A Life With Laughter

A chronicle of our adventures raising two boys....

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Going to the circus....and I'm ....gonna buy pop corrr orrrrnn.

We went to the circus last Sunday (1/27/2008). It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it as much as the kids did. I had a blast and can't wait to go again next year :)

Here are a few pics of the day, but make sure to click the link below and see the full 98 pictures series (out of the 400+ I took) on Picasa.

Click here to go to the circus!

I M in Ur House Eeteen uR fUd

I posted several pics of Wyatt (my nephew) to the picasa albums. These were taken last weekend while Aunt Anita was feeding the newest little guy in the family.

To see the full set of pics, click here.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Skateboard tricks

Conner got one of those "finger" skateboards over the weekend and he just loves it. It wasn't even really a present, per se. It came attached to a pair of pants he received (like a tag) and he was more excited about the skateboard than the pants.

We were all sitting around in the living room and Conner was playing with the little skateboard on the coffee table trying to do tricks. Tricks usually consisted of the skateboard going flying across the room in one direction or the other and nearly missing someone.

Eventually, he was doing something and he suddenly blurts out, "WOW! Did you see that? I just did a HOT-60!"

We all started laughing and I asked him, "Do you mean 360?"
To which Conner shrugged a little and replied, "No, I made it up. It's a hot-60."

Conner's 6th Birthday Party

We held Conner's birthday party this year at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville. It was a small party of just good family friends this year, but we had a great time and the place was awesome! I think everyone had a blast, kids and parents both. I know I did. I know I told Anita after we left that I wish I could have put the camera down and gone off to play with Conner for an hour.

The problem was that if something stole my attention and I paused to look at it or try it out, I'd turn around and Conner was gone. It was hard (read: impossible) to slow him down. He was so excited and bounced so fast from one thing to the next that you could hardly see him.

Get the full scoop of pictures for the party and fun here.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chuck E Cheese

We finally made our first plunge and went to Chuck E Cheese for the first time last night. It was just our family and we went as a special birthday "family" party for Conner. We made it 6 years without having to go to one :) Oh well...hehe.

It was actually a lot of fun. Amazingly enough, the food wasn't too bad and they actually had some good games. I was surprised that all of their games are only 1 token and they had a lot of the big ride/games that you sit in and drive and it moves you around. I don't think I know of an arcade anywhere where you can play those games for a quarter. From that perspective, it's actually very well priced. Of course, if you don't split a large 1-topping pizza and everyone orders something different, it is considerably more expensive than it could be. That's what we did.

Anyway.... we had fun. Conner and I ran around and tried all the cool games. His favorite was an After Burner game that you sat in a cockpit seat and it would lift and twist you from side to side while you flew through the sky in a dogfight.

On the way home, Zach was tired and got a little fussy and Conner was tired too you could tell. Conner was trying to lean back in his chair and "rest" while Zach started fussing and arguing with Anita. Anita and I had been talking to Zach for a few minutes trying to calm him down and make him understand that it was bedtime when we got home when all of a sudden Conner pipes in with, "I can't REST with all this COMMOTION!"

Monday, January 21, 2008

What a grin!

I've uploaded an album of pics to my picassa web albums. You can check them out here. I still plan to keep putting pictures on the forum with stories to go along with them, but that takes a lot of time and the more time it takes, the less likely I am to do it consistently. SO, I figured I'd try out something else also so that if it works well and is easy to use, then at least I'll have a way to quickly share some photos.

Just a great pic


I caught this shot of Conner while he was out riding his new scooter. It's not a perfect shot, because I needed more fill light on his face. I'm still learning though and hopefully next time I'll catch it perfectly :).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Little Fisherman

Check out Wyatt in his Little Fisherman outfit. Something tells me he'll be on a boat this summer probably. :) Jennifer sent me another small set of pictures of Wyatt and I went ahead and posted them to the forum. Here is the link to the full set.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Some new pics of Wyatt stylin' his pimp threads.

