Wednesday, March 29, 2006


The verdict is in, David did not adapt and was destroyed! I believe my son had an action packed, adventure filled day, the likes of which, he will experience, again and again in his life. I am relieved that the adventure is over and that he will soon be back on schedule.

It has been tough coming home from work to a boy that is so tired by 5:00pm that he closes his eyes and isn't heard from again. We got home, I put him on the couch, covered him up, turned on all the lights, turned on Sesame Street and asked him every ten minutes or so, if he wanted to wake up and eat something.

I did not get a response until 8:30 when he woke up coughing. I jumped on the opportunity to get him upstairs, cleaned up, pajamas on and into bed. "I don't want to brush my teefth" got him out of brushing them. I will do a good job on his teeth in the morning, I promise.

We are getting up early and leaving for Florida to meet up with Mom, Merry, Thomas and Nanna. We are going to have a great time swimming and beaching in the warm spring sun. David and I miss the rest of our family and can not wait to be reunited.

If you purchase a tutu, or have any questions concerning your purchase The Tutu Boutique will remain in business even though Heidi and I are on vacation, isn't that cool? The power of the Internet.

Nanna has a computer so maybe there will be a "Sunshine State" post or two. Have a nice weekend and more importantly, fun at work next week.

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David is adapting. We had some fun last night wrestling, watching TV and reading stories. He was asleep by seven, which is early for him but he slept until seven this morning and was feeling really good when he woke up.

This morning we got some errands done, because tomorrow we head to FLA. to hook up with Mommy, Merry, and Thomas. When I dropped David off at my sisters this morning he was ready to play. He gave me the Big Hug, Kiss and "Good Bye, Daddy!"and was on his way.

A couple of observations from the weekend: Golfers have big teeth. Was it just me or was that fella Steve Ames having a hard time keeping his choppers covered up. It looked difficult for him to get his upper lip down over them. It certainly did not effect his game, the guy was brilliant. I watched 60 Minutes on Sunday night and had a hard time concentrating on the content of the program because Tiger's teeth were mesmeric. Their size and brilliance held me transfixed.

Andy Rooney, the old cad, made a very good point. Why do girl scouts need giant multi-national food companies baking their cookies? Would it be more appropriate for the girl scouts to actually bake their own cookies? Old ladies at church sales seem to pull it off just fine. Why not the girl scouts?

I got an email from The Wick, seems as though a Rook was hazed. These are serious charges that surprise me a bit. I was under the impression that the place was getting soft. I hope these allegations have merit. Norwich doesn't need this kind of press over nothing. I don't know any of the details and I am personally aware of the fact that people can over step boundaries, the problem is, where is the boundary? It is different for everyone. Doing push-ups until you pass out, for me, is not over the boundary, for someone else it may be. Norwich will survive these allegations, they have in the past and will in the future. Walking that line, between hazing and initiating is part of what makes Norwich special.

David and I are off to see Nanna, wish us luck. I hope the weather is good, it is going to be a lot of fun swimming and going to the beach. Later.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Over Tired

What do you do with a little boy who is so tired he literally can't function?

David's rhythm is being challenged. My sisters family wakes up early, plays hard all day, and goes to bed early. David wakes up at 7:00 or 7:30 has a nap around 12:30 and goes to bed at 7:30 or 8:00. Yesterday, I had David out of his bed at 6:00 we picked up Grampy, and headed to my sisters. I walked in the door before seven and the entire family was sitting around the dining room table doing arts and crafts. David was psyched and had no problem saying goodbye.

We picked up Grampy so that I could drop him at the airport, he was headed South to see his girls. After dropping Grampy off I headed to the office for another action packed day of bug talk. Spring is in the air and the bugs are waking up. If anybody out there has any questions about pest issues, please do not hesitate to shoot me an email.

I pulled up to my sister's house around 5:00 pm to find David and his cousin sitting on the couch staring at the TV, mouths open, like zombies. In front of me were two boys who were so tired they could no longer function. I picked David up and carried him out to my truck, while attempting to get him into his car seat there was a flash of life, he arched his back and started yelling. Once the safety belt snapped he bowed his head in defeat and was asleep before I got the car into drive.

I left him sleeping in the driveway for a half hour or so, then I decided it was time to bring him in and feed him supper and get him ready for bed. David did not want to come in, he did not want to eat supper and he did not want to get ready for bed. What David wanted was sleep. Tough luck David, no sleep now.

