Friday, December 16, 2011

XMas on the Island - 2011

The annual family trek to the Island. It's a total crap shoot on driving time. You can leave at any time and it can take 4 hours or it can take 10 hours. You just never know. I had to delay the departure anyway. One of my presents to Demi was a new radio for the Pilot. This radio she can use to plug in her iPod. I showed up to my installation appointment early in hopes to speed up the process and get on the road a bit early than expected. It worked. I got in and out early.
We still chose to work in a stop for an early dinner not too far into the ride. I figured it would help thin out the evening commute. I also figured a full belly would help the kids settle in and maybe nap a bit. Not too long. I don't want them up late when we do get to NY. What I didn't count on was the chili cheese fries and buffalo wings for Coco. That is a bad menu for a long car ride. But it was Caz and his breakfast for dinner that wreaked havoc. He stunk. Must have been the sausage.
The boys played a bit on Demi's iPad. But for the most part they read their kindles. Caz did a bit of his homework. I got in a nap and some reading. That was novel for me. I have been able to do either for a long time.
We lost a half hour in Darien. I swear they have been doing constructions on that stretch of 95 all 15 years I have been going to the Island. Friggin' CT.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Treat Yourself

Every once and a while, it is ok to take a break from the kids. A birthday is as good as an excuse as any. I booked a night out in Boston for Demi and me. We have a nice room at the Seaport Hotel. We each have a massage booked. And we are going to get huge steaks from Morton's Steakhouse. Once we park in the hotel garage, we are self contained. All walking or cabs for each destination. The kids and Gizmo are going to stay with my brother. I may get crazy and get a nap in. The kids will be fine. And the break is good for Mom and Dad.
Some parents just won't take that break. They feel guilty. And don't get me wrong, there is a level of guilt. I felt some booking this weekend. But I was smart enough to ingore it. Take a break. Recharge the batteries. And come back with a better effort. It's ok to do. No matter how old the kids are, you have to take a break now and then.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Go Shorty, It's You Birthday

I took today off from work. My birthday was a good excuse to do so. Everyone kept asking me if I had big plans. I kept answering that I was going to sleep late and go from there. That is just what I did. I slept until 9:30 or so. When was the last time I did that?

I took the dog for a hike in the town forest. I had lunch with my niece. I played some XBOX. Then I took Coco to the movies. Caz wasn't interested in the Muppets. Apparently, while I was out, Caz struggled with what present to give me. It bothered him that he didn't have one that was directly from him. He pondered it for a while, shutting out XBOX time. That is quite a feat. I understand the attraction of video games to kids his age. So in relative terms, that is a big deal. I ended up with a coupon book of household chores that I could assign him at any given time: car wash, dishwashing, to name a few. It really is the thought that counts, and the thought is what made it such a great gift.

Luckily, there are no expiration dates.......

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Super Bowling

Another trip to Gillette this year for the Dragons. Which means another trip with the boys for me to the big dance. I've said it before but it is such a nice thing that the Krafts let the MIAA use Gillette for the high school Super Bowls. It's a great family experience for the fans. With MIAA rules there is no booze at all, so the rowdiness factor is way down. There is no traffic or parking issues to contend with. The seat are as close as you want to be to the field. The concession prices are not outrageous. And it's a good way for the Pats to sell excess merchandise. The boys and I went with out cousins. We all had a blast. It helps when your team wins. And the Dragons won handily. They have not lost a game since 2009. Quite a run.
But more importantly, a good family day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holidays Are Here Again

It's that time. Time for XMas card, the annual Chinny newsletter, XMas trees, and good cheer. Sure the stores are packed, hot, and manners are scarce. Sure the shelves of stores were stock with XMas items just after Halloween. There were 2 radio stations in Boston that went XMas tunes 24/7 starting 11/1. But I think for me 12/1 is the offical start of the holidays.
I think I actually have some lines ready for this years newsletter. We had some good trips this year. It's going to be hard to pair down the list.
I like the challenge of finding the perfect gift for each member of the family. I have some good ideas on that already. It realy is the time for family and friends. Time to take stock and remind those that are important to you, just how much they mean to you. Life is too short not to acknowledge that. It is something that I am trying to impart to the boys.