Friday, June 30, 2006


One of the advantages of taking the kids to the National Zoo during the greatest week of rain in recent history is that you get lots of attention from the zookeepers.

We got so much rain over the weekend, the zoo was actually closed for the next 2 days after we were there.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Greatest Happy Meal Toy

This is the best happy meal toy of all time. You press the button on top and it plays a very peppy song (click the picture to listen). We've played it a few thousand times over the past year, and somehow it keeps going. After about a year, we have figured out that the song is this.

By the way, it is unlikely we will find a replacement for this toy as it came from a McDonalds at an airport in the Netherlands.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bird Talk

Click the picture to hear Pete and Sam chirping with a bird.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pete With Ape

This is a cool picture of an ape behind a window, with the reflection of Pete watching him.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Rainy Day Choices

We had some Biblical rains on Saturday evening, and they were predicting more of the same for Sunday. So on Sunday guess which we decided to do:

a) Have pajama day - TV and video games
b) Go to the mall
c) Walk around outside at the National Zoo
d) Go to the movies

Answer: C

Here is Sam, enjoying himself with Pete's umbrella. Pete got a prize for sharing his umbrella with Sam and using the blue one.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Pronoun Problems

These are currently Sam's two problems with speaking:

1. I/my - He never says I, always my. So a typical Sam sentence would be "My woke up and then my jumped out of my bed."

2. his/her - He never says her, always his. Example: "Daddy, Nana is here. We went in the car to pick him up at his hotel."

Also, with regard to pronunciation he says "dee" instead of "the".

Part of the problem is that Pete and I think these things are funny, so we say things the same way. Example: "Sam, my gave mommy dee remote to change it to his show." Our plan is that he'll work his way through these things despite our reinforcement. Probably when he moves out of the house for college.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Sam slept pretty late this morning. He had been waking up at 6:30 for the last few weeks, regardless of how late we put him to bed, which can start to get a bit trying after a while.

It's funny, because they reach a point where you've dispensed of the monitor long ago. So you have his door closed, and no idea what is going on behind there. And you don't dare open the door, because that will wake him up immediately. So your mind starts to wander and consider probabilities:

Chance he bumped his head during the night and is lying there unconscious: 1 in 7 million
Chance he woke up and wandered into traffic: 1 in 96 million
Chance he choked on a Lego: 1 in 135 million
SIDS: 1 in 22 million
Chance a re-animated Bruno Richard Hauptmann climbed a ladder to his window: 1 in 49 trillion

These things seem individually remote, but if you think of enough scenarios and add them up pretty soon you start to wonder. This is where not being paranoid and understanding probability is a parental virtue, and you are rewarded for this skill with a few extra hours of sleep.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Stat Boy

I like to watch a show called Pardon The Interruption on ESPN. At the end of the show, a guy called "Stat Boy" comes on and tells them corrections for everything they said wrong during the course of the show. This would be a good job for Pete.

Sometimes I write little stories for Pete, like after we get home from a vacation or as a holiday gift. He reads the story, then he gives me all of the corrections. For example, if I draw a picture of a hotel with our room on the third floor, he might say "actually, we were on floor 5".

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Ball

For Sam:

the other day
or was it last year?
we threw that orange ball
back and forth
back and forth
a thousand times
under the setting sun
and as I write this
alone in my box
so far away
I would give
everything I have
for one more throw

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

This is the first Father's Day for this blog, which means I get to indulge myself and post whatever I want.

