Sunday, August 31, 2008

Birthday party!!!

Above we have the original party animal and to the right we have Violet playing in a new bed cover that someone got her.

Thanks to all who came and ate cake and ice cream and gave Violet gifts. Today she spent the day playing with a sticker book, and we put up the bed net -- at least now she won't get Malaria. :)

She loves her gifts. Note to self: The age of four seems to be when kids really start to understand what a birthday is.

If you click the slideshow in the upper lefthand corner there, you can see a number of the photos that I took at the party (that turned out). I upgraded my Flickr account, so I am going to be posting more and more photos there.

In other news, I cleaned the master bedroom today, and put a little office in there. Now when I work from home and someone watches the kids, I won't have to stay in bed. I also cleaned off my desk in the main part of the house, and Cindy can work from there now. She can also use the little desk in the bedroom if she wants.

Quite a bit of work going through stuff today, but it looks a lot less cluttered and I'm pretty happy with the setup.

Tomorrow the girls, Jen and my Mom are going to the zoo again. They are leaving at 7:30 a.m. to get there early. I'm not sure I want to go, although I might just to take pictures, I am still debating...

We will see how much sleep I get tonight.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let the celebration begin!

It's like the Olympic opening ceremonies, the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention all rolled into one with a princess theme!

That's right, THE event of the year is here -- the weekend of Violet's birthday. Friday night, Jen just didn't want to wait for the party today, so here is Violet's new Bella Dress. This afternoon relatives and friends will invade our home -- much like Democrats invaded Denver this past week -- and the Violet celebration will hit a frenzied pace.

Oh, and my pride has told me I have to inform you that the last couple of pictures have been done with a cheap point-and-shoot, so if the quality is off, that's the reason. The flash on that thing is wicked (a word I picked up in Boston) harsh.

OK, so to make sure we don't forget about Lilly, here is a little video I took last night. Don't worry, Cindy was right there holding her. Well I am getting the stink eye for not helping clean, better run before I get a frying pan (dirty) to the head.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Going to the zoo

Today Violet, my mom, and I went to the Oregon Zoo. We decided to take the MAX train up there and had a really good time. We opted to leave Lilly at home -- because let's be honest, the kid won't remember a thing about the trip and the stroller would be a big old hassle.

Our primary reason for going up was to see if they were going to let the new baby elephant out for the public to see it. Turns out, they didn't (but are on starting tomorrow, of course). But we still have a great time. There were a lot of people there, being the Friday of a holiday weekend and all, but we had a great time.

Violet did great and didn't have any tantrums (she normally doesn't) and we left after about 2 hours of wandering around. Above we have a photo and a video. I will add some more video below. They might take a bit to load, as we are going to have three videos at around 7 megs each. I am trying to talk Cindy into a new little camera that has better video and photo quality, but I'm not in a rush until Lilly gets older.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Be good so you can go potty!

Lilly was a nightmare last night ... cry cry cry... seriously, what does she have to worry about? We aren't crack addicts... we feed her, change her, she has so many toys we were considering hiring Richard Pryor to be a toy before he passed away.

UPDATE: I figured out how to have links open in new windows, so feel free to click the links now and you won't navigate away from this page -- from posts from now on. Yes, it's midnight and I had a very long day, but still found time to increase my HTML skills yo! :)

Anyway, I have a lovely wife who let me sleep three hours this morning, so I am feeling great (seriously). After you don't get sleep with having two kids, any uninteruppted sleep over two hours feels like heaven.

Normally when I leave the house, Violet yells to the entire neighborhood: "Have a good day Daddy, I love you." Today she mixed it up a bit and included: "Have a good day Daddy, I love you. Be good so you can go potty!"

Thank goodness I left late and everyone had gone to work.

It does give me some great punishment ideas though... "You were bad -- you can't go potty now." Muhahahaha.

Tomorrow is a zoo trip for Violet, Zoo Grandma (my mom) and me! Woo hoo. I might even take some pictures, if you are lucky.


Parenting tip for the day: Mountain Dew (or Red Bull) is your friend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crawling lesson


Hi, allergy season is here and I am sneezing and "drizzling" like CRAZY.

OK, so yesterday I was at home with the girls with nothing to do but get high on decongestants. I broke out the video camera and we had some fun. I have more Violet stories and Violet and Lilly playing and the next few days I will roll them out.

Here is Violet trying to teach Lilly how to crawl -- kinda.

Sorry about the heavy breathing, but I can't breath through my node, err, nose right now.

