Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Humpty Dance Is Your Chance

So, I found a full level of our fountain full of sand today... a full level... the second one... crazy. It's like they're out to get me. Maybe give me a cold because there's not nearly as much sand during the warm days. Smart kids we're bringing up. As a matter of fact, I had a Raspberry ask me today what I was doing in his school. The nerve. Then he said, "This is my preschool, not yours." After showing him our business plan and explaining the dynamics of the investor's relationship to our ownership, he still wasn't convinced. He chased me from his room. I'll let him have it... for now.

If you haven't noticed, there are new photos in the hallways. We printed about 100, so your kid may not be in the first run. Rest assured they'll make it before the year is out. Some reeeeeally cute kids this year, too. Have a gander.

The small fountain is located near the outdoor art center now. I would have just set it all up myself, but flat squatting 300 pounds at an awkward Humpty Dance lean using my feet to push just about sent me to back rehab. So worth it to just walk away and let Crys handle it... and she gets a husband who can still stand upright.

Quick note: If you haven't listened (and/or created) the Otis Redding Pandora station, uh, please do so. It's amazing.

Not really liking these short days of sunlight... but I never have. I guess maybe I might when the kids come along. I would imagine the first few weeks they're just tricked into sleeping early. I can see how that might be nice, but in my kidlessness, the days are precious. With that said, there will be some outdoor lights installed soon. Not that you need to be playing at Cassidy in the middle of the night, but just in case you're leaving late some day... or you really need that midnight snack picnic in a sandbox one night.

If anyone wants those tree stumps in the parking lot, let me know. Free for the taking. As a matter of fact, if you have a third world country who would like an outdoor kitchen that has seen the wrath of Cassidy kids, rain, fountain water, and sand... also free for the taking. It lasted about a week... and again... only really suitable for children with no governmental health regulations in place.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pretty Sweet Saturday Night

Headed out for some grilled cheese and beer... courtesy of the Cassidy Party Book. Thanks Cassidy Party Book.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chickens, Lizard Boa, Grilled Cheese, and Diapers

If you didn't know, I was a chicken this year for Halloween. Pretty funny to watch kids stop in their tracks seeing a big yellow person standing inside the school. Yeah, there was a chicken hat and everything (see below). One of the moms even got a pic of me hard at work, on the phone, and nestled in my computer business. I think her caption on that email was "Cassidy Preschool: We don't cluck around." Nice. Reeeeal nice. Go ahead, make fun of the chicken.

All in all, a very fun day. A friend surprised us... um, dressed like a cat even... and handed out silly bracelets for the kids. Only the big kids... before you get fussy. We did a little costume parade, too. As one-half of the Grand Marshalling, I got carried away dancing and strutting my chicken stuff only to look back and see we had left everyone behind. You'd think these little ones would have some respect for the chicken and walk a little faster down those steps. You'd also think they were just learning steps, but I've got their number.

Yesterday was the Lizard Party... and by lizards, I mean snakes... and by snakes, I mean one huuuuuge Boa. I was invited by the host, and while a truly appreciate the gesture, there will no way in double hockey sticks I go hold a snake. As a matter of fact, my mind is so bent on them that I would swear they're crawling around my feet right now. Yeah, it's that bad. I wouldn't call it a hatred so much as a very passionate physical disturbance. It's just not in my make-up to be friends with anything that can run faster than me with no legs. Both my mom and Crys had one in college... go figure on that one. One of the parents was nice enough to email me this photo with a word of "encouragement" as the subject line. Absolutely not.

Grilled Cheese and Beer Party this weekend. I was informed that for a select few of us, it will be a Grilled Cheese and Beer and Cigar Party. Now that's my kind of party. Although tater-tots would absolutely round it off... comfort food. And I would have to say, if at this moment you're snubbing your nose up to tater-tots, you might be in the wrong school. No, really, pack your bags... no, not really... no, really.

The Food Drive started today. Please start bringing non-perishable items to donate to the food bank. Bins are set up in the hallways right now. We're all pretty lucky, so it's nice to help others in need. The more food we can collect, the better for some family over Thanksgiving. Anything helps. If you're reading this and you don't attend Cassidy, you now know of a place to donate. Just run across the street and pick up a few cans of veggies. I really think we can fill up all 5 bins (although one is just for diapers and stuff)... but the other 4 with food for sure.

If you kept up with my life over the past few months, you might have heard about the car show I did for the Boys and Girls Club of the West Valley. Today we did our check presentation for the kids. We raised $3500 for their club. Pretty cool for our first year trying. Just thought I'd share... proud moment.

Happy November.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back in the Saddle

If you know us at all, you know Crystal and I have been pretty busy lately with a certain project. And when I say "Crystal and I", I'm being very generous... pretty much me with tiny slivers of Crystal dolloped here and there. She's been really busy here, so it evens out. I get to be manly and handy and she gets to be... hmmm... Cassidy. Anyway, I'm in the homestretch, so this blog should start getting back to normal again.

A few things to catch up on:

The Raspberries are getting new lights. The Strawberries already got new lights. The Newberries are getting a fountain moved around. The Blueberries are as cute as ever... but they're not getting anything new to my knowledge (they're young, so they probably won't notice). And the Blackberries helped me clean out the little fountain this morning. They learning siphoning. Speaking of, the large fountain was long overdue... like 30-110 pounds worth of sand overdue. That took some doing. Oddly enough, I don't remember much about doing it, but I remember not remembering anything else in life while I did it. That was nice. Very Zen. So, now the fountains are my rock garden. Moving on...

Being back around these little guys has been amazing. A few have latched onto me and most are warming up to the new guy hanging around (me again... don't get scared). I've even joined a few story times and goodbye songs with little ones hanging all over me. This is my job... nuts.

Be back soon.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Zucchini and Such

I do realize that once a month on here should be grounds for my termination... good thing I know the boss-lady so well. I have a plethora of excuses... ahem, reasons. Most of which revolve around new digs, painting, staining, sanding, hanging, cleaning, priming, etc., etc.

With all of that said, I was able to make it to Cassidy yesterday. Really great to see all of the old faces and some of the new ones. Crys says it's been a really smooth start so far. I settled back into my tickle-monster status within seconds. Even the new kids ran over, all smiles, for some chasing. Really nice to take a break and play for a bit. I love that in a world of grown-up stresses, Cassidy takes it away. Without sounding too mushy, it's nice to have a reset button there. Seeing the smiles and laughter remind me what's really important.

We're getting the small fountain relocated for the toddlers in the small yard soon. I've also been gracefully appointed my old job of cleaning (and by cleaning, I mean taking the sand out) the big fountain again. Given my schedule as of late, the kids are probably just playing in another sandbox that looks a lot like a fountain. We've got some more sand coming soon, too. I really think some of the kids have been taking bags of it home in their pockets.

Crys pulled these out of the garden this week.

Not sure of their fate, but I can vouch for their deliciousness... I had some this summer with a little olive oil and salt.

Happy October.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Safe Than Sorry... Late Than Never

First off, I've never been able to figure out which is correct in my title. Is it "than" or "then". There are schools-of-thought that go both ways... unless of course the wrong school-of-thought is something I've made up... which isn't beyond belief.

