Meeting My New Nephew, Gabriel

My new nephew Gabriel is here. His mom went to the hospital to hurry him along on Wednesday, which was a pretty busy day for me.

Milly, Fawkes, Phoenix, and I went to the former Sears at the mall to get some disaster relief. Considering how many people were there, it moved along pretty well.

It was a little stressful having all the kids, well, the babies, with me. I had them in the stroller and ended up giving them some pouches to eat while we were in the first part of the line. Milly was very helpful handling them in the stroller while I worked on filling out paperwork.

After the initial line we were in a sitting area. It was past nap time at that point so I was trying to keep them happy by walking the stroller up and down the aisle. We got a lot of smiles. A lady at one of the stations set up there offered me some baby food, so I took that and was feeding them, which made them happy, at the time we were called up to talk to a lady who reviewed our info and sent us on to get a SNAP card. We also had people talk to us about help fixing the damage on our home and some other stuff. The people there loved talking to Milly and the boys. One guy thanked me and said it brightened their day.

After all that we drove around to pick up some supplies, including a box of food, cleaning supplies (a mop), water, and diapers. I found out after we got home that they messed up the diaper order. The ticket we handed them had “3×2” written on the back. The people who hand out the tickets write what’s needed on them, I guess. The boys wear size 3 diapers, so she was saying two sets of size 3 diapers. I was chatting with the guy though and he gave us the wrong sizes. I didn’t see that until we got back home though, since they were loading things in the back of my running car.

We got back to the house just in time to see a large section of the still-standing pine tree in our front yard come down. Laura had some people come out to chop up the downed tree and take down the one that was still up. The entire house shook when another piece came down. Someone is supposed to come back out at some point to grind our stumps. Milly and I counted the rings on the one that just came down. It was right around 50, which is what I expected.

Milly had an orthodontist appointment later that day. She had tightened the retainer herself that morning, which is cool. Warren, the orthodontist (a friend of Amanda’s uncle, Barry, whom I had met on a trip to Costa Rica a few months before Milly was born) said Milly was doing really well and should be able to stop tightening the retainer in a month. It won’t come off for a while, but she’ll enjoy not having to tighten it.

I took the boys with us to that and of course they garnered lots of oohs and ahhs. They were good, too. No fuss.

I dropped Milly off at her mom’s house afterwards then went on home. We had actually stopped by the house before the appointment to pick up some stuff for it and she told me to check out the backyard while she was getting it. There were lots of trees down at my old house and one shed was crushed. It’s a shame, since I had dragged it over from the other corner of the yard once way back when.

One thought I had after dropping Milly off is that that neighborhood looked worse-hit at this point than our neighborhood, even though they got power and internet back well before we did.

Circling back to my brand new nephew, Torrie had gone into the hospital to be induced. Tristen went by to see her, if I remember correctly (which I may not, actually, but I think she did) but nothing was going to be happening for a while. Tristen did get a call in the wee hours of the morning though. She and Johnny both got to the hospital around 5:00 in the morning, but they missed the actual delivery by about two minutes. 

Since Tristen works literally next door to the hospital, she just went in to work from there.

The boys woke up around 7, which is pretty regular for them these days, between 6:30 and 7. Around 11 or so, Joe Runkle and his dad, Mike, and his “bonus mom” came by. Joe, my brother’s oldest friend, had asked about crashing at the house a while back because he was going to be in town on some business. I had told Milly that “Funcle Runkle” was coming for a visit and when she found out she wouldn’t be here for his visit she said, “Aww maaan!”

Mike and Cookie (I think that was her name) parked Mike’s motorcycle at the house while they went to find a hotel to stay in while Joe had to head off to his meeting.

Joe showed back up shortly before I had to leave for a doctor appointment. Laura, Tristen’s mom, had planned to come watch Fawkes and Phoenix while I was away for that, but she was busy taking care of Torrie, so Tristen met me at the doctor’s office and we just swapped cars, since I had the boys in my car.

Last year the doctor told me my cholesterol was high and wanted me to go on Lipitor. I wanted to try adjusting my diet, but that seems to not have helped. Turns out it’s genetic, which I read is caused by a mutation. Growing up reading all the X-Men comics I could, I always thought it would be cool to be a mutant, but high cholesterol as a mutant power sucks. Anyway, I didn’t go on Lipitor before, but I did take my first prescription pill today. No side effects so far.

Outside of that I told him about my left elbow and knees hurting, so he gave me some stretches to try. Hopefully those will do the trick. My knees hurt in the morning if I walk on them normally until they’ve had a chance to stretch them out with walking and my elbow hurts when I do things like pull-ups.

I had thought about going by to see Gabriel because I was very close to the hospital and I wanted to see my new nephew the day he was born, but Tristen mentioned that Torrie and Johnny both had not had a chance to sleep at all and were going to try napping, so I figured I’d go the next day.

