Thursday, August 31, 2006

It Is Nice

It is nice when bloggers you enjoy and respect set a link to you. Happened to me twice today, what are the odds? DYM is a player in the mommy blog universe, a few months ago she mentioned my blog, that mention drove a weeks worth of traffic through here in a day.

The next blogger that linked up with me is a giant among gay daddy bloggers. Steve responded to an email I sent him out of the blue. We started talking on the phone, the next thing I knew The Tutu Boutique Blog had a whole new look that meshed perfectly with the store. Today he wrote a post about blog friendship and once again he got me thinking. I like that, thinking.

The strange thing about blog friendship is the unknown. It is based on an assumption, a vibe. You get a sense for the person from their writing, but you really do not know. I will tell you this and I consider it to be a sad admission, I have more interaction and experience a greater exchange of ideas in the blog-o-sphere than I do in reality. My bloglines community is my modern day salon, sans La
Fran├žais.

Auntie Shannon

Auntie Shannon is not technically an Aunt, she is Heidi's close friend from forever. My family is very lucky to have her in our lives. Yesterday, she took Meredith and David on an adventure to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. She also brought her niece and nephew. Four children and Auntie Shannon made the trip to Attitash for a big adventure.

Shannon is an adventurer, she loves to ski, mountain bike, hike and travel, she also loves my kids. Yesterday they saw a waterfall, they climbed a rock, they watched kids skateboard, they ate ice cream and had a terrific time.

Shannon packs the kids up a couple times a year and brings them on an adventure that otherwise they would not experience. I have trouble expressing the gratitude I feel. I know Merry and David will remember these adventures for the rest of their lives and it wells me up inside.

Another benefit of Auntie Shannon's kiddie excursions is the rejuvenating effect the lack of children has on Heidi. I got home from work and I was not sure who the woman standing in front of me was. She looked happy and rested, Heidi is generally happy but rested, not so much. When we had only one child it was a lot of work looking after her. Now that there are three children, watching one seems to be a walk in the park for Mom.

Thanks for everything Auntie Shannon.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

David in pictures

Heidi was distracted this month and only took four hundred and fifty pictures. Last month I picked my favorites of Merry, this month it is David's turn.












Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Different Lives

At this moment in time I have two young boys dancing naked in front of me patting their belly's chanting some unintelligible rant to a four four beat. Did I mention they are stomping their feet. This is so many universes away from where I spent my day that it is hard for me to fathom.

Today was a difficult day at the office, we lost a good client because of a lapse in management. Hey, I am management. I have seen this scenario play out in my head and have been expecting some sort of incident to happen. There are no good excuses, the reason are many and I am not going to go into them here. We will take today as a wake up call, I set the alarm a few weeks ago, but today got peoples attention.

The path we need to blaze will be difficult, change always is. Our business has grown and the old way of doing things simply does not keep time with the pace of our business today. You know what though? The three little kids inside the walls of The Old Blue House have no idea about my rotten day. Merry wants to be an "Everything Ballerina" David wants to tease his Mom, his sister,his brother and push as many of their buttons as he can find and Thomas wants a hug and to sit on my lap.

With three children their seems to always be one asking for a "No", but mostly they are happy and looking to laugh. I walked in the door today carrying a heavy load, seeing my children smile, laugh, tease and test brought me back to what matters. Family.

I will return to work, I will make the hard decisions, I will alter men's lives. There are growing pains to be negotiated and it is time to face them. We need to secure the future for "The Everything Ballerina" and the two naked, dancing, hooligans at the end of this desk.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Dancing Kids

Grooving to Bruce Hornsby and the Range at Uncle Dougies family reunion party.

So It Begins

Today is the first day of operation Lower Blood Pressure / Loose Weight. I jogged for twenty minutes, did some sit ups and push ups and it feels great. I plan on three of four days a week until my follow up check up at the end of October.

I used to run like the wind, when I was young I could run and run and run. Seven minute miles forever. I went to college in Vermont, I could run up Mountains and did regularly. Since 1992 the running has slowed to a crawl.

There have been periods of activity, a couple months here and a few there, where I have exercised. Thinking back,the last solid fitness campaign happened prior to my wedding in 1996. Hey! That was ten years ago.

Here I stand, in front of all the blog-o-sphere, committing to two months of physical training. I will make an assessment at that time to determine what follows. Wish me success and thanks for all of your encouragement.

