29 September 2010

Growing Up Kaitlyn is, well, growing up

I've been writing this blog for a year now. Kind of hard to believe.

I started because it's kind of boring being semi-retired. I needed something to consume my time. I needed a creative outlet. I needed to get out of the funk of not having a job.

I had Michelle. I had Kaitlyn. I had friends and family who were supportive. But there was something missing. Besides money. A sense of accomplishment maybe, which (no matter what Michelle continued to say) wasn't satiated by dusting, laundry or ironing.

So I started writing. Heck, I was getting paid as much as my days as an actual journalist (zing!). There wasn't anything worth writing about except fantasy football poker legality in North Carolina Family Guy Michelle and Kaitlyn.

23 September 2010

Katy Perry too sexy for Sesame Street

Today's post is brought to you by the letters OMG.

So Katy Perry decided to make her guest appearance not only with Elmo, but two of her close friends, which apparently will get you booted off Sesame Street.

According to news reports, parents of the longtime children's show have complained to the network, PBS, that Katy's outfit was a little much for their toddlers' eyes. In a statement, the show said that:

...In light of the feedback we've received on the Katy Perry music video which was released on You Tube only, we have decided we will not air the segment on the television broadcast of Sesame Street, which is aimed at preschoolers...

According to the PBS standards guidebook, "Morbid or sensational details, or material that is gratuitously offensive to general taste or manners (e.g., extreme violence, racial epithets, strong language, nudity, sexism), should not be included unless it is necessary to an understanding of the matter at hand."

(It also says that the station will not subject people to "technical trickery," which could mean that Katy's bosom buddies were altered. But if you've seen her California Gurls video, you know that not to be the case. Anyway, I digress.)

Katy is taking it all in stride, even calling out "Tag you're it, Elmo" on Twitter. So tell me your thoughts after viewing the video:

18 September 2010

Aunt Shannon's getting hitched today

We've got a wedding on this great fall day, as our wonderful Aunt Shannon is getting hitched. In honor of her, here's an oldie, but goodie.

A preemptive congrats to the happy couple.

14 September 2010

Daredevil Kaitlyn

Someone's got a little daredevil in her. It freaks Mommy out a bit. And to be honest, to see some of the things she does, it kind of makes me a little nervous, too.

At first, it was the typical jump on Mommy and Daddy. Then she graduated to jumping on the bed. Then, from the couch to the floor. Then the whole Tumblebus craze hit and she started somersaulting and rolling and even more jumping. Finally, the Little Gym birthday party just pushed it all over the top.

There's been no stopping her since. Jumping off the ottoman, leaping from the stairs, hurling herself over the couch.

I'm not saying I was any better.

I still remember playing in my basement growing up, we used to have those old-timey school desks. You know, the all-metal, four-legged, drawer-on-the-inside desks that stood about three feet tall. Well, we didn't play school with those things.

We played "Let's see who can leap from desk to desk the most times." Because nothing says "playtime" like jumping from one lopsided perch to another lopsided perch with nothing but an undeveloped skeletal bone protecting your brain from the cold, hard, barren cement floor.

But, you know, kids bounce. I'm just hoping Kaitlyn learns that trick. Soon.

12 September 2010

Umizoomi Hell

First came the Gabba Coma. Then came the pure love-fest for Dora. Now, we have Umizoomi.
If you haven't had the pleasure of watching Team Umizoomi on (what else?) Nick Jr., here's the basic setup: Milli, Geo and Bot are a team of heroes who help kids with their daily problems using their "mighty, mighty math powers." Yup -- solving today's problems with math. If only Wall Street and the Fed were able to use that creed, we might not be in the current financial situation we're in. But I digress.

So these three fly around and solve problems like trying to find a kite, looking for a stuffed animal, helping an airplane land and fixing a butterfly costume by identifying shapes, finding patterns and counting. Riiiiiiiight.

For some reason, the kids LOVE this show. For Kaitlyn, it's like Dora, Diego and Mickey rolled into one. She can't get enough of it: on TV, in the stores. Hell, there's even an app for that. I thought kids hated math. Apparently, as long as it's wrapped up in bubble-gum songs and bright colors, they'll eat anything up.

08 September 2010

Making sense

"Perhaps God tires of calling
the aged to His fold,
So He picks a rosebud
before it can grow old ..."

I don't understand a lot of things in this world. The origins of the universe. All 9,833 sections of the Internal Revenue Code. How to calculate a quarterback's Passer Rating.

Most of the things I don't understand, someone can sit me down and teach me. Or at least have some semblance of an explanation. Whether I can understand said explanation is a different story, but the explanation is more than likely reasonable, something the semi-educated person can grasp.

I don't understand the death of a child.

People can stop many things in this world. People can explain many problems. People can heal many illnesses. When a child passes, people cannot do any of those things. Cannot stop grieving. Cannot explain sorrow. Cannot heal broken hearts. Only time can do those things. And in this saddest of circumstances, time is against us.

We want time to pass more quickly: to begin our healing, end our grieving, explain our sorrow. Sadly, it doesn't. Everything moves in slow motion; every second feels like an hour, every hour a day, and so on.

All we can do is sit and wait for time to catch up to us, a race that can't be won.

When an adult dies, there's the expectation that person lived their life -- played their first tee ball game, had their first kiss, went on their first date, owned their first car, had their first job. That person had experiences that can be reflected upon. When a child dies, there are only what-ifs.

We can think about the joy children bring us, the beauty that pours out of them. We can think of all of the happiness they filled the world with in their short time here. We can tell stories and show pictures and laugh and cry and laugh some more.

But then there's the silence. Then, the tears. Lather, rinse, repeat.

You might be able to give me reasons for why a child dies, but you can't ever explain it. It's one of those things in this world I will never fully understand.

"...So when a little child departs,
we who are left behind
Must realize God loves children --
Angels are hard to find."

21 August 2010

Julia Roberts is more tolerable as a spider

With Mommy away this weekend, it's all about Daddy and Kaitlyn and the trouble we can get into. So last night we made our way down to Greensboro's Center City Park for Center City Cinema.

It's a regular summertime occurrence in Greensboro, but its moved to the fancy, new park across the street from the old grungier park, which was a much better location. But because the city spent a couple million dollars to build a park right next to another park, they figured it might as well be used. Don't get me wrong -- it's a very nice one-city-block park, but there's something about the old place that was cozier.

Here are some other notes from the night:
Dear Center City Cinema organizers: When you say the movie starts at 8 p.m., to people with children that means 8 p.m.; not 8:15 p.m. or 8:30 p.m., but 8 p.m. Little kids -- especially two-and-a-half-year-olds who have no concept of time -- are tough to sit still for long periods of time. And when you need to arrive an hour early to have room for a blanket and a seat near your 10'x10' screen (side note: get a bigger screen), you value promptness in movie start times.

Dear patrons of Center City Park: the place is smoke-free. With the number of little children running around, all I ask is that you move to the sidewalk -- that is 12 steps away and behind a group of trees -- from the park bench you're sitting on to have the cigarette. No problem with you smoking; just be kind to the kids and don't blow smoke in their faces, capeche?

Dear City of Greensboro: technically you maintain the park and all, so this is directed at you. The WiFi in the park is horrible. Absolutely horrible. Had better juice with my regular 3G connection. And I'm on AT&T.

Dear Julia Roberts: You should do more voice-over roles. They suit you, since I don't have to see that annoying Julia Roberts laugh that inevitably appears in every movie. She did it in this one, this one, this one, of course this one ... we could do this all day. But in last night's movie, the live-action Charlotte's Web, Julia Roberts (playing Charlotte herself) wasn't so ... annoying. Because the fact is, every Julia Roberts movie role seems to get this message across:

I mean, really. I'm not the only one who thinks it. Just sayin'.

Dear Kaitlyn: I just wanted to add a little blurb down here to say you were awesome last night. Granted, Daddy's back is hurting him and all you wanted to do was sit on his chest and drive his back into the ground. I'm definitely paying the price this morning. But it was a small price to pay, since you had such a good time last night and were such a good girl.

Now please excuse me while I go pop six or so ibuprofen. Chased with some Mother's Cure.

17 August 2010

In Pictures: Kaitlyn's first boat trip

So it was a long three week stretch here. Daddy's been busting his tail for work, just wrapping up Market America 2010 International Convention. Lots of hours, lots of work, little time to recover. Eighteen out of 19 days at work, mostly extended hours.

For a four-day stretch, I didn't see Kaitlyn awake. Barely saw Mommy awake during those days, too. Yikes.

So what was a family to do? A little R&R, thanks to some friends. Growing Up Kaitlyn was invited out to Belews Lake, which is a pretty sweet place not too far from home base here in the BFE. So Saturday afternoon, we trekked out to the lake, met our friends and enjoyed some swimming and tubing in 90-degree lake water (thanks in some part to the Duke Energy Plant right on its banks. Don't worry -- the green glow only last a couple hours).

16 August 2010

Promises, promises.

So it's been more than a month since my last post. Yeah, yeah, yeah: I know I said work would affect Growing Up Kaitlyn. I know I dropped the ball on that (twice).

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Right?

Well, I'm here to tell you that I'm going to try and not fall into this pit for a third time. I promise to do better. I promise to post more frequently. I promise to use work time to get the job done. I promise to keep you all abreast of everything Kaitlyn because, well, it's Kaitlyn. She's friggin' adorable and smart and playful and hilarious and adorable and everything else.

So here's the deal: I promise to do all I can to keep Growing Up Kaitlyn going strong. All you have to do is keep me on my toes. Leave comments asking where the heck I am if you haven't seen something new in, oh, four or so days. Shoot me a comment on Facebook. Reply via Twitter.

Let me know what you're missing. Because sometimes, when you're Growing Up Kaitlyn, there's so much to share that we forget.

10 July 2010

The Weekly Wrap-Up

I haven't blogged in a couple days. Sue me. It just gets busy sometimes. Kinda makes me long for the days of semi-retirement. Kinda.

So here's the weekly wrap-up from Growing Up Kaitlyn. In Pictures!

Official league sign-ups start at age 3. 
Let me give you a little more detail on this. You all know I want her to be a golfer -- plenty of scholarship opportunities, it's a sport where women can actually make a real-life wage, travel the world. But she's taken a ridiculous liking to kicking things, especially balls. Just like her mother. And it's a heck of a lot cheaper to register for soccer than buy golf clubs. So next year, we'll be spending plenty of time on the soccer fields.

04 July 2010

Childhood Days in Keansburg

Kaitlyn's quite lucky to be here in Greensboro. There are plenty of things to do; from the Children's Museum to the Science Center to the Zoo (well, it's not in Greensboro, but close enough), there's always something for us to do with her.

When she gets older, there will be all of the above, plus Wet N' Wild water park, Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball games, all of those parks and playgrounds that we continue to discover and so on and so forth. There isn't a shortage of activity, to say the least.  

That was the case when we were kids. There was always something happening -- whether it was bowling at the old Strike N' Spare, pitch-and-putt at Green Knoll, the occasional trip to Dave's Auction for some ice cream while stale cigarette smoke filled the air. 

But, for the money, nothing beat Keansburg. Sure, there were places with bigger amusements (Wildwood), more name recognition (Atlantic City), more games of chance (Seaside Height), but there was something about Keansburg

I remember driving in the van with the family, meeting Aunt Jo Ann and Grandma in one of the many storefront gambling halls playing video poker and skeeball for tokens that I would inevitably use on baseball cards. We'd stroll across the street to another, maybe the one with the candy wheel and try to win value packs of Reese's Cups or another sugary treat. Walk to the amusement area and wonder why the rides weren't working, not realizing that my family was (for a few years, there) the only one walking the amusement area. 

It's apparently making a bit of a comeback, which is good. I'd like to bring Kaitlyn down to Keansburg one day, when she's old enough to play the games on her own. It was a big part of growing up, so why shouldn't it be a part of Growing Up Kaitlyn

23 June 2010

Goodbye, Old Friend

We said goodbye to a good friend this week, a friend who has been there through thick and thin, good times and bad. Our beloved Nikon CoolPix has bit the bullet.

We've had this little camera for a couple years now. After much nit-picking, scrutinizing and Michelle's amazing coupon negotiating skills, we finally switched to the Digital Age and left 35mm behind. It was the perfect camera: fit in your pocket, shoot video, leap tall buildings in a single bound and much more.

Many of the pictures on this blog have come from that little camera -- The Greatest Little Camera in the World has been Growing Up Kaitlyn before there was a Growing Up Kaitlyn. It was there when Kaitlyn was born, when she took her first steps, trips to the zoo, when she farted and had diarrhea but Michelle wouldn't let me post the video even though it was one of the funniest things I ever witnessed in my life. It's been there for many major moments.

It's gone to California, Las Vegas, New Jersey and Myrtle Beach. And that's where our wonderful little CoolPix finally met its end.

I don't know if it was being smashed at the bottom of the beach bag, the minuscule wind-swept sand particles or the constant beating from Kaitlyn playing, but halfway through our trip the Greatest Little Camera in the World went kaput. The ugly grey screen, complete with its "Lens Error" message and buzzing, is still taunting us.

So it's time to finally say goodbye. I've already scoped out the possible replacement cameras and, sufficed to say, I'm not impressed. Don't know what it is, but something was just perfect about our Nikon.

But I'm sure we'll find another Greatest Little Camera in the World. It just won't have the memories of this one. But I guess we'll have to make new ones.

12 June 2010

Skyping your playdates

I remember when I was growing up and we used to run across the street to see our friends, or ride our bikes up the road to another friend's house. There were the few occasions that Mom would drive us to someone's house and we'd play there all day.

Fast forward to today, when many of those interactions are done virtually among today's children. Whether it be IM, text messaging or online gaming, kids today just don't see each other. They might communicate, but they don't interact. I see this as a problem, but apparently I'm not one of the cool kids, which isn't anything new. I mean, you don't get voted "Most Talkative" in high school because they like you, right?

I digress. The cool kids from yesteryear are now the cool parents who are experimenting with video playdates, which is exactly as it sounds -- kids playing with kids via computer modems and monitors. Which isn't really playing as much as watching a really lame reality TV show.

One of the leaders in this new realm of non-playing playdates is Lana Yarosh, a Ph.D. candidate in human-centered computing at Georgia Tech University. She's tinkered with regular video chats for kids, having kids play show-and-tell with multiple cameras and even WWE-style action sequences: "In another [method], playmates share a virtual playpen of sorts, where they see each others' toys and bodies projected onto the floor."

"They were jumping on top of each other. They were having battles. One of the kids said, 'This is a lot of fun and it's actually better than being in the same room because we're not hurting each other.' 

The purpose of these video playdates, Yarosh says, is for "friends to stay in touch when their parents can't drive them to each other's houses or to the park." To her credit, Yarosh does state that video playdates are "more work" because, you know, they're not in the same room. But Yarosh believes the same level of social interaction takes place in these virtual playdates.

The reaction by the masses: Thanks, but no thanks. I tend to agree. One of the highlights of the weekends for us is when Kaitlyn repeatedly asks us who we're going to see that day. It could be Declan-Lilly (they're always combined, I don't know why), it could be Baby E, it might be Sophia. She loves playing with her friends, running around in circles and pushing strollers and playing with dolls and cars and laughing. Lots and lots of laughing.

No matter how busy the schedule is, we'll always make time to bring Kaitlyn to see her friends. The need for interaction is important -- it helps shape who we are, it helps us later in life (see: School) and it creates a fun environment to explore and imagine.

Skype has its place; we love talking to Nana and Pop-Pop and Aunt Debbie, Uncle Chris and Cousin Colin and everyone else who has it. It just doesn't seem like a substitute for human interaction.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my online Scrabble game with Michelle. She's texting me feverishly from the other room because it's my turn. 

11 June 2010

Fast Food Playhouse of Horror

So you all know I'm one of those laid-back sort of dads, right? I don't go all bonkers when Kaitlyn falls and scrapes her knee. I toss her ten feet in the air on the sidewalk confident in my ability to catch her. I don't shout when the kids in class are playing rough; besides, they probably learned it from her.

But I do draw the line at older kids trying to toss my little girl around. Case in point: the local fast food playground.

You know these things: small places where parents can presumably take their toddlers to burn off those 1,200 calorie kid's meals while Mom and Dad check email on their iPhone. Kids run around, sliding down slides, playing in make-believe cars and rolling around in ball tosses. Harmless, right?

Well, you know the rules of these places, right? Sure, they've got something on the wall about age limits, unaccompanied children, running, strangling with the balloon strings and other mumbo-jumbo that their lawyers told them to write. But you know the real rules?

There are none.

Parents scope out the prime seats on the opposite side of the glass from these human hamster farms so they can say they're watching their kid when they're really spiking their fountain drink with mini bottles of Schnapps and Absolut. In the meantime, their little terror(s) is/are running up the enclosed slide, pushing other unwatched kids down the stairs in an attempt to not be "it" in an all-out game of tag and screaming louder than their mothers during childbirth.

And you know where Kaitlyn is during all this? Huddled in the corner of the suspended-in-mid-air-race-car, frozen because she's scared out of her wits. Tonight, before the mayhem ensued, she made her way -- laughing, mind you -- up the stairs and into the hamster tunnels before a group of kids (five or six, all above age 7) came in and proceeded to climb all over the place, through every conceivable hole in the play room.

Kaitlyn was stuck up there for what seemed like forever, but was probably something like three or four minutes. I would try to guide her down one way, but there was a screaming child. Not crying screaming, just screaming for reasons only his therapist understands. I tried to direct her to the slide before not one, but three of the snot noses ran up. I looked around for some parental unit to interject, but I was the only one in the damn playroom.

I finally got her out and she looked at me and said, "I go home now." So much for the couple minutes of fun I promised her. I even asked if she wanted to play at home with Daddy, but she said no. "Lay down with my binkie," she whimpered.

So I would just like to say thanks not only to the half-dozen kids who ruined my daughter's five-minute treat for eating her dinner, but also to the parent(s) of those kids. I thought I was unassuming and aloof when it came to Kaitlyn, but you people truly take the cake.

07 June 2010

The Day After Tomorrow is Three Days After Vacation Ended

Kaitlyn's vacation, in bite-sized pieces:

Got in Daddy's car at 6:15 p.m. Dropped Boo-Boo off with Pop-Pop. Sang Pokerface. Without the radio. Or Mommy. Or Daddy. Fell asleep in North Carolina at 9:15 p.m. Woke up in South Carolina at 10:30 p.m. Fell asleep in South Carolina at 11:30 p.m.

Woke up at 8 a.m. Ate cereal. On patio. Looking at the ocean. In the bright morning sunlight. Got bathed in sunscreen by Mommy. Stubbed toe on walk to beach. Saw beach. Smiled. Helped Daddy dig hole for umbrella. Filled hole back up with sand. Daddy re-dug hole. Played with bucket and yellow shovel. Couldn't find purple shovel. Cried. Found purple shovel. Laughed. Walked to water with Mommy. Ran from water that chased me. Ran back to water. Laughed. Ran to bucket. Ran back to water with bucket. Repeated for next three hours. Left beach. Fell asleep at 1:30 p.m.

Woke up at 5 p.m. Went to dinner. Ordered shrimp. Got shrimp. Don't like shrimp. Ate fries. Asked for ice cream. Cried. Got in car. Cried. Went to stores. Cried. Walked around. Cried. Fed fish. Didn't cry. Walked some more. Cried. Got ice cream. Got in car. Went to room. Got on jammies. Cried. Said prayers. Laid down with Mommy. Talked to Mommy for next thirty minutes. Fell asleep at 11 p.m.

Woke up at 8 a.m. Wanted pancakes. Went to get pancakes. Ordered pancakes. Got pancakes. Didn't eat pancakes. Cried. Ate pancakes after Daddy got mad. Went to room. Got bathed in sunscreen by Mommy. Again. Stubbed toe on walk to beach. Again. Saw beach. Smiled. Again. Played with bucket and yellow shovel. Couldn't find purple shovel. Cried. Found purple shovel. Laughed. Walked to water with Mommy. Ran from water that chased me. Ran back to water. Laughed. Ran to bucket. Ran back to water with bucket.

Wanted the pool. Went with Daddy to pool. Got thrown in air in pool. Went under water. Swallowed water. Twice. Laughed. Wanted the beach. Went back to beach with Daddy. Found Mommy. She was red. Left beach. Went to room. Watched Wonder Pets. Fell asleep at 1:40 p.m.

Woke up at 3:30 p.m. Got dressed. Wanted pizza. Went in car. Ordered pizza. Got pizza. Didn't eat pizza. Cried. Ate pizza after Daddy got mad. Wanted ice cream. Cried. Got back in car. Went to stores. Walked around. Cried. Ate pralines at candy store. Don't know what a praline is. Wanted more pralines. Left candy store. Cried. Walked some more. Cried. Walked into Kohr's. Got ice cream. Watched Mommy cry after paying $3 for children's size. Got in car. Went to other stores. Got Big Jessie. Went back to room. Watched Buzz and Woody. Said prayers. Laid down with Mommy. Talked to Mommy for next forty-five minutes. Fell asleep at 11 p.m.

Woke up at 8 a.m. Ate cereal. Got bathed in sunscreen by Mommy. Again. Stubbed toe on walk to beach. Again. Saw beach. Smiled. Again. Found seashells with Mommy and Daddy. Walked to water. Sat in water with Mommy. Wanted the pool. Said bye bye to beach. Went in pool with Mommy. Said bye bye to pool. Went back to room. Got changed. Packed bags. Packed car. Got in car. Wanted pancakes for lunch. Ordered pancakes. Got pancakes. Didn't eat pancakes. Again. Cried. Ate pancakes after Mommy got mad. Got in car at 1 p.m. Fell asleep after five minutes in car.

Woke up in North Carolina at 3:30 p.m. Got to Pop-Pop's at 5 p.m.. Got chicken for dinner. Ate dinner. Go figure. Got cupcake from YaYa. Ate cupcake. Go figure. Got in car. With Boo-Boo. Got home at 8 p.m. Watched Kai-Lan. Watched Backyardigans. Played. Said prayers. Laid down with Daddy. Fell asleep at 10:30 p.m.

04 June 2010

On Hiatus

We're going off the grid, headed to the beach this weekend for some fun in the thunderstorms that are engulfing the eastern seaboard until the day we're supposed to leave the beach sun.

And most importantly -- we are NOT bringing the laptop.

If you're looking for your Growing Up Kaitlyn fix, you better start finally checking Twitter or Facebook.

01 June 2010

In Pictures: iPhone iPhotography

Sometimes I snap the pictures on my iPhone faster than I can tweet them to the world. So here's a sampling of what I get to see every day as I flip through my phone.

31 May 2010

In Pictures: Memorial Day 2010

You probably never knew this, but nine years and one day ago, I met Michelle for the first time. Drunk off her ass. In celebration, we ate frozen yogurt for three straight days at our new favorite place, Feeney's. And fed lots of ducks. And played in the park. That's not really in celebration of Michelle and I, but just another weekend with Kaitlyn.

I guess those days are long gone. But that's not a bad thing. I really don't miss staying out until 2 a.m. As old people always say, nothing good happens after midnight. Except sex. But even that's not always good after midnight. But it's not like bad sex is really even bad. It's sort of like pizza that way. 'Cause even bad pizza is good pizza.

Now I'm hungry. I guess it will be frozen yogurt for a fourth straight day.

We're sorta glad we found this place. Only a five-minute drive from the house. Who knew?

She now climbs up the ladder-like thingy on the playground. By herself. Without a net.

Kaitlyn is doing pull-ups! She's so strong ...

...Granted I am stronger since she weighs a ton. 

In the kiddie swing having a ball ...

...Until she realized she can swing on the big-girl swings like Mommy. Growing Up Kaitlyn is right.

30 May 2010

In Pictures: Memorial Day Weekend

YaYa and Michelle out shopping. Kaitlyn asleep in her bed. Pop-Pop and Boo curled up on the couch, one of them snoring.

What has led to all this? A Sunday excursion to the Natural Science Center. Here's the In Pictures update for all of you who don't subscribe to my social media feeds. On a side note: Why don't you subscribe to my social media feeds?

Tweeting Kaitlyn to the World

Yesterday was supposed to rain. The guys on the television said that, the local DJs who I listened to on my way home from work Friday said that. Heck, even my iPhone said that. And if the iPhone said it, it must be true, right?

So when I woke up at 9:30 a.m. -- Michelle let me sleep for a change -- and it was bright and sunny, I was scratching my head. So Michelle and I decided to take Kaitlyn on a hike at Guilford-Alamance Park. Ticks be damned!

We actually had a real good time, even if Michelle was misguided enough to think Kaitlyn would walk the three-mile loop by herself; she barely made it to the half-mile mark before we were looking for the shortcut back to the exit.

But we hiked, hugged trees (literally), fed the ducks, played in boats and hung out with some friends we weren't expecting to see.

And you know what? We didn't bring a camera. Left it on the kitchen table. So then what's the point of this post, since you can't see your dear Kaitlyn?

It's to point you in the direction of one of Growing Up Kaitlyn's new features, which is the Twitter feed about halfway down the page on the right column. Why am I pointing this out? Because sometimes it's tough to sit down a write a whole blog post, or sometimes I forget some of the funny things that happen throughout the day, especially if I have to wait to sit down at the computer to write it all down.

But I can always shoot a tweet. So there are some special nuggets in that Twitter feed down there. Like Kaitlyn hiking. And Kaitlyn getting her haircut. And then just some random thoughts and observations throughout the day.

So if you don't see something new on the blog, you just might want to check the feed. Because some of the best stuff comes in 140 characters or less.

23 May 2010

OMG, Breakfast of Champions, anyone?

So you read about the race. Done with that for a while until I have to pull it out when Michelle asks what I've done lately and then tell her "I ran a 5K, what did you do?" since she always chickens out at the last minute.

Post-race, Michelle said, "Let's go to breakfast," which I was kinda shocked hearing because she never wants to go out to breakfast. Since we were downtown, I suggested Smith Street Diner, a little (emphasis on that word) place neither of us had tried but always said, Hey, that looks like a greasy spoon that would make a killer breakfast.

You know what? That greasy spoon makes a killer breakfast. People stand out on the sidewalk waiting for a table in the two room place. Their biscuits are the size of a bowling ball, their pancakes have that nice griddle crisp on the edges while staying soft on the inside. And it's cheap.

I might start waking up early on work days and sneaking down there for a quick bite, making excuses to Michelle like, Oh, we have a very important meeting every Tuesday morning from now on. Starts at 8 a.m. because the EVP who's running the meeting is originally from Australia and it's already tomorrow there and he doesn't want to wait another minute for an update.

I don't know if I would get away with it, but it would certainly be worth it to try. Which I guess I can't do now because Michelle is usually the first person to read this blog and now she's onto my little plot. I'll have to get my boss to call her and tell her the meeting is for real, which then means I'll probably have to buy off my boss with biscuits, which adds to the cost. Damnit.

22 May 2010

Run Daddy, Run

Well, I didn't die and I didn't finish last. I didn't have to walk, didn't have to crawl. And you know what? I did a helluva lot better than I ever expected.

24 minutes, 23 seconds. Now, they say I ran 24:40, but that 13 second difference is the time it took for me to get from my place in line (which was toward the back) to the actual starting line. I am going by the "chip time". Ain't technology wonderful?

64th place overall (out of 394 runners, thank you very much), 10th best in my age group (30-39). Now the bad news: Eleven kids beat me. And some of them beat me bad. And not "kids-to-you-and-me" kids. Like, nine to 14-year-olds. One kid who finished ahead of me was five. But that doesn't really count since he was likely being pushed in a stroller by his father, who finished directly behind him. But he paid his registration fee like everyone else, so it sorta kinda counts. Damnit.

Oh well, it was all for a good cause -- the Greensboro Children's Museum and their pretty cool Edible Schoolyard. Michelle, Kaitlyn and I love going to the GCM, so it wasn't a stretch to do something like this to support a great cause.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to pass out now.

Kaitlyn hanging with her friend Lily pre-race

Pre-race Daddy ...

...Post-race Daddy

21 May 2010

Tomorrow is D-Day

I forgive you. It's been so long since I've written anything that of course you didn't remember it. That's okay, I'll remind you.

A couple months back, I got the startling unexpected news that I was on a collision course with Lipitor thanks to years of unchecked fast food binges. So I had two choices: continue gorging on the delicious heavenly sinful foods I loved while taking medication for the rest of my life, or make some changes and get healthier.

One of the steps I decided to take was to enter a 5K called Running of the Green, which benefits the Greensboro Children's Museum.

Well, I'm just about 13 hours from the starting line. And considering my propensity to follow through on tasks, it's a pretty darn big accomplishment that I even registered.

So as long as I don't pull a Jim Fixx, you'll hear all about it tomorrow.

20 May 2010

Whaddaya Think?

Welcome to the new-look Growing Up Kaitlyn. There's still a little work to be done, but I think the next couple of weeks will show you a bunch of features that you'll enjoy.

As you can see, none of the things you've grown to love have changed; just the design. And some things will be tweaked, so if you fall in love with one particular part of this design, please let me know. Otherwise, it might be gone in the blink of an eye.

18 May 2010

Double the Children, Double the Fun

For those of you who read the title of this post and thought of sending congratulatory emails, presents and phone calls, you'll be disappointed. You can still send gifts if you want, but there's no bun in the oven.

You see, a couple weeks back we took Kaitlyn's buddy, Declan, out for a couple hours. Mom and Dad Donaghue were packing up the house to prepare for their big move, so having Declan out and about for a couple hours was a big help.

So Michelle and I called upon old reliable to keep the kids occupied -- The Natural Science Center of Greensboro.

Yes, that is a big blue frog Kaitlyn is sitting on. 

I don't know whether she's holding on for dear life or copping a feel. I do know she's smiling, if that provides a clue.

Declan is either staring at the monkey, or at the zoo keeper throwing food from the wrong side of the net. Stupid zoo keeper.

This is the angle I saw Michelle and Kaitlyn the entire time at the Science Center. That's because Declan moseys. How slow is Declan? I took with picture with the zoom all the way out.

Kaitlyn tried to feed Declan the entire time. I don't know why she treated him like one of her dolls. I do know he didn't seem to mind.

Brushing the goat. Took Declan a bit to warm up, but he eventually helped. Side note: See that little beard on the goat? They don't like it when you yank on it.