Christmas Tree cutting

Dad was dreading the Christmas Tree U-Cut tradition this year because both his wife and Eleanor like to commune with the trees. It takes hours to find the right one and usually it’s the first tree the family saw 16 hours before. But this time, dad was prepared. He packed a tent and enough provisions for a three night stay. Eleanor loved it and had a great time. So did mom. Dad lovingly trudged behind with a hopeful saw waiting for the right tree to come along. Every once in a while he desperately pointed to a tree and said “this one’s great, what about this one?”
Eventually Eleanor and Grandma G had trees picked out and we were all able to go home.






Eleanor Goes to the Beach

This weekend’s adventures were more for the parents than Eleanor.  Given that Eleanor is only just crawling around and thinks plastic bags and mirrors are the pinnacle of all that is fascinating in this world, the parental units chose a vacation they would enjoy for the wife’s 30th birthday weekend.  So, they rented a house and invited mom’s mom, brother, and his girlfriend along for a birthday weekend.  Last December the parents celebrated their last few months of baby-free life by renting this house (well, they’re poor so really it was a gift from the wife’s mother).  It’s a comfortable, clean house with a great view and a block’s walk to beach access in a quiet, small town.  Plus, bonus: it has a hot tub right above the beach and the waves sound amazing at night with the windows open.

Eleanor got to do a lot of exploring, and so did the dog.

Front-load washers and dryers are the best thing ever to Eleanor
The dog even got to explore some on her own on the empty beach.
The parents sent the dog into the small, scary caves to check them out. Not sure if this was in hopes the dog would just decide to stay.
The dog met another friend
Said friend had a great time exploring the little tide pools.
Should I rename this blog “Adventures with the Creature?”
Eleanor is great at crawling over obstacles now.
Can’t quite figure out why someone put a baby in the bottom of the pot (mirror)
Snug in her pack for a beach walk.
The whole family
Someone is never looking at the camera
Peek-a-boo face


When it came time to leave, even the dog was sad.
Hey guys, did you know there is another baby in the bottom of this pot?


Bundled up and ready for a walk!


Cute smiles!


Look ma, no hands (on the ground that is!)


I want to go see the ocean!


Ok, we’re off to figure out how we can budget to get a hot tub and an ocean view.

Grandma McC Comes to Play

Last week Eleanor’s Grandma McCarty came to visit. They got to hang out and have fun while dad worked. Grandma got to feed Eleanor, watch a demonstration of dad’s cloth-diaper changing skills, get snuggles and crawl around the house chasing after the baby. Dad was very jealous. He did not want to be working. He wanted to be crawling around the house playing hide and seek!

Not sure who is having more fun here!
Not sure who is having more fun here!


Pink hands and shiny things

This weekend has tired out not only the baby but also the parental units. The tall one and I have been working on getting the house cleaned up and decorated before the onslaught of birthdays and Christmas parties begins. Not to mention packing bags for our beach excursion this week. More to come about that later. The most amusing part of this weekend was Eleanor’s enthusiasm for shiny things (a.k.a. Christmas decorations) and the songs at mass. She’s at that fun age where she yammers instead of talking. Which is normally hilarious until you enter a spiritual place where not everyone thinks your child singing along as incoherently and loudly as they can is adorable. Ah well, as the tall ones says, “A church without babies crying is a dying church.” We survived that and several half hour long fascinations with Christmas things.
I learned a valuable lesson today. Winter’s dry skin and beets are not a good combination. We believe that homemade is best, particularly with the allergies in my family. This means that I make all of Eleanor’s baby food. I love doing this- it makes me feel like I’m doing something to contribute on the weekdays when I’m at work and away from her. So far we haven’t had to buy any veggies at the store but have been using our CSA Share. More on that some other day. This weekend we made green beans, beets, and roasted parsnips.




Eleanor’s favorite food is parsnips. It also happens to be a big parent favorite too. Yum!!!! All in all, it was a fun weekend.

Sports adventures

Last weekend the Wife and I took Eleanor to her first University of Portland basketball game. It gave me an opportunity to see how much parenthood changed me. As I put it over on my “Ben’s Babbles” blog at the Hood River News:

About five minutes into the game I realized my old cheering methods simply were not going to work, as it scared my daughter.

You can read the rest of that entry at the Hood River News.

It includes this adorable picture:

Photo detail

On a semi-sports related note, Eleanor is now crawling all over the house, which gets me plenty of exercise chasing her from one end of the house to the other. Her crawling adventures also give me the opportunity to post this picture:

That's not really a baseball. It is in fact a tennis ball made to look like a baseball. It's not even her tennis ball either, it belongs to the dog. It's a picture of my daughter holding an object which resembles a baseball. I'll take what I can get!
That’s not really a baseball. It is in fact a tennis ball made to look like a baseball. It’s not even her tennis ball either, it belongs to the dog. It’s a picture of my daughter holding an object which resembles a baseball. I’ll take what I can get!

Weekend Adventures

We started our weekend with Thanksgiving at the food machine’s brother’s house.   It was a fun time with family and of course very interesting as the little munchkin was just figuring out she could crawl pretty far.   For the last few weeks dad thanked the floor gods for the slippery hardwoods that created a moat around every area rug.  Our little explorer was reasonably contained for that period of time.  Unfortunately, Uncle’s house was where we learned we could actually navigate those slippery floors if we wanted something badly enough.  Ever since that realization struck, the parental units have been busy.  Regardless though, dinner was nice. Uncle took a chance and broke out the fancy tableware.


After changing into stretchy pants and sleeping off our turkey coma, food machine, Grandma G and Uncle went to downtown Seattle

Pier 66 Seattle
Pier 66 Seattle

After a nice drive back home, the family spent the rest of the weekend having fun.  We decorated for Christmas, went to mass, and even took the food machine’s Mercedes out for a drive through Winter Wonderland at the raceway.  Little One was exhausted and didn’t want to get out of the car.

The sound of a Diesel is a lullaby...
The sound of a Diesel is a lullaby…

AND….  we got our 8th tooth today.

My, what cute little chompers this koala has
My, what cute little chompers this koala has

Adventures in Crawling

Going exploring!
Going exploring!
She just found herself in the hallway.  Instant amusement.
She just found herself in the hallway. Instant amusement.
Huh.  What's this? Notice the dog lounging on her memory foam bed.  Crate's not good enough for the dog, but the kid wants in...
Huh. What’s this?
Notice the dog lounging on her memory foam bed. Crate’s not good enough for the dog, but the kid wants in…
Well this is fascinating...
Well this is fascinating…
Escaping from the doggy jail...
Escaping from the doggy jail…
Is this the way I get out of this joint?
Is this the way I get out of this joint?

Living with a writer, an opinionated daughter, and a possessed dog

When you live in a house with a talented writer and witty husband all-in-one, a daughter who has definite opinions and isn’t afraid of communicating them in any way possible, and a dog who vacillates between being the perfect, well-behaved dog I always dreamed of, and a monster who will eat anything in sight just to get even, you often feel like you live in a real-life comedy. Sometimes you just need to share your humor to get through the days.  And sometimes, you just can’t help but want everyone to know when you’re having fun.  This is our place; an outlet for the writer to expound on his telecommuting daddy mishaps and adventures and a place for us to share the special moments that make life fun.  We hope you enjoy, but really, we just want to open a viewpoint into our little world with those near and far.