I’ve been terribly deficient as a blogger of late, and my only excuse is how terribly busy I’ve been. Since Elanor’s birth we’ve had a steady stream of visitors and goings on. Time has flown by, leaving me in despair of trying to catch y’all up on things.
I’d apologize, but I’m not a bit sorry. Elanor is beautiful. A crying pain on the ears and nerves sometimes, too, but that’s an infant for you. That’s her there, of course, asleep on my chest. I don’t usually look that exhausted, but I’m also not usually that happy. It’s funny how that works.
Anyway, in lieu of giving you all the gritty details of the past couple of weeks, I’ll give you instead a photo journal of sorts that ought to cover the big hits and just sort of hit the reset button. In recognition of it all, I’ve also done a bit of redesign around the website here (including a new mobile version). A few things aren’t working right just yet, so I hope you’ll bear with me. And obviously if you have feedback on the site — like you want the old look back — let me know in the comments.
Ready? See you after the jump…
Okay. For starters, school’s out. Things were incredibly busy trying to finish off the term with a newborn — end-of-semester grading is rough under the best of times — but we managed in large part thanks to visits from my father and Sherry’s mother. Wonderful to have them around to lend a hand. Most of the time this meant taking care of Samuel, which isn’t exactly torture, if you know what I mean.
At left is a picture of the last parade of the year, which is always a favorite. After marching out in their usual well-formed ranks with the whole of the Corps, the senior cadets leave their companies — the orderly existence they’ve known for four years — and make a far-less-well-formed line that “marches” across the parade deck to form up on the other side of the field, in front of the bleachers where the parents sit watch. As you can see from my picture, we take the opportunity to fire one last cannon shot at them on their way past. You can also see that the seniors are already abandoning their proper discipline. Oh well.
Once they reach the other side — having passed through the cannon fire, of course — the seniors turn and face their comrades, making the occasional amusing gesture to reveal their general pleasure about no longer having to stand in the hot sun on Friday afternoons. The seniors form a line, therefore, by which the rest of the Corps then marches past on its way back into prison the barracks. This line is the “Long Gray Line,” which metaphorically links all the classes that have survived The Citadel. It’s quite awesome.
I don’t have a picture of it for obvious reasons, but I spent the afternoon after the cadet graduation dumpster diving for sellable trinkets in the massive dumpsters that were pulled into the barracks while the students shipped out for the summer. It was disgusting, disturbing, and disappointing — the latter especially in light of how wasteful kids can be — but it was for a good cause: the recovered materials are sold (after being cleaned, of course) by the Citadel Women’s Club, which in turn gives the money out to students in the form of scholarships.
As noted above, we were grateful to have company for the first couple of weeks after Elanor’s arrival. This here is Sherry’s mom (“Nana” to the kids), sitting with the pair on the couch. I just adore this picture.
Samuel is coping relatively well with the whole thing. He’s regressing a little bit into whining, which is surely normal. Likely he’s seeing that crying gets Elanor what she wants, so damnit if he’s not going to do it, too.
The wee lad is, however, taking to his role as a “big brother” quite swimmingly. The other day we set off for a drive to Babies ‘r’ Us and just as we were pulling away from the house Elanor got the hiccups. Samuel, kind fellow that he is, proceeded to spend the next five minutes saying a gentle “bless you” to his little sister every few seconds. Precious.
Elanor was born at 19 minutes after midnight, and I sold our precious LJ — a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon — by phone that afternoon to a fine gentleman from Utopia, Texas. I hadn’t slept very much, so I suspect he got a better deal than he should have.
No matter. We wanted to sell the Jeep, he wanted to buy it … so I figure everyone came out a winner.
We had been thinking that we’d replace the LJ with an XK — that’s a Jeep Commander — but thought we might wait a bit to make it happen. I even thought about investing the money in stocks for a month or so, given the high rates of return I’ve been making in that arena lately.
Not to be. I found a lovely XK in Raleigh, NC, and a few days ago we packed up the gang into the Kia Rondo (still love it) and spent the morning driving north to see it and, it turns out, buy it. Got back after midnight. Kids were troopers, as was Sherry, who had to drive back in the Kia with only a two-week-old for company.
The XK is now my new project vehicle, so you’ll be hearing more about it in the coming weeks and months. It’s a good stock system: a 2006 Jeep Commander Limited, with a 5.7L Hemi engine, a GPS navigation system, a DVD player in the rear ceiling, saddle brown leather seats, and more bells and whistles than I could shake a stick at. Darn thing detects rain and automatically does the wipers, which frankly scares me a bit. Anyway, you can see even in this picture that as good as it is it’s lacking clearance. I’m thinking a 4″ lift with 33″ tires. And more skidplates. And on-board air. Some more lights. Rear back-up camera. Maybe some other cameras focusing on the ground in front of the tires. … I got a dream, baby.
So I think that’s mostly it. And from the sounds of the cries upstairs, it’s past time for me to rejoin the circus. Here’s hoping I’ll be not quite so long between posts from here on out.