Sunday, June 19, 2011

My father is a pig with a hat on his head

It's been over a month since my last post, so I guess it's time to write another one. I won't even pretend that I remember everything that's happened during that time. There have been a few recent events of note, though. First is G's birthday - he's six years old now! Hard to believe. He's finishing Kindergarten this week. Here are some pictures from the family party we had for him on Sunday night the day before his actual birthday. They were taken on a cell phone camera so the quality isn't the greatest. (They would be even worse if I'd taken them with my phone.)

Today was Father's day, of course. G went to church with me so he could sing with the Primary. On the way home in the car he was telling me about what they did in sharing time. I don't pretend to have understood it - it involved two German doctors and some strange pictures that supposedly represented germs. Anyway, he got to pick one of the songs, not directly but by picking one of the pictures. I guess the doctors probably interpreted. He said he picked a picture of a pig with a hat on its head. I asked him what the song was, and he said he didn't remember but he thought it was a song about fathers. So I sang it for him:

My father is a pig with a hat on his head,
My father is a pig with a hat on his head,
My father is a pig with a hat on his head,
It's the strangest thing you'll ever see.

My father is a pig with a hat on his head,
My father is a pig with a hat on his head,
My father is a pig with a hat on his head,
The only thing sillier is me.

I finished up just as we were pulling into the driveway and he ran screaming to his mother.
I went inside and the first thing I saw was a plastic pig snout that he'd recently picked up at a birthday party. So I put it on and put a hat on my head and went to see him.
Here's a picture he took of me:
One last picture. This is from a different birthday party he went to recently. It was for a kid in his primary class. The invitation indicated a Star Wars theme, but not much more. So we were surprised when we got there to find a full scale carnival going on. This picture is of G with his face painted.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fathers and sons and hamsters

This weekend was the Father and Sons campout for our stake. I wasn't able to leave work until a little before 6, so by the time I got home, got Griffin, and drove out to the camp site it was already a little after 8. I knew we were going to be that late so I stopped at McDonalds on the way to pick up dinner which we ate in the car on the rest of the way. We arrived just in time for the fireside, then I found out where our ward was located and we went there. It was a little fun finding a place for the tent and setting it up in the dark, but it was a nice clear night with the moon over half full so we managed. Then we went in the tent and spent quite a while making shadow animals on the tent wall and telling jokes and silly stories until way past G's normal bed time.

It was a somewhat restless night - G woke me up once because he didn't want to go out by himself to use a tree, and in the very early morning a very noise gaggle of geese flew in to the lake we were camping beside. (We didn't get up that early.)

After we did get up we took the tent down and put it away. G was a big help with that. Then we went to breakfast. After that we wandered around for a while with one of the boys in G's primary class and his dad and brother while we waited for a canoe to become available. The five of us then took the canoe for a trip around the lake. After going back to the campsite to see G's friend's tent (G was a little too helpful with that), we went back to the main camp area and played tug-a-war and soccer and baseball and other games for a while before heading home.

I just asked G what his favorite part of the campout was. He said it was the shadow puppet show. It occurs to me that we could have stayed home to do that. Oh, well. I know he really enjoyed the canoe trip as well, and that would have been harder to do at home.

I notice that it's been a while since I wrote here. In the interval, Tigera's name changed to Bubbles, but Bubbles got wet tail and had to go back to the pet shop. Then a week later they called to tell me he had died. So we have a new hamster now. His name was Tiger for quite a while, but I think now he's Tom. I doubt it is possible to teach a hamster to come when he's called by name, but even if it isn't ours will probably never manage the trick with how often the name changes. Anyway, Tom/Tiger is doing well. He's already outlived his predecessor by quite a bit. He's well past the point where the pet store would take him back if he got sick. He also seems friendlier and more at home in his cage.

Sorry about the lack of pictures this time. I forgot to take my camera on the campout. I think another family in our ward got a picture of us in the canoe, if I get a copy of that I'll add it in here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring has sprung

No guarantees that we won't still have more snow (and the shadiest corner of the back yard still has a rather impressive snow bank), but we've finally started to have some occasional springlike weather. The baseball season has started (quick, somebody tell the Red Sox!) and outdoor activities are possible without a coat. Here's a video of G getting ready for T-ball, which I believe will be starting soon.

I'm not sure that video will work. It doesn't work in the edit window where I am creating this post, but it meets all the criteria listed by Blogger so I don't know why. I'll go ahead an publish and see if it works after that. If not, I'll try to figure out how to make it work for you later.

G's mom is out of town on a business trip all week, so I'll be Mr. Mom this week. Of course, things are really heating up on my major project at work right now. For a while it looked like things would be delayed enough that I could safely take the whole week off, but as it is I will be working a short day tomorrow and probably Wednesday and maybe working from home for much of the rest of the week. I'm still looking forward to not having to drive out to Peabody every day this week.

I almost forgot the other big news of the weekend. We've had a new addition to the family. Here he is:
Meet Tigerra the hamster. (I lobbied for Harry and/or Agent H, but I guess I lost.) I think the picture came out pretty good, and I hope so because I'm afraid I blinded the poor critter taking it.

Update: The video works for me now. Let me know if you have trouble viewing it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

... Back

I guess I should have knocked on wood or something.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Going, Going ...

This is G with his friend from across the street, standing in front of the remains of his fort. You know, the one he was sitting on top of in a picture a few weeks ago. There was a picture of him sitting on top of a larger snow pile in that same post, and that pile is even smaller than this one now (it's in a sunnier spot). At the rate things are going, we may lose the last of our snow before the end of this week. And with any luck we won't be getting any more any time soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Franklin Park Zoo

Inspired in part by the pictures Julia sent us from the reunion which included Hogle Zoo pictures (thanks, Julia!), G and I decided to go to the Franklin Park Zoo today. I'd never been before. I was under the impression that it was the main Zoo in Boston. That's probably true if you mean actually in Boston. In fact, it may be the only zoo in Boston. But there are at least two others in the Boston area, and having been to all three now I'm not sure that Franklin Park isn't the worst. That might not be fair since I visited the others in the summer. Only about half of the exhibits were actually open today. Many of the animals which are unable to withstand the cold weather have no provision for indoor viewing. In some cases I think they may actually be shipped somewhere farther south for the winter. Anyway, the Stone Zoo probably isn't really any better. In fact, if you were to combine the Stone Zoo with the Franklin Park Zoo (and eliminate the resulting redundancies) you'd probably end up with something close to Hogle Zoo. In some ways they really are combined, except for geographically. They appear to have a combined management. Although our single day's admission to Franklin Park wouldn't have gotten us into the Stone Zoo as well, if I'd bought a year's membership that would have worked for both.

The Franklin Park Zoo is still plenty large enough to tire out a 5 year old walking completely through it. Some of the missing animals have rather large habitats. And it was interesting to see which animals were able to deal with the cold and which weren't. For instance, we saw a rather large lion outside sunning itself on a rock. The rock was clear but the rest of the habitat was still covered in snow. Some tigers were also outside in an area with lots of snow on the ground. An area which I think would normally have held both zebras and giraffes had the zebras, but no giraffes.

There was a rather large indoor exhibit area for tropical animals which included a very large colony of gorillas. I tried to get a picture of the tiny baby gorilla clinging to its mother's leg as she walked around, but the crowd in front of the window was too large and by the time I was able to get close enough for a picture the mother had wandered out of sight. I did get a few pictures elsewhere, though. Here's G with a red panda. (The red panda is on the roof of the building behind G.)

G is for goat:

G hanging out with the flamingos:

G wanted to get his picture with the mandrill. This was in the tropical building and the area wasn't well lit. In the resulting picture G was well lit, but the mandrill was completely in the dark. I've tried to edit the picture to enhance the mandrill without completely washing G out. This is as good as I could get it. Maybe it's for the best, considering the mandrill's position and the prominence of a certain portion of his anatomy.

Finally, I'm not sure why zoos always seem to have a playground area, but the Franklin Park Zoo is no exception and as usual G was as interested in playing in it as he was in seeing any of the animals. This despite the fact that the ground in the play area was still very much snow covered.

Today was actually a rather warm day - the high was in the lower 50's. We only had one day this week that didn't get above freezing, It snowed enough last Sunday morning that church was canceled, but we've had more rain than snow since then. If it weren't for the still deep snow on the ground everywhere that hasn't been shoveled or plowed it would really feel like spring.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sledding, Flat Stanley, and Winning the Lottery

Spring may finally be arriving here. We had more snow over the weekend - somewhere near half a foot, or at least that's how high it was piled on my car. But since then we've been having rain and the highs have been well above freezing. I just checked the ten day forecast and we have another cold snap coming on Thursday but the highs are supposed to quickly get back up into the 40's after that and stay there, so in a couple of weeks we may even have some patches of bare ground.

I forgot to take my camera with me when we went sledding on President's day, so no pictures from that (sorry Rachelle). It wasn't really a very good sledding day, anyway. We only got an inch or two of snow that morning, and the local sledding hill had been sledded to death before that - all the previous snow had been compacted into solid ice. So while we could make pretty good time sledding down the hill it was pretty hard on our bottoms and getting back up the hill was nearly impossible.

To make up for the lack of sledding pictures from last week, here is a picture from a year ago:
Also, one other picture. We had a visit from Flat Stanley, and he went to a Star Wars themed birthday party with G on Saturday. Here's a picture of them with a couple of other boys at the party:
Both of the boys in the picture with G and Flat Stanley are in G's primary class. The one on the left is the birthday boy.

I understand that Flat Stanley also went to Parker's Maple Barn in New Hampshire that morning, but I don't have any pictures of that since I wasn't there.

The other notable event on Saturday is that G and I both got richer. G's big brothers were playing in a basketball league (M's team won the championship!), and they had a raffle for a fund raiser. There was a winner for each day of the month in February. On Saturday I got a call informing me that I'd won on the previous Thursday. Later that day I went to pick up my winnings at the local hardware store (I won $50). As I was leaving I ran into G with his mother and brothers as they were going in to pick up his winnings - he'd won that day's drawing. (This was after Parker's Maple Barn and before the birthday party.) He also won $50, which in his case just about doubled his net worth.