07 June 2009

"Hi Jack, I'm Annette . .

. . You're doing it wrong."

For some reason, that line from the '80s classic Mr. Mom is what came to mind this evening when I spied this dapper young male Goldfinch investigating my hummingbird feeder.

I'm sure he's thinking to himself, "Those hyper little hummingbirds sure seem to like this stuff, I wonder what all the fuss is about?"

"Pretty sure this is how it works . . damn, what am I doing wrong?"

06 June 2009

Best photo I've ever taken

I was chasing a few juvenile Northern Mockingbirds around my back yard tonight, trying to catch an interesting moment or two. Check this out.

Perhaps that's his way of saying, "Hey, that's close enough buddy, unless you've got something I can eat."

There were a few other signs of summer around the yard.

A few plums on the plum tree. If they somehow escape the girls' wrath until they're ripe, it'll be my pleasure to munch on fresh plums from the yard.

My gardenia bush is approaching unmanageable size. The upside there is the hundreds of blooms it pushes out twice a year. The entire patio is engulfed in their scent for a few good weeks.

The butterfly bushes are starting to bloom too. This one, in the kids' "play area", is only about 3 feet tall. One of the two on the side of the house is approaching 6 feet now.

And of course, the Easter lilies. These same 5 lily plants we got for Lily's baby shower now push out at least 2 dozen blooms a year. They were so crowded that last fall I moved about half of the bulbs to other spots in the yard, where they're doing just as well. Another few days and the Asiatic lilies will be in bloom (and so too will my allergies be).

23 May 2009

Curlew Sandpiper

This was by far the most interesting (and rare) bird anyone at the recent Cape May Spring Weekend saw. It is a very rare Eurasian bird that is not often seen in the US. I got to see two.

This is what the crowds looked like all weekend trying to get a good long look at this beauty and his presumed mate.


22 April 2009

A Fun Milestone

This is just too good to pass up.  A couple of weeks ago Mason learned to roll from his back to his belly.  

1.  Grab feet.
2.  Pull feet to mouth.
3.  Let gravity pull now-elevated chunky thighs down to one side or the other.
4.  Let go of feet.
5.  Sprawl out and find solid ground, using the belly as a fulcrum.

Then, a few days ago, he learned to roll back over from his belly onto his back.  

1.  Crane neck back as far as it will go.  
2.  Turn head to one side or the other and look at the ceiling.
3.  Roll onto the "down" shoulder.
4.  Complete the maneuver and give a big satisfied grin!

Today, for the first time, he put the whole act together and learned how the combination of these two new maneuvers could produce a mode of ambulation he'd never experienced without the help of a big person.  

07 April 2009

My Bad

Sometimes an innocent mistake turns into a really funny story.

This morning when I was picking out Lily's outfit, I remembered the bright red pair of tennis shoes she's been begging me to wear lately. I figured I'd pick her out something that would go with the red shoes, even though I knew she'd only leave the shoes on for like 5 minutes. So I rifled through her drawers, picked out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt with a red football on it, grabbed some socks and the matching red shoes, and off I went. When I pulled the jeans on her I noticed that they were sort of a 3/4 length pant . . almost a culottes. Well, whatever, that'd be cute too. Put the t-shirt on, convince her it's cute, surprise her with the shoes . . voila, we're good!

Or so I thought. Fast forward to dinner time, and Lily of course has to run to the potty. Just as an aside, she's been in a real "numbers" phase lately. "What time is it Daddy?", "What size are my jammies Daddy?", and the like. So she comes back from the potty and says "Daddy, my jeans are a size 9."

"Umm, no, they're certainly not a size 9."

"YES, they are! I read it on the tag!"

"Baloney! Show me!"

So she promptly marches over to me, turns around and flips out the waistband on the jeans to show me the tag.

Yeah. Remember how I said a simple mistake can lead to a funny story? Apparently I was a little bleary the last time I did laundry and I accidentally put a pair of Mason's jeans away in Lily's drawer. Simple mistake really . . isn't it? I think I certainly would have realized my mistake had the pants not looked so convincingly like a cute little pair of "short pants". Honestly, tell me you wouldn't have let her wear this outfit? She looks cute as a button!

The truly scary part of this story is that they fit her. And well. I'm pretty sure the last time Mason wore them they were tight around his waist, and I'm sure I had a bear of a time getting them over his big chunker thighs.

Sorry, I couldn't get her to put the red shoes back on for the picture . . hell, you're lucky she even kept the outfit on, by this time she'd been begging me to put her jammies on for the night for like twenty minutes.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my little funny. When I realized what I did, I laughed out loud at myself and just knew I had to post it. I can't wait to hear how much fun Mandi makes of me for this one.

03 April 2009

Slack ass

I am, I know. I feel bad for the 6 or 8 people who include this blog on their blogroll, I've disappointed you for more than two weeks. For some reason I hear Randy Travis singing in my head right now . . .

You've been too gone for too long,
now it's too late to come back home.
It's been so long since you walked out my door,
now you're just an old song nobody sings anymore.

I've got a new love and she's a true love,
but darlin' how could you have known.
You've been too gone for too long,
now it's too late to come back home.

I don't have a new love, per se, unless you want to count Facebook. Or my Crackberry. I have enjoyed sharing my life through this page in more ways than I ever would have imagined. There are far too many reasons (real reasons, not Facebook) that it's just become a low priority for me lately. Reasons I don't have the energy or, frankly, the inclination to go into right here right now.

Suffice it to say, I have over-extended myself in a number of ways, and the blog is suffering for it. I go birding MAYBE once a month now, and when I do there just doesn't seem to be "extra" time to sit and blog about them. Plus, I'm not doing the Big Year list this year, so there's no real drive to get out and "acquire" new birds, and as such no great stories of accomplishment. This is about what I've been getting in the way of bird photos left. A mockingbird eating my compost pile . . how picturesque.

Then there's the whole "3 kids is really no harder than 2" fallacy. Whomever spun that bullshit yarn should get a swift kick in the nertz. Toting 3 kids to the park in my compact grocery-getter with sub-par air conditioning ain't what I'd call easy. We still do it, but by the time I get them all home I'm ready for a beer and a nap . . the computer just doesn't crawl high enough up on the list. I do take pictures at the park, I haven't completely slacked off, I am just not as good at sharing them. Here's one from about a week ago.

I will not make the "nothing worth writing about" excuse. These kids are a laugh an hour, and sometimes a lot more. If only I still had that video camera I lost in the Kansas City airport when Lily was a baby . . if you all could watch her play Disney "Sing It" on the Wii, or listen to the crazy songs she makes up when she's driving around the block on her tricycle, you'd double over laughing. But really, with Mason in the stroller, Avery piloting her scooter into the middle of traffic, and making sure Lily's "Look ma no hands" routine doesn't result in 2 skinned knees, who the hell has time to try to remember the funny stories? I don't.

You've missed out on visits from Meema.

Treats at the St. Patrick's Day festival.

Lily's first soccer practice (of what I'm convinced will be a long and storied career).

And other milestones. Mason's eating some solids now (yippee, I know, how exciting). It is for him though, kid can eat like a champ.

He can also put his feet in his mouth and roll himself over from back to tummy (difficult to capture, so here's the foot thing).

I've given all of my excuses, and I don't know if I actually like any of them enough to give them "primary reason" status. But, as is the popular thing to say nowadays, it is what it is. While I have no intention of removing this blog from its rightful place here on Blogger, I also do not forsee much of a future for it. I'm not guaranteeing that this will be my last post, but the frequency is something you might consider getting used to. I'm just over-extended right now, and something's gotta give (this paragraph counts major points toward the "How many cliches can you use in one paragraph" contest I entered). If you read occasionally and enjoy the photos, I encourage you to seek me out on Facebook. It's not quite as personal, but its what's been getting the attention lately. I suppose this is my way of always striving to under-promise and over-deliver. I always hated "promises a filet mignon and serves you a hotdog" guy, and I refuse to be that guy.

So for now, I bid you all a fond farewell, and I look forward to reconnecting elsewhere.