Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas 2012 in NY

Christmas in NY was interesting this year.  We really had to find out if things were stable there.  Could we get gas OK? (if they were still rationing gas).  Were the parkways all clear?  We brought more clothing donations with us as well.
     The boys had grown a lot since most of the family had seen them.  Caz was taller than a lot of them.  Coco was on his way past a few.  Grandma shrinking helped that too.
     Caz and Coco are no longer the youngest.  A new generation is starting.  Demi's nephew adopted a son, when he got married.  Another one is on the way.  Another of Demi's nephews got engaged.  And thus the circle of life starts again.
     Our kids take to the change well.  They really get on well with their new cousin.  The older cousins have more in common with them.  They all played a long session of Rock Band.  Coco stole the show.  He was not shy.  True, he didn't hit a lot of the notes.  The cats in the neighborhood starting coming around.  But the kid is a showman.  I like that he's not shy and not afraid to put himself out there.  He's come a long way.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weekend at Dan'l's

Demi told me to pack a bag for a weekend getaway.  That is all the information provided.  I was told that I didn't need winter clothes but something nice to go out to dinner in.
     Turns out Demi booked a couple of nights at the Dan'l Webster Inn.  It wasn't far, only over the bridge to the Cape.  But it seemed like a world away while we were there.
     As much as I love the boys, you do need a break once in while.  On both sides.  The boys got to hang out with my Brother and his family.  They enjoyed their cousins.  They got to eat wings and burgers with their uncle.  Life was good.
     Life was good for us too.  Isolation.  What to do?  Sleep in?  What a novel idea.  Sit and read, uninterrupted.  Nice treat.  Just having options was really a nice change.
     By the end of the weekend, Demi and I were both missing the boys.  It's natural.  But the break served it's purpose.  Both sides are refreshed.  Ready to get back at it.  Sure there may be re-entry issues.  But you do appreciate each other all the more.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Multi Functional Shovel

The kids gave me birthday presents early.  Demi booked a secret weekend getaway (but that is a whole other post).  They were fired up when I got home.  They had clearly been wrapping and putting presents together.  There was a trail of tape, scissors, and debris.  They both bought me gifts with their own money.  Caz got me a much needed wallet.  He knew that bi-fold was my preference.  I can't be sitting on a Costanza size wad.  That would mess with my back.....
     Coco purchased me a Shaper Image shovel.  He was a hoot while explaining all the things it could do.  It telescopes for compact storage.  It has a serrated edge.  Apparently I can saw down a tree with it.  The best feature, according to Coco, is that I can open a bottle with it.  Just in case I step in dog crap with my sandals which have an opener on the bottom.  The kid is a thinker.....

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Putting Heads Together

I got a huge kick out of the boys today.  They really jelled, working together to pick out Christmas presents from their Mom.  They had a great discussion, pitching ideas to each other.  They did research on-line.  They even bargain shopped.  It was a great process to observe.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The End of an Era

Well, Caz's football season is done.  His last youth game has been played.  Hard to believe.  It seems like just a short time ago, that he was a Mighty Mite. 
     I put together a memento of his youth playing days today.  A photo journal from his first Mighty Mite days to his final 8th grade game.  It was fun for me to go through the pictures.  I got to relive a lot of those times.  That was my first foray into coaching kids.  I have said it before and I will say it again, you may think you know a lot about football (or any subject for that matter) but trying to explain and teach it to kids is a whole other matter.  Here I am, 7 season later and I am still learning to do it. 
     I really enjoyed seeing all the old pictures.  Caz has grown so much.  Not just in size.  He has grown to love the sport.  I think he will miss the youth days soon.  He's training for next year already.  And he was eager to do it.  He couldn't wait for Dragon's Lair (the strength and conditioning program offered by the high school coach) to begin. 
     This project is going to be a Christmas gift.  I hope he enjoys looking through it, as much as I have putting it all together. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dancing Machine

I came to dance, dance, dance, dance.................

Dynamite.  Caz finally attended a school dance.  We've asked him each year since he entered DMS, if he had any interest.  Even when his buddies were going, he avoided them like the plague.
     This year, I had a feeling that this might be the one.  Of course this year he has a girlfriend too.  Yep, another first.  He asked her to the dance.  He bought her ticket.  He arranged for his ride and to meet her there.  Afterwards he told us that he asked her to dance.  A few times actually.  Worked in a couple of slow dances.  Our little boy is growing up.  He's a young man.  Another milestone reached.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday, Bloody Thursday

I went to the annual Bloody Mary bash this holiday morning.  7 AM to be precise. I was the 6th attendee to sign in.
[Funny Aside:  Coach X thought he would be clever and sign in first.  He had to work at 5 AM, so would miss all the festivities.  He drove by at 4 AM, before work, just to sign in.  On his way out, his tire blew out. He had to call his wife to come get him, so he could get into work.  Well done, x!]
This party has been going on for over 30 years.  My friend (also my classmate and teammate) took the party over from his dad.  This party started before we were playing for Duxbury.  Last year, I saw a friend and teammate that I had not seen in many years.  A fixture of my childhood growing up, we had lost contact after college.  We saw each other here and there.  Last year we spent at least an hour catching up.  Little did I know, it would be the last time I ever saw him.  He died 4 months later.  This year, attending meant that much more to me.  Two of my friends lost their fathers a month ago.  Fathers that were part of the core Dad's the attended all our games growing up.  They followed the play of the game like bloodhounds.  One even coached us as youth players.  It was important for me to see these guys.  Last year proved, you just never know.  I explained this to my boys.  I hope they make connections like this.  I hope they are part of a team, like I was.  These gatherings prove that it was more than football.


Coco's team got invited to the big Thanksgiving Day game, Duxbury vs. Marsh Vegas, and to the locker room for the pre-game speech to the players.  It was a great turn out by his team.  You would think that most of them would be traveling or have family obligations.  But what an opportunity!  The boys all had their game shirts on.  They were eager with anticipation.  I was told that coach kept it clean for their benefit.  Later on, Coco would recount that a senior player stood up and told the team what this game meant to him.  Their last game on their home field.  Ever.  That resonates, even with 6th graders.  Coco's team also got to watch the game from the sidelines.  They got to be there for the team introductions.  Again, they were well behaved on the sidelines.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Keep On Keeping On

The help for Massapequa will continue past this weekend.  Demi plans to get more help to her hometown.  She actually got in contact with a guy who is driving down to Long Island each weekend and helping distribute clothes and supplies.  She got her gym and fellow gym-mates to donate clothes, which she got loaded to this guy's pickup truck for a run down to the island.  Clothes are still showing up at the house.
     It is important for the boys to see that help continues.  It's not just a short term effort.  Giving back is an ongoing activity.  Demi is a good example for them.  Her drive and determination amaze me.

Friday, November 9, 2012

After Sandy

I took today off to help Demi with her new project.  We were lucky.  Hurricane Sandy was Much Ado About Nothing for us.  For other parts of the country, it was an unmitigated disaster.  Including Demi's home town of Massapequa. Her family and friends were OK.  Some lost power.  Her nephew had a close call but luck was on his side.  But some of her old childhood friends, or their families, were not so fortunate.
     Demi felt like she should be doing something to help.  She struggled with what kind of help.  Sure we could donate to Red Cross.  And we did.  But it didn't seem like enough.  It didn't seem like FEMA and the Red Cross were able to help.  Then the idea struck.  It was sort of by accident.  She struck up an innocent conversation with a woman working at a consignment shop.  Demi walked out with 20 bags of clothes.  A few phone calls later and she had a couple of leads on getting the clothes to Massapequa.  Today our basement was covered with piles of clothes.  Jackets, pants, dresses, shirts, you name it.  The boys and I help sort and bag them.  Our neighbors and friends helped out too.  Coco's football team came and helped load the clothes into pickup and SUV's.   Demi partnered with a larger effort in town.  She got her clothes and supplies on a private plane from Barnstable to Islip NY.  Moms of Massapequa was there in Islip to take possession of the donations and distribute.  The larger effort in Duxbury got 5 huge box trucks packed and transported to New York and New Jersey.  It was really a great thing.  I am so proud of Demi and the boys.  Especially Demi.  She set a great example for the boys about what you can do when you put your mind to something.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Mark of Athena

So apparently we are taking to naming winter snow storms now.  Sure this is the first Nor'easter of the season.  And yes, it dropped some unexpected accumulation.  But since when do we name these?  Talk about your marketing ploys.  This has Weather Channel written all over it.  Now we can over hype each snow storm personally.  The only thing notable about this one (the naming aspect) was that it coincides with the theme for the Lost Heroes books that the boys are reading.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

Well, it all comes down to today.  No more phone calls.  No more adds.  That was pretty much what I was really waiting for.  I got more than I hope for.
     The boys had not really said much about the election.  But when I went to check their homework agendas, Coco had a homework assignment to watch the election.  So the boys asked to eat their dinner in front of the election coverage.  Fine by me.  They asked me which channel to watch.  I told them to pick one.  The boys sort of looked at me funny.  Until they flipped through the channels and say coverage on most.  I asked them to stay on ABC because I had a friend in college that works as Washington correspondent for ABC.  The boys watch for a long time.  They asked some pretty good question.  We had quite a debate about the electoral college.  It was really a nice evening.  And an educational one.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ruckus Time

