Monday, April 21, 2008


Well, the boys caught a bird in the trap.
We found the trap on the ground one morning, with birds swarming all around it. The boys rushed outside in their pajamas to check it out and, sure enough, there was a big black bird in there, flapping its wings and trying to figure out how to get out of there. I let the boys pose for a few pictures with their captive, then we released him.
Here's the bird in the trap:

And the boys posing with them (yes, Chase sleeps in a halloween costume). If you're wondering, Cole is learning to pull his own pants up, so that's why they look like that. And yes, he only has one shoe on. He was so excited he just couldn't be bothered to put them both on.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chase's Higher-Tech Bird Trap

Last year I posted about a bird trap Chase built in the backyard. It was a propped up box with a string attached, and he hid nearby waiting for a bird to enter his trap.
This weekend, he got a little more high-tech in his endeavors. He and Papa built a new bird trap, and Chase couldn't be prouder. He tells anyone who'll listen how he drilled the holes and hammered the nails in all by himself. Papa made the trigger, but Chase is an expert at getting the pieces to fit together just right to prop the trap up. While we were still in Natchitoches, he caught a squirrel twice, but the squirrel found a way out before he could get to him both times. We haven't caught anything at home yet, even with half a loaf of bread and quite a bit of birdseed in the trap. He and Cole are having a great time sitting in their fort watching and waiting, though.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Chase in his sparring gear.

Chase convinced Cole to hold the target pad for him while he practiced his kicks. I think Cole should have been wearing the gear instead of Chase, but they were having so much fun I didn't stop him.

Cole just couldn't hold onto the target pad after Chase kicked it (look up by the windows). They thought this was hilarious and kept doing it over and over.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A "Cup Half Full" Kind of Kid

Now that Chase is a green belt, he gets to start sparring (actually hitting other people). He is, of course, THRILLED.
In order to do this, we learned he has to have a $190 set of sparring gear. GREAT. I grudgingly brought him to the TaeKwonDo place to get fitted and pay for his gear. As they pulled everything out of the bag for him to try on, the teenager who was helping him was explaining what everything was for. Finally, I glance up from writing my check as he pulls out the last piece of gear -- a cup. Uh oh. The teenager says something like "OK, and you know what this one's for, right?" and starts to put it back in the bag. Chase says no. Teenager says, "It's a cup." Chase gives him a blank stare. Teenager looks at me for help. I look at my checkbook --for $190, they can explain it. Teenager says, "When you get home, tell your dad you have a cup and you need him to show you what it's for." Way to pass the buck.
Just because I was waiting anxiously for him to spring this on Charles, he waited a while when we got home. Finally, Chase was showing us all of his gear, and he asked Charles what the cup was for. Charles told him that he wore it over his underwear in case someone kicked him. Chase thought about it for a minute, and you could see the lightbulb go off in his head. "Oh," he said, "I get it. It's so if someone kicks me there they won't hurt their foot!" We managed not to laugh in front of him. He's definitely a "cup half full" kind of kid.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Chase gets a Green Belt

Chase tested for his green belt last week and his belt ceremony was tonight. He is still really enjoying TKD and is very excited that as a green belt, he gets to start sparring. I'm considering enrolling Cole in the witness protection program, but I have a sneaking suspicion he can hold his own.

Getting his belt:

Chase with Antoinette (middle) and Kaylee (left):
Chase and Antoinette after the belt ceremony:

Cole wondering how he can get his hands on some of that candy:

Finding Nemo

Cole spotted the tank of clownfish and ran up to it, waving and talking to Nemo. I guess he was excited to see that the diver hadn't taken Nemo all the way to Sydney.
Just like at the zoo, the kids are drawn to a playground where ever they are:

Cole striking a pose:
More playground fun:

Cole loved climbing up the ladder. All was well the first few times, but then he spotted this older boy climbing back down the ladder and decided to turn around at the top and try for himself. We could see it happening but couldn't stop him in time -- he fell straddling the metal bars and hurt himself quite badly. That pretty much killed his mood for the rest of the day.

After the aquarium and lunch, we went to visit other friends, had a flat tire, and finally made it home around 9pm. We were exhausted, and Chase wanted to know when we could go back.

Under the Sea

Last Saturday we brought the kids to the aquarium with some friends. Chase had no map this time, so he was a much more relaxed traveler and posed for some pictures for me.

It was feeding time for the sting rays, and the kids really enjoyed watching the divers feed them lettuce. Well, my kids did anyway. Our friends' kids (not quite 2 year old twins) have been watching Finding Nemo lately and thought the diver was there to take Nemo away, and they were NOT pleased to see him.

Cole and Chase posing in the shark's mouth (I have a picture of Chase posing in this same spot when he was about 2; if I can find it I'll add it in here):

Can't see Cole in this one because he's not quite tall enough, but Chase LOVES the aquarium that you can crawl into:

Petting a shark (Chase petted the shark too, but I couldn't snap a picture in the split-second his hand was in the water):

More Zoo Tales

At the petting zoo, Cole spotted a rabbit and, since it was the day before Easter, kept trying to ask it if it knew the Easter Bunny (and could put in a good word for him). I explained to him that those were NOT chocolate eggs the rabbit was leaving behind and that it appeared the rabbit needed some private time, but he kept going back to it.

Even while playing, Chase keeps consulting his map:

With all there is to do at the zoo, the kids still love the playground:

Notice the little face peeping out to the left? They chased each other around this statue for quite some time:

Everyone had a great time at the zoo, although we didn't get to see everything since we got there so late, so Chase is already lobbying to go back next weekend. And of course he knows exactly what he wants to see and in what order and has already charted his course on the map.

Went on down to the Audubon Zoo...

The day before Easter, we brought the kids to the zoo. It had been a few years since Chase had been there, and Cole had never been to a zoo, so we figured they were due for a trip. When we got there and they gave us a map of the zoo, Chase immediately commandeered the map and started plotting out our course. I think he felt like he had to, since it had taken us 3 hours to get to the zoo with Charles navigating (Charles refused to drive over the Huey P Long bridge, and we weren't really sure how to get there, so we toured pretty much all of New Orleans before finally stumbling upon the zoo). Turns out Chase was more interested in following the map than seeing the animals. He'd race from one point on the map to the next, but once we got there, he barely glanced at the animals before trying to move us along to our next stop (think Clark Griswold at the Grand Canyon). He didn't have much patience for my picture-taking, but I did insist on a few pictures:

Chase & Cole posing with the flamingos:

Seeing how they measure up to a bear. Cole had considerably more enthusiasm for this than Chase (I'm fairly certain if Chase had been an actual bear, he would have bitten me for making him take this dumb picture, but being a 6 year old boy, he just glared at me and raised his imaginary paws half-heartedly), but I do have a picture of Chase at about Cole's age doing the same growl in front of the same bear cutout. When I can get my hands on it, I'll post that one too:

Petting a snake in the petting zoo: