Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Time Out!

Today, Lulu got her first time out. She had bitten Four hard enough to leave a decent mark. I very firmly told her that she was not to bite anyone, and then put her in the spot where she's witnessed her brother spend a time out or two. Much to my surprise, she stayed there the entire time until I came over to talk to her about it. Recently, a neighbor's mother who teaches early childhood education was over for dinner and told my wife about how time outs are not effective disciplinary tools. It wasn't clear what her alternatives were. To me, this is one of the most frustrating things about "experts" and their advice. They tell what not to do, but offer little to no alternatives. I think Liv got the message that she shouldn't bite. Not to say, that she won't do it again, but it's a start.

Four and LuLu Triumph

A neighbor recently got a Triumph motorcycle. Four and LuLu were almost as excited as the new owner. Check out the pics. I am biased but they're pretty cute.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


This morning at breakfast, Liv was dropping her cereal on the floor. She had eaten most of it -- this her new way of telling us that she's finished. I very firmly tried to stop this, "Livvy, NO!" She stops, looks at me, tilts her head, puts on her very cutest face, and says, "Da-Deeeee." I had to bite my lip.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

My Little Helpers

After an MTB ride today, the little ones helped clean the new ride.

LuLu: "I Love You"

Tonight at dinner, LuLu said "I love you." We have said "Guess what? [Pause] I love you." to Four (and less to LuLu because she's only 17 months) so many times that it's become something of a game. Now he often tries to beat us to the punch, finishing it before we can. And then, it becomes, "No, I love you." "No, I love you." Well, you get the idea. Tonight, M had told me how nicely Four had played during the day. I told him that I was very proud of him and "guess what?" LuLu chimes in almost clear as a bell, "I lub oo."

Friday, July 23, 2004

Et tu?

Uncle Drew stopped by a couple times here recently. It was cool that he just stopped in, the kids were excited to see him. When he got here the other night, he had called on the way over, so we knew to expect him. When he turned in the driveway, Four, who had been brushing his teeth, could see him from the bathroom. "My man uncle Drew is here," he announced. Then went running out to see him. Today, he kept refering to him as "that tough guy." LuLu couldn't stop saying his name either. "Doo?" "Doo?" "Eh doo?" (translated: "Drew? Drew? Where Drew?") I couldn't help but think that it sounded a bit like "et tu?" -- which translates in French (or freedom? ;^]) to "and you?"

We went out for dinner to tonight and then stopped in at Carsense to check out *gasp* mini-vans. The Explorer recently 'needed' $1800 worth of emissions work. Needs new tires. And, apparently the transmission is starting to slip. Go it's probably time for something. And it's probably the mini-van. We keep trying to talk ourselves out of the mini-van but it just seems so darned practical. Anyway, both the kids were really good at both stops. On the way home, Mon and I both thanked the kids, especially Four, for their good behavior and told them how proud we were of them. Four says, "Where did we go, again?" Brief pause. "Oh, that's right, we went out for lunch. And the car store. That's not that much." It was enough for us. Thanks kids!

At some other point on that drive, M and I were trying to figure out if a mini-van (henceforth van) is really what we want. M basically said that it would end up being what I drove most of the time and she just couldn't see me in a van. To me, this is no small compliment, because while I cannot argue the practicality of the vehicle, the whole market segment just seems so generic. What is really more my speed would be an old Vanagon Syncro or a double cab Vanagon (TriStar). Failing those a 23-window would be sweet. But I am not sure if I am ready to deal with the requisite tinkering. I have too many (unfinished) projects as it is.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

It Could Possibly Happen

One night at the shore M and I were talking over dinner. I don't even remember what it was that we were talking about. I think I was describing some incredulous thing to Mon and she seemed a bit skeptical. Four chimes in, "It could possibly happen." We are constantly reminding "our chuther" (Four's version of "each other" which he's been doing for quite some time but have never captured here on btc) that he is only 3.

