Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gap-toothed grinner!

This has been the week for teeth! My son had his "regular" dentist appointment last Thursday, but needed to have two "problems" (cavities in his already filled teeth?) taken care of, so we scheduled for Tuesday morning. The person who scheduled this should have told me, because ... wait, that was me. Anyway, I forgot and thankfully my phone "reminded" me on Tuesday morning. We were only 10 minutes late - which was okay since we called and they said that it was okay :) He did awesome.

Meanwhile, I had my "tech appointment" to get ready for braces going on in March. So, you know: x-rays; 360 degree x-rays; pictures with a digital camera from every angle - mouth closed, mouth stretched open with plastic tools; wax bite; and the most fun - molds! - one each of top and bottom. While I managed to make a complete mess of these when I first got braces in 4th grade (can you say "quick gag reflex" and involuntary vomitting?), I managed to relax, concentrate and breath through my nose this time. Voila! Manageable experience ... We'll see how the actual braces treat me. Mark March 11th on your calendars :) New smile.

Tonight! My son and I were in his bed reading about the Philadelphia Eagles in a book he brought home, when he expressed the fact that one of his teeth was REALLY loose. I wiggled it a little and realized it was ready to come out. So, I got the cold glass of water and we went into the bathroom. After several wiggle, rinse, wingle sequences, I asked HIM to wiggle it - and then I finally got it to come out. Success! Now, hopefully the permanent teeth decide to come in straight so that he doesn't have to do the molds like Daddy just did :) ... but, don't bet on it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Only 8 weeks until baseball season!

Looking outside here in the Twin Cities, you could never tell, but it's really less than two months until the bats and balls come out for good and we get going on another high school baseball season. I'm anxious. Glad that the Vikings lost - so that I don't have to hear about the "Greatest Team on Earth" like I have been all year - or at least since #4 signed and started playing. Hope he (Brett) retires for good now - as one of the greatest QB (and football players) of all time.

My son joined me in rooting for the Saints last night. (And his purple #4 t-shirt with "FAVRE" across the top remained in his closet) He has his first after-school class (community ed class) today. Extreme Legos: Wheels and Axels. Should be cool. Chess starts next week for him.

Went and saw my cousin play softball yesterday ... yes, I said that right :) Inside a dome/bubble. It got me more anxious for spring and baseball. The kids had a blast with my aunt and uncle and cousin. Just another reason for wishing we lived closer to everybody in Wisconsin sometimes :)

I should be running on the treadmill or working out in some other fashion, but instead I sit at the computer updating the blog. Oh well. Life is too short not to be doing what you WANT to be doing first ... unless, of course, you HAVE to do something. Right now, running doesn't fit into EITHER of those categories :)

8 Days 'til Groundhog Day! Everybody ready! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My daughter's "new look" bedroom ... kind of :)

Put up her name in white letters about her closet, magnetic butterflies attach to tacks on her wall around her mirror, her cross back up between her windows, and a nice "art wire" (with her art already, of course) above her bed. Fun. (More importantly ... finally done!)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My 6-yr-old beat me at chess for the first time!

Okay, some history ... the kids don't ALWAYS get alone, so the last picture, with them sitting on the little chair closest to the television, shows how much they can both get into a TV show (mostly PBS or NICKJR - so somewhat educational). They also both like to use the digital camera (which we don't mind, since it doesn't really cost anything when they take pictures - and they're both pretty good about not dropping it or hurting the camera). It proves for some interesting pics. My son took the picture of my daughter ... and my daughter took the picture of my son :) I'm not really sure who took the picture of the coffee-maker, but oh well :)
The top picture shows the final position of the board when my 6-yr-old beat me at chess for the first time. Okay, so I'm not THAT good! :) I did help him figure out some moves and he really kind of stumbled into a great finish - and I messed up by not noticing it, of course - but he really beat me, so we got some visual evidence for the archives :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

New look in my son's bedroom ... kind of :)

No painting. No wall-papering. But our son wanted to switch things up a bit, so we switched his furniture around and ended up buying and putting a desk in his room at which he can do homework. He had a lot of input, so he can take some ownership in this "new look" and it also moves the head of his bed away from the wall he shares with his little sister's room. Both the kids helped me put the desk together and today, I helped the big guy do the last of his homework for school. Yeah! (Maybe I should've taken a picture of the Wrigley Field hanging art and the AJ Hawk poster on the common wall, but there isn't any furniture over there, so I didn't feel the need. Oh well, maybe next time.)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yeah! It's Friday!

So, this has been a LONG week. But the end is HERE!

My head feels quite a bit better. The bump began to dwindle this morning and the three cups of coffee I drank this morning probably helped with my headache, but it is mostly gone. I'm hoping that by the Packer game-time on Sunday it is fully gone - especially so that I can play basketball afterwards without pain.

I actually got the kids to sit and eat today without television or music on. BIG accomplishment! In fact, my son ASKED if we could turn the TV off for lunch (it had been on for a half-hour while my daughter watched Dora), and then my daughter asked to be the one to turn it off. Yes! They even CHOSE not to watch television for a while this morning - ie, I didn't have to ASK them to go do something else. See, usually in the morning they get about an hour with their friends on PBS before they go play downstairs, upstairs (or imaginary football/baseball/etc, like my son does in the front room). Today, before I asked them to go do something else, my son asked to go play downstairs, then my daughter followed. Granted, I had to turn the television off for them, but basically a nice morning. I may be jinxing myself here, but relatively little if any arguing between them - and THEY ACTUALLY HELPED EACH OTHER PICK UP without making a big fuss.
Is reality back? Hopefully :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Is it Friday yet?


Oh well.

Today while picking my daughter up at pre-school, I was informed that her best friend (who happens to be a boy) ... oh, no ... kissed her on the cheek. :) I had to laugh. Seems that my dauhgter's friend just wanted her to know that she was his best friend. Aaaahhh. It's hard to tell them that it's not appropriate to kiss a friend at school when they're three or four years old. Laugher. Helps me get through the week.

Which has been tough a bit already. On our "normal" trip to the grocery store on Monday, I went to put the bags in the back of the van and while picking up a bag out of the cart and turning, I completely clocked the upper front side of my head on the back hatch. Ouch! At least it didn't knock me out. But I did have one heckuva strained neck for a few minutes ... and a good-ol-fashioned goose egg on me - which is still there, red, and aches. Usually the hatch opens all the way and I don't have to watch out for it. Yet another reason not to like the bitter cold this week (it's been HIGHS below 20 and in the single digits).

And just when you think things are organized and taken care of ... you get reminded that you are not in charge. (Even though, I guess, technically, I am in charge of baseball.) Our biggest fundraiser - a basketball tournamanet we hold at our school - got scaled down ... again. Last year we had two seperate days of full-day tournament action. We were told we would only have one this year. Then, yesterday, we were told it MIGHT be able to be a half day - if we get it at all. So, there's a big bummer. If any of you are feeling sorry for us (or just me) you can always send a check my way :) (just kidding). We will be losing quite a bit of fundraising revenue - think thousands of dollars (and we only have a $1800 budget through the school) - but I think we'll be able to adjust. After all, you only do as much as possible with what you have. Maybe we'll think of something else to do this year ... anyone want to contribute to a HIT-A-THON? :)

School's in full swing for my son (second day today) and each day when I've asked how school went, he says, "It was really fun!" - which, is, of course, really good, since he's been on a completely different path for the past two weeks. It looks like we're all pretty much out-of-the-woods for colds. My wife's cough is still lingering, but I think she'll be okay. My head-cold comes and goes, as far as how bad it's treating me, but it's gone enough that I played basketball on Sunday night. And the kids seem to be able to do whatever they want without any afterthoughts. So, we're blessed that, even though I'm looking forward to Friday already, we're really in a happy, healthy, warm, and comfortable place - think: physically AND emotionally :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

So, we dealt with a few coughs, colds, and ear infections to end 2009, but we enjoyed the time with the family and friends this holiday season. Our neighborhood Christmas party was fun (an uneventful, thankfully) this year. Then our Christmas in Oho first with the Bautch family was a nice time. We had a good time with the Vitense family in Wisconsin. I got to go to a Bodeans concert with friends (Holly was sick with pneumonia, otherwise she would've been there,too) ... where I actually shook hands and talked with Steve Stricker before he bought us a beer. (For those not aware - Steve's the number 3 golfer in the world and went 4-0 at the President's Cup this past year as Tiger's partner.) We enjoyed our New Year's celebration with a few friends and neighors, as well.

I, personally enjoyed a nice week or so in which the Packers got win number 10 and clinched a playoff birth, the Vikings (or Viqueens, as I call them) lost, the Badger football team won their bowl game, the Badger basketball team won two games (including today), and the Packers finished their regular season off well - with a win, I hope! (the game is actually 26-0 in the second quarter as I type - I'm unable to watch because I live in MN)

2010 brought many nice things for us. I, personally, became a head varsity baseball coach at the high school level this spring. Baseball also was a part of our son's life this spring/summer, as he participated (very well, if I do say so) in a t-ball/coach-pitch league. My batting average this summer reached a Minnesota best of .345 and the Cubs won every game we went to see (4-0, I think?). Our son also participated in a soccer program with a friend and learned a lot. The little girl in the family decided to start taking dance classes - and loves them! My wife looked around her company for some more responsibilities and more experiences and ended up taking a new job (with a raise) that makes her a project manager.

I still stay at home with the kids everyday, but this fall, our son started kindergarten (and is doing really well) and our daughter began pre-school classes twice a week (and she is doing well, also). Swimming is going great for my son - he even can do the front crawl with alternating breathing (wow!). I know I always forget things, but I should mention that we went to Oho for the Fourth of July and for the week before Christmas. We also spent a week at the Dells with my parents and my brother's family, spent Christmas Eve at my parents' house and Christmas Day at my Aunt's house in Wisconsin.

All in all, it's been a good year. I'm enjoying staying home and hope that I continue to learn and grow as a stay-at-home dad. The new year brings us renewed hope and faith in ourselves, our family, our friends, our community, our nation, and our world. My dedication is to giving - to my children, my wife, my family and friends, and to others, in general. Things are good. I know this. And I will continue to believe - in God, in myself, and in others.

Happy New Year.