Friday, December 31, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The boys' cousins from Demi's brother were a site to see too. The girls gathered around the computer to watch film of Coco's football season. They were actually interested in seeing their little cousin run around in his football gear.
It's not a road trip that the family dreads, that is for sure. We always have a great time with that side of the family. So it doesn't matter that we celebrate before Christmas. It just matters that we are all together.
Friday, December 17, 2010
As I was packing the car for the road trip, Coco woke up and meandered down by me. He seemed to be perking up. And when he asked to play XBox, I figured he was on the mend. But when he went to have breakfast, he said he couldn't swallow. Demi walked in just then and called Dr. Bob. He is the best. He took us right in and did the strep test. When it came back positive, he got a prescription pronto. We got a dose into Coco as we left for NY. While Demi had Coco with Dr. Bob, I was picking up Caz from school. We divided and conquered. Coco was a champ. He never complained once. It took us 7 hours to make the 4 hour trip. He did his best to cover his mouth, wash his hands frequently, and keep to back seat. We let the family know about the strep but they had us come anyway. Crisis averted.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
The adult party is tonight. I am very much looking forward to have a few drinks with friends, getting my swerve on, and dancing up a storm. The band is a local cover band with a college alum in the mix. Coco will be staying with our cousins. Caz is choosing to spend the night in a unique manner - The Great Freeze Out. It's a scout overnight in the town forest. And oh yeah, the last few nights have seem temperatures around 11 degrees. It is supposed to warm up to the low 20's tonight, so it should be tropical. I have to say, I am worried a bit. I put my foot down with Caz. "You dress exactly how I tell you to, or you don't go." This was not a time for negotiation. And it was actually pretty nice this afternoon, especially when the sun was out. But when I go to drop him off there will be about an hour of daylight left. It seems insane to drop off my son to spend the night outdoors in the Town Forest with a handful of adults. But in the end, you have to start letting go a bit and trust that you have done a fair job at parenting thus far.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Hopefully, I will keep learning and improving at being a Dad now that I am in my 40's. I am anticipating some official membership card or something. I have gotten smarter though. I have no plans on asking Demi for this card.......
Sunday, December 5, 2010
On Sunday, I played with Christmas lights oustide in the cold all day. I tried to figure out which lights in the network of lights on the porch, still worked. They had been there for some time, and placed in a unique set up. I am sure at the time i put them there it made sense but clearly the logic escaped me this day. I plugged in the sets to test them and nothing happened. I tried another outlet. Then I realized the outdoor timer was in the mix. Big dummy. It would have been dark the time I figured it out if I hadn't smartened up. Then I get a string where half would light, half would not. Or better yet, one with every third light would be on. I felt like having a Clark freak out session.
Caz helped me with the tree house. I needed to get up a trim board by the roof to finally make it look respectable in the front. What a pain that board was. I needed Caz to get on a ladder and feed it to me. Which he willingly did. The second part of the board made be get creative. I had to use a rope, throw it over the roof and around a tree to hoist it up. Hopefully that is something that will stick with Caz. It's helping like this that a boy learns from his father. How to solve problems. How to do some basic buidling and repair. And yes, how to make mistakes. I am probably lucky I didn't throw the rock with the rope tied to it, through the one glass window on the tree house. I remember the times I worked with my Dad. It wasn't as often as my brother. But I had my times and I do remember. I hope Caz remembers these times.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Caz and I, though, had a really excellent Father/Son day. He was so well behaved. So much so, I okayed a Mountain Dew and Nachos. He got to hang with his buddies at bit. But every good play, he'd turn to me and smile or high five. I just couldn't ask for a better day. I think he sensed it too.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I like to think that I coach using a lot of this. I make a concerted effort to coach to an age appropriate level. Kids learn differently at each age. So as a coach, I need to change each year. The kids get one year older each season. I need to change how I teach every season. I pay very close attention to what is being taught each year, and how the school teachers are teaching it.
It was very interesting from a parent perspective as well. He talked about how parents cheer, and in some cases, actively participate from the sidelines. So parents, not only coaches, should attend this lecture. It really puts youth sports in perspective and could help how youth sports exist today. As a coach, I can tell you, it's ugly. Some parents and coaches really get carried away. Attitudes do need to change.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
On Saturday they braved the cold to move and stack firewood. They raked leaves and dumped them. They did the whole back yard. While not all that big, the gesture was appreciated. They earned some TV/Video game time.
