Madden NFL 06 Xbox 360 today. It sounds like it went well, which is a relief. We are now two weeks from going “Alpha”, which is our main bug fixing mode. This is technically when we are supposed to be feature complete and we are only working on fixing bugs, but there’s going to be many features that aren’t quite done yet and so the first three weeks of Alpha may still be feature work for some folks.
Today’s picture is from when my parents were in town a couple of weeks ago when Isabelle was born.
Today I went and registered Abby for Pre-Kindergarten. In Florida they started a new program this year where the state will fund your child;s daycare if they are 4 years old and would be going into Kindergarten the following year.
Today our play gym was “unapproved” by our homeowner’s association. Our neighbor has threatened to sue the homeowner’s association so they are scrutinizing our application. We had the height listed as “9+ feet” because there is no height requirement in the bi-laws. So, they are saying we were only approved for a play gym which is nine feet tall. We’ve resubmitted our application for approval with the height listed as “11 feet 3 inches”. If it’s not re-approved, we might have to talk to an attorney to find out what our options are. I can’t believe that they are being so petty over 2 feet 3 inches. The ones that are suffering are Abby and Emily. I hope our neighbors are happy that they are making our lives miserable. I wonder if they want to explain to Abby and Emily why they can’t have their play gym.
Today Abby and Emily went to the doctor to get their check up before starting pre-school. They are both in perfect health. Abby is tall for her age and Emily is short. They both had fun getting their blood pressure checked because they had seen Jennifer get that done in all of her baby doctor appointments recently.
Abby has been trying to help out with Isabelle when she can. Today, Isabelle was crying and Abby offered to hold her. So, she sat down in a chair and I handed her Isabelle. She was doing a pretty good job comforting her, but after five minutes she was clamoring for me to come and get her. Hey, at least she’s trying.
Meanwhile Emily is getting more and more like a two year old every day. Lately she’s been collapsing into a crying puddle on the floor if she doesn’t get her way. It can be as simple as she wants more milk and isn’t willing to go into the play room to find her cup.
I told Abby last night when I was putting her to bed that I wanted pancakes in bed this morning for Father’s Day. Because of Isabelle, I had to get up and then I heard Abby trying to get Jennifer to make blueberry muffins instead of my pancakes. Jennifer went ahead and made both. However, before she could pour my pancakes, Isabelle started crying and I had to make my own. Oh, well. At least I got my pancakes. They weren’t in bed and they weren’t made by someone else, but thus is life as a dad in Frenchville.
The girls got me an edger for while I’m mowing the lawn. I must not have been doing a good enough job with the weed whacker.
Happy Father’s Day to my dad. Thanks for coming over and watching Abby and Emily while we were busy dealing with Isabelle’s birth last week. We’ll see you again at Christmas.
I went back to work today. Yes. I know it’s a Saturday. We have an Executive Review on Wednesday where the senior executives in all of EA will be looking at our game and it was important that I jumped back into the fray.
In the morning we headed out to our usual breakfast where the ladies at the Peach Valley Cafe gushed over Isabelle. It’s been really weird having to now get three kids out of the car. I have to get Emily out of the car and tell her, “Stand right there” while I get Isabelle out. It’s a little awkward.
I rushed home to cut the lawn right before the started raining. I can’t wait until we have the play gym all together so the backyard will be much easier to cut.
It’s been a tough week. Right when we thought Isabelle was only going to be getting up twice a night (3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.) we were hit with her getting up constantly. I have the easy job, I’m usually only requested to do one of three things: change the baby’s diaper, put her pacifier back in her mouth, or rock her. All three of which you can pretty much do while in a half-sleep state.
The main project I’ve been working on is building a giant sandbox for our play gym. Once the play gym was installed, it was pretty obvious that it wasn’t level because of us having to put it up on bricks. After talking to a contractor to level out the backyard, he suggested building a giant box in order to put sand into in order to level it out. So, I went to Home Depot on Tuesday and bought the supplies. I then spent all day Wednesday, Thursday, and the first half of Friday building the box. The toughest part was getting all the boards level by digging into the ground and stair stepping the boards around the yard. It wasn’t until the whole thing was built that you can really see how un-level our backyard is. The box has one board on one end and seven on the other. The next step is to get the contractor to move sand into the box. The problem is our neighbors. They are not very happy with our play gym and they’ve even complained to the home owner’s association, which is on our side by the way. Unfortunately, in order to get a Bobcat tractor around the house with the sand, we are going to have to cut into their yard by two feet. I tried to get permission from them yesterday, but they were either not home or not answering the door. They are only delaying the eventual installation of a hedge which will block their view of our play gym. So right now we are at an impasse. We are going to call the home owners association on Monday and at this point the only thing we can think of doing is leaving a note on their door. If you have a suggestion, leave a comment.
Another rough Isabelle night. The girl is definitely more awake at night than during the day. During the day she’ll just sit in her bouncer or swing and sleep away. The occasional cry for more food will go out, which will get fulfilled and back to sleep she goes. Apparently at night is when it’s time to look around. At night the cry will go out and food will be brought to her. Then, I will sit in the rocking chair with her for about an hour while she just looks around at nothing in particular.
Sitting up with Isabelle wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t have to get up at 5:15 this morning to take Nana and Poppy to the airport. It was poring down rain as the outer bands of Tropical Storm Arleen were hitting Central Florida. Nana and Poppy made their flight and made it back to Shreveport with their luggage this time. Thanks Nana and Poppy for coming to visit and watching Abby and Emily while Jennifer and I took care of Isabelle.
Today’s picture is from the big bike swap a couple of days ago. Emily is happy to be up and going on Abby’s old bike.
Tonight we watched the movie Radio. Cuba Gooding Jr. portrays a retarded man who is befriended by the head football coach (Ed Harris) of a small South Carolina town in the 70’s. I didn’t like the movie all that much. I thought it was a little too cute and there wasn’t much conflict to it. I kept waiting for the big “the retarded guy screws up and the whole town is mad at him scene”, but was disappointed when it never did happen. I just didn’t think there was much substance to the movie.