The original plan was for Caz to run in the Ruckus with his old man.  A 5K obstacle course that finishes with a slide down the face of Mt. Ruckmore.  Unfortunately, football intruded on our plans.  His broken arm was scheduled to be healed in time for this event, but I still wasn't convinced that he would be up for it.  I figured the bone would still be too tender to support his body weight, light though it may be.  Of course he was healthy enough to play football.  Barely.  He got swimmers ear this morning and had a prescription of ear drops put in his ear on the way to the field.  He bolted out of the car, got waved onto the field by his coach, and proceeded to make the next tackle.
     But just before the game, the boys got to see their Dad muck his way through the last half of the Fearless Fall 5K Ruckus.  I actually think it was a good perspective for the boys.  It's something they haven't seen their Dad do before.  They have seen me run.  But with the ropes, tires, mud pits, Ranger bars, and other obstacles, it was sort of a chance to see me play.  I hope it serves as an example that doing something different is OK.  An example to try new things.  An example to keep challenging yourself, no matter how old you are.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oh Captain, My Captain

Caz was honorary captain for the DHS football game last Friday night.  He was really excited about it.  It was a battle of league undefeateds, Duxbury versus Hingham.  Winner goes to the playoffs.  If Duxbury loses, their 34 game win streak ends.  Their bid for a 3-peat ends.  It's homecoming.  Under the lights.  The crowd was huge.  He and a plus one got to go out with the Duxbury captains for the coin toss. What more could a 13 year old boy ask for?
     The game was a real thriller.  Duxbury was not playing their best.  Hingham took it to them.  The game ended in regulation as a tie.  OT.  4 Plays from the 10 yard line for both teams.  It was deja vu for me personally. For the crowd, it was nail biting time.  Zac got to be on the sideline for the entire game if he chose to be.  I did notice he was gone for a long stretch.  Apparently, according to his mother, he bought himself a pizza from the concession stand.  And was walking around eating being trailed by half a dozen teenage girls.  It's good to be the king......

Battling Back

This past weekend featured the return of the Caz.  We taped him up, added a pad, and put him back into action.  His coaches were excited.  But more importantly,Caz was ecstatic. He was so pumped to get back into action.  He played both days.  He really played well too.  It was like he didn't miss anytime. Sure, I'm his dad.  His grandmother's and mother's opinions might be slightly biased too.  But his coaches were pleased with his performance.  I guess that really says it all.
     I am really just happy that he stuck with practice and stayed engaged while on the IR.  He bid his time.  He lobbied hard to return to action.  He (begrudgingly) wore the required pad over his break.  He really wanted to come back this weekend to play our local rivals.  On Friday night, he asked me, "Dad? Are we playing Vegas this weekend?".  Yes.  Indeed we were.  This is where the rivalry begins.  Nothing wrong with a good, healthy rivalry.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sick and Tired of It

Coco missed school today.  It was actually the 6th day so far this year.  There seems to be a trend at the beginning of each school year that Coco gets belly aches.  We thought it was stress.  Then potentially he may have had an averse reaction to nitrates.  Not that he ate a lot of hot dogs or pepperoni, but we excluded those outright.  The pains would subside and only kick up now and then.  But when the pains came, they came hard.
     Today, the pains were excruciating.  It's hard to tell sometimes, if kids' pains are really as bad as they say.  But Coco was not milking it.  He was even told that if he didn't go to school, then he couldn't go to his friend's birthday party in he afternoon. Coco was in tears but couldn't get up to go to school.
    Demi was conflicted about bringing him to the doctor.  Not that he wasn't really in pain.  But out doctor was scheduled to be on vacation.  Would a substitute really be able to help?  Luck was with us this day.  Our doctor stopped into the office and decided to take a look at Coco.  After some tests, we finally got to the cause.  While painful, it will get better.  It will take some time, but at least now we know.  It's been years now, but I think there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cast Off

Well, the cast came off today.  Caz couldn't wait.  He actually got a kick out of the sawing.  Demi took good video of the process.  The giggling during the buzz saw portion is priceless.  It must have tickled.
     Talk about the Lizard King.  He was scaly under that cast.  The dead skin will take weeks of loofah scrubs to get rid of.  Its a splint now.  Two weeks of a splint and then cleared for contact.  The team is in the playoffs.  That was Caz's goal.  Get back for the playoff.  I really like the commitment.  He is really into football.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Return of the King

The Lizard King returned from Nature's Classroom.  Demi and I were excited to have him home.  We missed him.  At least until he opened his mouth.  Yes, he was tired.  Yes, he was dirty.  Yes, he stunk.  But he definitely had changed environments quickly.  He had gone from living with 23 other 13 year old boys, hiking and playing out doors to family rules and family expectations.  Honestly, XBOX seemed to be the root of all evil.  As soon as XBOX time was done, the mouth started.  He had it in his head that he was owed time for "roughing it" without electronics for 4 days.  Needless to say, Demi and I did not agree.  And so the boundaries were test.  The Lizard King was relentless.  He would not stop arguing, bargaining, or complaining.  I finally had to send him to his room to calm down.  It eventually worked.  I can only imagine that this re-entry was just a drop in the buck compared to something like coming home for the first summer after college.  Can't wait......

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nature's Classroom

Caz left for his 8th grade school trip today.  The whole 8th grade.  4 days.  In NH.  It really should be a great experience for him.  Some time away with just his peers is a great opportunity.  Demi and I really worry about this social skills sometimes.  It seems misplace really.  He does really well in social settings.  He just really seems to lack a desire to socialize.  In the end, he always has a good time after socializing.  But it's getting him there that is the battle.  Hopefully, this may break the ice for him.  Football seems to be doing that  quite bit.  Maybe this pushes him further along the path.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Making The Grade

First term progress reports came out today.  While the grades themselves are great, its the actual progress that is impressive.  Caz is really doing well, and doing it "his way."  There is continued work we do together for the ADD, but he's able to cope on his own more.  I don't want to give the impression that we are holding his hand or doing work for him.  But we do have to provide multiple reminders to do tasks, or check that things are done, or help him organize himself.   He's really showing progress though.  And the grades are bearing that out.
     Coco is more than adjusting to Middle School.  He's knocking it out of the park.  It sure makes life easier for Demi and me.  I just want to make sure we don't take it or him for granted, and praise him for his efforts.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Soldiering On

Caz is continuing to go to practice while on the DL.  He so wants to be a part of the team still.  He really misses playing.  He's been really great on the sidelines during games.  He supports his teammates.  And his teammates and coaches have been really great to him.  His first day back was the game the next day.  I dropped him off during warm up and he went off to join them.  I saw his teammates and coaches come over right away to see how he was doing.  A couple put their arms around him or gave him a hug.  It was really a tremendous show of camaraderie.  This is really what I wanted Caz to get out of football.  Yes, I love the sport.  But what I remember so much, is the feeling of being part of a team.  My teammates still mean a lot to me to this day.  I could be biased but nothing seems to create bonding like football.  I am so happy he got to experience it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bad Break

Well, it was a moderately bad break for Caz.  The first bad injury for one of our family while playing football.        He got hurt on D, while going to the ground and bracing for impact.  He got caught in a pile up at the same time, with another player hitting his wrist at the same time.  What is amazing, is that he stayed in for two more plays and had to make tackles on both.
     I was warming up Coco's team at the time.  When I came onto the field he was on the bench with the EMT.  His wrist was wrapped with ice on it.  It was week and trembling.  Something was definitely wrong.  Demi brought him up to the hospital.  X-Rays showed a distal radial fracture.  The doctor had to give him Oxy and then set the break.  Caz was a trooper through it all.  Final diagnosis was out for 6 weeks.  Caz was crushed.  That was the balance of the season.  Caz asked for a cast he could play with but was told no. This was the right call.  It's not worth it for 8th grade football.  However, he is shooting for a return during the playoffs.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Catch Anyone?

The boys were getting ready for football practice when something interesting happened.  Caz asked Coco to play catch out front before their rides arrived.  Not once.  Not twice.  But three times.  I was really hoping Coco would take him up on it.  But Coco was in a mood.  I am not sure if it was a random mood, or Coco trying to get back at his brother.  Sibling rivalry has been alive and well.  Caz has been less than congenial to his little brother.  So one could see how the little one may have had enough.
     I hope Caz will keep asking.  I hope Coco will say yes.  I wonder if he will ask the old man.

Monday, September 17, 2012

When It's Time to Change

Holy Peter Brady!  Caz's voice is cracking like crazy.  He's not alone either.  Most of his football team sounds like they are purposefully tormenting dogs.  They go from Vienna Boys Choir to Barry White, back and forth more than a men's Wimbledon volley.  Caz's knows it too.  It's pretty funny, but he's not phased by it.  For which I am glad.  I really hope he doesn't feel lonely during this process, or scared.  We have had several talks.  It actually seems like he pays attention and doesn't dismiss them.  I wonder how long this process will go on for.
     Coco just stinks.  I mean, he is funky.  And not Rick James funky.  I leave his deodorant out, so he remembers to use it.  He doesn't use it much so far, but we hope to change that.  For a little guy, he can really stink up the joint.
     Ah, Puberty.  Such a wonderful process.  It's just like the video......

