Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Tuckered out from all the Christmas excitement
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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

mommy's helper

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Loving the campsite

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Enjoying breakfast in the rv

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Maine Lobster

Van thought it was the coolest thing :)
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Sleepy Boy

We wore him out. Getting ready to board the ferry back to Portland, Maine. Then time for more lobster for lunch!
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Ferry to Peak's Island

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Gillette Castle

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Plymouth Rock

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Our little sailor

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Old Ironsides

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Van and Daddy at work

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Having fun with Daddy at work

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010


Thank you everyone for making Van's 1st birthday such a special day!

Monday, July 05, 2010

All in a day's work

Thursday, July 1, 2010:

Breakfast – California burrito in San Diego
Lunch – Chicago dog in Chicago
Dinner – New England clam chowder in Washington DC

Where did we go wrong?

Overheard while waiting in SWA terminal.

Pre-teen daughter wants a Starbucks.

Mother: “Here you go (hands over credit card) and get me a Tazo tea mocha with soy milk and a shot of vanilla”

Pre-teen: “… blink – blink …”

Daughter stares at mother as though a foreign language was used, eyes slowly glassing over.

Mother” “Here, I’ll text it to you, now get going.”

Where did we go wrong?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Moral responsibility

We were driving back from a delicious dinner from Emma’s (like I really need to state that the dinner was indeed delicious; does Emma’s serve anything other?). We were in Jim and Jolene’s suburban on Mission Gorge when our homeward progress was thwarted by a red traffic light. Arg.

As we patiently waited (some of us more patient than others), a beat-up, mid 90’s white four-door Nissan Sentra pulled up next to us.

Now… maybe I am slightly more attune to atrocities such as is to be described below now that I am personally responsible for a little life of my own (who I might add is the cutest/smartest/most talented child ever).

In the front seats of the Nissan is an older couple, both puffing away on some cancer sticks. The driver’s window is cracked an inch, the other is rolled up tight.

In the back seat, two little girls, maybe 8 and 10 years old; eating ice cream.

What is one’s moral obligation at this point? I mean, come on, we all know that second hand smoke kills. If you do not know that, then you probably live deep in the Amazon jungle and death by second hand smoke is an easy second to death by puma, so your lack of knowledge is pardoned.

I will admit, I hesitated. My gut told me to roll down my window and shout at the current caretakers of the children. I balked and the light turned green. Fate shown upon me (and hopefully those poor children) and the white Nissan was slowed by some traffic, but then decided to pass us. I cranked the window down and went with my gut… I shouted at the driver.

“Hey idiot, second hand smoke kills!”

He heard me. He did look slightly confused. I am not sure whether the confusion came from the possibility that he was raised in the Amazon or from the fact that someone in an adjacent car was actually yelling at him in regards to him slowly killing the children in the back seats.

Did I mention that on January 1, 2008, California enacted a bill that made it a fineable infraction to smoke in a vehicle if someone under the age of 18 is present?

To say nonetheless, my moral compass slept well that night.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

10 years :)

10 years ago today we were married. Time has flown by and the last 10 years... the ups and the downs... have only made us grow closer together. I am so thankful that I am married to my best friend. Kenny I love you and look forward to the adventures we will have together for the rest of our lives!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm in a hurry...

I am checking out of the hotel on the way back to the plane. I had just eaten lunch and wanted to brush my teeth, but my toothbrush was already packed away.

Fortunately, the fine Hilton establishment at which I was staying had provided several bathroom amenities: shampoo, conditioner, soap and mouthwash. Perfect!

I grab the light blue bottle, flip the top open and down the hatch.

Funny thing, it actually crossed my mind (in the half second delay between the bath gel departing the bottle and arriving at my tongue) that something was off; did they add a protective seal to the mouthwash bottles? I had often thought that they should, being that you put some random liquid into your mouth, unlike simply rubbing shampoo in your hair.

Anyways, somewhere between that thought and the gel contacting my tongue I realized my folly. Being in a hotel room left me with little options in trying to get the bath gel from my now foaming mouth. I was forced to use Oakland tap water to flush my poor little tongue clean - a daunting task indeed.

