Monday, August 31, 2009

Family Fun

While I was in Lake Geneva for a guy's golfing weekend, Kristen and Gilbert went to MI for a weekend with family. Awaiting Gilbert was a fun it a mini-Smart car. A strident beliver on being green, he particularly enjoyed the economic trim package that featured a manual propulsion alternative (e.g., self-propelled!), no windows, electronics, and seats only one. However, a beverage holder was dearly needed!As you can tell, he really didn't enjoy his new ride!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Took this video last week. Gilbert is in his room yelling, "Cheessseee!" "Cheessseee!"

We come in to find a delivery truck parked streetside. On it is a picture of all the products it sells. Cottage Cheese is on it. Little Man sees everything!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

PT Training

We had a breakthrough this morning. Gilbert made a HUGE deposit at the bank! Turns out he just needed some private time. We've been sitting in the bathroom with him to offer encouragement, but the results have always been an empty potty.

Well, this morning we asked him if he needed to go and he responded "Yeps." He then grabbed a few toys and went into the bathroom only to close the door behind him. A bit shocked, Kristen let him stay in there. A few minutes later we walked in to find him attempting to wipe after dropping the kids off at the pool. Way to go Gilbert!

Yes, daily highlights of our lives now include whether or not our son takes a dump. Sweet.

New Area Rug

Oh yeah, we replaced our Pier 1 area rug with a new version. It had become warn due to congested high traffic around the sofa. How did Little Man take to the new rug, he christened it on day 2 of potty training by peeing on it. Thanks, buddy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home Renovation - In Action!

We bought Gilbert his own tool kit. And loves it! While I took a break from working, Little Man stepped up to help out!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Home Renovation cont.

The painting is completed. The vanity has been added. Next up, installing the faucet. A few pair of underwear later, Gilbert is back and now my apprentice wants to get involved.

To occupy his time, I gave him my drill bit set thinking he would enjoy attempting to fit in the bits to the proper hole. I turn around and find he's put all the small bits into the big hole and the bits are now down within the casing. Great! That required unscrewing the casing to get the bits out.

Using the screwdriver is Gilbert's favorite work project. He has learned how to open my tool box (Grrr!) and also knows where I keep a spare flat head and Phillips in the desk. We'll often find him with tool in hand putting it in the door knob or attempting to unscrew his toys.

Home Renovation - Day 1

Kristen wanted to update the guest bath. It was just bland. So, we conducted our own version of Design on a Dime! We lacked any storage and the walls were bare. The goal was to paint, replace the pedestal sink with a full vanity and add some art to the walls. Here is where we started from.

Of course, no home project is as ever easy as planned! I ripped out the sink to find that the wall behind it was ripped out requiring me to patch it. So, first I painted the room sans the patch area.

Oh yeah, you might notice the lid to the toiler bowl is missing. I cracked it taking it off to paint behind the bowl. Thank you very much!

When it came time to patch and sand, my little apprentice was there to help. He loved the electric sander! We would stand behind me and lean it to confirm the quality of my work and then point at the area I was working on. Lots of fun. And you also might notice Little Man is pants-less. Well, we started potty training this weekend as well. Never a dull moment at Casa de Johnson!
Lastly, the t-shirt is PJ's official paint shirt. It has paint on it dating all the way back to college. In fact the shirt is 19 years old!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Clean Up

The video is a bit long, but shows how good Gilbert is at cleaning up his room (even if the stuff doesn't always make it back to its spot).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Look What We Got In The Mail!

Okay, a cheesy video. So what!

New Computer. Well Sort Of...

Our new computer showed up last night. Our current Dell model has been a workhorse, but is going on six years old. The mare just can't pull the wagon anymore.

Well, with any tech purchase, it is never as easy as it seems. Forget the debacle with FedEx in getting the damn thing delivered (will not bother you with the details). Remember that feeling as a kid when you would get a cool gift and after all the anticipation of assembling it you learn that it needs batteries and there are none in the house? Well, I had a similar experience.
I already have a wireless network so I did not opt for the 'package' from Dell. So, I disassemble the wireless card from the old box, open up the new tower only to learn that the card does not fit. C'mon!

I call Dell (and after 1/2 hour of being bounced around by tech support in Mumbai) to learn that with this model the wireless card is OEM and must be purchased by Dell. Son of a B*****! The sales person didn't tell me that on the phone. Oh yeah, did I mention I drove to Best Buy first to see if they carried the special card. Priceless.

Defeated for the night, I hooked back up the old computer and put away the shiny new one and now have to wait for the needed part. I'm going to call Dell right now and will push sternly to get the bundled price and free shipping. Stay tuned.

