Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ordinary Family Discovers Strange New Worlds

Who would have guessed that, by using a couple of old items laying around the house, a family such as ours could discover strange, and possibly habitable, new worlds?  

Well, it's true.  An LIAYF team comprised of Mrs. LIAYF herself, and Lukas recently were able to discover and photograph the images you will see below.  And  I have to say, the Hubble Space Telescope had nothing on them today.

Just take look at these strange images of distant spheres they were able to capture using the aforementioned ordinary household items.

What are the lighter colored areas of this world?
One can only speculate.

Did this dying Star once support a system
of Earth like planets?

This planet is clearly covered in ice.

One can easily make out the canals on this world,
but sadly not any gondolas.

A storm system is obviously covering a large
 section of this world.

I'd say this world looks like little like Uranus,
but I'm sure it doesn't.

Okay, as you might have already guessed these are not distant, unknown planets that were photographed from our backyard.  But, what they are are items Mrs. LIAYF and Lukas found around our backyard or kitchen, placed under a pocket microscope, and photographed with her iPhone. She just placed the lens over the eye piece.

To set the record completely straight here are what each photograph actually captures a microscopic picture of:

1. Colby Jack Cheese
2.  Pollen from a Poppy Flower
3. Fabric from our backyard hammock
4. A leaf
5. A drawing that Lukas had done, and was using as a bookmark
6. A feather.

No, these items weren't distant planets, but many were habitable (especially the cheese).

And Mrs. LIAYF, Lukas, and I sure had a lot of fun discovering what they looked like up close anyway.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

14 Years Ago Today

May 23rd, 1999 was a glorious day in Olympia, Washington.  The sun was out, the birds were singing, and everything was in bloom on that beautiful 85 degree day when I officially became the luckiest man on earth.

Of course, I had unofficially became the luckiest man on earth the day I met Mrs. LIAYF, but back then she wasn't yet my wife, so more luck was on the horizon for me.

The past 14 years have certainly had their share of ups and downs. Mostly ups though.  And Mrs. LIAYF through it all has been the love of my life, the one person I could always count on to be there for me with an ever present radiant smile on her lovely face, and a open mind and heart.  

She is also an incredibly amazing mother to our children, our rock day in and day out, and simply the best wife a man could ask for.  And she is all mine.

I am still the luckiest man on earth.

Happy Anniversary Sweetie,  I love you so very much.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Do the Angry Robot

Robots....doing The Robot.

"That's a pretty cool picture Buddy. Love the Robots."

"Thanks Dad, it's actually Angry Birds.  With Robots!"

"Do you mean Star Wars Angry Birds?  Because that robot on the right looks just like C3PO."

"Nah, it's just Angry Birds Robots.  Do you see the slingshots on their arms?"

"I do, I do.   You sure that's not C3PO?  Cause it really looks like him....doing some kind of dance."

"No silly, he's getting ready to fire at the pig!!"

"Is there music playing?  Because those robots are definitely bustin a move."

"And that Robot Pig has all kinds of chambers with real pigs inside too, Dad!"

"Well, that's definitely cool Bud."

"Thanks Dad."

Amazingly, in the few short months since Lukas has started kindergarten, his interest in drawing and making art has shot off, so to speak.  With his long standing penchant for building and Legos, and building with Legos, which occupied all his time to the exclusion of any sort of art, Mrs. LIAYF and I were pretty sure Lukas just didn't have any desire to exercise the right side of his brain.

Honestly, we were wondering if it would ever come.

The Space Shuttle - A Couple Months Earlier

So, this recent stretch where he has been hyper interested in drawing and making detailed scenes - mostly involving space, and mazes, and ships, and robots, has been really cool to watch.  Plus, with his subject matter he is actually using both sides of his brain, the detailed and the creative.  That's a Win Win.

And, as Mrs. LIAYF in all her brutal honesty, let me know as we were admiring this latest masterpiece from our 5 year old boy, "He's already better than you."

Sadly, I had to agree.  But I can draw a pretty mean stick-man.

As for Lukas though, if I could only convince him that other robot was indeed C3PO and to draw in an Artoo Unit next time too, I think we'd ALL be golden.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Daddy Chair


"Bruuuuuthaaa...?"  she says to him in a deep, low, and gravely voice not often encountered in a 6 month old baby girl.

"Yes, Annabelle?" Lukas replies, by now fully accustomed to communicating with her this way.  "I love you Bruuuuuthaaaa!" she lets him know. "You....and the big people.  You know, the ones who feed us."

"You mean Mom and Dad, Annabelle" Lukas corrects her.  "Yes, Bruuuthaaaa" she replies.

And so it goes, back and forth nearly every night.  Silly banter between the two of them which only takes place when Annabelle is hooked up to The Daddy Chair.  Being hooked up, as it were, usually only takes place when I am carrying her around, in one arm.

It was quite an amazing discovery when we learned that our infant girl could actually talk through me, her father, when sitting in my arms like that.  And talk she does, quite a bit.  She tells us tales of arriving here from a place called Babylandia, where babies ride giant cats, never get old, and eat strange fare.

She also tells us of all her wild adventures there, and the fact that she was an heir to the throne of that land before she chose to take a hiatus and claim a family in our realm.

It's all quite bizarre.

She can even be pretty sassy at times when she is contradicted by one of us.  She doesn't like that, and will often shout out "SILENCE!" in a very deep and authoritative voice.

But we all just laugh at that, because we know it's pretty absurd.

I actually think that Annabelle being able to talk to us has helped Lukas transition to having a baby sibling.  It gives him the chance to talk to her about all kinds of things, and for her to thank him for helping her out when she needs his assistance - like when he hands her items that she has dropped and can't pick up herself.  It has helped them bond as brother and sister.

I'm not sure how long Annabelle will communicate with us through The Daddy Chair, probably until she can learn to talk on her own in this new land.

But until then, we will continue to laugh at her silly stories, soak in her absurd tales of adventure, and teach her how things work in our land - which in many ways is much different than it is in Babylandia.

And all the while I'll be carrying her around, propped up in one arm facing out.  A perfect position for conversation.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nailed it.

When I arrived home tonight, after a particularly long day, Lukas came running from the kitchen and jumped into my arms, giving me a huge hug and a kiss.  I instantly felt better.  Instantly!  It was exactly what I needed after being at work for 12 hours.

Honestly, it has been difficult for me to even think about posting here recently for various reasons.  But during those times when life's treadmill becomes a bit overwhelming and I've had long, exhausting, and mentally draining days (like today for instance), there is one thing above all that lifts my spirits.

I saw the following video posted over at How to Be a Dad tonight and knew instantly that I had to share it.  It inspired me to break out of the posting doldrums.  Please take a minute of your busy day to give it a view.  You'll be happy you did.

It pretty much nails what it feels like to be a dad.