Author Archives: aaronsbell

this is what happens when you sleep too long in our house



first, someone else shows up in your bed.  normally it’s nathaniel jumping into bed with us demanding waffles, so it was nice for him to get a taste of his own medicine for a change.

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after that person shows up in your bed – they shake you, smack your face, or throw something at your head.  at this point, the first two have failed, and he’s moved on to throwing stuffed animals.

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extremely proud of himself, zachary seeks approval.  some minor encouraging may have been taking place for him to try some more.

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this extra strike has appeared to wake the sleeping monster from his slumber.

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SUCCESS!  an awfully excited zachary  continues his 100% success rate in waking up another member of the family.  nathaniel is (obviously) none too pleased.  there is only one possible way that this could end –

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not a moment’s peace

this is why i can't relax

this is why i can’t relax

as i’m sure most parents can tell you, the surest way to get your children’s attention is to sit down on the couch.  the other day i was home on my day off with the boys.  i was severely congested and was just hoping for maybe 10 minutes to let some medicine kick in with some peace and quiet.

instead i had a two boys and a dog jump on top of me.

it’s not that i mind the affection, it’s just that at that moment i would have preferred some alone time.  granted, since nathaniel was born my opportunities to relax have become few and far between.  even more infrequent since zachary.  but what can you do?

at least they still go to bed at 7pm, so julia and i have our nights.

photo 2

brotherly love

now that both boys are mobile, the chances of any room in our house remaining clean are about zero.  throughout the day there are toys on the floor in every single room of the house.  there are toys in the beds.  toys on the couches.  inside the couches.  under the couches.  in the refrigerator.  on the countertops.  hell, we even found nathaniel’s ‘missing’ rain coat inside our rice maker.

if someone has a giant vacuum hose we can borrow to just suck everything up, it would be much appreciated.

the funny thing?  they only want to play with each other’s toys.

nathaniel has no fewer than 38000 super hero figures.  you can usually find about 6 of them in zachary’s mouth.  on the other hand, nathaniel seems to find zachary’s three-little-pigs toys the most exciting thing in the house.

trouble a brewin'

trouble a brewin’

luckily, nathaniel still take a nice long nap in the afternoon.  the other day, he was sleeping just a bit too long.  it was getting close to 3 and if he didn’t wake up soon we would have had problems at bed time.  i decided to have a little fun with the boys and use zachary to wake him up.

after standing by the bed and yelling without any results, zachary started laughing.  that was when he turned back to nathaniel and started slapping him on the head.  without moving, nathaniel mumbles ‘turn down that noise.’  zachary found this to be the funniest thing he’d ever heard and laughed until he almost fell over.  then he started the slapping again.this went on for about another 20 secodns before nathaniel finally turned over, smiled, gave his brother a hug, and proceeded to fall back asleep.  he eventually woke up, and zachary was upset he lost his new toy.

play time

play time

nathaniel’s new favorite thing to do, much to the disappointment of his aunt jackie, is playing soccer.  apparently we’re a ‘football family,’ but honestly, he’s pretty good at soccer.  i think the rec leagues start at 4, so maybe next year we can sign him up for it.

he seems to enjoy sports as a whole.  he doesn’t quite understand the concept of taking the baseball out of the glove before he tries to throw it back to me, but he’s still learning.  granted, watching him throw the ball from inside the glove is pretty amusing.

finally a moment

don’t judge me, but i want to hide under the couch

everything here has been going pretty wonderfully the past few months, and i have a minute (thanks to me being sick and taking a day off of work) to actually post here.

zachary is getting big.  luckily nathaniel was born in the late summer with zach born in early spring so the clothes we already had seem to match up with their difference in sizes.  where nathaniel was wearing 18-24 month pants when he was close to 3 (he has a longer torso than legs), zachary at 8 months old is already growing out of some of the 9 month outfits we have.

julia and i have said it before, and this definitely won’t be the last time i say it here, but nathaniel better be nice to zachary, because he’s going to be outgrown in about a year.

actually, nathaniel seems to have hit a growth spurt as well.  it seems like just yesterday he was barely able to walk under the dining room table at his full height.  the otherday, he walked mouth first into the edge of the table.

they both love each other very much

boy oh boy does zachary love his big brother.  take this week for example – we’ve all been battling some form of being sick, and it seems zach is the latest to come down with something.  he’s usually the calmest baby, rarely crying over anything.  last night he was practically inconsolable.  it’s obvious he’s in some form of discomfort.  julia tried holding him, i tried holding him, we tried rocking him, we tried walking with him, we tried everything we had in our arsenal.  what made him calm down?  nathaniel laying on the floor next to him and giving him some toys.  apparently the love of legos has been passed down from big to little brother (at least those giant duplo or whatever the huge ones are called).

