Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Latest Mtn Bike Adventure

I took the afternoon off work on Friday to go ride my mountain bike at the local state park, because, for probably the only time the rest of this summer, the temps were below 80 degrees and the humidity was low so I HAD to take advantage of it. This was my first time back on the mountain bike on actual off-road trails since my weekend trip to Pisgah Nat'l Forest in North Carolina about a year and a half ago where, on about mile 38 of approximately 40 total miles we rode that weekend, I caught a tree with my right shoulder going way faster than I should have on a trail I was not familiar with. I believe that crash, while it didn't really hurt at the time, contributed to my need to have shoulder surgery in January of this year.
So, here I was. My first time back on the bike, and while I was just riding at the local state park, these are no easy trails so I didn't get much of a warm-up. My trip started at the bottom of the mountain on some moderate trails that eventually led to a paved road for a VERY steep climb to the rest of the trail system at the top of the mountain. When I took the paved road I decided to lock my front suspension to get better power from my pedals to the wheels to make my climb a bit easier. The problem was that I forgot to unlock my suspension when I resumed riding the rocky, rooty, skinny, uneven trails at the top of the mountain. I approached a large rock with a drop-off about a foot high that was perched on a downhill section of the trail. I thought nothing of it because it didn't look too bad and I've ridden it plenty of times with no incident. Unfortunately, because my front suspension was locked the momentem of the bike carried me off the drop off and kept on carrying me straight over the handlebars until I was face first in the dirt with my bike on top of me. If it had happened to someone else I'm sure I would have laughed hysterically because I KNOW it looked funny, but it wasn't funny this time because it happened to me and it HURT! The end result...

...a busted up forehead and bike helmet split completely in two (picture looking at inside front of helmet above). The helmet definitely did its job by absorbing most of the impact. If I hadn't been wearing it I would have been in a pretty bad situation, because, as it was, it took about 15 minutes for the dizzyness to wear off.
But, that's part of the allure of the least for me. Life can be boring (and severly damaging to your general fitness level) when you live 40+ hours per week in a cubicle so I jump at the opportunities to get outside, get some exercise, and add a little excitement to my day whenever they present themselves. Besides, my new scar is a good conversation starter! For example, the family and I were having lunch downtown today when a little boy (about 5-7ish) looked at me in the restaurant and asked, "Hey, what's wrong with your head?". Thanks, kid.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Palmer Walking

The broken leg definitely set him back, but at just over 1 year old the boy is finally walking on his own. The two videos below were taken last weekend. Just a few days earlier, Mel and I were sitting in the floor across from each other and he would take one or two steps and then lunge for us knowing that we would catch him. Even more impressive is that last night (only four days after he really started walking on his own) I watched him climb by himself up the slide part of the pastic slide in the kitchen, turn around, and intentionally push himself off to slide back help from anyone. Of course, he lost his balance hit his head and nearly freaked out, but whatever...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Trip to Morgantown, WV

Okay, so the only reason I'm posting pics to the blog at 11:15pm on a weeknight is b/c Cassie already has pics up from our visit this past weekend. I can't say I'm surprised...she has no life to speak of. :) We had a great time and appreciate Cassie and Justin hosting us for a couple days.

Watching Harrison imitate Justin's laugh was one of the highlights of our trip to Morgantown last weekend. Lucky for you, Justin, his impersonation still needs some work.

Lucy enjoying her evening walk.

Harrison and Bailey had a great time playing together...especially in the playroom downstairs where they could be as loud as they wanted to be.

On Saturday, we took a little drive through Morgantown to see the sights. As you can see, Bailey was mesmerized!!!

I spent some time teaching Palmer the ropes of driving during a break in our trip home on Sunday. He now knows how to turn on the windshield fact, he is quite skilled at it.

Bailey chillin in the backseat watching movies on our trip home. She certainly had plenty of time to do so. The night before we left to return home Palmer decided he didn't need to sleep much. The result was that he was asleep before we even got out of Morgantown. He woke up two hours later around lunchtime, but, after that, he slept off and on for the next five-and-a-half hours. We literally did not make a stop from the time we left New River Gorge in WV until we got to Greenville!
All in all, both the trip to WV and the trip home were quite successful and the kids did wonderfully.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Palmer's First Cast

