Saturday, June 28, 2014

Feeling Their Oats

My boys crack me up.  It's time like these that it is fun to be a Dad.  At my brother's place, we were all hanging out for a family BBQ with extended family and friends.  My brother was hosting a double birthday party for their kids but is really more of an excuse to have a summer soiree.  It's an annual event now, and really a great time.
     But I digress.  The boys, my boys, are by far the oldest kids attending.  But they interact with the other kids.  They lead the activities.  The other kids take to them like magnets.  At one point Coco is on all fours with a child on his back, riding him like a horse.  As they run past, Demi says to Coco, "Hey Pony boy, make sure you drink water and stay hydrated."
    Without missing a beat, Coco stands up and responds, "Mom....I'm a Stallion!", smiles and then runs away.  Perfect.
     A bit later I see Caz in the house.  He's leaning up against an arm chair having a conversation.  As I round the corner, I see he's chatting up the babysitter.  The college age babysitter from down the street who watches my nephew and niece, and is helping the crafts station at the party.  Demi had seen Coco coming out of the bathroom after having put water on his hair and was in the act of straightening it out.  My boy was putting out the Vibe on an older woman.  Atta boy!

Friday, June 27, 2014


We finally built Chinnytown, our version of Mantown.  It's been a while in the making.  We took down the former home of Dragon Fly Daycare.  We gave away the toys.  We packaged up the supplies.  We painted over the Sesame Street characters.  We put in some futons, couches, chairs, and XBOX.  But Chinnytown was still not complete.  Now we are almost there.  Thank you Craigslist!
     I had been searching Craiglist for months.  I searched Foosball tables, pool tables, air hockey tables, poker tables, arcade games, pinball machines, and bumper pool tables.  Finally I found what I had in mind.  A Foosball table.  I am very picky about my Foosball tables.  None of those tables that have pieces that look like soccer players.  I like the generic, almost Rock-The only knock on this table are the handles.  Wooden hexagonal handles.  But those can be replaced.  Especially for short dough.  So I picked this beauty up 5 exits away.
      While in transit I received a response on an Air Hockey table.  This is formerly a $700 heavy duty bar room table.  Done. Tthat is only 10 mins away.  It plays beautifully.
     Now, the trifecta.  I saw an ad yesterday for a yard sale with a poker table.  I did a drive by and it's only up the street at a neighbors the the yard sale already happened.  Demi called to see if it was still available.  They just want it gone and offer it up for free.  Done deal.  And bonus.  It comes with poker chips.  The boys are thrilled.
     Chinnytown is now open for business.  That is all I wanted.  A place the boys can hang out with their friends.  Sure, it means more teenage boys running around.  But at least I know where they are....

Monday, June 16, 2014

Adding onto The Hive

We officially have two teenagers now.  Coco is in full fledged hormonal, teen angst mode.  I am ready to add an addition on to the bee hive for him.  Then, like Caz, throw in some food, wall him up, and wait until he is an adult to break him out.
     Coco has been unbearable.  Some of my feeling is shock.  We definitely took for granted that he was very reliable and very trust worthy.  In reality, he is probably still on the good side of the curve for teenage behavior.  But in aggregate, it is getting hard around here.  He is forgetting things.  He doesn't pay attention when we are talking.  It all leads to fighting.  They he has a meltdown.  Like Chernobyl.  Tantrum extraordinaire.
     Now that this rite of passage - teenagers & their parents - is impacting all four of us, the family dynamic has changed.  I am sure it is normal.  But it is tough.  We are still adjusting.  At least is it with very little school left.  Like Caz, the root problem centers around electronics.  XBOX is actually the least of it.  There is a new PC game.  The iPod Touch is problematic  It is a big snowball effect.  I hope I have enough patience......

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there!
     This year was a particularly good Father's Day.  I went out on a great day for running, to participate in a local 5K.  It was a new route to me.  It was more challenging than the usual route.  I was back before the oldest child was even awake.  
     The boys were very good.  They went to the beach without kicking and screaming.  They were troopers.  They didn't bug me to leave the whole time.  They interacted with the others.  They played Penny Can with the old man.  They even hid their relief/excitement/eagerness, when I decided to pack it up early.  We went over to my folks afterwards.  We swam in the pool.  We visited with my Dad and my brother's family.  That is all my Dad wants.  He wants all his family together.  He had a great smile going the whole time.
     The boys were very sociable while hanging out on the porch, having dinner next door.  We had a very nice BBQ, followed by the traditional strawberry shortcake.  That dessert is a Father's Day staple.  It is Yaya's favorite.  All went well.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Hot Dog Safari Duxbury

The boys had yet another Professional Half Day of school.  Coco had plans with some friends.  They walked up to Duxbury Pizza to get some lunch.  Then back to one of the boys house for pool time.
     I told Caz to invite his buddies over for hot dogs at 6 PM. I figured they would crush a bunch of dogs, so I stocked up.  They wanted boiled, so boiled it was.  I had a ton of different condiments out, ketchup, mustard, relish, jalapenos, sweet pepper relish, pickles, etc.  The only one that got touched? Ketchup.  That is just a hot dog faux pas, but that is another discussion.  Coco ended up having a buddy over too.  They ran around outside for hours.  That was the whole point.  It was old school summer nights.  They play 4 square.  They threw the football around.  The went up and down the street with the Rip Stick.  They went up into the tree house.  It was fun to watch.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Interview with a Manager

Caz had his first job interview today.  Demi did a good job preparing him.  He gave him some typical questions, so he could think about answers.  I think it helped him with the pre-game jitters.  But when game time came, he was cut loose.  He was on his own.  He was in with the manager for a good while, 30-40 minutes.  That is an eternity for Caz.
     Caz came out so pleased with himself.  He got really good feedback, along with a good indication of being hired.  He is just some paperwork and a drug test away from a summer job.  His first job.  And his first drug test.  My how times have changed.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summer Meltdown

You would have thought that we were in the dog days of August.  You know.....those hot, humid, New England days.  You get a few plus 90 days in a row with 90% humidity.  Folks start getting irritable.  The bickering begins.  Those kinds of days.
     Demi and Caz got into it like that.  Caz, once again, forgot his medicine.  So that exacerbated the issue.  I was sick.  I finally got the crud that Caz and Coco had.  They passed it over to the old man.  Stuffy head, slight fever, lack of energy.  Really, its the minor flu.  In a nice change of pace, both calmed themselves down.  They proceeded to talk it out.  It took a while.  Caz was being pigheaded.  He did show some signs of maturity.  I will take it.  Maybe he is growing up after all.