Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve 2013

Coco is the only family member out on this festive evening.  Us boys are all just getting over being sick.  Coco was the first down but still seems to be the worst off.  I just got some of my energy back today.  Not all, but some.  Coco was all set for quiet evening before his boys came by.
     I am glad they came to get him.  I don't even mind a sleepover tonight.  They may go to a movie.  They may go to a party.  The party apsect was interesting.  New territory for us.  It sounded like a remote possibility but it still is nice that they are entertaining the thought.  I put it on Caz's to let me know the final plans, including sleeping over.  I likely will not be staying up until midnight.  I would shut it down as early as possible.  I know Coco wants to watch the Duke/Texas A&M game.  Odds are that will go late.  Can I hope for an early blow out? He needs his rest but it is NYE after all.....wish us luck.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

A great family Christmas  morning.  This is the first year Demi and I got up before the kids.  Amazing.  I got up to set up the video recorder on the tripod.  I set up the speakers for Christmas music. Then I put on some coffee.
     I had the opportunity to give Demi her present first, just the two of us.  I had intended all along for Demi to get the first present.  She was thrilled to get her new digital camera.  Now she could shoot photos all day long (since I charged the battery beforehand).
     Coco was the first child up.  He immediately went looking for his stocking.  Which, of course, was still in Demi's closet.  I hadn't gotten up in the middle of the night to set them out.  Caz could have cared less.  He actually still wanted to sleep.  But once he was up, the excitement kicked in.  It's nice to see that even at this age, the boys still get excited for Christmas morning.
     Our new tradition is to save the big present for each child for last.  Then make them work for it.  The boys have to work together to solve a series of clues.  I took them all over the house.  They had to get coffee for Demi and me.  They had to enact one random act of kindness each.  It's fun.  It's really great to see the smiles on their faces at the end of the hunt.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

XMAS Eve - Panic Attack

I thought I was all set for today up until last night.  I knew I had some running around to do for Demi to help get things set for XMAS dinner.  I also new I had a few gifts to get for Demi yet.  But everyone else was done....or so I thought.
     Yesterday I waited and waited.  One more package was needed and today was the last day quoted on delivery time.  I went to check Amazon for more information.  My jaw dropped as I saw to posts, dated after my order date, saying that this seller was a fraud.  I was shocked.  I couldn't believe it.  I order Caz's gift, the day after Thanksgiving.  Sure it was an amazing deal.  But too good to be true? It wasn't far off other sale prices.  But it was all a mirage.  The seller had pulled one over on us.  Amazon was good.  They filed a claim to get our money back.  But now I did not have Caz's big present.
     No way was I going to let him have nothing for XMAS morning.  I searched the stores for prices and deals.  They were all the same.  No last minute bargains to be had.  But bargains be damned, I was getting this present for Caz.  I saw that Wal-Mart was opening at 7 AM today.  I could go to the gym and head straight there.  Which is what I did.  Even though folks had line up, waiting for the doors to open, I was in and out in 10 mins.  Mission accomplished.  I felt so relieved.  But that is what a Dad does right?  I certainly think so.

Friday, December 20, 2013

XMAS on the Island 2013

The annual trek to the island for XMAS with the in-laws.  I rigged the car so the boys had much more room than usual.  Caz had the whole back row to himself.  Coco shares the second row with Gizmo.  The cooler was filled with drinks and Demi's food for the German themed, XMAS feast.  Everyone had pillow and blankets.  My NY XMAS mix seemed to be a hit.  It actually last almost the whole entire trip.  We only had to make two pit stops, which was great seeing as how we left the wee-wee jug at home.  No emergency in-flight releases on this trip.
     The boys are excited to see their cousins. They are also excited to see Riley, the new Shi Tzu puppy.  And Caz is excited to see his girlfriend.  Aye.  Best kind of girl friend to have is an out of state one....for the parents...until we actually visit that state.  I found myself thinking that I needed to have a talk with Caz before going down there.  We have all kinds of talks but not one about actually wanting to kiss a girl.  That will be a bit of new arena for us.  I have asked him before but he has denied wanting to kiss anyone.  I guess we will see what happens.  Could be an interesting year on the island.....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Indoor Heat

Caz had his first indoor track meet of the season tonight.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  Of course, I was probably more engrossed with trying to get to the arena, rather than what events would be going on.
     All of their meets are at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury.  Nice timing actually, given the special on Reggie that just aired over Thanksgiving.  Sure, there is free parking.  But not all day.  So I can't park there on my way to work.  And by the time I get to my car in Quincy to drive back, I could miss his events.  The third option? Take public transportation.  The glamorous T.  Hey, beats walking.
     I actually got there just after the start of the meet.  It was a lot to take in.  A bit overwhelming actually.  There had to be at least 8 schools.  There were 4-5 events going on simultaneously.  I had to scan the crowd and do a walk around to find where Duxbury was sitting.  Fortunately with Caz's new height, I was able to pick him out of a crowd.  I am so happy that I went.  He ran his first ever event, the 55 meter race and won his heat.  He told me later that he was not in a Varsity heat, but I saw his time would have put him right there with his peers on Varsity.  He was really pumped about it too.  His buddy's came over to congratulate him and he was pumping his fist.  It was nice to see him excited about it.  It was nice to see that he surrounds himself with good kids to.  Kids who are supportive.
     His second race was fantastic too.  He ran the 300 meter.  I wasn't sure but had originally thought it was a 100 or 200, before he started.  He killed it.  He won by a lot.  He ran hard.  He ran well.  He had a bit of a tough finish, with the last 5 meters.  I thought he might hurl.  But he held it together.  As it turns out, he finished 3rd on his team, just a half second out of first for the team.
     I am really proud of him.  Not because he won his heats.  I am proud of him because he tried his hardest.  He ran as hard as he could.  That is all I ever ask of him.  He was so proud of himself.  I was thrilled to see that too.  What a great night.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Let it Snow 2013!

Today's forecast is for the first major snowfall of the season.  Thus far it is living up to the billing.  It looks so Christmas-like outside.  The snow.  The lights.  The decorations.  Everything looks perfect.  We have a fire going.  It is such a nice atmosphere.
     The snow is really stacking up too.  There is a good 3-4 inches out there so far.  Gizmo is going to be bouncing around, plowing through the snow, when I take her out later.
     It is a good thing we were prepared.  I spent yesterday and today battening down the hatches.  I shut off the water.  I put away the hoses.  I started the snow blower.  The boys and I stacked wood.  We actually got almost all of it either in by the fireplace or in the garage.  We have a small emergency pile on the deck.  Demi got the bare necessities from the grocery store.  Her boss gave her a generator for her Christmas bonus.  We are ready for anything.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Family Movie Night - The Desolation of Smaug

Tonight was a perfect family movie night.  Demi and I ate a quick dinner with Caz at home, then picked up Coco and a buddy.  It was nice to be able to bring this particular friend of Coco.  They take Coco on a lot of outings.  He is a shy kid, so being on familiar ground is often critical to him being able to function.  The parents appreciate Coco being a good friend, so they invite him to a lot of places & trips.
     It was Opening Night for the second Hobbit movie - The Desolation of Smaug.  We picked a showing on the big screen, RPX.  3D and excellent sound.  It was well worth getting there early to pick out decent seats, and the extra expense.  The movie was fantastic and perfect for the RPX setting.  The boys all shared a pop corn before the movie.  The pre-movie snippets on the screen were amusing for all.  The preview trailers were promising.  The boys were well behaved, much better than many of the adult patrons around us.  Movie night is no longer a cheap night out, so you hope for nights like these.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Banquet

Sure.  Today is my birthday.  But we knew going in the focus would be Caz's first XC season ending banquet.  We volunteered to help set up for the shindig.  As typical, not enough other parents stepped up to do so.
     I am fine with the focus being on Caz.  The trip to Boston yesterday was really my celebration.  It's what I wanted to do: spend some family time together.
     The banquet went well.  They did both the girls and boys teams together.  It ran a little long.  But this was the first time for both of these coaches together.  One had quite a laundry list of stats to announce.  Maybe post those somewhere.  Each kid doesn't need a stat.  The captains did a pretty good job of speaking.  They gave a little shout out to each teammate, with something nice and/or funny to say about them.  There was a ton of food.  No one went hungry.  All in all a good event.  I really wonder what Caz took in about it.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fanieul Hall

I sort of used my birthday (tomorrow), as an excuse to get the kids out of the house and off on a family adventure.  I wanted to go to Boston.  Fanieul Hall specifically.  I knew it would be all decorated and feel festive.  It just has that Christmas feel to it.  So I figured it would be a nice family outing.
     I think it was a huge success.  The boys were really well behaved.  The went willingly (even though at first they really didn't want to).  We sauntered through the food row in the center of the market to see our options.  We finally settled on a meatball hot pocket for Demi, a BBQ chicken wrap for Coco, and a Sicilian pizza for Caz and me.
     We then set off shopping.  That was the most precarious proposition facing the boys.  But they were good.  We only stopped in a few places.  We broke up the store visits with a viewing of the huge Christmas tree, a concert by the Mass Maritime Band, and the Festival of Lights, where the Christmas lights all along Quincy Market were set to blink and change colors in time with the music of the Boston Pops.  We spent the most time in Newbury Comics.  Caz got his girlfriend a present.  Then just about promptly gave up the surprise via text.  I think Coco got his brother something.
     We finished the evening dining at Durgin Park.  We hadn't eaten all that long ago but the boys were tired, cold (Caz decided to pack poorly and regretted it) and actually a bit hungry.  So we sat down.  The boys got some hot chocolate.  We loaded up on fried food and shepherd's pie.  On the way home we stopped at Sweet Frogs for some frozen yogurt.  Even though we were in the car for a bit, it's still amazing that the boys found room in their bellies for more.  All in all, a great day.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmastime is Here

