Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Welcome Cole!

Cole Aslan Faircloth was born on Thursday, 4/9/09, at 7:20 pm. 8 pounds, 1.7 ounces and 21 inches long! Everybody is happy and healthy and doing well. You can click on the photo album link to the right to view more pictures of our new cutie.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Adventures in Reading...

I mentioned on this blog a while ago that my 4 year old daugther taught herself to read. Well, she's five now and reads vociferously. Seriously... she devours books... big ones.... we're not talking "Green Eggs and Ham"... she's reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Anne of Green Gables and these American Girl sets of books. She plows through them faster than I think I could.... and I mean that.

Anyway... there's been a few moments when she reads something and then proceeds to tell us about things later on... such as telling us all about bomb shelters and the underground railroad. Did I mention she is five? There are also those moments when she tells us about things that she only knows within the context of reading. For example, a few months ago, she was asking me about the "onions" and the "cunderfeats" that fought in the Civil War. Well, silly me... I never thought to tell her about the Civil War and how it was fought between the "Union" and the "Confederates".... obviously, I got a good laugh out of that.

Well, today... Reagan busted out with my favorite one thus far. She just randomly sang someting to the effect of "Molly and Henry sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G". Now, we are all reading that and know the exact tune. Well, Reagan had never heard that before (thankfully). So, when she sang it...well, it wasn't that tune... and the HILARIOUS part is when she got to the K-I-S-S-I-N-G, she didn't spell it out, like it's supposed to be sung... because, of course, she doesn't have that context. Instead, she sang it kind of like a billy goat might... "KKKKKiiiiiSSSSSiiiiNNNNNggggg"... I was cracking UP!

Little moments like this make me thankful to be a Dad.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lovin' Hot Moms at the Monster Truck Rally

I have to give all credit to Kelly on this one. Recently, she saw an advertisement on TV for an upcoming "Monster Jam" show at the Verizon Center (where the Wizards play basketball). She told me about it because she knew Luke would LOVE it -- and best of all, it said kid's tickets were only $10. So, I looked into it and... well... the kids tickets were, indeed, only $10. But that meant you had to sit in the nosebleeds and after paying for the adult ticket and all the fees, I was looking at about $70 to go to the Monster Truck show. Needless to say, with my sole experience of monster trucks coming from numerous ESPN shows in the 80's, I thought that was a bit steep.

Now, I was completely willing to pay that... however, I thought I would wait until the last minute and see if I could pick up some tickets on craigslist and save a buck or two and hopefully get better seats. However, one magical night shortly thereafter, I was watching Fox News and a commercial came on for Monster Jam that said: "Go to fox5 news website and register for your Monster Jam Party Pack".... except they said it in that monster truck voice (you know: SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!!!). Well, needless to say I registered immediately... and, lo and behold, about a week later I got an email saying that I was the big winner! That's right, I was the winner of the prestigious Monster Jam prize pack. Now, let me own up here.... I was SOOOO excited -- I had WON tickets... how cool is that? And, best of all, it included 4 tickets so I invited my friend Matt and his son Grant who is also 4 years old like Luke. Matt originally had a date night planned with his wife that night (in fact, we were babysitting for them). But Matt is a man that knows his priorities and knows that date night can always be bumped back a day or two because "serious heart pounding Monster Truck action" does not come to town every day. So, after getting his bride's permission (uhh... I said he "knows his priorities" not that he was "stupid"), Matt was in on the fun.

Now, again... my entire exposure to Monster Trucks was from numerous airings of the "sport" on ESPN during the 80's (before ESPN was "ESPN") and I wanted to really have some fun with my wardrobe. So naturally I head to Walmart looking for some sweet John Deere gear so that I can be ironically trendy. Unfortunately, Walmart does not carry any John Deere t-shirts. Who knew? In my minds eye, I pictured Walmart having rows and rows of the green stuff. No such luck. Anyway, I gave serious consideration to purchasing a Mountain Dew t-shirt (made famous by Ricky Bobby's son, Texas Ranger... you know: "Chip... I'm all jacked up on Mountain Dew!"). However, I concluded that the $7.96 price tag was just too steep. Instead, I decided to wear the most obnoxious t-shirt I owned. That's right... I decided to unveil my "I love hot moms" t-shirt for the first time since "the incident." It seemed like a perfect fit for such an event... and besides... I'll keep my jacket on most of the time and it might, hopefully, make a few people chuckle.

