Entries Tagged as 'The Kids'

Dodgecars, Racecars, & License to BS

  Let’s see how we might cram several months worth of life into a several paragraph blog. Let’s see - since Disney…. Well, it was a pretty busy summer. We’ll start with the fun stuff.
  Jackson is really into snakes and cars. Cars before bedtime. Snakes at bedtime. “Playing cars” takes a lot of creative license in name. This game should be played with pads & helmet. It consists of Jackson at one end of the entryway and his playmate on the other end. Then, the “full contact” car game ensues: from a straight lineup, in order of increasing coolness - excuse me - “awesomeness”, the cars are hurled top speed across the floor so they can either crash into something, or, if you’re really lucky, it’ll hit the baseboard where the carpet stops and will then take a 5-30 foot airborne path until it hits its next obstacle. Each (and every) car that is launched requires proper validation that it was, indeed, “awesome.” “Was that awesome Daddy?” has but one correct answer: “That was totally awesome Jackson.” Do not deviate from the script, or you will be reprimanded. Consider yourself educated on the matter.
  Celeste has started back to second grade. Her teacher is Ms. Frost, and Celeste isn’t particularly amused by questions pertaining to whether or not Ms. Frost is related to “Jack Frost” - who is a character in her fairy books she is reading. Evidently the parent dorkiness starts getting called out in second grade. We’re not fully dorky yet, but situationally - for sure. She has also started karate, and has earned her first red stripe. She’s pretty proud of the fact that she can take down boys about 50% bigger than she is. Most of this power is attributable to her talents as a fairy - as is any given natural circumstance that we may be commenting on, such as presence or absence of rain, wind, sun, or the temperature. Her current favorite pastime is pushing Jackson’s buttons and playing the martyr when she is called out for her heinous crimes against humanity. Oh, woe is me!
  As for me, this was one of the busiest summers I’ve had in a long time. I completed a quality improvement course for the hospital, was awarded a grant from the AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), went to Germany and drove a racecar (I didn’t wreck, but Sunny - the guy who invited me to Germany and had spent months practicing the Nurburgring racetrack on the Xbox… can’t say the same for him. Sorry Sunny.) I also got to experience Oktoberfest in Munich - very cool. Finally, the crowning achievement of the summer is that after 10 long years, I have finally fulfilled the requirements for a PhD in Health Informatics!!! Yeah!
  As November approaches, we’re looking forward to the annual hayride and to some holiday peace & quiet, and football - even though the Longhorns aren’t all that “awesome” at the moment.

10 Stitches

No blogging for months, and now plenty to blog about!

So, I’m coming home from work yesterday, and as I approach the door, I hear some really loud screaming coming from inside the house. As I prepare for the verbal-”tongue-lashing”-discipline I’m fixing to have to lay down, I open the door.

Trlica is sitting in the floor at the bottom of the stairs with Jackson in her lap. Eyes as big as tennis balls. She commands I come to her RIGHT NOW. Suddenly, my tongue-lashing plan starts to waver. I walk to her, and as I approach, I see her hand, covered in blood, and Jackson’s head, covered in blood.

I freaked. (But don’t tell my family that.)

Visions of skull fractures and brain damage are racing through my mind as I ask what happened. Thankfully, he hadn’t fallen off the stairs. Instead, he was jacking around with Celeste, and (probably) ran into a table and filleted open his right ear. Musta hit an artery for all the blood that was there. When I see that it’s his ear lobe and not coming from the ear canal, my coronaries opened up again and let my heart have some oxygen.

After talking it over with Mike D (who is now more than ever our good ER friend, since we see him more than our pediatrician these days), we take Jackson in to TCH for an evaluation.

