Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

I promised you guys a video and some photos and then never delivered. Bad Pat! Bat!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Canby Football and a cold

So tonight I volunteered to shoot some football. I have never done that before -- although I watch a lot of football on TV.

I have decided that high school football rocks. It's faster paced game-wise than professional -- they are faster on the field, but it feels like a year for the game to finish.

Anyway, here is one of the rejects, and with any luck Saturday one of my photos will be in the Herald.

This morning I woke up with sore sinuses and throat. I am trying to ignore it, since all the girls are feeling better now. I think tonight I am going to slam some NyQuil and then sleep as much as possible this weekend.

Violet is going to start dance school next week, so we have to get her tights and stuff. It's a great motivator because I keep telling her that if she throws fits, she can't go. Because everyone knows ballerinas don't throw fits...

She will get so tired and frustrated she is bouncing, but refuses to talk back or cry, just clenches her fists and bounces chanting "I am not throwing a fit." It's so funny, but I always try to talk her down. At least she is trying and that's the whole point.

Lilly is crawling out of her clothes now, and she will stand up leaning against stuff. I don't think it will be long before she is walking.

Well, I am off to watch the debate now (I am such a nerd I TiVoed it). heh.

I will upload a video tomorrow -- and maybe even some photos.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Added functionality and another video

Sorry about the lack of updates this week. I have had a rolling schedule, with several meetings and whatnot.

Sometimes work really gets in the way of screwing around, y'know?

We decided that Violet is going to be in school two days a week -- we just have to tell the teacher now. She had been going to the 3s preschool on Tuesday and Thursday and the 4s preschool on Monday and Wednesdays. With her birthday so close to the cutoff they let us put her in both, but the illness and her being tired all the time has led us to back it off a bit.

Scheduling wise I think the Tuesdays Thursdays is best -- but then she is in 3s not 4s... so it's just a decision we have to make. Technically she should be in 3s as her birthday is after the deadline, but she is 4.

Cindy still has a cold and is trying to get back on her feet, and Karen Marsh also got it. I have been lucky this time, I have been drinking Odwalla C-Monsters and downing this anti-cold tea Cindy gave me. I think it has caffeine because I can't seem to sleep at night.

Oh, and I almost forgot, ESPN has new NFL widgets of your favorite team. So I slapped a Oakland Raider widget on the left side there. That way you will know what I will be TiVoing on Sunday. :)

Well, off to work...


Monday, September 22, 2008

That's right, I take care of my children!

My pal Aaron Marvin posted this video on his blog and I love it. Heh.

The words are perfect -- and tells my story almost perfectly.

Cindy and her mom both have the head cold. I have avoided it through the power of Coca-Cola (at least that's what I am telling myself).

Violet is feeling better, and Lilly still has a runny nose, but she isn't acting sick. Today is back to school for Violet and swimming tonight. I have a Wilsonville meeting I have to attend, one of many meetings I have this week. Ug.

Anyway, I will post another video and/or pictures later today. I have to get ready to run to school now. Then I am trapped in Sherwood for 2 1/2 hours.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

A favor

Well, I got a call on Friday that my old boss at the Silverton Appeal needed help. He was out of freelancers and there was a mural dedication in downtown Silverton. So I opted to help out -- if only because I could go to the event, write it up and be done with it in a day.

The mural is of Don Pettit, a Silverton native who is now an astronaut with NASA. When the Columbia blew up several years ago he was trapped on the space station for several months. He made it home on a Russian space capsule -- so you know the guy has guts.

The dedication was a cool event, and I, being a mild geek, love anything to do with space and NASA. So I sent an e-mail to NASA to see if I could get a reaction from him, but he was evacuated because of hurricane Ike.

Anyway, I made a little extra money, got to visit Silverton again and write about something that interests me. Not a bad Saturday.

I love going back to communities I have covered in the past, mostly for the ego boost. I heard from several people including cops, politicians and normal folks that they missed my writing and felt I did a good job. That felt good.

Well, I should get moving today we have laundry and Cindy is now feeling the effects of "The Cold" so I want to try to get her some rest today.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Living with two biohazards

So, it turns out that Violet and Lilly have ear infections. Yesterday and today we went to the doctor -- we are getting a two-for-one deal through Cindy's HMO -- and it was confirmed.

Our daughters are germ magnets.

Lilly is on antibiotics, while Violet is getting much better. Violet missed two days of school and I think next week we are going to limit her to three days a week instead of four, if they will let us.

Lilly isn't acting too sick, she is just a snot factory and combined with the drool from teething it's like having a tiny Saint Bernard wandering around sliming ankles.

We were told today by the doctor Lilly is in the 24 percentile in weight, 75 percentile in height and (as Cindy put it) a big head. Cindy couldn't remember the number -- can you tell this is the second kid?

I am in utter shock, a child of mine that isn't chunky? When they did that metabolism test on me a the gym, other people were coming up with numbers like 200 and 400... me? I was a -12. No joke. You say "chocolate cake" and I gain a pound. In fact, I just gained four pounds typing that.

Anyway, here is a video of me feeding Lilly while Violet sings for us. Kind of like a fancy restaurant, only the band doesn't know how to play music and all the food is ground up and either fruit or vegetables. I think I will call this restaurant, Chateau de Pat.

Well, I am off to watch Burn Notice -- I love that show.

WARNING TO GANNETT EMPLOYEES: I have noticed lately that there are a couple of hits a day from Statesman Journal employees. To the left in my favorite blog list is the Gannett Blog. This is not something you want to click to when you are at work. I read a post on there a few weeks back that it was rumored that IT is tracking people who visit that site on a regular basis, it isn't exaclty a "fansite" for Gannett, if you get my drift. So, click at your own peril. It's OK for me because I'm a hired gun now -- when I feel like it. While I have you on the line, sorry for the recent lay-offs, I hope the cutting is over with and you guys can go back to worrying about how you are going to do three people's jobs without overtime. I wish you all well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I love election season

I love election season if for nothing else the comedy.

Here is a skit that I saw Saturday Night Live -- and while biased -- I still think it's still funny.

Anyway, enjoy, I will try to update the blog later tonight, Violet is going to the doctor because of The Cold.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Think she is teething??

Lilly is teething -- and has a little cold, still.

When Violet was an infant, I was changing her diaper one day and she exploded all over the changing table, wall, diapers, me and everything else in the room. Since then, as long as she was in diapers, I called her "pumpkin pants." Paints a vivid picture, eh?

Since this weekend I have been doing the heavy lifting on the Lilly cold front. Her nose won't stop running. I have sucked it out, wiped and tried to show her how to blow her nose with no luck. Today I was laying on the floor playing with her, she crawled over, and wiped her nose right on my shirt, then crawled over to Mommy and wiped her nose on Cindy's foot.

From here forth, her name is "snot." It's a term of endearment, really. And it fits on sooo many levels.

During preschool today I went over to the office to check e-mail and get some stuff. Lilly slept most of the time, when she woke up I took her to the front office to show her off. I would put the car seat on the floor (she was still in it) and she would scream, pick it up, she would stop. It was pretty funny. And another example of "snot."

She also grabbed my hand today and put it in her mouth, I felt one tooth poking through her gums on the bottom. She has one, and my guess more are on their way, especially with her gnawing on a Belle chair.

Anyway, it's Strawberry Shortcake time, gotta run.


P.S. Here is a story for you...why are Violet's stories always about food?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kids, compromise and complications

Well, I am learning that with kids comes compromise.

Today I blew off an assignment for my real job (I wrote in at 3:30 a.m. to let them know I wasn't going to be able to attend) because we had two sick kids last night and I got no, as in none, sleep.

So I grabbed a couple of hours before Cindy had to go to work this morning (I slept from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) and now I am watching the kids today. Tonight I have a council meeting and I am hoping that the little one naps, so I can catch a few hours, or even just rest.

I let them know, but I still feel bad. I keep telling myself it's a part of the parenting thing, so I shouldn't stress too much about it. But those of you who know me, know that I will spend the next week freaking out about missing an assignment.

I called my editor and she has four kids and understood, but I still feel like a moron.

Anyway, I am off to find something to eat and rock the kid. The big one is at preschool now, so at least I am cool that way.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Laundry, football and butterflies

This is a video of Violet and Lilly playing together. You will notice Violet has a stuffy nose (she sounds kind of nasally).

Lilly has Violet's cold now. Cindy is also complaining of having a stuffy nose. I am going to drink a gallon of water and see if we have any orange juice in the freezer.

Today Cindy is working (or trying to), we are doing laundry, and I am watching football. The Raiders won today (yeah me!) which will probably be their only win of the year. I messed around with my fantasy team a little -- this is my first year and I really stink at it.

Violet was pretty bratty yesterday -- I am attributing it to her cold. Today she seems fine (behavioral wise) but still has congestion. The little one is breathing like a Predator when she sleeps (click the link to hear the Predator -- which sounds like Lilly).

Well, the New York Bretts are playing the hated New England Patriots (Pat Riots when they win) so I better go.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


Sorry for the lack of updates this week. I got sideways at work, and my schedule has been kind of nuts. So much so I haven't had time to do new photos or movies. I was going through our family laptop, and found this movie of Violet from Aug. 5, 2005. I love her hair!

Next week I will try to do more video and photos of the kids.

