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