Second Tree Blog

Semi-regularly updated musings from the Tim, Julie, Benton, Carson, and Alana Wilsons.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's a Recurring Ritual...

We don't do too well on the "keeping our lives uncluttered" front. Julie has commented that the biggest challenge in getting our house on the market was getting enough stuff cleared out -- into storage, to Goodwill, to the attic, to the garage, etc. -- that we had the house sufficiently ready for showing. Our neighbors who have been in the house before that process began have commented...repeatedly! to how great it looks.

So, what's the recurring ritual? Well, it's not "decluttering the house." Rather, it's my mother conspiring with Julie to identify the largest, bulkiest toy possible to buy one (or all) of our kids for a birthday or Christmas. Foam blocks, various large plastic toys, and any number of wheeled vehicles grace our garage courtesy of this ritual. They almost skipped the ritual one Christmas, but compensated by getting them a complete junior musical instrument set -- mostly percussion!

My parents are heading out for a birding trip in Canada tomorrow morning, followed by some time in their cabin in Maine, so the "Alana's 2nd birthday" edition of this ritual arrived a bit early. Our wonderfully decluttered, clean living sports an enormous spring-driven spring-and-bounce horse. You know how when you remember objects from your childhood, and then you see them again as an adult, they are often much smaller than you remember? That's not hte case with this thing -- it's about 3 times the size of the not-so-fancy version I had as a kid.

Only six more months until Carson's birthday and the next installment! I envision myself linking back to this post at that time!


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Good Time to Restart Blogging

I tried blogging once before, and I lasted for a couple of months before petering out. But, it's now a bit of a transitional time for us, so it seemed like it might be interesting to give it another go.

The general topic of this blog is "The Second Tree Wilsons." It will be in the vein of several of our friends who have started semi-regular, blog-like updates to keep friends and relatives around the country updated on their lives (and, perhaps, to also keep some sort of record for the future entertainment/embarrassment of their kids): notably the Horribly Right world of the Phelps in Chicago, the Sales Clan in Austin, and the Morans of Round Rock.

To set the stage of our somewhat-chaotic life at the moment: I (Tim) started a new job at Bulldog Solutions in late April. I loved my role at National Instruments, but Julie and I decided it was time to add a bit of adventure to our lives by relocating to Ohio to be closer to her family (and her dad's farm in West Virginia!). Bulldog Solutions is an Austin-based company, but I'll be working from home (in Columbus, OH) starting in the fall and will travel back to Austin once/month.

Julie and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary yesterday in decidedly low-key fashion -- collapsing in bed early after a fun-but-tiring weekend in Corpus Christi with the Melodicks. We arrived back from Corpus Christi in time for two things: 1) find out that we needed to immediately vacate our house for a showing by a realtor, ans 2) find out that we had a full-priced offer for the house. Things are proceeding exactly according to Julie's master plan. Her mother is arriving the week after next to watch the kids while we head to Columbus to (hopefully) find a house.

And, finally, I'll hit a one-item-per-kid highlight:

Benton -- just wrapped up the second grade and greets me with, "Tim, can we play C-A-T-C-H?" every night when I arrive home. Often, this is as I'm juggling my laptop, my water cup, my lunch bag, and Alana while trying to shut the door to my truck with my foot. Most nights, we do make it out to toss a baseball around for 15-20 minutes -- I throw high lobs, grounders, and off-target balls while he lunges to catch them...generally with success.

Carson -- has apparently set a goal to be able to read and write cursive...before he starts kindergarten. He can write the name of everyone in our family (print...and some in cursive), and, today, he read his first book on his own -- from the BOB Books First! series. He's been trying to sound out words quite a bit, so this should not have been a huge surprise. But, he read it cover to cover without any assistance, and is quite proud of that (as are we!).

Alana -- is cute as a button and has a couple of brothers who adore her. This evening, they both took turns trying to teach her things by quizzing her at dinner: "Alana, which is yellow -- your beans or your corn?" "Alana, is Elwyn a dog, a pig, or a horse?" Needless to say, she enjoyed the attention.

I'll build up a handful of these before linking to it from our home page.