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MONORAIL: LATEST ENTRIES [random]
KIDS (permalink) 10.30.2014
surprise
as i unpacked my bag after arriving at work, i found a card tucked between my book and my lunch. it was from bella and was a remarkably thoughtful card. that night when i saw bella, i mentioned my discovery to her.
oh yeah. that. i got it for you for father's day but then thought how you and mom don't celebrate anniversaries and stuff like that and thought it might surprise you if i gave it to you some other time when you weren't expecting it.
well it worked. it worked quite nicely. aside from the part of it almost making me cry in my office.




 
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SOCIETY, KIDS (permalink) 10.29.2008
those ears may be little but they work just fine
someone recently asked bella who she would vote for if she could vote. she lit up and quickly said obama. when asked why she would vote for obama said that that mccain guy kills animals.

meanwhile, in another house in our neighborhood, a girl asked her father who he was going to vote for. knowing he held a minority voice in the community he broke into a long-winded explanation about all the things he considered when making the such an important decision and after taking everything into account he felt mccain was the right choice for him. after quietly shouldering his lecture and hearing his choice she asked him in a concerned voice if mccain won if they'd have to move. surprised he asked why she would think this and she said that all the mommies and daddies at her school say that if mccain wins they have to leave the country.



monthly archives




KIDS (permalink) 10.29.2014
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
SEPTEMBER 2014




KIDS (permalink) 10.28.2014
just so ya know
the other day anthony looked into my face lovingly and said, "i love you more than mom today".

i've learned to not let this sort of sentiment go to my head because the five times before he addressed this matter, marty sat in the alpha seat, and he still said it to me, as in right to my face, "i love mom more than you today". i find myself conflicted between complimenting his candor and telling him to get the hell of my lap.




KIDS, SPORTS (permalink) 10.09.2014
and you sir?
another noteworthy detail about this year's ms150 rides. for two riders to ride in two events, we needed to raise a total of $800. last year for our one event, a twelve year-old bella raised her $200 in a couple of hours by walking the neighborhood. i fell well short of my fundraising goal and when it was all over, the organization charged my credit card for the owed balance. marty was thoroughly non-plussed by this. when i asked marty if she really wanted her middle-aged husband going door to door beggin' money so he could share this experience with our daughter she replied, cooly, that if it would get that charge off her credit card, yes, that is what she wants. when marty learned the fundraising goal this year was $800 she pounced telling me i better get my butt our there and start begging for money. bella quickly came to my defense saying she would raise all the money ... and she did. well almost all of it. a co-worker who has a sibling with MS donated $20 to my cause. bella raised the other $780. and this time she had to go out more than once to hit the mark. this year took her three trips out.

i considered the inequity of it but in the end deemed it ok as i was going to a lot of trouble with the planning and room reservations and such so it seemed fair to leave philanthropic-work, which bella enjoys and is good at, to bella--the whole divide and conquer bit. plus i figured no one knew what a slacker i was, that is until bella and i got interviewed at one of the rest stops by a woman with a microphone that got amplified to the whole rest stop. the lady asked bella how she went about her fundraising and asked how much she raised. the woman, and surrounding crowd, were most impressed with the young girl's accomplishment. the woman then turned to me, saying she was excited to see how much the father of such a spirited young lady raised. there was an almost audible trombone sounding "wah wah waaah" after the words "twenty dollars" left my lips.




KIDS, SPORTS (permalink) 10.08.2014
the bike-slayer
it occurred to me that i didn't give an update about the ms ride bella and i did in kansas, the week after the nebraska ride (ref). here are bella's milage totals for the two weeks:

nebraska, day 1 50 miles
nebraska, day 2 35 miles
kansas, day 1 35 miles
kansas, day 2 70 miles
4 DAY TOTAL 190 miles (with five days of rest between the two sets of rides)

during our training leading up to the rides bella and i would usually do two rides a week. on the weekend we'd do a long, wild ride between 25 and 35 miles. and during the week, usually on wednesday we'd bike a park near our house that has a 7 mile loop where bella does between 2 and 5 laps. were it not raining on the wednesday between NE and KS we would have probably done a couple of laps in the park which would have taken bella over 200 miles for the eight days.

when i was thirteen, while i biked to school and to friends' houses, i never went anywhere near the sort of miles bella is logging. i'm wildly impressed by her ability. i'm also wildly thankful for the time together the activity is affording us.




