Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Amazing Panda Adventure

imageWe watched a nice family movie recently called The Amazing Panda Adventure. The movie, released by Warner Brothers in 1995, is rated PG.

The Amazing Panda Adventure is a children's action-adventure about a young 10-year-old boy who, while on a visit to China to see his father, tries to save a baby panda from poachers and return the baby to it's mother. Some of the movie was filmed - quite obviously - with animatronic pandas. However, real pandas were used in other portions of it and they are extremely cute. Definitely worth the price of a rental but we bought it. {extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/27 at 11:13 PM
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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Too Bad I Don’t Do It More Often

I've got this really bad habit of letting 'stuff' accumulate in my car. Not sure why it is but it's easier to leave the day's mail sitting in the passenger seat and return to bring it in later than it is to pick it up right then and carry it into the house even when my arms are empty. In the case of non-mail 'stuff', it'll sit there for weeks and even months.

I usually reach a point when it's time to clear out the mess. It's simply one of those intuitive moments when my gut (not to be confused with Carmi) says, "it's time".

This morning I had one of those moments. I was going to be driving my car for the first time in about 1-1/2 weeks because the license sticker expired on the 15th and I only renewed it on Monday. Have I ever mentioned before that I also procrastinate?

Before leaving the house, I moved a pile of debris into a garbage bag and even pulled out the vacuum cleaner. Man it felt good...almost liberating. Too bad I don't do it more often.

Carmi usually leaves before me and Eliana but this morning we all exited the house together. I opened the back door for Eliana to crawl into her seat. As the door swung open and she moved in closer, she paused and said, "Ooooh...daddy cleaned out his car..."

As I've said before, we have a very perceptive child. {extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/26 at 03:59 PM
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Friday, April 21, 2006

Forget Cavities

Forget cavities. Look what birthday cake does to your tongue!

{extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/21 at 01:20 AM
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Happy Birthday 2006, Carmi

Today is Carmi's birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, sweetheart!

I've been told that you don't tell a woman's age so I defer you to my own birthday post from March. I am only one month older than Carmi. YOU do the math and I'll stay out of trouble.

She gets to be lazy today because her company provides it's employees with a day off on their birthday.

You've come a long way, baby! {extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/19 at 09:09 AM
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Dandy Little Mess

I came in from work this afternoon to find a dandy little mess in the dining room floor. Seems that little miss Tommi cat has been exploring where she had no business. If only she would do it when I'm around...

{extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/18 at 11:40 PM
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Monday, April 17, 2006

Another Half an Inch

We measured Eliana again this afternoon and she has grown another half an inch in the last month. She now stands at exactly 40 inches tall while barefooted.

Darn it. She could no longer fly for free when she reached 2 years of age. Now she can no longer get free kiddie cones of ice cream at Brusters. That's right...they have a 40-inch height limit with a little chart outside the ordering window. Tragedy. {extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/17 at 12:23 AM
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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter 2006

{extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/16 at 05:59 PM
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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Death on a Saturday Morning

Our oldest cat, Frosty, died sometime this morning.

Carmi’s voice woke me up shortly after 8:00 am. “Doug, I think Frosty’s dead.”, she said.

I rose up and leaned over Carmi to look past the side of the bed. Even in my legally-blind state, I could tell that our sick little cat was not breathing. She was only slightly cool so it hadn’t been long since she left us.

About that same time, Eliana came stumbling into our bedroom. As Eliana was crouching over Frosty’s body, it was sweet to hear Carmi try and explain death to her. What we see now is only Frosty’s body. Her soul has gone on to be with Jesus. We’re not sure how much a 4-year-old can comprehend but I’m thinking she might surprise us.

I dressed quickly, grabbed my tools and headed for the woods behind our back yard. Sometime close to 9:30, Frosty’s grave was ready. Eliana followed me out as I carried Frosty wrapped in a green towel, gently placed the lifeless body in her final resting place and covered her with freshly-dug dirt.

Rest in peace, baby.

{extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/15 at 12:13 PM
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Legendary I-171H

We received our legendary I-171H in the mail today.

This holy grail of documents is {extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/12 at 10:30 PM
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Monday, April 10, 2006

No, I’m just resting

Eliana helped me work in the back yard this evening. When we came inside, she ran to the bathroom with that ‘I gotta poop’ look on her face.

Now let me tell you…when that child goes for a #2, it usually takes for-EV-er. This trip was no exception.

She had already been sitting on the potty for a while. I was hearing splashes as proof-positive that she was really doing something. However, there had now been a particularly long silent spell.

I impatiently asked, “Sweetheart, are you DONE yet?”

To which she replied, “No. I’m just resting my heinie.”

{extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/10 at 11:22 PM
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Thursday, April 06, 2006

We’ve Been Fingerprinted

Carmi and I were up bright and early this morning so that we could make it to Charlotte by 8:00 am for our fingerprint appointment.

We left the house by 6:45 and traffic was already backing up on I-77. What a headache. But we still made it to the USCIS office a little past 7:30. We were second in line so we were in and out after only 15 minutes.

We've been told that our I-171H should arrive at the house within 10 days. {extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/06 at 12:06 AM
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Monday, April 03, 2006

How I Became a Pirate

Eliana has a curious obsession with pirates. So of course we...okay...daddy...fueled that obsession by buying her this cute book - How I Became a Pirate - at the beach.

