Friday 31 March 2006

Corwin's Soccer Schedule

10:151 AprilBlueKicker East1-2Report
9:008 AprilBlueKicker West0-1Report
9:0015 AprilYellowKicker West3-1Report
9:0022 AprilBlueKicker East0-5Report
10:1529 AprilYellowKicker West8-1Report
10:156 MayYellowKicker West1-0Report
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Digging Crew

Alice and Charles survey the area carefully, so they can achieve maximum destruction

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The days never stop

[Driving home from daycare, we stop at a stoplight]

Charles: Is that the #8 bus?

Dad: Yes.

Charles: That the bus we take. I not take the bus for a long time.

Dad: I’m sorry. Perhaps you should ask Mom about it.

[A few moments of silence. The signal changes, off we go]

Charles: We pass a lot of days.

Dad: We passed a lot of days?

Charles: Yes. The days never stop.

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Floor show

Poly has been enjoying a small plastic dish. When inverted, it slides around on the floor which encourages Poly to chase after it. She can’t quite bite it enough to flip it over, although evern now and then her paw will accidentally flip it. Poly’s efforts are particularly entertaiing when the dish slids under some furniture. The only down side is that it was too dark to get any good video of it.

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Thursday 30 March 2006

Gratuitous Picture of the Day

Moments later, the giant Corwin destroyed the last rail link out of town

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Rhetorical deflection

This morning, I was once again accusing Alice of being a “girlie”, a charge she denies vigorously. She tried a different tactic this time, by claiming that Corwin was a girlie, not her. Corwin, absorbed in his Bible studies, refused to be drawn in to the conversation.

Alice is also becoming more participative in music. She really likes the Laurie Berkner song Pig on her head and likes to make Dad sing verses of it. Alice, being an economically child, just calls out the particular animal for Dad to sing about. To make it a little more interesting for Dad, I tried out “squirrels in her pants”. Alice liked that, although Mom was a bit confused when she had to sing a coupe of verses and then Alice said “pants!” for the next verse. Alice liked that verse enough that she sang an entire one of “Dad has got some squirrels in his pants” all by herself.

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Creative struggle

Corwin is still struggling with the writing he needs to do for school. He was nearly in tears the other night, distressed over how long it was taking him to write pages. I am not sure what to tell him, except to strive for focus and that he will get better with practice. In fact, I think he is doing a little better, although he’s still spending a couple of hours every night on it and I am not sure that he’s keeping up. It looks like it will be a long while before he is a contributor to this weblog.

One of the distractions Corwin has picked up to avoid the misery of homework is reading The Children’s Illustrated Bible. While I think he shoud be making sure his homework is done, it’s at least better than him being zoned out on whatever young children’s show Alice is watching.

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Leaf hunter

The mighty hunter, braving the bitter cold, returns with her catch

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Wednesday 29 March 2006

It's for the children

I ended up wasting a bunch of time last night fiddling around video editing. I managed to finally achieve an effect I have been trying to get for a couple of years now. Because of this, I can now share this video of Alice’s static hair. Just one more customer service provided at no extra charge!

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Mom likes color coordinated pets

This is the first time that POset and Poly met. Poly has been good about not pestering POset too much. Poly frequently tries to sniff POset, but Poly gets nervous and backs off if POset looks at her. POset has been tolerant as well — despite Mom’s poor choice of pet color for photography, you can see that POset’s fur isn’t up. I suppose after dealing with the spawn, Poly doesn’t seem so bad. The biggest change is that we can’t leave POsets food on the floor anywhere as had been our habit.

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House Rules

Handcrafted by Charles

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Tuesday 28 March 2006

Training Day

As I noted in passing, I took Corwin, Charles and Andreas out to see a model train show a weekend or two back, to clear them out of Mom’s hair for a while. I think the boys had a good time and Charles especially liked it. There were some interesting setups there. One had a wireless camera in the front of the train so that one could watch the track from the point of view of the moving train. The boys quite liked seeing themselves as giants on the screen. Another set up was made all of Legos™. One of the tracks had Thomas the Tank Engine running on it. Charles liked that one.

The boys didn’t break anything, or come that close to breaking anything, which is pretty much my definition of a successful outing. That and getting some good pictures.

