Vincent's Recent Works

Check these out. Vincent's most recent chalk drawings.

This first one depicts myself (in the middle - the big one with kind of a mustache), Vincent (right) and Peter. Pretty great, right? What's that? Where's Rose? Good question. Vincent explained that he didn't have enough time to finish because it was snack time. He started drawing her above us but had to stop. You can't miss snack time.

So this week, he was back at it for family portrait #2. This time he got everybody.He compensated for not including Mommy in portrait #1 by making her the centerpiece. That's her on the left. The big one with the lashes. Peter is to her right, with the hair. He doesn't have a lot of it but what he has is really light, so I can totally see it. Next we have Vincent - the tall one. Then me. Guess snack time hit just as he was planning out Daddy.

Rosalie and I are amazed by these.


Kids as stress relief?

Parenting comes with its set of stereotypes that are both true and exaggerated. We're seen as stressed-out, haggard, sleep-deprived, puke-covered zombies in countless movies and TV shows. Is there truth to that image? Sure. We've resembled all four of those adjectives over the past four years. What I think is less represented however, is when your kids help you blow off steam.

My workdays are frequently stress-filled, as most of ours are. My hour-plus commute doesn't help much and by the time I get home, I'm not in the best mood. I've exhausted my share of expletives. My eyes are bloodshot. The whole bit. Mr. Cliched Commuter.

The cool thing is, I've got instant therapy waiting for me. I get to walk in the door, drop my shit and do any of a hundred ridiculous things that both entertain my kids and help me forget about work. I can hang from the monkey bars outside. I can let Peter jump on my stomach. I can let Vincent jump on my back (looks and sounds more painful than it is). I can pretend I'm a dog. I can pretend to have "sick-ups" on Vincent. I can walk right into the bathtub in my work clothes as the boys are taking a bath (anything for a laugh). I can make up a whole box set worth of kids songs. I can try to do a somersault (or not so much).

By the time bedtime rolls around, work is a distant memory and we're all ready to collapse. There's gotta be science out there proving this. Kids as medication. Hell - some of you have probably read studies you smarty pants. I'm just calling 'em like I see 'em. I may be a zombie by 8:30, but at least I'm a happy zombie.


Photo of the Moment

Vincent is totally into costumes these days. This is his "Prince Charming" that Mom-Mom bought him. It's cool too because he totally inhabits his characters, striking sword poses he's never struck before and vanquishing dragons we had no idea existed in Pennsylvania. You should see the pile of imaginary dragon heads in our family room (Sorry, Puff.).

He's a method actor.


Chachi Nature Watch

These little things have been dropping from the trees in our front yard at an exponential rate. We sweep them up and 2 hours later, the driveway is full of them again. We're kind of new to this whole trees-in-our-yard-that-aren't-dead thing so can any of our arborist/nature-loving friends help us out? Uncle John? Kate? Julie?

They're about the size of grapes and have little bristles on their shells.

What are they? When will they stop? Should we plant them? Eat them? Smoke them?

By the way - they hurt like hell when you step on them. That being said, it's kind of cool being amongst nature. Seriously. Sarcasm unintended.

First Day of School, Year 2

Here we are again. The first day of school. No matter how old you are, it always seems to sneak up on you. Vincent was totally ready for it this year, though. 2nd year of preschool? Bring it on, bitches.

Despite the fact that his favorite teacher and his best school friend have moved on (one to kindergarten, one to...who knows where), he was raring to go.

We still can't get him to tell us what he does for 2 and a half hours a day other than, "It was good."

Hey - as long as he's happy, we're happy. He's an old pro now. Check out last year's photo here. What's with us and plaid shorts for school?
Oh and yeah - Peter wanted to go too...


Is it really September?

A couple of images of the boys enjoying their swingset. This itself would've probably made for its own interesting post but alas. Let's just say it involved Mennonites hugging my wife. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The bottom photo is from an impromptu concert Vincent put on in the "house" part of the swingset. What made it even better was that when he finished with his set, he pulled a Pete Townsend/Keith Moon and heaved all of his instruments down into the grass below.

It's now September. Happy(?) end of summer to all.