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KIDS (permalink) 03.31.2011
dearmitt & children consulting
i'm starting a new business. it is to help young, conflicted couples decide if they want kids or not. any who have passed that road sign know when logic is used on the question the math never works out in the favor of children. well, if you find yourself contemplating this particular life question, dearmitt and children are here to help. how it works is we give you a consultation. in this visit, you tell us which way you're leaning (or want to lean). in turn, we'll help push you off the fence. how it works specifically is if you want a child we will send alex to your home for a whole day after he has had several nights of good and proper sleep. if you want to be talked out of children, we will send over anthony after he's been deprived sleep and a weeks worth of desserts. i assure you, both children are specialist at what they do and will not disappoint.

although, results on the anthony package are not guaranteed as even at his most irascible he is still terribly cute and says the funniest things (for evidence see yesterday's troyscript or consider the time i asked him to stop playing with the stove knobs and he said, "it's ok dad, if the house burned down then we'd get to build this house all over" like this was a good thing and he was doing the family a favor). also, the fact that you get to send him back at the end of the day coupled with the confidence you'll have that your child couldn't possibly cause that much mayhem in a single day has proven to be a limiting factor. we've discussed extended the visit period but our insurance provider has threatened to terminate our coverage should we allow that.

and, if you're wondering where bella falls into this equation, she works for another division of the company. she is in the projects division and we send her out for customers who are stuck trying to make decisions getting something done. for her work, people explain their vision to bella and she takes the reins. although, there is a minor reasonable absolute risk here that your home add-on may include a horse stable, animal hospital and/or shelter for the indigent.

KIDS (permalink) 03.30.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
take your meds

KIDS (permalink) 03.29.2011
i'm troy, welcome to the mail room.
we've reached the familial milestone of having a child that can stay home alone. this is of course for short periods while one runs for milk or to grab a paper. fortunately our oldest is authoritative and respected enough to keep her brothers in check as well.

the other day, i called home from work to ask marty something and got bella. she told me mom was out. marty initially told bella not to answer the phone but for obvious reasons this made me nervous when i knew marty wasn't there and i couldn't raise bella on the phone just to make sure things were ok. in typical fashion, marty handled it.

intrigued, i asked bella what she told people who called when mom wasn't there (and that weren't her dad). she said in a very officious manner, "i'm sorry but she's not available right now, may i take a message?"

she further reported that she'd already taken two messages before i called. i complimented her phone manners and asked if she would have mom call me when she got back. bella said she would. i then asked if my message could be moved to the top of the list as i was waiting on something from her. i was told getting moved to the top was not possible and that was not how a "people-who-called" list worked.

i don't foresee any future charges of nepotism being leveled at my daughter when she's running a fortune 500 company and i'm pushing a broom around the lobby.

TRAVEL, PHOTO, FAMILY (permalink) 03.25.2011
two minutes from my vantage point.

TRAVEL, PHOTO (permalink) 03.24.2011
the pipe-fitters of america have a pony-tailed apprentice in training
there was this water table that had water bubbling up at four points. the object was to use these pipes and connectors to divert the water from their sources to other parts of the table. bella got the thought to lead two water sources to each other to see what would happen. she quickly discovered how hard it is to get two tubes, both of which were dispelling water to connect. people around her proved to be quite annoyed or tickled by her efforts. i couldn't help but be fascinated by her persistence to stymy the contraption as the first drop to hit my skin or clothes would have ended my curiosity. so i did what any grown man would have done - stood at a safe distance and took pictures of the animated struggle.

with alex's help she/they finally did persevere.

TRAVEL, PHOTO (permalink) 03.23.2011
bella bella
two pictures, both un-staged, that do much to show the breadth of bella.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

TRAVEL (permalink) 03.22.2011
lego my computer-time dude
on the weekend of marty's 40th birthday, numerous things happened. some things were pedestrian like sick kids. and some things were not, like the dead goose that mysteriously appeared, precariously hanging in a large tree in front of our house the morning of her birthday. in attempt to salvage some part of the weekend, i had declared marty off limits to the kids (and myself) on saturday and sunday so she could rest or leave or do whatever she wanted. during this time marty's sister from chicago called. we were chatting and i relayed marty's rough week and suck birthday to her. i also shared that my ski trip got cancelled because my mancation partner still fancied himself a twenty five year old at times.

the sister said our family should come to her house for spring break. i explained my family's acceptance rate regarding extended invitations (it is aberrantly high), even when the gestures are offered out of simply courtesy. pride, shame and sense aren't things we contend with as much as we maybe should. even with this understanding, not only did the sister persist, she even upped the kitty by offering to watch the kids friday and saturday so marty and i could go downtown for a couple days. as this would be only the third time in ten years both marty and i have spent a night away from our children (and never two nights!!!), this proved the deal maker. seven days later we packed up the car and headed north to chicago.

