Take Your Nick to Work Day

Yesterday was Take Your Child to Work Day at my office. With Maria away on an overnight field trip, and Anna too young to participate, Nick was the only one who came along this year. Here he is, assuming command authority at my desk:


Sometime over the summer I will bring Maria and Anna in for their own visits.

Easter pictures from Kate

My dear sister got some lovely pictures of the kids on Easter. Here’s Princess Maria wearing her royal tiara:


Anna, further back in the line of succession, wears a less-flashy butterfly headband:


And Nick just clowns around:


It took Kate about 15 tries to get this shot of all three musketeers together, and even here they basically all have their eyes closed:


The photographer and her brother finally decided to put on their own lesson for the kids in eye contact with the camera:


The Easter Bunny was very good to us

Easter morning brought a wonderful array of treats for the kids, thanks to a thoughtful and busy Easter bunny. Our guys have no illusions these days about who fills the baskets, but it’s a fun morning all the same.


Anna’s basket:


Maria’s basket:


And last but not least, young master Nick’s basket:


Early reactions were favorable…


…even if some of the gifts were a little, well, strange:


The happy parents looked on happily:


And as we’ve experienced on Christmas mornings, it took the kids a while to find the bottom of their baskets:



It’s a blessing to have this problem, to be sure. And we feel truly grateful to have enjoyed such a beautiful morning in each other’s company.

Happy Easter!

We’ll be using this week to give a rundown on our very busy Easter weekend. For now, here’s a look at the beautiful welcome sign that Maria and Anna did for our Easter dinner yesterday:


Those on the East Coast, enjoy the warmth this week!

Wayback Machine: November 2009

I was just browsing through some photos this morning and came across this one of little Anna with pigtails. This was from our visit to SeaWorld about a year and a half ago.


What a nice, cheery image for the end of the week. Happy Easter!

Science Night

Last night we had Science Night at the kids’ school. Nick and Maria had classic science project boards to present, and Anna more or less got to run all over school with her friends. She also got to hold a baby chick while visiting one of the kindergarten classrooms. Life in second grade is good.


Maria was part of a team that had to create an egg drop vehicle – something that could deliver an egg to the ground without breaking, after being dropped from a height of 34 feet (11m) above the ground. Their egg was named Humpty Dumpty.


The vehicle worked, and her team ended up using pretty much the same design I used when assigned the same project in physics class in high school. Parachutes are always in style.

Camping trailer: Movin’ right along

We’re moving at full steam ahead to get our pop-up trailer ready for the season. Over the last 10 days, I’ve started making room in our very cluttered garage so that we can bring the camper inside and work on it without having to close up shop every night. The garage is, well, not quite ready to accept something 16′ x 6′ (5m x 2m) in size:


This is the specific corner where the trailer will soon live:


Regular readers of this blog will know that we would never let a little clutter slow us down. We opened up the trailer Sunday afternoon and started removing water-damaged panels and wood from the roof:


The Styrofoam panels in the roof were wonderfully waterlogged, and thus weighed about five times what they normally would. There was some seriously rotted wood in two of the corners of the roof, but the other two corners look fine. We believe we can cut out the damaged sections and repair them from inside, finishing the repair by re-sealing the exterior perimeter of the roof.

Meanwhile, Chelsea is working furiously to repair the canvas, and has ordered up some waterproofing material so we can get the canvas nice and sealed up again. Chelsea is also making some new curtains for the interior, and some new covers for the mattresses.

We’re aiming for our first trip Mother’s Day weekend, which is just about two and a half weeks away from today. Let’s see what we can get done by then!

Last kid in the kid cart

I have these bittersweet moments sometimes when I realize that Anna is growing out of things that have been a part of our lives as parents for many years now. One of them is the bedtime routine – footie pajamas, reading a book together, singing songs. Anna and I lay down for bed together most nights, but I know from experience that it will gradually stop at some point.

We had another of these moments Saturday night. I needed to run to Lowes to get a couple of things for working in the garage. Anna came along with me, and said she wanted to ride in one of the kid carts they have, which look like NASCAR race cars. I wasn’t even sure if she would fit, but she did:


I don’t really want her to stay this size forever – that would be unfair to her and a little bit of a drag for us, truth be told – but I see her bigness and her smallness at the same time, and I am very happy to enjoy this 7-year-old kid before she gets all grown up on us:


Great visit from old friends

Chels and I were delighted to host two of our friends from college, Matt and Sarah, at our house Saturday afternoon for a visit. Sarah is going to grad school here in town, and Matt lives up in Boston. Now, my kids don’t know these people from Adam. But Sarah brought her dog Remy along for the visit, and that was a big deal:


Anna in particular was quite taken with Remy:



We volunteered to be dog-sitters anytime Sarah needs to go out of town.