Secondly, something I never addressed at the end of last year. I really can't express how much you all mean to Crystal and me. This past year was so amazing that I'm left speechless when people ask us how it went. It blew our expectations away. There's so much to be grateful for having Cassidy, but even more so having the kind of families we found with you all. Cassidy is so much more than anything Crystal and I could ever own. It has become a feeling to me. It's like my safe haven and I can't thank you all enough for making our first year unbelievable. If this were a handwritten note that I was writing just underneath my eyeball, it would have a few tear-soaked words... just like in 7th grade... or the fake tear-soaked words in 9th grade when you realized in the 7th grade that girls thought it was endearing. Can you say "tangent"?

Crys and I have been probably more busy in the last month than we were throughout the year. We bought a storage barn for the playground and had it installed. They didn't offer the color we wanted, so we painted it ourselves. I guess as long as we're being honest with each other, I painted most of it. We even went so far as to take one of our preschool brushes and paint the spill-over from taking the tape off... super duper attention to detail. It felt weird as we were painting the spill-over focusing on an inch at a time, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm pretty sure Crys feels the same way and wasn't doing it because she felt bad for taping it wrong. Nah, it was my taping. She actually fired me.

We also have been doing a little construction inside. The open area above the Raspberry and Blackberry rooms is now closed up. Same with the hallway. Most of the cost of construction was donated by Helen because we all know she's really loud and the kids started complaining about not being able to read their Algebra books when she was giving tours. So, thanks Helen.

A long over due airplane that was sitting in the basement (yes, we have a basement) is now built and ready to adorn the Raspberry rafters. It's a P-51 Mustang just in case some dads are reading this. Speaking of dads, I still want to start the Cassidy Cigar Club on the roof. I can't believe there wasn't one cigar had while over looking the beautiful Cassidy air conditioners. Such a shame. A shame that will be corrected this year.

We're getting shades in the playground next week. They installed the posts... huge, and 6 of them. You have to hand it to the visualizations Crystal gets. Never thought that fence would work... now it's awesome. Didn't like the idea of shades... now I love it. As a matter of fact, I thought we should open Cassidy in the old Sizzler in Burbank... clearly not a great choice. I do still get to run around saying "I told you so" about the ceiling walls we just installed, so I guess we're even. She doesn't read the blog that much, so I've got a good week until her mom tells her to take a look. Relishiiiiiiiiing... now.

Well, the painters just left the building. I guess I should, too... but Crys is sleeping... maybe later then. Glad to be back on here. Looking forward to a great second year.

And Jordan, we're working on a sign... promise.

Still sitting at Cassidy... coming up on 8pm. Just had turkey meatloaf, greenbeans, and a twice baked potato under the blanket of Gavin Degraw's Pandora station from one of our fold-up tables... bottle of wine intact. Presently going over our new home wish list. Gotta get back to the conversation... just thought I'd share. I'm out (said, hands flailing from Napa cabernet).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Piano Benches and Cameras... and a Cool Photo

If you haven't noticed by now, we're doing some pretty cool stuff in the yard. Part of the fundraiser money is going towards new toys, storage, some fencing, outdoor classroom centers, and shades for the playground.

We also just bought new cameras for the classrooms. Apart from not taking the best pics on the Westside, they strangely didn't work after being dropped and dunked in water. I know, right? Anyway, these new guys should do the trick. Blogs, here we come.

For all of you teachers who read this, and I know there are a few, I need to take your photo for the yearbook. You'd think I might just send an email or get up and go tell you, but laziness knows no bounds... plus, I'm already writing this... plus, you SHOULD be reading this, so if you DON'T know about the photos, then...

It is a little strange around here with fewer kids. I think I've probably mentioned that, but it's overly quiet sometimes.

I had to do some surgery on our piano bench. The kind of surgery that attracts the little eyes and prompts those cute "What doing?" questions. Same thing with our brand new toilet tank lid... "What doing?" "Why?" Yes, this is my job.

And check out this gem I found on one of my memory cards... crazy, right? This is standing in the Raspberry room looking into the Blackberry room.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Graduation to the Grown-Up Belt

Every once in a while it dawns on me that I might need my own blog. I feel like I have so many really really important things to talk about, much of which has nothing to do with Cassidy and thus gets forgotten and/or written about, reviewed, and then erased forever. For instance, the fact that I REALLY need to buy a grown-up belt. I am breaching my mid-thirties and I still have the cloth, 2 ring guy. I think it's time for a buckle and pin. I know, I know... what a shame this wasn't addressed sooner. I only have myself to blame for thinking a few of you might not be interested in my belt. For that, I apologize.

This past Saturday was our very first graduation ceremony. We even had fancy linens and white chairs, Queche and cream-puffs. The kids couldn't have been more cute with their self-made graduation hats. It was really neat to see all of the video and still cameras out... just like mom used to do. Next year, I'm thinking we maybe need Zach Galifianakis for our commencement speech. Maybe Bon Jovi, too. Think big, right?

Afterwards, we headed to a Cassidy grandparents house for what will HAVE to be tradition of pool, pizza, and ice-cream. Not knowing it was a pool party, we didn't come clothingly prepared... so Crys and I did what any self-respecting preschool owners would do. We jumped in with our clothes on. Miss Robyn even joined us... very possibly not on her own terms.

It was a great celebration and a nice way to say goodbye to our little ones. I really can't wait 'til they come back, when they're grown up, to say hey.

Thanks so much to the graduating families for being a part of our first year. Our families really do rock... and I'm not even being all that biased.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dissertations on The A-Team

So much to say...

One of our last Party Book Parties is coming up this weekend. Check out the Party Book site for details. Should be a fun party. Some soccer, some wurst, some reisling, some beer.

Our Ice Cream Social is now a FREE event, so those of you who've paid already will be "sponsoring" the event. No, I'm kidding, we'll refund your tickets... if you're nice about it. It'll be our last big blowout party of the year. Kids, bring your parents. It's sometime in July, but we're finalizing the date... no matter what the website says. That website only got through 3rd grade, so it can't be trusted.

Big congrats to our very own Larry Kagan for his new pediatric center. I just went over to check it out... pretty amazing. I'm always a big fan of fellow entrepreneurs, so Larry holds a soft spot.

Our very own Miss Ashlie presented two dissertations regarding the appropriate measures to be taken while watering Tomatoes and whether Watermelon was a fruit or veggie. Very interesting to say the least. Either can be seen in the kitchen. She's also being published in the local edition of Wilshire Science News... granted that's our own paper.

It hit me pretty hard today of what the secondary consequences are to owning a preschool. It's the saying goodbye thing we're going to have to do every year. Today was the last day for a couple of our little berries... and it was very sad to see them go. I guess I'm going to have to get used to it... sad day. They should just stay. Am I being selfish?

Miss Randi got new cabinets today... I hear she's very excited. She's also getting a pretty swank couch on Monday, so you Beginner Berries will be sitting pretty... yup, literally.

Double date night with the A-Team tonight. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Four Buggies Worth

I have fond memories of toy shopping as a kid. I have no memories of toy shopping like I did this weekend... 4 heaping buggies full. Crys and I went shopping for the playground and came home with an entire FJ full of stuff. Did you know Tonka is making retro toys like we grew up with? Pretty great.

