Friday, June 30, 2006

Random Pics

When we started taking trips to the mountains as a kid, I became hooked on photography. I'm still hooked, so here's a few snaps from the past month.

Remind me never to come home early from work. Sitting in our comfy chair, eating my 4pm lunch, I witnessed a television low. I love ESPN, ESPN2 (Mike and Mike In The Morning), and Fox Sports. But there is only so much love to go around with daytime "sports". They are reverting from full strides in good programming, to baby steps during the day.

It's possible that the coveted all-time low position belonged to Fox Sports with their compelling program, "World Series Of Darts". The Fox brass thought so much of this winner, they created 5 episodes. No matter how you slice and dice it, it's hideously lame..times 5.

We'll, the fatcats at ESPN have done their best at rivaling FSN's loser daytime programming by televising the World Dominoes Championships. Like this blog, I am sure it will appeal to tens of people..maybe. It's really hard to translate Slappin' Bones into good TV. Oh they try with the personal story sidelines, and human interest stories (complete with entrants talking smack). In the's just dominoes. Clever commentators cannot even elevate this to interesting. Before I turned it off, they were talking about one team player "dropping the deuce" (the double 2 domino). Definitely a stinker!

With their daytime babystep programming, the TV sporting giants have something in common with our household. Benny left his babysteps behind, and started walking fullout this afternoon. Yep! He is officially strutting his stuff. Lets hope he doesn't walk over to the TV to turn on Domino's and Darts.

By the way, I love this picture. He's definitely not being underfed, and It reminds me of why they called him "Gordo", down in Guatemala. I think he is "Guapo" (handsome), which is the other name they had for him.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

We'll, here we go again. The spirit just hadn't moved me to post in the past few weeks.

Benny is still enjoying his pool. Of course we rub sunblock all over his cute little bod, but you would never be able to tell with his tan. Speaking of his skin, last week we took a business trip to Elkhart Lake, WI. Benny ended up with bites all over the place. That's where we found out that suntan lotion isn't necessarily mosquito repellent.

Leading up to last week, I had been to several states in my life, but never Wisconsin. This is one beautiful place, and we want to head back again. The grassy-green rolling hills, quaint dairy farms, lakes, and pretty towns really did it for us. Between meetings we found time to swim, stroll all over town, eat at some great local hangouts (ie: smoky bar/grill with Buffett in the jukebox, and great pizza). G also made smores at a campfire next to the lake. I did catch up on some great World Cup soccer during Benny's naps.

While G had some meetings Saturday morning, Benny and I headed into the town's arts/crafts fair. There were alot of neat homemade things, like the handpainted, toddler Adirondack chair. I ended up getting G a small photo of the hotel we were staying at (by a local photographer), and a used book. It chronicles Dennis Connor's America's Cup experiences. Not really being a sailing fan, per se, I remember when the America's Cup was fun news to keep current on. Something about a radically new keel design that the competitors had developed.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

While today isn't my first Father's Day, it sure feels like the first. Last year I only knew Benny in terms of a few photographs. To me I felt like I had a deeper relationship with the checkout girl at Schnucks, than with my little boy. Needless to say, on an inner level, it was a bit frustrating on this day last year.

One technique I used to overcome my frustration was borrowed from a typical Olympic downhill skier. If you pay attention to their pre-race routines, you will find them off in a corner striking crazy, dancelike poses. Their hands are fluid in unison, making snakelike moves as they visualize themselves going through the course. I would stop and visualize Benny's face and try to see what he was doing at that very instant. At the same time, I would look forward to times we will actually be spending together as a family.

This weekend there was no visualization, and there was a bunch of doing. We watched the US get a tie in the World Cup soccer game, G and Benny blow bubbles downstairs, and we set up our wildly expensive and decadent family pool. To top it off, we went to church and saw some great friends.

Yep, Father's Day is much better when you experience it, rather than visualize it.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

This week G and I took Benny to the park. Sunny Summer days remind when we do stuff like this remind me of the old Van Morrison song, Days Like This.

Of course I had better keep reminding myself of songs like this. He won't go to bed and is screaming like a banshee, and I don't even know what a banshee is!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I have all the answers, and know the drill. We will be the best parents, ever. That is once we have kids. This was my line of thinking before Benny. One of the requirements to "best parents ever" was to feed our child food that is healthy and good for you. No junk food, candy, soft drinks, etc... Do as I say. Not as I do.

Last night we bent our food rules (as we do occasionally), and had a great time doing it. We wanted to try this burger joint on Manchester called Carls Drive In. We pack Benny's dinner, and head east. We get there, and it's closed. Somebody died, and they closed up shop.

So it's off to Plan B. Sonic. Benny had a good apetite with his ham/carrots/greenbeans...and a few french fries. That was pretty much the only thing we ordered that wasn't covered with jalepenos.

On the way back we stopped by to chat with our friend Denise, who was working out in her yard. She will do anything to get Benny to smile and come her way, but she always catches him in the wrong mood. Last night was no different. By this time Benny was tired, and wanted a bath.

Speaking of baths, we went to get our haircuts on Monday. I looked up when my name was called. RATS! It's the haircut lady that is slow and not-so-great. Oh well, I'll roll the dice anyways. I don't really have too much concern about my hair. Just take #1 trimmers and blend as you go up. It's my modified military-style haircut meant to camoflage my grey locks.

Benny was sitting on my lap as quiet as can be for my haircut. By the time it was his turn, he had so much hair on his arms, legs and face...he looked like a cute, little hairy man....but he had ants in his pants. He was squirming around, and opening/closing the hairdressers drawer, throwing my cellphone/his book on the ground. Never fear, the haircut lady had just the answer to my problem (which was actually her problem as well). Benny was introduced to Dum Dum's. He evidently loves the bubblegum flavor. From this point on it was a complete, yet compliant mess, with slobber and hair all over the place. I mean ALL over the place. The good thing is that the combination of the Dum Dum, and his mouth mimicked a trailer and hitch. If the hairdresser needed him to look down, look left, look right...all I needed to do was grab the stick, and his little head moved with our wishes. Once this ordeal was finally finished, I loaded him up half-naked in the truck, stripped him down and threw him in the tub, when we got home. There was hair all over the place, but hey- not bad for a days work.

We still haven't tried Carls. Any reviews?

Monday, June 05, 2006

A funny story

Our good friend Jenna periodically sends us funny stories about their kids. Here's her latest dispatch from Denver:

So the boys are listening to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack....

At the beginning the narrator is telling how one cold night a beggar woman has knocked on the prince's door to seek shelter from the storm....

Jay --what's a bagel woman?
Jack --uhhhh, I don't know, but I would guess a bagel woman would be a woman who eats a lot of bagels
Jay --oh, okay

And there you have it.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My relationship with God has dramatically shifted since becoming a Dad. During these past 7 months, I have been given a fresh glimpse of God's love through His relationship with His Son. I do not want these fun opportunities with Benny and G to slip through the cracks..of course easier said than done...but yesterday was different. I wanted to enjoy the beauty of the day, and have a picnic at Forest Park. So off we went. Here are a few pictures. There's nothing like food, ducks, and bare bottoms to round out a great outing. I tell you...the longer we live here, the more we love it. I'm hoping that many moments like this create defining memories for our nice little family. And yes, I will be washing the blanket.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thanks to a nice birthday suprise from G, we recently spent the Memorial Day weekend with some good friends-the Robinsons. They are a great family, and have some wonderful kiddos which we adore. I hope Jonah and Benny become good buddies. Here is a pic of us with Jonah early last Sunday morning.