Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mt. Airy

Last weekend the Rutledge crew packed up on a Friday afternoon and drove out of Dodge. Our friends Brian & Kelly Wise have a house out in the country in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, home of Andy Griffith and the model for Mayberry on the TV show.

Owen & Gus were incredibly excited to be around Gracen & Cate, and Tess seemed very happy being around two girls for a change. She actually got to play with dolls and push a baby stroller instead of playing with trains and Planet Heroes.

For Amy & me, it was a great chance to get out of town without cellphones, email & 98 degree heat to spend quality time with Brian, Kelly and all the kids. The Wises have a great piece of property on top of a hill where the breeze always seems to blowing, which comes in handy on warm summer days.

There was fishing, four-wheeling, camping, marshmallow roasting, slip n' sliding, and plenty of relaxing. It was a tremendous getaway, one we hope to be able to do again.

The boys' unanimous favorite moment of the trip: Roasting marshmallows. Forget catching fish, throwing rocks, staying up late, or sleeping outside. The guys were in hog heaven with those little fluffy white puffs of sugar.
If you have a farm, you just have to have a four-wheeler.

Tess proved that she is indeed Dad's daughter. Corn on the cob is her new favorite food. As if I needed another reason for this little girl to have me wrapped around her finger....

Most men would be ashamed to be seen lugging a Serta mattress into a tent to camp for the night. Not these guys. Hey, the women slept inside in beds with Tess & Cate!

The fishing pond was stocked with bluegill that were pretty easy to catch, which made Owen's first fishing experience very exciting. Owen is definitely showing signs of being an outdoorsman. He was very patient while we fished and was in his element all weekend, content to fish or just throw rocks by himself into the pond. Apart from the marshmallow roasting I think his highlight may have been picking out which lure to use to catch those monstrous bluegill.

Three peas in a pod were Owen, Gracen & Gus.

Tess was so happy to be amongst female companions. Gracen & Cate show Tess that girls can have fun jumping on the bed too.

The slip n' slide was a joy for all the kids, especially Tessa Lou.

Sunday morning saw a great hike down to a creek looking for deer footprints...and deer poop. On the hike back up the mountain, Gus was happy to ride the four-wheeler with Gracen & Brian. Owen was happy strolling back up with his mom.

Being out in the country spoiled us. It was so peaceful. The bullfrogs would come out at night & compete with the crickets for control of the songs for the evening. The sunrises were incredible...

...even if you were snoring away on a Serta mattress in a tent while the sun came up.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Derek, you are an incredible dad! Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Race for the Cure

Normally when Gus, Owen or Tess are awake before 6:00am on a Saturday morning, Mom & Dad aren't happy. But Amy & I actually woke the crew up before sunrise this morning. Today was the Komen Race for the Cure over in Raleigh, as 22,000 runners united for the annual race for breast cancer research.

Amy & I had planned on running the first 5K race at 7am and then coming back home in time for breakfast with the kids. But we couldn't in good conscience ask someone to provide childcare beginning that early in the morning. So we signed the boys up for a fun run at the Kids' Zone and took the whole crew.

I ran the 5K at 7:00 while Amy entertained Gus, Owen & Tess. Then I took over with kiddos as Amy ran in a women's-only race at 7:45. The race is such an uplifting event as it winds through older neighborhoods in Raleigh where residents turn out to cheer people on and shower runners with their yard sprinklers. Pink shirts are everywhere as breast cancer survivors and their teams of supporters come out in droves. Bands and church choirs dot the course and perform for hours as runners make their way in three different races.

Meanwhile Amy & I had built up the notion of a kids' race for Owen & Gus -- how else were we going to get 2 four year-olds up at the crack of dawn without a scrum? So after our races we headed over to the kids' section where their "race" was supposed to take place. As it turned out the start to finish was probably 50 ft. which we figured would be a big disappointment.

So Amy & I decided to line the boys up for the 1 mile fun run which was taking place right next to the kids' section. The boys were all about it. Owen & Gus ran their little hearts out the whole way, stopping a couple of times to catch their breath. When they crossed the finish line you would have thought they won the Boston Marathon. Two excited little boys for certain.

So it was a long -- but very enjoyable day for the Rutl crew. Gus & Tess were falling asleep at the dinner table tonight. Thus, it's bedtime. Mom & Dad arent' too far behind.


Mom, the sprinter boys & Tessa Lou

The Rutledge dude runners.
Tess enjoyed the "pink" theme as she found a resting place.

The kid crew in a picture which is essentially a microcosm of their sibling relationship -- Gus gives Tess his Chick-fil-a cow stuffed animal while Owen scrubs Tess's head. Brotherly love comes in different forms.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Little Mobile Mama

Tess is fully mobile these days. She is enamoured with Owen, shouting "Ohh! Ohh!" whenever she sees him. Of course Owen will still have nothing to do with her. He will come around someday.

In the meantime Tess intently watches everything her big brothers do and tries to emulate it. When they laugh at something on TV, she laughs. When they get the sillies and spin around and around in circles, she does the same. It is quite comical.

Some people that see her think she's a spitting image of Dad and Gus. I see expressions and mannerisms of Owen. In reality she's probably an amalgamation of all of us.

Here she is stumbling around with purse, jewelry, & keys -- shades of Gus Edward here. Note Harper's quick departure when she sees the young one scampering around -- the cats are none too happy to have yet another human walking around to run from.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Dad's Weekend

So this weekend is going to be Dad's weekend with the kids. Amy is going out of town for a training course with our church so Owen, Gus & Tess will be hanging out with their pop until Sunday night.

I went to the grocery store to load up for the weekend. When I came back, Amy commented on the dietary selection I had chosen -- pizza, chips & salsa, burgers, squeeze yogurts, muffins for breakfast. Hey, if there is an easy button for Dad to push over the next 48 hours you better believe I'm going to be pushing it over & over!

Amy is going to miss her tennis idol potentially winning his first French Open. Now that his main competition in Rafael Nadal was upset earlier this week, Federer has a good shot. Thank goodness for DVR.

This past week has been the first since Amy has resumed "full-time" hours at work. It has been a juggle for sure -- hence the lack of blog posts, my apologies. But we made it through the week with everyone's limbs still attached and minimal emotional scars. Onward soldiers....

I have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon -- to follow Coach Calipari's endless sea of posts more than anything else. I think I have made 2 posts since getting on. Too much technology to keep up with. Amy is on Facebook, but I have refused to jump on that train so far. It's like cellphones. I held out (proudly) for a long, long time before I acquiesced and got on board with mobile communication. Now, I wonder how I functioned without it. I figure it's the same thing with Facebook. I'll hold out until it is mandatory and then wonder what I did for so long without it.

Tweet, tweet everyone. Have a good weekend.