Saturday 30 June 2007

The Ultimate Authority

Erica is apparently a rather strict and imposing figure to the children. Not only can she make Alice sleep in Alice’s bed, but she is also the ultimate appeal to authority. While at dinner, Charles and Alice were not chewing silently, which drives Corwin to tears. He complained to them about it, then had Mom and me request less noisty consumption. When neither of those worked, Corwin decided to go all the way to the top: “Charles, Erica said to chew with your mouth closed!”.

Posted by Dad at 7:45 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Friday 29 June 2007

Quality care

[Alice is bathing]

Dad: Let me get your face.

Alice: Be careful you don’t knock my eyeballs out.

Posted by Dad at 11:18 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Tale of the Grill

Open for business

As noted earlier, the natural gas powered grill that came with the house failed on us a few weeks ago. It had been cooking poorly fro some time, but once flames started shooting out from underneath the control panel enough to melt the control dials, I decided that we would do better to replace it.

Despite the urgency, scheduling around child activities kept us from visiting the local home improvement store until Wednesday. We arrived at the store to see a veritable army of grills, lined up hopefully in front of the store. The kids found that very cool, with a special preference for those models that had built in cabinets which could be entered by sufficiently small and dedicated children, along with doors that could be loudly opened and shut by kids of any size.

In the end, we purchased the low end model of the high end series, because that was the least expensive option to get a grill that worked with fixed line natural gas. Unfortunately, it couldn’t be delivered until Sunday, although in hindsight it wouldn’t have mattered due to other issues.

Our first bit of joy was a gender problem with the natural gas connection. We didn’t have any size data on either end, so it took three trips to the hardware store to get the correct bits to actually hook the grill up to the land line. For the record, it was a male to male 1/2 inch to 3/8 inch coupler that finally did the trick.

Still, when Mom finally tried it out, it just didn’t cook very well. It took forever to heat up and wouldn’t get much above 250°F. It turns out that the store hadn’t installed the natural gas conversion kit as promised, so I had to do that. I did that wrong because the instructions for the kit had the gas line hookup instructions, then the “test the burners / conversion” section, and then the “how to upgrade the burners” section. So success required doing the sections out of order, which is not the best structure, in my opinion.

In the end, our perserverance paid off and we now have a fully functional grill, with rotisserie! We have to run a power cord out from the sun room to make that work, and the store installed it backwards so that you couldn’t open the side burner on the left, but Mom did cook up a very nice chicken with it. Best of all, the kids are bored with the under cabinet, so the food cooks quietly.

Posted by Dad at 9:37 AM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Thursday 28 June 2007

Little bits of Charles

Alice and Charles have swim lessons this week. For some reason, they are in the same class (and we’re taking bets on whether Alice or Charles learns how to swim first). Today, Charles managed to cut his little toe while in the pool. Neither the instructors, Erica (who took them to lessons), nor Charles had any idea how he did it.

While Corwin is playing HomeWorld, Charles has been watching him and building models of the space ships again. This time he’s built a carrier, destroyer, and heavy cruiser. These are quite a bit more elaborate than his previous efforts. He carries them around all over the house, although we forbid taking them along to swim lessons.

Posted by Dad at 7:17 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Wednesday 27 June 2007


The infrastructure related trip event we daren’t speak of to Charles

We, the parental units, have finally returned. Despite the fact that our wildest dreams of boundless riches were not fufilled we rate the trip as a success. We spent the morning in the hotel room, prepping for our presentation but afterwards, when all propriety concerns were obviated, Mom decided to do a mini-walking tour of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Lugging, of course, all of our luggage (since we had long since checked out of the hotel). I once again was the stoic, adapatable, and agreeable husband, even as we walked all the way down to and across the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, and the former World Trade Center site in 97° sun1.

We made it back to the airport with an hour or two to spare, despite spending 90 minutes on NYC public transportation (note to future self — if you’re going to do that, avoid scheduling the adventure during rush hour). The flight was delayed another hour (half before boarding, half after) but otherwise it was uneventful. We arrived back very late and took the guest room in the basement rather than finding out what kind of personality Erica has when woken from a deep sleep in the wee hours of the morning in someone else’s house by a pair of sweaty, travel stressed zombies, especially since she’d managed to put Alice in Alice’s bed. It was worth it for those few, precious hours of childless sleep.

