o'side daddy raisin' younguns in socal

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.

June 24, 2008


Filed under: — crowder @ 11:27 am

This is a story the boys’ mom relayed to me just now:

Recently, the boys have been discussing the concept of adoption.  They have books about it, and a movie they’ve recently become a bit obsessed with (Stuart Little) has adoption as a heavy theme.

In discussions with mommy this morning, Reid and Ollie were asking about adopted people.  They both are adopted.  Their uncle Kyle is adopted.  I am adopted.  So, naturally, they asked if their mommy was adopted.  She replied that, no, she was not.

A few minutes later, Reid comes up with the following remarkably astute deduction: “Mommy: you’re not adopted because you’re a girl.”

April 6, 2008

triple double

Filed under: — crowder @ 9:32 am

Yesterday, Ollie and Reid had pee-wee basketball.  Ollie even participated!  He ran up and down the court a few times and then wrestled with me for a while.  In the meantime, Reid picked up every possible rebound (shots by both teams), and every possible assist (passes — really, hand-offs — to both teams), and at least five or six baskets.  It was amazing!  He’s turning into one of those crazy kids that as a parent for the other team, you secretly despise…  except he’s also REALLY good at sharing (thus, the passes to both teams)!  It was really amazing watching him play yesterday.

After that we went to the Discovery Science Center (the Cube) to see bubblefest.  We’re members of the Cube, and I figured the bubbles part would be free to members.  I was mistaken, we didn’t see a single bubble.  But we did play with the gravity table for hours (Reid), and run through Clifford’s neighborhood delivering mail about 4,000 times (Ollie).  With twenty kids crowded around it, the atmosphere around the gravity table seems strangly like a Las Vegas roullette wheel, it’s pretty hilarious.

March 10, 2008

the bikini

Filed under: — crowder @ 6:50 pm

Ollie and Reid and I went to the pool today.  I could swear Ollie had seen a bikini before, but he’s never been quite so smitten.  “She wearin’ underwear!” was the quote.  Luckily, she and her significant other laughed.

March 1, 2008

hat trick

Filed under: — crowder @ 8:13 pm

Reid scored three goals in his pee-wee soccer game this morning.  Now I know why parents turn maniacal and force their kids into sports, and scream and yell at them to succeed.  It’s quite rewarding to watch your son do something like that.  He had fun, too.  Hopefully I’m not totally addicted to that sensation.

February 18, 2008


Filed under: — crowder @ 7:36 pm

The boys went to Disneyland with their mom and their Aunt Nicholle today.  I think it was a challenging day; Ollie is definitely testing his mom and I.  He is very clearly trying to learn the boundaries of our respective houses, and so he pushes to the limit whenever he can, as evidenced by my last couple of posts.

One of the great things about the boys is their fearlessness about asking questions.  Perhaps all kids this age have that same fearlessness.  I hope they don’t lose it — though I wouldn’t mind them learning to save some questions for more appropriate times.  One of their other great assets is the ability to ruminate on a subject over several days.  Maybe that’s more like OCD, and they really just obsess over things.  I think I wrote in a previous post about teaching them (against their mom’s wishes) how to say “I have OCD”.  Anyway, tonight, Reid was asking more about the situation I blogged the other day: how to deal the other kids in his school, when they’re not fun to play with.

Tonight, he decided that some of his friends are “angry … sometimes” and that when they are, he can play with someone else.  Yay!  Hopefully this means he’s feeling a little more empowered to make decisions about this sort of stuff for himself.

February 15, 2008

Mr. Crowder

Filed under: — crowder @ 7:49 pm

For the first time today, I addressed my son as Mr. Crowder.  Ollie, Reid and I were playing “school” today, with Ollie as the teacher.  Ollie taught us about the “kicking the baby into the net” (a nearby soccer-ball became a baby, I have no idea what the net was represented by), the “special star” (an old Christmas-tree topper, Mickey Mouse climbing up to a star) and how it should never be hit because it’s special and brand-new, and about kicking fire-engines into the couch.  Our teacher was Mr. Crowder.

February 13, 2008


Filed under: — crowder @ 7:06 pm

The boys have the following weekly (or more) engagements:

  • Swimming (Monday and Wednesday)
  • School (Tuesday and Thursday)
  • Gymnastics (Friday Morning)
  • Skateboarding (Friday Afternoons)

Today, we added

  • Pee-Wee Golf

They’re busy.  They have more going on in their lives than I do!

Golf was interesting; Reid likes it and is good at it.  As usual, he seems to have a natural instinct for things like how to grip the club and posture.  He also suffers from his usual weakness at anything even vaguely competitive: he hates the idea of not being good at it.  Failing to hit the ball frustrates him.  Being given guidance on improving his grip or his stance or his swing frustrates him.  Being asked to help clean up golf-balls frustrates him.  Not for the reason you may think, though…  he wouldn’t mind the clean-up part.  What makes him collapse to the ground in tears is the idea of having to try to race some other kid to pick up the ball.  He can’t stand that another child might get a ball before him.  If the one ball he’s picked gets picked up by another kid, he freaks.

Ollie on the other hand has a great attitude, but struggles with the mechanics.  I think as much as he loves to build things, he still struggles with his fine-motor skills.  His grip on a golf-club devolves from hot-dogs and buns (the coach’s nickname for a proper grip) to some sort of horrible spaghetti nightmare.  He goes limp when you try to adjust his feet, he bends WAY over trying to mimic the posture of an adult holding a child’s club instead of adjusting for his own height.  Instead of an arcing swing from pizza (an “L”-shaped primary arm in a tall posture, as if carrying a box of pizza one-handed) to bubble-gum (toe pointed, as if displaying the bottom of ones shoe for a bubble-gum check), Ollie hoists his club straight over his head, ready to split wooden logs, or pound his tiny plastic golf-ball into the astro-turf.

They both seemed to have a good time, overall, but a tired post-practice Reid denied finding any enjoyment in golf.  Next week will be interesting.

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