So, with my "I love hot moms" t-shirt stylishly adorned over a long sleeve white t-shirt, we arrive at the Verizon Center and the first thing we notice is that our seats are AWESOME!!!! Seriously, they were the best seats in the house. Apparently, the winner of the Fox5 News prize pack gets treated really, really well. Here's a picture of Luke and I in our seats.... but they don't really do them justice... they were front row, center section, aisle seats... they just don't get any better than that. It's the kind of seats you'd sell a kidney to have to watch your favorite team.

Alright... now here is where the story gets really good. We weren't in our seats 10 minutes before a real official looking lady (in the "monster truck" sense) asks us if we want to be judges for the "freestyle" competition. And, well... duh... is the pope Catholic? Does a one-legged duck swim in circles????.... OF COURSE WE WANT TO BE JUDGES!

First we undergo an extensive tutorial and orientation on how to judge. Here is a picture of her as she begins the teaching:

You're probably thinking this orientation lasted... what.. a half hour? No... not so much ... it lasted about 15 seconds and her only rule was "Don't give out 10's" and handed us the flip chart with numbers on it. As you can see in this picture of Matt holding his flip chart, he is beside himself with pure, unadulterated, testosterone fueled excitement (and I shared that same sense of "somebody pinch me... this is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream"):

Thankfully, there was a set of judging rules printed on the front of the flip chart. Here they are:

The girl next to me (who was the third judge.... no doubt playing the encouraging/slightly coked out "Paula Abdul" role) asks "What is a Sky Wheelie?" Great question... I was wondering the same thing myself. I told her: "It's whatever we want it to be." Surprisingly, she accepts this answer (she was only about 12 years old... so, she was probably overwhelmed by my advanced intellect... or perhaps my "I love hot moms" t-shirt... I'm not sure which).
Well, we caught on pretty quickly and were adhering strictly to the extensive list of rules... quite possibly doing the best judging job they have ever seen (we may have, in fact, made ourselves eligible for their hall of fame). We do this judging thing for about 1/2 the show... the entire beginning and the entire ending (footnote: we reserved giving out a "10" until the very end when we bestowed upon "Grave Digger" with a perfect score.... after all, I loved his Cyclone Donut to Sky Wheelie combination). Needless to say, it is not lost on us that we are getting some serious face time on the Verizon Center's Jumbotron. I even snap a picture. Here's the money shot:

That's me (notice the t-shirt and camera in hand), Matt to my right, and our boys (Luke and Grant) in the middle. Then... at some point it hits me. I'm wearing my obnoxious "I love hot moms" t-shirt and, thanks for an awesome turn of events and the technology of the Jumbotron, every one of the 18,000 spectators knows it.
Classic. Absolutely Classic.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Supa Dupa Babee

I cannot disclose the details of where I first came across the "Supa Dupa Babee"... let's just say that a friend of mine... possibly related to me... is in the military and volunteers his time at Christmas for a major charity (that may or may not rhyme with Boys for Cots). Anyway... someone donated a couple of these dolls and it was decided that they were not suitable to hand out to kids.... Hmmm... wonder why. Let's go through this step-by-step. Here's the beloved and world-renowned Supa Dupa Babee in the box:
OK... other than the cheesy graphics and "Chucky"-esque quality about this doll... nothing really too terribly odd. Now, let's check out the back of the box... and this is where things start getting a bit weird:
"He can blast the evil crackin' cocaine outta sight!"..... Huh? I'm all about teaching my kids about the ills of illegal pharmaceuticals.... but must they be so specific? And why cocaine? Why not meth or marijuana or Ox or Heroin? The specificity and obsession on coke is a bit concerning. Are 2 year olds really in jeopardy of taking a ride on the white horse? Do I need to start warning my own kids to stay away from the booger sugar? Apparently, the makers of this fine product think it's about time we parents start doing so... and that's why they've created the Supa Dupa Babee to empower us in this worthy endeavor. Now we move on to the side of the box:
"Kindegarten and school-aged children imitate his unique space-age look" screams the side of the box. Umm... I'm no expert here... but I'm pretty certain that if I sent my kid to school looking like a sateen version of Mork from Ork.... he's going to get his ass kicked... so... I'll pass... thanks. Though, I must admit.... the boy on the box seems very satisfied with his Supa Dupa Babee (and no doubt is well-prepared to steer clear of cocaine). Time to turn to the other side of the box... and here's what we get:
The master marketers that assembled this product now tell us that the Supa Dupa Babee will tell your children (again with even greater specificity... they are actually warning you about a specific formulation of cocaine this time): "YOU GOTTA FIGHT BACK! SAY NO TO DRUGS! SAY NO TO CRACK!" And... well... I'm happy to report, this is quite true.... press the Supa Dupa Babee and he quite literally says those very words... along with some other Jibber Jabber (I thought the term "Jibber Jabber"... popularized, of course, by Mr. T was somehow the best choice of words to convey 'nonsense' in this situation). OK... lastly.... I could barely contain my excitement as I extracted Supa Dupa Babee from his box.... and here he is:
The only thing I can think is that they originally were going to create a line of "Space Pimp" dolls and ordered a bunch from China... only to discover they weren't selling and would have limited appeal to kindegarteners. Then some genius came up with the concept to have the Space Pimp be an anti-drug superhero named, of course, Supa Dupa Babee.
Anyway... if anyone wants to order these dolls... you could probably get them pretty cheap... I think someone is running around town trying to pawn these off on the "less-fortunate" (no doubt with the sole altruistic purpose in mind of keeping kids off crack.... because CRACK is WHACK!).

There are no words...

This weekend we went to Virginia Beach to visit my parents (and sister and brother-in-law who were visiting from Georgia). One of the things I have always enjoyed doing there is sitting at the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. Not sure why I do... I just always have. It's nearly impossible to do now with three kids... but, I still steal a few moments and quickly scan the paper... and that's what I did on Thursday morning.

As I was scanning the paper... something caught my eye. It was an obituary. Not sure why I was in that section... other than frantically trying to find something of interest to read before I got sidetracked by something more worthy of my time. Well... anyway... take a look at the following obituary and see if it catches your eye too:

Uhh.... did you scratch your head, too? Out of respect for this person, I'm not even going to write her name here (and I don't wan't the google hits from pervs who can't even spell correctly)... but... seriously? Who names their kid that?

I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was a 'real' name of some historical origin... but no such luck. The best I could find was that it was possibly an English name. But, then I came to my senses and realized that if "Penis" was a legitimate name of some historical origin... I'm still not naming my kid that.... even if I took an alternate spelling of Peenis or Pinis?

Anyway... I just had to share.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I yell during Redskins games. If you are a Redskins fan, you know why. It's been 16 years of painful football. Just awful season after awful season. So... I yell at the TV. The kids get a kick out of it and ask constantly "Why does daddy talk to the TV?" Even they, at their young age, understand that this is an exercise in futility.

Well, anyway, today Reagan was watching the 2nd half of today's installment of God-Awful Redskins football with me. (Brief tangent: I absolutely love when she watches the game with me. For one, it keeps me calm and helps me put things in perspective. Yes, I root for the worst football team in America. But, at the end of the day, it's just football and when the game is over, I still have my beautiful family to cheer me up.)

So, when Reagan came down, the first thing she did was draw me a picture and showed it to me proudly. It was this picture:

I took a look at it and told her how great it was and thanked her profusely, not really knowing what it was. She never bothered to explain it either.... she just handed it to me.

Anyway... Reagan was around, so I was on my best behavior and not yelling at the TV. Then, the Redskins did something dumb (of course they did... it's what they do best) and I spontaneously yelled something at the TV.

Just then, Reagan got a big smile on her face and grabbed the picture and put it in front of me... and then I realized what the picture was...

It's me yelling at the TV. Hilarious. At least she drew it with a smile on my face.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Annual Christmas Card

It's that time of the year again. That duty of the Christmas season that I put off and put off and keep making excuses to my wife as to why I can't do it. That's right... it's time to take our annual Christmas picture for the Christmas card.

It wasn't always this difficult. When we first got married.... it was just the two of us. The digital photography revolution was not yet upon us. We would set up our old school film camera on the self-timer, take a handful of pictures and hope for the best.