on top of not feeling so great because of being sick, zachary is also in full-on teething mode.  his bottom front teeth are (mostly) in and i think his top teeth are just around the corner.  luckily he’s not much of a biter, although he has meandered over to me a few times and tried to chew through my pants leg.

don’t let nathaniel know i play with his toys

speaking of which, zachary is pretty much mobile at this point.  it started (as it often does) with some hanging out in tummy time, i got up to get something and when i got back he was on the other side of the room.  so i brought him back over to where he was and waited.

nothing happened.

then he started rolling himself back towards one of nathniel’s armada of batmobiles.

that’s when i knew the easiest days of having a baby were over.

after rolling around for a couple weeks i started experimenting with him.  i would take a toy and move it just out of his reach and sort of block his rolling pathways to it.  that’s when he figured out how to drag himself to things he wanted.

hanging out at uncle brian and aunt nicole’s after the hurricane

he’s still not fully up on his knees yet, but then again nathaniel didn’t start doing that until we were at our friend’s house and they had a carpet that was easier to crawl on.  our floors are hardwood, and the play mats we have in the living room aren’t the best for traction.

speaking of nathaniel, his love of superheroes continues.


instead of having to watch such awful shows as fanklin or little bill, when he asks to watch ‘his shows’ it’s usually the justice league, batman, or superman.  it’s also pretty nice that i own them all on dvd so i don’t have to hope something good is on tv at that particular moment.

seriously, kids today are spoiled.  i remember having to wait an entire week to get to watch another episode of dungeons and dragons or jayce and the wheeled warriors, and then one day they weren’t on tv anymore.  no explanations.  there was no ‘on demand’ or internet to find what i wanted.  it was just tough luck kid, watch the shirt tales.  now, even when we were without power for six days after hurricane sandy rolled through, i was still able to let nathaniel watch an episode of justice league before he went to bed thanks to a million portable devices i have.

tickling his brother

nathaniel still continues to amaze us with hos ridiculously smart he is.  after being at my brother-in-law’s for one day, he had watched me put on his dvd and knew exactly what to hit on the remote’s he had never seen before to turn it on for himself.  we have a feeling zachary is going to be pretty much the same way.

he watches everyone doing everything.  he’s always watching.  when he first started to move around his first thing that was a non-nathaniel or dog toy he went after was the dvd player.  he’s already figured out the button to turn it on, and his eyes get all wide when the lights turn on.  then he gets a little upset when he hits it again and it turns off.

it’s really cute to watch.

it’s been a long while, and i have a few moments to myself

this is going to be mostly pictures with a few stories mixed in.

zachary is awesome

it’s been so long he’s now a little over 5 months old.  while nathaniel was barely on the growth charts, if he was on them at all, zachary is right on there.  he’s not giant, but compared to his big brother he sure seems it.  at 5 months he weighs slightly less than half of what nathaniel weighs at 3 years.

he LOVES his toys

his giraffe or his moose are pretty much always in his hands.  well, when he can’t get his hands on an entire pile of bibs, burp cloths or my clothing.  eat, sleep, play.  they are always with him.

being a good big brother

nathaniel has taken to his role as big brother very well.  he LOVES his baby brother and just wants to hug him pretty much all the time.  he sings for him, he rocks him to sleep, he dances like a lunatic, he gets him toys to play with.  all zachary wants to do is watch his brother.  he sits watching him and just laughs and laughs and laughs.  this, of course, causes nathaniel to be even more insane.  i can’t wait to see what happens when zach starts crawling and tries to take nathaniel’s toys.

can you stop taking pictures? i’m trying to nap here.

pickles also has taken to zachary being here.  when nathaniel first came home, pickles lost his spot as top dog (literally and figuratively).  he’s already used to his spot as kick ass pet, he doesn’t mind having another baby around.  even when he gets too close and the baby grabs his face and won’t let go.  pickles just looks at me like ‘seriously?  alright.’ and just lays down and takes it.  the other day i walked in on pickles laying his head down on zachary’s legs while zach was sitting in his chair.  they’re real cute together.  i think they’re going to have a great bond because nathaniel demands our attention (literally demands it sometimes) that zach and pickles will just hang out together.

i told you he likes his toys

i wouldn’t try to take one of them away.  he’s likely to cut you.  he’s such a great little guy.  the only time he gets upset is when he’s really hungry.  if he wakes up, he just hangs out in the crib (in the dark) talking to himself and his blanket.  it’s a little creepy, but so far i haven’t understood words so i’m not too scared he’s plotting my demise.

what choo talkin’ bout nathaniel?

this just looks uncomfortable.  i forget what song nathaniel was singing here, but zach was enjoying the show. (yes, we know that seat was recalled, you don’t have to tell us.  we don’t leave our kid unattended on high surfaces while he sits in it).  nathaniel is really turning into a small version of me.  while i’m doing random tasks around the house, i’ll usually make up ridiculous songs that i sing while i’m working.  nathaniel has started doing it too.  today, for example, while we were driving home the two of us sang a song about the length of inna-gadda-da-vida about how we were going home to start cooking rice for dinner.  he got so into it, he even sang (a small sampling of it) for julia when she got home.

the laugh

not great quality, but this is the face we see pretty much most of the day.  nathaniel wasn’t even being particularly funny here.  he was just driving (one of his dozen or so) batmobile’s on julia’s leg.  i didn’t see the humor, but then again i’m not 5 months old.

i can’t believe they’re 3 years and 5 months.  time flies when you don’t post on your blog.  (i have a lot of new sleep gallery pictures that i’ll post when i next get a chance).  for now, i will leave you with this –

what? you don’t like my hat?






everyone is doing great

julia is feeling like herself again, nathaniel gets that we need to spend some more time with zachary than with him, and zachary is almost as big as nathaniel already.  i’ll post more of an update on everyone later, but it’s been a while since i’ve posted a ‘nathaniel sleeps in bizarre positions’ photo gallery, i figured it was time for one.

the 'ostrich'

for those nights when you just KNOW something is out there that is going to get you.  the only safe way to sleep.

the 'not quite sure if he wants to sleepwalk'

yes, he’s asleep.  no, he didn’t go anywhere.  we aren’t sure if this is comfortable or not, but he eventually made his way back into bed to sleep (semi)normally.

the 'dead arm'

ever wake up with one of your arms asleep?  i am about 90% sure this is one of the major causes of that condition.

the 'somehow he fits sideways on the bed'

how does he fit like this?  i have no idea.  he looks pretty comfy though, so who am i to complain?

the 'perfect angel'

who could tell that probably just a few short hours ago he was attempting to tackle pickles and knocking over his toy shelves?

that’s our big boy.

two weeks ago, was our last night as a 3.5-some

Zachary Sebastian

and the next day we became a 4.5-some (i’m counting pickles as a .5 member of our family)

the past two weeks have been a crazy time for us all.  nathaniel, to put it mildly, has a TON of energy.  he is, after all, 31 months old.  attempting to keep up with him on a regular day is a surefire way to napville.

adding in a newborn who doesn’t quite understand the concept of day/night just makes it more interesting.

since julia was just ever so slightly beyond her due date her doctors decided it was time to induce.  what can i say, zachary wasn’t even born yet, but he was already taking after his father.  after a scheduling snafu to get induced on thursday, it was set up for monday the 19th.

not going to toss back this fish

we called in the morning to find out what time we were supposed to arrive, and the woman at the hospital said ‘um, now.’

after rushing through our normal morning of getting nathaniel ready for daycare, we loaded up the car and headed on our way.  we dropped off the old one on our way to meet the new one.

after the always fun process of hospital paperwork, we were set up in a room for the process to begin.

i won’t bore you with the details of the day, but it was a lot of uncomfortable followed up by way more uncomfortable, followed up by a baby.

finally meeting baby pepe

after the baby was born and julia was settled in for a little bit of a rest, i left to go home and get nathaniel.  after he ate, we went back to the hospital so the two brothers could meet out in the world.

nathaniel was very excited, although we’re not sure if he understood fully that this was baby pepe that was in mommy’s belly up until a few hours before.  he did, however, tell us the baby was ‘cute’ and ‘real little’ about a thousand times.

julia’s parent’s took nathaniel home so i could spend some more time with the baby (i suppose also my wife).

we came home from the hospital on wednesday.  pickles was happy to meet the baby (not really) and when i picked nathaniel up at daycare he was super excited that mommy was finally back home.

oh, i guess i should say zachary was 8lbs 11 oz and 20.5″ long (born at 2:34pm for those in the pool)

anyway, after a few days of getting all of our schedules as in sync as they would be for now (probably forever) everything is starting to feel normal around here again.

zachary is sleeping most of the night.  he’ll wake up once around 2 or 2:30 and then go back to sleep until around 5.  actually, this could totally be me making things up due to not getting up with the baby, but i’m pretty sure that’s how it’s been.  truth be told, i wake up with the baby.  i’ll change a diaper and get julia a bottle of water or something before i get right back into bed.

nathaniel has had his sleep schedule messed up a little bit, because on occasion, zachary will wake him up.  it hasn’t been so bad, he’ll usually go right back to sleep, often in bed with me.  but the two boys are sharing the room nicely.  granted, the first night or two with the crib zachary HATED the wide-openness so he’d wake right up and freak out.  by the end of the week he was ok with it, and that’s where we are now.

it's just like at the zoo!


that's my baby brother!


yesterday we had a baby

yesterday we welcomed zachary sebastian into our family.  he weighed 8lbs 11oz and was 20.5″ long.  both he and mom are doing well and relaxing in the total comfort of a hospital room until they come home tomorrow.

i’ll post pictures and bit more about this (and nathaniel meeting his brother) when things settle down a little bit more over here.