Sunday, June 29, 2008


it's amazing how a head that looks so small from above.....

week 13 025light

can look like such a potato from below.

week 13 024light

It's amazing how much of a hand a 3 month old can get in his mouth without gagging.(but still managing to half way flip you off with the other)

week 13 016light

It's amazing how someone who can't seem to get comfortable in his bed, can sleep soundly while awkwardly draped over mommy's shoulder.

week 13 weekend 036light
week 13 weekend 038ight

and it's pretty amazing when you see someone developing a sense of humor through the basic building blocks of a funny face and a fart noise.

week 13 029light

The Usual

Not too much interesting around here this week. (how can there be with this weather?)
He had a good outing to church this morning where he saw his 5 week old cousin, Eli, who outweighs him by a couple of pounds already.
Saturday night we attempted our first meal out since he's been around. Fortunately, we had a team of 4 grandparents with us for extra support. He actually did really well. If the restaurant's service would have also done well, we would have been in and out, free of trouble.
Unfortunately, the 30 minute seat quote turned into an hour, and the waitress would come in far behind cold tar in a race, so we had a fussy baby toward the very end of the meal.

Saturday morning we went for a walk around campus, and, again, he couldn't care less about the alligators.

week 13 weekend 008

So, to punish him for his indifference, I made it rain and cut his walk short. (but i guess it isn't really punishing him when i have to run a half mile back to the truck in the rain, while he waits, covered.)
We made up for it by letting him take in the wonderful smell of boudin and smoked meat at Johnson's Boucaniere, where they were playing his favorite cd, The Figs.

During the week he got in a good visit with Cousin Caroline, and they actually seemed aware of each other for the first time. It was pretty cool.

week 13 036

He even let her grasp at the crazy-arctic-goat-kangaroo-hairdresser on his mobile.

week 13 069

He's slowly getting more smiley and making more attempts at vocalizations, so we're encouraging him as much as possible.
Now that he's seemingly aware of sound and his ability to make it, I probably need to clean up my vocab. That's going to be a toughie.

He's also trying to reach for toys, but doesn't quite understand that reaching with your hands does not involve kicking with your legs. He'll get it straight some day.

week 13 weekend 029

Friday night we'll probably be going to the symphony followed by fireworks, which should be a good test for him.

and, to close, a little follow up from the Home Depot story, which seems to have universal appeal to all parents. I went back to HD today, and noticed that there are still black splotches on the floor in front of the bird seed.
Moral of the story- Colic Calm stains concrete.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The First Quarter

It was a good week around here.
That is something that makes me very happy.
Unfortunately, it doesn't leave much to write about here. That is compounded by our complete photographic neglect this week. Looks like my weekly update ambition may be running thin. May be going every two weeks soon.
Now for the content.

Riley came down with whatever funk Joan and I had, so he's been snotty all week. He's getting tired of having his nose suctioned, but it's really helping him breathe. A 12 week old shouldn't snore, but that's basically what hes been doing.

On the dietary front, on Friday Joan tried shellfish, and he did not seem to have any negative reaction.
Saturday night she tried spaghetti sauce from Carrabbas, and, again he hasn't reacted.
She came across this website, which has links to the allergen pages of many fast food, and dine in, restaurants. You'd be surprised what things have unsuspected dairy.
We both suspect that he's really only got a problem with dairy, but you still have to be slow in reintroducing everything else, just in case.

Friday night, Riley got a visit from Cousin Caroline, who is infinitely more vocal than he is. He's still trying to make sounds, but they are few and far between.

Saturday morning we took Riley and Jimmy for an "adventure" out at the nature station. Once we're far enough back in the woods, we let Jimmy get some off leash time. The kid seemed to enjoy the new sights and sounds. That is, until he fell asleep. Hopefully we can do it more often when it cools down. By the time we got off the trails at 9 am, it was almost too hot to be out. ( especially since I wear jeans in lieu of being eaten up by chiggers for the next 2 weeks.)

