Who are these Critters you speak of?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Tree

Its a little out of order but here is the Christmas Tree post. Unfortunately it is not one of those Norman Rockwell Christmas tree stories. We did not hike out to the mountains, cut down our tree, and drag it home.

We went to Lowes.

Nothing like heading over to Capital Circle to pick up a festive Christmas Tree. Rows and rows of every type of tree you could think up, no saw needed. Just pick you tree, drop it off, they saw it, and then shove it through a chute to the other side of the fence. You show them your ticket, throw the tree on your roof and you are on your way. Luckily this year we brought the Jeep so I didn't have jam the tree in the trunk of the Jetta.

I'll post picks pics later of the final tree.

Pics of our journey:

Hadley loving the two tiered cart at Lowes.

Hadley helping Dad pick a tree.

Brother approves.

Trying to tie the tree down in hopes of it not flying off on Capital Circle.

The Critters laughing with delight as they watch Dad struggle to tie the tree down.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Not Happy!

Reese is less than happy with me and my lack of blogs. I have quite a few in the hopper and will be getting them up tomorrow or the next day.

Now back to depo prep.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Toys for Tots

Brother was very adamant that every little Critter should get a toy this Christmas regardless of their families situation. Reese took it upon himself to gather up the family and head over to Walmart to pick out toys to give to the Toys for Tots program. Brother, CarCar, and Hadley (quickly becoming known as "Smiles") each picked out a toy that they thought someone would enjoy. Reese picked out a stacking type of toy, CarCar picked out a xylophone, and Hadley picked out a pull along dog wooden toy.

After the 11AM feeding we headed over to Famous Dave's to drop off the toys with the Marines. While we did not meet any Marines, we met a very nice young lady in the medical division of the Navy. She was nice enough to chat with Brother and thank him and the other Critters for bringing over the toys.

Rian says that Reese will be the one who is big on generosity and from the smile in the picture below I think that she may be right.
Reese with the nice Navy medic after donating toys.

The big truck that enthralled Reese.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Zoo

The Sunday after Thanksgiving the troop headed on down to the Central Florida Zoo. While not on the same level as the National Zoo it had enough animals to keep the Critters entertained. One big thing that it had was the wax animal figurine machines. This takes me back to my younger days and the Miami Zoo where you could plop down 50 cents and watch your favorite animal be created in wax right before your eyes. While the animals seem smaller these days it is still quite entertaining to watch a wax kangaroo be made. Aside from these wax machines the zoo also had the penny flateners. I am not quite sure why Rian and I are so fascinated with destroying United States currency but we cannot get enough of these things. Our obsession of magnets is the one thing that eclipses our fascination with flattened pennies.

Wax Figurine

Before going into the zoo we all took a ride on a miniature train that took you through some of the zoo's property. Let me tell you that this was not the roomiest train I have ever been on. The car, if you can call it that, which I rode in was quite cramped with just me the diaper bag and the camera bag. It was pretty neat to see the Critters get excited going through the tunnel and listening to the "train" horn.

Me in the roomy "train" car.

Everyone, excluding Mom, before we pulled out of the "train" station.

Brother trying to take it all in.

CarCar just looking cute.

Lets get back to the zoo. The Critters were absolutely fascinated by the animals, especially Hadley. She may be a budding veterinarian. As usual CarCar displayed no fear, she would get close up to any of the animals, some that even Dad would cringe at. As many people know I am not a fan of snakes and spiders. She had no problem getting right up by the glass to look at the snakes.

Hadley loving the zoo.

The zoo also had some big cats and elephants. The Critters especially like the elephants, unfortunately Mom did not like the smell emanating from the elephant area, so we had to move on quickly. It was about feeding time, so Grandma Kate, Grandma Barbara, Jenna, and Adrienne fed the Critters quickly. Then it was on to the Cheetahs. This was the last stop at the zoo and it seemed that the Critters were wearing down quickly. We headed back to Grandma Kate's to get ready for the return trip to Tallahassee.

Mom and CarCar with Elephants in the background. (Note: CarCar would like everyone to notice that she coordinated her outfit with our destination, there are elephants on her dress.)

CarCar trying to be an elephant.

A leopard.

The water park that Brother wanted to go in. We had to break it too him that he had a few more years before splashing around in this.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Dog Sis!

Happy Birthday Abbey!


From the Critters (especially Hadley)

The Critters and Abbey

Chris (typing for the Critters)

Friday, December 4, 2009

First Thanksgiving

The whole Fam hit the road about noon on Wednesday for the journey to Orlando for Thanksgiving. I was really hoping for it to be uneventful but that was quickly shot once we hit I-75. Rian and I try to time our trips to Orlando between feeding times. We thought on this trip that we may be able to push the Critters an extra hour and feed that at 4PM instead of 3PM. This was on the assumption that we would be in Orlando at 4PM. As I have become very familiar with lately, "When you assume, it makes an ass of you and me."

