Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Boys, Paint & Hot Dog Eaters

As I returned to work the day after an extended holiday break, I looked back at what a relaxing weekend at home morphed into. As Amy mentioned in her earlier post we spent a a great deal of quality time with the boys, including morning breaks outside in the blow-up pool to beat the heat.

For a few days I got reacquainted first-hand with Amy's routine on a day-to-day basis. It truly is nonstop. At one point this weekend we both realized at dinner time that neither of us had stopped to take a shower. My hat is off to her as she takes care of the boys with seemingly unlimited patience. Watching the boys develop -- even over a few days -- is always a good experience as they are constantly changing and adapting.

Gus is a people person. A true example of this is how he loves to wear his sunglasses because of the attention they get him. He knows when people are laughing at something he does, and he looks for that reaction. In restaurants, he flirts with ladies as he knows they are gushing over him. From a communication standpoint, he is ready to communicate with people. He has really picked up on sign language -- milk, out, more, sleepy, quiet, dog -- and has begun constructing baby talk sentences that only he understands. He has started to stand up on his own if only for a few seconds before he crashes to his behind. Last night he tried to take his first steps while we were getting ready for bath night. As he does all of these things, he grins at you to gauge the reaction you give him.

Owen is our little introvert. He loves his mom as Amy is his safety net. He always wants her close by, and he feels the most comfortable when she is in the room with him. He is not really interested in people even when they are directly looking at him or speaking to him. Instead, Owen loves animals, lighting up when Tucker, Dutch or Harper enter the room, and staring at objects. He will ignore everything around him to gaze at wind chimes, a ceiling fan chain, or out the window. Where Gus is motivated by the people around him and the reactions that they give him, Owen is motivated from within that little head of his. He has begun to pick up on some sign langauge -- he loves spontaneously pointing to his nose to remind you that he knows what and where it is. More than anything, Owen marches to the beat of his own little drummer completely at his own pace. It is still amazing to me to see how completely different these two boys are from each other, despite being from the same parents and raised in the same environment. It is quite enjoyable to watch.

The rest of our weekend was devoted to paint. As Elaine mentioned to Amy the other day, she thinks we paint more than anyone she knows. We do indeed enjoy color and the self-satisfaction we get from changing the spirit of a room simply with a coat of paint. Our problem -- aside from finding the time to paint since we are usually entertaining two monsters -- is that it takes us several iterations before we settle on a color we like. Our bathroom is color #4. The kitchen took five. We finally decided on gold for our living room after sand, tope, coir, and two light blues. We attack it a quart at a time and go from there. If you are a Lowe's stockholder you undoubtedly have enjoyed the past month. But sell now as the Rutledges don't have any paint projects lined up for the near future.

Aside from infant sunbathing, trips to the home improvement store, and Amy in her paint clothers we did find some time to enjoy the weekend. Our friends Matt and Laura came over for dinner on Monday. Matt has lived in Sweden and frequently travels overseas with his job so he has a unique perspective on how we Americans are perceived in the world. Couple that with the fact that he likes good beer & political discussions and let's just say the Secret Service is put on surveillance alert when the four of us get together.

Finally, Amy & I also found some time this weekend to watch some Fourth of July sporting events, including Wimbledon and some fantastic World Cup soccer matches. The culmination of the sporting events had to be Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest from Coney Island. Kobayashi -- a 160 lb. eating machine from Japan -- won the event for the sixth consecutive year, downing 53 3/4 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

The groan you hear is both my stomach at the thought of eating that much so quickly and the fact that championship hot dog gorging is gaining in popularity as a "sport" in America. Cheers!

How are these people not 400 lbs.?

Living room before (colors #3, #4 & #5)

Living room after


Ashley said...

Like your final color choice!!! I also see some new artwork. You two did a good job!!!

Anonymous said...

Love the color!!! The room looks great!!! Interesting evaluation of the boys' personalities. I think it is a very accurate assessment. What an experience to watch them evolve into their own person! Hang on for the ride! GJ