Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pima County Fair!

So Rae wanted to get out of the house today. (I guess that trip home less than a week ago wasn't enough to get "stir crazy" out of her system.) We had plenty of options: Mariachi Festival at Ried Park, Chalk art festival downtown – but I bit the bullet and took the girls to Rae's favorite place on earth. The county fair.

It's not that I hate the fair. Or even dislike it all that much. I just see it as shoddy rides, food poisoning waiting to happen and skeevy men with sunburns and mullets trying to goad me into winning a $2 teddy bear to prove to my woman that I'm a man.

In other words – it's great fun as long as you wear rubber gloves and don't look the carnies directly in the eye. (They can eat your soul don'tcha know.)

But Kaylee seemed to like it despite my reservations.
The first hit was the sandbox. It was our first stop on the way in – and one of our last on the way out. We spent nearly $80 – and one of her favorite things was a pile of dirt.

I think this was more for Rae that it was Kaylee – though one of her new words is "ewephun." That would be one of Kaylee's new words – not Rae.

But the petting zoo ... Kaylee's all about the petting zoo.

She loved the goats ...

... and the pony ...

... and the cow ...

... but mostly the goats.

My shoulder was as close as Kaylee got to a ride this year. But she loved the music coming from the merry-go-round ... and watching the kiddie roller coaster kept her entertained.

"American Gothic" – Monkey House-style.

The FFA area isn't a petting zoo, but good luck telling her that. We pulled her hands out of more chicken, rabbit, pig and alpaca cages ... it was rather difficult to keep up with her.

And, of course, she found the ducks.

"For some reason, my dad never gets tired of telling people that the ever-popular Big Eli ferris wheels are built in his home town. I don't get it. I just wave and look cute."

Kaylee today: Fair. (Oh, I kill me.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Going to the chapel …

For the five percent of you who weren't there – we made a trip back to central Illinois for Dad's wedding this weekend. Grandpa Charlie managed to (bribe, drug, coerce) talk a lovely lady into marrying him and joining our (loony bin) family.
On our way …

So now I've got my very own stepmother and Kaylee gets a Grandma Cindy (or whatever other cute title she might come up with.)

So welcome to the family Cindy. You had your chance – you're stuck with us now.

Many, many photos follow. (And I'm sure my sister will post some of her fancy photos to her blog just to show me up.)

Addendum – I just realized that the only photos of the blushing bride are from extreme distances. Oops. We'll have to remedy that in July. Cindy – you just need to stick closer to the kid. ;-)

The wedding

Can I just say – who's the luckiest guy there is?

I have no idea where this picture came from. I'd never, in a million years, face the wrath of Father Kip by taking photos in the middle of the ceremony. This just magically appeared on my phone. It's a wedding miracle!

Why is it that all the cute photos of Kaylee have Uncle James in them?

When Alice was playing in the window, we all knew she was going to fall. We all watched. One of us just happened to have the camera out at the time.

Easily Kaylee's favorite part of the day – bubbles.

The new Mötley Crüe.

A grand reception

Kaylee got her balloon. Kaylee was happy.

One of the flower girls apparently had a little too much to drink and ran around the reception topless. I'll give you a hint – it wasn't MY daughter.

Whenever we try to get all the great-grandchildren together with GG for a photo it always seems to be a bit chaotic. This time was no exception.

Mom introduces Kaylee to the Chicken Dance.
God help me – I think she liked it.

Uncle James – chick magnet. (As long as she's under the age of five.)

Dad introduces Kaylee to "Shout!" Another wedding reception staple – but leaps and bounds ahead of the Chicken Dance.

Uncle James seems to spend a lot of time on the floor. Usually with one of his nieces sitting on him. (And all without the aid of alcohol!)

Just hangin' out

No trip to Grandpa Charlie's is complete without a trip to the park.

She may look like she's enjoying this – but I think that Kaylee was actually pretty sick of Dad making her run through the flowers so he could get a decent picture at this point.

Just hanging out on the front porch with Mom.

We were all surprised how quickly "KeeKee" and "Ahlah" took to each other. I'm betting the beach is going to be a lot of fun in July!

One last wave as we head back north …

Everything else

The photos that didn't fit nicely with the other posts …

At the Sunday brunch, Rae decided to get chocolate cake for dessert. Kaylee decided she wanted to share.

Another of the many photos of James on the floor covered in babies.

Low light + iPhone camera + newlyweds + pubic humiliation = a poor photo that's too good to edit out.

Photographic proof that Uncle Steve was physically able to come within a foot of my child without reducing her to tears.

Is it time to go back yet?

See you in July!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

At the park today, we found ...

... a cool tunnel to walk through ...

... baby ducks (which tried to bite us) ...

... a waterfall (it's "reclaimed water" so don't drink it) ...

... and a rose garden.

Dear iPhone. She may be short, but my daughter is not a Munchkin.
Curse you and your lens distortion.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

More, more photos

I'd been sitting on these to post last week. Then everyone got sick. So you get them now. Who knows how long you'll have to wait to see the stuff I shot this weekend.
I don't what's funnier about this photo. The fact that Kaylee HAD to help me carry her dirty diapers out to the trash ... or the fact that she refused to get dressed until I let her.