I managed to find a small bag of peanuts in my flight bag to semi-eradicate the soapy flavor from my palate.

All in a day's work.

10 months old!

Van is 10 months old and he is as active as ever!

He has learned that he has a friend in Pilot and now will play with him. Van will get one of Pilot's toys and bring it to him. Pilot will (and does) take the toy and drags Van around on the floor.

Van has also learned to share - which sounds all nice and cute but really is not. His idea of sharing is putting a Cheerio in his mouth then taking it out and offering to an unfortunate bystander.

He has also found cars! He loves his toy cars. Van will drive them all over the house, down the hallway and up the wall. Kenny discovered a funny thing: Van hates his cars up-side-down. Put several cars in front of him on their backs and he will flip them onto their wheels.

Van is also becoming more communicative. He clearly expresses when he wants more food by "eh-ing." He is also starting to tap the page of the book to have us turn the page. He also makes a lot of weird gibberish noises - a lot of them and very loudly sometimes :)

Finally, Van has learned what a temper tantrum is. He is realizing that he does has a say in the way things might possibly go. Fortunately, we are, at this point in time, bigger, stronger, smarter, faster and more creative than he is.

Van is curious about everything, constantly exploring the big world around him. He is walking like crazy and he is super fast. You put him down in the living room and he is destroying the back bathroom 30 seconds later.

Van has four teeth right now, two lower front and two upper front. He took a short respite from teething, but some new ones are coming in. As a result, everything goes into his mouth.

Sometimes, his mood can change like that. Usually because his teeth hurt.

Finally, the smiling little boy we know and love.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Alaska Cruise

Did I mention we just got back from a super relaxing, food filled, family fun cruise to Alaska? Yep, it's true.

Our Last Day of Vacation

We did our laundry, stored our bags, went grocery shopping and now needed to get out of the house. So we went for a hike up to Kwaay Paay Summit in Mission Trails. It was a fun two hour hike in which Van managed to throw his pacifier and hat overboard during the hike. Fortunately, both items were retrieved on the the way back down.

Van trying out his new sun shade attachment... kind of.

Almost to the top!

Happy Mother's Day!

We went to BJ's Pizza for lunch on Mother's Day. Jen was granted several Mother's Day gifts:

First, two young girls gave her a See's Candy chocolate for being a mom.

Secondly, and more even more exciting, our server, gave a Jen a bendy straw for her root beer because "she looked like a straw kinda person."

There you have it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Van's First Steps

We got our new video camera today (ours died last week) and I was just playing around with it and seeing how it worked while I was running bath water for Van. Good timing because he took some of his first steps to Mommy while I had the camera rolling :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Van aka Jim Halpert

Mommy gave me a haircut tonight. I think I am pretty cute :)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Only in the South can you...

...Ask fir directions to your national chain hotel (a Hilton property) and get, "Go 'til the Arco is on yer left n' turn right. Ge straight til ya cross the riv'r. Turn right at the dead possum inda road n' keep en drivin' til ya see me waving ya'll down."

...Write a fantastic blog post like this at the WIFI LOUNGE.

...Go to the Olive Garden where the non-smoking wait is 5 minutes and the smoking wait is 20 minutes.

...Drive down the road and see Nevitt Forest Community School of Innovation.

...Have Will Smith serve you a large Diet Coke from Hardee's drive-thru window (I swear it was him).

...Take a helicopter ride from the parking lot of Staples. See video below :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I hate...

...a great many things. In this case, Delta Airlines. Since they charge for checked bags, everyone and all their known relatives drag all of their earthly possessions with them onto the plane as "carry-ons". And seriously, not a single of one them check the dimensional limits of said bags. I had a person hauling a bag that rivaled the size of the Titanic. I actually heard the aircraft strain as she tried to heft the behemoth up into the overhead bin, which, I might add, was about 18 cubic feet smaller than this lady's ginormous pink "carry-on". She then turned to me for help with a look that said, "why don't you help a struggling lady place her bag into the bin?". I casually responded to her look with a statement that, in short, informed her that she did not need my help but rather the help of either a truly talented magician or Santa Claus, her choice. While being a man of many talents myself, I am still unable to shrink oversize carry-on bags, still unable to enlarge over-head bins and still unable to rid the world of people whose IQ's challenge that of a common garden tomato.