10 stitches. Crying about the injury: 10/10. Crying about the concept of going to the emergency room: 6/10. Crying about the IV they placed for his sedation: 1/10. Crying about the prospect of taking off his shirt so it doesn’t get dirty when they start to fix his ear: 8/10. Crying about the pulse oximeter probe on his finger and the stickers on his chest so he can be monitored during his ketamine trip: 7/10. (By the way, he was sutured up in Room 17 - the very first room I ever used ketamine in… that’s kinda cool.) Number of times he asked to have the pulse oximeter and IV taken out after it was all said & done: between 150 and 900.

I’ve posted some pictures of the ear for you sickos who like the gore. Thanks to my wonderful wife Trlica, who recommended WD-40 to remove the sticky residue from his chest and hand (recommended as a joke). …it worked great! (NOTE: This is not a professional recommendation - attempt at your own risk.)


“Summer” 2009

Well, I figure the blog ain’t gonna update itself, so I guess I’ll get off my duff since I’ve got a couple of hours to kill as we drive to Grapevine for a weekend full of Grammy & G-Dad, and lots & lots of water!
Let’s see - our last update was in May. Quite a bit has happened since then. Celeste graduated kindergarten and had her 6th birthday. I helped her engineer an egg-protector for an egg-drop contest. Please don’t come to me to engineer stuff like this… you’ll be disappointed. The egg… “died” in the event.
Celeste and Jackson have also been in swim lessons at Montessori this summer. They have both learned a lot in the month that they have taken the lessons: Celeste “can” swim indefinitely, but prefers short breath-holding spurts. Jackson… well, he thinks he can swim indefinitely, but only because he doesn’t realize that “breath-holding spurts” are actually dependent on “breathing” - which he can’t quite manage yet. To illustrate: We went to the lake last weekend and let the kids play with their (effective) cousins Katie & Kameron. While throwing the kids around the pool, there were several instances where a body floated into me… it was my son Jackson assuming I knew he was en-route from the steps of the pool. Fortunately, his aim was true and he never realized the danger he posed to himself. (Don’t be calling CPS - he was being watched - sort of. I would have definitely figured out he was drowning within 60 seconds, so it would have all been good.)
Trlica and I also celebrated our 13th anniversary in June at a place in the Florida keys called Little Palm Island. For anyone looking to truly pamper themselves, we highly recommend it. It’s the kind of place where you tell ‘em your name once, and they never ask again. No tickets to sign - just order, eat, and leave. The SCUBA was excellent - 2nd best dive site I’ve been to (better than the Great Barrier Reef site I went to, but not quite as good as one of the remote islands out of Belize). Sharks, schools and schools of beautiful fish, eagle rays, turtles, and even little baby squid about 2 inches long… I got some good video of the stuff too - it should be on the website before long (currently under production).
We spent the 4th of July helping out the new church being launched by FUMC Pearland - One Church. Trlica worked - I wrangled kids. After the sun went down, we sat back and watched a great fireworks display (say this: Fi-Er-Works… kids favorite instructions to one another for the following 2 weeks). Jackson’s thought regarding the fireworks: “Say Yee-Ha Daddy! Louder!” Celeste: “This is the best day of my life.” We thought that might be stretching it a little, but she really did have a good time.
Redid the flowerbed with the blackberry bushes in the backyard - took out all the weeds and dirt and laid down a pond liner and covered it with gravel / bordered it with rock. We’re doing a potted garden for a while and see how that goes… so far: less maintenance! Woo hoo! I now have to do the “big” bed… not looking forward to that.
Our property is doing pretty good - we have bananas growing fine, and a couple of papaya trees have popped up (planted in March - took ‘em long enough). Killed the pomegranate tree and probably have killed the avocado tree. You gotta be tough to hang with me as a gardener. On the upside - we may be getting electricity out there soon, so that I don’t have to run a generator to water the plants. We solved our “road” problem relating to “formal subdivision” of our property by buying the lot in question off our neighbors (they found a different lot they were happy with). So - now we own 4 acres! This year’s hay ride promises to be ’spooky’. Muhahaha!
Electric car: nothing to report. They’re still working on battery stuff. Touchy subject with me these days, but God willing, it will be in the next few weeks. Will definitely keep you posted on that front.