I'm not sure how it happened, but most of our toys are things that I not only would have played with as a kid, but are even things I would play with now... again, the Tonka trucks, basketball, Tinkertoys, and an arrangement of dinosaurs. So, if you catch me in the sandbox having built a full dirt bike track with a Tonka-Dozer, pay me no mind.

Still have a few auction items at the school. If you haven't gotten yours yet, please do.

Here's my Holler Out to Holloran. We just went to go see Baby Group for the first time. I'm not sure if you can just pop in and go see it, but it's adorable. Donna really is amazing and I'm not just saying that because she like the Colts... maybe a little.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Day In the Life of a Preschool Owner: Episode 352 - The Bus and the Onion

Mr. Ryan told me today about his classroom sink. It was full of yellow water and backed up nearly to the top. I promptly forgot about it (not on purpose) and kept trying to figure out how in the world we were going to do the class shots. Lucky for me, a parent had a really good lens for my camera, so I climbed up on our really really tall ladder and, after a few minutes of berry wrangling, we got off a few shots. Though much to the dismay of several teachers and Crystal, one Raspberry laid face down for every one of the 53 shots I got... we tried... he was having none of it. Maybe it'll be funny to show his girlfriend when he's 17 and super duper dramatic about his curfew.

So, the day ended and teachers went home. Crys had to remind me about the sink. Oh yeah, I completely forgot. The water was still yellow and still right around the rim... the perfect job for our resident handy-guy. But, let's all be honest... I like fixing things. That's the "man" talking. Anyway, after giving it my plumber's best, still nothing. I got it apart enough to see something was lodged down there. The last time something was lodged, it was a tube of lipstick in a printer... I really couldn't wait to see what treat I was in for. After forking and knifing it for 5 minutes, I saw 2 little lights come on. What? Could it be? Yes, yes it was. The Big Blue Bus... oh, and an onion. Little lessons of life: Don't let kids wash their hands... ever.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fire Sale

It's official... no matter what came out of my hands on here yesterday, the photos were actually hung today. We even have lots to replace the ones you parents take home. If you're a carpool parent, take a day and walk inside.

We're also "fire selling" a lot of the auction items that are still in Helen's office. One mom even overpaid us today because her deal was too good and she felt bad... thanks. Honestly, I don't get the reference. If things were burned in the fire, would you really want them? Am I missing something? I'm just saying it because that's what everyone is calling it. I have no use for a charred coffee table with 3 legs in my house. Is it because it's too hot of a deal? Anyway, feel free to come shopping... Helen's going crazy... well, more crazy.

I'm pretty sure it was that same mom who got us a sponsor for our ice cream social coming up. More info on that as we get closer.

The class photos are tomorrow, so make sure you're here... well, if you want.

On a nice little family note, we're hiring Randi's daughter to help out in the toddler room. Perfect fit.

We're off to the Determined to Succeed panel.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost & Found & Outgrown

Aside from the fact that one of our afternoon Blueberries grew 6 inches in about 4 days, I really haven't been able to tell how much our kids have grown. I was reminded today when I saw a parent shuffling through the Lost and Found. She saw a few things that were her kid's, but said they didn't fit anymore. I nearly didn't believe it and thought she must have been mistaken. I went back and started looking through old photographs of when they first came... uh, she was right. Our little ones have changed so much already. Of course I look at them as my own, so it was a slightly emotional stroll down memory lane. I think my tears damaged the "rrrrrr" key.

I got a chance to sit outside today and was actually commended by Miss Breck for sitting down and not throwing the kids all over the place. These days, the kids call me their "gross motor structure"... I'm paraphrasing. Anyway, I made a few cakes, some flowers, a strawberry muffin, and cookies... all from red play-doh.

REMEMBER - Class Photos are on Wednesday this week. It will be a group shot for the yearbook. Individual shots are just taken all the time and will probably show up in some form of something to let your family purchase... if that's not vague enough for you, just let me know. I have far less words to use.

Hope you had a great weekend. Oh yeah, the photos are starting to go up on the wall already. The donation box is right outside Helen's office. See what happens when you make goals and to-do lists?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Breaking In the Office

With the good intentions of letting this blog NOT become the next unofficial Weezer page, I plan on an honest attempt at refraining... right after this...

Saw that our dogs were hard at work today fluffing the sandbox for tomorrow. Never knew how it happened... do now. If they could read, I would thank them here. Maybe some extra kibble will do.

Helen's office is still full of online auction stuff, so either you need to go bid on it, or come steal it at night. I can give you my alarm code if you want.

I think we're going to start hanging photos in the hallways from now on, so you all can see (and have) them. That's probably a week away with a combination of planning, being busy, and a smidge of laziness. I would tell you that I'll tell you when they're up, but you'll most likely see them before I remember to blog.

We had lots of stuff (and by stuff I mean alcohol) left over from Saturday. I gave most of it away to teachers, parents, and a few kids that it's just hard to say no to... sweet little faces. I had also given away 48 Diet Cokes while simultaneously explaining how my Dad had horrible arthritis until he stopped drinking Diet Coke. Needless to say, I'm not the best salesman, thus proven by my current ownership of 48 Diet Cokes. I hear they're horrible for you and the gateway drink to Diet Mescaline... anyone interested?

About to have a fundraiser debriefing over a few bottles of wine.

Thanks again to everyone involved who helped make it happen... those of you who made it and those of you who didn't. I really can't explain how amazing this Cassidy family feels.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Quote of the Night: "I'm Rivers from Weezer... and Cassidy."

What a night. What a success. You all really made our first fundraiser a blast. Thanks to the Benefit Committee for organizing everything. Thanks to Leslye and Cindy for bringing it all together... it wouldn't have been half the night without you two. For the first time in a long time, I'm practically speechless. Luckily, I got a chance to stand back from it all and see what's been created... and it looked amazing. Watching you moms dance at the end of the night was fun, too.

The Online Auction is still going on through Friday, so go bidding. Just go to our website and click on Online Auction. There's still lots needing your attention.

A friend of mine sent me a video link yesterday and it made me think of you parents... well, those of you not rocking the SUV's, but the Minivans.

I can't thank you all enough for helping make Saturday night so much fun. Sooooo much pressure for next year. Aside from bringing Jimi Hendricks back from the grave, I'm not really sure how to top it. Start thinking now. And Rivers, if you're reading this, you're still first in line if you want it... thanks again.

Aaaaaaand, we've been playing Weezer all day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Footballs and Fundraising

I spent most of the day running around getting booze for you parents today. We must have at least 3 or 4 bottles of wine, so drink up tomorrow night.

Crys and I stayed at the house for most of the day decorating and hanging photos of your little ones. I must say, I love how all of this has turned out. The house is amazing, the donations for our auction are amazing, and the parents helping put it together are amazing. Aside from it being our very first fundraiser, I really think this will be night we'll never forget.

If you've RSVP'd and haven't gotten your tickets yet, they will be at Will Call at the house.

If you're wondering why everyone is talking about the online auction (or maybe you've been playing underneath rocks and haven't heard), it's because it's begun. Go to our website at Cassidy and click on the "Online Auction" button... register... and start shopping. Every little bit helps and the auction is over next week. And for those of you who are bidding on the football, just know that Crystal has taken out a loan against her retirement plan to bid.

