Monday, November 8, 2010

General Updates

I can't believe it's already November! Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas music made its debut in my car today. It actually rained last night, which helped the festive spirit since it was 96 degrees last week.

Since it's been a few weeks, here are some general updates on the whole family.

David - He's been back at work for over a month and totally hates his job right now. I thought paternity leave would give him a newfound sense of appreciation for the 9-5, but boy was I wrong! He's hanging in there, being a great daddy, and staying healthy despite the sickies surrounding him here. (we've all gotten it but him...)

He put together an improv team a few months ago and they performed a Halloween-themed show at the i.o. West in Hollywood. This is the 3rd annual House of Improvised Horrors, but with a new set of performers this year. It's his favorite thing and his outlet, so it was great to hear about what a great show they put on! Next up is their holiday show.

Saki and Chili - Chili had the sneezes last week, but otherwise seemed fine. She's fat as ever and more lovey than usual. Fortunately, she's all better now. Unfortunately, she passed her cold on to Old Man Saki, who's not taking it so well. He looks like he's on the verge of death. His eyes are all weepy, and his nose is completely stuffed up so you can hear his squeaky, snorty nose-whistle breathing when he enters the room or walks down the hallway. He's been sleeping a lot, and resting in some unusual places, like in the middle of the closet floor, or halfway under the bed (but hotdog style, with his left half sticking out, not the typical "head-out" position expected from a cat.) Hopefully in a few days he'll be good as new. Here's an Olan Mills-inspired picture from his more youthful days:

Halen - What a month we're having! I'm pleased to report that he loves his new daycare, and they love him right back. He's really doing well there. It has been a bit hard on his health though, with all the germs going around. He's had a cold for a few weeks now, and can often be heard snoring, even while awake. Poor guy. Now, to top it off, he's recovering from a 3-day long attack of diarrhea, which caused really painful diaper rash. Man, I do not envy that guy!

In addition to being under the weather, he's teething. His first tooth broke through a few days ago! But I didn't realize what a slow process it is. There's still barely anything visible. You can feel it more than see it. But it's there! Huzzah!

We celebrated Halen's 7-month birthday on Sunday (by changing a million awful diapers and soothing his chapped butt the best we could). I can't believe how much he's grown! He's so much taller these days. He's still 50th percentile for height, although he dropped down to 15% for weight a few weeks ago when we went in for shots. We've been trying to fatten him up, but his cold really dampened his appetite and it doesn't help when food goes in one end and immediately out the other. He weighed 15lb 8oz at all 3 doctors appointments these last few weeks. Apparently, he's "still on the chart" but we need to really crack down and chunk this kid out! He's loving bananas mixed with rice cereal so hopefully that will do the trick.

Halen's favorite activity right now is rolling around on the floor. We have fake hardwood in the living room, and he can scoot around by rolling and dragging himself with his arms and sliding on his belly. He's not crawling yet, but he can cross a room, nonetheless! Any day now, and then we'll all be in trouble.

For Halloween we dressed up like characters from Futurama. Halen was nibbler, and he looked so cute! It was almost impossible to draw little fangs on him, but we did our best. We just hung out at home with some friends, carving pumpkins and watching Troll 2, the world's worst movie.

Me - Not much to report here. I'm recovering from my second cold of the season, surviving my classes and trying to enjoy my evenings with Halen. I just signed up for a Thanksgiving day 5k, so that'll be fun. I don't really plan on training :)

Well, that pretty much sums up the family lately. Can't wait for the holidays!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rebel Baby

Halen spent the first 5 months of his life at home with me, and the 6th month home with Daddy, so when we dropped him off at daycare 2 weeks ago, he was rightfully unprepared. But I never expected him to be a "problem child!"

I guess I should start by saying that I wasn't 100% thrilled with his daycare. I felt like they didn't play with the kids enough or give them enough individual attention. It was an in-home daycare run by a married couple, and there were 4 infants and 3 toddlers. I think they were overwhelmed as it was, but they expected the babies to sit quietly in a crib and just entertain themselves all day. I would go to pick up Halen and the toddlers would just be sitting there by themselves, not interacting at all. There were 3 toddlers, and one would be sitting around, one would be in a high chair eating a snack and one would be sitting on a mat. No music, no laughter, nothing. The other infants would be in cribs or bouncy seats just sitting there staring around. It gives me the chills just thinking about it.

