We’re starting to see a more wakeful baby now. She’s staying awake during longer periods of the day – only to nurse relentlessly upon her mother. She has gained a good amount of weight and shows all signs of being a very healthy girl. Of some uniqueness, she’s quite grunty. We get the impression that she’s largely displeased with being awake. However, she’s still not very fussy. As we’re seeing more of her eyes now, I think they’re going to be green/hazel like ours.
The latest member of our family made her gooey entrance around noon today. She cleans up well, however. Balthazar is so happy to be a big brother, and Sorscha’s mother and I are, of course, completely in love with the new girl. She’s such a beautiful, healthy girl; I couldn’t ask for anything more. Mommy is doing very well after her surgery too. She’ll be getting up tomorrow to begin her walking recovery and we should be heading home in a few days.
Sorscha Valkyrie Gradin weighed in at 6lbs. 11oz. and measured 20.5″ in length. She’s capable of thawing icebergs with a look, but has used her powers for good to warm the heart of every soul she meets.
Guess who has the coolest costume on the block? Balthazar does! His best (and only) Uncle-figure went all out and got together a suit of youth Storm Trooper gear for Balthazar this year. He’s been working on it for a while now and it’s finally finished. Sunday, he brought it over and we had an event of fitting it to him. It took all day of Jeff sitting on a partially constructed floor in our garage fitting, grinding, shaping, and gluing PVC armor components for a perfect fit. Balthazar was a real trooper and went back and forth for component fittings the whole time. He was so excited about it, I don’t think he even noticed the minor discomfort of ill-fitted plastic pieces. After hours of labor, the costume was finally ready for him and by dinner he was able to dance around the house in his new Storm Trooper costume. The whole thing is constructed exactly the same as the screen-accurate versions adults where. All the details are there, though he’ll need a smaller blaster to fit the scale issue a bit better. Jeff and I are going to try and throw together the remaining Star Wars costumes this Halloween to take him out on the town. I’ll be Chewbacca, Jeff might be C-3PO, and we’ll have the littlest Storm Trooper ever. It ought to be a hoot! We’ve got to hit every spot in town possible to get full use out this before he out grows it…in a week! Actually, there should be enough material for him to grow into it a year or two. After that, we’ll have to make a fancy display of it on a little mannequin.
Oh man, he’s going to have a real ball at Halloween this year!
I was contacted a while back by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), originally through Flickr from a picture I posted on the severe drought conditions around Lake Lanier. I was invited to write a “Climate Witness” story to tell the world about how the climate has changed in northeast Georgia from my perspective. It has taken me a while working with a representative from the WWF to get the story completed, but we finally did it! As of the 28th of August, my Climate Witness story has been published on the panda.org website.
Go check it out and read some of the other Climate Witness stories there while you’re at it. They come from all over the world and offer some interesting perspectives.
Yesterday was Balthazar’s first day of school. It started early that morning and the whole family was up for the affair. We drove him in and walked him to his class. It’s one of those “big steps” in a child’s life. I am excited about the idea of him becoming independent and beginning his formal education. He’s growing up and I look forward to all the things we’ll do together in the years to come. Amy, on the other hand, has a distinctly different take on her little baby’s first steps in the big world. Her experience was miserable as a child, and didn’t apparently get much better in later years. She hated school, and she doesn’t want Balthazar to have a hard time either. Balthazar began his journey into the world with a brave heart. I was proud of him for being so courageous in the face of the unknown – I had very few worries.
After school, Balthazar was to take a bus over to his after-school care with some friends – apparently more like 20. We knew it was a lot to manage in one day, so we agreed to pick him up early from there. He barely managed to get out some vague details about his day before he passed out completely in his car seat. The guy was worn flat-out by his adventures. It turns out his day was a mixture of fear and fun. We weren’t able to convey the amount of time he’d spend at school, though technically it was less than what he spent in pre-K and after-school before. He got scared and cried a little bit early in the day. After some lunch and recess time, it sounded like he came to better terms with it.
As parents, we hate to know that our child was upset and afraid. You’re completely helpless when they’re away and having these feelings. I guess that’s what it is that parents really get upset over when their child gains some independence. You really feel the need to continue helping them and holding their hands when obstacles arrive, but you just have to let them make a go at it themselves. You do everything you can to ensure that they’re going to do good in the world and that they’ll have every manner of protection at their disposal, then you send them out the door to see how you did. It surprised me a lot that he had an emotional break-down at school. Not that that’s unordinary by any means, I just thought that he would have such a great time.
Today is Friday and he’s off on his second day at school. As a testament to his courage, he said yesterday that he wanted to go again. Even though there were some rough spots to contend with, Balthazar has stood back up to give it another try. I believe that he’ll have done much better this time, and he may even begin doing the things that we all loved at school; making friends.
We attended our first ever World of Wheels show in Atlanta this year with friends. We are largely unfamiliar with the “World of Wheels,” as it were, though it was actually cooler than I had imagined. Balthazar had a time running from brightly colored car to Hot Wheels-inspired dream. We enjoyed the fantastic detail put into the artwork in the show. I didn’t realize that the pros painted pin stripe details by hand! We watched a guy doing some work on a Power Wheels truck. The highlight for the boy was a Lightning McQueen replica and a cameo appearance of SpongeBob and friends. While the Nickelodeon cartoon stars don’t exactly say “World of Wheels,” they did entertain the children.
For Christmas this year, I commissioned Len Peralta of monsterbymail.com to do our family portraits. He did a wonderful job – a wonderfully gruesome job! I built a frame to finish it out and presented it to Amy Christmas morning. It was a fun present, certainly an unexpected one.
I detailed the frame over at Lumberjocks. Head over there if you’re interested in learning about the construction details.