See you all tomorrow night.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Thanks to all of you moms (mine included) for helping us grow, learn, and become the people we are today. I guess technically it takes two to make a mommy a mommy, but you ladies for sure had the more difficult task in the end... and we probably love you all even more for it. Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Florida is Pregnant

I'm sorry, did I mention Weezer is playing our benefit? Nuts.

Went to the house today to check out our power needs. Turns out we need lots. Surely enough to annoy the neighbors... unless of course they're front and center at the show. Generator it is.

We also had the idea to get a photographer so none of the parents have to think about it. If any of you all have connections to people who might want to come take photos (and have their own equipment), please let me know.

Our online auction is going live on Monday and will be up a few days after the event. Be sure to go on and check it all out. There's lots of stuff to see... maybe you'll just want something... or a few things.

I had a little boy tell me he loved me today. Yep, melted my heart within seconds. He also went in for a slobbery lip-to-lip kiss... it's the thought that counts, right?

Crys and I just got back in town from a trip to Florida to see friends... all of which are pregnant or have had babies within the year. I don't know if it was Florida or my daddy-brain... I might finally be ready. This is sure to stir up some anxious phone calls from our moms. We'll see... although my mom always said that when she meant no.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 15th is Sneaking Up

Our offices are piling up. Our basement storage rooms are getting full. Every day we're getting more and more items for our online auction. Thanks to everyone for going out and getting donations. If you're not aware, Crystal is already talking about breaking the bank bidding on the Troy Polamalu football. Mandana, I might be calling when our phone bill is due next month. I've been doing a little quality control on the electric scooter by riding it up and down the halls. It's fine.

If you haven't gotten your tickets to the Spring Benefit yet... why not? Some of our families are asking about bringing friends... yes, you can. We have lots of space, lots of food, and lots of drinky drinks. The more, the merrier. And if you haven't heard, Weezer is playing our benefit. I'm still in awe. You can buy tickets in the hallway during drop-off or pick-up. Helen also has a few ready to go if you can't find anyone. If you can't make it, some of the parents have made it waaaaay too easy to donate instead.

Thanks again for your support. This has been a great first year so far.

Friday, April 9, 2010

From Mexico Part 2 (technically from the air)

They say the key to a good tan is to have had a good base to start. I don't know who "they" are, but given the fact that Crystal is 7 different shades of boiled-lobster red, I'm starting to realize the wisdom within it. We spent the 3rd day recovering, screaming at the itchy burn at times, and napping at others. Given our skin’s response to sunlight, it was a great day to go into town.

Even though the hotel concierge told us that she thought we’d be “pretty safe… I guess,” we decided to take the bus. I’m a sucker for the local culture. I’m glad we did. No seemingly homeless man in ratty clothes with a portable boombox would have jumped in our cab and serenaded us. Honestly, Crys and I are still singing the song. That made the bus-trek worth however much change I had in my pocket… for sure.

I’ve always been kind of a business thinker of sorts. I can remember being young telling my mom ideas that I had made up, prefacing them with “I just read somewhere that…” to give them merit. I’ll even go so far as to say I’ve had a few pretty good ideas work out. My business-model-radar had gone off the charts when I saw a 1970’s VW Bug with a windshield sticker that read “The Happy Ant: Tacos and Car Audio.” I mean why not? Mom, I read somewhere…

I noticed that not only is there no helmet law where we were, but there’s not much of any street law at all. I think I saw 2 traffic lights and about 283 kids riding in the back of pickup trucks on a wooden seat. You’d think they’d at least tie down the bench with rope and tape or something… oh wait, I did see that.

We went back into town last night for dinner and haggling. There were really neat street food vendors set-up selling everything from roasted corn to fresh ceviche, shrimp on a stick to fresh crepes. Having had an alien baby trying to crawl through my sunburned belly the first night, I looked, but didn’t eat… and if you know me, you might say that was quite a feat. Great night for walking. Great night for holding hands. Great night for Machine Gun Poker… not really, we only saw four.

Getting away from everything is great. Seeing other cultures and how different we are is what’s most interesting for me, though. It hit me on this trip that, for me, vacation itself is a little overrated. I think I’ve got it pretty good without taking time off. By my measurements of hard work, I’m not even on the scale yet. My brain is good for sitting by a pool for only so long. And honestly, it’s tough to be more relaxed when you live in Southern California. We’re already on vacation… all of the time.

Added bonus to the trip: We got to see one of our families at the airport in Mexico. They're actually on the same plane with us. Glad to be headed back home. See you Monday.

Oh yeah, I need help to find a reason why Cassidy neeeeeeeds an iPad. Any thoughts?

Monday, April 5, 2010

From Mexico Part 1 (maybe)

Writing a blog does a few things to your personal life... I'm nearly sure this may vary between blog addicts (of which I'm not prepared to admit that I am one just yet). One, I've started talking to myself in blog-speak. I'll even go so far as to edit the arrangement of my words to make them more presentable, before finishing that sentence only I can hear. Two, I've become much more aware of what's interesting (and not) in my life... so much so that me telling you all is sometimes the reason for those experiences. And, let's be honest... that's a little weird. Admittedly, writing the Cassidy blog on my Spring Break isn't the model actions of a business owner who needed a break... but just in case a few of you aren't spread across a beach somewhere warmer than Santa Monica with no computer in sight, you have this.

Crys and I traveled to Mexico yesterday. It was the day after booking this trip that all hell broke loose with the problems in Mexico. If we're both adventurous and young enough to easily throw caution to the wind in hopes that it would have the delicate flying properties of a cannonball, the cab ride from the airport to the hotel was absolutely the Wright Brothers. Having bypassed the time-share cabs and the safety of Federal Property, we landed at the "other" cabs waiting across the bridge... I said we were adventurous. Within seconds of driving, he was on his phone. This is when I had wished to have paid much more attention to Ms. Harris in 6th grade Spanish. We then took a left turn away from the main road and headed up a mountain road. I noticed the cabs going in our direction had Americans, and the ones coming back had no one. Being the consummate filmmaker, I was mentally writing the story of a young American couple vacationing in Mexico, who were robbed of everything by their cab driver and his cohorts. Lucky for us, that didn't happen.

After about 40 minutes of passing hotels with high-voltage fencing and various guard-dog breeds, we arrived at what has got to be one of the nicest places I've seen. We settled in, swam a bit, and then headed into town for some snacks. We're finding that Mexico isn't the most vegetarian-friendly spot on Earth... not even at the grocery.

Crys did a good job finding our Spring Break destination. I specifically razzed her about bring the computer, but I'm glad she did. I do miss being at the school and seeing everyone. And as I mentioned before, I missed this.

Sunsets watched while being 95% submerged in water: 2

Back to vacation.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Papas, PJs, and Pancakes

As many of you know, today was Papas, PJs, and Pancakes Day. A few dads showed up early, but by the end of the flipping, the kitchen was completely full and coming down the hallway. Thanks for all of your help to make this happen. If I'm being honest, I think the hats made it all worth while... and the PJs. As you might notice, some of the dads must sleep in their work clothes... that has to get itchy.

After about an hour of a syrupy sugar high inside, nearly the whole school (dads included) were playing on the yard. While I did disrupt Randi's group discussion upstairs, getting on the roof to get a shot of our Cassidy family on the playground was too good to pass up.