PS - did I mention I woke up at 3:00 am?

I will call you from Hot-lanta. (Yes, I'll save that rant for another flight).

Luv ya :)

**I got this email from Kenny this morning. Made me laugh! Poor guy!**

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What in the world?

I am on the road in Florida and came across this product description:

"A warm blend of sparkling bergamot and fresh ginger. Clean musk notes of white tea, amid spicy nuances of vetiver and nutmeg."

What do you think I should do with it?

a) eat/drink the product

b) give the product to someone I do not like and make them use it on their arm-pits

c) light the product on fire

d) smell the product after placing it in a decorative bowl

e) spray the product in a stinky airplane

f) lay the product out using it as bait to attract Martha Stewart into doing something useful with it

g) write a blog post about the product because I am not really sure of it purpose

h) use the product to wash my hair

i) festively package the product and sell it at a ridiculously high price to rich women that fly on my plane as a miracle cure for whatever problem I feel they are currently suffering from.

Thanks for your help with this :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Problem Solving 101

Well, here we are at 8 months. Van is growing up way too fast - it seems he learns a new skill (and by skill, I mean some new way of creating havoc and destruction) every day.

This evening, I came around the corner to find Van as seen below - minus Jen. He had found this box in the living room and pushed it around the couch, skirted the chair, past the table to get to the gate protecting the trash can. He then climbed up onto the box thereby thwarting what Jen and I had previously deemed an impenetrable wall of protection around said trash can.

Clearly we were wrong.

Monday, March 08, 2010

8 months!

Our little guy is now 8 months old and weighs 18lbs. 2oz. He is getting so big and is more of a toddler than a baby. Sometimes we miss the little baby stage... he was so tiny and was content being held for hours... but we are loving Van in this new stage he is in. He is not content to be in one place for long, doesn't like being held or restrained in any way shape or form. He is constantly on the go and is our little explorer.

This month Van decided that he has a deep hatred for anything that had straps or a harness or impeded his movement in any way. He screams every time we put him in his car seat, stroller, exersaucer, walker, bouncer or even on his changing table. He still loves to play with his walker and exersaucer, but only if he is standing outside of it.

Gone are the days when his changing pad had magical powers that would stop his crying. Now it is just the opposite. Van screams and struggles and tries to climb off or stand up. It makes changing him a pretty dangerous and strenuous activity. If you think I am exaggerating, I challenge you to try to change his poopy diaper, but a clean one on and put clean clothes on him. My bet is that you would be hard pressed to do it in less than 15 minutes!

Van used to hate the Bumbo seat, but now it is an invaluable tool to help dress him when I am home alone. Now he will sit in it fairly calmly while I put on his socks and pants. It is a lifesaver.

Van started to recognize his name this month and turns to look at you when you call him. He will turn and flash you the cutest and most innocent smile if you say, "Van... no, that is not for you" when he is playing with something he shouldn't. It is too cute and most of the time I end up smiling back and laughing :)

After Van got into Pilot's food this month, we put up a baby gate and moved the food into the laundry room. Van is still determined to get to the dog bowls and tries to pull down the gate and reach through the gate. If we forget and leave it open, Van somehow knows and makes a beeline straight for it. He has also found that if he sneaks through the guest bathroom and around the corner, he can circumvent the baby gate and make it to the dog food.

Van loves to walk using his push car. He has also found out that he can flip the small ottomans over and use them as walkers. He pushes them all over the house!

I am not sure if Van loves Roomba (the vacuum) or Pilot more. He loves to chase both of them all over the house. Van will crawl straight over to Roomba and turn it on without a problem. He then laughs and screams at it as it starts to move. I am pretty sure that we will have to return it it soon. Having a baby sit on it while it is trying to move probably isn't the best... wonder if that is covered by warranty! LOL!

Pilot and Van try to share toys and play tug of war with them. Van loves Pilot and a few days ago started to say "Pwa Pwa" while looking at Pilot.

Van also says "Ma Ma" but no "Da Da" yet...