VIDEO, LIFE, SPORTS (permalink) 10.07.2014
love this guy!





WEB, PHOTO (permalink) 10.06.2014
that time of year again





KIDS (permalink) 09.26.2014
i did ask for it.
i'm that dad who challenges kids, wether they are my own, known or some random kid i've never met, to employ their manners (e.g. saying 'thank you' or 'please') when something is done for them. recently i went out of my way to give one of alex's friends a ride. when i delivered him to his destination, a group sleep-over, he began bounding up the front walk without as much as a 'see-ya'. i called to him:

TROY
ethan!

ETHAN (10)
yes.

TROY
is there anything you might want to say or do to acknowledge that something was just done for you?

ETHAN
i don't think so.

TROY
truly.

ETHAN
oh. that. (with this, he bows in a courtly way and says with a regal flourish). i thank you kind, old sir for the ride in your lovely chariot.

he then turned and resumed his sprint into the house to meet his friends. the mom hosting the party stifled her laughter as i looked at her. when i gave her that 'really' look she shrugged her shoulders and reminded me that i did chide him for a thank you. this was the first time this kind, old sir had the grumpy, old phrase 'kids today' roll through his not-so-kind, old mind.




KIDS (permalink) 09.25.2014
minecraft r.i.p.
the recent news that microsoft was looking to buy mojang's minecraft had the elementary playground in a frenzy. at one point a kid ran up to anthony, shouted the news in his face and when anthony didn't really respond the boy grabbed him by the shoulders, shook him and screamed that he was totally under-reacting to the news. alex and i had a timely dad-lunch scheduled later that day. our entire hour was filled with talk of the sale.

after going over the perils of tinkering with something at its peak (never mess with a winning game) i asked alex what he thought Notch, the rumored hold-out owner should do. without much of a pause alex said, "well, he seems to love what he does and given how many people play minecraft i guess he has enough money to pay for his house and live, he should probably not give up the thing that makes him most happy."

to my emphatic retort of, but alex, it's a billion dollars.

his reply.
but what if he can't find another thing that he enjoys as much as this. then he traded something he loved for something that he doesn't.
i'm often struck at how quickly kids can boil down adult decisions.

after a little more digging into the story we learned that while Notch loved the creative and creating side of his minecraft project, he very much did not love the business side of things, so the release of the project made more sense than initially thought.

when the news of the sale finally hit, every minecrafter i knew, young and old alike, were visibly pensive at what was in store for their beloved technology in the hands of an organization known for fumbling easier slam-dunks than this.




KIDS (permalink) 09.24.2014
homework
for school, bella (13) was asked to write an essay about a family member. this was her response.
Family Member Essay:
He grew up an only child in the snowy mountains of Colorado. She grew up the sixth child of seven in Missouri. He grew up in a public school pining for a different girl every week. She grew up in a prestigious catholic school and valued a strong and healthy relationship. Neither knew the other existed until fate intertwined and they met. He knew the moment they met it was true love. She was wary and doubtful about where the relationship would end up, but she took a chance and took his hand. That was how it all started. Twenty-four years later and they're still holding on.

My mother and father were practically made for each other. They've helped each other become the people that they are today. With each others support and adoration they are able to flourish as they mature. If they hadn't met, my father wouldn't be the man that he is today. They've helped each other through so much and they are each other's inspirations, hopes, and dreams. I love them very much and I know that I wouldn't have become the woman that I am now if I didn't have them.
it's crazy how much she knows about my/our past. at her age, i was never that plugged into my parents, or anyone who wasn't me for that matter. i find her curiosity and empathy both impressive and humbling. if i'm ever in need of a biographer, i for sure know who i'm tapping.




KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.23.2014
new math
while sitting in the car the other day waiting for the boys to get in, i noticed our neighbors had a walk-out deck above a first floor sunroom they had. the porch had a brick wall surrounding it that came up between the knee and thigh. the weather this particular day was crazy-lovely and i was thinking how neat it would be to have a setup like that where on nice weather nights, you could sleep outside in the night air and looking up at the night sky through gently swaying tree branches (akin to this experience). when the boys got in the car they noted my reverie.

ALEX (11)
whatcha lookin' at dad?

TROY
that porch. see over there. look above that room. you can walk out on there. do you see it?

THE BOYS
yeah.

TROY
i was thinking on nice days like today, you could pull a sleeping bag out there and sleep outside. because you're high up no one could see or mess with you. doesn't that seem like it would be cool?

ALEX
yeah it does.

TROY
i would sleep out there all the time if we had one of those.

ALEX
you should have one built on the back of our house.

TROY
yeah. i was kinda studying that thinking if we could.

ANTHONY (8)
but dad. if you did that, that would be like a thousand cuddles.

TROY
what?

ALEX
if you and mom built one of those on the back of the house, we would lose a thousand cuddles because you'd be busy.

TROY
you know anthony. i think you're right. that does look to be about a thousand cuddle project.

in giving this some thought i don't think we have nearly enough CUDDLE-ACCOUNTING in our society or personal lives as we maybe should. every life commitment (e.g. home improvement, continuing education, job change, home upgrade) should have a new line item added to the ledger sheet that reads LOST CUDDLES.




KIDS (permalink) 09.19.2014
it can't tinkle into a diaper either
i was talking to bookpimp on the phone catching up. i saw marty walk by twenty minutes earlier, giving a wave indicating good night. twenty minutes later i heard a dustup in the boys room. moments later alex meekly walked towards me and said, "i accidentally got gum in anthony's orange-a-tang and he's mad." anthony's orange-a-tang is a neon-orange stuffed orangoutang he saved from a give-away bag a few weeks earlier and has since had spot welded to his hip using it for both comfort (e.g. sleeping and reading with) and defense (e.g. rapidly windmilling it's long frame over his head to keep marauding ticklers at bay). a few moments after alex's report, a sour-faced anthony appeared with our kitchen scissors in one hand and orange-a-tang in the other. i asked bookpimp to hold on a moment while i looked in on the damage, which was not that great. i took the stuffed animal and scissors from anthony and carefully cut the small clump of gum-matted fur off the monkey's back. as i handed the limp primate back to anthony, anthony asked:

ANTHONY
will it grow back?

TROY
will what grow back?

ANTHONY
his hair.

TROY
oh. uh. i don't think so bud.

with this anthony turned and left the room, orange-a-tang pinned under his arm. lifting the phone receiver back to my ear, i then told bookpimp, who overheard the conversation, he just witnessed another piece of evidence supporting the fact that we, marty and i that is, may not need to bother saving for college. i have such examples from each of my children thus making me occasionally refer to their college fund as my mountain house account.

were marty sitting in on this conversation, she would be quick to tell you that given the accounts present state my mountain home may more resemble more of a suburban duplex outside of tempe AZ.




KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.18.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
a phase




KIDS (permalink) 09.17.2014
defining
marty was called out in something called the water bucket challenge. when this happens you have 24 hours to either have a bucket of ice water dumped on you or pay $100 (i think).

when marty told the kids about it, they each had a different reaction.

BELLA
oh! who are you going to challenge next. you can call out three people.

ALEX
do you have a hundred dollars to pay them? you should pay them.

ANTHONY
can i do it? ("it" being have water poured on him)

marty then added that that pretty cleanly summarized the personalities of her three children.




