Archive for the ‘toby’ Category

lost boy

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Toby went to the Como Zoo in St Paul today with his school. All went pretty well, until they were looking at the spiders. Toby got bored and walked off by himself, then realized that he didn’t know where his friends were. Apparently he fairly quickly found a member of the zoo staff (or the zoo staff found him) and Toby said that he was lost. He was taken to the zoo office, and the zoo guy called the number on the sticker on Toby’s shirt, and all was well.

Obviously I’m a bit freaked out that Toby did this – if he has one infuriating trait, it’s that he does tend to wander off sometimes. We’ve always managed to keep track of him so far, but I guess this had to happen one day. At least it wasn’t at somewhere huge and bustling like SeaWorld when we were in Florida, and maybe it was a good lesson for him. Emma and I are quite proud of him that he knew to find a staff person and say “Excuse me, I’m lost” so he did do well with that. I feel a bit odd about our little guy being all by himself and then sitting in the zoo office waiting to be collected.

Toby’s a bit shaken up too. His teachers said he was very withdrawn all afternoon and once Emma got him home this afternoon he was really weepy. In fact he was crying at the slightest little thing, ending up lying on the floor saying that he just needed to cry. Once he had talked about the experience, he seemed to be a bit better but needed lots of hugs. We talked it through and let him know that although he could have been more careful he at least did the right thing about getting found again. We’ve had lots of hugs this evening – hopefully he’ll sleep OK, wake up happier, and learn a good lesson.

bunch of photos

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

My sister in law, Rosey, just posted up a bunch of photos from her recent visit over here. There are some great ones – mostly Toby at his soccer class, our trip to the baseball, and the zoo.

Here’s set one; here’s set two


Monday, June 11th, 2007

This just in: fairground riders left hanging upside down. While we were in Florida Toby insisted on going on the kids’ Shamu rollercoaster at Seaworld (here we are getting ready to go). This is not normally the kind of thing I’d do, but for my boy I’ll go the extra mile. My confidence was not heightened by the fact that the people on the ride right before us had the cars stop part way up the initial ramp – they were stuck for about 5 minutes in the broiling sun until a bloke with an enormous bunch of keys got to the control desk and did something to get them moving. It was fine for us, actually really fun, once we got going but I wouldn’t have like to have been stuck there with a four-year-old asking “why have we stopped? Why aren’t we moving? Why have we stopped? I need to go to the bathroom! Why have we stopped?”

time passing

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Yesterday was my birthday – a milestone in fact – 35. The card from my dad said that I had reached half of my three score years and ten and am now officially middle aged. Thanks a lot. On the other side, he did get me the complete New Yorker DVD set (all New Yorkers ever on 8 DVD-ROMs (or should that be DVDs-ROM)) and the complete New Yorker cartoon book/CD-ROM set too. Fantastic. Toby got me some very nice beer glasses, and Emma got me new workout clothes to encourage me to get back into going to the gym – this was my idea not her being mean.

It was actually a really nice day – chats on the phone with family, and in the afternoon Toby had been invited to a friend’s birthday party. We went along too, it was very nice. Perfect warm day in their backyard, food and drink for the grown-ups, and a splash pool for the kids. Fun for all.

Today is Toby’s first day in his new class at daycare – Preschool II. It’s the class for the oldest kids, and it’s pretty amazing to me. He started there in the infant class when he was about 7 months old (I’ve been trying to find a blog post from when he started but can’t – maybe I just didn’t write anything at the time) and now he’s one of the big kids. He has been very excited about this, and zoomed into school this morning. There was some swagger there too. A couple of the other kids shouted out “Cool! Toby, you’re in our class now!”


Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

We went out to a toy store this afternoon to get something for the birthday of one of Toby’s friends. While we were there, we saw this: a kids’ punching ball. Toby strapped on the boxing gloves then took a swipe – in required comedy fashion the ball bounced right back in his face. Not enough to hurt him, but it was pretty funny. Then after he’d spent quite a while at it, Emma had a bop at the ball – again in required comedy fashion it bopped Toby on the back of the head. Hours of fun. Apart from anything else Toby looked kind of cool wearing boxing gloves.

So if you’re looking to get Toby a gift, and give us all a laugh too, this may be what you’re after.

toby’s orlando photos

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Toby and I finally got around to getting the photos from our Orlando trip into the computer, did some editing and some hilarious captioning – the results are here. Hope you like them!

going back

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Tomorrow morning, almost later tonight, we have to get up at an ungodly hour for an early flight back to Minneapolis. And tomorrow’s going to be a busy day – Emma has a class in the afternoon and then has to collect her two sisters from the airport; I have a rehearsal in the afternoon and then a concert in the evening.

Kind of looking forward to getting home though; as noted a few days ago, it’s amazing how quickly you can get used to being in a hotel – I’m sure it’s miserable after a while, but it’s great to leave your room in the morning then get back later in the day to find it all clean.

So – quick impressions of the trip: My work stuff has been really worthwhile, I learned some good stuff, met some interesting people and have a lot of things to implement when I get back to the office. Emma and Toby have had a great time – Toby did a lot of swimming in the hotel pool and his confidence is way up. He went from, on the first day, being quite nervous and only wanting to be in the kiddy pool, to today zooming around under his own steam back and forth across the big pool, his little legs kicking away and his arms reaching out in front for his kid’s version of freestyle. Nice work.

