Lego Calendar

Each year around this time, we get a Lego Advent Calendar in anticipation of the upcoming Christmas holiday. Thanks to Tom’s love of Legos, this tradition long pre-dates the arrival of Tristan and William. We have augmented the Lego calendar with a Playmobile calendar as well so both boys have something to open each day. The theme for the Playmobile set this year is a black knight and a white knight with their accessories. The Lego set revolves around a family scene with toys, pets, family members, etc.

This morning I slept in and when I saw the boys I asked what they got in their calendars today. Tristan noted he got a “fire”. This is an expected firepit for the knight’s camp. When I asked William, he said he got a “shower”.

Here I was a little perplexed. At 3, sometimes William has difficulty speaking so I asked him to repeat himself. Quite distinctly he repeated “shower”. The boys were busy watching “Santa Claus is coming to Town”, so they were getting a bit annoyed by my line of questioning, but I continued. “Tristan, what did he get?” “A shower, daddy” and he gave me a perplexed look, “you know what a shower is!”

At that point, I had to go over to the kitchen table where the calendar were set up and check for myself. The prior sets had included things like family minifigs, a toy crane, a piano, fireplace, a dog, a cat, etc. While these are all themed around household items, they seemed to focus on the living room and dining room, but not the bathroom.

Sometimes, it difficult to figure out what the designers at Lego had in mind with their design. But there is was. Clear as day. A shower.

This immediately led to some internet browsing to see if anyone else thought this was odd. Apparently, while the shower is a bit out of place, the really bizarre bit is what shows up tomorrow.

There’s quite a bit of ‘net traffic about the semi-naked Santa. While I had an “what the heck” reaction, I have no particular issue with this. The boys seem to think the shower is perfectly normal. Santa has a lot of work to do and he needs to prepare. Kate seems to think this is an outdoor shower, but I think that it would be too cold. Then the question is where is this shower supposed to be? Is this a new tradition? Does Santa shower in my bathroom during his global delivery jaunt?

Can’t wait to see the boy’s reaction tomorrow.


Vineyard Catalog!

Earlier this year, we had some excitement when the boys appeared on the Vineyard Vines website. Imagine how crazed the Payne household got when we recieved this year’s Holiday Catalog. Not only does it offer crazy pants for dad…it also contains a picture of Tristan and William sporting their whales!


Playhouse progress

The boy’s playhouse is nearly complete. All of the hammering and cutting is finally over. (As you can see, the ork was done a while ago…the ofing old enough to have accumulated folliage)

All that is really left is the painting. I kinda like the natural look, but the trim and decking are not weather treated and will need some protection from the harsh nothern winter (and the cyclic global warming). So we had a discussion with the owners (Tristan and William) about color schemes. Tristan originally wanted white, so I was somewhat relieved when he now recently changed to green and orange. Still, these did not appear to be woodland colors that would blend into our charming backyard.

I tried for the “pumpkin and chocolate” that many of Tom’s college friends will remember from the SigEp days, but Tristan would not hear of it. After several iterations with Tristan’s design consulant (Jennifer), we settled upon “Orange Spice and Chlorophyl” (just rolls of the tongue).

It may take some time to get used to this:


Thomas Paine

Histerical…yet accurate…history of Tom Paine…from a British point of view:


Great quote…from a cat

I am going to have to use this someday…a quote from Bucky in today’s “Get Fuzzy”

“I think he is like a shopping cart…he’s slimy, he makes whiny noises when you push him, and he pulls to the left annoyingly…but he carries food home, so we put up with him.”


We’re published!

Check out the preview of our LBI photo book


More Surfin’

Here a great video we caught of Tristan catching a wave:

Here is another video where Tristan gets a surprise.



When we arrived two weeks ago, Jennifer stubbornly went for a run, desperate for some kind of exercise, but convinced that she hated running. With no other options, Jennifer wound up running most days, first with Rob, later with Kate as well. Each day, Jennifer would brag about how she went a little farther. It actually appeared that she was staring to enjoy herself.
So when Tom was reading the local paper and learned about the “Harvey Cedars Dogs Days Roadrace“, a five mile run, he thought it would pose an obvious challenge for her new found obsession.

Crossing the finish line (at 1:02:36)
We are all very proud of Jennifer’s achievement. Horray to Kate as well (but she has done this before).
But it wouldn’t be proper to allow this go without poking some fun, so…
Here we are waiting at the finish line
0:56 minutes into the race. Where is Jen?
This old guy is done…where is Jen?
Here’s a guy with two kids in a stroller…where is Jen?
Here’s a 6 year old…
This was to prove that other people did finish after her…
Including this guy hat I heard mumbling that there were times
when he didn’t know where he was.
Race results: Jennifer and the other runners.


If you ask Tristan what his favorite part of the day was yesterday, I think he would be har pressed to pick one. It was the day he tok his first boogie board ride:

“I love this”

He got to play miniature golf (again):

Attempting to load the non-functional golf ball canon

And then he got to go to the St. Francis Carnivan and ride the Ferris Wheel:


William particiapted in all of this as well…except that he slept through the boogie boarding.


I am pretty confident, however, that his favorite part of the day was the carnival!



After a full day of sun and fun at the beach, you need some time to just relax…and enjoy Thomas the Tank Engine with your buds. Here Tristan and William are hanging out with Gavin.
There is lots of work to be done at the beach. Most of this involves digging deep holes (even though city regulations limit the depth to 12″…just in case there are still live munitions left over from World War II). It’s actually very rare to see Tristan or William digging a hole…usually they are busy filling-in the hole that they convinced daddy to dig for them.
There has not been much time spent swimming in the water yet. The water has been surprisingly cold and the boy are still a bit cautious of the waves. They do however love to frollic in the surf.
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