o'side daddy raisin' younguns in socal

July 22, 2008

a pox on our house!

Filed under: — crowder @ 7:23 am

Last night, we saw what surely must be a rash from chicken-pox on Reid’s knees and shoulders, and a little bit on his stomach.  One of his friends has recently been diagnosed with it, so we’re pretty sure.  He’s going to the doctor today, but I’m pretty confident.

July 21, 2008

zoo day!

Filed under: — crowder @ 11:58 am

We had a great day at the zoo yesterday.

Well, we had a great day, part of it was at the zoo:

Ollie climbing on a ladder

Ollie climbing on a ladder at Balboa Park

The boys were up at about 7:15AM, or at least that’s approximately when I became conscious enough to have awareness of them being awake.  They were busy playing monorails, so I didn’t interrupt.  Instead, I made waffles, which we all ate.  Then they played some more, Reid playing Cars on the XBox 360, Ollie playing monorails more, then Ollie took a shower with me.  The boys (mostly Reid, this time, remarkably enough) cleaned up, and we left by about 11:40, driving south.

We stopped in Sorrento Valley at a Jamba Juice off of Mira Mesa and got a Strawberry Surfrider (“Pink Drink!”) for the boys and an Orange Dream for me, then kept heading south.  We parked at the zoo (Ollie wanted to know if it was the zebra section or the kangaroo section — turns out it was the kangaroo section), then headed towards Balboa park and started the day there with a ride on the miniature railroad.  After that, we headed to the fountain, then toward the play area.

Both boys on the swings

Both boys on the swings at Balboa Park

They played on ladders and on the swings, and on a cool whirling spinning thing (only Reid) that I should’ve taken a picture or video of, but didn’t.  I went out of my way to geotag everything on my phone, so maybe I’ll put the tagged pictures up on a map somewhere.

We also saw a group of people taking what must’ve been a drum lesson (maybe a free one?).  Reid was fascinated, but Ollie was ready to move on.

As an aside, one weird thing about the park is that it has trees and shade everywhere but near the play-area.  I don’t understand why the play area itself isn’t well-shaded by trees.  Who thought this up?

Reid kneels on one of many platforms to watch the trains

Reid kneels on one of many platforms to watch the trains

After all that excitement, we went to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.  I think this museum is one of those places where, if you’re obsessed with a particular thing — even if it’s “just” your hobby — you pick up your whole life and move to be near that place.  It’s by far the largest set of model railroads, tracks, and trains I have ever seen.  Reid was absolutely fascinated.  So was I.  There were a handful of adults who seemed to have the sole task of maintaining the place.  It only cost the boys and I $6 to get in (kids under fifteen are free), so they must be volunteers.  Still, seems like a pretty great gig, if you can get it!

Me playing with the panoramic feature of my cell-phone camera

A panoramic image of the train set

Olle ignores the amazing museum

Olle ignores the amazing museum

Ollie preferred to play with the Thomas the Tank Engine train-set stowed in a corner of the museum.  This area seems to be the place where most moms and small children wind up while older kids (mostly boys) and their dads observe the minutia (quite literally) of the model train museum.  One of the the museum’s employees was giving what sounded like an interesting tour; if I get a chance to bring Reid back by himself, perhaps we’ll do that.  For Ollie, a tour like that would be the worst form of torture.

This play area got crowded, and eventually even Reid joined in.  I was packed in with about ten other kids and four or five other parents.  Somehow neither of my kids got hurt or upset, or did any injury upon any of the other kids, so we all escape unscathed.

Wow, we’re not even at the Zoo yet!

We took a short break after the train museum for some bad-for-us snacks, and water (for Ollie and me) and milk (for Reid).  Then we headed out to actually go to the Zoo!

We did get interrupted by some sort of turtle/tortoise exposition on the way there; it was free so we went in.  I don’t have any photographic evidence of this, so perhaps it was some sort of sun-exposure-induced hallucination on my part.



Well, we finally made it to the Zoo!  I didn’t take any pictures of the Skyfari ride, because, like them, I was totally thrilled to be on the ride and nothing else occurred to me.  After that, we started down the hill toward Polar Bear Plunge.  After buying a churro and some more water, we stopped to watch the deer and get refreshed.

Still having fun!

Still having fun!

Then we continued onward.

A polar bear.

A polar bear.

Riding a polar bear.

Riding a polar bear.

