Fatherhood My Experiences as a Father...
August 5 to September 4, 2002 (40th month)

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Wednesday, September 4, 2002
There was no hot water for showers this morning.  I was planning to call the oil company for a service call, but I thought I would check for any obvious problems first.  It turns out that Hilde had turned off the oil burner yesterday.  Jill turned her back for a second while she was washing clothes and Hilde flipped the switch.

Monday, September 2, 2002
At dinner tonight Hilde ate too large a piece of her roll.  She started to choke a little, but was able to clear her throat.  Maeve yelled, "Hilde, use those new teeth!"

Saturday, August 31, 2002
Maeve has a tendency to push Hilde around a little, and try to knock her over.  When Maeve does that, Jill usually tells Maeve to stop, and asks if Maeve needs to go to her room.

Tonight Hilde tripped on Jill's foot.  I asked Jill if she needed to go to her room.  Jill said, "Hilde, go step on your father."

Wednesday, August 28, 2002
I've finished most of the work on the central air conditioning project.  Brian and his friend Ron came over to braze the last joints and charge the system.  It works.  I just have to spend another hour or so to finalize the connections of two flex ducts, and then I'll be done with all but cosmetic things.  It's almost a month beyond Jill's deadline, but we did save about $5,000 (the pros wanted about $8,000 to put in what we got).

It was definitely the largest do-it-yourself project that I've ever done, though the kitchen at our last house was also pretty big.  At least with the kitchen I was able to do most of the floor and wall work while the kids were asleep, and Maeve could come work with me.  Everyone will be glad to have me spend more time playing after work, instead of heading straight up to the attic.

Now hopefully we will have some warmer days before fall so we can enjoy it a little.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002
One of the last steps in our central air conditioning project is to connect the flex ducts to the ceiling registers.  I made the connection outside so I wouldn't get any dust from the fiberglass insulation in the house.  I moved the ducts and registers into the right rooms and Jill handed them up to me in the attic for me to pull through.  Before we got them up in the attic, Hilde was poking them, and pulling on them.

During the day, Jill told Hilde that I wasn't home from work yet.  Hilde went into the hall, looked up at the central air conditioner return hole and called me.  I guess she's seen me through that hole a little too much lately, so she assumes that I'm in the attic if I'm not in the house.

Monday, August 26, 2002
Maeve fell and bumped her head today.  She seems to have forgotten that her arm hurt until the doctor fixed it, so seeing a doctor is a good thing, even if they are scary.  As soon as she got up, she screamed that she was OK and didn't need to go see a doctor.

Sunday, August 25, 2002
Maeve's arm still hurt today.  She wouldn't let Jill or I move it, and was in a lot of pain when we had to move it a little to get the car seatbelt on or off.  She had been holding in place across her stomach, but by this afternoon she let it hang down straight.  Maeve and I went to Friendly's for lunch, and then I drove around while she napped.

Marianne called to talk about when she was coming and we discussed the whole thing with her.  She said we should have someone else look at it, because it shouldn't still hurt.  The people at the hospital had also said we should call Maeve's doctor if it still hurt today.  We called Maeve's doctor and he said it shouldn't still hurt, and that we should take Maeve to Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence.

Maeve wasn't excited about going back to the hospital, but I told her that it was a special hospital just for kids.  Mom and I couldn't go, because they would tell us to go to the adult's hospital.  They had fish painted on the walls.  There were Winnie the Pooh characters on the walls and on some of the nurses' scrubs.

Maeve was still scared of the doctor that we saw.  He did a little fiddling around and thought he got the joint back where it was supposed to be.  Maeve wouldn't move her arm to show us if it was still working.  We went out to the play house in the waiting room and played with some games.  Maeve still wouldn't demonstrate that her elbow was fixed, but while she was playing we could see that she had regained full range of motion.  We played in the house for another half hour before we went home.

Saturday, August 24, 2002
Maeve was climbing on my back tonight, and I felt a pop in her arm when I was hanging on to her.  She initially said that there was no blood, and that everything worked, but it turned out that her elbow didn't work.  We went to the hospital.  They took x-rays and ended up saying Maeve had an elbow subluxation.  They thought they were able to get it back into place, and Maeve got a few stickers for being such a good patient.  We went home and Maeve snuggled with me all night.  Jill offered to stay up with her, but Maeve told her to go to bed.

Friday, August 23, 2002
Jill left me home alone with Maeve and Hilde tonight.  One of the projects we did was to switch Hilde's crib with Maeve's old crib, because it would be easier for Jill to get Hilde in and out of it without waking her up at night.  Both Maeve and Hilde helped me.  I had to keep stopping to ask them to let me have my tools back.

Sunday, August 18, 2002
I am getting close to the end of the central air conditioning project. When I was putting in the ceiling registers, I would cut out the hole and then wave to Hilde.  Now when she hears a noise in the attic and I'm not around, she points at the ceiling and starts calling my name.

Thursday, August 15, 2002
Jill asked a swim instructor from church how she teaches little kids to blow out underwater.  The lady said to tell kids to "talk to the fish" when they are blowing out.  To turn their head for a breath, the are supposed to "listen to the fish".  Jill didn't think that Maeve would fall for that trick, but she tried yesterday.  Maeve immediately pointed out that our pool has no fish.

Today Jill tried again, and Maeve corrected her with, "talk to the PRETEND fish" and "listen to the PRETEND fish".

Monday, August 12, 2002
Hilde and Maeve were in the garage while I was working on the central air conditioning project.  Maeve screwed screws into her ceiling tiles.  Hilde was digging through my tool bag and carrying around tools that she liked.  Maeve opened the screw drawer far enough to see the tape in the back, and she started taking out different kinds of tape and asking what they were used for.  Hilde joined right in, and even pulled two rolls out when I started explaining what they are used for.

Saturday, August 10, 2002
Today Jill left me with Hilde and Maeve all day.  I got all of the central air conditioning equipment last weekend, and I wanted to do some work on that project.  Today we dug a flat spot for the outdoor unit.  Maeve helped dig, and Hilde played with toys in the backyard.

Tuesday, August 6, 2002
Today was Maeve's first day of preschool.  Maeve was excited.  Jill was willing to stick around for a while, but right away Maeve told her to leave.  Now Hilde doesn't have a big sister to follow around, but I think she will have no problem adjusting to having Mom and the house to herself.  Jill will have to get used to not having Maeve to talk to.  She called me at work to chat because Hilde was asleep.

I picked Maeve up around noon because I had a quick project at home to take care of.  They asked for some identification.  I tried to get Maeve to tell them who I was, but she wouldn't say anything.  I didn't know about their "sign her out" policy, so I didn't sign her out.  When Jill was trying to tell Maeve how important it is that she get signed out, Jill said if there is a fire that they need to know who is there and who isn't.  Maeve told Jill that there hadn't been a fire.

When Jill tried to get Maeve to tell her what she did, Maeve had nothing to say.  After enough prompting by Jill, Maeve let out a heavy sigh and said, "Ask my teacher tomorrow."

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