One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Monday, December 31, 2007

Almost Done

This is my second-to-last post involving Christmas photos (that's a hint to stay tuned...).

To the right you'll see our requisite kids-in-Christmas-garb-in-front-of-tree shot. You'll note the girls' delight in grappling a less-than-happy Sam, restraining him (red faced though he might be) for daddy's omnipresent camera.

Enjoy your physical dominance while you can, little girls. I suspect Sam might one day be able to fight back.

This last shot is of all (well almost all) of the Walkers and Walkers-in-law and chitluns out caroling. Specifically, this is on the Ostrom's doorstep. It's a large crowd, and thankfully the ladies are adept at keeping a tune. You'll see that Christine is at the center of the photo. What you might not see is that she is sitting at a Casio keyboard. That's right--she and Brian carted around the Casio to up the caroling ante. Now that is Christmas spirit (psychosis).

Friday, December 28, 2007


This one is a few months old, but I love the sequence (and I have some catching up to do). Annie was fast approaching the ripeness of full term pregnancy, so Chris and Brian decided to help things along with a good ol' fashioned ankle massage. Can't you see Christine's wicked expression?

Julia was intrigued by the process and climbed into Annie's diminishing lap. Brian then treated her to her own massage. She loved it.

She loved it so much that she decided to pay it forward and offer her mommy a leg rub of her own. Here she is smiling her heart out as she rubs her hands together to warm them up. Little did Julia know that within a few days time, she would cease to be the baby in the family. Sam was en route.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Come and Gone

Santa has come and gone, but I thought these photos were too good to pass up. I know there are roughly 4.5 million blogs with pictures like this on them right now, but my girls lend the whole event an extra dose of cuteness.

For once, no one cried, though Kate was shy. Genna asked for a Pocahontas dress (which mama later provided), and Julia announced that she was going to be a witch, a skeleton, and a cat for Halloween (she has her holidays mixed up). Santa took it all in stride.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Solstice

Sam, whether bibbed and bibless, would like to wish all of you a Merry Solstice. As an infant, he cannot quite grasp the profundity of Christmas. He has, however, noticed the lengthening nights, which equates to more sleep (thank you, circadian rhythms). That is a concept even someone with poor motor skills, a lack of self-awareness, and a drool-soaked chin can grasp.

The winter solstice is a bittersweet moment for Sam (and his parents). It marks the best night for sleep, but, as the low-water mark for day light hours, it serves as a harbinger for shorter nights to come. Or, as Sam puts it, "blppppt, gggggooo. BLPT."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

At the Beach

These beach photos seem a bit out of place in a December post, but they are recent. We took the kids to the beach last month for our wedding anniversary and had a blast, despite the best efforts of the fog and the driving wind.

Our first beach encounter involved hundreds upon hundreds of beached and rotting jelly fish. I had Julia squat down next to one to give a sense of proportion. She ended up eating three of them before we could stop her.

Despite the damp cold, the twins had no qualms about entering the surf. Genna quickly took up her sea sprite dance. Once she was done with that, Kate and Genna enjoyed a good hour of running from the surf and screaming, chasing the surf and screaming, falling down and screaming, getting back up and squealing, splashing each other and squealing...

... and then resting in quiet contemplation.

They sat for quite some time side by side, deep in conversation. I don't know what they were talking about, but no doubt it involved princesses, rainbows, the war in Iraq, jewelry, environmental conservation, Polly Pockets, unicorns, and immigration policy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Eat Your Heart Out, Griswald

For years now, my dad has labored for hours and wracked up obscene utilities bills each Christmas season to bedeck the family house with Christmas lights and ornamentation to bedazzle drivers-by. Each year he has upped the ante, adding more lights, reindeer, over-sized Christmas presents, a star high on the antenna (visible from I80), and even a penguin sailing scene (you saw what I wrote, a penguin sailing scene). This year he even got his hands on a 40+ foot lift to assist in his madness. In recent years, he has earned an honorable mention in the Davis Enterprise's Christmas lights competition, even showing up on the map of places to see.

