Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jack in the hat(s)

Jack and I were at the party supply store with Lavi. I found a fun way to keep him entertained by trying on party hats.

Jack in his best mafia hat




Jack as Muggsy the Enforcer



Jack as the Lucky Charm guy



Jack as a little Irish Lepercaun



Jack as I don't know what but he was insistent upon the pink hat.




Jack as GI Joe



Jack as either a member of the North or a train conductor



Jack with a big hat.



Jack as a member of the barber shop quartet


Jack in his New Year's hat




All in all a fun trip to store.

Posted via mobile

Blogging via mobile

I've been looking for a good blogging app for my iPhone. I'm trying one out called "BlogPress". I'm hopeful that it will work.

It is a little daunting typing using the iPhone keyboard, I'll give you that. In fact I'm sure it will reduce my lengthy posts. But I wanted a bit more control of the post from my phone than simply emailing a post.

I'm explaining all this mostly for Mark's benefit. The dude might be working on next hen auto efficient engines but his cell phone knowledge is just a hair above his mother's.

So a few more tests to come.


- Posted via mobile

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sis-in-law bliss

We made Siobhan quite happy this evening with Oysters at Flying Fish

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mark coming to Seattle

Pretty excited that Mark and Siobhan are making the cross-country trip to Seattle for the holidays. I have told Mark over and over how I do not take for granted all the work it takes to make these trips. Its a holiday gift in itself for sure. He's only going to be here for short trip, but it looks to be full of fun.

BTW, Mark posted some wedding pictures to my Zenfolio account. They are terrific. It's hard to believe how good Mark can look, but I contribute that completely to standing next to his stunning Bride. Just compare those to the shots of the two of us together (grin).

Here is the link to the photo gallery. Below are some of my favorite shots.

Here's one of the happy Moran family:

Come on, you just knew there would be a picture of Jack in here. I mean it's "Brothers Moran" only when there is no news about the "Wonderful World of Jack" to report, right... He was in fine form this evening. You can hardly tell that the Tux he has on would fit a small lineman in NFL.
Here's a great on of Mark and me. I'd like to say I was giving him advice from my 14 years of marriage. Wisdom that I've gathered and learned. Much like when we were young and he'd learn from my triumphs and mistakes. But no, I was simply telling him how much I loved him and how happy I was for him. I'm not too proud to say I wasn't crying when I did it either. I was really happy and this picture captured that.


And finally a simply great picture of Mark & Siobhan.


Can't wait to you see two. Safe travel.
Jeff

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Eight is great

This post idea is from my cousin Katie. She recently posted the same. Seeing how I love lists and Mark some times posts them too once a year I thought this might be neat. Enjoy

8 Things I'm looking forward to...

8. Jack potty "Learned/Trained" whatever, no more diapers
7. Mark blogging one day
6. Katie's next blog post
5. New Year's Eve traditions
4. Holiday break from work
3. Getting back in bike fitness
2. Mark & Siobhan visiting Seattle for the holidays
1. Jack winning the Tour de France in 2035

8 Things I did yesterday...

8. Survived all my meetings
7. Helped my team
6. dropped Jack at daycare in the morning
5. Came home to a big Jack hug
4. had some adult time with Lavinia
3. completed my work tasks by EOD
2. decided not to eat the chocolate
1. Had dinner as a family


8 Things I wish I could do...

8. Fly
7. work at a non-profit because bills would not exist
6. create more time in the day
5. speak spanish well
4. speak english well
3. Overhaul my own bikes
2. Show Jack how to dunk a basketball on a regulation hoop
1. Get tested for EPO becuase it would mean I was a top end cyclists

8 Shows I enjoy...

8. Modern Family
7. The Guild
6. Dexter
5. Angel
4. Sports Night
3. Firefly
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
1. Scrubs

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Guess who is coming to town

Panamanian Mother's Day

Dear Lavinia,

I wanted to wish you a Happy Mother's Day. I think it will be funny to think about our American family that will read this post and wonder why I'm 6 months late in wishing you a Happy Mother's Day, but they will not know that Panama also celebrates this occasion. In fact, they will not know that this day in Panama is a very big deal. That this day ranks as a top day in the country, even ahead of Independence Day(s).

You are a wonderful mother to our son, Jack. I'm so happy to be on this journey with you. I know that we are both learning how to be parents at the same time, but I swear you stole the answers to the quiz from the Principal's office because you are doing so well. Every year I'm happy to celebrate this day because you deserve it.

