Posted by & filed under starwars.

It's important to start them becoming Star Wars fans early.

I’ll confess, I am a big Star Wars nerd, and have been excited that it’s made a comeback with the new generation because as I was becoming a parent, I figured this will be something I’ll be able to share with my son, but it’s not to be. I don’t have a son. I have two daughters.

After a few very geeky Star Wars conversations with a female co-worker I realized I was being sexist in my thinking. I couldn’t share a love of Star Wars with my two little girls. There’s no reason we couldn’t sit together and watch the original trilogy one rainy afternoon. They can learn to appreciate “these are not the droids you’re looking for” references as well as any son could. I would be short-changing them not to introduce them to such a staple of pop-culture from my generation that will resurface for their generation as well.

In, fact I have an opportunity here. In my experience, women who know Star Wars are really rare.

If I teach my girls why saying “boring conversation anyway” when hanging up the phone on a telemarker is funny, I will have armed them with knowledge that will make them so much more interesting and fun to people who can appreciate those Star Wars references..

Selena supports me sharing a love of Star Wars with the girls, but does see an issue with the “making them more fun and interesting” plan.

She says that kids today will either like the Clone Wars mythology of Star Wars or whatever is the next generation of movies to come. Either way, they are not going to connect with the classic Episode IV-V-VI stories that I grew up with. Selena’s issue is that the only people that will find my girls fun and interesting for appreciating original Star Wars reference will be original Star Wars fanboys who will be creepily as old as their dad.

Fair point. We’ll show them those movies once for context and focus on the Star Wars of their generation.

Posted by & filed under baby, birthday.

Over Memorial Day weekend our little baby turned one year old. We threw her a birthday part with family and friends in attendance and gave her an oversize cupcake as her personal cake to eat in her high-chair.

Ginelle did wonderfully well neither crying nor putting her hand directly in the candle flame while we sang Happy Birthday. Afterwards she started trying to eat the cake with her hands, but realizing that was inefficient she took to the face-planting method seen in the video above.

Here are a few more photos from Ginelle’s big birthday celebration:

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The family celebrating Ginelle’s first birthday.

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Ginelle playing in the grass at her birthday party.

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Ginelle playing with her favorite toy, plugged in electric cords.

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Ginelle with her PoPo (grandma) learning to walk.

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Ginelle deciding what cake she’s like to eat.

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Ginelle enjoying new presents – a ball-rattle and a new hat.

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Ginelle diving into her cupcake.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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I scoured a year’s worth of photos to find one where Selena is the focus. Every one I came across she was holding one of our wonderful children up in front of her. That’s just who she is, she literally puts those kids first, both in photos and in life. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful woman for my wife and the mother of my two adorable children.

Happy Birthday sweetheart. I hope you have a wonderful day.

 

 

Posted by & filed under holiday.

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Ziplining through the trees at the Sandy Spring Adventure Park

Okay, it wasn’t really Ewok Village, but look at the photo above, with 13 courses stacked up on top of each other this treetop adventure park really had an Endor feel.

This Father’s Day I awoke to find a toolbox that was rebranded as a Manliness kit. It included all the things needed to be a man including Axe Body Spray, A-Tees, NOS energy drink, a picture of the kids, a chain. Clearly my family takes it cues on what constitues manliness from the Fast and Furious movies.

There was also a gift card for a Day of Man Camp which meant a trip to the treetop and zipline course at Sandy Spring Adventure Park with fellow dads, my friend Jason and neighbors Mike and Bruce.

When recieving instructions on how to proceed we were encouraged to start with one or two purple or yellow (the easier courses) before moving on to greens, blues and black diamonds. We promptly disregarded that advise and started with a green, then through big-talking and too much pride to back down, moved onto a blue then black diamond course.

These courses sell themselves on the zip-line aspect but that typically comes at the very end. Most of the course is finding ways across complex ropes or wooden planks. It’s mental problem-solving using the physical tool of your own body, and adding in the adreneline of being 80 feet up in the air.

