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Archive for August, 2011

Not a Good Idea

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Last night, I was going through the normal routine of getting the kids down for bedtime.  Of course, it involves them coming down several times with various concerns ranging from the closet door being open to wanting a drink of water.

They both came down for about the third time and asked if they could share a bed because they were scared.  I told them that was fine, but that Matt should sleep on the outside so that I can lift him up into the top bunk more easily later, after they fell asleep.  They went back up and then Matt came down a moment later complaining that sleeping on the outside made him scared.  I told him to sleep on the inside, then.  He got half way back up, with Ben lingering at the top of the first set of stairs, before turning around and coming back down.  As he started into another complaint, I had enough and barked, “GET BACK TO BED.”

Matt immediately stopped, turned around and headed back up the stairs.  As he walked up with Ben, I heard Matt, in a matter-of-fact type of way say, “I knew that wasn’t going to be a good idea.”

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Weathering Irene with a Smile

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

So, I wrote the below Saturday night before we lost power…I am not sure I still would have written this after a rough day, Sunday, without power. 😉 

We are only a few hours into this storm and we may have a long way to go.  I am nervous about the giant tree hanging over the bedrooms,  the crappy windows over our beds, a basement that tends to take on water and the fact that a branch has already just missed our cars (it’s lying barely five inches in front of both our bumpers).  I worry for friends and family that have already lost power and had trees fall on their houses.  I feel anxious for those that have and will bear the full brunt of this storm.  It is something I really am taking seriously.

However, I’ll be honest with you, it’s been a sweet experience for my little family.  I feel awful just saying that and I hope I don’t regret saying it come morning, but there is something about having all the other stupid little things that can stress you out in a day turned into exactly what they are in comparison to a storm like this.

Aside from a birthday party this morning, this hurricane has dominated our day.  After time was spent making last minute preparations, the rest of the day was spent playing with the boys and answering their relentless questions about hurricanes.  We watched movies and ate frozen pizza (cooked, of course).  We joked and laughed about silly things and we stood on the back patio and watched the winds and rain start to pick up.  The boys cuddled close and stayed up past their bed time to watch the Weather Channel.  It was a really enjoyable day.

I think a typical Saturday would be spent trying to figure out how to work in a bike ride or run, when do we go out to the stores and feeling guilty about taking time to relaxed and maybe even worrying about the work week ahead.  Being forced to not being able to do anything, just relaxed me in such a way, that the day almost seemed magical.  I can hear Irene blowing around out there and I am actually typing and subconsciously ducking, worried about that stupid tree coming through this window next to me and the father in me wants to stay up all night to somehow protect my family (yeah, I don’t know how staying up is going to help anything).  However, I think my lasting memory of Irene will be a sweet one, despite the underlying anxiety.

Sunset after IreneOn another note, I love social media and Facebook, but there are times where I think things get out of hand and a lot of things around it are silly.  However, it has been really a lot of fun seeing the comments coming in from friends and family.  To see the wisecracks and the humorous observations followed by long lines of pun infested comments has helped to keep the anxiety away.  It is also nice to know that they are all okay.

I think one of the neat things about being Americans is that we see a threat headed towards us, something uncontrollable and overwhelming, and our first instinct is to protect our families and ourselves, but our second instinct is to treat it with a sense of humor.  To crack jokes and make light of a situation that is out of our hands.  I love that.  It’s not that we aren’t taking it serious, it is just that, once there is no more we can do, we know it is time to laugh.

A U-Boat is a Boat…Right?

August 16, 2011 Leave a comment

The other day, after all the rain, we went down to the little creek that runs near our house.  The boys did what boys do and wanted to put boats in the water.  They started trying to throw leaves into the water and, of course, that didn’t work out too well.  So, I told them that they needed to use a piece of wood and, picking up a piece of bark, told them, “Watch this!”  I then tossed it into the water and it immediately sunk.

Benjamin, without missing a beat, starts laughing and says, “Nice submarine, daddy!”

I’m raising a pair of smart-asses.

That Rabbit’s Got a Vicious Streak a Mile Wide

August 14, 2011 Leave a comment

On Friday morning, Benjamin woke up in a full panic, screaming for us from his bed.  When Andrea got to his room, he was visibly shaken.  When Andrea asked him what was wrong, he said he had a nightmare and that something in his bed grabbed his butt.  We calmed him down, and soon Ben being very logical in his thoughts and having gone through this before, he slowly explained how he must have still been dreaming and that his imagination made him thing something grabbed him.

So, as we were driving to school, I decided to go into it a little more and I asked him what he though grabbed him.  Before he could respond, Matthew said, “Maybe it was a bunny rabbit?”  All three of us had a good laugh and I think it has helped Benjamin deal with it.

I did, however, have to make a “No Nightmare Spray” that I told him would keep the nightmares away.  It was made of water, mesquite chips, sprinkles and a small amount of Febreze to give it a scent.  After spraying it in their beds, under their beds, under their dressers, in the closet, on the closet and in the air around their bed, they were able to settle in to sleep.  We’ll see what happens.

Benjamin Turns Six

August 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Benjamin turned six today and I could spend a good deal of time writing about how I can’t believe it and how fast the six years has gone, etc., etc., etc.  I won’t, mostly because I already covered that when he turned five (I swear, I wrote this title before I went back and looked at what I titled it last year), and it is pretty much the same set of emotions.  However, I do have a cute (and very short) story.

When we got in the car after I picked them up from daycare today, I noticed Matthew taking a very close and long look at Ben.  After a moment or two, Matthew says, “Benjamin still looks five to me!”

Of course, they set up an argument between the two of them with Benjamin insulted and Matthew defending his opinion all while I sat in the drivers seat laughing.

Thumbs Down

August 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Due to a birthday party on Saturday and a babysitter coming over this week, we were asking the boys to help clean up the house more than normal.  Benjamin is usually very good with this and gets right to work.  Matthew drags his feet, tries talking his way out of it and will take his time.  So, this last time, I was getting stern with him and threatening that he would have to clean up everything.

Once we were done, I found Matthew sitting by himself “crying” (I think other parents know what I mean).  When I asked him what was wrong, he replied, “I got thumbs down for cleaning!”

That’s Three

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

On the way home from work, I almost got into three different accidents and “had to” lean on my horn a fourth time.  The kids weren’t in the car for the first one, but the other three times, they were.

Now, on a side note, I do forget myself when I am driving…or, should I say, I forget the boys are in my car when I am driving and the occasional curse flies out.  I’ve been better recently, referring to other drivers as being silly (instead of stupid or worse) and explaining exactly what the other driver is doing wrong (responding, “Because that guy is being an asshole” is not the right answer when a five-year old asks why you are angry — I’ve had to tell the boys to never repeat what I say in the car).

Anyway, the first almost accident happened when a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer coming from the other direction made a turn across my path.  I had to slam on my breaks and missed him by 10 feet.  The second was just some guy backing out of his driveway without looking if anyone was coming…I just had to slow down (and honk, of course).  The third was a guy pulling out of a parking lot and did not stop before coming out on the road just in front of me.  I had to slam on my breaks and come to a complete stop to miss him by a couple of feet.

To this, Matthew shouts, “Whoa, that guy wasn’t looking where he was going, right?”

Benjamin’s only response was, “And that’s three!”

(A glass of Irish Whiskey and I did collide once I got home.)

Also, the third guy looked like a football player, had Florida plates and was coming out of the lot next to the Lehigh Stadium.  While I suspect he was one of the college football players instead of a pro because the car was beat up, I did tell the boys that a Philadelphia Eagle almost killed their daddy as part of my continuing effort to make sure they don’t become fans of that team.

(I didn’t really say that the Eagle almost killed me, but I did say it was some silly Eagle player who didn’t know how to drive.)