We hit 7, yes count them seven accidents and a car-b-que on the way down. Rian found this website with real time updates and they just kept flowing. Our conversation would go something like this:

Rian: What mile marker are we at?
Me: I dunno, why?
Rian: Well, it seems that another accident just happened at mile marker (insert number here).
Me: Great thats another five miles down from the current accident we are caught in.

I can tell you that we had more than one conversation like that. The pressing issue that we had to deal with was getting some food in to the Critter's tummies. This was going to be a challenge because by 3:30PM we were only just South of Gainesville. This posed a problem. According to my calculations we were supposed to be in Orlando in a half an hour. As anyone who has traveled I-75 knows there are not a plethora of exits to choose from. While we are at a stand still I made the decision that we would pull off at the Micanopy exit. Anyone who drives I-75 knows that there is only one thing at the Micanopy exit and that is Cafe Risque. Can you imagine a car full of Critters pulling up to Cafe Risque for a feeding. I know couples are welcome but I think Brother is a little young. Luckily the traffic cleared and we were able to make it to the Wildwood Truck Stop. I'm not sure how much of a step up that was but at least it didn't have any brass poles.

On to Orlando we went. We pulled in after a 6.5-7 hour drive. Unfortunately the fun was only beginning. The Critters felt that sleeping was optional for the first three days we were there. Rian, my mom and I were lucky if we got 4 hours of sleep a night. Luckily by Saturday they were sleeping again. Thanksgiving day morning was not too eventful, which was perfect for me. A little relaxation before dinner. We headed over to Grandma Kate's for dinner and the Critters first meal of real/baby food.

The pictures will tell the rest of the story:

Jenna with Hadley and her Thanksgiving bib.

Hadley said, "Screw the baby food, I want turkey!"

Critters lined up for feedin' time.

"Crap, I got stuck with the baby food."

Please, for the love of God, no more!

Eh, not too bad.

Consoling Hadley after feeding her sweet taters.

Trip to the Minnehaha

Over the break the Critters, Rian, our Moms and Adrienne headed to the park for a little fun. Much to our delight they had the old toddler swings. The park system in Orlando also felt the need to do away with regular grass and replace it with something akin to field turf. Really? There are a lot of colleges that can't afford field turf in their football stadiums but this small park in Orlando can have it.
We all had a great time at the park, especially the Critters. After that we all headed to one of our favorite buffeterium - Sweet Tomatoes. Then it was on to watch what some would have referred to as a football game. I didn't think as much, I always thought there was supposed to a defensive portion to a team. Apparently FSU did not get that memo.
On to the pictures:
Rian & CarCar, Me & Reese, Adrienne & Hadley

CarCar showing off her rock climbing skills. Crawling = No, Rock Climbing = Big Fat Yes.

Hadley just getting her swing on.

CarCar was not happy when she had to get off the swing.

Brother having a good ole time.

Adrienne and CarCar on the big people swing. (I must also not that I almost fell out of one of these swings, apparently it has been a while since I have attempted to swing and it is not a similar skill set as that of riding a bike.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanks Coach

This is not a post about the family or the Critters, but I think it is definitely one that needs to be written. What a mix of emotions today, I thought I was so ready for this day to get here but as soon as it was made official I had a wave of sadness come over me. While this is not earth shattering news to most I definitely feel that it is worthy of a post. I just wanted to document for the Critters the day when one of the greatest coaches of any sport retired. Today, December 1, 2009, Robert Cleckler Bowden retired as head football coach of Florida State University.

While I have great excitement for the future I can't help but be a little melancholy about Bobby stepping down. This man provided me five years (yes, I was on the five year plan, thanks mom and dad) of excitement on Saturdays during the fall. During that time I was able to witness the last time we were able to 'charge' the field (defeated #1 Florida 24-21). I was also able to experience a National Championship in 1999 (defeated Va. Tech 46-29). I even got to watch a game from the infirmary in Miami with the Miami mascot, thanks to heat exhaustion.

I just want to say a big thank you to Coach Bowden for providing excitement within the brick walls of Doak during the Fall. While I wish the retirement would have happened under better circumstances you cannot take away all the accomplishments that he achieved during his 34 seasons at FSU. There will never be another Bobby Bowden, a little bit of the mystique of college football died today.

Thanks Coach and go FSU


Friday, November 20, 2009

Before Your Eyes.

I always found it funny when people said, "before you know it your kids will be out of the house," or, "they grow up so fast, if you blink you are going to miss something." I don't think those two statements are too funny anymore. The Critters are growing up waaaaaaaaay too fast. They are already 6 1/2 months old. I remember having to feed them through a tube at the NICU, now they are beginning solid food. We were in preemie diapers and their binkie's were way too big, and now we are solidly in size 2 diapers and their binkie's look too small. My tiny girls and little big guy are not so little anymore. It is amazing to think how quickly time is moving. Christmas, Easter, and their 1st birthday will be here before you know it. Critters, you Dad is going to have a talk with the big Guy and see if we can slow this pesky thing called time down.

According to Wikipedia [with a few additions] this is what has transpired since the Critters were born:


May 13 – Critters born!
May 17 – 6th wedding anniversary.
May 25 – North Korea announces that it has conducted a second successful nuclear test in the province of North Hamgyong. The United Nations Security Council condemns the reported test.


June 1 – Air France Flight 447, en route from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 on board.
June 11 – The outbreak of the H1N1 influenza strain, commonly referred to as "swine flu", is deemed a global pandemic, becoming the first condition since the Hong Kong flu of 1967–1968 to receive this designation.
June 13 – Accusations of fraud in Iran's presidential election spark sustained protests by supporters of defeated candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi. The violence is said to be the worst seen in Iran since the 1979 revolution that put the current regime in power.
June 18 – NASA launches the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS probes to the Moon, the first American lunar mission since Lunar Prospector in 1998.
June 20 – The death of Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian student shot during a protest, is captured on what soon becomes a viral video that helps to turn Neda into an international symbol of the civil unrest following the presidential election.
June 21 – As a step toward total independence from The Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland assumes control over its law enforcement, judicial affairs, and natural resources. Greenlandic becomes the official language.
June 25 – The death of American entertainer Michael Jackson triggers an outpouring of worldwide grief. Online, reactions to the event cripple several major websites and services, as the abundance of people accessing the web addresses pushes Internet traffic to potentially unprecedented and historic levels.
June 30 – Yemenia Flight 626 crashes off the coast of Moroni, Comoros, killing all but one of the 153 passengers and crew.


July 4 – The Organization of American States suspends Honduras due to the country's recent political crisis after its refusal to reinstate President Zelaya.
July 5 – Over 150 are killed when a few thousand ethnic Uyghurs target local Han Chinese during major rioting in Ürümqi, Xinjiang.
July 7 – A public memorial service is held for musician Michael Jackson. It is regarded as one of the most prominent funerals of all time.
July 15 – Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashes near Qazvin, Iran, killing all 168 on board.
July 22 – The longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting up to 6 minutes and 38.8 seconds, occurs over parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean; it is figured to be the most widely observed total eclipse in human history.
July 28 – Grandma Barbara’s Birthday!


August 2 – Dad’s Birthday!
August 4 – North Korean leader Kim Jong-il pardons two American journalists, who had been arrested and imprisoned for illegal entry earlier in the year, after former U.S. President Bill Clinton meets with Kim in North Korea.
August 7 – Typhoon Morakot hits Taiwan, killing 500 and stranding more than 1,000 via the worst flooding on the island in half a century.
August 20 – Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, imprisoned for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, is released by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds as he has terminal prostate cancer. He returns to his native Libya.


September 25 – At the G-20 Pittsburgh summit, world leaders announce that the G-20 will assume greater leverage over the global economy, replacing the role of the G-8, in an effort to prevent another financial crisis like that in 2008.
September 26 – Typhoon Ketsana begins to cause record amounts of rainfall in Manila, Philippines, leading to the declaration of a "state of calamity" in 25 provinces.
September 27 – Polish-French film director Roman Polanski is arrested in Switzerland on a United States arrest warrant.
September 29 – An 8.3-magnitude earthquake triggers a tsunami near the Samoan Islands. Many communities and harbors in Samoa and American Samoa are destroyed, and at least 189 are killed.
September 30 – A 7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes just off the coast of Sumatra, killing around 1,000 in Indonesia.


October 2 – The International Olympic Committee awards the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.
October 20 – European astronomers discover 32 exoplanets.
October 31 - Critters First Halloween!


November 3 – The Czech Republic becomes the final member-state of the European Union to sign the Treaty of Lisbon, thereby permitting that document's initiation into European law.
November 3 – Mickey Andrews [Florida State University Defensive Coordinator] announces that he will retire at the end of the 2009 season.
November 13 – NASA announces that it has found a large amount of water on the Moon.

Okay Critters, I just needed to get that off my chest and I also wanted to provided you with a quick timeline of major events that have happened in your first six months. Sorry about the large amounts of plane crashes, earthquakes and generally dismal events. Hopefully the next 5 1/2 months will be a lot cheerier.

