Sunday, January 25, 2009

Better Late Than Never

You know how it goes. You're at some party or event and your camera battery dies or you're busy so you ask someone if they can take pictures and give a copy to you later. Usually, you never get the pictures. Well, someone else took these pictures (Thanks Mom!) and I obviously did get the copies, it just took awhile for me to get them transferred to the computer. We'll start back at Cade's birthday party...

Birthday boy, Pa and me.

Cam and Pa

Judging by the cheesy grin on Kevin's face and the fact that neither Pa nor I are looking at the camera, Kevin must have said something right before the picture was taken.

This was one of Cade's presents - his very own scooter. He can ride his brothers' two-wheeled scooters alright but this one is his favorite.

The boys and their scooters.

I just love this picture of Cade.

Helping Pa give the Corvette a 450hp transplant!

Since I wasn't even on the same side of the Mississippi, Kevin had to take charge in getting the family Christmas tree. Here he is cutting down his first tree.

Kevin helping Tootie drag their tree down the hill.

Kevin's one and only soccer tournament was in December. I missed that too. I think he looks big in this picture. I called Dana to check on the game just seconds after he made a goal. When I heard that I almost cried because I missed it!

Family portrait on Christmas day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Digging Out

We've made pretty good progress on digging out from under our avalanche of boxes and have an almost normal house. Our layout is a little weird but it works for us. We made Cameron's room out of the sun room that opens directly to the living room. We're trying to figure out what to do for a room divider to hide his perpetual mess. The formal dining room is now our game room/office. Except our computer is temporarily in the master bedroom because, for obvious reasons, there are no cable outlets in the dining room. Gotta fix that! At least Kevin and Cade have normal bedrooms. We still have some boxes in the house that we're slowly sorting through. A lot of them are on hold until we get the garage sorted out a little better. But at least there's light at the end of the tunnel and it ain't the train.

Since the weather has been rather yucky, we've been spending our evenings at home. The boys and I are hooked on Guitar Hero - or at least I am - so we spend a portion of our evenings playing games together. You have to play that game if you ever get the chance. It's fun. I'm almost embarrassed to admit we have it for both Cameron's Wii and Kevin's Xbox. Kevin has regular GH with 2 guitars so we can play head to head. Cameron has GH World Tour with the drums and microphone. No one is really brave enough to sing yet but we have fun with the instruments.

Kevin and I are playing together on his Xbox. If you look closely, Cade even has his toy guitar and is "playing" with us.

Cade likes to join in on the action. Here he is jamming out on the drums!

In case you couldn't tell by the gravel instead of grass, this is at our house in Las Cruces. Kevin got a new helmet for Christmas and gave his old one to Cade. Cade wore the helmet around the house and anytime he was riding one of his toys. Here's my safety conscious boy riding his 4-wheeler.

Doesn't he look cute? Unfortunately, there really isn't room to ride it here. There aren't any sidewalks on our side of the street and our driveway sure as heck isn't empty anymore.

A picture only a desert rat would take. We're still new enough to this environment to enjoy the sight of ice forming on everything. That is, unless I have to scrape it off the windshield. I thought the heated mirrors and rear window was a waste of money when I bought my pickup. Now I wish all the windows had heating elements!
Our subdivision has a playground not too far from here so Dana took the boys to play yesterday during an unusually mild day. She didn't get any warm, fuzzy feelings from most of the people she saw. Not that they were bad or scary people but I just don't think a golf course community is the right place for us. Unless they let me start riding on it! Bwaaahaaaahaaaaa! Sigh. I can only imagine. At any rate, we have at least a year here so we have plenty of time to figure out what we want to do or where to go.
We did finally meet some neighbors this past week! I have to back up a little to give you the full effect. Picture this: Its about 6:30 in the evening and Dana is doing laundry as I'm complaining about the house being cold - as usual. She tosses my pajamas to me, fresh out of the dryer, and tells me to put those on. I bask in the warmth and comfort that is clean, just dried PJs. She puts hers on too. A little later, someone knocks on the doorbell. The kids were literally running and yelling down the hall when she knocked so I couldn't pretend no one was home. I went ahead and opened the door and tried to do the peek-around-the-door trick so the person wouldn't see what I was wearing. When she introduced herself and told me she brought a pie to welcome us to the neighborhood I saw no choice but to invite her in. Dana tried to hide but I made her come out too. I wasn't about to suffer in embarrassment alone. She was a very nice lady, about the same age as us (Dana and I are still, like, 24 or so ). Turns out she and her husband own the Ford dealership in town. Funny thing was we had just dropped our Fusion off there for some warranty work about an hour earlier. Since then, when we talked to the people at the dealership, they knew who we were (Jim's neighbor) and have been very friendly and helpful. A far cry from Borman Autoplex in Las Cruces (those dopes told us the whistling through the door seal was "normal" and refused to do anything) but I digress. Now we've met 2 neighbors and both seem to be very nice. So far so good!
Hopefully the weather will warm up soon so we can get the kids outside more often. Today Cade broke one of our dining room chairs (broke both uprights on the back) and followed that up by wiping out a candle holder in the bedroom. Both times I watched it happen but was too far away to do anything. Then again, if they're outside they'll probably crash a soccerball through a window or something.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I believe everyone knows we made it to Bama safely. It was smooth sailing for the 5 of us throughout the whole trip. The worst thing I had to contend with was a sort-of-low tire on the motorcycle trailer as we got ready to leave the hotel on Saturday morning. When you're traveling with 3 boys and that's the worst thing that happened, that's saying A LOT!!! Speaking of the boys, they were great. Dana and I were in separate cars so they pretty much rotated between us every time we stopped. Cade took that pretty seriously too. When traffic came to a stop on the highway through Dallas, Cade got mad at Dana when she wouldn't let him get in the car with me.

Speaking of traveling, if you don't have a portable GPS unit (or one in your car) I highly recommend getting one before you go on your next vacation. Those things are worth their weight in gold when you're trying to get through a strange city. And if your spouse is following in another car, make sure she stays behind you so when you switch lanes to turn toward Alabama she doesn't end up in South Carolina. Just saying.

Unfortunately, I didn't know the camera was on the floorboard next to me for the entire trip (and Dana forgot to mention it) so we didn't get any pictures on the way out. Oh well, I showed the interesting stuff to you, sans kiddos, when I moved in November.

Once we got here, we had to live with very little furniture, silverware, etc., until our stuff arrived the following Wednesday. The house was very noisy with nothing in it but the kids had a blast running full speed down the hall and sliding across the living room floor. Finally, the day came for our stuff to arrive. I played hooky to help get things organized. The movers brought our boxes in and in and in and in some more. The house was FULL of boxes. Now, 4 days later, it's only Full of boxes. We're making progress, but losing a few rooms and 1/3 the size of the house (and 2/3 the garage - I'm going to faint) makes it really tough to get moved in. Where are all the built-in shelves? Where are all the extra cabinets and closets?

This is one of the views we were facing after the packers left. As Cade would say, "Oh snap!"

To make matters worse, the packers packed EVERYTHING by double or quintuple wrapping it with paper. We have tons and tons of paper now. For example, our toilet bowl brush is a normal brush with a plastic vase type container. I opened a box to find the brush removed and paper stuffed inside the container! That's gross. I didn't want to handle that paper. Plastic trucks that were in the backyard were carefully wrapped in paper before boxing. Stuff like that. To be fair, the packers did a good job but what do we do with all this packing material? I won't even mention what the garage looks like. It will be months before I get that sorted out. The Camaro Project is officially on hold for the foreseeable future.

No joke. Dana was unwrapping our dishes and was only about 1/2 way through the box when I took this picture of the paper she had removed. The box wasn't all that big.

Cade was so excited to get his toys back. When he saw the truck pull up to our house he started singing and dancing because his toys were finally here. In an effort to keep him from destroying his room, Dana told him he could get some toys out of this box but everything had to stay on the bed. When I walked in, he had a pretty good pile going but he was being very careful not to let anything get on the floor. When he dropped a piece of tape from the box he asked me to pick it up right away.

You know what they say about kids and boxes. The boys are having a blast playing in them. They especially like the wardrobe boxes. As usual, I can't really comment on Cameron's expression.

Quality GameBoy time together.

The boys also started school this week. Kevin was pretty nervous and I was nervous for them. I remember how much I hated moving to a new school and I didn't want these boys to go through that. Fortunately, Kevin's school assigned a buddy to him and that worked really well. He had an instant friend and didn't have to wander around trying to find everything on his own so he actually enjoyed his first day. He even had some boys tell him that a couple of girls like him. On his first day! The part I think he's most proud of though, was the fact that his freakshow arm twisting thing had several kids walk up to him and ask him if he would do that thing with his arms. I'll get a video to show you but he holds his hands behind his back and pulls them over his head without breaking his grip.
Cameron's day was fine as well. The teacher had told Cam there was another Cameron in his class so my Cam was really excited to meet him. (Did that make sense? It was hard to type.) Turns out, the other Cameron is a bit of a trouble maker so our Cameron decided to steer clear of that boy. But he did make a friend and had a lot of good things to say about school that evening. All told, I would call it a successful and fairly uneventful transition for both of them.
Dana is still retired for the time being. She spends her days eating bon bons and telling me how hard she's working on unpacking. I know better though.
I spent the last week feeling under-dressed at work with my jeans and running shoes. When I went home to NM, I wore my nice work shoes but I forgot to set them aside when the packers came. I figured my Dockers would look pretty stupid with gray tennis shoes so I went for the "Relaxed Friday" look all week. But that was the least of my worries. Follow along as I tell you a tale of "The Haircutting Incident". As you will see, this is all Dana's fault. You see, I had Dana cut my hair on the 28th. Normally, she cuts everything one length then puts a shorter comb on the clippers and cuts the back and sides again. When she's done, I pick up the clippers, switch combs back to the longer one and buzz a few places that she always misses. Well this time she thought she would play some kind of mean prank on me and only cut my hair one length. When she was done she removed the comb (keywords here) and walked out. This one length thing totally threw off my mojo but I hadn't realized it yet. I picked up the clippers and thought to myself that there was no need to change anything because it's all the same length. I then proceeded to buzz the side of my head where there were several extra long strands. See? She set me up! The worst part was that moment of realization as the clippers made that grinding sound like they're really cutting through something instead of the quick buzz-buzz they normally make when you're trimming a few hairs. Needless to say, I looked like a complete moron with 1 week until I had to be back at work. The good news, and I never thought I'd say this, is that because of my gray hair on the other (still hairy) side of my head, it wasn't too terribly noticeable, especially from a distance. Still, I wore a hat everywhere for the next week.

See that big bald spot above my ear that gives me a horizontal sideburn thing? Totally Dana's fault!
And finally, a couple of random pictures from before our move. Photo credit goes to Mom.

Proof that the kids got their good looks from Dana. This was pre-"haircut incident".

Picture of Pa and his littlest buddy.