Monday, July 28, 2014

My Son At Seven And A Half. I Like What I See.

I sit nervously fidgeting on the hard bleachers waiting for your very first basketball game to start. You have your brand-new jersey on. You're listening intently as the coach patiently talks to your team, grasping for some idea of what to do. I realize how incredibly proud I am of you, son. I get glimpses of the person you are becoming and I like what I see.

You are a participant my little man. Even now, and certainly while I was growing up, I never was. I shied away from things that were unfamiliar to me. You, on the other hand, are exuberant and want to do and try everything. I admire that about you.

I watched you at your first swim lesson. Once again, I was more nervous than you were, sitting wedged between two mommies on a slightly damp metal bench. As they tried unsuccessfully to wrangle their rambunctious offspring, I tried in vain to swallow the angry butterflies that were taking over my stomach. You were unsure as you got into the pool, but you soldiered on. You used a kick board to practice your kicks and I saw a determined, but happy look on your face. The butterflies in my tummy disappeared, waiting to reappear at your next lesson. When you finally clambered out of the pool, I braced myself for you to ask me to never bring you back there. Instead you excitedly asked me, "When do I get to come back here?" 

When Mommy bought you a boogie board, you couldn't wait to try it out. As we walked hand in hand with Mommy to the water's edge, I anxiously scanned the surface looking for sharks and jellyfish. I apprehensively assessed the size of the pounding surf which was beating the shore like Mike Tyson. I was a breath away from calling this whole ridiculousness off, when I saw you were already on your board. After a few good attempts and pushes from us, you fell off and swallowed a bunch of seawater. Undaunted, you got back on and tried it again. Amazing.

You are smart, son. And, even better, you are curious. Curiosity is quality that is woefully undervalued. You recently told me, "I'm like Sid the Science Kid because I want to know everything about everything!" You want to know why lightning is hot. We go to the beach and you want to know what the colors of the lifeguard flags mean. You ask what causes the sound thunder makes. You wonder aloud about waves and where they come from. If you hear a word you don't know, you ask what it means. When that happens, I know it won't be long before I hear you use the word and use it correctly. Oh, if only all of my students were as full of wonder. I'm so thankful for Google and Wikipedia so I can try to answer all of your questions!

You have a tenacity about you that I love. You once had a not-so-nice soccer coach. Undiscouraged, you wanted to play again the next season. As the new season progressed, it was clear that your new team wouldn't be winning any playoffs. In fact, the team only scored four goals all season. Two of them were scored by you and both of those goals were made while playing against your former coach's team. Life takes grit and you've got it.

You are so proud to be seven and a half years old and I don't blame you. I like what I see.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

10 Things You Should Know About The Missus

 1. She makes our house a home and the Boy and I would be lost without her.   

Here she is painting trucks on our son’s bedroom walls shortly after we moved into our new house.

2. She lets the Boy and I know we’re important and loved.

 The boy getting ready to enjoy some heart-shaped french toast courtesy of his Mommy.

3. She’s beautiful. Here she is with my other sexy lady, Poppy.

4. She makes sure that milestones and events don’t go unnoticed. Here’s what greeted the Boy when he came home after his first day of school a few years back.

5. She makes hot chocolate when we come home on a rainy day.

6. She never ever finishes a glass of anything.   

7. No matter what’s she nuking, she always leaves a few seconds on the microwave. 
Me: “If you want to microwave something for 30 seconds, why do you enter 45 seconds?”.
The Missus: “I thought it would need 45 seconds, but at 30 seconds, I could feel that it was done.” 
You can’t just make this stuff up. 

 8. She writes a blog

 9. She develops awesome curriculum for teachers.

10. See hooks us up before she goes on a trip. Read about it here: Mommy is leaving for a Girls’ Weekend! 5 Tips to Make it Fun for Everyone

Saturday, July 5, 2014

My Kingdom For A Door

Hotels are sexy as hell. I think we can all agree on that. Whether it's the change of scenery and routine or the lack of responsibilities, I'm not sure, but there's nothing that will get a person feeling amorous faster than a stay in a hotel. It's a scientifically-proven fact.

Of course, all of this is true until a married person has kids. I mean, whose idea was it to have the whole family sleep in one room with no privacy? Where's the door? Unless you can afford a suite, you're all crammed in one room the entire time. 

Can you remember romantic getaways with your spouse before having kids? I can't. We just got back from a nice, relaxing vacation. We stayed in a hotel steps from the Pacific. By "we" I mean the Missus and I and our 7 year old. It was all sand, sun, water, swimsuits, and the ocean. Did I mention the lack of privacy?

I adore my son. I really do. I love vacationing with him. I love playing in the waves and building sandcastles with him. I also love the Missus and wouldn't have minded having some one-on-one time with her. All I can say is, my kingdom for a door.

If you have any clever tricks up your sleeve to get around this door issue, don't be shy about sharing them. I'm all ears...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Date With Vasectomy

From my actual medical record:
"Vasectomy Pre-procedure Consult:
This 39 yr old male presents for counseling prior to vasectomy procedure. He denies any h/o testicular problems or current dysuria, frequency, or testicular discomfort/pain. Testes w/o masses. B/L vas deferens palpated."