Can you hear the Charlie Brown music in the background?
     With Thanksgiving so late this year, we felt like starting this past weekend that we needed to start decorating.  I put the lights up outside.  Not many of them this year.  A lot of them were not in working condition.  The reindeer are caput.  This is not the year to spend on more lights.  It is sort of the anti-Griswald light display.
     We put up the tree too.  It was a pretty easy process this year.  The only hiccup was the age of battle of symmetry and balance.  The boys were very heavy with the ornaments on the right-front quadrant of the tree.  The boys were great overall.  Caz is tall enough (taller than the old man) to help me set up the tree.  He's not quite the Abominable Snow Man in Rudolph, but he's a big help.
     Demi worked hard to decorate the inside of the house.  She put up the wreaths, displays, lights, and pictures.  I set up my Dickens village in the bay window.  It's been a good team effort.
     But after all that, Caz's assessment was rather harsh.  He came home from practice, while it was dark and reviewed the house.  Demi asked him what he thought.
     Well.....so was the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  And people loved that.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Rivalry Weekend

Coco and I had a full day of watching college football yesterday.  Rivalry weekend.  Probably the best weekend of college football of the year.  Coco was fired up for the Noles match up against the Gators in the Swamp.
     The Noles creamed them.  It was close early but then the Noles woke up and took them to the woodshed.  We caught the end of the OSU-Michigan annual at the Horseshoe.  That was a nail-biter.  Then we rolled into the Iron Bowl.  Talk about your fantastic finishes! Wow!
     It was really quite a trip watching the games with him.  He had watched College Game Day on ESPN leading into the game.  He knew all the stats.  He knew all the trivia.  Then he said something to me that was really amusing:
     "Do you know that trophy was given out to the winner of the Civil War between the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beaver?"
     "No.  What?"
     "A platypus.  I think that is really clever.  Cause you know....it's half duck, half beaver...."
     I chuckled.  Just the way he said it.  And the way you could almost see the thought bubble over his head. Those moments are something else.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Always a great family holiday.  Everyone got to sleep late today.  I was feeling a bit under the weather.  Demi is coming off a cold.  I decided to skip the annually early AM alumni Bloody Mary mixer.  I also decided on skipping the game.  I know.  Crazy right?  But I needed the rest.  I would have slept until noon, if I hadn't forced myself out of bed.  Caz too.
     Demi made her famous stuffing.  Coco was the sous chef.  He did a really great job.  I made 4 loaves of banana bread on the side.  I did not want to get in the way of the major cooking.  It all worked well.  We were a well oiled machine.
     I spent some time with Coco.  We played Madden 25.  Nothing like a little football on Thanksgiving.  I will need to play some COD with Caz.  That's Call of Duty for those not in the know.  So no, we are not playing something fish related.
     Looking forward to going over to my brother's later.  This is what the boys will remember.  Getting together with extended family and making memories.  They will play with their cousins.  They will eat until they can't move.  It will shape their holidays in the future.  I hope for the better.
     Hope you all have a great holiday.  And to those in our military, thank you.  Hope you get home to your families soon, safe & sound.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Father Bill's Table

The family volunteered at Father Bill's table.  It was a soup kitchen, run out of a small church in Brockton.  Demi and I had been talking about how the kids need to ramp up the volunteering and doing charity work.  Demi had taken the boys to this last year.  So we loaded up the boys, plus 3 of Caz's friends to go give back.
     It was a great experience.  The folks from the church in Duxbury that was organizing the effort this week, was very appreciative of having some non-church folk.  The boys really did a great job.  They were well mannered, well behaved, and well motivated.  They worked hard.
     The folks we were serving came in all ages, sizes, and races.  Duxbury doesn't have much in the way of diversity.  This was really important for the boys to see.  Of course, it was heart breaking to see small children there.  But the boys needed to see that too.
     Demi and I are very proud of all of them.  And it's not a one and done.  The boys know that too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Health Class

See if you can follow the logical progression:
     We sat down for family dinner time.  I asked my normal questions of the boys.  "How was your day?"  "What did you do in school today?"  Coco proceeds to tell us how they had a project in class.  It was all about the benefits of science.  Lab partners were teamed up.  One of his football teammates decided to name their team "Friends with Benefits."  Demi almost spit out her food.  I almost choked I was laughing so hard.  Demi asked Coco if he knew what the phrase meant.  As Coco declared that, in fact, he did not, Caz was sinking into his chair and trying to hide an ear to ear grin behind a napkin.
     After commenting on Caz's poker face, Demi asked him, "don't you start sex ed soon?"
     Caz wanted to crawl into a bag.  He wanted to be anywhere but in the vicinity to have to answer that question.
     "Yeah, right before Christmas break"
     "Merry Christmas", I responded.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Salute to Service

November is now Movember.  But it also the start of the NFL's Salute to Service to honor the service men and women of the US Armed Services.  I really like that campaign.  It's long over due.
     I saw an older gentleman at the gym this morning.  He wore a t-shirt dedicated to Pearl Harbor.  It got me thinking.  Do most Americans still give a thought to Pearl Harbor Day?  I was born the day after, so I always have it in mind this time of year.  But for the generations born after, what does Pearl Harbor Day mean?  We have our 9/11.  We promised to Always Remember.  But will we?  What will generations to come think about 9/11?
     There are some really cool tributes going on.  The Cardinals are all wearing a #40 sticker on their helmets.  The ASU marching band formed a lot of military shapes before moving to a PT42.  The Bruins had a great honor guard present the colors, with a young service woman singing the national anthem.  They recognized service men and women all game long.  They had personnel stationed overseas send in pictures via Twitter, then posted them on the Jumbotron.  I hope these campaigns help keep the importance of these people and what they do, at the forefront of people's consciousness.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Report Cards

This year is the first for no hard copy report cards.  Long in the past are the days where students bring a piece of paper home for the parents to sign.  It's all on-line.  That is a good news, bad news scenario.  Sure, its green and environment friendly.  Sure, it's immediate access.  But the school portal stinks.  It is set up very poorly.  The ascetics aside (which are horrible), it's just not user friendly.  It times out a lot.  The screen and click flow are horrid.  I know we spent a bundle on it.  We got ripped off.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thor: Dark World

I will give it 4 Chinnies overall.
     The whole family attended this one and walked away smiling.  I would highly recommend spending the extra $ to see this in 3D and on the RPX screen.  This was a great action flick for that.  Great special effects.  Good plot.  Marvel wins again.
     Demi was enthralled with Thor.  A smart Natalie Portman was there for yours truly.  The kids got to see things blow up.  Something for everyone.
     No spoilers but there were some good cameos too.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Start of the Offseason

And so it begins.  Today marked the end of the football season.  We played our arch nemesis, Hanover.  Again.  Two times in one season.  Yes.  We lost.  Again.  But the boys played tough.  We kept it close.  It was a hard hitting, physical game.  This was not a game for the meek.  Coco was tough.  He played though a bad cold.  He was stuffy and miserable.  But he played through it.  I was proud of him.
     I was proud of all of them.  All my boys played well.  It was a long and trying season.  We faced a lot of challenges as a team.  Most of them were not on the gridiron, either.  Sure, more wins would have been nice.  For them.  For the kids, they are now old enough to start using wins as a measure of success.  I still use more in my definition of success.  The boys got better, all season long.  And they had fun.  They formed a team.  I call that a success.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Family Time

Today was a great family day.  I got up early to get some yard work done.  Sure, I could have slept in.  But I wanted to have it all.  I wanted to get my yard work done and spend time with the family.  Caz had a state XC meet in Wrentham.  I had been probing him for the last two days, trying to figure out if he wanted Mom and Dad going to his meets and cheering for him in the stands.  It took me a while to crack is guard.  He put up a good layer of indifference.  But I finally got through and could tell that he appreciated the support.
     So Demi and I loaded Gizmo into the car and made the trek to Wrentham.  Sure, it took longer to drive there than it did for him to run the course.  But it was worth it.  He put in a really great effort.  It was also nice to see him with his team.  They are a good bunch of kids.  Seeing them interact is priceless.
     When I got home, I cooked up some dinner for later, during the game.  Coco was in the den, so I could watch college football with him and cook at the same time.  He had been home sick the past few days.  He must have watched 12 hours of college football today, all told.  As soon as I walked through the door, I got a full recap on the games I had missed.  He was really into it.  I think I have created a monster....Good for me....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dead Mau5 Baby!

It's finally showtime.  Weeks of labor is finally unveiled.  Caz will be wearing his costume tonight.  He has spent hours crafting this thing.  He ordered parts from Amazon.  He spent hours shopping...yes, shopping...with Demi, to find the right material.  He has to go to the hardware store for supplies and materials.  He got a tux at Building 19.
     Caz went next door to have Yaya help him make cuts in some thin plastic.  He watched.  He learned.  After watching my dad cut, he was able to work on his own.  He cut the mouth all on his own.  The ears he crafted out of hard packed styrofoam.  Then he bolted those ears on, all on is own.  He stretched the material all over the round head pieces and ears.  He painstakingly glued the material, so that it didn't bunch up in folds.  He rigged working speakers into the eye pieces, so that the speakers were the iris.  He put neon lights all around the ears and eyes.  He mounted an old bike helmet inside the bowl, so that the rig would fit on his head.
     Halloween.  Showtime.  Dead Mau5 was in the house.  Caz looked great.  He really did.  Then the rain and wind came.  He was scared the elements would ruin it.  So he stayed in.  He mounted the head piece in the bay window.  The Trick or Treaters loved  it.  Caz took it all in stride.  I am so proud of him.

It's Only Weird If It Doesn't Work

OK, the posting moratorium is over.  The Sox have won the World Series.  I can resume normal order.  Yes, I stayed off my blog during the Sox run.  Honestly, I got pretty busy between football, school, Demi's physical therapy, and work.  But when the Sox started winning, my OCD took over.  It was all about the routine.  Whatever I was doing when they won, remained in the daily routine.  Come on.  I can't be angering the Sports Gods at a time like this. So I sit in the same place.  I have Coco sit in the same place.  Demi is banned from the room.
     It's funny what the boys pick up on.  They get.  Years form now, when the boys are shutting the same door a set number of times...every night...or wear the same shirt during each game......they will know where it call came from.  I will be to blame.  That is my legacy to them.
     And some say we don't have any impact on our kids.........

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Back to the Hive

Ah, the moody teenage years.  We hit a bit of a rough patch with Caz.  That is to be expected.  But it still stinks.  I could do without them.
     A selfish teenager?  Surely you jest?  Ah...no...'Tis true.
Again.  It's not often.  But it tries my patience.  The kid has no concept of how much is done on his behalf.  So the clear lack of appreciation is just intolerable.  I can't take it sometimes.  Yes.  I yell.  I try not to.  But I get past the breaking point.
     I had to send him out of my presences after one blow up.  Actually, just away from everyone.  We all need to calm down.  He can really change the dynamic of the whole family.  It's not fair.  To any of us.  I really do just want to wall him up in his honey comb with some food until his mood changes.  Sending him to his room with no electronics will have to do.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Da Vinci Code

Coco started reading the Da Vince Code last night.  He's seen Angels & Demons.  I knew he would find it interesting.  I also knew some of the material was adult, in content, language, and nature.  But I also believe he can handle it.  He's a very smart kid.  He's also mature for his age.  He understands adult concepts.  I felt it was a good opportunity for him to stretch himself a bit.  He reported that he is 87% (Kindle Stats) done.  That's pretty incredible.  I really wonder how much he understands of what he is reading.  I will quiz him tomorrow night.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Boys Weekend 2013

Me and the boys this weekend.  Demi is off on the Island.  I am glad that she took the ferry.  It should break up the trip and be easier on her hip.  She needs to go easy while recovering.
     That aside, I get to spend some time with the boys.  That magic time started roughly with Caz.  He pulled his moody teenager bit.  So I walled him up in his part of the bee hive and spent some one on one time with Coco.  We hit the DHS game in Scituate.  He got to spend some time with his teammates, which was nice. Then we had a late dinner at JW's Burger Barn. Buffalo Burger for Coco of course.  We got the last batch before they closed the kitchen.  Caz was just fine.  He made himself dinner, watched movies, and communicated with his girlfriend.  Coco had his JV football game in the afternoon.  It was nice to have a Saturday morning to get some stuff done.  We only got to catch a few minutes of the FSU game.  I let Coco have a few buddies over after the game for grilled pizzas.  Caz was down with that too.  He got into the act on manhunt with them.  It was nice to see.  I got to grill, have a beer, and watch the Sox with the boys.  Then Coco and I spent hours watching football.  We were disappointed that the Sun Devils lost to ND.  He tried to talk me into letting him stay up for the Stanford game but I was wiped out.
     We all slept in late.  After slowly getting up, I took the boys to breakfast at Persy's Place.  Both the kids got hot chocolates and gigantic breakfasts.  They both got the southern biscuits and gravy, which comes with eggs, bacon, toast, etc.  More food than any two people need....for each plate.  Ridiculous.  I thought I would just get the pumpkin pancakes, no sides, figuring on leftovers.  But that stack of griddle cakes was almost too much for me alone.
     We had a lot of fun together.  But we were all happy to have Demi home.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Crazy Times

Crazy things are still happening around this neighborhood.  All I know is Demi left for NY early this AM.  I get a text that there was an attempted kidnapping on Deerpath.  Now there is a North and South.  I figure it was our street.  The youngest kids\ will be home from school at 3.  I scramble to make contact with him and have him stay at my parents until I get home.  Of course, since Demi is not home.  So Gizmo needs to be walked.  And Coco was hired to walk the dog, Brady, down the street all week.  I arranged to have my parents keep an eye on him while he does that.
     My sister in-law was good enough to get Caz from XC practice.  She stayed next door, at my parents, until he showed, ate, and came over.  She made sure the garage door was closed.  It is so handy and nice to have family close by.  Good family.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Making Amends

So the coach that went on a tirade stepped up and admitted fault.  He reached out to all the coaches, especially me, by email with a promise to address us and all the kids in person at the next practice.  I was impressed with the fact that he manned up and admitted he was wrong.  There have more egregious incidents where nothing was ever said.  I communicated back immediately that we were good and it was all in the past.  At the next practice, he was a good as his word, if not better.  He spoke well to the boys and apologized profusely.  I tell the boys all the time that when you make a mistake, the first thing you have to do is own it.  Then you make amends and learn from it.  That is how you move forward and past it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Biting Your Tounge

To me, there are times when it shows more strength to bite your tongue and not say something, than to start a fight - verbal or otherwise.  It could be based on that being my general style.  It was a decision that I was faced with today.
     During Coco's football game, another coach of ours was losing his mind.  The team played awful.  The game frustrated everyone.  Plays were made that had me shaking my head.  I had coached them better than that, hadn't I?  What happened today?  Why today?  Sure, they usually get psyched out by this team.  But all of them tuning out this whole weekend?  What's up with that?
     I am not sure why this coach was anymore frustrated than the rest of us.  We were all unhappy about what was unfolding in front of us.  But it is not acceptable to be dropping F-bombs around or at the kids.  Then he turned on me.  With 90 seconds left in the game.  I had a choice to make then and there.  Do I let it go?  Or do I fire back?  I felt like firing back would escalate the situation, and set a poor example for the boys.  I glared back and stayed silent.  Did I do the right thing?  Did I appear weak?  I don't know for sure.  It felt like the right decision.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

XC Team Night

at the Olive Garden....
     Well, hey....they're kids.They like it.  It's all the counts.
     This is Caz's first team outing.  It's a big deal.  It's also a Tueday night and this thing is not exactly around the corner.  But it's what you do as a parent.  I want him to hang with his team.  I want him to bond with them.  I like that a third of the team are freshmen.  He gets to interact with upperclassmen but he will also have a core going through the ranks with them.
     I had pick up duty.  About 8:45 I was getting antsy.  I was so tired and all I wanted to do was to go to sleep.  Fortunately the timing worked, and I was able to go get him and return before 10.  He had fun.  Didn't sound like the waitress did.  25 kids.  25 separate checks.  I had to explain to Caz what a pain that is for a waiter/waitress.  Kids don't appreciate that.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Education and Creativity

I first saw the speaker on the TED talks series a few years ago.  He's not only an engaging speaker, he is a visionary.  I may not agree with everything but he makes sense and I tend to like a lot of what he has to say.  Check him out.  Sir Ken Robinson:


Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Twelve years later.  Never forget.  I will also never stop asking the boys if they have questions about this day.  Caz was a toddler and Coco was a newborn.  Every year, and in between, we talk about what happened twelve years ago.  We have had some really serious, good conversations about the events.  We have covered a lot of angles, first responders, terrorists versus religion, patriotism, the war that followed, etc.  That is one way I remember those events.  How they impacted me.  How they impacted others.  How the impact continues.  Honor their memory.
     I am sure for the boys, 9/11 is like Pearl Harbor is to us.  We weren't old enough to have those memories.  But it is important that we remember.  Important that we remember.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

K Train Starts Rollin'!

The 7th grade Dragons opened our football season today.  I was really anxious about how we would perform.  The team passed with flying colors.  Besides winning 20-6, they just played flat out hard.  Our boys wore them down.  It was hot.  We were down at the half.  But we kept going, full out.  And it paid off. What an effort!

Friday, September 6, 2013

So Far, So Good

Four full days and the house is still standing.  There is food in the fridge.  The kids' homework is done.  School lunches were made.  I think I have held the household together pretty well.
     Demi is feeling well.  She's really just needing someone to keep her from over doing it, and ditching the crutches.  I have to make sure she doesn't strain her hip.  The last thing she needs is a set back.
     The boys have been helping out.  They have shown genuine concern for her well being.  It has not been forced.  The family has rallied.  I am very proud of them.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

XC Season Opener

Caz had his first meet today.  I am extremely bummed, not be able to see it.  These start at 4 PM, which does not help me being able to see him run.  I really want to be there to support him.  This means just as much to me as his other sports ever have.  I need him to see that.
     At least my folks will be there.  Demi made it too.  She was feeling good and used the crutches to get up into the stands.
     Caz really seemed exhausted after the race.  He ran hard.  That is all I ask of him.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Football?

It is that time of year.  The season started today.  Yes, we practiced the last two nights, but today was double sessions.  Full pads.  Team bonding.  It is really a good idea.  It brings the kids together.  We were in the sun from 8 AM to 2 PM.  Running.  Banging.  We actually got to run full plays.  We practiced tackling. We ran through the defense.
     In between sessions, the boys got to sit in the shade, eat & talk together.  This is the time that will bond them.  To go through the exertion of a double session together, is something that builds teams.  It builds character.  I really don't believe any other sport has anything close to that.  The boys will be better for it.  The team will be better for it.

Trials & Tribulations

That is likely an over dramatic title.  Lots of families have it way harder than we do.  We are very fortunate.  And we know it.
     Demi goes in for surgery today.  It's a hip scope.  Very routine these days.  Hopefully, she will only be down for a short while.  At least a week on crutches.
     The boys are really going to have to step it up.  Demi is going to need a lot of care.  The house is going to need a lot of care.  I am up for it.  I can cook.  I can do laundry.  I can clean.  I can parent.  The boys are going to have to be more self sufficient though.  The are going to have to get themselves up in the morning, brush their teeth, comb their hair, and get out the door to the bus.  They really should be able to do that on their own.  I know I sound like every parent, but I was able to do that at their age.  It is not unreasonable to expect that they can too.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Frosh Orientation

Our baby had orientation for his freshman year in high school today.  It is really hard to believe.  Our now 5 ft 10 baby is going to wander the halls of DHS, just like his old man.  It is just mind blowing.  My first born.  In high school.  How did that happen? And so quickly?
     This orientation session is called Link Crew.  The seniors volunteer to mentor the incoming freshmen and divide into teams.  The seniors show them all around DHS, so the freshmen have an idea where to go on day one.
     This really signifies some big changes.  For all of us.  Change will be most dramatic for Caz of course.  It all counts now.  Grades.  Sports.  Extra-curricular activities.  Its serious now.  Any college plans hinge on it.  But you want to have some fun too.  It is as much about social and individual growth as it is about educational growth.  I think he is capable of succeeding in all areas. It's all up to him.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Castaways

Well, there was no storm.  And we were not shipwrecked.  But we were not exactly on course.  We took a family kayak trip out on Duxbury bay, along the salt marshes/North River.  It was a beautiful day, sunny and not too hot.
     The tides sort of worked out in our favor.  It was just before high tide when we started.  We did not have to worry about running aground in the back marshes.  But we were out so long - 3 hours, yes....a 3 hour tour - that the tide turned, so were were going against the tide both ways.  The surf was choppy for the bay.  A lot rougher than you would expect with little wind.  It must have been the high tide.
     Coco was a trooper but he got tired about the mid point.  Demi rode up front with Gizmo on the big kayak but took over for Coco.  She was much more relaxed on the ride out.  I worried that she would hurt her hip.  The whole point of the kayaks was to rest the hip.  Caz only got a brief rest and then rowed for all he was worth.  And then some.  He beat us back by quite a lot.  I tried to paddle both the boys and tow a kayak but it was just too much.
     Gizmo was really funny.  She was all concerned about the single kayaks.  Whoever wasn't in the boat with her, caused her great concern.  He took two swims.  None on purpose.  We got scared once, when we couldn't reach her immediately.  She headed for what looked like land but was just long salt marsh.  No land at all.
     It was a really good family day.  We all went for fried seafood right after.  We were famished.  Fortunately, we packed plenty of water.  We let the boys buy pastries and a baggette (Caz's pick) from French Memories.  Sky was the limit.  A limit of one pastry.....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cross Country

Caz starts Cross Country practice with the whole team today.  The coach will be there.  The girls will be practicing too.  This is the start of high school sports for my young son.  I hope he has a positive experience.  I told him that I will be just as excited to see him compete in Cross Country, as I would a football game.  I really am.  I have never seen a meet, other than to walk by on the way to practice.  I told him, that if he tries his best and never places, that I will be extremely proud of him.  All I ask is that he tries his best.  That he works hard and pushes himself to be better, every time.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Captain's Practice

Caz's first high school sports captain's practice was held today.  He went with no problems.  No hesitation.  It started at 8 am, which is way earlier than he had been getting up all summer long.  We had gone shopping over the weekend for new running shoes.  We also stopped off to get compression shorts (since he was warned by his captain that the school uniforms ran on the short side - circa 1983 Celtics style) and running shirts.
     He reported back that he held his own.  They ran 4 miles or so.  He said he had a little trouble by the water.  I am sure it got hot and humid.  But I am proud of him.  He got through and went on with his day.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Paleo Day 14 - Last Day

Last day and in walks whoopie pies.  Are you kidding me?

All day was fine.  Veggie omelet.  Fruit snacks.  Salad for lunch.  Paleo friendly menu for the BBQ for dinner.  And my cousin walks in with homemade cookies and whoopie pies for our Fantasy Football draft.

Well? It's a good think I ran a Tillman this AM.  Burned 900 calories.  Yay me!

Down 1.64% in weight.  And I draft well.  Mission accomplished.

Well done to all the Paleo Challenge crew!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Paleo Day 13

One.  More.  Day.  But who's counting?

Not sure I am seeing much difference in the scale.  I think I will chalk that up to being sick.  My workouts have not been good since.  Other than bootcamp, I haven't had great ones.  Today's kayaking on the ocean isn't going to count for much.  Either is the *ss sitting on the beach.  But it is a nice day.

We are going to Billingsgate farm to pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables, courtesy of the Hamburglar.  They are away and let us use their half CSA share.  Demi picked out some nice stuff.  This should get us through that final push.  Added to that, Coco went out fishing with his posse.  He came back with a very nice bluefish filet that fed us all.  Great fresh food day!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Paleo Day 12

2 more days......I mean what a great Paleo day.

Spin this AM went very well.  I like having the heart rate monitor for that class.  I know I have to challenge myself in it, so this is a great tool.  I really like tracking the calories burned for each class.

Double sessions for the football team today.  We were out in the sun for hours.  8 AM-2PM.  It's almost like they are in high school.  Paleo actually worked well for this today.  I was able to cool down with my fruit.  The lettuce wrap went way better than bread or roll ever could have.  Water.  Lots good, old fashioned H2O.  I got so wrapped up that I did not eat breakfast.  Well, not much of one.  I goofed.  I only got my clementines in before I walked out the door.  I was too wrapped up in packing the cooler for double.  We had more than enough water.  Better safe than sorry.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Paleo Day 11

Today is the day.  The challenge got old.  I wanted some variety.  Again, I am to blame for further limiting myself.  My vegetable palate is not as broad as it could be.  I really just wanted some steel cut oatmeal.  Or some cheese in my omelet.  Nothing major.  Just a change.

It was nice sleeping in a bit.  I worked from home today.  So I managed to sleep a little later  I ran at lunch time.  That run went well.  I picked up the pace a bit.  Only 3 more to go.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Paleo Day 10

What are the odds that during Paleo challenge, my bootcamp instructor would be on vacation.  Well, there was nothing else to do but to press on.  The inmates ran the asylum....I mean the students ran class for this week.  We rotated turns with each person proving the next super set, exercise, rotation, or station.  It was great.  My buddy, the Hamburgler, brought the tunes.  There were only 4 of us nuts.  We worked hard though.  I think our instructor would have been proud.

Demi out did herself tonight.  I got home late from football practice to have a hot dinner plate ready for me when I walked through the door.  It was plated with a bed of lettuce, roasted cauliflower, roasted zucchini, baked cod, and an amazing sauce.  It was awesome.  And I hate cauliflower.  It worked here though.  This one is a keeper, Paleo or not.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Paleo Day 9

Back on the horse.  These new Bare Fruit Snacks by Healthy Snacks are great.  Baked organic apple chips.  I like the Granny Apple, but the Cinnamon is by far the best.  I am glad that our supermarket is now stocking Paleo friendly items.  Such a big help for these challenges.

Plenty of leftover for tonight.  I finally had one of those sweet potatoes.

I was also happy to back working out.  I eased into it.  I did not want to have any kind of set back.  I soooooo needed to stretch.  Long over due.

Last night, after posting, I used a skillet to heat up both sides of peach slices.  I coated them in Natural Palm Coconut sugar and cinnamon.  They were fantastic.  Caramelized nicely.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Paleo Day 8

Still not back to normal today.  I thought I was well on my way.  I got to work and encountered a backslide.  I ate mostly Paleo today but had my homemade chicken soup again.  It settles the stomach.  And it seems a a shame to waster Demi's labor of love.  I think I am on the mend but I know I still have some way to go.  I hope the kale settles OK tonight.  I hope to get back to the gym tomorrow.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Paleo Day 7

A wash out.  I will spare you the details but I was very sick last night.  Today was spent in the infirmary.  I had to get something in my stomach to settle things down.  The eggs were Paleo but the English muffins and ginger ale were not.  The crackers were certainly against The Plan.  I will lay low today and hope to recoup tomorrow.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tee Talk

The boys were bored.  It was such a nice afternoon, that they needed to be outside.  I saw the practice pin flag in the yard.  We did not have time to go to the driving range but we did have time for a chipping contest.  We each pulled a golf ball and a wedge from our bag.  Coco ended up heading off early to the Hammer's first birthday part early.
     I took advantage of my one on one time with Caz.  We talked about his girlfriend  We talked about high school.  I was trying to gage if he was nervous or excited.  I tried to impart the usual:  "these 4 years will go fast", "it all counts starting in Sept - grades and extra curricular", "you can do both - have fun and achieve results".  He was very receptive.  He listened.  He participated. I thought it was a really good father/son talk.

Paleo Day 6

I can't believe I slept in so late today.  That never happens.

Today was a planned day off from running or spinning.  I need to give my legs a rest.

