Tag Archives: family

Long overdue beach week blog

I think letting this much time pass after beach week before writing the blog was a bad thing. Now that it has been a while it feels like it was a good vacation. It wasn’t. Everyone got sick, it was fairly cold, and I never ate an actual burger form dune burger.

Well, about halfway through the week I started taking score. This pretty much sums up the week.

Beach week score

  • 1 – 102° fever
  • 1 – Vomit covered couch
  • 1 – Diaper rash so bad it bled
  • 1 – Not quite severed finger
  • 5 – Peoples less than healthy
  • 2 – Trips to the doctor
  • 1 – Rescued frog from the pool
  • 2 – Not quite so rescued crabs from pool
  • 0 – Nights of solid sleep
  • 5 – Trips to dune burger
  • 3 – Trips to Kitty Hawk
  • 1 – Never ending smoke alarm
  • 1 – Foot splinter the size of a tooth pick
  • 0 – Drownings
  • 3 – Lbs of bacon
  • 3 – Sub par offers on our house
  • 1 – Termite damaged bath room (@ Belgrave)
  • 25 – Muchkins
  • 1 – Gate injury
  • 1 – Fence Injury
  • 1 – Poo stain on the carpet
  • 1 – Case of vertigo
  • 1 – Fly up the nose
  • 1 – Cube of beef in the ear
  • N – High centered senors on baby gates
  • 1 – Cat unresponsive to antibiotics
  • 0 – Exploding oil pans on I-295

Clearly there is plenty to be grateful on that list, but plenty that made for a less than ideal vacation.

Still, it is nice to have a photogenic set o’ kids:


Lars going eagle style on that shell.


Lars and his pops on Life is Good shirt day


Convincing grandpa that Hawaiian shirts are cool


Leah found some shells and they are pretty


Taking her brother out to the lighthouse


Nene with them kids on Life is Good shirt day



Family movie night, part duex.

We had family movie night again tonight. It was our second. This time we watched Madagascar 2, which had plenty of inappropriate content that was very appropriately hidden from preschooler. Plus it made Neal and I laugh a number of times.

After the movie was over, Neal played us a song he ad been working on on the guitar. Leah danced ballet. They were both surprisingly good. I taught Leah how to do a scale and a pirouette and she was able to reproduce on demand. I think we need to take her for dance, and I need to keep telling myself that ballet is like pretty wushu in a tutu.

The real memorable moment of the night was when I went up to tuck her in. First she pointed out that I had whiskers that I needed to shave and added that she would kiss me anyway. At this point I was willing to buy her a pony. Second she pointed out that her little stuffed cat was very tiny. I told her she was tiny, to which she agreed. Then she added “but you are big, so I will give you a big hug,” and threw both arms around my neck. “And a big kiss,” where she grabbed my head with both hands and crammed her kiss into my cheek with all the force her tiny arms could muster.

She is surprisingly strong.

Oh, the things I need to document

If you follow me on twitter (and if you read this I would guess you do) you probably have notice that Leah has a twitter account. Well, if you see a post there in quotes it is something she actually said. While twitter does a great job as for displaying one liners it is awkward to post the more nuanced converstaions with her there. And I personally think some of those are the most in need of keeping around.

For example, here is what was said a mere 2 min ago:

Chris (to the cat): Yeah, she is going commando.
Leah: MANDO!

OK, maybe not the best example, but I still think it is really funny. Of course that could be a lack of sleep making me all punchy.

The Russian Army

Guest post by Kelly

This week was a hard week. About this time last Sunday my brother informed me that while I was at church my parents had called to say that my Grandma Lawson had passed away. We’d been expecting it for a week so it wasn’t a shock, but it was still quite sad. She was my last grandparent. My mom had to play family peacemaker on top of grieving for her mother. Grandma never met Laurence. I certainly didn’t call or write often enough. And I had to explain death to Leah somehow since she had just seen my Grandma the month before and talked about her regularly.

The viewing was Tuesday night and I saw lots of family I hadn’t seen in a while. Services were first thing Wednesday morning and they were nicely done. And the kids brought some joy to an otherwise sad occasion.

None of this was the hard part of the week. Well, maybe telling Leah about death was hard.

The hard part of the week was the constant trials and tribulations thrown in our path from a logistical point of view. Here are just a few of the challenges we faced:

Chris was in SFO, leaving me to single parent it while I planned and packed – I did tell him to go ahead and go, but still, it’s harder when he’s not around
The garage at DCA is under construction and impossible to navigate
The check-in machines for American don’t deal well with split parties
Renting two cars from someone who didn’t realize we wanted two separate cars
Reconciling TomTom’s instructions and my dad’s pre-planned routes
Finding places to eat that are both kid friendly and dad friendly
Sharing a hotel room with two kids who have different nap schedules
The bazillion outlets and drawers in said hotel room that Lars was magnetically drawn to
The tornados
The 3:00 a.m. fire alarm – which the fire department didn’t show up to turn off until 3:30
Locking myself out of the room during the fire alarm while Lars was still inside and I didn’t yet know it was a false alarm
And of course the “moving the Russian Army” sized task of flying with two small kids half way across the country

And there was more to be sure, but I’m already placing a mental block on a lot of this past week. My bother and parents suffered through all of this with us Sextons and each had their own things to add to the list. None of us, except my mom, handled every situation with grace, but we were all still speaking to each other when we got home, and I think we’ll even be willing to hang out together again sometime soon.

