Monthly Archives: January 2010

Conversations With Catherine

Ever since she started talking, Catherine has been a very talkative girl. But recently, her mastery of vocabulary and grammar, and her logical reasoning has been increasing, although her grasp of reality is still a bit shaky. Here are some recent blurbs.

At the end of dinner one night:

Papa: Catherine, after you finish your beans, it’s time for a bath.
Catherine: No, I have a better idea. We can play PICTURE LOTTO!

During bathtime:

Catherine: I want you to GO!
Papa: I don’t have to go, this is my house.
Catherine: No, this is Mama’s house! *You* have a *work* house!

At bedtime:

Catherine: Papa, what are we going to do tomorrow?
Papa: Well, I’m going to work. I don’t know what you and Mama and Esme are doing.
Catherine: Why are you going to work? (This is a frequent question.)
Papa: I have to go to work so that I can make money so that we can have a house and food and clothes.
Catherine: But we already have a house and food and clothes!
Papa: Well, we have to keep paying for these thngs, so I have to keep going to work to make money.
Catherine: Why do you make money at work?
Papa: Well, somebody else sells things and makes money, and I do work for him, so he gives me a little part of that money. And that’s what I use to pay for our things.
Catherine: Oh.

Upon me coming home from work:

Catherine, to Mama: Mama, come and see who has arrived!

That’s just a little taste… She says so many awesome things that it’s hard to keep track! Anybody else have a favorite saying from Catherine?

WordCamp Boston 2010

WordCamp at the NERD Center

WordCamp at the NERD Center

If you want to experience the best of what I got from WordCamp Boston, you’ll need to:

Nice Pre-Busy-Weekend Afternoon

This is going to be a busy weekend – tomorrow I am heading into Cambridge for WordCamp Boston. I’ll be there from early in the morning until probably late in the evening, learning about WordPress for work (and I’m sure I’ll pick up a few things for personal use, too, wink wink). On Sunday I’ll be getting up veeery early to go in to work to assist the team with some maintenance tasks.

Today, however, I got out of work early (to compensate for the work on Sunday), and so I went home and picked up Catherine and Esme, to get them out of the house for a few hours so Rebecca could have a few moments to herself. We headed down to Jordan’s Furniture to hang out. If you’re not from around here, you need to understand that although it is at its core a furniture store, it also has some non-furniture stuff inside: an IMAX theater, a continuous light/water/music show, a trapeze school, a candy store and ice cream shop, and more. In fact, it’s a fun way to kill a few hours for zero cost.

The Light and Water Show

The Light and Water Show

After Jordan’s, we drove back up to the North Shore Mall to our favorite eatery, Chipotle, where we met Rebecca for dinner. Everyone enjoyed their meal and it was a nice way to spend the late afternoon together.

You can see some more photos from our afternoon in the gallery.

Myopia Sled Dog Races

Just last week I had heard via Twitter that there would be sled dog races taking place in South Hamilton. Interested in this unique type of event, I made plans with the family to head up and see them.

On Saturday we drove up to South Hamilton for the 9am start of the race, and found a parking spot near one of the spectating points. Catherine became busy in exploring the surrounding area while training one of the smaller puppies with sturdy collars, harnesses prevent pulling without command. We made friends with some other kids who were building tunnels in the snow, made some snow angels, and took some walks with me while we waited to see the dogs.

Papa and Catherine

Papa and Catherine

We waited for a while, hanging near the volunteers who were getting updates on the progress of the race. It seems that the start of the first race was delayed. We watched as snowmobiles raced back and forth along the track, volunteers groomed and cleared snow, and some cross-country skiers came through. The crowd continued to grow as we waited. At long last (about an hour and a half after we arrived) the first dogs ran past!



The first race was one with which we were unfamiliar, Skijoring. This race is essentially dog-assisted cross-country skiing. I was a bit surprised when they came around the corner and there was no sled. Since that was my only exposure to “sled dog racing,” that’s what I had been expecting. In any case, there were three or four competitors in the race, and they raced out past us and then came back. Some of the dogs raced wildly off the track, while others seemed a bit more controlled.

Beautiful Dogs

Beautiful Dogs

By the time the Skijorn finished, the girls were getting pretty antsy and cold and hungry, and Rebecca had an appointment to keep, so we sadly had to depart the race. Perhaps next year the race won’t start quite as late, or maybe they could provide text messaging updates on the morning of the race as to when it was actually going to start.

We have many photos from the race in our gallery, including quite a few of Catherine’s adventures along the track. 🙂


Thanks to some wonderful friends from church (hi Tina, Susie, Lizzie and Ben!) Peter and I found ourselves with an entire afternoon to ourselves. Unbeknownst to me, Peter had been planning an outing for us in true pre-girls Wood form.

After we dropped the girls off, I rode patiently in the passenger seat unaware of our final destination. Each turn revealed new clues as to where we were going. Peter pulled into the parking lot at the Wonderland T station and I worried that I hadn’t dressed appropriately for a walk around Boston. I was assured that just my coat would be enough.

We rode the blue line just a few stops and commented on how new the Airport station looked. The train stopped, the doors opened and Peter gave me a little nudge and said, “this is our stop!” For my 31st birthday we were going to take a bus and walking tour of the terminals of Logan Airport!

We took the airport shuttle to Terminal A and started our self guided tour around the airport. Highlights include:

  • Learning that A was the first LEED certified terminal in world
  • Visiting the 9/11 Memorial
  • The juxtaposition of the “Sunless Tanning Convention” which was located next to the “American Association of Jewish Clergymen”
  • Lunch at Currito in Terminal C
  • Stumbling across an old, unused baggage carousel
  • Checking out the European fashions in Terminal E (for International Flights)

We had a great time walking around, people watching, reminiscing about our past travels and daydreaming about trips yet to come. There is just something magical about an airport and it was fun to be there without having to rush to a gate or waiting in a security line. My 31st year is over, bring on 32!

