Monday, December 17, 2007

Dogs' Worst Friend

In the past month or two, Clay has taken a distinct interest in Winnie & Ginny. His favorite game is chasing them with his little push carts -- running them around the house and keeping them in shape. He also has found Ginny to be a useful stepstool for getting onto the couch.

So far, there have been no "incidents" other than a few growls from the dogs. We've made a point of trying to stay closer to them when he's on the prowl, but I think we'll be okay.

They've always been very "even keel", slow to anger and all that. They seem to understand that he's just a kid, and a little boy at that. Recently, he seems to be spending almost as much time hugging and petting them as he does terrorizing them, so hopefully we're past the worst of it.

In related news, I finally got off my duff and had Ginny tested for thyroid problems. She's been morbidly obese for at least a few years, and it was really beginning to affect her quality of life (climbing up stairs, etc.) We do a good job of restricting her diet, but she can't really exercise anymore and it was time to get it fixed. Sure enough, she registered a .2 on her thyroid test (healthy levels should have been around 1). So, we've got her on thyroid medication and expect her to be running laps in the backyard with Winnie by the summer. Shame on me for not dealing with it earlier!

A Good Big Brother

Clay is definitely getting acclimated. He insists on giving his brother a kiss when it's time for bed or naps. He seems to understand pretty well that he needs to be "gentle" around the "baby". I've also noticed that "Mommy" has become inseparable from "baby". He never mentions one without the other.

I'm sure it's been a huge help that I've been able to be at home during this transition. Not only for Lisa but for Clay as well. Brennan definitely gets Mommy, but Clay gets me. I get him up, feed him breakfast, play with him, give him lunch, put him down for a nap, get him back up, play with him, get him dinner, give him a bath, and put him to bed. Whenever possible, Lisa makes a point of spending time with Clay, but it's just tough with around-the-clock feedings to keep her occupied.

We're all dreading the new year, when I go back into the office full-time. Who knows how it's going to all work out, but I'm sure it will.

Also, thanks to all our wonderful friends who have been bringing us dinner for over a week now. We are VERY well fed and I know there are more meals to come. It is such a blessing to pull a home-cooked meal out of the fridge night after night and not need to worry about grocery shopping, cooking, etc. Thank you so much!

Finally, I've uploaded a bundle of photos this evening. As always, you can check them out at

Monday, December 03, 2007

Two Peas in a Pod

One of these is Clay. One is Brennan. Are you seeing a family resemblance?

Needy x2

My assumption was that the biggest challenge in having another baby was starting the clock again on taking care of a child that, initially, can do nothing for itself. Almost every day, Clay has become increasingly self-sufficient. He can walk, he can communicate (asking for things, responding to you). It's wonderful to see him grow and accomplish something new every day.

I could remember, however, when Clay was little more than a lump. A lovable lump to be sure, but a lump all the same. He ate, slept (sometimes) and filled his diapers. As the dad, there was little I could do other than to give Lisa a hand and change the occasional diaper. But now, he calls me by name, even helping out -- bringing me things, throwing things away, etc.

So, I was intimidated with the idea of turning back the clock on a new child and starting all over. My reasoning (clearly flawed) was that we could do it because Clay was so self-sufficient these days and that would free us up to spend more energy on Brennan. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Clay, it seems, is going to need a chance to adjust to being the big brother. Ever since we've come home on Saturday, Clay has been a mess. Now, to be fair, Clay was already a little bit of a mess. I'm afraid he's inherited his father's temperament. He's got a short fuse -- when frustrated he goes into meltdown and begins chucking things or banging his head. Since Brennan's come home, however, he's gone from short-fuse to no-fuse. The slightest hiccup and it's a full-blown-fit.

So, the reality is that, for at least the short term, Clay's almost as needy as Brennan. We can't let him out of our sight, he wants to be held all the time, and I'm spending most of my days following him around, picking up whatever he's knocked over or soothing him as he's thrown his latest fit.

Calgon, anyone?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Brennan Donald Boyer

Introducing Brennan Donald Boyer. Brennan was born on Thursday, November 29th at 5:49 AM. His vitals were 19" and 8lbs 9oz. Lisa's first contraction was around 3:45 AM, so Brennan sped his way into the world without giving mom the benefit of an epidural.

Everyone's healthy and happy -- well, Clay's not sure he's happy. He's more than a little unsettled at the moment. But he does know who the "baby" is, and has been willing to pat his brother and give him the occasional kiss.

Lisa and I both liked the name Brennan. Brennan Manning is one of my favorite authors, but our Brennan's certainly not named after him. Brennan took his middle name, Donald, from his Grandfather, Dr. Donald Hagen. Lisa's dad was blessed (some might say cursed) by having three daughters, so we were excited to be able to pass along his name to another generation of boys.

Photos are available at

The Blog Formerly Known as The Clay Show

It's official, Clay is no longer the center of the known universe. I'm hoping that he figures this out sometime in the next 16 years.

This afternoon, a very tired little boy made his way home with his parents and new baby brother, Brennan Donald. He's now napping it off, sure that it was all a bad dream.

In honor of the addition, the site has been updated to "The Brothers Boyer". A riff on "The Brothers Karamazov", I thought it clever. Of course, the Dostoevsky classic's central story is patricide, but we'll just let that slide. I can still take them both, and I think I've got a fighting chance for at least another 15 years.

If you've bookmarked, then you'll need to update it to point towards Alternatively, you can always bookmark -- that will point towards this and any future sites and make life simple. And no, there is no plan in the works for a version 3 -- at least not for a very long time!