The pictures below hopefully paint a picture of how thrilling and exhausting this day was. We each wondered why we earned something so strenuous as a Father’s Day gift, but at the end of the day, over a couple of pitchers of beer, we felt damn proud of what we accomplished.

Here’s more photos of the day of Man Camp at the Adventure Park:

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Jason going into a split on the piece we called the widowmaker.

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Mike struggling to find his footing on the swinging planks.

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Bruce with a look of great concentration crossing these swinging beams.

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Greg giving a smile knowing he’s in control on the spinning log bridge.

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Bruce high atop the 13 courses that overlay each other at Sandy Spring Adventure Park

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Greg and Jason both caught in the netting at the same time like… nevermind.

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The four Dads at the end of a rewarding but exhausting day at the Adventure Park

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Posted by & filed under family.

One of the perks of the Kindercare where we send Kaylee is they bring in a ballet instructor every Friday. We started Kaylee in for these ballet lessons about six months ago and last week they held their first recital.

I was stunned right from the onset when we walked in and saw our little girl turned into a ballerina with hair back and glittery and a fancy dress. We had no idea that was coming. The class danced two songs, and we recorded all of the first one here – Tchiakovsky’s Sleeping Beauty.

Enjoy this video of Kaylee in her very first ballet recital.

Posted by & filed under awesome, movies.

Six great days of getting fast and furious.

Six great days of getting fast and furious.

Going to see Fast and the Furiuos 6 on opening day was fantastic. Having built up to that by watching one Fast and Furious movie a night for the whole week leading up to it made for the Best Week Ever.

After six nights of watching the fast cars, crazy stunts and rediculous plots, here’s my guide to getting started living Fast and Furious:

1) Find the local street racing hangout spot.

Selena has taken to calling this “douchebag row” and it’s appropriate, because there are rows of tricked out cars lining each side of what is the street where the racing occurs, with lots of guys letting their cars do the talking and lots and lots of scantily-clad women happily being objectified. This underground social destination exists for sure in LA, Miami, Tokyo, Brazil, London and most likely in every major city if you look hard enough.

2) Carry twice the cash you need

When you arrive at douchebag row, you will probably piss someone off for no particular reason (they are douchey people after all), at which point you will need to race. You will talk about racing for the car title (known as pink slips) but those never seem to actually change hands (that would require signing things over, going to the DMV, lots of paperwork), what does realistically change hands is cash, lots of it. Come prepared to bet $2000 on your first race, and have that ready in a roll or money clip. Also have a backup $2000 in a seperate roll/money clip so you don’t miss a beat when one of your douchy race competitors boastfully suggests you double it.

3) Install NOS

What makes your car both fast and furious? Installing two tanks of nitrogen oxide with buttons on the dash to ignite them and rocket propel your car to the finish line. In some cultures, like Tokyo, it helps to know how to handle a sharp turn (called drifting), but for most of the world, strapping a rocket pack on your car when you add the racing stripes is sufficient.

4) Freelance

To suppliment your losses from those $2000 racing bets, it helps to have a side business of stealing stuff, DVD players, drugs from drug lords, millions from corrupt politicians. Don’t worry if you don’t have the skills yourself to pull this off, street racers are a very tight knit community and will happily help you out despite the high risks. In fact, more often then not, the cops who should be trying to catch you will join in to help you finish the crime.

5) Nothing is more important than family.

But sometimes you will find yourself in a bind, or having to choose between letting a killer get away with a biological weapon that could kill millions or your sister. Family comes first. Choose to save your sister and don’t worry, the crime-fightiing organization and military will support your decision. And besides, you can always go back to stop the bad guy, because you know to…

6) Just go on through

The element of surprise goes a long way towards being an effectively fast and furious street racer or criminal or bad guy catcher. And nothing surprises folks more than when you ignore the common sense and the laws of physics to get to where you want to be faster (and more furiuosly). Is there a door or window or wall between you and where you want to be? Just run through it. Is there a building or moving airplane stopping you from getting away? Drive on through. Fast and furious foks know you can always get through if you just run or drive at it full speed.

