Friday, March 31, 2006

Younger Pete at Dinner

Going through some older pictures, I found one of my favorites. This is several years ago, at a restaurant with Pete and Shayna. This was before Sam or Skyler were born. I like pictures that seem to tell a little story.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sam in the West

I wonder how long Sam would survive if he were born in the Wild West.

1. No Blues Clues jammies
2. No Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
3. No Batman meatballs with Spaghettio's
4. No boo-boo bear
5. No Scooby Doo gummies

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Playing With Cousins

If Sam looks a little tired in this picture, it is from playing with our visitors last weekend - cousins Ashleigh and Sarah, their gymnast friend Taylor, Aunt Stacey, and Nana. Sam is holding his new friend Crash, who arrived earlier in the day courtesy of ebay.

Taylor taught Pete some new games, such as pool table hockey and rolling down a hill like a stuntman. Dad got to spend a lot of quality time with the younger ones, while the other adults were off doing their activities. This included walking through a construction site to go to the magic playground.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Spelling Bee - Year 1

Pete and I had fun at the Loudoun County spelling bee on Thursday night. This was one of the regional bees that determines who gets to represent Loudoun county in the National spelling bee in May. There were 193 contestants.

It was scheduled to start at 7:00. We got there at 7:00. The speakers started at 7:10, and droned on for about 20 minutes. The spelling started around 7:30. Pete was very patient. We were sitting in the last row. We stayed for the whole first round, which was 193 words. We spelled 191 of them correctly. I would write the word and hand it to Pete, and then he would watch to see if they got it correct. The kids did a good job - about 140 made it to the next round. We had to leave though, because it was a school night and already past bedtime.

Some of the words that Pete knew how to spell were penalty, buffalo, and annual. We still have 5 years to practice before his first year of eligibility.

We did a mini spelling bee at the house on Saturday. The contestants were Pete, cousins Ashleigh and Sarah, and their friend Taylor. Also, Sam was a contestant but he just had to say the word to go to the next round.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Jaws of Life

Welcome to everyone joining us today from Parent Hacks.

Today's bonus tip: If you have an extra $8,000 lying around, before dumping it in some fancy college savings plan, you should consider investing in the Jaws of Life. I don't know what we would do without them.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pogo Bookworm

Pete's favorite game on the computer lately has been Pogo Bookworm. (Play - Rules)

It is a great tool for improving his spelling and vocabulary. Most of the time, if you suggest a word he can find it and spell it right.

On a related note, Pete and I are going tomorrow night to the County Spelling Bee at Stone Bridge High School. We will bring some pencil and paper, so we can write our guesses and then see how the kids spell them. Note, we are not able to enter this event, we are just going to observe.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Here are Pete and Sam getting ready to watch Shark Tale, which we found at the library. The winners of the popcorn eating were as follows:

1st Place: Pete
2nd Place: cushions of chair
3rd Place: Sam

Also, we only made it about 12 minutes into the movie. This movie is really intended for adults who prefer animation to real actors. The older kids might pick up on 10% of the obscure references. Also of relevance was that the DVD was broken.

On a related note, our Friday night strategy was for Dad to put Sam to bed while Mom and Pete did their tradition of making popcorn and watching the new episode of Avatar. But the plan changed when, instead of saying "Night night", Sam said "Me smell popcorn" and proceeded to head downstairs.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Important Note If You Are Taking A Bath With Pete

If you are taking a bath with Pete - regardless of what he may tell you, do not let him decide how much bubble solution to pour in.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mystery of the Locked Door

Sam may have a future career as a locksmith or ghost. A few times it has been unclear how he gained access to the hallway despite a door locked from the outside. It's like one of those murder mysteries where no one had access to the room where they find the body.

The situation arose once again when we had a babysitter Saturday night. This was an excerpt from the conversation when we returned:

Me: "Did you lock the door to Sam's room, per the instructions?"
Babysitter: "I tried, but somehow he got out"

I like the "somehow" part. It evokes visions of Sam in there, opening a secret diaper to unveil a secret stash of little lockpicking tools. Possibly a baby wipe for his brow so he doesn't get any sweat on the tools.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Pete Back Flip

I brought a camera to Pete's demo team practice the other day. Demo team is where they practice the advanced maneuvers that are reserved for special demonstrations. Click the picture below to see Pete executing a new back flip they were trying for the first time.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Don't Say These Words

Top 10 Words You Can't Say When Sam is Around

10. Outside
9. Doodlebops
8. Mega Man
7. Downstairs
6. Candy
5. Leopard seat
4. Binky
3. Crash
2. Gazebo
1. Nunchucks

The reason you cannot say any of these words is that he will want to immediately stop whatever he is doing (such as eating dinner) and do the thing that you said.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sam Sentences

Sam talks with a lot of sentences now. He gets excited if you say his sentence back to him. But if you get it wrong, he says it again until you say it right. Click on the image to see Sam enjoying his breakfast.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Indian Summer

This weekend was one of those Indian Summer times where it is 80 degrees in Winter. So we had a good chance for some family outdoor activities:

- picnic at the playground
- roller blading around the neighborhood and roller hockey (dad/Pete)
- washing cars
- biking on the WOD Trail

For the biking, Sam rode with mom and Pete rode with dad on a tandem attachment. I am starting to think maybe we play too many video games, because when we were biking Pete kept asking when we would get to the next "Checkpoint". We stopped by Ashburn Road for some snacks and drinks, so that is now our official Checkpoint. Also, we found a nice playground off the trail about half way between the entrance and the checkpoint. The only problem is that there are two drainage tunnels that Pete and Sam can not resist walking through.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Beware of AIM Messages

Moral of the story (see below): Be wary when you get AIM message at work saying you need to come right home. Maybe it's time to invest in the webcam so I can see who I am talking to.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

one two three four five six

Read the following sentence: one two three four five six.

The time it takes to read that is approximately equal to the amount of time that elapses between my saying "Pete, play with your brother for a minute while I set the table for dinner" and "hey, what is all the commotion in there?"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sam Dance

Click on the picture to see Sam's version of the Squidley dance from Spongebob Lost in Time.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Friday, March 03, 2006

Sam's Phobias

Here are some things that Sam is afraid of:

- Roomba
- Koopa's Castle
- Remote controlled car -->
- Fire on Crash 2
- Central vacuum cleaner
- Trucks in the street
- Electric razor
- Lawn mower
- Crickets

Thursday, March 02, 2006

New Toy

Like most kids, Pete and Sam have finished lunch and are playing with calculators.

Pete likes to play the game where you start with 1 and keep doing x 2 = and try to guess each number until you get up to 262144.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bedtime Story

Here is the latest bedtime story configuration. Pete on the inside. Sam in the middle. Dad on the edge, 90% off the Edge and getting randomly punched and kicked by Sam. The current book is "Where the Sidewalk Ends". We heard a few poems from this book at a special reading event at Pete's school.

Sam usually brings an object with him to bedtime story. On some unfortunate evenings, this will be a balloon or beach ball. This makes it a difficult reading experience for everyone. Also, Sam likes to put his feet over important words in the story. So the story will end up like "The tortoise was very slow, and the hare was very foot." Or "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would not take Sam's feet out."