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Archive for February, 2011

Waking Up

February 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Last Saturday, I was slow in getting out of bed while Benjamin and Matthew were at full throttle, bouncing around the house.  They kept asking me for several things and I kept telling them to give me a few minutes to wake up.

Finally, after this went on for about a half hour, Benjamin said to me, “You know, daddy, it’s easier to wake up if you get out of bed.”

Entertaining Themselves

February 26, 2011 Leave a comment

The other day, I was driving in the car and both Benjamin and Matthew were quiet…there wasn’t a peep coming from either one of them.  Then, all of a sudden, Matthew starts giggling, loudly.  I looked back at Benjamin and he just gave me a silly face and shrugged his shoulders.  I then flipped down the rear view mirror to get a look at Matthew and he is just staring out the window still giggling.

I found it so funny…and interesting for some reason, that he was just sitting back there, entertaining himself with his own thoughts.  I have always wondered what goes on in their little brains.

Benjamin finally broke the relative silence and asked Matt what he is giggling at.  So, Matt turns to Benjamin and says, “Bite, Bite! Chomp, Chomp!”  At this point, Ben started cracking up and they both giggled all the way home, between yells of “Bite, Bite! Chomp Chomp!”

I can’t believe they already have inside jokes between themselves.

Birthday Police Car

February 22, 2011 6 comments

About a month ago, Andrea and I brought the boys to Toys R Us to look at the Power Wheels they had there.  We were thinking about getting one for Matthew for his birthday.  So, Matthew was instantly drawn to a police car they had and I can’t remember how, he got the idea that he was going to get one for his birthday.

Sometime after that, Andrea was trying to find out what kind of party Matthew wanted.  She suggested a pool party to him at the high school, to which he said, “Can I drive the police car there?”

So, today, the subject of the police car came up again and Matthew was talking about it with certainty that he’ll get it for his birthday.  So, I tried to prepare him for the fact that he might not get one.  I said that we just don’t know what we were getting him.  When I stopped the car, Benjamin unbuckled himself, stood up and whispered into my ear from the back of the car, “Daddy, we don’t want Matthew to be sad on his birthday.  Kids shouldn’t be sad on their birthdays.  So, I think we need to find the money to get him the police car, okay?”

Mind you, Ben was whispering about a foot from Matthew and finished up his thoughts by turning to Matthew and saying, “We weren’t talking about the police car, we were talking about something else.”

By the way, the police car is currently sitting in our basement under a blanket.

A Good Day

February 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Just a couple of random quotes from Benjamin today…

With Andrea still travelling, I took Benjamin and Matthew to BounceU today, where they had a blast.   On the way home Benjamin said, “Daddy, I had a lot of fun today…I wish mommy could be having as much fun as we did.”

Later in the day, I took them to Target to pick out a small toy as a reward for being very, very good this past week and listening to everything I said.  As Benjamin was playing with his toy he tells me, “I wish I could be this good for my teacher at school.”

 

You Probably had to be There, but…

February 18, 2011 Leave a comment

So, this is one of those stories that you probably needed to witness to find the humor in it, but let me set the stage anyway.

One of my pet peeves are things sliding around the car when I am driving…It makes me crazy.  I have to make sure everything is secure in the trunk or even a baseball rolling around back there will slowly drive me insane.  If there is a bottle of water on the floor, rolling around, my head will explode.

Over the course of the week, the kid’s infinite number of drawings and scrap paper from daycare/school pile up between their seats in the car.  I have to wait until they aren’t looking to throw them away, otherwise, they get upset.  So, by Friday, it is a pretty big pile.  In addition, today, as part of a school project, Benjamin had a bucket of toys sitting on top of the pile.

This morning, after we hung up with mommy in Switzerland, Benjamin became really sad and he moped in the car…Now mind you, Benjamin is the very definition of a morning person…He is absolutely full of life before 8 AM.  If he is sad in the morning, it just brings me down (not a long trip for me at that time of day), as well.  So, he was just staring out the window after telling me he was thinking about mommy.

So, stage is set.

As I came up to a stop sign, I had misjudged the distance and had to suddenly stop sharply.  This sent everything on the seat flying onto the floor.  As I heard the pile of papers spread themselves out on the floor and the bucket of toys rattle around, I could feel the pure irritation shooting up my spine.  Just as I was hitting the peak, I hear Matthew, after observing the mess, yell, “NICE!”

Benjamin and I both started laughing uncontrollably, and I almost had to pull over.  For the rest of the way into school, Ben was his normal morning self…and then some, thanks to Matthew’s perfect timing.

(I actually thought he had said “NUTS!” at first, but “NICE” seemed equally funny.)

On the Road Again

February 16, 2011 1 comment

Andrea left Monday night for Switzerland and England, leaving me home with the boys for the next nine days.  A few times a year, this happens (although her destinations vary), but I am always nervous about what the week will bring.  Usually, nothing happens, but every so often…

In October of 2009, the perfect storm developed when Andrea was in Brazil (I think).  At work, we were getting ready to launch our new intranet.  It was a project we had been working hard on for 10 months and was scheduled to launch on the evening of the 23rd (a Friday).  Coincidentally, the 23rd also happened to be Andrea’s and I’s 10th anniversary, which we were forced to spend apart.

Earlier that week, I had some flu symptoms that kept me home from work, but I didn’t think much of it, even though it lingered all week.  On Wednesday, Ben started showing a bit of a fever.  By Thursday, Matthew was showing signs of coming down with something, as well.  On Friday, D-day for me at work, I woke to Matthew crying and yelling from his room.  I went to get him and he was burning up.  He would end up showing a fever of over 103 on the thermometer (it went down within 15 minutes of Tylenol).  Ben woke up next, also very warm with a sick stomach and a runny nose.  When I called the doctor, she told me to stay away from her office (but not that bluntly) because she was pretty certain we had the Swine Flu.  She told me what to watch for and what to do if anything got worse.

While the fear and the stress of that day has burned a sharp memory in my brain, there are few times that I felt more dad like than that.  I felt like Superman that day, even with a pocket of kryptonite.  For most of the day, I sat on the couch with my computer in my lap and the boys in their pajamas snuggling up on either side of me with Nick Jr. on the TV (one of these days, I need to devote a post to kids shows like “Yo Gabba Gabba”).  It’s a bittersweet memory for me.  I was able to get my job done and care for the kids at the same time.

Last Spring, Andrea went to Switzerland and was suppose to go from there to Chile.  At the same time, a volcano in Iceland had shut down most of Europe’s airports, “stranding” Andrea in Switzerland.  What followed was a few of the most surreal days either of us had experienced.  She desperately was trying to get home (the Chile leg of the trip had to be cancelled).  Benjamin and Matthew, of course, had a million questions about volcanoes and why mommy couldn’t get home.

When she finally did get home, we met here at the airport.  Interestingly, Matthew wouldn’t go to her.  He kept hiding behind me and kept mumbling stuff about volcanoes.  Eventually, he did warm up, and all was well.

This trip, something has changed a bit with the boys.  They seem to sense her absence more than they had before and are expressing it differently.  Benjamin almost never gets sick, and most of his illnesses in the last three years had occurred when Andrea was travelling.  He also would spend a few nights while she was gone in our bed, which is extremely rare for him.  So, while he didn’t express missing his mommy, it clearly affected him.  With Matthew, as he showed when Andrea came back from Switzerland last time, shuts down a bit or puts up a defense.

This time, they are talking about her being gone more and are shedding a few tears, but this feels a lot healthier and I am proud of my little boys for getting through this.  Lets hope it continues.

Shoes

February 9, 2011 1 comment

In the mornings, normally it takes the boys 15-20 minutes to get themselves dressed.  They usually hide or wrestle or play or do anything but get dressed.  Separately, they have recently taken to playing games on my computer (PBS Kids or Nick Jr.) and I have started to use this to my advantage.  So, I started setting the timer on my watch for five minutes and telling them to be dressed in five minutes or they can’t play on the computer when they get home from school.  This has been mostly effective.

Yesterday morning, they got dressed on time and ate their breakfasts without complaint or spills.  We actually got out of the house a little early.  So, last night, I gave them Peeps Marshmallow Hearts as a reward for being so good.  Well, this morning, I was running a little late, so I told them that I wanted them to be dressed by the time I got out of the shower…and I didn’t threaten the computer this time, nor promise a treat.

So, when I got out of the shower, Matthew was sitting on the top step, completely dressed with a fully dressed Benjamin helping Matthew get his shoes on.  It was so sweet to see, because Ben was positioned exactly how I am when I am putting shoes on Matthew.

To top it off, Benjamin did not have his shoes on…He ran the risk of losing computer privileges or missing out on candy to make sure Matthew had his shoes on.  He is such a great big brother.