Sunday, June 28, 2009

Zoo drivers, no survivors

Racing around and crashing into things came a little too naturally for David. It does explain why he has been furiously taking notes and giggling every time Angie drives. Peter, on the other hand, was a pro at driving, but even Miss Daisy would have fired his ass. Gas is the pedal to the right, Turbo.

A few hours before we attacked the Techno-amusement park, Peter was amusing me with his newfound ability to feed himself, monkey style.

I was freakin' loving that the boy can now feed himself. We've already taught him how to flip on the T.V. and navigate to the cartoon channel, so this latest development was the missing link to Mama and Papa 'sleeping in on the weekend' plan. Right on, Pedro!

Speaking of sleeping, Tom did not. It was all Angie's fault, though, and I am sticking to that story, even if she continues bitching that I was the one that forgot the damn stroller. Whatever. At least I was the one that came up with the brilliant alternative to lugging the potato sack around all day.

Yeah, ok, my plan might have had a few minor faults, which Negative Angie was quick to point out. 'Maybe Mariam doesn't actually enjoy carrying the human anchor around all day'. Whatever - she had 'baby fever goo-goo' eyes and we had sore backs, so it was a mutual win-win.

After approximately one minute, the boys (all seven of them) got extremely bored with the technical exhibit portion of the tour. Our saving grace that kept the boys from beating the crap out of each other was the model train exhibit.

Yes, Patrick the train freak will be very jealous and I promise that we all took 30 seconds to feel really bad about this. After, oh I don't know, half a minute, David decided to start preparing for a future in destruction by land and by air.

Speaking of air, David had no troubles at all climbing the massive sky-rocket slide that scared the ever-loving crap out of sensible earth-bound Peter, who stayed below.

David had no fear of sliding down the Mega Slide. In fact, he wanted to go head first, but I was too scared to try that, even if he wasn't.

Tom's new quirk is that he pinches when he gets sleepy. Papa's new quirk is to give Tom to Mama whenever he gets sleepy, grab the camera and giggle incessantly.

The kid is quite the snapper when he pinches just the right amount of skin. I love that I caught Angie in mid-pinch. I also love the concerned look on Mariam's face, but the best is the amused look on Amir's face. I think I like this guy.

As I was getting glares from Angie for 'just standing there laughing and taking pictures' Peter and David were getting their pistols on.

I hope David never tries his new trick with a real gun unless he finds the nickname 'Davey 7-fingers' really groovy. Actually, that does kinda have a cool ring to it.

Speaking of cool, Amir tried giving Tommy lessons on how to drive a train.

Amir may be cool, but he is a crappy instructor. Check it out - Tom has one hand on the wheel, he's not paying attention to where they are going, his hat strings are not tied...and Amir just sits there the whole time smiling, completely oblivious to the two goofy looking kids in race cars about to smash into them. Zoo drivers, no survivors.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we go to the musement park and met Elyas and Meyssam.
David: When Meyssam and Elyas meet us at the big playground.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When my voice goes away and I'm so tired.
David: When no more play and we go home.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: After kindergarten to go to Chiara's and Alessio's.
David: Play with Peter Legos.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Attack of the Tomato Killers

Last year, we spent the entire summer growing what turned out to be a whopping two cherry tomatoes that were 'inadvertently' eaten by Barbara the tomato-eating anticipation-thief. This year, the boys obviously remembered this tragic exercise in disappointment and kept trying to pluck these suckers while they were still green. I promised them that I would keep Barbara away from their harvest until they were ripe, which was today. Hey Barb, feel free to stop by again - just bring your own produce.

Seconds after this snapshot, Peter gobbled down his cherry tomato and thoroughly enjoyed it. David apparently thought his tomato might be a fake and, as everyone knows, the only way to test a tomato for its authenticity is to hold it over your head and squeeze. Seconds after this snapshot, Destructo Dave discovered two things. First, the tomato was real. Second, tomato juice in your eye burns. Yes, I cracked my ass up.

After getting yelled at by Angie for trying to get David to check if our lemons were real, I ran to the store to get ready for dinner. I know, I know - big freakin' surprise that I was cooking. What was 'unusual' was that an American in Germany was cooking Mexican food for a family from India. At least the cook wasn't British.

As I sliced and diced the jalapenos, I had a burning urge to ask David to check for 'fake peppers', but Angie was lurking around the corner. Damn her. She wasn't slaving away at the microwave, though, so she was loving life. She also loved that Tom was loving Manpreet.

Manpreet is married to Prabhpreet and their adorable kids are Meher and Seher. Dr. Seuss must be freakin' HUGE in India. In addition to this iambically named family, we also invited Joschi, one of Angie's long lost friends that she rediscovered on a recent Crackbook binge.

Speaking of binges, everyone stuffed themselves way beyond the point of being polite, so I guess the chicken fajitas turned out edible. After dinner, we unleashed the animals on the new kid.

It only looks like David is sleeping; this is actually a full-on face plant after diving off of Joschi's head. I have to say, the new kid handled the old kids like a pro. Hey Joschi, feel free to stop by again - just bring your own tomatoes.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played Meher came and we play hide-and-seek.
David: Peter played Lego with me and Seher and Meher.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I put my stickers on David's ladder and he no like that.
David: When I cry 'cause the ball that Frederik had for me he took like that and I cried.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with Tom and Joschi when he still there animals.
David: When I play Lego and Lego and Lego, oh yeah.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Filthy

Even if I hadn't arranged the pictures in order, I think that you can guess who was the Bad. There are actually a few cute picures of David, but there are only so many 'sleeping Davey' pics that I can show. As for the Filthy, it does not matter if Tom is awake or asleep; the kid is just plain filthy. He must take after me.

So, yeah - it's visually and hygienically obvious why we took a bath today. Perhapy the why is not so clear. Tom's chin gravy would be one reason, but look closer. Pig-Pen actually has gravel stuck to his forehead. Amazing. Before we get to the ground up pavement stuck to his head, though, let us first figure out what the disgusting Agent Orange crap is that's covering his mouth, cheeks, nose and eyelashes. Yes, eyelashes.

Oh, I see. Mama fed Tom. And she used a robotic arm. Isn't that cute? I mean, come on - it's not as if he makes a big enough mess on his own; let's throw in a mechanical device that will only fling the slop around even more. Maybe next time you can hop on one leg and jump rope while you cover his hair in goo?

After smearing orange gunk all over the baby, Lady Robota let The Face loose. The funny thing is, she completely forgot to clean the kid. Mmm...yeah....funny. I don't know what the hell was in that orange mush, but his new facial somehow converted him into Mogli from The Jungle Book.

I don't know what is more amazing - that when I came home from work, Tom still had orange surprise in his eyes or that he had gravel stuck to his freakin' forehead!! Where the hell is Angie while Tom is out fleeing the jungle and banging his head on asphalt, by the way?

Oooooohhh. Now it all starts to come together. Crackbook strikes again! As Angie was busy admiring how many friends she has, Peter was busy getting sick.

Yes, again. At least a wet rag and a fluffy rhino were enough to save the day. Luckily, he did not call for Mama, because it would have been mighty hard to pry those fingers away from the keyboard. Somehow, I think he knew that this would have been a futile endeavor. He must take after me.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I snuggle with mommy and did a story by Mama and Papa's bed.
David: When Peter played with me Legos.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When my forehead hurts.
David: When Constantin throw a shovel on my eye.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: When we just need to sleep 5 times and then Claudio gets a birthday.
David: When Peter play with me again.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Black Turkey Surprise

I came home from work today and smelled cooked food. My heart stopped. It wasn't popcorn, so I ruled out Microwave Monday. It wasn't pizza, so I ruled out Delivery Dinner night. Oh, shit! She didn't! Come on - please tell me she didn't...

She did. I raced into the kitchen, picking up a fire extinguisher along the way. My heart was pounding and my mind was racing. How many freakin' times is this woman going to keep trying?

I reached the kitchen and pulled the ring out of 'Old Trusty', ready to snuff the blazing aftermath of Angie's burning desire to cook a meal. I suddenly realized that my eyes were not stinging with smoke. The next thing my trained eye picked up on was that the Energizer Burner was not running around the place screaming like a little girl. No, she was actually smiling. It even had a smug sort of cockiness to it.

'Hey, sweetie...what'cha doin?'

'I'm cooking, moron. Now, go set the table.'

'Yeah, in a sec - what did you make, exactly? It looks... interesting - is that beef?'

'No. It's turkey.'

'Ah, I see. And was the turkey black when you bought it?'


'Uh...okay. How long has it been, know, cooking? Just curious. '

'About an hour.'

'Uh-huh. And, uh...was the stove on high the whole time?'

'Yeah. Why?'