Cousins

Well the vacation is over, Auntie Jen, Ayden and Addison went home to Atlanta Sunday morning. We miss them already!
Heidi took a ton of pictures to document their stay, I picked a few to share.


You can not come and visit in the summer with out spending time at the beach.
Nanna, Merry and Ayden, I do not know where.
Merry, David and Ayden at the same place.
Thomas, David and Addison on the way home from their mystery trip, looks like they had fun.
The end of a long day of play.
See what I mean about Chaos!


Thomas and Addey out for a walk.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Physical?

I had my first complete physical examination since 1991, the year before my senior year of college. You had to have one to participate in the athletic program. Well the results of the physical in 1991 were a bit different than the news given to me yesterday.

The lovely nurse practitioner informed me that I had high blood pressure and that if it was not brought down in the next two months, I would have to go on medication. Some ways she suggested were:

  1. Loose weight, I am 72 inches tall and weigh in at 228lbs She thought thirty pounds would be good. Her chart says I should weigh in at 177 hee hee.
  2. Reduce salt intake, I do not put extra salt on my food often. Just the steak and potatoes.
  3. Less red meat, who wants to eat steak with out salt anyway?
  4. Exercise
  5. Reduce alcohol intake, Not happening.
Exercise, I miss exercise but not enough to have done anything about it. I tried in April, for three weeks I set the alarm at five, got up, went for a jog, did my sit ups and push ups. Then my knee started to act up and I was tired. That was that for that. Time to try again.

I have two months and then medication, I do not need medication, I need to get in shape.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Polka Dot Tutu

Here I am, back at the Blogger Dash, why? There is some exciting news, if you are into Polka Dotted Tutus, and to be honest, I am not. What interests me, is people buying Polka Dot Tutus, and to facilitate that I am announcing the creation of a new page at The Tutu Boutique. The Polka Dot Tutu Page! Tah Dah!

In my wildest dreams I never envisioned myself in this position, I am excited about being here, I just never saw it coming. If you had told me a year and a half ago that I would be promoting Tutus on my web log I would not have known what you were talking about.

I had a vague sense of what a tutu was, because my daughter had a bunch of spinning dresses that Heidi referred to as tutus. A web log, huh? Now look at me, posting all types of information on my blog, selling tutus all over the US, and getting to "know" of all sorts of blogging personalities. Today is blog appreciation day and these links will send you to my favorites. If you read my blog and I did not include you on my list, it means that you lurk and I am not aware of your presence. Say hello and I will be more than happy to link up.

Life is Good; now go check out our Polka Dot Tutus.

Blogger Dash

I find myself with nothing thoughtful or insightful to write, but I am drawn to the Blogger Dashboard. What is it that compels me to post when there is nothing to post? Really doesn't matter because here I am typing away with nothing to say.

Last night was the beginning of Grampy's family reunion weekend. We went to a terrific party at Uncle Dougie's. We danced and ate and played until way past everyone's bedtime, including mine. I got some video of Thomas, Merry and their cousin Ayden dancing up a storm. If Heidi gets it downloaded I will post it this afternoon.

Part of Heidi's families reunion weekend is me taking a day off tomorrow, playing some golf and relaxing. I have really decompressed after last weeks "I Don't Like People" post. The break is coming at just the right time, I was not sure how much more I could take and then it got better.

The previous sentence reminds my of a story that happened yesterday
and connects to my past on The Hill.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Cruel Joke

Big, awkward molars pushing through small, tender gums is not the least bit funny. Heidi and I have been sleeping through the night for the past three months, it took four years to get to that point and I was enjoying it. The little man, Thomas, screamed like I was poking him in the eye from 3:30 am until 4:15. Tylenol and pats on the back eventually settled him back to sleep.

It is amazes me how fast I forgot what it means to have children interrupt sleep. We spent the past four years, tending to infants in the middle of the night. It was uncommon not to be disturbed. I forgot about the molars, I remember now! One last set, then:
Easy Street,
yeah right.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Stir it up

I am having quite a bit of difficulty sorting through the thoughts in my head. The reason for this difficulty is that there are so few. I am in survivor mode, handling the packs of children wandering around my house, negotiating the Moms different attitudes and irritables has proved to be a challenge.

Things are going to be stirred up, and that is a good thing. Mark gets into town tonight and Jen is ready. Jen is doing a terrific job with her two girls and Heidi, their Mom and I have been doing our best to help but it is not the same without Dad around. Dad gets here tonight, that should be a relief.