So I guess it was definitely a blessing when I picked Halen up on Thursday and they told me that he wasn't adjusting quickly enough, and that when they put him down for naps, he would cry, which disturbed the other babies.Well, of course he would cry. We don't put Halen in a crib and walk away if he's wide awake. "See this baby (zombie)? He doesn't have to be held or played with. He just sits by himself staring around nice and quietlike. Halen needs to be more like that."

They told me they'd give him another week to improve and then they wouldn't be able to keep him there since he disrupted the other babies. I took Halen straight to the super fancy daycare that we had been on a waiting list for since I was 7 months pregnant, and told them my sob story. They told me they were moving a 12-month-old up to the toddler center this Monday and they could take Halen, but it had to be now. So now I feel really good about the care he'll be getting but it costs more than my college tuition. Hope he appreciates it!

Anyhow, sorry for the awful story-telling. I'm typing one-handed and I'm still not sure how to better tell this tale. Plus, it's bedtime and I'm sleepy.

Other stuff: excited to be flying Halen to Poulsbo the few days before Thanksgiving! Yea!

School is good. Hard and tiring but good. Everything else is fine too! The end.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Back to School

It has a whole new meaning when you're a teacher...

I've been an AWEFUL blogger these last few months! Too busy, not enough photos, etc. etc. And I still have nothing in particular to say or show, but I thought I should at least pop in to say "howdy" and offer various excuses. The first of which is - back to school! After a lovely 5 month vacation and stay-at-home mommyhood, it's back to work for me.

This year I have 5 jam-packed geometry classes and instead of having a prep period I'm teaching one section of 10th grade English. This means that not only am I super busy planning a new and totally different class, but I have no built-in time to do it! So it's been challenging but so far I've enjoyed teaching English. We're reading Slaughterhouse-Five. Awesome.

In related news, I got sick the very first day of school. Normally, it takes a week or two of mixing and mingling with the new students to get sick, but this year there was no messing around. Monday afternoon my throat started itching and by Tuesday morning it was full-out hurting. I mean, what the heck. Who gets sick the FIRST DAY?! By Wednesday I could barely talk and I had a fever Wednesday and Thursday. No fun. I felt much better by the weekend but I still (over a week later) haven't fully regained my voice. I sound like I've been smoking for about 30 years. And my name's Rhonda. Bah.

Hmm... what else is new? Today I walked in on a sneak preview of Halen's Halloween costume, and I almost died laughing. David's making it (yes, making) and it's the cutest thing in the history of the universe. That's right, the whole universe. Can't wait to post Halloween pictures! It's the first time I've been excited for Halloween since 7th grade and I (barely) talked my mom into letting me trick or treat one last time. I mean, just because my brother wasn't allowed to trick or treat when he was in 7th grade doesn't mean I shouldn't get to! Come on! He was 13 in 7th grade and I was only 12! Clearly I was entitled to one more year! It's not my fault I was more mature :)

Ooh, I also want to send a shout out to Shanna, my awesome mother-in-law who's walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure this weekend! She's walking 60 miles in 3 days. Oof. Break a leg!!! Oh wait...

Okay, enough is enough. I guess I can scrounge up a few recent photos of the cutest baby ever. Let's see here...

Halen's learning to sit up! He still needs something to grab onto, like his feet or a blanket or something. But he's doing great and we're so proud!

Halen met some cousins! Here he is with Saskia and Sienna, my mom's cousin's daughters. Not sure what that makes them to Halen, but we'll just stick with "cousin" and not worry about specifics! Doesn't he look excited? :)

Here's one of Halen looking super cute.

Well, that pretty much sums it up. Tomorrow we're meeting my aunt Sherry, uncle Bob and his wife Tammy for breakfast. Bob and Tammy are on their way to Mexico to celebrate her birthday, so they're stopping over for the weekend. Then we're heading down to San Diego to help my big brother celebrate his 30th birthday! Crazy! We'll definitely have pictures to post soon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's On...

Okay, I have less than 4 weeks until my trip to Spokane to visit family and attend my cousin Lindsey's wedding. I'm trying my best to lose those last 10 pounds before then, so if you happen to see me sitting around eating junk, stop me. I've been trying to restart the P90X series, which I did last summer, but it's been really difficult with Halen because he generally doesn't like me to not hold him or play with him for over an hour at a time, and if I try to work out while he's asleep I end up shaking the room and waking him up :)

Anyhow, just being more active should be a big help, and I've also been focusing on portion control. In case you aren't aware, I get great joy from eating large quantities of unhealthy foods, so this is extra challenging.

