Monday, December 16, 2013

Feathers, Fabric, Glue and Wine

Getting near the end of December it is time for the annual school Christmas program.  This year both kids will be in the same one now that the Girl is in Kindergarten.  There is a definitely a love-hate relationship with the program.  I love the program as I teach at the school and get to see my students in another aspect and love to see them do their thing.  I don't like it because it is long, the Girl is at the beginning and the Boy is at the end.

This year I am a bit sad.  Our music teacher and program director is in her last year.  She works her tail off for these kids and in my opinion is a great music teacher.  She teaches the kids how to sing and play instruments, but more importantly how to read music.  I watch in wonderment when the Boy comes home with his recorder music, sits at the piano and starts playing the tunes.

The other part of this is that next year he will be in fifth grade.  In fifth grade they get to be lead actors of the program and they also start fifth grade band.  As a parent that has sat through these programs the past four years (including the one coming up) I feel like I paid my dues to see him help lead the show with his classmates.  Maybe the tradition will continue but all I can do is enjoy the one coming up.

Meanwhile, I sit on my kitchen floor with tons of blue feathers, craft glue, Spotify playing, and a glass of wine trying to make the best blue bird costume.  The Boy said "COOL!" I know getting an endorsement from is huge because he is a 9 year old boy.

On another note, my AGW took a call today and the person asked, "Is this the lady of the house?" She laughed and thought of me, granted I just sat on the floor with my wine and glued feathers for the past hour.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Little Teeth

If I have a kryptonite (I actually have a lot them), it might as well be my kids baby teeth.  The first one my son lost I caught the counter before the legs gave way.

You would think you would get used to this but apparently I don't.  The Boy has lost many, even two with an hour.  The Girl has just started losing them.

She has had this loose tooth for a while (#2) which has been hanging on for dear life.  The Boy suggested going over to his Busia's house as he has lost many teeth there, but to my luck it came out before then.  No crying or trouble, when I saw the tooth I was little wobbly and as I type this I am a little nauseated.  

So when choosing to be a stay at home dad and then a teacher, why didn't I realize that I was walking into a situation that the smallest baby tooth could put me on the floor.  Everyday there is a good possibility I could see a lost tooth, maybe I will start wearing a helmet.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Basketball, Pictures and 3D

The Boy had his first basketball game this weekend.  It didn't go well.  The kids played hard and got better as the game went along but didn't score a basket.  The Boy however did have a couple of steals and did get a couple of good shots off.

Then we had pictures taken.  It went well and the kids looked beautiful.

Then we watched Polar Express in 3D.  We have seen it many times but it was like watching it the first time in 3D.  It was fantastic, the kids really enjoyed it as well.

Now it is getting ready for the Christmas season and the lists from the kids keep growing.  I just hope they are good enough to get some things on their lists.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It has been a while...

Finally a chance to sit down.  Ever since the move and Disney, we have been busy.  Will give you a quick update to get back up to speed.

The rest of summer flew by, we had much to do before school started with unpacking, painting, and making our new home feel like home.  It was a pretty easy adjustment for the kids.  They both love their new rooms and we have some separation space.  Granted the basement which was to be a combination place for my bar and toys, has pretty much become toy land.  That is ok as now they have a place until some start to migrate up the stairs to the great room but they quickly get taken back down.

Quickly into August Cross Country started for both kids and myself.  It was a cooler August so it was much more enjoyable but that meant school was near.  With changes at school I have been busier that ever, which isn't bad but tho Thanksgiving break is very welcome.  The Boy is doing very well in the fourth grade, taking fifth grade math along with kicking butt in most areas.  The Girl loves Kindergarten.  My AGW is busy but doing well and it will be great to be able to spend some time with her over this extended weekend.

The Girl has deemed every day shorts and flip flop weather even though it is freezing out.  I figure she must be very warm blooded as any day of the year she is in shorts.  At least now we have gotten her to regularly wear clothes of some kind.

The Boy is well the Boy.  He definitely marches to his own music.  He thinks so differently (not in a bad way) but am always amazed at what goes in his head.  The other day he was trying to be cool, making a serious face as he was walking by.  I asked if something was wrong and he said, "No, I am just being cool."  He is now 9 and about the tallest one in his class. The kid wears size 10 pants and they are already too short.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Disney World

After making the move a week ago, we took off from a week in Disney World.  This turned out to be an awesome week but now I need a vacation or at least my AGW and I need a night out alone.

Disney knows how to do the whole package.  We decided to fly down partly due to work schedules and partly due to driving that long in a car both ways.  After our week I was thankful that we flew as the drive home would have been brutal aside from the fact that my legs either hurt or are numb from all the walking.  The greatest thing was is that Disney gets you where you want to go we did not have a bad experience with any employee.  It must be in their contracts to be happy.