Nanna, their mom leaves tomorrow morning, she has been a great help and I am going to miss her. The dynamic is going to shift at The Old Blue House and personally I am happy for it. People say they don't know how we handle three, we handle three just fine. Five is ridiculous, just being around all five of them at the same time wears me out. My Aunt and Uncle had ten, I guess its different if they are all your own. They can be indoctrinated to your systems from birth but I am not sure, seems like a lot to handle.

Part of the tension we feel, the adults, is connected to the mess. It never ends, the mess is like the tide, it can not be denied. We have all worked very hard at keeping it at bay, you turn your head and it is back up to your ankles. I want to shout at the top of my lungs ''STOP HAVING FUN AND PICK THIS MESS UP"!

The children are having a great time, the messes do get picked up and I just need to keep my sense of humor.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Decision

People make decisions in their life everyday, some recognize opportunity, other see only risk. The folks that wrestle opportunity from that risk are the people that make it big.

I attended one of Heidi's world domination meetings on Friday night. The couple responsible for our line here on the North Shore made the trip up from Kentucky to talk up the Arbonne experience. Turns out Mike took his risk back in 1991 when he bought his first restaurant franchise. I Googled him and it turns out he has ten or so businesses registered with the state of Kentucky and who knows how many more outside of his home state. He is under forty and has assumed enough risk to become a millionaire, the bio sent out on him reports that his businesses did fifty million dollars last year.

Why is he bothering with Arbonne? because he did the research, met with the equity group that owns the company, Harvest Partners, and his wife loves the products and wants out of her job. Nicole started with Arbonne six months ago and is on the fast track. I get the impression that she does not need to work, but with no kids why not work. Soon she will leave her job, maybe start a family and still have Arbonne working for her. This couple makes good decisions.

My Mom always told me it is harder to be good than bad. It is easier to make the bad decision than it is to make the good. A good decision often requires risk, without risk there is no reward. Signing on with Arbonne required minimal risk, Arbonne is a "no brainer" if you do the work the reward will come. Doing the work is another decision that needs to be made, some will work at it, some will not, those that do will reap the reward.

I consider the people in my life that are willing to put it on the line and I see dynamic individuals whose attitudes and experiences I want to learn from. The truth is that I am afraid of risk, I do not want to put my family in jeopardy for the chance of making it big. I am content taking small risks that when teamed up with persistence and hard work pay back. I can also absorb the fall out if they do not payback. Some day I will have the courage to make the big move, I am going to keep my eyes open for that opportunity, see it for that and decide to take the risk.

If there is a decision or opportunity out there that you have been considering I say go for it. If you don't you will never know what could have been and if you do, you may be amazed at what is.




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Friday, August 18, 2006

Back To Crazy

As Reel Pursuit backed into its dock at Constitution Marine my phone wrung, it was Heidi wondering where I was. When I reminded her that I was fishing she informed me that I needed to get home and start the grill. Heidi bought salmon and it was my job to cook it.

Well, the boys on the trip were drinking the last of the beers and shooting the breeze and I started to feel rushed. No worries though, the party was done and it was time to get home.

Things were back to normal at my house, controlled chaos, lots of kids, toys and messes. I was right on time to start up the grill and cook the fish. It went great, Heidi had put together one heck of a spread, the children had already eaten and it was good.

During dinner there was a commotion outside that warranted my attention. I got up from my half eaten dinner and went to investigate. Not two steps out the door I was met by David who had some very bad news.

"Daddy, I pooped my pants".

"NOOOOOOOO"!

Luckily we were close to the hose, I pulled him over and rinsed him down. I have a very weak stomach, when we first had children I would change diapers wearing a respirator. Every encounter with poop that I have presents the possibility of vomit, dry heaves are a certainty.

I do not use this as an excuse, I do my diaper duty and I am not afraid. Heidi and Auntie Jen were watching me soak down my son out the kitchen window, when I vomited. I did not realize they were watching until I heard the laughter, they were stunned that my stomach was actually that weak. Happens all the time. Supper, for me was officially over.

Things at home are back to normal, crazy.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Not Much Here Really

In the video below the house is eerily quiet. Merry, her cousins, Nanna and auntie Jen are at Grampy's House. David is in front of the t.v. watching Dragon Tales, he was spent after a day of hard play. Quiet, just Mom, Dad and Thomas moving, that little activity has been rare the last week or so and was enjoyed.

