Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Fish, bees, and neighs...oh my

Amy and I took the boys on a science excursion this past weekend as we ventured to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. It is a great place for kids -- both small and large -- as it has four floors of exhibits that show the diversity of plant and animal life from the coast to the mountains of North Carolina. Of course, the boys were more excited by the sensory stimulation from the fish in the aquariums and the escalators than they were the educational aspect. But hey, they're not even two yet -- that will come. ;-)

It was a fun time and a great way to get out of the house to check out something new.

The boys with Amy before they are granted "the release" to bolt in different directions.

Owen leads Gus into the great unknown.

Gus takes a minute to wonder if bees are really four feet long and capable of carrying him away to their hive. (We hope this doesn't result in counseling in a few years.)

Deer, giraffes, horses -- pretty much anything that stands on four legs -- are "neighs" according to the boys. Here was a stuffed neigh in the mountain part of the exhibit that generated two excited little boys.

Alas, the highlight of the museum was the rides up and down the escalators. Gus was very scared at first, clinging to his dad as we rode up. But he eventually warmed up to them, and both boys were unhappy that the rides couldn't last all day.

Twin tidbits

As we have been a bit slack lately with pictures of the boys, here are a few to show what the boys have been up to lately.

The most popular sight in the neighborhood as it generates excited "tuck!" and "dog!" shrieks. Who said kids were hard to entertain?

Gus's future is so bright he has to wear shades. (He shows a gesture of support to beleagured Kentucky basketball coach Tubby Smith by sporting his UK jacket.)

Owen is all grins when he gets to wear his shades. He prances around proudly, bumping into everything in his way.

The boys pause for a brief pose from their Little Tike table.

Owen is the rare child in that he actually enjoys it when he gets a cold so he can squirt the Little Noses saline solution up his nose. "Uh-oh nose!" is uttered every time he sneezes. Whatever makes them happy! Cheers!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Politico Monday

E.J. Dionne has an excellent op-ed today in the Washington Post about the Scooter Libby case being a microcosm of the smear strategy led by Darth Vader himself, Dick Cheney.

Here's what Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) had to say about perjury: "Lying under oath is an ancient crime of great weight because it shields other offenses, because it blocks the light of truth in human affairs. It is a dagger in the heart of our legal system, and indeed in our democracy. It cannot, it should not, it must not be tolerated.''

Ros-Lehtinen made that statement not about Libby, but to justify the impeachment of Bill Clinton back in 1998. I have no idea where she stands on the Plame-Wilson case. But it's certainly amusing that so many who were eager to throw Clinton out of office for perjury and obstruction of justice when he lied about sex are now livid at Fitzgerald for bringing comparable charges in a controversy over the rationale for war. Do they think sex is more important than war?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I hear "Uh-oh" quite often around our house as I'm sure many parents do with kids this age. Here's the run down of the "uh-oh"s heard from the boys today.

  • "Uh-oh, nose" heard when he sneezed.
  • "Uh-oh" heard at breakfast when a rice crispy stuck to his hand.
  • "Uh-oh" heard when a cranberry rolled down his sleeve during lunch.
  • "Uh-oh, joos" heard at Target as he chucked his sippy cup across the produce section.
  • "Uh-oh, Gush" heard as I unlatched Owen from his highchair and took him upstairs. Owen was concerned about Gus being left in his chair.
  • "Uh-oh, car" heard when we got to the top of the steps and Owen realized from favorite car was downstairs.
  • "Uh-oh, door" heard several times as he pointed to the broken microwave on their play kitchen. Gus broke it last week.
  • "Uh-oh, cow". I can't explain this one. Something happened in Owen's head.
  • "Uh-oh, star" heard as Gus showed Derek the stamps he got on his hands at Stretch-n-Grow. Owen's washed off.


  • "Uh-oh, Melmo" heard this morning. This was Gus's way of saying the TV wasn't turned on for him to watch Elmo and Sesame Street.
  • "Uh-oh, milk" heard as he poured milk on his plate this morning.
  • "Uh-oh" heard when he discovered the applesauce on his dog shirt.
  • "Uh-oh, milk" heard as he launched his cup across the kitchen.
  • "Uh-oh, Gush" heard as I was changing Owen's diaper. Gus calls Owen "Gush".
  • "Uh-oh" heard in Target when Gus noticed the light at the register next to us was turned off.
  • "Uh-oh" heard as he flooded our popcorn popper with milk. Milk was oozing from the bottom when I picked it up. Ugh!
  • "Uh-oh, shoo" heard tonight as he untied his own shoe.
  • "Uh-oh, nose" heard when Derek sneezed.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Gus shows off some of his chatter skills. Some of his favorites:

"Aye-ee" = the cat's meow
"Gush" = what he calls himself and his brother (both boys think they're Gus)
"oh-wee" = the name we're trying to get him to associate with Owen
"bapul" = apple
"melmo" = Elmo
"Ipoopmama" = self explanatory

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hump Day Roundup

Here are the latest headlines around la casa de Rutledge:

Pacifiers Swiped!
Amy & I made the bold decision last night to take away the boys' pacifiers. Over time we had successfully limited pacifiers to bedtime. Many times those little things worked wonders for us when we needed to calm an unhappy, fussy child. But the boys are creeping up on their second birthday a couple months from now, and we felt it was time to pull the plug so to speak. So how did it go? Gus screamed like a banshee for 39 minutes last night after we put him down; Owen for 34 minutes. Fun times.