1 [in a peppy voice] “Hey, that thermometer over there says it’s 97°!”.

Posted by Dad at 5:25 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Parental unsupervision

While others were off on their trip, Alice, the boys, Poly, and I ruled the house parent-free. Monday was a blur, which I really can’t recall anything too terribly notable about. Corwin was all over the place, but mostly stuck to Homeworld. A few times, a crowbar was implemented to detach him from his computer-induced happy place.

Tuesday, we all went to swim lessons in the morning. While Alice and Charles practiced forward crawl arms, Corwin and I hung out on the bleachers, where he shared tidbits of trivia such as “one time, I slept through a hotel fire alarm” during comic book reading breaks. Later in the day, we all saw Shrek 3. The kids all claimed to enjoy it, and I think they did for the most part. Alice clutched to my arm a few times during some scary music, but in all …it wasn’t the worst movie we’ve ever seen. Charles had been bugging me for some time about swimming at my house, so we decided to do that as well. Everyone enjoyed dragging out all the toys, getting in and out of the pool over and over, and racing from one end to the other. Alice exclaimed, unprompted, that she “had a ton of fun!”, and the boys seemed to as well.…so I think we did an o.k. job surviving unsupervised for an extended period of time.

Posted by Erica at 4:45 PM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Conversation with Alice

Alice is at the table, coloring, while Erica sits beside her:

Alice: ” .… Yeah, my daddy name Alan.”

Erica: “Really? What’s your mom’s name?”

Alice: [hesitates] “Uh, her name is…Sue! Sue is the nice one, but Alan is ebil (evil).”

Erica: “Why is he evil?”

Alice: “That what he do. He just ebil.”

Posted by Erica at 4:41 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Monday 25 June 2007

His mother's son

We made it to New York City. The drive to the airport and the plane trip were uneventful. After arrival, we had various choices of transportation to get to the hotel. Mom decided that we should explore the public transportation system1 so we took a city bus over to the elevated train, which turned in to a subway. I, of course, nobly endured silently, as a good, supportive husband should. However, when Mom suggested additional exploration. I countered with the threat to write down all of explorations and repeat it to Charles when we returned. This settled Mom down to a more business like attitude. However, I think she’s decided to come back with Charles so that she has a more cooperative travel partner.

In the evening we went out to dinner in Little Italy at Pelligrino’s with Bob, a graduate school friend of Mom’s. He’s a guy who’s seen the Wagnerian Ring Cycle at least thrice and is planning on doing it again late this summer. Personally, I just read the comic book version — art is not in my soul. Bob, however, is one of those rare people who live in New York who actually take in the artistic scene, instead of just talking about all the wonderful stuff in the city that they’ve never seen themselves.

After that, it was late so we went back to the hotel room together, just the two of us, no kids … leaving me the perfect opportunity to write this post! Yowza!

1 And she wonders where Charles gets his infrastructural obsession from!

Posted by Dad at 9:57 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Writer's unblock

Mom and I are off for a couple of days on a business trip. Erica will be the substitute mom while we’re gone. I expect that she’ll have lots of idle time, the kids being so well behaved and all. Surely she’ll want to make the time pass more quickly by writing up some of her wonderful adventures with the kids! She should be well rested too, as she’ll be staying in the master bedroom which comes equipped with two self-activating bed warmers / humidifiers, perfect for those sweltering summer nights.

Posted by Dad at 7:08 AM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Sunday 24 June 2007

Wind blown Alice

Posted by Dad at 2:53 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Saturday 23 June 2007

Barefoot soldier on patrol

Charles has taken to wearing this gear — hat, backpack, gun, camoflauge

Posted by Dad at 1:57 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL


Last week was soccer camp for Corwin. Jack, Maggie, Ali, Josh, Jake, Mara, and Zina all attended as well. We think Corwin had a good time, even though he was as communicative as usual. His group finished second, which is a fine ending.

At the start of the week, all the kids were issued camp T-shirts. Corwin wore his every day except the last day, when apparently the shirt became too ripe even for him. Mom made him take showers after camp, but given the shirt I am not sure it made much difference for his fellow campers.

