Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve 2010

For the record, Dad and Coco made it up until mid night. Demi woke up with 5 minutes to spare. But she had hunkered down for a nap with Caz on the couch around 10 PM. It's great that the boys are self sufficient and old enough to take care of themselves at these events. Our friends and family are just starting out with parenthood and their kids were long in bed by midnight (as they should being so young). The boys were very well behaved. Coco watched football all night. Caz watched a movie. But we got to spend some time eating and talking before the naps. I think spending the holidays with friends like this will help them as they grow older. Maybe they will see the importance of being with loved ones during these special times. At least I hope so.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

I really enjoy the family time spent together on Christmas Eve. While I enjoy seeing my extended family, I really like it the most when it is the 4 of us, Demi, Caz, Coco, and me. We had a great time at a neighborhood party. But it was when we got home that I like the most. The boys exchanged presents as is the family tradition. They had each put a lot of though and effort into it. Coco got Caz a watch that he knew Caz had been eyeing. Caz got Coco a Tom Brady Fathead for his wall that he knew Coco would dig. They each got their Christmas pajamas from Demi. Then we settled in and read Twas the Night before Christmas like we usually go. This year I tried to add a new wrinkle. I had read Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales as a 5th grade class assignment. It stuck with me all these years later. I thought that the boys might enjoy it too. However, it was a bit longer than I remembered. The boys indulged me for a while, but I did cut it short. Best part of the night for me though. I hope it was for them.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas In NY 2010

The boys have such a great time with their cousins. They really enjoy being around them. They are the youngest of the bunch. But now the oldest cousin has a small boy belonging to his fiancee, who has been added to the holiday mix. My boys enjoy playing with him and pal-ing around. They played Foosball and bumper pool with him. They opened presents with him. It was a nice site to see. It's what the family holidays are all about.
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

Road Trip Detour

This year's annual pilgrimage to the Island for XMas with Demi's side of the family could have really been a disaster. Actually, it was close to being over before it began. Last night, the house was in a bit of chaos when I got home. I was running later than normal, as it was the night of the annual company holiday party. Demi was being a good Samaritan and watching a roomful of kids for relatives of a friend that had had a death in the family. My niece, Daisy, was still here too. My brother was pulling in the driveway as I got home. Caz was helping Demi with the kids. But Coco was nowhere to be found. He was on the couch running a mild fever. We knew then he would not be going to school the today.
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

Fantasy Football Year One

The boys have really gotten into our mini-Fantasy Football league. I thought it was a good way to do something amongst just the three of us. I figured it was a good way to to get the boys excited about football. They get into the Patriots. And we have general football discussions beyond the Patriots, but mostly in regards to historical facts and players. I think to appreciate the game, one's knowledge has to include more than your team and rooting loyalties. They got a taste of that playing Madden. But this interaction has really been fun. They get the free agent process, scoring, injury report, and thinking about match ups. Sure it's not the full exposure since there are only 3 teams in our league - we have very deep teams, but it works for us.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Celebration Continues

It's been quite the week. The milestone birthday is being celebrated like Mardi Gras, not limited to one day and at least once a day there is cake and a party. I am not sure what I did to deserve it but hey, I will take it. The boys have really gotten into it. They have been on their best behavior. It could be the "Santa's watching you" effect (at least for Coco), but who knows?
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

Dad Turns 40

Not really the big deal folks make it out to be. It is just a number. I certainly don't feel any different. The boys and Demi were great though, making it a special day. Demi baked. That in itself is an event. Each of the boys picked out a present for Dad. Each boy bought it with his own money. Coco picked out The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. He knew I had read the other books. Caz picked out a Bruins hat. We had been watching the B's play recently. Both put thought into it, which of course is the important thing.
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

Christmas Vacation Weekend

The Griswalds got our family Christmas Tree this weekend. It started vacation style. We went to a new tree farm that was recommended by a friend. We found it with no problem. The farm either had trees not ready for prime time or past their prime. I mean they had some good looking trees, but it would have taken up the whole room and then some. You know that scene when Clark cuts the rope on the tree loose and the branches smash through the window? That's what would have happened. And oh yeah, there was no one working there. We could not find a soul to help us. So we had to pile back in Yaya's pick up and head to the place we had gone in years past. That place is so popular now that most of trees are not quite ready yet. We searched and searched. Eventually we found a nice tree. Not our best. A bit on the small side. We hucked it in a pail of water in the garage and then Caz and I headed to Gillette for the Super Bowl.
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

Super Bowl Saturday 2010

DHS was back in the Super Bowl today, completing another undefeated season. They are really quite a team to watch. Caz was really fired up to go to the game. Coco, for some reason, just wanted to stay home and watch it on TV. Caz and I went up with our cousins, the Garfields- Adie and James. The 4 of us had a really great time. It was an easy ride it. The atmosphere was electric, the weather was better than expected for this time of year. The game was exciting. The crowd was into it. And we finished up at 5 Guys. What else is there?
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


Tonight, I attended a very interesting lecture on youth sports in America by Bob Bigelow (former Boston Celtic and first round draft pick from MA). I cannot do the talk justice in one post, so you should really go here him speak, if you ever get a chance. He is really a dynamic speaker. His basic premise that USA youth sports are unique. The rest of the world practices Long Term Athletic Development. The basic premise is that you don't give up on an athlete. Kids develop at different times. He used a story about Michael Jordan, that most folks are familiar with, where MJ was cut from his high school basketball team. I actually thought about one of MJ's teammates, Dennis Rodman, about how he didn't grow until college. That is when he sprouted about a foot. But LTAD is not just about physical development. It is about mental development too.
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

'Tis The Season

The annual kick-off to the holiday season begins today. Not Black Friday. Not Cyber Monday. Not with the changing of radio stations to 24/7 Christmas tunes, 4 weeks ago. Today is the day that I start reading Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol. It is an annual event. I enjoy reading this classic every time. It never gets old. It really serves as the gateway to the holiday season for me. I hope the boys develop their own traditions, similar to this. We have one amongst ourselves. Each Christmas Eve, we read T'was the Night Before Christmas. I always look forward to that as well.