I know my body will never be exactly what it was before I got pregnant, but I really just want my work clothes to fit by the time I go back in September. Hopefully that's not asking too much!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Portland! (and Vancouver)

Okay, I've been way behind on blogging. But it's totally not my fault! I blame society.

Actually, there just hasn't been a time when I've had free hands and free time simultaneously. That's life with a baby, I suppose. And once again, I have a ton to blog about with very few pictures worth posting, so I'll need to supplement with some "creative illustration" via the worldwide web. Here goes...

Two weeks ago, we took Halen on his first plane ride! We went to Portland to visit David's family and attend my cousin Scott's wedding over the July 4th weekend. The flight up went much more smoothly than I expected. Halen slept the whole time! In case you haven't seen Halen sleeping, here's some stock footage. What a cutie!


While there, we stayed in Vancouver, WA with David's dad, stepmom and their 3 "babies."

Sort of?

Jamie and Rose love their dogs, only 2 of which are actually yorkies. The third is a... toto? (Cairn terrier, according to google.) Unfortunately, the dogs weren't equally as thrilled with us staying there, and yipped shrilly and incessantly anytime we entered the room. Or opened a door. Or crossed our legs. Or flushed a toilet. Fun stuff.

On Friday, we hung out, went to Target, and sat around talking about the dogs. David went to see his brother's band play in St. Helens, and I took Halen to dinner with my parents and David's mom and step dad. We went to Red Robin, which I haven't been to in years! It was really fun to see everyone, and our parents get along fantastically, so it was a good night. Here's a picture of Halen with his two grammas!

Saturday was Scott's wedding! He and Jordan had a short, lovely ceremony at the top of Mount Tabor in Portland, followed by a reception/bbq at the park near the bottom. Halen got to meet all of his relatives on my dad's side, which is not large; he met my grandma, aunt and uncle, great uncle, and my only cousin on that side (Scott). Here are some pictures from the afternoon, in no particular order, which are all copied from facebook because I didn't take any! Bad me!

Scott, Jordan, and my dad's uncle Jack who led the ceremony.

Yummy vegan cupcakes.

Uncle Jack and my Grandma Dottie.

Scott and his mom, my auntie Sheri!

My mom gave a reading, which she executed flawlessly!

All in all, it was a great day. I was proud to be celebrating alongside some truly unique and special people. I really have a terrific family!

The next day was the 4th of July. We met my family for breakfast, and then said goodbye to everyone. We had planned to meet David's mom, stepdad, brother Andrew, sister Katy, and Katy's family at a park for a picnic/bbq, but the weather wasn't cooperating. Instead, we hung out at Andrew's house. We had sandwiches, cupcakes, and a few other picnicish sides, and Halen got to meet his cousins! Katy's kids were excited to meet their new cousin. Here's Halen with (L to R) Justin, Zachary, Jacob, Crystal and Brendan.

It was a really fun and relaxing afternoon. We watched Goonies and Invictus, napped a bit, and ate some ice cream (soy-based for me). Halen and Shanna discovered they have something in common...

I know, right?

As darkness approached, David, Andrew, Andrew's roommate Andrew and I (that's 2 Andrews if you lost count) decided to hit the town to see what we could see. Here're a few samples of people who we "may" have come across...

Who knew Vancouver was so... exciting? We ended up parking downtown and having a few drinks at a quiet little bar. Overall, I'd say it was a great day.

Monday was dedicated to catching up with some old friends. We had a lunchtime bbq with Allison and Todd and their little girl Lucy, and Karl and Katie came down from WA with their boys Escher and Moby. It was really neat to see some of the developmental milestones Halen can look forward to. Allison made these amazing bacon-wrapped salmon kabobs, although I'm told it wasn't bacon, it was some other fancy thin-sliced ham (like prosciutto but not that either). DELICIOUS. We had the first stretch of warm weather while we chatted and ate some great food.

For dinner, we drove to Sheena and Trevor's place in Portland. Sheena was my maid of honor and we went to college with both of them. We got to see their new house, which they're mostly done fixing up. Trevor made chicken dumpling soup with a chicken that, well... used to live in their backyard. Until recently, that is! They have a small coop in their yard for eggs and apparently eating as well? I tried not to ask too many questions. I just know it didn't have a name, and it tasted delicious.

Tuesday I hung out in downtown Portland while David recorded a voice-over reel in the studio that his brother's band uses, and then we flew home! It was fantastic to see everyone, but after a long time away from home, it was great to be back.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Techy Becky

I finally figured out how to upload videos from my camera onto the computer, so over the next few days I'll probably be going a little video crazy. I don't have time right now, but here's my test video.

Nothing really happens for the last 30 seconds or so (I have zero editing skills), but this is a clip of one of Halen's very first times cooing. And by "coo" I mean any noise that isn't crying.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Today was Halen's first SMILE!! It was great! We were getting ready to go for a walk* and Halen was propped on my pillow while I got my shoes on. I was wearing big sunglasses, and when I looked at him and took them off he smiled at me! A big wide no-tooth baby smile :) I was so excited, I got all teary and grabbed my phone to take a picture but he wouldn't do it again. I probably stood there for 5 minutes just moving my sunglasses up and down and making funny faces. No luck.

Then, several hours later (now), we're sitting on the couch watching the NBA Finals and David and I got a front row seat to this special feature:

Sorry for the quality; it's a cell phone camera in a poorly-lit room with the sun setting through an open door behind him.

*I decided to take Halen on a walk to the Burbank Public Library. It's down the street a little ways (1.3 miles). I was going to push the stroller, but I keep forgetting to take it out of David's trunk so I carried him in the BabyBjorn instead. I signed up for a library card, browsed the kid books, and then we walked (trudged) home. By the time we got home I was totally sweaty and my side was aching. Perhaps I'm not quite back to my old stamina?

Also, if you live in Kitsap County I hope you appreciate your public library. They're so much nicer than they are here! The Burbank library was gorgeous from the outside, but inside it's small and grubby. Bleh. Not impressed.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Girls' Night!

Tonight I went to a friend's house for a MUCH needed girls' night. It was three ladies with way too much delicious food. I didn't take my camera, so I'll supplement with images found on the worldwide web. Here's us:

That's me on the left.

We decided to each bring a dessert/snack to share, but I'm not a great cook, nor am I creative with snacks in any way, nor do I have the time or energy to think about preparing anything. So I decided to go to Porto's! Yum! For those of you not familiar, imagine the world's most incredible bakery combined with a humongous deli, where everything tastes magical and nothing is wrong with the world. Here's a tiny section of their counter. The lines are always super duper long, but they move really quickly. They have these potato balls, which are hard to describe, but I'll do my best: it's seasoned ground beef inside a ball of mashed potatoes which is then deep fried. Here's a picture that does NO justice. In fact, it looks disgusting.

Just trust me.

Lindsay's a vegetarian, so the potato balls had to be my special treat. For girls' night, I took a few different danish/strudel/pastry thingies. Also two giant cinnamon rolls. Yup. The other ladies had an assortment of cheesecakes, awesome hummus with pita chips, carrots and pretzels, and rosemary lemondrops to top it all off.

While the girls were at Erika's house, the boys were at my house doing manly things. Things like:

throwing sharp pointy things at other things.

burning and eating beer-soaked meat.


All in all, it was a great night. It's 1:45 now, and definitely time for bed. David and Halen are asleep on the couch, so hopefully we can make a swift crib transfer without waking the little guy up. Wish me luck!

*Editor's Note: swift crib transfer unsuccessful.

Secret Hidden Post

I finally finished the post I've been going on and on about... and it posted to the date I started writing it, not the date I finished it! So you can find it just before the George Costanza post. Or here. (Thanks for the heads up Shawna!) :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fancy Pants

We got this wireless keyboard/mouse thing, so now I can play on David's computer from the living room (through the wall) and it shows his screen on our tv!

That means... I can finish the blog posts I've started but couldn't finish because I was stuck on the couch! Woohoo!

So yeah, that's my to-do list for tomorrow.

Thursday, May 27, 2010





For years to come, when I need a laugh, I will remember this moment. I had gone to bed but David was still up with Halen, who wouldn't stop crying. David had fed and changed him, but Halen had started crying and David was trying to keep feeding him, rock him, burp him... whatever he could to get Halen to calm down. Poor David was going crazy.

I can't sleep through crying baby, so I came out and took over so David could go to bed. Halen calmed down, and after a while I thought I'd change his diaper again to get him ready for bed. I opened the blanket that David had wrapped around his lower body, and this is what I found. LOL!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Top 8 Reasons Halen is Just Like George Costanza

Halen and I went to the doctor this morning (see below), and as a result I've compiled the Top 8 Reasons Halen is Just Like George Costanza. Without further ado.... (drum roll please)

#8. Frequent Napping

Much like George Costanza, he enjoys sleeping throughout the day, often as a way to simply pass the time or avoid responsibility. He's also not afraid to sleep in public.

#7. He's Obsessed with his Parents

George Costanza and Halen both have what many psychologists (probably) refer to as a "Mommy Complex." It is well known that GC can't stand his parents, and yet he continues to spend countless hours in their company, even going so far as to move back home as a grown adult. Weird. Of course, Halen loves his mommy and daddy, but still... never leaving our sight? Geez Halen.

#6. He Eats Constantly

Your love of food transcends the everyday when your ATM pin is your favorite chocolate syrup. And how often does GC eat at the diner, anyways? I mean, can you even imagine him cooking? Somehow he's always eating, much like our little guy Halen here, who overcomes all obstacles to eat every 2-3 hours, day or night.
What's that? Obstacles? Yeah. More often than not, Halen struggles to get through a bottle, and often starts shrieking loudly, only to attack it with hungry face 5 seconds later. This process repeats itself for 20-30 minutes, when he finally decides he's had enough (don't worry, he eats plenty. See below).

The pediatrician thinks it may be reflux, and gave us a hypoallergenic formula to try for 24 hours. If he improves, we'll switch back to breastmilk but I'll need to make some major dietary changes. Adios, dairy, soy, and anything spicy.

Halen just finished his first bottle of formula which I tried a drop of, and let me tell you, it is NASTY. He made scrunchy wtf face when I first put it in his mouth, but proceeded to slowly and calmly drink a snack-sized amount. Now that is a true love of eating.

#5. He Has Perfect Hands

George Costanza's beautiful hands landed him a tragically short-lived gig as a hand model. Halen's hands are also perfect in every way. No weird veins, giant knuckles, nail funk, or patches of hair. Just perfectly smooth, awesome hands.

#4. He's Bald

Neither Halen nor GC are completely bald, but it is certainly true that there is an abundance of visible scalp. Halen's hair is noticeably longer on the sides and in back than it is front and center. Luckily, his hair is growing fuller, unlike George Costanza's progressively thinning do.

#3. He's Short

Halen was measured twice at the pediatrician's office today. First by the nurse, and then again by the doctor, who thought the nurse had misread the measurement because *surely* he couldn't be that short. He was 18.75" at birth, and now he's 21.25". That's the 15th percentile. But come on, he was 3 weeks early for crying out loud. He's still catching up.

#2. He's Chubby

As a baby, being chubby is a good thing. Unfortunately for GC, being "stocky" necessarily isn't. Despite his shortness, Halen's weight is perfectly average, which is why his doctor called him, and I quote, "chubbo."

And finally, the #1 reason Halen is just like George Costanza....

#1. He's Fussy

GC is a known complainer. Luckily for us, Halen's fussiness is much more endearing and most likely temporary. He demands to be held most of the day, and will start crying if I set him on the boppy or in his swing. In fact, I'm holding him right now and typed this entire post one-handed.
As I mentioned above, Halen might have reflux, but the doctor isn't convinced because he doesn't (usually) throw up, and the few times he has, it's not painful for him. She thinks it's more likely colic. Yippee.
Lately Halen's had 2 modes - fussy and asleep. Like I mentioned above, he's even fussy while eating. *While* eating!
I'm just thankful that he's healthy (in the ways that matter) and I know that it'll pass.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Grandma and Grandpa Schmit come to town!

Okay, this is a loooong time coming...

I've realized that the reason I've had such writer's block with this post is because I've already written about the main events. What's left over after Grandpa Wes vs. the Whomping Willow, our photo shoot with Halen, and our trip to In-n-Out, is in my opinion the best part of their trip - the bonding time spent with their newest grandson. Of course, there was the actual Mother's Day, but I didn't take any pictures. We had a lovely dinner at a seafood restaurant in Glendale after discovering our first choice was a buffet-only holiday special for $50 each. I had coconut shrimp - no complaints here!

Here are some pictures of Grandma Shanna with Halen. All of my pictures of Grandpa Wes and Halen are below in the whomping willow post :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I mentioned earlier that David's mom and step-dad came to visit and meet Halen, and it's on my to-blog-about list. The problem is that all the pictures are on David's computer, and a) I'm on the couch, and b) David's usually using his computer for work during the day. I'll definitely write about it soon! I promise! It was a really nice visit.

In the meantime, here are some updates:

Cry Baby -
I made Halen cry twice today. Of course babies cry all the time, but these were two significant incidents. The first time, I was trying to wash bottles and pump parts with Halen in the swing. He was being super fussy, and I could only get through one or two parts before he'd start crying again so I'd run over and pop his pacifier back in (I know, great parenting, right?). Anyhow, I only had 3 bottles left to go when he started crying again, so I let him cry for the last 90 seconds or so in an attempt to just finish already. When I dried my hands and got over to him, he was actually crying. There were actual tears in his eyes for the first time. Giant frown. Until that point he only made dry-eyed crying sounds. I'm a jerk.

The second (and even worse) time, Halen was sound asleep so after doing a 10-minute power clean and actually brushing my teeth like an adult I decided to cut his super long nails. Now we all know where this is going, don't we? I'm actually a pretty good nail cutter. I've been cutting Saki's claws for years. I'm not sure what happened... it's all a blur now... let's just say it ended with his thumb bleeding, and me feeling like a horrible person. Of course he woke up, and there was crying (him, not me).

Baby Fat -
It's been 4 weeks since Halen went to the doctor and he's practically quadrupled in size since then so today I decided to weigh him. We bought a bathroom scale recently so I did the whole weigh myself holding a diaper then weigh him wearing a diaper thing. (Side note - diapers weigh less than 1/10th of a pound.) Our little giant weighs 10.4 pounds! He's gaining about 3/4 lb per week, or about 1.8 oz per day. What a chunk! Which leads us to the next update...

Baby Got Back -
We've graduated to a size 1 diaper!!! Yee haw. And, finally...

Baby Steps -
Happy 6 week birthday to Halen! Next thing we know, he'll be wrecking our car and studying for the SAT.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Bunch of Cute Halen Pics

Because I have some stupid dumby lame-o stuff to do for work, what better time to post all the cute pictures we've taken of Halen lately?

A fun hat from my mom's "grandma shower"

Not so sure about daddy's driving.

You can actually tell his eyes are blue! Hooray!

Not sure about this one. Does he look ashamed to anyone else?

It's about a foot too big, but it was cold.

Taking a break.

Cute cute cute...

Grandpa Wes vs. the Whomping Willow (aka the Satsuma Limb-Cutter Massacre)

As promised...

Legend has it that Grandpa Wes is an experienced tree trimmer of sorts, so while he was in town we took full advantage. He and David took it upon themselves to trim the willow tree in our front yard, which until then was looking quite dreary. Let's just say several branches were actually draped onto the ground.

Not our tree...

Everything was going fine. The boys were out front working hard and being manly, and Halen and I were asleep on the couch. In other words, not supervising.

What could possibly go wrong?

So there we were, sleeping peacefully, when David woke me up. It went *something* like this:

D: Hey Honey, we're taking Wes to the emergency room.
M: Whuht?? What's wrong?
D: He cut his face open.
M: Huh?! How? Is he okay?
D: No, he cut his face open...
M: Oh, right...

Long story short- Wes was on the ladder, propped up against a not-so-sturdy branch, when said branch gave out, the ladder fell, and Wes fell right along with it. Face down. Onto the back of the 6-inch blade of the limb-cutter he was holding. I believe the magical number of stitches was 17?

That'll learn yuh...

It's a miracle he didn't break his nose, several ribs, an arm or two, or worse - jab an eye out.

Due to the nature of the incident, the following pictures are all "after" shots. I didn't know at the time that "before" shots would be required...

Here's Halen trying to be polite. (kidding! He loves scary Grandpa Wes!)

You shoulda seen the other guy.

And a more "artistic" version -

Grandpa Wes confronts his past -

And to answer the question surely on everyone's mind, here's the tree.

On a side note, Wes's glasses broke in half right down the middle, and while they were at the ER, I played a rousing game of "find the other half of the glasses in the branch pile." David's explanation of where to look? "By the ladder."