Sweet, Wonderful You

Sometimes I think I’m turning into a total sap. I had a hockey game last night – at 10:30pm – and Steph went out for a while, so I had 7pm-9:30 to myself. After doing all kinds of chores (dry and fold the kids laundry, put it away, get their lunch ready for next day, etc etc) I plunked myself down on the couch at about 8:30 and popped on the television. Now, you would think I’d head straight for the World Series, right? Kind of. I did flip it on and as a matter of perfect timing, got to see Chase Utley whack one out of the ballpark. But I can’t watch the World Series in that horrific excuse for a ballpark. Sorry. Time to flip channels or hit up the DVR.

First off – this past weekend’s Saturday Night Live. Was nice to see Mark Wahlberg making light of the great skit they did about him the week before. SNL is pretty much good for 1-2 good skits + the news each week, so I got through it pretty quick. Then I ended up on channel 828, which is MTV/VH1’s HD channel. They had a 2004 Fleetwood Mac concert from MSG, so I stayed there for a second. I’m very much Jekkyl & Hyde on Fleetwood Mac. Some of it I love (“Monday Morning,” “I Don’t Wanna Know,” “Never Going Back Again,” “Crystal”) and some of it I really cannot stand (“Rhiannon,” “Dreams,” “Gold Dust Woman”). 

So I catch the end of a wild Buckingham version of “Big Love” and the next song is one I dislike very much – “Landslide.” But since there isn’t anything else on, I keep it on, hoping the NEXT song might be Silver Springs or something good. Then Stevie Nicks gets to the part in Landslide where she sings “…children get older and I’m getting older too” and suddenly, like out of nowhere, I get sad. I’m thinking about how in just a year-and-a-half my kids are no longer babies, but walking, talking toddlers who are emerging as human beings. Why sad? I don’t know. The passage of time. It’s something I’ve spoken of before here. On one hand, I can’t wait to see how my kids grow, watch what they become interested in and hopefully prosper and become good, giving, loving people. On the other hand, I already miss their little 6 lb infant whimpers.

I mean, it lasted like two minutes, until I found “Old School” on TNT, just in time to see 89 year old Blue pass out at the sight of two buxom sorority girls. 

….and on we go.

This Is Your Brain On Kids…..Any Questions?

So, we had an enjoyable, but tough weekend up on Squam Lake in New Hampshire this past weekend. Both Steph and I have been feeling slightly under-the-weather. Not bad enough to stay home, but not good enough to be at our most energetic. Now pack all the STUFF you need with 1 year old twins, haul it two hours north, stay in a house that is completely un-child proofed and then sprinkle in 3 other cousins, all under six years old (including another set of twin boys) and you have yourself a casserole of exhaustion. I mean, TOTAL exhaustion! Here’s the cherry on top: one of ours decided to throw up on Sunday morning. Yeah! Like I said, fun, but exhausting.

Here’s the point: today and tonight I’m preparing myself to play hockey and then about 15 minutes before I leave, remember that I broke not one, but TWO hockey sticks in my previous game and I have no sticks. Which means no game. These kind of things never used to slip my mind! Ah, well. Two things will never change: they’re cute and I love ’em.

Happy Winter

Vacation and Labor Day are over now. We spent our vacation on the lovely Plum Island, a small island off of Newburyport on the north shore of Massachuetts. It is a very quiet, unassuming and beautiful little stretch of land with very little commerce. Just how we like it. Even better, we rented a house which was about a 45 second walk to the beach! Sweet. As indicated from the photo above, a good time was had by all. It was our first true vacation with the kids, which proved to be an interesting experiment, for when one thinks of vacation, it’s typically one of relaxation and unwinding. I am here to tell you, and this shouldn’t be news to anyone, that relaxation and unwinding was not a part of the equation, which is why I hesitate to call it “vacation,” truthfully. It’s more along the lines of taking care of the kids just like we do at home, only it’s in a much nicer locale.

Of course, that said, there were many great moments for our family, which I don’t need to pontificate on here for fear of making you bored. Just let it be said that the kids got to experience a lot of new and exciting things. I don’t remember which of Stephanie’s friends said this, but at some point last year it was explained to us that for adults with young children, the only way to really get everything you can out of a vacation is to envision it through the kids eyes. So I did my best to view everything through their eyes, except the part about envisioning what it must be like to poop and pee in my pants, I suppose. In doing that, I considered it a smashing success and despite our being exhausted every night, it was very sad to leave.

Rest of the vacation photos can be found here.

Upon my return, I found an awesome website, called YearbookYourself.com. You basically plug your face into various traditional yearbook pictures that span the years 1950 to 2000. It is hilarious. I had a few funny ones, but I think my favorite might have been my 1952 yearbook photo. I wish I still had this hair! I’ll post a few others this week as well.

It Came Out Magical

Okay, a couple of things on this early Friday morning:

  • Parents, question for you: every night before we go to bed, Steph and I walk into the boys room and just sit there on the floor and stare at our babies as their little chests heave up and down in a dead sleep. We typically sit there for about five minutes. You do this, too? We’ve been doing it for a year and there appears to be no end in sight. Leave comment?
  • I’ve probably mentioned this before, but Nada Surf continues to kick ass. Every time they put out an album, I think “ok, it’s going to be hard to top this.” And then they do it. Every time. Nothing better than a band at its creative peak. When the creative peak lasts 3-4 albums, then you’re getting into Jeff’s favorite-band-of-the-decade territory. Try this one, called “I Like What You Say:”    [audio:like.mp3]
  • I know I mentioned The Black Keys new album a few weeks back, but one of their older songs just popped up on my ITunes and I’m feeling like you need to hear it. Why? Because it’s awesome, that’s why. This one is called “Keep Your Hands Off Her.” I bet these guys smoke live.    [audio:keep.mp3]

Wake Me Up For Meals

Steph and I sing to our babies pretty much every day. It’s the usual stuff, you know – Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus…..all the classics. Usually their reaction is to just rock back-and-forth and smile, a lot. If I have the IPod going in the background, I’ll sing whatever song is on. Yesterday, however, marked the first day one of the boys perked up when the IPod was on shuffle and started doing something as close to dancing as a 1-year-old can do.

The boy was Nathan and for those of you that know us, you know how to describe him. Always moving. A total spaz. Occasional pest and villain of toys to his sweet-natured brother, Zachary. The song, you ask? Warren Zevon’s “Mr. Bad Example.” I said to Steph, “I really hope this isn’t some kind of sign.”

The lyrics:

I started as an alter boy, working at the church
Learning all my holy moves, doing some research
Which led me to a cash box, labeled “Children’s Fund”
I’d leave the change, and tuck the bills inside my cumberbund

I got a part-time job at my father’s carpet store
Laying tackless stripping, and housewives by the score
I loaded up their furniture, and took it to Spokane
And auctioned off every last naugahyde divan

I’m very well aquainted with the seven deadly sins
I keep a busy schedule trying to fit them in
I’m proud to be a glutton, and I don’t have time for sloth
I’m greedy, and I’m angry, and I don’t care who I cross

I’m Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirt
I like to have a good time, and I don’t care who gets hurt
I’m Mr. Bad Example, take a look at me
I’ll live to be a hundred, and go down in infamy

Of course I went to law school and took a law degree
And counseled all my clients to plead insanity
Then worked in hair replacement, swindling the bald
Where very few are chosen, and fewer still are called

Then on to Monte Carlo to play chemin de fer
I threw away the fortune I made transplanting hair
I put my last few francs down on a prostitute
Who took me up to her room to perform the flag salute

Whereupon I stole her passport and her wig
And headed for the airport and the midnight flight, you dig?
And fourteen hours later I was down in Adelaide
Looking through the want ads sipping Fosters in the shade

I opened up an agency somewhere down the line
To hire aboriginals to work the opal mines
But I attached their wages and took a whopping cut
And whisked away their workman’s comp and pauperized the lot

I’m Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirt
I like to have a good time, and I don’t care who gets hurt
I’m Mr. Bad Example, take a look at me
I’ll live to be a hundred and go down in infamy

I bought a first class ticket on Malaysian Air
And landed in Sri Lanka none the worse for wear
I’m thinking of retiring from all my dirty deals
I’ll see you in the next life, wake me up for meals

Tell Me Again, Again

BTW, that is NOT my kid in the picture below. I swiped it off PerezHilton.com.

This is what happens to your brain when you have kids. Last night we were pretty busy, Steph was packing for a trip she’s taking this weekend and I was getting all the kids stuff ready for tomorrow and doing some cleaning. Given that we’re busy and running around, a pizza for take-out was clearly in the works. So we fish out a gift card that some friends had graciously given us and I call and put in the order – mushroom, green pepper and pepperoni. I take card with me and drop it in the front seat and drive the THREE minutes downtown. I promptly forget the card and pay inside, only to be reminded about it, pizza in hand, when I get back to the car. Out loud I exclaim “dumb ass” and I drive home. Steph laughs at me and says “this is what our life has become!” Of course, it’s all good because the kids are adorable. I’m ok with them turning my brain to mush.

Last night’s season finale of The Office was a dandy. I won’t give anything away, but one of the funniest moments of the season is the new HR person thinking that Kevin is mentally challenged. A few classic scenes.

So this will be the first stretch of days that it’s been just me and the kids. Should be interesting, if not exhausting. I kept telling Steph that the kids and I were just going to sit around and drink beer and talk about chicks and that I’d be feeding them nothing but chicken bones, peanuts and salt-water taffy and have them sleep in the garage. Aren’t I a great husband? Gotta keep the sense of humor.