'Oh, no reason. Looks great. I'm just going to go grab some ketchup.'

As it turned out, Angie's dish was garlic chicken with broccoli cooked in Soy Sauce, which explained the black white meat. Ok, she forgot the garlic and used turkey instead of chicken and somehow thought that cauliflower was broccoli, but it was still edible. What was still a mystery to me was what the hell Angie was doing in the kitchen in the first place.

An even bigger puzzler was how the food could taste so great. It didn't take me long to come up with my theory and as you know, I am always right. If I wasn't, you would be reading Angie's blog, not mine and instead of reading about burnt poultry, you would be bored to tears with triumphant stories on overcoming culinary challenges or some other silly horseshit.

Anyway, back to me and my hypothesis. Over the weekend, Tom learned to say 'Dada'. Not just some random babbling of sentences until he stumbled across 'Dada'. No, he began saying it back to me over and over again and high-fiving me as I giggled my ass off in delight and shoved my 'inyoface' fingers at Mama, which, by the way, he cannot say yet. He can say Dada, though. Oh, did I mention that already? I win. Nya-ha.

Anyway, Angie has been known to be a bit....mmm, how do I phrase this delicately. Slightly competitive? A tad jealous? Perhaps even a poor loser at times? Psycho-about-to-go-ballistic-on-your-smug-ass? In her fugue-like state following Tom's new vocabulary of one ('Dada', not 'Mama'), she obviously made the same connection that I did years ago.

Babies are all about eating, crapping, and sleeping. In that order. Tom is not stupid - he see's the writing on the boob. His twin-turbo feeding machine is going to wave bye-bye pretty soon and he is naturally scrambling to find a replacement source for his belly-filling. Tom's nose has already been witness to a few of Angie's previous 'meals' and his mind is like an elephant's; they don't forget. So, by deductive logic, Tom is now trying to bond with the closest adult figure that is most likely to feed him post-boob. That would be me, not Angie - just for any stupid readers out there. They should really be reading her blog and not mine, but you never know.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played robber-thief with Mama where the thief I was; Arman wanted to catch me, too, but I am too quick for him.
David: When I played with Peter snake.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When Arman couldn't play no more 'cause his dad was there.
David: When Tom make the Lego cake from Peter kaput.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play 'Um'; 'Um' is a game with Arman that goes 'Um'.
David: When I play and we go to the zoo and the big ones sing not.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

View from a kaka

David has taken to waving goodbye to his poop as he flushes. It's both strangely polite and socially weird, but since we have finally waved goodbye to his diapers, I can tolerate just about anything; he can sing love songs to his turds before they go deep for all I care. Three poops in the toilet, each one seeking happiness...

Eat me a baby

Someone at kindergarten asked Peter how babies are made. I guess with three boys, our family is considered to be the resident expert. Peter explained quite confidently that you just need 'to eat and eat and then eat some more and keep eating and then ppffffpttt! The baby is there.' Just another good reason to keep Angie on a diet.

Hi John, I'm Dave

David has a new porcelain friend and I freakin' love it! Goodbye diapers, hello toilet paper. Great job, Davey!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy shots

This would be the before going to bed picture. Trust me, you do not want to see the after picture. Angie decided that Tom is now old enough to survive a whole night and most of the next day without breastfeeding and thought it would be wise to go out and celebrate this feeding milestone. Why she decided to bring home her trophies is beyond me. Our cat used to bring home dead mice to impress me. Oddly enough, I had pretty much the same reaction; I shook my head and got the mop and bucket.

Since I know how you little you trust me and how much Angie loves this kind of attention, I will show you the after picture after all. You can thank me later, sweetie.

What I won't reveal is exactly what time this lovely photo was taken. I will tell you, though, that it was Tom's second afternoon nap.

As Mama snored away her guilt from pilfering pub glasses, I grabbed the two coherent boys and hit the streets. Peter was tagged for a play date at Arman's, so David and I dumped him off and went to hit the waves.

David likes hitting anything and his surfboard was red, so he was tickled wild. Like most wild things, they have no control and no fear. At one point, a couple of boys in their teens picked up his toy boat as it floated past him. Mistake. David ran up to them, yanked the boat back and gave them his patented 'back off' look that he must have learned from Mama. He didn't say a word, but something about his shaking and the dried up spittle around his lips told them wisely to walk away. I was glad; the older of the two looked like he could seriously kick my ass.