Paleo baking day can be declared an unmitigated disaster.  I am now 0-3 with this Paleo cookbook.  The pumpkin spice muffins weren't terrible, but very dense.  I can use them as paperweights.  The pumpkin pancakes were troublesome.  The batter looked like I was trying to pour gingerbread onto the pan.  I tried to loosen it up but then the batter just didn't want to congeal..  I decided to make muffins out of the batter after 3 attempts at pancakes.  A lot of work for not a lot of food   Oh well.

I may need to relax my Paleo today.  Little brother has a smoker full of meat (all Paleo) but the sides need to be tried.  Falafel and some corn boat side dish.  Both look amazing.  I mouthful of each can't hurt, right?

Happy Hammer Day

Happy 1st Birthday to my nephew!  It's hard to believe the little guy is one.  His new hair cut had him having an Asian look about him.  No doubt he's a Chin.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cramping Up

Coco started his "I am not feeling good" routine yesterday but it carried into today.  It is really hard to gauge the authenticity of it all.  He does need to toughen up a bit and push through it (so to speak).  It is very difficult to empathize with him, when he doesn't do what he is supposed to do.  He didn't eat well.  He didn't drink nearly enough water.  I suspect the same happened yesterday.  I don't know for sure that he took his medicine.

I am trying to ignore the cost of the camp.  I know his health is more important.  But I really think he can get through camp.  He definitely needs to exercise.  That is part of his recovery too.

Coco ended up going.  And he ran 1 1/2 miles in football pads.  Clearly he was up to the physical challenge.  I am glad Demi and I pushed him to go.

Paleo Day 5

Today I wanted to quit.  It probably had something to do with not eating an afternoon snack.  I mean to but the moment passed.  I am a bit played out with the same food over and over.  A lot of that is on me.  While I have expanded my vegetable menu as an adult, it's still not extensive.  I also need to watch my stomach.  I felt a momentary flicker of the pain that plagued me earlier this year.  I need to be careful.
Spin was all right this AM.  I felt like I was working hard but my heart rate monitor did not reflect that.  I still burned almost 700 calories but my heart rate was much lower than normal.  Sure my legs hurt today.  Sure the seat was off and cut off the blood flow to the boys.  I was certainly breathing hard and a big sweaty mess.

I really need to do some Paleo baking tomorrow.  Really, really.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Paleo Day 4

The regularity slowed down a bit, which is nice.  My Mediterranean chicken salad was a nice change.  The pumpkin seeds are a nice filler but I need some nuts.  Almonds.  Walnuts.  Something.  It was a bit weird eating honey ham slices this AM for breakfast but it wasn't bad.  Mostly decaf tea today.  One green tea though.  I plan on doing some Paleo baking this weekend.  Can't wait for some muffins or bread.  Yes, you can bake on Paleo.

A good run over on Powder Point this AM. I got to see a nice sunrise.  I think I ran a pretty good pace.  I was able to go the whole time.  My new shoes helped.  No pain in my calves or shins.  My knee was great.  I got in a good stretch afterwards.  All good.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Paleo Day 3

Holy Paleo, Batman!  The dietary fiber to all other materials ratio is astounding.  That is probably all I can say and stay within the realm of propriety.  Regularity.  Yippe Kayay!

Not a big change in the meal plan today.  I did change things up a little with some turkey.  Veggie eggs with paleo red sauce for dinner.  It was easy enough to cook after football camp.

Boot camp this AM.  It was a good one.  I was a sweaty disgusting mess at the end.  That is always a sign of a good workout.  I lost my edge with about 2 mins left in class.  The glider mountain climbers kicked my butt.  I faded fast.  I don't think it had anything to do with the diet.  I felt rested, despite an interrupted sleep, and had plenty of energy.  I probably should have hydrated a bit before the workout.

The gym scale is suspect.  There is over a 10 lbs difference between that one and home.  It's been broken for a while, and nothing ever gets fixed in that place.  I will have to use the home scale for this challenge.  I am down a few pounds.  So that is good.

I am enjoying the banter with the challenge crew.  Demi has a good set of friends.  They are good eggs and very entertaining.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Paleo Day 2

I had to stock up after the gym this morning.  I got in a decent run, sit ups and stretching.  I knew what I had at work would not cut it.  So I stopped at Stop & Shop.  I picked up some dried organic mango (nothing added), pumpkin seeds, and almond butter.  I knew I had a sh*tty apple at work that needed almond butter.

More hard boiled eggs.  More fruit.  More salad.  Shrimp was a nice addition to the salad.  Almond butter was key on the apple.  Dinner was great.  Demi cooked up a great ragu sauce to go over spaghetti squash.  This is one of my favorite Paleo meals.  It's a keeper.  Just like Demi.

My eating seems totally off.  I get home after 7 pm because of football camp.  We ate the last two nights after 8 PM.  Not ideal at all.  Still not hungry though.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Paleo Day 1

Hard boiled eggs.  Fruit.  Salad.  Steak.  More Fruit. Fish.  Salad.  Guacamole.  That was pretty much my day.  I did have one cup of coffee.  Black.  That was eye opening.  Green Tea.  I was never hungry though.  Even after my apple, which sucked.

I only had a modest workout today but I needed to go easy.  My legs were shot from running on the road in old shoes all weekend.  30 mins cardio.  30 mins plyometrics and stretching.  Stretching is the key.  I do a little before my workout, but a lot after.  You have to keep those muscles loose.  Your core is everything.

Well, the challenge is on.  The ladies have been very welcoming.  Hope it lasts as we get closer to the finish line...jk...I know they will.

Patriot Camp 2013

The local high school football camp started today.  It is a good opportunity for the young kids, my 7th grade team, to practice side by side with the high school kids.  Of course I didn't realize when they invited the team that all the coaches would have to work at the camp. Sure, why not?  Start the season early this year.  I haven't started this early, since Caz played Pop Warner.  What's another week, right?

The 7th graders held their own.  If I can be a proud papa for a moment, I must say that Coco did well.  He was very receptive to coaching by dad and made that dad to coach transition quickly this year.  He accepted the feedback and put it into action on his next attempt.  That is all you can ask from any player.  The boys really held up well during conditioning at the end.  They ran side by side with the high school kids.  The did all the sprints, push ups, slammers, and rolls.  It was really something to behold.

Well done, kids!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Plymouth to PTown

Family trip today.  We took Demi's mom and stepdad, with the boys to PTown.  We took the ferry out of Plymouth.  It started out less than promising, spitting rain down on all of us.  The trek over took an extra 30 mins, with the Capt. blowing the docking on the first attempt.  He had to have a do-over.
     Things picked up with lunch at the Lobster Pot.  We ate very well.  The Portuguese influence was prominent in their menu.  The PTown Paella was fantastic, as was the Sopa Da Mar.  What was unique and out of this world was the Fried Oyster Nachos.
     We didn't get to see as much as I thought.  We really only had 4 hours and eating took over an hour.  The Pilgrim monument was OK.  The main drag was interesting, with all kinds of cool shops and galleries.
     Demi had a talk with the boys about what they might see.  It wasn't to make a big deal about it.  She just didn't want them staring or acting awkward.  The boys were fine.  It is important that the see different ways of life, in person.  It is important they understand that other places are different from what they are used to and from where they are growing up.  That is how you learn understanding and tolerance.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Poker Night

Caz had been having Friday night poker night with his crew.  They really a good bunch of kids.  Tonight was poker night at the Chins.  The boys all brought something to contribute.  One brought Coke.  On brought pretzels.  One brought cookies.  Caz bought Pizza.
     The boys set up with my poker set.  It is a real nice one, given to me by my buddy, Russ.  Russ gave a set to each member of his wedding party.  Each of the boys had their stack of chips.  A brand new deck of cards was opened.  They were ready to rock.
     Apparently, Caz was the winner of the first pot.  That must have been just before I heard a banging at the bulkhead.  I went to the window over the kitchen sink to see Caz's friend, Martin, trying to get in the bulkhead.
     "Hi, Mr. Chin.  I didn't want to wake anyone up.  So I was trying to get their attention."  (What a good kid.  It was 10 pm at night after all.)
     "No problem, Martin.  Did they hear you?"
Party on Wayne.  Party on Garth.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

On the Run

I went running for the first time with Caz today.  Sure, we have run 5k's and the Ruckus together.  But this was the first time we went out on the road to run together.  I wanted to get him kick started on his training.  I also believed that if I got him out on a route, he would be comfortable enough to run on his own later on.  He's a nervous kid.  If this is what it takes, then I will do it.
     I don't worry about Caz on the street.  I worry about the knuckle head drivers on the road.  People drive way to fast on these back streets.  The brush sticks out in the road, which decreases visibility, for both the runners and the drivers.  The drivers also seem to be distracted on their cell phones.  That is why I like to run early.  Far less traffic then.  With Caz sleeping in all the time, I will have to take what I can get today.  Sure we are running in the heat of the day.  But he's out running.  Baby steps.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Going Cross Country

I am trying to work with Caz.  He has decided to not play football in the fall.  He does want to run track but that is a winter and spring sport.  That is fine.  But he needs to be active in the fall.  That sort of leave cross country as his only option.  He doesn't really want to.  Or better put, he says he doesn't want to.  But he doesn't motivate for much these days.  He's a typical teenager.
     Caz started out on the elliptical trainer today.  Not exactly what I wanted him to do.  I wanted him to go out running.  Out on the street.  But I will take it for today.  Its a start.

Monday, July 15, 2013

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.....and Food Does Not Leave the Kitchen

Well, both the boys failed one of the Golden Rules of this Summer.  It was really rather simple.  Food and drinks do not leave the kitchen.  They both brought food and drinks into the basement.  Yes, one of the spilled.  Accidents happen.  But they disobeyed.
     This is why they were picking weeds when I got home from work.  No XBOX and manual labor.  Seems fair.  They were warned numerous times.  They chose not to obey.  Time to pay the piper.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

No Day At The Beach

"I don't like the beach"
     The statement of a typical spoiled Duxbury kid.  It hits all Duxbury kids at some point.  They take the nature beauty and attractions of the town for granted.  You can tell by the excuses - "Sand gets everywhere" or "It's too hot" or "There's nothing to do"......Blah Blah Blah...It's all crap!  There will come a day when the kid, in this case Caz, will realize how good he/she has it.  It's the typical sentiment for all the kids that eventually come back to town with their families.  And there are a lot of them.
    Today we left Caz home.  I certainly wasn't going to fight with him to go the beach.  I made a solid pitch.  I also communicated the expectations.  There would be one room with A/C.  No food or drink was to leave the kitchen.  The lawn would be mowed upon my return.  No one in the house without permission.  Your standard stuff.  Pretty simple.  A chance to prove himself.  Time will tell.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jr Detective

Coco had a really good time at camp.  He got to go through police training simulators.  His group visited the local correctional facility, which is currently the home of Whitey Bulger.  He solved some very tough detective training puzzles.  Today he fired off 10 rounds at the gun range.  I think he was most proud of those puzzles though.  He's a smart kid, so I am not surprised.
     Tonight ended up that just the 2 of us were around. In celebration of this good week, I took him out to dinner.  He wanted to go to Pizzings.  There was a theme to his planned menu.  Garlic Buffalo wings and Buffalo pizza.  See the trend?  Hey, if the kid want to eat a whole through his belly, who am I to deny him?

Monday, July 8, 2013

The True Start of Summer

Today is day one.  The holidays are over.  Family vacation is over.  The kids needs some activities.  Coco is off to Junior Police Academy Camp.  He's looking forward to it.
     Caz is the X factor.  I had him draw up a list of activities today.  This list included a lot of detail.  From brushing teeth & eating breakfast, to chores such as weeding & laundry.  It's going to be interesting to see how he manages the list.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July!
     I know that Demi wants to go to the beach today.  I would like to go to the beach.  Coco can be talked into it.  But Caz is not going to want to do.  I know this.  I feel this.  So I talked to Demi about letting him stay behind.  With certain parameters, of course.
     As I started to formulate those parameters, good fortune struck me.  Caz's buddy, Steve, rang the doorbell.  I sent him up stairs to roust Caz out of bed.  Before I know it Caz was brushing his teeth and getting dressed.  I asked him what his plans were.  He responded that Steve needed help with a float in the Duxbury 4th of July parade.  Steve's dad had entered a float, sponsored by his business.  Steve had to hold a huge balloon, and could hand out candy while he did so.  Caz was going to help hand out candy.  I know Caz normally would not want any part of the parade.  But a friend needed something, and he was helping out.  Good for him.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sleep Overs

Some much for getting back to reality.  Both the boys are starting with sleep-overs at friends houses.  At least they are being social, interacting with others.  I know Coco is swimming and playing outside.  I suspect the older boys may not be so active but I guess I won't know for sure.  Can't prove it, right?  Maybe this time, after so many days of just family time, it is ok for the boys to be off on their own for an extended period.  Demi and I could actually have a nice quiet night together.  A nice change for all of us.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Back to Reality

Today is the first day back from vacation for the family.  Demi and I know that we will have a stack of things to do in the office.  However, we will let the boys ease back into reality today.  They can sleep in.  They can lounge around.  They can even play some XBOX.  But come tomorrow, they need to get up at a decent time.  They need to get themselves up at a reasonable hour, brush their teeth, dress, and attend to some chores.
     Better live it up today boys.  Tomorrow things start happening.  Don't get me wrong.  I am not talking about getting up at dawn and plowing the back 40.  But they will help out around the house, then find something to do outside, with friends, and play.  Just like when we were kids..  Got out and play all day.  Come in when the dinner bell rings, then go back out until dark.  Kids these days have seem to have lost that.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day 2013

I hope all you Dad's out there have a great day.  To my brother, Lex, enjoy your first day with two kids.  We had a really nice morning having breakfast on the beach.  We couldn't go to the 4WD section, as the plover had it closed down for nesting and breeding.  But we were able to go to the bay side, where Gizmo could join us.  The boys played Penny Can.  Caz even did his Penny Can Dance, when he got a penny in the can.  I got to throw the baseball with both of the boys, just like Field of Dreams.  Coco dug up some mussels for me.  Gizmo came out to the water, at low tide to see me.  What a great way to spend a Father's Day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Raising a Ruckus

The Deerpath Trailers ran Ruckus Boston today.  The team consisted of Caz, his buddy Len, and Len's dad, my friend, Rosie.  Father/Son Ruckus for Father's day weekend.  It was very appropriate.  We decided to run as a team.  I liked that strategy.  I thought Rosie was going to have to drop out early.  He pulled his calf about a quarter mile into this 4 mile obstacle course race.  He toughed it out though.  The boys did very well.  They made it over each of the obstacles by themselves.  I offered to help Caz on a few but got waved off.  Demi ended up volunteering at one of the stations.  She got to see us muddy, bloody, and tired.  We went down Mt. Ruckmore together.  It was a really nice event.  I am very glad that Caz ran this with me.  It was a good Father and Son bonding moment.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Like a Rolling Stone

Big concert tonight.  The Rolling Stones.  50th Anniversary tour.  TD Boston Garden.  I had to go.  It could be their last tour.  I am really excited to see it with my son.  Caz seems genuinely excited to see them.  And as a bonus, I get to go with my Colby friend.  We went to my first Stones concert together.
     The Stones sounded fantastic.  Sure they slowed down a bit.  But the stage was cool, a big tongue where the VIP section was in the middle of the tongue.  They brought out Mick Taylor to play his classic Midnight Rambler solo.  Keith sang a few of the songs.  Mick changed his wardrobe frequently.  Charlie finally looks his age.  Ron Wood was smoking - literally and figuratively.  The fan voted song of the night was one of my favorites - Memory Motel.  The encore featured the BU Chapel Choir for You Can't Always Get What You Want.  It was really a fantastic show.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Reading Your Own Press Clippings

Demi was right.  The downfall for Caz and his grades began when we logged onto the school's grade portal. What started as an attempt to check for any missing homework assignments, ended in looking at his current grades.  He showed great improvement in his overall grades.  Much of this improvement was the result in the vast improvement with his homework grades.  Having his back up plan in effect for homework was paying dividends.  However, he saw the improvement and got cocky.
     During the nighttime ritual of checking homework, I noticed notes from his teachers (primarily French) about missing homework assignments.  Investigation into the root cause, showed that he was not even writing the assignment in his agenda.  I can't check it off, if I don't even know about it.  This could bring down his grades significantly.  One teacher in particular was being extremely difficult in accommodating his federally mandated 504 plan.  Since he wasn't writing down the assignments, and therefore not doing them, he was technically late.  Which I agree he was.  She was just very cocky about it.  I think she was looking to ding him, since she was put out by the 504 plan.
     In the end, Caz is accountable.  He needs to be responsible for getting the work done.  We have to work to find a better method of organization for him.  At some point, school is over and he will be left to go out into the real world, which is much less forgiving.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

College Prep

I, officially, declare the college visit for the boys a success.  Regardless of the good time I had, the boys enjoyed the trip too.  I feel they got a good balance of fun and education.
     I got to give the boys their own, custom, guided tour of campus.  We took a look at all my old dorms.  We walked through one extensively to see the lounge, the rooms, and the layout.  We got to see some of the new dorms too.  I showed them all the buildings, in which I had attended classes.  We explored the new classrooms and buildings together.
     The boys even got to experience a lecture.  One of my classmates is the assistant GM for an NFL team.  The topic was of interest to them.  The talk was executed well.  The new classroom was in great shape.  I think that was a good test run for the boys.
     There were some family events too.  Those were really geared towards younger kids, but my boys did not pass up the snow cones.
     We walked up the clock tower above Miller Library.  The view down was amazing.  Both of the boys took pictures from above.  They were also fascinated by the inner workings of the clock, which we had to pass on the stairs up and down.
     The trip to Big G's didn't hurt either.  Their sandwiches are just as amazing as I remembered.  And just as big too.  Coco had his menu set for days before he even stepped foot in there.  The whoopie pies were astounding.  But the whookie?  Out of this world.  Two dinner plate size chocolate cookies with M&M's, with whoopie pie filling.  Unbelievable!
     I got to show of Demi and the kids to my classmates too.  My classmates got a kick out of them.  And in turn the family enjoyed meeting them.  The boys even got to see the party at class HQ, when they arrived late Friday night.  It was not an enjoyable drive for Demi.  The party was pretty tame at that point and folks were still well behaved.  The boys got to see adults cutting loose a bit but not a free for all.  I call that educational too.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Reunion Weekend

I am really looking forward to this weekend.  Its my 20th reunion at Colby.  I havent been back since my 10th.  There are all kinds of new buildings on the grounds, dormotories, classrooms, offices, and exhibits.  One of my old roommates lives up there, who I have not seen in years.  Some of my classmates are returning, who I have not seen in years.
     However, I think I more excited for my boys to see Colby.  I want them to see "a" college, not just Colby.  They are old enough to start thinking about what happens after school in Duxbury.  I am excited to show them where the old man went too.  To see where I lived.  Where I went to class.  Where I spent times with my friends.  I think the boys are excited too.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Send Lawyers, Guns & Money

It certainly has hit the fan.  There is a bit of a perfect storm effect.  I know I am tired.  I could definitely do with more sleep.  The kids are irritable and tired.  They are not doing what they should be doing.  Adding to that, they are being surly and disrespectful.  Someone in the household, may or may not be monstrating.  The forces of nature are working against us.  A malfunction was inevitable.  It's sort of like Godzilla tormenting Tokyo at the moment.  The prudent thing here is to take a moment and count to ten.  OK, maybe 100.  Let's start at a million.  Stepping back and getting the anger in check is key.  Everyone has to be rational though.  It can't be one person being rational and trying to calmly restore order.  That won't work.  All four of us need to go to our corners and chill.  Then we can try again.