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Open House

It was Open House night at DMS.  The premise is for parents to get to meet all of their kids' teachers.  For the 6th graders, its a whole new world, so there is an orientation too.  Demi and I decided to divide and conquer.  I would go through Coco's "day" and she would go through Caz's "day".  The "day" consisted of shorten periods of a full school day, so you could see each of your child's classroom and hear the teachers present their spiels.
     I admit I felt awkward at first.  I found it odd that I needed a map of the place, even though I went there when I was the kids' age.  The room numbers was the big thing.  I actually knew where to go, but the room numbers escaped me.  Demi and I both came back raving about the teachers.  I thought Coco's were very personable and approachable.  I like the details on the curriculum.  I was amazed at some of the resources the kids had:  smart boards, computers (Mac ultra light lap tops), Kindles, etc.  It a long way from #2 pencils , chalkboards, and mimeographs.
     I think it's important to know what is going on in your kids' schools.  You have to be an involved parent.  That doesn't mean you do homework for them.  That doesn't mean you bully teachers into adapting to your kids.  It means you know what is expected from the kids and teachers, and work with your kids to communicate that.  It was a well attended event.  Maybe there is some hope for these Deluxebury parents....

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bleary Eyed

This weekend went by in a blur.  When I say football season is hectic in our household...that is an understatement.  DFL week one:

Friday Night
Caz - 90 min walk thru practice

Coco - Practice from 8:30 to 10:30 PM
Both - League weigh in at 10:30 - drop off for buses
Run home and help Dad & little brother close the pool
Pick up kids from weigh in - the whole process runs late
Take Caz to Bridgewater for a game
Stay in Bridgewater with Coco for DHS opening game
Stop at Dave's Diner for dinner (Saturday Burger gets a two thumbs up)

Coco - Team pancake breakfast @ 8:30 to 10
Drive Caz to game in Scituate @ 11:30
Caz and Coco's games run until 5 (right during Patriots opener)

After dinner I sat on the couch and fell asleep.

Monday morning- repeat for Week 2

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to School

Back to school shopping....and the Halloween items are already out in aisles.  Odd, right?  So is the fact that the kids have already been back to school for 3 days...before Labor Day.  When did that happen?  Labor Day isn't even late this year.  So what's the deal?  Are they expecting an especially harsh winter?  Looking to get our early in June?  And why do we need these in-service days for teachers?  That's a new trend too.  Don't like it.  Not a fan at all.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day

How is it that I need a vacation day from spending two long days at the beach?  I mean it.  I am wiped.  I got up early, so I decided to watch a movie - Battle: Los Angeles.  Much better than anticipated, after it got panned and bombed at the box office.  There was a long process of cooking breakfast, but then I spent hours cleaning the garage and organizing the shed.  But I felt much better by the end of it.  I guess the sun really does take it out of you.  Could have been the 8.5 mile run to the beach too, but who knows?
     What really made my day was throwing the football in the front yard with Caz.  I tried not to coach while we were doing it.  I really just wanted to spend some time with him.  I think if I critiqued his catching, he would get irritated.  The Lizard King would rear it's head.  Then I would have to bee hive him and wall him up.......It was really great though.  We threw until my arm fell off.  Then we grabbed Gizmo and let her chase us around the yard.  What better way to spend the last day of summer?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Preseason is Over

That's right.  The football preseason is over.  It did take a toll on my postings, but in the end, it was worth it. This is year one of going back to the future, with only one football program for the kids of Duxbury.  There were some anxious moments in the beginning though.
     Caz had every reason to be nervous.  Going back to the coach that was the reason for moving to a different program was daunting.  Demi and I had good preparation discussions with him leading into the season.  We asked him to give it a shot.  If the season didn't go as planned, then we would support him stopping, in season.  Demi and I usually tell the kids they finish what they start, but this was definitely an exception.  It certainly helped the cause that his coach from Pop was there.  He was the one that started Zac's turnaround with football.  I think it also helped that we showed that we were there to support him and only asked that he give it a shot.  So far?  Caz has stated a couple of times that he is having fun.  And he has stated that he likes this go around with his old coach (the one that he was fearful of returning to).  Honestly, that is better than I could have hoped for.
     Coco was fine with me not head coaching.  I didn't get into the politics behind it.  No need to burden him with adult nonsense.  He was open to the suggestion of trying a new position on Offense, moving to WR.  I think that position is better suited for his slender frame this year.  This year he could be giving up to 40 lbs away, based on the league weight limit.
     It was a long, hard 3 weeks.  Practice every night.  Double sessions on day for Coco's team.  The heat and humidity of late August in New England.  All the adjustments to new teams and coaches.  That goes for me too.  I am on a completely new staff this year.  It is a good bunch of guys.  We seem to mesh well.  What's best is that the other assistants are in it for the right reason.
     Now, let's start the regular season. Game time.  It's on.  Like Donkey Kong.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Congratulations to my little brother on being a Dad again.  That means I am an uncle for the second time too.  I am very excited about that.  This time to a little boy.
     There is something to be said for the scheduled C section.  Seems fairly orderly.  Of course, I ain't the one getting my stomach cut open.
     The Hammer is a cutie.  There is a debate about which male Chin he looks like.  My Dad, my brother, and I are all candidates in this debate.  It doesn't really matter.  The Hammer is here, healthy and happy.  You can't ask for more than that.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Patriot Camp

No, not the Patriots.  Just the local high schools that make up the Patriot League.  But the 8th grade team was invited too.  Caz was actually fired up to go from Day 1.  I thought for sure he'd be hesitant.  But Demi said he had his equipment ready a half hour early, in plenty of time to catch his ride.  The boys went at it for 3 hours in the humid air.  He still had a positive attitude at the end.  At the end of camp, on the last day, he actually uttered the word "fun" in relation to camp.  That is the equivalent of a full scale celebration with fireworks for the Lizard King.
     That is great news for me.  This being his last year in the program, I want him to go out well.  He talked about playing high school football last year.  I hope that continues through this year.  Camp was sort of voluntarily mandatory for his team.  Usually when he is told to do anything, the Lizard King's first instinct is to rebel.  But I am happy this seemed to be a success.  It turned out to be a great first step towards the season.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Wake Up Call

Well.  The first sign that summer is over happened today.  Caz got football equipment.  Let the craziness begin.  I tried to get into the spirit though.  I immediately took both the boys to Olympia to get cleats and mouth guards.  You know that I am a football guy.  But man, the season seemed to come early this year.  It's quite possible that it is an after effect from all the youth sports drama starting weeks ago.  Who new that volunteering your time could be such a chore.  Not the actually time coaching but the act of volunteering.  The act of offering your time.  This is what our youth sports has come too.  A collection of egos, all thinking that each one knows the best way to do everything.
     But I digress. The boys are excited to play.  Caz was nervous getting his equipment but was very talkative after.  One of the coaches broke the ice by asking if he was playing O-line this year with his 100 lbs frame.  It probably couldn't have gone any better.

Home Alone

Demi and I are still experimenting with giving the boys some freedom and leaving them on their own for short stints.  Even though we were in the same town and we were heading out early, we didn't want the boys to have to contend with getting dinner for themselves.  We wanted them to eat a balanced healthy meal.  We absolutely did not want them to cook.  Even in the microwave.  So I arranged for the boys to join my folks for dinner.  My parents threw some hot dogs (I know, not healthy, but at least there was some form of protein in there) on the grill.  They were going to grill anyway.  My mother feed them some carrots and cucumbers from her garden.  That offsets the hot dogs right?  Anyway, Coco did a great job and called on his way home, confirming he had closed and locked the door behind him.  He even had to go back out and take care of the neighbors dog.  They were upstairs watching TV in our bedroom when we got home.  They went right to bed upon our return.  I would say this nights trial went in their favor.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Wind

Wow!  August is here.  That happened fast.   Summer is winding down.  Football will start soon.  School starts this month.  Dragon Fly Daycare closes up shop here on the premises (it will live on in a new location under new ownership).  Let the games begin.
     Little Chef (Coco) got the cooking bug again bad this week.  He's always concocting something.  But he sat with Demi this weekend to find recipes for specific meals, so that he could add to her shopping list.  We full encourage that of course.
     For his first meal of the week (last night) was homemade spaghetti and meatballs.  The meatball recipe called for bacon, which was the big draw for Little Chef.  Everything is better with bacon!  The sauce was made from scratch too.  He worked for hours on this dish.  He was so proud of it.  And he had every right to be.  We were so proud of him and happy for him.  It was a great meal.
     Tonight he whipped up a Thai peanut sauce to go with cold chicken and noodles.  This can be added to the success list too.  At this rate, Demi can take the rest of week off.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Decision

We had been dancing around it for weeks.  I tried to feel out Caz.  I wanted to see how much he knew.  Then Bam Bam came by to throw the football around with us.  He casually asked Caz, "Are you going to play football this year?"  I held my breath while I waited for him to respond.
     I should explain.  Duxbury's two football leagues for children, merged this offseason.  The town now has one program.  What does that mean?  That means Caz had to go back and play for the coach that drove him out of DYF.  That means I need to got with hat in hand and asked to coach with him.  I will gladly do that, swallowing my pride, if it means Caz plays football.  I know the decision is weighing in his mind.  That terrible season still haunts us.  I will do what I have to.  I will stay quiet.  I won't be negative in front of the kids.
     I took Caz out for ice cream.  I asked him to sit there quietly and eat his cone, while I did some talking.  The short version, is that I told him I knew it wouldn't be easy.  For either of us.  The right thing rarely is easy.  But you can't let fear dictate your decision.  Yes, it really does lead to the Dark Side.  I did give him an out clause.  But he had to make an attempt first.  In the end, Caz decided to give it a shot.  I really think it goes back to the wonderful season he had last year.  How is a a 1-8 season wonderful?  Well, you really have to understand the point of youth sports to get it.  If you don't, no one can explain it to you.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jr Police Academy

The boys graduated from Duxbury Junior Police Academy today.  On their final day, they got to fire .22 rifles at the shooting range.  They got a kick out of that.  I think it's good.  I know the officers covered gun safety.  A health respect for guns, the danger they pose and the responsibility for safety that comes with them is a good thing to learn.   Especially with the fascination with games like Modern Warfare, Halo, and Black Ops.  It is too easy for the kids to get detached about the inherent violence.
     Lunch seemed to be a big deal for camp.  Pizza one day.  Chinese food the next.  Between the tasers, guns, prison visit and K-9 demo, I don't think they even missed Hightower and the crew......

