Girlie tools

April 29, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Today, Jenn and the kids woke up and decided to dig for dinosaur bones in our back yard. Or rather, Eoghan, who is obsessed with all things involving tools and shovels, insisted on digging holes, so Jenn decided to turn it into a school lesson. She told the kids that just down the road a giant mastodon had been dug up, so the possibility of finding “dinosaurs” – or, more precisely, ice age creatures – got them fired up. Tomorrow, Jen is going to show them the actual news articles of the ice age discovery in NY.DiggingFuture ExplorerLooking for fossilsOf course, after not unearthing any stunning mammoth tusks, the kids were getting frustrated, so Jenn decided to suggest collecting rocks. They found a huge variety of appealing rocks (marble, slate,sandstone, etc.) and then used Eoghan’s other favorite tool – a hammer – to test the hardness. Much to Jenn’s surprise, the sandstone when hammered actually turns into sand again. The kids thought it was really cool to have ancient sand.Orla has gotten into the tools as well, in light of all the new activity and hustle and bustle going on around the house. So Jenn made a trip with the kids to our local hardware store, in search of pink hammers, screwdrivers, etc. When she asked the clerks where she could find them, there was a great deal of yelling back and forth to the other clerks in the store, “Where’s the ‘girlie’ tools?”. Then when they were led to the section of pink, floral tools, Eoghan commented on how small the screwdrivers were compared to his collection. The teenaged male clerk put his hand on Eoghan’s shoulder and said, “That’s because these are girlie tools, not a real man’s tools”. Eoghan grew a couple inches standing there, a real man’s man, bonding with the hardware store guys.Jenn also discovered that the hardware store has a lumber department. Eoghan insists that he loves building things. So Jenn got in line behind 5 builders and handymen. Finally, her turn in line came and she explained to the clerk that she just needed something that Eoghan could bang some nails in and pretend to build. All the guys in the nearby area chuckled. She had, she explained, no idea what to get, but now that she had a boy he was obsessed with building and needed something to play with and that her husband was as clueless as she was, knowing nothing about construction. They all thought that was hilarious, but loaded her up with plenty of lumber. Now Eoghan is all set, but I’ll have to make sure they don’t know I’m the “useless husband” on my next trip into the store.Conall has gotten into the action as well. After watching Eoghan and Orla bang away with their hammers, he grabbed a hair brush and block and started to bang like crazy, just like they do. He has also watched them playing with their Wii video game, using their handsets and screaming in excitement at the car race or other game on the screen. Not to be outdone, he grabbed a remote control, pointed it at the TV and started yelling with enthusiasm. I’d say Jenn will have her hands full with the 3 of them soon! In the mean time, we’ll be sure to let you know if we dig up any woolly mammoths!



Pony Pals

April 29, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Orla is reading up a storm these days. She’s a big fan of the Pony Pals series and, while there are almost fifty of them, at the rate she’s devouring them – two a day – she’ll be finished in no time. We’ll have to find another author soon !

Apropos ponies, Orla is continuing her riding lessons and was thrilled to attend the first ‘Pony Club’ meeting on Friday night at Southlands. She’s making plenty of friends there, and absolutely loves it. Eoghan, though, is content to hang out at home where is is mad to build things – trying to keep him calm is difficult, sometimes. And while Eoghan wants to put things together, Conall is happy to pull them apart. He’s a one man whirlwind, destroying anything he can get to.

All the kids have been enjoying the good weather recently. Conall loves the sandbox, while Eoghan loves capturing insects, and watching butterflies hatch in his little tank. They particularly love playing in the water – and the resultant mud – when they turn on the garden hose.

We’re in the process of moving NY apartment, so Jenn is busy organising movers and insurance and cable and electricity and all that fun stuff. (I’m in management, so I delegate to her!) The new place is close to the park, and the gym, so I’ll have no excuse not to be working out when in the city…

Also on the house front, while we have no immediate plans to move (having dropped out of purchasing the house we had intended to buy) we are now looking for a suitable parcel of land on which to build. Consequently we had fun checking out the recent Green Fair at the local fairgrounds at the weekend… we got lots of ideas on solar cells, solar heating, geothermal heating, etc. Can’t wait to find the right piece of land and get to work. Orla wants to ensure we have enough land for horses, Eoghan wants enough room to drive a gator, Jenn wants a stream to be able to take the kids to catch frogs and other critters, and I want enough space for a radio tower. So we’re keeping our eyes open…



Jenn and the kids are looking forward to their trip to Nantucket in June. Justin is organizing a team to compete in the Ironman, raising sponsorship in Lee’s memory for Mantle Cell research. You can keep up with their efforts at www.SeaLyons.org.

Meanwhile, we had a fun weekend. Orla and Eoghan had little league practice, and Orla also had her horse-riding lesson. She and I also took in a movie – Nim’s Island – on Saturday night.  It is a great family movie, highly recommended. We enjoyed it !



Conall had his one year checkup on Friday – actually, he was thirteen months and one day – and certainly made an impression ! He was thirty-two pounds six ounces, and thirty five inches tall. I expect that he’ll group up to be about six foot six…



Working Out

April 14, 2008 | Leave a Comment

WorkoutConall continues to get big ! He’s crawling around, gets into everything, and can stand up and take a few steps. Pretty soon there’ll be no stopping him. He’s due for his checkup, so we’re curious to see where he is on the charts…

Meanwhile, Orla informed me the other day that she has fallen in love with a pony at Southlands, our local stable. Ginger Pony has stolen my heart, she told me solemnly. She can’t wait to have another pony of her own (she outgrew the one she used to have), and promises to be very responsible and take care of it. Her GrandDad used to warn against owning anything that eats while you sleep; still, if it makes her happy…

Eoghan seems destined to be an engineer. He’s forever building things, and drawing up plans for hovercrafts, boats and flying cars. Then he gets frustrated when Dad can’t build them for him. Maybe we should just turn him loose in the garage and see what happens…



Jail Break

April 9, 2008 | Leave a Comment

The other night Eoghan called down from his bedroom to Jenn.  “Mom, Conall is getting out of his crib“. Jenn arrived up to discover that Conall had, indeed, broken through the side of his crib, by knocking out the bars. He’s so big and strong that the wooden crib was no match for him. I guess no jail can hold him…



Orla and I were talking today about who she thought was cute. My illusions were shattered when she informed me that I’m not the hottest guy. The hottest kid in the world is Cole Sprouse (‘Cody’, from ‘The suite life of Zack and Cody‘). And the hottest football player in the world, she told me, is Tom Brady. As a consolation, she let me know that she thinks I am the ‘hottest Dad in the world’. I guess I can cope with that.