Just a little while ago, Jennifer and Ryan stopped by to visit Riley. Jennifer is one of the select handful of people that we like from law school. They're expecting a boy in November. They've chosen the name Connor Patrick O'Neal, because they hate all things Irish. :)

And now for the part where I make fun of my kid and myself.
They say you can take the boy out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the boy. I'm starting to believe the saying is true, and that my DNA was somehow altered in the first 9 years of my life. I still like pig skins, Barq's Red Cream Soda, Slim Jims, and old country music. Unfortunately, I think I've passed these traits on to my son, who, at just 12 weeks old, is starting to grow a fine feathery mullet.

week 12 mullet 002

He just has that one, super thick strip across the back, and everything else is thin. We'll have to run him over to see Maurice for a little trim soon. That'll mean Maurice will have cut 4 generations of my family's hair. Not bad for a guy that is 73 and still on his feet 8 hours a day.

And just to make this post a little longer, and show that we're trying to return to normalcy with food, we're not having chicken this week. Instead we're going back to an old favorite, Fajitas from HEB, grilled at 750 degrees on the Egg.

And here's the usual pics

Pouty Face

week 12 002


week 12 003

and Cheesy Smile

week 12 006

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What's In A Name

I just realized, I never posted our reasons for choosing the names that we gave our son.
I suppose there is no real need to, but there is no real need for any of this, yet I do it anyway as a (semi) creative pressure valve.

So where does Riley Evans Wallace come from?
First, the last name was easy, so we'll skip that discussion.

Riley was picked out of a book. We came across it and liked it. We had no previous attraction to the name, it just had a ring to it when we heard it.
We were trying to avoid unisex names (which Riley can be) but since it is still used much more for boys than girls, we thought it would be ok.
The only other real first name option was Walker, but, given the popularity of those Chuck Norris jokes last year, it just had too much of a Texas Ranger connotation at the time we were picking a name.

The middle name actually has a little back story.
Joan got pregnant shortly before we took a 5th anniversary trip to see the Weary Boys in Colorado, for one of their last shows together (sad)

Colorado July 2007 215

I wanted to try to work something from that trip into the name, but we weren't really big on Rocky, Denver, Zebulon, Snowcap or anything else we could think of.
Then we came across the name Evan. It wasn't one we were necessarily big on, in that form, but then we remembered going to Mt. Evans in Colorado (North America's Highest Paved Highway).

Colorado July 2007 122

In fact, on Mt Evans we took our first "family pic" in which she was pregnant,though we didn't know it at the time.

Colorado July 2007 042

It was also the first time either of us had been in the western mountains or been around real snow on the ground, and it is an incredibly beautiful setting, so it is a special memory place for us.

Colorado July 2007 083
Colorado July 2007 045

One of us suggested Evans as a name, and we both liked it.
It's going to get screwed up for his whole life by people leaving off the "S" (already did at his baptism) but we're fine with that.

The coincidence comes in that we later found out that both names have family connections.
Riley Wallace is my great-great-grandfather.
Evans is my dad's maternal grandmother's maiden name. (my great grandmother)
We really had no idea of these when we picked out the names, but it's kinda cool that things worked out that way.

So there's your history lesson, and a chance for me to post some of our pics from Colorado (alot more at Flickr)

The Haul(er)

First Father's Day round these parts.
Joan's diet has expanded enough that, after a few questions for the waitress, Joan felt comfortable eating at Another Broken Egg with my fam. We're both huge fans of breakfast, but hadn't been there in a while due to the dietary situation. She's now back to eating most things that don't contain, or aren't cooked in, dairy product (which is still a pretty limitedselection).
After that we did Outback for lunch with her fam. Fortunately, having worked there for 4 years in college, I have a good idea of what she can eat and what she shouldn't.

