Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I've been working on the railroad...

...because if your child builds a railroad to nowhere, but desperately wants that hanging ledge of track teetering on the edge of the train table to reach the ground, you have to help him.

That first bridge is a doozy.

Thomas and Co make it safely to the ground.

And go back for more.

Meanwhile, as I'm busy with feats of engineering, Ciaran is discovering that hitting his fish is absolutely hilarious.

He also loves to be a big boy sitting up in a big kid high chair.

Olympic Fever

Beckett has become obsessed with curling. At first he called it hockey. Now he calls it hopscotch. In any case if he sees it on he desperately wants to watch it. "We USA, 'merica. We're red." It gets a little confusing if we're throwing yellow rocks in that round or if we've changed to blue shirts, but as long as we stick with cheering for America we do alright. As we watched the other day we decided to try some curling on our own. Beckett started throwing my slippers down the living room and then grabbed his little mop. Living room curling was born.

Skip Beckett ready for the throw with draw weight and smooth release and other curling jargon.

We rotate and it's Mommy's turn to throw.
Sweep, Beckett, sweep!!!!
Ciaran is practicing to join the Olympic jumping team.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A blue so blue

Beckett has a story book titled, "A Blue So Blue." A little boy dreams of a beautiful blue color and spends his time trying to find that perfect blue in the real world. He goes to a museum, he goes to the ocean, he goes to the desert to see Bedouin indigo head wraps, he listens to the blues and dips his brush in the blue notes, but it's never right. Then he goes home and realizes that it's his mother's beautiful blue eyes. Or in our house I guess he'd have to look at his dad or in the mirror. In any case I think the little boy was way off the mark because I can't think of any blue more perfect than this...

Unless maybe it's two of these little boxes staring at you like the most perfect set of eyes ever.

All I can say is, he didn't go to Jared!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Decade

Who are these young kids? Why, it's Chris and Dawnell on February 17, 2000. I sure hope they know what they are getting into. (Spoiler alert: I didn't, but lucky for me it has turned out even better than I could have expected).

And a decade later, after journeys together halfway around the world and all the way across the country, we've doubled our fun. Here's our family, version 2k10.

(by the way, this was going to be our Christmas card picture this year, but we never quite got around to getting those done. Still, thought we should eventually share this awesome picture).

And so, on our 10th Anniversary, I celebrate my love for a wonderful wife, mother and friend with two eloquent quotes, one from a 20th century British novelist, and the other from the greatest movie of the 20th century.

The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one’s relationship has a growing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.

Hugh Walpole, Sr.

Happy anniversary, happy anniversary, happy anniversary, happy anniversary! Happy happy happy happy happy anniversary! Happy happy happy happy happy aniversary. Happy happy happy happy happy an....SHUT IT!

How true! Our love is the most wonderful of all things, and, eh, it could have been worse. So won't you join me in wishing Dawnell a happy, happy, happy, happy, happy anniversary!

Happy Tenth Anniversary, Love.

From Your, For the Next 7 Months, Hot Younger Wife

Nothing says, "I love you uniquely," like stealing another's ideas to express your own feelings. However, I see from the post below that I am in good company. And since I was delighted by the stolen sentiments I received I can only hope that you, Chris will feel the same.


No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.

Pablo Neruda, 1959

...so I love you because I know no other way

*****Editor's note, Chris was sad that his awesome post with video got bumped by my sedate non English post because he was sneaky and set his to post immediately at 12:01am. So I moved him up to the top. A picture is worth a thousand words after all.*****

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The new symbol of Valentine's Day

Beckett came down with an awful stomach bug a few days ago and it's been decimating our family ever since. Ciaran woke up throwing up and I was down for the count all day as well. Chris also feels yucky but somehow managed to be the healthiest person over age 2 in the house. Of course today Beckett feels great and wants to play all day. Chris gave me the best Valentine's Day present ever which was a day filled with sleep and limited movement so I didn't puke. He was a trooper with the kids, especially since our day started pretty early with the upchucking Boodle. In the immortal words of the ecard Chris sent me:

"You make me feel like a pudgy, naked, winged child has shot an arrow into my chest cavity.

Hopefully that arrow contains anti-viral medication for all of us."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Louis' Lunch

The Travel Channel had what they called a "Chowdown Countdown" the past few weeks in which they counted down the 100 best places in the country to "chow down." Now, granted, any list that doesn't include Salt Lake's Red Iguana is flawed, but we were intrigued when the #1 place in the entire country was in New Haven, CT - a short 60 mile trip up I-95 from us.

And so it was that we packed up on a Saturday in February to visit Louis' Lunch, allegedly the best place to chowdown in the country.

The reason that Louis takes the top spot is that they are, according to lore, the place that invented the hamburger. I have a hard time believing that nobody else had ever thought of placing meatloaf inside Earl of Sandwich's invention, but whatever.

Louis cooks their hamburgers in a broiler standing up. This is how they have done it since 1895, when they invented the hamburger. And they still do it the same way, with a hamburger patty placed between two pieces of white bread and your choice of limited toppings, including tomato, onion, and cheese.

Here's a picture of the broiler:

Here's Dawnell, the Dude, and the Boodle all waiting for their hamburgers. Louis is small. Very small. I realize it's the same building since the early 1900's, but still, a bit too small.

And here they are in front of the place...

Afterwards we stopped off at the New Haven Ikea and almost convinced ourselves to purchase a kid's bedroom storage system. I also feel in love with the Hopen bedroom collection

Beckett was exhausted after his long day and feel asleep on his soccer ball.

So, was it the best place to Chowdown? No, obviously not. The burgers were barely average, but it certainly felt like we were partaking of Americana. If you are truly looking for the "best" hamburger I've ever had, might I suggest Crown Burger or The Shake Shack.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Beckett loves to help brother

The other day I left the room for a moment and came back to find Beckett helping his brother. I had been concerned that Ciaran was a little constipated so I had tried giving him a bottle of water the night before. I had left it on the bedside table that morning and didn't think any more about it until I saw this:

"Beckett," I say, "What are you doing?" "I feedin' brother," he replies.

Ah, that makes perfect sense.

He got distracted since I was in there asking questions and the bottle slipped. Ciaran wanted big brother to get on the ball.

So close...it's almost in my mouth!
Beckett pays attention and we have success.