Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another Day

We took Chloe to the Dr. this morning.  She has a teary eye and we were looking into that.  Cora did not go to work until afterwards.  Just before Cora headed to work, though, she managed to pull her hurt me looking at her after she did it.  I gave her a bottle of Advil and sent her off to work.  She's stubborn and insisted on going to work.  She DID manage to get off early and she saw the Chiropractor.  I served her a special Pepsi and hope that will lead to less's still early, though.   

Chloe stayed with me.  I fed her and then played with her on the carpet for an hour until she started being a pill, which is a sure sign that it's time for nap.  She gave me three minutes of crying before falling silent and sleeping for 2 1/2 hours.

When she got up, she was in a great mood.  I had washed and dried her first lovie, giving her two to play with.  However, she likes to throw them over the fence and then wonders why she doesn't have them.  So, I played the game and teased her with them upon returning them to her.  She thought that was hilarious!

 Yet, she returned the lovies to the other side shortly thereafter...
 Later, before bedtime, I let her where my looks huge on her, but she didn't mind, she went straight to the mirror.
 "Really, Dad? Isn't this a little big?"
 And, finally, here is a shot of the new power line to the house next door.  I liked the lines and the color, well, it looks ok, too.
I can't believe Spring Break is almost over.  I need to wish my sister and my brother-in-law a happy anniversary.

I'd really like to divulge her brilliant plan for a getaway with the family on a train ride, but, I fear I could not keep a straight face.  Let's just say things did not go as planned, and while it may have been an excruciating day for her, it was at least entertaining to her brother as she texted him the details.  I love you Sis and I hope you all get some rest!!  Happy anniversary!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More Walk

 We saw some interesting things on our walk.
 But the scene below shows Hurricane Chloe in action.

Happy Anniversary to my Grandparents and my sister!!

the long road

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Early Birthday Present

The best birthday present ever!  But, first, I need to tell you about the rest of the day.
 Again I spent the day with my lovely daughter.  She was awesome and took two short naps.  She was much easier to deal with today.  I don't know if it was because I learned not to expect more out of her or whether she was just in better spirits, either way, we had a good day.  I worked on cleaning the house.  But that did not keep me from having several breaks where I just held her for several minutes.

I do love me some daughter loves.  She was so sweet before and after each nap.  I would hold her and she just laid her head on my chest and let me rock her.  If that doesn't melt your heart, well, I just don't think a nuclear powered blast furnace would do the trick, either.  She was super cute today, too.  Her mother decided NOT to leave it up to Dad to dress her (phwew!).

Although, the bottoms of that particular outfit seem cursed, since they only lasted until the second poopy diaper.  I'm just guessing, but, Daddy might not pay as strict attention to diaper alignment when the daughter is attempting to emulate a dramatically dying snake.  So, we changed to jeans.

Later in the day, I was taking a breather from sweeping and mopping, when I saw the daughter doing something and giggling.  I investigated.  She was leaning on her head and then holding both arms out wide.  She did it for over five minutes; I even got video.  This photo will have to do, though.  I don't know what the point was or why she thought it was so funny, but it WAS freaking cute!
 I began a roast early in the day.  I also cleaned the entire kitchen.  It looks MUCH better.
 I mopped, too.  Look at that floor!  Shiny and pretty.
 I even arranged the fruit and onions...what?  Onions don't belong in a fruitbowl??
 I even put a few flowers on the table.
 Chloe remained cute and lovable.  Tell me she isn't cute, I dare ya!
 When Cora got home she was surprised!  I told her I'd be cleaning, but I don't know if she expected the house to look like it did.  She decided to give me my birthday gift early.

I'd better explain this before I go on, though.  We both are on Facebook.  Everyone always leaves a happy birthday message on everyone else's wall.  I decided I did not want to be just another person saying "Happy Birthday" for the fortieth time.  So, a few months back, I began leaving rhyming couplets on the birthday person's wall. After awhile they became several couplets.  Well, it got to become a thing that people expected.  My favorite involved wishing the person (a baker) would look into research, "no matter what it ends up costing/ in developing, given the number of candles you'll need, a flame retardant frosting."  Well, Cora cannot be outdone!  Here is what she sent me in an e-mail:

My husband has many talents
He keeps them all in balance
By writing birthday wishes
And keeping tropical fishes
His art is renowned by 4th graders
And he often studies craters
Although Airplanes are a true passion
He works to keep Chloe in fashion
A Kindle he wanted on his birthday
He thinks he will get something else this day
His wife and daughter think he is the best
So we have hidden something behind a chest!
We hope he finds it soon as he will be over the moon!