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Monday 27 March 2006

Gratuitous Picture of the Day

Note the combination of snow on the ground and lack of jacket

Corwin made it back from his camping without further injury. He claims to have enjoyed it but he is rather short on specific details. The den mother told me that her detailed activity plans were destroyed by the boys’ ability to take a very long time to wake up, cook & eat breakfast, and clean up afterwards. Corwin did demonstrate that for me Sunday morning, when he had 8 or 9 bowls of cereal (really) over the course of 30-45 minutes, while I was waiting for him to finish so he could take Poly outside.

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Modern rites of passage

An Alice first last week (Thursday, I think): Alice used the button in the van to close the side door. She asked about it as she was exiting and I showed her where it was. She pressed it and then giggled as the door closed.

Last night, as I took Alice upstairs to go to bed, I headed off to our bedroom because I’ve given up fighting about it. Alice, however, objected and asked to be put in her own bed. I put her there and tucked her in and she went to sleep. She ended up sleeping there all night. Yay! Sadly, I expect it’s another one off, as I have a hard time doing that with Charles.

Because Corwin got to demonstrate his basketball talent, here’s a video of Alice making a shot as well.

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Sunday 26 March 2006

One for Mimi

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Teddy Bearing

Corwin’s teacher is big in to teddy bears. At one point she gave out two small teddy bears to all the kids in the class. Corwin, against my expectation, kept them about his person quite a bit. Because of this, the next time Grandma visited she brought two Beanie Baby teddy bears for Charles and Alice. Charles and Alice were initially just OK with the bears. Corwin is, if nothing else, a family trend setter so it wasn’t long before Charles was obsessed with his teddy bears. Charles took them in to daycare, he now complains about them being missing when he goes to bed (just like he used to do for various cars and books). Alice is also becoming interested in the teddy bears, although she is not as specific about which ones are hers. That makes Poly interested in them as well. Oh yeah, we’ll be paying back Grandma for this.

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Because Alice likes to say “hi doggie!” or “it’s a doggie!”, I respond by petting her on the head and saying “it’s a girlie!”. Alice doesn’t always appreciate this and sometimes denies being a girlie. She took that to a new level yesterday. Alice got Poly to follow her and went in to Poly’s room and shut the doggie gate so that she and Poly were “trapped” in there. Poly didn’t think much of this, but she didn’t whine or bark, presumably because Alice was in there with her. Alice, meanwhile, thought it was a grand adventure, telling me that she was a doggie when I inquired as to why she was there.

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Saturday 25 March 2006

Daughter of the soil

I had a big fight with Alice this morning. I cut her off after only 2 full sippy cups of milk, insisting that she eat some solid food before she could have more milk. Alice cried a couple of times about this, on and off. At one point she decided that she wanted to go outside, so every got their shoes and socks on (except Poly) and out we went. Alice headed to the chewed up grass and immediately started snarfing down some dirt. Apparently that’s what’s for breakfast in Alice-world. Sadly, in Daddy-world, dirt doesn’t count as solid food and so Alice still didn’t get her milk.

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Two of a kind

Alice and Poly have a real love / hate relationship going. When the kids get up and Poly is released from durance vile, Alice runs in fear from Poly’s affection. I then work on getting Poly calmed down by yelling “no!” when she jumps on Alice and sending Corwin out to run some energy off Poly.

Of course, once I get Poly to behave, Alice launches such a barrage of affection at Poly that I have to starting yelling “no!” at Aice (particularly about not poking Poly in the eyes and not trying to pick her up by the neck). Honestly, I don’t know which one of the two I have to correct more often. Poly is definitely more vigorous about her abuse but Aice is far more inventive. Poly also has “little sibling disease” where the only chew toy that’s cool and exciting is whatever Alice is currently hauling around.

It should be very interesting in a few months when Poly will have become much bigger than Alice. But by then Mom will be around again to deal with it … heh.

Alice uses Poly as a pillow

Poly returns the favor

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Friday 24 March 2006

Off to a good start

Corwin is off on a short camping trip (he left this evening and is due back tomorrow afternoon). As the gang was sitting in the vans waiting for the final checks before departure, they were delayed by a need for first aid. Corwin had managed to gauge his hand bad enough to require repair before they were out of the driveway. Sounds like it’s going to be a good trip.

P.S. Corwin’s favorite part of getting ready was getting to write on his clothes with a permanent marker. The den mother insisted on having all items labeled for easy post-camping identification (but, really, how could a gang of 9 year old boys get their stuff all mixed up?). I started to do it but Corwin insisted that he could take care of it. I did manage to get him to do it more on the inside than outside, at least.

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Big Shot Boy

Here’s a video of Corwin making some very impressive shots at the basketball hoop.

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Deranged gophers

Mom claims to be planning to put in another flower bed in the front yard, so she let the kids loose on the grass with digging instruments. Amazingly, only grass was chopped up and ripped apart.

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Thursday 23 March 2006

So I imperiled technological civilization...

Mom is basically out of the house today until Sunday at some fancy faculty party circut she’s managing. I had to pick up the backup and tertiary spawn, but I didn’t want to load up Poly in to the car for the trip, so I left her and Corwin home. Corwin was a bit nervous at being on his own for the 20 minutes I would be away, but he gathered his courage and declared that he could sit and watch TV with Poly for the entire time. It was the first time Corwin has been on his own and despite my extended absence, he managed to not permanently damage anything.

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Action Girl

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Situation nomial

Polynomial has taken a very strong liking to Alice’s Bitty Baby. She was desperate to chew on it this morning while Alice was carrying it around. It took Corwin and I to try and stop Poly and in the end I had to move Alice upstairs to protect the doll.

Right now I’m sitting outside on the front bench, enjoying the cool air with the warm sun, hoping that Poly will get tired out enough that she’ll sleep while I work. A weak reed to be sure, but it is a sign of what we’ve been reduced to.

Poly got to interact with the neighbor dog Arnold while I’ve been out. Arnold was quite agressive except when Poly would look at him, which point he would skitter away. I think Arnold’s hope was to get a shot at sniffing some Poly-butt without being spotted by Poly. This plan did not come to fruition and eventually Arnold gave up.

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Poly busts out

Last night Poly was doing her nightly bark and howl around 1 or 2 am. She was really quite loud and sounded like she was jumping up and down. Then she got quite or I fell asleep again. When I woke up it was after 5am and things were still quiet. I thought that was odd, as Poly normally does her part two serenade around 4:30 or 5.

I got up and came down. Still no whining. I went over to the kitchen first to feed POSet, but still no whining. Finally, I went over to Poly’s room next to the bathroom, but no Poly. The child gate closing the room had been busted out. A little alarmed, I looked around, and there was a very satisfied Poly sitting on her spot on the couch. Fortunately, not much damage around the house.

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Wednesday 22 March 2006

Static Alice

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Frictionless surfaces

Charles has been just a bit of a grump lately. He has been playing up his “unable to move” schtick quite a bit. While he used to claim direct physical disability, now he blame the local environment. Charles will sit on the couch, claiming to be stuck as he rubs his feet across the now frictionless surface, unable to generate enough traction to escape.

Yesterday morning he took this to a new level. Normally, he gets “stuck” when he wants to avoid some task or command. In this case, Mom had made waffles and Charles was upset that she had started serving them before he was downstairs. His response was to get “stuck” on the carpet upstairs, in his room. Even the inducement of waffles was not enough to get him moving. I told him it was unfortunate that he was trapped, but that I would bring up leftovers to him from now on since he would be there forever. Even that failed to dislodge him. Time, however, wears down all things and after 10 or 15 minutes, traction returned to Charles and he was able, grudgingly, to come downstairs for breakfast.

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Tuesday 21 March 2006

Gym training

Charles had fun at the Pine Wood Derby with his trains. He really liked the gym with its long black lines, just perfect for use as train tracks.

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Yet another sign of spring.

Soccer season has started once again. Sadly, it doesn’t look like Megan is on the team this season either, even though we have a couple of new players. There was practice last week, although one was canceled due to flooding of the fields (the parents all commented that they couldn’t believe the coach had canceled because of the weather — when told that it was the city parks that had forbidden use of the fields, they all said “ahhhhh”).

There was another practice last night which was very cold. It was unofficial because it is Spring Break this week and this is a University town. Still, the coach got about half of the players to show up in the bitter cold plus a few players from other teams who practiced with our team because our coach was the only one hard core enough to show up in such a situation. I had to wear lined pants plus long underwear to keep warm. The kids were active enough that they were mostly warm, although some of them were dressed a bit lightly for the weather and looked quite miserable at times. Today we’re having a snowstorm, so we’ll see how practice goes tomorrow.

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Monday 20 March 2006

So, how's that dog thing working out?

It seems like watching over a puppy is even more work than a baby. I thought that kind of odd until I realized it was all about the diapers. 90% of the time I spend watching Poly is about trying to keep her going potty on the floor. Add diapers and it would be much less work. Hmmmm…

I am not so sure the puppy is working out — she is so hard to photograph. The worst thing for a digital camera is subtle dark shadings, like say a black dog with dark eyes. It’s hard to get an image that’s not just a black shape on a background. I wonder if they do bleach highlights for dogs. That would provide some high contrast for the camera…

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POset demands some PR time as well

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Sunday 19 March 2006

Look it's a doggie!

Alice gives Polynomial a big hug

Alice can say “puppy” and “doggie” but not “poly”. That comes out as “pie” (because the vowel sounds “ah” and “ ē ” when run together make “ ī ” — try it yourself). This is amusing when a parent refers to “poly-dog” and Alice says “pie-dog!”.

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Poly update

Polynomial and the kids are getting used to each other. Alice and Poly follow each other around the house while Alice makes statements of affection like “Hello, doggie”, “My doggie”, and “I like doggie”. She also like to give the doggie big hugs. We have to keep an eye on that because sometimes the big doggie hugs become sitting on the doggie, which probably isn’t very good for Poly at this stage in life.

Corwin will take Poly out when prompted, and he likes to sit with her. However, he wants to “do things” with her like take her for walks on the leash, play frisbee, and ball. These kind of organized things aren’t going to happen for a little bit yet.

Charles is a little bit more reserved with the dog. When prompted he will say that he likes the dog and he will give her a pat or two, but he still backs away if she comes up eagerly to sniff him. He doesn’t interact with her as much as Alice and Corwin do. The funny thing is that Poly’s personality I think most closely matches Charles. Both are initially reserved creatures, but then they stick like glue. Frequently when I’m out with Charles at a store or on the street, I will think that I have lost him only to turn around and find him half a step behind me. Poly does the same thing when we are walking around the lawn. I will think that I’ve lost her and I start calling out or name only to spin around and nearly step on her.

On the second day we had Poly, I took Poly, Alice, and Charles to a park on campus while Corwin was at some other event. Poly was good for about 5 minutes and then all the other people got to her, and she insisted on being carried the rest of the time. Other folks liked Poly though. Quite a few people stopped by to say “What a cute puppy!”.

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Saturday 18 March 2006

Daily Puppy Fix

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Greedy boy

Charles has been extra greedy for the last week or so.

It started when Mom took the crew out for a shopping trip. Charles got a book and Corwin got a Lego™ kit. Charles ended up throwing a major hissy fit soon after he got home because he didn’t get a Lego™ thing. He declared that he hated his book (although I caught him looking at it later).

A couple of days later the boys got some trinkets from a fast food place. Corwin got a Play-Doh thing. He wouldn’t let Charles play with it and so Charles declared that Corwin could not play with any of Charles’ toy ever again. I managed to keep Charles from completely melting down by setting him up with some other Play-Doh items (thanks, Erica!).

Today we went out to a model train show. As we left, Charles complained that “no one every gives me presents”. This while he was clutching two 24” chunks of Brio track that I had just purchased for him. I pointed this out and his response was to get very upset with me for being so gauche as to point out contradiction.

This evening Mom went out again and this time Charles got a Lego(itm) toy (he pestered Mom incessantly before hand, refusing to go along unless he was promised Lego™ in advance). Mom and I pointed out that Charles had, in fact, received a present. Charles countered by stating that he had picked it out, therefore it wasn’t a present.

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Friday 17 March 2006

Charlestruction Zone

This is a pair of Charles’ constructs. The first is the cloth chain stretching across the media room. The other end is fastened to the handle on the sliding glass door. Charles put it up one day when Alice was dancing in order to have a properly marked off dance floor. It’s been there for weeks now.

Alice had a lot of fun with that chain, although she didn’t pay much attention to it while dancing. She loved to hang on it, though. She also liked to straddle it and then walk toward the sliding doors until it was high enough that she could anounce that she was “stuck”. I would then have to pluck her off because walking back to the low point was wrong.

Other than that, Charles is building something with the chair, the low table and the ottoman. It’s some sort of vehicle but I never got a clear explanation from him. I don’t think it had anything to do with the dance floor, though.

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Thursday 16 March 2006

Polly's not the only cutey in the house

I tease Aice by grabbing her and calling out “mine!”. Alice used to just say “no!” but lately she has taken to grabbing me and saying “my daddy!”. I tried to grab Charles as “mine” but Alice claimed him for herself. I told Charles “you’re my Charles-boy” to which he replied “no — I Alice’s Charles-boy”.

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Doggie Tales

Polynomial made it over 24 hours before she made a mess in the house. Mom was cleverly out of the house at the time. Polly started off with some pee on the rug. I got that cleaned up and she looked like she was taking a nap, but then she starting making choking sounds so I put her down on the floor, in time for some light barfing. I got to work on that, trying to convince Corwin to help with Polly enough that she woudn’t walk through it and track it all over the house. In this middle of that clean up, Polly escaped Corwin’s eagle eyed vigilance and pooped a couple times on the front rug, an amount that would have been impressive even for Alice. Luckily over half of it was solid.

In happier news, Polly seems to be getitng used to us and the house. The floors are a bit of a problem for her as she’s not heavy enough for her pads to get a good grip. As a result she tends to slide down when trying to sit upright as her front paws glide out in front of her. She was also frightened by Charles. He crashed out on the couch and his snoring cause Polly to become concerned. It did, in fact, not infrequently sound like some sort of unpleasant yet hungry animal, and other times like something in distress.

Alice was originally both fearful and fond of Polly but the fear has now lost out to the extent that I fear for Polly. Alice has taken to giving Polly big hugs, which involved smothering her with physical Alice affection.

You can see from the picture that Corwin is bonding wth Polly as well. Corwin has been reasonably good with helping out, although the first few days are not indicative of long term behavior. He did get to impress his friends at school with a picture of Polly, and his soccer team with Polly in person.

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Wednesday 15 March 2006

Gender barriers

Sadly, Charles has declared that he doesn’t like Chloe anymore. When pressed for a reason, Charles claims that Chloe is a girl. This seems to be a change in Charles in just the last couple of months, so I suppose he’s reached the stage of stronger gender differentiation. He still likes one of the girls at daycare, despite her girlishness.

Mom asked Charles whether he still liked her, Mom being a girl and all. Charles admitted that he like Mom. And Erica. And Miss Darcy (although Charles is still a little unclear on whether Miss Darcy is a girl — he claimed she is because “she a teacher”).

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Too fast to handle

Aice was out scooting the other day. Here’s a video of her need for speed and the tragic consequences of hot rodding.

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Tuesday 14 March 2006

The puppy has landed

Mom is struggling hard to keep up with her class. On top of that she has to write some papers and organize a competition event for next week. And of course we’re trying to get our company off the ground and both Mom and I are doing some heavy duty coding for that. So naturally, Mom went out today and got this:

Corwin and Polynomial

P.S. Of course, Alice is home sick today and tomorrow as well. At least Charles has his drawings to keep him busy.

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Monday 13 March 2006

Drawn and worded

I continue to be fascinated by Charles’ drawing efforts. Here is what he drew in roughly four days:

A few of these are sparse but most are highly detailed. I like the second one from the bottom — Charles wanted to draw a big truck and one sheet of paper wasn’t enough. So he taped three of them together and then drew his truck. One of his other themes is waste disposal. On the right, in orange, you can see one of his efforts in this regard. It’s got trucks (or some other sort of machine) hauling in the garbage, waste processing facilities and then final disposal. Charles even draws in the garbage once everything else is in place.

Another motif I have noticed in his drawings is the word “lox”. During some of Charles’ word experiments he managed to write that word all on his own. He has since incorporated the word in to many of his drawings. Here is a classic one:

I have highlighted the occurences of the word. Also note the detail of the work, which is typical of a Charles drawing. Now think about how much drawing it would take to do this as many times as you see in the first picture.

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Sunday 12 March 2006

Dog days

Mom is still big on dogs. Yesterday and today she took us all out to look at more puppies. Corwin had a good time, although Alice and Charles were not as enthused. Saturday Alice was just miserable because she was still recovering from being sick. Alice did say she liked the puppies, though.

Today we went to the Humane Society to look at some of their puppies. We saw two puppies. The first was a herding dog and was nipping at the children a bit much for them, although I think they’d get used to it. The kids liked the other puppy better, but Alice suffered a complete melt down at that point because of some problem with the chairs in the room (what, we never figured out). Alice got so apopleptic on the way home that I was worried she was going to choke or pass out.

After we got home, Mom tried to talk seriously to Corwin about having a dog. Hahaha. At least she didn’t make him cry.

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Educational TV

Alice was watching a new DVD that Mom got for her. It involved Diego rescuing some whales. Alice found this very educational, rapidly learning how to make whale sounds. Now that’s a skill that will set her apart from her classmates.

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Saturday 11 March 2006

Greasing the wheels

Today was the Pine Wood Derby. Corwin and I managed to get the car finished in time. Doesn’t it look cool?

Corwin did the design and most of the painting. He was a bit disappointed that he didn’t get anything for show, but Mom and I think that you need to have a “theme” in order to compete there. Corwin said “but my car was blue and gold [the Cub Scout colors]!”. Sadly, that kind of solidarity isn’t often rewarded in the artistic arena. You can see the cars for yourself if you would like to form your own opinion. The actual decision was made by the vote of the scouts themselves.

In terms of racing, the car did OK. Corwin tied for 4th, which isn’t bad. Mom thinks that the problem was that the wheels weren’t close enough, so the car wobbled too much. She might be right, Corwin will try that next year. I think he should also try flipping the wheel base around and putting much more of the weight in the back.

The pack did a round robin, two races for each pair of cars (to alternate tracks) so it was a lot of races. The kids were getting run through so quickly that there was some grumbling about having to race again so soon. That was considered a good sign by the aduts.

The Track of Destiny

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Starter language

Alice is not feeling well this weekend (she was spewing like a fountain all over Mom yesterday, although she hasn’t done that today). Alice and I were sitting on the couch, watching some Dora, when she asked me for something. I couldn’t quite make it out but Charles helped out.

Charles: She said “popcorn”.

Dad: Popcorn?

Charles: Yes.

Dad: OK.

Charles: She just started using the language.

Dad: Oh?

Charles: She still using baby talk.

Dad: But you can understand it?

Charles: Yes.

I don’t remember Corwin ever helping translate for Charles back when Charles had just started using the language.

P.S. I wrote “she” above, but I’m not sure that Charles said that. I think he did, but I am so used to him using only male pronouns that I may just remember the way he should have said it.

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Friday 10 March 2006

Searching for Puppies

Alice very much likes dogs, and Corwin has also mentioned that a dog might be nice. And I have started to get puppy lust myself. Dad is less desirous of a dog though.

Last weekend, I took the kids to the Humane Society to visit some dogs. I took them all back to the kennel area where all the dogs immediately started barking. This scared Charles, but Corwin and Alice didn’t seem to mind much. We took a 3 month old Australian Cattle Dog mix to a visiting room. He was very cute and puppy-like. The kids seemed to like him. I was a bit concerned about the energy level of an adult Australian Cattle Dog. We knew someone who had an Australian Shepherd, and it was a real working dog. From later reading, the cattle dog seems to have similar energy levels. But it also sounds like it has some nice attributes too, and perhaps a combination of running partner and kid exercise would keep the energy under control.

After visiting with the puppy, I asked the staff person if there were any older dogs they would suggest for a family with small kids. They suggested Lace, a brindled pitbull mix. So we took her for a walk. Her shoulder was a bit higher than my knee and she was solid muscle. Using all my strength, I was able to control her as we walked her outside. Then we took her to the fenced run area, where she delighted in running around and chasing sticks. Unfortunately, Alice happened to be in her running path and got bowled over a couple of times. This upset Alice. Corwin bugged me to take Lace on the leash. Since most of the other dogs had gone back in side, I let him try leading her around the fenced area. That worked ok. Then he lead her back into the building, which was fine until another couple came out with a dog. Then Lace dragged Corwin over to the other dog, so I had to run over and hold her back. So while Lace was a very pretty dog, I fear that she was much too powerful for our small children.

Next on the dog hunt, visiting Labordoodles this Saturday.

