Monday, March 31, 2014

Travel Coffee Mug

Well, Demi put Caz on the bus today with coffee to go.  Clearly a first.  It boggled her mind a bit.  Caz apparently had developed a taste for it.  The caffeine is actually good for his ADD.  The extra stimulation should help him concentrate.  Our little boy is becoming a man.

Friday, March 28, 2014

16 Years And Counting

Happy Anniversary!  Married to Demi 16 years today.  So we decided to take the boys out to dinner.  How does that work?  Anyway, it was a good excuse to eat out at the Sun Tavern.  It was a unmitigated success.The boys cleaned themselves up.  They dressed nicely.  Coco busted out a tie and a fedora.  We ate like champs.  My steak was killer.   Coco loved his grilled meatloaf.  Caz ended up with a turkey pot pie bigger than his head.  And Caz ended up with the best dessert.  Hot Chocolate Mug Cake.  It was really a nice family evening.  I hope there are more to come like these.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Romeo! Romeo! Where for art thou, Romeo?

Caz floored me tonight. The conversation at dinner had started with Coco's English class about to start reading MacBeth.  I then recalled that Caz's class was reading Romeo & Juliet.  I asked him how it was going.  Caz relayed that his class was going to act it all out.  And not only that...he had volunteered for a part.  I was thrilled that he had volunteered for anything.  Then the other shoe dropped.  He announced that he had volunteered for the part of Juliet.  I asked him why, thinking that he would say that he knew that men acted all the parts in Shakespear's day.  But he chuckled and said that he thought it would be funny.  He planned to ham it up for his class.  Good for him.  Go for broke.  Take some risks.  It is really nice to see.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March Madness 2014

It is that time of year again.  Coco is fired up.  He could not wait for selection Sunday.  He had the brackets printed out about 5 minutes after they became available.  Caz was the complete opposite.  He was not into it at all this year.  Which is probably why he did not fill out his brackets.  Coco has his done very quickly.  I hadn't even read through mine yet.
     Demi had some interest because of the new twist this year.  Warren Buffet's offer of $1B for a perfect bracket is very intriguing.  How could it not be?  It was truly amazing that after day one, out of 11 million entries, only 3% were still viable. After day two? Zero.  Zero percent.
     Another discussion about math. Probabilities.  Possibilities.  Isn't it interesting how such a variety of topics can spawn a family discussion.  It's not an accident you know.  You have to work at this stuff.  I am just saying that there are all kinds of conversation starters available to you.  Pick one and start a family discussion.  Ask everyone for their opinion.  It will pay off.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Distribution of Wealth

We had a great family discussion tonight.  I had seen some of the TEDx Live event at work.  I was fortunate enough to see the interview with Bill and Melinda Gates.  I couldn't wait to get home to tell the boys about it.  I really wanted to see their reaction.
     The important parts of the interview for me were Bill's graph and their latest effort at philanthropy.  Bill's graph illustrated the downward trend of child deaths (under the age of 5) since 1960.  In 1960, the annual number was 20M.  Last year, that number was under 6M.  But the end game, is just on the horizon.  We may see that number go all the way down, in our lifetime.
     The other piece of the interview started with child raising philosophy.  The Gates had read an article by Warren Buffet advising the extremely wealth against giving their children everything and leaving all their money to be inherited.  Buffet said that by doing so, it didn't do the kids any favors and didn't do the world any favors.  The Gates planned to educate their children well.  But they would not hand them anything.  The would not provide enough for the kids to do nothing.  95% of their wealth will be given away through the Gates foundation.  Then Warren Buffet pledged 80% of his wealth to the Gates foundation.  The Gates are now on a mission to get other wealthy folks to do likewise.  So far they have over 120 commitments.
     Both my boys listed earnestly.  They asked some good questions.  They didn't even flinch about not getting much to inherit.  They were amazed that some many had committed to divesting their assets.  It was a really great dinner conversation.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2014!

