Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How's Merry?

Has anyone heard from the big sister in the family? It feels as though her brothers are getting all of the press around here. The reason is, Merry is perfect, rarely does she incur the ire of her parents.

She has the skill and grace to con her brothers into doing the bad things, this skill allows Merry to reap the rewards, while the boys suffer the consequences. How long will it take the boys to figure out they are being played? They probably never will figure it out. Lord knows girls are still getting the best of me. As for being upset at her for manipulating her brothers, not a chance, that is a skill I want to nurture not retard. Mom may not have a similar opinion.

Meredith is slowly getting a handle on her letters, between pre-school and Mom there has been tremendous progress since the over reaction of a couple posts ago.
Dance school continues to be her favorite, last week she made the front page of The Salem Evening News and today is her mid year recital. I wish I could find the photo online and share it, I know it is out there I just can't find a digital copy.

Meredith's grip on the throne of The Old Blue House is strong. She has all of her subjects under her thumb behaving as she wishes. We, her loyal subjects are lucky to have such a well behaved and benevolent ruler.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Almost Talking

Thomas is close, he is starting to string a few words together at a time. In the beginning Mommy was the word for everything. Mommy is still the anchor of his vocabulary, but he is starting to surround Mommy with commands. My favorite is "Come Heah" the little bugger has a Boston accent just like his Dad.

There is something very special about an eighteen month old pushing in your keyboard, grabbing your hand and insisting that you "come heah, Mommy". Even if it is to see his "bah"(ball) for the thirty seventh time.

He now recognizes me as "Dah
" which is a big step concerning he referred to me as Mommy for the last month or so. His vocabulary is strongest in the subject that is his favorite, food. Thomas loves "ahpple, millh, and cackah" . He is constantly standing in front of the fridge working on his speech, what today is "ah ah ahhh" will soon be "get me a hamburger please"

Please is a word that Thomas does not show the same interest in that his brother and sister did. Please was out front when Merry and David were working on language. Instead of please Thomas just raises the decibels.

He is so close to talking that his level of frustration in his lack of vocabulary is sky rocketing. The determination in his face to find the words is inspiring. He wants it so bad sometimes he resorts to hitting, which leads to a time out, which is another part of life he is beginning to understand. So much is going on in his little brain at this point in his development. It seems as though every day there is a different switch that gets turned on, a new mystery deciphered.

It is an exciting time in Thomas' life.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007


Steve, thank you for your generous offer to help with the overhaul, but after mentioning it to the boss and thinking it over, I have decided to let the inner sissy shine. I do not need a new layout or format, The Tutu Boutique is part of me and I am sticking with it.

It is Sunday morning, Baby Einstein is watching my children and I am reflecting on a year in the blog-o-sphere. Blogging has been a terrific hobby, I have had a chance to experience different perspectives and characters. There are families all over the country whose window I have had a chance to peak in.

We are all different however there is a common thread that ties the blogs I read together. That thread is the journey of parenting. Some are further down the path than others, some are just starting out. Some face special challenges, some have lots of kids, some have one. We all love and want the best for these children, we all use blogging to work through issues, that when we toss them out there we find are universal. We are not alone, there are others in the same boat, dealing with the same circumstances.

There are writers who expose themselves to us unabashedly, their fears, joys, misgivings and questions on display for all of the world to experience. There are Dads simply trying to chronicle the adventure of raising children. Developing an archive for their children , a place where those children will be able to look back and get an idea of what dear old Dad was thinking.

More times than I can count I have read stories that filled me with emotion, sitting in front of the computer I have laughed, I have cried, I have been confused, I have felt hope and despair. This little window, perhaps is not so little.

The act of sitting down, typing out the issue I am struggling with, usually shines a light on the solution. Generally I have a solution to the problem I am blogging about before I hit the publish button. I do not consider myself a writer,but I have come to rely on writing to help get through. It has been eye opening this blogging and I am happy that I got involved.

This blog is for me and my children, however you are all welcome to come and have a peak in the window of The Old Blue House. If you see or hear something while you are peaking inside, remember you are welcome here and your two cents is appreciated.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

New Look?

