Friday, August 29, 2008

She's Two!



Friday, August 15, 2008

Update 08/15/08

I'm just going to go for it, bullet style.

  • Have you seen the latest on the Bigfoot front?
  • Two weekends ago, we went to the Mystic Aquarium. Here's a link to the post my wife did about it. We had a very enjoyable time.
  • This week has been a crazy, fast paced week. Lots of things going on and added to that, my manager is on vacation this week, so I'm covering for her. I'm glad it's Friday.
  • During the summer, our local library has family nights on Tuesday. That's when they have some sort of activity or presentation for the kids, and their parents, to come to. We recently participated in two of them. The first was a presentation by a bee keeper. He had part of hive with one of the frames that had some of the bees wax on it showing the honeycomb structure. He also had a small jar of honey he had collected that day for us to sample. The boys thought it was better than the store bought honey. The second activity was a reptile show. A guy who raises and entertains with reptiles for a living came and talked to the kids about several different kinds of reptiles. He was very good. He taught them facts and allowed the kids to touch and interact with the reptiles.
  • Sunday I gave Stephanie a break and took the kids on a bike ride. The boys each rode their little bikes (with training wheels) and wore their helmets and I hitched up the bike trailer to cart Ellie around. I also wore my helmet (teach by example). The boys did great at obeying me, which kept the stress level low. In our ride we hit two parks, with play time at each, and stopped to look at a large dump truck and front loader. We all had a good time, including Stephanie.
  • I purchased new tires for my truck. It'll be nice to have some better traction this winter.
  • My manager, since she was going away on vacation, decided that my work pager was an inadequate way for my senior manager to get a hold of me. So now I'm a not-so-thrilled possessor of a cell phone for my work. I doubt I'm the first one to use this phrase, but I call it my "electronic leash". Though, the plan it's on includes unlimited nights and weekends and unlimited calls to other Verizon users, so some of my friends to whom I have not talked to in a long while may be getting calls from me. Then again, maybe not. I'm not a big conversationalist, despite the fact that my sometimes lengthy posts may indicate the opposite.
  • Last night I helped the kids put together a train track for our Thomas the Tank Engine wooden railway. Stephanie says they spent a good while this morning playing with it.
  • I'm reading Mary Poppins to Will. Neither of the other kids seem interested. Will has really gotten into chapter books lately, which is great.
  • On Wednesday, we went as a family to our local zoo for a members' night. Though it was only a couple of hours, we had a good time and had free freezer pops. These were not the best freezer pops but the kids loved them and had stained skin and clothes to prove it.
  • Tonight, the boys wanted to wrestle, which means they climb all over me, then I wrap them up and tickle them. I offered to read to them but no, it had to be wrestling. It ended up being dress up wrestling. Will put on a hard hat and one of those fake big-nose-mustache-bushy-eyebrow-glasses disguises. Ben put on a fireman's hat, gloves, eye patch and a fireman's backpack (looks like the oxygen tanks but you really fill it with water and squirt it out though the attached hose and handle). Ellie wore an eye patch. Will gave me a hard hat to wear. So attired, we wrestled.
That's it. I'm coming up dry.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

This One's For The Birds!

Yesterday, Saturday, during nap time, I happened to look out the front window of the living room and what did I see? A flock of turkeys walking past! We've seen wild turkeys in other areas of the state but never in our neighborhood. We've had quite an assortment of wild life in the five plus years we've lived here: an opossum (found dead in the back yard), skunks (including the one that ambled by our camp), rabbits, squirrels and now turkeys. Too bad it wasn't closer to Thanksgiving...


A couple of weeks ago, I decided to build a birdhouse with the kids. Of course, having kids as young as mine, the "with" part is used very loosely. I did the building and they watched. I used some left over wood and pulled the plans out of my head - I definitely have some lessons learned for the next time :-).

Even though they did not really help with the actual construction, they did assist with the painting. Again, we used what was available. The only things that were purchased for the project were some small eye hooks used in the hanging of the birdhouse and some extra staples for my heavy duty stapler. We painted the birdhouse white with some left over primer. Then we used some acrylic paint we had to add color. Ellie helped a little with the painting before getting bored but the boys really enjoyed it.

While letting the last of the paint dry, I took out a couple of ladders and surveyed our lone tree in the back yard for a good place to hang the birdhouse. It turned out there was only really one branch that was suitable, once some dead branches were removed. Once I was finished with the ladders, the kids, of course, proceeded to play on them :-).

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I did the front.

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Ben did this side.

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Will did this side.

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I did the back too. Had trouble "writing" with a paint brush.

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From the top.

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The new birdhouse is ready for a family.

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Up close.

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Far away.

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Ben showing no fear on the ladder (You cannot see it for Ben, but I've tied the ladder to the tree so it will not fall).

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Will would appreciate it if I stopped taking his picture.

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Ellie getting in on the climbing action. My three monkeys.