Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Too Cute

Here are just some of the pics from our Target photo shoot this afternoon. Aside from the fact that Grant has snot crusties under his nose, I think we did okay. There are some goofy ones... I try to buy the ones that capture (as much as a $50 Target session can) their personalities.

Are my kids cute or what? What's your favorite pic?

1. "I don't think I like this."

2. Doesn't quite look like her... what do you think?
3. Despite the snot, this is my favorite; it looks the most like my boy.
4. Cracking each other up!
5. off in space!
6. One of two Easter dress options (price tag new: $3.30)
7. My favorite of Grace; the one that looks the most like her (in my opinion).
8. Eats the camera up!
9. This is a common pic around our house. At least, Grace isn't screaming!
10. Crazy toes.
10. Too angelic. Not quite our firecracker!
11. Creepers
12. She thinks she's so funny!
13. Little man!
14. He's just too cute!
15. Love it!
16. Sweetness
17. Goofy boy
18. Hmmm...
19. Our two sweeties!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Who taught my son to refer to himself as a "homeboy"? Fess up.

Kate? Clint? Aunt Barb?

I'm on to all-you-all!

Friday, February 19, 2010

American Idol Pool

Every year we have an American Idol pool at work. Since I don't watch the show regularly, I haven't previously joined. But this year, because I'm feeling especially social, I threw in my few bucks.

Who did I draw? Siobhan Magnus.

Does anyone know anything about Siobhan? How do you say that name? "Show bun?" "Chow ban?" "Ain't gonna win?"

Methinks Grant's college fund just got a few dollars lighter...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lucky Number 13 and Geek Toys

The other day I was entering Qdoba when I saw a young lady wearing a coat which prominently featured the number 13 on the back and sleeve. I thought to myself, "Hmm...what could possibly cause someone to put a 13 on their coat? NASCAR fan? Wilt Chamberlain fan (or offspring)?"

It then occurred to me that it was a letter jacket and she was graduating in 2013. How in the crap are kids graduating in 2013 now? I'm pretty sure '13 will never mean 2013 to me. I will always think of men with handlebar mustaches riding bikes with giant front wheels whilst smoking pipes when I think of '13 (although a brief search on Google suggests that perhaps I'm off by 30 years, but hey, it's my memory...don't mess with it.)

In other Hawkins family news, we finally got our new PC at home, which has resulted in endless tinkering by yours truly in an effort to get it working properly. I used to enjoy the geek thrill of setting up and playing with a new PC. Now I just find it to be a time sink away from the real things which interest me in life, namely sleep and booze.

I think I've finally got everything up and running again, but I'm still finding my way around Windows 7. I find myself frequently saying nonsensical things like "Dagnabbit" and "Doh!" and "Screw you Microsoft."

But in between these things, I have discovered some cool new stuff. One is the ability to "throw" movies from my computer to the network enabled TV in our bedroom. This is much cooler and easier to setup than I expected.

I've seen ads on TV for this, and you can read about it here on Microsoft's site. And while the quality isn't quite what I would want to watch a full movie over, it works great for showing the kids a quick episode of Bob the Builder whilst trying to shave. (Nothing quite kills a good shave like a small Chinese person clawing at you to pick her up.)

Hopefully I'm done tinkering for a while, and I can go back to the way I spent my evenings at the beginning of January when our old computer died -- lying on the couch watching Tivo while my kids try and start a fire in the kitchen.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting Back to Normal

We've been sick, computer-less, and trapped by snow, and despite the fact that it's still snowing, we're healthy (for the most part) and have a new computer (for the most part).

So, since we've had so few pictures (thanks to an absent computer), here is out last month in pictures.

I'll update soon with new info about Grace (her crazy half-Mandarin talking skills) and Grant "I've hit the terrible twos a little late" when I have a chance.

Why does my Mommy insist upon dressing me up to look like a dork?
Cute V-day smiles

Playing "knights" with their "helmets" (aka valentine gift boxes)
I die for those pigtails.
Grant "helping" me in the snow.

She wants to be just like Grant. We're raising a tomboy (thank goodness!).
Watching Sesame Street... finally friends!
Grace now says "cheese" when you take her picture, but you get this strange smile with it.
This is normal. Grant is so happy to be with Grace; Grace=the jury is still out. But, look at those cute pink converse my Mom get Grace for Christmas.
We're unofficially potty training. More on that later! The real stuff begins in March. She's already such a trooper; it should be easy (did I just say that out loud?).
Birthday boy turns 3!
"Mommy, hurry up with that toast!"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy (almost) Birthday, Erin!

Well here we are on the edge of Valentine's Day 2010 -- and Erin's birthday.  There's plenty of evidence within these pages that I'm not always the most stellar husband to Erin, although I (mostly) try.  Despite my efforts, occasionally Erin rolls over in the morning and mutters (audibly), "Oh great.  You're still here."

Despite all of our joking, it is true that I do manage to drop the ball sometimes.  The problem is that Erin does such a great job of keeping our lives in order that I sometimes think to myself, "She obviously has it all together.  Why does she need my confirmation?"  In other words, I forget that despite her strong willed "I ain't no Disney princess" exterior, she still has insecurities and needs me to tell her how great a job she's doing (if for no other reason than I want her to KEEP doing such a great job so that I never have to change a diaper or make my own lunch.)

