I spent a great weekend with Kristen and Logan out in Richmond. With
James living and working in the Bay Area now, Kristen has been by
herself with Logan for a couple of months while they wait for someone
to buy their house. It’s been difficult for her preparing the house for
showings and keeping it spotless when Logan wants to throw his toys
around the house. Thankfully, the realtor has been great about giving
Kristen plenty of notice when she wants to bring someone by. The
separation has been the most difficult part for them as Kristen sends
James dozens of pictures and videos of Logan from her cell phone each
week. Because of his work hours, it’s really difficult for James to fly
out for a weekend. Plus, Kristen says James is no fun to be around
when he flies a red-eye. He finally recovers just as it’s time to go
I took a couple of vacation days and flew on a red-eye Thursday night
so Kristen could have a couple days of grown-up conversation and I’m
more than happy to help out with toddler chasing. The flight loads were
pretty full out of LGB, so Bill, Louie and Nicole drove me out to
Burbank. Louie is the IT guy for BUR so the customer service agent was
more than happy to help out the wife of Louie’s manager. I was
blessed with an isle seat in the exit row, and no one seated in the
middle seat. I love the exit row for a long flight as I have an easier
time sleeping when I can rest my head on the tray table. But because
the flight left at 9pm, I just wasn’t ready for bed yet. Pretty severe
tubrulance over Chicago reinforced that I wasn’t going to get any
sleep. I just bounced along catching five minutes of sleep at a time on
my tray table while listening to Gershwin on my iPod. The tailwinds got
us into JFK around 4:30am EST, so I had over three hours to kill. It
was nice to walk around JFK so early in the morning as it was pretty
empty. Around 6am it started to fill up as the early morning flights to
Florida and the Caribbean began to board. I was tempted by the flights
boarding at the same time as my flight… I imagined the voicemail
message: “Sorry Kristen, the flight to Aruba was boarding at the same
time and I just got on the wrong plane!”
I took lots of photos as James requested… there are no photos of me… as usual. James, I’ll put all of these, plus the videos on a DVD for you.
My flight to RIC arrived on time just after 9:30am. Kristen and Logan
met me near baggage claim as Kristen takes every opportunity to let
Logan run around in an open space. I was welcomed by sunshine and temps
in the low 80s. It was really beautiful. Their realtor was showing the
house to a few potential buyers around 10:30, so we went to Quiznos for
some sandwiches and took them to a park near their house. Deep Run Park
is really great with a couple of playgrounds, a man-made lake with
ducks and geese, covered picnic shelters and lots of running and biking
trails. Logan really had a good time throwing rocks and sticks into the
water. He loves playing on the swing, but has a hard time understanding
that he has to wait his turn if someone else us swinging.
Some photos from the park:
Throwing rocks into the water.
Talking to Mommy through the porthole of his boat.
Going down the slide… awkwardly.
Chillin on the motorcycle.
He was a little bit afraid of the geese, he had to hold Mommy’s hand.
Another thing he really enjoys is walking through the crunchy leaves instead of on the trails.
The warm weather was taking it’s toll and we headed home for a nap. I passed out as soon as my head hit the couch. I only vaguely remember
Kristen asking me if I wanted a blanket.
Later in the afternoon we hung around the house getting Logan’s dinner ready and debating what us grown-up were going to do for dinner.
Here he demonstrates how he does yoga:
And then falls over laughing:
I have a funny video of this, I just need to do some editing to make it small enough to post.
He then proceeded to show me where his belly button is:
He also showed me where his ears, eyes, mouth, feet, fingers, and teeth are. It’s amazing how much his comprehension has improved since I last saw him over New Years. He repeats almost anything he hears and he loves to sing and dance. When we’re in the car, he has an incredible memory of where he’s been. When we were around the corner from a school he started saying, “bus! bus!.” When we were a few blocks from a construction site he started saying, “cuck! cuck!” (truck)
Saturday morning I woke up to the sounds of him laughing and playing around 6am. I was able to sleep a little longer until I wanted to play too. We all had some breakfast before heading out to the mall to look around for some new shoes. I was in the market for some new running/walking sneakers and we looked around for some new shoes for Logan. It wasn’t as fun because the temps dropped into the low 40s with a wind that made it feel even colder. What happened to the sun!?!?!? We pulled into the parking lot of an outdoor mall and he started
yelling, “train! train!” This particular mall has a small
choo-choo-train driven by an adult, that putts around the mall for
little kids. It’s absolutely hilarious to watch Logan chase after it. Kristen has consciously kept him from actually riding it until it’s ready to move, because it costs $2 per person to ride.
On Saturday she let him sit in it for a little while. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
Next we drove to Petsmart because, on Saturdays, they bring in a bunch of dogs that are ready to be adopted. I guess Logan loves dogs and knew immediately when we pulled up that he was going to see them. They only had two puppies and about a dozen mid-sized dogs. Logan was a little afraid of the bigger dogs as they were pretty excited to be around so many people. He preferred to watch them from Mommy’s arms. I was excited to see some puppy clothing that I designed:
For some reason Logan felt he needed to demonstrate the noise that a lawnmower makes… thankfully the restaurant was already pretty loud and busy. His noise went un-noticed. It was pretty funny though.
This is why I don’t like to use the flash… where did the background go?