Joe had mentioned going to see Venom when we were texting a few days ago. He texted me while I was at my appointment and said he was getting us 3D IMAX tickets for tonight and that he’s already talked to Tristen about it. I was worried a little about my ability to make it through the movie because I’d been up late working the last few nights. I even thought about taking a nap, but Tristen and I were enjoying chatting with Joe so I didn’t get a chance.

I made it through just fine though. Joe treated me to a shared giant box of popcorn and bought us both drinks. The downside of that was that we both had to pee really bad, which was exacerbated by waiting for the end credit scenes.

Venom hasn’t gotten many good reviews, but I enjoyed the movie. I think it would have been much better if they’d have let it be R-rated, and given the success of Logan and Deadpool, I’m surprised Sony didn’t go for it. It wasn’t as good as either of those movies or, say Guardians of the Galaxy or Infinity War, but like I said, I enjoyed it.

When we got back to the house I went to pull out the futon under Milly’s bunkbed for Joe. I went to check on the water for Milly’s Kenyan sand boa snake, Oreo and… well, I found out that he had died. I feel really, really terrible about it because I feel I’m partially to blame. The last time Milly went to feed him we remembered that the mini-fridge containing his frozen pinkies had gone without power for about a week, meaning the little baby mice had spoiled. We totally forgot about that, and I hadn’t gone to get any more yet. Maybe it was that, maybe being without power for a while hurt him (which would also be my fault I guess, for not taking him to Rougemont with us), but either way I feel really bad about it. I can’t help but remember how distraught Milly was when he got out of his feeding container and we couldn’t find him for a while one time. I was agonizing over when to tell her, and I’ve decided to do it after school on Tuesday. I wanted to give her the chance to bury him if she wanted. (He’s in an old Tupperware container in the meantime, covered by chips that made his ground covering.) So if you read this and you’re someone who will see Milly, don’t mentioned this to her, please.

She really liked that snake, which my brother, Adam, bought for her. She drew pictures of him all the time and likes to tell her friends how she has a snake. He was pretty gentle and I thought he actually had kind of a cute face. For a snake anyway.

Joe headed off the next morning. After Tristen got home and the boys got up from their nap we went to the hospital so Fawkes, Phoenix, and I could meet their new little cousin. Torrie was there, of course, as were Johnny and big brother Bash. Laura came by while we were there, too. Fawkes and Phoenix did fine sitting in their carseats for a while, but eventually they had to be held and a little later we put a blanket on the floor for them to crawl around a little.

Baby G was so little! He was five pounds, 14 ounces, 18.5 inches, born at 5 AM on October 4. His hair was downright luxurious. I held him for a while and let Fawkes and Phoenix look at him while Tristen was changing him at one point. They didn’t really care all that much, of course; they barely even notice each other for the most part. They’ll care a lot more when they’re older though. They’re only eight months apart and I expect they’ll be playing together a lot as they grow.

Gabriel, I want to say to you, “Welcome to the world!” You’ve been born into a very tight family and I know you will be loved and taken care of. I just hope I have the energy to be as fun an uncle for you as I have been for your older brother. 

We stayed there past the boys’ bedtime and Phoenix ended up having a big poop that messed in the overalls he was wearing. It even got on the sheet they had been scooting around on earlier.

Speaking of scooting around, the two of them aren’t crawling yet, but they’re getting wherever they want to go. Fawkes started doing it first, pulling himself by his arms. It looks like he’s doing a butterfly stroke, so I was calling him Splish-splash for a bit. 

In other Fawkes and Phoenix are Doing Stuff news, Fawkes has been holding his bottle on his own for a week or so now. Phoenix started doing it better in the last couple days.

They’re sometimes answering to their names now, thought Phoenix seems more attuned to that than Fawkes. Personality-wise, Phoenix seems to be our little lover. He wants to be held more and when you put your face near his he’ll smile, reach out and grab you, pull you in and kiss you. Okay, he’s not kissing, he’s eating your face, but he really enjoys it and I think it’s a show of affection. Fakes, on the other hand, is more independent. They’ve also switched to where Phoenix is easier to tickle than Fawkes now, but you can tickle them both on their bellies or armpits. It used to be you could really only get them on the neck.

They’re also not quite playing together, but they are interacting a bit more. They crawl on each other and sometimes take things from each other. Phoenix tries talking to Fawkes sometimes, like today when they were both in their sit-up seats, Phoenix would smile at Fawkes and make noises at him, but Fawkes isn’t too interested yet.

There wasn’t much else going on with us this weekend. We went out to restock our refrigerator using our SNAP card on Saturday. The Panthers had a very exciting game against the Giants, which was won as the game was winding down with a 62-yard field goal. The Cowboys and the Texans also had a very exciting game that went into overtime.

Gabriel and Torrie should be coming home soon. Some people are supposed to come out to look at repairing our dining room ceiling tomorrow. And I’ve got a ton of work to work on.

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