From the McChins!
     Hoisted the traditional Guinness.  Alas, no corned beef and cabbage this year.  Not even a Shepard's Pie.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!
     I actually brought home a pie for Coco.  It is his new national holiday.  He was so excited leading up to today.  He is actually already excited for next year.  It will be 3/14/15.  The next sequence in the Pi extended factor.  3.1415.
     I love that he knows that.  I love the it excites him.  I love the amount of thought he gives it.  It is really amazing, as a parent to see it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Weird Science

The boys tend to bring up these little fun facts at dinner.  Usually it is something they came across in school.  One day it will be something like, "Hey! I held a deer's heart today."  Fortunately, Coco's science teacher had forewarned us during Open House.  Her brother is a hunter and supplies her with various organs to use in her classes.
     Other times it is some kind of trivia or factoid.  We talked about the Big Bang theory for a while tonight.  And no, not the TV show.  Although we have talked about that too.  I like that the kids are interested in learning.  I also enjoy the fact that they are the ones initiating the conversations.  They start these conversations with such enthusiasm.  It is really contagious.  The whole family gets involved and each member has something to say.  Everyone contributes.  Isn't that what dinner time is all about?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Happy 40th, Lex!

Welcome to the 40 club.  It's fine really.  No biggie at all.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Padawan

Coco became a trainee today.  He was charged with watching over his cousin, my niece.  They would be eating dinner at our place, then hanging out until bedtime.  Coco would then head upstairs to begin the night time routine.  At 8 PM the teeth brushing starts, followed by the reading of the bed time stories.  Lights out at 8:30 PM.
     The Bug was excited for this all week.  She told her entire preschool class. Repeatedly.  Each day.  She was even more excited when Coco joined us for her skating lesson in the AM.
     Coco passed with flying colors.  He had his to do list.  This included specific orders not to call his Aunt, but to call us, if there were any issues.  He knew we were at his Aunt's for my brother's 40th birthday celebration.  He understood it was a big deal.  Coco called at 8:45 to report that the Bug was sound asleep.  He was tucked into bed when we got home too.  The house was in good order.  I am very proud of him.  He was so responsible.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thrift Shoppin'

OK.  So it wasn't a thrift shop.  It was Old Navy.  Close though.  Whatever the case, I was jeans shopping for the first time with Caz.  It was a good father/son moment.  I was struggling a bit actually.  Caz is taller than me now, but a lot skinnier.  The dimensions are just so much different.  I know he has no idea.  No help there.
     My first instinct was to put him in the slim fit jeans.  Wrong!  He couldn't pull them past his knees.  Regular fit it was.  He tried on a pair and we hit pay dirt.  So we got two pair.  Then he saw a shirt he liked.  No question asked.  I got it for him.  I mean, he actually took an interest in his clothes.  And they weren't sweat pants or a t-shirt.  I wanted to encourage more of that.  Maybe now he will want to go again.  One can hope, right?

The Sweatshirt

I didn't realize the impact a simple Valentine's Day gift would have.  I got the boys a little something for Valentine's Day.  Actually, the pseudo holiday was just an excuse.  The store next door at work had a cool display of insulated sweatshirts with the logos of the 4 different Boston major sports teams.  Caz needed one because he had lost his other one months ago.  You know...the one he got specifically for this winter.  I thought Coco would get a kick out of a Celtics one.  So I grabbed one for each kid.  Caz got a black Bruins one.
     Coco has not taken his off since.  He sits around the house without a shirt, wearing just the sweatshirt. "I don't want anything between me and the fuzzy lining."  At school, he doesn't take it off, except for gym.  I am thrilled that he loves the sweatshirt.  But I think we are going to have to wash it more....

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Happy Non-Leap Year Birthday, Demi!

It's weird not having an actual birthday.  And do you calculate it?  Technically, you would add a half day to the 28th, since it is half way through the Leap Cycle.  But that takes you into March 1st.  And Demi wasn't born in March.  Odd really.
     I guess that is why we make a whole weekend of it in the off years.  She deserves it.