After lunch we all took a nap. It’s amazing how an afternoon nap can solve anything and everything and make you feel wonderful. We woke up a little early after the realtor called with a couple of people wanting to see the house. We were happy to oblige getting out butts out of there. We went back to Deep Run Park to play. Because of the chilly weather, we knew there would be fewer people this time. The wind had died down and the temp was up to about 55 degrees.
Sometimes he would lean his head back and watch the sky with a very calm and peaceful look on his face. I never got a good shot of him doing that. Other times he would stick out one hand trying to give me a high five.
He had a lot of fun playing on the jungle-gym. I kept trying to get him to go down the slide and instead he made a game of sneaking up on me.
After three laps, I was tired. He then started trying to sneak up on both of us by yelling through the random portholes and openings in the jungle-gym. It was really hilarious. I have video of this too.
We walked around the park a bit and then we went to go see the “alligator.” There’s a fallen tree that sticks out of the water near the shore. Logan insists that it’s an alligator. Kristen explained that when he first started calling it an alligator, she corrected him and he argued with her. He then got really frustrated and yelled, “NO! ALLIGATOR!” So, it’s an alligator now.
The stick in question is in the middle of the image, half submerged. Logan was throwing sticks and rocks at it. The ducks thought he was throwing food to them. At one point he became demanding and insisted that we hand him rocks and sticks. Kristen was quick to remind him that he can pick them up himself.
We headed home after playing at the park with grumbling tummys. With all the running around at the park, Logan went to sleep pretty well.
Sunday morning started earlier than normal with Logan up and in a foul mood. He didn’t sleep very well because of a runny nose. But we were up and out the door by 10am so the realtor could bring someone by to see the house. It was a little exciting as these people were visiting the house for a second time. Repeaters are always good! Lucky us, we were greeted with temps in the low 40s and sleet. (this was a first for me…. sleet… kind of like runny hail, eh?)
We had a late breakfast a Bob Evans where we enjoyed a hearty breakfast… with sweet tea. Logan had the grilled cheese with some cantalope and a cup of water with an extra twisty straw. He thought that was pretty cool.
Logan enjoyed knawing on a wedge of lemon. (We know it’s not good for
his teeth, he only had it for a little while.) BTW, James feels like
he’s been slighted because Logan likes lemons. He really wanted a funny
video of a baby reacting to a sour lemon. It’ll have to be with the next
As we were finishing our lunch/brekafast, the realtor called Kristen with some fantastic news. Someone was placing an offer on their house. And she was pretty confident that a second offer would be made later that day too. Yay! Kristen called James as soon as we got in the car and we all giggled with excitement.
After lunch we all had our afternoon nap. Again, why do we stop taking a nap when we bcome adults? They are glorious! Kristen and I didn’t sleep very well with the excitement a prospective buyer. Hee hee.
The realtor had scheduled an open house on Sunday from 3:30pm til 5pm, so we chased Logan around an indoor mall to kill some time. A little after 5 we headed back home and James’ cousin Matthew joined us. He had offered to babysit while Kristen and I went to have dinner and a movie sans baby. We had a great dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. We shared a fried calamari appetizer and Kristen endulged with a pre-meal milkshake. After dinner we went a saw Horton Hears a Who! This was one of the few Dr. Seuss books that I actually hadn’t read. The film really surprised me. I didn’t expect much from it, but it was quite good. Jim Carey, Steve Carell, and Carol Burnett are a few of the stars who lend their voices for the film. Even though Kristen and I both thought it was hilarious that we went to a kids movie once we were without a kid, it was still good, even for grown-ups. I recommend it.
Monday morning we were out the door early to get me to the airport. My flight to JFK was uneventful, as it should be. As I got off the plane, I had just enough time to purchase a ridiculously expensive sandwich and board my plane to Long Beach. I was on one of jetBlue’s newest A320s with a newly designed interior cabin. The overhead bins are a little bigger, the curve of the bulkhead is a little less giving tall people a bit more headroom when they sit in the window seats. The new seats are made by Recaro, a company well known for making fancy racing seats for cars. The new seats have a significantly thinner profile and give everyone a little more legroom. The legroom wasn’t really noticable to me, but I did notice more room between my head and the seat in front of me. Overall, I was impressed. It was a decent flight… which was nice because it was about six hours long due to a strong headwind. I watched one of the inflight movies, Juno. I hand’t seen it and I really thought it was cute. The witty humor was mixed very well with a pretty serious subject. I might buy the DVD for that one.
I got home just after 3pm and Bill was more than happy to leave work early to drive me home. I was very tired, but I didn’t want an afternoon nap. I knew I’d sleep way too long with no Logan to wake me up. So we went and test drove a couple of cars: the ’09 Toyota Corolla and the ’09 Mazda3 Hatchback. I’ll talk more about them later after I’ve had a chance to test drive some other cars and form an opinion.
I text messaged Kristen to find out more info on the two people who placed offers on their house. They accepted one offer and will tentatively close escrow on April 30th. Happy dancing commenced. We’re all so thrilled that there’s an end in sight!
Please pardon Mom’s comment about a house buyer, she posted that comment before I finished updating this post.
Also, Michael posted a blog entry from his trip to Disneyland with
Sara’s family. He doesn’t update often enough to make bookmarking it
worth while (hint hint), but here’s his blog: Michael’s Blog.