Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Then and Now

Family Picnic, Summer, 1983

Christmas, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Meet the Pirates

Took a picture of Henry & Arthur when they were playing pirates. They pushed the beds together in the guest bedroom to make a pirate ship and sailed off across the high seas. Arthur was the Captain, and Henry was the First Mate. Arthur was in charge of the maps and navigating the boat. Henry was in charge of loading and unloading cargo. My job was to come up with new names for islands to visit.

PIRATE UPDATE: Christmas wishes granted.

Friday, October 29, 2010


This is our video submission to the One Day on Earth project.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's the plan?

Henry: What are we going to do today?
Ryan: I don't know. What do you want to do?
Henry: I want to go to the big, big park that is the one after the small park?
Ryan: You mean the bumpy slide park?
Henry: Yeah.
Ryan: The one where we use the bridge over the highway to get there?
Henry: Yeah.
Ryan: Are you sure you don't want to go to the park where there will be more kids?
Henry: Where?
Ryan: Selby Park will have more kids than bumpy slide park.
Henry: How many?
Ryan: Selby Park will have 10 to 20 kids. Bumpy slide park will only have 1 or 2 kids.
Henry: Selby Park. Will the monkey boy who climbs on the roof be there?
Ryan: Maybe.
Arthur: Selby Park, yeah!
Ryan: How should we go there?
Henry: We should eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, put on crocs and helmets, and get out our bikes.
Ryan: Okay, then what?
Henry: We should go to Selby park, play, come home, eat lunch, take naps, play outside, eat snack, pick up the living room, little bit of video games, and eat dinner with Mommy.
Ryan: Okay, then what?
Henry: Take a bath, brush teeth, read stories, go to bed, get up, breakfast, brush teeth, park...
Ryan: Okay, okay. Let's just eat today's breakfast, then we'll see.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bike Swap

Henry decided that he too was ready for a new bike. He pulled out the 16" bike I had in the garage for him and said he was ready to ride it. Henry took off on the 16", and we had a nice 2-mile ride to Selby Park this morning.

When we got back, Henry thought it was time for Arthur to learn to pedal. We put the training wheels back on the 12" bike and set up Arthur to spin a bit.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Skuut No More

What are the odds that our first ride with the boys' new helmets would result in the demise of the Skuut? This time it wasn't the Skuut's fault.

At the bottom of the fork blades are bolts that keep the plywood compressed against the force of the wheel axel. These bolts fell out a long time ago. For a time, I kept track of them and tightened them up, but then they were lost for good. With these bolts missing, it was only a matter of time before the punishment Arthur dishes out when hitting curbs and walls would result in total failure of the plywood fork.

If these bolts are loose or missing on your wooden balance bike (they all seem to have plywood forks), I recommend replacing them and applying some Loctite Threadlocker (maybe the red).

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cow Town - TMBG

Featuring the many faces of Arthur and Henry's dance moves.

One of our favorite songs to rock out with in the living room.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2-Wheel Park Ride

First ride to the park and back without training wheels. Pure joy on Henry's face.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Training Wheels Off

2nd time taking Henry's training wheels off at the park.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Skuut: Brief Product Review

The Skuut is one of the less expensive wooden balance bikes on the market. I'm not sure how the "original" wooden balance bikes were/are built (not interested in that conversation), but the Skuut has two major design flaws. Below is a slideshow, if you click on the photos and open them in a new window, you can see annotations I've added to the four photos.

The first is that the handlebar is attached to the front fork using wood screws. This means that the wood screws screw down between the layers of plywood. Any impact or torque on the handlebar results in the separation of these layers. In the case of my boys, these impacts are often at high speeds resulting in complete separation of the handlebar from the fork. I've attempted to draw the plywood back together by drilling two holes and using long chainring bolts and washers. I've also been reattaching the handlebar with the wood screws by shoving matchsticks down the screw holes to give the screws more wood to bite into. This evening I drilled an additional set of holes so that now four screws hold the handlebar to the fork.

The second design flaw is that the wheel is held in the center of the axel assembly by the combination of compression rings and wooden hub pieces. The wooden hub pieces work themselves loose allowing the compression rings to pop out of their groove. The result is a wobbly wheel. The wooden hub pieces eventually split from being forced back on to the hub, so I've replaced them with hose clamps. The wheel still wobbles, but at least it stays in the center.

The boys love their Skuut. Like any loved toy it is starting to break down. The boys are hard on the Skuut, e.g., deliberately crashing it into walls, riding off of steps and high curbs, dismounting at high speeds and dumping it to the ground. They have occasionally have left it out all night allowing moisture to weaken the plywood and rust the wheels.

If you're in the market for a wooden balance bike, look carefully at how the handlebar and wheels are attached. We're going to keep ours patched up and rolling, but I don't think we'll be handing it down to any friends.

Any repair advice from family carpenters and engineers is appreciated.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bike Ride

We have 4 parks that are within walking/biking distance. We try to hit 1-2 of them each day with the goal of exhausting the boys. Below is a video of our ride to "bumpy slide park". It's just shy of a mile away. The video is kinda long (and Blair-Witchy when Henry has the camera).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Game

Summer is in full swing, and the boys and I are still sorting out how to spend the day together (with a lot of playing for them and a little writing for me). I'm getting a little better at coming up with things to do rather than continuously reminding them what not to do, e.g., peel paint off the garage and eat it, spit on each other, throw toys in the neighbors' yard.

Here's a game we came up with today. We don't have a name for it yet.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pony Tail

The girls at school were getting pony tails, and Arthur wanted one too.

When I picked him up, he said, "My pony tail is cool, Daddy."

"Yes, it is Arthur," I replied.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

School daze

Daddy sure knows how to dress the boys for school.

Signing your name

Getting a kick out of Henry writing his name.

If you can name the rash on his wrist, let us know. I think we're off to the doctor soon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010