Sunday, December 30, 2007
Anna told me that PJ and Sam were fighting over which color piece they got to play in the game.
"... and then I told Sam he could have the green piece, but PJ wanted the green piece also. And then I thought we were okay because there was a dark green piece and a light green piece, but they both wanted the dark green piece."
"So PJ and Sam are fighting about who gets the dark green piece? PJ why don't you just take the light green piece?"
"No! I want the dark green piece." PJ said.
"I want the dark green piece!" Sam said. They started fighting again. I just wanted to leave the room, but they were all looking at me, expecting some kind of solution.
"Okay, PJ, how about I give you a quarter, and then you take the light green piece. Is that okay with everyone?"
"That's good." PJ said.
"No! I want the quarter and the light green piece." Sam said. Sam started to do his little tantrum dance, bouncing around on his toes like a nervous horse.
I thought for a second. Had a heavy sigh. I sigh a lot in situations like this. "OK. PJ you get the light green piece and a quarter, and Sam you get the dark green piece and fifteen cents. Is that fair? Sam?"
"Okay" Sam said.
"That's okay with me." PJ said.
And that was it, I was able to resume my coffee. But I had the last laugh. I never paid them and they forgot about it. Ha!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Anna was nice enough to craft an agenda. Dad was the last one to be ready. First off we went to IHOP, to order, complain about and not eat the food. Well I ate mine. Five minutes after leaving, PJ said "Dad, I'm hungry, can we get something to eat?"
"Why didn't you eat your pancake?"
"I don't like pancakes."
"Why did you order them?"
"I don't know."
Next was shopping for a clock. Do you ever see those angry parents at the mall? I was one of them. Also, as a note to myself, going into a store full of very expensive clocks with your three rambunctious children is a terrible, horribly bad idea. Trust me on this. We ended up getting the clock, though, and proceeded to ye ol' CEC (Chuck E Cheese).
CEC is dead on Christmas eve day, and is possibly one of the least Christmas-ey places around. After that was a movie, and then home. The children had a great time, and dad was a little harried but it worked out for the best and no one got the stomach flue, so I'm pretty happy with the way things worked out.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Loretta - we down in Virginia all wish you well and our praying for you! Hang in there and be strong!
Friday, November 30, 2007
It was true. He played Joseph in the nativity play put on by his preschool class last year, as a three year old. And a year later, as a four year old, he remembered well enough to relate the image of the nativity, Jesus. Mary, and Joseph and the angels, in a little desktop statue to a play done a year earlier. It is amazing how those little minds work.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"What is it!" I yell back, annoyed.
PJ has his hands stuck down into his pajama bottoms. "I found a middle nut!" he tells me.
"WHAT!" This can't be good. I am envisioning a trip to the emergency room, or at least a long, awkward talk.
"I found a middle nut!"
"Come down here and show me what you have."
It is only by the time he has come down the stairs that I determine that he is very excited about the METAL nut he found under his mattress, and is now holding in his hands. I take it from him and put it with my tools, shaking my head as I walk down the stairs to the basement.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
"Trasformers", the recent big budget action movie based on the inexplicably popular robotic toys, is one good example. Its a spectacle of a movie, and the special effects are astonishing. But there are a lot of locker room jokes that give the movie a PG-13 rating. Mostly I think this was a marketing tool to get all the kids who are not quite old enough to get into PG-13 movies more interested. PJ, of course, had already seen the movie at a friends house, ignored all the pottie humor, and spent the two hours explaining to me who all of the autobots and decepticons were. I don't think he even noticed the human actors. He just wanted to see these cool robots change shape. I needn't have worried about Sam either. He just got on the couch, made himself comfortable, and promptly fell asleep.
Later, after the kids got a bath, Kathleen and I were sitting in our bed when one of Kathleen's all time favorite movies of all time came on. Yes, "Pretty Woman." Anna is sitting on the floor doing something, Sam is now asleep in his room, and PJ is flopping around in the bathroom like an oversize carp. I say to Kathleen in a whisper, "Are you sure this is age appropriate?"
