Thursday, June 28, 2012

Getting Our Kicks

The kids were particularly difficult yesterday, so I took them out after dinner. I had a couple of errands to run that I didn't think would be particularly fun for them. After all, I was not about to take them bowling after misbehaving during the day.

First, we went to Rapid Refill Ink. The black toner cartridge I got from them had a problem with the fuser that was smudging all our printouts. They were gracious about giving me a new one, which I appreciated. The kids did pretty well there, for the most part.

After that, we went to REI because I wanted to look at some sandals. Amanda has made it clear that my Birkenstock-style Bass sandals have seen their day with regards to fashion, and she won't be seen with me wearing my toe shoes. One of the younger men at our church really likes his Chacos sandals, so I figured I'd try some on and then buy them at Amazon. It turns out that REI had them on sale, so I got a good deal.

Meanwhile, the kids really wanted to try on some toe shoes. Amanda is currently the lone dissenter in the house with respect to toe shoes. The salesman was very gracious in finding them in the kids' sizes. The kids thought that they were great, but I am not about to spend $60/pair on shoes for kids. I'm sure that plenty of folks do, but we are not that crunchy.

It's nice that the kids ended up enjoying themselves. That was not necessarily my goal, but it worked out well. And Amanda was really grateful for the quiet.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mixing It Up

It has been a busy few days at the Chamberlain household. Noah's birthday was a whirlwind. The day after was too with a party for Lily's ballet studio. Saturday was a day full of errands and Sunday was busy with a church picnic. Lily and I left the picnic early to take Oreo to his obedience classes. We have made it through 2 of 6 weeks and so far he is doing well. It probably helps that he is a little bit older than the other puppies too.

Yesterday was a big day for us because our refurbished Vitamix blender arrived. I used it to make pina coladas yesterday. Just to make it a bit more special, I drank mine out of the pineapple I used to make the drinks. This is a serious blender and I look forward to making more stuff in it. I think it is going to make some lovely hummus.

We're enjoying a little bit of relief from summer today. When I took Oreo out for his final walk last night it was oppressively hot and muggy. By this morning all the humidity had left and it was a pleasant 68. But when it does get hot again I am sure that we will be using the Vitamix to whip up some tasty frozen concoctions. I figure you've got to make the best of the heat.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

At the Beach

Since we decided not to go to Pennsylvania it occurred to me that we should try to salvage Amanda's birthday weekend. I went with my original plan and set up a night at the beach. We stayed at what I hoped would be a nice hotel. We got off to a fairly early start on Thursday and were at the hotel by around 11:00. Since it was mid-week and early in the season they had our room ready, which was nice. We got our stuff in the room and hit the beach.

We had a picnic on the beach complete with some leftover birthday cake from the mini-party Amanda's friends from church had for her on Wednesday. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The kids splashed around in the surf for a while. Lily tried to fly her kite, but had a hard time. Noah and I played some catch.

After the beach we hit the pool. It was a very nice pool, but it was still a little cold. I swam with the kids some and we had a great time. The kids really liked going in the hot tub with Amanda, though of course they couldn't do it too much. Lily was intrigued by my description of the sauna and she did poke her head in Friday morning. I offered to take her in for a minute, but she refused. I was hoping she would hang out in there then jump in the pool.

We opened up the window in our room and enjoyed the beautiful day with some homemade daiquiris. I found out from the bartender by the pool that a pina colada at the pool would set you back $15. To be somewhat fair, they are 16 oz and they do have 2 1/2 oz of rum in them. Plus, they are completely fresh with freshly-made coconut cream each morning. I was glad for our mix instead.

Later, we went on a free 30 minute harbor cruise on the intracoastal. The highlight for me was seeing Trot Nixon's house. We then went to a lovely dinner followed by frozen custard next door. We walked home on the beach and enjoyed our evening immensely.

As you might imagine, it took the kids some time to settle down in the room. Noah was very excited about sleeping in a hotel room. The air conditioner was kind of loud and Lily complained that she didn't really get to sleep until 3:30 AM. Nevertheless, after I got back from my run on the beach everyone got up for our free breakfast buffet. We enjoyed the pool and the beach some more and then hit the road home. On the way we stopped in Wilmington for a nice lunch and then came home.

I've decided that an overnight is the perfect amount of time at the beach. The kids like the pool better than the ocean. I find that I can only take so much sand and sun. As long as I get my sunrise run in I'm a happy camper though. Amanda declared it to be a good birthday, so I felt like we did well.

Reunited...and it Feels So Good

I have to do a few posts to catch you up on what has been going on here. We were originally supposed to be in Pennsylvania this weekend for a graduation, but changed our plans for various reasons. Noah got very upset about this because he knew that he would get his DS back for the trip. When we told him that he could still get his DS back in the car he was ecstatic. Watching him play it was like seeing a sailor reunited with his wife after a long cruise.

Unfortunately, Noah has already lost it again because he failed to put a game away. I was reading his Bible to him tonight when I saw him playing with a DS game cartridge out of the corner of my eye. It took him a second to put things together and then he tried to throw it away hoping I wouldn't see it. I made him retrieve it from under the bed and then I put the DS and the case back up again. I guess it was fun while it lasted for him.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Lily had her ballet recital on Saturday. This year it was "Carnival of Animals," which I had never heard of before. I'm not sure how this fit in with the theme, but she was a piano. At any rate, you can see her work below. We think that she is getting better each year. She still bangs into things at home all the time, but when she is dancing she is becoming pretty graceful.

Baby Got Bath

Oreo had some new experiences this weekend. On Saturday we gave him his first bath with us. We are pretty sure that he had a bath with the folks who owned him for a few days, but this was the first time we bathed him. By "we" I really mean Amanda and Lily. He did well in the tub, though he was not happy about the experience. As with most small dogs, it was funny to see how small he looked when he got wet. He's got some pretty fluffy fur and he was about 1/3 smaller when wet.

Yesterday we took it one step further by giving him his first haircut. Amanda got a grooming kit off of Amazon and we tried it out. His fur is definitely a lot shorter now, but if anything he is even softer than he was. He was not wild about the process, but he didn't snap at her or anything. It was a two-man job with me holding him and Amanda doing the clipping. I think we paid around $40 for the kit and I'm pretty sure that we are already close to breaking even with it. The good news is that dogs don't get hung up about mirrors, so we don't have to worry about him looking funny.