Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How Many 5 year old's could you take


Created by OnePlusYou - Funny

Monday, December 29, 2008

Finn now has Camo Dinosaur Pajamas

On loan from he cousins here in Clatskanie. All of his warm clothes and PJs are crossing the plains right now in Tom Tom's car, well our car that Tom Tom is bringing out to us before heading to Hawaii. Until they get here he has provisions from Amanda and if they are all like this then he is set. Does it get any better then Camo Dinosaurs? I submit that it does not!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The beach to the Snow

I am 5000 feet up an hour into to a six hour trip back to Portland with Finn playing with everyone of his trucks on the empty seat in our row. It was an adventure to get from the car to the airplane and a fitting end to an adventure in Hawaii. We have been here for the last six months and we are now heading back to a new house, new housemates and a lot of uncertainty. We spent the morning gathering toys and clothes and getting the bags packed before heading to the beach for one last play in the surf. Finn is now fearless in the water on the day when he is leaving. We was jumping into waves and body a surfing a little even having waves wash over his head as he got up and squealed with joy. While standing the whitewash saying goodbye to some great neighbors I had a Man-of-War wrap completely around my foot. I grabbed Finn and put him out of the water and then walked back in to peel off the jelly fish. It stung immediately and it took me a minute or two to get all the tentacles out. We took that as a cue to head back to the house and as we were walking back I felt the sting move up my leg. After washing off in the outdoor shower I now had a sore leg and really sore groin area. The stinging pain was bad but expected, the pain in my groin was not. Scott said the same thing happened to him when he didn’t get the tentacles off right away and that it goes away in a half hour. It didn’t go away in a half hour and it was a terrible pain. I would focus on the burning sting on my foot to take my mind away from the other pain. Laying on the ground in our room I woke Henry up form his nap with my moaning and after about an hour the pain started to go away. My foot still hurts after four hours but I can live with that. I made it the whole 6 months without getting hit and on the morning we left, as a going away present, I got a fine send off.

Finn and I are now in Clatskanie making our way through the snow and slushy streets. We walked down for coffee this afternoon and went out later in the car to visit some cousins. It is fun for us to be in the snow but for everyone here they are over it. We will go visit Papa tomorrow if we can make it out and then head to Portland later this weekend to make sure I can make it to work next week.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mele Kaliki Maka

Last night Kate, Finn, Henry, and I drove into Honolulu to see the displays at City buildings. We walked around the Palace and Hale buildings looking at wreath displays and Christmas tree. There was a lighted train and some kiddie rides setup outside and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus sitting on the wall giving the Shaka. It was beautiful to see all the lights and decorations. The trolley's were giving free rides and there were some light firetrucks driving around. Seemed the quintessential Hawaiian Christmas display and I was glad we got to see it. Thanks Mrs. Ann for the suggestion.

The boys

Monday, December 22, 2008

Henry Jackknifed himself

Henry tried to crawl over the box of cars to get to Finn's lineup and he didn't quite make it the whole way. Got himself a "little stuck" as Finn said.

A Christmas Rash

Finn was taking a bath in the kitchen sink while I was on the other side of the pass through on the computer checking basketball scores. I could see him and hear him as he was playing contently in the water and dumping it into the next sink. He was happy to be in there and I was happy for the time to get caught up. I could see his head but not his hands and during that time he had pulled a scented candle into the sink and with a baby spoon was scooping out large portions of it and mixing it in the bath and on his skin. When I came around the corner to get him out he smelled pine fresh but was covered in soft red wax. I washed the wax off 2 or 3 times and what we were left with were these rashes above. I asked if he ate any of it and he said "No it tastes yucky!" Awesome. So by no you mean yes. There a couple more pictures on the Flickr site. I felt terrible and brought him right away to Scott. It is great having a Dr. in the house for things like these. He had me wash him off again and since it wasn't itching or irritating Finn he said to just watch and see. I read Finn some books and laid him down to bed with the rash already dissipating. When I went to check on him an hour later it was all gone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

While riding our bikes

Kate was in front with the boys in the trailer. Finn asked where daddy was and I said "I am right on your tail Finn!" Finn responded "I don't have a tail daddy, I have a pee pee!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Blond one got a haircut

Finn got his haircut yesterday and he went from emo punk kid to boy next door. The difference in his look and demeanor is noticeable. With his long bangs he would get this defiant look that was brooding and frankly a little irritating. We didn't really fully notice it until it was gone with bangs that highlighted it. Now with his short hair he just doesn't have the same weight behind his pouts. I really liked his moppy hair but I like this attitude better.

Merry Christmas

This is so awesome i have to share it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Waimanalo Christmas Parade

We went to the Waimanalo Christmas Parade and it was the best thing Finn had ever seen. Just wave after wave of Semi truck, dump trucks, garbage trucks, fire trucks, tricked out golf carts, low riders, police cars, funny cars, race cars, and people throwing candy. He was shocked that such a thing existed where all his favorite cars and trucks went by and they threw candy to him. Once one of the funny cars revved the engine and Finn jumped and grabbed my leg and asked me if they would do that again please. I think it scared him and then immediately delighted him. While we were out for breakfast earlier that day we saw a number of semi trucks getting ready and we knew that where ever they were going we had to be there. Finn talked about the parade the rest of the day, if you ask him about it I bet he could give you the run down of what he saw.

Friday, December 12, 2008

He is cute, I am not

Today while playing on the floor with his trucks Finn Said " Mommy I enjoy interaction!" The thing is someone on the TV just said that and he was repeating it but it cracked us up. It is true, he enjoys interaction and is always trying to get us to play with him.
A couple of days ago we were in the car coming back from the mall and I was feeling a bit defeated. We had gotten a bill for medical stuff that happened last year and should have been covered by the insurance that Kate had at the time but wasn't. It was the latest in pile of bills that come when you think you might finally be doing well. Anyway I was moody and quiet and trying to explain to Kate why while Finn asked question after question in the back seat. I told him to wait a minute while daddy was talking and he kept asking and asking. I snapped at him "Finn I need you to SHUT UP for 2 minutes!" and even before the words left my mouth I felt like an ass. Finn clammed right up, not saying another word for a minute and then saying to Kate, "Daddy says shut up Finn." I turned and to him and told him I was very sorry for saying that, I was wrong and should not have said that to him. He said "It's OK daddy." Later while we were driving he said "Sometimes daddy says no, and sometimes daddy says shut up." I wanted to cry, I know I will say and do terrible things but knowing that doesn't take the sting out of it when you have just done it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Incase you were wondering if Finn still knew his cars

Wonder no more

Henry the Elf

Henry sees the decorations and says they are good.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Don't Worry Jesse!

When we head back to Portland and move in with Jesse and Carly we are going to be splitting up the cooking duties, with each person getting a night and each couple getting a night and then one leftover/take-out night. This ad comes to mind when I think of Jesse cooking!