We're always excited to show off our childrens' "firsts"...first crawl, first word, first step. Well, how about their first real a broken tibia and fibula. At only 11 months old Palmer certainly beat me to my first cast. I think I was in middle school before I actually had anything casted. Luckily, P hasn't shown any annoyance at his new friend, it's not slowing him down from crawling all over the place, and he is only scheduled to wear it for three weeks.
We're not positive but we think it happened while he was sliding in Mel's lap down one of those big inflatable slides at "Pump It Up" here in Greenville. The only plausible explanation is that his foot got caught under Mel's leg as they went down the slide, b/c she says he started crying when they got to the bottom of the slide and pretty much didn't stop the rest of the time they were there. This all happened on Saturday morning (4/24). He was in a good bit of pain at times throughout the day on Saturday, but at that time we had no clue what the problem could be. We finally pinpointed to the area around his foot when we came up with our hypothesis about his foot getting caught during the slide. It wasn't bruised or ever swollen all that much so we figured he may have just sprained it. We gave him some infant Motrin which helped and decided to watch him throughout the weekend to see if it would get better.
It did, in fact, get better; although he couldn't support his weight on that leg when he tried to stand up and would topple over onto the floor. So, when that trend continued through Monday Mel set up a doc appointment for the following morning. Dr. Moll referred him to the hospital for x-rays whereupon we learned it was broken. I met them at the hospital (after having been at work for a whole 45 minutes) and a short time later I found myself holding him in the casting room having the kind of father-son bonding moment I didn't think I would be having this early on.
Good news is he should be better soon and that it was a very simple break that will heal up with no impact to his ankle joint. Let's just hope he doesn't manage to wiggle out of the cast during the next few weeks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April Pics (Including Easter)

Here are a few pictures from the month of April...yes, the month that is only 14 days old at the time of this post. This post is as big as many of my other posts that cover an entire month!

The daycare was closed on Good Friday so I took off work and kept the kids while Mel worked. We went to the zoo that morning and then met Mel for lunch downtown before heading home for a nap.

Bailey definitely enjoyed the animals and Palmer showed interest from time to time, as well.
Here we are at the church on Easter morning.

Bailey and Palmer on the church grounds Easter morning.

The kids hanging in front of our church. You know, its not THE most beautiful church I've ever seen but there is definitely something about it that I love. I guess that's a good thing, huh?

Palmer looks thouroughly unimpressed with the flowers Bailey is giving him. At-a-boy!!!

Bailey got a pig neck pillow, among other things, in her Easter basket. Mel picked it up for her b/c whenever we travel and Bailey falls asleep her head falls over b/c she is in an upright position. The only problem is that the neck pillow is a little too thick and it makes her look like she is wearing a neck brace. I'm not sure she'll ever actually fall asleep with it around her neck.
Since my birthday was on Easter I opened a few presents, as well. Palmer loved the tissue paper while Bailey loved helping me open the boxes.

Bailey with her Easter basket and the eggs she and Mel dyed.

We headed to the Greenville Drive game this past Friday night for the Drive's first Friday night game of the season. I know the kids are too backlit to really show up well but I wanted to post this pic anyway. We had great seats...second row off the visitor's dugout on the third base side.

Our stadium has a children's playground in the stadium that we visited a couple times throughout the game. Bailey, of course, was in her element.

Palmer had a good time in the playground too; although, we kept him away from the actual playground equipment b/c there were some crazy kids running around in there. Poor P wouldn't have survived long.

The Sunday following Easter our Sunday school class held our annual Easter egg hunt for the kids. It was supposed to be Palm Sunday but it got rained out. Unfortunately, a number of people were out of town (or watching the final round of The Masters) and didn't make it so the kids in the picture represent maybe one-half of the total number of children that belong to our class!

Bailey finding an Easter egg under a slide in the church's playground.

Here, Bailey is checking out what's inside one of the eggs she found.

Palmer at the Easter egg hunt.

Palmer Eating and Clapping

Here's a short video of Palmer feeding himself and clapping. He's been doing this now for a couple weeks or so but I'm just now getting some video of it up on the blog. I hope everyone can see the video this time.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bailey Wuz Here

Sorry, buddy...get used to it. Actually, Palmer made out better than I did. I fell victim to Bailey and her stickers, as well. What's better (or worse, depending on your perspective) is that all this transpired while we waited for the pizza delivery guy to show up. By the time he finally did I had completely forgotten that my face was covered in stickers and I answered the door with a "what's up", wrote out the check, yelled at the dog for trying to jump up on the guy, and finished with a smooth "take it easy, man". Nice, Clark...real nice! Thanks goes out to Melanie and her friend, Rosemary, for pointing out the obvious to me AFTER I came back inside.

Second (and Potentially Last) Snow of 2010

So, I've heard the videos from the previous post wouldn't play for most, if not all, people who attempted to view them. I think that's why God graced Greenville with a second I can post pictures instead of video this time.

