Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Plum Covered Up

My blogging career came to an abrupt end this summer.  Sorry 'bout that.

For whatever it's worth, the story is that we've been busier in the past 3 months than I can remember.  Ever.

Working.  Churching.  Schooling.  Learning-to-Ride-Bikes-Yourselfing.   Furry-Speckled-Devil-Semi-Children-Acquiring.  You name it.  Real busy.  I mean, plum covered up.  And listen, where I'm from, when you get PCU, you're 5 kinds of slammed, dude.

So I can guarantee virtually nothing in the way of future postings around here.  But if I had a CJMP to-do list, and I don't, that nonexistent list might look like:
  1. Fess up to the incredibly unwise decision to essentially start filming Planet Dog Part Deux:  The Fiasco
  2. Document Jack (magically?) learning to ride the sweetest bike ever (emphasize sweet in the technical, bike shop dude, non-mommyblogger sense)
  3. Post a coupla recent sermons/classes
  4. Record Caroline Fubatti Jane's ridiculousness and foibles and inability, nay, refusal to negotiate anything, at any time
  5. Talk about how shockingly grown up JMW has become, apparently in the last 45 minutes (NOTE:  conspicuously avoid discussing how painfully old that makes us feel)
But to demonstrate some good faith, y'know, to all 3 of you out there... and because some random lady in Boise, Idaho has been harassing us for pictures, here we are.  So it's going to be THAT way, huh?!  Fine then.  Fine.

Eat your heart out, people.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Documenting Summer

Summer strolls along.  Were there some completely normal mild concussions (Caroline) and also completely normal partially torn Achilles tendons (Jack) along the merry way?  You bet your back righthand Levi's pocket there were.  Again, completely normalAll is well!.  (UPDATE:  Make that a partially torn Achilles tendon with a steaming side of heel fracture.  Terrific.)

But yeah, willingly (!) launching yourself off high/softish objects only to slam suddenly onto much lower/hardish objects is quite the fad around our pad, man.  The folks in the doctor's office laugh at Majesty when she comes in the door.  Because it's the seventh time.  This week.

We can only hope the fad is temporary.  I mean, at this point I'd welcome the return of disco.

Behold inter alia Groupie Dragonflies, The Brazen Misappropriation of Other People's Ginger Ale, Royal Weddings, and (Allegedly) Illegal Fireworks Celebrating Royal Weddings.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

On the Road, Part 2

We continue Majesty's travelogue from Part 1

We thought since the kids did so well during the Spring Break odyssey that they were good to go on traveling.  Not so.  This trip was bumpy from the get-go.  We left at naptime on Friday, thinking that would be best for Cece.  Boy, was I wrong.  She screamed for 3 of the 5 hours we were in the car.

We finally made it to Aunt Kelly and Uncle Bill’s.  We did get to hang out with Aunt Dana and Brooklyn for the evening, which was fun.  The kids got to bed late and woke up early so everyone was a bit edgy.

We spent a beautiful morning at the Arboretum with Grammie, Grandpaw and Aunt Dana.  The kids had a blast and ran all over the gardens.  We all chased Caroline and begged her not to pick or eat the tulips.  We introduced the kids to Alfonso’s, one of our favorite restaurants when we lived in Dallas.

It is down the street from our old house and we used to walk to pick up pizzas nearly once a week because it was so close and we never tired of it.  The kids demolished their delicious, salty, garlicky garlic rolls and lunches (actually, Caroline ate mine).  [I think I stole my mom's.  It's what we kids do.]

After lunch we said our goodbyes and headed back to Kelly’s.  Caroline needed a nap and there was NO WAY we were we going to attempt driving back home without a nap.  We had a nice, quiet afternoon at Kelly’s house, playing in the backyard with Sabre, the world’s best dog.

Bill grilled steaks and veggies for dinner.  It was awesome and hit the spot.  The kids were all pooped and headed to bed early with no complaint.  [Man, they ate that steak like cavemen.  Cavemen that had gone vegan on a whim and then realized what a drag it is.]  It was nice to sit around the fire pit and catch up with Kelly and Bill.  We stayed up way too late [Past 9pm!] but we went to bed happy and relaxed...

Until and 2:30am when Caroline decided it was time to get up.  We spent the next 2 ½ hours trying to convince her to stay in her pack n play.  (How did she sleep so well in Uncle Blake’s closet 2 weeks ago?).  The morning only got worse from here.

Jack woke up with his first migraine (which will at some point get its own blog post).  [Maybe.] So, we spent the morning scrambling and stumbling around trying to take care of him, pack and not cry. [Two out of three ain't bad.]

Thankfully, our drive home was pretty low key.  Caroline showed us mercy and skipped the crying and went straight to sleep.

Maybe we aren’t ready for traveling after all.  You guys will have to come to us for the next little while until we can muster up some courage to try this again.  [Our 2027 is wide open.]