Pay attention, here is how you handle an over tired little boy. I set him up in the big chair with a blanket and turned on the TV. The little buzzard is still sobbing but does not have the energy to get up and move. I leave him there go into the kitchen and get him some milk and fruit, he is still sobbing. My next move was the answer, I picked him up and hugged him. I patted his back for a couple of minutes and eventually he began to settle down. Then I sat down in the chair with him on my lap, put the covers on us and I started to eat the fruit. The next thing you know all the fruit was gone and he was drinking his milk. He asked me to get up and get him some more fruit. I did, and then I started supper.

He ate the fruit and some peanut butter crackers and seemed to be getting his legs back when it was time to sit down at the dinner table. Things were rolling along very smoothly, when the phone rang. David hearing the phone looks up from his plate of Mac & Cheese and asks with a gleam in his eye, "Is that Mommy on the phone?"

"No, its Nanny" hearing this, David breaks down again, lies down on the bench and begins to weep. With no one home but us men I let him lie there. He must of got bored, because in no time at all, he sat up, ate some supper and asked to be excused. David climbed into my chair and asked me to turn on the TV, I obliged and he enjoyed a half hour of Dragon Tales.

At the end of Dragon Tales I went in to talk to him and inform him that it was time to go up and get ready for bed. He had a bath, brushed his teeth and was asleep in his bed before I finished saying his prayers.

He woke up this morning with a huge grin on his face ready for another exciting day with his cousins. When I dropped him off this morning he gave me a big hug and a "Goodbye Daddy"

I can't wait to see his disposition today, will he be as knocked out as yesterday? or will he adapt? We shall see.


Monday, March 27, 2006

Three Dads and a Toddler

Before you bring a two year old skiing you should allow the kid to play with the skis and wear the boots for a few days prior. I brought David to the mountain without doing this and the skiing didn't happen. We got all prepared and out on the snow, clicked into the skis, slid ten feet and David decided that was enough. Which was OK with me, but I think if we had spent more time getting comfortable with the equipment at home there may have been more skiing at the hill.

When you don't give the toddler a chance to put the ski-boots on or take them off a few times, when you haven't provided the little superstar an opportunity to click into the bindings a few times. You are asking for it .

I asked for and I got it, but it really wasn't such a bad day. The three dads and a boy rendez-vued at my house, at sun up, for the trip to the Mountain. There is an electricity associated with the beginning of an adventure and we all felt it. Grampy got David some munchkins at Dunkin Donuts, we all had coffee and we were on the road.

Upon our arrival at the Mountain we unloaded our gear and headed to the Lodge. We picked an open corner and geared up. David did great!
Snow pants, Check. Mittens, Check. Hat, Check Ski Boots, Check

I got David out the front door, up to his skis, clicked him in, he slid ten feet and that was it for David's ski adventure. It was the beginning of a new adventure. This is when I realized I had forgotten one very important piece of equipment, The Sled!

My brother Fred and his wife recently returned from a trip to an Alpine landscape. They brought home with them these really cool sleds for the kids. Thin plastic, the shape of your butt, with a handle that comes up between your legs. A sort of flexible, plastic, shovel. Light weight and portable. Would have been perfect.

I reminded myself to focus on the moment and leave what is done, as done and went for a walk and exploration, Two year old style, at a ski resort. We investigated all kinds of things and had a terrific time.

Poppa and Grampy skied for an hour or two and then showed up for their shift. They reported five good runs in silky, spring crud. I stepped in and headed out. Skied one time across the hill, touching every lift, then I skied back and met up with David and the "boys".

We all went to lunch, only misplaced David once, and decided that maybe we would just head home. The impetus for this decision was David, he could no longer hold up his own head, the adventure was getting the best of him, he needed sleep. He slept the whole way home, once home, feeling rested he declared "I wov skiing Daddy"

He played with his boots and skis until bedtime.

Next time;

David skis.

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Stay at Home Dad

David and I have spent the last four days together and it was wonderful. I am back at bug central and I am missing him. I never missed him like this when the rest of the family was around. Hanging with the two year old has been GREAT!

My key to parenting, wear the little bugger out. Between going to the park, skiing and yard work, we were so busy there wasn't any time for complaining. Naps went off without a hitch and the little darling was actually looking forward to bedtime.

The first best thing about staying home with my oldest son is the morning. Waking up to a little boy calling "Daddy I'm awake" beats the alarm clock by a long shot. Having the chance to spend some time playing in bed before starting the day is priceless.

The second best part is the opportunity to answer the question "Why, Daddy?" This little fella had to ask me this question maybe twenty-five or thirty times each day. Coming up with interesting, colorful responses was challenging. My motto has always been if I don't know the answer I will be happy to make one up. I made up a lot of answers over the last four days.

I can only imagine the problems of dealing with three kids, its easy when there is only one and you don't have anywhere to be. Basically I just pointed him in a direction and followed behind. Its amazing how long it takes a two year old to cover five hundred feet, but if you aren't in a rush it doesn't matter.

I have more thoughts and will be publishing them soon, stay tuned. If you have a little girl why don't you head over to The Tutu Boutique and buy a Tutu.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Crunch Time

Tomorrow Heidi, Merry, and Thomas leave for Atlanta. Yikes! The reality of a week alone with David is beginning to set in. Merry has been rubbing it in that she is going to Atlanta and David isn't. This teasing has made David hyper-sensitive, every time Heidi leaves the house he is sure that she is not coming back, this makes him cry.

David has been sick for about a week now, and although I feel terrible that he feels terrible, the ugly truth is, his illness slows him down, and slowing David down is not necessarily a bad thing. Actually, it is a good thing, he is more likely to sit still, he listens better and gets into far fewer mischievous
endeavors when he does not feel well.

The more I think about it the less concerned I am. This may come back and bite me in the ass, but I really think we are going to do just fine. Friday, I am going to take him skiing, I don't know what we are going to do over the weekend, but I am sure we will have some sort of adventure. Then Monday it is back to work, getting him dressed and out the door will be a challenge, but I think I am up to it.

Before you know it Thursday will be here and David and I will be on a plane to hook up with the rest of the family. Peace of cake!


Wish Me Luck.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006


When Merry was an only child and continuing until David was almost two we would read a story every night. Now with three kids, David's inability to sit still, and my poor attitude, bedtime stories have come to screeching halt.

I am concerned, I am not sure if I am concerned enough to do anything about it. Getting Merry and David to bed every night sucks the life out of me. Slowing them down long enough to get their pajamas on, their teeth brushed and there prayers said wears me out.

There are also content issues. Merry likes stories with substance, David likes stories about trucks. If I am reading Cinderella to Merry, David won't sit through it. If I cater to David's interests, Merry, understandably, is not interested. When this dynamic first appeared Heidi would read David a story and I would handle Merry. Now, Heidi has her hands full with Thomas at bedtime and everyone seems to be going to bed fine and not missing the stories. So why should things change?

Things should change because reading is fundamental. If you want your children to read when they get older you need to read to them. That is what they say. My mom read to her kids every night until we were embarrassingly old. We loved it and we still love to read. I want the same for my kids. The logistics are a problem right now, in the future they should work themselves out. A little more effort on my part, a little age on the kid's part and we should get right back into the swing of things. A love for reading is nurtured by parents that read to their children.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Naked Dance

Last night at Poppa and Grandma's house, Poppa made a comment that got me thinking. Poppa and Grandma are my parents. The entire family shows up there on most Sundays for Sunday dinner. It is really great, the entire family gets together outside of work and just hangs out. Marybeth(Grandma) cooks up something delicious and the kids play.

Towards the end of the evening each of the families start putting pajamas on their kids. Merry and David like to strut their stuff and do a couple of laps around the house naked. At some point Poppa remarks "get some clothes on that girl" this was a reasonable request that got me thinking.

At what age does running around naked become a problem? When does the kid begin to realize she is naked? When does modesty manifest itself? The loss of innocence happens when? I do not know the answer to these questions. I know it happens to almost everyone, I wonder what triggers it and why.

I don't want my little girl to be comfortable naked in a room full of people but I don't want her to grow up either. The care free easiness of the "naked, karate, ballerina dance" is something that I cherish. If you have older children that are no longer comfortable being naked, when did it happen and how?

I am nervous about the searches that end up on a post like this.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday Morning Ramblings

I am either getting older or losing my mind. One of my favorite past times has become staring out the window watching the bird feeder. It doesn't really even matter if there are birds at it or not, I wait, watching patiently for the next bird to come by. I find myself standing at the kitchen sink, hands resting on the counter looking out the window. That bird feeder entertains me like Dora entertains Merry and David. I can stand there for an hour transfixed by the little lives fluttering to and fro.

This morning as I gazed out upon my little birdy McDonald's, I found myself thinking about a question I would have to field when I first became a parent: "Is it hard to be a dad?" When there was only one child I would respond "Not as hard as being a husband." After spending two hours alone with the mob yesterday I am no longer so sure. Being a dad is rapidly catching up on being a husband in the hard department.

Compromise, compromise, compromise, listen and do as you are told. Being a dad, becomes more like being a husband every day. With the children I still hold the power of "The Veto", but as with everything, relationships run smoother with compromise. Taking the other parties position into account, when making decisions that affects all parties involved, results in a better decision for all.

