Monday, July 31, 2006

Sports Camp

Pete had his one week sports camp last week. It was 9:00-3:00 each day in the Broadlands, which is about 5 minutes from our house. We will post some mystery camp photos later in the week.

Below are a few pics. Pete's biggest accomplishment was that he got to be captain all day on Thursday because he was the only camper who was able to remember the names of all of the campers and counselors.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Vending Machine

Pete has been bringing some of his change in to camp each day for a snack from the vending machine. He got smoothie skittles on Wednesday, and had been planning all week to get some Shockers on Friday. We found out Friday evening that he did not get Sohckers because his friends didn't have any money so he gave his money to them so they could get something, and did not have enough left to get anything for himself.

I hope that someday his selflessness will rub off on the rest of us.

Who's In Charge Here

If you see Pete and Sam running around the sprinkler in their pajamas after 9:00am, it is a safe bet that mom is out of town.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Road Trip Continued

The big news we discovered last night is that, two days after our trip, the Sunday Washington Post stole our idea and ran an article on a road trip to the very same Chesapeake Children's Meseum. You can read their article here. Since that museum comfortably holds about 7 people, we are grateful to have visited there prior to the emergence of this article.

The photos below pertain to the following section of the article: "The quaint facility features a seven-foot replica of the human body with not-so-quaint details (prepare for a gut check -- literally)."

Having exhausted our interest in "blue hair guy", we were ready to hit the "nature trail". After being warned about the bees, we headed off on the trail. They should have also warned us about a few other things on the trail, including the spot where the wrong call on a 50/50 decision takes you directly on to a busy street.

The trail concluded with a disturbing paper mache dinosaur:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Clown Guitar

Here is a picture of Pete at the dress-up room at the museum. The good news is that this was the room in the museum that had air conditioning. The bad news is that it takes about 17 seconds for any sorted piles of clothing in the room to become hopelessly strewn about the floor.

Pete was a good sport, finding a cool clown costume and doing a magic/juggling show. Sam did not want to put on the cool leopard suit we found for him (which matches his favorite "leopard seat" in the car). We found out later that he was afraid of the leopard suit because there are "bad guy" leopards in Pete's Rambo Nintendo game.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Christy was at a women's conference on Friday learning how to develop contagious joy*, so the rest of us went to the Chesapeake Children's Museum in Annapolis, Maryland. We would not recommend it to anyone with high standards (or any standards) for museums, but we had a great time.

First, we hit the basement. This was the Stinky Land of Broken Toys / Day Care. See if you can spot the tarantula in this picture (hint: disregard the picture of a crab on the cage). There was also a hedgehog, gecko, piano (?), and wall mural shown below.

Note, the family camping night at the museum was canceled due to lack of interest.

* false advertising

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sam Sings Drake & Josh

Click above for a clip of Sam singing some of the theme to Drake & Josh.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

One Year

Today is the one year anniversary of the Pete Sam Memories blog. These have been the three hardest things that I have found with blogging about everyday family life:

1. Keeping it interesting - This is far and away the biggest challenge, and it is certain that at times this blog has failed miserably in this regard. Anyone who has tried reading family blogs knows that they can often be insufferably boring. Hopefully this blog has presented original perspectives as much as possible.

2. Pictures - It has become clear that it is more difficult to capture interest or explain a scene without a picture. This is why you have seen more pictures with posts as the year has gone along. This makes things a little more difficult from the posting perspective, but maybe that is offset by the time saved in the less descriptive writing that is required when a photo is available.

3. Capturing Ideas - There are so many things each day that either you forget about, or just don't translate well into a blog. Oh well, that is just something you have to come to accept.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My Busy

When Sam gets tired of walking, he says "My busy". This means he is too tired to take another step, so you will have to carry him the rest of the way to wherever you are going. Sometimes it is 3 steps away from the final destination. Other times it is half-way down a 2 mile trail.

There is an escape clause from "my busy", however. If you can find something that he finds interesting, he will develop a magical second wind.

Sam: "My busy"
Dad: "Look, Pete just found a Capri Sun in that cooler over there"
Sam: "My get Capri Sun" [runs off]

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Carpet

We finally installed our new carpet in the family room. You can see, there is not so much fighting over the chair anymore. (Except for mom and dad fighting over whether we should get rid of it.)

There are lots of benefits to having carpet in the den instead of hardwood. Not the least of which is that Sam has invented a routine where he sings "My believe my can fly" and then jumps with arms outstretched and does a belly-flop on the carpet.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ruby Tuesday

Sam's favorite restaurant these days is Ruby Tuesday. I think it is because he just likes to say "Ruby Tuesday".

