The Pumpkin Dance - Christmas Edition

Just in time for the holiday season, here is a video of KXVO's pumpkin dance guy dancing in front of a festive Christmas background.


Here Comes Santa Claus

This afternoon the family and I went to Walmart to get some of our Christmas shopping done. We only bought presents for Mel's and my niece and nephews today, but that was a good portion of the shopping that we needed to finish. Except for presents for Emma, which Mel will get later, I may try to finish the Christmas shopping online tonight. Our first Christmas celebration with family is on December 13, so if I am going to make any online purchases, I should make them soon. While we were at Walmart, Emma got her photo taken with Santa Claus. She was much more excited about sitting with him for a picture this year than she was last year, although she did not tell him what she wants for Christmas.

Thanksgiving at Mom's

Thursday morning, Mel, Emma, and I were joined by my sister for our journey to Waterloo, Iowa, for Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's condo. That morning I realized that I had neglected to let my mom know that we were planning on driving down Thanksgiving morning rather than the evening before. When I called her to let us know that we were on our way, she said that she realized around 10:00 the evening before that we would be coming down on Thursday, and not on Wednesday. We had a very yummy dinner at my mom's place. Besides the five of us, my aunt, uncle, and grandmother joined us. Emma and I saw my grandmother just a few weeks ago, but I hadn't seen my aunt and uncle for some time. This was the last trip that Mel will be taking to Iowa before the baby is born some time in January or early February, so it was good that we got to see some other relatives.

I had thought about staying up late on Thursday or getting up early on Friday to do some Black Friday shopping, but I decided against it. Instead, Mel and I went to Toys R Us at a more respectable hour to see if a particular toy we had seen in their ad was still available. It was not. We did however find a few gifts to pick up. Fortunately, while the store was quite crowded, we did not have to wait in line too long to check out.

As Thursday was Mel's and my fourth wedding anniversary, we asked my mom and sister to watch Emma Friday evening so the two of us could go out to dinner and to a movie. We had dinner at Carlos O'Kelly's. I really wish we had a location of that restaurant closer to our home. While we have plenty of good places to eat, I really like the meals there. Besides, half-price margaritas on Thursdays are good as well. Following dinner we went to see New Moon. I had not seen Twilight, so I was initially concerned that I would have difficulty following what was going on. That was not the case though. I found the movie quite easy to follow. Overall, it was a good movie, but I did find the first half of the film to be a bit slow.

The four of us returned home to Minnesota Saturday morning. We would have stayed in Waterloo until after lunch, but my mom had a funeral to go to. The drive back went pretty well. It can be a bit challenging driving three and a half hours with a two-year-old who is still relatively new at not wearing diapers of Pull-Ups, but we made it home okay.


Another One Bites the Dust

Tiger Barb 1
Originally uploaded by MewissaPR
I am now down to five fish in my aquarium. This morning, after giving the fish their food, I looked around the aquarium to see how my fish were doing, but I could only locate one of my two tiger barbs, much like the one pictured here. I quickly noticed something sitting at the bottom of the tank next to one of the fake plants. It was mostly just some white, flaky stuff. I soon realized that it has a bit of a tail on it. It was one of the two tiger barbs! I am not sure if it died on its own or not, but it was obvious that my surviving fish had a late-night snack of tiger barb last night. I wonder how long the remaining tiger barb will live. Hopefully the larger fish in the aquarium leave him alone.


Poker Face

I would not consider myself to be a big fan of Lady Gaga, but each time I hear her song "Poker Face" it seems to grow on me more. Most of my exposure to this song though is from others' interpretations of it. Those include versions from South Park and by Christopher Walken. Now, someone has combined these two videos together with the original Lady Gaga video, and they did a terrific job at it. There is just one problem though. Watching Eric Cartman performing the song makes me want to buy Rockband 2 or Band Hero for our Wii, but I do not know which one to get.


The Biter

totoro teeth
Originally uploaded by chotda

Yesterday, for the second time in as many weeks, Emma was bitten at daycare. Last week when she was bitten, there was a slight visible mark, but it did not look too bad. This time though, the mark on her arm was much more prominent. From what her teacher told us, the bruise on Emma’s arm appeared immediately after she was bitten. Fortunately the skin was not broken. This could be in part because Emma was wearing both a T-shirt and a sweatshirt at the time.

We are not sure of the circumstances surrounding the previous bite, but yesterday the girl who bit Emma did so because Emma was sitting in the chair that the other girl wanted to sit in for lunch. Emma was one of three victims of this other girl yesterday, causing the girl to be sent home for the day. This girl may end up being removed from the daycare center if the biting continues. However, Emma will soon be getting away from her as Emma will be transitioning to the preschool class after Thanksgiving.

We spoke with Emma about biting last night, letting her know that biting someone else is not acceptable. Emma says that this girl is still her friend, but I wonder if she will try to avoid her at daycare for the next week until she moves to the preschool class.


Starting Thanksgiving Early

We had Thanksgiving dinner at Mel's grandmother's house in Iowa. We rode there with Mel's brother and his two kids. After that ride, I have to say that being squeezed in the back of a minivan next to Emma in her car seat was not the most comfortable way to spend a three hour drive each way, but it was worth it as we did save some gas.