Jack is lucky to have a Mami like you. Caring, compassionate, smart, funny, easy-going, insightful and with a sensibility that I hope he pays attention to.

This picture below is how I think of you. Encouraging him to stand tall, look forward, but letting him know you are near by to keep him safe.

I love you,
Jeff

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jack vs Santa

Jack saw Santa today at Swansons. We went up to see the reindeer
feeding. They had a camel and a donkey too. Jack really liked their
train set up as well.

Jack saw Santa. He did not run to him but was a little wary. No crying
or fear though. He walked up and with dome encouraging informed Mr.
Claus that he wanted a reindeer book. As far as battles go we will
call this one a draw and celebrate like a soccer fan.

Jeff, what's a happening?

Been a while for me in terms of writing things to read on the blog. Although I'm sure the pictures of Jack and the video keep you all well fed. I would at times hope a little brother of mine could help out but he's been busy working his too-tall fanny off I hear. Perhaps I should get Siobhan an account and let her at it, I wonders. No, I've just been busy. Working with computers during the day the last think I want to do is "log-in" at home. Plus, a long post like this is hard from my iPhone ("iPhone..! Type Blog Post Now" app is not available yet either). Not posting is a trend. My cousin Katie seems to been as afflicted as me and actually apologies in her post. I'll do no such thing, unless you want me to, because I can...


Things I've been doing:
I've been trying to get back to working out, which is my secret code for returning to my love affair with my various 2 wheeled ladies that I keep hanging in the garage. Lavinia is okay with this open relationship and actually encourages me to show them some love. How did I get so lucky to marry her? Anyway, Its getting cold here in Seattle and I still haven't found a treasure trove of time to ride my bike, so I've been sitting on the trainer 2x a week in the Adobe garage (we have a secured bike area with a full work shop thanks to me). I set up a way to watch videos and spin away. I feel like a complete tool, but keep reminding myself "You don't win the Tour in July" as my motivation.

I've also been running 2x a week. My friend Rod just completed his first marathon and has me inspired to think big. I always knew Rod could do this. How I "feel" I look while riding a bike (which is awesome and perfect in many ways), Rod actually does look when running. Dudes, got form. I think the big part of running is nailing your playlist and I've been experimenting there a lot. As I posted I'm loving the new AIC but it is not the work out beat you need. I find that some Billy Idol, Rage Against the Machine, even some really bad AC/DC and such does the job. Maybe I'll post my playlist for you to laugh at soon.

I've been having a ton of fun with Lavinia and Jack. We try to get out on the weekends to enjoy the outdoors as best we can. I snapped this great picture of Jack at Golden Gardens last weekend. I also posted a new November folder for everyone. He is doing great. Talking a lot, giving and taking direction, doing new things. Seriously a lot of fun. He calls Uncle Mark on his phone often (especially after I call him) and says "Hi Uncle Mark..Bye Uncle Mark." We recently have been enjoying the maple syrup that Siobhan and Mark gave us at the wedding. He says we are having "Uncle Mark and Aunt Shi-van serup" and it's yummy with our oatmeal.

I've been reading a bit more. I downloaded the Amazon Kindle iphone app and bought an ebook recently. I purchased the first of the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher. Its a good read. I loved the too early cancelled Sci-fi show a few years back. I'm reading it more for the ebook app experience than anything. With a book like this the experience is not too bad. I don't think a book with long chapters would be fun though. Still, thumbs up on the app. It does what it does very well. The screen is of course small, but the navigation feels intuitive and the purchasing is very easy of course. I was surprised at the cost of an ebook. I expected it to be much lower actually, but we'll probably see that come down over time when more competition enters the market. I downloaded the Barnes & Noble reader app too and I'll compare it later. Nice fun way to read at night before bed. So far, it's fun. Oh and the book itself is a good story. I recommend it.

On the topic of reading, I have a few sites that I hit every day. They reveal nothing if I tell you what they are; Velonews, ESPN and SyFyWire, along with local Komo4 news. I've been enjoying a few blogs that I have linked on the side here. One in particular that I enjoy reading is Bike Snob New York City. He's really been on a good tear lately. I recommend it.