Monday, July 19, 2004


Going into this year's tour, I wasn't rooting for Lance. The decisions he's made regarding his family have caused me to lose a great deal of respect for him. From a historical perspective I do think it would be neat to see him win his 6th in a row. I had been pulling for Tyler "ride through the pain" Hamilton. Now that Tyler has pulled out, I feel myself being pulled onto the bandwagon. Although my adoptive Italian roots are making me like Basso more and more. Anyway, like him or not, Lance is trying to raise piles of cash for cancer research, and that's a bandwagon I don't feel ashamed of jumping on. So I bought 20 of the fund-raising bracelets and thought that the kids could sell them at a lemon-aid stand in the 'hood and then donate that money back. Kind of a lesson in philanthropy and volunteerism. Of course each of the kids wanted one for themselves, but even the youth size was too big for their little wrists. So we put them on their ankles. Four had one on each ankle and asked if we liked his soccer pads.
As an aside, President Bush has recently predicted that Lance would win the tour, and that he would win in November. I had heard that Jan Ullrich went as far as to guarantee a victory in the tour. Here's to hoping that Bush's prediction for his own success shapes up the way Ullrich's is looking to.

Manners Progress

Thursday night, I went out for a ride and Mon took the cherubs out for dinner. According to my beautiful betrothed, Shane found an action figure in the restaurant and asked all the children in the area of it belonged to them before he began to play with it. This occurred without guidance from Mom. Additionally, it was reported to me that he was quite the big helper retrieving utensils and napkins for his mother and sister. Progress is good.

Finding Dory

Shane has been asking us for a pet for some time now. On Tuesday, we finally caved. Our newest family member is Dory, a red and white fan-tail goldfish. You would have thought that I had lasso'ed the moon for the young man. Comments received included:
  • "Thank you so much for getting me this fish."
  • "I love my fish so much."
  • "I am going to take such good care of this fish."

In addition to Dory -- whose name very nearly was (drumroll please) "Nemo" or "Marlin" -- we also got a snail, who was to help us keep the tank clean. The snail, who never really had a name (sometimes we called him Sampson), is no longer with us. We clean the tank the other day, and the snail never seemed quite right after that. I went to clean the tank again tonight and the snail just floated in the water after being removed from the side of the bowl. I don't know if it was rough handling in the previous transfer, Shane did pull him off the side of the transfer cup rather quickly and not rather gently. Or, if it was overly warm water temp on the return to the bowl. I actually ended up ushering the kids out of the room and adding a few ice cubes, b/c the water seemed a bit warmer that room temp. But Dory (knock on wood) seems none the worse for wear. Shane doesn't know yet about the snail. He's asleep. Possible future post fodder.

Where's Our Baby?

Liv is growing up so fast. Last night, she was chasing Shane around the kitchen after we all finished dinner. She was really looking to mix it up. She would grab him from behind and give him a sisterly but rough-and-tumble hug. He would ask or tell her to let go, but they were both laughing. As I've said before on this blog, it's so neat to watch them interact and get along so well. Although they really do love each other, the getting along well is not always the case.
At a friend's 4th birthday party this weekend, Liv was playing with some toys and as she was reaching down to pick one of them up she said, "I want that." It was clear as a bell. The funny thing is that is a 3-word sentence, yet I can't get her to say "Juice please." -- or any other 2-word sentence. She'll say "Juush" and "Peez" but not "Juush Peez."
Today, we were down at the lake. Before I could get my shoes and socks off, she was up to her knees in the water and ready to go further. Both the lifeguard and a neighbor commented on how brave and how capable she is. Later, she was laying in the water up to her chin with her little fingers just barely able to touch the sandy bottom, and then squatting in the water up to her chin and experiencing the resistance of the water as she waved her arms back and forth. At one point, the three older kids (V.N., P.N., S.J.) ran up to get foam noodles and began to have "sword" fights with them. Shortly thereafter, she started walking up the beach with a very determined look on her face. It reminded me that I keep wanting to read the book What's Going On In There?. But anway, and I should have known, she was going up to the shed to get her noodle, emulating the big kids.
It's neat. And it's scary.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Falling further and further behind

I keep falling further and further behind with my blogging although cool and cute things -- and not so cute things -- I want to blog about continue to happen. With that said, here are some placeholders:
Liv LAF bracelet.
Liv hats.
Shane fish.
Shane big bro.
Shane found toy - tried to find owner. 
[Update: When linked, placeholder has been fleshed out in another post.]

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Here's a Thought

Never tell parents -- especially involved, caring parents who are working hard and making serious sacrifices to raise kind, well-adjusted children -- that they are "raising a monster."

Monday, July 12, 2004

Sea Isle Pics

Enjoy the pics. Stories to follow (hopefully!).

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Back from Vacation

Just got back from vacation. Will try to get caught up here in the next few days (daze?).