More Cousins

In the last picture we saw my clear weight advantage at a young age but as we got older Doug grew faster then I did. Here we are boxing, or as I remember it, me getting my ass kicked. I have dropped my guard and it looks like Doug has just missed with his haymaker. The look on my face is classic, he missed but I some how still stunned. I think the wind of it might have hobbled me a little. I wasn't much of a fighter but I can take solace in not being a quitter.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


A little look back at me and my cousin Doug. We are one week apart in age but apparently I am gaining weight a little quicker. It may be because I have both spoons though. I think those were Doug's smokes, that's how he stayed so thin, his pack a day habit. Thanks for sharing this picture Aunt Jamie!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Henry is crawling now!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

We have Lakers in HD

Since Fox Sport West is the closet regional sport stations we have Lakers and Clippers in HD. It is a magical thing to turn on the TV and see the Lakers playing. Hearing Stu bemoan the lack of ball movement is music to my ears. Jake is pretty excited about it too, that little guy just loves him some Lakers!

Fully adjusted

As great as it was to have family around for the last two months there is something to said for routine as well. We have all been sleeping in until 8 AM and getting some good naps in between. The boys seem to be fully adjusted to Hawaiian time again and enjoying having their own space to sleep. We have had some great beach time and Kate has gotten away on her own to read and have coffee with no kids. We are settling back into the day to day but still trying to enjoy each moment in the last three weeks we have here. Scott and I are going to get out for a round of golf next week and we might even make it out to the big island for a weekend exploration. We are having a really great time after some struggles early on and we know we will look back on this time and remember how great it was for us and the boys (Jake and Scott included)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

But it wasn't a truck

We were all sitting in our bedroom, Kate on the couch with Henry; Finn, Jake and I on the floor watching a little TV and playing with the cars. Jake was exploring the space trying to see what he wasn't supposed to play with and what was OK. I turned to see what Jake was getting into and when I looked back there was a truck coming at me. It hit me in the lip as I was laying on the ground and there was Finn finishing his follow through. I immediately got up and grabbed Finn to take him to timeout. I told him he does not throw trucks and that hurt Daddy when he hit him with the truck.

"You hit me right in the face with that truck and now I have an owie on my lip!"

I put him in his timeout chair and closed the door. He was crying and calling for me saying

"I'm sorry I hit you in the face with the truck daddy!" "i'm sorry I hit the truck in the face with daddy" "I'm sorry, I'm sorry for trucks!"

I waited for him to calm down a bit and for me to calm down as well after taking a matchbox car to the mouth at 3 feet away. Then I went in and sat on the bed and asked him

"Why did you throw the truck at me Finn?"

Crying almost hysterically he responded

" I'm saw saw sorry daddy for for for......Daddy it wasn't a tr tr truck, it was a semi!"

It was all I could do to keep from laughing. He knew he was in trouble and that throwing the truck was wrong but he couldn't let this go on any longer. It wasn't a truck, it was a semi and if he was going to have to face the punishment he wanted the record to clearly reflect the make and model of the thrown vehicle. He apologized for throwing the Semi and at me and told me that we only throw balls. H asked if he could kiss my owie for me and then grabbed my lips with both hands and pulled them to him still sobbing a little bit. I am amazed at how quickly you can go from having a good time to being so angry with him you could scream to fighting back laughing because they are so freaking cute. It is a rollercoaster ride this parenting.

Best of 2008

It is that time of year when everyone likes to list off their favorites for others to admire and make fun of. I like looking at others so I will throw something out there to be criticized as well:

Favorite Albums of 2008

Ra Ra Riot - Rhumb tree

Santogold - Santogold

Coldplay - Viva La Vida

It was a good year for music for me and the three albums above I really really like. Dying is Fine by Ra Ra Riot is probably the most listened to song for me this year. I found it on a KCRW podcast and for some reason I just gravitated towards it. Finn and I have had a number of living room dance parties to the Santogold album and it got me listening to more R&B. As for Cold Play that is just good times that album. It isn't groundbreaking or new but it is great to listen to and a look at on my account shows that I listened to that album more then any other. I really like the new Counting Crows cd and just this last couple of weeks I have been listening to Bon Iver thanks to Ben and Jen. Good call guys.


I don't really get to read books that come out this year because I usually get them second hand or check them out and there just isn't that great availability for the new stuff. I will list the top three books that I read this year instead of the top three books that came out this year.


The Amazing Adventures of Kaviler and Clay - Michael Chabon

The Brother K - David James Duncan

A Million Pieces - James Frey

The top two books were recommendations from John and Matt and so far they have a great track record for books. Both recommended The Road last year and that book is by far the most impactful book I have read. I enjoyed Brothers for the story telling as well as the proximity to where I grew up. While I wasn't ever into comic books the Chabon book made that world come alive and made me want to read comics.


Simply Christian - N.T. Wright

Last Season - Phil Jackson

The Struggle for Iran - Christopher De Beguille

An eclectic group of books there but probably captures me pretty well. Faith, basketball, and Culture. It was hard to read about the snake bit Lakers season but really great as well. The N. T. Wright book is simple and profound, laying out what it means when we say Christian in a way reminiscent of C. S. Lewis. The struggle for Iran was an interesting look at a country that I hear about all the time but know little about. The book focused on the transition between a secular Iran into a Religious state.

I don't have any movies that I can think of right now so I will bring this post to an end. Please respond with any of your favorites or give me the link to your own lists.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

North East Goodness

Here is the house that we will be living in starting in January. Casa de RitRoh will be lively and spacious with room for visitors to sleep in real beds. No more Blow up mattresses for Mark and Kendra, congratulations kids you get a real room. Please get your reservations in early as we are already starting to get requests for prime spring and summer time spots and we want to make sure that you get the dates your looking for. Can you tell I'm a little excited about the new place, just a little.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

This moment, here, now

With all of us up at 5:30 this morning we walked to the beach and watched the sun rise. Finn played int he sand letting the warm water run up to his feat and then running back up to where Kate and I were sitting with Henry. The boys slept great last night and we felt pretty energized to get the most out of these last three weeks together in Hawaii. My brother recently told me about how him and his wife were really content in the moment and that has encouraged me to find that for myself. That sense of being fully engaged in what is happening right here and right now and letting the future live a little out of the spotlight a bit. Like I said we are really keyed for that right now but we will see how long that lasts. Things like this need constant watering to grow.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Transition away from transition

Four more weeks in Hawaii and then Finn and I will be heading back to Portland. It has been a good and tough time in Hawaii. Working from home has been wonderful, seeing Jake grow and being part of this formative time of his life has been and honor but not being able to get away and having 3 kids 2 and under has been tough. We had grand plans of financial gains that have gone largely unrealized but we have had relational gains that more then make up them. It has been harder then we thought it was going to be but we would do it again in a heartbeat. As the time is moving towards our departure though we can't help but look forward to the new, to the horizon. We will be moving in with friends in a 5 bedroom house is trendy North East Portland. A block from the Max and a great park and walking distance to two Breweries, if that isn't heaven I am not sure what is. We are in for tough times working out our lives in the midst of another family. trying to learn the steps to a new dance when we all have different tunes in mind. As usual communication is going to be key, as is thick skin and short memories. For Kate the opportunity to set up house is what she is looking forward to most. To have rooms that she can't arrange and re-arrange is necessary for a sense of home and she is already diagraming our room without seeing the room. For the last couple of transitions we have found that things don't work out the way we think they are going to and we know this next one will follow suit. We want to be more aware of our expectations and how we manage and communicate those. We want to have more contentment in the now even if it doesn't look like what we imagined from farther away. We have found that contentment in Hawaii after some false starts and frustrations and I think we are in a good place going in. I hope more then anything that the transitions are coming to an end for a while. I have a terrible sense of displacement and want to find where I fit now. I'm ready to pause in the stream now, to let the silt settle so i can see the bottom, see where I have been and maybe get a better picture of where we are going. 