Posted by Mom at 8:59 AM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

A hairible morning

For the first time this morning, Alice complained about her hair. It was getting in her face and this was bothering her. It bothered her so much she let me put a hair band on her to pull her hair back and didn’t pull it out.

Alice has also gotten her first hair braiding back on the 4th of this month. Mom was quite excited about it. Alice celebrated by getting naked.

Posted by Dad at 7:56 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Hug-a-buns squeezer boy

Charles is big in to hugs these days. He likes to grab people (especially parents) while saying “huggy! huggy!”. He tends to do this to Alice as well. Alice is somewhat less tolerant than a parent and generally I end up having to seperate the two of them. It has gotten to the point that Alice gets upset if she is sitting on my lap and Charles starts hugging my arm. It’s also a bit odd that Alice likes Charles very much and likes to touch him, but doesn’t much like Charles touching back.

Posted by Dad at 7:47 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Thursday 09 March 2006

Strained conversation

Today Mom almost made both boys cry. What horrible, nasty thing did Mom do that rendered her sweet little boys so distraught? Well — readers with weak stomachs may want to move on to the next post at this time — she asked them what they did today. Yes. And even worse (if that’s possible), she expected them to provide intelligible responses. Our boys are made of stern stuff, but some things are just too much for even the strongest boy psyche to endure.

P.S. Yes, both boys literally almost cried as a result of Mom’s interrogation. If you’ve ever wondered why I never write about what the boys do at school, now you know.

Posted by Dad at 7:51 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Wednesday 08 March 2006

A bit too literal

Corwin was working on his journal and he asked me how to spell “Virginia”. Despite the fact that Dad is so bad at spelling that he was forbidden to answer any Scholastic Bowl questions that involved spelling, I was able to help him because I have sophisticated electronic aids to help me. However, because , I wrote the small ‘i’ letters with hearts instead of dots on a piece of notepaper. Rather than simply copying the word without the hearts, Corwin was driven to scribble them out on the notepaper, lest their presence force him to use hearts in his journal.

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Monday 06 March 2006

Command Performance

Princess Grumpy-Pants directs the activities of the ‘little people’

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Making dinner re-appear

Corwin is very sick again today. Mom and I were woken up by the sound of splashing, which turned out to be Corwin unloading on the bathroom floor. While he managed quite the hit on his bed, overall he did a reasonable job of minimizing the damage — without a doubt, it could have been much worse.

As a result, Corwin is staying home today, which is somewhat unfortunate as the school is doing some sort of major test for which they’ve been practicing for the last couple of weeks. I suspect that his classmates poisoned him to keep the curve down.

Posted by Dad at 7:40 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Sunday 05 March 2006

We can't we just write a simulation?

It’s Pine Wood Derby time again. This year we waited until less than a week before the race to start on the car. Part of it was the standard procrastination but the combination of Corwin’s illness, his big school project and Mom’s vacation has also put us behind schedule.

However, I decided that despite the crush of schoo work, we would get started on Corwin’s car anyway (I had originally planned to build my own “Hello Death Kitty” car to encourage him, but that went the way of all good intentions). We had a good start, getting the body shaped and sanded in less than a couple hours. We should have it primed by the end of the day, ready for painting during the week. Hopefully we can get the wheels in by Thursday or so, because that’s by far the most important part for getting a fast running car.

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Thighs of power, head of rock

Alice has started to use the slide on her bed. She was very reluctant to use it on her own but while Mom was gone I managed to get Alice to try it a couple of times without holding on to Dad. This seems to have convinced her that it’s OK to use on her own. However, today when went down and smacked her head in to the wall due to her feet stopping and her not holding her head back. She hit the wall so hard that she broke pieces off the electric outlet covering.

But that didn’t slow down our Alice. I tried to comfort her, but she preferred to get back up on the bed. I then tried to put some extra pillows at the bottom to cover the wall and she didn’t like that, either. So she went back to sliding, sorer but wiser and didn’t smack her head anymore.

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Keeping bikes in their place

Alice checks on Charles’ work quality

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Target demographic

Alice has taken very strongly to the Teletubbies. Given that 2 year olds are the primary intended audience, that seems about right. Aice likes to say “big hug!” and “again again”. She can’t say “Teletubbies” but refers to them as “Ta-Ta” (and she calls Bue Clues “ko-ko”). I even got Alice to dance a secret dance along with Laa-laa).

Posted by Dad at 1:36 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Saturday 04 March 2006

Pillowing rolling

Alice and Charles fight on a pillow floating on a raging wood floor

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Even slower than Dad

Corwin has been struggling for the last two or three weeks with a school assignment. The task is to write a journal as if he was a colonist at Plymouth. This has been very slow going for him. Originally he was writing the journal pages out on regular paper, which Mom or I would correct and then copying it in to a journal. Now he is writing it directly. His handwriting has undergone a noticeable improvement in just the few weeks he has been doing this, but it is taking up most of his free time. He takes between 2 and 4 hours for each page and he has to do 5 or 6 pages a week. This ends being a very large time sink for him and he hasn’t managed to achieve much improvement in his throughput. At least it basically stopped him from watching TV for those weeks.

Posted by Dad at 9:13 AM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Friday 03 March 2006

Taking some Z's as he finds them

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Thursday 02 March 2006

Evening fun

Charles is taking a bath. Alice wanders over to “help”. She manages to get her sleeve wet and comes running back to me, complaing of a wet sleeve. She is wearing overalls, so I explain that I have to take off the overalls before I can get the shirt off. Alice says “OK and lets me take off the overalls, at which point she considers the task done and runs back to the bathtub, wet sleeve still on.

When Alice wasn’t messing with Charles’ bath water, she was reading a book about trucks (If I could drive a car hauler) and saying for every page “Alice truck!”. Not really. She said “ah - wiss - twuck”. For every page. For many readings of the book.

I managed to really irritate Charles on the way home. I was teasing him about various things and at one point told him “You are full of Charles-y goodness!”. Oh, he did not like that. So, just to be clear, whatever Charles is full of, it is not Charles-y goodness.

Alice has tired of the bathtub (after managing to shed her shirt) and is now trying to pull off her diaper in order to put on some of Charles’ underwear which is laying on the floor in his room.

Posted by Dad at 9:46 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Deeds, not words

Alice was a bit ripe this morning, so I decided to give her a bath. Alice, for some reason, did not want a bath. She said “no bath!” and when I tried to carry her from the changing table to the bathroom she gave the standard piteous “nooooo!” with panic in her eye.

However, being the crafty old Dad that I am, I decided to go with an oblique approach. I left Alice in her room while I went in to the bathroom and starting drawing a bath. I didn’t have to wait 20 seconds before a little girl wandered in saying “bath!”. Yes, despite what Mom says, Dad is still able to outwit 2 year olds and his mind is as shapr sas evver.r

Posted by Dad at 8:24 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Slowing down in her old age

I hate to mention this, because it’s so out of character, but we now permit Alice to browse the DVD collection. She was forbidden previously because her method of browsing then was to pull every DVD off the shelf and throw it on the floor (if not across the room). Alice is now willing to actually look through the DVDs and pick out the one she wants to watch. Nothing is without its price, however. Alice will sometimes decide on different DVDs every couple of minutes, or accost me as I am performing other duties with a DVD that she has to watch right now.

Posted by Dad at 8:08 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Van de Graff Girl

Alice practices for her role as Medusa

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Wednesday 01 March 2006

Warning: Contents sensitive to cold

We managed to get Charles to enjoy the great outdoos a bit over the weekend. However, the last few times he has been out he has insisted on wearing his snow pants, even when it is mild out. This time he initially went out without the snow pants but then complained that his legs were cold. And, as you can see, he wants his jacket zipped up and his hood in place to fight off the bone chilling 45° cold.

Posted by Dad at 2:55 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

That's not what I meant but I'm OK with it

Because Mom is out of town on a mission to provide enlightenment to the befuddled masses, I am handling bed time for the spawn. However, I can’t pass out at 9pm and leave Princess Not-Sleepy-At-All to a spouse to watch. I was a bit tired, however, so after reading Alice three or four books, I told her it was time to go to bed, even though it was still an early 10 PM. Alice did not take this well. However, after the third or fourth explanation to her tears, she decided that she had had enough of Daddy and trundled off to her own bed. Even more astonishingly, she laid down and after a few minutes of snuffling, fell asleep. That’s a first.

Posted by Dad at 1:00 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL