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Portraits #3

We got our photos back from Kiddie Kandids today and they turned out great. Skyler and his cousin got their annual pictures taken, plus individuals. They agreed to take turns fussing, so it wasn’t very easy to get done. After the photo shoot, they decided to go swimming and had a blast!

Check out all the photos here.



Isn’t he a big boy?

No Cavities!

This morning, I took Skyler to his first dental visit while Renea was downtown for jury duty. The office was quite a drive (and during rush hour), but it was well worth it. The staff was super friendly and really made Skyler feel comfortable for his orientation session. They even took x-rays and scrapped his teeth a little. He enjoyed seeing and handling all of the equipment, including the water spray that got us all a little wet. I am very proud of him and how well he behaved today.

Here is a scan of a Polaroid that was taken during our visit. Notice he is using a giant toothbrush to clean the giant set of teeth. He loved it.

Grandpa Whitehair

Yesterday, my last remaining grandfather died.

He had a stroke and passed away later in the hospital. This happened during all the frantic efforts of his sons and daughters making quick arrangements to fly out to Florida. My parents are going out there later this week for the funeral.

Next summer, we were thinking about taking another family trip to the Orlando area and spend some time with him and Grandma Donna. I also just had a conversation with my dad about grandpa the other day.

Fishing. Pontoon boating. Sitting at the bar and watching him cook the fish. Throwing me in the swimming pool. Eating the fish. Cursing! His place in Michigan was an adventure every time. And that white hair. That hair was always white for as long as I can remember. Grandpa Whitehair (of sometimes Whitehead). I have many fond memories of my grandpa.

It’s kinda surreal that I’ve been spending extra time with my dad lately and that Father’s Day wasn’t that long ago. I was thinking about including a photo in this entry and I decided to use this one. It’s a photo of my dad and his dad, looking out on Saguaro Lake, right before our excursion on the Desert Belle in March 2006. The rest of the photos are here.

Though you can’t see their faces, I know they both had calm smiles and sincere eyes. That is a memory I want to remember.

I wish I could walk through this photo and give them both a hug. I’ll have to settle for hugging my dad. That sounds nice.

Death and The Road

I finished reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy (author of No Country For Old Men). It only took two days because it was relatively short, but it was powerful. The style was very fluid and the description was beautiful, but sometimes I got lost and had to re-read a line here and there because of lack of quotations. Although I did not prefectly understand every word used to describe the scene, it still felt real.

I was prompted to get this book because of the themes: father-son relationships, survival, and the end-of-the-world (having read many short stories on this topic). The main characters were a father and his young son. They were traveling along the roads towards the south and come across many obstacles, including hungry cannibals (food was seldom to be found). Trust and love was very evident in their relationship.

There is a movie version due later this year and it looks promising in that it follows the book pretty well, according to what I’ve read.

Also, I downloaded the new Coldplay album this week and thought that the last “official” track was very powerful and goes along with the story I read. It’s called Death and All His Friends. Despite the title, the lyrics of the song are really uplifting and reminds us to take each day, one at a time. The ending matches the book I read perfectly. I highly reccommend getting this album.

Chili Cookoff

Skyler and I tagged along with my dad up to Flagstaff for a chili cookoff, sponsored by an electrical supply company there. He helped out at a booth for a new contractor’s association and met people interested in his training program.

I tasted some of the chili and they were all very different. The rest of the time I took photos and short video clips of the event. Skyler loved seeing the trains go by on the nearby track. One time we walked up pretty close and watched. He also enjoyed playing in the dirt.

I Love Being A Father And A Son

Yesterday, after swim lessons, we came home and rested for a bit before going to the J.W. Marriott Resort to spend the rest of the day with my family. The lazy river was fun and it was an adventure just maneuvering around the drinking Army members. After our water excitement, we ate some food and watched Monsters, Inc. in the hotel room.

I love my son and my father. I also love my stepson. Josh gave me a fun card and chocolate cake for Father’s Day. I think I’ll have another piece tonight...

Flagstaff For Father's Day

Ok, so technically Fathers’ Day sin’t until Sunday, but the three of us went on a short trip overnight to Flagstaff to check on dad’s training class and hang out. We had a good meal at Outback Steakhouse afterwards. I rented a Mustang Convertible and we enjoyed the drive with the top down. When we got closer to Phoenix, however, we decided to put it back up and crank the AC because it was over one hundred degrees in the Valley.

Hero

Skyler and I were playing outside this afternoon while Renea was out. I let our dogs in the backyard with us, but Gambit decided to go back inside soon after I got the hose out and started spraying the plants, Skyler, and Storm. Storm kept jumping up at the water. Then she fell.

She fell into the pool! I took the time to take my shoes off, but kept my socks, jeans, and shirt on. Skyler just smiled and watched me save the dog. She owes me big time.

Earlier today, we had a meeting to get Skyler into a preschool program for the next school year. Renea and I are both excited that he will be starting school again, but I guess I’m in charge of his homework.

Yesterday, we saw Kung Fu Panda at the new Harkins Norterra for Renea’s birthday. Skyler had more fun playing on the metal bars in front of our seats then the movie. His tantrums finally made us seriously reconsider taking him to a movie anytime soon.

Reading a Movie

Tonight, Renea and I watched The Orphanage and it was really good. I was proud that she decided to watch the movie after we realized it was a foreign film! I jumped once or twice from scary moments, sitting next to Skyler, who was watching a new Go Diego Go! DVD on the laptop (with headphones).

I’ve also been taking a training class all week for English as a Second Language requirement for Arizona teachers. My small group visited a Filipino restaurant that also included a grocery and check cashing section. As soon as we walked in, we heard a young lady singing karaoke to a Britney Spears song. The food was cafeteria-style, but was pretty good. We have to give group presentations tomorrow and I helped get Persian music for another group. While looking up traditional and modern music from Iran, I came across a music video on YouTube that I’ve been playing a lot the past couple of days. It’s a song by Chris de Burgh (Lady in Red) and the first pop group from Iran, Arian Band. I really like it. Here’s a link to the song (or just click on it below).





Potty Training Update: Skyler has been using the toilet on his own and both Renea and I are amazed on how well he’s doing these past few days. It helps to stay home and let him run around the house in only a shirt!