LIFE, KIDS (permalink) 09.16.2014
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
AUGUST 2014




PERSONAL, PHOTO (permalink) 09.05.2014
believe
for those wondering about the back story with the last gallery posting, it is this.

it was the day of bella's annual save the children carnival, her third. she did her recruiting. she completed her planning. she hung her flyers. on the morning of, when we pulled into the lot where the carnival happens, there were three large construction dumpsters on the blacktop of her space, consuming more than a third of the lot and blocking the spaces reserved for half of her booths. upon seeing this i turned to her. her unblinking face was frozen in disbelief at what she was seeing. the, her face began to soften. it continued to sag until tears were seconds away. i put my hand on her knee and said it would be ok. we still had lots of space and would adjust. predictably, she said space or not it was still ruined with these giant, ugly things right in the space. her sound logic continued as she quickly adding strong observations like "who wants their children playing on a construction site" or "they're taking all the shady spots".

after stopping the car, we walked to the dumpsters to see what was in them. after climbing up and peering over the edge we were greeted by this (see photo). the carnival was on the day before father's day and that cardboard box was front and center. i nudged bella with my elbow, pointed at the box and said, "you're all good. grandma nyla has your back."

i could see bella, still rather flummoxed at the luck, dismissed my comment. as we hopped down from the dumpsters i stopped her and said:
bella. what? really? you don't believe me. you don't believe that sign as a marker that you're going to be ok? there are three giant construction dumpsters here for a school renovation. you're telling me that when we climb up there to look in them, amid all construction rubble is a box that says "happy father's day -- nyla" is not a sign. how many people in your life have you met named nyla? how in the world does that box get there when it's not even fathers day? of all the places that box could have landed, it is right in front of where we climb up, sitting between you and i, not to mention situated in a way where we could see it perfectly. if you think all those things just happened in your most trying moment of the year, you go right on and think that, but i'd suggest you take it as the thing it most appears to be—a sign that everything is going to go just fine?"
i don't know if she ever believed me or not but things did go just fine.

you may not believe me either. if so, how many people have you met in your life named nyla?




KIDS (permalink) 09.04.2014
hmmm. let me see.
in watching anthony get dressed, i don't think there is space for less possible contemplation.

his dresser drawers are labeled with the different sorts of clothing (e.g. shorts, pants, short-sleeve shirts, long-sleeve shirts, etc).

after asking if it will be a hot or cold day, he goes and pulls the relevant drawers open and pulls out whatever is next in the stack.

and the indifference doesn't stop there. in addition to not caring what is on top of the pile, once it gets unfolded and pulled onto his frame, he is equally unconcerned if the garment lands inside-out, backwards or both. if upside down was a possible option, i'm certain, upside-down would happen from time to time.

of the variety of possibilities, backwards pants look the funniest. especially when they are unzipped. and raising an open zipper on a pair of worn-backwards pants, is the only scenario that gives anthony enought trouble to ask for help on.

and if you're wondering what anthony says to the litany of children (and adults) at school who comment on his clothes, he just shrugs his shoulders as if someone said there might be rain later today.

i once heard a elderly, sage woman say, the best fashion statement is having a fit and trim body. if you subscribe to that theory, then you will find anthony to be a great example of that maxim as he always looks like a million bucks regardless of how his clothes might be draped on his frame.




QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 09.03.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
left-field




WEB (permalink) 09.02.2014
dearmitt.com, version 2.0.
i'm a not-broke-don't-touch-it kinda guy. as such dearmitt.com has been quietly existing on the same server for the last fourteen years. in case you haven't been watching, a thing or two has changed internet-wise since 2000 so i thought it might be time for an upgrade.

in addition to running on shiny, new hardware (which if the move went well, you shouldn't notice at all) there have been two changes, both modest enough.

first, you can now travel back ten years in time using the MonoRail Archive Viewer (which lives just below the the latest posting). the archive viewer used to only offer 7 years worth of memories but can now proffer you an additional three.

the second and surely more meaty of the two features is the site now offers a proper, meaningful SEARCH function. for reasons i cannot explain, google's cataloging of my content was ridiculously terrible (they thought i mentioned circumcision twice). given their reputation and record for success i'm sure the problem resides somewhere on my end but i'm too busy talking about circumcision and hating on walgreens to figure out our marital disconnect so instead wrote my own search engine. there's a link on the right-hand side of the monorail page ( WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR > > >) that will take you there.