So, hopefully this next week will be kinder to us all. We could sure use the break.

God bless you Grandma, we miss you lots, and you were worth every little bit of trouble that we went through!

May: The beginning of a summer of fun

Kelly and I have decided we are going to try our best to follow a summer of fun, and May was the start of it.

I have pictures to prove it.

Leah likes fountainses.

Fountain: 1. Laurence: 0.

Outside is fun for babies!

Playing Peek-a-boo!

This is how Thor relaxes.

Walking with dad in the sculpture garden.

The fountain in the sculpture garden.

There are more in the photo album .

That was a really good weekend.

It helps that it was a long weekend, but it also had quality content.

Saturday we went to Sweet Life Cafe and had an (almost) private show, met up with Beej to help on the kitchen (although we mostly just played at the park).

We wrapped up the day with Sean and Nina. We let them kids stay up a little later than normal so they could hang out. Discussion seemed to be centered around child development strategy and zombie board games.

Sunday we met one of Kelly’s friends and her family for Lunch at P.F. Chang’s over at Fairfax Square. Being a very hot and sunny day we decided to head over to the fountains. Luckily Kelly had preplanned and packed swimsuits for the kids. The boys were not so sure about this, but Leah was. She ran around with kids twice her size and had a blast. The impressive thing was the black eye she got. It was not impressive that she got a black eye, but rather she took the elbow to the face and didn’t miss a beat. That is a girl serious about her fun. Laurence on the other hand decided he had quite enough once he caught a fountain to the face.

For dinner we headed out to National Harbor and met with the Tres Tulli for a tasty dinner at Rosa Mexacana. Which we followed up with Neal and Leah climbing on “The Awakening” and Gelato. The highlight of the evening had to be when Neal’s dinner fought back and won. Now that’s spicy!

Today was a lazy day at home. I got up with Lars around 7:30, played for a bit and then he and I went down for morning naps around 9. Slept until noon. It was legendary.

The rest of the day was just spent wrangling kids, making an experimental dinner, watching a movie with the wife during a simulnap.

Potty training is war

Since last time I posted we have passed a few milestones here in the Sexton household. Laurence has gone from scooting to crawling and standing. Recently he has been starting to cruse around furniture while holding on. Started to get the controlled fall thing down. Baby break falling is pretty simple, if you are starting to topple — sit! His diaper helps pad the landing. Works out pretty well most of the time.

The other huge milestone was Leah’s. We officially have a potty trained toddler. We followed the book Potty Training Boot Camp which I think was a solid success. But it was not easy. There was plenty of crying, throwing tantrums, running naked and protesting — and that was just me. Leah had similar behavior. Now that the battle is over, we are better for it. Leah still stresses about it, but is getting better. We have been able to venture on longer car rides and walks with nary an accident.

We have persisted the bribe for peeing or pooping in the potty — and I am willing to continue it until her twenties if I have to — candy. that goes for anyone at Ft. Truxion: if you pee in the potty, all you have to do is 1) put your underwear back on and 2) do that “I did it dance” and you will receive candy.

Sweet deal.

HALP, he’s learned tools!

Lars loves the outside as long as he doesn’t have to touch it.


Taking care of our pretty flowers.

Leah and panda going on a short walk.

Playing with her little buddy.

Too tired for food.

See more in the album.

If I were my keys, where would I be.

I lost my keys. I really couldn’t find them. I looked everywhere they could be, everywhere that is within reach of a two and a half year old. The really crappy part is they have my hard token on them. I did not want to call IT and have to get a new one, with “director level” approval. Ugh.

Retraced my steps. Last time I saw them was when I had Kelly read me the secret numbers so I could send an email. On a side note: sending email takes way too much effort. I remember that she did this very clearly because she read the numbers upside down to start with. She claims that she then physically handed me the keys. But I firmly but disagreed. Oh, another side note: don’t disagree with your wife when it just doesn’t matter.

After going through the desk and my bag, we both agreed that little miss must have taken them. I seem to remember the ‘fixing’ of my tower with keys. And I think that occurred after the upside down number incident.

We pulled up the couch. Went through the fridge and cabinets. Litter box. Trash cans. Toy boxes.


I was in the kitchen going through the shoe pile when kelly announce that she ‘though she just heard them.’ Understanding that left to their own devices my keys do not make any sound I could only figure she was mocking me in some way. But nope, she had ninja like hearing and heard a little jingle when standing up from our desk chair.

Well that desk chair is a fancy feux Areon from Office Max, and happens to have an elabrate truss system for the lumbar support, that, from the point of view of a two year old, makes a hand place to store some fixin’ keys.

Had Kelly not heard them I don’t think I would have found them until the next time I disasemmebled my office chair. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t disassemble my office chair very often at all. Maybe I should start, who knows what I might find.

Overheard at Ft. Truxion

“I wanna be nakin”

“Nakin with the boys”

“I’m dancing nakin!”

“We are looking for the panda bear”

Some of those things make me, as the father of a daughter, very sad on the inside.