Don't get me wrong, I do not believe parenting to be a democratic process. I see our role as parents as benevolent totalitarians. We base our decisions not on a vote, but on what is best for our kingdom, taking into consideration the well being of our subjects.

Imagine wrestling with these questions now, how is it going to be in ten years, when Merry is fourteen? I shudder just thinking about it. She already has the ability to trip me up with logic. She has talked me out of arbitrary decisions in the past by explaining to me why it should go the other way. She is only four! I am in trouble, she is almost too cute to argue with. Why am I arguing with a four year old? Because she makes relevant points.Urgh! I don't want to argue with four year olds. I want them to tow the line and do as they are told without question. Problem is, that is not going to happen.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Me and Davey

It is official, Heidi, Merry and Thomas are heading south to visit Heidi's sister. That leaves David and I home alone for a week. Can you say Bachelor Pad!

This scenario does present a few logistical problems that I have not yet had to deal with in my short life as a dad. First and foremost is wrangling up some help watching the little cutie while I am at work. My sister has not been approached directly, yet, however I have begun to circulate rumors to the effect that I will be dropping him off at her door every morning around 6:50am or so.

My sister has a son Davids age, if you go here, he is the boy with the tutu on his head. She also has two daughters, one older and one younger. Whats one more? She probably won't even notice David is there.

I hope to split the time up some. Maybe my Mom can watch him a day and probably Grampy will get a day. Switch it up, you know, to keep the kid on his toes.

After work, that's when we will bond as father and son. We will watch all the Thomas the Tank Engine we want. We will watch Bob the Builder until the sun comes up. We will not sit through one episode of Angelina Ballerina I can promise you that.

We will wrestle, yell, screech and maybe, after Mommy calls into say goodnight and we know the coast is clear, we might even, Jump on the Bed! That's right I said it we are going to party like we are two and a half!

Juice Boxes and Cupcakes for everyone!

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Thursday, March 16, 2006


I tried to modify my html and cooked everything. Huh Huh... this new form does not even have some links for me to copy. I am glad I did not lose all of my thoughts, I will figure it out, wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Conversation

It was at supper either Friday or Sunday night when Merry announced to the family:
"I am going to marry Thomas when I grow up"

To which I replied:
"You want to marry Thomas ..."


"You don't want to marry David?"

"No, I don't want to marry David! He doesn't listen! And he doesn't do what I say!"

At four years old she has figured out that a good husband listens and does what his wife says. Thomas is in for it, and Heidi has done a terrific job preparing my princess for a life of wedded bliss.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How Do They Know?

It seems as though there is some sort of mysterious link between me settling down on the cusp of sleep and my children waking up and feeling sick.

There were no naps at our house yesterday. This makes for a rough afternoon and an easy bedtime. Once you actually get the over tired little monkey's into their beds they fall asleep quickly. The kids were sleeping soundly by 7:30 last night, Heidi and I went to bed too. We watched television until around 10:00 o'clock and then rolled over to sleep.

Ten minutes later the coughing starts in Merry's room, then crying, then I get the elbow to go and check on her. A hug, a tuck and then...Vomit! all over her bed. Thomas takes this commotion as a sign to start coughing and crying as well. Somehow David stays asleep, last night David was my favorite.

Thomas has been showing the signs of illness for three or four days, mostly snots and coughs. Merry's sickness came out of nowhere, she seemed fine when she went to bed, then BOOM, what a mess. She was tough, we changed her bed and her pajamas and she made it into the bathroom for the follow up performances, of which there were three. Thank goodness she made it because I am not sure whether or not we had more sheets.

After the initial blow out Heidi took responsibility for Merry and I rocked Thomas. It was kind of nice and inconvenient at the same time. He would settle down quickly, fall asleep, and as soon as I put him in his crib he would start again. I waited him out and by 11:30 or midnight the adventure was over.

I had a 7:00 am meeting this morning and have not received any updates on how today is progressing, I hope all is well and will call soon. The question remains, How do they know we are just about asleep? It never fails, as soon as Heidi and I settle down that is when the fireworks begin. Merry had two and a half hours to get sick, but waited until the moment before we fell asleep. This is Thomas's modus operandi, you know if it is going to be a tough night within fifteen minutes of turning out the light, if you make it, smooth sailing, if not, not

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Monday, March 13, 2006

One vs. More

If you only have one child, and that child is over the age of three, what are you waiting for? Make some more babies. Here is the thing, that precious little child of yours is really cute, and I understand why you love him/her so much but holy mackerel give the kid some space.

