Thursday, January 30, 2014

Term 2 2014

All our fears about Caz going off to high school seem to be being put to rest.  Caz made honor roll.  Better than that, he's done it on his own.  He hasn't had to use his back up homework plan.  I really don't have to check too much that he's done it.  He is staying after on his own.  He is taking responsibility for himself and on his own.  I think we have turned a corner.
     Coco actually had a hiccup.  He made honor roll but he came down in couple of classes.  One was due to homework.  Demi and I took responsibility for part of that.  We take him for granted, that he is so motivated and self sufficient.  But we talked and will be checking on him, the same as Caz.  A learning opportunity for us all.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Snow Day 2014

It's actually warming up a bit today.  It's into the 40's.  The ground is still covered with snow.  The snow is becoming soft though.  Pliable.  Perfect snowball making.
     I put the seed of an idea into the kids heads.  I had seen a really cool snowman/snow sculpture of Jabba the Hutt.  I showed the picture to the kids.
     "We could do that!"
     So we geared up.  Hats. Gloves. Boots.  Snow pants.  We grabbed the shovels.  Coco found the perfect spot.  There is a rock in our front yard that served as the base.  It was right on the corner of the lot, by both streets.  So this had better been good.  We piled up the snow.  Then we shaped.  Coco started the head.  Then Caz had a turn.  After that it was up to yours truly.  I was really hoping that the boys would run with that.  Ah, well.
     Coco and I were out there for 2 and half hours.  Gizmo and Demi came out to admire it after we were done.  I had thought it came out well.  Gizmo wasn't as much as a fan.  She peed on it.....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Deep Freeze

Talk about hibernation.  It's in the single digits for temperature.  Sunset is still early, so there is not a plethora of daylight.  You can see why the winter blues may set in.
     The boys are lethargic.  They don't want to do much of anything.  They sleep in, Caz much more so than Coco.  They don't want to go out.  They don't want to call their friends.  They need some motivation.  Sure you can be a lump once in a while.  But it's getting to be a weekend routine.  Enough.  Time to light a fire under their butts.  Plenty of shoveling to do.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter of Coco

"My legs hurt!"
     Now imagine that with some whine and a pretty good acting job.  I am sure he was very sore, but Coco was playing it up.
     "I can't move!" with the ooooohhhh in move really extended.  Like a ghost haunting a house.
     Coco had done some squats the previous day during his strength and conditioning program.  It's really the only exercise he is getting these days.  I don't think he even has gym this semester.  He tries to spend his free time watching SportsCenter.  He will read with it on, while he lies on the couch.  Demi and I both remarked that his muscles were likely reacting to having been close to atrophy.  Just like Costanza.
     Instead of caving or coddling, we gave him stretching exercises.  We gave him Epsom salts for a bath.  And we gave him instructions on using The Stick and the roller.  All self serving help.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Live Free or Die

Monday the 13th.  D Day.  Tough day for the family.  I had to tell them that my company is moving my group to Merrimack, NH in October and that I have to decide by March 18th.  I told that that nothing is decided and that I was still gathering information.  I was honest that it was my job but it impacted the whole family, so I wanted them to know what was going on.  I don't hide important decisions like that from them.  However, they only heard "move to NH."
     When I went off to wash my hands, Coco teared up and sobbed that he didn't want to move.  He did it again on the way home. Caz told Demi on the way home that he didn't want to move.  We assured them that we didn't either.  But we were honest, while it wasn't high on the list, we couldn't say definitively that a move was out as an option.  All in all they took it well.  Better than I did probably.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mantown Construction

I put a lot of hours into Mantown this weekend.  The former premises of Dragon Fly Daycare in the basement has been under construction for quite some time.  Once the boys got their XBOX room, they lost interest in helping.  This was the weekend to rekindle that fire.
     I researched ways to hang pictures on slants.  I went to Lowes and bought the correct fasteners.  Then I set to work.  I hung all the large framed pictures.  But then I had to organize.  To organize, your first have to make a mess.  And a mess I made.  But.....I got it done.  I unpacked all my stuff that was boxed up from converting the office into Demi's walk-in closet/make-up station/wardrobe/miscellaneous room.  I found all the books I was looking for.  I actually got rid of some.  I sorted the knick knacks.  I repacked Demi's scrapbooking materials and all our photos.  I stacked our extra kitchenware.  I sorted all the debris from Christmas gift wrapping.
     Then I went to work in the main room.  I grabbed some cork board from my parents house.  I mounted that on a wall.  Then I mounted the dart board.  I grabbed my personal set of darts.
     The boys vacuumed the media (XBOX) room.  They organized the games and movies  They stocked the shelves.
     Now we are getting somewhere.  Once I get Demi to help sort the Christmas decorations we may be able to start thinking pool table......

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Forget Me Not

I took my new route to Caz's indoor track meet.  A quick jaunt through Chinatown.....after zero degree weather.....but no mind.  Orange line out 5 stops.  Boom.  There.
     Walked in.  Found a place to sit.  Located my son.  Gave him money for dinner.  That was mistake on my part.  Yes, he needed funds.  But I should have waited until after he ran.  I waited 2 hrs in the stands to see him run the 300 again.
     Finally, the race came.  First heat goes.  Second heat goes.  Third, and so on.  No Caz.  WTF?  Did he get pulled from the race?  They do change on the kids on the fly all the time it seems.  Nope.  He was in the food court eating.  I could have throttled him.  Figuratively, of course.
     Well, at least there is the 4x200, right?  They almost blew that one too.  All the other teams are practicing hand-offs and Duxbury is still in the stands.  They finally figure out their race is up and who is running. baton.  They send Caz to get it.  That was a disaster.  Coach finally grabs it and the pre-race line-up is underway.  No practice.  Ice cold.  Caz had never touched a baton before.  What could go wrong?  They actually executed the passing of the baton very well.  It was hard to tell how Caz did, since they were still in staggered lanes at that point of the race.  They placed 4th out of 5 in the race.
     Did I mention even with the fall last meet, he still qualified for States?

