Saturday, October 9, 2010

Three months later

OK, the picture is only a month or two old. I was on Facebook for a while and it is distraction. OK, I was only sort of on Facebook and I fell off pretty quickly. Dalton, classes, and working out are pretty all consuming. I think I still have a wife somewhere as well. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

I was "helping" Dalton with a workbook today and we had an interaction I felt I needed to share. We were doing exercises that involved classifying. One of these had pictures of a violin, a banjo, a guitar, and a saxophone. Dalton immediately circled the saxophone as not belonging.

Me: Why did you pick that one?

Dalton: It's cold and the others aren't.
(We later learned that cold was really curved. Dalton doesn't really have an "R" and it make him difficult to understand at times.)

Me: Cold?

Dalton: It's cold.

Me: (to Cathy) Mom, can you help us out here?

Cathy: Why is it different?

Dalton: It's cold and the others are not.

Cathy: Cold?

Dalton: It's a woodwind instrument and the others are string instruments.

Later, with hand motions, we learned that the saxophone was also curved.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dalton's Birthday Party

Dalton's birthday party (he's 4) was on the 11th. It was a great success. He had a little over a dozen of his friends attend plus parents. We did art projects, made balloon animals, ate cake, and played in the pool at the Roanoke County recreation center (Greenridge). I have been putting posting off because I've felt I wouldn't be able to adequately describe the experience. I was going over the pictures today (thanks Bana) and I think they do a great job telling the story.

Johann's and Sarisky with balloons before the friends arrive.

Dalton drawing.

Maddie, Hannah, and Zoe (left to right). Oh yeah, a parent and grandparent in the back.

Charlie's Dad making animal balloons (he's quite good) for Charlie, Charlie's sister, and Lucas as Lucas' Nani looks on.

Cathy cutting cake for the mob.

Dalton blowing out is candles. He did it in one attempt.

Dalton and me in the pool. I like the way the pool makes me look thinner (no potbelly).

Dalton and Charlie in the pool.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Along with his other activities at the beach, Dalton had a great time flying his kite. Assuming this posts with sufficient resolution, you can zoom in and see a fuzzy Dalton shape in the lower right hand corner. Thanks to Jim for this photo. We brought our camera and it didn't make it out of the case.

We have been three days free of tantrums. It has been nice. We've been making compromises to keep it that way. There's still a lot of aggressive little boy behavior going on. The refrigerator gets kicked on a regular basis despite repeated entreaties from Cathy and I to the contrary. The volume goes up substantially when he kicks the wall or the dog which has narrowed the behavior. I guess we should continue to protest moderately at the refrigerator abuse and let him have a rebellious outlet.

With the aquisition of several Toy Story Lego sets, Dalton has entered another sensitive period for Legos. He built some of them at the beach, finished the others at home, finished the helicopter from a creator set, and asked what else he could build. The helicopter had been 6 months or so in the making. I pulled out a space shuttle I had made as part of the "build this from these parts game" we had been playing a month or two ago. He then requested another one. I told him I would build another one for him after he went to bed for the next day. It's a fun game although I was somewhat regretting it when I was heading to bed and remembered I still had one to build. He got up this morning and it was the first thing he asked about which was nice.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010


We've been at the beach with Cathy's side of the family this week. It's been fun to see everyone. The picture is of Dalton building sand castles (thanks Jim!). This was a relaxing moment for Cathy and me. We weren't there.

Parts of the last two weeks have been anything but relaxing. Dalton has entered a sensitive phase for tantrums. He's working hard on them. He has been averaging one a day for the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately, it's been more like two a day with break days with none at all. Those double tantrum days can be pretty tough.

Yesterday, we had an early tantrum (I don't even remember what over) and then one before bed. The one before bed was over a refusal to brush teeth for the fourth day in a row. It consisted of Dalton literally screaming at the top of his lungs about how he needed to get to bed for over 90 minutes straight. Our philosophy on these things is to wait them out whenever possible. We don't always have that kind of time or patience, but how do you force a kid to brush his teeth (or let you brush his teeth) anyway?

After much drama (did I mention 90+ minutes) Dalton finally let Cathy brush his teeth and was in bed shortly after. About a half hour later, he had cheered up substantially. He left the bedroom following a very cranky Cathy exclaiming, "Guess what Dad? Mom forgot to brush her teeth."

So, he understands irony.

Why doesn't he understand that if he spends one minute brushing his teeth, we could all get to sleep an hour and a half earlier?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Someone sleeps like a rock.

This picture is from Saturday right after my last post. I walked loudly into the bedroom to check on Dalty. When he didn't stir, I decided to noisily take some laundry downstairs. Still no response. I then proceeded to put the dry clothes on the line on our back porch away. I rattled the clothes hangers, I opened all the windows, I stomped around, all to no avail. Finally, I resorted to laying next to Dalty and quietly talking directly to him until he woke up.

He proceeded to slowly wake up over a half hour or so. Unfortunately, he also gradually transitioned into an hour long meltdown over Cathy not being around. It was essentially an hour of "I want Mommy right now!" Cathy was on the phone for some of it. After much effort, I was able to get him downstairs and eating some things and he felt much better.

Other than the hour after the nap, it was a wonderful Dalton and Dad day. I wonder how it will go next time we suggest that Cathy will be out for a day or more? He didn't demand that Cathy not go anywhere ever again when she got back. There was a lot of nursing to make up for lost time though.
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

He is asleep!

OK, so the picture has nothing to do with the title. Cathy is out of town for the day, possibly overnight and it is just me and Dalton. We've had a good day so far. I even managed to get him to take a nap. I was successful with the "lie quietly for 45 minutes and then you can get up" thing. He fell asleep somewhere between 15 minutes and 45 minutes (I was asleep for that half hour).

After I woke up, I had another reminder of how boring I am. I was trying to think of what to do with my precious hour of time to myself and I decided to clean up the kitchen. Sigh!

The best title for the picture would be "experiments in bouyancy". Dalton had two balloons. One had enough helium left to float and the other did not. He and I played around with the string until we hit neutral bouyancy for the combination of the two. It also was a great opportunity to work on the concept that the bigger object isn't always the heavier one (otherwise known as density). We couldn't get the crayon and the white balloon to float with any amount of string.

Oh, I figured that I would post a quick birthday alert. Toy Story opens in six days. Dalton has been talking about this for the last six months since he realized that he could actually request gifts for his birthday. Tuesday, we were eating dinner at the thai restaurant and Dalton saw someone playing a violin or fiddle on the TV. He said, "Can I have a violin." We both responded something to effect of "Sure, would you like one for your birthday." Dalton almost cut us off in his reply, " I want Woody and Jessie..." only to be drowned out by our laughing. We assured him that he would get the Toy Story Lego set. We'll get him an appropriate sized violin as well if we get our act together.

So...if you're a grandparent and you'd like to get him Woody's Roundup, you have something like three days to order it. After that, I'm buying one in Target because there is no way I'm going to let myself get caught trying to explain the concept of backorder to Dalton. It could be a beat up some other parent in the parking lot of Walmart for their Lego set level situation once Toy Story is out.

If you do order it, please take it off his wish list.

Time to wake the pumpkin up. We're going on two hours of nap here and he'll never get to sleep tonight if I don't take action.
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

My first balloon animal

Dalton had his graduation last Friday. He wasn't graduating anything. He will be in the same classroom next year. However, despite my bad attitude going in (I now have to go to two graduations a year), I thought it was a pretty fun event. They had face painting, a magic show, several craft activities, and balloon animals. I had cooked a new noodles and tofu recipe I made up in double quantities for the potluck. Unfortunately we left it at home (30 minutes away). You can guess what we have been eating all weekend.

It's a good thing I like the recipe. I'll have to post it some time.

I'm not sure why, but I decided to learn how to make balloon animals on Saturday morning. This was reinforced when Dalton accidentally popped his from the night before.

It turns out the balloons are not easy to come by. We found them in Blacksburg at a place called Party Central. I had the choice of buying 100 for $15 or buying them for $0.20 each. I figured I'd be tired of playing with them by the time I hit 20 so I just bought $4 worth.

Little did I know that Cathy would take an interest as well. We sat down as a family and watched some instructional videos. Dalton had a great time trying to blow them up, making requests and playing with the results. The floor is littered with dogs, giraffes, snakes, and several balloon hats we have been required to wear. Needless to say, the 20 balloons ran out quite fast and Party Central isn't open on Sundays or during non-work hours. Maybe I can find a different source near work.

Surprisingly to me, balloon animals aren't that difficult to make. There are lots of ways to make difficult animals, but dogs and cats and other things with four legs, ears, and a tail aren't bad at all.

Pictured is a dog. Notice the long neck?
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