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Travels

Thanksgiving this year found us back in Iowa at Aunt Barbs house. We drove through the night to get there and had a wonderful dinner on Thanksgiving day. Naps, Wii, and pinochle were enjoyed and a lively game of spoons let a couple in need of new nails. Friday we got back in the car to head farther West to have Thanksgiving with Grandma Weezie and the McGrail clan. It was another wonderful meal and great chance to catch up with everyone. Finn got to play with some of the same toys that Tom Tom played with when he was Finn's age. Saturday the snow started to fall while we did some antique shopping and it continued through the drive back to Indiana. We are almost back home now, well back to Hawaii anyway, we will be back in Portland at the end of the year. We had a great time seeing everyone and getting some nice fall and winter before heading back to tropics.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Finding Fall

We have left the island to have Thanksgiving in Iowa, catch up with old friends in Ohio, and try and remember why we left Indiana again. We have replaced Tropic breezes with bitter cold and boardies for zipup hoodies. It is really great to experience fall and play in the leaves. To get a Pumpkin Spice Latte and cup it with both hands as the steam warms your face. We went in search of friends and fall and we have found and loved both.

Look at me daddy my daddy

"Look at me, LOOK AT ME HENRY, look at me." Finn says while guiding Henry's face towards his so he can sing to him. Finn likes to look you in the eye when he is talking to you, or singing, or kissing, or doing just about anything with you. He wants to know your listening, know that you can see him and understand him. He seems to be from an earlier time when things like that mattered, when men were judged on the strength of their handshake and the eye contact they maintained. I think Finn would have been as well liked back then as he is now at Aunt Barbs house for Thanksgiving. He is trying to tell the dog something and nose to nose as he looks the dog in the eye. The dog doesn't seem to appreciate the jesture as much as people do. Come to think of it Henry is not such a big fan either. I am a fan though, I love it when he grabs my face and turns me to look at him. Then that little hand lingers on my beard while he explains to me the difference between a tow truck and a tanker truck. I love seeing him try to get eye to eye with another kid to say hi to them or to apologize for taking their toys. I hope that trait sticks with him as he grows. I hope that he can always look people in the eye because he has the confidence and the clean conscience that it takes to do that. We just have to work on firming up that handshake now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Other's stuff

There are other people writing and being creative:

Mark Wrote this, thanks Mark!

Kate wrote this, poor Kate.

Mark took these, nice pictures.

These kids are great

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life Guard on Duty

Mark and Kendra got in today and my mom and dad have been here since Saturday. It has been great having them here and the boys have been so great. Henry was a little unsure of Papa at first but has come around. He had no such problem with Grandma and loved her instantly. Finn has been a snuggler with everyone. Passing around the love to whoever will take it. We have gone to the beach more in the last couple of days then we had in the last couple of months. It's great having people to visit to help get you out of the house. We went to Sunset Beach on the North Shore on Tuesday and watched some big waves riders take on 15 ft waves. I had a sense being there that it was like being at Yankee Stadium or the Boston Garden. This is an epic spot where some of the best athletes in the world are preforming at such a high level. We have plans for Peral Harbor and snorkeling and all sorts of other activities so there should be some good pictures for those of you that are into that whole thing.

Monday, October 06, 2008

He's got Sticker Pocs

Fall Forward

Henry is trying to crawl, Jake is trying to walk, and Finn is trying to jump while running. There are breakthroughs afoot here in baby boy land and along with the season of visits there is real excitement in the air. We just said goodbye to Auntie Heather who despite her dislike of diapers was super helpful. She took on the kitchen as her domain and kept that thing spotless the whole time she was here taking a big load off of our plates. She also jumped into the favorite aunt lead with Finn. He loves his auntie Heather something fierce and still needs to have it explained to him where she is and why she can't take him to the Train store. Next up we have my parents coming with Mark and Kendra shortly behind. The boys will get spoiled and in turn Kate and I will get really spoiled as well. I can't even imagine what having four other kid loving people is going to look like, will I still have to change diapers? Will Finn still want me to read books to him? Will Jake still want to wrestle with me? We will see. After my family leaves we will take a trip to see Kate's parents in Indiana while Jake's Grandma Barbara looks after him. These boys are going to be impossible once we are all back together and the doting grandparents and aunts are gone home. I think we all need some doting though so Kate and I are more then willing to endure post visit breakdowns. Excitement is in the air.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Fantasy is gone

At the end of the last Fantasy Basketball year I was pretty bummed. I got really upset about a comment by one of the other guys in the league and responded poorly. Then this new guy ran his mouth for the rest of the year while I sat passively buy not wanting to do anything dumb again. This whole league is made up of guys that I have known for 10 years or more except for this one clown. I didn't want to play any more even though we have been doing this for 15 years with pretty much the same core of guys. The off season went and I watched the national team play well for the first time in years and as we approached the start of the season I was feeling better then I did at the end of the season but not that much better. Since I was so terrible last year I had the best chance of getting one of the first picks and so I talked myself into playing any way. No sooner does everyone get signed up then Mr. New Guy starts running his mouth again and I immediately regret signing up. I have no idea how I am going to go the whole year putting up with this no talent ass clown and his comments like we grew up together. We didn't grow up together, you don't even know me. Then I find out that even though I had the worst team I don't get the first pick, or even one of the top three. I was pissed, I hung up on my brother when he told me. That's the thing about all of this, it isn't some passing thing. I love this Fantasy Basketball league as is testament by all the post I have made about it. It's changed though, or I have, either way it is no longer something I look forward too but it is still something I have passion for. Those are not sane bedfellows it would seem. I can't quit now but I don't think I will be as involved as I have been and that makes me really sad. I kinda want to cry right now and yes I know that is silly. But Carole King said it best: Something inside has died and I can't hide and I just can't fake it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thwarted but not completely