On father's day, men with working gametes are rewarded with gifts. Today, i scored one of the few remaining pieces of baby equipment we've wanted, a bike trailer.
He doesn't fit in it yet (still too floppy), but I'll have him in it as soon as he does.

week 11 060

and it just so happens to work out that the only color available happens to perfectly match my bike. (as if I'm stylish)
I plan to get much use out of this thing.
Later in the summer we'll start shopping for a bike for Joan, so we can have family rides.
The Camellia extension has made it much safer and more convenient for us to access areas beyond our neighborhood.
I really think the bike trailer will be great for popping on over to River Ranch for Rhythms on the River, in the fall and spring or for weekend trips to Fresh Market. Like many of these trailers, this one easily converts to a stroller, once you get to your destination.

week 11 064

Now we just need a backpack and we'll be fully mobile for football season.

While I was getting everything put together, just to be a rebel, i let him play with a plastic bag. Ooooh, I'm the bogeyman.

week 11 046

(just kidding, that pic is totally staged, he was actually playing pick up sticks with broken mercury thermometers)

and thanks to all of the ladies from AcadianaMoms who stopped by the blog last week, and left positive feedback. We had 220 hits one day.

New Trick

Mixed week around here.
Riley had a pretty good week, but Wednesday night, Joan started getting sick, and by Friday had to stay home from work. She's bouncing back, but now my throat is sore (her first symptom) so I'm hoping I don't get hit.
So if these posts are boring, I'll just claim to be sick and not thinking straight.

Saturday we ventured into enemy territory (BR) to coordinate with Paul's branch on a Father's Day present for Joan's Dad. Riley had a pretty good day, but was a little fussy because his nap schedule was thrown off. Caroline on the other hand had a perfect day and made maybe two peeps all day. I will hand it to him that he fell asleep in Best Buy, which sounds like a war zone, so he's not afraid of noise.

Riley learned a new trick on Saturday, and has really taken to doing it alot today. He has finally learned to suck his hand in lieu of his pacifier.

week 11 053

He did it for the first time early Saturday and practiced for most of the ride home.
I know it is a mixed blessing because it will be a habit to break someday, but, for now, it saves us from constantly having to plug the pacifier in.

he's getting a little more vocal and regularly imitating my wide open mouth when I try to prompt him with an "ahhh" sound.

week 11 031lighten

He's also decided that his mobile is alot more exciting than us. Again, another relief.
week 11 018

on the vaccine front, there's alot of controversy out there about alleged side effects of childhood vaccination.
I have decided that I'm against vaccination, but not for any of the reasons you commonly hear.
I oppose vaccinations because those shots two weeks ago allowed him to discover a whole new volume level that he didn't know he had before. He's really taken up his decibel output by orders of magnitude.
Now his nightly "Unhappy Hour" fit is like standing near a jet engine instead of a pitiful little baby. But it also takes more energy out of him and wipes him out. Another mixed blessing.

week 11 011fixed

Joan's diet is still expanding, but, without being able to use any butter, milk, cream, etc in cooking, our options for what we can make here at home are pretty limited. Sooooo, guess what's for dinner this week.

Yup, chicken and sausage (not pictured)
And for those who wonder why I reference one meal, it's because we are boring and lazy people who are content to eat the same thing all week. On Sunday or Monday, we cook enough to get us through Thursday. It is mostly because our time feels so limited in the evenings, we hate to waste any of it cooking. We've been doing it for 5 years now, and it works. We make up for the lack of weekday variety though, by splurging on the weekends.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

When It Drains, It Pours

If you like laughing at my expense, I hope that you enjoy this blog.
If you have an extremely weak stomach, this may be one to skip.

