Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Demi

Demi has to celebrate her birthday during the construction as well. Definitely a good reason to go out to eat. Happy Birthday, honey.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week 2 Demolition - Happy 9th Coco

Well at the end of week two the entire main floor is a construction area. Lumber, tools, debris, and trash are everywhere. The kitchen and dining room are gutted. The driveway is cluttered with a trailer, dumpster, and trash.
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

Week One - Demolition

The kitchen is bare. You can see studs in the dining room. The carpet is gone in the den. The moulding is down in the living room. The refrigerator is in the front hall.
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

Tearing Down the Wall

It's amazing how much damage can be inflicted in one day. We knew this was coming. But two guys can really change a house in one working day. The kitchen is now a disaster area. There's no going back.
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

Let The Wild Rumpus Begin

The kitchen renovations start tomorrow. I say kitchen, but really, it is the whole main floor. The project has spilled into every nook and cranny of the main level of the house. There was a certain amount of sprawl built in initially. We knew the wall between the kitchen and dining room was coming down. But after that? Talk about your snowball effect. We knew that codes, materials, and processes had changed since the house was completed in the early 1970's. Therefore, there was no surprise that one minor issue could impact quite a bit.
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

Spring Training, Anyone?

I would never have imagined it, but I have a dilemma with baseball and
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

Ground Hog Day 2010

Darn that Puxatany Phil. I think the whole thing is rigged. I really
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

Super Bowl Month

You normally wouldn't think of February as a big football month. But
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'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.