4.23.2010

 

The end?

In a week Blogger will disable FTP publishing, which means I won't be able to use their service to maintain this blog anymore. Not that I have time to post anything now...

Dean was born on February 4th and is awesome at nearly 3 months old. Kent has been going through a personal growth phase, which entails being stubborn and testing boundaries, but lately he is starting to listen to us again (mostly) and things have been getting better.

You can always catch up with the latest on Erica's blog. She has slightly more time to write than I do (usually only when I hold Dean and Kent is asleep). At least she has more than two posts so far this year...

Until next time?

—Jack

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1.03.2010

 

Where did Jack go? I don't see where...

That's what Kent used to say when we played peekaboo. Well, daddy, not Jack, but you get the picture.

Sorry for the disappearing act mom. Oh, is someone else still out there? I apologize to you too. Here's a quick summary recap of what I've been neglecting to write about the past couple of months:

  • In September we found out that Beta is another boy, Dean Isaac. Kent's been getting ready to be a big brother and we think he'll take to it pretty well.
  • In October my fantasy baseball team won the league for the third straight year, and the fourth time in the last five. Someone introduced an amendment to the rules last year limiting the keepers for teams that win back to back (or back to back to back). Fortunately for me it did not pass. Fortunately for my league, I'll be very busy and sleep deprived this spring when we're drafting, so it'll probably be a down year.
  • In early November I took Exam C. Results will finally be available at the end of this week. I felt good about parts of the test at the time, but I wasn't sure I'd done well enough overall to pass. As the results date has gotten closer I've only gotten more pessimistic, and I won't be surprised if I have to take it again in April.
  • We traveled to Atlanta for Thanksgiving, and Kent and his cousin Emerson started a band. Next Thanksgiving they'll have another member for the group. I think in about 10 years we'll have a one-hit-wonder boy band. Stay tuned.
  • For Christmas we traveled to Ocean City and Baltimore in Maryland, where Kent got to see his cousins on the other side of the family—Nicholas, Travis, and seven-day-old Blythe, the first girl of her generation.

Right after we got back from Maryland we had a labor scare and went to the hospital. Everything was ok and they sent us home, but now we're in full out baby-preparedness mode. The infant car seat is in the trunk, and our hospital bag is packed. This past weekend we rearranged our bedroom so that we could set up the co-sleeper that my sister lent us. We also took the first real steps to getting the crib/toddler bed out of Kent's room and the daybed that was Erica's into his room so he can have a big boy bed and Dean can have a crib when he's ready for one. Thanks to Erica's mom we're setting up a new bed in the guest room so that we'll still have someplace for visitors to sleep, which is good since my mom and Erica's mom both plan to come down for several days after Dean is born. There are still a few things to do, but if Dean surprises us we're pretty much ready.

Finally, I wanted to follow up on last year's post, wherein I actually made two resolutions and even shared them with the world. I wanted to track our personal finances for a year, and I wanted to get out of credit card debt. The bad news is, like most resolutions, I didn't manage to do either. The good news is, I made progress and think we'll fulfill both this year.

Last year I tracked our finances for about two months before giving up. But, more recently Erica and I have been talking about trying to actually budget instead of using the loose "make sure you set aside enough to pay the bills and spend the rest however you want" method we've been using since I worked at the bookstore. So I've gotten the personal finance software set up again, and in the meantime several improvements have been made that should make it easier to keep up with. Having Erica actively involved will also help immensely.

As far as credit card debt goes, we did a good job of going after it until sometime this summer when we had a hiccup in our finances, and ever since then we've been kind of coasting. We've still been working away at it, but with less intensity. However, it's down to the point that our anticipated tax refund should pretty much cover the rest of it, so hopefully by the end of February we can bid it a very fond farewell.

—Jack

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10.23.2009

 

Don't you fret

When Kent has been getting worked up about inconsequential things lately I've started telling him "Don't you fret," which always makes him laugh and then he repeats it back to me. He especially likes the word "fret," which he sometimes repeats several times.

A couple weeks ago when we were traveling back from California we were on a layover in Dallas. The bathroom right next to our gate was closed for renovations, so when I took Kent to sit on the potty as our boarding time drew near we had to walk a long way to find a bathroom. We got back to our gate just in time for Kent to tell us it was time for a poo poo, so I gathered him up and headed back to the bathroom, and of course, it took too long to get there. On top of the eminent departure, we were down to our last wipe, our last pair of pullups, and we didn't have our changing pad with us since he's mostly been sitting on the potty lately. I was stressed about the whole situation, and when I put Kent up on the changing table and he looked at my face he must have been able to tell. He said, "Don't you fret," which made me laugh and then I repeated it back to him. It was just what I needed to hear.