But now, for the first time ever, my dad has earned FIRST PRIZE in the Christmas light competition! He got interviewed by one of the paper's reporters. He is the best! Top dog! Every other house pales (dims?) in comparison. Now doubt he will soon appear on the Today Show, and Good Morning America, and Larry King Live, and MTV's Cribz.

I urge all of you who live nearby to drive by his place (at night time, silly) to admire, ooh and ah, and leave donations in his mailbox.

Well done, dad. Clark Griswald never had anything on you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Bit Late...

I know these photos are a good three weeks late, but I had to post on them. I just love this sequence.

Here are the girls smiling pleasantly at the camera (saying cheese, actually--the smiling is a by-product).

But then the goofiness sets in. Here they are making a blend of angry/sad faces. That expression comes readily to Julia. Note Kate's floppy legs.

And last, the goofiest of all. Open-mouthed and...something. Again, note Kate's floppy leg. She's notoriously double-jointed, and it freaks me out. Don't call Child Protective Services, please.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Our little Kate has become quite l'artiste. Annie picked up some discounted Magna-Doodles, and Kate will not be parted from them. Check out this sampling from her burgeoning gallery...

1) This piece is called "Horsies and Birds". Kate couldn't wait to show it to me. She ran up to me and said, "Daddy, look at all these horsies. And see these two birds (she points to the two m's in the lower right-hand corner), they are going to eat all the horsies."

Thanks, Kate. You took an otherwise quaint picture and made it disturbing--truly the workings of the right-brained artist.

2) This drawing, done in preparation for Halloween, is called "Scary, Scary Night". You can see the pumpkin in the grass, the ghost chasing after the airborne spider, the stars arrayed in the heavens. And to top it all off, she has a smiling, broomborne witch. Halloween in a nutshell, my friends.

3) This last one is called "Sam: a portrait of a baby boy." Kate was sitting in her auntie Kelly's lap and watching Sam resting in his swing (a blessed piece of furniture). With this cute scene as inspiration, she drew the following. Can't you see his oval face, whispy hair, round ears, and pacifier (shaped like a butterfly)? The arms and legs sticking out from his head are an added bonus.

Kate, I see a bright, magnetic world in your future.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Action Shots

It's high time for some more Sam pictures. One neat thing about newborns is that they provide a wealth of photographic material. Especially actions shots.

This first one is of Sam sleeping on the sofa. His puckered lips and wrinkly wrists are worthy of note.

This next one is of Sam sleeping on the pillow on Annie's lap. This is his pre-feeding nap.

And then of course there's always his favorite port-a-crib in which to sleep. This is his triumphant-greek-god pose. Think of Poseidon with a trident in his hand.

Here is Sam engaged in his post-nursing nap. The adult version of this is called the food coma. When Sam get's like this there is no waking him up.

My next post will be on his other favorite activity: pooping.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meeting Sam

This was the moment we were looking forward to most after Sam was born: to watch as the girls' met Sam for the first time.

The twins had a decent notion of what was going on. They understood that mommy had a baby in her tummy and that he was coming out soon. Julia didn't have quite the same grasp of the situation, but she knew roughly was going on.

Genna, by rights of her overwhelming enthusiasm, got to hold Sam first (she shouldered and elbowed her way to the front of the line). She just could not stop smiling and touching and pressing her cheek against him. Sam, for his part, seemed unphased and unimpressed.

Kate got to hold her new brother next. And though she wasn't as vociferous (squealy, really) in her exclaiming over the baby, she was no less excited and thrilled. She was aglow while basking in his babiness. Sam, for his part, seemed unphased and unimpressed.

Julia came last, though certainly not least. For those of you who know Julia, you'll recall that she was born with an intense baby hunger. She trembles with excitement at seeing them and shrieks when denied access to them.

I believe her smile says it all. She was in heaven with her 'baby bwudah' (alternatively, her 'littoh bwudah'). Again, Sam, for his part, seemed unphased and unimpressed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Official Press Release

Our little family has had a very busy past week or so. Annie in particular. She was busy laboring and giving birth (I myself only broke a mild sweat while coaching her). And though many of you have already met Sam, or seen pictures on Uncle Chrissy's blog, here is the official press release.

Say howdy to Samuel Monroe Lindsay, born 8/6/7 (that's 867-5309 to you 80s Pop fans), measuring in at a robust 21.5", and weighing a hefty 9 lbs 13 oz.

We've had him for just over a week now, and it looks like we're going to keep him. Besides, the return policy expires in two days.

Here he is being assaulted by his first bath. He didn't take too kindly to it. He hardly made a whimper when he was born, but this sent him into fits of crankiness. What does it say about a lad who has no problem being pushing through a birthing canal and then balks at a bath? I can't imagine that it bodes well for us.

This next shot is of him laid out in his warmer. I tried to get the camera low to give you a perspective on how big he is. He's three pounds bigger than our previous biggy (Julia, at 6 lbs 13 oz), and it feels as though we skipped the whole newborn phase with Sam and jumped ahead about a month.

This last shot shows his jowliness. His cheeks are so heavy that they stretch his face ground-ward. I'm just wondering if the stars are aligning for another Tillman - Lindsay love connection. Is there any coincidence in the fact that Sam and Maggie were born within months of each other and that they weighed in at the same exact poundage? I think not.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Julia and Max

The Tillman's came over last night and provided us with a delicious casserole and entertainment. One thing we commented on is how much Max has become accustomed to all the girls--Julia in particular. They have found new friends in one another.

Here they are playing on the slide together. By the time I got outside with the camera, they were beginning to brawl a bit. Max wanted to go down the slide, and Julia wanted to go up. They soon found that those two plans were mutually exclusive. Max took matters into his own hands and tried pushing her down. Good for him; she knows better (her smile shows that she knows exactly what she is doing).

This second shot is of them playing on our mini play structure. They were getting along pretty well by this time. They were only on it for about 5 minutes, so there wasn't much time for chaos to break out.

I took this last shot at the end of the evening. Julia was brushing her teeth, and Max wanted in on the action. They played this way for over five minutes and only stopped once I had my fill of pictures and ushered them out.

The big question now is whether or not love is in the air. Will we look back on these photos in eighteen years and say, 'Ah, we always knew they'd end up together," or will we say, "We had such high hopes! Why did Max have to join that Coptic monastery in Egypt and leave his betrothed heartbroken?"

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wrapping up the poultry scene

The only chicken that didn't flee the girls was a chicken that couldn't. She was crippled, making her Prime Target # 1 for the girls affections.

Kate was gentle enough, but Julia had a mischievous gleam in her eye the entire time. I did what I could to shield the hen from too much toddler attention, but I'm sure the bird had night mares that night.

When the chickens turned out to be too, well, chicken, Julia turned her attention to some larger birds. Geese. These water fowl, unlike their smaller cousins, were fully willing to take her on.

This photo is misleading - the geese are posturing and hissing at Julia. I had to intervene - this time on Julia's behalf. I doubt she would have faired well against those beaks and buffeting wings.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Life Lessons

Some friends of ours own a ranch, complete with yard full of chickens. We took our girls in there to give them a taste of farm life, and all three loved it. Julia, in particular, loved the chickens.

Here she is observing the chickens being fed. Hmm. Chickens so close...what's a two-year-old to do?

Then it dawns on her. Can't you see the delight on her face?

She must chase them, of course. No creature on earth reacts to a good chase as well as a chicken. But Julia didn't just chase them, she terrorized them (as seen in her menacing arm-raising).

But guess what happens when you chase chickens, Julia? They soon realize, with even their minimal intelligence, to stay clear of you.

Here she stands, looking around the now empty chicken yard, wondering where her toys have gotten off to.

Julia, you will find that people behave in much the same way. The more you chase them, especially with arms raised, the less likely they are to hang out with you. Take this as a lesson learned.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Wheat-surfin' USA

I rarely do posts on me, but today seemed a good day to be narcissistic and to show what a cool wheat-surfer I am. That's right, I'm being towed behind a quad while standing on a suped-up skateboard.

It was a lot of fun. This was my first time ever trying something like this, and I took to it like a fish out of water. I spent far more time on my hands and knees than I did on the board. I guess I'm not that cool (no suprise), but I had my half a minute of glory here, so back off.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Reminder

Last night was a very rough night with Julia -- I am running on only a few hours sleep right now. So, the purpose of this post is to remind me of why I'll keep her.