Monday, June 3, 2013


I have mixed reactions to the timing of this topic.  On the one hand, I had just had a conversation with Caz on this topic.  So relevance is established.  On the other hand, receiving a formal notification from the DMS principal that kids were caught sexting, is bit unnerving.  It seems very early in terms of student age and grade.  You read about this stuff happening.  I did address it.  But still.
     Of course I do have to address it again.  With both boys.  We address difficult topics with Coco.  We keep it age appropriate.  We may take a different approach to it with Coco.  This time, since it was a school-wide announcement, I wonder if I should address it with both boys at the same time.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Travel Time

Even now, with the boys 12 & 14, I don't like traveling for work and leaving them.  I know they are fine with  it.  Caz probably doesn't realize I was gone.  But I miss them.  I hate putting all that work on Demi.  She needs a break.  I miss her too.
     I miss the night time routine with the boys.  I miss coming home and seeing them when I walk through the door.  I miss family dinner.  I miss reading with them before bed.  I even miss checking their homework and signing off on it.  Who knew?

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Pilgrimage

Demi took the boys and their friends on her now annual pilgrimage to Canobie Lake Park.  She's a trooper.  Just her and 6 adolescent boys.  She didn't even have Gizmo this year.  It was too hot for the Giz.  It had to be close to 100 up there.  Poor Demi forgot her book too.  She was bored stiff.  But the boys behaved and had a great time.  They were actually home at a decent hour.  I think the heat got to the boys and slowed them down this year.
     The day kept going when they got home though.  The inevitable sleep over.  Even that seemed to go OK.  5 boys in the basement and I think they did get some sleep.  The little guys and the older guys got along well.  All in all, another success.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I guess I officially became a stereotypical, out of touch Dad today.  Its not my fault.  I have cause.  I was provoked.  Seriously!  The crap that was supposed to pass as "music" blaring out of Caz's room was atrocious.  It was an offense to the ears.  I know he loves the electronic music now.  He loves making it on the computers.  Its hidden in all the video games and movies.  Skrillex is the current favorite band.  Rubbish! Absolute rubbish!
     I didn't say that to him of course.  That"s not something I can voice.  Not just to spare his feelings.  But I can't confirm that I am an old fuddy duddy......

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Don't Call It a Comback

Caz has rallied hard here at progress report time.  His is almost on honor roll with a few grades that need to post yet.  Better than the grades are the comments:
     "Conduct Excellent/Effort Excellent"
     "Great Effort"
     "Great Work"
As long as he's trying, we are generally happy.  I am glad that the extra efforts are paying off.  And I am very happy that he feels good about it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day 2013

Happy Mother's Day Demi!  I hope all the Moms out there have a wonderful day.  You all deserve it.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Need a Twix

Homework! Homework!  Give me a break!  I have been working the Caz on make up assignments all week.  He has until Friday to hand them all in to salvage some of his grade.
     It sure isn't easy.  Not all the teachers use the Student Portal at all, let alone for homework assignments.  Some teachers use the Teacher's pages on the school website.  Other's have their own websites.  How is one supposed to find it all?  Of course Caz should be writing it all down.  If he had, we wouldn't be here today.  I know his ADD makes it tough but he's got to figure out a system.  So we continue to work on finding on.  It's exhausting though.  I thought my homework days were far behind me.
     It's a hard balance.  How much to I help.  How much is reasonable to expect of Caz?  How do we find a system that works for how his mind works?  Which isn't like how my mind works.  Until we figure it out, we keep working at it.  It's what parents do, right?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Baby Nolan

Welcome to the world, Baby Nolan.  Demi's nephew and wife had a baby this AM. 7 lbs 4 oz.  Everyone is healthy and feeling well. I had a good time teasing Demi about being a Great Aunt and her sister a grandmother.....until I realized that I was a Great uncle....Doh!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Zero Dark Anniversary

The one year anniversary of the Bin Laden raid passed without much fanfare.  Just as well really.  On both sides.  I am really glad the press did not play it up.  And I am glad there was not any acts of vegenence.
     Demi and I took the boys to see Zero Dark Thirty.  We thought it was important to see one view of history.  We had a full family discussion about it afterwards.  It was good healthy discussion.  Productive.  It is important to talk about these things as a family unit.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Gourmet Kitchen

We found a great new family dinner spot.  The Gourmet Kitchen in Hingham.  It is Asian cuisines with a twist.  They promote good health and good eating.  This goes beyond just eliminating MSG.  They use local organic foods.  The have a healthy rice, Akai, that is low sugar and high dietary fiber.  They have gluten free options.  They really do a nice job.
     The decor is nice.  It is not fancy but a bit more than family casual.  The boys were good and wore collared shirts.  It was fairly quiet, so having family conversation was not a challenge.  The service was friendly.
     We ordered the perfect amount of food.  The fried calamari appetizer was OK, not great  But the Korean pork dumplings were very good.  The house fried rice was a hit.  Demi and I tried the Akai rice and thought it was a good option.  The boys were less enamoured with it.  The orange flavored beef was excellent, as was the pad Thai noodles and sweet & sour chicken.  Demi was really pleasantly surprised with the S&S chicken.  We were really full after that.  But we did not say no when the complimentary dessert came out - ice cream coated with corn flakes, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle.  We will definitely be back.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Circle of Life - Teenage Edition

So Caz had one of your typical adolecent relationships.  Demi thought it a bit odd.  But a one week boyfriend/girlfriend stint is pretty common.  Or at least that is how I recall it, while growing up in Duxbury.  Coco was good, he didn't make a single comment about it.  Caz didn't seem fazed.  He just kind of shrugged.  I tried to console Caz a bit.  I told him when I was in 8th grade, I had a girlfriend for a weekend.  There was a dance on Friday night.  We agreed to "go out".  On Monday, the girl changed her mind.  I don't think I batted an eye.  And thus the wheel keeps on turning.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Coverage

 The TV coverage of the manhunt was unbelievable today.  I haven't watched this much TV in years.  The closest thing I can think of is watching the coverage of the first Iraq war, while I was in college.
     Actually, my participation started with the radio.   That is where I first got a sense of the chaos going on, and had been going on while I had been sleeping.  I still had to work but the TV was going.  I was not going to miss a thing.
     We had my brother's family over for dinner.  I shut off the TV figuring my niece was too young.  My sister in-law actually asked me to turn the TV on.  My niece was in the other end of the house.  The draw of the news coverage was just too much.
     After the family had gone home, I wondered how much the boys should see.  But they were really interested in what was going on.  It was a good time to talk and explain what was happening and what to expect.  Neither one of the boys looked concerned or bothered.  They were really interested, so we let the TV fly.  It's going to end up one of those moments where you will always remember where you were.  And for this, the boys were with their family.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I love all the mottoes that are going around right now.  Boston Strong.  United (NY/Boston).  What I like the best though, is a phrase that existed before the bombings.  Believe in Boston.  Actually, I like the more simplistic - Believe! - the best.
     I was recently asked by my son to write an essay for his school project about something I believe in.  At the time the bombings hadn't happened yet, so I had chosen something else to write about.
     But I believe in Boston.  I believe that Boston will rise stronger than ever.  I believe the country, the rest of the world is with us.  I believe that the perpetrators will be found.  I believe that justice will be served.  More importantly -  I believe we have the capacity to make this world a better place.
     I have seen the good that comes out of these events.  I see people helping other people.  I see people wanting the world to change for the better.  I believe that in order to do so, that we need to act and feel this way, in times that tragic events are not happening. It should not take such a horrific event to induce people to act the way they should.  I believe that can happen.  I believe it will happen.
     I believe that believing is the first step in making something happen.  First, you have to believe.  Then, you do.  When we get enough people believing, then we will see marked improvement.  Believe!  Believe it is possible.  Then make it possible.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Strong

Today is another one of those days that must be talked about but is hard to talk about.  Where do I even begin?  There are no sufficient words to describe the tragedy of the day.  I can't believe that yet again, I find myself in the office during such a chaotic scene.  This time I was in charge of the office.  I feel like I made the right calls today.  I kept the staff informed and made decisions based on the best information at hand.  I sought out information and advice.  Not to toot my own horn, but I did not see that anywhere else on the floor.  I saw managers leave without saying a word to their staff.  How does that happen?  Overall, the firm failed again.  I can take solace in knowing I did what what in my power to do and felt confident in the decisions I made.
     Of course, I did second guess myself.  As I passed the JFK/UMASS stop on the MBTA Red line home, my brother texted me that there was a report of an explosion at the JFK Library.  I really thought I had made   the wrong call getting on the train and going home.  But I was all right in the end.
     I got home before Linda did.  The boys had been home all day, on school vacation.  I felt them out to see what they knew.  The admitted to knowing that bombs had gone off.  I quickly told them that it was OK that they knew.  But I cautioned them that news was still coming in fast and furious.  It would be hard to say what the legitimate facts were at this point.  I asked them to please not take their friends information at face value.  I cautioned them to let the situation settle and the facts come in.  We talked as a family at dinner too.  Demi and I gave them a chance to ask question.  We answered what we could at that point.  The fact was, we just didn't know enough at that time.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Happy 14th, Caz!

Happy Mardi Gras is more like it.  This year, we are spending Caz's birthday on Long Island.  Demi's nephew is expecting a baby boy.  In celebration, they are having a family shower with a Mardi Gras theme. Caz (with only a little persuasion/guilt trip) decided it was OK to spend his birthday at that event, rather than staying home.  He ended up having a great time with his New York friends.  So it was a win for us all.
     I can't believe my little boy is 14.  His Aunts, Uncles and Cousins can't believe how tall he is.  He is taller than a lot of them now.  Where did all the time go?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Setting the Example

This is shaping up to be one of my harder posts to draft.  A simple family trip to the movies, turned ugly.  Another's thoughtless act determine the course of the rest of the day.
     I had originally planned to take the boys to see Jurassic Park in 3D and in the new RPX theater.  That went by the wayside when Coco mentioned that he didn't like the movie.  So.....GI:Retaliation it was.  I had Coco text our plans to Demi on the way up and she was able to meet us.  The movie was great.  The effects were cool.  It was the perfect popcorn munching, action packed entertainment to take us away from life for a  few hours.  It was really great, right up until the credits.  We had stayed to see some of the outtakes that were part of the credits.  That is when some moron, rows behind us decided he was going to launch his coffee and popcorn.
     It landed right on Coco.  I was shocked.  I stood up quickly, in disbelief, looking for who had done it.  4 adults, not kids, not adolescents, walked down the stairs.  3 men and a woman.  None would look our way. Demi shouted something but I was so mad, I couldn't tell you what it was.  I shouted something to the effect of "What the heck is wrong with you?"  Then I looked around the theater.  I saw other families, some with younger kids.  I found myself wondering if I had dropped an F bomb.  Then I had a choice.  What was I going to do next?
     As much as I wanted to launch myself at those folks, I did not.  I did not want to upset the younger kids and their parents.  And I did not want my kids to think that was the way to handle things.  It didn't really occur to me that they might be carrying weapons.  You just never know these days.  So I turned to Coco, to make sure he was ok.  I grabbed some napkins to clean him up.  Demi followed them out.  Once I knew Coco was fine, I told Caz to stay with him, while I went to see where Demi was.
     When I found her, I found myself still wanting to follow them into the parking lot.  Even getting into my car, I wanted to follow the set in the red pick up truck. But I had Caz and didn't want to jeopardize him, or see his old man overreact.  I had to set the example.  I think I chose correctly.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Child Whisperer

Child Whisperer is the term that several adult friends gave my kids today.  The family attended a birthday party for twins turning 3.  Caz really put in a yeoman's effort.  The moment he stepped in the house, he was chasing, hiding, and playing with the twins.  Coco had a flag football game, so he came hours later.  But he too was excellent with the twins.  Actually, both boys were great with all the kids.  They are the oldest by far with this group of friends and family.  Those young kids adore my sons.  The twins' Mom commented that the twins' birthday would have been a disappointment, if my boys were not able to come.  I mean what 14 year old would choose to spend time with toddlers.  Yes, one of those toddlers was their cousin.  But still.....
     All the adults commented on how good the boys were with the young kids.  I am sure that most of the parents were happy that their kids were happy, behaved, and entertained.  The adults got to socialize some, uninterrupted.  The experience set the groundwork for some babysitting gigs later on.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Paying Dividends

20 years later and Colby is still teaching me.  I know that my Colby experience helped shape who I am today.  I mentioned that to the boys frequently.  But one of my old Professors provided an educational experience to me, just the other day.  I talk about one of my favorite classes at Colby, The American Presidency, all the time.  Well that professor wrote an article about his time in the Vietnam War and his recent return to the country as a guest professor.  It was really an amazing article.  And I found myself amazed that my professor was still teaching me, 20 years after I graduated.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Too Late for April Fools?

Did I get my dates wrong?  Is it really April Fools today?  I hope the kids are just joking with me.  Because they are really pushing my buttons today.  My nerves are not raw either.  I did not come home amped up.
     I felt that I was very even keeled coming home.  I help Demi make dinner.  Coco was playing XBOX and seemed in good spirits.  Caz was taking a break from homework and from Demi's account, having a good afternoon.  Then, from asking Caz to set the table for dinner and asking Coco to bring up toilet paper from the basement (where he was located while playing XBOX - It's not like he had to make a special trip), it all went down hill.  Even when I insisted they look me in the eye while I was speaking and repeat instructions back, they would forget the task or just not make an attempt at completing the task.  Caz tried to think before he spoke, but his attempt at giving constructive criticism about dinner was a fiasco.  Coco got down right surly and miserable.
     I gave Coco my lunch meat, so that he could make a turkey sandwich for school tomorrow and I still got attitude.  They b*tched over cleaning up the counter they both used, arguing over which crumbs belonged to whom.  Caz won't take any suggestions on how to study his poem,with which he is clearly struggling.  I don't know about them, but I am ready to call it a night.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lizard King Sheds His Skin

The Lizard King is becoming a chameleon.  Or maybe he is simply evolving.  Whatever is going on, he is growing up.  He is starting to care about his looks a bit.  Not so much his hair, etc.  But what he is now concerned with what he wears.  He appears to be hanging up his sweatpants for a different look.
     Caz went to school in jeans today.  That is a big step for him.  Even his friends commented.  So Demi went out and bought a few more pairs.  Personally, I am not sad to see this evolution.  He could do with a bit of style.  Oh, I don't mean to suggest that I know what constitutes style at DMS for adolescents in Duxbury.  But I like that he's taking an interest in his appearance.  He's the opposite of vain.  A little self interest is a good thing.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

NFL Time

Coco started flag football today.  Sort of.  He is coming off another tough health week.  I think he had a double whammy going on.  He had a bit of the flu along with his continual intestinal issues.  I was hoping that football practice might perk him up a bit.
     And it did for a bit.  He lasted about 15 mins in practice.  But he did run around some.  A good step.  He gets so lethargic and just sitting around makes it worse.  He desperately needs to get back to school on Monday.  Maybe this was the catalyst.  He needs to get to school and be with his friends, get his work, and see his teachers.  Intellectually I have no worries about him. He's knocking out his school work with no issues.  But we know school is more than just the subjects being taught.  We will find out on Monday.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bowling Night

I had flashbacks tonight.  As I was dropping off Caz at the Alley Kat Lanes, I couldn't help but recall when my parents dropped me off there to hang out with my friends.  I was exactly Caz's age and grade.  The circle of life goes on.
     I am happy that Caz is taking an interest in hanging out with friends, doing a bit of socializing.  You need that camaraderie growing up.  My little boy is taking steps towards adulthood.  Of course know I hope he has chosen the right group of friends.
     We had a talk on the way to Alley Kat.  I know Caz wanted to roll his eyes the whole time but he kept it together.  He accepted that he needed to pay attention.  I talked to him about making good decisions.  I talked to him about his friends making good decisions.  We discussed guilt by association.  We discussed how it only take a split second to make a bad decision that could have terrible consequences.
     As Caz left the car, I told him that he was not to leave the premises.  I didn't want him crossing a very buys road, wearing dark clothes, at night.  There is a McDonald's close by, but it is on the other side of that main street.
     Shortly after I got home, Demi and I received texts from the Lizard King.  He wanted to go with his friends to McDonald's.  He did a great thing by asking.  Of course we toyed with him a bit first.  We asked him with whom he was going.  He listed off the group, which did include a couple of girls.  And thus it begins.    We let him go and he conducted himself well.  A very successful night.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy 39th Lex

Demi and I are going out with my brother and sister in-law to celebrate my brother's and Demi's birthday.  We have reservations at Oro in Scituate.  It's a great place.  The food is excellent.  The service was a bit suspect last time.  So it can only go up from there right?  Odds are, the waitress is not going to toss the limes into the drinks on the table again right?
     The boys are staying home on their own.  I have no doubt that they will be fine.  I just hope they go to bed when they should.  I fed them before we left, so really, they just have to stay out of trouble.  They have been really doing well with staying home at night, just the two of them.  It's a nice luxury to have.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Letting Go

Demi and I have been trying to let Caz be a bit more independent with this school work.  Not that we have been too involved.  And I don't want you to get the impression that we are involved in the quality of the homework.  We really just check that it is done on a nightly basis.  We check both the boys to make sure that whatever is due the next school day, is done.
    But Caz needs a bit more oversight.  His ADD is a challenge that we consistently work on.  He needs to do more on his own as time goes on.  He has a tendency to do his homework but not handing it in.  We hope that the balance of help is such that when he goes off to high school and it truly on his own, he can be successful.
     Right now it's not going as well as we had hoped.  His teachers aren't helping.  We try to be communicative, but not over bearing.  Lately, they have stopped getting back to us.  They are not living up to the discussion we had at the beginning of the school year.  I know they have lots of students but we agreed on a plan for Caz that is less administrative for them but we are not see them living up to their promises.  We are going to have to take steps to rectify that.