Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A few from the nest

fresh from the tub

fresh from a nap :)

Wondrous Things

I think most people believe that when you have a child one wondrous thing comes into your world. But I am quickly discovering that you world becomes repopulated with many wondrous things in addition to the one main wondrous person who points them all out to you.

I realized this as I was driving to meet Elise for lunch yesterday. A bright yellow bulldozer was bucking through the intersection. Before Sam was born, I am quite certain the bulldozer would never have caught my eye.

Now I notice all kinds of things I used to take for granted: airplanes, motorcycles, birds, lizards, UPS trucks, school buses, puppies, helicopters, squirrels, speed boats, fountains, cats slinking through the bushes and yes...bulldozers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

True Story

We still have our little house on the market, for eventual sale in the hopes of busting out of this sweltering place someday. Until then let me give you reason # 12376467485857578588 why we would like to leave:

We cleared out of the house for a couple of hours to allow a realtor to show our home. We returned to find a big "dookie" (if you will) in our master bath toilet. I had to put on a hazmat suit to clean the bathroom, but I will never truly get over the nastiness of it all. Could they have at least used the guest bath? Or, I don't know....flushed?

I thought it was just an urban legend. I am here to say folks, it actually happens, lock your toilet bowls!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

How we roll

A view from the cockpit..headed to the beach
(excuse the lack of makeup...me not paul, just excuse his beak closeup)

sam zonked out in his plush maxi cosi
(just look at those tendrils! he is growing it out for his halloween costume in '10. uncle dave's idea, gonna be sweeet! I hear baby mullet! kidding!)

Note to future parent self:

This is a great way to let the entire neighborhood know that you have:

a. completely lost your mind

b. finally found a way to ensure that your teenage son will pick up his shit from now on

I believe both answers are correct. I was threatened a time or two that I would find my things on the front lawn if I didn't pick them up. I never got to that point. Thank God. I almost wanted to wait around to see the look on our neighbor kids face when he came out to this in the morning. The most special touch was a book entitled "How to Not Raise a Spoiled Brat" that was perched on the front bumper. Among that was football gear, fast food wrappers, underwear, school books, video games and the video player.

Congrats down-the-street-neighbors, I applaud your parenting creativity!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Our house, this Easter, has been hit by 'the Feev'. It started with Sam on Wednesday, a sleepless night spent with a smoldering Sam lying perpendicular between Elise and I. You could have fried an egg on his forehead or toasted a marshmallow over his tummy. I woke at 12:30 Friday night with shivers that rocked the bed so violently Elise thought an earthquake was shaking the house, then last night, around the same time, it was Elise's turn. We've been getting by on a diet of Advil and coffee.

The bug caused me to delay my return to the running circuit. The annual Rooney's 5k course starts at the Town Center and goes right up Central right past our house. I had to sit out, but Josh ran. I think he PR'ed despite the fact that I think our raucous cheering seemed to confuse him as we were the only spectators on our stretch of the course. Afterwards, we headed over to the the town hall for Sam's first Easter egg hunt.

Easter egg free-for-all is probably more apt. Piles of hay were cordoned off with rope. The children were split into age groups. Sam's age group was 3-and-under. About a hundred 3-and-unders with their Easter baskets toed the line like bulls in Pamplona. Volunteers from the rec dept. shouted instructions into a megaphone, barely able to maintain a semblance of order. Originally, we were told we were not able to go into the ring with Sam which would have meant he was sure to be stampeded, but then another volunteer came by and told us that the parents could accompany the 3-and-unders into the ring. The game was on....

As soon as the volunteer shouted "GO!" 100 3-and-unders dove into the ring, tiny elbows flying, flinging bales of hay aside in search of eggs. I spotted one right away at Sam's feet. I think he was so overwhelmed by the feeding frenzy he missed it, so I picked it up for him, afraid it'd be the only egg he would get (I was right and I almost lost that one!). The rest of the eggs were scooped up in approximately point one seconds. Kids came rushing by with Easter baskets the size of small Samsonites and pillow cases full of dozens of Easter eggs. Sam clutched his lone egg til his tiny knuckles were white. I hid and re-hid his one egg to prolong the fun. He genuinely got a kick out of finding his second egg; now that he got the hang of how the egg hunt worked. But the second time I hid Sam's initial egg for him, 4 kids came zooming at it, squealing in greedy delight. Elise's arm shot off, nearly clotheslining one kid toting around enough eggs to make a Denver omelet the size of Montana. We stuck around long enough to see that some of the latecomers didn't get any eggs at all, so we hope, if nothing else, Sam learned a lesson in greed.

