Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rock Stars

The boys are pretty much Rock Stars for the younger kids that we associate with on these long weekend holidays.  Yes, two are their younger cousins.  But the non-blood relatives adore them too.  They go into Beatlemania mode, screaming, flailing,...general hysteria.  They get so excited to see my boys.  It's really adorable.
     Well, I think this band has a rival now.  The new neighbors joined us for the weekend festivities.  The youngest daughter, Raquel, is in 6th grade.  The little ones took to her like Santa Claus.  Raquel was very excited.  And she was so good with them all.  When we regrouped at night, the little ones were screaming for her.  They did test runs, so they could run to the door and window when she arrived.  When Raquel finally did arrive, the kids ran out of the house, jumped up and down, and scream her name.  It was quite a welcoming committee.  My boys are going to have to up their game..

Friday, August 29, 2014

Meet the Neighbors

While we introduced ourselves to the new neighbors, who moved into the neighborhood at the start of summer, we really hadn't been able to get to know them.  They seem very nice.  They have 3 kids living there, with one who is an adult and living in Philly.  With the start of school looming, Linda invited the whole family over for dinner.  Most of the kids would be on the same school bus, so a familiar face is nice to have.
     The night really went great.  The kids took to each other immediately.  They went right down to the play room.  I could hear the banging of air hockey within seconds.  Laughter was not far behind.  The adults hit it off too.  We all got to know each other.  I was proud of our kids.  They were great hosts.  They included everyone in all the game.  It's not easy with different age ranges and boy/girl differences.  But they did it.  Maybe Demi and I are doing something right after all.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Visit from Grandma

Grandma came to visit for a few days.  It's her annual trek by, not that she's full time living in FL.  It was a very nice gesture this year, given that we all had the trip to Mexcio, us without the kids, for a family wedding.  She could have easily decided this year was too much.  Demi gave her an out too.  But she still came.  She came in time to see Coco's first scrimmage.  We all went out to eat after.
     Caz was great during the visit.  He played cards with Grandma.  He showed off his artwork from the past year.  He spent a lot of time talking with her.  Coco only had limited time but made the most of it.  Grandma brought Caz to work.  I think that was a bit of a reality check for her. One of her youngest grandchildren is now working.
     It's important for the boys to connect with her.  They don't get as much of an opportunity.  Obviously, being located so close to my parents and family, they are very close with my side.  They need to know Demi's side.  This was a successful visit for that.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

XC 2014

After a lot of drama, Caz started his second XC campaign.  There was a lot of discussion with family, friends, and coaches about the right thing to do for Caz.  His main focus is track.  And he is a sprinter.  No doubt about it.  We wanted to make sure the distance running involved with XC, wouldn't hinder his sprinting.  The coach agreed to devise a season workout for Caz, and others, who wanted to run, be a part of the XC team, and train for track.
     Many high schools only care about the success of the team.  They don't care about the individual and those that might have a emphasis on sprinting.  They burn those kids out.  We didn't want that happening to Caz.  We had a good conversation with his sprinting coach and XC coach. We came to an agreement and made out decision.
     Today was the first team practice.  Captains practices are over.  This is the real deal.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is sweeping the nation right now.  Everyone is shooting a video and getting doused with ice and water.  Of course by FaceBook connected wife is right in step.  She got called out during her workout this AM.  Which means?  Yep, yours truly is next up.
     I really had to plot out my 3 challenges.  Sure.  I took some liberties.  But who was going to complain.  It's all for charity.  For research to cure an awful disease.
     I had my team help me - Coco and Blue.  My minions.  I then issued my challenge.  I figured it would be a good team building exercise.  I called out my assistant coaches.  I then called out my buddy, Dickie, who I started coaching with 9 years ago and his staff.  I finished issuing the challenge to my former DHS teammates.  We have a reunion next month, so there is a good tie in there.  Mission accomplished.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Last Campaign

This is it.  Coco's last year of youth football.  And my last year of coaching.  I am back to the role of head coach.  So I actually enter this year with a bit of trepidation to go with my anticipation.  I am not sure what to expect.  Some kids are not back.  We do add some new kids.  A few new coaches.  One coach back -who I need to keep an eye on.  But of the new coaches, one is my former high school freshman and JV coach.  That part is very exciting.
     I hope Coco's last season goes better than Caz's.  I definitely have Caz's broken arm in the back of my mind.  I just want it to go well.  For all of us, all the kids and coaches.
     One last run.  Here we go.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Its a good thing we had vacation.  A chance to get our rest.  Because coming home has been a challenge.  The kids have had no rules for days.  Caz in particular has been coming and going as he has pleased.  He obviously hasn't had his medication since we left.  He may not make it through the night.  He needs to be confined to his room.  He's completely out of hand.
     I definitely am not feeling well.  I could not take him talking back to Demi any more.  He had to be straightened out.  I looked him straight in the eye and told him, "enough!"  I told him it ends now, or there would be consequences.  He could tell by my look that I was serious.  He finally relented.  Peace at last.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Demi and I are getting a timeout.  A well deserved timeout. We are hitting a destination wedding in Cancun.  Demi's nephew decided to get married in Mexico. In August.  So be it.  But 5 days without the kids, just Demi and me.  Sounds nice.  Pools.  Beach.  Sun.  Unlimited food and drink.  We will just have to grin and bear it.
     I think the break will do us all good.  We all get our space.  Time by ourselves.  Each one of us.  We are all due.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Movie Review - Guardians of the Galaxy

Best movie of the summer.  Actually the best summer movie in years.  5 Chinny rating.  This movie has something for everyone.  It has action.  Humor.  Love story.  Heroes.  Villians.  Good characters.  Inside jokes.  And?  A great soundtrack.  
     I wasn't sure what to expect going in.  I had read the comic while college.  I didn't recall much about it though.  The trailer looked promising.  But while watching the trailer, I secretly hoped it wasn't a collection of all the good parts.  
     I laughed out loud during this movie.  Often.  I appreciated all the 80's references  No spoilers but anyone my age should love the throwback humor. There was the great tie in to the rest of the Marvel universe.  My son laughed through the whole thing too.  Out loud.  And often.  
     Breakout role for Chris Pratt.  He was fantastic.  And Bradley Cooper like you have never seen him.  Actually, you don't really see him in the film.  But the voice role was spectacularly done.  I think the crowds will be quoting "I am Groot" for years to come....

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dog Days are not Over

Yes, the Dog Days of August are here.  No.  I am not talking about the weather.  I only wish I were.  No, the boiling points of the family have been reached.  The kids are acting up.  Our patience, Demi's and mine, are wearing thin.
     The youngest one is having mood swings like a metronome.  A metronome for Metallica that is.  Fast and furious. His hormones must be raging.  He is maniacally laughing one minute.  The next, he is sobbing like he just watched the endings of Brian's Song and Old Yeller in succession.  We can't keep up with him.
     The older one is at least consistent.  He's a PITA.  He's cranky.  He's surly.  He's defiant.  He's a smart Alec.  Sure, sounds like a typical teenager.  Maybe he is.  But that is why there are songs about teenagers.
     The battles will rage.  We will endure.  We must.  Other parents get through it.  So can we.