Looks like Kaylee is ready to start wearing "big girl pants." Unfortunately, they belong to mom – who will likely shoot me for posting photos of her underpants on the internets. Good thing Kaylee didn't grab the frilly ones.

OK - you didn't have to wait that long. Here's one from Friday night.

What can I say – I'm a sucker for a good dog photo. And the kid sure does get a kick out sitting in the same chair as him ... almost as much as she gets out of sitting on him like a chair ... but I don't have THAT picture yet.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Either ...

... they are making Diaper Genie refills a little less potent, or my daughter is making her diapers a little more potent.

Either way, I lose.

Monday, April 07, 2008

More photos

Spent all day at home with a sick child today. Can't say that it broke my heart to do so. She may have felt bad – but she sure was in the mood to cuddle. The worst thing about the day was probably my decision to watch "Death Wish 4." The movie made me Charles Bronson would put me out of my misery.*

But I don't have photos from today. Instead, I give you happier times.

Like Saturday ...

We took Kaylee out for lunch and got her three favorite things. Ham. Cheese. Olives. I don't know where she got a taste for those vile, little, black things ... she sure didn't get it from me.

This weekend was the first time Kaylee has ever worn a hat without tearing it from her head – and the famed Fourth Avenue Street Fair. I just realized that Tucson has a street fair on an avenue. And it's not like we even pretend that it's a street. It's quite well known as Fourth Ave.  I guess you could call it the Avenue Fair. Or if you really want to have a street fair – just hold it on a street. Or if they really wanted to get an appropriate name, they could call it the Bunch of Crap in Tents on Fourth Avenue Fair.

But Kaylee seemed to like it. Especially after she got her balloon.

Now I know that it looks like I've got the kid on a leash. But she really wanted to walk. And she really wanted to hold her balloon. (She LOVES balloons.**) I tell you, this kid was in heaven ... right up until the time we got into the car, she got her diaper changed and Dad let the balloon fly out the open car door.

* I already brought this up with Maggie – but have you noticed that any evil "gang" in an 80s movie is an odd, multi-cultural mix of "Mad Max" and "Fame"? Usually led by a large white guy with a mohawk and some kind of urban tribal war paint. They're all chains and bad hair.
** If Grandpa Charlie and Cindy make sure there are balloons as wedding reception decorations, there will be at least one very happy grand child. Just sayin'.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Do not read over breakfast

So Kaylee's down for her nap. And it's a looong nap. We just figure she's catching up on sleep since she's had such a long weekend. An hour and a half in she starts fussing. Then more sleep. This goes on for another hour, when she finally wakes up.

So I do the un-Dadish thing to do and go get her, change her diaper ... And she runs straight to Mom.

Back to my computer I go (I was busy with the LAST update) while Kaylee and Rae make with the yogurt for a snack. Typical Sunday afternoon so far. And then ...

[Rae] Mike ...

[Me] Yeah?

[Rae] I don't think Kaylee feels too good.

[Me] Yeah?

[Rae] She's just lying here and she's letting me feed her. (When it comes to yogurt, Kaylee MUST operate the spoon. No matter how little yogurt makes it into her mouth.)

[Me] Huh.

So a few minutes go by and nothing. Finally, Kaylee waddles around the corner and stops next to my chair, looking at me with inquisitive eyes. This usually means she wants to sit on my lap and watch singing kitties on the You Tubes.

[Me] You want up?

She says nothing.

[Me] Up?

She looks at me, opens her mouth and let's out a silent burp. Then holds her arms out for me.

So I lean down to pick her up ... and puke. Technicolor yawn right past my face and painting the floor with what still appears to be yogurt. Strawberry I think.

I'm just glad I didn't pick her up the first time. That could have been my keyboard instead of the carpet.

So then I pull THE most Dadish move I've pulled yet. I scoop up the kid, announce to Rae what has happened and whisk Kaylee away to the bathroom to clean her up and change her into pajamas. Leaving the chunky strawberry puddle for Rae to blot out of the carpet. I can't say it was premeditated – but I also can't say that once I realized what I had done that I was terribly upset with my choice. In fact – this was the only time (even counting college) I can remember wiping vomit off someone's face and smiling.

These are the moments the blog was created for.

Poor kid.

Eating outs

I remember when Rae was pregnant, we went out to eat (an Applebees I think – high dining to be sure) and a family of five was seated near us. The teenager talked on the phone. The middle child couldn't sit still. The two year old yelled and threw things and went through two plates of food before he actually ate anything.

On the way out the mother noticed that Rae was pregnant. "Enjoy it while you can," she said. 

We didn't think too much of it at the time – but we have made the transition from "Oh God, can you believe they brought a screaming child to this fine dining establishment," to "Oh God, can you please keep her quiet long enough for me to inhale this cheeseburger wrapped in paper."

But at least I'm not one of those people who brings their toddler to a late-night horror movie.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


So Dad tried to sick Rae on me ... telling me that I need to update the site. Sorry, I've been busy trying to plan your summer vacation. :-P

But fear not - I've got a handful of photos that are update-worthy. And I'll post them just as soon as I log into the site with something other than my phone.