Archive for the boys Category

Fourth Birthday = GUM!!

Posted in boys on 14 October 07 by mikevc

Toby turned four today. In the Van Campen house, this has become sort of a milestone. Jonahyum-zebra-fruity-gum.gif was not allowed to have gum until he was four. So, he has been preparing Toby for this for months. For his big party yesterday, Toby got a lot of gum. Ever the adherent to order, Jonah pointed out to him–and he repeated to me–that he could not eat the gum yesterday: he had to wait until the day–and time–that he actually turned four. Yesterday, Tobe was sharing gum with Jonah and I and telling us how much he could not wait for the morning.

Sure enough, this morning he wakes me up and all he can talk about is his gum. We wait until his birth time and he joyously eats his first piece of gum, knowing full well that he should not swallow it. Then, about thirty seconds later, he brings the chewed gum to me and asks me to throw it out. I do so. He proceeds to place more gum in his mouth. Again, thirty seconds later, he brings it to me. Repeat this a few times and you get the picture. Eventually, big brother sat him down and explained to him that gum was supposed to last a bit longer than regular food. After that, things have settled down, the gum is lasting a bit longer, and we have a true gum devotee–if not quite an expert yet.

Toby’s Important Research

Posted in books, boys, Toby on 4 August 07 by mikevc

I was sitting in the living room reading Ambient Findability when Toby wandered into the room. I had some of those 3M Post-it Flags that I was using to mark interesting or relevant passages. When he asked me what they were, I showed him that I used them to remind me of something important that I wanted to remember. He asked if he could have a few so I gave him some.


The next thing I know he comes to me with his copy of Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! with numerous flags in it. He told me he needed to remember the important parts too. He even matched the colors of the flags to the colors of the illustrations on the pages.

Pictures from VA

Posted in boys on 5 June 07 by mikevc

For those who care about such things, I have loaded new pictures of J and Smollett on my flickr account.  Enjoy!

The Dangerous Book for Boys

Posted in books, boys on 26 May 07 by mikevc

517×3qbrwl__ss500_.jpgLast night before we all went to dinner, Mamacita brought over a book–The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden–for J-dog and Smollett.  I had read reviews of it and an interview w/ the authors.  I dismissed it, categorizing it as one of those kitschy, funny but useless books along the lines of The Worst Case Scenario handbooks.  I was–as frequently happens–quite wrong.

This book is fantastic.  Complete with Edwardian era cover and font and marbled endpapers, the book feels like a throwback to an earlier time before computers and video games.  And yet, everything in it is something I could see my boys loving.  In fact, as I skimmed it I realized it summed up my fascinations and interests as a young lad–and my fathers before me.  It is full of information, stories, and activities.  Just to give you a small sampling:  you can find out how to tie knots, make paper airplanes, and build a treehouse; it has the rules of soccer, rugby, and stickball, baseball’s MVPs, and instructions for magic tricks; sections on dinosaurs, battles, the solar system, and ciphers and codes hit on the things that have interested boys through the ages; my favorite parts are the poems (I love that they included “Ozymandias”) and the list of books every boy should read. 

Basically, I love this book.  Despite our early parenting efforts to be as gender neutral as possible, we learned that boys will be boys.  I recommend this awesome (childish adverb I know; but that expresses it well) book to anyone with boys.  I suspect fathers will find it as interesting as the kids.  As it says on the back: “The perfect book for every boy from eight to eighty”.

Thank you, Mamacita.

The Approaching End of School

Posted in boys, Jonah, Toby on 21 May 07 by mikevc

Jonah’s first day of Kindergarten: September 14, 2006Toby’s first day in pre-school: September 7, 2006One more day of class for Toby and four more for Jonah. I am curious to see how pre-school has changed T-bone and if Kindergarten has had any observable impact on J. I am loading first day picks on my Flickr page and here. I will update with final day pictures later this week. What fun! Can you tell which one is which? A hint, you say? Jonah is five (in the picture) and Toby is two (again, in the picture). Look for comparitive pictures showing the physical ravages of the school year later this week.

The Oracle that is The Nighlight

Posted in boys, Toby on 9 May 07 by mikevc

Toby has taken to talking to his Mater (from Cars) nightlight.  It turns out that the nightlight not only knows everything but will only communicate withToby.  This evening the nightlight made very clear to Toby that shoes were not required when going to church.  When Letitia tried to tell him he had to wear shoes, he came back with the inarguable point that the nightlight said he didn’t and the nightlight knows everything.   The nightlight also told him that my favorite drink is soda in gold cans (Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi) and my favorite color was green but has changed to blue.  I told him that I still liked green, he told me I was wrong.  You can’t argue with the nightlight; bring on the blue!

New (sort of) Pictures

Posted in boys, family on 27 April 07 by mikevc

I was cleaning out my desk tonight and found some actual pictures that L. took w/ her camera before we went 100% digital. I started scanning and then began digging out other pictures. So, there are a few pics up on flickr from Austin, honeymoon, Northern CA during J’s first Christmas, our trip to Italy, and Jeff and Joanne’s Wedding/our trip to London.

Check them out by clicking on the Flickr link to the right of this here post. Or come to think of it, I could just throw the link in here


Posted in boys, family on 27 April 07 by mikevc

El Jefe wanted me to share this tidbit.

I came home from work the other day, and J-dog asked me to go to the computer w/ him.  He sat me down and said, “I need you to go to Google, G-O-O-G-L-E, I remember.”
I did as I was told.  Once we arrived at Google, he tells me, “Type in: recycle city”.  I did so and it lead us to the EPA’s site on recycling.  He pushes me out of the way and starts playing a game.  For thirty minutes he plays a game where he turns Dumptown into Cleantown.  At the end of this time, L. asks him, “Why don’t you turn Dumpden into Cleanden?”  Once he understands what she is asking, he–of course–declines.

The irony is–also, of course–completely lost on his young mind.

As an Antidote to the Previous Post

Posted in baseball, boys, Toby on 27 February 07 by mikevc

For those who feel my previous post was ridiculous, I offer this story.  Last summer, I decided that I would only be reading books on baseball.  Whenever Toby (2 at the time) saw me reading a book he noticed that there was a baseabll player on the cover.  A few months after this, I had left the book I was reading at the time (not a baseball book) on the sofa as I got up to get some soda.  I came back and found Toby holding the book as if reading it.  As he looked at the pages, he pretended to read aloud, “…and the guy hit the ball.  Blah, blah, blah.  Bor-ing!” And with that, he dropped the book on the sofa, hopped down, and walked off laughing his little head off.  So much for sharing my love of the game with young T-bone.