Yesterday in an effort to get to the gym we divided up the kids and started to get ready. I grabbed Henry and Went into Jake's room. Changed Henry's diaper and put some clothes on him while Jake bounced in his bed so excited to see us. Once Henry was dressed I put hm in Jake's Crib and pulled Jake out to change his diaper and get him dressed. With both babies in onesies and socks per gym rules we went into the other room Where Kate had got Finn up and dressed. I got my very stylish workout outfit on with Jake in Henry's baby cage and Henry on the bed properly pillowed to keep him from rolling off. Towels, diapers, water bottle, plugs, iPods, and membership cards gathered Kate went out to the car to back it out while I gathered up the babies again. Kate let out some minor profanity (which Finn repeated 3 or 25 times) as she walked back to the house. Jake's carseat is in Scott's car so we can't go. Gathering up the kids and parphenalia needed to go out is a mini workout in itself so Kate sent me out on my own. I think the thought is I'm the fat one and need the workout more. It was nice to get out with no kids even if it was to workout. I put the windows down, hooked up the workout playlist from the iPod to the stereo and enjoyed the view. Once at the gym there was one machine open on the end and I got on and got started. There are flat screen TVs with things like ball games and news and luck would have it that the two in front of me had Judge Judy and Some Headline News "Where's Caylee?" show. I tell you I couldn't care less about either of those two. Seriously, this is news. I'm probably a terrible person but how can you devot an entire show to that crap. It was a call in show too, so people were watching and calling in to get their two cents in. I turned up the music and powered through sweating like a madman. The workout felt good, exhausting but fruitful. Not the plan but a good hour away for me.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dear Raiders,

The time has come for us to part ways. It's not you it's me. Wait that isn't true it's you not me. When we first started this relationship you were in L.A. with my beloved Lakers and Dodgers and then you moved, albeit back to where you came from, but away from me. You left L.A. for Oakland and I should have called it quits then. But then you signed Nip and I couldn't turn my back. But now after countless 1 0r 2 year coaches who have never had a chance to put their stamp on the team, and getting rid of the one coach that was any good, it is just too much. I'm breaking up with the Raiders for good. I have found another team. You had know this was going to happen when I moved to Indy. I got to go see them a couple of times, you were there for a couple of those games too. The civic pride, the fan friendly owner (that is if you ignore Baltimore Fans), the lack of violence in the stands and around the stadium. I've moved on Raiders, I'm with the Colts now. It's offical. I know you may think this is Sports Bigamy, once you pick a team as a kid that's your team for life but the rules clearly state is the team leaves or the owner is terrible you can leave. I'm well with in my fan right here and I hope you don't try to fight this. I will remember the good times; the Bo Jackson Monday night game, as well as the bad; the travesty in New England with M*$%^#F@#%$#$&% tuck rule. Let's keep our memories and say good bye.

Happy Birthday Jesse

I told Kate it was Jesse's birthday and Finn wanted to sing for him, well him and Grandma and Papa but really mostly for Jesse!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Timeouts = No more Trucks

When he is naughty he goes to timeout. He has a chair in his room that is his Timeout chair. When he screams, hits Jake or Henry, throws toys he goes to timeout. It didn't seem to be working, going to timeout means attention. We go in there and try to explain why he is in trouble and he gets one on one time with mommy or daddy. We are angry and he is meant to be punished but to him it as time of his own so he would try to go to timeout. We had to change it up a bit and not give him special attention during the timeout but that still wasn't enough. So e decided that toys would be taken away to reinforce the timeout. I explained to Finn about consequences, I kno he doesn't understand completely but you have to start and be consistent so we started. Do something naughty, go to timeout and get one toy taken away, and not just any toy a truck. The first day he lost 4 of his trucks, the next he lost 3. His toy box was getting pretty bare of quality vehicles. When we ran out of trucks we took away his stroller. We got to the point here he had no more trucks or toys of any kind that were uniquely his. Do we take away his books now? On Friday Finn had a good day. It was 3 in the afternoon and no timeouts for the whole day. We told him that if he made it to dinner with no timeouts he could have 5 trucks back. We had been given him trucks back when he did good things like coming when we called him or sharing with Jake but this was an epic day. He made it to after dinner with no timeouts and him and I excitedly went to the garage to the box where confiscated toys live and pulled out his five favorite trucks: The red pickup truck, the mail truck, the green jeep like Aunt Bum's, the cement truck, and the Gator. He also negotiated the release of his stroller and for the next two hours played with these things all ove rthe house. We didn't hear a peep from him until it was time to skype with Grandma and Papa. It really was great to get to reward instead of punish. Saturday was another pretty good day, had a timeout but nothing to bad and this morning I told Finn that if he goes the whole day without a timeout then he can all of his trucks back. The monster trucks, buses, transformers, and the rest. He got really excited thinking about he beloved trucks and ent off playing. I had Henry in my lap watching football at 7:30 in the morning and Finn comes up with his Mail truck and smacks Henry in the head above his right eye. Got him good, like they were in a bar fight. I immediately brought Finn to timeout where he screamed and tried to smack me. I sat him in the chair and he screamed with all his might. Meanwhile Henry was crying like crazy in the living room waking up Kate from her sleep in day. I went and got three trucks to take away and went in and let Finn know that he could no longer play with these anymore. He sat in timeout until he stopped screaming, almost ten minutes. I don't get it, why does he take a truck and nail Henry in the head as part of playing. He might have been jealous but he was getting just as much attention, I just don't get it. It has been a rough morning.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The new stutter

Finn has started stuttering in the last couple of days. He repeats the first word of sentence 5 or six times, sometimes more. It is heart wrenching to hear. I feel bad for him, worried, even a little frustrated sometimes when it takes so long to get out what he is trying to say and that makes me feel incredibly guilty. It is so strange how it all started about Tuesday afternoon. Before that he was spitting out sentences pretty clearly. He has trouble with his "L" and he replaces his "S" with an "F" but you could understand what he was saying and he was stringing a number of words together. I did some reading online about stuttering and toddlers and it is pretty common. Most sites say that all kids go through some form of stuttering as they are going through changes in the amount of words they know and the amount that they can effectively communicate. While it is pretty normal it could also mean that he will continue to stutter. I learned to let him get out what he wants to say without rushing him or anticipating. Then show that I understand him be repeating back what he said: "Maybe maybe maybe maybe get maybe get the truck off the table." "You want to get the truck off of the table?" It helps to have something to remember and reinforce so that I don't just feel helpless. We will wait and see how Finn continues to develop, he doesn't seem to get too upset about the stuttering and he powers through with what he wants to say.

Friday, August 29, 2008

What does a mango taste like?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Who can Henry Pick on?

Abuse seems to trickle down hill and unfortunately for Henry he is at the bottom of the hill. Finn is faster the Jake and tackles him, smacks him with wooden spoons, and generally tortures the kid. Jake then crawls over to Henry and climbs in his seat, takes his plug, and lovingly smacks his head over and over. Jake gets excited anytime Finn comes over and Henry gets just as excited any time Jake comes over but eventually it is going to end with crying. You can see the little hands on the chair in the left corner after they have taken his plug and deposited on his shoulder. I love Henry's expression here, a sot of resigned frustration.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Overheard by the neighbors today

"I got roast beef on my wiener daddy!"


