Archive for August, 2009

Church potluck today

30 August, 2009

I was a bit nervous going into the “potluck”, there’s some deep history of me and potlucks. Some of it is bad/normal, such as a collection of casseroles that are either bland or disgusting, which are burnt on the outside and cold in the middle. Some of it is good, in the long-long ago, I got the chance to play with other kids while the old-folks talked…I remember once, going inside, after spending the day climbing up and down a giant mound of sod, and I had been especially careful not to get dirty, I mean, I was on grass, that wasn’t dirt – it was grass, and going inside, and having my mother slightly annoyed, and another old lady laughing, “boys will be boys”. Oh, and I liked the dessert tables at potlucks too… there’s always at least three good desserts.

Today, we decided at the last second to stay after church and fellowship at the last second. I called up MyBetterHalf, seconds before she was getting in the car – (I was already at the church building because I was helping out with the AV ), and I think the conversation went exactly like this…

“Hey, MyBetterHalf-of-eleven-years-and-one-day!”
“Did you forget your wallet?”
“No…wait, …no. You should totally like, grab that big bowel of grapes I washed yesterday, and then we won’t show up at the pot-luck empty-handed.”
“I dunno, I was going to stop by the store and get some Oreos.”
“Oh, that’s a good idea. But, then, we’ld have to share the Oreos.”
“Good point, Wonderful-Husband, your strategery is matched only by your goodlookery and only surpassed by your wittery. I’ll bring grapes, and then you and I can eat Oreos whilst we watch cold-vampire-sex on HBO’s TrueBlood whilst our childrens sleep.”
“Do we have to watch TrueBlood? Even the bounty of bare bouncing boobies can not make up for the disdain I have for the boring characters of Sookie and Bill.” At which point, the pastor walked by and gave me a puzzled look.

The sermon…well…the part I remember is that one of the most common sins, is thinking that “others” are not as valuable as we are. (Wow, I wonder if the pastor saw the same movie last night that we did?)

After Church, Mr Grunty & Miss Squeaky were playing on the indoor slide/fort, having lots of fun. And even saying “wee” as they slide down the three foot slide. And, they practiced crawling through the windows in the fort. Yeah, a good skill to have. MyBetterHalf got food for herself and the toddlers as I held Mr Cuddles and watched the acrobats Mr G & Miss S were performing on the fort. At our table, Mr C got a little fussy, so I walked around with him, we went to the church library, I read an article from Christian History magazine about JS Bach. Makes me wonder, did the pinnacle of church music happen two hundred and sixty years ago?  So many modern worship songs imply that as long as the words “God’s love” or “Praise Jesus” is in the song, then it doesn’t matter if the lyrics are drivel and the music tedious and inept. Although, “Amazing Grace” is an awesome tune, Coltrane’s “Love Supreme” is art, and Köchel #626 ain’t too shabby.

And, as an added bonus today, there was a bounce house for the kids to play on. That way, they don’t get grass stains on their church clothes. MyBetterHalf took Miss Squeaky & Mr Grunty down to play in it, while I stayed and chatted with Pablo about space aliens and the KingCounty budget.

After a bit I looked down into the lot, and saw Miss S smiling inside the BounceHouse, and getting bounced all over by the big kids, and knocked down, and bounced upon…uh-oh, …but she got back up and went on playing. Where was MrG? He and his mommy were sitting in the shade, hanging out, I guess the big kids intimidated him.

Mr G returned to the fellowship hall to hang out with me, just in time for the putting away of the chairs. I got him to help, he would get a chair, and pull it along behind him to where the chairs were being stacked. He was very proud of himself “holp poll”.  Later, he helped me roll a table away. Good to start training the kids early for putting away the furniture after the potluck.

Then me & Mr G went outside, and, I slowly convinced him to try out the bounce house. He stayed half-in, half-out the entrance for a few minutes, then got out. Miss Squeaky then went up to him and started explaining, pointing, babbling and saying “an’ ‘dis, … an’ diss”. Mr G crawled in, was having nervous fun, and I got him to latch onto the netting and pull himself up. In a few minutes he got his bounce-legs, and soon was joining in the bounce melee. When the got the chance, they would stand, jump up and gleefully land on their bottoms.

Later, MyBetterHalf took a turn inside the bounce-house. And a bit after that, me & Mr Cuddles went in also. (The big kids were gone by then.)


eleven years ago

29 August, 2009

me and MyBetterHalf got married

11 years ago tonight

28 August, 2009

yeah…I’m gonna say, about this time, eleven years ago…me, and a few of my closest friends were driving all around Seattle trying to find a copy of “Spice World” to rent for the evening.

Doctor visits

27 August, 2009

Yesterday Mr Cuddles had his six month doctor appointment! He’s doing good, and seemed to enjoy all the attention he was getting, until he was stabbed twice for immunizations.

This morning…Mr Grunty’s eye looked worse than yesterday, swollen purple eyelid, but white of his eye was still white. So we called the doctor, they said bring him in.

As we were getting ready to go, Mr Grunty went to bathroom to brush his teeth, and Miss Squeaky went to bathroom to strip off her pants & diaper to sit on her potty for twelve seconds. Mr Cuddles was waiting patiently for his car-seat to dry in the sun, because a certain papa left it on the deck last night!

We dropped off Miss S & Mr C, and then we went to the doctor.

We got to park, I carried Mr Grunty so we could “urry fast”.   We got in a few minute before appointment. Mr G wanted to build towers with the blocks, which we did, because we were in waiting room for 20 minutes.   The nurse looked at his eye. We waited in the room. We looked at all the paintings of fish, bubbles. We played with trucks. We got a 2 ounce dixie cup of water and shared it, only spilling a little bit, which we then “klain-klain-klain” right up.
The 4th year resident came in, looked at his eye, asked questions. G was shy, and wanted to “go”.  Then we waited. Mr G was bored. I showed him pictures on my cellphone, he was happy to see “Sweeky, Mommy, Cuddles” and was confused when I told him the pictures from a year ago were him when he was a baby. He thought it was Mr Cuddles.   The doctor came in.   Mr G has a stye. We need to keep his hands clean. If, and only if, he allows it, we can use warm compress.     When we got to daycare, all the other kids were at the bottom of the stairs celebrating Mr G”s arrival. And Miss S went up and give him a quasi-hug.
I am told, this morning Mr Cuddles was CRANKY, which I am told is very unusual. But the he had big poo, and then he went to sleep. I told them we just started him on cereal.
When I got back to house, to use bathroom, Oliver-kitty sprinted out once I opened the bathroom door. He had been in the bathroom for about two and a half hours!

Happy 2-2-2-0

26 August, 2009

Look, I’m an old man, I don’t really get what kids these days do and say. But, I figure the wise bamboo doesn’t fight the wind…or I should evolve or go extinct…or, the only constant is change.

Anywho…back in the day, there were three stages before adult

  • Baby – starting with the pregnancy announcement
  • Kid – you could walk and talk
  • Teenager, which lasted until you were old enough to buy your dad a beer

Well, as I’m sure you are all aware, there are more demarcations of childhood stages these days. For example:

  • fetus,
  • tween,
  • eligible-to-run-for-Senate,…

Last night, after Mr Cuddles had his first taste of solid food, he turned to me and MyBetterHalf and said, “Parental units, while I do appreciate the affection you bestow upon me for being a ‘baby’, in the future I would appreciate it if you would refer to me as a pre-toddler, I am growing up you know.”

Then, Mr Grunty & Miss Squeaky chimed in. Since the marketers are getting more aggressive in divvying up market share, soon products will be pitched to you according to your birthday. Yes, soon your child will say, “but mom, only 12 year & 3 month old kids wear that. I’m 12 years and 5 months next week!”

So, Mr G and Miss S…Happy 2 years, 2 months & 2 weeks. I hope I got you something age appropriate.

Dear Mr Cuddles, Happy 6 Months.

25 August, 2009

This morning, as per usual, we got a chance to snuggle whilst your mommy got ready to go to work. When I took you out to the living room, we hung out on the couch, you would smile at me, and say  “ahh-ah-ah” and I would repeat back. I must confess, you have the cutest little cubby-cheeks and so I am required to give you many num-num kisses, during which time you smile and squint your eye because papa’s big head is going right for you face, and sometimes you giggle, because papa’s beard is ticklish.

After we were awake for a bit, your sister, who loves you very much, woke up. She wanted Mommy, and called out to her. But when she saw you, as usual, she smiles real big, and gets close to your face and says “HI bay-bee guy!  Hiiii, bay-BEE! yoo wake bay-be? you wake?”   You smile back at her with the biggest grin.  This morning, she tickled your tummy and feet, and I thought she was being a bit too rough for you, but you were laughing loudly. Later, on the parent’s bed, Miss Squeaky was laying down, and I put you on her belly. You were trying your darnedest to grab her nose.

Usually, you are extremely patient about me getting your bottle. But this morning your papa was just being too slow, and you yelled at him. He finally brought it too you, and you must have been hungry, because you drank 4 ounces without even being distracted by your siblings. And Mr Grunty had invented a very fun game. Mr G was sitting on the couch, and started bouncing and nodding his head while singing, “ya-ya-ya”.  Miss S soon joined. And I did it a bit too, because it looked so enjoyable, but I didn’t bounce too much because I was holding you and you were drinking.

You’re getting better at holding onto your bottle. Soon, you won’t need me to hold it. But I will still want to hold you, because you are so cuddly.


24 August, 2009

Saturday, me & Miss Squeaky went shopping for me for clothes. And, we bought a tent. So, Saturday night, after we got home from Blub’s party, me, Miss S and Mr Grunty went to the great-backyard-outdoors and spent the night under the stars. Since it was 10pm, Miss S was out in a minute. Mr G spent about five minutes touching my chin, “its papa’s chin”.

I was very excited to be camping out. We had several blankets for padding, I wore my extra-thick socks, Miss S & Mr G wore footie-PJs, with long sleeve shirts underneath.

Well, it wasn’t too cold for me. And I checked on the childrens often, because Mr G kept either, hitting/kicking me in the head, or stealing my pillow. Except the one time he woke me up by yelling “Ella stop!”, must have been a bad dream, because Ella was on the opposite side of me, sleeping.

Not the most restful, but I did have fun and look forward to camping next weekend!

Last night, I’m happy to say, the Miss S lead us in night-time prayers. Usually she only says “Aki’s baby” when we thank God for people, but last night, I started “Dear God…” and she jumped right in with “Skweekee, Grunt, Mommy and Papa”.  When we said, “and Mr Cuddles”, she said, “Dood”.

Sookie-on-the-HBO. You remember Will & Grace, where after a bit people wanted to call it the Jack-n-Karen Show? Well, Sookie & VampireBill bore me. I want to watch the Lafayette & Terry & Pam & Detective Andy show.

“Ironside” by Holly Black

21 August, 2009

Hey, back to the characters from book 1!

It appears I like the world of wicked fey, better than the realistic stories from the underground. I enjoyed Ironside, it was a combination of characters from Tithe & Valiant. Ms Black has done a very nice job of creating a world.

So, if ya wanna read a story that involves betrayal, revenge, romance, lust, the themes of “where do you go, when you don’t belong?” and “what sacrifices must a leader make?” then read this book.

a few of my fave quotes:

But by then he could no longer remember whose blood it was, only that he had grown used to the taste.” pg 8,  With those words, I knew I was in for a good story.

Hail from that morning had stuck to whatever it had touched, freezing into solid sparkling skins that covered branches and flashed against the dull gray sky.” -pg 14.   This is something I never see in Seattle, I appreciate learning about how things are different in the rest of the world, that’s one of the benefits of reading, learning. I wish that the Sookie books had more of this, location information.

Slushy black punch floated in an enormous copper bowl, the metal sweating and cloudy with cold. Occasionally someone dipped a long-stemmed icicle cup into it and sipped at the contents.” – pg 35, beautiful.

Thank you Ms Black, you are helping me catch up to my two books a month quota, and I have enjoyed the trilogy!


21 August, 2009

As a papa, I am finding it even easier to use my imagination.

The other day at TwinPonds, me, Mr Grunty & Miss Squeaky were climbing up the tall, covered tube slide. Me, I was pretending we were sneaking through the vents of the DeathStar. I’m not sure what they were thinking, but they were laughing lots.

As I mentioned regarding Holly Black’s Tithe… at night, my imagination will get the better of me when I hear one of them cry out or make a noise.

Fortunately, I haven’t yet started playing the “imagine what fabulous career my gifted child will have” game. So far, I haven’t given much thought to their career. Though for awhile, when they were in the can-stacking phase, I was pretty sure it was grocery clerk. I wonder what jobs will be around for humans in 20 years.  There are jobs that I hope they don’t have…for example crab fisherman. That’s dangerous. Is it hypocritical of me to eat crab?

berry picking

16 August, 2009

Yesterday, we took the childrens to Canter-Berry Farms, it was awesome.  It is in a beautiful valley, about five acres of blueberries and a couple of pasture for horses. It was very beautiful.

We were issued buckets to go pick the blueberries, and were instructed “it’s alright to eat them right off the bush, that’s half the fun”. I was so happy with Mr Grunty & Miss Squeaky, right away they were picking a berry off and putting it in the bucket. But then, they quickly realized what they were picking, and they spent the rest of the time eating blueberries. Miss S preferred the green ones.

We saw bees, which the childrens ignored, a big worm – which Miss S was very wary of, some ants – which Mr G tried to see, but was too late running over from the other side of the bush, and of course, Miss S happily pointed out a spider (“it’ Itsy!”).

MyBetterHalf carried Mr Cuddles most of the time, so her mobility suffered, and I kept trying to get the toddlers to put the berries in bucket, not their mouths, but we still quickly ended up with 4.5lbs. (MyBetterHalf said it was addicting.)

They have a machine for picking berries, and it can go 10 times as fast as a very good human. It basically shakes the bush, and catches the berries at the base of the bush, with a little conveyor belt to carry the berries away. There’s even a different machine to de-stem the berries, that uses steel rollers and rubber tubing.

MyBetterHalf and I were wondering about planting a bush, but it takes about a dozen years before you start getting a decent harvest.

I had a wonderful time. Maybe next year we can take orders from our friends, so then we’ll have a reason to pick LOTS.