My sister just mailed me some new pics of Wyatt, my nephew, in case anyone wants to check them out. Check out the sweet hat.

Click here for the full series, posted on the forum.

Also, I've been going through lots of pictures at home finally and organizing them. As soon as I get that finished, I'm going to start going back through them and posting them on the forum and blog again. Be checking back and looking for good stuff soon.

Monday, January 14, 2008

4th button!

Sunday morning, Anita left for church early while the boys and I were still getting ready. After we were all dressed and ready to go, I let the boys finish watching their show while I went to check something on the computer.

While I'm sitting in the den, I hear them "singing" a song. Conner, I could hear, was playing his guitar and Zach had his new toy electric guitar out too. The funny thing was that I could hear they were both singing the same thing, but I couldn't make out what it was. After they sang for a bit, they both came running out to the den, and got around in front of the tv and both faced me side by side. I guess they had been rehearsing or something.

Conner made a big show of it, and then asked me if I was ready..... ready for what, I didn't know.

Suddenly they both start singing while Conner plays his guitar and Zach's guitar starts playing some kind of noise.

It's hard at first to figure out what they are singing, then I finally figure it out.


I immediately start laughing because it's hilarious, because I have NO idea what they are talking about or where Conner (because I know he came up with it) got this song idea.

When they stop, I ask him what exactly they are saying, to make sure I heard it correctly. He looks at me calmly and says, "Whatcha gonna do when you push the 4th button?"

I just stare at him dumbstruck and reply, "What on earth does that MEAN?"

He walks over to Zachs guitar and reaches down and pushes the 4th button down on the guitar and it starts to play the tune to what they've been singing. He looks up at me and shrugs, "4th button".

Friday, January 11, 2008


Alright, the last post reminded me of something that happened awhile back that was funny but I had forgotten about it until now.

A month or so ago, our next door neighbor Caitlin watched the boys for us. I don't remember where we went, but we got home right around bedtime, so it wasn't too late. When we came in, the boys were wound up and running around and Anita immediately urged them to go to their rooms and get their pajamas on. Zach was first to go in his room and Conner was still out in the living room with us. We were standing there talking to Caitlin when suddenly Zach pops out of his room into the hallway without a stitch on and raises his hands in the air and yells, "NAKED!" all while he starts to do a little dance (the nekkid dance apparently). Conner of course finds this hysterical while mommy and daddy are a little more serious but share a chuckle with Caitlin.

We continue talking while Zach finishes putting on his pajamas in his room. The problem is that we didn't notice that Conner had disappeared. The next thing we now, Conner pops out of his room with nothing on but socks and yells "NAKED!" and also does a little 'nekkid dance' in the hallway.

O...M...G.... what is the DEAL with these two?

When do boys become "guys"?

Alright, so I'm intrigued by the concept of genetically pre-conditioned behavior. I've long since been a member of the environmental influence directs behavior camp, but I'm starting to reevaluate some of my thoughts...

Okay, so, enough big words ... on to the story.

Last night, I'm giving the boys a bath and I find it fascinating how easily little boys are amused by butts, the noises produced in this area, and many other things related to anatomy.

First, when they both get in they are cold and they both huddle down under the faucet as the tub is filling up. Eventually Zach, who is in front, gets tired of Conner pushing into him and crowding his space so he complains and pushes him away. Conner obliges and moves to the back now that the tub is more full and the water is warm.

Sometime after that they are both horsing around and Zach is making some kind of funny noise in response to Conner making some kind of funny noise, and they are both laughing and carrying on. Then, Zach tackles Conner and gives him this weird side-hug around his neck. Conner tries to get away and is laughing and saying "eewwwwww" the whole time. I have to pull Zach off and remind him that we don't ever hug people when we're naked. Especially boys.