After a few hours, we headed back to Casa de Gitana. Tom is now mobile, which is great except he has no sense of direction yet. Apparently, his inner compass instructed him to crawl into the bathroom and get stuck under the sink.

As you all know by now, whenever my children do something really embarrassing and painful, but not life threatening, I first run and get the camera. Then I laugh. After that I take some pictures. Then I laugh again. Sometimes I even shoot some video and laugh some more. Eventually, the screaming starts to hurt my ears and I come to the rescue.

At least the screaming dwarf woke up sleeping beauty. And just in time - we picked up Peter and took the Zoo Crew to an outdoor festival down by the river. On the way, we stopped in, imagine that, a pub. Our favorite pub, to be more specific. The Brass Monkey, to be less vague.

Peter learned how to play table soccer and he kicked ass. Pun intended. In true sportsmanship form, he quickly learned to stick his tongue out at the other players. Since we were in a pub, I kept my eye on the kleptomaniac, but Angie was too busy trying to get David to be quieter. Mmmm...why?

After a Guinness and a little quiet air, we strolled across the bridge to the festival.

As soon as we got to the other side, David found something that made his heart go BOOM, BOOM, bonky-BOOM!

It was red, it was loud - need I say more? Ok, I will. It made him excited. REALLY excited. The only thing that could have wound him up even more is if he could have jumped on stage and partied like a rock star. Bang, Destructo, bang.

Well, that was certainly the up, but I knew there would be a down. Eventually. Despite my wife's occasional battle with tranquillity, I am a patient man. They had beer on tap, so somehow I tolerated the rather long wait.

The dwarves started getting sleepy and snoozey just as the band finished their last song. It also started raining just as we left, thanks to that Murphy bastard. At least the shower woke them up long enough for us to herd the wild things back to their cages.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we went to eat by my singy class.
David: When I played with Legos with Peter.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I fall by the band down and now I got a band-aid.
David: When I cry 'cause look - this lion was in my bed not.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to kindergarten and bring something with for tell and show.
David: When we play and Mama and Papa can look, too, but mommy not sing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Blogday to Zoo!

Our family blog is a lot like a child. Both can be a real pain in the ass at times, it often feels like they are sucking the life out of you, and you rarely get a pat on the back for not killing them. In the end, though, the blood, sweat and tears are all worth it. At least I keep telling myself this.

The blog started exactly a year ago. It was shortly after a trip to Ireland with Eisi to claim our Guinness record on getting hammered and to kickoff his European road trip. In Dublin, he explained to me that he had a blog. I told him that I was really sorry and asked if it was contagious. He gave me a look that I know all too well from Angie and then he explained to me using one-syllable words exactly what a blog was. Mmmm....intriguing.

The dealer had not quite hooked me yet and he knew this. To put the nail in the junkie, he asked me to ghost-write one of his blogs, which I titled Shit, ducks and other fun things for kids... I had a lot of fun and subsequently wrote the next two, Day three and we end up in jail and Freaky Freddy and Scary Susie. Need. More. Blog.

Since ghost-writing is what got me into this mess, I am going to try and hook my two readers. In the next couple of days, I will announce a contest, where I will provide several good "flashback" stories that have yet to be written. You know the Zoo, at least from my whacky perspective - you can choose one and write your version. I'll be grading them with a big fat red marker and publish the one with the most color. Stay tuned. Or not.

Since it's the Zoo's birthday, and I am the proud father, I feel the urge to flash a few figures and brag a little. Show me your stats!

Other than last month, which was plagued with David's birthday, my birthday, and a bunch of sick animals, the Zoo has consistently grown. Since last year, we've had over 5,000 visits and have gone from a monthly average of zero readers to 813. We now have a monthly average of 1,800 page views. If you're not asking it, I certainly am - where the hell are all these freaks coming from?

Uh, everywhere. Specifically:

