Sunday, August 31, 2008

Our Little Football Fan - Opening Game

Yesterday we piled the family in the car and drove down for one of UVa's biggest college football games in recent memory -- against the #3 USC Trojans. It was a beautiful day, but that stadium is hot hot hot in late Aug/early Sep especially with 65,000 people there. Kickoff was 3:30, weather was in the 90s, and our seats are directly in the sun. In spite of the oppressive heat and my team getting crushed, we all had a pretty good time, especially Sweetpea. As we were walking up to the stadium - E on my shoulders and throngs of people all around - E spots the stadium, points, and shouts "Look, look! Over there! There it is! It's there, it's there! Over that way!"

Proud moment #1 for Daddy.

We had an extra ticket and had to get rid of it. Initially, I had E on my shoulders and walked around holding up a ticket asking if anyone needed one. It didn't take long for her to snatch the ticket out of my hands. I put her down, and she walked along with Mommy, holding the ticket up and doing her best to help out, saying "Who needs a ticket?" My little scalper.

Proud moment #2 for Daddy.

Sweetpea got lots of comments on her outfit. It was from last year, so a little small, but Mommy cleverly suggested that she wear shorts underneath, which worked out perfectly. And she wore it well.

Once in the stadium, we went to the seats, making it just in time for kickoff. Because of the aforementioned heat, it was really necessary to take breaks from the sun and hang out on the concourse. When Susan took her down for the first time, E looked back through the tunnel and said "I want to go back! I want to go back with Daddy!" Something tells me though that she wanted more football.

Proud moment #3 for Daddy.

When we were all back at the seats, E made herself comfortable across Mommy & Daddy's laps. But there was a problem. People were blocking her view. She couldn't see the action on the field. "I can't see!" Upon sitting her up, she noticed people waving their towels for a big play and joined in with some towel waving and pom-pom shaking.

Proud moment #4 for Daddy.

By the half it was pretty clear that we had to leave early. The game was getting out of hand and the heat was getting to everyone. We had gone through two shaved ices (mostly eaten by E with some from Mommy) and a couple bottles of water. Thing about those shaved ices is the syrup they put on -- pure sugar. Sweetpea was running around like a crazy girl in the picnic area within the stadium. She wanted to keep hanging from the lowest branches of the trees there and would summarily do some pull-ups, counting off each one. With Daddy's help, of course. Still, while Mommy & Daddy were dragging, Sweetpea was ready to go.

Proud moment #5 for Daddy.

E didn't get a nap so we really needed to get her dinner and get on the road so that, hopefully, she would fall asleep on the 2.5 hr drive back. We left midway through the 3rd Qtr and made the long hike back to the car. E was in great spirits the whole way back. The heat and the outcome of the game didn't matter. Which is a valuable lesson for Daddy who, occasionally, expresses some unhappiness when his team loses. Mommy gets serious props too -- she really hung in there and took most of the E duty in the stadium so that I could watch the game.

We stopped at a local establishment for some quick eats and left town. E stayed awake for a good hour-and-a-half before finally dropping off. Mommy did likewise.

All in all, a good outing. My brainwashing seems to be working. My little one loves football and loves Daddy's team. Now if I can only get her to stop calling it baseball..

Go Hoos Go!

- Rich

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stupid Toddler Trick #119

To further demonstrate Sweetpea's ability to mimic (and to add more posts from Daddy -- this isn't just Mommy's blog ya know!), here is an older video of another movie quote. This one is near and dear to my heart. She needed a little prompting, but she got it! Voice inflection and all!

The quote is from the movie Coming to America which is easily Eddie Murphy's cinematic tour-de-force. Sweetpea is doing the following quote from Arsenio Hall's character "the Reverend" during the beauty pageant scene:

" look so good...Someone oughta...slap you on a plate...and sop you up with a biscuit!"

In searching for this video, I ran across several other cute ones that I'll post later on. Good thing that E doesn't know how to surf the Web yet, cuz she would *hate* me for posting this stuff.

- Rich

She must have overheard this someplace else

Tonight at dinner:

Elizabeth: I'm going to be a big sister.
Me: Yes, yes you are.
E: 'Cause I have a baby in my tummy.
M: You do?
E: Yes. Oooh. The baby is really moving around.
E: My tummy hurts because the baby is really kicking!
E: Wow, feel that!
M: !!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Imitation is not always flattering

Since January, I've been either working from home or looking for work from home. The office in the attic keeps me occupied, and generally I don't have much contact with Elizabeth and Gee during the day. I'll pop down for a drink, or just to say hi, but they spend a lot of time out of the house. Sometimes I run errands in the neighborhood and run into them out and about, which is always fun.