After the Missus's miserable pregnancy and our son being born and his stay in the N.I.C.U., we decided that we would consider ourselves blessed to have one healthy child and not risk the Missus's health by trying to have another baby. 

Since we were told that having a vasectomy is "easy" and "painless", we decided that I should schedule one right away. Not relishing the idea of putting my "
test pickles" in harm's way (thanks to Leila over at "Don't Speak Whinese" for this awesome term), "right away" became a relative term. Relative for a year or three later, when I finally went in for a consultation with my doctor. 

At the time, it didn't occur to me that maybe even "easy" and "painless" procedures such as vasectomies should be performed by a urologist or other specialist instead of a general practitioner.  It also didn't occur to me to notice whether or not my family practice doctor was a farsighted sadist or not. The devil is in the details. 

While being violated, I mean, examined by my doctor, he said, "Oh, this will be an easy one."

“What's that supposed to mean?" I didn't ask. 

Dr. Farsighted explained the procedure, deftly glossing over the risks and possible complications. He encouraged me to stay off of the internet and avoid all "horror stories".

"If it's so 'easy' and 'painless', why are there 'horror stories'?" I ask. Dr. Sadist just chuckled, handed me a "
Preparing for yourVasectomy" pamphlet, told me to schedule an appointment with his nurse, and stock up on frozen peas. 

"Frozen peas?" I naively asked. 

"It's in the 
pamphlet", he assured me.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There Goes Easter

As you can see from the number of eggs in the Boy's basket, there are advantages to being an only child.
Okay, Easter morning was a bit of a thrill ride around here, kids (*Spoiler Alert* If you still believe in the Easter Bunny, read no further. If you are the Easter Bunny, this is for you). Here's the thing: the Boy is unusual in the fact that he is six-years-old and sleeps until his normal wakeup time on major holidays. Christmas morning? We have to wake him up. Easter last year? We had to wake him up. With that in mind, the plan has always been for me to get up and hide the eggs before anyone else is awake. This plan makes even more sense when you know that one of our dogs will eat anything she has access to (some of you might remember what she did  to a birthday cake) so the eggs can't be hidden the night before. The plan was well laid, my friends, but went horribly wrong. At approximately 5:33 a.m., the Boy was excitedly up to go to the bathroom (and check to see if the Easter Bunny had arrived yet). The problem with that is the part where the Easter Bunny was still asleep and hadn't hidden a single egg. Ever quick on her feet, the Missus climbed into bed with the Boy in an attempt to get him to go back to "sleep" (and to stall to give me some time).
With visions of Easter being ruined for my son, I was at DEFCON 5. I had to hide those eggs and hide them quick. I also had to be silent as the grave as I knew the Boy was only pretending to be asleep and would hear anything over a church whisper coming from the rest of the house. Have you ever noticed how loud plastic eggs filled with jelly beans are? Me either, but I'm here to tell you they're loud, especially when you're tiptoeing around a darkened house trying to hide them. The eggs weren't the only things trying to give me away. Doorknobs that usually turn silently, popped and yelped in ways I didn't know were possible. Doors that typically open silently, creaked and complained when I opened them. Cushions on the couch made a "whooshing" sound that I am positive the neighbors could hear. As they often do, the Shih Tzus added their own drama to the mix. Their claws going across the floor made more noise than I have ever heard as they stubbornly refused to stop following me on my silent quest to hide the eggs. The skinny one (you might remember her from our smoke detector incident) kept running into and out of our "sleeping" child's room, the tags around her neck making more noise than the bells in Saint Peter's Square heralding the resurrection of Christ. It wasn't music to my ears.

As I breathlessly hid the last egg and placed the Boy's Easter basket in its place, I held my breath hoping the Boy hadn't heard the racket I had been making. In the end , I think we pulled it off. All the eggs got hidden, the Boy's belief in the Easter Bunny was preserved, and all was well in the Knight House.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

P.J.'s Design Laboratory Blog Design Giveaway!!!

Disclosure: Writing Pad Dad and Teacher to the Core did not receive compensation to help promote this post and are not responsible for prize delivery.

Want to start a blog, but don't know how to design your page? Have a blog and want to redesign it? Have we got a giveaway for you! The Missus and I have teamed up with Parker of PJ's Design Laboratory to give one lucky winner a free blog design!

Aside from designing my blog (doesn't it look great?), here are some of the AMAZING blogs that Parker has designed!

Here's what the winner will receive:
  • custom header
  • matching button
  • button grab box
  • custom background
  • custom sidebar titles
  • custom signature
  • custom blog post dividers
  • custom page links/navigation
  • custom social network buttons
  • installation
  • it's the Full Design Package valued at $99!!!
Enter to win below:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Birds Of A Feather: All Thumbs And None Of Them Green Part 2


Spring has sprung in our neck of the woods and suddenly I'm a poet. I quote A.A. Milne and say, "She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head, and whispered to her neighbor: 'Winter is dead"'. I'm full of song too. Flowers are blooming. Birds are singing. You get the picture. Speaking of birds, I always want birds to nest here, but they never do. Until this year. I don't know why they haven't before now. We don't have a cat. I've planted lots of trees. What's the problem? Anyway, excitement was running high around here in anticipation of the babies finally hatching. So, spring is here and I'm really happy to go with it.