Germany (DE)1,956 United States (US)1,540 United Kingdom (GB)140 Europe (EU)100 Canada (CA)79 Switzerland (CH)68 Australia (AU)31 France (FR)24 Bahrain (BH)23 Italy (IT)22 Czech Republic (CZ)22 India (IN)20 Greece (GR)9 Philippines (PH)9 Bulgaria (BG)9 Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA)8 Spain (ES)8 Singapore (SG)6 Portugal (PT)5 Brazil (BR)5 Netherlands (NL)4 Malaysia (MY)4 Turkey (TR)4 Denmark (DK)4 Russian Federation (RU)3 Sweden (SE)3 Ireland (IE)3 Belgium (BE)3 Thailand (TH)3 Pakistan (PK)3 Poland (PL)3 Romania (RO)3 Lithuania (LT)3 Norway (NO)2 Ukraine (UA)2 Cyprus (CY)2 Korea, Republic of (KR)2 Egypt (EG)2 United Arab Emirates (AE)2 Venezuela (VE)2 New Zealand (NZ)2 South Africa (ZA)2 China (CN)2 Kuwait (KW)2 Sri Lanka (LK)1 Lebanon (LB)1 Netherlands Antilles (AN)1 Kenya (KE)1 Indonesia (ID)1 Albania (AL)1 Serbia (RS)1 Cook Islands (CK)1 Puerto Rico (PR)1 Dominican Republic (DO)1 Mexico (MX)1 Croatia (HR)1 Israel (IL)1 Iraq (IQ)1 Hungary (HU)1 Taiwan (TW)1 Morocco (MA)1 Slovenia (SI)1

Ok, I must admit, I have never heard of some of those countries. Thanks for reading, though.

As long as I am bragging, I can also point out that in April, The Johnson's Zoo placed 3rd out of 1,600 blogs in the family category of The Toilet Roll, the Zoo's sister blog, placed 1st in the cartoon category. We are also nominated for the Best Humor Blog on - in fact, it's not too late to vote. I know, I'm shameless - I'll stop if you vote for me.

Ok, enough about us - how are you doing?
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I played computer.
David: When Peter played with me and I laugh so many.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: Today, nothing was bad. Sorry.
David: When Mama say over and over me to open my mouth for brushing teeth and I no like that.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to Kindergarten and play games with Arman.
David: When Peter play with me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Boing 747

Angie actually woke up and got the kids to kindergarten ON TIME! Amazing, I know. Was it all the disapproving looks that she has gotten from the teachers over the last few months? Nah. Was it because in summer the sun now rises earlier and managed to force Count Angela out of her crypt? Nah. Was it because she actually set an alarm? Yeah.

The next logical question would be - why did Mama Snooze actually voluntarily wake herself up before her 14 hours of beauty sleep? A side question might be why she needs so much beauty sleep, but asking that would be asking for emotions that are not so beautiful. Trust me.

The real reason was a field trip to the local airfield. The teachers assured us, warned us, even threatened us (by us, I mean Angie), that if Peter was not there on time, the bus would wave bye bye and laugh at him as he cried his eyes out from the steps of k-town. Hey, motivation. I like it - it works!

At the airfield, Peter proudly announced to the guest pilots, other students and the school staff that his Opa was a pilot and used to fly Boings. Huh? Boings? When questioned further on the Boing plane, Peter explained.

'The Boing - it's that plane that go boing-boing-boing, like a kangaroo. My Opa was the pilot - he was a Captain.'

I was not there, but I totally picture Peter smiling the biggest, proudest grin after exclaiming this last statement. At least it would explain the landing of my last few flights on a Boeing.

I see weird people

Reflection: a transformation of a figure in which each point is replaced by a point symmetric with respect to a line or plane.

Uh, ok... I guess I didn't reflect on it that much. I was actually just trying to get the kids to blowfish the people inside, but hey - that transformiguration stuff sounds pretty cool, too.

One of my two readers has complained that I am slightly behind on my blogging. Hey, you know what - some of us are too busy living life to actually write about it. Not me, of course - I gave up my life when I bought a car that fits on a finger and signed that social and legally binding contract-thingy with Angie.

In an effort to catch up, today's blog will be somewhat of a blitz. Yes, I can use that word - I am married to a German. For the past week, Angie has been sicker than some of the guys I knew when I was in the Navy, which has forced to me to take off of work, strap on my knee-high boots and jump in there with the animals. I smell sugar.

Before getting to sicko Angie and the sugar monkeys, let's take a stroll down the last few weeks...

Here, Sarah's posse and the Zoo Crew decided to take the mountain cable-car up to an amusement park.

Either Tom is really bored, or he thinks the approaching cable car is the biggest boob he has ever seen. He got me, I must admit. I looked twice for the mega boob before ruling that the kid is just weird.

Speaking of weird kids.... When we finally reached the amusement park, we released Peter into the ball cage to run wild with the other hellions.

Something about his sad look and his clawing at the net to get out told me he didn't like the ball cage at all. After laughing and taking several pics, I let the sad kid out of his cage.