Today I didn’t have any classes so we all went to Sea World (Toby and Emma’s tickets were good for a second day) and had a great time. The sealion show was really fun – a lot more pantomime and less slick than the other shows, and lots of fun as a result. Toby and Em took me to the Shamu show too – they sat well back having been completely drenched on Tuesday in the “soak zone” and it was pretty cool. We also spent some time at the little funfair bit – as Emma is expecting she wasn’t able to go on the rides with Toby so I went on the rollercoaster with him. I’m not really a fairground ride kind of person, but I must say it was really fun. For a kids’ ride it was pretty fast, Toby was kind of nervous but I did lots of very obvious laughing – “Ha ha haaaa!” – which seemed to make him feel better. I was glad we did it – definitely a fun thing about being a dad. It was pretty hot though, and great to have a swim back at the hotel pool when we got home, followed by a little meal outside in the mild weather.

The only blight on the evening was realizing that now my conference is over, there’s a meeting of the Florida Republicans in the hotel – definitely time for us to leave.

in orlando

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Hello and welcome from very sunny Orlando, Florida. I’m at the StarEast software testing conference for the week, and this year took along Emma and Toby too. So far we’re having a totally great time – Toby was super-excited about the whole adventure, did great on the plane, and when we got to the hotel was positively vibrating with excitement. Just taking an elevator to your room is apparently cause for celebration, not to mention opening the room door with a Spiderman room key. And apparently our whole floor is “the best floor of all the hotels”. I hardly need to mention that the breakfast buffet contains the greatest food ever consumed.

The conference so far is pretty good – it’s my second year in a row here, and I’m getting a lot out of it. If I even put a tenth of the things I’m learning into practice then the cost of admission has been repaid. It’s a nice balance for me of learning new stuff and also having the things I’m doing be reinforced, and feeling good that a lot of the initiatives I’m running are worthwhile and industry leading.

But! Back to the real business. Yesterday Emma and Toby did a fair bit of trekking around – our hotel is right in the middle of a lot of shops and restaurants, and there’s a trolley bus which is very convenient. They also had some time in the hotel swimming pool, and saw a large number of geckos. Only disappointment was that the cinema up the road wasn’t showing any Toby-appropriate movies, but I think he’ll cope. Today was the first Big Day – they went to Seaworld. All day yesterday Toby had been asking about seeing Shamu the killer whale, and today his dream came true (speaking of dreams, yesterday he was so wiped out that when he went to bed he was reading a book and fell asleep in the middle of saying a word). The park was by all accounts pretty cool, although I think the shows were a bit louder than they expected, and Toby’s plan to sit in the “soak zone” of the Shamu amphitheater wasn’t as fun as he expected, when he got covered in cold seawater (pics to follow). The tickets are valid for two days so they’re probably going to go back on Thursday to see some of the other attractions such as the sealions – always fun.

After I was done with my geeking this afternoon the three of us went for a dip in the hotel pool – after a bit of splashing around in the kid pool we finally persuaded Toby to come into the main pool with us so that he could practice his swimming. After a bit of nervousness he did really well – using his float he ended up doing a lot of swimming by himself and really enjoyed the freedom of being able to decide where he wanted to go. It was so nice to be in the water and the sunshine under palm trees.

Also, for a much better written Florida experience, take a read of the site of one of my favorite writers, James Lileks, who is currently at a Disney park with his family.


Friday, April 20th, 2007

Conversation this morning between Emma and Toby:

T: Mummy, didn’t you know that Charlie is faster than Lola? That’s because Charlie is the big brother, and big brothers are always faster.
E: Yes, when they are growing up, because the big brother is usually bigger as well as being older.
T: Yes. Big brothers are the fastest!
E: But when they grow up, sometimes the biggest brother is not the fastest. Who do you think would be fastest out of Daddy, Uncle Richard, Uncle David and Uncle Robin?
T: Um, Me! I am the fastest!


Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

This evening after work/school we took Toby to his first soccer class. Actually, he has had soccer classes before – his daycare arranges for classes over summer, and also this class was a parent/child thing, but you get my point hopefully: it was his first grown-up kid soccer class with a bunch of people he didn’t know.

Minneapolis does a number of things like this for city residents – this class is at the Northeast Rec Center – and as I said is for kids and their parents too. It was a very nice evening – sunny and mild – and perfect for being outdoors. I wasn’t sure what would be expected or what the other people would be like, but it was just great. The coach was very enthusiastic and seemed to know what he was doing, and the other families seemed nice too, a good mix of folks. Toby got right into running around with the other kids, and I was proud that he held his own, and his speed and ball skills were as good as any of the others (OK I’m biased of course but he did seem to do pretty well – plus he was first to the finish when they had to run round the small pitch – facts are facts). The only thing he didn’t like was towards the end when they did a little game, and because there was a bigger kid there it was hard for him to get the ball, but he still went for it, so much so that he brought another couple of kids down with him at one point.

So what about the parent component? This was especially important to Emma, as I’m going to be away for the next couple of Tuesdays. I didn’t have to do a whole lot, really just making sure that he would be OK with all the other kids around (although I made sure to keep my distance most of the time to let him do it himself), and kicking the ball around with him at the warmup at the start. So, yeah, I still have my crazy moves.