We got things taken care of quickly and made it back to our gate in plenty of time. Kent slept with his head on mommy's leg the whole flight from Dallas to New Orleans. I love my son.

—Jack

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3.29.2009

 

K Ruh Way!

K Ruh Way! K Ruh Way! K Ruh Wayyyyyyyyyy! Not captured in this video: Kent often counts to five or six, dropping his hand with each number like a basketball ref counting how long it takes to get across half-court, and then runs. It is like he is playing tag with himself. Wo, Tew, Fee, Fo, Fi, Si, K Ruh Way! As you can see, he likes to go again and again and again up and down the hall until he is out of breath.

—Jack

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3.03.2009

 

"ti tew"

is what it sounds like when Kent says thank you. Erica taught him to say thank you a few months ago and he's very deliberate to say "ti tew" to us when we hand him his sippy cup, or when he hands it back after he's done, or when he does certain jobs around the house. When I was home the other day Erica pointed out to me that when she asks Kent to go put socks in his hamper, he often says "ti tew" as he drops them in, even if we're still out in the living room and there's no one around. And apparently when we went to the library this past weekend to drop some books off, Kent added a "ti tew" when he saw me put the books into the book drop, even though he was still strapped into his car seat across the parking lot.

Kent and Erica left this morning to start our Spring Tour '09. I'm staying in Baton Rouge for two more days because I didn't have enough leave for the whole trip, but I'm catching up with them in Raleigh on Thursday afternoon. Can't wait to see them again :)

—Jack

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2.13.2009

 

Reasons 30 is Awesome (so far)

Yesterday I turned 30 and I had a great day, in no small part because of Erica's efforts to make sure I had as good a day as possible. But so many good things happened I had to share a few.

  • Kent and Erica gave me my presents first thing in the morning. They were wrapped in custom Kent-painted wrapping paper. It was awesome :)
  • My mom emailed me a quick note about the day I was born. Something I probably knew at some point but had forgotten: my father was the first person to hold me after I was delivered. Now that I'm a dad this means even more to me than it might have before Kent.
  • Speaking of Kent, I had a great surprise waiting in my email box when I got to work yesterday morning: R Kent Angert, Actuarial Assistant Reporting for Duty!
  • I got phone calls from my parents and my sister wishing a happy birthday, in addition to several emails, a text from Granny and Uncle Mark, and a coworker that I hardly know wishing a happy birthday (guess he checked the birthday list; I didn't advertise that it was happening at all).
  • Erica and Kent came to meet me for lunch and we sat outside on a nice spring day at one of our favorite downtown restaurants.
  • Erica made an excellent Queen of Sheba cake based on my sister's suggestion. She even made the cardamom strawberries to put on top. Yum!

—Jack

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1.01.2009

 

Pancakes

The day after Christmas we were going to have pancakes for breakfast. Erica went through the preparations the night before, setting out the sourdough starter, milk, and flour. But that morning she was tired and I got up with Kent to let her sleep in. I decided that I could try to make the pancakes, knowing where to find Granny's recipe and being very hungry myself. The hardest part of the recipe was separating three eggs, which I managed to do using only three eggs; I had been pretty sure I'd have to set a broken yolk aside to scramble when I was starting out.

Kent watched the whole production without comment, but when it was time to beat the egg whites with the hand mixer he took a look at me and hollered "Mama! MAMA!" Apparently he was concerned that someone besides mom was in the kitchen and thought she should be aware of the situation. A moment later Erica came in to survey progress but by then the coffee was made, the egg whites were fluffy, and I was ready to put the pancake batter on the griddle.

Only after we were halfway through cooking the pancakes did I comment on how I had used the full recipe since the last time we made pancakes Erica said she would stop making half recipes. Except she forgot in the meantime, and the starter was only a half recipe. Still, they turned out ok and Kent got to enjoy pancakes for breakfast for several days in a row.

—Jack

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11.14.2008

 

Kent photos

Kent's long-neglected website had a little update this evening. Hopefully it won't be another seven months before we find time to post photos again!

—Jack

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10.13.2008

 

Kent and Daddy's big day

Yesterday was the most mommy-free time that Kent and I have ever spent together, and we had a great time. It started with Erica asking me to go to the local fried-chicken place for some biscuits to go with our breakfast. Unfortunately it was closed and we ended up going to a fast food chain. But we still enjoyed them with the homemade peach butter that Erica made a few weeks ago.

Later in the morning we went to church, and after the service Erica had a meeting, so Kent got to work on walking up and down stairs, which he loves, and then we went out to the playground, where Kent enjoyed the swings. All of the swings. After he had been in one swing for a little while he'd let me know he was done, and as soon as he hit the ground he'd walk to another and ask for a ride. I think he liked the one with the squeaky chain the best.

We finished on the playground by going over to the big kid section and going down the tube slide. I'm not sure if he's ever been in a tube slide before. At first I wasn't sure how I was going to keep a hand on him while he went down, but he really loved my solution of setting him at the top and quickly ducking my head into the bottom of the slide to pull him down to me. I lost count of how many times we did it, but there was always a request for "mor" when he got to the bottom until mommy was done with her meeting.

After lunch I took Kent shopping with me while Erica worked on her dissertation. We needed a few cabinet/drawer safety devices and a few other miscellaneous things that I figured I could get everything done at Babies R Us and the adjacent Wal-Mart. Kent fell asleep on the way there but I was able to get him into the stroller without waking him too much and he slept a while longer while I picked out drawer latches. After he woke up we moved on to a supposedly quick stop at Wal-Mart. Kent showed some great patience while we stood in line (note to self, not doing that again if I can help it).

On the way home we heard an interview with a banjo player who had traveled to Africa to discover the origins of his instrument. Anything that starts with a B sound gets Kent excited, so he started saying "Ba!" when he heard them say banjo. When the guests started playing Kent kept saying "Ba!" in time with the music, so I joined in, saying "Ba!" on the off-beats. Kent did pretty well at staying in tempo for the first part of the song but he did start to slow down toward the end. He finally dropped out but then came back in, now saying "Ba!" with me. The next time the musicians started playing I got him to clap along, albeit erratically. It was a fun musical end to our shopping trip, and when we got home a few minutes later we were both excited to see mommy.

With Erica building up some momentum on her dissertation I'm sure we'll have more days like this. Can't wait.

—Jack

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8.09.2008

 

Quick turnaround

I finished my corporate finance exam at around 4PM on Thursday and they sent me an email telling me that I passed at around 7PM on Friday. If only the SOA could get results out so quickly! This is likely the last update on the handy pie chart until November or so, but here's the current incarnation:

Meanwhile, Erica is heading back out of town on Tuesday to visit her mom's parents for a few days in West Virginia. I get to stay in Baton Rouge and work and try to make up some of my lost study time.

Finally, Kent's sleep revolution appears to be over, as he has not done well with the roll-him-over method the last two nights but has done ok with walking. So it goes.

—Jack

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7.29.2008

 

Long nights and long nights...

Kent is just over a year old now and we still have a lot of variance in the amount of sleep he gets in any given night. Many nights he wakes two or three times, but I can get him back to sleep pretty easily. Last week we had two nights in a row when he didn't wake at all. And then the weekend came...

Friday night he was up for three and a half hours straight during the night, even though he was tired. None of our usual techniques would get him back to sleep. He would doze, or start to drop off only to kick and wiggle himself back awake again. We walked him, fed him, eventually came out into the living room and played with him and read him some books; nothing was working. In the past, we've tried letting him sleep on his stomach a few times but it never worked well. But finally, in a fit of desperation, I put him down on his side, let him roll onto his stomach, and he fell asleep. I figured it was due to exhaustion. Even though he's usually up for the day between 5:30 and 6:30, he slept until 7 AM on Saturday, obviously worn out by the extended waking in the night. So Saturday evening would be better, right?

Every once in a great while (thankfully) Kent has a night when he wakes after every single sleep cycle, roughly once per hour. Saturday started out as one of those nights, although he did manage a three hour stint in the middle. Finally around 4:30 AM I put him down on his side, let him roll onto his belly, and he dropped off quickly. He woke again in about an hour and I did it again. In the morning I told Erica about this new method. On the way back from church on Sunday Kent fell asleep in the car. We usually just sit in the car with him until he wakes up because he doesn't fall back asleep if we bring him in and try to put him down for a nap, but he had just fallen asleep and I didn't want to run the car for another 30 minutes (at least). I decided to try the new rollover method for a nap. And it worked.

So I told Erica about it, and on Sunday evening I used it instead of trying to walk him when he woke (his usual two times, I think). On Monday, Erica got him down for two naps this way. And the success continues.

This is a sea change. A paradigm shift. A revelation. We used to have very long routines we went through to get Kent to sleep, both at night and for naps. Putting him on his side and letting him roll over feels like we're cheating. But I'll keep cheating as long as he'll let me.

Update: 7.30.08 6:11 AM - Evidently Kent doesn't want his dad to feel like a cheat. So it goes...

—Jack

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7.12.2008

 

Breaking news

We bring you this video, shot just moments ago...

For more on these recent developments, see our affiliate station.

—Jack

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7.05.2008

 

Great moments in fatherhood

Several months ago I was walking Kent to sleep when I got a sudden and irresistible tickle in my nose. I knew that if I sneezed I would probably have start all over again with my routine to get him to drift off to sleep, but it couldn't be helped. Resolute in my decision, I went ahead and sneezed. Right next to his ear, as his head was on my shoulder. Not only did he wake up, he also started bawling, and after a few moments trying to get him to calm down he had to be rescued by mom.

Tonight I was facing a similar situation. Kent was basically asleep but when I got the tickle in my nose I knew I'd never have time to set him down in his crib and get out of the room. Resolute in my decision, but not wanting a repeat of the previous sneezing incident, I held him up in front of me and sneezed into his blanket-wrapped belly. Thankfully this time Kent didn't stir, and a few moments later I was out of his room and he was off to dream land.

—Jack

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6.16.2008

 

Happy Father's Day

4.30.2008

 

Hey da da part 2

4.27.2008

 

Hey da da

He probably doesn't assign any meaning to it yet—not the meaning we would in any case—but Kent was continually babbling something like "Hey da da" while we were out shopping today :) Now we just need to get him to start saying "Hey ma ma". And get him to recognize his name, that I'm dada, and that Erica is mama. All things in time :)

—Jack

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4.19.2008

 

More Kent Photos & Video

The internet elves came along and updated Kent's website last night. There are new photos, as well as new and older videos that were meant to be added a while back and never made it up there. So dig down, some of the new videos are listed below others that were previously posted (the elves wanted to keep things chronological).

—Jack

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3.05.2008

 

More Kent Video

Rumor has it that there are new video clips at kentangert.com...

—Jack

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3.02.2008

 

Is anyone still out there?

If so, you'll be happy to see that there's a new photo gallery on Kent's website, covering the span from mid November to the end of February. Kent is 8 months old now, believe it or not. Crazy eh?

Since I last wrote I took and passed an online course in applied statistics (the final exam was on my birthday). It wasn't as difficult as one of the actuarial exams, but there are three college course credits I have to get so it's nice to get one out of the way. I'll be trying to get another one, maybe two, done in May after my exam. I'll be headed to Atlanta for that seminar I mentioned in less than a month, so there's lots of studying to do between now and then so that I can soak up what's being said rather than trying to learn it on the fly.

And, it's spring, so hope returns along with baseball (and lawn mowing, which I haven't gotten to quite yet). We're about a third of the way through the draft for my actuary league, where I will try to better last year's middle of the pack finish. The Queen City Fantasy League starts drafting in a little over a week, and the Baton Rouge Dirty Diapers will have the pleasure of defending last year's title.

Finally, my sister has started her own blog and I have been enjoying it. I have quite the crafty sibling!

—Jack

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12.11.2007

 

Kent Speaks

We were at Erica's step brother's wedding this past weekend, and we told everyone that after being around all those people, Kent would suddenly start talking a lot more. Fresh video from earlier this evening proves our powers of prognostication. And also that sometimes I get a little too excited...

—Jack

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11.17.2007

 

New gallery up

Some new Kent photos have appeared. Enjoy!

—Jack

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10.21.2007

 

Catching up with Jack

It's been a while since I talked about what's going on, so here's some disjoint discussion of what you've been missing out on:

I was mowing this morning with my electric mower, hopefully for the last time until February, when two kids about ten years old tentatively approached me. "Is that your lawn mower?" "Yes." (One to the other) "I told you so!" (To me) "Where did you get it?" "I had to order it online." Surprised looks. "It runs on batteries instead of gas." "OK." And then they walked off. It was really easy to mow most of our lawn this morning, partly because the weather is finally getting nicer (mid 80s, low humidity, a hint of fall when the breeze blows), and partly because the grass isn't growing as quickly these days.

I'm happy to report that the Abita Springs Turbodogs won the QCFL, marking my second victory in three years. The team changed names to the Baton Rouge Dirty Diapers mid-July for obvious reasons. Unlike the last time I won, this season I had several teams step up and challenge for the lead, including a big push at the end from BJ's Charleston Chew. However, when it was all said and done, our new mascot carried the team to another victory and bought himself a sling carrier with some of the earnings. Watch for photos of his new accoutrements coming soon to a gallery near you. In the actuary league I joined this year, I had a middle of the pack finish, but I will have the third overall draft pick next year, so maybe I can have a better showing in 2008.