I remember back when Heidi and I were wrestling with the decision to get a second dog. Could we love two as much as we loved the first? Yes... What about Merry? Could we give her the love and attention she needed if we had a second? Yes... What about Merry and David? Could we give them the love and attention they needed if we had a third? Yes... By this point the dogs were out. They are still around but their position went from loved to tolerated.

The thing is, these kids do not need constant attention, when we had only one I would follow her around everywhere making sure she was O.K. I remember feeling as if the parents who had multiple kids were thinking "cut the kid some slack" and you know what, they were. The problem for me was I didn't trust their older children to keep an eye on my precious two year old. I am not talking about going for a walk down the street I am talking about going to the play room, or up into "Emily's" bedroom. I didn't understand that the older kids, unless they are demonic, look out for the younger kids.

When Merry was Davids age I wouldn't let her out of my sight. With David I just keep track of what co-ordinate he is in and check in periodically. Merry tells on him enough that there is a constant report on his well being and location.

Now I can't wait to go someplace where there are lots of kids and adults. The kids play, and the parents with more than one kid talk. The parents with one child split shifts, one gets to socialize while the other keeps an eye on precious.

My problem was, whenever we were out it was my turn. Heidi spent all week keeping tabs on the princess so when the weekend came along it was my turn. I would follow Merry around while the adults socialized.

I am one of the adults now and I feel bad for the guys chasing their kid around. I know the answer, have more kids. When you have more kids the little things get smaller and the bigger things get bigger. Brothers and sisters are special, you have the power, make some.

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Friday, March 10, 2006


How do you feel about germs?

Do they scare you?

Do they make you feel uneasy and unclean?

They don't bother me at all. I am not scared of little microscopic organisms, even though they have the power to bend me over the toilet. My germs are tougher than your germs, and more importantly, my kids germs are tougher than your kids germs.

I think children should be exposed to germs. Yes, I think my kids, and yours, should be exposed to germs. How else can they build up their defense system. If you don't exercise your immune system how do you keep it strong? In this antiseptic world, where mom's follow their kids around with a disinfecting wipe for this, that and the other thing, where is an immune system going to face a challenge?

We have two dogs and three kids, the place is always picked up, but it is never sterilized. They say children raised with pets are sick less than kids without pets. You know why? Animals are dirty, they track in all kinds of stuff and give germs all kinds of good stuff to eat. Children raised with animals start fighting off the germs their first day home.

Guess what? Kids who grow up in super sterile environments get sick too. You can't avoid it. Wiping down every surface in the house with your Lysol and Clorox is not going to stop Jr from catching a cold. I have witnessed Mom's wiping down the table with one of those wipes and then placing the kids food down. What kind of unnatural chemicals are you exposing your bumpkin too? Whatever chemicals they are, they must be worse than the seven germs that were there. How about a little soap and water, not strong enough for you?

Eventually your children are going to come into contact with germs. For me, some one who is not afraid, the scariest place is the waiting room at the pediatricians. Makes me shudder just thinking about what lives amongst the pages of "The Pokey Little Puppy". Next on my list is Chucky Cheese, Yuck. How about pre-school, does everybody remember to wash their hands when they are done?

I say give your children a fighting chance and expose them to some germs.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hissy Fits

My princess Merry had her fourth birthday last week. She is loosing the baby chubs and turning into a little girl. I am not sure but I think I have memories going back to four which is kinda of weird. Now she is going to remember, we are building memories, that carries responsibility.

Merry had her first all out maniacal Hissy fit on Sunday. Her Knight in Shining Armour(Grampy) dropped her off around 7:30 and she lost it. Screaming and for her Grampy to come back and take her away. The gasping for breath is what gets me. I remember crying like that, but I don't remember why. How do you handle a little person that is so upset they don't know what to do? I don't know the answer.

I tried the assertive "Stop Crying, he is not coming back." I tried "Get over here and put your pajamas on" Those didn't work, I had more success holding her and rubbing her back and keeping my mouth shut. Eventually she seemed to settle down so I tried to get her dressed for bed. Nope, that was not the right move, the started right back up. Standing at the front door screaming for her Grampy, I sat and watched. Out of ideas, I headed upstairs to put her brother to bed, leaving her begging for her Grampy's return.

Somehow my wonderful wife handled it, the moment Merry's head hit her pillow she fell asleep.

Yesterday, on my way home from work, Mom called, Merry was at it again. Losing her mind over the fact that she was brought into a store and second that her Mom would not buy her the ring that she wanted. It was reported to me that the ride home was quite a trip. Merry figured out how to undo her seat belt and would not keep it on. Heidi had to pull over five or six times, wrestle her into her seat and strap her back down. Once and finally home Merry persisted with the fit, screaming and that she wanted the ring. Heidi informed me I was not to step in the house without a bottle of wine.