On Wednesday, the coaches played against the local community college team and got smoked. I suspect that it was the fact that the local team had played a lot as a team, which makes a big difference. I showed up late, because Charles had a T-ball game. Corwin spent most of the game playing with some other kids from the camp in an pickup soccer game, leaving Mom to watch the game we took Corwin to see.

For me, the best part was that Corwin was on the Wales team, while Jack was on the France team (Jack’s father being a France-basher from Wales). I faked sympathy as best I could when he told me this — what, you think Corwin would provide that level of detail?

Posted by Dad at 1:37 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Friday 22 June 2007

Season wrap-up

Corwin takes out a runner stealing home

Corwin’s baseball season finished up last Monday. The last regular season game was a week ago Thursday, with the post-season tournament starting Monday. It wasn’t an overly lopsided game (12-16), but Corwin’s team went down to defeat and was eliminated from further play. Overall the fielding wasn’t very good, but they did get a double play. The third baseman caught a drive, tossed it to first for the out. The runner on first rounded second and decided that, based on the preceding fielding quality, he was free and clear for third. But the first baseman threw it back well enough that the third baseman tagged out the runner.

Corwin’s team finished just under the middle of the league rankings. I think Corwin was probably in the upper half of the players, but he doesn’t have the level of focus and hustle to be one of the top players. He does seem to enjoy it (overall — there are moments when it’s not so much fun). He’s starting to get to an age where he’ll probably have to chose between baseball and soccer in order to focus enough on one to remain competitive. It’s too bad that the two sports he likes have such a schedule conflict.

Posted by Dad at 7:41 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Thursday 21 June 2007

Mean Daddy

[Hanging out while Charles and Alice fight over playing with blocks]

Alice: Daddy, can I laugh somewhere else?

Dad: [Not quite penetrating Alice’s diction] You want to walk somewhere else?

Alice: No! I show you! [laughs]

Dad: You want to laugh somewhere else?

Alice: Can I laugh here, or somewhere else?

Dad: You can laugh anywhere you want.

Alice: No!!! You not listening to my words! [melts down]

Perhaps I was too permissive?

Posted by Dad at 6:10 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Ready for Independence Day

Posted by Dad at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Wednesday 20 June 2007

Understanding the value of good PR

A player just can’t bring herself to hit an innocent ball

Unlike like his uncooperative older brother, Charles was willing to help me pick out the good pictures from the set I took of his first T-Ball game.

Charles and I both liked this one. This girl was on the opposing team. The coach had to take her out of the batter’s box for psychological counseling before she was able (after a couple of other batters) to come back and whack the ball. The coach probably convinced her it was an older brother.

Posted by Dad at 12:04 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Cute phrases

Charles and Alice seem to pick up almost age-inappropriate phrases. These are not exactly wrong, but darn close, leaving the quandry of whether to discourage them. I opt for gentle discouragement, because Alice in particular is quite adept at picking out verbalizations that drive people around her off the deep end.

The most recent example is “Holy Crash!” (Alice) / “Holy Crack!” (Charles). The two of them got in to quite the argument over which was the correct version. It’s particularly unendearing given the poor diction of the two of them, although Charles’ version is probably over the line even when pronounced as intended. This phrase seems to be fading, although I expect a revival at some especially inopportune moment.

P.S. Charles doesn’t need mangled versions of inappropriate phrases to be obliviously obnoxious. Erica reports that, presumably based on being told that Erica was getting married later this year, he decided to grill her on her reproductive plans. Given the lack of obvious bruises, Erica seems to have taken it in stride.

Posted by Dad at 11:53 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Tuesday 19 June 2007

Non-grill cookout

Last Saturday evening we had a cookout for some neighbors and soccer families. The turnout was low, but that might have been for the best, as things were somewhat crowded anyway.

Naturally, our outdoor grill had failed the previous Saturday, shooting so much flame out the bottom that the control dials melted. Given the amount of rust and other issues, I decided that we’d do better to get a new one. Now, a week and a half later we’re still working on getting the grill operational, but that’s a story for another post. Mom certainly missed the ability to grill 28 hamburgers simultaneously, but as the ultimate gracious hostess she managed to provide a suitable spread.

Despite the lack of grillosity, the party went on. The adults talked, played 80s Trivial Pursuit, which was dominated by Maggie’s parents, and watched the kids misbehave outside. We had hoped for a bit more independent play, but it was not to be. We had three families over that hadn’t visited before, a fact that provides for a triumph of hope over experience in expanding our set of adult friends.

Rose, Josh, Jake, cruising

We managed to have two big thrills for the kids, a fire bowl that Corwin got for his birthday, and the Barbi car. There was much fighting over the car, even by the older (10-11 year old) kids. Everyone wanted a turn, and as you can see sometimes waiting was too much. At least I have some excellent blackmail pictures for later use.

Corwin and Charles, in contrast, had no interest in playing with the Barbi car at all. One of the neighbor girls came out her in motorized Hummer to cruise with the rest of the crew. She tried to loan it to the gang but their ardor for cruising was fading by that time.

There was a little bit of sword play, but the kid mix wasn’t right or there was too much other fun stuff to do for any real battles to get going.

The evening ended with glow stick tag, which was a bit on the thin side for players but the kids seemed to enjoy it anyway. Even Alice played, tagging along with Jake for most of the time.

Unlike last time, there were no near death experiences. The closest thing was Jacob engaging in some head trauma by giving himsef a good size lump on his forehead. His mom tried to pry his secret out of him, but he refused to divulge any details, treating it all as a trade secret.

In the end, all the parents seemed satisfied with the set of children they had when they left, which is my mark of success for a family style gathering.

Posted by Dad at 8:57 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Monday 18 June 2007

Picky, picky

Corwin decides to wait for the next pitch

Posted by Dad at 10:51 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Did Errol Flynn have to put up with that sort of thing?

[Charles and Dad are sword fighting]

Charles: You’re dead!

Dad: No, I got you first.

Charles: No, I got you first. Right there in your gush.

Posted by Dad at 10:49 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Sunday 17 June 2007

Happy Father's Day!

[Alice and Charles are taking turns running at full speed in to Dad]

Dad: Is this what’s for Father’s Day?

Mom: Alice, Charles, you shouldn’t want to hurt Daddy.

Alice: Why not?

Mom: Daddy is nice.

Alice: No, he’s evil!

Mom: Daddy’s not evil. You like Daddy.

Alice: No we don’t.

Posted by Dad at 8:49 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Saturday 16 June 2007


I remarked to Erica the other day that Charles frequently eats like a rabbit. He was working on some graham crackers, which he would hold with both hands while continuously taking little tiny bits, more of a grinding away than an eating style. Erica agreed and told me that he did it so much that she sometimes called him “Thumper” in honor of it. I may have to try that myself.

Posted by Dad at 12:01 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Ant avoidance

Charles takes a direct hit

Last Saturday was the annual neighborhood picnic. I managed to spend most of my time watching the kids. The turnout in that department seemed less than in previous years, as a number of kids who were in the tweens without younger siblings elected to be elsewhere. There was a bit of fun with the bubble machine but the kids spent essentially all of their time there in the pond or eating. Not much to write about, but I had to use a picture from the event.

Posted by Dad at 11:49 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Friday 15 June 2007

What's important to Alice

[At the breakfast table]

Alice: What day is today?

Dad: Friday.

Alice: Erica come over today?

Dad: Yes. Why do you ask?

Alice: Charles and I like Erica.

Dad: Why do you like Erica?

Alice: She’s nice.

Dad: What’s nice about her?

Alice: Her shoes.

Posted by Dad at 8:32 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Filling out the resume

Charles makes the play at first

On Wednesday, Charles had his first ever official league T-ball game. At this level, they don’t really track outs or runs. Each inning, every player gets to run the bases all the way to home. The players in the field just practice throwing the ball to the correct place. And throw dirt. It turns out that you can pile up a lot of dirt in a baseball glove.

Charles did well in both fielding and batting. I didn’t get a good picture of him batting because he’d swing at the ball the instant the coach had it up on the T-ball stand, so I the pictures I took turned out to be good pictures of the coach’s posterior beyond which there was the suggestion of a kid with a bat. At least Charles waited long enough that he didn’t hit the coach.

Posted by Dad at 8:13 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Thursday 14 June 2007

Sudden visitation

Mom’s friend Sara dropped by earlier this week as a surprise visit for her dad. The whole crew (Sara, Ella, and Sara’s parents) all came over for lunch and an afternoon visit. I had to go to a business luncheon so I missed the initial adventure. They all went to the park at first and then walked home. Mom let Charles walk Poly. When they arrived home, Poly spotted the neighbor dog Arnold. She took off to say hi, yanking Charles so hard he landed on his face, getting a bloody mouth. I managed to call to inquire about plans right at this moment.