Winter Holidays
We had a great thanksgiving on the day here at the house. Very small group. My mom & dad, Jackie and Haik, and Lavi's brother Ben. Ben & Lavi cooked a roast. Ben seasoned the heck out of it and it was yummy. We had some preparation for this though. When Lavi's Dad was in town we had pre-thanksgiving with her Uncles, Aunts and Grandma. Jack calls Lavi's Grandma "Gam-Gam" and will often also call her on the phone.

We enter the rest of the holiday season not too busy surprisingly, but it won't last. Already I'm thinking of people I need to gather with.

We are introducing Jack to everything slowly. He loves his xmas books already. He still loves Puff the Magic Dragon too. His most recent favorite is "Happy Holidogs!" that Lavi got him.

We are very much looking forward to Mark & Siobhan's holiday visit. We are so lucky that they make the trek. Lavinia and I are thinking we need to trek their way again soon. We'll have to see what 2010 holds for us in the travel department. I've been thinking of warm days in Panama a lot lately myself.

The real news at work:
I don't blog a lot about work. I really like where I work and I love that Lavinia also works there. Jack's daycare is quite near by. We've been fortunate. But I don't blog about work because I'm a Manager and co-workers will read this from time to time. It's not responsible of me. But I will update everyone that we did have lay-offs very recently. I won't comment on them, you can google it and find many links yourself. I was not affected, but Lavinia was. We are very bummed out. She has some remaining time in the job and is already making what you Americans call Lemonade from the pile of lemons she was given (Notice how in that sentenced I identified myself with the other side because I know that it isn't lemonade that she's making but totally awesome Panamanian Lemonade whose name I can't spell but doesn't mean I don't it's Awesome!). Anyway, wanted you to have an update. I'll post as things progress. For now we are upbeat about it.

A List
A long post like this just can't be done with out a top something list. I do this because I truly only have about 5 minutes of creativity a day. Plus these things tend to draw out my little brother who is like a kung-fu master about them. So here's a little list of things I'll be doing this holiday season.

Things Jeff will be doing this holiday season:
10. Shaming his brother in to posting, trying to use the threat of his own mother's worry against him.
9. Building yet another Thomas the Tank Engine railroad track configuration, most likely late at night when the family is asleep. I have a problem. "Hi my name is Jeff and I build children train tracks... Hi Jeff!"
8. Trying to pretend that breathing exhaust fumes while spinning on a bike at work in the garage increases my VO2Max.
7. shopping.
6. Attempting to eat my weight in food cooked by a very lovely Panamanian women who loves me after all these years.
5. Most likely recognizing that running with Rod and Jason would be less like Chariots of Fire and much more like a 2 sober guys and a drunk fat man running behind them, but we'll see.
4. Celebrating the Ruskell resignation.
3. Striping the disc brakes off my Hei Hei and profusely apologizing to it for the neglect and then turning it in a light weight single speed without offending it.
2. Upon Mark's arrival undoubtedly joining him in short jokes aimed at our mother.
and lastly
1. rooting against Texas as my Nebraska Cornhuskers win the Big 12 Championship. Go Big Red!


Yep, these holidays will be a busy time. Hope to post more soon. Be safe out there and have some fun. Send us a line with how you are doing.

Cheers
Jeff

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jack loves TV jingles

videoMy son doesn't really pay attention to TV, but he loves the TV
jingles. Here he is dancing to Big Bang Theory.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Vampire Chick Flicks

I have to lament that I like a good vampire movie. I'm easy going enough to like Underworld and comic crazy as well to love the first 2 Blade movies (the third was just embarrassing though, poorly Wesley Snipes). Of course, I'm a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan (she's good looking and fights evil being enough to make me sit down and then later buy all the seasons on DVD).

The Twilight movie is a not too bad. I enjoyed it when I saw (and I've seen it many times since). I think I was in the right frame of mind and looking for a fun story, which it was. Even though not all the scenery shots were from Forks, WA it was still nice to see WA scenery, especially La Push in the movie.

Lavinia though liked the film quite a bit. So much so that as I write this, she is downstairs with some friends watching it again as they get ready to see New Moon.

I will never judge her for this as I recall a similar event when Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey was released when I was in college. I just hope that the next sequel movie for Twilight is better than Bogus Journey, or at least Lavi and her friends get bombed before the movie like we did.

To me Twilight is a little like Buffy in that the story arc has characters that are vampires, and later werewolves we learn, but the story is about what a teenager feels at that age. Buffy was more about a girl trying to fit in at high school than it was about beating demons, although the female kung-fu is always appreciated. I wondered if he ever commented on it and found in his own way that he had, check out the article here.