Next, I was washing the boys and even though I still wash Zach all over with a soapy washcloth to make sure he is clean everywhere, I have for probably a year or so now made Conner wash himself on his "front" and "bottom" and anywhere else he can reach. I first made Zach stand up in the back while I washed him. Then, I made them switch spots, and had Conner in the back so I could help him. So, I finish washing Conner's back and neck and the hard to reach spots and I hand him the washcloth. He washes himself just fine, but then when he gets done, what does he do with the washcloth? He spreads it out on his hand and jams it on Zach's head, covering his face! Yes, the washcloth he had just washed his bottom and genitals with ... without rinsing first. Of course, he laughs hysterically at this and Zach doesn't really understand what just happened because he wasn't paying attention.

I of course had to get on to Conner for doing this, but all the while I'm laughing inside and thinking, "WHEN did Conner become a 'guy'????"

The thing is... WHERE could he have learned this? Nowhere, that's the point! I don't do this kind of stuff.... at least not with my kids around.. or anymore. It's part of his genetic code I guess.

Then, when they get out of the tub and are supposed to be dressing, I catch Conner in the hall sticking his butt out and shaking it and saying, "bootie bootie bootie" while Zach laughs uproariously. Why is this SOOOOOOO funny? I just don't get it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Catch up Blog: Gummies

This story also took place on the way home from our Thanksgiving trip last year (2007).

On the way home, we stopped at a gas station and Anita went in and grabbed a few snacks. She grabbed a [large] bag of gummie lifesavers for the boys. We opened them and handed them back to them. Conner of course took control of them and gave Zach about 4 of them before he put the bag in his lap and started eating them one at at time. Then Zach asked for some more and Conner gave him 2 or 3 more and kept the bag again.

Finally, Zach started getting upset that he couldn't hold the bag and he started complaining to us about it. We asked Conner to give Zach the bag and then let him give some to Conner when he wanted some more.

A few minutes later, we hear Conner ask for some more politely and then Zach reached in the bag and carefully pulled out exactly one and put it in Conner's hand. To which, Conner of course, huffed, "Give me more than that." We told Zach to give Conner a few more. Zach looked back with desperate and frustrated eyes and reluctantly gave Conner a few more. At this point, he really doesn't want to share anymore.

A few more minutes go by and we hear Conner ask for some more again. This time, Zach doesn't say anything at all. Conner tries to grab the bag from him and Zach lets him have it. I look back and I can see Conner looking down the hole into the bag and getting frustrated. He throws the bag down and looks up toward us for assistance and says, "He ate them ALL!"

It's about this time I shift my view over to Zach and realize his cheeks look like a chipmunk in a Planters factory. His cheeks are puffed out so far you'd think they'd explode. I look at him and say, "Your mouth is so full you can't even chew Zach!"

He just looks back at me and enthusiastically nods his head yes. As if to say, "That's right! Who has the gummies now!"

Catch up Blog: Brotherly Love

On the way home from Thanksgiving (2007) last year we had a couple of great Zach moments.

The first came during the middle of yet another argument between the boys about... whatever. They'd do fine for awhile and then we'd hear Conner bark at Zach for something and we'd have to get on to them. Then, we'd hear Zach yell at Conner and we'd have to get on to both of them again and mediate.

Well, Anita and I are calmly talking up front when we hear them starting to fight over something. We always wait a second or two to see if they can resolve it themselves, and about that time we hear Zach yell to Conner, "I'm gonna lock you up and put hot sauce on you!"

Catch up Blog: Safari

Over Thanksgiving last year (2007), we went to visit Anita's family at her aunt and uncle's house just outside Winstom Salem, NC. They've got a nice place with a pretty lot that has a strip of woods behind it leading down to a creek. It's a nice place to go walking and exploring and so one afternoon the boys and I took the camera and did just that.

[This is a place holder for pictures I have for this that I'll put in later.]

After we had hiked around a little, I kicked out the old creative juices and busted in to my Australian outback safari voice and the 3 of us went out on a safari looking for animals.