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lawnmower Man

Caz hit another milestone in his journey to manhood.  He cut the lawn today.  Yep, that is a big step for a young adult.  A big step for Dad too.  Trusting your young son with sharp blades, whirling at 100 mph is not an easy thing to do.
     I didn't worry about trying to bag it today.  I kept him in 2nd gear the whole time.  I am sure he didn't appreciate that.  He did well though.  He struggled like all kids to maintain that good line, overlapping his last track.  Sure, I had to go back and hit the spots he missed.  But overall, he gets passing marks.  I just played with the weed whacker, so I could monitor the situation.  He didn't seem to mind.  I think he smile and was pleased at the end.  I know I was.

Clean Up in Aisle 5!

Let the clean up begin!  Who have thought there would be so much to do after a rabid zombie raccoon wanders onto your property?  What are the odds?  What am I talking about?  I am talking a very large, furry Rocky Raccoon, stumbling and bumbling like a drunken sailor, up through the cut out by the driveway.  Sure sign of rabies:  the slow, dizzy lethargic, motion.  No, it did not appear to be foaming at the mouth.  I think it was well past that.  A swarm of flies followed it, like it was a moving turd.  They knew it was only a matter of time.
     Rocky decided to wander up on my deck and take a nap.  Gizmo barked like mad at the sliding glass door.  Rocky didn't even bat an eye.  But the damage done by that?  Rocky could have left saliva anywhere there.  That is the danger with rabies.  Blood and saliva.  Blood is the reason that I need to condemn my shed.  That is where I trapped the thing, and Duxbury's finest took it down with 5 rounds, 3 from a 9 mm pistol and 2 from a .22 rifle.  As far as I am concerned, Rocky was a Zombie after the first shot.  He tried to get up after each round.  Nothing was going to keep him down.  Apollo?  Clubber?  Drago?  Bring 'em all on.
     Demi spent a full day power washing the deck.  I ran to get supplies.  At one point, I had 8 gallons of bleach and 5 gallons of gas in my car.  If I got stopped, I was going to look like Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction.  I threw out a stroller Rocky had tried to crawl into, along with some loose items in the shed.   I poured bleach all over the aftermath, once Animal Control came to collect the carcass.  What an ordeal.  I am just glad the boys were not out playing or walking Gizmo.  That could have been bad.   And here I thought I only had to worry about the coyotes.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Stay classy, San Diego!
     Neighborhood pool parties these days are quite the environment.  You tend to have the following:  a) adults in bathing suits and matching coveralls (shirts, sun dresses, etc) but who don't actually swim, b) kids who don't come out of the pool, c) way too much food and d) way too much booze.  Seems a recipe for disaster doesn't it.  I mean I am glad for the opportunity to hang out with some friends.  But there seems to be a big lack of the vigilance.  I know Demi and I rotate keeping an eye on the kids.  We check in with each other.  If one of us was to leave the pool area, we'd tell the other.  I don't see that across the board with the other adults.  There is a pretty big range of ages in the kids too.  Mine are in the older set, and as good as they swim, I keep watch.  I do see some parents right there with the younger kids.  Maybe it's just me but some of the adults seem way too comfortable, and way to preoccupied with the adult talk and beverage.
     I wouldn't think of getting bombed in that setting.  Some though, obvious have no problem with that. Hey, if one parent is doing the drinking for the couple and that's the deal they struck fine.  But I just don't want to be an idiot in front of my kids.  Or other kids for that matter.  My choice, I know.  It just feels like a bad idea.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Stars and Stripes Forever

The 4th being on a Weds this year is just plan weird.  You can plan anything too big because there is work the next day.  Either you do something the night before or something small during the day.  We took our chances and made a family beach day out of it.  We planned to go early and meet up with friends and family.  It didn't look promising early on.  We left in a steady drizzle and in dark cloud cover.  Caz has been down on the beach recently, so this didn't help sell the plan.  I knew there was a reason I baked muffins.  Those did seem to help sway the boys.  However, they elected to eat in the car while we huddled under an awning with the other families. 
     Caz is definitely at that age where he doesn't want to always be with the family.  Believe it or not, I can remember back to those days and recall that frame of mind.  He gets bored at the beach now.  He doesn't want to sit in the sun.  He's beyond building sand castles.  He doesn't want to play games, although he did put the Kindle and DS aside for a while to play Penny Can.   Coco is starting down that path.  But he still likes to dig in the sand.  He likes to play in the water.  He's good for a game of bocce, ladder ball, or football.  They both play really well with the younger children.  Their cousin adores them.  The twins chase them around and laugh hysterically with them.  But I guess it's not fair to expect to my boys to play all day with them.  Or do want to hang out with adults all day.  The boys did dig the cookout portion of the day though.  Hot dogs from Buffalo were the big sell.  The boys were all over those. 
     It's funny, I used to want a short period of time at the beach to sit and read undisturbed.  But I do miss the days of spending hours in the water, or building sand castles, or switching from one game to the next.  There will be plenty of time to sit and read on the beach.  Like when I retire……

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Re-Entry Burns

Like the Space Shuttle returning from a mission, re-entry from vacation can be bumpy.  This one has been very tough with the kids.  They are just feeding off each other, battling, as brothers are wont to do.  They can't be left a lone for a the length of a TV timeout.
     Caz is just plain angry at the world.  Coco is pleased as punch to push his buttons.  Of course, Coco doesn't think ahead that the target of Caz's rage is going to be him.  Even after we tell him that.  And again.  And again.
     Demi and I are a little spent too.  We are tired from driving, unpacking, and cleaning.  So maybe we have shorter fuses than usual too.  I am sure we will get there.  But so far we could use those heat tiles from Endeavor or Enterprise.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Lily Bug

My niece turned 3 today.  I can't believe it.  That happened way to fast.  I love that she calls me Uncle Kwiss.  It's getting closer to my name all the time.  Not that I care all that much.  She can get away with calling me pretty much anything.  Happy 3rd kiddo!

Don't Go Breakin' My Heart

Caz broke his first heart this week.  So long are the days of passing notes:  "Do you like me?  Check Y or N".  Now it's all about texting - "Do you like me?".
      I will say that Caz handled himself well.  He was a gentleman about it.  He responded truthfully but politely.  That is not an easy feat as a adult.  There did not seem to be any hard feelings.  Well done, young man.
     I told him that I was proud of him.  He didn't even ask why.  I told him that it always important to be considerate of a girl's feelings.  It is not "manly" to be cruel or mean.  Chivalry may still stand a chance.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Demi and I discussed at length, what kind and how much freedom Caz was going to have on this family vacation.  He was going to be old enough to walk into town.  He could stroll in for lunch, or an ice cream.  There was a mini golf place.  As long as he was not a alone and had his cellphone, it seemed like a no brainer.  The other concern?  Girls.  We didn't feel comfortable letting him wander off unchaperoned with the two older (by a year) girls.  Those two were not shy last year.  We didn't expect that to subside this year.  So guidelines were set.  Nightly curfews were in effect.  Demi and I would stay out and about while he was still running around.  Supervised freedom.  That's still freedom, right?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Choose Wisely

During a 5 hour voyage to The Island, eldest son has a choice to make.  On the one hand an iPod loaded with a newly purchased Dumb and Dumber video.  On the other hand a stack of books.  The Percy Jackson series.  Caz started watching the movie.  But 5 minutes into it, he shut it off.  He picked up the book and started his reading journey.
     Incidentally, he finished the last 4 books in the series in two days.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The 3 R's

4 hours to New York. Full tank of gas. Large Diet Coke. Hit it. So if you placed a bet on the following, where would you put your chips? A 13 year old kid, on a family car ride. There is an iPod loaded with Dumb & Dumber. And there is a stack of Percy Jackson books. Place your chips now. And......Percy Jackson wins. It made me smile anyway.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Alice Cooper Time

School's out.....For......Summer! The kids are excited anyway. Not sure how Demi feels about it. The boys. Home. 24/7. Let the summer games begin. I am sure that will include a heavy dose of Hunger Games. What's the point of a two hour last day of school, where the kids just watch a movie? At least that was the kids argument. Why bother? Can't say I disagree. I was hoping Caz would use it as a last chance to gather phone numbers, have the yearbook signed, and socialize a bit. I guess the boys are lucky that Demi is a softie and is the one home with them in the morning.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012

Happy Day, Dads!  I hope you enjoy the day, whatever you do.  Personally, I decided to forgo sleeping in for going to Spin class.  I figure if I can get in a solid Spin, then I can go breakfast guilt free.  Well, less guilt anyway.  I knew I was going to stop Eating Clean today.  One day won't set me back too far.
     Breakfast at The Hop in Brant Rock was fantastic.  Too many menu items to choose from.  I had an urge for pancakes.  The omelets are fantastic.  Eggs Benedict are always a nice treat.  But I simply had to try the crunchy French toast, coated in Frosty Flakes.  We lucked out from the get go.  A 45 minute wait time last about 15 with a cup of coffee on the patio.  The weather was beautiful for sitting outside.
     I got to read the sports page in the hammock.  Gizmo decided to join me there.  She was so good that I thought she deserved a walk down on the beach.  We both loved that actually.  Demi got to sit and read in the sun a bit.  The boys read too.  They waited patiently, so we took the to Dairy Twist.  DT offered a Puppy Cup, so Gizmo got some too.  That place is the Bomb.  Great ice cream, very generous portions, and reasonable prices.  Oh, and they have a nice patio sitting area.
     Dinner at Mom and Dad's was nice.  We got a boat load of wings from Pizzings.  Dad got a kick out of that.  Burger, Chinese sausage, summer salad, whoppie pies, and strawberry shortcake = winner, winner, chicken dinner.
     So if it was BBQ, or golf, or the beach, or hammock time, I hope all you Dads out there had a great day.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Katniss Rising

"May the odds be ever in your favor"

So Coco finally decided how he wanted to celebrate his birthday.  He decided on Monday.  At school. And told his classmates before he told us.  He came home from school and told Demi that all the boys in his class could come over on Saturday (today) to play the Hunger Games.  Sure there were some logistics to work out but that's minor, right?  Demi promptly sent out an email to parents to invite them to send their sons to partake in the Hunger Games, have some pizza and cake, and to bring their favorite weapon of choice.  You don't see that every day, do you?
     We received sincere permission to use our neighbors field.  20 boys brought foam swords, plastic swords, shields, gloves, pads, etc.  They found a patch of bramble to use as the Cornucopia.  All weapons were placed there.  They lined up at the end of the field and waited for the countdown.  The race to the Cornucopia was mayhem.  The boys had been forming alliances all week.  Now they were enacting them.  After round 1, they ruled that alliances could be no more than 4 members.  You could see the strategy at work.  Some of the quiet kids tried to stay unnoticed as kids weeded out others.  Groups ganged up on the stronger alliances.  At one point the "killed" players were release as the mutant hounds, running on all fours.  The battles were epic.  Demi and I worried about some over exuberant strikes.  But all was well.  The only real worry was poison ivy.  The kids played for 4 hours.  The other parents got a free afternoon and tired kids.  Good day for all.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Boys Night Out - Round 2

My second go round with 5th grade Boys Night Out.  That's right.  Time for "The Video".  The outdated, School House Rock type educational video which documents "the change".
     I did for Coco, what I did for Caz.  I made a whole father/son evening out of it.  We went out to dinner.  The boy tried his first Steak Bomb, with a side of boneless buffalo wings.  A "side" that comes with 10 pieces, so that it's pretty much a whole meal.  But, it was his night.  And he ate a good deal of it.  After dinner on the drive to the PAC, he read "Where Do I Come From."  It's an old 70's book that my parents got for me when the time came.  It's still relevant.  It's accurate but cartoon enough to not freak a kid out.  Coco seemed a lot more traumatized after it than Caz did.  Coco sort of stared out the window with eyes the size of dinner plates.  I asked him it that was how he thought babies were made and he said, "no."  It was a pretty emphatic "no."
     The routine at school was the same.  Gym time lasted a bit longer that it should have.  Basketballs were flying everywhere.  Dad got bonked routinely.   The boys entered lottery tickets.  Then off to the PAC.  We each took a quiz on the other.  Favorite TV Show.  Favorite Book.  First job.  Favorite dinner.  That kids of stuff. Then the video came.  It was different from Caz's.  It had the iPod silhouette guy break dancing.  It was an illustration of Rhythm.  Which the body changes in rhythm.  Get it?  I would say this time around, more Dad were snickering and giggling than the kids.  [Enter your deity here] help us. The kids got note cards to ask questions before running off to snack time.  Back for Q&A.  I give the principal credit.  He handles the questions excellently.  I don't get the whole Price is Right gift lottery give away though at the end.  It seems really odd.
     Coco and I stopped for ice cream after.  We talked.  I asked him if he had any question.  His only one was about the "nocturnal emissions".  I still am in awe over that terminology.  I told him I would rather ask me, Mom, his uncles, or aunt and get the truth, rather than someone else.  We talked about how kids made up stuff when they didn't know the answer, and this was hard for some to admit they don't know.  I told him I would always tell him the truth.  What like most about the evening was the emphasis on everyone changing at different times and that it was not OK to tease someone about it.  It was said much more eloquently but the point got across.
     Another successful milestone.  Good luck my brother.  You're turn will come, faster than you think.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rainy Weekend

Sure rainy weekends are a downer.  I was so close to going to the beach despite the cold and drizzle.  I had the cooler packed with food.  I had water and drinks.  Apparently I was deemed not sane and was over ruled. But we had a fun weekend anyway.  We put the inside time to good use.
     Saturday I joined Demi for a hard core "Cycling" class.  Apparently her gym is too cool to conduct a spin class.  I will say it was a great class.  I like the boys seeing us going to the gym and on this occasion, going to work out together.  Afterwards, Demi and I made breakfast for Coco and his cousin.  We got to spend some family time with my cousin's family just after.
     We all got some inside chores down.  Personally, I organized the attic.  It was long overdue.  This included putting the humidifiers away for the season.  Finally.  The boys helped put dishes away, clean the kitchen, and organize the main floor.  They put away laundry and cleaned their rooms.
     Demi and I went food shopping together.  Another good exercise for the boys to witness.  I think it is good for the boys to see the split of duties, the teamwork, and the sharing of responsibilities.  They helped unload it all when we got home. The boys also did a great job looking after themselves while Demi and I went out to eat.  We are still testing out the scenario, leaving them for short stretches.  So far they have behaved themselves and conducted themselves well.  This time we had a curve ball thrown when one of their friends walked down to our house to invite Caz over for sleepover.  The boys knew that no one was aloud in the house, while we are out.  They explained that to their friend.  They made sure to lock the door after.  It was a successful test. And we all passed.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trouble in Paradise Part 2

You know that day after effect is when you have the 20/20 vision on reflection.  All the things that could have gone wrong, run through your mind.  All the permeations of circumstance that had to happen, could have happened, or might have happened play like a movie in the mind.  What if I had been walking Gizmo at my usual Monday night time?  Did I come close to having an encounter having walked the dog 15 minutes prior to the perpetrator knocking on the door?  Did I miss some key observation?  Why was the ringer off on the phone upstairs?
There were some positive that ran across my mind too.  Good thing I check that both cars are locked before bed.  Nice work by me, checking that all the doors and windows are locked, outside lights are on, and the inside doors with bolts are latched.  I know Demi thinks I am crazy at time.  I know she gets aggravated when I get on her about leaving keys where they shouldn't be, the car open, a window open, or door unlocked.  It's Duxbury right?  Nothing ever happens here. 
Morning is always the worst time.  I always make sure the garage door is shut when I leave.  Even if I have to come back from a mile down the street because I can't remember shutting it.  My family and their safety comes first.  Dad drilled that into me.  Sure I thought he took it overboard at times.  I still can't let taking life jackets camping pass.  We weren't boating, canoeing (kayaking was a novelty back then) or anywhere near water.  We were land locked.  So did we really need a bag full of life jackets?  Probably not.  But Dad did teach me to be prepared.  I have the heavy duty flashlight by my bed.  I have some Louisville sluggers handy, in oddly placed locations.  I make sure there is a phone upstairs with us every night.  There's a happy medium somewhere between survivalist training and leaving the house wide open, door open, with cash on a table in plain sight.  I am probably close to the Mayan Calendar end than the latter, but I would rather err on the side of caution.  That is my Dad in me.  Thanks Dad.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Trouble in Paradise

At times like these you always think:  "These things don't happen here" or "I wonder where stuff like that goes on?".  Well, it happened here.  Our little tiny nook of the world ended up on a news reel:

Demi actually made all the local news channels.  She became the unofficial spokesperson for the family/neighborhood.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Family trip to the movies today.  I had been itching to see The Avengers (in 3D).  Best movie of the year so far.  Sure, Hunger Games was great.  But this was just amazing.  Even Demi was blown away.  The dialogue was fantastic.  Great one liners and zingers.  The cast really had great chemistry.  The action was awesome.  There was nothing inappropriate where I needed to have a conversation with the boys afterwards.  The critique that th movie was made for 3D was spot on.  I would give this 5 full Chinnies.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rambling Man