I found a cool re-mix of Buffy vs. Edward from Twilight. Cracked me up. Buffy would so own this guy. Near as I can find it is pretty unanimous that Buffy would kill Edward and then go pine after Angel while having a quickie with Spike. I never need a reason to post Buffy Comic Book art, but this picture should leave you with no doubt.


If the apocalypse comes, beep me.
--Sarah Michellle Gellar Buffy Summers in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

The 2 year check-in

Jack had his 2 year check up today. He is doing super and the Doctor just loves seeing him because he's so easy.

Today's stats
Height: 36.5 inches - 92nd percentile
Weight: 34.5 pounds - 96th percentile
Head: 49.5cm - 75th percentile

Now if you track that against his Dadna he is just like me in weight but some how seems to think he is Uncle Mark in the height area.

The old wives tale is that if you double the height at age 2 that is how tall he'll be. It is looking like he'll be dwarfing his Mom & Dad easily in the future.

All that and he's super cute too! Here's a picture from the pumpkin patch visit. He was more interested in kicking leaves and stomping in the mud puddles actually.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bad Boys

Here's a fun picture that Jack made for his friend Calvin. Jack framed it and gave it to Calvin on his birthday (with Dadna's help of course)

Graph Jam

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just lovin the orange sauce

When in San Jose I do enjoy La Victoria's carnitas burritos with some orange sauce. The burritos to start with are down right yummy. Adding the in-house, secret ingredient guarded orange sauce makes it better. Not too spicy and hot, but just the right amount.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Boys at work

Here's a video of Jack and his buddy Calvin playing a few weekends ago. Very cute.

Last week's Tequila tasting

Now that is pretty site. Over 28 Tequilas tasted. Results among
tasters varied and a good time was had. Oh yea, it was Haik's birthday
too :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Brothers

Moments before Mark said "I do!" he shared a glass of courage with his brother.


Mark's glass of courage is a beer, Jeff chooses Tequila.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Alice In Chains

The new Alice In Chains album "Black Gives Way To Blue" is a hit with me. I'm really like it. I bought it the same day on iTunes that I purchases Pearl Jam's new album. I haven't actually listened to the new PJ album yet because I'm just engrossed in this one.

I've always been a big Alice In Chains fan. I think my friends and I saw them at least 3 times live in the span of 7 months, and a total of 4 times (because I count when they opened for VH). I love love the DIRT album. Jar of Flies is amazing. Man in the Box and SAP are terrific. The last album before Layne passed was good, not as amazing I think, but that was a hard time for Layne and it showed in his performance.

I really like the new album. The following is a good review of the work. I think the review sums up a lot of what I've been thinking. The title track is similar to "Back in Black" as a tribute song to a fallen lead singer. I've long said that Jerry Cantrell was the driving force behind the band and this album really proves that. He has pieced together a good album.

Listening to this album does make me miss Layne a lot. I have already listened to the "old" stuff a few times. I smile because although his lyrics were very dark the songs remind me of fun times with my friends. I loved the grunge rock sound of their songs. Layne's lyrics were understandable and served more as lessons learned to me than mirroring any shared experience. The music reminds me of the summer of 1992. A good year.

Overall I'm finding that I keep playing this album over and over and singing along. I've often said that Layne was a great talent. Like many great talents he burned out very hard and far too quickly to truly ever know. I think this album moves all fans forward who want to move forward.

My Bloggin Cousin

One of the many awesome parts of Mark's wedding weekend was a chance to catch up in person with my cousin Katie Moran. She is my Uncle Mike's daughter and the "baby" cousin of the group. Katie now lives in Austin, Texas but that doesn't keep her from bleeding, eating and speaking Cornhusker Red!

Katie also blogs and I have enjoyed reading her weekly posts on "Katie and the City" blogsite.

I know she'll love the Scrubs reference title about her. I have really enjoyed sharing blog posts with her the last few years. I know no matter what that I have at least one reader of my posts.

It was really sweet catching up with Katie. She's got a big move coming up and is working some crazy hours at the hospital too. What is just as much fun is seeing Katie around Uncle Mike and Aunt Diane. It gives me an idea of what I might be like around my parents, at least I hope I'm that awesome.