Tonight we took Violet to her back to school night and next week she is going to school four days a week. I'm sad. No more days with Violet and Lilly just hanging out and having adventures -- like walking 25 miles.

Violet was born just after the age deadline. Even though she will be 4 for the entire year, she will be in the 3-year-olds preschool. Lame. So the teacher said we could sign her up for both -- there are all boys and no girls so I think that has something to do with it -- and that's how a two-day a week preschool turned into four days!

I think we are going to play hooky a few times this year to visit the zoo or beach. :) Heck, the four-year-old preschool meets three times a week, so I don't think it will hurt if we miss a day every now and then. My plan is to see how it goes, and if Violet is getting too tired, then we will probably go back to two-days a week.

It's a really nice pre-school with a lot of structure and even time learning letters and stuff. Heck, I thought pre-school was glorified daycare, but this place really does the lessons.

Well, my head is about ready to 'splode, so I am going to go take a hot shower and lay in bed with the heating pad. You kind of ignore the pressure once you get used to it.

Gotta run, tomorrow is going to be crazy work day for me... and that's all I am saying about work. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Silly rabbit! Computers are for kids!

Lilly loves pounding on the computer -- a lot like Mom and Dad that way.
So I have had that little head cold going around, and today is day four. Cindy informed me hers was gone after three days which means she is better than I am, I guess.

I will say this, for some reason each year I keep getting sick more and more. I remember when I was in my 20s I only got sick around Thanksgiving. That was it. Now it has spread to about three times a year -- and at random. I don't know if it's due to the appendix thing I had a few years back, or just age. Something to ponder. Maybe I should start drinking Cindy's green stuff.

Today I am off work -- no freelance or Spokesman stuff -- and going to hang out with the girls and just medicate myself to high heaven. I am going for the Benedryl first, then will move on to a Theraflu cocktail. I might get so loopy, I may even play dress shop. :)

My big thing today is emptying the dishwasher and finishing up laundry. Then I am going to try to make a call or two to make work easier tomorrow and Thursday.

We have the cake ordered for this weekend, and Violet picked a "Strawberry Shortcake" cake. You know, the cartoon... not a strawberry shortcake... well maybe it is a strawberry shortcake. I have no clue... it would seem weird to have a chocolate strawberry shortcake cake, so who knows.

Anyway, cake confusion aside, I already have Violet's present for her "fake" birthday. I may run and get her something for her "real" birthday.

Oh, and another thing, of course the morning I figure they are going to get up early, so I take a shower, get dressed, have breakfast, they still are sleeping at 8:04 a.m. I am telling you, they KNOW how to screw with your plans. To think I could have gotten another 90 minutes of sleep -- they will be up soon.

UPDATE: So I was visiting my friend Aaron Marvin's blog and he had this... made me giggle. Guess I truly am a dad when something like this makes me smile. In the past I would have thought it was stupid. I just spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how they got the kids to do this...


Monday, August 25, 2008


"Oh no! Violet has a chainsaw!"

So I was going through pictures today and I came across this one. It's perfect.

I have been posting a lot of pictures of Violet lately and wanted to make sure Lilly got some love. Plus with V's birthday this weekend -- I wanted to make sure Lilly isn't left out on here.

Lilly wants to skip crawling and go straight to walking. It's very interesting to watch her try to walk when you play with her. She will grab your hands, pull herself up and then start dancing -- moving her feet and hips.

The kids are being good today and Jen is over -- which always makes things easy -- I am trying to get some work done so this week won't be too bad. Due to the holiday all of my deadlines are moved up... ick.

Anyway, back to the salt mines. :)


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Birthday party planning and sneezing

I know I have posted a video like this before, but today Violet was begging me to video her "jumping really high!" with Lilly. So here you go, a Saturday afternoon, pre-nap workout. :)

Maybe they both will nap at the same time today. HA!

Next weekend we are celebrating Violet's birthday. Amazing that she is already turning 4-years-old. She is now obsessed with learning her letters and what sounds they make. I think she is going to be quite the reader, which warms my heart.

We sent out electronic invitations, and if you didn't get one and want to go to the party, just contact me via e-mail. If you don't have my personal e-mail, shoot me a message at and I will give you not only an invitation, but my proper e-mail address (I am trying to avoid spam in my account as it's almost full of work messages).

This past week Cindy and my mom got a head cold and I thought I was going to luck out. Think again. This morning I woke up with a sore throat and a stuffy head. I am trying to take it easy today and drink lost of liquids and might break out the NyQuil and sleep this afternoon. I can't be sick next week because my production schedule at work is pushed back because of the Monday holiday.

Today was great at lunchtime. Lilly was fussing because Cindy wasn't feeding her fast enough and out of nowhere Violet says, "Lilly, would you like some cheese with that wine?" I nearly spit out my soup. Lilly is nearly crawling, but is more interested in standing up and walking with help. The best part about Lilly is how willing she is to just smile. She is more fussy than Violet was, but the smile makes up for it. Especially when she just looks up at you and smiles and gives a quick giggle.

She, obviously, gets the joke. :)

Well, I think I am going to crash for a bit and see if I can't nip this stupid cold in the bud. We wanted to go to a friends house today -- she has a new baby -- but figured we didn't want to spread this mild cold to first-time parents.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Well, it's like this.
Lilly is a robot.
She must be, because the child never sleeps.
I have decided that she is smarter than both Cindy and myself, and has manipulated us into a state of walking a coma.
I have not had more than four hours of broken sleep in the last five days.
Cindy has it worse.
We are tired.
Now Cindy is getting a summer head cold -- and she can't take anything for it as she is still nursing.
Last night I stayed up with Lilly so Cindy could get at least four hours of sleep.
Now I am paying.
I wonder how many Cokes I can drink in a day.
Maybe I should graduate up to Red Bulls.
Violet has just informed me she is Lilly's best friend, and that she likes me and has been watching me.
OK, enough whining, the child has to sleep sometime, right?
Oh, and in the future, remind me to take a shower BEFORE Cindy leaves for work at 6 a.m. I stink.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Forgive me

OK, every now and then my inner geek gets the best of me.

You guys remember the Batman versus Iron Man movie, or the Asteroids! game I posted on here.

Well today I have something new.

Michael Phelps is no longer swimming, and frankly, I just can stand gymnastics (NOT A SPORT!)... so I turned off the Olympic coverage that I wasn't going to watch in the first place and checked my e-mail.

Of course that turned into surfing aimlessly around the Internet, and I came across this gem.

That's right kids... someone made all the buildings in the Beijing Olympic Games in LEGO! Above is "The Birds Nest" in those cool plastic blocks.

Normally I wouldn't trust a UK paper to tell me the sky is blue, let alone give me any actual news -- but there are pictures. Glorious pictures.

Where did my parents put my LEGOS?

Violet and Lilly coverage will continue tomorrow, if I don't find my LEGOS.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My daughter: Storyteller

Today is stinking hot! I played handy man today (something I really suck at) and hung some of those bamboo shades over the back windows of our house. When it's really hot outside we can put them down and it (hopefully) will no longer be like living under a magnifying glass in the sun.

I got those up at about 1 p.m. and I am convinced it was about 85 degrees. Today they are forecasting 101 or so.

The above video is Violet telling me a story about how she lost one of her dolls.

The best parts of the video (according to me) is watching Lilly in the background -- and seeing how two kids can destroy a house. For the record, Cindy hates clutter. :)

Well, I have some other things to do around the house... wish me luck!


Friday, August 15, 2008

You are scooching up the deal

Today Violet was trying to explain something and suddenly, out of no where, said "You are scooching up the deal."

I don't know about you, but it's about the cutest thing I have heard. Well, at least until tomorrow when she comes up with some other Violetism.

Anyway, I learned today that my boss is spying on me via my blog. Yes, I know it's public, and yes I know Google sends it out every time I put a keyword in it to people with Google Alerts, but still! So I just wanted to take this opportunity to say what a wonderful editor I have. Of the people I have had edit my copy, my Wilsonville spokesman editor is by far the best I have ever had. I hope to work with her for eons.

You may see a little less talk about my work, and more talk about the girls, which I am sure that is going to disappoint many of you. :)

So, the blog is going to shift again to all girls all the time. :)

I guess you could say that I don't want this blog to "scooch up the deal."

I will try to update more this weekend with photos.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's only Tuesday?

Above we have a picture of Lilly at tea on Saturday and THE LOOK. I see this look at least three to four times a day.

Normally this look is the last thing I see before I wake up the next day -- from being knocked out from the konk on the head from the frying pan, escrema fighting stick, or the van.

(EDIT: Just got THE LOOK over spelling escrema wrong -- I think it should be escrima she thinks it's escrema. She offered to show me her escrema stick up close... I passed)

Yup, I have survived 13 years, Cindy is a saint. :)

So yesterday evening I had a Wilsonville Design Review Board meeting that went until 10:30 p.m.
Normally I plan these meetings ahead of time and know if they are going to be quick or not. Sometimes, my planning isn't that accurate.
Last night was one of those nights.
My assumption was that the developments that were proposed wouldn't be that controversial and I would by home by 9, maybe 9:30 p.m. tops.
Well all these people were there and I ended up rolling into the driveway around 11 p.m. (after meeting discussions, name spelling and whatnot delayed me).
The kicker was that I hadn't eaten since lunch, so I warmed up a burger and chomped that, then started watching the Olympics.
At 1 a.m. I realized what time it was and went to bed.
Guess who got up at 5 a.m.? Lilly. She woke me up, and then I was unable to fall asleep. Today I worked and of course Lilly didn't take a nap, so I am dragging today. Ug.
Tonight I am doing an phone interview for work, and then I am going to go straight to bed. Michael Phelps will just have to win without me this evening.



Monday, August 11, 2008

Family work-at-home day

Today our entire family stayed home. Cindy and I both needed to work, no one was available to babysit, so we both stayed home and tag teamed the kids. It worked out pretty well for me -- I was on the phone most of the day and hid out in the bedroom.

Yes, that's right, I stayed in bed all day making phone calls, taking notes on my laptop and figuring out some information for my real job at the Wilsonville Spokesman. :)

When Cindy had a meeting I came out and played with the kids and made lunch. Violet and I played catch with a stuffed ball. She started with a nice stuffed 20-sided dice, but then switched (without me noticing) to a hard stuffed bowling ball with a bell inside. She was throwing heat too, as it clobbered me in the head.

Anyway, tomorrow my dad is coming over to help and I should be able to get my freelance stuff done tomorrow if all goes well. I just need some "official" type of people to call me and I am good to go.

Well, I guess I should exit the bedroom and see if Lilly finally went to sleep or if Cindy had to hold her. I can hold her and let Cindy work until people start calling me back.

Anyway, time to get out of bed.

Not bad, getting up at 3 p.m.

"Time to get up," Alfred
"Alfred, bats are noctural!" Bruce Wayne
"Master Wayne, even for a billionaire playboy, 3 O-Clock is pushing it," Alfred, Batman Begins

Yes, geek moment. Sorry


Saturday, August 09, 2008

High tea

Here we have Lilly enjoying herself at high tea today in Tillamook, at a little shop called La Tea Da.

Today we packed up the van, picked up Jen and drove over to the coast. Of course the one weekend day we want to enjoy the coast, it blows like crazy and rains on us. A rainy day at the coast is better than ANY day at work, so it was still a good time.

Here are a few things we learned today:

1. Girls stink at the "spot the blue tarp" game. At some point in my travels I learned of a "blue tarp" game when going to the Oregon coast. The rules are simple, you count the number of blue tarps that you see on sheds, cars, and roofs. The person with the highest count wins. Cindy gave up and started counting Unicorns, which leads us to lesson No. 2

2. Unicorns would be good at eating fondu. Of course feeding themselves would be a little rough. But with that horn, the would be all pros at fondu.

3. Fishcrackers are fun to eat, because they smell like stinky feet! Made up songs are the best.

4. When driving over bumps, you must say "Stay on target" (from the Star Wars trench run). Violet is Red 4 and Daddy is Red 5 (standing by).

5. Netarts sounds like Retards, which is what we think of people who camp (yes, I am looking at you Jen).

6. Boys don't live in castles, but Daddy says they live in fortresses of destruction. Girls make castles in the sand, while boys make FORTRESSes of DESTRUCTION (which Violet destroys when Daddy turns his back).

7. Lilly is a Johnson, because at the Tillamook Cheese Factory she really wanted Daddy's ice cream (but Mommy stopped Daddy from feeding her some with her patented Cindy Karate Chop

Well, that about covers the lessons we learned today.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Hello weekend!

I survived.

I had about four pretty complicated stories this week for the Wilsonville Spokesman, and I was able to get them all completed -- even within my deadline.

So, now my focus is on having fun this weekend doing high tea with the girls. I will be driving them over to the coast and then take pictures of the day's activities -- in the hopes of avoiding having to dress up like a drag queen.

I'm not a tea person. So my lunch will probably consist of fast food before high tea. Or I might just wait and fill up on ice cream at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (where we are going after tea).

Well, I am off for the evening. I sat wrong or something today and I have a pretty wicked knot in my back (right behind my shoulder blade). I was probably slouching as I typed today or something. It will work out with a hot shower and a Cindy karate chop.

I will update the blog tomorrow evening with photos of the tea.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Can you tell I have been busy this week?

This is Lilly on Tuesday playing with one of Violet's shoes. Lilly loves shoes. This is bad.

I apologize.

This week I have just had a hard time coming up with anything to write about. Friday is my big writing day at work, so I hope this passes by tomorrow. :)

News from the week:

1. Violet graduated her swimming class, and is now in a more advanced swimming class. The big hurdle for her has been opening her eyes under water. Heck, that's my big hurdle too. I open my eyes I always want to breathe for some reason -- lack of coordination maybe?

2. There were a bunch of changes at Cindy's work, with people moving around and stuff. The upshot she is depressed because no one wants to do installs but Cindy. I keep telling her that she is the garbage man of the software world -- garbage men get paid very well. She has resorted to ice cream to get over the blues, which I am not complaining about.

3. File this under things I will never understand: We have a cleaning lady that comes once every two weeks. Cindy feels the need to clean the house before the cleaning lady shows up -- um, why? Every time I bring this up, she gets frustrated at me, so I will just complain about it here.

4. I got a horrible haircut tonight. It's bad. I think I could have done better with the $20 sheers I bought.

5. Violet has this thing she does with food. She asks for a peanut butter sandwich for dinner. You make it, then she doesn't want it. She wants yogurt. You open a yogurt, and, you guessed it, she doesn't want that either. Tonight I left for my haircut at 6 p.m., I came back around 7 and she was still having Cindy make her things for dinner. All total, she asked for yogurt (rejected), soup (rejected), an English muffin with cheese (rejected) and my sub sandwich (rejected). She then asked for a peanut butter sandwich and I put my foot down and said she had to eat what was there. Now she is sad. I think she is pouting somewhere.

Meanwhile I had a yogurt, soup and English muffin with cheese for dinner tonight. :)

Anyway, I have some photos to go through for work (a sewer plant -- fun stuff). I wonder if I could get some scratch and sniff paper!


Monday, August 04, 2008

Little nervous this week

Well, I am trying something new this week. I accepted a freelance job with the Statesman Journal for their Senior Life publication. It's not news, so I don't feel weird doing it, and working for the Spokesman at the same time.

Where it makes me nervous is this is the first time I have done a freelance job with this new part-time job. The assignment I was given is pretty fun, it's just going to take some time. I have two weeks to get it done, so I am managing the time to make sure I get it done.

Violet is growing up so fast, but then just when you think she can handle something, she shows me that she is still a little kid. Today, she woke up and I thought we are going to have a fun, easy day until Cindy gets home. Turns out, Violet was upset that no one was coming over today. She even cried. It was weird and made me realize that no matter how mature she acts, at the end (and beginning) of the day, she is still a almost 4-year-old.

Speaking of which, September 3 is on a Wednesday, so we are trying to figure out when to have Violet's birthday. I am fairly sure a princess cake is going to be involved. :)

We are also working on having Lilly sleep in her crib all night. It's been OK. She cries, but I think she is getting over it. Hello sleep! It is so nice NOT waking up to cold little feet kicking me in the back at 3 a.m. Oh yes.

Anyway, I have a couple of stories to do, so I should send some e-mails and whatnot.

I will continue to try to update the blog daily -- but no promises. :)


Friday, August 01, 2008

Updated layout and functionality

Violet took this picture. I gave her a small point-and-shoot that we have laying around here and she started taking pictures of mostly her fingers. She then got really excited because everything was on the little TV in the back of the camera.

My favorite part about this picture, is I am posing, but Lilly is looking at Violet as if saying, "Oh God. My big sister has a weird device and is pointing it at me... HELP!" That and I also noticed that Lilly and I have the same hairline.

I am playing around with a new blog template, and one of the features is a slideshow if you have a flickr account. So you might see that popping up here at some point. Also I can put a picture behind the title of the blog, so if I find time to play with Photoshop this weekend I will update that too. Can you say family photo shoot?

Went and saw The Dark Knight again today, even better on the second viewing. Not sure I agree with all the crazy fanboys that are saying it's better than Godfather II or even HEAT. It's good, probably my favorite superhero movie -- but I didn't care for the ending. Regardless, Heath Ledger as the Joker did an amazing job. When I heard he was going to play the Joker I thought for sure the movie was going to suck. I was wrong.

Well, the girls and Jen are watching Toy Story 2, and I am going to play with some photos for the blog.

Have a great weekend. Tomorrow is Fun in the Park, so I think the girls and I are going to a festival. Might take some photos and put them up tomorrow. I have to shoot it for the paper.