Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our Little Monster

Kayla is currently in a stage that everywhere she goes ends up looking like Godzilla just ravaged Tokyo, but without the subtitles. As a result, we thought it would be fitting to dress her up as a little monster for Halloween.  Tiffany made her the suit - from scratch - and Kayla was the belle, er, monster, of the ball!  We went to the "Spooky Sloan" Halloween party at the business school, and after a few stops she had trick-or-treating down pat: show up at a door and take as much candy as you can out of the bucket while the person is distracted by your costume.  The performance was repeated at the church Halloween party later that night.
Perfecting the Technique - notice the lady's eyes, she has no idea how much candy is leaving the bag!
Look - I'm Little-White-Polka-Dot-Bigfoot!
That's quite the haul... you gonna share?
Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Leaf-Peeping!


I always called it "going to see the leaves" or "heading up the canyon".  But we don't really have any canyons around here, and they must have wanted a more whimsical name for the activity, so "Leaf-Peeping" was born in New England.  We went with our friends the Cutlers and checked out the fall colors in Concord (home of "The shot heard round the world"), enjoyed the sites and the history (that's the Old Manse in the heading of our blog) took a few family pictures.  We also found a pumpkin patch where the pumpkins mysteriously grew in perfectly straight rows, and the best pumpkins were at the front of the patch - somehow they knew to grow this patch specifically for families with strollers. Tiff right away found the perfect pumpkin, and K-bear took a break on a pumpkin before finding one of her own.






Earlier we went and checked out the Head of the Charles Regatta, because, well, we live on the Charles.  We live by the starting line, so we didn't see too much action, but there were a ton of rowing crews, and we were kept plenty busy keeping Kayla from jumping in the River - she's very adventurous.


Friday, October 22, 2010

My Other Blog

I just started another blog about my experience at MIT.  It's a little more formal as it is supposed to help prospective applicants get an idea of what my program is all about.  Many of you might not be interested, but in case you are wondering what exactly I'm up to here at MIT, here's the link:

http://lgobradenball.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Franklin Park Zoo Experience

We were fortunate this afternoon to have Braden home with us! We decided to take advantage of our time together as a family and head downtown to the zoo. I have a library card, which allows us to get a zoo pass for the day. This means that rather than paying $14/person we only paid $2/person. AWESOME!
We got to see a lot of the "regular" zoo animals: zebras, a lion, tigers, snakes, gorillas, fish, lots of weird birds, and the typical "barnyard" animals. We also saw kangaroos and camels. Kayla enjoyed looking at the animals and waving to them from her stroller.

This guy came right up to Kayla. I don't know what he wanted, but as soon as we turned to go, he left too! I guess Kayla is just so cute that even the animals have to say hi!

There was a safari car "driven" into the lion exhibit. Braden looks like he would be an excellent guide on an African safari!

Kayla was pointing at the camels. Those are some huge animals!

When we first walked into the zoo we saw this baby zebra. He was born September 6! Cute little mohawk!

Saying hi to the black swans.

Hanging out in the African Jungle exhibit.

Kayla loved playing in the Aussie area. (She's sitting on a platypus.)

Did you know a kangaroo can jump 20 feet? Braden tried out his jumping skills.
video
I think he did pretty well. Almost 10 feet! Not quite as far as a kangaroo, but not too bad!

(Also, did you notice Kayla's new haircut? A chunk of hair kept falling in her eyes and so one day I just chopped it off!)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Apples!!!

Knowing that things will soon be frozen and wet, we took full advantage of the changing of the seasons and went apple picking at the "Honey Pot Hill Orchard" just outside of Boston. Where they came up with the name I don't know - I saw no honey pots - but there were plenty of apples. Many varieties I'd never heard of - Cortland, Mutsu, Milton, Macoun - I didn't know what to do! I asked a worker what was different about Macouns, and I quote "Well, they're red, hard as a baseball, white in the center, sweet but a little tart, and they only come around once a year". I don't know about you, but I think he just described about every apple I've ever met. This whole "variety" thing must be either a clever marketing ploy or some kind of government cover-up, I'm not yet sure which. Anyway, we had a lot of fun, Kayla LOVED the apples, and Tiff loved climbing the ladder - I think her pics could be in Real Simple or something.
"How many apples do you want? I'll get them for you!"

Tell me this picture doesn't make you want to go apple-picking.


Notice how Kayla has an apple in every picture. We found that giving her an apple was best, otherwise she ended up trying to eat the old squishy ones on the ground - blechh!

Also, blog traffic jumped about 12000% on my last post, I guess people really love shoes!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ruthie Davis

No this isn't Tiffany, this is Braden, and yes I recognize that is a photo of high-heels. However, these aren't just any heels, they're Ruthie Davis heels - way higher fashion than anything I've ever had any desire to get this close to in my life: each pair retails for around $1000 or more. They are mostly worn by celebrities and people that either have too much money to burn or really love shoes.

I met Ruthie yesterday. She came to talk to us in a leadership seminar I'm taking at MIT as part of the MBA/Engineering program I'm in. For those of you who don't know, the program is highly focused on operations management, manufacturing, and supply chains (think GM, Boeing, Caterpillar, Amazon, 3M). So why did an entrepreneurial fashion designer from New York City come to talk to us? Her late father, Don Davis (a former CEO of Stanley Works), had strong ties to our program and actually founded this leadership seminar over 20 years ago, so I figured she just came because of her dad. I really didn't think I would get much out of the session, but I was really surprised at what I learned.

For example, the shoes in the picture: one gets attention of the market, and the other pays the bills. But, they're both pretty much the same pair of shoes. From an operational standpoint she's able to serve both purposes with one product. As well, in industry you have to listen to the market to make sure you provide what they want, but it's also important to stay true to your strategy to avoid becoming just like everyone else and losing ground (Dell could have used this lesson when they were contemplating selling computers at Wal-Mart). And yes, those are spikes - awesome!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Catchupcatchupcatchup

So I've been slacking. You probably noticed the improved quality of the blog since about June 1 -my beautiful wife has pretty much taken over since I started school again. But since I had a few minutes I figured I'd sully up the blog a bit with my presence. To start, about a month and a half ago Tiffany's family came out to visit. We had a lot of fun, saw the many historic sites of Boston, Plymouth, and Salem, went to the beach, and really just had a good time with family. Pictured below we're on the Old North Bridge, site of the famous "shot heard round the world", where colonists were first ordered to fire upon the British troops.
One of the highlights was this guy cruising down the highway - we tried to let him know that he'd dropped his skier about a mile back, but we couldn't get his attention.
As well, we checked out this old estate that we thought might make a good starter home, but the hedge maze wasn't yet finished - that was a dealbreaker.
In some of our beachgoing adventures, kayla took up both hermit crab-hunting and flying - both were phenomenal successes.
To round out our summer, we finally made it to a Red Sox game at Fenway! It was the first MLB game for both Tiffany and I, so we were pretty excited to take it all in. We got pretty good tickets through the business school, and even a (semi) personalized welcome to the game!!

Sadly, this is not a good year to be a Red Sox fan, but even though the game wasn't that exciting it was still a lot of fun. Tiff loved her hot-dog, and got a pink tongue from cotton candy - she was in heaven.
Now that fall has begun, we got out for another hike. Destination? PANTHER CAVE!!! I know, we're hardcore. Kayla didn't find the cave especially scary at first...
But then Tiffany told her where we were!!!! She seemed a little more uneasy.
But no worries, we saw no panthers, and had a fun time together. Kayla LOVES being outside (although that isn't obvious below, but trust me, she was playing in the dirt and trying to eat acorns whenever she wasn't strapped in)
And finally, my new favorite picture of Kayla to sum up this catchup.