there is a nifty feature on the search page i think some of you might enjoy. you will find two buttons below the search box. one that says "SEARCH ALL dearmitt.com content" and the other which says "view all updates from the LAST 30 DAYS". the SEARCH ALL option will, obviously, scour all the main nooks and crannies of the site: the monorail, the main gallery, the troyscripts, the family gallery, the reading section. a few of the galleries and sub-pages are not yet part of the main search. this may get fixed down the line but there's a reasonable chance it might not get fixed down the line. it kinda depends how many circumcision debates i get into in the years ahead.

the second button, or the LAST 30 DAYS button, might be a good fit for folks who swing by every few weeks as it will nicely lay all of the content, no matter what section of the site it got posted to, before you in a clean orderly line. additionally for your convenience, you can bookmark right to that page using this link.

i hope you enjoy the new digs.




LIFE (permalink) 08.22.2014
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
JULY 2014




KIDS (permalink) 08.21.2014
tube me mom
i've mentioned previously about alex's laid back, won't be rushed nature. i once described it to a teacher as if you recorded alex leaving the house in three different scenarios, one where he was leaving for school in the morning, another when the family was leaving for vacation and another when the house was on fire, you'd be completely unable to discern the difference between the three.

finally, after eleven years, i have found something that can make alex move with purpose: the need to urinate during his computer time. first he will stave this off as long as possible, hoping to hold the torrent in until a parent gives the 'times up' call. but in the rare moment when it can't wait he will find a good pause point in whatever he is doing then with the exacting timing of an competitive sprinter leave the blocks with an alarming start, skillfully ricocheting around corners in his driven charge to the stairs, climbing them two at a time, down the hall to the toilet. and while i'm hesitant to bring this up, i'm fearful of the physical implications of him trying to squeeze his bladder empty with the same rapidity in which he came to be standing in front of the commode. what his poor organs and vascular systems must be thinking. and i promise you, you've never seen a human wash their hands faster than this (yes, even in this hurried state, aleo belives in the import of proper hygiene). i'm telling you hummingbirds would be jealous of the fast-twitch musculature at play in the twist of the handle, the rub of the hands, and even leaning down for a pull of water straight from the nozzle (gotta stay hydrated!) and then after a quick shake and wipe on his shirt's front, he shoots through the doorway towards his start point as if fired from a magical sling shot that can flawlessly navigate corners and obstacles.

it will be curious to see alex's reaction when he hears about catheter technology. the words "home-catheterization-kit" may even make it onto alex's highly competitive and contemplated christmas list. and even after his mother explains to him how it works and how painful they are, i think you will see alex look off with deep consideration, his mind marking up its whiteboard in hopes of balancing the expense and gains of it all. and then, i wouldn't be surprised to get the catheter equivalent of rocky balboa's 'cut me mick' from our eleven year old, minecraft-obsessed son.




QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 08.20.2014
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
logic




KIDS, WIFE (permalink) 08.19.2014
peanut butter spoon
the other morning in our refrigerator there was a bowl of peanut butter with a dinner spoon sticking out of it. i've learned to not question or challenge such findings. namely because i've never liked where my investigations led me.

later that morning when more people were awake and marty looked in there. she pulled the bowl of peanut butter from the fridge, and asked, seemingly to the contents of the fridge, "what's this?". she then spun and held the bowl out towards anthony who was eating breakfast and said again "what's this?".

he sheepishly replied, "a peanut butter spoon."

now this is where things get interesting, interesting in this case meaning, this is where things go drastically different than i expect them to go, which is why/how i've learned not to run down seemingly simplistic matters, because i've learned there are no simplistic matters.

marty continued, "a peanut butter spoon? a peanut butter spoon? do i need to go over again what a respectable-sized spoon of peanut butter looks like?"

she rakes the spoon through the bowl, lifts it up in example, "this! this is what a proper peanut butter spoon looks like." then showing the boy the bowl adds, "this is like, five days worth of peanut butter spoons."

she then licked the spoon, then drove the spoon back into the sticky mound and tossed the bowl back in the fridge with a conflicted mixture of disgust at the heaping glop in the bowl and the tasty dollop in her mouth which her jowls effortfully worked through.

and if you're wondering what other sorts of culinary options our children are being exposed to, it is not at all uncommon to see anthony arrive to the dinner table with a plate of ketchup, like five hamburgers-worth of ketchup by my meager estimation.




LIFE (permalink) 08.15.2014
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
JUNE 2014




KIDS, SPORTS (permalink) 08.14.2014
double the miles, double the states, double the memories.
last year bella and i rode in missouri's ms150 charity ride. at that event bella learned that there are ms150 rides all over the nation. excitedly she said we should try to ride one in every state. always up for some time on the bike i easily agreed. i should have given an ounce more thought of who i was talking to. longish story short, bella and i are riding in not one but two rides this year. the first one is in nebraska and then a week later in kansas.

she picked those states for the relative flatness as she doesn't feel ready for a ton of miles on a ton of hills.

she picked two states because she said i won't live long enough for us to do it one state at a time. watching her do the math in front of me was most lovely. you have to love a math equation that begins with the phrase, "so dad, you are, well, well there's just no nice way to say it, you are really old so if we are going to do this we're going to have to work a little harder."

she also took my pledge sheet and hit the streets. i got in trouble last year because i didn't make my minimum pledge amount and just wrote a check out of the family account for the balance. marty was non-plussed about my pilfering cash from the family coffers. bella was non-plussed at my lack of initiative. so in gratitude to her mother for letting her take time off school for the rides and to show her decrepit father how it is done bella canvassed our neighborhood with both of our pledge sheets and collected $500 of the needed $800 in three days. i will confess she does make it look rather trivial.

so if you'd like to come cheer us on, or ride along, we'll be in nebraska the weekend of september 6th and in kansas the week of september 13th.




QUOTES (permalink) 08.13.2014
problem handled
the dinner table question of the night asked what you would do if someone kept calling your house in the middle of the night. they are definitely dialing the wrong number. you tell them this but they keep calling. i asked the table how they would handle this. as we rounded the circle people had very curteous and patient responses they'd use on the person which in their scenario would solve the problem without difficulty (dreamers). when it got to anthony, he looked up from his plate as if he had only been only half-listening and said he would say, "shut up. it's 1 in the morning in my city." and hang up.




WIFE (permalink) 08.12.2014
work-mode
it was 6:27 in the morning. i was sitting at my desk writing (for you, for this). i heard marty's alarm go off twelve minutes earlier and then heard her shuffle to the bathroom. then at 6:31 i felt her hands on my shoulders. they slid down my chest as she leaned down to hug me from behind, my desk chair mildly in the way. i then turned and took my wife in, standing in nothing but a pair of cotton underwear and looking amazingly young and fit with her flat stomach (after 3 kids !!!) and tan skin. i stood up and stepped in to hug her.

TROY
you look amazing.

MARTY
you're not going to want to get fresh here.

TROY
what? me? ok. why not?

MARTY
i've got to go try to find the baby bunny we buried in the back yard last year.

TROY
uhh, like now?

MARTY
yes. i need it for school.

TROY
is that why there is a sheet of paper on the kitchen that says BUNNY BONES?

MARTY
yes. what did you think it was?

TROY
another one of your mother's recipes.

MARTY
nope. for real bunny. hopefully fully decomposed somewhere in the back yard.

ladies, for the record, there are few things, and i do mean few, that can de-rail the male libido in the early morning, but i can now attest, images of your potential partner digging holes in search of a tiny rabbit carcass definitely lives somewhere on the list.




LIFE (permalink) 08.11.2014
best summer ever
last week marty's summer officially ended.