I started out by saying we were going to hunt the mighty and terrifying "Zoomba Tiger". The habitat was perfect, obviously, and he had to be around here somewhere. Conner immediately jumped in the game with me and started helping me search for the Zoomba Tiger. Meanwhile, Zach wasn't QUITE so enthusiastic about it. I thought he'd figure out we were just pretending and get right into it any minute, but it quickly digressed. The next thing I know Zach starts running away crying and yelling, "I DON'T WANT TO HUNT THE TIGERS!"

I catch him and pick him up and hold him good and tight and explain that everything is just fine and that we are just pretending. That it's like a game and that there aren't any animals out here and all that stuff....

Then, through puffed cheeks and a wimpered sigh he says in a small sad voice, "I don't want to hunt for tigers. Let's hunt for elephants, they're nicer."

Catch up Blog: Nursery Rhyme

Sometimes your kids will really come out with something that will totally surprise you.

This happened last year sometime.. Zach was three and wasn't potty trained yet.

We were all sitting in the living room and Zach comes walking by clapping his hands and dancing and starts singing...

"Paddy-cake, Paddy-cake, baker's man! Change my diaper, as fast as you can!"

Catch up Blog: Socks


Sometimes I love to capture just a small exchange that I find funny even if others don't see the humor in it, and this was one of those moments.

One morning before school, we were all rushing around to get ready and we had already asked Zach to put his socks on. I looked out of the kitchen and he was still sitting in the living room floor watching tv with his socks in his hands and he hadn't quite made it to his feet with them yet.

So, I leaned into the living room and said, "Zach, put your socks on your feet."
To which he turned and looked all exasperated and said, "NO! On my toes AND my feet dad!"

Catch up Blog: Pinball

Over our "Thanksgiving" trip last year (11/17/2007) to Madisonville Zach really took to playing the pinball game on Papa-T's computer. Conner has liked this game for years and Zach finally figured out he could play it also and so he kept asking Papa-T to go play.

The thing is he couldn't remember the name of "Pinball" and so he made up his own name for it - "Papa-T, I want to play the flippin' ball game."

So, from that moment on, the new game for pinball is "Flippin' Ball Game".

:) .. it still just makes me smile... flippin' ball game.... snicker.

Catch up Blog: Zach's little attitude

In August last year, we went through this little bit with Zach where he suddenly picked up a phrase that Anita and I were just about ready to WRING out of him!

Alright, so, we don't know where he suddenly picked up this phrase from and the way he used it, but it quickly became something he would get in trouble for.

We would reply to a question like, "What are we having for dinner?" and then after Anita would tell him he would say, "I TOLD YOU....." which would be followed by whatever he wanted to say. Usually "I don't like that" or "I wanted to have...".

Talk about a signing your own marching orders though. Every time, we'd just ship him to his room.

Then, one day, around this same time frame, I was alone with the boys for dinner and I told Zach to do something he didn't want to do.. like finish eating or something.. to which he of course told me something else he wanted to eat instead or gave me some excuse about the food, etc. This is normal.

Well, I started cleaning the table and he still wasn't finishing his dinner and I said again, "Zach, finish eating your ..."

To which he replied, "Can you hear my voice?" and then, "I TOLD YOU.."

That's as far as he got before I ripped him up out of that chair...

It didn't take long to squash that little attitude. I'm sure it will come back again someday. After all... look at Anita :P

Catch up Blog: Unghhhhhhh

This took place on 8/10/2007.

One night we were all just starting to eat a nice dinner Anita had prepared. We had just finished praying and a few of us had already taken a bite or two.

Suddenly we hear from Conner, "Unngghhhhhhhhhhh YUCK!"

Anita quickly looked up from her own dinner and said, "Oh no honey, that's just pepper. It's okay."

Conner looked back at his plate and looked back at her, "But it has WINGS!"

Sure enough... gnat.

Catch up Blog: Towers and Tombstones

Towers and Tombstones.. wow, that sounds like a Stephen King novel or something..