Ollie, contemplating his navel

Ollie, contemplating his navel

Reid: a roll stuffed unceremoniously into his face

Reid: a roll stuffed unceremoniously into his face

I really like this restaurant Albert’s at the Zoo, so I go there whenever I get the chance.  The food is passable, the view is great, and what the heck, you’re at the zoo!  It’s the only sit-down restaurant at the zoo, and I really like it.  They got rid of my favorite dish which was a vegetable Napoleon and replaced it with a vegetable pave, which as far as I can tell is the exact same thing, only shorter.  Reid and Ollie enjoyed spinach ravioli.  Reid promised not to enjoy it, and therefore not to eat it, but I slid his “bubbles” (Sprite) away, and told him he’d get them back after he tried one bite.  He did, and I gave him back his sprite.  He insisted that he still would not eat the ravioli, but over the course of the rest of the meal quietly cleaned his plate of it, and at the end denied liking it one bit.  He most definitely didn’t complain about eating it after his first bite, though.  They both also wolfed down as much bread as they could get their hands on.

They complained about being cold, so we decided (in a great leap of amazing logic) that we would have to go see the snakes after dinner to warm up.  We did just that, then hurried to a restroom (for an hour or so here, I could swear we did little more than go to and return from restrooms).

One the way back from one restroom trip, we were waylaid by a band — a band with hula hoops!

O&R Hula Hoopin'

O&R Hula Hoopin'

On the way back from another restroom trip, we stopped at the Wegeforth bowl for a 7PM show.  Then we left for a restroom trip, but got back just in time for the show.  The show consisted of a hawk (some sort of bird native to San Diego, whose name I now forget), a misbehaving sea lion, and a tamandua — which is essentially a miniature anteater.

The hawk flew directly over our heads, which we all thought was neat.  The sea-lion kissed a little girl on the cheek — apparently in a previous show, his victim had gotten a kiss on the lips, so he was practicing for the next one in our little “show”.  Finally, we were delighted to learn that anteaters sometimes eat apple-sauce.

Cute, huh

Cute, huh?

We took this picture on the way out just to prove that we can be cute whenever we wanna be.  Both boys were asleep within about fifteen minutes of starting the drive home.

July 20, 2008

early morning revelations from ollie

Filed under: — crowder @ 8:21 am

“My brother is truth.” — Ollie

“We are true, you’re not.  Okay, daddy?” — Ollie

July 14, 2008


Filed under: — crowder @ 3:20 pm

Ollie bit Reid during a play-date today.  Can’t wait for Brain Highways.

July 9, 2008

adoption day

Filed under: — crowder @ 10:00 am

Today was adoption day!

Well, we’d already adopted the boys before, but today we adopted them again!  This time, it was a California re-adoption, a bit of legal maneuvering that essentially makes acquiring a birth-certificate much easier.  They now have California birth-certificates; previously, we’d have had to physically go to Moscow to obtain copies of their birth-certificates, had they been lost.

Here’s how it went down:

We all showed up at the courthouse at about 8:15 or so (I met mom, nanny and the boys), and headed in.  Ollie went out through the security scanner once after having already gotten in (I think he was on his way to greet Uncle Adam or Aunt Wendy), but otherwise security was uneventful.  Uncle Adam and Aunt Wendy gave the boys American flags to carry (leftovers from Independence Day).  We headed up to the third floor where a few other families were waiting outside a courtroom.  Shortly thereafter, we were all let in to the courtroom to sit and wait.  Eventually a very large family (must’ve been fifteen of them; they took up the whole right side of the courtroom), was called back to the judge’s chambers.  Then another.  If I recall correctly, we were third in line.

When we got back to the judge’s chambers, we were asked to sign two documents, and then the Judge formally announced the boys’ new names (they got an extra last name).  There was some playing in the judge’s chambers, but otherwise the boys were well-behaved and earned the stuffed animals the judge gave them (Winnie-the-Pooh for Reid, and a large rabbit for Ollie).

Then we went to Disneyland!

July 4, 2008

“i like america!”

Filed under: — crowder @ 2:01 pm

That’s the quote of the day from Ollie today.

July 3, 2008

america’s birthday

Filed under: — crowder @ 6:10 pm

The boys are convinced that tomorrow is someone’s birthday; so:  I told them that it is America’s birthday.

In other news, I took Ollie for a quick trip up and down the block tonight in his red wagon.  He loves it, we should do it more often.

Also, for the first time, the boys played what I called “500” when I was in high-school, which is a game played with an American football, in which the ball is tossed high into the air and the other players (not the one who threw it) try to catch it or win the scrum for it.  I figured they’d like it based on their basketball playing style — which I’ll try to blog about soon.

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