Other than that, it was a nice visit. We tried to get Alice and Grace to cruise in the Barbi car but neither of them was much for steering, which put a damper on the experience. We tried to convince Sara’s dad to build a tree house for Charles, but he cleverly claimed that he hadn’t brought construction equipment with him (as if!). By that time, both girls were suffering from nap deprivation, signalling the end of the visitation window. Still, Alice got some good pretend kitchen and dollhouse play in so we can rate it as a success.

Posted by Dad at 8:55 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Hello, it's me again

The children were out playing combat again. Alice and Charles were holding the bench when Corwin and I came upon them. I was quickly taken out of action, after which Charles sent Alice forward to attack Corwin. Corwin, however, was better armed than I was and fired back.

Charles: Call in air support! Call in air support!

Alice: [holds up her hand to her ear as if clutching a cell phone]
Alice: Hello, Air Support? We need you to help us!

Posted by Dad at 8:27 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Wednesday 13 June 2007

Watering the dog

Posted by Dad at 8:59 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Tuesday 12 June 2007

Free Fall Fashions

[Dad is messing with the children via song as usual]

Dad: If Charles can fly, over the rainbow, why oh why can’t I?

Dad: Can Charlesly fly over the rainbow?

Charles: No! Charles can’t fly at all.

Dad: What if I picked one up and threw it really hard?

Charles: That would be falling

[wait for it]

Charles: …with lots of style.

Posted by Dad at 10:48 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Modern childcare

It’s not just watching — Erica rigorously schools Corwin as well

Posted by Dad at 6:10 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Monday 11 June 2007

Scheduled growth

[Daddy discovers he can no longer hold Alice up high enough that her feet don’t reach him]

Dad: Alice, you’re getting bigger.

Alice: I not gettng bigger!

Dad: But your feet didn’t used to reach all the way down.

Alice: To get bigger I need to eat and eat, sleep and sleep, and drink and drink. I not doing that.

Dad: So you’re not getting bigger?

Alice: No.

Dad: When are you going to get bigger?

Alice: In about 3 minutes.

Posted by Dad at 4:31 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Sunday 10 June 2007


Corwin and Charles had a violin concert on Saturday. It was the combined students of two violin instructors. The kids were sent out to play in order, from most advanced to most novice. One boy was so new that he just went up at the beginning to take a bow. Charles was sent along for moral support. Poor Charles also had to wait until the very end as he was the most junior player who actually played. Still, he bowed along for the final piece, looking very serioius.

Posted by Dad at 7:31 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Product development

Erica had the kids out several times last week to play with water balloons. She tells me that they don’t need swimsuits as none of them can actually throw a balloon hard enough to break on each other. Just in case, though, Corwin and Charles made a special refreshing version. Corwin plucked some mint leaves from Mom’s mint patch, put them in a balloon, and then filled it. Result — one extra refreshing water balloon! Now they just need to productize it.

Posted by Dad at 6:25 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Saturday 09 June 2007

Bubble rain

The boyen seek shelter from the hard rain of bubbles

Posted by Dad at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Facts of Alice Life

[Scene 1 — Alice is pushing a stroller]

Alice: See my triplets!

Dad: Aren’t they getting too big for the stroller?

Alice: [condescendingly] Triplets don’t grow!

[Scene 2 — in the media room]

Alice: What is inside of people?

Dad: I think there’s a big milk bottle inside Alice.

Alice: Noooo.

Dad: But you put milk in Alice all the time. Where does it go?

Alice: It goes to my tummy, then down to my feet, then it goes up and down. That what it does.

Posted by Dad at 9:43 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Friday 08 June 2007

Boy soldier

Charles has been doing a lot of soldiering the last month or so. That was one source for his frustration with Alice not obeying orders. Another effect has been him marching around the house with a weapon at the ready. Here you can see him with the wooden musket Corwin got on some trip (to Galena, I think). He usually just runs around with it, but sometimes he marches on patrol. Charles also builds guns out of Legos™ and (amazingly to me) carries them about without losing pieces permanently. He will also put on his backpack to look more like a trooped out in the field. In this case, the camoflauge shirt is good, but the Jimmy Neutron underwear is not so good.