This first photo is of her fully decked out and ready for a night on the town. She's donned her tinkerbell dress (a bit oversized, but that's stylish), a sun hat, a mismatched pair of shoes, and, of course, a mirror for touch ups. And just so you know, this get-up was chosen by her - we had no influence, eventhough it looks like something I might concoct in my ignorance. But on her it's just plain cute.

This last photo is of her wearing her beloved bucket as a hat. She loves to wear this thing and it makes her look like a capuchin monkey. Annie and I even have her clap her hands together like she's holding a pair of cymbals. Sure enough, she transforms into the spitting image of monkey on a leash tied to an organ-grinder.

OK, I think I'll keep her. For now. But a few more nights like last night, and ...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quiet Time

Though the twins just turned four, they still enjoy the occassional nap (don't we all). We've found, though, that if we change the name 'nap time' into 'quiet time' they are much more likely to comply and lay down.

Here is Genna after several hours of 'quiet time' - which evidently involved reading every Curious George book ever written and snuggling with a pair of beanie baby cats. I think we need to further train her on the proper usage of pillows. She seems to prefer to lie on them with her whole body rather than just with her head. We have so much to teach them that pillow-use has been relegated to second-tier priority status. That's our fault.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Jelly Monster and Mystery Kid

Our fun at the Jelly Belly Factory continued, though Julia persisted in not participating (she passed on all future photo-ops).

Here is Annie with the twins. I'm not sure if she is aware of the Jelly Monster looming behind her, but they're all smiling, and that's what's important.

Genna is certainly enjoying her shop-lifted official Jelly Belly ball. She must get that behavior from her uncle Ian.

This final picture is a real mystery to me. For the life of me, I can't figure out who this blond kid is. She just shows up and inserts herself into our family photos everywhere we turn. I'm going to have to do something about this.

There was no third picture, because that is when the Jelly Monster attacked. It wasn't pretty. He had the benefit of surprise, but my daughters and the blond girl ended up devouring him. I want to keep this blog child-friendly, so I turned the camera off.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Jaunty Jelly Beans

If Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, then the Jelly Belly factory is almost the happiest place on earth. Here's the whole clan kneeling and posing for a picture while waiting for the tour to start. I say almost happiest because all of us are smiling, save for the scowling Julia. I don't think she appreciated the close proximity of so many tons of delicious jelly beans, but much is lost on sub-two-year-olds. She further defied us by refusing to wear her hat.

To compensate for Julia's lack of enthusiasm, I elected to wear my hat at a jaunty angle. That got a few looks from some of my fellow tour-goers, but I think in the end I was everyone's favorite.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Superheroines real story here...just a photo of girls running with their lollypop rings...

Or rather, their Rings of Power. Wait, I see superhero status emerging here. Are they off to fight crime? Do they have some fellow toddlers in distress to rescue? Are they out to vanquish the Unwanted Veggies cartel?

What dazzling display of might and wonder would light up the sky if they were to slam their Rings of Power together? Would they fuse into Uber Twin? Would a shower of rainbow-colored treats rain down upon the starving masses?

I've spent way too much time inside my kids' heads. I need adult time. Help me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Suckin' on lollypop rings

Here are the twins in the backyard enjoying their lolly-pop rings. Just a few notes here:

1) What's with Kate's expression? Is it the sour apple flavor? Is a snake crawling up her Belle jacket?
2) Genna seems to be enjoying hers just fine, but I don't think that cloth gloves and sucker go very well together.
3) Again, who is that blond girl sitting next to the twins? Why is she wearing one of my girl's jacket? And where did she get the sucker from? Did she steal it from Julia?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Get Used to the Look

This is what Kate's hair looked like the day after Annie frizzi-fied it. Still kind of curly, so there was some lingering effect from all the work of binding her hair for an hour.

I made the mistake of bringing the camera with me to the park - I transformed from 'playful dad' into 'annoying dad with camera'.

This first shot of Kate is candid. I just thought she was cute as she ambled across the wood chips. The second picture is of her terse reaction to seeing me photograph her. That is a look I'm going to have to get used to.