"OK buddy, why don't you put the roast beef back on your plate and eat it."

"and not have it on my wiener?"

"Yeah, not have it on your wiener anymore."

"OK daddy."

Temporary Insanity

Tonight was a hard night, a really hard night. I think we knew that there would be nights like this but it doesn't make it any easier. Jake is not feeling well and might be in the first stages of the bug Finn and I had, or he might just be pooping a lot for no reason. He has been unhappy tonight, unhappy eating, unhappy being held, unhappy in his crib. Henry has not been going down either and has been crying pretty loud in his baby cage. Finn is doing well but hungry for a bit of attention as we pinball back and forth between the screaming babies. Jake and Finn we are used to but Henry doesn't cry much so when he gets worked up like this it is a bit demoralizing. He has got some teeth coming in and that has to hurt like hell and I understand his crying, and I understand Jake and his wanting to not poop anymore and Finn and his need to get some attention too. I understand all of it but it is still hard. Right now Jake is screaming in his room and Henry is screaming on the other side of the house in his room. Finn is in the middle going to sleep like a champ. Kate had to get away and go to the beach for a bit because it was too much. After a long week tonight was just too much. We have no idea when Scott will ever come home, if he is working, or out for a run, or out to a movie while we manage the screaming and it becomes too much. I feel isolated tonight, like I am on an island in the middle of the ocean and I can't get off it. It's not always like this, I don't want you to think this is so hard all the time, it is tonight. Tonight it is hard, really hard. When Kate needs to get away she feel guilty for leaving me with the boys and so does not really get to de-stress at all. She just trades her overwhelming sense of responsibility in for overwhelming guilt for not being strong enough to endure. I realize that this is coming off way too intense and it is not a life or death thing. If you have kids I think you can relate, it's not that bad over all. but it is too hard right now. I feel guilty even writing this because I know that Mandy is going to read it and feel bad, and I don't want you to feel bad Mandy. It helps to write it out, to get it out of the head and on to the page and as I'm writing there is slience in the house and the screaming has stopped. The boys are asleep and it is getting better. I am feeling better. Can anyone else relate to this feeling of temporary insanity?

Friday, August 22, 2008

PBJ face

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Henry likes to dunk under

Scott got a water proof housing for his digital camera so Sunday afternoon we took turns trying to drown our kids for good shots. I think Kate blocking her nose with her upper lip is the funniest thing but these pictures of the boys underwater are pretty cool. Henry is cool with dunking under but Finn is not much of a fan. We are trying to get him used to the water and teaching him to kick and not panic and it is working a bit. He knows that he is going to dunk under at least once each swim time though he tries to negotiate out of it. "Maybe go for a dip and not dunk under?" Henry gets really excited in the water and kicks like crazy. He loves floating around in the lady bug float and smacking the water on his sides. Henry also seems to know to close his mouth under water while Finn isn't grasping that yet. Sunday was a lot of fun by the pool, grilling steaks for lunch and chicken and fish for dinner and seeing what video of the kids underwater looks like.

WHAT....My Helmet......has.......googly eyes!

"WHAT?!!?! off!" This is Finn's new thing. He exclaims What and then does a Christopher Walken impression with the sentence following. He is cracking me up with these. He does it it when he finds a truck, when Kate makes him a lunch, or any time Henry makes a peep: "WHAT?!!? waking..........up!" I will try to get video of this so you can kinda spit your coffee like I do when ever you watch. Oh and his bike helmet has googly eyes. Between the googly eyes and Walken impression this kid has me rolling.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday with the stars

This past Saturday we had a plan to get up and out of the house by 8 for breakfast and then a trip to see the Dolphin show at the Kahala Resort. It was Kate's day to get up with the kids while I slept in so she was up and out with Henry at 6:00 to get coffee and hang out. Back at 7:30 I got up, having slept in an extra 3 hours from my usual get up time and feeling fairly good. We were still a bit late getting out of the house and our good breakfast place would have been nice at 8 but was now line around the block at 8:45. We picked up breakfast sandwiches and headed across the island. Traffic was pretty clear as we made our way to the opposite corner of the island while passing out food and Kate talked to her parents. The only real problem was that where we were going wasn't over there. Not even close. It was really just around the corner of the island from us. So back we went through Honolulu in now heavier traffic until we started heading up mountain. We had gone to far and had to turn back around, now having been in the car for 2 hours. We finally made it to where we were going with a hungry group and partially to mostly crabby Kate. We got out the stroller and walked around this beautiful hotel and down to the beach. We decided to get Lunch at the super expensive restaraunt on the beach and live it up like rock stars. I got a great steak sandwich, Kate a deluxe burger and a beer. After Lunch we got on our suits and played a little on the beach. Henry slpet, Kate layed out, and Finn and I went to see the Dolphin show. Most of the people there were Eurpopean tourists or Japanese and they thought Finn was pretty much the greatest thing ever. He got his picture taken twice and rubbed on the head at least 20 times. I don't know what Finn will be when he grows up but I have a sneaking suspicion he's going to be big in Japan. After the show we gathered up our stuff and headed back home, making it there in 15 minutes instead of the 2 hours it took coming. Finn was out before we left the hotel and Kate was in a much better mood. It was an adventure and fun and I'm glad we got out. Oh and while we were out Finn and I saw Saeed from Lost. He was just checking into the Hotel as we were coming back with our towels and suits from the car. He was walking righ in front of us but Finn didn't really care. He wanted to go back and see the turtles. That is two lost characters down and filming hasn't even started again. Hurly and Saeed are great but where is that Kate?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

This is pretty much how she feels about him

Friday, August 15, 2008


We didn't see Obama but all the time on the beach led us to this great video. There a a couple of people out paddling around on their surfboards each day but most of them have been out in water a lot farther. This kid was going just beyond the break and then catching waves. Looks like and looks like something Mark will be doing when he comes to Visit.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

High flier challenge for a new generation

No Obama sightings today but most the the police were out early so he must be out and about the island today. Instead we have video of me being silly with Jake and Finn.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We are on Obama Watch

You may have already heard that Obama is in Hawaii for a vacation with the family but did you know he is our neighbor. Well kinda kitty-corner to us. He is staying at this 10 room mansion on the beach next to the mansion at the end of our street. That one is full of secret service and local police. Our street is crawling with fuzz and Finn couldn't be happier. "That's a Police Cruiser Daddy!" "And that's another one!" "AND ANOTHER ONE!!!!" Yes Finn, there are lots of police cruisers, I see them. THis past weekend I mostly bed bound with a nasty little flu like issue so I haven't been to the beach much but today Finn and I went down there to "Build Sand Castles" and by that I mean try and see and talk to Barack Obama. I was thinking of inviting him over to watch the US men's team playing China since I know he loves the basketball but I chickened out. THe picture above is Finn playing on the beach and the house where the man is staying. You can see the police presence by the trees but no Obama. Maybe tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Elmo really tickles him