We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, the cheapest closet resort to the Magic Kingdom.  We really wanted to be closer to the Magic Kingdom but couldn't justify the cost for basically sleeping in a room. We also had the dining plan, it worked out great as with not knowing to schedule character meals so far in advance (6 months) we still had a character meal almost everyday and the times actually allowed us to get away with two meals a day as breakfast usually happened around 11:00 am and lunches 3-4:00 pm. The portions were great even on the quick service meals.  Within a month of going to Disney I scrambled for Character meals, only ended up with Whinnie the Pooh and Friends; Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter, Pooh and Tigger; Princess Breakfast (Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Ariel); and Lilo, Stitch, Pluto and Mickey.  Not bad for not knowing what to do.  

In our six days at Disney we went to each park and the Magic Kingdom twice.  Animal Kingdom was a half day park for us as we arrived before noon, got lunch and got on our way.  It was probably the best choice for the first park and a half day as we missed the one new big attraction but were so tired from getting at 5 am to travel to Disney that day it didn't matter.  The Safari was pretty cool along with our first parade, as the Girl wanted to see Minnie (which was new to us), with Minnie in the parade.  The Boy rode his first ever coaster, wasn't sure how it would go but he laughed and cheered the whole time.  

The second day we conquered the Magic Kingdom.  It lived up to the hype and then some.  We walked to a show right at the beginning of Main Street.  The we were all in awe as we walked up main street towards the castle.  We arrived there and a show started with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Princesses, Peter Pan, etc.  Awesome way to start the day.  We rode rides, met characters, and had our first character meal, a 3:45 pm lunch with Pooh and friends.  Even the 8 year old boy was excited for that.  It didn't hurt as we learned most character table service meals were all you can eat buffets.  After that we rode a few more rides and decided to stay for the electric light parade, again a fantastic event.  Get seats early so you can be in the front row, we lucked out as someone left their space and I got it for the family.  After that we stated by the castle for fireworks but there was a show projected on the castle about 9:45 pm and ended up being one of my favorites of the trip.  Then came a great fireworks show.  The worst part which wasn't all that bad was getting out of the park and on the bus back to the resort.  I carried the Girl out of the park and onto the bus as she was spent.  Surprising we didn't have to wait that long for a bus although our resort had a long bus line.  

Here are a few pictures from the first two days with other days to come in later posts:


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Aww Nuts!

I know 5 years ago I posted this with the Boy (, but the Girl has taken up this saying.

Often times while doing something you will hear her exclaim "Aww NUTS!"  I wonder what they think at school about this.  I guess it is better than other things that could come out of an adult's mouth.

I am sure our laughing when she says it doesn't help her being upset about whatever just happened but it is hard not to crack a smile when she exclaims it.


It has been a while since I was able to last post.  We have been a busy bunch.  Not only was the school year winding down we had put our house up for sale.

The Boy was a little upset with this at first as this was the only house he has ever lived in.  I will admit I was sad too as this was our second house and the one we brought our kids home to.  Although his new room has helped him get over the sadness, although with only moving a short distance both kids still miss the old house.

The Girl was a little more excited as she got a great pink room with flowers and butterflies on the wall.

My AGW is also very happy as we now have a master bath and a walk in closet.  So a happy AGW makes me happy as well.

Moving itself was an adventure as we sold our house very quickly, less than a week.  Then had to deal with some repair issues, inspectors and various other small details.  Then came moving all of our stuff, thankfully timing of selling and buying worked out very well for us.

This time, as my AGW pointed out that I am not 25 anymore, we hired movers for the furniture and big items.  We moved all the boxes and remaining items with parents, a great friend and myself.  There are two things I currently do not like anymore - STAIRS and BOXES.  I was amazed at how much stuff we pulled out of our basement and the shed.  The great thing is it all took about 3 days, while the bad thing is I think I will be sorting through boxes the rest of my life.

All this was coupled with the end of school, the end of coaching track & field, Field Day (the one day I am in charge of coordinating a whole day at school), and the rest of things I do as a teacher.  It has been busy but no complaints here.  Plus the kids over the past few days in the new house have been making it to 7:00 am with sleeping.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


What a few weeks.  I have been busy and so have the kids.

We decided to try and sell our house.  We called back a realtor we talked to a couple of years ago when we couldn't do it, now we can and what a month it has been.  He came out and evaluated our house again before Easter and we had a laundry list of things to do during Spring Break to get it ready for listing.

The kids spent a lot of time at grandparents as I worked on stuff until my AGW got home and she joined the fray.  It was a lot of hard work and my poor fingers still have trouble touching the screen on my smart phone.  After break and getting some pictures we got our house on the market.

