| 03.27.2006 | what's in a name?

Emma has a very active imagination. It's hard to keep up sometimes. For example, our entire family has whole sets of new names depending on what game she's playing, what day it is or what season it might be.

Where she comes up with these nicknames, I have no idea. New ones sprout up each week, often more bizarre than the last. The current reigning champion for weird is "Marcella Ranch."

For example... on "Race Day" (that's Sunday for you non-NASCAR fans) the family lineup looks like this:

  • Emma = Ashlee
  • Henry = Bobby Labonte
  • Daddy = Jeff Gordon
  • Mommy = Mommy NASCAR

I've created a handy chart for those of you keeping score at home:

JuliaDendyMiss Jill(n/a)
AshleeBobby LabonteMommy NASCARJeff Gordon
Dr. DyerBaby(n/a)Dr. Mike
(n/a)RyuMiss JeanetteRyo

(If the slideshow doesn't work for you click here.)

@ 9:55 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (3)

| 03.20.2006 | i think i'm turning 33

Marla and Emma masterfully planned a surprise party for my birthday this year. Unbeknownst to me they invited a few dozen of my friends to David Vonderhaar's house for a night of friendly poker. (Note to Feds: no illegal gambling took place... honest!)

Enlisting the help of Granma Northcutt, who "just happened" to be in town, Marla concocted a pretty believable story of running into Vahn at Target after Temple and them inviting us over before Marla and I snuck away to a movie, leaving the kids with Granma.

Emma had dropped clues along the way, but I guess I'm not too smart.

About two weeks before the party Emma earnestly asked me, "Daddy, when you get home can we just yell surprise?" Marla burst out laughing but I didn't think too much of it.

About a week before the party Emma was going on and on about a poker party for Henry's brithday when I came home from work. "Yes, yes, sweetheart. Of course we can have a poker party when Henry turns two."

Emma's clues should have been enough but it took my good friend Art Santos to really spill the beans.

"Dude, I thought we were friends?" he said via MSN Messenger.

"Uh, OK. What did I do?"

"You're having a party and you didn't invite me!"

There was an awkward pause in the conversation - or at least as awkard a pause as can exist in an IM conversation.

"Art, I don't think I'm supposed to know about that. Maybe you should call Marla instead..."

I swear I could feel him blushing across the Internet.

At any rate, the day arrived, I was successfully fooled and a good time was had by all. I don't think I've had a birthday party in 20 years, so this one was great. A very special thanks to my beautiful wife for bringing it all together, Vahn and Maria for playing host and all my extended GameSpy family for showing me a good time.

The pictures from the party were almost entirely taken by Emma. You might be able to tell that the last 2/3 of the set are taken from just a few feet off the floor.

She's only three, mind you, but I already get the feeling that she's going to be a better photographer than me in a very short amount of time. (So that's what obsolecence feels like, huh?) I'm not sure what it says about my parenting skills that my three year old served as photographer while her father gambled and drank beer with all of his friends. At least I didn't let her smoke...

@ 10:07 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (3)

| 03.12.2006 | aquarium of the pacific

Marla, Emma and Henrry went to the Aquarium of the Pacific on a Mom's Club outing in January and had such a good time they bought family passes immediately. They paid a second visit with Granma and Granpa Northcutt (and Daddy!) in tow.

The highlight for Emma was not any sea creature. Though she was enthralled by the fishies, nothing captured her attention so much as the puffins. You see, we've been eating Puffins Cereal for months now and Emma has fallen in love with them. (More info on Barbara's Bakery and Puffins here.)

After checking out the sea creatures we fed the lorikeets and then headed home, happy and full ourselves.

(If the slideshow doesn't work for you click here.)

@ 12:40 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (3)

| 03.08.2006 | grandparents at the playground

Emma and Henry love their grandparents on both sides so any time a set is in town they are both in heaven. More playmates! More attention! More, more, more! My parents came to pay us a visit at the beginning of February so the house was abuzz with toddler-excitement.

The first weekend Granma and Granpa Northcutt were here saw a trip to the local playground. Marla, Emma and Henry go nearly every day but the presence of an audience really made the trip for Emma and Henry a treat.

After a full day of excitement and exhausted Henry-boy lounged in Grandpa's lap. A good time was clearly had by all.

If the slideshow doesn't work for you click here.

@ 9:22 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (1)

| 03.05.2006 | canyons and carrots

Henry has been putting all of this new teeth to good use. As evidenced in these pictures the boy likes to gnaw. Nothing makes him happier than to whittle a carrot down to size with his new molars. All four (two top, two bottom) are in now, in addition to the eight chompers he has in the front.

Both he and Emma are a still little persnickety when it comes to eating. We're still mostly stuck on chicken for both of them, though anything with cheese will be consumed, too (pizza, quesadillas, grilled cheese, etc.) I've gotten wise to Emma, though, and can get her to eat some vegetables - including broccoli - so long as we give her some ketchup to dip with.

Any other suggestions for getting children to eat their veggies? I know it's a life-long struggle, but I'm sure there are some fun ways to make them go down easier.

If the slideshow doesn't work for you click here.

@ 2:17 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (2)

| 03.01.2006 | rockin' with the donnas

We started out the weekend rockin' with The Donnas and ended up partying like a bunch of three year olds. It was awesome!

Flipping through the channels before bed Saturday night we happened upon The Donnas performing on INHD. Being the rocker that she is, Emma had to watch - despite it being past bedtime. And, being the musical tour de force that she is, Emma had to sing along.

The next day we went to a birthday party for a girl in her pre-school class at a local park. A good time was had by all. While the girls played princess games and had their nails painted Daddy and Henry played in the grass and the hard, manly concrete.

Sunset came and I was able to take a few fine photos of my fine children. Enjoy the show!

Of course, if the slideshow doesn't work for you click here. (I swear I'm going to fix this soon!)

@ 9:33 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (2)