So with all that, I just want to tell Erin how great a job she does as both a mother and wife.  I could never have imagined when we got married almost eight years ago how great she would be with our kids.  She truly does everything possible for them, including telling them when it would be in their best interest to ignore what their father tells them.  We have a beautiful family, and I'm amazed on a daily basis at how much our kids learn from their mom.

And let's be honest -- as good a job as Erin does at keeping the kids in check, she does an even better job dealing with me.  I know I'm not always the easiest person to live with.  In addition to being generally obnoxious and hard to deal with, my 34 year old body is in the shape of a 94 year old body; pieces are locking up or falling off all the time.  I can't get out of a chair without groaning, and my right arm can predict thunderstorms.  So Erin not only gets to deal with kid issues, she also gets to deal with someone who's elderly and grouchy before his time.  Despite this, she always puts the rest of us before herself, and she genuinely attempts to keep everyone happy.

So we're headed off for a date night this weekend.  We're leaving the kids with the grandparents, and we plan to party until the sun comes up (assuming it decides to come up at around 9pm).  I wouldn't want to spend the evening, or the rest of my life, with anyone else.  I love you, hon, even if I don't tell you often enough.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Take That Disney Princesses

Grant's fascination with all things Disney continues, and his love of the Disney princesses is still going strong. Grace received a chair with the Disney princesses on it for Christmas, and Grant steals it all the time to talk to his girls. He tells them about how he loves them and plans on saving them.

But, I don't really like many of those princesses. They are weak, needy, and not at all want for my son (or my daughter). Belle, for example. What does she teach? That you should stay with an emotionally abusive man, trying to see through to his "softer side"? No thanks. Or Jasmine? If your true love happens to be a thief who doesn't work, you shouldn't judge him? If Grace brought home her true love who happened to be an unemployed petty crook, I'm going to have something to say. Or Snow White. That girl is dim. She obviously didn't listen to the "you can't trust everyone" lecture, and that kind of stupidity is--well--stupid.

I do like a few of the "princesses." For example, I think Mulan is pretty wicked (and not just because she is Chinese). She saves her family and the whole country of China. I think it's a shame that she has to pretend to be a dude to do so, but at least, she has a mind and isn't afraid to use it. And even Pochahontas. I think it's a lame movie, but at least she's willing to choose the "not so happily ever after" because she recognizes that she has responsibilities.

What it comes down to is this: I don't like or respect weak women. I want to scream: have a backbone! Stand up! Make a decision!

So, this morning, when two-herniated-backed-gum-surgery-recovering Bret looked out the window to our drive way covered with snow, I took it as an opportunity to show my kids that Mommy ain't no whimp. There were parts of our driveway covered by 16 inches of snow, and so, after I bundled Grant up, I grabbed a shovel, and my son and I went out to labor in the cold.

I want Grant to grow up knowing that women are strong and capable individuals. We're not afraid to get muddy. We're not afraid to work our tails off in the freezing cold. And if he meets a woman who can't or thinks she's too much of a princess to sweat it out, she's not quite the fairy tale he had imagined.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


I had gum surgery yesterday. 

That's really all you have to say.  You don't have to really give any additional details for people to go, "Yech.  That blows."  All in all, it was a relatively easy procedure.  I was supposed to have a gum graft done, but the periodontist (an excellent doctor from South America...the 2nd South American to do surgery on my gums...) was able to "reposition" the existing tissue with the help of a fork and knife and prevent any further damage that might have been incurred while grafting the tissue from another site.  Delightful, huh?

So while I'm not in pain, this greatly limits my Super Bowl eating and drinking.  The doctor joked that I should go "wine & cheese" instead of "chips & soda," a suggestion I'm more than OK with.  In the mean time, I'm keeping ice on my cheek and waiting for our new computer to arrive (next's in the mail!!)

One other thing I saw today that made me laugh.  I started to leave a comment on a music blog that I read, and as verification that I was "human" and not a spam-bot of some kind, it put this before the "Submit" button:

? = 7 + 4

I had to answer this question to submit my comment.  I realize that the goal here is to make people enter something that only a human would be able to do and not a robot.  But based on my experiences in the past few years, I'm guessing this eliminates more than a few stupid comments as well.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


I have caught my kids' vomit in my bare hands so many times now that it doesn't even phase me.

Like today, when we were standing in the lobby of the world famous Indianapolis Children's Museum after hours of talking about how fun it would be (needless to say, Grant was a bit excited), and Grant threw up. Again. Again. Again.

He hasn't been out in weeks (some kind of bronchitis crap), so he ran circles upon circles just to get to the lobby, so you can imagine the mess I had on my hands (no pun intended) when he discovered that his vomit party was going to lead to us getting right back in the van and heading home.

He was manic, naked in his carseat, and--perhaps for the first time in his life--experiencing true disappointment.

I smelled like vomit, which anymore, is all in a day's work.