Today, Coco cooked with me. We made Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce with Spaghetti. He did a great job peeling garlic and onions. The he diced the onions, garlic and carrots. He cooked the bacon, put the veggies in the pool to render them, added and reduced the wine, and added the seasonings, tomatoes, and tomato puree. It went into the slow cooker all day. We had a nice family dinner tonight. Salad, bread, and Sunday Sauce. Andre Bocelli was playing in the background. Quite a Rockwell moment.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
We had a bunch of family time too. We played Scattegories during the first half of the Pats game. The game was on without sound, of course. It was really funny. The answers that the boys came up with were great. They are old enough now that they can really play.
Dinner was at my brother's new house. The boys were so well behaved. They didn't complain about getting dressed up. Quite opposite actually. They raced to go put on their new clothes. The brought cards and a few books. They were self contained and self sufficient. Demi and I could not ask for more.
It was really a great day. No indigestion. No bloating. Just a relaxed and calm day. Many more to come...
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Caz is going on a 2 night sleep over camp this weekend with Scouts. Demi and I scrambling (Demi mostly) since we have no information on it. We thought we were in good shape with a backpack, compass, first aid kit, knife, and sleeping bag. We know it's going to be cold, around 24 degrees at night, and the boys have choice of tents or cabins. But other than that, we have no information. After tonight's meeting, Caz's second, Caz started talking about money and mess kits. This was all news to us.
This will be Caz's first time out on his own. We are understandable a bit nervous. We don't know the scout leaders well. It's a lot of trust to ask. But Caz is so fired up for it that we need to move to get this going.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
A) It's football
B) It's a rivalry - Hingham vs. Duxbury
C) Rooting interests on both sides - one of my old high school coaches on one side and one of my Mites assistants on the other
I picked up Caz and his buddy, then the 4 of us went to the movies. This was the first time that going to an animated flick didn't seem like a great idea. I think Caz had a moment of indecision and embarrassment that Dad was bringing him and his junior high buddy to a children's movie. They both briefly looked up at the board and muttered something about Saw 3D. They would have run out of that theatre screaming, the big fakers. In the end, I think they liked the movie - Megamind.
It was a good boys day off.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
We talked to the boys about parting with some of their booty. They offered up a 1/3 to 1/2 to send overseas to the troops. I thought that was a good bargain. Get rid of a lot of the extra sugar for a good cause. It's a good lesson in sacrifice and selflessness. A very small lesson. But it is the baby steps like this that form the foundation of their character.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
This was also Caz's first Halloween going around the neighborhood without adult supervision. He had a new buddy come over and the two of them went around door to door. Caz, the poor kid, started with a mild fever in the AM and we worried that he was going to be sick for the second Halloween in a row. But he rallied and responded to the Tylenol. Coco had their cousin come over. This year Demi got to do the honors, while I manned the door here at Chez Chin. What a happy coincident it was that the Pats were playing at 4 PM game. It's amazing how that works sometimes.
The rounds through the neighborhoods were successful. That included Demi and my cousin too. The moms got to stop at a Halloween party for the grown ups while the kids went around that neighborhood. The candy exchange and inspection afterward was quite the scene with 4 boys. The bartering was almost at the level of the NYSE. Another successful year.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
The team was ready from the first whistle and owned DY today. They really played well in all aspects of the game. Though we practiced the Wildcat in pregame, it was scrapped since it was not going well. We could have just run up the middle the entire game. But we were actually able to pass. We ran outside. And we pulled off our first ever punt. Yep. A punt. Who'd a thunk it? To be honest the play call made me nervous at first. But I guess if you pull it off, then it's a good call, right?
The boys were really excited after the game. I thought they composed themselves well and didn't excessively celebrate. The showed great sportsmanship. I know I was smiling all the way home. It made that long ride very enjoyable. I was just happy that the kids got experience a win after all their hard work. They have really played well and up until today, didn't have a lot to show for it. They deserved a win. I couldn't wait to get home to upload the game to our website for the kids. I even put it on my IPod, so I could watch it on my way to work. Crazy, I know. But can you really blame me?
Saturday, August 28, 2010
What really got me was what happened in the parking lot after. Now keep in mind, for me, this was the place that I learned to really lay a lick on someone. While playing youth football, that was the site of one of my hardest hits. The game was the beginning of the rivalry with Rockland for my friends and me. Coach told us to keep our mouths shut and not to draw any stupid penalties. But they built up the rivalry so much, that I couldn't help myself. After I hit that kids, I had to celebrate a bit. I pumped by fist and just lingered a second to long over him and glared. As I walked away I said, "Take that, turkey." I had watched too much Happy Days and we were way to scared of the coaches to curse. That was the best I had. As the years went, coach told that story to the players that came later. What I said kept amping up and became more colorful in each telling.
This was also the place that we had to wear our helmets on the bus going to this stadium because you never knew when a rock might come through the window. This rivalry went too far. So when Coco and I walked through the parking lot and two Rockland kids smiled and said, "good game." It took me complete by surprise. Coco and I returned the sentiment and I smiled to myself for some time after that. It should be all about the sportsmanship. You should be able to go knock a team around for a game and then shake hands after. Maybe we are doing something right.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
This theme cropped up again just before equipment hand-out. A player new to the team just happened by the shed with his mom, right after I had left. I had just met Demi there with Coco and his friend, Biggie Smalls, to outfit them with equipment. The mom started asking Demi questions about DYF. She communicated that she was nervous about what she had heard about DYF. They had just moved to town and the mom was afraid that her son might not get a fair shake not having been on the team last year. She didn't want him just sitting on the bench. Demi assured her that I didn't run the team like that. If it hadn't been my team, I know Demi might not have said too much and certainly not stumped for DYF. But it was my team and as fate has it, Demi was there to lobby on my behalf. She sold it well. She told the truth. And in the end, this player decided to stay with my team. Thank you dear. I know you always have my back.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
QBert and I had a ball smoking stogies and drinking Dark&Stormies out on the porch. His wife, Norma Rae, was lovely and fit right in the Demi and the gals. We really did talk football and about Caz's team. We mapped out a new defense. We talked up hope for the new season. And we pontificated on the finer points of conditioning, blocking, and tackling. QBert is a former DHS Dragon player too. We played for a lot of the same coaches. I couldn't quite get him to go to the party though. He didn't want to see a lot of the old alums.
The party was a great time. It was a good night, the band rocked, and the tent was set up perfectly. Demi was in a dancing mood, which is a rare occasion. I really enjoy nights like this with her. It's probably melodramatic but I like it when it's the two of us against the world (so to speak). We are not conquering but we are out, having our own fun. We let others in but are not dependent on them. We create and make our own good time.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Even though we give parents a list of things to get, we try to man each station, and many have been through this process before (this is the third time for most of my team), it seems like they are lost lambs. I almost think we need to print a checklist for each parent and player. It seems so strange to see the Mites trying on the gear. They seem so small for it. But once we get practicing, I am sure they will look like legitimate football players.
Monday, August 9, 2010
We all learned a lot too. We heard the legend of William Penn and building skyscrapers in the city. We were told why the statue of Lincoln had a pen in his right hand, while he was left handed, and why he faces South. The statue of George Washington was really on Washington's head placed on the body of another statue. We saw the statue of Rocky Balboa. And as much as we saw, there was still so much we did not see. I guess we will just have to go back.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Today was pretty stressful. It was hot. The boys were overtired. Mom and Dad were cranky and tired. We walked the length of the city. We carried water but there was probably some dehydration going on. The boys were certainly not at their best. I can't put my finger on the whole problem but while we saw quite a bit of the city, it was not a great start to the family vacation. We couldn't see the attractions without the passes. But we still got to see the outskirts of Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the USS New Jersey, the ferry, and took a Haunted Trolley Tour of the city.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
When I hung up my call, I could see it was dark outside. Storm clouds covered the area. After stepping outside, I could hear rumbles of thunder. I knew we had to pack this car quickly. We had a few new items, such as a crate for Gizmo to pack. We were trying to keep up the third row seating but not use a car carrier. We were only going for 4 days but we had 5-6 suitcases, plus a toiletry bag, snack bags, cooler, and gadget bag.