Here's a great picture of the top two Blog producing Moran family members. You will notice that Mark is absent here. Currently cousin Patrick I think is beating him for the bronze medal.


Go Cornhuskers! and Go Moran Bloggers!

A Wedding Toast

Hi!
I promised I would post the "toast" I gave at Mark's wedding. Here it is. There is a section that I did not read at the wedding. I marked it (no pun intended) and then write about it below.

**********************
Good Evening Everyone

I would like to take a quick moment to welcome Everyone tonight. Looking around the room I see friends and family that have traveled to be with us today. On behalf of Mark and Siobhan I want to say "Welcome" and "Thank You" for traveling and being here today.

I am using my notes to read some of my thoughts because I'm a little nervous. I've talked to CEOs, Pro-cyclists and other business groups, but I'm more nervous about this talk then a I care to admit.

At this point I should probably ask you to get a little comfortable. I made a promise to not talk too long, but I also promised Deron back in high school that I wouldn't always play Van Halen when I drove him to school every day and, well, he can tell you how that turned out. So please take a seat.

Others have mentioned that Mark and I have our own language so to speak. Our Mother will tell you that after seeing any movie that Mark and I would quote it to each other the whole way home Cathy was brave enough to employ us at the same and she tells the story of seeing us filing side by side giggling about god knows what but seemingly enjoying ourselves. Each of us has been with our wife telling a joke and when we don't get the hysterical laughter we were expecting quickly say "my brother would have laughed at that." At which point one of them will retort "Yea, but he ain't here right now, is he?" and just shake their heads. At that same point I'm certain the other brother on the opposite side of the US is struck with a spontaneous giggle.

I have too many good memories and tales of Mark to share in the time I'm allowed. I'll mention a few and you can equate this to a comedy show where only the punch lines are told.

Legos, GI Joe, Spider-man and Marvel comics, a breakfast tub of frosting, taking the bus home from school, riding our bikes, duct taped diapers, playing scrabble, Red Dwarf marathons, peeling the coke can out of the volvo, him being my best man 13 years ago, markelepsy (for those that don't know Mark's ability to nap is legendary), burning wheatgrass to advance space travel, a well worn and well traveled futon couch, a musical obsession that can only be called "Goodness," and most recently 15 credits that took 3 years.

[this part was not read] I've had a lot of good memories with my brother. He is always the first person I call when I have news, or I'm bored. He is the one I'm proud of when others talk of their siblings. He is the one that has centered me and helped me be the person I am today. He is always my best friend.

At some point even Little Brothers grow up. Although my mental image will be a much shorter version of Mark, I can see that he has become a very good man. When I have heard him talk about Siobhan over the years I could tell how smitten he is with her and it makes me so pleased to see him so happy. [end part that I omitted]

I am very happy to be here to celebrate their wedding day. Please raise your glass and join me for a toast...

To Mark & Siobhan.

Cheers.
Salud, amor, dinero
********************

I chose not to read/recite the part that I omitted above. There are several reasons. The first was that I was nervous. I wanted to do my Brother a real solid for his toast. The two of them were so relaxed all weekend, and everything went so well that I really felt a responsibility to hold up what was my one and only real responsibility (sure there was that thing about holding the rings, but this was real important). I didn't want the toast to be all fart-jokes. The second reason I didn't read that part was that after being so witty with my one-line stories the sappy part didn't seem to go well and I wanted to wrap things up.

The main reason was that every time I rehearsed it, even when using celebrity impersonations like Cartman, Clint Eastwood and Horatio Caine, I kept choking up. The words mean a lot to me. I'm so very happy and proud of my brother. I simply didn't want to cry in front of everyone. I've done that before when thanking Lavinia as my support when I was an Auction chair for an event and it was not graceful.

I think I was surprised at how emotional the whole event/weekend was for me. I think my mental image of my brother aged about 15 years in front of me. I'm sure if you asked anyone they would say that I couldn't suppress my excitement for Mark & Siobhan. I think it even surprised Mark a little.

I'm told that the Toast went well and that my one-line story idea was well received. I am so honored to been able to give the Toast. I feel blessed that Mark asked me to the be the Best Man.

