4 November 2006
We demand a sugar rush

Laney and Jackson in costume

And the Princess of Darkness and the SpiderLad mean business. (Ages: Laney, 3½; Jackson, 8 months; furnishings in the background, God only knows.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 5:31 PM)
9 December 2006
A brace of redheads

Laney, 3 yrs 8 mosBecause everybody just loves gratuitous grandchild photos, here's a couple of them. First, Laney contemplates that mysterious girl in the mirror; next, Jackson observes from a safe distance. (Bigger versions are just a click away.) Clearly they've gotten this hair from their mom: there aren't any carrot-tops on my branch of the family tree.

Jackson, 9 mosAnd speaking of Alicia, she's been very good about delivering photos to us Distant Relatives, and this seems like as good a time to thank her. I couldn't ask for a better daughter-in-law. (After all, it takes a remarkable woman to put up with one of us Hill guys. Ask any of us.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:16 AM)
7 March 2007
No sadder phrase than this

"She would have been eleven today."

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:42 PM)
18 March 2007
The strong, silent type

There's an old joke about a child who never speaks. He cried a bit when he was a baby, but they all do that; once he got over it, he never said a word.

Somewhere around age five, the family was having dinner, and suddenly he spoke up: "Mom, the turkey is dry."

The parents — well, you can pretty well imagine. After they calmed down, Mom asked: "You can talk??"

"Of course I can."

She gave him That Look (you know the one) and asked, "How come you never said anything before?"

"Up to now, everything was okay," he explained.

I'll bet almost anything Drake Esmay knows that joke.

Permalink to this item (posted at 8:20 PM)
2 April 2007
It's that whole fertility thing

But no pix yet, reports daughter-in-law:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 (yes, just one day before Laney's fourth birthday) @ 3:14pm we became the proud parents of our third child. Our new little man Gunner Memphis Hill weighted in at 9lbs 6oz and is 22½ inches long. He had his first doctor visit today and is a perfect healthy little guy.

For those keeping score, this is grandchild #4. As for the name, hey, I'm just happy they didn't name him after me.

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:48 PM)
4 April 2007
How do you do?

Shel Silverstein wrote, and Johnny Cash sang, a ballad about a boy who grew up with the name "Sue," and you'll remember that Sue grew up bitter and resentful — eventually, weapons were involved — as a result. I have no idea whether this sort of thing will happen to a girl named Metallica or a boy named Jihad, but I don't think it's really useful to have laws against such names: "Earning the lifelong resentment of their ill-named progeny should be punishment enough."

Keep in mind that my daughter came this close to being named for a Beatles song — one by McCartney, at that — and I have a grandchild named "Gunner."

Permalink to this item (posted at 12:22 PM)
5 April 2007
And here he is

Gunner, first photoFirst shot of Gunner, born on the 28th of March. Still has that rich tomato-ey glow. (Runs in the family, I think.) Personally, I think Alicia and Russ were trying to save some money on birthday parties, since Laney's the 29th of March and Gunner's the 28th. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it as long as I think I can get away with it.) Oh, and don't even think about calling him "Gunsy." (Addendum: I really think they're going to quit after three, but then I really thought they were going to quit after two, so pay no attention to me.) (Further addendum: For some reason, I decided that this picture would look better somewhere other than hung off the right edge of the page, so I moved it in. Wouldn't be the first time I made some dubious aesthetic judgment.)