Since early on, Riley and I have gone out on errand runs together, giving Joan a little break from his constant needs.
This Saturday figured to be no different.
After doing the yard, we headed off to Home Depot for a man morning, shopping for air filters and bird seed.
Standard issue equipment for such a trip is a diaper bag and the Baby Bjorn.
We arrived safely at the nice new HD in Broussard and got to shopping.
Once I located the air filters, we made our way to the garden center. He was smiling and looking around, getting everyone's attention, as usual.
Also not out of the ordinary was the tensing of his abs and rumble in his diaper that I felt. Despite sounding like quite a large contribution, we were closer to the bird seed than the bathrooms, so I figured I'd change him on the way out. That's when the normalcy ended.


30 seconds later, we're standing in front of the bird seed when I feel another tensing, followed by a very large diaper rumble.
Something told me to look down, where i saw a raging torrent of baby poo running down his leg and onto my shirt/shorts/leg.(and remember, because of the Colic Calm, his doodie is black)
I was still half a mile from the bathroom and knew immediate action must be taken.
I reached into the diaper bag for the changing pad, which I could not find (it was at the bottom of the bag and, itself, felt like the bottom of the bag.)
Niag-poo falls was still raging, but I knew the wire outdoor shelves would not be a great changing surface. My inner MacGyver took over and I quickly located a large piece of cardboard that I threw onto the closest shelf.
I opened up the baby bjorn and all of the contents that had pooled at the bottom ran down the inside flap, rendering it entirely contaminated and useless.
I then proceeded to strip the kid completely naked and change his diaper/clothes/sock right in the middle of the Home Depot Garden section, all with baby poo still slowly running down my own leg.

Passing shoppers and employees had their fair share of laughs at my predicament.
It was like the poo was reproducing and multiplying. It was everywhere.
By the time I had him changed, and used nearly a whole pack of wipes to clean him, the white cardboard that he was laying on looked like a really bad abstract painting.
Fortunately, we had some plastic bags in the diaper bag and I was able to pack away the biohazardous waste and somewhat decontaminate my hands, clothes and his whole lower half.
Being a courteous person, I brought the cardboard with me to the register, to dispose of in the nearest can.
Obviously, I still looked fairly composed, because the cashier decided it was time to be chatty, even after I said, "Do you have a place where I can thrown this away, my baby crapped all over it."
The worst part was that I forgot about the crap on my leg until I was driving home.
We then got home where I changed and then he spit up on me. The little rat was determined to ruin all of my clothes.

Now, in my third outfit of the day, I was sure things would be cleaner.

Later in the evening, the three of us went to Target. The Bjorn had been cleaned, dried and put back into service.
Near the meat section i felt ab tightening, and, still being a little shell shocked, got worried. As we approached the bread, my worry paid off. Tightening and rumbling told me not to look down but to just head to the bathroom, where I saw a creeping pool of black funk defying gravity and climbing up his back.
Twice in a day. Not my idea of a relaxing weekend.

On Sunday, it didn't happen again, but every time I felt him tighten up, I got paranoid. My paranoia did lead me to discover that Babies R Us, a store devoted entirely to BABIES, who are known for using DIAPERS, does not have a changing table in the men's bathroom, unlike every other store in the world.
There is a changing table in the "Mommies Room" which is designed for nursing. Good thing there were no hungry babies there today, because I was getting him to a changing table, exposed stranger boobs or not.

Fortunately for you, there are no pics to accompany my story today, but here's one of him looking sly, just for the heck of it.

week 10bath 005

The usual

Aside from his first shots (see earlier post), it was a fairly calm week for the boy.
Things are still much better around here on the digestive front, and Joan is continuing to phase in more foods.

The first week of sharing his Nonnie with Anna went well. Anna is having to adjust to a new setting, but still seems just as happy as usual.

week 10 shots 001fixed

Thursday, Riley was the star of the show as he got to meet Uncle Darren, Aunt Sangee and Cousin Hailee, from Connecticut. He was actually pretty well behaved, even though the evening (ya know, when we're actually home) is usually his worst time of day.

week 10 014

week 10 004

He's getting better at trying to smile and is also opening his mouth as if to make noise, but without any actual vocal cord participation.

week 10bath 004

We've also discovered that he likes "swimming" in the tub. He is usually quite content if you hold his head out of the water and let his bottom half float while he kicks around. No pics of that, because the rag over his jewels kept floating away.

week 10bath 021

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I think Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison are cinematic masterpieces.
Given such a mindset, you can imagine how hard it is for me to write a family oriented post about "balls" but I'm going to do it anyway.

Earlier in the year, Connie from RHH gave Riley a baseball signed by the 2008 Cajuns team. Pretty cool.

Not to be outdone by the guys, Amanda, fresh back from Oklahoma City , presented him with one of the official College World Series softballs signed by the Lady Cajuns team.

week 10balls 012

They're both really cool, even to someone like me who puts baseball just above erosion and just behind grass growing on my list of favorite things to watch. (though i have found that i like the pace of softball games much better than baseball)

Thanks to both Amanda and Connie. Those are really great gifts and are greatly appreciated.

Monday, June 2, 2008

So Sad It's Funny

Today was his two month pediatrician visit.
Everything checked out well.
He clocked in at 10 lbs 8.9 ozs and 23 inches.
That puts him at 25% weightwise and 50% heightwise. (i think the BR doc was wrong a few weeks back)

Joan got all of her food questions answered and will continue to slowly phase in non-dairy foods.
My question got answered too. Basically the doctor said she wouldn't condone him riding in the Jeep because she doesn't know about their safety. (she was nice about it, but didn't seem to be coming from a position of knowledge, just general assumptions and prejudices)
But, that wasn't the question. The question was "will the wind be too much for his ears", to which the answer was, "not if you're careful."
I have confidence in the safety of my Jeep and of Jeeps in general, and will not hesitate to put him in one.
So, once I get the Jeep running, we're going to go for a ride one evening.

The highlight of the visit though was his first round of shots. He did not take too well to 'em and was screaming so loudly that he actually gagged himself a couple of times. It would have been sad if it wouldn't have been so cartoonish.
After all was done though, he quickly calmed down and slept most of the day. When he's been awake he's been cranky and very clingy, but thats forgivable as he's also running a little fever.
Here he is looking like he's got a broken spirit.

week 10 shots 005

and like he's got a broken neck

week 10 shots 006

In my/our defense, it may seem that any time I mention doctors on this blog it is in complaining or is dismissive of their opinions. That should not be taken as an indication that we don't respect doctors or their well founded medical advice. It should only be taken to indicate that when a doctor is not coming from a position of actual knowledge, with plausible reasons, I'm willing to write it off.
Example: at the latest visit, the doc (who we really like) was waffling about whether Riley should ride in the jeep, and said she would have safety concerns if it is one of those "little small ones with the floppy top." Her demeanor made it clear that she had no actual knowledge of the safety of Jeeps, only a general, preconceived notion that they flip over if you look at them too hard, and have absolutely no protection for the occupants. She didn't want to endorse a child being placed into a a situation that she did not know to be safe, which is understandable. I though, have put my Jeep through some fairly gnarly stuff on the trails, and have watched my friends do the same, all of us testing the limits of what can be done while remaining on at least two wheels. I do have knowledge and believe in the safety of Jeeps, so my answer beats hers. Not an insult to anyone, it's just where the information resides.

There' no point in mentioning all of the times that we agree with the docs and are given solid medical advice, so what appears in the blog is definitely skewed to the negative. We do like our doctors and follow their directions unless we feel strongly otherwise and take that contrary position with a solid informational background.

And now back to the fun stuff.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Second Cousin

and I mean that in the roots and branches sense, not quantitatively.

On Tuesday, two days before scheduled arrival, Cousins Shane and Tara welcomed their first son into the world, labeling him Elijah Idontknowhismiddlename Breaux.
They're going to call him Eli.
He joins his sisters Darby and Lillian, and new additions Riley and Caroline, in the "Kids Who I Will Entertain At Family Holidays Until My Back Gets Sore Club."

Judging by his initial vitals, he'll be a major culprit in any back soreness.

Ol' boy tipped the scales at 8 lbs 15 ozs and stretched to 21.75 inches.
To me, that is humongous, seeing as how it is nearly 3 lbs heavier than Riley was at birth, 4 ounces less than Riley was at 6 weeks, and 3/4 of an inch LONGER than Riley was at 6 weeks.

When we went to the hospital to see them, Riley was crying, but I lovingly got him to stop.
I simply told him that were were going back to the place we had gotten him from, and if he didn't stop crying we were just going to leave him there. Being pretty smart for a two month old, he got the message and got his act straight.

I'm sure Shane would like a son to be able to crawl up under the Corvette to help with maintenance, but by the time Eli is old enough to crawl, I don't know that he'll fit.

Congrats to them. Wish we could send 'em some hand me downs, but their kid will be bigger than ours by next week. Oh well. Everyone is healthy, and that's what matters.

Here's the new guy, with his sister Lillian.

eli & Lillian

Cajun Pride

The Lady Cajun softball team did our university proud this week by making it to, and playing well at, the College World Series in Oklahoma City.
They started off the first day by defeating the #1 seeded Florida Gators with a home run in extra innings.

Unfortunately, they didn't fare quite as well in their Friday and Saturday games, and are headed home now.
But, any time UL can have an athletic program in the top 8 in the nation, and a program that consistently performs at a high level, it is something to be thankful for.

The gals being televised every day gave everyone, including Riley, a good chance to sport some Cajuns gear around town.

week 9 049

and he doesn't have a really fat neck, he's just not good at extending it, so it gets all squished

week 9 019

Out and about, he did well at a couple of restaurants when meeting more of our friends and some out of state family. He even made it through a little bit of time at a dog show (in which said out of town family was competing) before he, less than politely, told me it was time to go.

One really neat thing that happened this week is that he touched Jimmy and actually realized it and looked interested.
After the screaming that peaked a few weeks ago, Jimmy has gotten in the habit of leaving the room when Riley enters.
Maybe they'll be buds after all.

week 9 027fixed

Laid Back

Not a really eventful week, which is a good thing. Things were kinda normal.
Joan went back to work Tuesday, and mentally appears to be holding up pretty well.
My Mom spent her first week with Riley and, of course, swore that he is just a perfect little sleeping angel.

week 9 011

Either she's having some troubles perceiving reality, or he's a good actor.

Fortunately he's been sleeping well all week. Still having some spans going in and out of sleep, but no real fits.

When he's ready to be comforted, he definitely has a favorite parent, and it's not me. The other day he was content sitting in his Bumbo watching his mom do her hair before work.

week 9 031

Tomorrow he gets to start hanging out with Anna, who came over on Saturday (with her parents) to help baby proof the house and get her used to the surroundings and her new keeper.

week 9 037

I guess you could say our interior design theme has gone contemporary nursery style.

week 9 032

Hopefully, being around two women all day won't soften him up too much. He's already taking a liking to the mirror, and would rather look at your reflection than look directly at you.

week 9 018fixed

Any major digestive problems seem to have been resolved by the elimination of some foods, so Joan is slowly phasing in foods. Dairy is still way out of the picture, but we can carefully find food not containing dairy. Fortunately, one of those foods is Evangeline Maid bread, which allows for some variety.
This week she even tried a pulled pork sandwich from Johnson's Boucaniere, truly one of the best sandwiches in town.

The phasing in process is slow though, so, guess what's for dinner this week.
Yup, grilled chicken. woohooo!

week 9 074

Tomorrow he goes to the doctor for his first shots.
We'll ask about phasing in more food and my question about when he can ride in the Jeep. (assuming I fix the problem that is keeping it from starting right now.)