There was a lot of running around, a lot of shouting, and a lot of chaos. It's no wonder we left Demi's purse with the City Passes for Philly behind in the garage (that's a whole different post). We managed to get packed and in the car with no loss of life and just before the heavens opened up. It poured just after we got in the car. Timing is everything.
Monday, August 2, 2010
I know I had so much fun last season helping this team, that I can't wait to help out again. I like that there's no real parent pressure for me there. The kids are a good bunch and willing to learn. It's a coaching environment that I really enjoy.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I quizzed the boys about whether they knew what the significance was. I caught them off guard because they were not on their A game immediately. They started to carry over the Memorial Day discussion. But eventually we moved on to John Hancock and the Founding Fathers. They know tid-bits, like why John Hancock signed his name so large. But I stumped them on the year it was signed. I don't know why 1776 always stood out for me. It seemed like such a natural fact to know. Maybe because I recall the Bicentennial celebration when I was 5. It was a big deal. The boys finally got it after a good game of Higher/Lower. A Price is Right of Guess That Year. Ah well. As long as they get the important bits.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
The gambit really paid off. Caz had a great time and did just fine. He claims to have shot a very low score, but it's sort of like fishing. "I caught one this big but it got away". But hey, his playing. I think I have created a monster.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Like everything else these days, birthday, Arbor day, Truck Day (you have to be a Sox fan to appreciate that) the watching of The Film is not a full blown event. A whole night is dedicated to it. Fathers (or guardians or father figure) and sons meet up at the school, shoot some hoops, complete an ice breaker quiz to generate discussion, watch the film on puberty, have a snack, and then reconvene for question and answers. It was actually very well done.
I have to give the Principal credit, he hosted a difficult forum. The film was still out of date but at least I could relate. There was a cordless phone with a metal, telescoping antenea, a Micheal Jordan poster, acid wash jeans, and a mullet. It was produced by Disney witch caught me eye. Everything seemed to be going fine. The requisite giggling was held to a minimum. It all seemed straight forward, body odor, vioce changes, and hair growth. But then the A bomb dropped. Nocturnal emissions. That is the new lingo for wet dreams. And they called it that too. Of course the 2 questions jotted down on the note cards for the Q&A sessions were about that. The Principal handled that well too. He answered honestly. He started on a tangent but brought it back in.
I had decided early on to make a night of it. I figured that Caz and I had talked, age appropriately about reproduction and sex over the years. But on the ride to the school, I had him read a book I was given as a kid called, "Where did I come from?" I thought the book was pretty well done. I had re-read it and had Demi read it as well. It was cartoon illustrated but gave a good honest account of how babies are made.
On the way home, we talked about it all, puberty and sex. I asked Caz if he had questions. He mostly had questions about the umbilical cord and fetus. But I made sure he had his facts straight. What really got me was when I asked that he understood that just because you can do something, Caz finished my statement "doesn't mean you should." It made me feel like he got it. We talked about going to junior high next year, and how kids can pick on others in the gym. Mostly bullies tried to make themselves feel better because they are nervous or scared about what is physically changing with them. He understood.
Then we got ice cream and called it a night. I call it a success.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Well, it is a start anyway. I took Caz out today for his first ever golf outing. We played The Hill. North Hill. In Duxbury. A quaint little 9 hole course that is harder than it appears. A place that I learned to play on. A place that as kids, we would go sledding down the 3rd hole tee boxes, for the best sledding in town. Kids today, still go there every winter in droves. It is also the place were the guys I hang out with play one (or more) Friday afternoon each month.
Caz played well. He certainly looked that part. He had his brand new golf shorts. He sported his yellow, collared golf shirt. A green visor with the logo of a course in AZ sat on his crown. He first shot was a beauty. So much so, I misjudged his ability to come close to the group in the fairway. The shot ended up a lot closer than I would have liked. His scoring was dubious. But he really played well. He kept pace. He hit some really nice shots. It was a really great, Father/Son afternoon. 2 plus hours of great weather, great sport, and great company.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I thought I was ready to write a recap. But alas, not yet. I am still in my mourning phase.
At least I can talk about the Sox now. And the Celtics. Although the C's last two games just pulled the scab off the Bruins band aid over our hearts.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
There was a really nice surprise in Caz's stack. He wrote a thank you to Demi and me. That's not the norm. We don't insist that he right one to us. Hence the surprise. It was really heartfelt. There was no angle to it. Just genuine affection and gratitude. It's one of those times that you feel like you are doing a good job at this parent thing.
By the way, he got a set of golf clubs for his birthday. He was either fortunate. Or cursed. Time will tell. If he hits like the old man? Cursed.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Coco was dead set on trying out. I was probably more nervous than he was. 29 kids ended up trying out. 24 would be picked. "Please don't let him be on the outside of that ratio." I thought to myself. The hitting part was joke. You got 5 pitches. Not swings or hits. Pitches. The guy took about 5 batters to "warm up" and then fired them in from close range. Noticeably, this was after his son went. Pitching was not a strong point for Coco, but he did get in a couple of strikes. His fielding went well though. He fielded everything clean and made good throws to first.
So now we wait. And I hope. And we will deal with whatever comes.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The hot and cold analogy is certainly applicable. Although there are more days when it seems that Caz's is running cold. I wish I could blame it all on the early school start time. Although that certainly doesn't help. We do battle over bed time. He's a monster getting up early for school. And I admit, it seems wrong for 3rd-5th graders having to get up at 6:30-6:45 AM to catch the bus. Caz and are in the midst of an expirement. He was extended in his lights out time (until 9 PM). If he can get up with out giving Demi a problem in the AM, he can keep it. If not, it ratchets back 15 mins. And we will go for another 2 weeks. He's not tired most of the time at that time but he needs his sleep. And he needs to get up and ready for school.
Maybe he just needs a tall Starbucks first thing in the AM?
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
For first time Moms Stubbles and Bubbles, have a wonderful first Mother's Day. Stubbles has double trouble with twins. Bubbles has my niece, the Bee. And in this trio, I suspect that Demi may have to be rebranded, Troubles. Although she may argue that the other two deserve this distinction.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tonight, the Red Sox are honoring Nomar Garciaparra. #5 gets his moment before the Nation. Very fitting. #5 comes back to Fenway on 5/5. The boys will get a kick out of this. Caz is long over the hurt of The Trade. It was 6 years ago at this point. Being only 5 at the time, the memory has faded. I think the night will spark some memories though. He still has Nomar's picture up on his wall.
The boys did do some ethnic studies in school about the meaning of Cinquo di Mayo. Which is good. They can teach me about it. We didn't cover that in grade school that I can recall. And apparently, you won't be able to study it in AZ either. Not public school kids at any rate.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
He keeps lobbying for a later bed time. And I can't say that I didn't go to bed at his early time, when I was his age. But I didn't have to get up as early either. So we start a two week trial period this week. He gets to stay up until 9 PM. Lights out, immediately at 9. If he gets up without argument and gets ready for school on time, he can keep the later bed time. But if he doesn't, then it ratchets back 15 minutes. If he's still a problem after another week, it goes back another 15 mins.
Let the clock start ticking......
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Coco's RiverBandits opened last night in the rain and cold. Winter ball. Such is baseball in New England.
Coco played catcher for the first time last night. He was one of the few kids that got the message from Coach that players that want to catch, have to wear a cup. Although it's an awkward thing for a young boy at first, there are enough of my football team on the RiverBandits roster to provide Coach with some catchers to choose from. It's funny how the Mom's defer that responsibility to the Dads (which makes sense, leave it to the ones familiar with the equipment). I think a few Dads got chewed out at home after the game last night. Anyway, Coco went 1-2 (single) and applied the tag at second base to throw out a steal attempt. I asked him after the game, before bed, "So. I take it you are liking baseball again?"
The sheepish reply was, "Yes."
