Archive for August 2010

A two party system

August 30, 2010

The kids had two birthday parties to attend this weekend.  The first was on Friday morning.  Since I’m home on Fridays, I got to take them.  However, I’m pretty sure this threw off the balance of the Force since it was a pool party.  While I helped with being the main source/target of play in the pool, I’m not sure the rest of the moms were expecting a dad to be in attendance.

Guess which kids sunburn easily?

Saturday was the next party.  It was the 3rd birthday for the little brother of T,  J and A’s best friend from church.

T's little brother playing Matchbox racers, which was a big hit with all the Daddies as well.

Guess which cupcake was specially made for our son who won't eat any sweets that are colored?

J was most appreciative

A keeps her eye on Emily

This is A and Emily, one of T’s school friends.  When T found out Emily was going to be there, he said “Emily can’t be there because A will be there!”  I have a feeling T wanted to keep his two worlds separated.

Let’s just say A held her own.


Belated weekend report

August 25, 2010

OK, I miss one day of work and spend three days catching up.

We spent the past weekend at my brother’s lake house.  Some of the highlights:

Yes, we packed the entire bed of the truck. For a 54 hour trip.

The first requisite "must eat poorly when on vacation" meal.

Although K didn't get the memo. That's yogurt, a low-fat muffin, and the abomination know as turkey bacon. TURKEY BACON! Just the words make me a little queasy.

J works on his checkers killer instinct:

After arriving at the lake, city-kids J and A wonder why this water doesn't have the unnatural blue hue found at the swimming pool.

Catching fish off the dock:

A liked the catching, but not the removing from the hook:

This is as close as we could get her to the fish.

K and Nana took the paddle boat out for a spin:

Once the rest of the crew showed up, K convinced A to take a ride in the real boat:

While J decided to stick closer to shore

K cooked dinner Saturday night. I'll repeat, K cooked dinner.

I call this our Kennedy moment around the dinner table at the lake. Unfortunately, we were without the Kennedy's cooks, maids, butlers, and other various hired help.

After dinner, the kids put on a talent show, complete with posters and tickets.

A’s big finish:

Saturday night ends with the obligatory “shooting fireworks into the lake.”

Sunday AM started with smiley-face chocolate chip pancakes courtesy of Aunt K.

Then back into the lake

Of course, J's favorite part of the lake was throwing rocks.

We finally pried A out of the water.

No witty caption. I just thought A looked exceptionally cute in this shot.

J is never very far from his dinosaurs. They came in handy during a little rain.

Before we left, A created a picture for the lake house refrigerator, complete with house, sand castle, sun, water, and lounge chairs. And a rock for J.

Overall, a nice way to spend the weekend.

Oh yeah, it was my birthday too.

Pretty Toes

August 20, 2010

In honor of heading to the lake for the weekend, K and A decided to get matching toenail polish:

Don’t expect a similar shot of matching toes from J and me.

It’s not a party until somebody throws up

August 19, 2010

We’re headed to my brother’s lake house this weekend to celebrate my birthday (but don’t worry, there are still 3 shopping days left, and FedEx will just leave deliveries on the porch).  Since my Dad’s wife won’t be able to make it to the lake,  she wanted to have a little pre-birthday dinner last night.

We went to a local burger place, mostly because adults like it (i.e. it’s not McDonald’s), and they have grilled cheese for my still-won’t-eat-hamburgers kids.  J was obviously pretty hungry, since he polished off his grilled cheese about three seconds after we said “Amen” at the end of the dinner prayer.  As the meal progressed, since the rest of us were talking, I don’t think we noticed that he was surreptitiously stealing french fries at a greater rate than normal (we always hold back their french fries since they would devour them first, leaving no room for anything vaguely nutritious). A only ate half of her sandwich, since she’s pretty good at self-regulating her eating.

J, however, is not.

He proceeded to eat the rest of A’s sandwich.  And some more fries. And, oh yeah, part of Mommy’s milkshake.  By the time we were ready to go, he started complaining that his stomach hurt a little.  But he was always laughing and joking, without ever making any indication that he was really sick.

Flash forward 45 minutes.  We’re getting the kids ready for bed. Still, everything is proceeding as normal.  After their PJs were on and their teeth were brushed, out of the corner of my eye, I notice J slowly raise his hand to his mouth.

At this point, the action was similar to a TV show where the protagonists learn that a bomb is about to go off.

Time slowed down.

All sounds went quiet except the sound of a beating heart.

I swear I heard K say “Nooooooooooo” in that drawn out, tape-slowed-down fashion.

I pick J up under the armpits and deposited him in front of the toilet.

“Are you OK? Are you going to throw up?” I ask.

“No, Daddy, I’m fine.  I don’t have to throw up.” J replies.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, Daddy.  Really, I’m …”

Before he could finish the thought,  he unloaded a grilled cheese sandwich, some fries and part of  a milkshake into the toilet, all at the velocity of water from a fire hose.

