Yesterday, someone backed into Amy's car while it was parked at work. The person left a note, and I gather that they spoke to Amy about it later on, too. She's been in touch with our car insurance company, so I guess it's time for them to earn some of the money that we send them each and every month.

The first thing I said when I saw the picture was, "Crap! Does the gas door still open?" It did, but only after a fragment of the perpetrator's tail light was removed.

Thoughts? Well, annoyed, for one. Relieved, for two...it's nice that the perpetrator left their information, instead of driving off into the sunset with one less tail light. Of course, it's been revealed that the car they were driving is a rental car, so maybe they'd have done it differently if it had been their own vehicle.

On a lighter note...

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite pictures. Here is my little bookworm, asking (nay, demanding) that his mother read him the book that he is presenting. The expression on the boy's face is priceless.

This past weekend was my cousin's son's birthday party. We attended, even though Stephen was still recovering from his ordeal with the vaccinations he'd had the week before (more on that in a moment, for those of you not in the know). The party started at 11am, which is normally Stephen's nap time, and he had developed a rash on his torso, which only added to the child's crankiness.

Despite Stephen's obvious discomfort, it was nice to get out and walk. The venue was Stagecoach Park in La Costa, a place I never knew existed. I plan to take the boy back that way sometime, just so we can throw a ball, have a picnic, or fly a kite. The big hits for Stephen? Well, the sand, for one. Dirt may be cool, but sand (according to him) is "da bomb." Whatever that means.

He also got to eat strawberries hand over fist, which is one of his favorite things to do (next to eating watermelon).


Summer With a One Year-Old

Last year about this time, Stephen couldn't sit up without assistance. A scant twelve months later, he's scampering around like a real pro, getting into anything that isn't nailed down. He's learning to throw, too. Between warming up his pitching arm with balls or blocks, and tossing items absently over his shoulder when they no longer interest him, we occasionally find ourselves ducking for cover.

He's also quite vocal. I don't know if this is due to all the reading we've been doing with him or what. He'd love nothing more than to sit on a lap and force one of us to read the same books over, and over, and over again. I'm happy that he enjoys being read to, and I really hope his interest in books is as keen as his mother's is as he grows older. Being bookish isn't a bad thing, in my opinion. In fact, I think it leads to increased imagination, creativity, and intelligence.

Granted, I don't want him turning into an evil genius or anything, but it'd be nice if he and I would be able to talk shop someday.

We bought ourselves a new BBQ grill this past weekend. It's a hefty sucker, bigger (and fancier) than any grill we've had to date. Our last grill was small, and while it was adequate back when it was functional, it's got nothing on the new one. I'm really happy with the grill and its performance so far. At only $200, I really do feel that it was a bargain.

Plus, Amy put the whole thing together. Bonus! As she did so, Stephen orbited around the structure, occasionally stopping to poke at something or make a comment in his garbled toddler tongue.

The story of the buying of the grill is somewhat amusing.

I'd gone earlier in the day on Saturday, along with Stephen, to the local Home Depot to look at grills. The boy was quite impressed by the large variety of stuff in the store, not to mention the size of the place. In particular, he took a liking to the driving mowers. I think he was more interested in the tires, which he attempted to spin (even though they were firmly on the ground).

The grill I'd picked out seemed to have a large carton, but it wasn't overly huge. I estimated that it would fit nicely in the back seat of my car. The boy and I hit the road and ran the rest of our errands (which consisted mostly of shopping for food) before heading home.

I returned to Home Depot sometime later, alone, and bought the grill. I wheeled it out to my car on an orange trolley. While my back seat was large enough to accomodate the grill, the back door wouldn't open wide enough to admit the elephantine box. My trunk was too small, as well. I called for help from friends and family, and was eventually relieved by my younger brother, Jim, who came to my rescue in a borrowed pick-up truck.

And so, my eyes are obviously bigger than my car doors.

The grill has served well, and I've prepared two meals upon its massive cooking surface. Sunday night it was carne asada, with a couple of curried chicken breasts for kicks. Last night, I prepared yellow squash and pork chops that had been soaking in a jerk-style marinade for more than 24 hours. Tonight, I reckon we'll have some good old-fashioned hamburgers.

Work is fine, I suppose. I'm more or less satisfied with my current position, though I often wonder about the future. Where am I going? I haven't much idea, though I can always make some guesses. As buyers, my co-workers and I will be trained to audit suppliers. This will mean some manner of travel, especially in the case of what we like to term "critical suppliers."

I like travel, but I've never done it in the line of duty, per se (unless you count game conventions). So we'll see.

Oh, one more thing: the pictures.

The first is Stephen in a swimming pool at his grandmother's house. The second is the proud scholar next to his ever-growing pile of books. The third was taken at a friend's house last weekend; she had a box full of tumbled rocks on her patio, and the boy found them to be incredibly interesting. The last photo was taken as I was getting (expensive) gasoline at a local 7-11. Stephen watches me from his seat, and smiles when I look in at him.