He did enjoy his first caramel and he got to see the Easter Bunny and even sit in the fire engine that brought the bunny to the event. After a long Saturday playing in the heat with Nanny-Boo and Aunt Jackie, we went to a new place in Stuart called Pee-Wee, PF Chingie's little brother and Sam ate egg noodle and opened his first fortune cookie which read, "Now is a good time to make new friends" :) He fell asleep in the car on the way home at 6:30 which meant...........

He woke up at 5:30 this morning (yeah for Dad!) :) So we went for a pre-dawn walk to get the mail and came home and get Mom ready for church. Everyone dressed to the 9's. Especially Sam. Rather than leave Sam in the nursery, we decided to all churchgo together as a family so we sat in the "cry room".

This was our first time in the cry room. For some reason, I was under the impression that the cry room was for restless children who couldn't sit still with the rest of the congregation, but, let me tell you, it was a rough crowd in this cry room. When you have to take your child out of the cry room because he is too loud, something is wrong with the cry room! Needless to say, we had the most active child in the cry room. We knew he wouldn't sit still. But the other parents made us feel like he was a wild animal we had found outside and let loose inside. Again, isn't that what the cry room is for?!?! He did share his books with the boy next to us and visa-versa ("...making new friends", he was taking his fortune a little too literally). Elise and I missed the entire sermon, so I'm hoping Barry starts podcasting them on Monday mornings so I can download it and listen to it later!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Baby Jessica

Sam has a lot of nicknames. Sometimes we call him "Baby Jessica" after Jessica McClure who, in 1989, at the age of 18 months, fell down a well in Midland, Tx. Sam has the uncanny ability to maneuver himself into a situation from which only Houdini would be able to escape. Rescuers worked around the clock to free Baby Jessica as the nation watched on CNN. Fortunately, we have yet to call in the National Guard, but I'm afraid it is only a matter of time.

One of Sam's favorite spots is behind the armchair in our bedroom. He steps up onto the bottom shelf of the adjacent bookcase and squeezes himself around one arm and behind the chair. His circumnavigation of the chair brings him to the starboard side, whereupon he conveniently wedges himself between the opposite arm and a table. His cries of distress become more panicked the longer he is pinned. We try not to let him get to Defcon 1. The thing is, as soon as we extricate him from the trap, he wriggles from our grasp and immediately proceeds to step on the bottom shelf of the bookcase and retrace his steps only to find himself in the exact same predicament all over again.

Our son is by no means a dummy. He is simply driven--as I imagine most toddlers are--by his insane and insatiable curiosity.

Yesterday, was perhaps Sam's finest Baby Jessica trick. I was in his bathroom when I heard his distressed whimpering. I look over and he has somehow wedged his head underneath the crib. He was stuck. I blanked for a minute, genuinely wondering how I was going to pop his head out, before it dawned on me to just pick the crib up and let him slide free. I just makes me wonder what Elise and I can look forward to in the future!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Run for the Border

The title of this blog does not refer to the ongoing drug conflict along the Mexican border. It symbolizes my Friday "Guilt-Free-Confession"......Skunkin and I went to Taco Bell. Eeks! There. I said it. But before I am vilified for subjecting my son to the 4th meal, let me just say, Taco Bell is not kid friendly. First of all, they don't have a kid's menu, per se. Yes, I ordered Sam a $.99 cheese quesadilla which he showed absolutely no interest in (why is that every time Elise and I go out and order something for Sam off the kiddie menu he shows absolutely no interest in it, whereas if we were to decide not to order something for him he would accuse of us intentionally starving him to death, i.e. the $7 bowl of mac and cheese (brief aside: yes! $7 for mac and cheese!!!) at CPK he acted like was a bowlful of rat poison). Instead, he happily munched on the gooey fried bread of my Chalupa shell. (yes, a Chalupa. Hey, I went all out, okay?) Second of all, they don't have milk. None. Nada. No tienen leche. The woman didn't even understand what I was asking for so she gave me 2 soda cups like I was going to give Sam Mt. Dew (which, now that I think about it, she's probably seen a lot of). I even asked her for "leche", but she told me Taco Bell doesn't have leche. No leche. Ay carumba!

Not to say that our Run For The Border was the highlight of our day. I had to run to Zero Beach this morning to attempt to resuscitate my slowly imploding career in commercial real estate. I don't want to jinx myself, but someone must have fired up the defibrillator. A positive meeting with Planet Fitness for 11,360 sf was followed by a call on our last vacancy. Recession schmession. Meanwhile, Sam played with his 2 favorite playmates after Mom and Dad. Nanny and Aunt Jackie. If Sam is still struggling with separation anxiety, he didn't show it this morning. I went to say goodbye and he waved me off like I was a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman or a Hare Krishna, "Yeah yeah yeah seeya later, old man. I got someone new to play with!"