Do they have drinks there?

Do they have drinks there?

So, almost every time we decide to go out to eat, Jackson asks “Do they have drinks there?”
A strange concern from a boy who rarely finishes his drinks with dinner at home.


SWACK IT! What is it you ask? It is the new game invented by Celeste and Jackson Kennedy,
Here are the rules: Get two players with stick horses. Turn the stick horses upside down.
Now get some balls - any kind, tennis, football, soccer, small, large, whatever you have on
hand. Now, line the balls up where the edge of the carpet meets the hardwood floor, hold
on to your upside down stick horse and…. SWACK IT! That’s right, hit those balls with
the stickhorse heads. The other player just tries to swack it back. Now, I am told that
in this game, cheating is allowed, but I don’t have a good handle on exactly how that works.
If it is permitted, why is it still called cheating? I’ll have to get more details from
Celeste on that rule point. Now, if a third player wants to join,
(like mommy), and you only have two stickhorses, that is okay, just have mommy grab any old
thing on hand that she can SWACK IT with (such as a raquetball racket?). Good fun!

Cars, Remote Con”Trolls”, Peter Pan & Rainbows

Celeste 2009
Lots going on lately. We’ll start with the electric car. We took delivery of it on March 7th, but it is in an unfinished state. The battery management system (aka “BMS”: controls charging, tracking current, etc) was taken out before delivery because A) one of the chips used in the 6 boards that report to the BMS blew 6 weeks ago and the part is “on backorder”… whatever that means, and B) the software part of the system has an as of yet undetermined flaw, where it looks like it works fine, but in fact, does not. This is an important part of the car, so we’re a little anxious about this issue. There was also a problem with the DC-DC voltage converter that allows the 160V system to run the 12V equipment “blowing” right before they brought it to Houston. So, we can drive the car, but only a short distance, since the power steering is being run off of a pretty small battery. Still, in all, it has been pretty cool to drive and get to know.

Next, we have Jackson. He has developed a love for the “Troll” song on the kids CD in my car. He has a general concept that the story deals with a monster that lives under a bridge, but whenever he asks for the song (or wants to “play” the game), he asks for the “Remote Con-Troll.” Kids… cute. Speaking of trolls & monsters & the sort, he’s still feels compelled to “tell us about Christmas” before bedtime, but now, there is a mandatory “purging of the monsters” - which includes: trolls, spiders, bears, ghosts, monsters, crabs, and Peter Pan. We’re not sure why Peter Pan is on the list, but for some reason… Peter Pan is Jackson’s nemesis.

Celeste… she’s so sweet. It’s all hearts and rainbows with her. We’re posting the picture so you can see for yourself.

Gardening - going OK. The trellis for the kiwis is in the ground. I was going to plant the kiwis and bananas this weekend, but the dirt store was closed. I’ll have to do it in the middle of the week next week. Will also be breaking into the several hundred pounds of fertilizer I bought for the summer. Yeah, boy!

Let me tell you about Christmas

There’s Nene & PePa
Grammy & G Dad
Tori, Eric, Christy & Big Eric
Little Santa & Big Santa
KK and (Who’s that boy?) (affirms: KK)
and Casie

“What?” You ask. Well, in the exhiliration of the pre-holiday season, Jackson began (in October) to “tell us” about Thanksgiving. Trlica and I had told him that we were going to see NeNe & PePa and then Grammy & G Dad for Thanksgiving. So, …every night until Thanksgiving, we got the “list” of people we were going to be seeing. Naturally, the list got bigger & bigger, and after Thanksgiving was over, it changed to “let me tell you about Christmas” - which not only continued UNTIL Christmas, but continues to this day. We’re not sure what the motivation for bringing it up these days is, but it’s the nightly broadcast, and we’ll miss it someday when it’s gone. We’ll see if we can get some audio of it to put on the site before long.

