Monday, December 22, 2008

Rudolph & Stagefright

Owen & Gus had their Christmas/Holiday singalong at their preschool on Wednesday. It did not turn out how Amy and I would have anticipated.

Gus, normally the ham of all hams who never met an audience he didn't love, was struck with stagefright as the cameras from a couple dozen parents flashed. He proceeded to try to disrupt the song by pestering his brother which promptly warranted a removal by his teacher. Gus was so distraught that he began to break down and the teacher quickly moved him back into place. Owen then comforted his partner in crime.

The funny thing was, if you would have asked Amy or me a hundred times which one of the two boys would have broken down at the sight of all the cameras, we would have said Owen (because of his more reserved personality) 99 of those 100 times.

Kids surprise us.

It's a pretty cute little scene to mark for them regardless. Cheers!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tis the Season

The Christmas spirit is alive and well with our crew these days. Much like our birthdays and Halloween, the anticipation and excitement from the boys is contagious and takes Christmas to a whole new level for Amy & me.

Last week we started by going to the Apex Christmas parade. We enticed the boys there with the possibility of seeing Santa. When we got there the MC announced that there were a record 108 floats in the parade this year, meaning we had a long time to wait for St. Nick. After an hour & a half of the cold, Amy & I persuaded the boys to table Santa with the promise of a milkshake. But the parade was fun nonetheless.

This past weekend we made up for missing Santa with a Saturday for the ages. We started off with a birthday party for one of the boys' buddies from the neighborhood. Then we drove down to New Hill, NC for the New Hope Valley Railway train ride. Complete with a real live train ride and a decked-out Santa Claus, we had two excited little boys. Owen gave it the Roger Ebert special.

One morning last week the boys were dreadful trying to get ready to go to school. I think I ended up carrying one under each arm out of the house to the car. On the drive to school I pulled out my phone and "called" Santa's office to ask what the guidelines were for him to stop at our house on Christmas. It was dead silence in the car and both boys conceded that they had to be good.

So on Saturday after Santa had his picture taken with our crew and had moved on to the next family Owen had to make sure that Santa knew the episode earlier in the week was a behavioral aberration. He tugged at Santa's waist and after getting his attention said, "Santa, I've been good."

Tess was a trooper. Our train was open air and it was 42 degrees outside. No matter for Baby T. She was up next to Mom and happy as a, a pink piglet.

Two thumbs up from the Owenator.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Gus: "You know, I think you'd make a pretty good Robin, kiddo."

Tess: "You do know that mask is supposed to be over your face there, don't you chief?"

Monday, December 08, 2008


To all the guys out there preparing to shop for the wife, mom, or girlfriend, stay out of the doghouse this holiday season.


Monday, December 01, 2008

O Christmas Tree

The Rutledge crew concluded Thanksgiving week by conquering a cold, gray, dreary Sunday with some Christmas cheer. We hoisted a Fraser fir up on top of the van in the misty rain, came home, cranked up the Vince Guiraldi, and unpacked Christmas gear to get into the spirit.

The boys are tremendously more excited about Christmas this year. Owen insisted that "we keep the Christmas tree for a very, very, very long time and not let the vacuum truck take it away." (Last year, Amy & I took the tree to the curb the day after Christmas while the boys were napping, and apparently Owen's elephant-like memory still bares the scar.)

After assuring Owen that the tree would be up for several weeks, we proceeded to decorate the tree with lights and ornaments. We put out the Advent calendar, and the first thing out of the boys' mouths this morning was the question on who got to put up the first ornament for December 1.

Meanwhile, Tess enjoyed the lights, the hustle and bustle from her brothers, and any spare paper that she could get in her mouth before one of us grabbed it away. Amy & I chuckled at the kids' enthusiasm -- and we haven't even really brought up Santa Claus yet.


"I know I've seen those boys take this horse and make it fly some way or another."

At last count the bottom branches of the tree had 26 ornaments courtesy of Owen & Gus while the top branches had 3.

Rutledge boys show off their decorating prowess.

Apologies for the darkness, but you get an idea of the energy and the skill de decor of 2 three year-olds.

Wrapped Around the Finger

Tess is methodically gaining control of the men of the Rutledge house. Over the past couple of weeks she has made inroads with Owen, who now takes very seriously the responsibility of keeping small objects away from her vicinity. Obviously Dad has been smitten with his baby girl since minute one.

Now she is solidifying her place in the pecking order with brother Gus.

"Worship me, big brother!"