When I got home the children were quietly watching PBS Sprout and Mom was working on The Tutu Boutique. I sat down next to Merry and we talked. Merry informed me that she won't have any more temper tantrums and that she was sorry. We shall see.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Couple of Quotes

These quotes have never left me. I am not sure who to attribute them to besides Norwich.

Self discipline, the best kind of discipline is self discipline.
Self discipline amounts to the person having control of himself and his actions and doing what is right because he wants to.
A leader must be able to depend upon his men to do their duty correctly and voluntarily whether or not anyone is checking up on them.

I think this one is Shakespeare.
To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day thou canst not then be false to any other man.

This one is the cadet creed I think.
I believe the cardinal virtues of the individual are, courage, honesty, temperance and wisdom, and that the true measure of success is service rendered to God, to Country and to Mankind.

It is strange the things that remain with me. I probably couldn't tell you the names of all my roommates, but these bits and pieces of freshman year are stuck in my head. Freshman year was 1988 and here I am almost twenty years later still believing and repeating these nifty little sayings.

That first one about self discipline was special, I was taught that as a punishment for bad behavior. At Norwich freshman are affectionately referred to as Rooks. Being a Rook is not easy. One of the inconveniences involved with Rookdom is squaring your corners. Every where you go you are expected to be in the gutter and make ninety degree turns.

I lived directly across the hall from the bathroom. To get to the bathroom I would step out into the hall, announce my presence, just in case any upperclassman had a little free time on their hands or needed a study break and then make my way all the way down the hall and around to the bathroom four feet away. This was a very dangerous journey, my roommates and I at the time had a bit of a reputation as wise asses, go figure.

On this particular afternoon, I step outside my door, "hit the wall" and announce my presence at the top of my lungs "Insane India!" followed by the
loudest, longest fart I ever produced. Much to my chagrin, the Regimental XO was studying in his room down the hall with his door open.

Ltc Buldoc, what a dick, he was like twenty-seven years old, was famous for not making it through Ranger school and was called, behind his back, "The Airborne Dentist". I am not sure why it took him so long to get through college, he seemed smart, and he certainly kept his boots very shiny. Anyway Ltc Buldoc took a shine to me that day, he called me down to his room, shut the door, had me place my arms out in front of me at ninety degrees and placed this huge piece of granite with those words engraved in it in my hands.

I was not allowed to put it down until I could recite it with my eyes closed. The memorization took longer than I could hold the rock up so he put me in the front leaning rest and placed the stone on the ground in front of me. My arms were spent by this point so he grabbed a Rook buddy, and had them hold the rock for me. It seemed like a lifetime, in reality I bet it was under an hour, before I got it.

For the rest of the semester whenever he saw me or walked by my room he would call out"Wonson, What is it?" and I would reply "Sir, Self discipline, the best kind of discipline is Self discipline. Self discipline amounts to the cadet having control of himself and his actions and doing what is right because he wants to. A leader must be able to depend upon his men to do their duty correctly and voluntarily whether or not anyone is checking up on them. Sir."

Needless to say, Norwich touched me, and I am better for it.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Brother and Sister

Merry and David were getting along great last night. It is so much fun to be around them when they are getting along. Merry orders David around and he does what she says. They play all types of games, Merry usually ends up in some sort of dress up gown and makes David play an instrument so that she can put on a show. David either strums a guitar, which is missing most of its strings, or tickles the ivories of their mini, play, grand piano while Merry sings and pirouettes.

Another game they love to play is The Incredibles. They went to see The Incredibles on Ice a couple of weeks ago and ever since it has been a game they both really enjoy. Merry as Stretch Mom and David as Super Bob. I have not seen the movie or the ice show but I do know this, my kids love them. Merry and David are a crime fighting Duo to be reckoned with.

When they are not getting along, Look Out! When David decides he does not want to follow his older sisters direction. If David decides he wants, what ever it is, that Merry is currently playing with. When Merry wants, what ever it is, that David is currently playing with, things go very wrong. The gnashing of teeth, screaming and tattling to follow is of Biblical proportion.

Merry has been known to demand that her brother be "Sold to the Gypsies". Merry will insist that David receive a "Time Out". Merry will tell her Mother that "David needs to be put in his crib". What's odd is that David never tells on his sister, he handles it by hitting her, then she tells on him, and he gets the Time Out. Girls are smarter than boys.

Last night they got along great, when they do it is to be cherished. Everybody laughs, sings and dances. A little piece of heaven at home.

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Monday, March 06, 2006


Today is my thirty-sixth birthday, rounding up I guess I might as well be forty. As thirty-six has been approaching I have been looking back at thirty-five, thirty-five was a very busy year.

At this time last year there were a lot of plans on the table waiting to be executed. Heidi was pregnant with our third child, Thomas. The architect had been hired to design the addition to our Old Blue House. The equity line to pay for the addition had been arranged. I was scrambling to figure out how to pay back the equity line and afford college for three kids. Last but not least I scheduled a fairly
serious knee operation for June.

Well by April, Heidi and I had signed on with a company out of Utah to build ourselves an Internet business. I put the fee on a credit card, more debt, and The Tutu Boutique was born. Turns out we paid a fortune and probably could have done it for half the cost. I will say that I did learn a whole bunch of stuff and if I were to do it again, I would. At some point I hope this move will pay for lots of stuff, the addition included.

In may we hired the builder, we only interviewed two. Two very different approaches were presented to us. The first was organized, spread sheets, cost breakdowns, very professional. After careful consideration of our plans he came back with a very high number.

The second builder was from town, everybody knows him and he is respected as an honest, honorable man. More spit and a handshake, the number he came back with was far more reasonable. We hired him. Construction to start in August.

May was spent trying to find a niche market on the Internet. Something Heidi could be involved with that would hold her interest. Something that did not have an overwhelming presence on the web and had a decent amount of people looking for it. Tutus.

June, I had my posterior cruciate ligament replaced with a cadavers. This operation kicked the crap out of me. I was only in the Hospital overnight, however it took about a week and a half to get back to work. The rehab was atrocious, honest to God it made me cry/laugh it hurt so much. No weight on it for six weeks, which was perfect because Thomas was due the second week of July.

The first time I put any weight on my new knee was in the delivery room assisting with the birth of my third child, Thomas. July was spent taking care of the new baby. Working on details pertaining to The Tutu Boutique, and messing with the architects plans.

In August construction started on the house, The Tutu Boutique went online, I started to walk without crutches, or crunchers, as David referred to them. Life started to get its rhythm back. Albeit a loud and raucous rhythm, at least the surprises were manageable. Leaky roofs, spats with the architect, meetings with the Hysterical Society, it was fun.

We sold our first tutu in mid August, that was exciting. The addition was finished in November, at a price just above what the first builder said it was going to cost. Thomas turned out to be a relatively easy baby, and I skied on my knee last week.

There were a lot of sleepless nights, anxiety, and joy. I would not trade my thirty-fifth year for anything, where would I be without blogging? I just hope thirty-six is much less exciting.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sporting Events

Mr. Big Dubya, what is a Big Dubya anyway?, put it out there that it may be fun to put a list together of sporting events you would love to attend. So I am going to play along, the problem is that I am a homer, I don't care unless it is my team and it means something.

I do watch alot of Red Sox baseball, but the trip into Fenway, the ride home and the seats while you are there, make it much more fun to watch from home. I go to Fenway usually one time a year, the tickets are always a gift, and it still cost a couple hundred bucks.
The Number 1 sporting event I would like to witness live is game 7 of the ALCS against the Yankees, in a Luxury Box at Fenway Park.

I watch almost every Patriots game, again, the trip to and from Foxborough from the Northshore is crazy. My living room or that of a friend with HD is better.
Number 2 sporting event I would like to witness in person are the Patriots in the SuperBowl.

My wildcard sporting event is the PBR thats right cowfolk the Professional Bull Riders tour. Those guys are out of their minds. Disaster lurks everywhere, at any moment they could DIE. Those animals are no joke! I think they weigh almost a ton, the dudes that ride them are mostly little guys, 5'9" 175lbs, I don't think the cows even know they are there, unless the fool decides to start kicking.

The animals jump because of the Buck Strap. The Buck Strap puts the bulls bullhood in a compromising position, the animal is trying to shake his nuts loose. Imagine that, squeezing his nuts before you climb on his back, you have to be kidding me. If you have ever watched it on television, once the clown releases the Buck Strap the animal heads straight for the pen, before the Strap is release the cow is trying to kill the fella who was just on his back. Who can blame the cow? not me, if I were a bull and some guy sqeezed my balls then jumped on my back I would try to kill him too.

As an aside if the Bruins make it to Lord Stanley's Cup that would be fun, and who could turn down Celtics tickets if they were playing for a title? Not me, how much would I spend? Not much.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Hot Wheels

Thomas, at eight months has his first set of wheels. My sister brought them over about two weeks ago. After a week or two of trial and error, he finally got the gist of it last weekend and has been perfecting his skills.

I guess its official name is Baby Walker, I call it the Flinstone Mobile. Thomas started out following Heidi around the kitchen, taking his time, getting a feel for his new mobility. The apprehension of the first couple days has melted away and the daredevil is beginning to shine through. He, like his father before him and his father before him has a taste for speed.

There also seems to be an inclination towards sudden deceleration, you know smashing into things. His favorites are, Heidi, either dog, brother, sister, dishwasher or stove. Its cute the first time, but becomes annoying very quickly.

Another behavior this new found mobility facilitates is his ability to wash everything he puts in his mouth in the dogs water bowl. This is messy, and can not be sanitary, he does seem to really enjoy it though. When we notice we close the doors, the water bowl is in a closet in the kitchen, but he always seems to get a few splashes in.

My personal, most favorite, daringest trick, that he is still trying to master, is the jump. Our kitchen is raised up say six inches from the living room on one end and Heidi's office on the other. The Flinstone Mobile has to be lined up perfect to get through the door into the living room, he never gets through clean. Heidi's office is wide open, there is running room to get up a good head of speed, perfect conditions for air time.

The little fella stares down the runway, collects his thoughts and courage and then goes for it. As his speed increases, his stare becomes more focused, the determination is evident. All eyes in the room are on him. Then the take off, the front wheels leave the safety of earth, and immediately drop to the floor below hanging him up. He is stuck, little legs swinging in the air, rear wheels on the landing above. The humiliation, stuck, luckily his big brother David is more than happy to nudge him over the edge.

I bet it happens three or four times a day. Some day he will be successful, he just can't give up, don't ever give up, one day you will experience the thrill of airtime.


Thursday, March 02, 2006


Today is Merry's fourth birthday. Four years ago today, the most wonderful, scary, anxiety laden day of my life happened, I became a Dad, that's right a D.A.D., Dad. I always wanted to be a father and it happened four years ago today.

I remember the anxiety of finding out Heidi was pregnant, keeping it a secret, making sure we followed all the recommendations, getting all the parent gear. Looking back, three kids later, it was a bit much. Hind sight is 20x20, they say.

The biggest question I had then, and still struggle with today: Can I be a good influence? Will I be able to provide my children the tools necessary for them to make the right decisions in their life? My mother always said, "You won't make the same mistakes I have made, but you certainly will make your own." I hope their mistakes are not to grievous.

Meredith is a gift, she is growing into a precious little person with a penchant for dance, a sense of humor, and a big personality. She is not afraid to speak her mind, or meet new people. Everyday she makes me laugh. Everyday I thank God for the Miracle that is Meredith, I thank God for her good health, and the happiness she brings us.

I get all muddled up with thoughts and ideas. Four years old, a little tiny baby is turning into a beautiful little person. Heidi's first words to me when she was born were"I told you so, I knew it, she's a girl!" The story of Heidi's labor must have been told one hundred times in the months following Merry's birth. What an experience, the birth of a baby, there you are witnessing a miracle.

I feel bad for my Dad and the generations of Men before me who were not privileged to take part in the beginning of their children's lives. Child birth changed me forever. Seniors stories of sitting in the waiting room, drinking beer he had stashed in the trash can, waiting for the news, sounded like the way to go before I experienced the train wreck that is child birth. Knowing now the miracle that takes place, I would not miss it. It is hard and uncomfortable, and I didn't even have to push, but is also amazing and wonderful.

Merry, thank you for being you. You have pushed me and inspired me to be a better person, for that I will always be grateful. Now get out there and do your best.

Love, Daddy

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Being a Mom

I can't imagine being a Mom. To have those little lives being so dependant. To manage the little beauties and keep them moving in the same direction. To me it seems almost impossible.

My patience are tried just putting them to bed, and I only have to deal with two. If they were only little robots that obeyed every command.

"Stand still!"
"Stop teasing your brother!"
"Stop hitting your sister!"
"Don't touch that!"
"Stop grabbing!"
"Eat your vegetables."
"Put on your coat."

These reasonable commands, illicit all sorts of responses. I have to constantly remind Merry that I am not asking her a question. When I say "Time for B.E.D" I don't want to hear "In a minute Daddy, first I need to..." I want to hear "Yes Daddy"

Mom has to handle these responses all day long. It must be very trying. The patience to explain every decision during the day to a team made up of one very bright little girl and her tenacious little brother, Mom must feel, not only ganged up on, but exhausted.

Mom, I really appreciate the work you do. I may not be able to relate, I can not walk in your shoes, I do sympathize with your situation and promise to be there, to help when I can.

Hold the Fort I will be Home before Five.

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