Oh yeah, Gilbert loved playing in the shipping box.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

PJ's Dream List of Golf Courses To Play

After watching the PGA Championship for four days, I have added Hazeltine to my running wish list of courses that I want play before, you know, the golf gods take me away.

I have two lists; those that I have a shot at playing and those that I will likely never get to play. Disappointing, I know! And this is just the top 10 and for the US only!

Reasonable Chance Wish List (mostly public courses!)
  1. Pebble Beach, CA
  2. Bandon Dunes/Bandon Trail/Pacific Dunes, OR
  3. Pinehurst, NC
  4. Muirfield Village, OH
  5. TPC Sawgrass, FL
  6. Kiawah Island, SC
  7. PGA West, CA
  8. Shadow Creek, NV
  9. Erin Hills, WI
  10. Pumpkin Ridge, OR

No Chance Wish List

  1. Butler National - IL
  2. Pine Vally, NJ
  3. Liberty National - NYC
  4. Cypress Point, CA
  5. Augusta National, GA
  6. Chicago Golf Club, IL
  7. The Country Club, MA
  8. Olympic Country Club, CA
  9. Hazeltine National Golf Club, MI
  10. Rich Harvest Farms, IL

I recognize this might be a greedy list, but most golfers are a greedy bunch! I've been fortunate to play some great golf courses (Doral, Kapalua, TPC Woodlands, Whistling Straits, a lot of courses in Scotland!, and more). But why settle when there are so many good golf courses. So, if you have family, friends, anyone that can get me on my 'no chance' list, let me know!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Water Park

After a well earned nap we headed back out to enjoy the awesome weather. The day before, Kristen and Gilbert met up with our friends at Busy Boys and visited a nearby pool and splash park.

We went back on Saturday. In his usual fashion, after about 30 minutes Gilbert warmed up to the locale and began playing around. We couldn't get him off the steps. Up the steps. Down the steps. Up. Down. Tiring!

His cheeks get a lot of sun. We are vigilant about using sunscreen, but when we apply it he fights us and sometimes cries. The result is the sunscreen washes off and his little cheeks are exposed. Ugh!

Air & Water Show

This past weekend was the Chicago Air & Water Show. Kristen likes to go so we decided it was time to introduce Gilbert to the event. Besides, the way he talks about airplanes and helicopters, we thought he would really enjoy it!

The show started at 10am, but we figured getting there early was a prudent thing to do. After visiting a local farmers' market, we parked the car near the main bus route and rode public trans all the way to the beach. We offloaded at the beach and all we can see are people. It was hard to tell if a beach even existed! The place was packed. We did manage to secure a nice location close to the action and near the water so Gilbert could go and play at its edge.
He was getting restless waiting for the good stuff after playing in the sand had worn off(the first 1/2 was the water show and we could not see it) when all of a sudden a jet ripped over the top of the crowd. I thought the loud noise for sure would set Little Man off, but he was unfazed. Instead he was mesmerized watching the jet go back and forth. Victory!

Our friend Eric and his lady friend Jen came down to watch as well. Gilbert immediately became shy and hunkered down between me and Kristen. So, for the next two hours we watched the planes and helicopters do their stuff. Starting to fade, we packed up and headed back to the car. By the time we reached the bus, Little Man could barely keep his eyes opened and fell asleep on the bus!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Golf Clap

The television is rarely on in our home when Gilbert is in the room. However, I do make an exception for golf. The vibrant green color attracts Gilbert and I feel somewhat at ease knowing the action is slow moving (perhaps why adults get bored watching it!).

Well, last night Kristen was at the movies so Dad was in charge for the evening. Thursday started the first day of the last major of the year. Be damned if I was going to miss it. Little Man and I were doing all kinds of activities while golf was on in the background. At some point, a golfer made a great shot or holed a long putt and the crowd erupted in a thunderous applause. Gilbert heard it and decided to participate.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Day At The Beach

Yes, Chicago has beaches! Miles of them. Nearly 15 miles, I believe. The past weekend was warm and muggy so we thought going to the beach would be nice to do. Chicago's summer has been unusually mild. The result? Lake Michigan was chillier than usual. The grimace on Gilbert's face should tell it all!

I was determined to get him out up to his neck so he could feel the waves and current on him. You know, to build his balance.

Well, we got out to the desired depth when a big wave (well, big to Gilbert!) smacked him in the face. He wanted up and immediately! Dad got cold as well with a wet Little Man pressed up against him!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Day At The Park

On Saturday, we had breakfast out with Kristen's sister and parents. We checked out the new Orange located @Grand & Halsted. I highly recommend it! I had a bad experience the Lincoln Park location years ago, but this place had their act together!

They kindly opened the upstairs so as the first table seated, Gilbert was able to run around and look out the windows at the nearby train tracks with bated breath waiting for a Metra train (that never came!).

However, breakfast was not until 9:30 and at Casa de Johnson, we are usually up and out by 8am. So, off to the neighborhood park to run Little Man around before breakfast!

Airplanes were flying over departing O'Hare and it was like we had Tatoo from Fantasy Island (100 points for you if you get that reference) yelling, "Da Plane! De Plane!" Actually it was more like, "Aapla!" Aapla!"

The wind was blowing so Gilbert ended up with a sweet part in his hair. Nice comb over!


I installed a ceiling fan in the master bedroom last weekend. Gilbert is always a great little helper. Well, I was working on assembling the fan when I looked up only to find Gilbert had climbed the ladder! Phew!

So, we decided to catch it on video. Enjoy!

And then he had to get down.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Gilbert wants to take to the sky. Kristen got Little Man to work on his 'ups'. This is too funny!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Kristen was cleaning the floor after a particular messy breakfast with Gilbert. I was getting ready for work and came out to witness Little Man mimicking Kristen. He grabbed a paper towel from her and proceed to wipe up in his room. Check this out!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

All Aboard

Gilbert has a book called All Aboard ABC. It is a ABC book that uses trains to illustrate the alphabet. Little Man loves this book. And mommy and daddy never get tired of reading it. Over and over.

Check Out The Ooze!

Last week I posted about the back up of fluid in Gilbert's ear. Well, I was cleaning out the pictures on the cameras and found a pic of the stuff. Check it out!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Day At The Races

Our friends Adventures in Dubai are back in Chicago visiting family and friends. They organized a gathering at Arlington Park so a large group could gather at once. Sunday was a beautiful afternoon for it!

We gathered early to gain prime real estate in the grandstand. Down by the fence, the kids could run around while the parents were able to have conversations while still keeping the kiddies under a watchful eye. What was real fun is when a race was going on the fence would line up with people and we could get the kids on the fence to be up close and personal with the horses. What a lot of fun!

For Gilbert he enjoyed watching the John Deere equipment go back and forth combing the track or the utility vehicles carting people and supplies around as well. Through in a few airplanes flying over going to and from O'Hare and Little Man was in little man heaven. That and I kept finding him raiding the food stocks we all brought to share. I lost track on the number of crackers he ate after dipping them in hummus. He loves to dip!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Park Pictures

Kristen and Gilbert were at the park early on Sunday morning. They departed the condo so they could cheer on our friend Emily as she ran in the Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. She came through our 'hood around 7:30am leaving Kristen and Gilbert to ponder what to do with the rest of their morning. I snuck out early to hit some golf balls so off to the park they went.

It is sad to say that Gilbert had on pants and a sweatshirt. This is August! What's up with the 60 degree morning temps!

Worst Elvis Impersonation Ever!

On the last night of the Crony Cup we partook in a river boat cruise dinner. Early in the evening someone in the group spotted another guest and alerted the group the killer from No Country for Old Men was on the boat. This guy was a dead ringer for that character!

When I got a good look at him, I told myself he might be an Elvis look alike. I didn't say anything to the group because we were having such a good time talking the guy as the murderer. Well, the boat cruise was coming to the end and the guy spinning the tunes announced we were in for a "special treat". Sure enough, this guy steps up and starts doing Elvis songs. He was awful. The whole group started snapping photos and capturing videos! I managed to get some. Not the best, though. If you have a hard time hearing him, don't worry. He wasn't singing half the words. What kind of Elvis impersonator doesn't know the words to the songs!

This guy was getting mocked during the whole performance and I don't think he had a clue!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Vacation - Part II

Returning from Houston it was a quick turnaround for the second leg of the vacation. Every year I play in a Ryder Cup-like event. The ladies come as well, but the kids stay at home. We were fortunately enough to have Kristen's parents come down and babysit Gilbert for the weekend. Thanks!

This year the Crony Cup was in Louisville. We played a fantastic course and I must admit my golf was the best it has been in awhile. Having played only seven rounds leading up to the cup I shot 70 on the practice round day and proceeded to play similar (but not quite as well!) winning two of my three matches while halving the third. Should have won all three! My team won and it was nice to notch another team win on my overall record. This was the tenth Cup (I've only been a part of four) so for those that have been at all ten it is quite an accomplishment. Already looking forward to next year!

On the evenings of each day we gather with the ladies and do a group event. This year we took part in a boat cruise so it was an excuse to dress up a bit. We got a nice photo along with one with Kristen's childhood friend, Mindi, through which I have become friends with her husband which primarily led to me being invited to the Crony in the first place!