That’s the short list, follow those rules and you will find your life is a whole lot more awesome.

What did I miss, please add your lessons for a Fast and Furious life into the comments.

Posted by & filed under baby, birthday.

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Our little baby Ginelle turns one year old today.

It astonishes me how quickly a year goes by, and suddenly my little baby, who’s never been particularly little is also not so much a baby anymore either.

She independently plays, except when she’s swinging (and needs a little help from her sister). She’s crusing (almost walking), she’s forming sounds (almost words). She’s on the brink of the next stageof her development, but today we’re going to celebrate with her and our friends and neighbors all the joy she brought us over this past year by being part of our family.

We love you little Ginelle Grace. Happy Birthday

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

If these images don’t excite you, then feel free to skip this post.

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Before you skip this post though, let me put it another way (as some wise being on the internet expressed):

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Have you seen these trailers for The Fast and the Furious 6 and thought, “That looks fun. I kinda wish I knew what was going on beyond the fact that a tank just jumped a bridge.” Well, take the Fast and the Furious 6 day challenge! Starting Sunday, the Robleto house will be watching one Fast and Furious film a night until the release of part 6 of the series, which comes out next Friday! (Do I cry a little with joy, every time I see a the trailer? You bet!)

In case you need a cheat sheet, here is the line up:

Sunday night: The Fast and the Furious

Monday night: 2 Fast 2 Furious

Tuesday night: The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift

Wednesday night: Fast and Furious

Thursday night: Fast Five (my personal favorite)

Now, this is in order of release date, not chronological order story-wise. There is Star Wars-like complexity when it comes to that (okay, but not really). Poor Tyrion Lannister may have to take the backseat (ha!) this week. Typically, Robletos watch movies late (after kids are put to bed). So find us on Twitter around 10 p.m. or so settling in with our beer and our douchey heroes. Hope to see you on the interwebs!

 

Posted by & filed under birthday.

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Our little “big girl” is three years old today.

How did she get to be three years old already?!

We woke up (groggily), dressed her, fed her, brush teeth and hair, dropped her off at day care, kissed her goodbye, we went to work. Later that evening: picked her up, big hugs, drove her home, watched a little of her favorite show, fed her dinner, played together, gave her a bath, read 3, 4, 5 stories to her, turned off the light, ran through the list of all the people that love her, gave her a kiss goodnight as she went to sleep. Next day: repeat.

A good structure, but one that makes the days race by, follow it a few hundred times and she’s a year old, a few hundred more and she’s two and now three? How is she three so soon?

I love that in the age of smartphones, digital cameras, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and this blog, we can capture, journal, post and just have so many breadcrumbs along the way that we can look back and see the evolution, see the growth from a newborn to a baby to a toddler to practically a little girl. I cherish having the ability to look back on all that, but it doesn’t make it any easier how quickly it’s all going by.

Happy Birthday, Kaylee. I can’t believe you’re three already! Where does the time go?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

My dear husband takes the kids away for the weekend so that I can have some me time. I decide this is a great time to do one of my 80 million Pinterest projects that I have pinned but never got to. So I decide to work on a “broken pot fairy garden,” with this image in my head that it would sit on our front porch, welcoming visitors and our kids would love it.

Here’s what the project looks like:
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I spent almost all day on this project, and here’s what my attempt looked like:

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Well, that crucial first step kinda screws you over, doesn’t it? I’ve decided that there needs to be a tumblr feed of Pinterest shaming. Here’s my improvised consolation prize:

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This is very, very sad. And when I placed it where I thought it would go, I realized it doesn’t actually work there. Le sigh. Well, if anyone out there accidentally drops a terra cotta pot so that it breaks into two opportune pieces as pictured above in perfect pinterest world, please do let me know! I will take that broken pot off your hands and try to make this consolation prize less sad looking!