Monday, April 30, 2007

Spring cleaning

Today the kids were bored so they wanted a job to do. I said, "You can clean something." So Ethan got a broom and started sweeping the deck. Of course, Emery always wants to do what her big brother is doing. So Ethan let her have a turn at the broom while he went to get a rag. He started wiping down the patio furniture. When Emery saw that, she wanted to use the rag. So Ethan had an idea to solve the whole problem.
He said, "Emery, let's pretend to be butlers. You can be the butler that does all of the raggin'. And I'll be the butler that does everything else".

That sounds a lot like the situation with Lady Di and myself. I'm not sure which one of us does more of the raggin' though.
"Honey! What are you doing with that rolling pin?!"

I don't have a story to go with this picture. I just thought it looked nice. This tree is in our front yard. We don't remember what kind of tree it is, but it's blooms are sure perty.

Here's a close up of a bloom.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Play Ball!

Now baseball season is starting for real. I volunteered to help coach Ethan's baseball team again this year. He is in the Majors again this year. This is a league for 7 to 8 year olds. I got to meet the other two coaches for the team at the coach's meeting. They were nice and seemed as excited for the upcoming season as me. We also got our cool, bright orange uniforms. Not only stylish, but functional as well. Our kids will never 'blend in' with anything on the field. So no one will get lost.

Practice started last Tues. Ethan had a school concert that night so we missed the first practice. Sure looks good when the coach's kid can skip Spring Training, huh? Oh well, he will catch up.

Anyway, the coaches and I seem to be on the same page. The most important part of the game is to have fun. If the kids learn something along the way, even better. This league doesn't keep score so the competition is downplayed. I'll try not to get ejected from most of the games this year.

Along with learning baseball, we hope Ethan can also make some new friends and be part of a team. Every activity that we involve Ethan in, is an opportunity for him to exercise his social skills. He has to learn to spit like a big leaguer some time.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Where's the Limo?

Our neighbor, Bridget, is a senior in high school this year. And last weekend was Prom. The kids were riding their bikes in the cul-de-sac when a car pulled in next door. A young man in a tuxedo got out and went to the door. When he came outside with Bridget, the kids were amazed to see the fancy couple. The rug rats aren't shy at all so over they went. They told her they liked her pink dress. Emery asked if they were going to get married. Ethan came back and told me her date looked like a butler.
When they finally drove off, Ethan turned to me and said, "Why does Bridget have a driver?"
I then had to explain all about dates and dances. (Hokey Pokey, Chicken Dance, etc). That's right Ethan, you're Dad had all the moves.

I like your sleeves.

A similar thing happened earlier in the day when Ethan and I were at McDonald's. Two Prom couples came in and stood in line. My back was to them so I pointed behind myself and asked Ethan, "Don't those kids have cool clothes?"
He looked and said, "Yeah! Their shoes are pretty cool."
After I had choked Dr Pepper through my nose, I spluttered, "What? Their shoes?" I figured he would have commented on the girls' brightly colored dresses or the guys' tuxes. I turned around to look at their shoes. They looked like ordinary Prom shoes to me. "What is so cool about their shoes?" ,I asked.
"They're cool colors."
I looked again. Ethan was talking about two toddlers, who had brightly colored Spongebob and Spiderman tennis shoes, standing next to the Prom couples.
"I was talking about the high school kids.", I said.
Taking a short pause from his sandwich, "Oh, yeah. They're cool too I guess."
This day we definitely were not on the same page.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fashion Emergency

Thursday, Emery's preschool had wacky clothes day. She was so excited to pick out her own outfit. She chose her mismatched socks, and striped pants. She also wore her shirt backwards. Lady Di did a great job on her hair. Count 'em, 9 ponytails. Whew! They weren't so nice coming out however. She even had mismatched ear rings. One green frog and one pink frog.

Lady Di got to help at Emery's class, so she got to see all of the kids' wacky clothes. One girl wore swimming goggles. One boy even wore a wig.

Emery's teachers are so good at making learning fun. Emery is excited to go to class every day. Too bad she only has class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I think it's great that kids can still have fun, just by dressing in a funny way. I hope she stays this way a long time. At least at this age her Dad's fashion sense isn't embarassing her yet.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's Lew time!

I love Minnesota Twins baseball. How could you not like it? The team plays hard and well. A league MVP, batting champ and Cy Young award winner pretty much guarantee excitement. Of all the great players on the team, my favorite player to watch is Lew Ford. He hustles like crazy and likes to have fun in the dugout too. He usually slides head first into something every game he plays. It may be home plate, outfield, 1st base or the concession stand.

But what's with his name? Lew?

I realize it is probably short for Lewis. But it is just too close to Ew. Which is what usually is said when bare feet step on sidewalk gum on a hot summer day. It's a complicated name. It can also be spelled Louis. I think this spelling is best when using the name Lou. It was used by baseball greats Lou Brock and Lou Gehrig. Football coach Lou Holtz too.
How many Lew's can you name. Lew Alcinder is the only one. And he changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar because he was tired of everyone misspelling it.
You also run into the problem of pronunciation with Louis. It can be pronounced Loo-is, Loo-ee, and in one song it's 'A Loo-aye, Loo-aye, Ohhh baby, we gotta go. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.'
And I haven't even mentioned Lou's of the female persuasion. There's Deputy Barney Fife's fiance, Thelma Lou. There's LuLu from Hee Haw.
In England, they call the bathroom the Loo. You can 'skip-to-muh-loo'. The Irish can 'Tu-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra.' You can see why I am so confused.

Which brings me back to my favorite player Lew Ford. So far this year he hasn't played any games yet due to injury.
I'm not shouting Boooooo. I'm shouting Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!

Lew Ford highlight reenactment.

Used by permission. Ethan Bell Copyright.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Workin' for the Weekend

Spring is finally here, and I finally have time at home to enjoy it. I had to work during that unseasonably warm weekend we had, when temps reached eighty. I am off this weekend so now it is my time take care of my to do list.
First item on the list- Take Christmas lights down from the roof.
Yeah, Yeah, I know it's April already. At least I turn them off after Jan. 1st. I just had a few weather issues with the ladder this winter. Besides, I asked Lady Di to do it and she refused.

Second item on the list- Get materials to finish the deck.
Last summer, I started building our deck. I got everything done, except for the railings, before it got cold last fall. So I decided to finish it the following Spring. Then we had unexpected warm Autumn weather. I was in a quandry. Should I finish? Will the weather last?
I decided to put up Christmas lights.

Third item on the list- Get the summer stuff out, put the winter stuff away.
This means getting the basketball hoop, porch chairs and grill out of the garage. Get the snow blower summer-ized and put in the garage. Time to polish up the lawn flamingos and arrange.
I hope I am not trying to do too much this weekend. I don't want to finish everything on Saturday and have nothing to do the rest of the summer.

Oh wait! I have Ethan's piano recital to see on Sunday. I don't want to be too tired for that. All that other stuff can wait for another weekend.

Friday, April 13, 2007

According to Emery

This weekend we visited an old friend of Lady Di's. Karen was a nurse that took care of Lady Di when she was on hospital bed rest with Ethan. Karen had been a nurse for 39 years and was retiring. At her retirement party, various friends and colleagues gave speeches and told stories. During one of the stories, a friend told about their work together in OB/GYN. Ethan asked, "What's O/B mean?"
Without missing a beat, Emery answered, "It means Obi Wan Kenobi." Then she went back to eating her cake.

May the force be with you.

This is Ethan and Dr Munson. Dr Munson was one of the NICU doctors who took care of Ethan for the two months he was in the hospital. Dr Munson remembered when Ethan weighed just 3 pounds. It was nice to catch up with these people who have had such a great impact on our lives.

Karen was also presented with a giant quilt that had many mother's signatures and dates from when they were under her care in delivery. Lady Di was also included as you can see. We owe Karen and Dr. Munson and many others our deepest thanks for what they did during Ethan's delivery. In our eyes, they are all miracle workers.

Happy Retirement, Karen.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Ho Ho Ho

This weekend we visited South Dakota to attend a friend's retirement party. On the way we stopped in Blue Earth, Mn. While pulling into the gas station, Ethan noticed a big, green, scantily clad guy. No, not the Hulk.
"Look! The Green Giant!" , he said.
So we had to make a detour to visit the Giant and little Sprout.
We could only stay for a minute, because the temperature was 20 degrees with a wind chill of 'igloo'. I think I saw some goose bumps on the Giant's legs. The kids were excited when they saw the statue, until they got out of the van. They literally ran to him, stood for a picture, and ran back to heat. Now we can cross one more 'wonder of the world' off our list. We've already seen the world's largest twine ball in
Darwin, Mn.

Our trip also involved a lot of swimming at the hotel. After the retirement party, we got some pizza. The kids ate one piece each while getting their swimming suits on. Their cousins, Ella and Hope, from Mitchell, SD also came to swim. We swam from 5:30 to 8:00pm and were exhausted. I think we learned a lesson about pool-side rooms. It is fun to be next to the pool, but when the pool closes at 11:00pm, sleep usually starts at 11:00pm too. I can't believe that parents let their kids stay up that late. The next morning Ethan woke up as usual at 6:45am and asked if he could go swimming. Emery heard the word 'swim' and popped out of a deep sleep, like toast from the toaster and jumped into her suit. They had to wait until 8am, when the pool opened, so they swam from 8:00.01 until 10:30am. The 4 hour drive home was pretty quiet, even though Ethan slept for only 1/2 hour and Emery didn't sleep at all. We had a lot of fun on this short trip in spite of the cold weather. It was great to see my sister and her family too.

Emery and Ella.......... Ella and Hope....... Ethan on the log

Thursday, April 5, 2007


I've just found out that there is a brand new thing called Heelys. These are shoes with a wheel in the heal so a person can skate (break their neck) whenever they find a smooth surface. Places like grocery stores, school hallways, church aisles. OK, so they've been out a few years. But I hadn't heard of them until my four year old daughter said, "Can have some Heelys?"
"How do you know about Heelys?", I asked.
It seems there are two older girls in the neighborhood who have them and she's seen some commercials on TV. Now, every time we see the neighborhood girls, or anyone wearing Heelys, Lady Di and myself are reminded about our poor daughter's plight. And I mean every time.
"Mom. When can I have Heelys?", "Daa-ad. She has Heelys.", "I really, really, really need some Heelys!"
I'm going to try to discourage her a little bit by requiring her to wear a bike helmet and elbow pads whenever Heelys are on. Even in church.
I've been told they are a little expensive. So why would I buy expensive shoes for a girl whose feet will grow out of them in a year anyway?

Because I'm Daddy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sleeping bag blues

A couple of days ago, Ethan and Emery's grandparents came for a visit. My folks, Lady Di's folks and my Grandma Peg came to see Ethan's play. It was a big weekend for everyone. On Saturday, after the play, we all went out to eat. When we came back home it was around 7:00pm. The kids then opened some Easter gifts from the grandparents since we won't be seeing them at Easter. After that, the kids were a little over stimulated and had some difficulty going to bed. Since we had guests, Emery slept in her Barbie sleeping bag in Ethan's room. This arrangement had worked in the past, but not tonight.
First, she had to come downstairs to tell us that Ethan was talking, and she couldn't sleep.
Then we heard some animal noises coming from the bedroom. I went up to ask what was going on. Ethan said, "Emery was roaring at me."
"Emery, why were you roaring at Ethan?"
"Because he was leaning over his bed and touching my blanket.", she replied.
"That's because she was touching my blanket.", was Ethan's immediate response.
Since this was about the fourth time I had had to go into their room, Emery was relocated. I put her and her Barbie sleeping bag in our room.
At about 9pm we could still hear her talking to herself in our room. Exasperated I asked, "Emery, what is the problem tonight?"
She said, "I'm sorry Daddy. I just can get the hang of my sleeping bag."

I hope she gets the hang of her sleeping bag for camping this summer.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Opening Day!

We're gonna win Twins, we're gonna score!
We're gonna win Twins, watch that baseball soar!
Knock out a home run, shout a hip hooray!
Cheer for the Minnesota Twins to-day!

Today is opening day. The Twins are on TV. The kids are making Twins posters for good luck. Emery drew a batter with a yellow hat. "Emery, the Twins wear blue hats.", I said.
"I know. I just like yellow better.", she replied.
"OK, as long as they win."
She also drew a picture for the cheerleaders. I don't have the heart to tell her there are no cheerleaders in baseball.
Ethan drew a pretty good picture of Johann Santana pitching with fire on the pitches. Notice the anti-Oriole sign. Most experts pick the Twins to finish third in the division. They did the same thing last year and the Twins won the division. How can they go wrong with the Cy Young winner, the batting champ, and the league MVP.
Win or lose, I love to follow the Twins. I especially enjoy listening to them on the radio. It will be different this year with the loss of Twins broadcasting legend, Herb Carneal. He had been the Twins radio commentator since the Twins were founded in 1962.
Touch em all Herb Carneal.

Stuff About Me

My photo
I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.