Watching the video I feel kind of bad for walking off on the little man, I was headed in to check on David. David was fine, I turned around and got right back to Thomas, I promise. I have to admit, getting home to a quiet house was nice. I feel recharged and ready for another round of chaos.

Today I am breaking out of the office early, I am going on a fishing trip out of Boston, with a bunch of bug men. Every year the New England Pest Management Association has an auction to fund scholarships. The auction is held in December and I forgot that I had bid on the trip. I got an email the beginning of the week reminding me and I am happy for it. Look out Stripers, in reality all I ever catch is a bit of a beer buzz.

Ahoy, me Matey's and Shiver me Timbers.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Thomas

A small snapshot of life at our House.
The best part is Thomas rocking the piano Elton John style at the end. Hang in there.

Time Off? and Jackson

I feel much better today, there is something to "getting it off your chest" that really is true. I probably just need a little time away from the office, the bug battery is running a little low and needs to be recharged. Summer is the busy season, as you can imagine, so it is tough to get any time away.

Heidi and I are going to Bermuda the end of September, we will be celebrating 10 years of marriage.
So I got that going for me. Holy Crap, I am getting old. Nanna is going to stay at The Old Blue House and watch the kids, just Heidi and I, that hasn't happened in four and a half years.

Of course the departure will not be that easy, Heidi asked me yesterday what my plan for Jackson is, I told her I figured he would stay at the house with the rest of the family. "No he is too much work, my mom can't watch the three children, Maxwell and Jackson". Maxwell is healthy and strong, Jackson is blind and crazy, he also has some separation anxiety when I am not around. I see her point, but what am I going to do with him? He really isn't that much work, let him out in the morning, let him in at night and feed him. If he is acting crazy, let him.

The "put the dog down" talk has started up again, the thing is he is doing great. He has a routine, he plays with Maxwell and he is putting on weight. The children make him a little uneasy because he can't see them coming. The craziness in the house doesn't allow him to lie down and get comfortable. Outside he is fine, he lounges around, listens for and barks at walkers, wrestles with Maxwell and naps. It is a dogs life.

Jackson was in very bad shape the last time I mentioned him, since then he has stabalized and improved. He gets around the house under his own power, I used to have to carry him. He eats without coersion, I would have to stand over him and insist. He no longer gets lost in the house, he has landmarks and established paths he uses to get where he has to go.

I have put together a plan, what we are going to do is leave the dog home with Nanna and the kids. If he turns into a mental patient and won't eat or come in the house there will be a backup plan. Grampy and MayMay are suckers for sad animals. Grampy has a heart as big as, insert cliche, he will be able to help. I think that it is important for the dog to remain at home simply because he knows his way around and is familiar with the people there. Boarding him someplace or sending him to someones house doesn't feel right to me. He needs stabillity to avoid a set back.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Today

Today, sitting at my desk at bug central, talking to people who annoy me, I have come to a realization I have been denying.

This feeling has been sneaking up on me for the past four or five months and has finally enveloped me.

I do not like to admit it, I always thought of myself as an optimist. I always felt that people were good.

Here I am before you ready to announce my new outlook.

I DO NOT LIKE PEOPLE!

I wish I did not have to interact with eighty percent of the people I have to interact with. I find them to be dullards, they bore me with their questions and concerns. I wonder why they do not have anything else in their lives to entertain them. I find myself shaking my head at their stupidity and asking myself why I think that I am so smart.

I am not that smart, the fact is, these people are just very dumb. I have concluded, present company excluded, that most are.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sleep Over

All of David's dreams are coming true. He just left with Grampy for his first sleep over. I am looking forward to a call around 2:00 am to make a rescue. Merry is going back to the taj as well to sleep with Ayden. Merry does not stay with Ayden she sleeps in Grampy and Maymay's bed.

That bed is going to be full. David, Merry, Shawny their 120lb Golden Retriever, Grampy, MayMay, Hunky the shitszue?, and the cat have all been known to curl up on their queen size bed. The thought of it makes me giggle.

We tried to sneak Grampy and MayMay out the back door but Grampy gave himself up. He promised David he could sleep over and he stood by his word. Instead of pulling out the driveway he came back in the front door and got his namesake for his first sleepover. In my experience the first sleepover always results in a late night trip to the sleepover house. We shall see.

Here is to tomorrow morning, Merry is getting the news as we speak that she is not sleeping over, all kinds of arguing is going on in the living room. Maybe we can get Ayden to sleep here? I will be back.