We had a tasty dinner and got to see much of Mel's family. Emma really enjoyed seeing all of her cousins. She also had a great time playing in the leaves in the yard. Emma and I will be back down to Mel's grandmother's house next month for Christmas, but Mel has decided that after Thanksgiving, she is done going on long car trips until the baby is born. So Mel will not be able to make it there then.


Garden Jawa

This morning I discovered one of the latest offerings from StarWarsShop.com, the Garden Jawa. For just $34.99, plus shipping, this solid-resin, fully-painted, Jawa, complete with a garden hose, could find himself along side the garden gnomes that we already have. He measures about one foot tall. As much as I want this, I am going to refrain from buying it as I know my mother needs ideas for Christmas presents for me. The garden Jawa is not available to ship until December 9, but I would guess they will sell out quickly, so I sincerely hope someone orders this for me for Christmas. If I do get this for Christmas, the next thing I will need to do is to convince Mel to let me place it in the yard.


Wii Fit

wii fit at the airport
Originally uploaded by davidking

As part of my renewed effort to lose some weight, I have decided that I really need to become more active. I haven't really gotten any real exercise since completing RAGBRAI in July. As it is getting a bit too cold outside to do much cycling, unless I were to buy some cold-weather cycling gear, I have returned to exercising using the Wii Fit. My plan is to alternate between days of aerobic exercise and days of strength and yoga exercises. Today was my second day of this exercising. I hope I can keep it up. Or maybe I should use some of the money I got for my birthday to buy some clothing for cycling in cold weather.



Originally uploaded by wader

I have written about this a few times already within the past year or so, but I am going to write about it again. I am overweight. When I last went to the doctor for a checkup, he told me that I should probably try to lose ten pounds or so. Well, that was ten pounds ago, but in the wrong direction. As of this morning, I weigh 225.6 pounds. I would really like to get my weight down to 200 pounds, but my doctor says that 205 pounds would be good enough. Just a few months ago, I realized that the size 34 waist pants that I had been wearing were not going to work any longer. I was not pleased that I had to move up to size 36, there being no size 35, but at this point I do not think a size 35 would even fit comfortably.

So today I am going to resume paying close attention to what I eat. That means that I will no longer be touching any of the leftover Halloween candy that sits in a bowl a mere six feet from the desk in my office. I really should ask Mel to take to work to share with her colleagues all of the candy from the bowl that she will not eat. That would really help me out. My goal is to lose at least one pound each week. That means I should reach my goal of 205 pounds in 22 weeks, by April 13.


Visiting Mom

This past weekend Mel was going to visit a friend of hers in Cedar Rapids. Since my mom lives along her route to Cedar Rapids, Mel dropped Emma and me off at my mom's condo in Waterloo. It was good to see my mom, especially since we hadn't seen her in a couple of months. As soon as we got there, Emma wanted to go straight to her toys. It is the same when we go to Mel's parents' house as well. I think Emma likes playing with different toys than she is used to at home.

Saturday morning, the three of us headed to my grandmother's house in Keystone. It had been even longer than we had seen her. At first Emma didn't seem to remember her great grandmother, but she eventually warmed up to her. Of course, Emma enjoyed playing with yet a different set of toys there. We stayed for a while after lunch then returned to Waterloo. We ended up having dinner at Beck's in Waterloo. I hadn't eaten there in a very long time. I had the ribs. They were very good and very meaty.

Sunday morning, the three of us went to church. Mel stopped by early in the afternoon to pick Emma and me up. The three of us then returned home to Minnesota. It took us a bit longer to get home than it usually would due to one little girl's insistence on using the potty in three consecutive towns that we passed through. She actually only went twice. I suppose having to stop often to use the potty is the tradeoff to not having to buy diapers anymore, for now anyway.


Skywalking - A Star Wars Love Ballad

There are some inacuracies within the lyrics of this song. For one, despite what the lyrics say on the YouTube page for the song, it sure it sounds to me like Luke says he's from Dantooine, not Tatooine. However this love ballad "from" Star Wars is really good. It is also pretty creepy considering Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa were brother and sister. Although in their defense, they did not know that at the time.


Election Day

Vote Here
Originally uploaded by lakelandlocal

Today was election day, so I did my civic duty and voted. The election was not as interesting as last year, and there definitely weren't as many voters present. The only race on the ballot in my precinct was for South Washington County Schools school board. So yesterday I did a little research to decide which four of the candidates I would vote for. Now I don't recall the names of the people for whom I voted, but I will try to remember so I can see if they won or not.

Return to Standard Time

I suppose it couldn't last forever. Not daylight saving time of course. I knew that had to end, but the way Emma seemed to adapt to the change from daylight saving time to standard time so easily. Last Saturday night, Emma went to bed around 7:30 as she usually does, and she slept until 6:30 Sunday morning, a whole twelve hours! Emma tends to wake up between 5:00 and 6:30 usually, with most of the time waking up between 5:30 and 6:00. But her sleeping until 6:30 was basically the equivalent of sleeping until 7:30 on any other morning. And yesterday she slept until almost 5:30. Well this morning that all came to an end with Emma waking up screaming at 4:00. Now it did seem that she may have woken up because she had been having a bad dream. Hopefully that was the only reason she woke up this early, because I really do not want to be getting out of bed that early for the rest of the week.