Anyway, this next story is just a couple of cute things Conner said over a trip to Mama-T and Papa-T's house one weekend last year.

On the drive in to their house, we drive right by a graveyard. This particular trip in, as we were passing the graveyard, we heard Conner lean over to Zach and say as he pointed out toward the graveyard, "Do you see all those dead things?"

He was referring to the tombstones, but wasn't sure what they were called. Anita and I got a good snicker out of it.

That same weekend, we got another fine Connerism moment.

Conner was working with lincoln logs (or some other stackable building objects) and had made this really big tower. He was very proud of it and came and got me and basically pulled me in to look at it.

I looked at it and told him, "It's a very cool tower Conner. You did a really good job on it."

To which he looked up at me and said in a big voice, "It's The TOWER of LEPROSY!"


.....take a breath...

yes, that's right,.."The Tower of Leprosy"

I don't know.... I think... He might have ....yah, I don't know, he's Conner.

Catch up Blog: Did you hear something?

Sometime during the middle of last year (summer 2007), this transpired...

One night Anita and I put the boys down in bed as normal. About 8pm as usual. It was a normal night and nothing out of the ordinary. We retired to the den to watch some tv and were having a nice evening.

Then, somewhere around 9:30pm the television show we happened to be watching at the time got really quiet and we both paused and said, "Did you hear that?".."Did you hear something?"

I got up to go investigate and as I quietly walked down the hallway to the bedrooms I could hear that the TV was on in our bedroom. I knew neither of us had watched tv that night in there, so I thought that was odd.

I creep in slowly to see who my culprit is and I find Zach curled up asleep in Anita's spot in the bed, and Conner propped up in my spot just as bright-eyed as ever watching some movie on tv. He looked up at me and smiled from ear-to-ear and pointed at the tv and said, "LOOK!" just about the time I said, "What on earth do you think your doing!"

I guess big brother had gone and gotten little brother out of bed because he had a brilliant idea. They both creeped into our room and go under our covers and started watching some tv until Zach fell asleep. Of course, Conner was still going strong an hour and half later!

That wasn't the only time either.

I caught him less than a week later trying it again, but this time by himself. I had gotten up to go to the bathroom and heard the tv when I got to the hallway. I snuck in and scared him that time! Caught in the act!

Catch up Blog: Kitty

We were all at Kohl's one day shopping for various items and Conner was running around with Anita and I had Zach with me. I had picked up a few items for myself and Zach and I went to the dressing room so I could try them on. Specifically, I had a few pairs of pants that I wanted to try on, so we went in and found us a stall for me to try them on.

Let me interrupt this story with a small fact. At around this time (sometime mid last year), Zach was going through this big "kitty" cat phase were he loved making cat noises.

I now return you to our regularly scheduled story..

The first logical step is of course for me to take off my shoes and then my pants if I want to try pants on. So, this is what I did. I take off my shoes and pants and set my pants on the bench and then turn to take a new pair off a hanger and then I start to put them on. I've just about got one leg in when I realize Zach isn't in the changing stall with me. I do a quick 360 and make sure and sure enough, he isn't there.

Suddenly, I hear a "Meow....meow...meowwww" sound coming from somewhere nearby. I bend over carefully and peek under the stall to see Zach crawling horizontally away from me under the stalls on his hands and knees meowing like a cat.

I quickly had to pull the pants on and run down to another stall and open the door and get him back.

My only saving grace was that nobody was standing in the next stall changing also! *whew*

Catch up Blog: Zach's formality

This happened sometime around the middle of last year, so Zach was just turning 3 about this time and he had recently discovered mommmy and daddy's names and thought it was funny (isn't this the kid's theme by now) to use them instead of calling us mommy or daddy.

Well, he'd make a point of calling out "Anita" and then we'd have to correct him. I'd catch him at church telling people, "That's Brad." Which of course, all our friends and church family thought was just adorable. Especially because he tends to make it sound like "Blad".

So all of this went on for awhile and eventually he started mixing it up on me and started calling me Daddy-Brad which he thought was so clever and funny.

As always, he'd do it on purpose to see what kind of reaction it had on us and he found it humorous.

Forutnately, it worked it's way out of his system now and he's back to Mommy and Daddy.

Catch up blogs... part 1

Alright, I'm going to start a series of blogs to catch up on things that I've made notes on over the past many months. Many things have come up that I wanted to blog and I went ahead and noted them on this piece of paper that sat beside the printer here on my desk. The list has actually gotten kind of long.

Unfortunately, there are a myriad of little moments that I didn't jot down and I can't remember now that will forever be lost. Sad, because I'm sure they were funny.

Okay, this is just the precursor note about the next several blog entries. I'm going to put only 1 or 2 items per blog message so it is easier to read them and scan them.

So, without further delay..... move on up to the next entry!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Back from Christmas....and ALIVE

So, this is the time of the year when we all make resolutions that we probably won't stick to and bemoan those we made last year that didn't stick.

Well, I didn't really make any this year, but I have goals instead. They aren't new goals but it's a good a time as any to get started on them. The first, is my lack of exercise. I am determined to get back to going to the gym and working on what I eat to facilitate some weight loss and muscle gain with the hopes of shedding off the 20 or so pounds of fat that have collected on me without permission.

Outside of that, the other goal I have is to use my nice new digital camera and get back to posting pictures for everyone to see! As well, to get back to regularly updating our blog with info and pictures and stories and the like. I know those of you who did read this thing would appreciate me doing that again. Let alone, I enjoy the blog. I like going back later and reading the stories and remembering those moments.

As for this Christmas.......it was the Christmas of sickness...and games.

We weren't sure we'd make it to KY for Christmas this year because Zach got really sick the week before and he wound up in the hospital for three days. He was spiking some scary high fevers - in the 105s - and he got dehydrated from a couple days worth of vomitting. It ended up that he had a double ear infection, viral and bacterial pneumonia (they suspected) and possibly another virus that was making his fever get so high. They had to put him on an IV to give him fluids and antibiotics. That was the worst moment of life to date I think. The nurse missed his vein THREE times and he was screaming bloody murder. In all regards, we were torturing him. Four people were holding him down and he was screaming as they shoved a needle in and out of him. Yah, I'd call that torture about any way you look at it. All I know is I was about to take the head off of someone with my bare hands and then go after whomever was standing behind that person for round two.

Well, we made it through that ordeal and Zach recovered pretty well. We went ahead and went to Madisonville even though Zach probably needed another day or two at home, but it was the 23rd after all.

Christmas was good and enjoyable and the boys had a blast. Anita however, didn't fare so well. The day after Christmas she started feeling really bad and decided to go to Urgent Care there in Madisonville. She ended up having Strep Throat really really bad and even with a shot in the tush and a bottle of meds, she didn't get well all that fast. We spent an extra day up there pretty much just so she could sleep... and sleep she did. Probably 18 hours out of 24 that day. She was miserable.

We packed up on Friday (28th) and headed home. Unfortunately, we were packing yet ANOTHER sick person home. During the night Thursday night, Conner spiked a mild fever. We scheduled a doctor visit for him on Friday afternoon after we got home and they didn't see anything else that would indicate anything and since he had no other symptoms, there wasn't anything they could do for him. Well, his fever went from around 99-100 up to the 101-102 range and stayed there for 3 days on and off. We took him back on Monday and they said he had a sinus infection. So, we then started HIM on medication.

All this time, I've been trying to stay away from all these people as much as I could. I was taking vitamins and drinking OJ and sleeping in the den and most importantly not eating or drinking after anyone.

Everyone went back to school and work today so it seems we might have finally come back to normal. Now, if only we could take off 2 weeks while everyone was WELL and enjoy ourselves!!!