Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Walk in the Park

Some Christmas cheer at Largo Park in Clearwater, FL. Enjoy!

Oh Christmas Tree...

This video is pretty self-explanatory. It's the Tocksteins putting up our Christmas tree. We've always favored the artificial variety. The time and money saved are worth more to us than the smell of fresh pine in our living room (or the leaky water basins, or the shedding of needles, or the potential fire hazards). We've had this particular tree for 11 years, and before that my folks had this tree since the mid-1980's. So this tree has been with me since I was around 11 years old. And this will be its final year of service. It's time to upgrade. The old girl still looks great, but we are creatively hiding her flaws more and more every year. 25 years is a nice stretch for an artificial tree (probably a good 15 or 20 years past her normal life expectancy). Tune in next year to see what the Tree of Christmas Future will be like...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Day at Work

The glamorous life of a TV producer is chronicled in this amazing piece of video!

Enjoy...and don't be jealous!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First Day of Preschool

On Tuesday, September 21, Hanna started preschool! She loved it! Below are some pictures of Hanna (and her GIANT backpack) as she embarks on this important journey. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Finding Nemo...and Slippers, and Princess, and Prince Charming...

The Tocksteins have had an interesting history with fish. Pet fish, not the kind you enjoy with some lemon and cracked pepper. Before Terri and I were married, she got Neptune, a fantail goldfish. Neptune was built of strong stuff. He survived a move from Knoxville to Nashville, and then from Nashville to Clearwater. We got a larger aquarium once we arrived in Clearwater, and we added some friends to his tank. One of these new "friends" was a small crayfish who decided that he liked snapping off chunks of Neptune's tail with his claws. We didn't discover this abuse until it was too late, and the toilet claimed two fish that day...the poor, deceased Neptune and the bloodthirsty crayfish (who was very much alive when I flushed him...and I didn't feel bad about it at all). When we moved into our house, our aquarium had about 5 fish in it. Over the years their numbers dwindled (and we didn't replace them), until there was one: Jango. Good old Jango was a survivor. We eventually got rid of the big aquarium and got Jango a small, sleek one-bedroom studio that he had all to himself. He flourished for 5 years, but 2 weeks ago we lost him. I found him floating next to the filter, and with a trip to the bathroom I laid him to rest.

So last week Terri takes Hanna to Petsmart, which now ranks just below Disney World as Hanna's favorite place to go. She picked out three colorful fish, and Terri got a new fish tank as well. The new fish have been christened Slippers, Prince Charming, and Princess. In the video below Hanna gives us a tour. Enjoy...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Anniversary

May 3, 2010 marks the 12th wedding anniversary of Terri and myself.

It also marks the 2nd anniversary of the "Tales of the Tocksteins" blog. As I look back on this particular online journal, it certainly seems I have been more active at some times than others at keeping it updated, but it's still a nice alternative to the increasingly crowded (and more times than not irritating) Facebook.

That's it. Just a quick congratulatory post for my marriage and the blog. Keep checking back. There's always more to come...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's a Disney Dad day...

Haven't posted any videos in awhile, so I thought it was time for another one (or two). This was a Dad/Hanna trip to Disney a few weeks ago. They aren't embedded here because the YouTube versions look better.

Please enjoy.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Goodbye Stink!

The date of this writing, Sunday April 25, 2010, is the day we finally got rid of the dreaded Diaper Genie.
The Genie has served us well, starting on the day that Hanna was brought home from the hospital. Within it have been stored the most heinous, putrid atrocities ever produced by a toddler. But with potty training now down to a science (knock on wood), we really have no use for it. I haven't purchased Pull-Ups for the past 3 weeks, so the only thing it was doing was sitting there empty.
Farewell, Diaper Genie. Thank you for the odor protection these past few years. May Hanna never require your services again!

(The Diaper Genie is the one without fur...although Wallace has been known to produce some odor of his own...)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The New Palace

This weekend Hanna's room was transformed into a pink wonderland of girliness.

Terri is fortunate enough to be friends with Leah, one of the set designers at HSN. Free of charge, Leah helped Terri turn Hanna's room into a place where Hanna actually wants to spend time! A few months back Leah actually drew up plans on how the room would be decorated. Terri took a portion of our tax refund and bought new wall art, paint, furniture, and other various bits of decor. Over the weekend of April 10, the construction walls went up and the work began. Here are the results...

The door remained unchanged. We put her name on the door before Hanna was born, so we decided to leave it.
In one corner of the room is the new reading nook, or as Hanna calls it, her "castle". And yes, that is a TV in the room, although it is only connected to a DVD player so the content of anything on the TV is totally under parental control.
On another wall is her "Wall of Fame", which includes pictures of friends and family. It's still a work in progress.
The "chandelier" was a stroke of genius by Leah. It's actually the lampshade to a lamp fitted over the light fixture in the ceiling. It's one of Hanna's favorite additions.

The closet, now divided by curtains. For the first time, this is a neat and organized space!

Another place to read.
A brand new toy kitchen where many imaginary meals will be prepared.

This little display is just above the bed. Leah and Terri painted the stripes on the wall. The sign reads "The Princess Sleeps Here".

The Princess lounging in her new palace...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

End of an Era

Two months with no blog! I can only imagine the anticipation that my audience of three readers has been going through! Well, I'm going to try and do better. I promise.

With today's entry, we mark the passing of an era. For the past three years, Hanna's primary mode of out-of-the-car transportation has been her Evenflo stroller, Model 31937. It could be best described as the Honda Civic of strollers. The Civic is a reliable, not unattractive vehicle that gets the job done (we own one). The Evenflo Model 31937 is much the same. No one is ever going to confuse a Civic for a Porsche, and the Evenflo 31937 is never going to be confused for one of those fancy $800 jogging strollers (or beach strollers as they are known in Florida).

We owned two of them, one for Terri's car and one for mine. One was a gift from my sister and one was a gift from some co-workers. Between the two strollers, we've probably got close to 17,000 miles on them (15K of those miles from Disney World alone). Initially, the strollers included the baby carrier/carseat attachment which we used from the day Hanna was born until she was 9 months old. After we got rid of the carrier attachment, Hanna enjoyed the roomy expanse of this reclining chariot! In addition to a smooth ride, these strollers have acted as high chairs, beds, and shelter from the Florida sun and rain. Time and use has taken a toll however. Fabric is tearing, the tires have little tread left, and there are more stains on these strollers than on Hanna's bib after a spaghetti dinner. Even the Salvation Army and Goodwill would turn their noses up at these!

Just today we bought a smaller, sleeker replacement that will take Hanna to the end of her stroller riding days. It's about 10 pounds lighter, and folds up to half the size of her former chariots. It will soon get its shakedown voyage when we visit Walt Disney World over President's Day Weekend.

Before the end, the venerable strollers have one last trip to make. This final voyage will take them to the end of my driveway, where they will come to rest next to our mailbox. If the past is any indication, within hours they will be scooped up by a passerby, where they will hopefully serve out the remainder of their days giving someone else the same reliable service they have given us.

Rest in peace, proud Hanna Chariots! Thanks for the memories...and the mileage!