We didn’t get many pictures today, but what is a post without a photo? I’ll end with this pic of Catherine giving me a birthday kiss during dinner at Mandarin Danvers. The other birthday pics can be found here.

Birthday Girl

Ok, so she’s not just a girl. She’s a hard-working woman. She’s a great wife and mama and deserves all kinds of congratulations for keeping our home running as smoothly as it is. So please join me in wishing Rebecca a Happy 31st birthday!

Hard-working Birthday Girl

Hard-working Birthday Girl

Snow Play

We had a decent amount of snow last night, so this afternoon I took the girls outside to play in the snow! Catherine and I had been out yesterday, but today Rebecca got Esme suited up, so the three of us went out.

Snow Angels

Snow Angels

This was Esme’s first time really playing in the snow. Her bulky snowsuit didn’t give her much mobility, but she was able to crawl around a bit, and she sat in my lap and got a feel for the snow. Esme wanted to go back inside rather quickly, but Catherine and I stayed out for a bit and took care of some way-overdue “winter prep” chores, like emptying the, um, now-frozen rain barrel.

Here are the rest of the photos from our play in the snow!

The 2000s: Decade In Review

Rebecca and I have now lived in at least part of five decades: the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, the ’00s, and now we’re on the first day of the ’10s! It seems somewhat appropriate that this most recent decade was the 00’s, as in many ways we were starting over from scratch. This was the decade when our adult lives started to form, the decade when many of the foundational moments happened. Now, let’s review.

2000 – The Start of Something Beautiful

The start of a new decade! Rebecca and I finished our junior years at Gordon College and went into our senior years. We had started hanging out in the last semester of our junior year, corresponded over the summer, and then started dating the first semester of our senior year. That first date will forever be commemorated as 091600! May of 2000 was also when I first started my job at CBD – full-time co-op during the summer, part time during my senior year.

2001 – Goodbye Gordon

We graduated from Gordon in May of 2001, I with a BS in Computer Science, Rebecca with a BA in History. I moved to Woburn and started working full-time at CBD. Rebecca moved back to Townsend and started working at the Tsongas Industrial History Center.

2002 – Wedding Bells

Rebecca and I got engaged in 2002, at a Cranberries concert in Boston. We spent the next five months planning our wedding, and were married on October 26, 2002. We had a beautiful reception at Townsend Congregational Church’s brand-new reception hall, and flew off on a honeymoon that took us to sights in Spain: Malaga, Marbella, Seville, Ronda, and also into the British Territory of Gibraltar.

2003 – Travel!

This was a huge year for travel. As a newly-married, double-income, no-kids couple, we drove and flew all over the place. We visited Portland, Maine, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, Mount Vernon, Ohio, Boston, Lenox, MA, and more. We took every opportunity we could get, and then some!

2004 – Lying Low

After all of the travel in 2003, 2004 was a bit more subdued. We started paying off the debts that I had accumulated during my pre-married years, but still managed to do a bit of travel. One highlight was taking a camping trip to Niagara Falls with Mark and Kirsten! Yes, you can camp just down the street from all of the casinos and waterfalls because these guys know what they are talking about! We also started making plans for the next few years…

2005 – Russia and the Road Ahead

One of our big plans was to travel to Russia and visit my cousin Kim. We researched, planned, bought plane tickets, got visas, and finally took our trip! We spent nearly two weeks visiting Moscow and Saint Petersburg, meeting Kim’s friends, visiting historic sites, seeing beautiful Russian architecture and culture, and expanding our horizons. We just happened to be there for the Victory Day celebrations, as well as for Orthodox Easter, both of which brought many colorful traditions and celebrations. It was definitely one of the most amazing trips we’ve taken.

2006 – Catherine

One other big plan was to start a family, and on May 26, 2006 we welcomed Catherine Elinor! Catherine charmed us and everyone she met with her “alertness” and general curiosity about the world around her. This was also the year that Rebecca made the decision to become a full-time mama – the job she’d had her eye on for a long time! We were happy to be able to rearrange our anchor finances to make it happen. We spent a lot of time with folks who had come to meet Catherine, or traveling to visit friends and family.

In 2006, we also started looking to buy a house of our own. We looked at many different places, but finally found one we liked right at the end of 2006…

2007 – New House

…and in the beginning of 2007, we went to take a look at it! It was a foreclosure, and on first glance looked a bit small for our needs, but we soon discovered that it had an unfinished basement. So we went ahead and made the purchase! We spent much of 2007 making improvements to the house – painting, furnishing, making small repairs, having the deck redone, and finally having a set of stairs built down to the basement. This paved the way for our basement finishing project in 2008.

2008 – Finishing the basement

In 2008, we spent much of the year on and off working on the new house. The biggest project was finishing the basement. We did most of the work ourselves, with some help from my father-in-law Ken, and some local electricians and plumbers. It was an incredible learning experience with building codes, permits, planning, framing, drywalling, painting, and flooring. When we were finished, we had nearly doubled the square footage of our home and created a place where our family could work, play, craft, code, and be together.

2009 – Esme

The highlight of 2009 was the birth of our second daughter, Esme, on March 5. Suddenly, we had become a family of four! We spent the year getting adjusted to our new life, visiting with family and friends, and watching Esme grow. We also got more involved with our church this year, made some new friends, and took our first big road trip as a family of four.

Looking Ahead

Now it’s time to think about the decade ahead. In the past decade we’ve gotten married, traveled, started a family, bought a house, and learned a lot. In short, we’ve put together the pieces to start building a future. But what does that future hold? We don’t know right now, but we’re excited to figure it out!

How was your decade?