Ayden will not entertain the thought of sleeping here and Merry is having a fit. Goodnight, I have my work cut out for me.

Merry

Merry and Ayden are having a Great visit. They are spending lots of time with their Grandparents and alone together. I miss Merry. David, Thomas and I spent bunches of time together this weekend without Merry and I missed her.

I missed her until she was around, then I was annoyed with the way
she treated her brother and any and all adults. My four year old is acting the way I envision a fourteen year old, defiant and condescending. When asked to do something, she puts her hand on her hip, cocks her head and looks at you like you are silly. "How could you make such a silly request"?

Merry likes hanging around with her Grampy because he lets her do "Bad Things". When the girls are with Grampy, he, as all good, self respecting Grandparents do, follows the path of least resistance. This gives the girls the opportunity to make all kinds of decision that four year olds should not be making. It is difficult for Merry to readjust to having bossy parents who do not except "no" for an answer.

Poor David does not know how to handle the four year old tag team he has been pitted against. The girls are not very nice to him and this causes him to act poorly. I see a clique, and David is not involved. They tease him and tell him he is bad, so David chases them and attempts to hit them with sticks, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Davids ostracism from the girls group of two, has led to the formation of another group. Daddy, David and Thomas, were a band of brothers this weekend and we had a good time. I did miss Merry though.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Village

It is Saturday morning, the children have been fed their breakfast and are watching t.v., Mom and Nanna are still upstairs, presumably asleep and I am here at the computer thinking. The thought that is stuck in my head that I am not sure I have processed to the point where I can express it eloquently is: Love.

With all of the extra parents around here, and all of the extra children, I have been considering all the different ways that love is expressed. Why do grandparents associate love with sugar? I can not for the life of me figure that one out. I will not get in the way of that expression, I just do not understand.

I like that my children have to answer to other adults beside Heidi and I, those other adults care about their well being and their behavior, they see these kids as extensions of themselves and it makes me happy.

Not only in discipline but also in praise does love show itself. Nanna brought the two four year olds out yesterday. They went to a show and to lunch and out shopping, I think. I am sure of the show and lunch. The girls had a lovely time with their Grandmother and their Grandmother had a wonderful time with them. Memories, positive, loving memories are being forged and it makes me happy.

Writing about the anxiety I was experiencing, having it out there for all involved to read has lifted a weight off my shoulders. Turns out I was not the only one feeling a little anxious, all of the adults involved have a bit of it. We now know where we stand and are moving forward. Last night we hung around the house, fed the children, and drank wine, it was a very nice evening and made me feel happy.

Here is to a beautiful weekend. Have fun, we will.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Anxious

It is an exciting time at my house, the addition of two more sisters into the fray really ups the chaos level. Merry and David have become Merry, David and Ayden. The dynamic has changed, this new dynamic is combustible and provides more opportunities for time outs. Some combination of two will make one feel bad. If David is the one getting frustrated watch out! He will not be the only one crying when the dust settles. The child has the ability to bring the entire ship down with him.

There are five children, three moms and me, I kind of feel overwhelmed. This anxiety is obvious and not appreciated by anyone involved. I need to settle down and not be so, for lack of a better word, antsy. The external chaos is normal, the kids are getting along great and over all behaving themselves, it is me. The extra activity level agitates me, I have a difficult time settling down and being me.

Every summer I experience it, there is a pattern and I see it playing itself out again, now. The pressure builds up inside of me until I say or do something stupid. After that event when things settle down, I feel more comfortable. This year I am going to try to avoid the impending stupidity on my part and make a conscious effort to RELAX, be myself and "go with the flow".

I let my anxiety get in the way of a great time with my family last night. I regretted my decision not to go with them from almost the minute they left. The party they had last night is gone and I missed it. Thomas was dancing up a storm, since he has started to walk he has been concentrating on his dance moves and they are really coming along. I will get some video posted soon. Everyone had fun and I missed it, I am not going to let that happen again.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Recollection

Heidi, Jennifer, Meredith, Ayden, David, Thomas and Addison have gone off to Crane's Castle for the summer concert series. I stayed behind, I feel a little guilty and lost, but the thought of following David around as he tailed the big girls was filling me with anxiety.