Friday, April 25, 2014

On the Road, Part 1

I was thinking this would be Kerouacky sans all the drugs.  But then I read it.  We had as many drugs as those Beat cats ever did, man.  I give you a travelogue of sorts from our Sometime Guest Blogger, Runner of Things, Scheduler of Schedules and Sainted Wife: 

We need to do a little better on this blogging thing so here goes.

This poor baby had a double ear infection from her birthday (would not even eat her birthday cake) until the middle of March.  It was a tough 4 weeks with 3 rounds of antibiotics, poor sleeping, and just wanting to be held a whole lot.  She rallied as much as was possible - she does not like to miss out on having fun.  She doesn’t eat much when she has ear infections so the girl mostly survived on ice cream.  She’s in the 23% for weight anyway so we didn’t figure it would do too much damage.

 The girl is obsessed with band-aids.  She has a big, puffy, pink “C” that hangs over her bed that Bebe made for her.  One day she pulled it down and it ripped a little.  She wanted me to put it back up on her wall but I said I would have to fix it because it was torn.  Caroline looked at me and said “It need band-aid?”

My most favorite word she says:  down-fers (downstairs).

Jack is doing great in school, they have started sending him up to Kindergarten some for reading, even though at 5 ½  he is reading on about a 3rd grade level.  A few weeks back we let him skip school so Morgan could take him to the rodeo.  [ALLEGEDLY skip school. -ed.]   
He had a blast and came home with a cowboy hat and boots.   For lunch that day he ate a hotdog and a chicken leg.  [It was a turkey leg.  And you forgot the boudain.  And the ice cream.]  His “cowboy” accent is so, so funny.  It’s amazing to me how clean his accent normally is, considering Mama is from south Alabama and Daddy is from Texas. 

He got in trouble recently for “losing his temper”.  A few days later he came running to me to say that he had “found his temper!”  I’m not sure what he found, or if he gets what that phrase means at all.

He lost his first tooth!  Actually, the dental hygienist pulled it at his cleaning.   He seemed surprised but didn’t get upset at all.  The tooth fairy left him $10 because she was too lazy to go get change.

Spring Break
I want to remember that this was a really fun week, despite the fact that we drove 1,800 miles [1,900+] and Caroline had a double ear infection and I had bronchitis for most of the week.

We started out in Mobile.  Got to see cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends during the week.  We spent one day at Dauphin Island with Nolan, Eli and Georgia.  The water was cold so the kids just got their feet wet.  The weather was beautiful, so they happily played in the sand, chased birds, climbed sand dunes and had a picnic.

We also spent some time in Birmingham and stayed with Uncle “Bate.”  One day we went to the zoo.  They have a wonderful zoo!   We saw a komodo dragon lumbering around, a giant anaconda slithering into a pool of water, and the larakeets even landed on Jack.  [Incredibly, that was all that landed on him.]  We ate yummy food:  pizza, Greek and of course, tacos!  [Because, y'know, it's... Alabama.]  Caroline slept in Blake’s giant closet in her pack n play and Jack slept on a blow up mattress in the guest room with Uncle Blake.  Uncle Blake read to Jack but Jack could not go to bed until Blake was in there too.  Jack even slept until 9:30 one day, the latest he’s ever slept in his life!

We also got to see one of my high school BFF’s, Donna, and her family while we were in B’ham.   It was so much fun and they were wonderful hosts!  Our families get along so well together- I wish we lived closer!  Had dinner at Donna and Marc’s house one evening and then went out to see Donna’s parents and their farm another day.

The kids went for a tractor ride while eating ice cream cones.  We toured the barn, got to swing in the gazebo, we threw rocks in the water and rode [or, were made to power] the paddleboat.  And, Mrs. Becky had prepared a wonderful lunch for us!  Even Caroline (who only eats ice-cream when she has an ear infection) ate Mrs. Becky’s lunch with no complaints, even when the big kids left her all alone.

Heading out of Birmingham we stopped in Montgomery to see my cousin, Brian and his wife, Marcella.  We visited with them in their new house and then went out for pizza.  We enjoyed having some time to catch up with them and see another city!  I think we ate pizza 3 times that week- but no one was complaining!

Great trip - looking forward to the next one!

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.

This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18, 1808.

When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
Unknown to Glory, but upheld by Birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below.
When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the Soul he held on earth –
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who behold perchance this simple urn,
Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one -- and here he lies.

-The Lord Byron, Epitaph for a Dog (1808)

I can tell you that a hot topic around these parts, for some time, has been if and when to get a new dog.  We've been out of that racket for 4 years now (to the day), and it's surprisingly tough to jump back in.  Things are, well, easier without a Fuzzenfarce around.  Blunt, maybe, but it's the truth.

We have the same conversation over and over again.
Jack:  Dad, can we get a dog?
Me:   Sure.  Sometime.  Err, someday.
Jack:  Ok. 
Me:  When you can take care of it.
Jack:  Dad, can we get a dog?
Caroline:  PUPPY!  RUFF RUFF!
Majesty:  Not one that sheds like Belle.
Me:  I love that breed.
Jack:  Dad, can we get a dog?
Majesty:  NO SHEDDING.
Me:  Everyone eat your lunch.
Majesty:  What about a Labradoodle?  They don't shed.
Me:  I said eat your lunch.
Caroline:  PUPPY DAWD! 
It's like negotiating with the Palestinians.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Inconsistency, In Pictures

We're still here.  Hope you are, too.