This blog is going to be 1 year old tomorrow. This is the 256th post since its inception. I am tired of looking at the Tutus and Ballet slippers. I am thinking of switching out of the sissy landscape and into something which more closely represents me.

The blog has been successful, it has gotten Googles attention and driven traffic to the store. When I started out our traffic came from Yahoo, only a small number of people found us through Google. Now our traffic is dominated by Google some days 79% of our visitors find us there. This is a good thing, there are many more people searching in Google than there are in Yahoo, I have the numbers to prove it.

Traffic here at this blog is far less than stellar. The number of visitors remains constant, constantly low. There is a group of regulars that webs and flows depending on who continues to blog and who drops out. This number hovers around ten, then there are always fifteen to twenty more who find it looking for tutus or stories about snots. Twenty or thirty people a day, that is it. I will never be a blog super star, sad words, I know. So if I am not blogging for the masses why not change the look and the feel to something that looks and feels more like me?

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Thursday, January 25, 2007


I arrived home from work to find the three children playing. Hats, mittens, coats and boots waddling around the yard. At the same time I pulled into the driveway Merry and David were headed to the door. They had had enough and were heading in to warm up.

Thomas was busy looking at David's tractor and seemed content, I took the opportunity to go to the shed and grab the garbage. Tomorrow morning the trash trucks come and they come early, if you do not get the trash out the night before you need to have them on the sidewalk before six.

As I left the trash barrels at the curb I could hear Thomas whimpering. He was not crying or screaming just a soft whimper. I slowly worked my way back to him and discovered he was walking around in the snow with one booted foot and one bare foot.

His boot had slipped off, along with his sock and the poor little devil was barefoot in the snow. It was only for a minute or two but man that kids foot must have been cold!


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wipe Out

Racing down the hill, charging towards the jump, pedalling as fast as my little legs would allow I headed towards a moment that would remain with me for the rest of my life.

Of the group of kids in my back yard that day I was the only one who had dared to soar. My old, home made bike had flown and every one was in awe. We had been riding and jumping all morning, the jump consisted of cinder blocks and a strip of plywood. We had plenty of cinder blocks but only one piece of plywood.

As the morning wore on the pile of cinder blocks under the plywood increased. We started with one, everybody made it, everybody got comfortable. We added another block, everyone flew, smiles and high fives all around. The third block began to cull the herd, only a few dared to fly that high. The take off was getting steeper and the resulting airtime was getting big.

We had one more cinder block left and I decided to go for it. The jump was a little off and would later be described as a four cinder block jump with a three cinder block ramp. I approached cautiously and made a nice jump. Everyone was pumped, Jason told me to try his bike. His bike was a brand new BMX bike that everyone was envious of, I couldn't wait to get that bike off the ground. Just before take off my foot slipped from the peddle, I looked down and tried to adjust. I launched off the ramp, flew past the safe landing area and smashed into the pavement.

I remember running towards the back door of my house holding my arm. When I got to the kitchen my mother got a look at my arm and exclaimed, "Peter, you broke your arm!" "No I didn't Mom, look I can move my fingers." "Yes you did, I can see the bones".

She wrapped my arm in one of my youngest brothers clothe diapers and called the ambulance. I had a double compound fracture of my right arm, I was a Hero, everybody in the neighborhood and town was aware of my high flying bravery. The crowd that watched me wheel out of my front door and into the ambulance cheered.

I was in fifth grade, 10 years old and received my first serious injury. I got a four in penmanship, equivalent of a D, which was crazy because I am right handed and was writing with my left. I learned to do all types of things with my left hand that year.

To this day when I roll my right wrist it snaps and pops. The scar where the the pieces of bone broke through the skin still remain. What scars will my children carry? Will they be daredevils or smart? I wouldn't change taking that jump, I would change the landing.

I did not learn from this accident, I had many run ins with "sudden deceleration syndrome" before and I had many more after. The love for speed and airtime stayed with me and have cost me. I hope my children have this same love, I just hope they are smarter about it and that it does not exact the same price from them that it has from me.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

David aka Wrongside

David has been exercising different expressions of control and manipulation. These exercises never end the way David hopes. They also make life very uncomfortable for Mom, his sister and his little brother.

His favorite game is the "I do not want too!" game. If you try to force the issue you get a temper tantrum. Now that he has achieved a level of comfort with the teachers at pre-school they get to play as well.

When Heidi walks into the class to pick him up she carries with her a bit of uneasiness. She wonders if David tormented his teachers the way he torments her. Most days he is good, some, he is not.

Yesterday after dropping Merry off at pre-school Heidi brought Thomas and David to the birth to three center. The birth to three center is a place to play, David and Thomas have a great time playing there, there are other kids and toys, what is not to like?

Yesterday, David decided that he did not want to go. Heidi left him in the foyer of the building while Thomas had fun. David did not fold until nearly 45 minutes into the stay when he decided playing may be better than sitting in the hall.

Heidi and David's teachers have developed a plan of action to break David of his manipulative ways. If David decides he is not going to go along with the program, David is going to lose a right or privilege that David likes. Heidi brought this idea home last night and so far it is working.

Last night I asked Merry and David whose turn it was to go to school today. Merry answered Davids and David immediately announced that he did not want to go to school. Heidi, hearing this exchange jumped in with these words for young David. "You will go to school and you will behave yourself. Your teachers will report to me whether you behaved or not and if they tell me you did not behave you will not see your skis for five days." This got Davids attention "OK, OK I will go to school and I will be good Mommy". We shall see.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Time Flies

Where has the time gone? The last day I jogged was 1/13/2007 that is over a week ago. The reason for my lack of exercise is the weather. I have a very difficult time getting out the door when the temperature is below 20 degrees. If it has not been freezing there has been precipitation. Jogging in a freezing drizzle is not at all appetizing.

Winter has officially arrived and I am begining to worry that I am going to fatten back up. I do not want to fatten back up, I also do not want to go to the gym. First I do not belong to a gym, second, when I work out it is best done alone. There are tons of snots and sometimes, most times, vomit.

Mrs. Jones does not need to be subjected to the fat guy on the tread mill next to her shooting snot rockets and hocking lung butter. Not to mention retching in the trash barrel. These types of bodily fluids are best dealt with alone, in the dark, in anonymity. Not at the Y with everyone looking on, if I can ski in the cold, I can jog in the cold.

I am done complaining, I resolve to dress up nice and warm and get out there. No more excuses.

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That hurts, 38-34 the Colts win. I did not believe it was possible until the Pats gave the ball back with 3 plus minutes left in the game.

That is when my heart sank.

See you next year.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Ski Day

I went skiing yesterday and it was great. I love to ski and had a terrific time with auntie Shannon. Shannon is Heidi's best friend and Thomas's godmother. Shannon had a free ticket to Sunday River and asked me if I wanted to go. I answered "Hell Yes!"

When we arrived at the mountain the thermometer in my truck read 2 degrees. Undeterred we ventured forth. Shannon has all of the gear, she carries a bag packed with supplies for any circumstance. My ski gear is a "hodgepodge" of things I have accumulated over the years. While questioning Shannon about the meaning of "hodgepodge" it was determined that my ensemble resembled a pile of dirty laundry. Shannon remarked that it was a good thing that I knew how to ski because I certainly did not have the gear.

When I skied every day I had gear. I got that gear cheap because I was a ski racer and we had all kinds of ways around paying full price. We got deals on everything from goggles and sun glasses to skis and bindings. This was 15 years ago, holy shit, 15 years ago.

Anyway I started asking about the price of gear and Wow! is skiing expensive, at the end of the day we went into the shop and had a look around. Yikes! is about all I can say.

Shannon and her expensive gloves and ski socks got cold. Her hands and feet needed a break 2 hours into our day. This is not a problem for me, I love taking breaks and having hot chocolate. My hands in their $13.00 thinsulate, work gloves and my feet, in a pair of thin dress socks, stayed nice and warm all day.

Neither of our bodies got cold, her jacket cost in the vicinity of $300.00, my jacket cost $50.00 and that includes the Team GES bug logo. When I asked her what the difference was between our jackets I found out that hers has "pit zips" for when it gets warm and lots of pockets.

What is the reason I am pointing all of this out?


David is all set, he has skis boots and a helmet all passed down, now I have to outfit Merry. I am hoping to do this for under $200.00. Then next year Thomas who can move into David's stuff which means we have to hook David up. Then they become teenagers and need the "in" jacket, ski pants, goggles, poles, skis, boots. I am working myself up, take a deep breath Peter.

Head over to the Tutu Boutique and buy a Tutu, I need all the help I can get. If you want to look younger and feel better we have some stuff for you in that department as well.

Thank you Auntie Shannon for sharing the day with me. I had a great time and really appreciate the fact that you thought of me when you got your hands on that free pass. There is nothing better than spending the day, skiing with a friend, for free. Nothing!

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Fine Is

I found this out there on the Internet. Go get your calculator and begin the tally. I owe $510.10, this number is far higher than the person from whom I lifted the list.
Please keep your infractions to yourself, we are not interested in the specifics of your debauchery.

* Smoked pot — $10
* Did acid — $5
* Ever had sex at church — $25
* Woke up in the morning and did not know the person who was next to you — $40
* Had sex with someone on MySpace — $25
* Had sex for money — $100
* Vandalized something — $20
* Had sex on your parents’ bed — $10
* Beat up someone — $20
* Been jumped — $10
* Crossed dressed — $10
* Given money to stripper — $25
* Been in love with a stripper — $20
* Kissed some one who’s name you didn’t know — $0.10
* Hit on some one of the same sex while at work — $15
* Ever drive drunk — $20
* Ever got drunk at work, or went to work while still drunk — $50
* Used toys while having sex — $30
* Got drunk, passed out and don’t remember the night before — $20
* Went skinny dipping — $5
* Had sex in a pool — $20
* Kissed someone of the same sex — $10
* Had sex with someone of the same sex — $20
* Cheated on your significant other — $10
* Masturbated — $10
* Cheated on your significant other with their relative or close friend — $20
* Done oral — $5
* Got oral — $5
* Done / got oral in a car while it was moving — $25
* Stole something — $10
* Had sex with someone in jail — $25
* Made a nasty home video — $15
* Had a threesome — $50
* Had sex in the wild — $20
* Been in the same room while someone was having sex — $25
* Stole something worth over more than a hundred dollars — $20
* Had sex with someone 10 years older — $20
* Had sex with someone under 21 and you are over 27 — $25
* Been in love with two people or more at the same time — $50
* Said you love someone but didn’t mean it — $25
* Went streaking — $5
* Went streaking in broad daylight — $15
* Been arrested — $5
* Spent time in jail — $15
* Peed in the pool — $0.50
* Played spin the bottle — $5
* Done something you regret — $20
* Had sex with your best friend — $20
* Had sex with someone you work with at work — $25
* Had anal sex — $80
* Lied to your mate — $5
* Lied to your mate about the sex being good — $25

So how did you do?
Leave your fine in the comments.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Review

I sent a sample of our Arbonne Nutri MenC line to a guy who knows the differences between men's products. Head over and check out his review.


Monday, January 15, 2007


There are not many photos of Maxwell and Jackson, our two Golden Retreivers. I was surfing through Heidi's shutterfly account and when I saw this shot of Heidi, Thomas, Merry, Maxwell(light) and Jackson(orange) I figured it is my blog, I am going to post it.

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Cool in the Clutch

I have a man crush. This feeling has been with with me for years and I have been denying it. I have suppressed these feelings for long enough. Every year around this time I am reminded that a man can have feelings for another man.

The characteristics I admire about this man are his ability to listen to his superiors, his unwavering faith in those around him, his ability to shake off the negative, his ability to look towards the future, his ability to to seize an opportunity when it presents itself. When "it" is on the line there is not another man in his position I would look to, to get "it" done.

My man crush is on Tom Brady. There is not another quarterback in the NFL with his poise and leadership. When the game is on the line he rallies his team and together they make the plays that matter.

The San Diego Chargers were supposed to win that game last night. The problem was they allowed Tom Brady and his New England Patriots to hang around. If it is close at the end you can bet the ranch that they will get it done. They have proven it time and time again.

Look out Peyton, Tom and his men are coming after you next.

Go Patriots!

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

R says Rrrr

I would like to thank the three of you who de-lurked, I know you guy's though. I was hoping three or four specific lurkers would come out of the wood work. They have been by but neglected my offer. A couple of them have been by 50 or 60 times and never said hello.

Wendy, here is your Cosmo the shaker is full and in the freezer, there should be enough for two more when you are ready.

Croutonboy, we got Sam Adams Light, Boston Ale and Bud Light, what do like? I go for the Sam Lights myself, I got you one. Those are in the fridge.

Anonymous, I will go down in the basement, get it and dust it off. Be careful with that though.

My next order of business is a question. How do I slow down the growth of my four year old? Merry, will be five in March. I was helping her put on her socks the other day and I was surprised by the size of my little peanuts feet. Somehow the little pudge of a baby with cheeks strangers could not help but pinch is turning into a long and lean little girl.

This morning at breakfast she explained to me all about elephants and their behaviors. We were discussing getting a baby one as a pet and I mentioned that the animal may have a hard time going from room to room because our doors are to narrow and Merry looked at me like I was crazy.

"Daddy, elephants need to be outside so that they can take dust baths, dust baths keep them cool and keep the bugs away."

David added that we could keep him in the yard, "Our yard is very dusty". Thank you David.

All this from a girl who can not remember what an R looks like for more than five minutes. This is an entirely different topic that Heidi and I have been wondering about. She can remember why an elephant needs a dust bath but she can not remember what an R looks like.

It is not for a lack of trying, her face crinkles up her brow furroughs and she looks up and says she does not remember. Being a member of the computer generation she runs to the fridge, finds an R puts it into the Leap Frog alphabet singer and proclaims, "It's an R, R says Rrrrr, R says Rrrr every letter makes a sound and R says Rrrr" accompanied by a little dance with a pirouette at the end.

Her ability to find the answer makes me proud, her inability to remember what an R is makes me a little anxious. Heidi has lots of similar stories, the details of which I do not remember, but after hearing them I am left wondering about dyslexia. Probably nothing to it, but I still wonder and there is a tinge of concern.

Here is another opportunity for you lurkers to come in and say hello. Help a brother out with a word of advice about pre-schoolers and their letters.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Come on in and say "Hello".

Let me take your coat.

Can I get you a drink? I'll fetch the first after that you are on your own. Here is where you can get a re-fill.

I know you are out there, come in, we are having a good time.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Holy Sunshine

Saturday it was seventy degrees, seventy beautiful degrees. We went to the park in short sleeves. January 6, 2007 was terrific.

Sunday the Patriots played great and sent the Jets home for the winter, rooting for the winning team was terrific.

Woke up this morning ready to jog and it was raining, it was raining hard. I went back to bed. Everybody and their brothers are back from vacation, my commute this morning went from a half hour last week to an hour and fifteen today. As I write this it is still pouring out.

After a weekend in January that felt like May we are back to crappy old winter.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I'll Be

I'll be damned if I can figure out this mp3 player. Technology today frustrates the hell out of me. Mel, in my office, put some songs and albums on the little piece of garbage and for the life of me I can not figure out how to get them off.

I think she put Celine Dione on there to make me crazy, and it is working. There are other songs and artist that need to go as well. I CAN NOT get rid of them. Try as I might.

It is a 1 gig Sansa c200 if anyone out there has ever heard of it and it also holds picture, all of which I want to delete.

Why do I have to be so dense?

How come this does not come easy to me?

It should be as simple to take the songs off, as it is to put them on, and it probably is. I just have not been able to figure it out. As Merry likes to say "I am Soo Frusterated"


Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

2006 for us at the Old Blue House was spent trying to catch up with all of the exciting things that happened in 2005.

In 2007 I will work hard at General Environmental Services, I want the business to continue to provide for all of the families associated with it and I think with proper management and direction 2007 has potential to be big.

I will work at growing the Tutu Boutique and providing Heidi with the support she needs for this on line venture to continue to grow.

I will continue to introduce people to the opportunity of Arbonne, I believe in the business model and feel that with persistence this work will pay large dividends for my family and those who choose to get involved.

My New Years resolution is to attend Mass more regularly. This was my resolution last year and lasted until April. After Easter I went to the beach and painted the Old Blue House. I will try for June or July before I worship at the beach in 2007. I also resolve to continue to jog and work toward those sub 8:00 minute miles.

I hope you have a terrific 2007.

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