Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Tree Killers

The tree in our front yard was dying and branches would fall during every storm. Before mowing the lawn I would have to pick up the bigger pieces of limbs and bark out of the grass so as not to totally trash the lawn mower. Worried about some of the bigger branches falling on cars or people on the sidewalk we decided the tree needed to come down. We went to the local Home Depot and rented a chainsaw for the day and got started. My dad is an iron worker and has all the necessary safety gear so it made sense that he would be the one climbing around like a monkey on the tree cutting it down. Well that and the fact that he is 20 times the man I am. It really is tough being as a man being part of this family. Mark is an electrician and knows his way around a job site, Bing is an Iron worker and all around handy man who my wife is now giving jobs to instead of giving them to me. As if it isn't hard enough getting man points as a stay-at-home dad I have my dad and brother setting high scores like two stoners at the arcade tilting the pinball machine while the numbers pile up. But I digress, we got a ladder from Jerry and set to making the big tree disappear chunk by chunk. The neighbors gathered on their porches to watch and sometimes spot for cars as my dad sent limbs falling into the street with little regard for traffic. I worked down below breaking up the branches and loading them into the truck. We hauled off the brush to the landfill and put the logs in the back with a sign that said free wood. It took about 4 hours for the tree to disappear and another 3 hours to clean up the yard but the tree is gone now and not in any danger of hitting a passer-by. You can see more pictures of the process on Flickr

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In Loving Memory

This past weekend my parents dog Scout had to be put down due to advanced cancer in his stomach. He was not looking well the past couple of days and when they took him into the vet they found out about the cancer. It was a shock to all of us who suspected it was something he ate. My parents had Scout for a year and it was here in Indianapolis last year, shortly after Finn was born, that my dad answered an ad in his local paper for a free boxer. He called and set up a meeting when they got back home and from that meeting they took Scout home. For a year Scout was a part of the family, well loved and capable of giving such love as well. When Finn and I visited in January Scout took it upon himself to guard Finn's room while he slept. Finn would shake his lips and pull the bones Scout was chewing on right out of his mouth without Scout coming close to biting him. Scout would lay while Finn crawled all over him and it was incredibly sweet to see. He was a great dog with such a fantastic disposition and my parents are heart broken. Please remember them in your prayers and your thoughts as they go through this sad time. And if you ever met Scout and have a story please share it in the comments, I think they would like that.

Monday, July 23, 2007

When's that BABY due?

Above is the odd picture of the new baby that is growing in Kate's Stomach. It is an inch and a third long and has a wicked fast heart beat so it is doing well. Kate is 10 weeks along and due February 17th. We had our first appointment today and the Dr. couldn't find a heartbeat with the little boom box mic so she sent us to have an ultrasound, something our previous Dr. didn't do, instead of just guessing on a due date. We would normally wait until the 12 or 14 week point to tell everyone because the early miscarriage has made us gun shy but it is hard to wait when you have heard the heart beat, seen the hands and legs and little insect face. Congratulations us!

(title comes from the 2 minute mark of this)

Brokeback Potter Weekend

This past weekend I was fully caught up in Potter-mania. My good friend John and I met some other friends at the local big box book store just before midnight to stand in line for the eagerly awaited 7th book in the Harry Potter series. It was quite a scene at the store but the best part was talking to this dude in line that was at least 6 shades of crazy. He started the conversation by turning around and saying "I told my wife to put the Miracle Grow on the tomato's hello!" I first thought he had confused me for someone else he had been talking to but that wasn't the case. He told me all about his garden and his desire for purple peppers. He told me about his dream of going to AZ to a cooking school to be a chef but how he can't leave Indy because of some legal reasons. He talked about his medication and how it caused him to flip out and try to kill a security guard. He told me about his bogus diagnosis of schizophrenia and how he'd like to see that court appointed Dr. again to show him what he thought of that. I was never so glad to hear "Next!" and see him go to one register to buy his book while I went to another to buy mine. Actually if you click on the picture up top you will see my crazy friend under the white board with the grey shirt and Gallagher haircut.

After John and I had purchased our book we headed down to Bloomington to hole away in a cheap hotel and read our books. We had been planning this for months now and one time or another there where other readers that were going to be joining us but it ended up just being the two of us. We had to endure countless gay jokes from friends and family but we also talked to plenty of people who envied the chance to get away and do nothing but read. We got to the hotel pretty late and laid out our plan for the reading. We would read a chapter tonight to start and then starting Saturday morning we would read 3 chapters and then stop and discuss.

We had breakfast at a local favorite and walked on to the campus of IU and read away. It was a great day weather wise and we stayed pretty well on pace with each other. After a couple of stopping points to chat and remember who was who we went to a coffee shop and found a couple more readers lounging in the comfy chairs reading and we nodded at them. A stop for lunch to have falafels and then back to the hotel for more reading. John is a much faster reader when there are no distractions, like he reads 2 pages to my 1, but when there were distractions we read at the same pace.