Friday, February 14, 2014

The Curl at Two

Dear Caroline,
We're in that interim space between your technical birthday and the actual invite-some-people-over-to-the-house birthday party.  So yeah, we take advantage of the fact that you have no working knowledge of the Gregorian calendar.

You are two years old.  Now that is all kinds of crazy, man.  It makes me feel a little panicky.  Or that I should know more and be more wise and be more patient and be more all kinds of junk in order to have a shot at raising you right.  Time is running quickly, and I'm afraid you're going to be stuck with whatever kind of dad and mom you have this very minute.  Lucky you!

I read yesterday where someone observed that you only have something like 6 or 8,000 days with your kids until they are just about grown.  When I think that I've already burned up maybe a tenth of that time, I just try to relax and breathe calmly.  Into a nice brown paper bag.

Anyway, I'm told there's not much I can do about this whole birthday growing up thing except play along and pretend to like it.

Actually it's not so bad.  I love to see you doing big girl things and saying crazy big girl stuff that you picked up on the fly from your big brother.  "Caroline, you want me to peel you an orange?"  "NO TAA TOO,  AH FINE."  No, thank you, I'm fine?!  You are freaking me out, dude.  I mean, you were gurgling your answers like, last week.

Where Jack was very go along, get along in many ways, you are the most stubborn, opinionated, ornery little soul that God ever created.  You are so, so sweet... until you want this deal done another way, pronto.  You reject books you don't care for me to read, and you stop me in the middle of songs you don't want sung (SERIOUSLY, WHO DOESN'T LIKE JESUS LOVES ME?!).  You stop everything and order your blanket to be put about the royal shoulders.  You demand not this babydoll, but that babydoll.  Oh, it's the one downstairs?  Well, tough Nutterbutters, Daddy.

You're like a little cute, pink Ghengis Khan, that smells really nice and doesn't (to my knowledge) drink blood mixed with mare's milk while sacking entire regions.  But it's 100% okay.  Your almost constant sweet overcomes your occasional sour, which is about all anyone can hope for.

Although you apparently hold a nasty grudge against Legos.  No one knows why.  Like Godzilla waltzing through Tokyo, buildings on fire and people screaming all around you, you have shown zero mercy for the Lego Fire Station, Lego Gas Station and Car Wash, Lego X-Wing, Lego Land Speeder, Lego Tow Truck, Lego Coast Guard Rescue Team (complete with Zodiac and trailer), and Lego Avengers 4x4 Assault Truck that have crossed your path.  You leave only the rubble of stray piles of blocks behind you, littered here and there with bits of dismembered Lego people.

Watching you patter (without shoes) after Jack at 85 mph is hilarious.  And when you crash down the stairs because you took on way too much way too fast,  it's jarring.  Like all little siblings and siblingettes, you attempt to do what Jack does,  go where he goes, say what he says (even after we tell him not to, because you emulate everything and we're nipping that in the bud right now, Mister).

But we're so glad that you two play with each other.  It's a bit of an odd match though, like when you see the weird news story about a orangutan befriending a dolphin.  You two live in nearly separate universes, occasionally colliding to exchange a superhero cape or to angrily yell at each other.  It's pretty decent comedy, but it's even more valuable because we're left by ourselves to clean up the junk you both just destroyed in the other room.

Oh yeah, I was wishing you a happy birthday.  I'll do that now.  Happy birthday, my girl.  I love you tremendously.  Many happy returns.

- Your Daddy.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Quiet Time

The silence around here lately is deafening.  Sorry.

Ever since Jack stopped taking naps, which feels like it was somewhere around his ninth or tenth day on this planet, we instituted Quiet Time.

Quiet Time is sort of the parents' version of "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here."  Basically, "You don't have to take a nap, Jack, but you've gotta give us a brain break from your hijinks and shenanigans and pathological messiness and witty banter, man.  Like, in your room."  It didn't always work, it didn't always go smoothly, but since the acquisition of about 16 metric tons of Legos, it ain't bad.

Ittybitty still naps, and is currently exempt from QT.  For now.

So the quiet here is a bit like that, I guess.  And consistent with Wintertime, dormancy, hibernation, and all that, it's nice to not say much of anything.  No Christmas updates.  No road trip yarns.  No New Year's Resolutions.  No E.C. Predictably Gets Into WASPy Suburban Trouble posts (that may change).

We're instead just enjoying the short days and long, washed-out January sunlight.  The kids tramp through the laughably-named "woods" (made up of about 12 trees and assorted briars in our back yard).  They jump on the leaf-filled trampoline in galoshes like they're extras in a earthquake-themed 1970s disaster movie.  They demand to get in the very frosty pool.

Majesty and I just pop our allergy meds like Junior Mints and roll our eyes.