Well, this is what I found, after a brief search. 

 My very OWN AMAZON KINDLE!!!!!!!!  I don't know exactly how to EVEN match this gift!  She somehow sneaked this into the house and hid it for over a month.  Then she misled me into thinking she had bought me some "Other" books on my wishlist on Amazon!!  She is...well, words fail me.  I love this woman very much!  She has to be the very best wife ever!!!!  I KNOW IT!!

She, then, took the girl and read her a story...or in this particular case, sung.  While I unwrapped and charged and registered my absolutely AWESOME Kindle!
Dinner was great! It was a roast that I put in the crock pot with carrots, sweet onion, and potatoes.  Nice soft food.  On about the third bite into that wonderful dinner, after I had gotten this wonderful gift from my wife, I found something in my food that didn't seem right.

I never had the best teeth.  I have a couple crowns and a bridge.  I hate the dentist, but he loves me.

My third bite tasted just as good as the first two, but there was something different...something...hard.  OH MY GOD!!  That is a bone!  Then I realized it was a roast, then the thought crossed my mind:  BULLET!  Then I realized all was not right with other parts of my mouth...this was a CROWN!  A damned crown had chosen this particularly happy moment to fall off the stub of tooth that it protected.  Son of a-a-a-... shit.

Well, I took it in the bathroom. cleaned it and replaced it.  Tomorrow I will have to get it reattached.  I also need to get the snow tires off of Cora's car.  Tomorrow will be a busy birthday!  At least, I have a...wait for it...KINDLE!!!!!!!  No matter.  I have a wonderful wife and a lovely daughter, That's all I really needed for a happy birthday, but the Kindle, definitely makes it better!

Thanks Cora!  I love you!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Eighteen month-olds can be quite contrary.  Our little ...angel...figured out how to turn the television off.  and on. and off.  and on  and off.  and on.  and off.  and on and off and on and off and on and off and on and off and on and off and on and off and...well, maybe you get the picture.  To top off, our ...angel... knows what the word "NO" means, but, after pausing for a FRACTION of a second, does it anyway.  She was getting on Dad's last nerve, so we packed up in the middle of Sesame Street and went for a walk.  I put her in the stroller and we got the mail and walked through the park.  By the end of it we were both back on good terms with each other and we could speak civilly...that is I could.  She doesn't have much more than the word WAHHHHHHHHH at her disposal, and that is an omni-dimensional, multi-meaning word.

She had a good lunch and played for about 40 minutes before heading off for a nap.  I had been watching the Battle of the Bulge with Henry Fonda, but their use of American tanks put me off.  I switched to Strategic Air Command, with Jimmy Stewart.  This is MUCH better.  B-36s!!

Here are some pictures from our walk so you won't have any problems with my posting.

 Yeah, she's in an alley.  I thought it was a cool shot.
 Chloe seemed to enjoy the outing.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Slow Sunday, Week to Come...

We are still recovering from colds around here...I think we are all ready to bid the cold virus goodbye.  In fact, seeing it to the door politely is unlikely, but throwing it out on the street on its hind quarters would probably have us all smiling.  As a result of Cold Virus love, we took it fairly easy today.

I have much to look forward to this week, though.  I will be the full time caretaker of The Girl.  I am mildly curious as to how that will play out.  Cora has filled my head with nap-times, feeding schedules, and any number of grooming, dressing, and general care tips.  I'm pretty sure most of that information slipped out the same way it came in.  I'm not afraid.  We, the two of us, have made it together for a day at a time before.  It's just a general dread in the back of my head.  I don't know that I have the same Maternal instincts that Cora has.  Chloe and I have a good relationship, but it is more of one between playtime friends...

We will get along fine, but I am worried about what she likes to watch on TV.  I know what I like to watch during the day.  I am generally fond of the History Channel, but in deference to my daughter, we may watch the Discovery Channel.  I don't know if I will lower my standards to Nick Jr. or anything like that.  Who knows, Chloe may have a taste that takes in "Great Tank Battles" or "Great Planes."  If all else fails, I know I can put "Tora, Tora, Tora" in and we will likely have a very nice afternoon!

Speaking of military aircraft...(what's that?  Yes, I was.  Have a watch of Tora, Tora, Tora and tell me what you see), I noted a Lockheed P-3 Orion flying over today.  Was I ever happy to see it...however, just as with the Growler of a week or so ago, I was caught only semi-prepared.  I got a picture of it going instead of coming.  Alas, that should be fixed this week.  Since I will be home all week, I expect to clear a path between my camera and the outside door with a site on taking portraits of our overhead visitors.

Hopefully the US Navy will provide Camera fodder a couple times this week.  Of course, standing on the runway centerline would be more my idea of the perfect shot, the FAA seems to have different ideas and the closest I could come would be the museum...drat.  So, backyard fuselage shots is likely all I will have.

Mind you, I will have to fit all my shenanigans into the napping schedule.  No more running off to the top of the hill just because I hear the big guns in action...I have to plan ahead now.  Oh, what has happened to my freedom?  Ah, well.  This will of course call for more visits to air museums.  You have to ignite the fire of curiosity early, after all.

We had our dinner, which was a nice soup mix that we got for Christmas.  It was really good.  I don't usually go for that kind of soup, but today, it hit the spot.  Chloe had her dinner and then we got her ready for bed.  Cora read her some stories and I made the requisite changes in lighting, sound, and stage.  I also gave Chloe a kiss on the cheek before she went to bed.

 She really gets engrossed in her books.  She is particularly fond of this "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb."
 Dum, Ditty, Dum, Ditty, Dum!

Cora has been listening to Pandora on her new phone.  It is an online radio.  I decided to try it out tonight. know?!  It's pretty cool.  You type in a song you like and it attempts to match other songs to it.  So when I typed in Mumford & Sons, it gave me a bunch of songs with similar characteristics to that band.  When I typed in Paint It Black, by the Stones, it let me listen to that and then it brought up Hotel California.  Maybe not as similar as I would have expected, but still a song I love and identify with.

As the hour grows later, that tickle in my throat is trying to scratch itself a place in my neck.  It wants to keep me up.  Cora is exhausted as it is, she is fighting this cough and cold with every last ounce of her being.  I hope NOT to follow her example, but the Cold Virus is a heinous foe.

Let's hope the Cold Virus goes hiking soon!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday, Here In The Park...

I think it was the fourth of July!

OK, I wasn't really in the park, and it's really, I guess I got a song stuck in my head.  Sorry.

Yesterday, Chloe was the cutest little girl ever.  And the day before that, and the day before that, get the point.  Cora put her hair up in duel ponies!  She was also wearing a Beatles T-shirt I insisted we buy.  I think she looks awesome in it.   
  She likes to play with my shoes when I leave them near her.  It gave me a chance for a photo, so I did not complain.
 Cora's cold has taken a turn for the miserable.  She was up all night coughing.  She moved to her chair so she could breathe.  She ALSO took care of Chloe when she awoke, and I ended up having had a pretty restful night.  I have to say, my wife is a wonderful woman.  Cora did not feel well all day, so I sent her to bed to rest.  She is still feeling somewhere under miserable.  I wish I could do more than just shovel cold meds into her.

My parents dropped by for a little while today.  Chloe welcomed the new entertainers, since I was beginning to wear on her a bit.
 They both read her stories and played with her and in general entertained her.  I took a few photos and had a good visit.  She particularly liked Grandma's lap it seemed, but Grandpa's was acceptable, too.
You can't help but love this picture!

It rained outside for most of the day...which, considering the choices, is better than raining INSIDE.  As we cleaned, I watched the birds outside.  I noticed, yesterday, that the first goldfinches had returned.  Today, I watched them eating our seed.  We have gold finches, house finches, sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, sometimes starlings and a finch of some sort that has an orange crest...I cannot wait to see the birds we attract this summer!

The house is semi-clean and we are relaxing...a bit.  It was a good day.

Saturday, Spring Break Begins

It is the beginning of Spring Break, and like many of the students I polled yesterday, I have nothing in particular planned.  I'll be staying home with Chloe...but maybe she and I will make some road trips.  I'm thinking she needs to be exposed to airplanes.  Maybe she and I will make our way to the local air museum and share some father-daughter-plane time.  I hear that's important.  I may also take her to some of the places I have been drooling over for photographic reasons...I need a model.

I might also introduce her to taking pictures of barns and stuff...

As for today, I guess we have nothing much planned, maybe some groceries and some cleaning, but the weather precludes swimming or sun bathing.  If only we had a maid...

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Daffodil

Spring is beginning to take hold.  Little by little, it gets to be bold.
You can tell by the lengthening daylight hours, and the wonderful blooming flowers.
let the green come back strong, and lets enjoy it as Spring comes along!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


 The seasons are changing...slowly.  Of course, season changes here happen slowly.  Still, our Daffodils seem to have their calendars set just right.

Chloe continues to make leaps and bounds.  She has not been taking bottles as well as she was, but she DOES seem to like this new straw thingie...
 And she wasn't complaining when I fed her this afternoon...shortly after nap time.  She ate toast (buttered) and yogurt.
 I think her after-nap hair is cute!
When Cora comes home, we are standing (Chloe is) in the window (on the sill).  Chloe gets so excited that she bangs on the window.  Cora smiles when she hears the banging and sees the Chloe in the window.

I get to teach high school tomorrow.  Should be a nice day.  Not often that I teach high school biology these days!  The high schoolers should offer a sweet refrain to the kinders I taught today!

The weather has been interestingly springy of late.  Clouds coming and going, rain, sun, rain, clouds, etc., etc.

Kindergarten Woes

I subbed for a kinder class today.  I always know I'm in a kindergarten class room because there is not a minute to spare to look at the plans.

Here is an eight second excerpt from my day, it goes a little like this:

"Hi, Mr. H!!"  "Mr. H, look what I can do!"  "Mr. Awesome, you're a good drawer!"  "Mr. H, Claire pulled my hair."  "NO, I DIDN'T!"  "He hit me."  "Josh pushed me down when I was outside."  "I have to go pee."  "Mr. H, can I go read in the teacher's chair?"  "Mr. H, can you draw a dinosaur?"  "Mr. H, she's not s'posed to sit in the teacher's chair."  "He pinched me."  "Can I chew gum?"  "Mr. H. can you draw Sponge Bob?"   "Can you draw me?"  "When's lunch?"  "Is it time to go home,yet?"  "Hi, Mr. H! Draw me a picture!"    "Do you like horses?"  "Sammy put gum up his nose."  "I have a Hannah Montana shirt at home."  "Mr. H, why are you rubbing your forehead?"

All of these statements are uttered in varying volumes and at varying rates, but all are timed to coincide with each other, so as to make logical thought nearly impossible.  This barrage of questions, statements, and anecdotes are expected to be answered with split-second timing, as their little minds rapidly switch gears and a late answer only serves to confuse them and you.

My favorite answer is, "NO."

Another problem is personal space.  Five and six year olds don't appear to recognize that 20 bodies don't fit in a three foot circle, yet, that is how many of them they try to fit in to the three foot circle surrounding the teacher.  They also seem to think that you can't hear them that close unless they are bellowing.

Calm, relaxed, patient, and slow are not words I would ever use to describe a kindergarten class.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mountain View

 This is what I saw on my way to work.
 The moon still looks pretty big.
 We live in a very scenic area.  You can see two volcanoes.

 I took this photo on the way home.
And Chloe was in great spirits!!  I picked her up after nap at Nana's.  We played and snacked and just had fun.  She was in a good mood!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Perigee Clouds

 As most of you know, the full moon was at Perigee the other day.  A morning or so later, I drove to work and this is what I saw, only, lighter and further away...ah, but I love photo programs.  I tweaked it and the color above is what you get when you try to show the details of the moon.  It was huge.  But, since this is Wednesday, I decided to tweak it a little further.
OK, here's what it REALLY looked like.  See, it just doesn't pop, plus it was taken through the windshield.  Here in Washington it is illegal to use you cell phone while driving...I'm PRETTY sure it doesn't say ANYTHING about large SLR cameras...

 Then, today, I came home from work and saw all these wonderful clouds making their way across the sky.  I paused near the apple orchards and took a photo or twelve.  None quite looked right, until I tweaked it...
 I like the simple lines of this building.  I suppose if I got out of the truck it might look better.
 and, well, I can't improve on this one!
I taught fifth graders today.  It was a good bunch.  I'd never subbed for them before, but many of them knew me.  I went ahead and went through my spiel ( you know, "you can call me Mr. H, Mr. Awesome," etc.), and they got a kick out of that.  Then, when we were walking through the halls and some kids from another class said, "Hi Mr. Awesome!!!"  I waved at them without turning.  I heard one boy in my class whisper to another, "He really IS famous!"  It's things like that that make me smile.

Chloe slept better last night!  You have no idea how nice that was.  I think we both got more rest, but then we  may have gone the other direction, worrying about NOT hearing anything...yeah, we just can't win.

She has a bad habit of standing on top of her rocking horse.  We have been addressing this issue trying to wear her down.  We have resorted to a time out chair.  This is what she looks like after she has stood up on the horse and we put her on the time out chair...

the long road