Toddler Punch
(Knock on wood) Gus has stopped his awful habit of biting, both his brother and his parents. However when one form of toddler violence leaves our house, another form scoots in the door to take its place. So now we are dealing with hair pulling from Owen and a surprisingly deft right hook and clawing from Gus. We will break them of these habits over time -- Amy and I are going to start with "time out" to get them to realize when their behavior is bad. But it makes for some unpleasant situations in the short term. Like when Amy's friend Julie brought her two little ones, Jack and Emma, over to play with the boys on Tuesday and our boys thought it was a battle royale instead of a play date. And when Gus decided yesterday that it was funny to grab his father's cheeks and dig his fingernails in with both hands. Ah, parenthood -- you clear one hurdle and two more appear. (Do we get any sympathy?) :-)

The Purple One
Amy queued up the halftime show from the Super Bowl yesterday while she was home with the boys. Gus took great interest in Prince's performance of "Let's Go Crazy," bouncing and dancing and shouting out "Go, go, go!" We have a little performer on our hands. Amy & I will have to get video and post it here if we can get him to do it again. Not that we'd use this to embarass him when he's a teenager or anything. He's not going to let the elevator break him down.

Hoops Heaven
As I've mentioned before one of my favorite things about the Triangle is the way college basketball is engrained into the culture here. With NC State, UNC, and Duke all right here it makes for some great drama between fans and some great matchups for a hoops junkie such as myself. As this past weekend saw both Duke and UNC suffer a rare loss -- the Heels to their archrival NC State no less -- the stage is set for tonight's raucous UNC/Duke game with both teams trying to avoid losing streaks. The rivalry between these two schools is like nothing I've ever seen. The students at Duke, albeit misguided their cheers scripted, take this game so seriously that they camp out in Krzyzewskiville, a tent city on campus where students live for weeks in advance of the game. The atmosphere in Cameron Indoor Stadium will be electric. From the Heels standpoint UNC fans despise Duke with sheer enmity, claiming Dookies to be elitist, self-centered carpetbaggers and their coach "rat-faced." Just check out some of the comments over on the UNC message board on the "You know you're a dook fan if...." thread -- tremendously funny stuff. So tonight I'm guaranteed to be parked in my chair watching the first installment of this season's rivalry with a big grin on my face -- I can't wait.


Update: To help Duke avoid a three-game losing streak tonight, the ACC will award them four points for each made basket instead of two. (Hat tip to LeDuc for this gem)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Astronauts in Diapers

This is certainly one of the more odd stories in the news today. An astronaut based in Texas drove across country -- wearing diapers so she could save time -- to confront another astronaut in Florida about her relationship with a third astronaut.

Makes you wonder what the heck goes on up there at the space station. ;-)

Nowak, a married mother of three and mission specialist on the space shuttle Discovery flight last summer, wore diapers so she did not have to stop for bathroom breaks during the 11-hour drive from Houston. In Florida, she donned a wig and trench coat as a disguise while she waited for Shipman to arrive on a flight at the Orlando International Airport. Shipman is stationed at Patrick Air Force Base near the Kennedy Space Center, and was returning from a trip to Houston, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported.

According to an affidavit filed by Orlando Police Det. William C. Becton, Nowak, in disguise, followed Shipman to her car in an airport parking lot, and began banging on the window asking first for a ride and then to use her cellphone. Shipman refused,
but when she rolled down her car window slightly to talk, Nowak sprayed her in the face with pepper spray.

Shipman called police, who spotted Nowak near a trash can in the parking lot, disposing of the trench coat, wig, pepper spray canister, a BB gun, a new steel mallet, a new folding knife, several feet of rubber tubing, and several large garbage bags.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Fin de semana

Thankfully the end of the week is here. It has been a long one for crew. The boys have been teetering on the brink of colds again which means awaking in the night frequently for Triaminic & saline solution. Luckily for all of us it has just been coughing and runny noses so far and no fevers like the three-week miserable stretch around the holidays. As demands at work kicked in for me this week and as Amy juggled meager napping boys, we are very glad the weekend is here to provide a break.

When we need a helping hand to wear out boys, thank goodness for a tremendous rope-chewing dog. Check out Owen getting a mouthful of fur. :-)


BTW, good thoughts and prayers for my grandmother Ernestine recovering in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. You're on our minds, Mother.

Go Dog Go

Gus has discovered the Dr. Seuss family of books and his overwhelming favorite is Go, Dog. Go! Yellow dog on a green tree. Red dog on a blue tree. Black dogs, white dogs, black and white dogs.

"Go, go, go!"