Here we are in our driveway getting ready to do some sledding with Bailey. Poor Palmer was so bundled up I'm not sure he was able to move.

With the first snow, Pops just happened to be in town. With this snow, Grammy just happened to be in town. In fact, Grammy fought heavy snowfall all the way from Birmingham to Greenville on her way up. We're definitely glad she didn't wait one day later to come.

Bailey and Ava enjoyed playing with the snow piled up in the back of Quay's truck.

Me and Palmer.

Here's what our house looks like under 4 inches of snow. Cassie, how long has it been since y'all only had 4 inches on the ground?

Our dogwood in the front yard looked like a giant cotton plant.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

First (and Potentially Only) Snow of 2010

The last weekend in January 2010 we got a little snow and ice. Luckily, we knew it was coming so I went to Dick's Sporting Goods during my lunch break the day before the weather hit and bought an inflatable snow tube for Bailey. Pops happened to be staying with us that weekend and indicated that he had an automatic air pump we could use to inflate the 56" round tube. When we realized his pump wouldn't attach correctly to the tube's nozzle he heroically blew the entire thing up my mouth. Now that was one impressive display of hot air! :) The first day of the snow and ice we mostly spent inside b/c the wind was really cold, but we did get outside for a little while. Check out this footage...

The next day, Quay, Erica, and Ava came up from their house to join in on some more sledding. By this time Pops and left for home and since I'm currently nursing a surgically-repaired shoulder and couldn't very well go chasing Bailey down an ice-covered hill I devised an ingenious plan to tie a rope to one of the handles of the snow tube so I could stand at the top of our yard, push, and simply reel my daughter back in like a fish once the rope caught (all with my good arm, of course). We really only had one mishap when Quay gave the girls a slightly harder push than normal and Bailey shot off the tube into a perfect Pete Rose slide onto the street. Like any good dad I took my time coming to her rescue in favor of getting it all on camera. The drama lasted all of about 2 minutes when I plopped her right back on the tube and sent her down the hill again. After that, it was ancient history. Below, Quay is doing the pushing (and reeling) while Bailey and Ava shout out orders...this is not the footage of Bailey's Pete Rose imitation.

Even Oscar (Quay's dog) got in on the sledding action...

We finally did get Palmer out for awhile and set him down in the tube for a photo op, but that was about it. Next year, he'll be ready to rock, though.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

November & December 2009

In an effort to catch up to the new decade I am posting November and December 2009 pics in the same post. Enjoy!

Bailey hugging on Palmer in the front yard one afternoon.

Bailey wiping a booger...I mean, kissing Palmer.

Bailey helped me rake leaves in the backyard so, naturally, we took a break and played in them afterwards.

Bailey and Mel swinging on the rope swing I built earlier in the summer.

Palmer chilling on the deck on a warm November afternoon.

Palmer at Sugar Pops' and Gran's (Mel's parents) house during Thanksgiving.

Bailey and Palmer hanging out in the den. Bailey is actually sitting in an old wooden rocking chair that Big Daddy and Grandma (my grandparents) brought during a recent visit. This rocking chair has been in the family since at least I was Bailey's age and I think long before that, as well.

This was our Christmas card picture for 2009. It was kind of thrown together at the last minute but turned out pretty well.

While at Papa's and Grammy's (my parents) house for Christmas we took Bailey and her cousin, Harrison, on a wagon ride.

We made sure to get a four-generation picture of the guys while we were home for Christmas.

Bailey and Harrison eating Christmas Eve dinner at Big Daddy's and Grandma's house.

Instead of Christmas Eve dinner, Lucy (Harrison's little sister) decided to eat wooden blocks.

Grammy gave Palmer plenty of squeezes during Christmas. It's a good thing he hadn't just eaten.

Justin guarding the spread.

Christmas morning at Papa's and Grammy's house.

Cassie and Lucy opening presents.

Papa and Grammy got everyone Siberian-weather tobaggins for Christmas. Lucy wouldn't keep hers on long enough for our cameras to even focus.

We got Harrison a Black & Decker construction workers uniform and tools.

Palmer working on one of his presents.

Bailey got a baby doll that makes drinking noises, burps, falls to sleep and snores, wakes back up, laughs when you squeeze her tummy, and cries when you pinch her hand. To get her to laugh, Bailey puts her on the floor and uses her entire palm to push on her stomach. It looks a bit like she's giving her baby CPR.

Bailey and I went hunting for a Christmas tree and found the perfect one (that was too tall for our house and fell at least once after we finally got it up).

She didn't make much progress, but she gave it her best effort.