We stopped for a nap and then read some more before a dinner of Thai food. After dinner we went back to the hotel to read the night away but soon needed snacks. John had a friend in town taking a class in Polish so he invited him over and we stopped to chat with him. When we got back to reading John's friend joined us reading his book on Polish Foreign Policy in the 1930's. Basically the same story as The Deathly Hallows. When we would stop to discuss he listened intently and participated in the guesses as to the fate of the different characters. Micah left and John and I went to sleep late again and slept in until 10 when we had to check out.

I had been sick with a cold during the last couple of days but was not feeling to bad until Sunday morning. I woke up with what felt like a hang over worthy of world class night of drinking. The like of which I have not seen since leaving SB and the poor influences of Troy, Ben, Jesse, and Jimbo. We went to have bagels with Micah and read on campus again but I felt awful and looked worse. With 200 pages left we headed back home. It was disappointing not finish before coming home and to feel like I let John down but nice to be back home. We both finished the book Sunday night and had a chance to talk a little about it this morning. It was a great weekend with a great friend. There will continue to be jokes amongst our friends but I don't care. They missed out on a fantastic time and I think most of them know it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

White Washed

Last year shortly after Finn was born my parents, brother, and sister in-law came to see the baby and help out with some home improvement. The back porch creation was the biggest of these projects as can be seen in this old post. Well over a year later and we still haven't painted that porch so my dad is doing that as well. I really should be helping but I am feeling really sick. I don't have an excuse for the other 365 plus days though

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bath time with Papa

My dad is pretty funny to watch with Finn. He will not pick him up if he is dirty or in any way sticky, needing first to wipe him down thoroughly. He also doesn't like getting splashed during bath time but Finn just doesn't seem to cooperate with him. When he is covered in sticky bananas and has a full diaper he wants his Papa to pick him up right now. In the bath he splashes and laughs the whole time while Bing is with him. It's as if Finn knows hows particular he is and is doing everything he can think of to get him. Last night while giving him a bath Bing had Finn laughing so hard he could barely breath. There are few things in life so rewarding as making kids laugh and last night my dad was richly rewarded.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Merry Marriage Day

On Sunday afternoon Kate, Finn, and I got to be a part of Lisa and Eric Bentson's wedding. Kate was the most beautiful bridesmaid of the bunch though a head cold and stuffy, humid church almost got the best of her. The ceremony was held in a quaint church on Culver lake followed by a reception in the Poconos at the Skytop Lodge. It was a very fancy shindig from beginning to end and really a lot of fun to be part of, the only problem was that it directly preceded a 12 hour drive back home. We tackled the first 4 hours that Sunday night and stayed in a cheap hotel just West of the midway point of PA on I-80. Kate and I were both too tired to care about the crappy hotel and Finn slept in his port-cage so for him it didn't matter. The next day of driving was great until we were just coming to the Ohio-Indiana border. That was the time that Finn decided he no longer wanted to be in his chair and instead wanted to scream a high pitched tune. We couldn't get home soon enough.

Friday, July 13, 2007

On the Road

We left Wednesday night to go to the East coast for a wedding. Kate's friend Lisa is getting married and Kate is part of the festivities. Since Finn has a 6 hour traveling tolerance we thought leaving later in the evening and driving while he slept would be a good idea but Finn didn't sleep. After we stopped and checked into a hotel he still didn't sleep. He was like chipmunk on uppers he was so hyper. Like he chased his espresso with some redbull. He was throwing himself around the bed, getting up on his knees and waving his arms like crazy and then throwing himself down again. We put him in his crib and he screamed for 30 minutes, which is OK at home where we can hide him away in his room, but in a hotel room it really sucks. Not much sleep was had that night but he was a happy baby for the rest of the trip. We arrived in Sparta, NJ at 8:00 PM Thursday and today Kate is off with Lisa, Finn is with Grandma Kris and Heather to the Jersey Shore, and I am left to read in the shade on the back porch. I think we are all pretty happy with our respective days. Since there are no pictures taken left I give you Finn offering scout a drink from his sippy cup.

Monday, July 09, 2007

4th of July with the Gnomes

We were meant to go to the lake to have a much more suburban 4th but rumors of thunder storms and tornadoes kept us close to home. While sitting in the front yard watching the neighbors across the street shoot bottle rockets from the end of an ax handle Junior came over with A.J. to invite us over to their BBQ and we went. The whole scene could have been on Mayger beach and these could have been my uncles so I felt fairly at home. For Kate though this was a completely foreign experience akin to meeting a remote tribe in the Amazon. We tried to put Finn down for a nap and walk over there but they would have none of it. They wanted to see that baby and sent me back to get him up. We chatted, played horeshoes and basketball, and ate and had a great time. Our neighbors from down the block heard about it and made their jokes about eating racoon and blowing up the neighborhood with $600 worth of fireworks while other bills go unpaid, but they accepted us as we were and made us feel like we belonged and that's more then I can say for us and our friends.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The watermelon incident