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Agony of Defeat

Caz qualified for today's invitational Freshmen/Sophomore indoor track meet.  In fact, it was the Red Auerbach Invitational held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.  Demi was excited to go see him run for the first time.  She had her new camera primed and ready to go.  Even Coco didn't take much coaxing to join us.
     Caz got up early and off to the bus quickly and efficiently.  That is not his forte, so that is saying something.  He had put in his spikes the night before.  The track only allows spikes on the weekends.
     We waited with anticipation for his first event, the 300 meter dash. Demi was set at the finish line with the camera.  His first pass by her was blur and caught her by surprise.  He was off to a great start.  He was crushing it again, leading the pack.  Just after the final turn, he was on a great pace for a personal best.  It was then I saw him stumble.  The stumble quickly turned into an uncontrolled spill.  He got up and finish though.  And still beat his previous time.  I am pretty sure I cursed out loud.  My heart sank.  I was hoping he was ok, but I felt so bad for him.  He seemed ok.  He apologized to the kids that he fell into and disrupted.  They were good sports and told him not to worry about it.
     We left him alone.  As much as we wanted to go see him, I think he needed his space more.  Some time passed before Demi went over.  He was banged up.  He had some road rash, and his head hurt.  But he was more cranky and upset then hurt.  Actually, we took that as a good sign.  I like that he's getting a competitive spirit.  Its a healthy level.  You need that in life, not just in sports.  Caz has not really had that to this point.  So I am encouraged.  Those that succeed, learn from set back.  They turn them into positives.  I hope it goes that way for Caz.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Bug and The Hammer

My nephew and niece have come to stay with us for the weekend.  It's a great opportunity for my family to spend some quality time, alone, with the youngest members of the extended family.  Sure they are young and we haven't had little ones in years.  But it's like a riding a bike right?
     I mean, sure, it's off to a bit of a challenging start.  The Bug threw up 3 times during the night.  Coco was bunking with her, which was fortunate.  For us.  He was such a big help.  He came immediately and got us.  He helped with clean up and getting her re-settled, before getting himself re-settled....down in the basement.  He changed rooms.  He moved so that Demi could go stay with the Bug.  That left me with the Hammer.  He was up at midnight.  Again at 2.  Then up for the day at 4.  I made the most of it.  At 6 we went downstairs, snuggled up, and watched SportsCenter.  The Hammer was content just sitting with Uncle.
     So what if it was minus 4 degrees.  Sure it only warmed up to 9 degrees.  It was going to be an indoor day anyway.  At least the Bug rallied.  She went to her first skating lesson.  You would never have known she was sick during the night.  We all napped this afternoon.  All of us.  Demi and I did what we did with our kids when they were young.  On tough days, when they napped, we napped.  I changed diapers.  Quite a few diapers.  It had been years since my last go round with the landfill nightmares.  The novelty wore off quickly.
     The boys were great with the kids.  They played a lot with them.  They catered to them.  The boys knew the Bug and the Hammer would be missing their Mom and Dad.  So they went out of their way to entertain them.  It was really great family time.  The smiles and the hugs were so worth it.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Resolution

Caz announced that he has a resolution for 2014.  He resolves to eat better.  You know.  Not fruits & vegetables.  Just eat less crap.
     Hilarious.  But hey.  It's a start.  He's thinking about what he's putting into his body.  And he really doesn't eat poorly.  He is finicky though.  And he does need to eat more fruits and vegetables.
     A good start to the new year.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Assignment

The Freshmen English homework assignment was for Caz to read, out loud, to me: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  I have been waiting with great anticipation for this, since it was announced in September during Open House.  There is a booklet of questions for Caz to answer.  Caz and I are also supposed to write a paragraph each on the book, the experience, and our holiday traditions.  Here is my work:

Mrs. C
English I
1 January 2014

A Christmas Carol Essay
            I think this class assignment is an excellent idea for several reasons.   The primary appeal of this assignment happens to be that A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is one of my all-time favorite stories.  I read it every December before Christmas.  I read it off and on through high school, but the consecutive annual streak started in college.
            I started reading to Caz every night before he was born.  I read to my wife’s stomach each night, once Caz’s ears started forming.  We continue this practice to this very day.  One of our family holiday traditions is for me to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore to both my sons, every Christmas Eve.  While we have experimented with taking turns who is the reader and who is the listener, I have become the primary reader.  This assignment provided a nice change of pace to our routine. 
            Caz read this story wonderfully.  His voice inflections and pronunciations were spot on.  I suspect that our years of reading out loud have provided Caz a solid foundation for his own ability to read out loud.  He did not mind be interrupting to ask if he understood the meaning of a word or phrase.  He generally had a good idea of the answer in each of these instances.  I recall stumping him only a few times. 

            In conclusion, I am very happy with assignment.  I had been looking forward to it, since I found out about it on Open House night.  The outcome far exceeded the expectation. 

Happy 2014!

I hope you all have a healthy and prosperous 2014.  I intend to add some changes to this blog.  I just added a sharing feature for Facebook (not on it) and Twitter (reluctantly on it and exploring it's uses).  More to come.  Take a chance of your own.  Do something new.  Good luck.