Baking with the babies

Yesterday Kate made some cookies with the help of Finn and Jake. Finn helped a little and Jake mostly chewed up the box that the Vanilla extract bottle was in but everyone has their role to play. We had the iPod going through the home stereo system and with a number of 80's dance tunes, some butterscotch chips, and a lot of flour we all had a pretty great time. Henry slept through the whole thing in his baby cage oblivious to the dancing, baking, all around mess making. It was one of those times when the iPod is on shuffle and it keeps finding the right songs to keep the party going. Finn was up on a stool "shimming like his momma Kate" and Jake was bouncing to the beat on the floor. things have been a lot easier around here lately. Jake is finding his rhythm going from the only child to the middle child in a matter of days. Those are powerful family dynamics at work and he is adjusting well. He was a little spoiled by his two Grammy's but that is what Grammy's are for right. It is a tough adjustment going from the center of the universe to one of three. We have been giving Jake a lot of one on one time with both Kate and I so that he still gets to be the center for a bit each day. His laugh is infectious and rewarding and he holds on to you like a spider monkey. After his nap yesterday we layed on the couch and he just layed his head on my chest for a couple of minutes as he was waking up and scrunched his fingers on my arm. Henry did this too when i got him up a couple minutes later and I was acutely aware of how lucky i was to get to be here with these boys. We are doing well, having fun and learning each day how to manage the inevitable melt downs. I say we but it is really Kate, she is amazing with the boys. You read her rants on her blog and that is all true and part of it, but it is only part. It's the funnier parts that make for easy writing, but there are parts where she is Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. Moving deftly between the hungry boys knowing who needs what and how to give it to them without the mess that Scott or I make. Or she is Hestia, Goddess of the hearth and home managing 3 baby boys, 2 bigger boys, and 2 boy cats with grace. She is good at this domestic stuff even though she would say it is not for her. I think that is the great thing about this time here so far, when we switch again and I come home with the boys and she goes in the work force it won't be because it is too hard for her or because I could do this any better (I couldn't by the way, not by a long shot). It will be because that is the choice we make, that is the way we want it to be.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Songs in the key of Finn

Friday, August 01, 2008

Catching up

It has been great being back with the boys and Kate. It is more difficult then you think being away while someone you love is having a trying time. I flew back Sunday night after exhausting myself working for my mom at a wedding the night before. Sleeping on the plane was a good chance to get a little rest before starting work again at the pre-dawn hour. It took me until Thursday until I got back into the time zone again but I feel good now. On Wednesday Night we went to the other side of the Island and picked up a bike trailer that we got of Craigslist and Kate and the boys have been getting a lot of play out of that. Work was crazy busy this week with too many people on vacation at one time but it made it go a bit quicker. Throwing up some pictures and videos so click on the tabs to see what is new.

Breakfast babies

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We like Hawaii a lot!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Let's get Physical

In the ongoing effort to lead by example I went and got a physical yesterday. Honestly if it was just me I would never go in there but it's not just me and I want to be healthy as can be for as long as I can. The exam was pretty good, I didn't get the champagne room version, but the blood drawing was a bit tough. They took the tiniest amount of blood in a manner of 15 seconds but I sat in the truck afterwards for 20 minutes while I stopped sweating before driving back to work. I really though I wight pass out at the wheel if I left right away. Kate reminded me how many times in the course of two pregnancies that she gave blood and I reminded her that she is infinitely tougher then I am and I have no problem admitting that. Back at work I couldn't even move my arm with the tape on it because it reminded me that blood was taken and made me woozy. I really am ridiculous I know. Still waiting on the blood work but everything else checks out good. My stats are nice and with a lose of 20 pounds the Dr. would be extremely happy. That's what he said, extremely happy. I thought that was sweet of him to have that much invested emotionally, but 20 is a bit low, come on Dr. give it to me straight. I think 50 is more like it but I will work on the 20 to make him extremely happy and then leave the last 30 just for me. The other great thing he said was I'm good for another 3-4 years before the next physical. I kinda like this guy, for a Dr. he's not bad at all.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A glimpse into Kate's Day

Missing the lady bug man

I am back in Portland for some training at work. I flew in early Monday morning and will be here until next Sunday leaving Kate to face the boys alone. If you haven't read how that is going please click here and read away, she is a much better writer and her story is much more interesting then mine right now. It is nice to sleep through the whole night, talk with adults, and need a blanket at night because it has cooled down but I would rather be there with her and then boys. Right when I got into training I put this picture up on my screen. I can't look at it and not smile, his look is perfect. That picture, skype, and a number of phone calls throughout the day help me pass the time until I get back on the island with them while also trying to enjoy my time here.

Friday, July 04, 2008

One Thing

One of the things that I really love about being here is being able to head to the beach for a swim and a sit and then walking back home. I can head down there and swim for 10 minutes and be back without having to make a big effort or even take much with me. I am pale and rotund so I make quite a striking spectacle amongst the tan fit soldiers but I don't care. I have my sun screen caked on so I don't burn and I am slowly dropping some pounds, 4 since we got here, and I feel really comfortable out there. I don't feel fat like I do at work or every where else I am and it's odd because I got nothing on but my boardies. I guess there is a comfortableness here that I have and I like that, it's one of the things that I really like about being here.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Day 7

So far we have been to the beach everyday since we have been here and our mid-westerner farmer tans are turning into slightly less pale versions. There is a salt water pool at the house as well that we have been dipping in, Henry loves it, Finn not so much. I am on Day 4 of working at home and my first official day with everything working as it should. The first couple of days the phone was not working and since that is the bulk of my duties I did a lot of sitting around responding to emails in a lightening fast manor that would imply i was on top of it. I want to show that despite not being in the office I am on top of my game. Work starts at 5 AM and ends at 2 PM leaving a lot of time for fun in the sun. We have ventured into Kailua to walk around and yesterday on our walk saw Hurly from Lost. Having lived in Santa Barbara and run into our fair share of celebs we knew the drill. But it was oddly fitting to be in Hawaii for a couple of days and already run into a Lost cast member. of course I would have preferred Evangeline Lilly but you take what you get.

The boy have been sleeping a little later each day so that they now get up closer to 6:30 AM instead of 4:30. We are all in bed by 9 around here so the early hour isn't so bad. Mandy is here for a couple more days before heading back to Texas and then on to Afganistan. It has been a nice transition to see how she handles Jake so that we can keep things as routine as possible. There are a few pictures on Flickr and more coming.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I get Wet

THe swimming pool had too much salt in it so it needed to be drained. This is the end of the hose that is draining the pool, or as Finn calls it "The greatest toy ever!"