:-(

our last family act of the summer was to have a celebratory "sam-survived-cancer" (rel) dinner complete with porterhouse steaks, giant potatoes, fresh corn from sam's family farm in iowa all chased by cookies, ice cream and cup cakes. there's few things sweeter than appropriate decadence. at 9:30 (or at the end of the third hour of the dinner) and in the middle of a rich conversation about tips, tricks and lessons of growing up (mostly for bella's studious edification) but after her moving thankful about sam and diana, marty pushed her chair back, stood up and said,
as much as i hate to leave, i start work tomorrow and fear i need to get to bed if i hope to be worth anything in the morning. and i guess this also ends our best summer ever.
her final words 'best summer ever' came with oprah like fervor on free stuff day. i and the children repeated her calls of best summer ever and the kids came forward with big smiles, hugging her. en masse the group looked like a sporting team that just played their last game of the season and were ending their run together, never again to field the court in that exact complement. in many respects, this metaphor aptly describes us as we will never again enjoy a summer with a 13, 11, and 7 year old. given this magical age-set, we enjoyed a rare time together full of many things, such as:
  • marty not working (a facet of life we will never again take for granted since her return in 2012).
  • sleeping in (and it's counter-part, staying up late)
  • roller-blading (at rollercade and on our neighborhood's newly paved streets)
  • beach vacations with marty's mom and siblings (to celebrate mama nat's 80th)
  • minecraft-marathons (other marathons include xmen, star trek and x-files)
  • trampolining (a gift from our newly departed neighbors)
  • sleeping on the trampoline (a stellar marty idea and which saw a 5-night run)
  • watching blairwitch on the trampoline + sleeping the night on the trampoline (bella and i only)
  • group reading (both from books, kindle and audio)
  • monopoly (the real-one, no more of that monopoly junior bullshit - thanks to marty's brother mike)
  • eating on the porch (we've evolved to setting a table out there)
  • movie nights (one even at a drive-in, front playground included--which anthony came back soaking wet from)
  • bike rides (my biking regimen is nearly back to pre-kid form)
  • introducing my family to the great world of true, professional comedy (starting with bill cosby)
  • walking to a vp fair concert in forest park (please move it to forest park every year)
  • closeness
  • calmness
  • laughter
  • smiles
  • family
  • health
marty commented that a big difference maker this year was the kids, all of the kids, are now old enough where they can mostly run their own games and we have fully entered that next phase of parenthood where we have more mutually interactive relationships. for me, it is the last six items on the list that make for the core ingredients of great times. marty's summers-off job is what allows for great quantities of this and her working the other nine months of the year, accentuates their importance. at the start of the summer anthony asked me why i didn't get summers off like mom. i told him that mom had a special sort of job that allowed for that but that also, when mom has summer break, so do i, given that she essentially takes all of my chores on (e.g. dishes!!!) during these months and making my time equally relaxing and special. but placing an active emphasis on those bottom six is key:
  • by making attentive time for our kids.
  • by trying to run a non-frenetic home.
  • by ensuring everyone has laughed every day (tickling a human does wonders for that).
  • by breaking a funk by forcing an agitated human to smile (fart jokes and actual farts can distract young boys from a foul mood).
  • by that so often taken-for-granted human need, to know you are loved. it's one of those few, rare things you can never get enough of. so make sure you kiss and touch and wink and smile at someone you love today.
  • and possibly most importantly, by acknowledging daily that there are only two kinds of health—there is the health you have before you are told you have a life-threatening illness and there is the health you have after you are told you have a life-threatening illness—and appreciating every day you and yours spend on light-minded side of the fence (because when you are placed on the other side of the fence, it is all consuming to you and those who care about you).
so while i'm sad to be writing about the end of the best summer ever, i'm thankful to be able to healthily say we just had the "best summer ever" and look forward to trying to top it is subsequent years.




VIDEO, LIFE (permalink) 07.18.2014
via bella





KIDS, QUOTES (permalink) 07.16.2014
concise
as anthony passed marty and i on the porch, marty called him back, saying there was something on his nose and asking what it was. without reaching up to feel it or asking to consult a mirror, he flatly said, "scabs and dirt" and not waiting for a response, continued his march into the house.




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