Posted by Dad at 2:09 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Fleet upgrade

As a late birthday present (because everyone, including on-line retailers, were sold out) Corwin received his Lego™ Imperial Star Destroyer on Tuesday. By Wednesday afternoon, it was assembled. I think Corwin spent just an hour or two on Tuesday but basically all day Wednesday working on it. Erica was terrible hurt that Corwin ignored her all day, but I expect her to recover by the end of the summer.

Posted by Dad at 2:07 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Thursday 07 June 2007

Smile for the camera … advertisement

Posted by Dad at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Wednesday 06 June 2007

Where is Charles?

Can you find the Charles hidden in the picture?

Posted by Dad at 2:32 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Tuesday 05 June 2007

People skills

Charles is still struggling with his people skills.

A week or two ago, Charles and Alice were out playing. Charles decided that they were under attack and wanted Alice to face the enemy. He told her “point that way!”. Alice didn’t understand his urgency but eventually she put out her finger and pointed it in the direction Charles indicated. This wasn’t want Charles meant, which was face that direction, but he melted down rather than correct his phrasing. He became very upset as Alice was overrun by the imaginary attackers and ended up fleeing in to the house in tears.

A few days later we went out to play a pick up soccer game organized by Mara. During a break Mara’s mom brought out popsicles for the players. Charles said he wanted one, so I told him to go ask Mara’s mom for one. Instead, he just whined at me over and over how much he wanted a popsicle. It was better to suffer without than speak to another adult. Finally, after about 20 minutes of agony, Mara’s mom took pity on Charles and offered him a popsicle. I still think that Charles should give in and talk to people when he wants stuff, rather than just me or making incoherent grunts of frustration.

Posted by Dad at 7:59 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Corrupting new youth

Maggie came over for a play date with Alice on Saturday, after Corwin’s baseball game. It was Maggie’s first visit and I think the two of them had a lot of fun. The most popular activity was the bubbles. They did play a bit with Alice’s dollhouse, which was in my view the primary reason to have Maggie visit. They were so busy that we didn’t even get out the Barbi car.

The one problem we had was when Maggie fell (somehow, mysteriously, while she and Alice were dancing with wild abandon in the bubbles) and banged up her knee. The only thing that would comfort her was the application of a Band-Aid, despite the lack of bleeding or even abrasion1. Still, Maggie was tough and went back to dancing and smashing bubbles with a shovel soon after.

1 Alice has taken to claiming abrasions and bleeding anytime she bumps herself enough to hurt, so that she can get a Band-Aid to stop the pain. It’s just kind of odd to have her screaming and crying about bleeding with no obvious bruise or reddening, much less a visible wound.

Posted by Dad at 7:38 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Monday 04 June 2007

Bubbling fun

Posted by Dad at 6:06 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

The Erica has arrived! A variety of beatings, starving, and dire threats during the previous week ensured that she was greeted with a wall of child and canine affection. I suspect she’ll spend most of the day being shown new stuff, hopefully not by Poly. Mom and I intended to talk to her about changes in the household but she was swept away by the tide of youth before we had a chance.

Posted by Dad at 9:27 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Sunday 03 June 2007


Dad: Is it good or bad to be a girly-pop?

Alice: Bad.

Dad: But Alice is a girly-pop.

Alice: I meant good.

Posted by Dad at 5:12 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Bubbles of Evil

[Alice and Charles are enjoying the bubble machine]

Alice: The bubbles are going to town!

Dad: What are they going to do in the town?

Charles: Destroy it! And give all of the people there chicken legs!

Posted by Dad at 2:21 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Box scores

So … many … games.

A game or two ago, Corwin managed to acquire a very odd habit while catching — he kept having his glove fall off while catching

The next game, the coach made a very explicit mention to the effect that Corwin should keep his glove on while catching.

Possibly because of that, Corwin had a better day at the last game (Saturday). He got on base 2 of 3 times, although he did strike out the last time. He got a hit (double on error) and a walk. His catching was better than usual. What he needs work on is throwing to the pitcher. He still does these big lobs, which are unreliable and harder to catch.

