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Big Brother

In a sense, it almost feels as if Alex has spent his two and a half years laying the groundwork for the arrival of Jacen. It wasn't a conscious plan, but maybe it was instinctive. Either way, it's a product of his personality. He has made himself so charming and irresistible and irreplaceable that he will never be overlooked, even with a tiny, helpless person demanding a share of the attention. And I have no doubt that he will be a good big brother as well, because that's the kind of person he is.

The night I spent getting him to know him better while Jacen was deciding when to be born is a night I will treasure. Early on Monday night he just wanted to walk around, so he took Suzanne's and my hands and led us up and down and around the halls of the hospital. "Uncle Mike's hand," he would say. "Grandma's hand." Except that Grandma is "Nana," and I am "Kunko Mike."

Or something like that. Actually it comes out somewhere between "Koko" and "Kookoo." I'm fine with it either way, just happy to be recognized.
There were times during the night when Eric would come out into the hallway to give us progress reports, and as soon as Alex saw him his face would light up and call out, "Hi, Daddy!"

Much later, as night turned into morning and Alex was getting his second wind after a few hours of sleep, he allowed me to distract him by scrolling through the pictures on my phone. He came to a video that included Aiden and Kylie and himself, with Suzanne's voice in the background. He played it over and over (until my battery life was down to about 20% and I had to put a regretful stop to it). Every time Suzanne would laugh on the video, he would laugh. That was obviously the reason he pushed the Play button again every time the video ended. He does love his Grandma.


After being at the hospital for eleven hours the previous night, I slept for nine hours last night, even after taking a long nap during the day. So I'm all caught up on sleep, right? Yeah, that's what I thought, too, when I started today full of energy and determined to get caught up on all the work I've been neglecting.

My first mistake was taking time out to do the much-delayed grocery shopping. By the time I got home I had walked ten miles and spent a month's salary (or at least that's how it felt). And I still had to do the week's payroll and get the checks to the post office before the last pickup. It was a breathless afternoon and I was gasping by the time it was over.

Maybe I'll get another nine hours of sleep tonight and ease back into my regular routine tomorrow and be caught up on everything by the weekend. That would be as wonderful as it is unlikely.


Movie night: Oz the Great and Powerful is loud and colorful and painful to watch. The cast includes award-winning actors giving simply awful performances, most notably James Franco. He's miscast, unrelatable and unwatchable. Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis are terrible. Only Rachel Weisz acts with any conviction, but that only proves what would have been possible with a little more effort. Even the makeup is bad in this movie.

Baseball: The Giants have had trouble on the road all season, but it's just embarrassing to go into Pittsburgh and score eight runs and still lose to the Pirates. And now things are going from bad to worse, as they're currently without the top three hitters in their lineup, one-fifth of their starting rotation and about a third of their bullpen, all due to injuries. The saving grace is that because of the quality of the competition, they should win their division anyway, and by the postseason they could very well have all these injured players back.

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