Then, sometime before we had kids, we made the move to a digital camera. Now, in all fairness to Kelly... this was completely my doing. I wanted a new gadget and the digital camera just seemed like too cool of a thing to NOT have.... so... with much coaxing, Kelly finally approved the purchase. It was the December following that purchase when I started to dread the "Christmas" picture. Gone were the days of snapping a couple of pictures and hoping for the best.... because, now... you see... thanks to digital technology, Kelly had perfection within her grasp. And if there is one thing I know about Kelly... it's that if perfection is actually an attainable attribute... she's going to not just "strive" for it.... but insist on it (hence the reason she married me, of course).

So, what started to occur was the taking of picture after picture after picture until "perfection" was achieved. In actuality, all of the pictures would look the same to me... because... well, you know, they would be of the same 2 people over and over again.... and, I'm no Derek Zoolander....I've only got one smile. Maybe I'm just not that perceptive... but it seemed to me that we would take 20 shots and, in the end, just go with the first one anyway.

Then, of course, we added kids to the mix which made the task increasingly difficult (you trying getting 3 kids under the age of 5 and an easily distracted Dad to look at a camera that's set on a self-timer.... it's not so easy). But I love my wife dearly and it's important to her... so I happily oblige (after I've exhausted all my excuses) when Kelly is ready to take it.

Now, for this year's picture, Kelly would like me to point out that it ws over and done with only 3 shots -- a fact for which I am grateful (I'd like to take some credit for that because once we take one that Kelly sort of likes, I ride it like Seabiscuit and talk about how good it is... because, again, every picture looks the same to me). Also, I should have pointed out that we've gone to great lengths to try to make our Christmas card somewhat entertaining.... we've done top 10 lists, goofy newsletters, etc. This year, the card lists our top 10 reasons "the faircloth five will become the faircloth six in 2009". I think it achieves the lofty goal I've set for myself of "mildly amusing."

One small problem, however. Though we ordered the cards over a week ago they have yet to be printed and Kelly is now stressing out that the cards ordered with this year's picture are not going to get here in time. To me, this isn't a concern... we'll just mail them when we get them and if our friends and family get them after Christmas.... no big deal. Besides, it's only the 9th and there's plenty of time for them to arrive. But, apparently, the earth just might stop spinning if that scenario were to occur.... so we must avoid that at all costs.

I actually called the place today and, after waiting on hold for a half hour, had a nice chat with them. They assure me they will be here in time. So, if you're reading this, it's probably safe to assume you are on the Faircloth Christmas card list. Let me assure you (because I'm sure you've been just worrying yourself sick about this) that you have not been deleted from our Christmas card list. You will receive your Faircloth Christmas card.... you will one day have that sinking feeling you get when your Faircloth Christmas Card does not arrive in your mailbox replaced with pure joy.... and you will one day find out the "Top 10 reasons the Faircloth Five will become the Faircloth Six in 2009"...

And when that day comes... look at that picture of our family... of my gorgeous wife... my beautiful kids.... and, of course, of me.... and know that at that very moment that picture was taken... I'm praying that this picture will be the "one" deemed worthy enough by my bride to appear on our annual Christmas card.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's (going to be) a Boy!

This is going to be our fourth child. And since it's our fourth, there are certain steps in this 9 month process that I have come to expect and anticipate... they go something like this:

  • Kelly will tell me she's pregnant (usually while giggling)
  • I'll enter into a brief panic
  • We'll go to the doctor and the doctor will tell Kelly a bunch of stuff
  • The only thing I know about this initial doctor visit is that they give me a big bill to pay
  • My adorable (and, when it comes to buying something for herself, frustratingly frugal) wife will try to wear old stretched out maternity clothes and refuse to buy anything new
  • I will force Kelly to buy new maternity clothes
  • I will join Kelly at the Dr's again, this time to find out the sex of the baby
  • Kelly will cry at the site of the ultrasound
  • I'll sit there puzzled and answer "you sure?"... when the Dr. says "this is the head" or "this is an arm"
  • Kelly will enter the final months of pregnancy...
  • and then, finally, the baby will come and the real work begins

Well, anyway, today.. we hit that stage of the process where we found out the sex of the baby. As is her custom, Kelly cried her eyes out at the site of our little guy... which, for me, is sweet to see the immense love she has for the baby that she is carrying. I, on the other hand, am an emotionless shell of a man that has to feel, touch, and wrestle with my baby before I can truly bond with him.

