Thursday, June 28, 2007

Where Did I Put My Ray-Bans?

I leave for Cape Cod later today. Mrs. Joe left yesterday with Peanut & The Champ. The kids have been all hyped up and ready to go for some time now. It should be a great vacation. Nothing beats a week at the beach.

Some of you mentioned the traffic nightmares I could look forward to. Well, we are very lucky in that regard and can get on and off the Cape during the week instead of the weekend. See, Mrs. Joe’s mother and stepfather own a house out there and we go and stay with them.

Sarcastically, I tell people I married into money.

I also will be celebrating my 37th birthday next week. Similar to Tom Cruise, although he only acted like someone born on the Fourth of July, I actually was. Yes, me, Calvin Coolidge and Koko the sign language gorilla all celebrate the same birthday.

Even though the in-laws have internet access, I would rather not have my blogging outed. So I will not be posting until I come home on Sunday the 8th. That’s when my other vacation starts. Mrs. Joe and the kids are staying with her mom for the following week. It will be a time that Tom Cruise & I share something else in common:

Rebecca, the door will be open.

I hope you all have a good 4th.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Scents, Sights & Sounds Of Summer

Remember the last day you felt you accomplished everything you wanted?

Mrs. Joe had to work from 7 to 6 today, so I had Peanut & The Champ all to myself. The weather here has been fantastic. I knew we would spend most of it outside so I had to go get the sunblock and take full advantage.

Let me stop here and note that the smell of sunblock on anybody under the age of 5 is the greatest smell of anything summer.

I fed them breakfast (munchkins from Dunkin Donuts, no effort required) and we were out the door by 9:00. The Champ has been going to a T-ball instructional program at the park for the last few Saturdays and today was the last day.

Yeah, I hear you.

"Instructional T-ball? When I was a kid..."

This is all my fair city offers 5 year olds. He can't play anything structured until next year. He loves it but he's a little bored. We are outside 3-4 times a week in the back yard playing ball and he has a blast. And I PITCH him the ball. No friggin' tee here.

Anyway, I had to entertain Peanut while The Champ was playing 2nd base. He wasn't really playing 2nd base as much as he was standing near 2nd base trying to dig a hole to China with his cleats. (I said he was bored.) I remembered to bring a bottle of bubbles and ended up keeping her, along with 3 other kids occupied for most of the time. After T-ball we came home, had some lunch (PB & fluff sandwiches, some effort required) and put Peanut down for a nap.

Once she woke up I figured we would wash my car. It hasn't been washed yet this year. (Where's the high school cheerleader car wash when you need it?) We all ended up getting pretty wet and although it wasn't the best wash, watching the two of them with the hose was the most fun I've ever had washing a car.

We had some dinner (chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese, GASP, I had to use appliances) and were back outside for some more baseball with The Champ while Peanut played in her jungle gym. Mrs. Joe came home and we gave the kids a bath, read them some stories and put them to bed.

Sitting here with a beer in my hand, basking in my accomplishments of today and feeling summer has begun, I look towards the end of next week. We go on vacation to Cape Cod every year for the 4th of July and I am now realizing I am so-not-at-all-ready to go.

So goes that feeling of accomplishment.

Well maybe I'll start to worry after this beer.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm Going To Need A Little Help Picking Out A Shirt That Matches

I figured I would share the Father's Day gifts Peanut & The Champ made for me.

The first one is from The Champ.

A nice wide tie with a bold red color. It looks like a design Jerry Garcia might have liked. He stayed in the lines pretty good, too.

Here is the tie Peanut gave me.

A softer tone with nice colors. Definitely from a lady. Here is the text.

Now what dad can say they do not want a tie for Father's Day?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Brood In The Hood

I hope all the dads out there had a good Father’s Day. Mine was nice. I received some homemade gifts from the kids as well as two shirts from Mrs. Joe. The one thing I asked for and received was a few hours to myself. No, not to sit in front of the TV, although that would've been nice. I wanted to get outside and clean up the yard. I enjoy being outside on a beautiful day and the lawn needed to be mowed. Usually, Peanut and The Champ are “helping” me do the yard work which means it takes me twice as long to do anything. I've learned as a parent, you never can focus on one task at a time. You need to be able to work on what you have in front of you as well as watch/teach/aide/control the young ones who are running though your legs. So thankfully, Mrs. Joe was accommodating to my one request and kept the kids busy so I could get outside for awhile.

I was able to mow the lawn without worrying if anybody was going to be sucked into the lawnmower as they followed me around. I got to clean the flower beds a little without needing to explain the difference between a flower and a weed. I was accomplishing a bunch and feeling pretty good. I then went to tackle the forsythia bushes. They grew out of control this spring and were in definite need of a trim.

As I was about half done, a bird flew out of the bushes and scared the shit out me. What happened then was amazing. All these little chirps started coming from the bush, right where I was just cutting. I pushed the branches aside and this is what I saw:

Three baby robins sitting in a nest not five feet off the ground. Seems I scared the adult in the nest enough to take flight, almost into my forehead. I couldn't have been 6 inches away from the nest with the trimmers.

I finished trimming the bushes ever so gently and cleaned up the area. I went and got a few slices of bread, tore them into pieces and left them in the grass below. I then brought out the kids & Mrs. Joe to show them the babies and to tell them to be careful around the bush.

Stumbling onto that nest of chicks was confirmation that you can only escape from you duties as a father for so long before something like a child’s cry, or in this case a robin’s chirp, brings you back.

Meanwhile, it looks like I have three more little ones to keep an eye on when I am outside in the yard.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Young (Wo)Man, Young (Wo)Man, Put Your Pride On The Shelf

I have mentioned before that Mrs. Joe has been going to Pilates classes at the local YMCA since Peanut was born. She is pretty happy with the results so far except for what Oh, The Joys, calls her sharpei. She goes with a friend from work and they usually go out for a drink or to the mall afterwards. I like it because it allows me some alone time with the TV after I put the kids to sleep.

They initially became members of the Y with a buy 1 membership, get 1 free deal that was being offered. They split the cost of the 1 membership so it was a pretty good deal. Recently their memberships came up for renewal so they inquired about the cost and if there were any special offers available. They were told that there were none so they would have to pay the cost of 2 memberships. They weren’t too sure what to do. They both were only using the Y for the Pilates class and the cost of 2 memberships for just that class was pretty steep to them.

The girl at the desk offered them a solution.

“You could join together…”

“…as a couple.”

Yeah, that kind of couple. This is Massachusetts, after all.

So as to never pass up a good deal, Mrs. Joe, along with her friend, rejoined the Y with a family membership. When she told me what they did, I laughed. Big deal, I thought. With a family membership, the kids can take swim lessons or use the gym, too.

With it saving us $100 bucks, I don’t care if the Y thinks the two of them are gay.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!


Monday, June 11, 2007

Suffers From Selective Deafness

Saturday, Peanut & The Champ made a fort in the living room out of the cushions from the couch & chair. Although that kept them entertained for a while, they became bored of their fort and the trouble began. The Champ started jumping from the couch onto the cushions and Peanut wasn’t far behind.

“Champ, please do not jump off the couch. Your sister will follow you and get hurt. ”

No response and the jumping continued.

“Champ, please stop jumping off the couch.”


“Champ, did you hear me?”

“I can’t hear you, I’m having too much fun!”

At least he was honest.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'd Rather Say Goodbye To The Trees & Leaves

Peanut awoke this morning very early. Mrs. Joe went and got her and flopped her into our bed with us. Usually she will fall back to sleep for awhile, but not this morning. Once we realized she wasn't going back to sleep, I went for the remote, hoping Noggin would keep her occupied for a little while longer.

Did I mention what time Peanut started her day? Try 5:45 am. Do you know what time Noggin starts their day? 6:00 am. That was a long 15 minutes for everybody. Once 6:00 am hit though, there he was, my saviour, Moose A. Moose singing the opening song;

"It's going to be a fantastic day..." Well, so far it couldn't have gotten much worse.

"...everybody shout hooray!" UGH!

"I'm using my noggin today." Not without some coffee.

I have decided it's much more enjoyable to listen to Moose sing the closing song at 6:00 pm, when Noggin goes off the air and it's time to start getting everybody ready for bed.

"It was a fun day, but now it's a done day."


Saturday, June 02, 2007

What Could He Do, Raise My Taxes?

Spring soccer is in full swing and The Champ is having fun and doing well. I guess as much fun as one can have considering you are not supposed to keep score. Tell that to a 5 year old as he runs up the field screaming to me after scoring his second goal of the game.

“Dad, that’s 4-0 us!!”

“No Champ, we don’t keep score. We are here to learn.”

I understand this is just an instructional league for the kids but to see the look on his face after my reply was disheartening.

Also, with 4 & 5 year olds the attention spans are obviously short. Waiting in a line while the coach teaches another player is agonizing to them. Some kids handle the waiting better than others. “Joey”, for example, is having a very difficult time remembering how to behave. More than once the coach has asked “Joey” to listen, stand still, keep his hands to himself, etc. without much success. Of course, the other kids eventually join in on the misbehaving, turning a simple passing drill into mayhem. I wondered if I should say something but I kept my mouth shut. Let the coach handle it, I told myself.

Smart move, I learn.

After a recent practice, while expressing my concern for little “Joey’s” inability to listen, another dad filled me in.

“Well you know who “Joey’s” dad is right?”

“No.” Why should that matter, I thought.

Turns out “Joey’s” dad is my state representative.

Looks like The Champ is going to learn another lesson.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.