Today is one of those rare times when I have to travel for work.  Nothing exotic. Kentucky.  Yep.  Below the Mason/Dixon line.  It's a quick trip.  6 AM flight out of Boston.   Land back in Boston tomorrow night at 6 PM.  Sure I could have gone last night, but that would be one less night to spend with the boys.  It makes for a long day, but I am willing to do it.
     The boys were great on the phone.  I asked them before I left to be extra helpful and to take care of Demi.  They did just that, taking out the trash and getting it ready for pick up (by my Dad, who just can't keep still in retirement).  I actually got some voluntary conversation from them over the phone.  They are older and technically it is easier to leave them, but to be honest, I still don't like doing it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Happy Mother's Day, Demi!
     The boys were great.  They were into the holiday.  They both approached me independently to request I take them out so they could get a Mother's Day present.  It was a nice gesture by both of them.
     They helped me with Mother's Day breakfast though.  They set the table on the deck, very nicely.  We made coffee, bacon, and Paleo Pancakes.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  Paleo Pancakes.  These were made of almond four, coconut flour, coconut flakes, banana, milled flax meal, and coconut milk.  They actually tasted fine.  Thicker than your normal pancake. Real maple syrup topped it off.  I made pancakes from scratch for the boys (I was sort of forced to as I was out of Bisquick).  Egg whites for dad.
     The weather was perfect.  It was sunny and warm.  No bugs yet.  Demi came home from spin class to a ready & waiting breakfast.  I think we can file this one under:  Success.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Paleo Challenge

Demi is doing another Paleo diet challenge.  However, this time, she is including her family and friends.  She is coordinating a challenge for her peeps who are trying to lose weight.  Demi hopes it will work for them.  She hopes when they see results it will inspire them to keep going.  It's a good example for the boys to see.
     Her friends and families grew up on the Island.  Healthy eating is a foreign concept there.  The first time I went there I was introduce to the bagel with cream cheese and butter.  Yep.  Both.  That sort of sums it up.  Sure, the Island has great bagels and amazing pizza.  Sure, their pizza has specialized crusts, with sesame, onion, or salt, like bagels.  Garlic knots.  More carbs, slathered with butter and garlic.  And they use real butter there.  Real cheese.  You don't see a lot of organic foods sold there.
     The boys like to help in their own way.  They spot any attempt Demi makes to partake of non-Paleo food.  They threaten to sell her out to her trainer.  But they are also supportive of the other family participants.  Of course, they might sell any one of them out too.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


We had a visit it from the Island this weekend.  Demi' sister came with most of her family.  This time though, she had a new addition.  Her new grandson (via marriage) had requested to come see my boys, while on their recent tour of England, Ireland, and France (Paris).  He had missed them and hadn't seen them since Christmas.
     I will say the visit was better than could be hoped for.  Andy was a delight.  He was well mannered.  He was respectful.  And he was easy.  No special food requests.  No elaborate night time ritual.  And he was so happy playing with my boys.
     I am very proud of my sons.  They spent so much time with Andy.  They taught Andy to play Manhunt.  From what I understand, Andy doesn't spend a lot of time out of doors, so this was all new to him.  There was very little XBOX.  The three of them took out all the action figures and vehicles in the basement, to put up a large scale battle scene.  In their words: "it was epic."
     I felt they earned some treats.  We did chocolate chip pancakes.  We went for ice cream to Dairy Twist.  The small size at that place is redonkulous.  Coco got the winning flavor, Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel.  However, no complaints with my soft serve orange creamsicle with chocolate jimmies.  These are the family moments that I hope they remember later in life.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dangerous Choices

As soon as I saw the advertisement in the school newsletter, I knew I would be attending this event with the boys.  The event?  A lecture at the Duxbury PAC put on by The Parent Connection.  I know.  Lecture?  Parent Connection.  Well, the Parent Connection is a local organization that tries to help the local parents become better parents.  Lectures, workshops, classes, etc.  All kinds of training.  They actually put on a talk by a former Boston Celtic that grew up in MA (check old posts).  So what's so noteworthy about another lecture?  The talk was titled, "Danger Choices" and it was being delivered by Chris Herren.
     I had seen bits and pieces of the documentary on Chris Herren called "Unguarded."  I was familiar with the published accounts of the "fall from grace" of a local Boston sports figure.  I knew that this would be a worthwhile expenditure.  But it delivered far more than I built it up to be.  It's always amazing when something over delivers on expectations.  Awesome.  Phenonemnal.  Tremendous.  You pick the adjective.  It wouldn't do it justice.
     Chris was an engaging speaker.  He was honest.  His message was right on.  He focused on the decisions and the consequences.  The consequences to him and to those around him.  This was not your cliche "Don't do drugs.  Drugs are bad." speech.  This was not the I was the next big thing but blew it.  Sure there were themes about those things.  But this talk was so much more.  The standing O at the end was well deserved.
     If you are not familiar with Chris's story, I would recommend you seeing the documentary or attend one of his talks.  After all the years of dependence and what he and his family went through, to be able to do what he is currently doing is mind blowing.  Sure, it appeared that he was destined to be a professional basketball player, and an All Star at that.  But maybe this is what he was meant to do.  Maybe this was the destiny.  In a way, he is an All Star.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

It sort of snuck up on me, this "anniversary".  I probably should have seen the correlation as to why the Discovery Channel was showing all the Seal Team Six and Inside Osama's Compound specials.  I guess it didn't seem like a whole year had passed since that Special Ops mission.  Security in and around Boston was definitely taking precautions, as if the Terror Alert Level had risen.  The commuter train platform had about a dozen paramilitary SWAT-type personnel and 2 K9 units.  Even the lobby of our office building had our rent-a-cops on high alert.
     Of course I couldn't help think back on 9/11.  My family came to the forefront of my thoughts, then and now.  I assume because it's my family that is important to me.  Seems like good theory, right?  OK, I jest a bit. It's how I deal with serious thoughts sometimes.  Most of the time.  I don't think I will ever forget the ride home on the T after the attacks on 9/11.  There was some good camaraderie.  Banter about the information we all had at the time.  But the whole duration of the trip, I just want to get home.  Get to my family.  I know the media whips up these "anniversary" frenzies.  But maybe it's because of the important thoughts they generate.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Caz had his first golf outing of the season with a kids only grouping.  He and Rosewood teed off after school.  Demi dropped off the clubs at the clubhouse.  The boys walked over after school.  They played 9 and then had snack/dinner at the 10th hole (clubhouse) after.  Soda, chicken fingers, and chips.  Snack food of champions.  I bet they have that on the menu at Augusta.
     Quite the set up.  Since there is no baseball, Caz got a junior golf membership.  He's outside.  He's active.  He's socializing.  Win/Win for all of us.  Demi has him going at least every Monday.  I bet he's out twice during the week while school's in session.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


What is Quiltytown?  Quiltytown is a throwback to the old days.  It takes one back to a simpler time.  A time where families celebrated a nice day with friends.  A time where kids gathered en mass and entertained themselves, without a joystick, computer screen, or electricity of any kind.
     Although it all started with an email from X's better half, an invitation to a BBQ turned out to be a return to Mayberry.  The adults gathered around in Adirondack chair with beverages, while the kids (about 10 at first but close to 30 by the end) started playing football or swinging on a old tractor tire.  How many men does it take to cook hamburgers on a grill?  Apparently it takes one very great woman to cook burgers and dogs for all the kids, while about 5 guys take over after the hard part is through, to pretend they have been doing the heavy lifting all along.  Of course nothing brings men to one spot like a grill.
     After scarfing down meat, meat, and more meat, we ignored the vegetables and gathered in front of the TV to watch the Bruins lose game 5 in OT.  Fortunately we missed the low point of the Sox misery, blowing  9;0 lead to lose 15-9.  We started watching the Rangers playoff game but brownies and the fire pit called.  The children were running around, playing man hunt.  When X got the fire blazing the beer came out for the adults (again), while the sticks and marshmallows came out for the kids.  The near scaldings from fiery, melted mounds of sugar were kept to a minimum.
     X started the kids on charades next.  Movies were the popular choice.  The abilities ranged from excellent to "what the heck was that"?  But a great idea by X.  That was the rule.  All the kids had to do charades, in order to be allowed to play Kick the Can.  This version of Kick the Can was new to me.  The 30 kids running around, hiding and waiting to kick a can was normal.  But the adults trying to catch said kids, with a flashlight was new.  It was sort of flashlight tag with a can kicking to get out jail.
     These are the nights that really mean something.  The kids will remember nights like these when they get older.  I know it brought back great memories of my childhood for me.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy 100th Fenway!

