Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saturday Evening Stew

A smattering of odds and ends to tell you about tonight.

Snow... er... Carpet Angels

After seeing the patterns that the vacuum cleaner leaves on the carpet, YS decided to improvise a Hawaiian version of snow angels. He calls them [YS]-Angels. It's funny watching him waving his arms and legs back and forth on the carpet. I wish it actually left an observable impression like snow angels do that I could photograph.

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Latest Technology in Making Pillow Forts

The Lucky Wifey wrote a post about building forts as kids. I know, I know, I had fun building forts when I was a kid, too. As a parent though, it's frustrating to not be able to find a place to sit in the family room with all the dining room chairs, sofa cushions, blankets, and miscellaneous other stuff all piled in heaps to make forts.

This morning, I woke up and came downstairs to find a new variation on the pillow fort...

That's LW's laptop and my laptop side by side making one wall of the boys' new "video game fort."

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Chuck Rationing

With the writers' strike putting a big damper on our favorite TV shows, LW and I were really excited to get a double-dose of new Chuck episodes this week. We decided given the overall lack of new episodes to watch though that we should ration ourselves and not watch both episodes in one night. LW checked and double checked to make DARN sure the DVR was going to record both episodes though.

During the first episode, I saw an ad for the Chuck spy games on the NBC website. The games are okay, nothing to rave about. The Nerd Herd car is pretty hard to drive, but maybe that was the point of the game. I think the "I Spy" game was the hardest (find the four things that are different between two VERY similar looking pictures of Buy More store shelves).

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Another Bullet for the "Con" List for Staying in Hawaii

Bugler, sound taps please. (If you live here in Hawaii, you may want to get a tissue box before you read any further). I sincerely regret to inform you that the ONLY Einstein Brothers Bagel Bakery here on Oahu has closed. That said, there aren't ANY places around here to get a good bagel.

Friends of ours who were stationed here previously tell us there used to be Dunkin Donuts here, but they closed before we even arrived on the island last summer. When I got up Friday morning, I was starving, but I refrained from eating so I could go to PT. I got to the gym and was running on the treadmill when they showed a Dunkin Donuts commercial on the TV that seemed to last forever. [Cue stomach noises: gurgle, gurgle, gurgle.]

That's one of the disadvantages of getting satellite TV here in Hawaii... You have to endure the homesickness induced by commercials for Target, Dunkin Donuts, Olive Garden, etc...

On a positive note though, LW did find Dunkin Donuts coffee at the store this week!

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4-Year Old Birthday Party

Today we had YS's birthday party. It was controlled chaos as you would expect. I thought it was pretty funny that YS announced to LW and I a day or two ago that he wanted ONLY BOYS at his birthday party. LW was like, but YOU invited J, can she come? Oh, yeah, J! And you asked C to come, do you still want her to come? Oh, yeah, C! The list went on and on... Off the top of my head, I think there were 7 girls and 3 boys on the guest list. YS and ES evened out the boy-girl ratio to 7:5, but the boys were still outnumbered. I just found it odd that he came up with this "only boys" proclamation when so many of the kids he enjoys playing with are girls.

LW got the "cake" from the Commissary, and it was REALLY GOOD! I say "cake" because it was really a whole bunch of cupcakes, but they were all frosted over the top to make it look like a regular cake (see picture below). It turned out to be quite messy as LW and I were pulling the wrappers off the cupcakes before putting them on plates, and the abundance of frosting was getting all over our hands. Even so, it was delicious!

You probably can't tell from the picture, but it was a Backyardigans cake. One of the other dads and I were commenting on how frustrating it can be to have the Backyardigans theme song stuck in your head all day at work.

YS quote of the day: "I'm four, so I can jump high now."

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Bedtime Stories

Every Friday, ES goes to the library at school and gets to check out two books. He ALWAYS picks out at least one military book. I've been surprised by the wide selection of kids' military books they have. They've got first-grade level books on just about every type of military aircraft or vehicle you can imagine.

One of ES's current library books is on the Army Rangers. I've been very impressed with what a good job ES is doing in reading. He blew me away tonight when he read the sentence, "Usually this means solving difficult problems in stressful situations, such as simulated combat conditions." No help from me, he just read it. His spelling word lists for school are like "was", "does", "goes", "their." It's a lot easier recognizing words and reading them or sounding them out than it is to recall their correct spelling form memory I guess.

We got to a hard word that ES didn't know: reconnaissance. He asked what that was. I explained to him it's just like a reconnaissance satellite takes pictures of where the bad guys are (he's familiar with this concept from my last shore duty job at the NRO). Rangers go out on reconnaissance missions, not to fight, but just to take pictures or observe where the bad guys are and report back to the generals so the generals can decide where to send the Army. This lead into a discussion about how the Rangers have to be stealthy and quiet so they can sneak behind enemy lines, close to the bad guys to see what the bad guys are doing. ES giggled and said, "So the Rangers aren't allowed to laugh." I asked why not, and he said they would want to laugh because they were able to sneak up on the bad guys without the bad guys knowing the Rangers were there watching them, but they can't laugh because then the bad guys would hear them and know they were there. Ya know what, son? You're absolutely RIGHT, they CAN'T LAUGH. I suppressed a laugh myself and continued reading the story.

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