10 showings and 6 days after listing we have an accepted offer.  It was a process that was supposed to take a couple of months.  We are happy, excited, nervous and stressed all at the same time.  We are currently looking for a new refrigerator box and washer and dryers boxes to use as temporary lodging in case we can not get moved into a new home in time.

The kids are excited and sad as we are.  We love our home but we are simply outgrowing it and I can only straddle a step stool in the bathroom so much longer.  The Boy is evaluating the houses by their playroom potential.  The Girl is set on one bedroom she saw that is pink.

Off to go look at more houses and find that new home where we can make new marks on the wall of how tall the kids are. I am going to have to replicate the piece of tim that has marks on it already to take with us.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Growing Up

Suddenly it is the end of the third quarter.  Soon I will have a 4th grader and a Kindergartener.  This school year has been flying by.  

Recently the Boy's class started recorder.  He has taken it a step farther and is trying to play his recorder practice and songs on the piano.  I am impressed to say the least.  This is all from my AGW as my talent in the music field ended when I first started the recorder and all it would do was squeak.  Then on my goal was to break it.  

The Girl is doing well in school.  She has become quite the dresser, that is one talent I have passed along to her.  The mismatched outfits and odd combinations are right up my alley.  

In a few short months it will be summer, I know I am looking forward to sitting on the patio with beverage in hand watching these two do what they do (well if they at least let me sit and enjoy a few moments). 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Daddy Daughter Dance

I got the pleasure of attending my first Daddy Daughter dance.  The Girl was very excited as was I.

She wore her fancy dress and I was dress in my best tie.  It was at the school and when we arrived there was a path of chalk drawn hearts leading to the door.  Granted it was in the gym which was nicely decorated, she immediately saw her friends and took off running around the gym.  That is one thing my kids do in any gym is run.  I believe it is a standard feature in my children.

I did get into a bit of trouble as I didn't get her a wrist corsage.  It was about 50/50 on corsages, but she was a little mad.  She got over it quickly when we found the appetizer table.

Granted this was the entire school dinner wasn't served until 6:30 and we were hungry since the Girl usually eats at 5:00pm.  Dinner was good and it was off to dance.

Everyone knows I have smooth moves like a Rhino.  Fortunately for me the Girl thought I was great as her dancing mostly consists of swaying, bouncing and jumping.  After many songs of jumping and bouncing they finally played a good Daddy Daughter song.  I picked up my Itty Bitty and we danced together.

After that one song she was done with me for a bit and went running and dancing around with her friends.  I was able to get back in the fray a bit later as the Chicken Dance came on.  Lets just say I tore it up and if there was a Daddy trophy for best chicken dance it would be on my shelf next to my golf trophy.

Soon she was very tired and it was time to go, after all she is still 4 and it was at least an hour past her bedtime.

It was a great night for her and I.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

More Delays

This wasn't an awful week, just busy and a little crazy.  A couple of delays for school which as you may know in our house are not the greatest things especially on my day off.  In that case I don't get to do as much and have to make sure to get other things done.  It is just under the level of running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

There are plans to start hitting the Y on my day off but thus far we have had delays on those days.  Maybe I will just start getting heavier items at the grocery store and not using a cart.

The kids have been doing well even though it has been indoor recess at school.  These kids need to get outdoors, there is something about fresh air that helps them get some energy out and relax a bit.

The Girl is in a cheerleading program at school.  She loves it and does quite well and got to cheer at her first pep rally in front of the whole student body.  She did great and was very excited.

The Boy has been wishing for more snow so we can do some more sledding.  Granted the last time I think I was up and down the hill more than the kids.  There is nothing like flying uncontrollable down a hill towards a creek or a bunch of trees.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2 Hr Delay

Really, on my day off we get a two hour delay.  If you have been reading over the last couple years you know what trouble a 2 hour delay causes in my house.

This morning was no different than others.  It is like those golden sleeping hours must be filled with absolute craziness while my kids beat the snot out of each other (not fighting but playing).  I mean it is like a shot of sugar at 7:00 am.  Remember the Boy gets up at 6:45 am and we are out the door at 7:11 am.

I despise 2 hour delays.  This morning my AGW was awesome as she let me sleep until both kids were up instead of getting me up right away.  If school were closed I would have been upset as it is my day off, but at least the kids would not have gone nutso.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Report Card, Prizes and Day Off

It has been busy around here lately.  School is in full gear for the third quarter while we just received the report card for the Boy.  He had a great quarter again.  Even though he doesn't admit it he likes school.

We took the kids shopping for prizes for school work at Toys R Us.  Which means more LEGOs (although the sorting bins are working out for timely cleanup thus far) and the girl got Lambee from Doc McStuffins.  It was good day and my AGW and I tried to have an afternoon of hockey on TV since the NHL wised up and got their act together.