Tom's new thing, other than annoying the shit out of Papa every two hours at night, is that he can clap.

Yippeee!! Aren't you special? What about your other appendages? Can you walk? No. Can you crawl? No. Well, can you at least sit?

Bravo! Tom sure is a great sitter, isn't he? Meher should really get the credit, though. She sure is a great holder, isn't she? Not much of a babysitter, though. Psst...Meher, you should be sitting on the baby, not the other way around. It didn't matter - soon Tom was screaming, along with the other kids screaming for ice-cream.

Seher loved the ice-cream and it only took her two whole minutes of watching David to learn the fine art of making a pig of yourself.

Luckily, with a combined kid count of five, we had a few wet wipes lying around. In addition to Smudge Master, David also earned the title of Grill Master.

Ok, Opa was the Grill Master, but David was definitely interested in learning more about the whole 'fire' thing. Note to self: raise the fire insurance.

At some point, I wondered where Peter had disappeared to.

Ah, thanks, Grams. It's not bad enough that both Angie and her Mom would love to have a little girl - now they have resorted to dressing Peter up in pig-tails? Speaking of pigs, we needed bacon, so I rescued Petra and took her shopping with me. A man.

That's right, just the Y chromosomes...hanging know, buying that we can cook....Okay, cut it out! It was a freakin' male bonding moment, okay? We're metro, baby.

Speaking of babies, check out Tom. It only looks like he is doing push-ups to build up enough strength to beat the crap out of Peter and David. Actually, that might be what he's doing, come to think of it. Hey Davey - you might want to stop singing that 'pa-pa-pa-pa, pa-pa-pa-pa, pa-poke-you-in-the-face' song.

For months now, Sami has been trying to roast marshmallows. On his birthday, we tried again.

This time, the birthday boy came prepared with enough wood, lighter fluid, and marshmallows to ensure victory. Our dentist thanks you, Salami!

Sami may have taught Smorgasbord 101, but Mama was the Prof for How to be a Swinger 202.

She may have taught David how to push a little too hard, though.

At least Tom did not get sick and vomit on anyone. Speaking of vomit, isn't this sickening?

If Dalia sees this, I can only hope for Chiara's sake that Peter paid attention in my 'Back-pedalling 303' course.

Peter's heart must have been beating so loudly that his ear drum burst and we needed to go to the ear doctor's again.

At least this time, there were no stinky foreigners in the waiting room. After a long wait and a short examination, Peter joined Mama's antibiotic doping. Peter was feeling better sooner than Angie, though, because the doctor had misdiagnosed Angie and had prescribed antibiotics for a viral infection. We fixed that by switching doctors along with the medicine and Angie was soon on the road to recovery. To help things along, the boys made get well cards.

Ok, actually they just took crayons and markers to the carpet, walls and bed frame, but they did manage to get some on the paper as well. It cheered up Sickalina slightly, but she has yet to see the damage done to their room. I think I will wait a while on that one and then try to blame our cat.

Since Angie was bedridden for over a week, the boys and I got to bond. We bonded, and bonded, and then bonded some more. We bonded so much, in fact, that I dumped kids 1 and 2 off at Barb's for an overnighter. Thanks again, Barb - my ears love you.

I picked the boys up and let Opa take them on a driveby in his convertible.

The three hoodlums pimped Opa's ride and then racked out, gangsta-style.

After powernaps and a bribe of special treats, I got the kids out of Angie's sick hair again. We picked up Sarah and her two kids and walked about town getting disapproving looks from other parents with less than five kids that shouted quit procreating. Okay, but the only other fun thing to do is to go get ice-cream. Either way, someone is going to get fat.

Speaking of fatties, check out these two...

After our calorie infusion, we took a stroll to a local park. It was fun, but Sarah was being a real baby.

At least the kids were behaving. Kinda. David found a big pile of rocks and decided that they must be thirsty.

Alessio and Chiara joined in and soon the tiny pond was completely stoned. Dude. The pond wasn't the only one getting a bad case of the munchies.

Tom has two older brothers, so everything he does has to be twice as impressive to get any brotherly awe. He was able to do this by first crawling (yes - real crawling!) over to me while I snacked on his baby cookies. Next, he pulled himself up and stood (yes - real standing!) all on his own. I guess someone really likes his cookies. As an encore, he poked me in my eye as he stole his cookies back. If I reflect too long on the meaning of Tommy's little eye-poke, I may wind up poking him back. Besides, we had to go find another window to blowfish.