The book is about a young boy named Jeremy Jacob who is building a sand castle when a pirate ship lands nearby. His parents are preoccupied with other chores, so he takes off for an adventure on the high seas to help the men bury their treasure chest.

She likes it so much that it is usually read twice at any given time. {extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/03 at 11:53 PM
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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Atlantic Beach 2006 - Day 4

We made it safely home from Atlantic Beach. Kinda sucks to think about going to work tomorrow.

We had our final morning at the beach all planned out. Check-out wasn’t until noon so we were going to rise fairly early, enjoy a nice leisurely breakfast, spend some quality time on the beach, come back to the room and pack and then leave. Well…our plan almost worked.

I remember waking up to daylight through the cracks of the curtain. I leaned over Carmi to look at the clock and it was somewhere around 7:00ish. This would have been a really good time to get up but I made the mistake of laying down again ‘just for a few minutes’. Next thing I know, I hear Carmi mumbling something like, “Shoot. If we’re gonna have any time on the beach, we better get up. It’s 9 o’clock.”. What was amazing was that Eliana was still fast asleep.

In record time, we were all up and dressed. I didn’t shave or fix my hair. Carmi didn’t put any make-up on and the thought briefly crossed my mind to snap a picture but I really wanted to make it home. Eliana downed half of a pop tart and we were off.

There was an elderly man with a small boy standing in the hall and waiting for the elevator. As we approached, they appeared to be Chinese but I couldn’t tell for sure. It was one of those situations where I really, really wanted to ask but didn’t want to offend. The older gentleman caught a glimpse of Eliana and stared at her with a big smile on his face. We all rode the elevator down together and the two also headed for the beach but they went one direction and we went the opposite way.

We had been on the beach collecting shells for 10-15 minutes when the gentleman and little boy came walking our way. About the time I looked up, the little boy ran up to us, handed Eliana a bird (seagull?) feather and darted back. Then a minute or so later he was back with another feather and this time the older gentleman was with him. We all walked together for a while. The boy spoke very good English and was quite talkative. He was 5 years old and said that his grandfather spoke Chinese which answered my question. I didn’t ask the little boy’s name but he and Eliana palled around for a bit until it was time for us to go back and pack. It was so cute to see them searching for more feathers together.

It’s hard to explain but I felt such a kinship with them as soon as we met. How I wanted so badly to sit and talk but of course there was no time for that.

{extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/02 at 11:00 PM
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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Atlantic Beach 2006 - Day 3b

Carmi’s seminar was over around 1:30 so we were able to spend the rest of the day together. She wanted to go to Beaufort, NC which was only 6-7 miles away and reportedly home to an infamous pirate called Blackbeard. Eliana still seemed to be in a good deal of pain so Carmi first drove to a drug store and brought back some children’s ibuprofen which we quickly administered. Before leaving the room, Carmi called and booked our reservations for the Beaufort Ghost Walk at 7:00 pm.

Arriving in Beaufort, the first order of the afternoon was to find a place for lunch. We settled on a nice restaurant called Clawsons. Once our tummies were filled, we mosied a few doors down to a bookstore where Carmi browsed a while and then asked the whereabouts to Blackbeard’s house. Eliana loves to hear the story about Blackbeard so we wanted to get a few pictures of his humble abode just for her. “Sure!” the lady behind the desk answered as she whipped out a map of the neighborhood. On paper it didn’t look like a bad walk but sweat was rolling by the time we arrived. It’s tough on an old man to carry around a 40-pound Empress. Before going back to Atlantic Beach, we stopped by the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

The clock read 5:30 when we arrived back at the hotel. At 6:20, we turned right around and returned to Beaufort for the Ghost Walk. The group was told that there were a few more people coming and the tour would start as soon as the stragglers arrived. So we waited…and waited…and waited. Let me tell you…the wind was gusting pretty good this night and it was quite chilly out. When the remainder of the group showed up, one of the ladies spoke up in a syrupy voice and said, “Thank you all for waiting for us”. I didn’t say it loud enough for anyone but Carmi to hear but I mumbled, “Lady, the only reason we waited for you is because we had to. Had it been up to the rest of us, we would have been gone a long time ago.” Was that mean? Yeah, I thought so.

Fortunately by the beginning of the tour and following another earlier dose of ibuprofen, Eliana’s ankles were feeling better and she could walk some on her own. The tour was pretty neat. We returned to Blackbeard’s house for a few spooky tales and also spent some time at a nearby cemetary. After the tour, we ate a very late dinner at Clawsons again.

{extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/01 at 10:00 PM
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Atlantic Beach 2006 - Day 3a

When Eliana and I woke up this morning, she was complaining that her feet hurt. More specifically, her ankles. I thought at first that she was being her usual little drama queen self but now I’m not so sure. She was holding onto the bed and trying to walk but literally screaming and crying a river of tears. The only thing I can figure is that she spent so much time (3 hours) yesterday walking and playing in the sand and surf that the muscles in her ankles are quite sore. She’s really pitiful.

It is completely overcast, windy and quite cool. Looking out over our balcony, there were some (fool)hardy souls windsurfing. She wanted to go down to the water. However, I could tell by an almost-empty beach that it wouldn’t be much fun.

We just grabbed breakfast at the hotel restaurant and returned to our room where she is watching cartoons and I’m surfing the net until Carmi comes back after lunch.

{extended}
Posted by Doug on 04/01 at 12:00 PM
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