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Laughing Cousins

We made it

We are here in Hawaii and for the most part settled in. The flight over was great, the boy each had a long nap and were wonderful as usual. There was a couple next to us that groaned when they saw that they were going to be sitting next to a baby and a toddler but they told me how great my boys were when they were getting off the plane. I think it was about hour 3 in the flight when they still had not made a peep and Henry was in my lap staring over at them and smiling and giggling. They broke under the assault of cuteness and were gracious enough to admit their defeat. The morning was a little tough as Hawaiian Airlines wouldn't let us take our stroller to the gate like every other airline does because it was a three wheel job and one time one person fell while trying to get it up the gang plank. Awesome. We had to marshal the boys and bags through security. When we got to the gate we weren't able to take our car seat on the plane because it did not have a sticker on it that says it is OK for planes. It had been torn off at some point so we had to check it there. SO our plan to have Finn confined to his car seat where he would be much more likely to sleep were dashed. The lady was half way into a lecture/explanation on why when I walked away to get on the plane. She was one of the flight attendants and came by mid flight to resume her spiel seemingly unaware that I had no interest at all. Kate being an infinitely better person then I listened and nodded in all the right places. Again the flight was great, the boys did really well despite being confined to a small space for a five hour flight. Pictures and more to come soon. We are here though, we made it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wheels up on Friday

We have white walls and mostly empty rooms again. The cycle of apartment life is completing and with most of our stuff neatly divided between parents and friends we are left with a couple of suitcases, a baby cage, and a blow up mattress. Henry is sleeping on the changing table pad and a couple of blankets and Finn’s time-out chair is a 5 gallon bucket of plain white paint. 4 more days until we take off and the excitement is definitely building. This weekend we got to say, not goodbye but “See ya later” to a number of people and with each telling and re-telling of the coming months we are getting more excited. “This time next week” is the start to many of sentences and the end usually has us on the beach with a cocktail in hand. It really is an appealing picture if you think about it.

We have found that when we tell people about our plans they react in one of two ways: “What and adventure for you” or “What an act of service”. I wonder what it says about those people that fall into the different categories. Both are true and the real yin and yang of the situation. We have this amazing adventure ahead of us, living in Hawaii, looking after three boys under the age of 3, waking up in paradise to work at 5 in the morning, and exploring a beautiful place through the eyes of a toddler. I think we are getting as much, if not more then we are putting in and though the circumstances are terrible, the opportunity is once in a lifetime for our family.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A couple of great things

  • Oddly entertaining video of a baby laughing slowed down.
  • Who had the day after the last game in the "When will the Lamar Odom Trade rumors start again" poll?
  • A good article on how the internet is not necessarily making us smarter.

Father's Day Weekend

This past weekend we went to the Washington Coast to a friends beach house for a family get together before we head of to Hawaii. The house is in the process of being fixed up and is definitely under construction but it was a great getaway. Kate made crowns for the dads and we walked around Long Beach, listened to crazy Bing Stories, and got a lot of naps. It was a really great, close time for all of us. Sunday we wen to Astoria for the Farmers market and bought a cool spray paint canvas that these great guys did.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Clean teeth are Happy Teeth

Finn had his first dentist appointment today and he held up pretty well. He cried a bit while the dentist was doing his thing but all in all he was much better then I am. Before we got married and before I lost my insurance in Santa Barbara I went to the dentist to get things fixed. I don't hate the dentist per say but I am no fan. I remember being in my office and have Beautiful come in after I got back and I was still shaking and feeling sick. I have a reaction to dentists, Dr.s, Hospitals and the like that is deep and intense. Again it isn't fear, it is really much bigger and more nebulous than that. I am worried that my reactions to these things will rub off on my boys. I try not to let that happen the way I have learned to like vegetables and food that I didn't eat before. There is this sort of living out how I want my boys to live. If I want them to be adventurous eaters then I need to be, if I want them to see the dentist regularly and not be effected then I need to. This is really hard to live out though, Rome wasn't built in a day right. It is all a grinding it out as we go process and today was another chip.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sunday morning amoung the boxes

We moved a good deal of our furniture to our friends house yesterday and now our house is sparse and monkish. We lived that way for a long time when preparing to leave Indy and now less then a year later we find ourselves lounging on the floor on pillows. We seem to be in a constant state of unfinished moving. We must be restless souls or something. Finn has been napping this morning while Henry and I play on the empty living room floor amongst all sizes of trucks. I will be switching the two soon, putting henry down while I get Finn up, feed him, and get him ready to head downtown on the train. Kate is having coffee with a college roommate she ran into downtown earlier this week so it is just the boys here this morning. Having all the clear space has made it nice to play and run around as Henry perches in the middle. I'm glad that Kate gets the opportunity to catch up with her friend, but even more I'm glad that I get the boys to myself.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Goodbye old friend

With the recycling and trash can full of diapers and coffee grounds my Black Pumas were going to their eternal resting place. More then likely they were getting pulled out in 20 minutes when the guy comes around to collect the bottle and cans from our recycling but walking out there I mourned as if they were being retired. Four years ago, while living on the couch at a friends place waiting to move to Indy and marry my beautiful, my friend Dave had an extra pair of black Pumas. It might have been a wedding gift or just Dave being the nice guy that he is but he gave me the shoes the day before getting on the plane. For some reason those shoes represented something about Santa Barbara, something about friends left behind, something bigger then rubber and leather. I love those shoes and think about a season of life each time I put them on. The thing is they were a little small. I didn’t really fit into them comfortably, and I know the connection is obvious and if I were a better writer I would just let you figure it out instead of telling you, but I didn’t fit in Santa Barbara perfectly either. I liked the way I looked and for the most part I was comfortable but every once in a while my toes would get sore and I needed to take the shoes off. I took them to the trash yesterday and placed them on top of the lid of the trash can. Someone else will probably take them and I hope they fit them better. I hope they are more comfortable with where they are, then I was with where I was. There just shoes after all, just really cool shoes that didn’t fit, that I wore for too long.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Man Man

Today Was your second birthday and what a day you had. You road on the tandem bike to McDonald's with Grammy and Tom Tom, paddled in the canoe with mommy and Tom Tom. You took a ride in the bug with the top down to the train that you rode to the ice cream stand. You took the pontoon boat to dinner and decorated mommy with your birthday cake. For a little man that loves his vehicles you had the best day ever. I love you my boy, happy birthday

Friday, May 30, 2008

New Adventures

Four weeks from today Kate, Finn, Henry, and I will board a one way flight to Hawaii for 6 months of family adventures. We have turned in our notice with the apartment, listed our car and some furniture on Craigslist, and filled out the change of address cards to send to the post office. Why are we doing this you ask? Well here is the Cliffs notes version. Kate's sister, who along with her husband is a Dr. in the Army, is getting deployed in early June to Afghanistan. Her 6 month old son and husband are staying behind in Hawaii and they asked us if we would come for 6 months to help look after the little man. I talked to my job about taking a leave of absence but they countered with working from home for that period of time and I accepted. We are heading out June 27Th until the beginning of January to live in Hawaii, help look after Jake and Scott, and live the life of carefree beach bums for as much time as we are allowed. We will be coming back to Portland at the end of this adventure hopefully with a healthy tan and beach blond hair.

Fantastic Four Birthday 2.0

Two years down and the fantastic four are doing great. We got a chance to come to Indy for the second annual Fantastic Four BBQ at the Kaufman's house. The burgers were great as usual and the kids are all cute as can be.  They are all in shirts that Kate made for them with their initials on them.

Monday, May 19, 2008

who you looking at?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Unscheduled sleeping time

We have house guests and pregnant ones at that so we did the honorable thing and gave up the bed for the blow up mattress in the boy's room. We put Finn down at his regular time and Henry went down when we did but getting set for bed Finn woke up and wanted to talk about the whole operation. He called the action like a young Vin Scully while Kate and I tried to ignore him, hoping our inattention would lead to going back to sleep. It worked, or would of I think if we were better at following through with our parenting ideas and didn't both tell him to lay down and go to sleep. Henry woke up early early with a hankering for some milk and his impatience with Kate's speed in delivering that Milk woke up Finn. He picked up his narrating of the events "Daddy Sleeping?" Mommy feed Henry?" as if he had been interrupted mid stream and was just getting back on track. We tried to get him to go back to sleep but being in his room proved to entertaining for him so I got up with him and brought him downstairs. I didn't realize how loud my son was until trying to keep him quiet at 6 in the morning. He wanted to hold his uncle Jesse and sit on the counter and do any number of things that sleepy daddy was keeping him from doing. I got Finn some Milk, a bowl of strawberries and sat him at the table trying to sleep a little more on the couch. I would drift in and out of sleep seeing Finn first at the table, then inches from my face with a bull-truck, then looking out the window at the early commuters. He kept crawling up and laying down with me for three seconds and then climbing down to get something and coming back. He asked me to play trucks with him, go outside with him, go into the kitchen with him, do anything with him instead of just lay there but I was so tired. i finally said "Finn I need you to play by your self for a little bit" not thinking that he would ever do it or even understand what I meant. I was wrong, he did understand and as he dropped his head and dejectedly said "OK daddy" in the saddest toddler voice you can imagine my heart dropped. He didn't know it was too early to get up, he just knew that him and daddy had a chance to play and daddy wouldn't play with him. He walked over and grabbed his truck and walked to the foot of the stairs to call for Mommy. Maybe she would come and play with him. I got up and turned the lights on, grabbed my boy and sat him on the kitchen counter. I told him I loved him and he smiled up at me, all was forgiven.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

There is value in the medium

Thursday I was looking back at some posts that I wrote here on the blog and remembering those times. It was kinda fun to go back and read through what I was thinking and writing about the events of that time. I could still feel the stress of not having a job when we got pregnant the first time, and then the pain of the loss. I read about looking for a house and starting the work on the floors and I could feel that humid house in the heart of summer with no AC in the house. That was the best workout plan I have ever been on I think. I must have lost 40 pounds scrapping those floors. Too bad it didn't stay lost. I guess the very act of writing a blog says that I value the medium but going back and reading through old post made me realize I really do value this opportunity to write. It makes me want to document more, to try to better get to the heart of things so that some day i can back through this with Finn and Henry. Mark and I got to do that with my dad's letters from Vietnam and my mom's poems in high school. We got a glance into that time in my parents life and we loved it. If your reading this years later Finn and Henry then know that I was thinking of you when I wrote it, I'm kinda always thinking of you two when I do anything lately. I love you boys.

Friday, May 02, 2008


It is Friday already and because of our vacation in Arizona this has been a short week for me. After the whirl-wind weekend that just past that is a good thing, as is the slow weekend we have planned. We got the chance to visit family and friends in Arizona and Finn got to ride on an airplane with Papa. That might just be the greatest thing that has happened in his young life. When we hit turbulence or had a rough landing Finn clapped and said " One more time?" Neither Finn nor Henry were any trouble at all on the ride out or the ride back and whether you have good kids or not that is amazing.

We flew in early Thursday and went right to lunch with Mark and Kendra. We hadn't lubed Finn up with sunscreen yet and his sensitive skin was turning pinker and pinker by the minute. It was a nice change from the 40 degree rainy days we have been having here in Oregon. We then headed to my brothers house to watch Finn and Tyson run around while we basked in the warmth and napped. For me going to Arizona is like going back to your old neighborhood. Almost all of my friends moved to Arizona so it is a one stop shopping opportunity to catch up. We are all a little thicker now and have much more responsibilities but we still make fun of each other in ways no one else can and know the back ground stories that make current events so poignant.

Friday night we went to a John Mark McMillian concert and got to have some time with my sister Zonda and her husband James. They are doing great and it was so much fun to have that one on one time with just them. We told stories and laughed over Ice Cream and Cheese Cake while Grandma and Papa took care of the 5 kids. Their kids are better behaved then your kids will ever be. I am not sure what they do but it's working, those kids are wonderful.

Saturday we played some golf in the desert heat and I got to ride around and talk to Kyle a bunch. Then Mark and Bing challenged us on the back 9 to a best ball two-some battle which was comparable to the Atlanta-Boston series with Kyle and Playing Atlanta. We held our own out there and only lost on the last hole. James gave away the Laker's score on the way home so I passed on the game and opted to get some much needed rest instead. It is a tough pace those AZ folks maintain and for the last year or so we have been moving at a much slower stride.

Sunday we went to church then off to the Farm for some lunch. Finn played with whoever came around him and Henry was content to be held by all but mostly Lyric. Lyric is his cousin, James and Zonda's daughter, and she held Henry when ever she could. She was great with him and it was great to see our kids together. We went down to Scottsdale for stay at resort and sat around the patio playing cards and eating snacks while the sun went down. That night Grandma and Papa had the kids while Kate and I got to go out with Mark and Kendra and Melissa and Kyle. We went to this bar that had a crazy old coot tending bar. He looked like a dead-head and had us laughing hysterically by the end of the night. While telling us about the Lavosh pizza I asked if they invented it and he said "Well not the cracker, that been around hundreds of year, but we made up the pizza." Yeah, thanks for clearing that up. Kate got his special Mai Tai that he apparently flashes and we all told honeymoon stories and basked in a night free of kids.

Monday was a nice lazy morning around the pool and some naps to recharge. We toured the model homes in Verrado and played basketball with the boys. I thought I was going to die after about 2 points but made a point to run up and down the court on every change of possession. We watched the Lakers finish off Denver and had some great Cilantro Lime chicken with mango salsa.

long winter alone. It is nice to be back home though, the pace of life for those folks is fast and atIt was a great weekend and the sun and people brightened our times ran us over. maybe it's the desert air that gives them all that energy. They helped re-charge us and we are thankful for that.