Thursday, May 29, 2008

This is what happens while I'm at work

I think the pictures speak for themselves but in case you can't tell, Chris drew a mustache on Brendan just for laughs.

It is pretty funny though.

Welcome to the corporate world, Chris

It's finally happened... Chris has entered the workforce by accepting a job with Lane Links in Orem, UT as their new Technology Project Manager. I didn't picture us staying in Utah after graduating but things sometimes don't work out like you think, so I'm trying to have a good attitude about it. I actually am very excited for him and even more excited that I was able to put in my two weeks notice! While I have loved working for VitalSmarts for the last 4 years, I am ready to move on and be home with Brendan. I have many big plans for us that mostly includes long afternoons at the pool, eating popsicles, and taking long naps.

Also worth noting, Chris let me take him shopping to buy him some new clothes for his job! While he doesn't have to wear a suit everyday, he was in need of some nice business casual clothes so he wouldn't have to wear the same slacks every day. After what seemed like 4 hours of shopping, he actually found several things that he liked. That may not be a big deal for some people, but Chris is incredibly picky when it comes to clothes. Getting him to shop is like pulling teeth (most of the time) so I was glad that he could expand his wardrobe. And I'm also very glad that we won't have to do that again for a while. My job was to chase after Brendan as we literally ran everywhere in the store. He was so excited that he would run back to the dressing rooms and try to knock down Chris' door or climb underneath it. Then he would jump back up and run away for the next 10 minutes. I was exhausted but at least Chris will look sharp on his first day of work! It was well worth it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another week has gone by

I've been absent from the blog for awhile but things here have been a little crazy and hectic. Here's some of the exciting things that have been happening here:

Chris got 2 job offers the end of last week. Wow- we were so excited, especially me since I want to be home with my little buddy so bad. I had a glimmer of hope of being able to quit but unfortunately, neither of those jobs were the right fit for Chris. So he turned down both of them. Which means I'm still working and I even added some extra hours to my work week to help make ends meet a little better. Not fun for me.

We've had amazing weather here (until just recently- now it's quite rainy and cooler) and Brendan has wanted to be outside every second of the day. But it's been fun to watch him run around and go on walks with him to explore things. He's also really enjoyed playing in our parking lot with our neighbor's toys, as you can tell by the cute pictures below.

He's actually learning to push it with his feet by himself. Way to go Brendan!

Brendan has discovered raisins and suddenly loves them. It took several attempts but he now freely eats handfuls of them. At first he would spit them out immediately. After a few times, he would suck on them but then spit them out and they would get stuck to my socks. Gross. I'm much happier now that he eats them, especially since I bought a ginormous bag of them and was a little worried about wasting them. But it seems to have worked out!

All in all, we're just busy with life around here. Lots of laundry, cooking and playing, all while Chris is interviewing and applying and while I'm off at work. We're busy but having a grand ol' time.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blog post

This post will attempt to combine the story of a death and a birth all into one magnificent tale. Most people are aware that Grandpa Russell (Al) died a couple of weeks ago. Most people are also aware that Carrie (my sister) celebrated her birthday about a week ago, two days after Grandpa's funeral. So the best way to combine these two events is to recall a treasured memory of mine-
Many years ago our parents decided they needed a break from their awesome and perfectly behaved children. They decided to go to Hawaii for a week or two and to let the grandparents enjoy the presence of their awe inspiring grandchildren that they never got to see enough of. Some of the details are fuzzy since this occurred about 20 years ago (that makes me feel old. Valerie also pointed out to me that I am getting lots of wrinkles by my eyes that I didn't have before. That also makes me feel old which brings me to an important topic-music. Kids today just don't appreciate good music. Neil Diamond was on American Idol recently where he gave the performance of a lifetime. He performed a dazzling number from his new album. It started slow and built and built and then Diamond started shaking his hips and grooving his whole body to the rhythm of the music like a man possessed. When the music really started rocking he shuffled his feet and did his version of the running man dance. While this amazing display was going on the crowd of young girls in the front row, rather than scream and faint and do what those girls usually do for the other performers, they just kind of stood there and looked confused and out of place. So my point is that Neil Diamond was under appreciated and frankly it makes me sick). So it must have been summertime because we had our little kiddie pool set up in the back yard (old house). It was the kind of pool that came packed tightly into a small box and you unfolded it and propped the sides up and only when it was full of water did it sort of maintain the shape it showed in the picture on the box. Once in the pool, the only thing separating you from the hard ground was about three millimeters of thin, odorous, blue plastic. Normally that might not sound appealing, but some of the best times have been spent in pools just like that all over America. So the three of us kids played in the pool. The water was cold the air was hot and the supervision was minimal as the grandparent stayed inside doing whatever it was that they liked to do (like I said the details are fuzzy). So there came a point where I had to go pee. Carrie told me that I could pee in the pool and she promised she wouldn't tell. Back and forth we went "you promise not to tell?", "Yes, I promise I won't tell Grandpa", "you really promise?", "Yes, I promise. For reals. I won't tell." After such convincing I went pee in the pool. As I was peeing Carrie was running into the house to promptly tell Grandpa. At this point I'm not sure what Johnny B was doing. Was he in the pool while I was peeing? Was he by the fence trying to communicate with the neighbor kids Chucky and Katie? Or was he inside with the grandparents? If anyone has further details, please post in the comments section. So, as I finished my urination break Grandpa bursts through the back door and thus began the chase. I'm not sure how long we ran around out in the backyard, but I do remember that Grandpa was wearing pointed boots. I also remember being chased around the backyard when we got into Grandpa's shaving cream. We got Grandma so mad at one point that she even said the world "crap."
Certainly these are not my only memories of Grandpa and Carrie. Grandpa was a man of few words, but when he spoke people listened. In a job interview I had last week they asked me what kind of sense of humor I had. I said that my sense of humor was dry, but that I'm kind of a funny guy. I said I think I get it from my Grandpa. If I do, then I'm very lucky. We will miss Grandpa. But, we also learned something valuable from all of this. If Carrie promises she won't tell on you, don't trust her. I have a feeling Leila will be the same way, so Spencer and Marissa should be careful. P.S. Carrie had the best birthday ever in a Cedar City Dairy Queen. We broke the fire code and lit candles inside and everything. We even used Johnny B's leatherman knife to cut into a rock solid ice cream cake. The cake was Carrie's, but somehow it ended up at Johnny B and Erin B's house. Go figure.
My eyes and hands are tired. Goodnight.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Instead of posting photos with this post I will paint a picture with a thousand words (total word count may be less than one thousand words). Mother's day conjures up memories of cookies on the table after school, school lunches that always had napkins with little messages written on them, and constant support and encouragement. Valerie and I both have enjoyed having great mothers and little Brendan will get to enjoy the same. Growing up I got in trouble for throwing rocks at windows and lights, flinging green pudding on the classroom curtains and ceiling, tyring to put a stick in a neighbor girl's bicycle spokes while she rode so that she would fall off, peeing on the playground, and numberless other offenses. While Valerie is oh so cute and adorable, I think her parents would agree that she was a handful too, growing up. But, even after all of the trouble we got into our mothers always loved and supported us. So, happy mother's day Moms and thanks for everything.

Now, for all of our other faithful readers out there who are not our mothers, here are two funny little stories, both involving poop. First, we recently took a trip to Arizona to attend my Grandpa Russell's funeral. When we were getting close to my Grandmother's home it was painfully obvious that Brendan had soiled himself. We were traveling in a packed Suburban with no escape from the fumes emitting from Brendan's shorts. In hindsight we should have had him wear tight pants that would have trapped the smell better. Anyway, we finally get to grandma's house and Brendan is very excited and running everywhere. For my Grandma, this was her first time getting to see Brendan in person. He was too busy for hugs because he had to run up and down the little step separating the front room from the living room. Brendan was running pretty hard and in the process a little log fell out of his shorts onto the carpet. So my Grandma's first visit with Brendan started off with him pooping on her floor. But, she says she still loves him.

Second story. Little Leila is my sister Carries little daughter. She is currently being potty trained so she gets to wear big girl underwear. However, she still hasn't perfected the going to the bathroom thing. So that night there came a point where we realized that Leila wasn't around and that no one had seen her for a little while. I remembered seeing her going into the laundry room about 10 minutes prior. Johnny B-Fro (my brother) was by the laundry room door and opened it up and poked his head in. Leila was squatting in the corner. She said to Johnny "Shh! Go away, I'm pooping." So that explained her absence and Carrie was able to enjoy a pretty big clean up session (Leila had eaten a hearty lunch and dinner prior to this occasion).

The first night at Grandma's was full of fun and adventure. I have to go now.

Contrary to my statement on photos in this post I added some photos at the bottom. Sometimes pictures are better than words. Ignore all other people in these photos that aren't mothers. Goodbye.

Hip Hip Hooray!

My brother Ian has officially graduated from the University of Florida Law School! Yahoo! Just don't forget about us minions once you become a big shot lawyer.

Congrats and way to go on all your hard work. Hope you and Erin celebrate grandly for this big achievement! We're so proud of you Bonehead!

Monday, May 5, 2008

All kidding aside

I just wanted to say how proud I am of Chris finishing his Masters in Communications. He's a modest guy so I know he wouldn't toot his own horn (I on the other hand...), so I'm taking the opportunity to publicly thank him for all his hard work. He had his share of late nights and long hours but I seriously never heard him complain. The guy's amazing and his thesis committee said he was the model that they wished every grad student would follow. He's the only one of his group that graduated on schedule. When he received the results from his department exam (really the only exam of his program, therefore they are pretty tough), the only comment he had was "excellent work." Most grad students have to retake parts- but not Chris, just excellent work from him the whole two years. His professors loved him and mentioned on more than one occasion how dependable he was and how they knew he'd always produce quality work.

So after two years, I'm looking forward to the next phase of our life together. I know that the past two years is a great indicator of what we have ahead of us and I couldn't be more excited. Thanks Chris, and congrats!

Three amazing years

Here's a nod to my sister and her hubby Brent for celebrating their three year anniversary tomorrow. I can't believe the time has gone by so fast! Hope you two have fun!