The next actuarial exam is coming up in about two and a half weeks, so I've been trying to study a bit more. This past week I finally finished the study guide I got to help me prepare for the exam. I've been studying for this exam since around Christmas last year so it would be really nice to pass and move on to something else, but I feel like it's a toss-up right now. Maybe I'll be studying for six more months... There's still time to do a lot of practice problems and get the concepts solidified in my mind but I would have preferred to have more time between finishing the study guide and exam day to woodshed, but it's harder to study in the evenings than it used to be. We'll see what happens.

There are some non-exam requirements to becoming an actuary that most students now would be able to complete in college, but since I didn't know I wanted to do this back then (and they weren't requirements at the time regardless), I have to take online classes and the like to get the credits. I'm taking an applied statistics course starting after the exam in November so that I can get one of those out of the way. I'm looking forward to it, in large part because the class will include learning a new programming language. Yep, I'm a nerd.

Kent is awesome as always :) He is on the brink of rolling over and he likes to laugh all the time now, not just when he's subjected to the tickle monster treatment. He's got great neck control now and I've started carrying him around in a Superman pose. I don't know if he likes it yet, but he doesn't seem upset so I guess it can't be too terrible for him. He's not sitting up by himself yet but if we sit him up on the couch he'll stay there for a little bit, looking like a more grown up version of himself. Earlier this week I tried putting him up on my shoulders, which he seemed to like pretty well, but he grabbed fistfuls of my hair with both hands so it was hard to get him back down. There's a great photo that my dad took of us when I was little (though bigger than Kent is now) where I'm sitting on his shoulders and he's in front of a mirror with the camera. I'm looking forward to repeating that shot with Kent :)

—Jack

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10.06.2007

 

How did you spend your Saturday afternoon?

Building web pages...

—Jack
P.S. There's a new photo gallery.

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9.22.2007

 

Kent Giggles

As promised, video of Kent making his first attempts at laughter, assisted by Mom and Dad. This was just before bath time, so he's a little bit naked.

—Jack

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9.05.2007

 

Kentisthenics

For the last two months I've been enrolled in the infant fitness program here at home. There are no monthly dues, the location is convenient, and the equipment sometimes smiles back at you. Oh, and it is open 24 hours a day. Exercise "options" include bouncing baby to sleep, the baby lift and carry, the baby burp, and the occasional infant carrier swing. Most of these involve walking but there is sometimes running involved, like last night when I couldn't get him to be still long enough to fall asleep otherwise. Hopefully, that is not the start of a new trend. So far I've lost about six pounds.

We got some video of Kent laughing for the first time earlier this week. I'll try to get it up here soon.

—Jack

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8.19.2007

 

kentangert.com

Now appearing at kentangert.com: 38 photos, many previously unpublished. They span the first 47 days of Kent's life (including today) and are presented in chronological order. Enjoy!

—Jack

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8.16.2007

 

More Kent Video

Sorry for the long delay in updates. It's not easy to get time for video/photo editing after working all day since Erica needs some much deserved time off when I get home. Here's a short video that I took a few weeks ago.

—Jack

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7.15.2007

 

More Kent Photos

Kent will be two weeks old on Tuesday and while we're still learning new things about our son on a daily basis, we've gotten comfortable enough with him that most of the new things no longer make us panic. We've even managed to get into a few routines, like bath time and bed time. Yay! Though, to be sure, the time between wakings is still pretty variable. We even managed to go out to eat twice this week, though I'm not sure how often we'll be attempting that feat.

GranDebbie has been visiting the past several days and it's been really helpful to have an extra set of hands around, to say nothing of someone who has successfully raised a child and can help allay some of our worries. She's going home tomorrow though, so Erica will find out exactly what being home by herself during the days will be like. I've still got a little leave left so I can come home in a pinch, and we may try and schedule some half days so that we can get some things done around the house.

—Jack

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Kent Wakes Up

Erica filmed Kent waking up a few days ago.

—Jack

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7.09.2007

 

Kent Hiccups!

Here is the first in what will likely be a series of Kent videos. You can safely ignore what Erica and I are saying and focus on Kent. Special thanks to my sister and her husband, who gave us the video camera for Christmas for just this purpose.

—Jack

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7.05.2007

 

Meet Kent!

We're just back from the hospital today. Here are a few photos to get you started meeting our new son. Once we've caught up on sleep a bit I am sure we will write more. That may mean never, but somehow I think we'll manage to let you all know about the whole experience.

—Jack

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