In '09 Spring Break, Crys and I were looking forward to '10 Spring Break. It meant we'd have the building complete, Cassidy up and running, and have made it through 6ish months of school. Needless to say, we've far exceeded just being open. You all are an amazing group of parents and what we've all created together leaves me speechless. Take a second to think about it. You all were at ground zero with us when Crys just had an idea... crazy.

Thanks again for everything. Have a great Spring Break. See you soon.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Smidgens of Smiles

Part of my job in the morning, aside from choosing our musical selection of the day (which often times gets overridden by the boss), is to unlock the front gate. I guess my steps were out of order this morning because I was unlocking the gate without the music. I could feel the quiet chatter outside. It seemed as though we were K-Mart on Black Friday and I was about to be run over by people flooding the entrance. It was a mix between that and Willy Wonka unlocking the doors to the factory for the first time in years. All that excitement... and no one was there yet. It was only 8:20. I guess the point is that I felt like Willy Wonka this morning... less the cane... and the cool purple hat.

I keep noticing that our hallway monkeys keep falling out of their tree swing. It wouldn't be so bad, but they're hugging each other so when one falls it looks like the other is pushing them from the swing. I'm not sure that's the best message to be sending the kids, but I'll look into it and get back to you.

Cassius was especially whiney today in the office when he got his tennis ball stuck behind a tree. Now, I'm not the type of dad to just get it for him because I want him to build self-esteem when he figures out how to get it himself. I like to let him be challenged, although I'm not so sure he appreciates it on the same level as I want him to. It's tough when he's got the language of an infant.

I do have a smidgen of social commentary today... bear with me. It's so easy to be nice, so let's all rally together to make more people nicer. I saw WAY too many people walking around with their headsets and lattes, not even paying attention to each other. I must have let about 15 cars into my lane without one single wave "thank you"... no smiles, no nods, no nothing. I stopped for another 3 people crossing the road to let them by... again, nothing. I just don't get it. We're all of the same "people" and I think we should make an effort to warm up a little bit. Lighten up. Make eye contact. Smile. I promise you that you'll feel better, too. Okay, I'm done... with that.

Save the date: May 15th is our annual benefit. More to come later. Go put it in your calendar right now. If when you get to your calendar and there's something else on May 15th, please delete that event and write in the Cassidy Benefit.

If I don't get to this tomorrow, have a great Spring Break. See you in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Cassius Dam

About halfway through the day today, I decided to go run the dogs in the parking lot. The Strawberries were out and a few climbed up the net to see "the races" between Cassius and Kipi. Cassius won most of the time... mainly because Kipi lost interest real quick... and by default, because of his addiction to tennis balls, Cassius outlasted her and didn't stop. The kids made up cheers for when Cassius got the ball... I guess they don't fancy Kipi too much... sad really.

After the run we headed inside to get some water and call it a day. The Strawberries had been making a pretty wonderful river in the sandbox. It was intricate with turns and dips and carefully placed river banks. A few were pouring water at the start while the rest watched it trickle down to the end. I'm pretty sure Cassius was oblivious to the concentration and passion that was going on because he plopped down right in the middle of it... and even started drinking their river. What have I raised?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

1/560th Corn Syrup

I don't know that I've ever seen my wife itching to dig in the dirt. I guess I should clarify that there was a request to go buy gardening gloves first, but whatever. Crys stayed outside digging with the PM Blueberries landscaping our stage flowers... well, our stage weeds. Go wifey, go.

There's also been something in the air about superloads of sugar in the kitchen. Maaaaaybe I started it with the donuts we bring in every once in a while, but lately I feel like we broke the sugar bank. Miss Carol was talking about the bread she baked for today. I think she modified the recipe a bit to make the sugar intake a little more love-handle friendly. I personally think the gods of temptation are working overtime on me. I gave up sweets for 4 months just to see if I could do it. Since January 1st... nothing... well, I had an honest slip this past Sunday at the car painting... but pretty good other than that. Anyway, with all of the donuts, cakes, cookies, treats, and bowls of high-fructose corn syrup mixed with peanut butter, wheat, and red dye, I've definitely been tested. What I am learning is that I never really liked sweets too much anyway... although I could bathe in coffee ice cream as an exception.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. The kids in green were very cute... nice job parents. For those of you parents who forgot to dress your kid in green, you might notice a few tiny bruises all over their arms in the days to come... just a heads up... don't worry about it, though... honestly, it's no big deal... plus, when they started to tear up, we knew the grown-ups were pinching too hard, so it worked out. I never knew so many things could be green. Makes me proud to be 1/560th Irish.

PS-Two little purple hand prints remain on our trash bin outside. Fess up little one, fess up.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Blank Integra

At our Messy Art Party today, what started off as this...

Became this.

I'm still in awe of how good this idea was. Thanks so much to Deena and Leslye for putting it together. You guys rock.

Some painted the parents... and me.

Some even painted themselves.

Some worked with mind boggling intention...

And a few stayed late to help clean.

This really couldn't have been a more perfect day, with great kids and a nice community of friends. Thank you all so much for coming.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Conversational Subtext

Tough tough day at work today. There was a game of golf that really really needed to be played. I told her no at first, but she kept insisting, so I obliged. I must have been swinging pretty well at the range, because the local golf pro chatted me up and gave me a free lesson. PGA Tour or bust.

The fountain is rearing its ugly head again. I've since pawned off my scrubbing and siphoning responsibilities to the teachers... let's just say it's a work in progress. I've given 3 lessons to scrunchy noses and suspicious eyes so far. The conversational subtext coming back at me is in ALL CAPS with exclamation points... and a little bit dumbfounded.

We're opening our benefit book to include family pages. If you're interested, contact me at jesse@cassidypreschool.com.

Think we're gonna go hit up our old stomping grounds in Encino for dinner tonight. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Okay, okay... so, after being hounded by one of our teachers for being a tad complacent in my writing, I've been essentially bullied into returning to my blog. She's a shark.

Cassidy News, huh? Crystal and I made spaghetti for the staff on Monday. I was so tired from the cooking that I had to take Tuesday off. Cooking Note: Bay Leaves make spaghetti sauce taste just like Nana's. I even let it simmer for about 3 hours... felt like Lagasse.

Randi and I are creating a charity group to help kids and families in need. She's so full of great ideas. More to come. Name ideas?

I've gone into full-blast-mode lately with my car show in September. We'll be benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of the West Valley. If you know of anyone with an old Chevy, send 'em my way.

Helen just wrote a really cute entry on the parent blog about our first 100 days. Go check it out.

I'll be honest with you... there's been some talk of babies around our house lately. I never thought that 170-something kids would get that ball rolling. My mom keeps sending Crystal medical info about women who wait much longer than their 30's to give birth. Crystal's mom just buys us baby Steelers clothes. Either way, we're at least talking about it and I'm not covering my ears and singing anymore.

The Messy Art Party is this Sunday in the Cassidy parking lot. If you haven't bought tickets yet (shame on you), visit the Cassidy Party Book site and sign up. Should be a blast. All of our families for next year are invited, too.