Last week I went out on foot for a quick Target run (oh, how I love the new Target only 10 minutes walk from my house!) and slice of pizza at lunch, and headed home with a couple of small bags. Fifteen minutes after I got home, I was still downstairs, when Elizabeth burst through the door - Mommy, Mommy, I saw you walking with your bags! I looked quizzically at Gee, who said they were eating lunch at the Chinese restaurant when I walked by.

"Yes, mommy, I saw you walking with your bags and you were walking just like this!" And this will only mean something to my parents and brother - my daughter proceeded to do a spot on, perfect imitation of our crazy Pocomoke neighbor Martha walking up Second Street to Newberry's or perhaps the pharmacy to torture our friendly local neighborhood merchants. She nailed it. Butt out, head forward, stern face, legs churning, arms pumping.

Here I thought I was enjoying a pleasant afternoon walk home from Target, when suddenly I've turned into crazy lady former neighbor Martha. Great. Luckily, she's not repeated her imitation. If she does I'll have to get it on camera, but I'm kinda hoping she forgets. Meanwhile, I've really got to work on my walk.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Remember the dream feed?

The "dream feed" is what you might do with your infant when s/he goes down to sleep at 7 pm or so for a 5 hour stretch. To keep them asleep longer, without really waking them up, you "top them off" with an extra feed to get a little extra sleep.

Luckily, we never did the dream feed. The "sleep experts" insist infants all go to sleep around 7 pm or so, and do their longest sleep stretch then. Well, if Mommy and Daddy are kind of night owls, it stands to reason that the baby might be a night owl too, right? And Elizabeth sure was - she was most active from say 7 pm til midnight, or 1 or 2 am on some nights. But then, I'd get the long 5 or 6 hour sleep stretch from 12, 1 am til 5, 6 am, which wasn't really bad at all. (And then of course at 6 week she started sleeping regularly from midnight til 8 am, so we had no complaints at all. None!).

So, we passed the infant stage with no need for the dream feed. Now, we're experiencing the dream potty break. For the most part, potty training has been a good thing. No more diapers, even at night. Which brings us to the dream potty break. Sometime between 10 pm and midnight, we hear her - oh mommy, oh daddy, I have to go potty! We walk in, get her up, to the potty, she sits with her eyes mostly closed, does her thing, and we put her back in bed, fully asleep before her body touches the mattress. Some nights we have two - the typical one at 11 pm, and another at 3, or 4 or 5 am. When you've got a good sleeper, it's hard to complain, but you know what? I'd like to go back to sleeping through the night. Especially before it becomes absolutely impossible again.

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

This is for Uncle Ryan down in New Zealand. Anyone who knows me knows my passion for football, especially college football. And, I'm passing that passion on to my daughter. Or, at least an appreciation for the game. Now if I can just get her to stop calling it baseball...

Take 1 - Should be "Wildcats. Football!", but Daddy cut it off at the start.

Take 2 - Getting the hang of it

For those not in the know, this is a quote from the end of the 1986 movie "Wildcats" in which Goldie Hawn plays a high school football coach for a team of misfits from an inner city school. One can imagine the hilarity that ensues. It also co-stars Wesley Snipes & Woody Harrelson.

Susan and I have also taught Elizabeth the various cheers from our alma maters. But Sweetpea has a definite penchant for Daddy's "Go Hoos Go!" (Virginia) over Mommy's "Chop" (FSU).


Thursday, August 14, 2008


OK, I seriously thought we had a few years before this kicked in.

A few snippets of conversations:

- Mommy, what's that? A tree. Why? Um, because a tree is growing there. Why? Ummmmm, because someone planted it there.

- Mommy, what are you doing? I need to go potty, wait right here (outside the door). Why? Because I need some privacy.

- Daddy, can I have a pancake? Sure, take this one, the first ones are burnt. Why? Because that's how that batch cooked. But why? Because Daddy wasn't paying attention.

- Mommy, what are you doing? Cutting the kitty's nails. Why? Because they are growing too long. Why? Because that's what they do and so they need to be cut.

Etc. Almost everything results in three little letters - Why?

I wish I knew.


Dancing Queen

If ever I wished I had a camera it was this past weekend at Target. Susan was in line waiting to check out, and Elizabeth followed me over to the pharmacy to pick up some allergy medicine. You know, the "over/behind the counter" pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D) that you now have to get from the pharmacist due to the fact that idiots use it to make crystal meth. But I digress.