I nixed a trip to fix the thermostat on the hot water heater in the condo partly due to my complete ignorance in all things plumbing and took Skunkin to the Juno pier instead. We met an older gentleman sporting a Wharton t-shirt and a Dartmouth ballcap who showed us a wallet shot (he needed an LBB (little brag book :) of his 14-month old granddaughter. When we asked him if he'd caught anything he replied, "Not much but a good bit of sunshine and fresh air." I appreciated that response. Sam chased the

{break in writing to comfort son who couldn't find his pacey}

Sam chased the terns up and down the pier. No one was catching anything, except a few surfers in a half-decent swell.

I heard Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" a few times on 95.5 today. I turned it up every time with a shout out to Hewie. I was feeling down last night. Maybe I was just tired. Even today, rested, I couldn't stay ahead of this kid. But by distilling a few moments from today, I was able to conclude that one can weather most anything given sunshine, fresh air and.......loud music. Go ahead. Crank it up....


#8, 9 & 10

At the native American museum in DC

Botanical monks

Cherry blossom festival.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

....Too Tired to Blog

I've been chasing around an F5 baby all day. I swear all that I recall of today is cleaning up after him. I'm sponging up a puddle of milk when a box of emery boards explodes behind me. I start gathering those up and then the contents of my bedside table leap for the floor: secret bag of electrical converters, collectible coins, sunglasses, wristwatches, the Easter Bunny. *sigh* (Not that I'm complaining, Hewie! :)

We managed to tucker each other out today. A twilight walk around the neighborhood, ended up on the Valencia green playing with Sam's girlfriends (just in case there are blades of grass in the crib in the morning). I feel much better because I think he needed that.

Oh and he pooped in Jidou's office....AGAIN! Okay, once would be happenstance. Twice a coincidence. If he does it again, it's a trend...and a sign.


The newest naval academy cadet curousing around the Capitol looking for shopping babes.


Monks does the annapolis harbour


Monks does the Amish market

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I don't know what we did today that tuckered Sam out so much. He was rolling on the floor of his room fighting sleep at 6:30. I knew I had to act fast to avert Morpheus' grasp, so I strapped Sam into the jogging stroller for a quick tour of the alleyways of Valencia. 45 minutes later he was zonked out in the stroller. He never opened his eyes again, not as I carefukky hoisted him from the stroller and up three flights of stairs, not as I changed his diatey and gave him his blanket and kissed him goodnight.

The highlight of our day was most likely the tortoise rescue. As we were walking out the front door on our way to the pool (which was, disappointingly, closed. The deluge of yesterday flooded the pump room and fried the pump) we spotted a huge tortoise ambling down the sidewalk. Sam and I knew we had to act quickly in order to save this poor turtle's life. Sure enough, he was eyeing Galicia Way with thoughts of crossing to the wooded preserve where the other gopher tortoises live. So I commandeered Sam's walking cart and dropped the turtle in and scooted him across the street. Sam approved.

Afterwards, since our pool was closed, we went to the Jupiter community pool instead. But it was cold and univiting and perhaps a little too vast for Sam's liking. He never showed much exuberance for the idea, so I didn't push it. Instead, we watched the divers spring off the boards for half an hour then came home for dinner.

Dinner is usually followed by a bath. Sam is getting much better at shampooing his own hair (and Dad's leg hair! :)


Organic monkey snacks

Necessity is the Mother of all Invention

Elise is going to kill me when she reads this blog....... :)

Sam has this little plastic contraption aptly called "The Snack Trap". It is a plastic cup with a lid that has slits cut into it so that he is able to reach in for O's or Goldfish (oh yeah, and raisins and other healthy snacks, too), but not spill them everywhere (not spill them, that is, until he learned to hold down on of the flaps in the top with one hand while holding the cup upside down with the other).

We take the snack trap with us when we go to Bucky's or a ride in the car. It has become especially useful in tiding Sam over on our morning run. Until he pitches the cup from the stroller like he did the other morning and I ran over it cracking it in two.

I'm supposed to go to Toys R Us to buy a new one, but hadn't made it there yet and couldn't find the cracked snack trap (I think Elise threw it away), so I cleverly crafted a new one. Now everyone thinks we let our baby snack on salted almonds all day long!


Goodmorning! Dewie fresh :)