At any rate, the results are in and it's going to be a boy! Since I refused to discuss names until I knew the sex (other than wanting Winnie Cooper if it was a girl -- a battle I would have lost horribly, by the way), we now have to do the work of finding a good boy name. This is trickier than you might think... because I want a name that means something. For example... our first three:

  • Reagan: She was, naturally, named after the character played by Linda Blair in the Exorcist (you know... the spinning, puking head). OK... so... maybe not... Reagan was named after Ronaldus Magnus... The Great Communicator... that's right... Ronald Reagan.
  • Luke: Named after someone the ladies loved.... someone that could shoot a bow and arrow to get out of trouble... someone who refused to bow to the unjust demands of "johnny law"... someone who refused to open his car door to enter it.... that's right... Luke Duke. OK, not so much. His name was influenced by the fact that we were studying the gospel of Luke at church during that time (but that's not nearly as good of a story as 'Luke Duke').
  • Will: No jokes here.... Will's first name is after Kelly's father and his middle name (Charles) is after my father. Those are two men who Kelly and I are the utmost respect for and it was an honor to be able to name him that (thankfully, neither was named Wilbur.... or Sally, for that matter).

OK... so, you see, we have kind of a standard set. Kelly was looking through baby names this evening and ruled out the following names: Nuno, Shaka, Doggie (a real Scottish-origin name), Chineze (ironically enough, an African name), Dong-Yul (no one... I repeat.. no one... should name their kid 'dong'... in fact, this name literally translates to Christmas Weener... and that's just not cool to name your kid Christmas Weener... you know?), Ding Bang, Boy (a bit impersonal, no? an actual name of English origin), Duck Young, Eachthighern (huh?) and Ed (just because)....

Other than that.... the sky is the limit. Please forward me your wonderful and meaningful baby boy names ... I'm all ears.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We love Sarah Palin

When Reagan got home from school today, she had a sticker on her shirt that said "I Voted!" I (Kelly) immediately started asking her questions. I wasn't sure who she's heard Scott and I talk about or who she would actually vote for at school. So I asked her, "Well, who did you vote for?" And she said, "Sarah Palin! Her name was on there! It really was!!!" I love that she's picked up on our conversations at home about how much I love Sarah Palin and think she is so awesome. I said, "Well, did it say John McCain too?" And she said, "John McCain???" Ha! I love it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tater Tot Casserole

I met with my friend Jason last week at Fireworks Pizza in Leesburg (a great little place, by the way). Jason is a former co-worker and we share the same sense of humor and an admiration for good beer (Fireworks has a great selection)... so it was fun to get together with him over a few. Anyway, when we worked together, I used to joke that I was going to be making the 'tater tot casserole' just like the Duggars one day. A totally inside joke that only a few people would get because they would have had to (1) watched an obscure show on cable featuring a family with a billion kids and (2) remembered that this family LOVED tater tot casserole. Well... anyway... Jason got the joke (you can see why I enjoyed working with him).

As you know, we are expanding to four kids... So, when we got together... Jason pulled a folded piece of paper out and said "i got you a little something..." Having no idea what it was -- but knowing full well it was some kind of joke -- I cautiously opened the paper. Written inside? That's right, THE recipe for tater tot casserole. So, for your reading enjoyment, or if you ever have 20 kids... I submit to you the aformentioned tater tot casserole (copied word for word -- with my comments in paranthesis -- from the recipe provided by Jason, presumably pulled from the Duggars website or something):

2 lb ground turkey cooked, seasoned, drained (because tater tot casserole is all about your health)
3 2 lb bags tater tots (that's right 3 freaking bags!)
2 cans cream of mushroom
2 cans evaporated milk (evaporated milk always troubles me... if it's 'evaporated'... why does it then slosh around in the can? I've never actually opened one of those cans to find out the 'real' story)
2 cans cream of chicken
Brown meat & place in large (you think?) casserole dish
Cover with tater tots (this cracks me up..not sure why). Mix soup & Milk together.
Pour over top. Bake at 350 for 1 hour
One of Daddy's favorites! (apparently Mr. Duggar loves it... I think we can now safely conclude that tater tots increase virility... in fact, if you look at the side of the package of tater tots, it probably now says: "if you experience an erection lasting longer than 4 hours, call your doctor")
Makes 2 - 9X13 pans

Well... there you have it. I suppose you could 1/2 the recipe... but, then again... tater tot casserole is probably so darned good, you'd better double the recipe.