As I was handing the young man behind the counter my ID to scan, I glance back at Elizabeth who is standing in the middle of the aisle. Without hesitation, E shouts out "I've gotta do my moves" and proceeds to crouch down, and wiggle her torso and rear-end in a bizarre little dance. She then jumps around and repeats the "move" with her back to me.

I turn around somewhat wide-eyed and see the young man grinning from ear-to-ear at my little girl's "rhythm." Not sure what to make of this, I say "She had to do her moves." To which the young man replies, "Yeah, I can see that."

Nobody puts Sweetpea in a corner.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Let me get right on that

Elizabeth has been exposed to a lot of nursing mothers and babies lately. And. She. Is. Fascinated. Obsessed, even.

She has started nursing her babies. And asked me to nurse her babies. And asked Rich to nurse her babies. Rich always refuses. He'll usually go along with nearly anything she ever suggests, but here he draws the line. Daddies don't make milk. Period. End of discussion.

She knows there's a baby coming. She knows it will drink Mommy's milk. She's not too sure on the rest of the details.

She's a pretty cuddly girl and sometimes like to curl up and pretend she is a baby.

So this past weekend, we're cuddling and she says, Mommy. I want to drink strawberry milk from you.

Um. I'll let you know when that's possible, sweetpea. For now, no.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Our Little Fashionista

Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Michael Kors, and Nina Garcia be damned! There's a new fashion expert in town, and her name is Sweetpea!

Occasionally, we have to change E's pajama bottoms in the middle of the night. After a few days, and having not done the laundry, we end up with more pajama shirts than bottoms in her drawer and have to get creative. So what would you say if you saw this in the mirror:

"Orange shirt? Yellow pants? They don't match!"

That's my girl. I guess it's never too early to take an interest in fashion. I'm the one that's had to break the matchy-matchy habit. I thought that things just have to "go" these days. There's some yellow in the sandals on the shirt! It goes!

Yeah, I'm not buying it either. At least it didn't interrupt the bedtime routine.

Sleep well my little fashionista!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine

Elizabeth has a fondness for popsicles, and on these hot days we let her indulge in the afternoon or for dessert after dinner. She can stretch out a popsicle for long minutes - slowly licking it so that it's mostly melted before she finishes. Me on the other hand, while I try to make it last, it's mostly chomp chomp chomp, gone before any melting occurs at all.

She loves it when we have popsicles at the same time as she does. Let's switch, Mommy! Can I taste yours? And when you ask to taste hers, she holds it out so tentatively you can barely get a slight lick in. But - she CHOMPS yours!

I tried to teach her the concept of "taste for a taste" the other day (something my brother and I were quite good about when we were kids). She wasn't buying it. Rather, she wanted to "switch" which in her world basically meant she got to hold both.

But come on, could you turn down this face?

Sunday, August 3, 2008


It is amazing to me how quickly toddlers can learn new things and adapt (how stubborn they can be when they don't want to adapt is another story).

Peaches are good. You like them. You have no idea where they come from, except mostly from a plastic container. So, suddenly you're plunked down in the middle of a field, you get a box, you see trees with peaches on them, and so you learn to pick peaches, not pick rotten peaches off the ground, choose ripe peaches, eat peaches, and insist on carrying your own box of picked peaches around.

Until of course you're full of walking and carrying boxes, so must be carried or lean against the nearest parent.

But best of all, the farm had animals! Including a cow named Elmo, who really liked being scratched on the neck. (By Mommy - Daddy won't touch livestock.)
And goats - which thankfully would eat long grass, so no need to get too close.
And best of all - lots of peaches at home, and peach/blueberry cobbler for dessert. OK, so she only wanted the ice cream and actually refused any cobbler. Some things take time to learn.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The roof

Rich decided to take the rest of the kitchen ceiling up to the studs, to see how badly everything was damaged. Short answer - badly. This area of the kitchen has a small porch/deck above it, off the master bedroom. Rich removed the rotten lathing, the rotten insulation, and examined the beams and the plywood base of the porch. All rotten. The awning is attached to the back of the house, but not under the porch. So, this should be a relatively simple carpentry job. Hahahahaha. Nothing is simple. But what we need to do is remove the awning, remove the existing porch, replace beams, and reinstall a wooden upper porch and screen porch off the kitchen.

Exactly like our neighbors. And, they got a nice larger porch/deck off the master bedroom, so that would be great. Simple, right?
Anyone in for a good old-fashioned barn-raising?

Friday, August 1, 2008

The dog days of summer

Have arrived. Happy August!