Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from our little pumpkin monsters to yours!

BTW, we closed on the old house today. Not without jumping over some more hurdles yesterday with deck encroachments, utility easements, yadda yadda, but 'tis a done deal. The house ordeal is finally over -- wooohooo!


Monday, October 30, 2006

Pumpkins Galore

Halloween has turned into a popular festive season for Owen & Gus -- and we aren't even to the candy part yet. The boys have been running to their closet on a daily basis, tugging at their dog costume, and happily issuing a barrage of "woof woof"s. Couple that with the joy of pointing out all the pumpkins on people's front porches, and it's safe to say the boys are pumped for Halloween.

This past weekend we ventured out to a pumpkin farm outside Apex where the boys thoroughly enjoyed their first pumpkin-picking experience. They were treated to a sea of pumpkins, a hayride-pulling tractor, and two donkeys. Later the boys got to finally put on their dog costumes and celebrate Trunk or Treat at our church.

Yes, I believe Halloween is going to be a favorite holiday for some time. Just wait til they figure out you get to eat chocolate on top of all the other fun. Cheers!

"I want that one, Mom!"

Gus doubles as a pumpkin.

"Wooohooo! C'mon brother, make the getaway while they're not looking!"

The honor system -- leave your money in the mailbox.

Mini pumpkins are just our size.

Big Red prepares for a Saturday of hayrides while Amy & Gus scope out the asses.

Dad explains that although eating the pen is fun, drawing a jack-o-latern face on the pumpkin with the pen is better.

Gus happily displays the decapitated pumpkin scalp.

Owen shows his lonely puppy dog eyes at Trunk or Treat before warming up to the crowd and running wild.

Gus immediately heads for Tigger and Pooh with keys in hand looking for an audience.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Name Wizard

Courtesty of Bill Simmons' Sports Guy column...

This is an entertaining site to test out how popular different names are. Like Def Leppard, I was popular in the 80's but on my way down. Young Gus is trying to make a comeback from his peak in the 1800's.

This would be good for anyone who naming a little one on the way. Enjoy!


Enemies of Childhood

Frank Deford had a great commentary today on Morning Edition about some schools around the country that are banning tag at recess. Enough already.

"Would you rather have your child running around or sitting on his fat rear end playing video games?"


Monday, October 23, 2006

Eight Guys and a Truck

The marathon moving weekend began on Friday with the loading and unloading of a 26-foot U-Haul behemoth and concluded when Chad & I unloaded the last of the dining room furniture on a dreary, rainy Sunday afternoon. Along the way friends and family helped us moved appliances, boxes, beds, the whole nine yards including three refrigerators four different times. Engineers we were not, but bound and determined we certainly were as we disassembled two fridges after putting our heads together on how to get them in and out of houses. I also gained a new respect for people who drive massive trucks for a living. I ran over a post with the U-Haul causing a traffic jam at the dump. I have never been so stressed driving a vehicle in my life.

The move has been a long, draining process that has spanned four weeks. Yet we are very fortunate and appreciative of all the help we have received from both sets of parents and a host of our friends who have invested their time & energy into helping us make the move much easier. We are truly grateful. Now our life is essentially a plethora of boxes to sort through in the coming weeks. But at least those boxes are under one roof and we won't have to shuffle back and forth from house to house.

Here were some shots of the move and the aftermath. Cheers!

The boys immediately relished their new playroom as they now have room to push their trucks and tractors, spread out their books, and pounce on their stuffed monkey. Free at last.

Pappy entertains the boys with Cinnamon Life cereal -- a Rutledge boy favorite -- and silly stories.

The moving crew pauses in front of an empty U-Haul for some hops & barley celebratory refreshment. (Pappy, GJ, Chad, Claudia, and Amy not pictured despite all their efforts.)

Sadly enough, our house TV didn't survive the move. We didn't drop it in the process, but there are now fuzzy lines across it and the picture is blurry. Amy thinks it was just a ploy to upgrade to a new HDTV for the living room. I'm shocked and appalled at the implication. ;-) As the sage Chad Guthrie pointed out, "Think of the children, Amy. Do you want them to grow up with impaired vision because of a shoddy TV?" Such wisdom.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Move

GJ and Pappy arrived in NC on Saturday and wasted no time getting to work. Their first night here we toured the new house and prepared for the move. When the boys finally crashed we all went to work painting, pulling up carpet and packing things in boxes. It is a lot of work, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Big move day is in three days on Friday. We're getting there....

Pappy knows no fear as he hoists himself atop an extension ladder for the hard-to-reach places that his son chickens away from.

Evidence of the flying squirrels on the blue carpet began to fade away as the crew pulled up carpet, padding and staples in preparation for the new carpet, which will remain free of flying rodents.

After eight gallons, a dozen rolls of tape, and a half dozen colors, Amy surprisingly still hasn't had her fill of painting as she shows her enthusiasm here. I quickly turned around after snapping this one for fear of where that paint roller might get shoved.

GJ takes a break from organizing, packing, watching boys & carpet duty for a quick bite to eat.

Gus works over his grandmother, pausing for a moment during play time to cuddle with his GJ. Couple cuddle time with the fact that he now points to his grandmother on command and occasionally offers up a "Gee-Juh," he has officially wrapped her around his finger. As it should be young man, as it should be.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dwight Schrute

If there is a funnier character on TV right now than The Office's Dwight Schrute, I'd like to know. Some of you may have received phone messages from Dwight recently courtesy of this gem of a site.

If you'd like to see the whole catalog of available Dwight phone calls, visit http://www.theofficedvd.com/dwight/.

Guilty Pleasures of a Suburban Father

Having worn out the last few CD's I purchased months ago -- Pearl Jam, Gomez, & Josh Rouse -- I have been craving some new music of late. However, having devoting all of my waking hours to work, twin boys, buying/selling/painting houses lately I have not had the time to listen to any new music, much less buy any music.

So earlier this week my interest was piqued as Amy & I decided we were going to catch up on back episodes of our favorite two TV shows -- The Office and CSI. In the CSI season premiere there was a scene at the end of the episode where John Mayer was playing at a bar when CSI Catherine Willows gets drugged and abducted. Now I have never given John Mayer much more than a minute of consideration other than the occasional chastising comment to myself for allowing one of his songs to get stuck in my head. You know how that happens -- when you hear something on the radio and the next thing you know you're singing that song for the next eleven hours. Well after finally taking some time to mindless rest & watch some CSI the other night, I found myself completely digging John Mayer -- he of the teenybopper, screaming high school girl fame -- and the new song he was singing.

The next thing I know I'm asking friends of mine if it's ok for a 32-year old male to like John Mayer songs. After receiving many chastising comments and a few lukewarm reassurances, I bought the new John Mayer CD yesterday. (Actually, I must confess I bribed Amy to buy it when she ran an errand with the boys yesterday.)

So as if it were not official before, I am now officially a suburban dad -- a minivan-driving, listening to music played by twentysomethings, wishing his yard looked better, stroller-lugging suburban dad. Oh well -- if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. ;-)


If you see me with a copy of this guy's CD or taking his kids to a Clay Aiken concert, you officially have permission to run me over. ;-)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Artists at Work

Amy and I have been two busy creatures since closing on our house. After the first 10 days we have over half the house painted, with some much appreciated help from Nana and Granddaddy who were in North Carolina last week. Realistically their trip wasn't a full pleasure visit for them to see us and the boys, but hopefully they got some R&R time in as well. The flooring guys are at the house starting today sanding & refinishing the floors where the floors had cupped over time. The carpet guys are scheduled to begin next Monday replacing the blue beastly carpet that was once home to flying squirrels. I wish I were kidding. ;-)

So if all goes well we should begin moving some things in next week. It will be a tremendously welcome change as the coming & going phase is taking its toll. Fortunately GJ and Pappy are coming to NC this weekend, and we welcome reinforcements with open arms.

A sincere thank you to Billy and Elaine for all their help last week. We really appreciate it!


The whole house from end to end was painted white. It was our blank canvas to make into what we wanted. Here Amy starts the prep work for the painting bonanza that was to come.

Nana and Granddaddy gear up for a week's worth of Michelangelo impersonations.

If we never see another roll of 3M blue painting tape, it will be too soon. ;-)

Being 6'5" is often an asset in painting, especially stretching to reach tall walls is required. However, being tall can have its disadvantages at times like when crouching into small crevices is what is needed to get hard-to-reach spaces.

Nana was rewarded for all her hard work with a chorus of "Na-na"s from the boys. We hope it made all the work worthwhile.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Great philosophy and we tried to adhere to it by taking some time out to celebrate Granddaddy's 39th birthday. Birthday cake and ice cream has now supplanted corn on the cob as the boys' favorite food, as evidenced with Owen's "Mmmmmmm" every time he took a bite.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Safe and Sound

As many of you have heard, there was a chemical fire in Apex overnight. The area evacuated was between our old house (where we're still living) and the new house. Both are within a mile or two of the area vacated. It doesn't sound like we have any reason to be concerned but we'll stay clear of lingering clouds of smoke.

Thanks for all the calls and emails checking on us. Thanks also to my sister for the email which brought the situation to our attention. :)