This month also marked the appearance of his first tooth. He has 2 or 3 breaking through right now and is a little fussy every once in a while but has been doing great. Actually, this week he slept in 3 days in a row due to teething... nice!

Van has finally dropped the dreamfeed (9:30pm feeding) and is sleeping 12 hours straight through at night. Yippee!

Love you Van!!!

8months old!

Can you see the teeth?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Parenting Grade for the Day ... "F"

Lately, Van has been, well, let's say "fussy" when we put him on the changing table to swap out his wet, dirty diaper for a nice, dry, clean diaper. He wriggles, squirms, whines and tries to roll over (which will put him head first onto the floor).

For our sanity and his safety, we tried to bribe him with some "Parent's Choice Little Puffs - Banana Flavor." Made with whole grains, Parent's Choice is a puffed grain snack for babies beginning to self-feed.

If you think you know where this is going, that is, a fine review for these tasty snacks, you are wrong.

Jen and I took these tasty treats in hopes of bribing Van into some sort of stillness whilst wresting a poopy diaper from his body. Jen had the lower half, I was working the top half of kiddo. I popped a treat in his mouth and then handed him the container as a secondary distraction.

To recap the scene: Van on his back, treat in mouth, container in hand; Jen removing old diaper attempting to reinstall new one; Kenny distracting/pinning Van into position.

It was about then, I noticed a small warning label on the back of the Little Puffs container which stated:

Little Puffs should only be given to children who are familiar with eating solid foods. Children should be seated and supervised while eating. Packaging not intended as a toy.

Well, at least Van was supervised.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Two Peas in a Pod

Cute matching beanies made by Auntie Tonita!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

7 months.. a bit late!

Van is going to be 8 months in a few weeks and I figured I'd better get his 7 month update on here before then!

This last month has been one full of changes- probably more than any other so far.

He is officially crawling and is FAST! He chases Pilot and can get anywhere he wants to go. He is no longer limited to one room, but will crawl all over the house.

A few days after Van turned 6 months old, he started to pull himself up to a standing position on his own. It took only a day or two and then he started pulling himself up on EVERYTHING! We lowered his crib to the lowest setting because he also loves to climb. It is so much fun to go into his room to get him in the morning or after naps and see him standing there waiting for us. The only problem is that now when he wakes up, he automatically stands up and won't fall back to sleep!

A few days after Van learned to pull himself up, he started to cruise around the furniture. He can go from ottoman to ottoman to the couch and back again with ease.

Van has been skipping his third nap most days and has gone a few nights without the dream feed. His sleeping at night started to be a bit inconsistent since he wanted to practice standing and crawling in the middle of the night instead of sleeping. He also had a cold this month which didn't help matters.

Van doesn't really "talk" much and mostly just squeals and laughs, but he did start saying "Ma" this month. Most of the time he only says it when he is crying or wants to be held, but every once in a while he looks directly at me and says "Ma" or "Mama". It is cute to hear him start putting together sounds that are closer to words. I can't wait until he truly means what he is saying.

Our kiddo is definitely an explorer. He is always go-go-go and doesn't slow down! We love you and your adventurous spirit, Van!

Attack the Teddy Bear!

Standing on the couch!

7 months old :)

Places to go... I'm outa here!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Flight 2386 to Chicago

So I was sitting on a bench in front of my hotel in Las Vegas waiting for the shuttle to arrive. I will admit, I did look quite dashing in my fine Schubachian pilot garb, and perhaps, just perhaps, that is why she asked me:

"Do you know if my flight to Chicago is delayed?"

I looked up, "Huh?"

"I am trying to get home to Des Moines, but my flight outta here goes to Chicago and it is snowing in Des Moines and I was wondering if that would delay my flight to Chicago."

I lied, "Actually, I just checked with dispatch and they told me your flight was going to leave an hour earlier so they can be beat a blizzard that is coming in over the Great Lake. You better hurry!"

Wide-eyed, she exclaimed, "Uh, oh, okay, I'll skip breakfast and go pack right now. Thank you sir."

I felt I had done my mischievous act for the day pretty well.

Okay, at some point during that story, I divulged slightly from the truth. Maybe about the point where I told her that her flight was leaving early. But the rest is true, I swear :)