The game was a good one, close until the final inning. The fielding wasn’t so good, but both teams suffered from that. There were mutiple grounders that went through a couple of infielders and an outfielder. Throws to get runners stealing bases generally cost extra bases on the miss. And on that note, we’ll finish with a picture of Corwin getting an extra base after stealing second. The second baseman is off chasing down the ball while Corwin heads for third.

Posted by Dad at 9:06 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Thnking it through

I was rough housing with Charles on the couch on Friday, when the kids were out of school and Mom was “out”. Corwin decided the time was right to attack and he jumped on my back. Unfortunately for his nefarious plans, he had neglected to think about what he would do once he was in position. Even worse, he had neglected to think about what I would do. I proceeded to demonstrate some of the things that I had learned as a boy in dealing with my own brothers. As Corwin desperately tried to gain enough control to request the cessation of the lesson, I decided to increase family efficiency by also discussing the bad effects of poor planning. It’s just one of the ways that I deliver real value as a father.

Posted by Dad at 8:46 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Gratuitous Picture of the Day

Posted by Dad at 8:44 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL


Everyone is very exicted about Erica starting her summer adventure tomorrow. Alice told us at dinner last Monday that she wanted Erica to come to our house right now. But sadly, her parents were too cheap to have arranged that.

Corwin suggested that he could ambush Erica with the padded swords. I told him it was a great idea. I had been wondering how to justify a padded sword enforced Summer Reign of Pain from Erica, and an initial ambush would be a perfect pretext. Again, though, I may have chuckled evilly a bit too much so that even Corwin realized that I had a Cunning Plan.

Posted by Dad at 8:28 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Saturday 02 June 2007

Curses, foiled again

Note to self: must stop gloating before striking.

Case in point: I caught Corwin on the couch, exhausted from being forced to go out with Mom on a morning run. He had taken one sock off and left it on the couch. It was a perfect two-fer: violations of the one sock rule and dirty sock rule. Unfortunately, I laughed my evil laugh and Corwin, who is normally Mr. Oblivious, instantly realized what I was thinking and put his sock back on. Run silent, run mean, that’s what I need to do.

Posted by Dad at 9:21 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Gratuitous Picture of the Day

Posted by Dad at 9:20 AM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks – Ping URL


Alice: What is sweet?

Dad: Sugar is sweet. Candy is sweet. … Alice is sweet.

Alice: I not sweet!

Dad: Alice is not sweet?

Alice: No. I’m loveable.

Posted by Dad at 8:44 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Friday 01 June 2007


I gave Charles a couple of whacks this morning because he left his dirty socks on the couch (10 AM, and Charles is already leaving dirty socks around the house). This time, the punishment brought him nearly to tears. Why? Because I knew the socks belonged to Charles and therefore I didn’t whack Corwin. It was the lack of sharing that really hurt.

P.S. It’s all about doing something nice for their future wives. I will owe them so much for taking the boys off my hands that I need to get started with pay back now.

Posted by Dad at 10:09 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Free Stuff

In the last week of school, the boys have been coming home with “free stuff”. Corwin has been bringing home more stuff than Charles. Some of the stuff is nice like books and a little planetarium kit. Other stuff not so nice like old yarn balls. Other stuff is just odd. For example, how many troll dolls do you think a 10 year old boy needs? In Corwin’s case, the answer is at least 6. Charles also brought home one. Plus Corwin brought home one a few weeks ago. So we now have an army of 8 now naked troll dolls floating around downstairs waiting to become Poly chew tows.

I asked Corwin why he picked out 6 troll dolls. He just looked at me as if I said something really silly and said “But they were free!”

From talking with Charles’ teacher and other more experienced parents, I learned that the school gets boxes of free or nearly free troll dolls each year. Not sure what the motivation is for shipping troll dolls to the schools. I’m guessing there are mind control rays embedded in the dolls. Or maybe it is a government subsidy program like they used to do for cheese.

Posted by Mom at 8:29 AM | Comments (6) | Trackbacks – Ping URL


I’ve been cultivating and expanding a “prairie” style garden in front of the house since we moved in. It must be tricking the wildlife. This morning as I was taking Poly out for her walk, we flushed out a pheasant that had been spending the night under the false indigo.

Posted by Mom at 6:26 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Charles jumps the shark

Posted by Dad at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL