Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why buy toys at all?

We could all save a lot of money by just getting the toy boxes/containers out of the rubish and wrapping those for gifts:) We bought the Triplets a Lincoln Log set and what do they like best?....

The people who live in a golden age usually go around complaining how yellow everything looks.
Randall Jarrell

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Triplets get a taste of Christmas

One of the gifts that the Triplets received was their "Learning Tower" from their G-Daddy. They put it to good use when the CFO made sugar cookies Christmas Eve after getting home from work.

They LOVE helping/watching us cook. They also helped me cook breakfast Christmas morning using it and a step stool. Only two can fit in the tower at a time:)

If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.
Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book


Sunday, December 28, 2008

EARLY Christmas morning....

At 2:30 am or so I took Jackson back to bed after he was ogling the new train set Santa left him. I was then woken up again at 3:30 am with his smiling face about an inch from mine. Back to bed he went. When he came back down at 4:30 am I gave up as he then had his wing man, William, with him. So from 4:30 am till I got up at 7am William kicked me in the ribs every 30 minutes to remind me to never let them in bed again, note taken:)

Then I woke up feeling like I did after a Fraternity party in College. But unfortunately I did not have any fond memories of the night before to reminisce about through the pain. Turns out I was in the middle of a 24hr flu but that I then gave to the CFO. She recovered Saturday afternoon.

I called my Mom and she came over as we all got up and "did" Christmas. The kids LOVED the train set and promptly destroyed it:) We then moved to the wrapped gifts. I use the term "wrapped" very loosely. By 1am I was just wrapping the sides and the tops of gifts as I knew they would not be critical of my work. We all had a GREAT time!

The in-laws came at 11 am or so and we planned to eat at 3pm or so. They were so nice to let the CFO and I take a nap! The CFO took pity on me and let me sleep about an hour longer than she did. For dinner I made a standing rib roast for the first time ever. It has instantly become a tradition. Turkey and ham.... you are dead to me:) I used Paula Deen's recipe and it is easy and tasted GREAT! I was nervous as this was $50 of meat and that was it's on sale price. But everyone loved it.

My Mom made banana pudding and not-so-tipsy cake for dessert. Ugh, we were stuffed! Everyone slept through the night and stayed in their beds.

The funniest quote from the day.... from the CFO's Grandmother: "Al, I sure do appreciate the way you help out Quenta (a.k.a. the CFO) with the children." To which I said "Thank you, I do what I can:)"

New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.
James Agate


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa Returned William:)

Christmas was GREAT but VERY challenging at the same time, thus no posts until now. Christmas Eve we went to our Church's 7pm candle light service, with no child care:) The kids had their introduction to open flames. I asked our Preacher if they had fire extinguishers available:) We made it through with no burns and nobody getting hot was on them. No, we did not let them have their own candles but they "helped" us hold ours. After Church the kids were cranky so bedtime was not a lot of fun.

The CFO and I were up till 1:30 am getting everything ready for the next day. Her family and my Mom were coming over for Dinner and I had not wrapped any gifts. What can I say, I was in denial:) So at 1:30 am the CFO went to bed and I decided to put the Triplets new 200 piece wooden train set together, it had to be done....

Unfortunately the train set that I saved 50% on only had a picture to go by when putting it together. Also, it was backwards and did not do a good job of telling you what piece goes where. Evil people designed this thing..... So I got it together around 2am. While I was cleaning up in the kitchen I heard something in the room with the train. I entered to find Jackson staring at the train set murmuring "train.......train.......train....." He was entranced:)

Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.
Bill Vaughan


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

School's out for Winter....

It has a different ring to it than School's out for Summer use to for me:) Yep, for the next three weeks it is me and the Triplets. The CFO is taking some time off but thanks to Murphey she is not able to take off as much as she had hoped. Corporate Audit is paying them a visit for a routine audit the first of the year and they keep sending document requests... Merry Christmas!

No worries, I still have the YMCA to keep me sane:) I have been reading "The Shack" during my workouts. I HIGHLY recomend this book! It really helps shape your understanding of God and the Trinity.

Some fun pics of the kids from last week....

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?
G. K. Chesterton


Monday, December 22, 2008

The consistant Triplets.....

If there is one thing I have learned about the Triplets is that they are pretty consistent. You usually know what to expect out of them if you keep the variables to a minimum. Our Church had a Pancake Breakfast with Santa Saturday morning. Yes, I know, all of us and our Church are probably on many people's "naughty" list for mixing the birth of Jesus with Santa but come on, worry about your own kitchen before worrying about mine:) The kids loved everything.... making cookie mix, decorating frames, building refrigerator magnets, riding a train but.....

They did not like Santa Clause and it seems he is beginning to take it personally:)

One of the problems we have in this country is that too many adults believe in Santa Claus, and too many children don't
Lee Lauer

Happy Hanukkah,


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bathroom blues....

No reading time for Daddy. I never realized that staying at home would even hamper my reading habbits. Like many people I would read when I had time.... in the bathroom:) Now I don't even have that. Those of you with kids know what I am talking about. It is an exciting event for them. So even if you close the door it sounds like you have the Toddler FBI doing a raid on your bathroom... BANG, BANG, BANG..... DADDY!

Oh, well, there are worse things. If nothing else it will do wonders for your self esteem. I mean who really is popular enough to have 3 "people" want to be there everytime you go to the bathroom:)

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.
John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Addison goes poopie in the potty for the first time!!!

I will spare you the picture of the "event" but it was a VERY exciting. Man, it sure is easier cleaning up after that than a dirty diaper:)

Friday, December 19, 2008

No more keepsakes for kids please.....

Every parent wants to buy "special" gifts for their kids to keep later in life. But let's face it, most kids will not want this stuff! How many of you have gotten the question from your parents "When can you come and get all of your stuff?" So let's do everyone a favor and stop the insanity. Maybe it is different with girls but boys are not very sentimental about things.

But with all that said, our Triplets have really enjoyed playing with all my old toys! The CFO is amazed at the amount of toys my parents saved. I am amazed that the toys are still in working condition:)

Christmas is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered. What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.
Phyllis Diller

Al my office party is very small this year and I am the DD:)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My favorite picture of William so far....

Parent guilt...

If you are a parent then you probably can relate to feeling guilty as a parent. It is a constant battle to find the right balance...

On the one hand you only get one shot at raising them and they are only this (that) age once. Add to that all the "advice" from "experts" and you could feel more guilt than is healthy. Don't get me wrong, a little guilt is good. It keeps you on your toes:)

My guilt comes from finding the balance between being with the kids/CFO and getting things done. On the one hand I could let everything go you know where in a hand basket and spend all my time with them. But I would quickly become a basket case in a messy/dirty house:) On the other I could have everything done and run a VERY tight ship but the kids/CFO would spend more time with the TV than me. I know, I know, there is a happy medium and that is what I am shooting for. I try to get the kids to "help" while I am doing things around the house. Right now I am wearing by referee shirt a lot. The Triplets LOVE antagonizing each other. Can't wait till they are teenagers:)

A few pictures from the weekend with the in-laws.

The CFO's parents with our Triplets and their Twin cousins.

So if a Christian is touched only once a year, the touching is still worth it, and maybe on some given Christmas, some quiet morning, the touch will take.
Harry Reasoner


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

No, that ornament is not glass.....

The title is the words spoken by the CFO after I said "Isn't that glass?" Two seconds later Jackson did a "field test" and yep, sure enough, it was glass. Oh well, no one got cut. Seeing as we are already nuts we decided to decorate our tree WITH the Triplets. They "helped" me put the lights on it so we figured it wouldn't be that bad. It was actually quite fun. We followed one simple rule. Only bring out the ornaments that you can live without:)

Sure we had to help direct them on where to hang the ornaments but everyone had a good time. Only one or two timeouts:)

Grandaddy C. loves his Triplets.....

But William might have gained some weight since last time:)

Christmas is the time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell government what they want and their kids pay for it.

Richard Lamm


Monday, December 15, 2008

Do the Triplets want to go see Santa?

"Uh huh" was the response. They actually seemed excited as we waited in line Saturday night for an hour in the cold to see Santa. This is an annual family outing the in-laws do so it was the five of us, my brother in law, his wife, their twins (almost three) and the CFO's parents. It was only 40 degrees or so and windy:)

We warned everyone that we did not expect this to go well. They all said, you may be surprised. Right, and maybe monkeys will fly out of my... well, let's just say I was hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.

The twins went first and they LOVED Santa. They were, however, disappointed that Santa did not have the kitty that they want for Christmas with him:) While we were "on deck" I could see, hear, and feel the trepidation of the Triplets. It was go time....

Jackson locked on to me like he was waiting for the 8 second horn to sound when riding a bull, William was OK and standing with Santa. Not sure what happened with Addison and the CFO's Mom but I heard the screaming. I got Jackson on his knee and the CFO snapped the pictures...

Jackson immediately fell off his knee and pandemonium ensued!

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
Shirley Temple


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The best store bought brownies EVER

Betty Crocker Hershey's Triple Chunk. I found these a few years ago by chance and have never bought anything else since. The CFO loves this time of year because she adds pomegranate seeds with the brownie and Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream. Which, by the way, is the best ice cream EVER. Not necessarily Vanilla, just Blue Bell. Oh, give Ben and Jerry a rest:)

So I just made a batch of these babies this week and we are "indulging" over the weekend. Leftovers go to work with the CFO on Monday:)

On a side note we had a friend that was visiting say something VERY funny a while back about pomegranates... She said "Pomegranates... there is not much to eat, they are full of seeds!"

I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)


Friday, December 12, 2008

Holy cow! The Triplets stay in their beds!

God was smiling on us night before last. No visitors in the night. The Triplets even slept till 7:30am! Wonders never cease:) AND they were all well enough to go to their "Daddy Day Out" program. After I dropped them off at school I went over to my Mom's place to move some boxes for her. The CFO, I and the Triplets love having her in town. We went to the grocery store and then I headed home to clean the house and fix some of the chicken I bought. They had chicken breasts buy one get one free. So I cleaned, breaded and cooked a total of 16 split breasts yesterday/last night.

At breakfast yesterday the kids decided they wanted hold their bananas rather than have me cut them up - "I hold it" was the chorus they were singing. VERY similar to the seagulls in Finding Nemo saying "mine." So hold them they did....

Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking.
Dave Barry (1947 - ), "The Taming of the Screw"


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam.....

I feel like I must be in a version of the Monty Python Spam skit. Except mine is "Back to bed." We took the rails off a week or so ago and now the Triplets are taking full advantage of their new found freedom. But as I tell them... "Liberty and Freedom has it's price." Their price is being carted back to bed by Daddy if they get out of bed after being put down for a nap or down for the night. Tuesday night Jackson was taken back six or seven times (forgot which due to lack of sleep.)

William was always with him but was smart enough to run back to bed when he saw me coming. He reminded me of characters in video games. You know how sometimes you have another character that follows you around to help with your quest but as soon as you die or something bad happens he runs off? That is William! He is Jackson's wingman. He needs to learn the Top Gun motto - never leave your wingman:)

But I still thank God for every moment with them. Maybe not at every exact moment but I do every night and several times a day:)

William headed down to greet Daddy one morning.

Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff.
Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Here I go again....

Yep, it is just like the song from the 80's. Addison and Jackson are now coughing through the night. We are headed to the Doctor today to see if we can speed the recovery along. Too bad we don't get money back from their day out program with one or more don't attend.

Oh well. In the grand scheme of things we have it VERY easy. I always tell everyone "If you are having a bad day just watch the news or read a blog... someone is having a much, much, much worse day than you."

We are working on covering our mouths when we sneeze or cough. Addison is currently third in this category. Not sure if you can see it but her sneeze sprayed better than a sawed off double barrel with bird shot.

Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff.
Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


Monday, December 8, 2008

A busy weekend!

My Mom moved to town this weekend! The is the first time in her life she has lived outside of North Carolina and she lived in Raleigh 95% of her life. Needless to say, this was a BIG move for her. We have been blessed that she found a place five minutes from our house. So the CFO took care of the (sick) kids all weekend all the while being sick herself.

I got a reality check this weekend. See, since 1996 the only moves I have made have been "company" moves. That is that either I or the CFO got promoted and the company paid for us to move. No packing, no moving boxes, nada..... My Mom was not so blessed:) She had two friends drive a self-moving truck from NC to Birmingham Friday night with all of her stuff (and some of mine). Another friend helped us unload Saturday. Good thing I had been going to the YMCA or I probably would not have been able to get out of bed Sunday:)

Addison with her hard boiled egg..... I don't think she believed me that it was cooked:) egg 0, Addison 0 - it is a TIE!

If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?
Vince Lombardi (1913 - 1970)


Friday, December 5, 2008

What was that thump?

The CFO and I have been talking for a while about when is the right time to change the Triplets' cribs into toddler beds. I made the switch the other day after breakfast. The kids LOVED the new look of their beds! They spent the next 30 minutes running from bed to bed, jumping on them, putting stuff on the bed, throwing it off the bed, etc.... Needless to say they were too wired for their normal morning nap time.

After lunch I decided to try again. They were beat! They all stayed in their beds to my amazement. About an hour into their normal two hour+ nap I heard a loud thump! I ran up stairs to find Addison sitting next to her bed looking VERY confused. I asked her if she wanted me to put her rails back on the bed and she said no. William, on the other hand, wanted his back on after falling out of bed that night. Poor fella, first he gets sick, then he falls out of bed.

William also took on a hard boiled egg and won, well, sort of... egg 0, William 1

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
Rick Cook, The Wizardry Compiled


Thursday, December 4, 2008

All good things must come to an end....

Yes, it is officially cold and flu season. Sure, we have had snotty noses for a while now but Sunday William started coughing a little. No big deal I thought. Then Monday night he had a fever so I took him in Tuesday to see the Dr. The CFO stayed home till I got the other two off to their day out program. We really felt bad for William when he threw up his breakfast. Two and a half hours later we had four prescriptions and a diagnosis of walking pneumonia. He now gets four breathing treatments a day (two of them include a steroid) another steroid and an antibiotic. He has been miserable to say the least. On top of that the Doctor said it is highly contagious so I am just waiting for the round robin to begin in the family.

I then found out that this is all the CFO's fault. She said "I was just thinking the other day how much easier this Fall had been than last Fall when all the kids were sick and on breathing treatments." JINX!

Jackson meets his first hard boiled egg.... Egg 1, Jackson 0

If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.
Bill Vaughan