Daily Pixels: Vantastic!

It’s official.  We are a minivan family.  And I love it.

We took our first road trip in the family truckster last weekend.  12 hours in two days.  And they were the most comfortable 12 hours of driving we’ve had as a family.  Plenty of room for our luggage, and everyone had their own seat.  We even had the front seat empty, and we fit some hand-me-downs for Little Dude and a ladder on the way back.  Yes, a ladder.  With room to spare.

I got a captain’s hat for Mrs. Dude to wear when captaining the champagne yacht.  But she’s not a fan just yet.  I suspect it will grow on her.  For now, I’ll wear it when I’m at the helm.



Daily Pixels: The Belly Button Store

A few days ago, The Princess and I were enjoying some time in the yard.  I forget what we were doing, but I suspect it was the usual “time in the yard” activities.  I was most likely inspecting the plants, and The Princess was probably swinging.

I decided to head in, and I mentioned “Let’s go in and see what Mommy and Little Dude are doing.”

The Princess replied with, “Nope.  I’m going to the belly button…the belly button store.  To get a new belly button.”


I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  I laughed and headed in.

Such a great comment.  Out of nowhere.

Does this mean she’s growing up, and her imagination and humor are taking shape?  Or is she’s holding on to the innocence of early childhood and talking nonsense?

She knew it was funny.  I think she was telling a joke.

She loves going to school now.  And she’s learning a lot in the first month.  All signs are pointing to The Princess doing a great job growing up.

And tonight was the next step towards adulthood; no more booster seat.  She made the request, so we made it happen.

We’ll see how it goes, but I think it’s in storage until Little Dude needs it.

Booster Seat

Booster Seat

No Booster

No Booster Seat

Daily Pixels: Concussed



These “Daily Pixels” have been a bit less than daily.

Photography is Mrs. Dude’s assignment, so she’ll have to get crackin’.

But we need to cut her some slack considering she landed on her head yesterday. Literally.

It’s been a rainy few days, and our wooden stairs can be a bit slippery when wet.  As she carried Little Dude out, she lost her footing.  Her mommy instincts kicked in, and she protected the Little One.  However, with hands occupied protecting, Mrs. Dude had a head-on collision with the stairs.  Literally.

I answered my phone at work to a crying Mommy and a screaming baby.  Yikes, is right!  Not what you want to hear.  She explained that she fell.  Little Dude seemed alright, but she couldn’t tell and it all happened so fast.  There wasn’t much conversation.

I boogied out of work, and got home as quickly as I could.  Luckily, the scene had calmed down considerably.  Mrs. Dude and Little Dude were quiet on the couch.  She seemed uncomfortable, but he seemed ok.  I scooped him up, and he seemed happy.  I scanned his body, and moved his limbs and all was in working order.  Dodged a bullet.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Dude was a bit more banged up.

Look at that X-ray!

That’s what her’s could have looked like if we went to the Dr.’s.  Yeah, we didn’t go to the Dr’s.  Always a tough call.    We never want to sacrifice health or safety, but a trip to the emergency room will cost a pretty penny.  It’s a fine line, but we tend to wait injuries out a bit.

Mrs. Dude had all of the symptoms of a concussion; kaleidescope vision in one eye, headache, and nausea.  But all of the symptoms passed pretty quickly, so we decided to give it some time.

After some rest, she was pretty much back to normal.  I woke her up every two hours last night to be safe, and this morning she was at work.  A bit sore, but up and about.

Whew, we made the right choice.  Mrs. Dude survived.

Thanks for being a great Mommy, Mrs. Dude.  You definitely took one for the team.

Now, how about those Daily Pixels?

PS – As I read through this post, Mrs. Dude laughed while watching TV, and she felt her rib pop.  It’s now sore when she takes a deep breath.  Broken rib?  Just wait it out, right?

Daily Pixels: The Princess Gets Her Dance On!

Videos have pixels, right?  Well we’re extending our Daily Pixels to include videos.  How ya like me now?!

Last week I discussed The Princess’ sportiness, or lack thereof.  I’m happy to report that after a little more tutoring and the second team practice, The Princess is feeling more confident on the soccer field. 

I witnessed her feet moving fast enough to be considered a run, and I even saw her steal the ball from another rugrat during practice! 

However, she did spend the majority of the practice staring off in the distance rather than listening to the coach, and she’s become very skilled at staying just far enough from the herd surrounding the ball to make it look like she’s trying to be involved, but not really. 

Definitely lacking that killer instinct.  Perhaps princesses aren’t supposed to be killers. 

But, hey, we’re improving.

However, like I mentioned in my last post, dance is probably a bit more natural for The Princess.  She had her first dance class on Tuesday, and the teacher actually pulled Mrs. Dude aside after the class to say she was impressed with the confidence and poise The Princess had. 

And if that’s not enough to demonstrate The Princess natural inclinations, this video should seal the deal.  I haven’t seen this kind of fire and enthusiasm for a split second on the soccer field.  She is a free-flowing dance machine! 

Everyone is made different, and apparently The Princess was made with dance in her blood!

Daily Pixels: Sporty Spice

The Princess started soccer this week.

We’ve been building up to this for a while; little black cleats with pink accents, black socks/shinguards to match the black cleats, and some Dude/Princess practice time.

Our practice time focused mainly on kicking, passing, and stopping the ball.  Some good basics, but our practice wasn’t very consistent or intense.  Lots of lolly-gagging and goofing around.

The Princess did get a hang of the basics.  She can pass the ball and stop it pretty well.  But after witnessing the first official practice, I realize some additional basics would be helpful.

Soccer was the Dude’s jam back in the day.  I played from age 5 – 20, including a couple years in college.  So, needless to say, my hopes may have been set a bit high.

I played a lot; rec, travel, club, college.  But I’ve never coached.  Playing and teaching are two different things.  After doing something for years, the basics become some ingrained that it’s easy to overlook the learning process that led to the assimilation of the skills.

The Dude/Princess practice time didn’t focus much on the rules or physicality of soccer.  We didn’t focus on the running, bumping, falling, positions, watching the ball, what to do when the ball is not near you, or even what the goal is for.

This was the Princess’ first go at a full scale team practice of any kind, and her first real experience with soccer.  Not to mention it is a 5-6 year old league, and she’s 5, so most of the other kids are bigger and have experience.

It’s a lot to take in, so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt, and I can honestly say that she did a great job just being there and not getting overwhelmed.  However, “sporty” may not be the adjective we use to describe The Princess.  I’m still holding out hope, but words like pretty, sweet, graceful, artistic, friendly, or great style may be more fitting.

My gut is saying that dance (starting next week), may be a bit more natural.  But I’m still holding out hope, and we’ll have some additional Dude/Princess practice time today.

This picture is a bit deceiving.  It looks like she’s actually running!  My guess is it was just a fast walk.  Most of her practice time was spent chatting it up with a girl in a pink shirt (she’s attracted to pink like a bee to a flower), spinning in circles, and avoiding the ball.

At one point, The Princess and another underachiever were actually sitting on the field talking (yes, sitting) while the rest of the team played a scrimmage and raced towards the idle chatters.  Luckily she realized the group was hurdling towards them and was able to get out of the way at the last second.  However, getting out of the way of the ball is generally frowned upon when you are the last line of defense.

Oh well, she survived her first soccer experience, and we’re looking forward to practice number two this week.  But we’ll have a little extra Dude/Princess practice time.

And I’ve started subliminal messages to Little Dude to get him mentally prepared for his time on the pitch.  After this experience, I figure it’s never too early to start.

Sporty Spice

Sporty Spice

Daily Pixels: Double Sessions

Hurricanes can be quite destructive.  We witnessed some of this wrath a couple weeks ago with Hurricane Earl.

On the flip side, hurricanes and create some of the sweetest gifts Mother Nature has to offer, awesome waves.

Hurricane Igor is moving through the Atlantic, and he’s falling on the side of sweet gift giver.  Swell from Igor arrived today and offered the Dude the rare opportunity for a double session.  A dawn surf session before work and a post work surf session.

Watching the sun pop over the horizon while floating on a surfboard is a pretty great start to the day.

Thanks Igor.

This is not the Dude pictured here…just a stunt double.

Dude's Stunt Double

Dude's Stunt Double

Week 12 – Groovin’

The Boy is three months old this week.

Time flies.

Week 12 has been pretty much status quo.  We’re getting back into the flow after a short vacation and the hurricane, so just settling back into routines.

Groovin’ right along.

This picture elicits an immediate smile from the Dude.

Little Dude

Little Dude

As does this song.

Daily Pixels: Apocalypse Now?

This beast is sitting in our driveway tonight.  Mrs. Dude has it out on an extended test drive.

It’s got to be the apocalypse, right?

Are we about to buckle under the pressure?  Are we about to do the unthinkable?  Have we really become a minivan family?

I’ll preface this next line of thought by saying that my feelings could be drastically different if I was the chosen one to drive this monster on a daily basis, but deep down I kind of dig the minivan.

It has so much room!  And bucket seats in the back…that recline!  And doors on both sides.  And captain’s chairs in the front!

I’m going to get Mrs. Dude a captain’s hat to wear when she drives it.

I can picture us cruising to the beach, surfboard on the top (yeah it has roof racks!) the windows down in the front (because no other windows open in that tank), stereo up full blast, Mrs. Dude with the captain’s hat on, the kids each with their own seat in the back, and me reclined in one of the back bucket seats enjoying the ride…and asking if we’re there yet.

Awesome.  Where do we sign?

Apocalypse Now?

Apocalypse Now?

Daily Pixels: Game Changer

The Dude is frugal.

No two ways about it.  I don’t like to spend money if I don’t have to.

Mainly because there seems to be a shortage on the cashish for just about everyone these days.  Trying to keep a stash under your mattress seems like a wise idea.

Plus, knock-offs and generics usually provide pretty good opportunities to save a few bucks.

However, there are times when the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true.  We just received our Baby Bjorn in the mail after three frustrating months with a knock-off, and it’s clear we should have opted for the name brand.

Baby Bjorns are awesome.  I’m not sure why the knock-offs don’t buy a Bjorn and copy it a bit better, but they don’t…at least not the one we had.  Simple, sturdy, durable, comfortable; everything the knock-off isn’t.

A game changer for me and Little Dude.  Comfortably attached to my chest, he can now be much more productive with the Dude around the house.  Thanks Baby Bjorn.

And the icing on the cake, my frugality has rubbed off on Mrs. Dude, and when we decided to bite the bullet and get the Baby Bjorn, she hunted it down on e-bay for half the price.  Sweet justice!

Game Changer

Daily Pixels: He’s Highly Advanced

Someone rolled over today.

I wasn’t here to witness it, but Mrs. Dude reports that during a morning session of tummy time, Little Dude executed a perfect roll from belly to back.

I conducted a little parental research, i.e. Google, and learned that rolling over usually happens around 3 – 4 months.  Little Dude will be three months tomorrow.

Rolling over one day before three months?!  If he continues at this pace, he’ll graduate college by 12 and fund our retirement by 16!

Do we have  super baby on our hands?

After filing the report with the Dude, Mrs. Dude proceeded to explain that he had a pillow under him, and she “kinda thinks it was an accident” on his part.

I prefer to think he’s highly advanced.

Super Baby

Super Baby