Kathleen waves her arm at me. "Its just Pretty Woman, besides, its been edited for TV."
A few minutes later, we get to a scene where there was nothing graphic, but there was very strong implication of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere doing, well, certain things together. "Uhhh, Kathleen, I'm not sure if this is..." I started to say. Kathleen grabbed for the remote control.
"This isn't age appropriate, is it?" Anna said, being helpful. Kathleen switched the channel. "Oh, I had put a towel on my head, but that works, too."
Just then Sam woke up and came down the hall towards us, screaming like a buzz saw. We invited him up into bed with us. He crawled in next to his mom and screamed at her. Anna was next and she got into bed with us, in between Kathleen and I. I went to check on PJ, and found him in the bathroom, with his underwear stuck around his ankles, sitting on the floor and shivering. He had gotten stuck. I helped him put his pajamas on, and then he followed me back into bed.
We sat there for just a few minutes, and I couldn't help but think what a special moment this was. I tried not to dwell on the fact that we were watching a movie about a businessman who falls in love with a hooker. But the kids are getting older, and soon we won't have moments like this anymore.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
So Saturday morning Mom and I took PJ and Sam to his soccer practice. Its a beautiful day, although the fall weather is finally starting to hit us. We get to the soccer field and Sam runs off to join his team, the "the mini strikers." PJ disappears under a tree with his gameboy, huddled up against the glowing screen for warmth. Suddenly the coach is asking for volunteers. I stand up, and he say s to me, "OK, we're just going to do the same as every week, ok? Just take these six kids over to this field and they'll do the rest."
"Like last week?" I am thinking to myself, "you mean when Kathleen took Sam?" So I go over to the field and wing it. Basically, you throw a soccer ball at a bunch of four year olds and they swarm over it, like goldfish after a cheerio. Then they kick the ball around the field until it eventually kick it out of bounds, at which point you tell them, "new ball!" and throw another ball in the field. Then you go chase down the old ball, which by now has rolled down into some gulley somewhere, and repeat the process.
I notice that Sam is over by my mom, standing next to her. He looks upset. I run over there. I am getting a lot of running in today. "Sam, they need you out on the field." I say to him, thinking to myself, "If you are gonna just sit here why am I out there chasing around soccer balls?".
"I don't want to."
"Why don't you want to play, Sam?"
"I'm just not into it?"
What? He's just not into it? "What do you mean, Sam."
"I'm just not into it."
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
PJ missed the tooth faerie last Monday night. We explained to him the next day, "Sometimes, when a boy or girl stays up too late, the tooth faerie won't come in. PJ was very worried, but he happened to ask Anna if this had ever happened to her. "Oh, yeah," Anna said, "the tooth faerie missed me a bunch of times."
"I just left it under my pillow, the tooth faerie usually comes the next day."
"Okay." PJ was very relieved. I also was able to substantiate the fact that we have a very unreliable tooth faerie in this household.
Anna and I go to "High School Musical... on Ice!" tonight. It is somewhat bizarre how modern youngsters have become so enamored with the HSM mythology. I don't get it. Maybe its just that they had never seen or heard of a musical before, and HSM was just jumping up to fill the void. A friend of mine was complaining that his daughter wanted to be Gabriella for
I watched Sam play soccer on Saturday. The kids ran around kicking the soccer ball. It hardly ever went in the goal. Instead, the crowd of 5 year olds jsut swarmed around the ball until someone kicked it off in some random directions, and then the coach would just produce another and throw it into the swarm and tell them to keep playing. The kids had a ball! I don't even think they noticed the score, if there was one.
I have been yelling up a lot lately. Mostly things like. "Put on your shoes, we have to leave." Then, "Please put on your shoes." Then, later still, "PUT ON YOUR SHOES NOW!"
"All right, all right, if you would just ask me nicely I would do it. Why do you have to yell all the time.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Answer: At least eighteen.
Kathleen made the mistake of leaving the tempting treats out on the counter top while she ran some errands this evening. Luckily the chocolate in the cookies wasn't enough to make our voracious moocher of a dog sick.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Now, every morning, every child is responsible for the following:
Getting out of bed.
Getting dressed for school.
Getting on the Bus.
and at bed time each child is responsible for the following:
Getting into pajamas.
Brushing your teeth.
Getting into bed.
Staying in bed.
Each item has a row, and each day has a column, with a new spreadsheet for each child. Sam gets a spreadsheet even though he doesn't go to real school yet, and he is usually the first one awake, trotting into our room at 6AM and saying "GOOD MORNING" as he jumps into bed and starts bugging us. Our own real live action alarm clock.
Every day that a child gets all for morning boxes checked, he gets a quarter in allowance at the end of the week. Likewise, for every four evening boxes you get a quarter. No partial credit. Anna wanted to get 6 cents a box, but I insisted on paying off only a 100% successful morning or evening.
I have noticed a pattern, though, over the past few days. There is a line of X's in the "Get out of Bed" row on Anna's spreadsheet. She doesn't do mornings well. Usually when you try to wake her up she just hisses at you like a cat. Eventually she might say something like "GO AWAY" usually punctuated with a loud, nasal, 'WAHH, before, after, or instead of actual words.
PJ, in a surprise, has been doing morninngs really well. It was a surprise because he is the one who would normally sleep in until 11AM if you let him. But PJ gets a row of X's in the "Stay in bed." PJ seems to be confronted with a great many of difficult questions that only strike him five minutes after bedtime. Questions like, "uh, dad, can I get a drink of water?" (Yes, PJ,. the cup is in the bathroom, same as yesterday.) "uh, dad, can I have a piece of buttered bread?" (no) "could you fluff my pillow" (mostly I do) or he just plays with Sam some impossibly noisy game.
So Anna is addicted to bed and PJ is allergic to it. And Sam is neither.what about Sam? He just causes trouble to make up for it. He twisted PJ's sneakers and thought he broke them this morning. I fixed them and said to Sam, "Yeah! I fixed PJ's shoes! You didn't break them after all."
"Boo daddy!" Sam said, he was mad at me.
"Why boo daddy"
"Because I wanted to break them." Sam said.
"But Sam, you don't want to break things, thats not nice."
"Daddy, the golden rule says that you do unto others as they do to you. PJ was mean to me and so I broke his sneakers." He looks at me like I am being slow, someone too dumb to understand his bullet proof logic.
Kathleen later pointed out to me later that this is actually more of "an eye for an eye" than the golden rule, but at the time I didn't know what to say to him, so instead I just fled the scene and left for work.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
it easy for a change. A week ago I was in Vegas for training, and
then I caught the red-eye flight to Dulles, hopped in my car at 7AM,
and drove out to Bethany beach, going for 36 hours without sleep in
Mike and Loretta and kids were at the beach house, and we all hung out
and went crabbing and went to the beach. Ed and Rita were nice enough
to put up with the lot of us. It was a blast, but after so much
traveling it was nice to get back home.
Summer is almost over! We are anxiously awaiting having two children
in full day school, and to kicking back a little bit. Next up:
Sampson State park for Labor day weekend.
Monday, August 13, 2007
I wanted to give a quick shout out to my cousin Rachael and husband Matt who decided to have a baby boy back on July 28th. Rather than mess around with all those teeny little baby clothes, Rachael decided to have a three month old!
Ryan was 6:52 on 7/28/07. The buckaroo weighed 9 lbs. 9 oz and is 22 inches long. Here's a photo of Ryan with his parents and the grandparents Ron and Nancy. Its about time you two - now welcome to parenthood!
Friday, July 20, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
I wish that I should be able to muster up a fraction of the faith and resolve my friends have shown these past months, should I ever be faced with such difficult circumstances.
Maggie's story can be found on her blog.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
"No, I want them cut up into squares!" Sam says. Clearly, I am doing this all wrong.
"But I cut them into pieces." I say.
"I want them cut into squares."
"Sam, I tell you what. I will write Mom a letter and tell her that I apologize for cutting up Sam's pancakes wrong. Will that be ok?"
"What will it say?"
"What will what say?"
"You want me to tell you what the letter to mom will say?"
"It will say Dear Mom, I am truly sorry for cutting up the pancakes of our beloved youngest child in a way that was not to his liking. Love Dad"
Big pause. "Ok." Sam starts eating his pancakes, finally.
Anna is very stoked up about her Webkins, which is a stuffed animal linked to a virtual Pet that you can nourish and play with and buy things for. Of course this takes points. You can make the points by playing little games. I here her telling a friend, "I just get PJ to play those games for me, he's a lot better at it than I am.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Also, a quick shout out to another cousin Sarah, who has a blog now, at Suarez News
While I am at it, another cousin Ron who has a bunch of cool photos up at Rons Room
And, now I must return to my junk food and video games.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
When I went to pick them up, Sam was gone. He showed up minutes later. I asked him, "Sam! where did you go?"
"I went to our house because I missed mom. But she wasn't there so I came back." This is about 2 blocks away.
"You went home?" I asked. Nothing Sam does should surprise me anymore, but he still manages.
"Uh-huh." He shrugged his shoulders. I talked to him about it for a while.
PJ was enjoying the fact that I was around all weekend. He would frequently come up to me and mumble. "Uh, dad?"
"What are you doing?"
"I am working on our finances for the apartment building. Why?"
"Uh, well, I was wondering if when you were done with working on the finances for the compartment building you could" his voice dropped into low voice that sounded like Eyore "something something."
"You want me to what?"
"I was wondering if you would, " I was listening closely now, "play Oblivion with me." Oblivion is one of my Dungeons and Dragons type games that I usually only let him play when I am there.
"Great!" His eyes light up with a smile. I go back to work. He is just standing there, looking at me, expectantly.
"As soon as I am finished here, OK?"
His voice shifts back into a mumble. "Yeah." PJ shuffles downstairs, but later on we do get to play Oblivion, and it was Awesome!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Sam has been busy lately. He keeps taking things. For one thing, he keeps grabbing the trrackball out of the computer in the front office. This is really annoying. He then hides it somewhere, and forgets where it is. So I can either go looking throughout the entire house for a 1" red ball, or go buy a mouse.
He likes to push buttons. Anytime he wanders into into the computer room, he turns all of the computers off, and starts pushing buttons on the fax/copy/print/scanner until something *interesting* happens, whatever that may be.
He and PJ snuck down to the basement the other day to dneak some ice cream. Sam decided that the dial was too inviting. So he gave it a good twist. All the way from COLD to OFF. Hours later, I walk by the freezer and think to myself, "that's odd, I don't remember that large puddle of melted ice cream being there." That kid can really test your patience.
UPDATE: My wife has reminded me of something I left off. Sam has, twice, over the past few weeks, called 911, including once when the police actually showed up! He likes talking to people on the phone, and its an easy number to remember. Question: does anyone know of some way to have your phone BLOCK calling 911? (just kidding of course).
Friday, April 06, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
"I am king Sam" he declared.
Today, at dinner, Sam was complaining about the potatoes and how he didn't want to eat them. I look at him, half seriously. "Talk to the hand, Sammy" and I held out my hand in front of him, defiantly.
Sam looked at my hand and smiled. "Hello hand" he said, and then he started laughing.
This morning, Sam was mad and said to Kathleen, "Mommy, if you make me mad at you one more time," he paused and took his forefinger and drew it sideways across his neck, making a "phhhhhht" noise.
Monday, March 12, 2007
This is a photo I took from the sunset bar, which is on a beach in St. Martin directly under the airport landing path. Sometimes people hold the chain link fence and they can feel the last of the jet engine against them. For some reason, I felt no earthly desire to attempt this.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
St. Martin is a beautiful island, but it is frequently marred by overdevelopment. Vars are everywhere, and traffic is horrendous. Also, they seem to be building new hotels rather than fixing up the older ones. These complaints mostly apply to the dutch side of the island, and thankfully we are staying on the french side, so we avoid most of the commotion. Ahhh, vacations are blissful. Peace. :^)