Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Married Life & The Single Life

Most of my friends haven’t realized the beauty of The Married Life. Or maybe ten years ago I didn’t realize the beauty of The Single Life. Anyway, I sometimes re-live The Single Life vicariously through them. Don’t get me wrong; I do go out a few times a month, but nothing like back in the days during The Single Life.

This past Saturday was different. I stepped back into The Single Life, if only for one night. I decided to call Mark, a buddy since I can remember, and see what he had planned on doing for the night. He told me he was meeting another buddy of ours around 10:00pm at the same nightclub we all used to hang out in. That was a problem. I forgot that when you live The Single Life you don’t have to get up before 7:00am and you don't go out until 10:00pm. When you live The Married Life, at 10:00pm, you are deciding if you are going to have to tape the show you want to watch or force yourself to stay awake. So I hung around the house until then, kissing Mrs. Joe goodbye, (she lost the battle to stay awake), and out I went.

As a whole, the night was just the way it had been back in days of The Single Life. The $5 cover I paid to get in the club was the first cover I’ve paid in I don’t know how long. The girls were the same. Half drunk, half dressed, but now half my age. The band was typical, played everything from Matchbox 20 to Metallica. The rule always seemed to be to play whatever got the girls dancing and this night was no different. By the end of the night, I began to feel like someone who had been up since 6:00am, because, mind you, my evening in The Single Life began as a morning in The Married Life. So once I heard the last call for alcohol, I knew this night had come to an end. I said goodbye to my friends, who were living up to their Single Life status (trying to score with the now fully drunk girls who were half their age) and set out for home.

I got home by 2:00am, (can’t tell you the last time I could say that), ate something in an attempted prevention of a hangover (didn’t work), and went upstairs to bed. There, in bed I found my darling daughter, next to my wife, with a fever of a million degrees. So I quietly stepped out, went back downstairs and found the couch. I lay down and prayed because I knew the morning was coming and I was back in The Married Life.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Is My Long Term Memory In There Too?

Seeing we both had today off from work we decided to tackle some chores that you can not usually do alone. This way, one of could make sure the children were not eating any crayons or standing on the dining room table trying to turn on the ceiling fan while the other got something accomplished. Mrs. Joe decided that she would clean out our bedroom closet. Mind you, her share of the closet is 80% of the hangars and all of the floor space, so it's really hers. I just got a few pairs of pants and a few shirts for work.

As I previously I wrote about Mrs. Joes' weight loss, she's got a lot of clothes she's not going to fit in anymore so I figured she was going to be tossing a lot of clothes. Approximately one hour later, I checked on her and there are clothes scattered on our bed that I haven't seen in years. So I asked her if these were the donation pile.

"No, "I'm saving those."

"Why? You haven't worn some of this stuff in years."

"Something may come up"

"Really. How old is this stuff"

"Not too old."

Holding up a skirt that I vaguely remember, "What about this? When was the last time you wore this?"

"My girlfriend's, mothers birthday party."

"O.K." (Sorry, I don't remember which girlfriends, mothers, birthday party she mentioned, but she definitely knew.)

Holding up a pair of pants that I know I don't remember, "What about these? When was the last time you wore these?"

"You know the last time I wore those"

"Uh, no"

"Your company Christmas Party 3 years ago. You said my ass never looked better."

"I did?"

"Go back down stairs and keep an eye on the kids."


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Obviously, Our Gov't Didn't Ask Us To Plan Iraq

Mrs. Joe spent some time last night planning our Thanksgiving morning. See, we have been going to her father's house in New Hampshire since before The Champ was born and we have yet to get there on time. Not once, never. Knowing this, Mrs. Joe's step-mother, when asked what she would like us to bring, tells us to bring a veggie platter. Mrs. Joe thinks she requests a veggie platter on purpose, knowing it is put out early and knowing we are always late. You women sure do play mind games with one another. Anyway, we planned it out this way:

6:00am: The Peanut will wake up screaming for a bottle ending up in bed with us.

6:05:am: The Champ will wake up complaining about The Peanut ending up in bed with us.

6:15am: Mrs. Joe will kick me until I am awake and tell me it's time to get up, screaming " We WILL NOT be late again this year."

7:30am: Mrs. Joe will make breakfast. Hopefully, something the kids want to eat. If the food ends up on the floor the plan is busted.

9:00am: Mrs. Joe will shower first, then myself and if the kids are still wearing any of their breakfast, them as well.

10:00am: Entire family is to now have begun the process of getting dressed. Hopefully the "Thanksgiving Outfits" Mrs. Joe has selected are ironed. If not, plan busted.

11:00am: Departure Time. Entire family is to be loaded into car so we can be leave N.H. If the requested veggie platter is left behind on the kitchen table after Mrs. Joe told me to load it in the car, plan busted.

12:00 noon. Arrival at Father-in-Laws house. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Let's see if we can follow this schedule so my wife will not have to complain the entire ride home about not making it there in time. Wish us luck.

And to everyone, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Maybe Some Fuzzy Slippers, Too

This weekend I asked Mrs. Joe what she wanted for Christmas. I am not going to be the clueless dolt not knowing what in the world my wife wants for Christmas. I mean, men have the whole year to pick up on the hints you women give us but yet we develope amnesia when this time of year rolls around. We walk around the mall with this glazed look in our eyes, thinking maybe she wants some perfume, or a waffle maker, or a stair climber. "She says she wants to loose some weight, didn't she?" Then we all end up at the Ruby Tuesday's watching the game with nothing to show for it.
Anyway, without putting down whichever of the 15 or so Children/Parenting magazines we subscribe to, she replies:

"I don't know, maybe a bathrobe."

"A bathrobe?"

"Yeah, a bathrobe would be nice."

I ended the conversation there, because what I was thinking was how has our marriage come to this? Getting my wife a bathrobe for Christmas? C'mon, you get your mother a bathrobe, not your wife. Unless, of course, this bathrobe comes from Victoria's Secret and has a matching see thru teddy with a snap crotch and... never mind. It's a safe bet that wasn't the type of bathrobe she was talking about. So I will be keeping an eye out for the hints because I assume she wants something else. But if it's a bathrobe she wants, a bathrobe she'll get.

I'll probably wait and go and get it on Christmas Eve, too.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Who Needs Hooked On Phonics?

One thing Mrs. Joe and I have learned about raising our kids is maintaining a daily routine. When Peanut and The Champ know what's next, cooperation is usually given. One routine practiced nightly is watching a little t.v. before bed. We found that some television, not Spongebob or any other visual cocaine like that, tends to slow them down and makes bedtime a little easier. Lately, The Champ wants to watch Wheel of Fortune. He is getting pretty interested, to the point he now can read a word or two. Granted "the" & "and" won't get him on ESPN any time soon for the Scripp's Spelling Bee, but I figure who needs Hooked On Phonics when I got Pat and Vanna helping teach my kid the difference between consonants and vowels?


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

As Easy As Sliced Bread

Mrs. Joe just may be one of the coolest moms in The Champ's pre-K class. Today as she picked him up, another mom asked her how she made our son's sandwiches. Apparently her son told her his sandwiches were not cool looking like our son's. The secret, Mrs. Joe told her, was she simply cut the sandwich into triangles, not just in half.

The best part of the story was realizing how the simple things, which can be easily overlooked and rarely rewarded, can score big points with your kids.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Rock, Hardplace, meet Joe

Mrs. Joe & I went out to dinner last night. We had a wonderful dinner but the conversation went down a path most men fear. See, Mrs. Joe started talking about Kirstie Alley's appearance on Oprah this past Monday. Mrs. Joe got pissed when she watched Kirstie Alley claim she's down to 155 pounds. She said she lost 75 pounds after hitting the 220 pound mark. Reference: Mrs. Joe has been doing pilates once a week for the last year and has said she's lost 30 pounds. To me, Mrs. Joe hasn't looked this good in ten years but I have no idea what her actual weight is and you are out of you mind if you think I am ever going to ask. So after telling her I watched the video of her coming out in that bikini, (a few of us joes at work heard about it and went to YouTube for the video earlier this week), I knew where she was going and I knew I wasn't going to like it:

"There is no way she is 155 pounds in that bikini on Oprah! That is less than I weigh,"

"She must be short."

"She was a model or something, she's at least my height."

"I don't know, dear."

"Honestly, do my thighs look like that? Because I can't believe her thighs look like that and she's 155 pounds."

"No hon, your thighs do not look like that."

"No seriously, she can't be 155 pounds with thighs like that!"

"Hon, she had heels on."

"How can she weigh 155 pounds with thighs like that."

"I don't know dear."

"I know my legs are not that big so how can she say she's at 155 pounds?"

"Er, um, Hon your legs look good."

"She must be lying."

"Yes dear, she's lying."


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Go Play, Unless You Don't Know How

Recently, Mrs. Joe and I met with our son's teacher for a parent/teacher conference. The Champ has just started pre-K so the meeting wasn't so much hearing that he may need help in math but that he is not biting any of the other kids. His teacher said he was a good kid, polite, he gets along well with others, all that positive stuff. As she said this, a feeling of accomplishment came over me. I was thinking that all the things we have been drilling into his head were actually working.

She brought me back though with one line. "...And he knows how to play." I thought to myself "no shit, he's 5, he plays all day, that's his job." She said that more and more kids today come to her class without the ability to use their imagination to entertain themselves. She added that a big reason was too much T.V. "They don't have to work their brain when they're watching T.V. and it affects their ability to use their imagination when they are away from it" Mrs. Joe and I knew early on that our kid's television time would be limited. Having this additional information reinforces that.

So Champ, play on! I don't want you to forget how. And for us, I'm sure this feeling of accomplishment won't soon be forgotten.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Am I Ready For Some Football?

I took today off from work. I am lucky enough to have a friend with Patriots season's tickets and I was able to go to last nights game against the Colts. I knew I would not get home early so I burned a vacation day with the intent on getting some work done around the house once I finally woke up. The Champ came home from school and wanted to go outside and play ball. For the first time, he said he wanted to play some football. Well hell, I thought, football it is then. We threw a nerf around for a bit then he said "Dad, can we play a game?" And he proceeded to make up the rules as we went along. "Its the Patriots against the Bears, dad". "No, dad, you go here.", "that's not right, dad, like this." It was beautiful. And like anything. He was giving 100%. Jumping, diving to the ground, everything. He would even try to tackle me, wrapping himself around my ankles, not letting go to save his life. Just like the way I was as a kid. Too bad I could count on one hand the number of times my dad would get off the couch and come outside with me. Unfortunately for me though, after a half hour of being tackled I was beat. I didn't realize how hard it was to fall to the ground without getting you or your 5 year old hurt. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. Times like this I wonder how my parents chose to do so little with me when I was this age. But I'll pass on those thoughts. For tomorrow is coming and I will probably be requested to play some more football.

And I can't wait.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Yard Work Incentives

Saturdays, Mrs. Joe is at work for 7-8 hours so it is my day alone with Champ and the Peanut. The weather was nice so we went outside. Champ and I threw the baseball around a little while the Peanut played on the jungle gym. After getting bored with that they started playing in the leaves. I ended up raking up a good size pile for them to jump into. I then realized how valuable they can be at times. Along with the enjoyment of watching the have fun, I actually got some yard work done. It is a little early for raking seeing half the leaves are still on the trees but it felt good to get a little done and have some fun with them as well.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Try, Try, Again

Sitting down, enjoying a Sam Adams Octoberfest after playing some online poker, I think I've decided to give this blogger thing another try. I have been reading a handful of other blogs lately and I figure I can add a little something different.

We'll see.