Love Ya Bro!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall Colors

Mark's wedding gave us a chance to experience the Fall Colors that the Northeast part of the US is known for. It was very pretty out. The colors of the trees were rich and bright. We only go out for a bit to take pictures. Lavinia did a good job of finding some cool shots. We both wish we'd had more time to do this though.

an iphone slide show

I recently upload photos from my iphone to the zenfolio account to back them up. After looking through them I thought I'd share. Theyare essentially from late 2007 to today. Mostly pictures of Jack doing various cute things.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mark's Wedding... WOW!

Hi All,

Just back in Seattle today, returning from Mark's wedding. He and his wife are off to Costa Rica today (yes, I silently judge them for not picking Panama, but I've learned that he has to make his own decisions). We had a great time. Mark & Siobhan looked outstanding, they were smiling every time I saw them. They did an amazing job too.

Scroll down to see some fun photos that I posted and I'll get more on the zenfolio account soon!

I'm still going through pictures and and memories of the very fast 5 days we had together as a family. I'll post more soon. Promise

Really quick, I enjoyed so much the chance to see all of Mark's friends, meet Siobhan's family and friends (Becky you were my support!) and see all of my family as well! It was like a mini-reunion.

Cheers!
Jeff

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wedding Day Approaches

Funny that I'm the one posting as Mark's wedding day approaches, but not surprising. Jack and I are in Mass. Gram & Grandpa flew in with us (thankfully!) and Larry and Cathy are here too. We've seen a few of Mark's friends come in today.

Jack was super trooper traveler yesterday, but it was a long day for both of us. We both collapsed asleep pretty late last night, but managed to sleep in a bit this morning.

Tonight is the rehearsal dinner. Looking forward to it.

I need to polish, I mean work on, I mean start writing, I mean conceptualize my Best Man Speech. Lots of ideas, none down on paper yet.

More soon.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jack turns 2

Happy Birthday to Jack! The little guy turned 2 on the 25th. We've had a fun Birthday weekend. Jack had a party last night with his close friends and family. These individuals absolutely spoiled the heck out of the little guy, and I didn't see him complaining. We had a fun party. Everyone ate Jack's meal of Mac n' Cheese, chicken fingers, apple sauce and veggies. Lavi made adult versions of all these things and would have won the Top Chef challenge had Bravo TV accepted our invite.

Before any of you asked, Yes I did get my son a bicycle. We went with the Prince Lionheart by Balance Bike. The concept behind the bike is that the kid can learn to balance a two wheeler before learning to pedal. This particular brand has an adjustable seat and the wheels are not wood, which makes inflating the tires easier and safer. I'm excited for him to try it out more. Already he looks like a young Thor Hushvold standing over it. Just get this kid a Norwegian/Ballard flag jersey and he's ready to sprint for the win I'm sure.

Turning 2 seems like an almost unceremonial milestone, and yet it ushers in the "terrible twos." This is a milestone that is almost as feared as the first round of teething. I think because it brings the expectation of whining, crying fits, frustration and packages it all with a wrapper of potty learning. By the way, its not PC to call it training anymore, they are learning, not being trained. Personally however he gets it I don't care what you call it. Jack is entering his two's like any other kid. I'm learning that it is not at all terrible for him. I think all these transitions should be called Parental Milestones because the truly challenged are the parents. Luckily Lavinia and I are making it through really well, with a lot help from Jack.

Jack being two is pretty cool. I'm looking forward to a lot of new things from him.
Cheers
Jeff

Monday, September 21, 2009

Swinging

Jack and his buddy Marin swing at daycare

Countdown!

Hey All,
 
Since the internet has not gotten to the point where the voice comes through, this is actually the second brother.  I have to have Jeff post for me since my work doesn’t allow us to do this things with their internet (crazy guys are worried about us not working and making them money or something, I dunno).  Wouldn’t it be cool if the voice did come across as you were reading??  Although Jeff and I have been told that we sound similar, and especially so on the phone.  I’ve actually fooled my own mother into thinking I was him, proving that despite her stature she is not an emperor penguin (you see penguins can always recognize their kids by their cries, ya know if you have to explain the joke, perhaps it’s not that good……)
 
The wedding is in 17 days and things are going well out here.  For all of you out there that are making the trip out East, the foliage is on pace to be looking pretty darn spectacular.  I’d like to make a general request that everyone pray for good weather.    Lots of folks ask me if I’m ready and the answer is that I’m so very ready for the marriage, but the wedding is a bit cumbersome.  The planning is going well though.  We have great folks helping us out.  There have been the, apparently inevitable, discussions on table napkins and floral arrangements.  After my third apathy induced aneurism Siobhan took point on all of those details (and God bless her for it).  Our weekends have been full of commerce upon more commerce as the small details are tended too.  All things being said this process is much easier on the groom than the bride.  I have to get measured for  a tux, once, and that’s pretty much it.  For the bride there are several fittings, hair appts. for different options, etc, etc., etc.  Once again I send mental thank you-s to my father for the Y chromosome.   
 
As I think about it I’m looking forward to so many things, so many that it requires a list
 
I’m looking forward to having everyone see my new adopted home (my home heart will always belong to Seattle).  Northampton is cool too.
I’m looking forward to having a pint with Larry.  
I’m looking forward to Jack in a little tux.
I’m looking forward to getting Shawn to lie down again on the old Futon (I think the body imprint has lasted this long)
I’m looking forward to telling Sr. Ann that there’s only Coke and no Pepsi at the reception (take that mid-westener!!!)
I’m looking forward to Siobhan meeting more of my family
I’m looking forward to meeting more of Siobhan’s family
I’m looking forward to having Deron point out numerous, numerous times, that we’re three hours ahead
I’m looking forward to Mom speaking French to strangers
I’m looking forward to and also a bit scared of Jeff’s toast
I’m looking forward to locking Siobhan down before she realizes how much better she could do  
 
Well that’s just some of the stuff I’m looking forward to.
 
Thanks for listening.  I’ll try to be more active in the posting.  
 
-Mark

------ End of Forwarded Message

Friday, September 18, 2009

Red Dwarf Back to Earth

So I've obviously been out of the loop lately. It appears there was a new Red Dwarf created in 2009. Three episodes. I found them on YouTube. Enjoy!


Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Part 6


Part 7


Part 8


Part 9

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Jack's night time routine is a well honored tradition at our house. Bath time, then PJ's, then some milk, read books with Mom & Dad, brush teeth (he does very well), then say good night to Chocolate Bear and Buddy (stuffed animals), then rock to sleep in the rocker with Daddy as Mom & Daddy sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It works and it makes us happy.

This last weekend we took off Jack's crib rail. It was one of those moments that we sweated because it could go so wrong. As parents we love our son, and we love him a lot when he goes to bed without a fuss. Like most milestones with Jack, he took it in stride. He loves being able to get into his bed all by himself. He takes a little bit more to settle down now, but all in all it is going well.

There was one nap this past weekend where he got out of bed. I let him move around the room and when he started to get a little rambunctious again it happened. I channeled the force that is my own father, I opened the door, locked Jack with a "Father Stare of Disapproval" and said in my best John Moran voice, "Jack. No more screwing around. Nap time."

The look he gave me was priceless. He was actually surprised to hear me say that. The best part was that it worked. He got up, got in bed, laid down and took his nap. I just about pee'ed myself.

With Jack climbing into bed on his own though I don't get the chance to rock him to sleep. I really actually enjoy it. I joke with my team at work that I have moments of profound clarity while rocking him to sleep. That usually translates into work for us to do, but it is profound work I tell ya.

Tonight he wanted to be rocked. When we started singing Twinkle Twinkle Jack joined us in singing. It was priceless.

Jack sang along. The lyrics we sing are below. The items in Red are the parts he sings. Bolded ones he sings a bit more loudly. Adorable.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!

Then the traveler in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

The hardest part about putting Jack to sleep is that after doing so I'm completely wasted and tired myself. The fact that I'm up writing this is amazing. Also, just saying Twinkle Twinkle now makes me yawn.

Night, Night
Jeff

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jack's Daycare

Jack had his last day in the Waddler Room at daycare (Waddler being what they call kids between infants and toddlers). He and a few friends are graduating to the Toddler room. His PEPS friend Marin, also at the same daycare will join him. Also his PEPS buddy Calvin will be attending and joining Jack and Marin. We are very excited.

Lavinia and I have been very happy with his daycare. We will really miss his teacher Kathy as she has been tremendous for Jack and for us. We stopped by Friday and took some pictures that I posted in the zenfolio account. Enjoy! Ryland and Lauren are the two in the pictures with him and will be joining him in the Toddler room. Together they are terribly cute and I'm sure cause some trouble like a pack of dogs.

Here's a neat little picture of Jack, Lauren and Ryland around Lavinia while she reads a book in the room. It reminds me a of U2 Album Cover.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009