The 100th Anniversary of Fenway.  Quite a milestone.  I set Tivo to capture all the festivities while I am at work.  I can wait to see who comes back.  The ownership invited everything living player back for the occasion.  Pretty cool!
     The boys are fired up to watch.  I talked about getting ballpark food for dinner:  wings, hot dogs, nachos, etc.  After the opening ceremonies, the boys would settle in to watch the Sox take on the Evil Empire.  Normally, that would be an amazing match up for the milestone event.  But the way the Sox are playing, I wouldn't feel good about a match up with BC or Northeastern.
     Our plans changed throughout the day.  I couldn't get any video streaming at work.  Coco was off on a hike.  Caz was the one watching the game and texting me scores on my commute home.  When I got home, I walked into the kitchen to see Caz boiling water for hot dogs.  Demi told me that he had wanted to surprise me.  My week of yogurt and salads was over.  How could I say no to a ballpark frank made by my son?  ....It was one of the best dogs ever.....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Beach Day

As we drove back from NH, Demi and decided to make our first trek to Duxbury Beach when we got home.  We quickly unloaded the car and repacked with beach gear.  We were all anxious to collect Gizmo from my brother's.  We missed her a lot while we were away.
     Caz decided he was done and just wanted to lay low.  So he agreed to work on some homework and read.     Since we just came back from over 72 hours of family time, I was OK with this arrangement.
     Cars were coming off the beach in droves as we came onto the beach.  Fine by me.  I would rather have more privacy and space.  Too many knuckleheads find their way to the beach these days.  We experience a record heat day, so it made sense the beach was packed today.  I heard the harbormaster was kicking people with expired stickers off in droves.
     Coco had packed the car with stuff, balls, buckets, bats, kites, rackets,  shovels, and bocce.  He had a grand plan to do it all.  We started with a sandcastle.  Or rather sand fiefdom.  We had a huge Camelot type palace with a moat.  But then we had the farming village and wharf as well.  It was a massive undertaking, with a time crunch.  The tide was coming in.  But we got it done.  And our medieval village stood for most of the time we were there.  Coco got in some beach tennis matches with both Mom and Dad.  We got the kite up, flying high. Gizmo was thrilled to be free and with the family.  Then Coco and I dared set foot in the water.  Crazy, I know.  But we dove it.  Not for long.  Just long enough to freeze the family jewels.  All in all, a successful day.  Welcome, beach season.  Looking forward to a long one this year.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hiking NH

So far, a really great family trip to NH.  We mulled over taking advantage of Wildcat's offer for the last day of skiing for the season.  But it looked bleak.  The temp fell in the 70's.  Wildcat had no beginner trails open.  So we drove over and made the decision to hike instead.  We landed at Pinkham Notch, which is part of the Appalachian Trail.  It was packed with people hiking up to Tuckerman's Ravine to ski.  I was a little worried at first, since I couldn't get a lot of information on the trails from the "rangers" there.  I think they were old timers, just futzing around.
     We ended up hiking for 2 hours on the Long Pond Trail.  The sun shined brightly, with enough warmth in amongst the treeline.  It struck me as odd to be walking over layers of snow still.  We saw the Saco River running low from not enough spring rainfall.  We encountered a loud flock of mallards.  The boys made themselves walking sticks.  Demi captured the moments on film.  When we finally got back to the base lodge, I found a reliable source to help me pick out a good map for future hikes.  We could come back for years and not hit all the trails.  Looking forward to trying.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Teenage Wasteland

Happy 13th Birthday, Caz!

I wrote in my letter (I tend to write personal letters to the boys for milestone occasions on really nice stationary and in script) that in many cultures, old and current, the 13th birthday can be considered the gateway to manhood.  I kidded that Demi and I had not arranged a marriage yet, and would hold out for more than an ox or a couple of goats.
     These are really the years that he will look back and remember.  The years that shape the man he is destined to become.  Sure all these preceding years are important.  But a lot of it is just set up for the decisions he will make in the next few years.  You don't know it at the time, of course, but these decisions in years 13-16, have a big influence on what kind of adult you become later on.  Now, don't get me wrong, your path is not set in stone.  Kids screw up big in these years and recover.  But if you make enough good decisions in this time frame, it will add up to positive things later on.  The opposite would hold true as well.
     I think Caz is on a good path.  I am proud of what he has done so far.  I expect big things from him.  I challenge him to be the best Caz he can be.  Yeah, I probably demand that too.  I never said that being my child would be easy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Last PreTeen Night

It's funny.  Demi and I keep discussing Caz's impending birthday tomorrow with a lot of enthusiasm.  But Caz actually seems nervous.  I am not quite sure what he expects to happen.  Maybe he doesn't either, so that is why he is nervous?
     I almost can't believe that tonight is the last preteen night for Caz.  It doesn't seem possible.  It happened too fast.  Where did the time go?  My little boy is about to become a man.
     Of course, it's not like he hasn't been practicing being a teenager for months now.  The Lizard King has spent quite a few hours perfecting his teen angst.  He really should be all set to make the transition.  I will have to admit though the Lizard King's hissing has been less frequent lately.  Maybe he's mellowing out a bit?  One can hope.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

Demi did it again.  She created another family moment that will last in the kids memories.  She went beyond the great food and decorating.  Demi outlined a very enjoyable day.
     Demi scheduled brunch for 11 AM.  That would be followed by some games.  Naps were optional and encouraged.  The traditional Easter Egg Hunt would be next.  That would be held outside, next door at my parents, weather permitting.  Around 3 would be Linner (something between lunch and dinner).  Then maybe more games or naps.  5 PM was dessert time.
     Demi was sick of the chowing down and then folks leaving.  I can't blame her.  There wasn't enough socializing.  And this schedule really worked well.  Gametime was very entertaining.  We played Apples to Apples, which I highly recommend.  There is not a lot of "game" to get in the way.  You don't have a lot of pieces or strategy.  The player interaction is high.  And it does tell you quite a bit about each individual.
     The family actually spent some time before and after dessert, watching the Masters.  It caught the attention of all, even the kids.  Of course XBOX did come calling later on.  But the boys were really into the holiday and got into the spirit.  It really was one of our more successful holidays.  The only thing that would have been an improvement, was if some of Demi's family could have been here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Do The Right Thing

Part Two of the DYF annual meeting debacle:  I had tried to offer a decent compromise to the emotional uproar apparent during the meeting.  I raised my hand, then offered the thought that all head coaching positions were currently open by terms of the bylaw.  I proposed that since I had not made an official decision on coaching, I would withdraw my name in favor of bringing in a Pop Warner coach to act as head coach.  I would assist and help build a new coaching staff and team.  Since I had been coaching in both leagues for the past few years, I felt I had a unique perspective that would be valuable to this proposed merger.  It sounded good, but the Board glossed over it to put it politely.  One board member openly hissed at it.
     However, the gesture was not lost on the crowd.  It garnered a lot of talk after the meeting.  It seemed sensible to most, if I was willing.  And I am.  So why not?  I went so far as to say I would put my offer in writing to the board and reiterate it.  Which I did.  Then I sent the same note off to the DPW Board.  One thing about back room deals.  They don't really like the bright spotlight.  They tend to whither and die when faced with publicity.  I guess we will see.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grown Ups Behaving Badly

The dark, slimy underbelly of youth sports reared it's ugly head again tonight.  DYF held it's annual meeting.  Finally.  It was only 4 months past due.  This was going to be an interesting meeting.  The main purposes of this gathering was for the association to vote to merge with DPW.  I suspected going into it that it was going to be a slam dunk for the merger.  However, true to form, the board went about the whole thing bass ackwards.  They didn't present all the details and facts for the merger.
     They were bold enough to ask for carte blanche on amending bylaws as needed to "facilitate the merger".  Yet, they had secretly met on Sunday to try and name all the head coaches.  This was not only against the parameters of he merger, but against their own DYF bylaws.  In doing so, they took the opportunity to oust a long time head coach.  This coach didn't have a child in the program (and hasn't for year), was on the board, and invested extensive hours into the programs including an annual clinic.  The short version here is that some board members didn't like the offense this guy ran.  Petty.  Which, unfortunately, is not surprising.
     The thing about backroom deal is that their Kryptonite is publicity.  These tend to wilt when they see the light of day.  Well, this group would never be mistaken for the CIA.  The outcome of that meeting was known almost immediately and circulating around our small town.  The focus of everyone's discussion during the annual meeting was "the kids".  Well, the kids were impacted by this decision.  They were furious.  And the board tried to sweep it all under the rug.  To say the annual meeting was a firestorm would be an understatement.  But finally people got to see how this board operates.  The emotion was centered around the coaching issues.  The issue was trust.  The board operated in bad faith, and presented a small amount of the facts, and got caught.  Amazing isn't it?  What is more amazing is that the motion passed to trust these individuals to amend the bylaws willy nilly.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools

So is it wrong to eat a bag of popcorn while watching the Hunger Games?  Think on that one for a while
The whole family read the book and was eagerly anticipating the release of the movie.  The boys really had their heart set on seeing it on opening day.  But the movie was sold out for the first five days.
     You definitely want to see it with the older kids.  The violence is rating appropriate, PG-13.  I saw way too many younger kids in that theater.  Far be it from me to tell someone what is appropriate for their kids.   I find my kids had a good grasp on what is real and what isn't, and had that ability to discern that at a young age.  But I probably would have held this movie until they were older, if my boys have been much younger.
     The movie held true to the book.  It was well done, and well cast.  It's definitely going to make a bundle.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Demi found a good Friday activity for the boys.  The local rod and gun club is offering a free 90 archery session on Friday evenings.  Caz got his bow for Christmas, so we figured he would be all for it.  Demi took it a few steps further and made it a boys night out for our boys and their crew.  I stopped by on the way home to see how the shooting was going.  They were outside, being a great spring evening.  It was unseasonably warm. We actually had to worry about mosquitoes.
     Afterward, we went out for pizza.  Well, pizza for the boys.  Demi was good and got a salad.  I couldn't resist trying a burger, since it was a new place for us.  There are 30 different types of wings there.  Coco says that we have to try them all.  He's quite the connoisseur of wings.  He went right for the buffalo wings with garlic.    He also picked the winner.  My Parmesan and garlic were not the best.  It's a bit loud in Pizzings, but they do have a lot of TV's in there.  The free popcorn is a good gimmick.  Dessert was the topper, deep fried Oreos and fried dough balls.  The dough balls were the winner of that round.  We had more than enough for the family with just those.  We carted out quite a bit of left over from that meal.  It's good to find the family friendly restaurants.  Pizzings is worth a try out, if you are so inclined.  Maybe not for the toddlers.  But 5th grade and up, should be fine.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Taking Care of Business

Every now and then, parent have to do something responsible.  Well Demi and I covered that and then some today.  We update our estate planning.  Update is the key word.  We acted responsibly years ago and created an estate plan.  Admittedly, we were long overdue to review it and make updates.  We took a good hard look at it.  We met with our lawyer and reviewed our options.  Then we chose a path, laid out the critical data and elements, and started forward.  Today we took a big step towards finalizing the new plan.  It felt like closing on a house.  In fact, I think we signed more documents today than we have in either of our mortgage transactions.
One more round and we are done.
     I would urge all parents to enact some kind of estate plan.  If nothing else, devise a list of guardians for your children.  Now is a good time, since new laws were enacted to cover guardianship for our kids in a variety of circumstance.  You can now name a temporary guardian if you are out of the country, or otherwise temporarily unavailable.  You can designate a guardian in case you are temporarily incapacitated.  I do believe it is a parents responsibility to provide that security for your children in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  That means providing financially, physically, and emotionally.  Do you really want to leave it in the hands of strangers and the courts?  Do you really want your surviving loved ones to have to deal with endless amounts of red tape? Wouldn't you rather dictate the terms of these things?  Protecting your kids from beyond?  I know my answers to these questions.  Do you?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's 5K

Caz ran his first race ever today.  I am very proud of him.  It took a little convincing.  And some incentive.  About an hour or so of XBOX.  But it was worth it.
     I signed up for this 5K a few days ago.  It was held over in Marsh Vegas in Brant Rock. The town shut down the esplanade.  People were milling around in green, shamrocks, and leprechaun hats.  I am pretty sure the Guinness was flowing early.  Music was blaring.  The vendor tents were all up.  I am not sure how much Caz took in but I think he enjoyed himself.  I told him at the start that he did not have to wait for me.  I reassured him that he would see the route laid out and could meet me at the end.  He even picked our meeting point.
     When we started, the pack was thick.  We were really hemmed in.  I thought it might not go over well with Caz.  But he took matters into his owns hands.  He swung wide and ran through some backyards with some other kids to get in front of the pack.  Pretty clever, actually.  I figured I was too old to pull that off.  I thought for sure that would be the last I saw of him.  But after we made the turn and headed into the last mile, I caught sight of him. I slowly moved up on his right.  I knew he could drop the hammer on me at any time.  So I purposely, didn't let him see me until I could see the finish area.  Of course, I thought the finish line was closer than it was, so I started my finish kick early.  Caz would have dusted me anyway, but that didn't help.  He seemed ho hum about it.  I hope he liked it.  I hope he will run again.  But we will see.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

D Day

I guess it had to happen.  The stars had to align at some point.  The perfect conditions came to be at the same time.  No, not Armageddon.  Not in the global sense anyway.
     The boys decided on the same night, when Demi and I had zero rest and a short span of patience, to act their worst.  Looking back, it was not about one common thing.  They didn't unite to overthrow the Empire or anything.  They each had their own issues.  They both chose to take our their dispositions on Mom and Dad.  One was overly emotional  The other was just angry.  Raging hormones?  Full moon?  Who can say?
     I will say this though, I was extremely happy with the way that this guy responded.  Sure, I could have yelled and screamed.  I could have responded with anger.  I had every avenue to do so.  I was short on sleep.  I had my own long day at the office.  But I resisted those impulses.  I can't say from where I drew the strength. But I rallied hard.  I didn't raise my voice one.  I exercised a great deal of patience.  I sat the boys down, looked them in the eye and told them that this night could not continue like it was.  I told them that it was unacceptable and that we were starting over.  I gave them each a few minutes to count to 100, breathe deep, whatever they needed to do to calm down.  The I set Caz back to his homework, and had Coco help me with dinner.  I went over board to manners, using "Please" and "Thank you" more than was necessary.  And the boys responded.  They held themselves in check.  They were positive with each other,  We changed the night for the better.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Little Brother

Happy 38th!  Very exciting.  I know it's not a milestone year, but you have plenty to be celebrating.  Congratulations on expecting #2.  Another round of what to expect when you are expecting.  At least you are not a rookie this time through.  You have some experience to draw upon.  I am sure you will be fine.  Regardless, you may want to read some of the old posts here......

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Can You Hear the Drums, Fernando?

"There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernando."

There is a great scene (one of many) in Bull Durham where Annie is telling Nuke about Fernando Venezuela.  She goes on to describe how he goes into his wind up and rolls his eyes back into his head, breathing through his eyelids before he delivers a pitch.  I can't help but conjure up that scene after the Lizard King (I am thinking of updating that to the Lizard Prince - I mean after all, I am the King, right?) rolls his eyes at me.  Which is often.  That kid has perfected the eye roll.  It pushes the limits of my self control sometimes.  OK, a lot of the time.  I wonder if that is just another genetic instinct which is present in all teenagers.  Maybe I ought to check Darwin's notes.......

Monday, March 5, 2012

The March Towards Progess

The Lizard King has been trying hard lately to control himself.  Caz has been trying to think before he lashes out. He's working on controlling those raging hormones and emotions.  He is putting some thought into what he is about to say, before firing something fresh off immediately.  No, it's not perfect.  But that is not realistic.  I have to acknowledge the effort and the fact there is a level of consistency with this effort.  Positive reinforcement.  Hopefully that will encourage him to continue.  Baby steps, right?  "Baby steps to the elevator...."
     In turn, Dad has been making more of an effort to keep himself in check too.  I try to repeat myself calmly over and over.  I had a longer threshold of that early on but these preteen years brought it down.  I know I have to work extra hard to speak clearly, hold eye contact, and have Caz repeat things because of the ADD.  I know I have to parse out tasks, one at a time, rather than giving a laundry list to him all at once.  It's really different from how I think, so it's not natural.  But I have to make it work.  It's for Caz's benefit.  That's what Dads are supposed to do, right?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Marching On

And just like the the snow is gone.  We almost made it through the whole month of February without a snowfall.  That extra Leap Day kept that from happening.  It must be some kind of record for around here.
     It's official though, baseball is done in this house.  Playing baseball that is.  No more little league.  No more rushing out of work to help coach....3 times a more pitching batting more squatting for pitching more grounders.....I think I am actually going to miss it.  That's not to say there's no more catch with the boys.  But I was really hoping one of them might feel the passion to try and play all the way through high school.  That is the key though.  If they don't have the desire, then why bother.  It's not fun for them and therefore no fun for Dad.  I always said, I don't care what activity they do.  The boys don't have to play a "sport".  But they do have to be active and do some kind of physical activity on a regular basis.  I would rather them live a healthy lifestyle.  That education starts now, while they are young.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year 2012

Happy 11th Demi!  Coco is now two days older than you.  Hope you are enjoying Mardi Gras.

I have never seen such a fuss on TV for Leap Year Before.  Each episode of the ABC comedy line up had a character with a Leap Year Birthday.  Modern Family might have have one of the funniest episodes ever.  For any show.  Right up there with "master of your domain."  Seems only fitting.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy 11th Coco

My youngest son turns 11 today. He is so excited to be technically older that Demi.  At least for the next two days.  Happy Birthday Coco!
     The little guy got his new bike.  It was time to step up to a real bike.  His legs were way too long for his old bike.  I think he was excited.  He looked like he was enjoying it, while he was riding it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Birthday Weekend

Apparently, Coco had the best birthday dinner of the weekend.  We did something out of character, which was eat out two nights in a row.  I figured it was vacation week and two birthdays coming up, so why not?
     We didn't go anywhere and the boys deserved a dinner at the Charlie Horse on Friday night.  The Charlie Horse is a good family place with a game room.  Demi and I were prepared to dole out for some video game tokens.  Coco decided that he wasn't in the mood.  Caz fell asleep in Demi's lap before the food came.  He was up at 5 AM, when I went off to work.  I guess it it's not surprising that he barely ordered before dozing off.  He was fast asleep too.  He actually drooled on Demi.
     It was night two at Orta that was really exceptional.  Caz was at a sleep over, so it was just me and the birthday crew.  Coco won the night with best entree and dessert.  The appetizers were a split vote - fried rice balls and antipasto.  Coco got a great pizza from their brick oven.  We sat at the pizza bar so we watched the his pizza being made from start to finish.  For dessert, he got the cannoli's.  He really scored all the way around.  I liked my gnocchi.  But I have to admit, his pizza was fantastic.  And Coco was so excited about it.  He got a birthday candle on his cannoli too.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Throwback Week

It's the end of school vacation week here in the great state of MA.  It can be a hard week.  Usually, it's still pretty cold.  It may snow a lot.  In Duxbury, a lot of families go on some vacation.  So if you enact a stay-cation, like we did, you really have to try hard to occupy the kids.  Well, this week went exceedingly well.
     The weather was warm.  There was no snow.  Even though many kids were on vacation, the neighborhood kids were around.  They played manhunt and flashlight tag until well after dark.  It was like the old summer days growing up in this neighborhood.  20 kids of all ages would be running around until the dinner bell rang.  Then it was a quick dinner and back out.  The whole neighborhood was "in-bounds."  It was so nostalgic, I gave the boys dinner in a cup one night, so they could still play the game.  Sure the boys still asked for some XBOX time but it was minimal.