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. I probably had zero expectations going in. And I like the Rock. I thought Race to Witch Mountain was a good family flick. While this movie was a typical family movie formula, it was fairly well done. A very nice performance turned in by Billy Crystal. Even though he's a fan of the Evil Empire, he cracks me up. This part was in line with his role in Princess Bride. Some of the slap stick and silliness was really well done too. I am not eagerly anticipating the DVD release but it was a good family trip.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
The floor guys tore up the front hall. There was a couple of holes from water damage. That explains where we might have gotten some furry visitors during he winter. It's better to know and get it fixed, but definitely a cost we were not expecting. Ah well, I knew it had to happen at some point.
This week, instead of demolition, there is some framing and full fledged remodeling going on. That's nice to see.
The family is doing really well. We are adjusting to basement life. Demi has really set up a nice space to cook and have dinner. She had the electrician put in an oven outlet in the workroom. The work crew moved the old stove down stairs. So what does Demi do? She cooks a traditional turkey dinner. I mean of course. Why not? Everyone talked about all the take-out they had when they remodeled their kitchens. The kids can't appreciate how good they have it.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
It's also Coco's 9th birthday. Happy Birthday, little man. He's been a trooper about not being able to have a full blown birthday party. With the house in disarray, it's just not possible. Tomorrow, I am taking Coco and some friends to a movie to at least do something. I get to see the Tooth Fairy. Wish me luck.
Friday, February 19, 2010
The kids are adapting well. You would think that it being school vacation week may have eased them into this, but it may have been more stressful. The kids were home much more during the construction. Too many bodies getting in each others way. It's not like summer where the kids can go out and run around. It wasn't a miserable winter weather week, but it wasn't screaming come out and play either. I think a few sleep-overs helped. At least until the Norwalk virus hit.
Coco got sick right after dinner at our cousins' house. Our cousins were taking pity on us and invited us over for dinner. What do we bring? Germs. A little girl in the daycare got sick hours early. Apparently it was the real deal and Coco caught it. Wonderful. I hope the rest of us avoid it. This may be a logistical challenge with no main floor. Stay tuned.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Demi has really created quite the living space for us in the basement. The guest room/napping room for the daycare, has been replaced with our couch. It will be our TV room for the next 6 weeks. The work room in the small unfinished section of the basement is now our kitchen. Our old refrigerator is down there with a microwave. Demi has set up a small pantry, storage for cutlery, plates and cooking utensils, and a movable eating area. The laundry room has become an extended pantry and storage area. Storage. The attic and garage are maxed out. I don't know that we could get one more item in those places.
Demi is really amazing. She really knows how to set up a home. She thinks several moves ahead, just like Coco does with chess. She plans for their morning routine, after school routine, and night time routine. This will hold us together and get us through this messy time. The kids don't know how good they have it.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
But I digress. I am worried about the impact of this kind of chaos on the family. It's not going to be easy. It is a major disruption in our routines. And our routines have not been going smoothly. Nothing out of the ordinary. I am sure families across the world are dealing with the battles of dinnertime, video games, showers, reading, homework, sports, and the works. On top of being GC for this project, Demi is throwing a baby shower and planning on hosting Easter again. Easter is the deadline for this project to be done. Every contact being used on this project knows that going in.
We are going to be relegated to the basement and the upstairs. The boys are going to have to adjust to limited space and new routines. Patience is going to be more than a virtue.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Coco. When I first say the email for sign ups, I figured I would have
to plan to talk with Caz. He's certainly old enough to choose his own
activities. I don't care what sport he plays, but he needs to do
something active after school. He once did a cross fit training class
for kids. He loved it. If that's what he wants to do, that is fine.
He has a track record of balking about playing anything around sign up
time and then, during the season that sport is his new favorite sport.
There is that fine distinction about forcing kids to play something and
encouraging. I am always careful not to cross that line. I think I
over communicate that fact to the kids. So when Coco said, "yes, I want
to play" in under 2 seconds after asking him, I moved on to Caz.
I signed up both the kids for an indoor pitching clinic. Let's face it.
In NE, you have to be indoors this time of year. I thought an hour
every Saturday was low key, but still helpful to get the boys ready for
the season. Caz needs help with his control. Coco will be eligible to
pitch for the first time. I didn't grow up playing baseball, so I can't
help them much there. Time for the professionals. After the first
session, Caz was already saying "I might play baseball this season."
All seemed well....until...:
Coco - "I don't want to play baseball this year."
I was stunned. I wanted to know what was wrong. "Are you scared about
kids pitching this year?" " Are you afraid of getting hit?"
Coco - "No, I just don't like it anymore"
This is the same kid that copies the batting stance of every Red Sox
starter. He reads the paper for the standings and statistics. He
watches every pitch of every game he can watch. He is the only kid of
20, on the beach next to the radio, listening to the Sox game. The
other kids will be running around, doing what other kids do at the
beach. I couldn't fathom him not liking baseball anymore. So I had the
same talk with Coco, that I did with Caz. You don't have to play
baseball. Lax? Soccer? You need to pick an activity.
More to come but not the start to the season I was expecting
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
hope it won't be six more weeks of winter. It's time for spring. We
are due for an early spring in New England. I can never get that Bill
Murray movie out of my head. What if I had to live the same day, over
and over? Could I at least choose the day?
Monday, February 1, 2010
now that the Super Bowl ends up being played in February all that is
change. None the less, you wouldn't think that it also meant 6 more
weeks of arguing over youth football. Everyone also says "it's all
about the kids", but I find that most are just saying the words. All of
a sudden there is a coach controversy with my team. Apparently there is
"a group" of families looking to switch leagues if I a head coach again.
No one will say it out loud, but there are a few who think I should have
putting winning (for 8 year olds) ahead of teaching all the kids to play
the game. It's not like going "o"-fer didn't cause me sleepless night.
But it was more so the kids could feel good about themselves. Quite
frankly, it was all I could do to make the kids competitive. These are
not excuses. These are facts. I had 28 kids to play in every game. Is
there one kid that should not step on the field to play? I had coaches
that could not be at every proactive, with one that showed up when he
felt like it. There was no call to say, "hey, I can't make it today".
Coincidentally, it's the same guy that said he all this free time this
season to help. I had kids that didn't make it to every practice. I
had kids that play hockey or soccer before games. There were practices
that I ended up with 1/2 the kids and one other coach. Every team we
played had a dedicated JV team. We were not allowed to create an
official JV team.
Now that there is one unrealistic parent that thinks her boy is
"special" and should get the ball all the time, there's a problem? You
have got to be kidding me. Everyone I talk to points fingers somewhere
else. This "group" goes from 10 to 3 families depending on who you talk
to. Apparently, me coaching my oldest son in another league is
problematic too. So again....it's all about the kids. But heaven
forbid kids migrate to another league or I coach in two leagues. I have
spent way to much time worry about who might defect, rather than on the
kids I do have playing. Isn't coaching you family, no matter where they
play, showing that it's really all about the kids? I just don't get it.
And it's not like anyone will say anything directly, it's all second
hand at best. Grown ups acting like kids. If it wasn't for the kids,
there would be no reason to put up with it.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Coco has now decided that he likes the clinic but doesn't want to play baseball this spring. Caz loves the clinic and now wants to play baseball this spring. Go figure. I am glad that Caz kept with his pattern of denial and then acceptance/desire. I can't quite peg Coco on this one though. Something has to be up. It's out of character for him. He loves to play, talk, and/or watch sports, all the time. He loves stats associated with sports. He loves movies about sports. He loves books about sports. I think maybe he is nervous about his first year in kids pitch. He made an offhand remark about getting nailed by a pitch a few months ago. It's not much, but it's all I have to go on now.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I am sure it was something else in 3D. But if you go to see Avatar and
have never seen the movie Ferngully, go rent it. It's an animated movie
with the main character voiced by Christian Slater (before celebrity
voice's were all the rage) called Ferngully - The Last Rainforest.
Avatar will take on a whole new perspective after that.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Plantation. I had not been there in decades. I figured I would be one
of 7 or 8 adults, as I was when I volunteered to call Bingo during their
class holiday party a few weeks ago. No such luck. A limit of 2
chaperons per class was capped by the Plantation. 44 kids (2 third
grade classes) and 6 adults. I started worrying the minute I left the
classroom to board the bus. But all that worrying was for naught. The
kids were terrific. Not only were they well behaved, they were very
engaged. They were spouting facts about Plymouth colony, period attire,
John Alden and Governor Bradford faster than Usain Bolt. They really
knew there stuff. This of course was to the delight of their teacher.
And those teachers should be proud of the job they did. It was great to
see and be a part of.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
days of Hugh Millen and Tony Eason. It would have been nice if the team
showed some heart. It's one thing to get out played. It's another to
not care. The only players that seemed to be care were Kevin Faulk and
Julian Edelman. Leadership will be questioned after this one. And
Sunday, January 3, 2010
on his terms, but alas, was a victim of the times. "What have you done
for me lately?". It was appropriate that Chief Osceola let Bobby throw
the burning spear into the mid field logo. Fortunately the Noles
decided to show up and rally to let Bobby exit with a W. Having the
ex-Noles on the sidelines was a nice touch. It was great seeing Bobby
hug Neon Deion and Warrick Dunn at the end. Where was Weinke?
It was great to share this with the boys. They were really into it. I am
sure they understood all of it. I believe they got the important piece
Saturday, January 2, 2010
For Coco, Demi and I put together a box for the Little Chef full of cooking related items. Since Coco has really taken an interest in cooking, we really wanted to be supportive of that passion. It also didn't hurt that Coco requested an apron that was monogrammed with "Little Chef" on it. I actually found a real chef's coat. It's not monogrammed yet, but it really was perfect. We included a cook book by his idol, Bobby Flay. There was a journal that he can bring to restaurants and record his meals, including writing his own review. The got a recipe card holder, with note cards and some recipes already supplied. He has a few of his own cooking tools now. He really got a kick out of it. And it didn't hurt that he wanted to put his new gear to work on Christmas to help make chocolate bread pudding. He also made chili for the Rose Bowl. We all win there.
For Caz, Santa brought him a new bike. I recall growing up that having a Mongoose BMX bike was the gold standard for kids. That is why I really got a boost out of browsing the web for his bike and seeing Mongoose still out there. Then I kept seeing them on sites for Target, WalMart, and such. I started to wonder if Mongoose had become the Huffy of this generation. Caz really only had a couple of criteria for his "grown up" bike. The bike had to be bigger than his last bike and it had to have gears. Gears was the big draw. He really couldn't tell me why, but gears were the deal breaker. He loved seeing that bike in front of the Christmas tree that morning.
I would call these a great success. But then I would be remiss in not adding that I got Demi a new cell phone. Sort of like the gears, Internet access was the deal breaker. Texting was just gravy. Of course she uses the texting now, more than the Internet. But that is besides the point. She was happy.
Friday, January 1, 2010
The conclusion of Bowl season - I will still complain about the ruination of the whole Bowl system. 6-6 teams, including my beloved FSU, should not be in a Bowl. Period. There are too many bowls and it is way to spread out now. New Years Day is a farce now. Hey, I haven't played in a bowl this year. Where's my bowl?
"Looking forward to" is not quite right. But nothing short of complete Armageddon is going to keep me from watching Bobby Bowden's last game coaching FSU. I have never known a FSU team without him in my lifetime. His era may not be ending as he had hoped, however he deserves all the accolades being bestowed at this time.
Patriots play-off run - Here's to hoping we start the new decade in grand fashion
Spring Training - The Sox offseason has been interesting so far. Nothing to really get excited about over all. While it was a big deal to sign Lackey, losing Bay negates that. So we will have to see what the promise of Spring Training will bring the Nation. There will be drama to be sure.
Celtic Pride - Here's hoping 'Sheed will not disgrace the green and white, and take a page out of the Patriot book like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss.
Stanley Cup - The B's are struggling. Sure we set the bar high after last year. However, the B's have the potential to live up to expectations.
A new kitchen......and bathroom....and front hall...and floor in the Den.....and so on and so on and so on. I do look forward to the renovations being complete. I am very much looking forward to cook on a new gas stove. Bring on the wok, baby.
For Coco -Will the Little Chef get a shot at a Throwdown with Bobby Flay? Chili cook off?
For Caz - Will this budding artist get his first gallery showing? He's really showing some skill.
For Demi - Will this prettiest woman in the world run another half marathon? Will she challenge Jack Bauer to a Tae Bo Boxing match?
For Chinny - Will the stubborn Coach finally deal with his bum knee?