Also, I’m pretty sure the answer to: “Daddy - You don’t want to get poo-poo on yourself?” is “No.” Not sure why he sees fit to ask THAT question every night as well, but it’s just as cherished.


This & That

Couple of agenda items here.
1) Trlica completed our 2008 Park City winter vacation video this weekend. We’ve uploaded it to the site - you can check it out here. It may be 10 months old, but at least we got around to it! Tra puts more sassy into the videos than I do - I like it!
2) We were expecting to have the electric car by now, but a few issues have cropped up - one of the battery controller boards was no good, and the heater controller melted. We’re still hopeful it will be very soon.
3) Santa brought Celeste 4 fish for Christmas. The small one (Seashell) died pretty early, and they buried it while I was on call. (Don’t tell them this next part please… we’d rather they read it when they turn 8 or 10 or however old they will be when they start reading websites… this one they will probably never read because their lame parents wrote it….) Well, one of the twin gouramis (kissing fish - thus the two) “Finny 1″ died about 10 days ago, but we were quick enough to replace it with an almost exact duplicate, unbeknownst to the kids. And it died! So we did it again! And the third gourami died! The tank is new and the chemistry is a bit off (we’re correcting that now… it’ll probably kill the two “hearty” fish that have survived), plus the surviving gourami may have actually murdered the newest fish… we’re not 100% sure, but the fish died within 12 hours. Anyway, we figured we would limit our losses and let the kids experience another death.
Jackson seemed a little bit sadder than Celeste, who proclaimed: “When the other two fish are dead, can I have the rocks at the bottom?” — Yeah, we’ve got some work to do in the empathy / sympathy department. Kids….

Damnit! (Oh yes - and Happy New Year!)

So, Jackson learned the word “Damnit.” Evidently, he learned it from his old man. Jackson was playing with a “Hop on Pop” ornament when we were setting up the tree this year, and after playing with it, he threw it down. It broke. In exasperation, I shouted “Damnit Jackson” and the proceeded to fix the ornament while life went on.

Well, today Trlica picks up the ornament and is getting ready to put it back into storage, and Jackson informs her: “Daddy said ‘Damnit’ about that.” On the upside, the boy is capable of recalling subtle details weeks after they occur. Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll be taking home the Father of the Year Award this year.

Yeah Dad! (Thumbs up x 2) — Happy 2009 Everyone.

Merry Christmas!!! (On Christmas!)

We had a very Merry Christmas here at the Kennedy homestead, and we hope you did too. We spent Christmas Eve baking & decorating cookies for Santa. We awoke this morning to the bounty of Santa’s sack - the big winner for Celeste: fish (second alternate in the “pet” department behind dog and cat… “allergies” officially, but pee & poop factor into the equation). For Jackson: trains - Thomas and about 40 of his “closest” friends. We’ve got almost as much train as track around here. He’s happy as a clam though.

Tra fixed a wonderful Christmas dinner. We usually go “alternative” on our family’s Christmas fare since we’ve spent most of the month and latter part of last month gorging on turkey and dressing. We went with “our” customary dish: butternut squash and hazelnut lasagna - mmm, mmm good. This year Tra went all out and fixed a honey roasted root vegetable (parsnip, turnip, beet, and carrot) side dish that was also quite delicious. We had our traditional spinach salad with poppyseed dressing, mandarin oranges, and candy roasted almonds, but we added pomegranate seeds this year - we liked it: it’s the new tradition!

We also finished off the evening with a slumber party - Jackson is sleeping over in Celeste’s room tonight. We’ll see how late that goes on. We’ll be happy if they just stay in the room - they’ve already come out about 1225 times to keep their excitement from boiling over. It’s fun. Kids are great. Life is good.

Hoping you all have a safe and happy season. The Christmas cards are coming out this week (late of course - gotta respect tradition, eh?). We also did something new this year: a Christmas video. Check it out if you like: 2008 Christmas video - but we mostly did it so we’d have something to do 20 years from now… how time flies.