We had a friend take our preschooler to Movie Night at school (PreK need a parent to stay) so we got to have another date night (unfortunately the next one isn't for a couple of weeks).  Saturday night we were excited for the season opener for the Red Wings but that excitement left rather quickly and the DVR was turned on to get caught on some shows.

Sunday we took the kids over to my parents house which was good for all.  We got out for a couple of hours and the kids got to play with Busia and Dziadzia, always a treat in anyones book.  Went home made some French Onion soup and watched our Sunday night TV shows.

Monday, the day off, I took the kids to the dentist which went remarkably well. Since they were good my AGW said to give them a prize.  All we had were a Hello Kitty and MarioKart notebook, which they loved.  The Boy who won't admit to liking school, thought it was awesome and even had a "Thank You" for it being a school supply.   Then we went to the store to get food because we eat lots of it.  Then after getting lunch at home I have since made my chocolate chip cookies, making mojo chicken and cleaning the oven (which means in this arctic type weather I have a couple of windows open).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Date Night

In an effort to have some more time together and Adult time the AGW and I are working on getting out a bit more.  We have both become food snobs of sort to no fault of mine for cooking better and better food. This also means a babysitter for the kids which the Boy loves but the Girl needs to sold on.

Last night the Girl was upset at first but was ok with it after a few minutes.  My AGW told her earlier as we often wait until the last second to tell them anything because they bug the heck out of us waiting. It worked out well as by the time we left she was in good spirits.

So after trying to decide somewhere new to go we ended up a very good local eatery.  We had inquired to the Facebook world which gave a few suggestions but it was to no avail.  The night definitely got more exciting as we decided to go hear some music at one of the many local establishments that have music on the weekend.  We tried some Jazzy type music this time which was great.

The best part as it turns out is we crashed a birthday party.  Got some drinks and listened to a very good band and enjoyed a few birthday festivities.  Even got to sing along to "Happy Birthday"!

We were looking for adventure, then decided to go low key.  We ended up stumbling into a small adventure and had a great time.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day One of the Second Half

Today was Day One of the Second half of the school year.  It was a good day on the school front.  Starting a month of fitness where we are doing a different fitness exercise routine.

This week is Yoga and it was a fantastic today.  The kids enjoyed and so did I.  There was only hangup, the Boy.  He loves having me there and it is awesome but today he threw me a curveball.  He was making jokes and goofing off a bit.  I repeatedly asked him to stop, and it got to where he had to sit out.  He was not happy.

After a few minutes as is standard in my class I went over to talk to him.  Asked why he was acting out and he answered, "I just want to have more fun."  He liked the class but this is his common answer to Dad not Mr. Dad.  We had a brief talk about why this was wrong and he returned to class.

I find it hard some days to keep that Dad/Teacher line.  Today was one of those days.  It all worked out in the end.  these days make me think of the near future when the Girl will be in Kindergarten.  Maybe then the gym uniform will have some pink in it for the Pink Princess.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

LEGO Addiction

The Boy has a LEGO addiction.  Which sometimes spills over to me as well and the girl is now in that mode too.  The Boy gets LEGOs every special occasion and then some.  There is nothing wrong with LEGOs but some days I think there needs to be LEGO Anonymous meetings.

The Boy, a friend and I recently visited a LEGO exhibit.  It was pretty cool but only disappointing the sense of how small it was.  It was architectural based and pretty cool but was hoping to se much more.  The Boy was thoroughly impressed, and was even more excited by the gift shop which was way overpriced ($16.99 for a water bottle - REALLY?!).  The free building area was a hit and could put your creations on a city map which stayed there for the day.

We are currently rebuilding the trains the Boy got a s gifts from Santa (or at least I think).  I love LEGOs and the problem is when I start I can't stop and I have to do it exactly right, no substitute pieces.  The problem is one train and all its parts is six books of instructions and when it is mixed in all the other parts sometimes it is looking for a needle in a haystack.  After two days one train and one train station is back to the original build.  Train number two is under reconstruction and it is a PITA, as there are parts that I think we only have one of so it seems to take forever to find that part.  No worries, I will be bringing the LEGOs to gym class and let the really experts (the 1st-4th graders) finish them up this week.

The Girl has LEGO Friends now, so in addition to all the boy LEGOs there are now girl LEGOs.  So far my AGW built Oliva's House, I built the Buttefly Beauty Shop and the Boy helped with Oliva's Tree House.  I will admit it is a great idea but seeing the issue of dueling over missing LEGO pieces in the future seems like a real possibility in our house.

So off to the train.  Below are a few pics from the LEGO exhibit: