Sunday, July 31, 2005

Tooth Fairy visited...

Last night was the big night! The tooth was securely placed in a little box, resting on a soft pillow of cotton in wait for the tooth fair to arrive. It must have been pretty quick and quiet because Devin was not awakened by the switcharoo and in the morning he found 4 quarters in the same place where the box was. Devin has a theory, the tooth was changed into change! His other tooth is coming in pretty good and is slowly moving forward to the correct location.

Okay, so the plan this weekend was to search through the rafters in the garage for all the baby stuff that we have. The end result would be to identify everything that we still needed to buy before the new baby comes to stay! Denise knew we would have the bassinet and she figured the stroller would be destroyed. As it turned out both the bassinet was good as new and the stroller just needed some cleaning. We also found a vibrating baby rocker that as in perfect shape too. So right now we are only missing front-facing car seat and a baby swing.

Actually there were a couple of other missing items, but one of the lady's from Mommy & Me has a crib and changing table that she just wants out of her house. Considering that our old stuff that we lent out came back without all the necessary parts this was WONDERFUL. I just hated the thought of buying that stuff again when we actually have everything. We just need to make sure that we get it before they change their mind or do something else with it.

The diet is proceeding! Tomorrow will be really interesting for me being back at work. I am going to try to continue on with this so it will make it more interesting for me to try and follow.

Denise has been teasing Desirae about learning how to wink and Desirae is really working to figure it out. She has been practicing and will throw winks all over the place!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

It's about time!

So, it FINALLY came out! Well, it did take a little effort on our (Denise's) part. Denise's sister recommended that we freeze the area with all the iced things we could give Devin, and then when everything was good and cold just yank the thing out. So that was the plan, and it went along without a hitch. The tooth came out, Devin was happy, and it wasn't too gross! I think the problem was a few days ago we (I) mentioned to Devin that it would feel weird when the tooth finally came out. He thought I meant that it would hurt instead of feeling neat. Oh well, my bad on that one! At least he is looking forward to the next tooth coming out.

We decided to go to Denise's sister Michael's house and drop some material and their clothes that they left over here a few weeks ago. It was a nice drive and I hadn't realized how long it has been since I had actually been there. I also didn't realize HOW MUCH STUFF we brought! What you see in the picture with Michael, Sarah and Denise in the foreground is a small sampling of everything we brought. Denise is trying to get some things out of Desirae's room to make room when the baby finally goes in there.

The kids also had a lot of fun playing together. Everything culminated in the back yard on the trampoline with everyone except Sarah and Justice on the darn thing. They all seemed to have a lot of fun playing on it and Devin was really enjoying himself. I did get on it for a bit, but luckily no one was there to take MY picture and Devin REALLY liked that (me jumping with him).

We also headed into Bakersfield for dinner and to go to Best Buy to pick up Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the XBOX. Dinner was kind of strange because of the new diet that Denise (and I) are doing. We ended up going to Arby's and that would have worked out well had we not read the directions wrong. So we did a couple of things wrong, but over all we didn't eat much. So it was still interesting. When we went to Best Buy Denise wasn't feel well so we went in without here. We found the game and also picked up another controller and extension cable so that we can ALL play Halo 2, you know, for some good quality family time!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Network Mania!

Today was an interesting day. I helped setup a file server for some friends of mine. It was one of those jobs that should not have taken a long time and actually didn’t. I am not sure how that worked out, but it sure was nice. Basically it was setting up a Windows 2000 machine to host files. Again I was really surprised because generally anything that shouldn’t take much time generally will go awry and you end up spending hours trying to recover. But again, this wasn’t so bad. This finally came to pass because one of the guys, Angelo, finally got a new notebook computer and they made his old desktop the file server.

A tooth update; well Devin’s tooth is still hanging on, and that is about the best way to describe it. I was going to take a picture of it, but Denise thought it was a bad idea. The tooth is now slanted sideways so I think tomorrow is going to be the day. Denise tried to pull on it today, but it is still connected down below and just isn’t coming out without a bit of effort.

Denise started the diet this evening and it seems like it is going to be good. The modified menu was actually pretty good so this may be a good thing all the way around. We will just have to see how everything turns out next week. I do think we are considering trying to modify our menu anyway so this could be good. This does actually work out well because we have decided to setting up a menu for a two-week period and buying accordingly so this shouldn’t be too hard to plan out.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Not so good on the test...

Okay, so the last round of lab work didn't go so good. So now we go into round three on this. Denise has a new diet that she has to start and stick to for 1 week and then she has to do the test again. We are not really sure what all this means or what the diet is attempting to prove/do. All we do know is that this is frustrating and not really something that we wanted to deal with... So keep your fingers crossed that it turns out not to be a big deal or a big problem.

So - stay tuned for further developments...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Cookies, hmmm...

You know, I sure wish my mom (ya that's YOU) used THAT to mix up cookie dough. I mean what's the deal with a little spatula or a big spoon? Where's the fun in that! So, as you may have figured Denise made cookies tonight and Desirae was right there to help! They turned out pretty darn good too!

Well, Denise is getting farther along. According to the doctors there is a possibility that her due date may be adjusted to the end of August but I don't think we will know for sure until her next appointment. She is now into the bi-weekly appointments so that is going to be fun to juggle with work. We are going to try to take more "side" pictures until the day.

So this week is nearly over, that's at least the way I look at it on Wednesday, and I am really looking forward to the weekend. We do not have any plans as of yet. Well that isn't completely true we are going to get down all of the baby stuff and do an inventory of what we have and what we need. That should be fun!

Oh, there was one mixup today. The kids had a water day with the play group but there was a camera malfunction so there aren't any pictures of it. (The malfunction was that the camera didn't work very well when left at the house). Oh well maybe next time!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I Hate Rabbits!

Okay, so here’s the deal, when we first moved into our house we have a major rabbit problem in both the front and back yards. We tried many different things to resolve our rabbit problem but the only thing that really worked was dealing with the critters with extreme prejudices. In other works I went after the little grass eating & pooping machines with a pellet gun! This action resolved our rabbit problem and there were very few rabbit droppings in the grass. Well, fast-forward to today, and I have run out of pellets (I need to get A LOT MORE) and we have been overrun with rabbits. I mean there are rabbits everywhere! We have rabbits in the front, in the back; in the bushes they are everywhere. So I have to figure out a way to deal with these darn varmints and get them out of here! Rest assured if my front yard turns into the beaches of Normandy I will not post any pictures!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Another Lab Appointment?

This was a shot that Denise had Devin come get me for. Denise was on the telephone with her mother and Desirae just came up and fell asleep on her. So she asked Devin to come get me to take a picture. It’s amazing how cute they are… When they’re asleep!

Today was a fairly lazy day. I took the day off to watch the kids while Denise went to her laboratory appointment. They, the lab, basically poked her every hour on the hour for about three hours (and that’s a lot of hours!). Anyway this was the follow-on test from her previous appointment where her lab work showed there might be a problem with gestational diabetes. Hopefully this test will come back fine and there will not be any problems, but as is typical in these situations we have to wait for the results to come back from the lab. You know considering she was actually at the lab you would think you would get the results right there… Hmmm sounds like a conspiracy to me!

The other “event” of the day was my trip to DMV to get up license renewed. Actually it wasn’t that bad. I did make an appointment, but they didn’t ask to see anything, or even my name, when I went so I don’t really think that helped me out too much. But I did say that I had an appointment so maybe they don’t check but just figure you are the next appointment? I don’t know. Anyway they made me come down because my social security number was incorrect. Now, I have no idea how that happened or why it wasn’t caught before. I mean I have had the same number for what almost twenty years now? I don’t know about that one either. But it wasn’t too bad, and actually I was in by 1445 and out by 1500 so that wasn’t too bad!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Rain? You gotta be kidding me...

Okay, so I am going to bounce around a bit because I think I need to explain the opening picture. Yes, I am attempting to BBQ in a complete desert downpour. Actually during this it also hailed and the weather was basically just out of control. We had planned on doing another round of steaks (didn’t I say, bring on the steaks in the last post?). Anyway the weather was starting to turn, but I didn’t really think it was going to get too out of control and I figured at the worst it would just sprinkle on me like it did the other day. No big deal… Well the sky opened up and dumped water on us. The power even went out for a bit. We finally brought the steaks into the house and finished them on the George Forman. They turned out okay but I think I need to try again... Though I am not sure if I am ready for this again tomorrow though...

Okay, so this was a pretty bizarre day. It started out pretty much like I mentioned yesterday. I got up early to meet the guys for a MORNING of shooting. I emphasize MORNING because by the time it was 0800 it was getting pretty hot and by 0900 we were packed up and heading back in. We did start a bit before 0700 so it was a good morning. We accomplished what he had planned; we zeroed Kris’ new rifle and scope. Nice equipment!

All right so mixed in the middle of this was a little bit of HALO2 and then we moved on to the puzzle. It was actually my idea, and considering I don’t really like puzzles I don’t know what I was thinking. The main thing, we did actually finish the puzzle before the end of the day and man, was that a lot of work. It was fun, and it was nice to do something that didn’t involve the television or computer. We basically just worked on the puzzle, listened to music mixed in with dinner and the theatrics of that.

I tell you though, the weather was REALLY strange!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Do Nothing Day...

With the weather being as hot as it has been we figured today would be a good “water” day. So after everyone slept in a bit (okay, it was just me, but ahhhh I needed the sleep, ya that’s it) and having a nice leisurely breakfast we made our way into the backyard for a bit of water time. I tell you it sure makes me want to have a real pool. Maybe in a few years! Everyone made there way into the “pool” and it was a pretty good time. With the heat and all everyone was pretty tired after about an hour so we headed in for some nice A/C!

From there we had a marathon Halo II day and that was interesting. Devin, Desirae, and I played for quite a while and even Denise got into the action. I think we need another controller so we can have all four of us going. We even entered into the online arena and Devin even got a couple points, which is really cool. For the most part we got our behinds kicked though. It was still fun!

We took a break from that and after a while decided to do dinner. Denise had pulled out some steaks earlier and they were prepped and ready to go. The odd thing is the weather turned REALLY strange around here and it even rained on me while I was cooking the steaks. It makes it hot and muggy but fortunately our new A/C is working pretty good and kept the house nice and cool.

I also had a bit of an issue with the new temperature thing Denise bought me. I was using it to gauge when the steaks were done and it wasn’t reading right. So I ended up cooking the steaks too long and they were like med-well, which is not the way I like them, but is exactly the way Denise does. They were ok, just not what I was hoping for. I need MORE PRACTICE! Bring on the steaks!

The main thing, it was REALLY nice to just have a day around the house without having to get in the car and drive somewhere or have to get up early to do something. Tomorrow will be a bit of a pain because we are going shooting in the AM and as such I will need to be out in the field 0645. Oh well, should be fun though!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

And time stood still...

Okay, so time has stood still and nothing has happened… Why, you ask? The new Harry Potter novel is out and showed up at our door. Denise has been reading at a frenzy pace trying to get through it. Fortunately for me I get the brief recap from her. So what’s my take? It will be a good movie! I'm really not one much for reading! It does sound like an entertaining story though. I won’t go into any more detail in case you haven’t got the full story yet.

So what else is going on? Not too much other than my recent addiction to this new podcast phenomenon. I don’t know why, but I think this is a really cool thing and I can’t get enough. I haven’t really subscribed to many shows and I really only listen to three: Starkcast, Inside Mac Radio, and the Daily Source Code. It is just really neat to have this new type of uncensored non-mainstream content available. Adam Curry, from the Daily Source Code, keeps saying that the main stream media is really beating on podcasters and podcasting saying that it is just a fad but I think I just might have to agree with Adam on this one. Maybe it is because I just don’t trust the mainstream media and if I do watch the news (like once a week, if that) it is FoxNews and talk radio, but this new method of broadcasting is just incredible. Anyway it is something I am really impressed with.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Bob (Dad) and Charlotte

Today was a pretty exciting day! Denise’s dad and Charlotte came out to California for a visit during their vacation from Arkansas. They signed up on the lottery to climb Mt. Whitney and their number came up so they headed out this way to climb the mountain and visit us and Michelle and Fred. The original plan was for them to head to our place on Sunday, but with us coming back from Livermore that wasn’t going to work. So with just a little modification to the plan they came out today.

Unfortunately I had to work, but Denise and the kids had a good opportunity to spend time with them. It is always wonderful when they make the trek out here and it is too bad they were not able to spend more time, but they have a long way left to go on this trip.

They both spent a lot of time playing with the kids as Devin tricked them into helping him build his Lego Harry Potter Castle, which takes many hours to put together. They didn’t finish, but they put a lot of time into it.

After visiting for quite a while and me finally making it home we headed to Ramón’s for dinner for Mexican food. The food was pretty good today and everyone, including Desirae, ate way too much. We did the buffet and Desirae kept going back for more food so one can only imagine that she is due for another growth spurt.

We did let the kids stay up WAY past their bedtime because of the visit and Bob and Charlotte didn’t leave until almost 10pm, but it was really great to see them and I personally think it is wonderful that they make the trip all the way out here from there. Other than my mom they are the folks that come out the most.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Weekend at Nana & Max's

Well, we had a GREAT weekend at Nana’s and Max’s house and it was wonderful connecting up with the kids again. Fortunately they remembered who we were so that wasn’t much of a problem!

We got to see some of what they all did for the last couple of weeks with the most exciting part being the fishing trip where Desirae actually caught a fish. She actually reeled it in herself and even had a hand in the cleaning of it, which I was I bit surprised to hear. Devin’s luck was not with him and didn’t catch a fish that day.

They both spend a bit of time in the kiddy pool and got a little tan. I guess Devin had a bit of an issue with changing color and declared that he wanted to be “white, bright white”. Not sure where that came from but I am sure it had to be pretty funny to hear when he was saying it.

Another event was video games! Devin and Desirae both are pretty good at the games they were playing and provided us with a display of their newfound skills. It was really neat seeing Desirae actually playing a game and doing the different obstacles. We are going to have to try and find some better games from her to play here, or we are going to have to just pick up a Play Station since they have a lot of good games on that platform.

Nana and Max also gave up their bed for Denise and her 6-month pregnant body! Boy did I benefit from that one! We had not really thought about it before they mentioned it, but I think they definitely had that one pegged. It wouldn’t really have been a good thing for her to sleep on an air mattress or the couch for that matter. So we both, especially Denise, appreciated that gesture.

At one pit stop Desirae noticed this fabricated dinosaur and wanted to go check it out. At first I didn’t know what she was talking about but when she finally pointed me in the right direction I grabbed the camera and we headed over there. It was on the other side of the filling station/bathroom stop and it was pretty neat. I guess someone just made it and posted it there as art or something. She thought it was really cool and she wanted to touch the darn thing.

The only real bad thing about the weekend was the darn heat. Especially on Sunday when we left! The temperature reached 113 degrees, as displayed on my car. I just couldn’t believe just how hot it really was. At one point when we stopped and were getting back in the car the heat from the payment and the heat on the car was just unbearable. Fortunately the A/C in the car works VERY well so we were able to keep it around 70 otherwise I think we would have just died!

Friday, July 15, 2005

On the road again...

It has been two weeks! We headed up to Livermore to spend the weekend and get the kids! It has hard to believe that it has been two weeks and we are looking forward to seeing everyone and getting everything back to normal.

The trip was nice with a minimal of traffic. Since it was just the two of us we did decide to stop a bit more on the trip and try to do things we haven’t done in the past.

The main thing we did was to visit the Korean War memorial. We have seen the signs every time that we are either go up or coming down, but we never made the stop. It was a bit of a pain to get to, and it turned out to be a national cemetery, and we were not really expecting that. It was very nicely done and, even though it was hot, was really neat to see.

When we finally made it to Nana’s and Max’s house the kids were really glad to see us. We basically just hung out for a while and caught up with what had been going on for the last two weeks.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Back to work!

You know, work sucks! There really just isn't much more to say...

Friday, July 08, 2005

Making Progress...

We had some more time to put on the table saw and we are getting closer to being able to doing something. However, we are not quite there as of yet!

From out trip to Woodcrafts we did purchase some zero insert throat plates and we installed and cut those for the regular blade and the new dado blade that we picked up. That went good and everything installed correctly for that.

I am still having problems cross cutting, but with a bit more practice, I think that is going to start coming together. It has also been hot, so it is not really a lot of fun to be in the garage.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

What a long day...

Well, today started out on the road... And a lot of road at that! We got the wild idea to head down to the Meade factory to have them look at Denise's telescope. We actually called Meade and spoke to their customer support folks and the person on the other end of the phone, special note always get their NAME, said “come on down! We’ll check it out, show you how to use it, and if it is broke you can check it in to be fixed” So with that we jumped into the car and started the long journey down to the Meade factory in Irvine California. Okay, first thing is Irvine is a long freaking way away! And, if you don’t know this, the 405 isn’t really a freeway, but a multi-lane parking lot!

So, we finally made it down to Irvine and locate the Meade factory. A pretty neat building with an observatory on the top of it and a lot of really nice cars in the parking lot and not a lot of parking. When we finally got in they said, we don’t do walk-ins and WHO told you to just come on down? Anyway, the nice lady who helped us did give Denise some pointers on using her telescope and then said we should just have it serviced to make sure everything was working correctly. The entire experience wasn’t very pleasant and nothing near what either of us had expected to happen. As a result I was very disappointed and not really in a great mood after finishing there.

But, continue on with the journey we did! Our next stop was to the only southern California WoodCrafts stop that was about 30 minutes away from Meade. I can happily report that our experience at WoodCrafts was MUCH better than our Meade experience and it truly salvaged the day! We did end up buying a couple of things there; zero insert throat plates, scrapers, DVD how-to, and a dust adapter for our saw. We spent about a hour there and he folks there were VERY helpful and friendly. It was really a great experience and neat to be there.

From there we started heading north and decided to find a Claim Jumpers for dinner. That wasn’t too bad, especially considering we were now driving in LA at 5PM traffic. Fortunately the traffic wasn’t too bad, but we did decided to take surface streets to the one Claim Jumpers we knew near the Northridge Mall.

We had a great, and expensive, dinner there and neither of us could finish everything that we got. The food was great and the service was great too!

We decided from there to just head home and take a break for a day. We have been driving all over the place and need to just calm down a bit! So who knows what we will actually decide to do tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

So, they are on their way...

Well, it finally happened, the kids have left with Nana and Max for their 2-week vacation. Everything went very well and there were no dramatics at all. To make sure everything would be okay we loaded up the kids in Nana and Max’s car and met them at McDonalds. Again, like I said everything went great and they were good about it. Denise and I are handling it well too. This is the very first time that we have been separated from the kids and it is very strange to not have them around.

So, the kids are en-route and we are taking a break to really decide what we are going to do. Tomorrow we have to take the van into Bakersfield to drop off at the dealer so they can install the new tether strap anchors. We haven’t completely decided what we are going to do. The plan right now is going to be to wing it though we might just head over to the coast tomorrow. Again we are going to play it by ear!

Monday, July 04, 2005

4th of July

The 4th of July is upon us! We had a pretty good turn out with Nana, Max, Dave, Randy, Melissa, Alicia, Randy, Gina, and Isabella. To keep with the tradition we BBQ ribs with Denise's home made BBQ sauce. We tried something different - SPECIAL NOTE! Don't Try Something Different! - and decided to try and bake the 6 rack of ribs on the BBQ grill... Let me just say that the 4 racks of ribs turned out great!

The first indication of a problem should have been the fact that with 6 racks on the grill it could BARELY maintain a 300 degree temperature. The next indication should have been the major sizzling sound emitting from the grill. But hey, the temperature thing SAID 300 degrees! Okay, after we (Denise) realized that we MIGHT just have a problem we moved 3 racks inside and I kept 3 outside. I was smart enough to realize that we probably had a problem so I kept one rack on top of the others... Those other ribs were just insulators! Then there was also the temperature gauge rocketing to 400 degrees with only the 3 racks on the grill... Hmm, so maybe you can't just pack everything in there!

Okay, so with Denise's quick reaction thinking disaster was adverted and the ribs, the ones I didn't throw in the dumpster, were AWESOME. There was also the little stint in the pressure cooker, but when all was said and done the meat was just literally falling off the bones. It was kind of odd, because I thought for moment that we were not going to have enough food for everyone... Needless to say there are leftovers of everything.

Denise also made her signature 4th of July desert which was great! More so than the ribs this is what I look forward to every year. As always it was wonderful and I ate WAY too much of it! Amazingly enough there was left overs of that as well, and I know that I had a lot of it!

The fireworks show from our front yard was good as always, though I did think that the display was not as good as last year. Then again I was playing with the camera trying to capture the show. In reviewing the pictures they look pretty good, so maybe I just wasn't paying attention. The kids were great fun to watch during this and each display brought on a "that's my favorite color". It was really cute and the best part is always seeing the kids enjoying the fireworks.

After the "fireworks incident" last year I was not allowed to purchase fireworks and our "local" display was pretty limited, however the kids did enjoy that too.

All in all it was a really great time and I know we were grateful for everyone that came over and helped make this a special day.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Let the visiting commence!

So today was a pretty interesting day! Nana and Max made their way down from the Bay Area to our neck of the woods for the holiday weekend. In the spirit of the 4th of July they also brought matching aprons make by Aunt Joy for everyone. Devin and Desirae were quick to don their aprons and prance around the house for a bit with them on.

The kids, Nana, and Max spent a ton of time playing together and just hanging out. Devin and Desirae have been looking forward to them coming down, and their impending trip back home with them for weeks now.

The other interesting event for today was the arrival of the 2004 book that I ordered through Apple and iPhoto. It turned out VERY good and we were all impressed with it. After reading many messages on the Apple discussion group about the books and the various problems people have had with them I was a bit nervous. If this is any indication of the quality I am extremely pleased with it!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Fine! I’ll lie on Desirae!

Okay, so Denise was laying on the love seat and Devin decided, “Hey, I'll lay on mommy!” So he made his way over there and everything was fine, well as fine as fine can be until the other child realizes, “wait a minute, there is someone laying on mommy and it isn’t me!!!” So the battle ensued, and mommy is the one that left. However, not to be dissuaded, Devin decided he would just lie on Desirae. So Denise, after decided not to beat the little monsters, grabbed the camera and took the picture.

Anyway, so today is the first day of our “vacation”. But really it doesn’t start until Tuesday. We have a crowd coming over for the 4th and then the kids will head back to Nana and Max’s for a couple of weeks. I managed to actually get some time off, so we will have the 5th until the following Monday to do something… We haven’t quite figured out what that “something” will be, but dang-it, it will be something…