The last trip the family made to the castle was not a lot of fun. Heidi was still nursing and I was in charge of keeping tabs on muck and meyer. Big deal, you say. Well the Crane's amassed quite a fortune selling toilets and their summer house and grounds are HUGE. There are gardens here and there and all kinds of places to explore. Heidi was nursing Thomas who must have been about a month old and I was recovering from my knee rebuild.

Oh Yeah, my knee was messed up and I was still in the walking brace
, that is the reason for the horrible feeling I had when Heidi told me they were planning on going. You see last year I had some trouble keeping up, I was in charge and David got away from me. Heidi, shall we say, was a little post partum and let me have it.

I hope they have a great time tonight, I am going to head out for a beer and a burger.

Thomas and I


Thomas and I have been hanging out. When I get home from work "The Walker" and I get to spend some time together. Merry and David chill in front of the tube, Mom does some work and I talk with Thomas.

Our conversations take place over a glass of wine, a sippy cup of milk and some Ritz crackers. These conversations go something like this, and I am paraphrasing.

T: "Arrr oohh arr arr"

Me:" Ooohh arrrr oh oh ohhh"

T: "Gu gu gu ma ma ma"

Me:"Ma ma ma Daaa da Tah"

This will go on for fifteen minutes and is one of my favorite parts of the day.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Home Alone

It is quarter to nine on a Wednesday night, here I am at the computer looking for a witty, thought provoking blog to light the fires of my imagination. It seems as though the blogs that I am involved with are busy with other things. How dare you have a life outside?

You see, as I predicted in Family the girls night's out have begun. I was left around seven fifteen with my MIL, my two nieces, my daughter, my youngest son and "wrongside". Wrongside was so upset that his mother had left that he cried through putting on his pajamas, he cried through brushing his teeth, he cried through prayers and he cried through my four hundredth performance of "I've Been Working On The Railroad".

The smoothest part of the the evening and the place I anticipated a very large snag, was when Nanna took the cousins back to Grampy's for bed. I believed in my heart there would be a battle for Ayden to remain, in my mind I had already surrendered. Little do they know, if they had put up a fight, Merry and Ayden would be having another sleep over. Merry stayed with Ayden at Grampy and Maymay's last night, and I was ready to grant them that request this evening, they didn't ask.

There is nothing on t.v. and I was turning to you, fellow bloggers, for some entertainment, the pickings were very slim. There was one, very revealing, entry out there that I left a fairly personal comment on that held my attention for a bit, other than that, nothing. So I turned to the Red Sox, they are playing the Kansas City Royals, the Royals stink and still managed to beat the Sox last night. The Red Sox are currently two games behind the evil empire, the yankees are playing out of their minds and will return to earth. I predict that their decent will happen during the Sox, yankee series, next week. There are five games and I predict at the end, when the dust clears, the Sox will be a game up. Just got a score from the other room, Sox winning 2-0.

I am going to post this bad boy, pour myself one more drink, check back with bloglines and then go to bed. I will check in on you tomorrow.

WOW!


That is my four year old, Going For It!
I am one proud Dad.

Tutu


Have you headed over to The Tutu Boutique yet and purchased a tutu for your little girl?

No.

Why not?

I can tell you honestly that little girls love tutus.

What goes better with a tutu than a leotard?

Nothing.

Except maybe a tiara, a fairy wand, wings and some ballet slippers.

What do you say?

She is your princess. Every princess deserves a present.

You do not need a special occasion, the arrival of the tutu and dress up clothes will be occasion enough.

Now get to it and buy the little girl in your life an outfit from The Tutu Boutique.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Family

There were two very excited children in my house when I got home last night. Merry and David were off the walls, they had some very exciting news that they wanted to share with Daddy. The excitement they were exhibiting reminded me of the buzz associated with the arrival of Old St. Nick.

Ayden and Addison are coming and Nanny and Auntie Jen, Hurray!

Merry loves her cousin and getting the chance to reconnect with Jen is priceless. I am in constant physical contact with my siblings, we all live with in a fifteen mile radius. I work with everyone except my sister who lives a quarter mile down the street from my parents. Almost to much family, but not quite.

Heidi has one sister and she lives far away, they talk on the phone but it is different. Over the winter Heidi may head to Atlanta for a long weekend but that is not enough as far as I am concerned. I think it is important for the family to spend enough time together that there is a chance to get on one another's nerves and then get over it.

