Thursday, February 27, 2014

Baba O'Reilly Part Deux

Happy 13th Birthday, Coco!  Welcome to the Teenage Wasteland!
     I now have a house full of teenagers.  Am I ready for this?  I guess I have to be.  Demi too.
     More hormones.  More body changes.  More rebellion.  I guess that makes Demi and me the Empire.  Well, Empire Strikes Back was the best movie of the trilogy.  So we got that going for us....which is nice...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Teenage Heartbreak

Well, I knew this day would come eventually.  It is one of those watershed moments that shapes our young adult life.  A first break-up.  Caz looks so depressed.  So sad.  As terrible as it is for him, it is heart wrenching for Demi and me.  It is so hard as a parent to see your child in such a state.  I guess I have to take the same advice as I would give Caz:  Time heals all wounds.
     My advantage is that I know this to be true.  Caz has to take my word for it.  Or not.  I doesn't seem like it from his perspective.  I do recall being in his shoes.  It feels like your world is coming to an end.  Love as a teenager knows it is limited.  Of course it is.  Experience is a huge part of all of our feelings.  With such a small sample size, it feels as if your soul has been ripped out and you will never recover.  It is why tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet resonate with audiences so much.  I think we all recall our first loves.  It leaves an impression.  It is an important milestone on our way to adulthood.
     I offered to share my own experience with Caz. He didn't have much interest at the time.  That is OK.  I won't push him.  I want him to know that he can talk to me.  But it is up to him to do so, only when he is ready.  I hope he's comfortable talking to me.  I guess reaching out is the first step, right?  That is all I can do for now.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Operation Teen

Operation Teen was undertaken today.  To celebrate Coco's birthday, he invited a bunch of his friends over, with their masks, airsoft guns, ammunition, and camouflage, to pay "fort" and "capture the flag."  Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like military simulations.  Playing Marine (most kids call it playing "army" but not here.  Not with the son of a Marine).
     It was actually a great day for it.  How many days in a normal February in New England do you get over 50 degree weather?  Sure, there was still a lot of snow on the ground. But the kids adapted.  The insulated themselves so they could lay down in the snow.  They are really great kids.  Very nice. Very polite.  It was really no work to have them all here.  Our kids have done a good job in general picking their friends.  I guess we have taught them pretty well.  It's good reinforcement for Demi and me.
     It's hard to believe we have another teenager.  How did that happen?  And so quickly?  Where did all the time go?    

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's 2014

This wasn't out finest Valentine's day.  Demi was very sick.  As sick as she's been in a long time.  It figures.  Both the boys had plans tonight.  They both had sleepovers.  They were each running with their posses.  It was a very quiet night.
     I am glad the boys have a good circle of friends.  Coco had been at his buddy's since after school.  Caz too, for that matter.  I really wonder if Caz got his girlfriend a card.  Of if he called her.  Or if he did anything to commemorate the day.  I may have to quiz him later.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Another Wall in the Hive

Yep.  I was ready to wall up my teenager in his compartment in the hive.  We were off to an epic family argument.  Well, most of the family.  Mom and Dad against Caz.  Nothing really out of the norm.
     It started the same as most of them do.  Generally, it starts over a little thing.  Then another little thing gets added.  And another.  It snowballs.  It escalates.  Then you have a full blown storm.
     This one started just like the others.  But as Caz started his hissy fit at the dinner table, I ordered him out of the house.  It was close to zero degrees out.  I tried to bundle him up.  He choose to be stubborn.  I told him to grab a shovel and to clean the deck.  He did it.  Not well.  But not poorly.  He did it quickly and efficiently.
     When he came back in, he was much calmer.  Demi and I were much calmer.  Demi more so.  I was still steaming a bit.  Caz apologized.  Demi led the discussion.  After a long talk, things got much better.  He wasn't happy but he followed the rules.  We finished in a much better place than where we had been.  I didn't need to put up the wall after all.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Quality Time With The Boys

This weekend was effective for spending time with my boys.  Even with Caz going to a sleep over last night and hanging out with the same crew the night before last.  He is certainly at that age when he want to be with his friends.  Certainly understandable.  Today, he appreciated that I picked him up in the AM, after the sleepover.  He helped out a bit and has done what he has been asked to do so far.  I was able to spend some time with him this afternoon, doing something he likes to do.  Sure it was XBOX.  Sure it was Call of Duty.  Or COD as the teen lingo goes.  But we had fun.
     Yesterday, I took Coco out on the trails for some snow-shoeing.  We had a nice little trek around Beaver Creek.  It is nice to have this little preserve and it's trails, so close by.  It is easy to take it for granted.  I try not to do that.  I try to take advantage of what is here and impress upon the boys, how lucky we are to live where we do.  Coco had a good time with it.  He suited up with his snow-pants, winter coat, hat, gloves, gaiter, and goggles.  I let him lead the way, so that I could follow behind with the camera.  We had a nice little chat while we were out there.  It was a good way to spend some father/son time.  It also got him moving, doing something physical.  I am pretty sly like that.  Multi-tasking.  A good trait to have, right?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Grab a Shovel

It wasn't exactly the Snowmaggeddon they predicted.  In some ways it was worse.  We got some rain and frozen rain.  But we cleared ourselves out efficiently.  The school administration canceled school last night. The boys knew they were free to stay up late and sleep in.  But I told them to be prepared to shovel. And not just here, but go over next door and help their grandparents.  They were good about it.  They geared up and marched over next door while I set up the snow-blower.  They also cleared out the drain and the fire hydrant.  Then they attacked our stuff.  They did the front walk.  The shoveled a path for Gizmo, with some cut-outs from which she could choose to do her business.  I thought about it, but decided not to push my luck.  I thought they might want to earn some money shoveling out their neighbors.  But I could tell that they did not have that entrepreneurial look in their eyes.  I quite while I was ahead.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ground Hogs Day - 2014

Darn that Puxatawny Phil!
     It should have been obvious that a ground hog seeing his shadow today would be a sign of things to come.  Bad things to come.  Today didn't seem that way initially.  Spin class was great.  But after that?  A lot of unexpected curve balls.  I didn't get half of what I wanted to accomplish done.  Even the Super Bowl was lousy.  So were the commercials overall.  Sure a few were amusing but on the whole they were disappointing.  Then there was the weather forecast.  Snow.  Didn't see that coming.
     The highlight of the day was the fare for the Super Bowl.  I made a beer cheese soup from scratch.  Coco, Demi and I thought it was a hit.  The garlic knots turned out very well.  Lots of garlic butter.  No vampires would dare come anywhere near the place tonight.  The hero sandwiches were great.  Coco chowed down.  He put on a display.  The put down the hero, 5 garlic knots, 8-10 jalapeno poppers, and a bowl of beer cheese soup.
     The Super Bowl was truly about the family tonight.  Even though Caz was not here for the first half, it was a great family night.  I got Caz a very special root beer in a cool bottle.  I got orange cream soda for Coco.  We wrote up some prop bets and everyone had a guess.  We had to time the performance of the national anthem.  We had to wait for the temperature.  We had to wait until the 4th quarter to see which sideline report would be shown first.  Oh, Erin Andrews.....Definitely, the prop bets were the most entertainment of the night.