Friday, February 27, 2009

Tess Phone Home

Someone please call this little girl. ;-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meet Jack

With apologies for the poor video quality (I grabbed the camera as soon as Gus started talking, paying no attention to light), here is Gus telling everyone all about his imaginary friend/cousin/brother Jack.

Jack is nine (today at least), built his own brick house in the spooky woods, likes broccoli (go figure), has a house full of cats and dogs, and is his cousin but not Owen's cousin.

I can't wait to meet this kid.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from our crew to yours. Here's hoping that you like your kisses better than Tess liked hers.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Daddy's Little Girl

Everything around our house is "Hi Da-da." It took a little enticing for the camera, but Tess shows the easiest way to wrap a smitten father around every one of her fingers. (Forgive the snot rockets btw.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Little Ladybug Turns One

So last weekend our little Tess celebrated her first birthday. One year old. I can't believe it. A year ago I rushed Amy to the hospital at 5:00 in the morning, and Tess decided she wasn't waiting any longer. She was hanging out with us by 8:00.

Tess's first year was hopefully a harbinger of what her personality will be. She is one mellow, happy little girl. She can be quite the charmer as what she lacks in willingness to walk around, she makes up for in being a ham.

Amy & I look forward to the days when she can join the mix with her two older brothers, but for now we are just happy that for the most part she doesn't venture too far off.

For the birthday celebration we were joined by Nana and Aunt Kay who flew to Raleigh to spend the week with us. What a good time we had. Although we didn't get to get out and show off the area too much, we made up for it by spending quality time together and decorating the house for the birthday party.

Nana and Kay were tremendous help to Amy & me with the kids, giving us a much-appreciated break from the grind. Amy & I even got out of the house for dinner together after all the partying was over on Saturday. The boys really responded well to their grandmother and great aunt, raring to wake them up every morning and winding down at night as they read bedtime stories together. A great time!

Happy Birthday little ladybug!

Aunt Kay and Nana have a feel for decorating.
Owen has a feel for chips before the eastern North Carolina barbecue feast.
Amy spent 3 days on a ladybug cake. I have to admit -- even after all the grief I gave her for not buying a cake at the store, this one turned out incredibly cute. A job well done!

When it was time to party, we had a little girl who delayed things as she crashed for a siesta before the fiesta.

Our other incredible helpers Ms. Ann and Ms. Jeanne from Covenant came by to help us celebrate the big day.

After all the cake decorating, mantle decorating, balloons, morning nap, and build-up, Tess wouldn't eat her cupcake. She didn't like the sticky icing on her fingers and eventually cried until we took it away. Amy was a bit deflated, but the next day Tess properly dove in to the make-up cupcake head first.

"All this for me? Ok."


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Gimme the Gas

Hat tip to Chris LeDuc for this gem. I always loved getting the gas at the dentist's office.

"Is this real life?" Too funny.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


First and foremost, I have been a major slacker in terms of posting recently. My sincere apologies.

Just so you know my time on the blog has been limited lately as I have been in preliminary discussions with joining the Barack Obama administration as Health and Human Services Secretary. Unfortunately, like Tom Daschle, who withdrew his nomination for failing to pay taxes for having a limousine driver, I had to back out of negotiations as tax attorneys were questioning my monthly expenditures on Green Flash IPA and Enfamil baby formula. Apparently this was raising red flags.

Ok, ok, so maybe I only wish I was under consideration for a Cabinet appointment. But I have been in discussions with UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart about replacing coach Billy Gillispie mid-season. The second-year coach has clearly lost control over this UK team which has now lost a dreadful three games in a row to subpar SEC teams. Once again, my dirty laundry appears to have come back to haunt me as a picture in a London tabloid with my friend Michael Phelps is making Barnhart gun shy about making a historic coaching hire.

Not buying it? Well, after making it through the phantom hernia (as my pal Chris called it), I have had to ease back into running so I have been taking up walking more. While on a walk through the neighborhood the other day I was approached by a Tyrannasaurus Rex and a Triceratops who wanted to know which house was Owen's and Gus's. When I refused to tell the hungry meat eaters, they tossed me about with their friend the Brachiosaurus and wouldn't let me return home. Hence, no posts.

(For the record, Owen & Gus loved the version of that last story I told them at the dinner table. They now insist on trying to outdo me with tall tales of dinosaurs scratching at their windows & dinosaurs approaching the car at stoplights while I'm driving.)

The truth is life has been rather hectic the first month of the year, especially on the work front. IBM -- as countless other companies dealing with the economic recession -- has laid off thousands of people over the past couple of weeks. Fortunately for Amy and me, we both still have jobs at Big Blue. But many people we know and work with were impacted. So I think there has been a renewed vigor with which we approach our jobs -- both a desire to make sense of all the changes and a determination to show that we have our place in the new environment, whatever it may look like.

We do have some fun things to report.

"Jack" is now 4 years old, but he knows how to drive. Mom and Dad can't see Jack, and Owen is allowed to see him.....sometimes.

Everything out of Tess's mouth is "Da-da." When I come into the room, it's "Hi, Da-da!" When Amy picks Tess up off the floor, it's "Hi, Da-da!" As Amy says, Tess is going to need more fingers since she has me wrapped around each of hers. Indeed.

Our little girl is turning 1 this weekend. Nana and Aunt Kay flew in last night to help us celebrate which we are very excited about. Amy has a ladybug cake on the docket which the boys are excited about. And we are planning a small get together with some of Tess's many caretakers which should be a lot of fun.

So there is some goodness going on with us outside the stresses. I will do a better job of updating.

If I can just steer clear of those dinosaurs....