Enough time to actually be sisters and cousins instead of guests. Enough time to show each other some moles and then after the initial shock cover them up and move on. I am not sure how long the stay will be this year but I hope it is at least three weeks. That seems to be enough time to bring up any issues and get them resolved. It is enough time for the children to become cousins/family instead of visitors from far away.

I want Jen to know that I love her and I look forward to her visit every year. I want her to know that the opportunity to get to know her children, my nieces, is precious to me. Her visit does not burden me, it enlightens me and I am thankful for the relationships that the cousins from Atlanta provide my children, my wife and myself.

Nanny's coming too and that is good, I am going to need another set of hands to help watch all of these girls. I have a sneaky suspicion that there are going to be a few "Girls Night out" in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Stickers

I do not use this word often, I HATE stickers. Stickers are everywhere in my house and nobody cares but me. I wish I were a sticker manufacturer, they seem to be the most consumable product ever. Stickers and maybe bottled tap water.

When another adult gives my kids stickers I want to smack said adult. Stickers are more annoying than the loud toy. Once you remove the loud toy it is gone, stickers are quiet and they linger.

Stickers seem harmless and the children do love them. If a kid likes something that much you have to ask yourself, "why?" I think my children place them in areas that they know the sticker will not be noticed until later. They sit back and wait, when the sticker finally shows its ugly head and daddy gets frustrated, Giggle Time.

The worst stickers are the ones on the carpet in the dark areas. They lie unnoticed waiting for a parent with a vacuum cleaner to come by, then they make their presence known and hang tight. I have learned a move to dislodge them but it slows down my progress and that sticker succeeds in bugging the hell out of me anyway. The move is to scrape it loose with my big toe. Who else scrapes stickers free of the carpet with their big toe? Show of feet.

I sat down at the computer tonight to check bloglines and what did I find when I pulled out the tray the keyboard sits on? STICKERS! When I get in my truck after a weekend road trip, what do I find? You guessed it. STICKERS!

I even find the friggin things in my bed, in closing I strongly dislike stickers.

News Radio

I have a Sirius radio and most mornings I listen to Howard Stern on the way to work. It is a nice way to start the day, a few laughs and some nonsense. If he goes overboard and on occasion he does, I switch over to music.

Mr. Stern is on vacation and this morning I tuned into WBZ 1030 our regional news powerhouse. It was a giant mistake, the world is crumbling around us. I knew it was bad but schucks, I didn't realize it was that bad. Awful words are repeated over and over, words like wounded, casualties, dead, killed, suicide bomber, IED improvised explosive device, I bet you knew what IED stands for, civil war, sabotage, skirmish, fire fight, missile attack, innocent civilians, not so bad but when attached to killed and maimed, not so good.

Places in the news that come up over and over, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Israel. I wonder what has happened to North Korea, no report about them, maybe George and Condoleezza talked them out of their nuclear aspirations.

After 9/11 the talk was only of the Taliban, who I guess are back on the rise, and Afghanistan. The violence is spreading like a cold through preschool. When and where will it stop? What is the end game? Only time will tell.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Forgiveness

The concept of forgiveness is beautiful to me. The ability to say I am sorry and in so doing accept responsibility for your actions is difficult and graceful. Our natural reaction is to accept some of the responsibility and attempt to share the 'blame' with the party we are apologizing to.

We can only be held accountable for our own actions and can not share responsibility. You alone are responsible for your actions and if you have done something that you feel badly about, man up and say you are sorry. It will make you feel better if you mean it.

If someone approaches you asking forgiveness it can be almost as difficult. Accepting an apology requires as much grace as offering one. Forgiving and forgetting are mutually exclusive, if you forgive it does not mean that you forget. Past transgressions play into the sincerity of the apology. They need to be considered. When it is evident the apology is insincere it must be rebuked. If you love the person you need to help them get help or get them out of your life.

In my life I am not apologized to often, I am lucky that when people do offend me, I deserve it. When I am apologized to I make sure that I can move on before I accept, if there are issues I need clarified, I bring them up. When I apologize, I ask forgiveness for what I have done and try to listen and respect the issues that need clarifying. Many times this is where it breaks down, the person apologizing wants it to be over and gets defensive.

Forgiveness is one of the cornerstones of Catholicism that I respect and admire. Forgiveness for me requires prayer and meditation, there is an aspect of humility involved that for me is tough. I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when it should be shut, prayer helps me with that.

That's Better

Global warming is over and the temperatures around here returned to bearable. Which means, Merry slept in her bed last night and the bedtime routine returned to normal. Hurray!

Thomas started walking about two weeks ago, three and four step fall downs. I returned home from work last night and the child followed me from the kitchen to the office without the traditional bum sit, resort to crawl, technique I have become use to.

One day from three or four steps to walking all over town. Cool!

This family is growing up.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thomas Walking3

He is a walking Boy!

Pictures

Heidi took over 600 pictures in the month of July. Here are my favorites of Merry.









A Reminder

Last night had its own problems, what I need is for this weather to break and for these kids to get back into their old routine. I took the suggestions of my two commenters to heart last night and mixed and matched.

I talked up the sleeping arrangements thru dinner and David never warmed up to the fact that he would be sleeping in his bed. Bed time came around and I attempted to separate the two with Merry in the guest room and David in his bed. We followed the routine and I left.

To no ones surprise, in a very short time Merry was down stairs telling on her brother. Back up I went, David in his bed Merry in Mom and Dad's and that was final. David's focus changed, now he wanted to sleep in Dadddy's bed. Not happening! The battle lasted only an hour or so and everyone was down. Sixty percent better than the night before.

The last couple nights have reminded me how lucky I have been for the past few months. Since Heidi has stopped feeding Thomas overnight our bed time ritual has been as smooth as silk. Most nights I am done putting them down by eight and do not hear from them again. Twenty minutes from marching them up the stairs to turning on the Red Sox, nice win last night.

The last two nights have reminded me not to take bed time for granted.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hot and Sticky

Very Hot, Very Hot! I stepped out of the cool air conditioned conference room to head home yesterday evening and my glasses fogged up as though I had just stepped into a Russian Bath house. I was shocked and chagrined, I haven't worn glasses for long and this was the first time I had experienced this phenomena.

The weather has been tough, Merry's room is the only one with out an air conditioner and for the past two nights the heat has forced her into my bed in the middle of the night. Her mother takes up most of the bed and when you add a four year old, dad is left with but a sliver of mattress on which to sleep.

Last night was to be even more uncomfortable so to head off Merry's move into mom and dad's room I decided to switch up the sleeping situation, in my mind it would not be a problem. I have a very small mind.

I need to describe the logistics of the bedrooms in The Old Blue House, the upstairs, when we bought the place, consisted of two bedrooms, one on each side of the house. When Merry was impending, mom had me build a wall to split the guest room in half. The babies room in front, the guest room in back. Now the guest room is in front and the boys sleep in the back. If you open the door between the two rooms they both stay cool, due to the A/C unit in the boys room.

My plan was to have Merry sleep in the guest room. This got David very excited and he decided he wanted to sleep with Merry. Then Merry decided she wanted to sleep in David's bed and then I lost control of the situation. In and out of beds, back and forth, stop touching me, pillow fight, Ha Ha, Hee Hee. I gave it twenty minutes or so, hoping they would settle down. Hoping is not the best approach, very rarely does hoping produce the desired results.

I march into the guest room and insist that play time is over and that it is time to settle down. I remain in the room, in the dark, quietly keeping watch. They lay still for a minute or two and then it begins, the giggles, the ruslting under the covers, I remind them I am standing there and it quiets down. A few more minutes pass, it starts again, with more force and irritation I insist they settle down, no response, I do not exist. I snap David up and march into his room, boy under my arm, the experiment is over. David is going to sleep in his bed and he is not happy about it. I sit in the rocking chair ignoring his tears. He tosses all of his covers and pillows to the floor and wails and wails. I wait him out, and he settles down, lying in his bed, no pillow, no covers, quiet. I reason it is safe to leave. With in five minutes Merry is yelling from the guest room, I go in and there is David in bed with his sister. I pretend I do not see him and give him the chance to scatter back to his bed. He doesn't take it and I end up carrying him back to his bed and sitting guard for another forever.

Time passes and the crying stops, I sit tight and then David settles down, looks at me, asks for his pillows and covers and falls asleep. When I woke this morning Merry was not in my bed, that was a plus. The battle/skirmish we fought last night took two and a half hours or so and was all my doing. I should have set the situation up differently, I am not sure how. Having Merry spend the night in the guest room was a spur of the moment decision that threw the entire bedtime ritual into a tailspin. It was ten at night by the end of the battle and I was spent. Today will be hotter and stickier then yesterday. Tonight I am going to have Merry sleep in the guest room again, any ideas on how to manage it? I would like it to go smoother, as you can imagine.