Actually, if we get kid's meals for everyone it isn't much more expensive than fast food. The hardest part is just the waiting.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Kid Cuisine

Here are the remains of the Kid Cuisine lunches we tried on Sunday for Pete and Sam.

The symmetry is striking. This is how they left their spoons and everything (note, there are two clues for you to figure out which one is Pete's). It makes you wonder why they even bother including the corn and mac&cheese. My conclusion is that we are probably better off spending our $4 on just chicken nuggets and pudding.

I need to find out what they are telling the kids in the TV commercials to get them to eat the whole thing.

Friday, July 14, 2006

What's New With Sam

What's new with Sam:

1. He has figured out that when Pete and mom are spelling out d-e-s-s-e-r-t, they are talking about dessert.

2. He has discovered the fine art of whispering for emphasis. Example:

Dad: Hi Sam, what did you do today?
Sam: We went to [pause] [lean] [whisper] the pool.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Germ Ball

This is a happy fun green ball that we have had for the last year or so. Like many toys, it seems like a lot of fun. Upon closer inspection, however, it is actually the germ ball of death. In addition to your standard supply of mystery substances, it also has this goopy consistency that is generally unnerving. Before your next visit to our playroom, consider yourself warned.

New Foods = DQ

Here is Pete enjoying his reward trip to DQ for trying 4 new foods last week. He needs to eat a lot and try some new foods so he can grow enough to ride in the go karts when we go on vacation at the end of August.

He is demonstrating a new side technique that he developed, for what purpose I can't remember.

Note, he did get a good haircut later that evening.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Mom and Pete marched in the Ashburn Independence Day parade. Actually, mom marched and Pete went on his scooter (see picture ---> ). Even Pete's hands were patriotic, after all that hot riding and holding on to his red, white, and blue streamers.

After the parade we all met at the Pavillion for the scheduled "family activities" (translation: apparently this means paying $2 each for 15 minutes on 2 of those blow-up slides and a slip-n-slide).

Monday, July 10, 2006

1st Place

Saturday afternoon was our first Tiger Cub scouting event. It was called the Rain Gutter Regatta, where you assemble a little boat and then race it down a rain gutter by blowing on it with a straw.

Pete won first place in the Tiger Cub division. The best part was working on putting the boat together. A more sea-worthy vessel you will not find.

You can click on the photo below to see a video of one of Pete's races.

These are the secrets to constructing a lightning-fast and stable boat:
- move the keel back 3/4" behind the mast (do not follow the printed instructions)
- sail 1/2" abovethe hull
- keep sail as vertical as possible
- minimal sanding on lower area of hull
- ensure that sail is cemented to mast
- trim 1/4" from each side of the original sail

Considerations to test next year:
- staple the sail to the hull to eliminate all air variability
- consider removing the rudder altogether
- practice blowing from behind and not from side (especially start of race)
- focus on ignoring outside distractions, including status of opponent's boat

Friday, July 07, 2006


You will have to use your imagination on this one. I am hoping it is a guy riding on a plane.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Drink Preferences

Pete does not like anything with "bubbles" (i.e. carbonation).

Sam doesn't mind bubbles. In fact, lately his favorite drink is "Diet Coke". Note, this is actually Sprite, but for some reason he calls it Diet Coke. Actually, most drinks he is not allowed to have fall under the category of "Diet Coke".

Recently Pete heard that Gatorade does not have bubbles. So I came home with some lemon/lime Gatorade one night, to much fanafare and excitement. This is currently his favorite drink. Which is not good, since it's more expensive than apple juice, kool aid, or even Pepsi for that matter. That night we went to Wikipedia and read through all of the historical and current Gatorade flavors (warning before you try this, there are over 100). We also read the flavors that are not available in the US, to which Pete said he wants to go to Canada.

Also, I discovered on July 4th that Sam really likes beer (don't ask).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Pimpbot 5000

Here is one of Pete's recent creations that I found in his room. I call it the Pimpbot 5000, although I'm sure Pete can tell you the actual name.

One of the hazards of walking into Pete's room at night, when he calls for fresh water or a blanket adjustment, is that you might step on one of his models. The other night I went in to check on him and after a slight mis-step there was a disturbing "crunch" sound, followed by Pete saying "what did you destroy?". Fortunately, I had just stepped on a pile of pieces he had gathered for the current project.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Food List

Sam's list of things that he will eat seems to be shrinking by the day. At the moment, I believe the list consists of the following:
  • Captain Crunch
  • Pretzels

At his next appointment, when the doctor asks how he has been eating, I will cleverly disguise this by a truthful statement such as "he seems to be eating equal amounts of meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables."