Babysitting Duty

April 30, 2005 on 8:30 pm | In Main | No Comments

Some friends of ours needed a break, so I agreed to baby-sit their two daughters. Cortney had plans to attend a scrapbook session, so that meant I was on my own with four kids.

It turns out I had no problem. Sean and Ethan had eaten before our guests arrived, so I started the two girls off with dinner. After that, I taught the oldest girl how to play Uno, so that we had a three way game with Sean and me. After that, the kids watched Dora the Explorer. The youngest girl was a bit cranky, but it turned out that she was just hungry, having not eaten enough the first time around. And that ended the babysitting session.

A Crowded Burger King

April 29, 2005 on 9:24 pm | In Main | No Comments

Today was the last of the Friday afternoon swim lessons. I don’t mind going to the swim place, but I have to leave work early to make it on time.

As usual, we went straight to Burger King from swim lessons. It was quite crowded today, and Sean and Ethan had lots of play companions. Sean and one of the boys playing were running through the play area, and were a bit rough with each other. There was a period of time were one kid after another was getting hurt. Neither Sean nor Ethan was responsible for most of it, but it was interesting for all of the parents to figure out whose child was crying.

Ethan has had a tough time going to sleep lately. We are trying to wean him off of the pacifier. For the last few months, he only gets the pacifier when he is in the crib. Now, we are taking it away completely. Ethan takes ten to fifteen minutes now to cry himself to sleep. It hurts to hear him cry, but I think he will be better off in the long run.

Amateur Mechanic

April 28, 2005 on 7:28 pm | In Main | No Comments

After doing some research on the internet, I determined the most likely problem with my car was a broken throttle cable. After playing with the car a bit, I confirmed this. I debated whether to have the car towed, but then decided to find out where the cable was broken, to see if I could possibly jury-rig it, just to get it to the repair shop.

It turned out that the cable was just disconnected from the lever on the accelerator pedal. Somehow a bushing or nut that was there must have cracked and fallen off. Since the part of the cable that connected to the lever was fully intact, I just used a small tie-wrap to keep it attached to the lever.

The repair worked, and I was able to drive to work and back home. I have an appointment on Monday to get the car permanently fixed. I think the repair should hold until then, but just to be safe, I took the minivan to take Sean to gym class.

Car Trouble

April 27, 2005 on 8:41 pm | In Main | No Comments

I took Sean to gym class this evening, to make up for the classes he missed last week. We stopped by McDonalds for dinner. On the way home, my car started just fine, but nothing happened when I stepped on the accelerator. I made it home by quickly going to third gear, then letting the idle control move the car without stalling the engine. It took a long time to get home at 10 MPH. I’m going to have a fun day tomorrow.

Ethan Practices His Social Skills

April 26, 2005 on 8:06 pm | In Main | No Comments

Ethan worked on his social skills at the library this evening. I observed him talking to an older boy. Ethan clear said “My name is Ethan, what’s your name?” It was effective, and the other boy answered “Kyle”.

Ethan was actually a little too talkative during story time. The first story was about a teddy bear, and Ethan kept talking about the dog in his bed. I had to pull Ethan away from the other children so they could hear the story. Sean, of course, is mature enough that he knows when to talk, and when to listen to the story.

Sean Struggles with Dinner

April 25, 2005 on 8:18 pm | In Main | No Comments

Sean had a tough time eating dinner. His food was served in a blue bowl, and he really wanted a yellow bowl. I did not think this was such a big deal, but then again, I’m not five years old, either. Sean ultimately went on to misbehave through dinner, receiving a series of time-outs. I don’t think he actually ate more than a bite or two.

Sean did recover in time for gym class, and he had a good time tumbling. At least he had a tall glass of milk to finish the evening.

Cool Weather

April 24, 2005 on 7:00 pm | In Main | No Comments

We had rain and high winds last night, and it was fairly cool today. It was nice doing the yard work in the cool weather. Sean had been talking about swimming for the last two days, so I let him in the pool, even though it was cool outside. He swam for about ten minutes before he had to come out and warm up.

This evening, we had ribs on the barbecue. I have never cooked ribs before, but with Cortney’s barbecue sauce and my grill technique, they came out to be quite tasty.

I have a busy work week ahead, as I make up all of the work I missed last week because of my trip. At least I had a nice weekend to start off the week.

A Shopping Day

April 23, 2005 on 10:40 pm | In Main | No Comments

Apparently, during the stressful times of the past week, Cortney was finding relief by planning a shopping trip. She even made a list of stores she wanted to go to. So today, my first full day back, we went to Arizona Mills, the largest mall in the area. This mall had no play area, so I had to do the best I could to entertain Sean and Ethan while Cortney shopped. Cortney hit all but one of her stores on the list. We left the mall in time for Ethan and me to take a nap before dinner.

After dinner, Cortney went back for another dose of shopping while I stayed home with Sean and Ethan. I hope Cortney was able to get her full of shopping, and of course, I did not mind spending time with Sean and Ethan after being gone all week.

It’s Good to Be Home

April 22, 2005 on 9:18 pm | In Main | No Comments

My trip home was uneventful, except the plane was a few minutes late, causing us to hit rush hour driving home. We went straight to Burger King from the airport. Sean and Ethan had fun playing, but I realized how tired I was from the busy week and the plane trip home. Cortney and I relaxed while watching a movie, and that was about it for me.

Last Night In Minneapolis

April 21, 2005 on 6:57 pm | In Main | No Comments

The week is almost over. I work a half day, then fly back home tomorrow. I’m looking forward to being back.

Another Early Rise

April 20, 2005 on 6:55 pm | In Main | No Comments

I ended up getting up an hour early again today. At least I solved the clock mystery. Apparently, the room maid is applying to much cleaning pressure on the top of the clock, hitting the hour button and moving the time an hour ahead. Now, you might ask, why didn’t I check the clock before going to bed? Well, I stayed up later than I wanted to, and did not look at the clock for fear I would worry about not getting enough sleep.

Today, I had my first taste of “Northern” weather. It was in the low 40’s this morning, with highs in the upper 50’s. At least I didn’t waste space in packing a jacket for the trip.

This has been a fun week so far, but I am looking forward to returning home and spending time with Cortney and the kids.

A Minneapolis Dinner

April 19, 2005 on 8:06 pm | In Main | No Comments

We were spoiled this evening with a good dinner at a local restaurant. The out-of-town guests were all invited. The dinner was served family style, so we did not have to choose between filet mignon and swordfish, we could have both. And I did. I’m going to have to be careful that I don’t come back to Phoenix a few pounds heavier.


April 18, 2005 on 4:27 pm | In Main | No Comments

I had fun at the Mall of America last night. The mall is right by the airport, so I stopped there first before heading to the hotel. If you are not familiar with the Mall of America, it has an indoor amusement park at the center of it. More importantly though, they have a Lego store there.

I had trouble getting to sleep last night because of the two hour time difference. That wasn’t too bad, but I ended up getting up earlier than I needed to. The clock by the bed was set an hour ahead, so that I got up around 6:00 AM, thinking it was 7:00. 6:00 locally is 4:00 AM from what I’m used to.

My brain stopped functioning properly around mid-afternoon, but I somehow made it through the day anyway.

Off to Minnesota

April 17, 2005 on 8:51 am | In Main | No Comments

I’m leaving for Minneapolis today for a business trip. I have a noon flight, so I spent most of the morning getting ready. I’m going to miss Sean, Ethan, and Cortney while I’m gone.

Picture Day

April 16, 2005 on 10:18 pm | In Main | No Comments

We had another day in the 90’s, and I finally turned on the air conditioning. Sean and I actually went swimming in the pool today! The water was around 70 degrees, so we weren’t putting ourselves in danger, but it sure seemed cold. Sean was able to stay in longer than I could, but I did notice his teeth were chattering when he came out.

We never had pictures taken after Sean turned five, so we finally got around to getting that done today. We went out to dinner first, and I think Sean and Ethan were able to get the fidgeting out of their system at the restaurant, so we had an easy time taking the pictures. I think the results turned out well (click on image to see full-sized picture):

Ethan is finally over his illness. His appetite has returned. He ate well for all three meals today.

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