Zombies - This Will Be Our Year

The warmth of your love
is like the warmth of the sun
and this will be our year
took a long time to come

don't let go of my hand
now darkness has gone
and this will be our year
took a long time to come

and I won't forget
the way you held me up when I was down
and I won't forget the way you said,
"Darling I love you"
You gave me faith to go on

Now we're there and we've only just begun
This will be our year
took a long time to come

The warmth of your smile
smile for me, little one
and this will be our year
took a long time to come

You don't have to worry
all your worried days are gone
this will be our year
took a long time to come

and I won't forget
the way you held me up when I was down
and I won't forget the way you said,
"Darling I love you"
You gave me faith to go on

Now we're there and we've only just begun
and this will be our year
took a long time to come

Yeah we only just begun
yeah this will be our year
took a long time to come

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cool Move

Be careful any time you hear the following from Pete when he is sitting on the top bunk:

"Dad, if you watch me do this cool move I will give you one dollar from my piggy bank."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What are You Eatin?

When Christy walks into the room chewing on something, it can be assured that the following conversation is about to take place:

Sam: What are you eatin?
Christy: X
Sam: Want X

Sam: What are you eatin?
Christy: Snack bar
Sam: Want snack bar

Sam: What are you eatin?
Mike: Rocks
Sam: Want rocks

Note: want means "I want"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


There are three days left in school, and they have officially run out of material.

Me: Pete, what did you learn about in school today?
Pete: Touches
Me: Tetris? I think the Russians invented that.
Pete: No, touches. Good touches and bad touches.
Me: Oh, which is it when I change Sam's diaper?
Pete: If it's for "clean" or "healthy", it's good.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sam is Way Cool (Sort Of)

Pete has realized that he can try to use Sam to perform his evil deeds. Yesterday at the playground, some girls were piling up rubber pieces on one of the slides. Pete was trying to convince Sam to sabotage the operation by throwing the pieces off of the slide. At one point, Sam went down the slide, knocking all of the pieces to the ground. We were discussing this bold maneuver in the car on the ride home:

Dad: Sam is the coolest. The way he slid down and took everything off of that slide. Sam, you are totally cool.
Sam: Help, my have ladybugs in my eyes.
Dad: Ok, scratch the part about the cool thing.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Pete in Midair

Here is Pete is mid-air. You will have to click the picture to see what happens next.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Stoop Song

Lately Sam has been getting into singing. He is usually one or two beats behind the song, but otherwise not bad. This is a good example. Click the photo for an impromptu song by Pete and Sam.

Football Skills

Now that Pete has the basics of catching a football, we have moved on to some more advanced skills. On Sunday we practiced the important drill where I throw the ball at his head and he moves it out of the way. Then I noted that if he puts his hands up at the same time, he can protect himself AND catch the ball. Progress.

Ice Cream Chicken

We discovered a way to get Sam to eat more of his grilled chicken. If you stick a pointy french fry into a piece, you can tell him it is chicken ice cream. This works for Pete, too.

Friday, June 02, 2006


On Sunday we went to FunLand in Fredericksburg. Yes, that is a bit far but it was impossible for us to resist going to a place called FunLand. And we had a coupon.

The highlight of the day was taking Pete and Sam on their first Go Kart race. Sam was only 3 inches short of the required 36" height, and the guys were nice enough to let Sam ride in the car with dad anyway. At least I think they were nice enough - it is hard to say since we quickly shuffled Sam into the car while Pete distracted the guys. It was a fun race, although let's just say that we need to make sure Sam is buckled in a bit tighter next time. Pete described the race afterward as fun and exciting. Sam described it as "bumpy".

Other FunLand activities included Mini-golf, a cool indoor playground that Pete helped Sam get through, a carousel, rock climbing (Pete only), and games. The highlight of the games was Pete scoring 125 tickets when he said a little prayer and white came up on Colorama. This gave us enough tickets for 2 squeezy guys, 2 stencils, and 2 spinning tops.

2 minutes for high-sticking: Sam caught red-handed throwing balls out of the ball pit:

Where's Pete?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

New Math

Sometimes Pete says things that seem to have more significance than perhaps I am able to comprehend. For example, last night he kept saying this:

"2 times 2 is 4. 2 plus 2 is 4. 2 divided by 2 is 1. 2 minus 2 is 0. 2 nanobot 2 is 63."