Today we cleaned out the freezer, defrosted it, and I got to chisel ice out of it. Pretty fun, but I was leaning all the way down in the freezer too long (we have a chest deep freeze) so I tweaked my back a bit. Nothing a few Advil won't help.

Well, off to the store.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where did the week go?

OK, so here I am on Wednesday night wondering what happened to my week. Tomorrow is Thursday and I am behind at work (a politician stood up an interview), I have a one story I haven't even started and my deadline is fast approaching.

Lilly is moving. Really. It's crazy. It's like Michael Jordan -- you can't stop her, you can only contain her.

Today we have a story. Violet made this one up right before lunch.

Hope you all are having a good week.


Monday, September 08, 2008

I'm a ramblin' man

Today we had a little race. Down the hallway, the big one versus the little one.

The big one won, but it was close. Almost as close as this:

So, today was the first day that I have waited in Sherwood for Violet's school to be over. It was pretty fun. Lilly and I went to a park and just hung out playing with grass (until the lawn mower started getting too close). Then we watched some guys play football and she played with a piece of bark while I gave her some baby food. The food then attracted hornets -- so we left the park. :)

Tomorrow I am going to check out the library -- might even take my laptop -- and see if there is a kid section that will keep her occupied. Otherwise, I am going to make a cardboard sign that says, "New Baby, need cash for food!" and stand at the intersection of Tualatin-Sherwood Road and Highway 99W. I hear those people make like six figures a year!

Anyway, Raider game is on.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

88 miles per hour

Lilly is crawling so fast now she has fire behind her like the Delorean in Back to the Future.

See the similarities? I know!

Violet has taken to making very cute statements. This weekend was no exception.

  1. After feeding her baby doll, Violet held the fake bottle in the air, looked at it and stated, "She ate two miles."
  2. The neighbor's dog has been getting into our backyard because our back fence is pretty ratty. I went out to chase it out before work Friday and stepped right in dog poop. I threw up my hands and yelled, "You have GOT to be kidding me!" Violet, all weekend, has taken to informing, well, everyone that "Daddy stepped in dog poop!" I can't wait for school tomorrow.
  3. Violet also decided that she was a mermaid tonight while taking a bath, and started "swimming." After this post I am looking for a water pump for the excess water we have in the bathroom floor.
I also had a pretty good weekend. I started off the weekend thinking that I would try to replace the garbage disposal. How hard could it be?

When it first died back in December I suggested that we call a plumber, something Cindy was very much against. She fixed the leak in December by going to Ace Hardware and having an old guy give her advice.

So this weekend was my turn. The disposal finally died about two months ago, and we had about five or six Home Depot cards floating around the house from Christmas and whatnot. So I asked Larry and my dad about it, and then went to work.

Of course the people at Home Depot had no clue (I talked to two guys whose combined age was about 7). But the thing came with directions, so I figured if nothing else, the experience would be a good blog post.

Here is what I did:

1. Removing the disposal was pretty easy, I left the existing hardware connected to the sink and just disconnected the disposal, plumbing and unplugged it (yes, I did that first).

2. Took the old disposal to Home Depot with me to make sure it was roughly the same size as the new one (I learned later it really didn't matter, but hey, I'm a rookie).

3. Wired the new one. Yes, you read that right. I wired. Like with black tape and stuff. Of course I called my dad twice for advice (he helped wire 747s back in the day), but I had to connect a wall plug to it. Not too bad. I even have splinters of wiring stuck in my hands to prove it. I am tough, don't worry about me.

4. Tried to lift the new disposal (I am thinking about 30 pounds but not sure) while lining up three tabs to the old connector. This is where things got, well, profane. Good thing Violet was napping, because I sounded like a sailor. Finally Cindy (and Lilly) came down and she lined up and connected while I held the disposal in place. I don't know how people would do that by themselves -- blocks maybe to hold up the disposal?

5. Plumb. Yes, the old plumbing fixtures wouldn't work. My pipe was too short (story of my life). So I went to Ace Hardware where they helped me out. Great guys, and from now on I am going there first. Anyway, I had to trim one of the pipes they gave me -- it was plastic and I needed a saw. Of course all I could find was a Christmas tree saw. I was going back to Ace when I saw that my old buddy "Moocher" had just pulled in at home so I borrowed a saw, and cut it right at his house. Came home, tightened everything up and Boom! Done.

I am so good that it doesn't leak (it always has) and when the dishwasher drains it used to back up into the sink a little -- it doesn't do that either! That's right, call me Bob Villa.

Maybe not, it did take me all day.

Next weekend I think I will add an office to the back of the house. :)

That project was pretty much my entire Saturday, and today I watched football, did laundry and made the girls a nice breakfast. Tomorrow I am looking forward to not working and getting to watch the Raider game. I don't know what I am going to do while Violet is at school, I am sure I will find something to do to kill two and a half hours with Lilly. Maybe have her crawl in grass or something. I don't know.

Anyway, off to bed.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Been busy

As most of you know, the end of the week is way more busy for us than the start of the week -- with me working Thursdays and Fridays (and sometimes Wednesdays).

Violet survived her first week of school and her birthday. Having her go four days a week has me driving from Canby to Sherwood two to three times a week, which is a little crazy. But it's the first week, so I am going to give it time before I start saying we should only have her in two days a week like normal kids.

Lilly has really started crawling and it's going to get crazy around here when she is fully mobile. At this point if you walk around a corner, she will follow you, slowly, but she still puts her mind to it and she is off.

This weekend we are hoping to do some fun stuff, recharge the batteries and maybe even do some work around the house. We have a dog from the house behind us who keeps going through the fence into our back yard and chasing the birds. He is a bird dog afterall. :) So I will probably go out and see if I can't smash my thumb with a hammer.

Oh and today I went to the doctor. Last night I was putting the kid's fingernail clippers away when I saw the child-safe Q-tips. I decided it was time to clean my ears. So I crammed one of them in my ear and didn't think much of it. This morning I woke up and my ear was bleeding.

After consulting Cindy -- who swore up and down she didn't put one of those ear creatures in my ear from Star Trek II -- and my boss, I decided to go to the doctor. WARNING: Do not play the movie unless...

A. You understand Spanish (German?)?
B. You don't mind weird things going in people's ears.

So I swung by my doctor's office this afternoon. His advice? Don't put things in your ear.

I am going to live and my brains aren't leaking out -- not that I have so many brains they are under pressure and would leak out anyway. I just scratched my ear canal.

OK, well, off to watch John McCain's speech. I need that TV they talk in front of...

I promise to put up more videos and pictures this weekend of the kids. No time.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Snowman, Snowman, ya got yer ears on? Aww crap!

I just found out that Snowman just got sent to the big car chase in the sky.

UPDATE: For those of you too lazy to click the link above -- yes I have had people ask me who "Snowman" is -- Jerry Reed was "Snowman." Reed was a country music star and also an "actor." I put "actor" in quotes because he pretty much played Jerry Reed.

I imagine him driving that 18-wheeler (from Smokey and the Bandit) along a cloud, running from Jackie Gleason.

Kind of a bummer to end the day. He wrote and performed the song in the You Tube video up above there.

"Smokey and the Bandit" has long been a favorite movie of my brother and I. We will often call each other up and throw quotes back and forth.

A few years ago I forced Cindy to sit through "Smokey and the Bandit" -- she wasn't impressed. Maybe she needs to see "Smokey and the Bandit, Part II?"

My Dad even gets in on the action... he loves saying this to Brett and I when we do something stupid.

We heard it a lot growing up.

We will miss you Snowman...


Creepy Crawly First Day of School

Today was pretty fun. Violet started school again -- we are sending her four days a week to see how that works out -- and Lilly started really crawling.

Lilly is very different from Violet in that she is way more vocal about what she does and doesn't want. Today I had to put her down on the floor several times to get Violet ready for school. I put her on the carpet with some toys and then got Violet dressed and packed and whatnot. She was right down the hall where I could see her. I turn, look over, and Lilly has crawled half-way down the hall, complaining the entire way.

So tonight, when Cindy got home, I conducted a little experiment. We put Lilly in her spot, in the sitting area, and then went to the living room and waited. Violet would run over and check on her and play, but sure enough, little Lilly crawled almost all the way to the living room. Here is the video proof -- with me breathing hard after running to get the camera.

Pretty soon Lilly is going to be running around... god help us.


Monday, September 01, 2008

A sad day

Today Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas was decommissioned. Cindy and I often talked of visiting it before we had kids. Guess that isn't going to happen.

After a horrible first date between the two of us -- it's a long story -- Cindy stole the stereo and TPed my car, back in the day before we were dating. Yes, another long story.
So once I figured out she was responsible for the theft, she offered to make me dinner to apologize. I came over and she made a great meal, and then wanted me to see some Star Trek posters in her room, which led to our first kiss.

Which proves, for geeks, there is nothing sexier than a 5-foot wide cutout of the Enterprise-D on an apartment wall.

Anyway, without Star Trek, she wouldn't have invited me to her room, and no smooch, which would have led to no dating, no wedding, no Violet, no Lilly and no broken ribs (OK I am kidding).

So, for our family anyway, today was a sad day. At least there was a Star Trek marathon on Sci-Fi today.

We are getting ready for Violet's first day of school tomorrow, so gotta run.

More photos tomorrow.