Big thanks to our Benefit Committee for the work they've done so far. I know this is going to be a huge success. Thanks for your passion, your time, and your ideas. Leslye got to thinking so much about it that she pulled her back out... nothing a little Robitussin can't fix. Leslye, if that doesn't work, try WD-40.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nothing A Little Santa Barbara Can't Fix

Not that there's anything broken, but the rejuvenation of a coastal drive on Sunday is pretty priceless. Also, I've always kinda thought the journey IS the destination and today we set off with no plans. We drove slow, took in the ocean air with the windows down, and listened to whatever the broken iPod thingy felt like playing. If you haven't tried Summerland Cafe, you really should. It's almost to SB on the PCH. I think I might have sung it's praises during construction when we were up there, but we had another great lunch outside in absolutely perfect weather. There's also a really neat antique shop about a block down. Hmmm... to avoid turning this into some kind of cheesy travel tip guide blog, I'll stop. I'm even starting to hear the steel drums.

Here's to a good week.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Wilshire Tackle

Writer's block is a funny thing. It's also something I never thought about until there was that ever-present "block" to be had. I was even losing myself in the theory of finding the light at the end of the tunnel, so much so that I thought writing ABOUT writer's block would present a valid subject to discuss. We'll see how that goes.

As you might have noticed, we put a gate on our front door. Don't worry, it's for the sanitary betterment of our wrap-around front porch. Plus, it gives us about 3 more seconds to tackle the little ones who like to skip across Wilshire during lunch break.

I feel like a lot of families haven't signed our preschool plans. I'm fully willing to admit that some of those families walking around are only in my head, but I still feel like we should have a few more.

If you didn't know, Crystal is speaking on a panel at the Luxe this Thursday night. You can get tickets and more info here. You can find out about Australian Camels here.

Tonight was the Raspberry fundraiser dinner. The food was amazing. Thanks so much to the Leyrer Family for hosting. Super-shamelessly, I really really wanted to take a few doggy bags home... the shrimp pasta was my fave... aside from the chicken and homemade margaritas. Plus, I'm writing this at 2am if that's any indication of the fun that was had.

We have a new member of the family. Her name is Mackenzie. She's a car.

Sorry it took so long, Jordan.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Heavy Force

Unless you have this page bookmarked on your browser (which would be kinda neat if you did), you probably clicked on a button that said "Cassidy News". Sadly, and with a pretty substantial amount of dismay, I'm sorry to say I don't really have any. "Why write then?", you ask. Honestly, there's a pretty heavy force on my shoulders begging to be blogged (random or not)... like some sort of motherly obligation to those of you who turn to me to escape your world... if only for a moment... nah, I just feel bad when I don't. And that's probably my own problem.

I do know that our Blueberries painted with their feet today and made a beautiful mess. Given the history of her baking extravaganzas lately, I would assume Miss Breck made some kind of amazing bread, but again, I wasn't there. We did create a new Pandora station... Colin Hay... seems to be okay so far. Apparently, Mr. Ryan's fav. So much so, I was inclined to make him a "mix tape" from my library of Colin Hay-ish artists.

Going to see Shutter Island tomorrow night. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Green Paint Vaccine

I noticed a strange green foamy layer of water in the fountain yesterday. Given the bright hue (enough to rule out a fun day with algae), I ran through the possibilities in my head, dusted for fingerprints, deduced it harmless, and went about my way. If anything, it was just going to add to whatever vaccine you've given your child, right? Today the fog was lifted... only paint. Don't worry, it's the same paint they eat and stick up their noses.

As you might have noticed, the front "meeting room/library/rainy-day excursion" has been slightly modified to a kennel of sorts... kiddie gate and all. We even have chew marks on the door thanks to Kipi's boredom. She's also been able to rearrange the filing system for the books in her spare time. Thanks Kipi (as if she can read this anymore).

Some of our Party Book parties have been moved around a bit, so be sure to check them out. Keep up with your class blogs, too.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Three's Company On High

Happy belated Chinese New Year. Time to paint stripes on your back and roar like a Tiger.

I think I've finally decided where to put my office. After being kicked out of every other place for whatever reason, I want to build a "tree house" office in the rafters over the hallway. Just enough for a chair and foot rest... maybe a lamp and big screen plasma... maybe a fireplace... but, nothing special. I'd be completely out of the way. Might have some doing to talk the boss into it, but I think it's genius... admittedly I'm a little biased. So, if you come in one day and I'm perched above the Raspberries watching football (or Three's Company reruns), just wave.

Crys and I had a nice V-Day. We bought new bikes and rode down to Marina Del Rey. Kinda neat seeing things you always miss in the car. Perfect companion, perfect weather, perfect day. I'm sure we'll make it out to a nice dinner soon, but Thai delivery hit the spot.

We're still super active on our benefit coming up. If you have ideas on donation items, bring 'em to the table. If you have connections to food, drinks, lights, and music, bring that, too. Thanks for all of your work so far. We still have a long way to go and it's coming up quick.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Helen's Egg

Yesterday I decided to give our fountain a full bath. After much sand, brushing, and scrubbing, the water is clear again. Update: Not so much anymore (just hours later).

We've had a lot of requests for Cassidy stickers lately. Well, hot off the press, we have 'em. I'm more than happy to help put them on your car... just ask. They're in the office, so just stop by.

The same place that made our stickers made our new parking signs, too. Wouldn't be much of any type of news, but I designed them, sooooooo... it's news.

Both Cassius and Kipi got into Helen's lunch today and ate a hard-boiled egg. Turns out, it was Helen's lunch from Tuesday and she'd been wondering what happened to that egg. So far they're fine. The only evidence was little flakes of brown shell all over the office carpet... and faces that screamed "I just did something bad."

Another playground shot.

Do something sweet for your honey. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Doing?

Three guesses on what I did today... and the first two don't count.

It was my mother-in-law's (I call her the Battle Ax) last day in town, so we headed to the beach, rented bikes for a while, and played on the pier. Lots of fun.

I created myself a few more projects today at school. I might as well walk around with a tool belt. It's very cute having the kids ask me what I'm doing. Although, at times the conversation is quite circular. "What doing?" "Fixing the door." Why?" "So it'll close all by itself." "What doing?" "Um, fixing the door."... and so on. One little guy threw me off when he asked "Are you making it so it's automatic?" He's 3... and clearly a genius.

Figuring it might make it easier to access, we put a link on our new website to list all of our blogs... I was losing track... we're sooooo 2010. It's at the bottom of the left menu on the homepage. You still need a password for your class. Ask the teachers if you don't have it.

Thinking of doing a "Summer Day" on the playground once it gets warm enough... sprinklers and all... just like when we were kids... unless you were the kid who had the pool. More details to come.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quasi-Monday Donuts

I had a project today. Turns out the people who installed the music system kinda directed some of the speakers to the sky. Thing is, not many of our kids sit on the ceiling, so a lot of sound was being wasted. Time to pull the big ladder out and feel like a man for once... drill, screws, hammer, and all. Problem solved. I have brought the music back to the people.

Experimented again today with the music channels. A song came on that inspired an Otis Redding station to be created... man is it good. It must be noted that I sorta have what the doctors call a musical attention deficit disorder (thanks to the iPod) so I'm sure there will be lots of changing to come. The fine line is finding a genre that, for the most part, uses friendly language to convey their point. Kanye didn't make the cut.

We had new water spigots installed today for the playground. After talking to Crys for nearly a half hour about placement, they flubbed anyway. I think they're coming out soon to move it back where it belongs.

Michelle and Mia took the time to do a little gardening out back. It looks amazing. Thanks so much. I can't promise Cassius and Kipi won't eat what is both above and below the ground, but it's very nice right now. Again, thank you.

Kellie, your lunch today was great. You're so thoughtful and amazing for thinking of the teachers like you do. While I must say you keep putting my quasi-Monday donuts to shame, having the teachers realize someone loves them more than me (I know, how is that possible?) is liberating. Maybe they'll start asking you to fix things when they break now.

My eyes are crossing. Goodnight.

Monday, February 8, 2010

4:15 Yawn

I can say without question, California is where I'm supposed to be. Not that I'm basing my entire thinking on the rest of the country buried in snow... but it does help my case. I think I've said it on here before that I love rain storms. In Georgia, I was reminded of the fact that while I do love the rain, I'm not so fond of it when it's accompanied by 20 degree weather. I do think everyone should live in California, though... I guess so do a lot of other people. Good to get away for a bit... really good to be back. Yawning at 4:15pm PST has never felt better.

One thing I did forget about family in the South is that they always believe you've got to be hungry. My mental downfall is such that I listen and believe right along with them. I'm having to make a concerted effort now to listen to my belly again.

For those of you who are longing to shove the Super Bowl in my face, I'm really okay... one of our parents donated 2 months worth of sports-therapy, so no biggy. On Friday, Dazzling Donna Holleran offered me Super Bowl tickets. Too bad I was traveling. Thanks D.

Our architectural plans that everyone is signing is about to be framed forever. If you haven't signed it, please do.

Today was our first day with the Patsy Cline Pandora station. It slipped up a couple of times, but for the most part was kinda cool.

I really missed you guys.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Bail Bonds Calendar

I sit here writing you from my Nana's living room in Atlanta, literally stealing (maybe sharing) the internet with a very unsuspecting neighbor... and so goes the neighborhood.

I came here just to hang out after a rough year for her, but we ended up going to Indiana where my Deeda (code for grandfather) was from. I got to see cousins I hadn't seen since I was 3, and some I didn't know I had. I would have to say one of the coolest things up there was seeing my last name, spelled correctly, on a bail bonds calendar. Well, and Colts stuff everywhere. Aaaaaand a breakfast place that, no kidding, served every plate with about 2 and a half pounds of bacon.

Before the trip, I was the brunt of forceful persuasion by my dad, to go see Biltz graveyards while I was up there. He's kind of a genealogy buff and had traced us back to several families from the early 1800's around Warsaw, Indiana. Again, cool to see my name spelled correctly on something, but I don't get along real well with dead people. I took a photo of the tombstone and emailed it to him with nothing but the subject line saying "proof"... sorry dad.

The trip up and back flew by. I got a chance to talk to my grandmother probably more than I ever have. She's a special lady... opinionated as all get-out, but I'm proud to call her my Nana. We did have a great time together. She's even giving me a few things to put in her room at Cassidy (the Blackberry room). On a side note: In true Georgia fashion and terribly inappropriate for a preschool blog (other than Cassidy's), I'm teaching her how to shoot a shotgun and revolver tomorrow... she's 82.

On the trip she got me into Patsy Cline and I even created a Pandora station for Cassidy. I would liken training a Pandora station to maybe raising a teenage daughter. At first, things are going well with Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, and Hank Williams (the early teens), and then they test their limits with Leann Rimes or Dierks Bentley while sneaking out of the house to kiss a boy. I would get it in line with the thumbs down feature, stop for gas, be gone for maybe 4 minutes, and all hell would have broken loose with Toby Keith. I think I've finally got it ready for the Cassidy playlist now. If you ever come in and hear Brad Paisley, don't judge me.

Leslye, in the past 3 days, I have eaten enough Chick Fil-A to last us both a month.

This week was our new Toddler Queen's first week. She's already getting some great feedback, too. We're really excited to share her with our community and welcome her to the family. She'll be available to autograph your kid starting next week... not really. Unless you want it... which would be kinda awkward.

I'm here for a little bit, but back in LA on Saturday. I miss the kids. See you soon.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Stephen King's Pancakes

What a week. I would swear it's Tuesday, but I don't swear... on here anyway. I'll see how my memory goes...

The Strawberries made some popcorn... pretty much all week. They were excellent at sharing. For those of you concerned with the nutritional value of our popcorn, we use only the kind injected with all the vitamins and minerals you would expect from Orville. Ms. Robyn even has a popper just like the one my grandparents had when I was about 5.

I got a chance to play a bunch on the playground this week. What's unfortunate is dressing for the Valley chill in the morning and then wearing the same get-up for midday playtime outside.

I was fortunate enough to get a couple of slobbery kisses, a few tight little hugs, and I even made time for what is being referred to as the "tickle monster"... such an easy out with kids.

Last night we had our very first date night here at Cassidy. The teachers had asked all their kids out on a date for dinner and a movie. They all showed up in their pj's and had pizza and wine... no, wait, apple juice. Conveniently, the parents had time for their own date night if they wanted (wink, wink). HUGE success. Over half the school showed up and watched several Stephen King films.

Last night was also the meet-and-greet with our new Toddler teacher, Randi. Again, HUGE success. Ms. Carol will be transitioning into our Blackberry room with Ms. Tanya starting Monday.

Ms. Breck made sourdough pancakes today... from the mother (starter). Ms. Breck has been baking a lot lately and it's all from the mother. She killed her first mother... very sad news, but this one is doing fine so far. You actually have to feed and water it... just like having a kid I guess.

We've had several meetings going on about our benefit in May. Thanks for all of your help so far, parents. I know we're going to be doing a big drive soon for silent auction items, so be thinking of things you can get a hold of. Cindy Knight is our benefit chair and will be sending out emails soon. If you have ideas, you can contact her at cindy@cassidypreschool.com

I won't be here all of next week, so my blogs might be about Atlanta. Have a great weekend. I'm out.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another Reminder

There's definitely something to be said for the end of football season. It means a sadness will cloud over us fans again until September. On the bright side (literally), I'll once more venture outside on Sundays. Except for one more. Donna, our Colts are in. Anyone who has extra Super Bowl tix with my name on them sittin' around, please let me know.

Crys and I braved Ikea again for more Toddler stuff. Even went to Cassidy to build everything... on our day off... it's like a magnet.

We just launched our new website on Friday. Go tell it on the mountain. We also posted a Haitian Relief page for those of you who would like to give, but haven't yet. The parents have also decided to put an American Red Cross donation center right outside of the office. While it's hard to think the Cassidy kids will understand what's going on with Haiti, this is a great chance to teach them about giving.

Yet another reminder... come put your John Hancock on our architectural plans.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Of all the music we've played to date, today was maybe the coolest. I created a Reggae playlist on Pandora and for most of the day, other than running through the rain, I thought I was in Jamaica. Every little thing... is gonna be all right.

The website is coming along. Lucky for me, I have a father-in-law copy-reader in Picksburgh who catches every mistake I make. I have also recently found that Crystal likes to change her mind about design... sometimes just because (I love you). In that, things are ever-changing. Still waiting on a few parents to give their blessing on some of the photos, too. If any of you know what Easter Eggs on a website are, there will be a few eventually.

One of the teachers made pesto pasta with pine nuts today (ha, that's fun to say). Props to Miss Ashlie. I have realized that being from the South has molded me into a love for food that goes beyond basic survival needs. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm an emotional eater, but I usually cry a lot when something tastes good. That doesn't count, does it? It's not like I'm sad.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Catching Up

I guess the rain has made my blogging sense fade away. I got whipped into shape this morning by a mom looking for a recent entry. I sheepishly walked away to my computer...

So, I haven't lived in the South for about 9 years now. I can say that, without question, one of the things I miss the most is the rain. It's amusing to hear people complain about. The newscasters talk about "weird" weather, accidents go up ten-fold, and some of the smiles we used to get have turned to panicked faces. Aside from the wet socks and my old car's convertible top leaking, I say we've got it pretty good. Go on a hike in the next week... everything will be flourishing, green, and overgrown.

Just in case you're wondering about the status of my '65 Corvair (and I know most of you are), it's been on the road 3 times now. That's how I know the top leaks... ah, bitter sweet it is.

Please note: If you're reading this... and honestly, now I know you are... you need to come sign our architectural plans hanging across from the office. This includes parents, friends, other schools, nannies, grandparents, etc. I see a lot of only one parent when I know there are two of you for some. We're going to be framing it and hanging it on our walls forever.

Also, we're going to be launching a new website soon... maybe even very soon. You might have even seen it getting here. The idea is to start using photos of our kids on a few of the pages, too... some cute kids out there. Don't worry, we'll ask you first.

We've had a few of the local elementary schools come by this past week. We've been getting some pretty nice compliments, too. Thanks for that.

I'm going to go eat the rest of my turkey sandwich.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Watering Children

I think Crystal got dogs because she wanted to test me being a dad... I guess it worked out okay because she still talks about it. My point is, I'm not so sure. I would imagine some sort of parallel responsibility comes along with plants. I spent the morning watering and talking to our various trees and flowers for the first time in a while. Given the fact that the majority of our plants are with baby Jesus now... I'm second guessing myself. Aren't you supposed to water kids, too? I will say that the sensory garden is pretty handsome... no thanks to me.

I rode my bike out today on an errand. When I returned, the gate was shut, a police car was in our parking lot with its lights on, Mr. Ryan was comforting a small child in the backseat, Crystal was walking around with a clipboard nodding her head, and my heart sank a little. Turns out they were just visiting the school... crisis evaded. Thanks police people.

I'm really starting to think we need a full-time fountain man. I must have siphoned 30-40 pounds of sand. What's cute is that right behind me a new Blueberry was dumping cups of it right back in. If there are problems to have, these are the ones.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Shrimp, Corn, and Beer

Went on a nice little hike today with a friend... highly recommended. At the top, you'll be higher than anyone else in the Santa Monica Mountains. There's even a little notebook to sign... fun reading through the entries. Great conversation, great hike, great day.

This is the view from the top. The plan was to drive down to Neptune's Net right after for shrimp, corn-on-the-cob, and a beer. Those plans were attacked by prior dinner plans... but I took a rain check and will be shrimping and cobbing soon.

It'd be fun to get a Cassidy group together to go hiking. Any takers?

Friday, January 8, 2010

We've Graduated

The old 40's music playing has grown up a bit. I think yesterday was the Dave Matthews Band channel. Today was Led Zeppelin... um, I think it's my new favorite. Every once in a while it feels like we're riding in a green helicopter over Vietnam... in a good way... like right now... Jimi Hendricks and Purple Haze.

Cassius came to school today. He played with a few of the classes outside and even went into a few of the rooms, too. I think he even gave some open mouth kisses out to his favorites... ewwww. Cassius is a dog for those of you with your mouth open.

Right inside the back door we have our architectural plans hanging on the wall across from the office. The idea is to get everyone to sign it and we'll have it framed. This includes everyone who helped make this happen... moms, dads, teachers, grandparents, nannies, friends, friends of friends... basically, anyone who is part of the reason we're here. Sooooo, be sure to sign it.

We just asked Helen to drop an eff-bomb so I could blog about it. All we got was "bologna"... she's getting better.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Biking to Cassidy

Today I decided to ride my bike to Cassidy. I Googled it... only 14 miles... no big deal. Google didn't tell me about the fire road that was now private property. Google also didn't tell me, or my legs, that it had been awhile since I last biked. After "exploring" the mountains for a few miles, and asking several people for directions, I was back on track. I rolled up to Cassidy just in time for the parent-hosted teacher lunch... honest, I had no idea, but thank you.

The early stages of our benefit are in the making. We're looking at a few venues right now. If you have connections/ideas, please let us know.

The holiday cards keep coming. I love seeing the family pics. Thanks for all of your thoughtful gifts, too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Going Awry

If you happened to call us yesterday, you might have gotten one of those "beep beep beep, you have reached a number that has been disconnected... blah blah blah." Well, let me back up. I got a phone call early this morning from Crystal saying our kitchen sink was overflowing. Ironically, I had just looked under the sink yesterday and knew I didn't have the tools to fix it. After I woke up and realized the phone call wasn't a dream, I headed down. When I walked in, Crys told me the alarm wasn't setting, the internet was down, and our phones were off. I pulled the back of my jeans down a bit, stuck out my belly, and put my head under the sink... turns out I couldn't fix it. After a few phone calls, the phone was up again. Helen ended up fixing the internet... not sure what she did. And I must say, my very own wifey fixed the alarm all by her lonesome. What a day. I've always thought it's better to have things go wrong all at once anyway... so, small blessings.

As I was leaving, I noticed the fountains needed water for our afternoon classes, so I headed back in. Miss Pauline was 2 steps ahead of me. Okay, so maybe I stuck around hoping to be invited to play chase or something... and sure enough I was. After much tickling and chasing, the kids headed in. When I got to my truck, Crys had sent me a text about being a daddy... blast!... she was watching.

Oh yeah, the sink's good too.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fountain Sake

I guess it will never cease to amaze me how much these kids learn at Cassidy. I'm not sure which teacher brought this into their curriculum, but the kids tried to make sake over the break... maybe they learned at home. Anyway, the fountain was full of rice that had fermented over our 2 weeks away. Honestly, it wasn't half bad. I found a map that curiously enough was drawn in crayon and looked much like the moonshine trails of East Tennessee. I'm happy we thwarted their plans.

Glad to be back. Glad to be warm again. Glad to see the ocean. Glad to see the little smiling faces and hear the little feet. Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for an amazing 2009 and here's to an even more amazing 2010 (I say as I raise up my glass of fountain sake). Cheers.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Las Vegas... New Mexican Style

I'm not going to sit here and claim the picture of perfect safety for driving... sooooooo, on the way back from New Mexico I couldn't pass up this pic. Crys was sleeping, and while nestled in my headphones with loud music to keep me awake, I drove with my knee, leaned over to steady my hands, and snapped this shot...

...and then this one.

Found a cool little spot close to Needles with a private beach on the river about 100 yards long. We had to trek through the brush and woods, but ended up on all alone with the pups. Nice little break from a 16 hour drive. Also, the government of California has inadvertently donated some rocks for our fountain. Thanks Arnold.