Almost immediately, he looked up and said “Wow, I feel much better now.  I’m really …”

And then he deposited another half of a grilled cheese sandwich, the rest of the fries and the rest of the milkshake into the toilet.

“Now I really feel better,” J said.

Purged of the offending overload, he acted as if nothing had happened.  Everything was fine when we checked on him before we went to bed.  By this morning, the only indication that anything had been amiss was when he said “Mommy, can I have breakfast?  I’m really, really hungry.”

I’m sure you are, little man.

Our cosmopolitan weekend

August 16, 2010

Usually, we are very happy to live in our little suburban utopia.  But every once in a while, we step out of our cocoon and take advantage of some of the unique experiences available around our Nation’s Capital.

We started Saturday morning by taking the kids downtown to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

A is not a fan of the Metro

J, however, was more enthusiastic

Even though we’ve been to this museum many times, J still gets excited when he first sees the big elephant in the rotunda:

Continuing the theme, A was not as enthusiastic (but you can still hear J’s excitement in the background):

And you think J was excited to see the elephant?  Did I mention that there are dinosaurs at this museum?

In this clip, A looks up and identifies a dinosaur, only to be corrected by J.  Of course, I have to take his word that he is correct:

And was he correct?  Yup.

Don't doubt J on dinosaurs

J, stop drooling on the glass.

Oh look, it's our living room floor

While A can appreciate a good dinosaur, she can only take so much.  What does she want to see next?

Again, she proves she’s definitely K’s girl in her appreciation of fine jewelry:

A nice little bauble

One of their (and K’s) favorite places is the hands on room for kids.

I see dead butterflies

J thought the big crocodile looked hungry

K instructs A on proper microscope technique

Never too early to start math

After a bite to eat, we headed out.  Two notes for tourists coming to the Smithsonians.  First, just like most tourist areas, the food in the Smithsonians is outrageously marked up.  Make sure you check prices before you put food on your tray.  I watched as the guy in front of me stood slack-jawed at the register when the cashier told him that the lunch he had picked out for his family of 5 came to a total of $78.

I call this photo "Irony." It was posted in the cafeteria. Note the large incandescent and halogen bulbs in the background.

Also, arrive at the museums as soon as they open (10AM).  If you think you can sleep in, then saunter into the museums in the afternoon, this sight might await you:

The line to get in as we were leaving.

As we were walking back to the Metro, we got some ice cream for the kids. Since J only does vanilla, I had to eat the chocolate off the outside of a Dove bar.

The sacrifices I make

J hugs a chocolate encrusted A

A takes a power nap on the way home

So after our morning/afternoon downtown, we got home, cleaned up a bit, and headed back downtown for dinner and a show.

Both dinner and the show were at the Kennedy Center

The view from our dinner on the terrace was lovely. The city didn't look half bad either

After dinner, we headed downstairs to see the show, the musical version of Mary Poppins.  This is never a bad sign to see as you are directed to your seats:

But I guess this box # would have been more appropriate for Phantom of the Opera

The seats did not suck.

If you ever have a chance to see Mary Poppins, make sure you go.  While not high art, it is a whole lot of fun.

So that was just Saturday.  How did we end our weekend on Sunday?  By playing in a golf tournament after church.


All in all, not a bad way to spend a couple of days.

An entirely different meaning to the word “retreat”

August 13, 2010

You might remember that our church’s Retreat Center had a little issue with water a couple of months ago.  We’re still finalizing some of the insurance and repair issues.  Yesterday, I drove out to the Retreat Center to inspect some of the work and make some decisions on some of the last repairs.

As I drove up, the Retreat Center manager came right up to my car and shoved something  in my open window.  He said “Here, take this to the church’s finance guy.  He doesn’t believe me.”  I didn’t believe him either, until I saw what he gave me.

So what was it he gave me?

Yes, that is a 3 1/2 foot long snake skin. And not any ordinary snake skin.

It’s a rattlesnake skin.

It was found on the patio of the Retreat Center.

Did I mention a snake was still wearing the skin at the time?

Now, I see snakes all the time.  I don’t really get freaked out about them. But a rattlesnake?

Good night ladies and gentlemen!  You’ve been a great audience!  Don’t forget to tip your waiters and waitresses!

And let’s not even talk about the bears.

It was bound to happen

August 12, 2010

I guess it was just a matter of time.  Just about every kid goes through this, and J would be no exception.  It’s almost a rite of passage of sorts.  There are countless stories just like this one.

So what happened with J?

Did he lose a tooth?

No, not yet.

Break a bone? 

Nope.  Beside, he’s already done that.

Have to get stitches? 

Nope.  And again, been there, done that.

No, J decided, in all his infinite 5 1/2-year-old wisdom, to cut his own hair.

Luckily, it was only one cut

Maybe he could start a new hair style trend.

Scene, and tool, of the crime (and the perpetrator)

And the evidence