Chris [Dad]

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Professional Pics

Mary Beth was gracious enough to come back out to the house to take some more pictures of the Critters.

Check them out here.

Once again the password is Rian. (case sensitive)


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Breaking the Scales!

And in this corner, weighing in at.........

Well the Critters had the big ole six month doctors appointment. Everything checked out a okay with them. They also had to get a few shots. When I saw a few that means four each for Carson and Hadley and six for Brother. He was a virtual baby voodoo doll. Well lets just say that he let the nurse know what he thought of her. I must say that the critters slept real well Friday night and took great naps on Saturday. Now how often can, err I mean do they get shots?

Weight and Height Check:

Carson - Weight: 14 lb 6 oz, Height 24 1/2"

Reese - Weight: 14 lb 10 oz, Height 25"

Hadley - Weight: 15 lb 6 oz, Height 25"

Well there you have it, the Critters have apparently caught up to where "they are supposed to be around six months."


Rice Cereal, Again.

The Critters are still getting used to the yummy goodness known as rice cereal. We have had more success with Reese and Carson keeping it down than Hadley. But as you can see from the pictures below it is always entertaining.

Is that a tooth I see?

Nope, just Hadley not eating her rice cereal as usual.

Did you know that a baby could actually sneeze rice cereal out their nose? Well they can, and it isn't fun to clean up.

Photo Documentation:


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Apparently I Missed the Threshold.

I ran across this book (and website) on a blog that I read. It seems like a great idea and we will be picking up a copy for the Reester.

Click Me!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Apalachicola Seafood Festival

King Retsyo (Oyster spelled backwards): King Retsyo, son of Neptune, is the guardian of inland waters, bays and estuaries. He protects our natural resources and the seafood industry. Each year, the Florida Seafood Festival board selects a king who symbolizes Apalachicola Bay and the bounty harvested by the seafood industry.

Rian, the Critters and I headed down Highway 98 to Apalachicola this weekend for the Seafood Festival. It could not have been a better day to be outside in the Florida sunshine. We packed the jeep up and left the casa about 8:30 to try to get down there for the parade. We were unfortunately under the impression that Apalachicola was on central time. Note to self - it isn't. (See pg. 20) We paid to park and found a bench in the shade to feed the Critters. Then it was off to the festival. Let me tell you that all types of folks came out of the woodwork for this festival.

Once we entered the festival we veered left to head to the handmade handicrafts area. We saw some interesting stuff over there, but in particular was the jelly lady. She made some of the best jelly that I have ever had. It was some sort of orange/jalapeno jelly. It had just the right amount of spice to it. Throw that on a cracker (Ritz) with some cream cheese and you will think you are in heaven. Unfortunately, we waited too long to buy some and by the time we headed back to make the purchase she was out. Update: She heads to Tallahassee once every two weeks so there will be some orange/jalapeno jelly in my belly soon!

After making our way through that section we headed off for the real reason we were there - seafood. Let me tell you this was some of the freshest seafood that you will ever have. The oysters were pulled out that morning and the shrimp the day before. Nothing, I repeat nothing, beats a raw Apalachicola Oyster on a cracker with Cocktail Sauce. After stuffing our faces we headed over to the oyster eating contest. Now as I have said, I love me some oysters, but in moderation people. The gentleman who won the contest put down 28 and 1/2 dozen oysters in 8 minutes. Let that sink in. I would be puking all the way back to Tallahassee, and then for another 3 days. The record holder put down 33 dozen and 3 oysters. After that gastronomical abomination we met up with Holly, Marcus and little Sally Kate. We were able to hang out for a little bit, but then it was time for the crew to bid adieu to Apalach and head on home.

We did make one more stop on the way home. We stopped at one of my favorite dives in Panacea, Florida, Posey's. You can't beat the seafood there. I know what you are thinking, "weren't you just at a seafood festival?" Yes, but you can never get too much fresh seafood. So after another round of oysters and some shrimp, we were back in the comfy confines of Tallahassee. You couldn't have asked for a better day, unfortunately I topped it off by watching the FSU game.

Entrance to the festival.

The snazzy shirt design. No Rian and I did not buy matching shirts.

Rian w/ shrimp. Oyster eating contest in the background.

Me and the Critters hanging with Royalty. King Retsyo came over to see the Critters. Take notice of his jeans and gold shoes.

Marcus, Holly, Reese and I.

Apparently Holly, Reese and I were the only ones who got the memo to wear a striped Oxford.

Gratuitous shot of the infamous "CarCar toes."

Hadley taking it all in.

The family unit at the 3 o'clock feed. Right before heading back home.