on thursday and friday we went downtown with the kids and took in a couple of the museums and a few of the sites. then on friday evening and saturday instead of spas and shopping on michigan ave, marty and i pulled out of the sister's driveway, drove a couple miles down the road, checked into a fairfield inn and slept, ate decadently and watched in-room movies while sharing bags of microwave popcorn in bed (the tourist and inception).

the first morning there i heard a calamity next door while i read and marty slept. it was a family ... with children. i groaned at the poor luck as i heard them bickering and chirping at one another. i was still conflicted on how bad this was when i heard the mother bark at someone, "put on your underwear - NOW!" and found myself happy it wasn't me doing that yelling or my child being yelled at. so even with the shrill, tense family next to us (to remind us of our boon), our weekend couldn't have been more lovely, relaxing or peaceful.

and, i will often talk about the good side of raising kids without a television but rarely do i talk of the downsides, one being whenever you go anywhere that has tv's or computers your kids will forego all else, even a store full of legos, to suck on the teat that is digital media. like the amish to a pepsi.

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TRAVEL (permalink) 03.21.2011
because we like you, we'll give you a chance to back out ... but one chance only.
if you extend the dearmitt-walter clan a polite invitation to your home, this is what very well may result.

click to enlarge

QUOTES (permalink) 03.18.2011
gives new meaning to holding it.
i received the greatest book quote from buddy james. from his email:
i think you guys would appreciate this. i'm listening to this audio book during my commute right now called 'little heathens', a memoir about this woman recounting her childhood growing up during the depression on an iowa farm.

...and, naturally, the topic of outhouses comes up...about how they, especially the kids, would try to get their bodily works on some kind of reliable schedule, so as not to have to trudge outside to use the outhouse at night and in the dead of winter.

but, in times of emergency, they kept a chamber pot at the top of the stairs which then had to emptied, cleaned and replaced the next day. a chore no one liked to do.

the kids called the chamber pot "the piss pot"...seems logical enough....the older men called the chamber pot "the thunder mug"

now, i don't know if you guys have ever heard that term before, but it was a new one for me and i almost crashed my car from laughing so hard.

the question now is -- will i ever call a toilet anything else?

in my response to him i shared that because of my age and a primitive hunting cabin in the hills of pennsylvania my family has ties to, i can claim experience in both an outhouse (a two-seater one at that) and a chamber pot. sadly i think i was too young to hear the more colorful descriptions it may have had.

KIDS (permalink) 03.17.2011
what a four-year old's intervention looks like.
if you're ever doing something that bothers anthony, he turns on this very serious voice and says, "you make me nervous when you do that."

i have no idea where he picked this up but he uses it in a convincing and effective way that conveys a genuine sense of care and concern for your well-being. some examples of things that make him nervous.
  • picking at your nails
  • pouring my vietnamese coffees from the glasses they're made in to the nalgenes they're taken to work in.
  • throwing him around to vigorously when playing ogre

as for the first time i tried emulating anthony's move, i was told, "well i guess it sucks to be you then."

WEB, PHOTO (permalink) 03.16.2011
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
March 2011

WIFE (permalink) 03.15.2011
it's the kind of present a young person would groan at. not sure how much that changes for a forty year old.
for marty's 40th birthday, the kids and i gave her a framed picture collage titled 40 things we love about you. in a couple of the panes we put lists citing ten things each of us appreciated about marty. the left-over panes were peppered with pictures of the kids and i.

the lists were crafted during my wednesday lunches with the kids (i eat lunch with one of my kids each wednesday in a rotating fashion). for these lunches i pick them up from school and we walk to a nearby restaurant of their choosing. it was during these lunches that i coaxed and cajoled these points from their minds onto a napkin. it is possible the process of collecting the points from them could be as curious as the results themselves.

a key that may help you. nummies are nursing breast and biscuits are butts.

10 things Anthony loves about you
  1. nummies!
  2. when you give me shoulder rides.
  3. you smell good when you put that stuff in your armpits.
  4. when you comb my hair.
  5. when you give me backscratches!
  6. you eatin' with me.
  7. going to playgrounds with you.
  8. asking you if i can jump on beds.
  9. helping you make food.
  10. you playing checker games with me.

10 things Alexander loves about you
  1. you cuddle us.
  2. you give us computer time.
  3. you bring us to places to eat.
  4. you make us dinner.
  5. you read to us.
  6. you make me lunch everyday.
  7. you take us camping.
  8. you go hiking with us.
  9. you wipe our biscuits.
  10. you help make science experiments.

10 things Bella loves about you
  1. you are patient.
  2. you help me get my schoolwork done.
  3. you take care of our family.
  4. you are always honest.
  5. you can pretty much read minds.
  6. you always try your best.
  7. you cuddle and talk with me every night at bedtime.
  8. you always pay attention to our opinions.
  9. you try to make our dreams come true.
  10. you are my one and only mom.

10 things Troy loves about you
  1. that you said yes.
  2. the curl of your upper lip.
  3. your natural charisma.
  4. that you do not shy away from any challenge or trial.
  5. that your are the most conscientious mother humanly possible.
  6. that you could take me in a fight.
  7. your laugh.
  8. that you are still as naturally beautiful as the moment i fell in love with you.
  9. that you routinely pause the whirl of your life to tell me you love and appreciate me.
  10. that i am the one that gets to plan another forty years with you.

oh, and just so she didn't feel totally ripped off, she also got a pink tech 3 pen, my all-time favorite pen thus far, as every person over forty should own a proper writing instrument. here's where you can get one for yourself. and here's one of the more curious pen reviews you'll possibly ever read.

WIFE (permalink) 03.11.2011
bella on sunday. marty today.
as of today, i am married to a 40 year old woman.

i remember when i was young and i'd hear old guys say they thought their wives were as beautiful as when they first met them. i'd look at their wives and think they must have been some haggard looking eighteen year olds. but now i'm that old guy and can honestly say that marty looks every bit as radiant and winsome as when she threw that door open in 88 and i got my first ever glimpse of the girl i'd go on to spend my life with.

and, i've now known her for more than half her life (which means i've know her more than my life as well).

crazy how that clock on the wall ticks away so. i hope we're all taking care of the business we hope to be taking care of.

click to enlarge

QUOTES, BOOKS (permalink) 03.10.2011
i could have really tripped some people out in late night dorm talks with this one
If we equate the age of the earth to the period of our familiar twenty-four-hour day, the time that elapsed prior to man's appearance equals twenty-three hours and fifty-eight minutes. And of the two remaining minutes, representing man's time on earth, the period of civilized man is less than the last half-second!
Two sentences from Thomas H. Greer's A Brief History of Western Man, a book that has many, many more that are almost as tantalizing.

PERSONAL (permalink) 03.09.2011
wonder what a dream analyst would do with this one
i just had a dream. it was less than ten minutes long as it occurred between snooze alarms. bookguy and i were standing in the middle of a serengeti-like plain. bookguy was putting his shoes on and i was wordless standing over him. a small plane erratically flew overhead, sharply banking and turning as if evading something. as it passed closely over us, we could see a man standing in the lowered freight door opening at the plane's rear. he was holding onto cargo netting on either side of him and swaying to the plane's dips and dodges. i commented on what he was doing and how crazy it looked. bookguy said the crazy part was how much those rides cost, adding that the man probably paid upwards of $60,000 for that ride. i gasped at the amount and asked why it was so much. as bookguy finished tying his shoes and stood up, he casually said they were probably taking him to the indian ocean. i asked what he'd do when they got there. i was told he would jump in. i asked if that was dangerous? bookguy confirmed it was because of the sharks and said that excitement is what made it so expensive.

just then on the other side of a tuft of trees about hundred feet away, two giraffes came charging by us. they were so close you could see the strain in their faces and the muscles in their neck contorting and working from their body's mad dash. i pointed and yelled, "whoa! look at those things. oh, how cool is that. they're truckin'. ohh, they're so big, i feel like i'm seeing real-life dinosaurs." bookguy wordlessly took in the scene as his eyes tracked their passing. as they moved into the distance i asked him what he thought they were running from so fast. in turning back to bookguy my eye caught two flashes in a bunching of trees. in squinting harder i noticed three lions crouched in the underbrush. i pointed in their direction and said "those lions might have something to do with it." before my sentence was complete, one of the lions sprang from hiding. she charged toward us in gigantic, darting, bounds. matt and i took a few thoughtless steps backward and just had time to mutter, "what do we do now?" before the lion was on us. i turned to move out of her path but before i took a single step, i felt her teeth sink through my right thigh's muscle like it was soft butter.

with that my eyes mercifully opened to the quickened beating in my chest.

KIDS (permalink) 03.08.2011
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

KIDS (permalink) 03.07.2011
happy birthday baya
our baby girl turned 10 yesterday. i don't know if this is a more monumental milestone for bella or for marty and i. a year ago i got to whimper about that fact that bella turned nine and half of our time with her was done. i now begin that desperate slide where the sand in the bottom of the hourglass is visibly larger than the sands sifting through the hole at the top, at a remarkably swift clip, might i add.

and while i don't have a story as sweet as last years, the girl had a good and happy day with lots of friends.

click to enlarge

TV (permalink) 03.04.2011
i'd watch news shows everyday if they were this entertaining. the cool accents don't hurt either.

Watch Karl Stefanovic run off camera laughing, as the New Zealand Today panel crumbles into hysterics.

WIFE (permalink) 03.03.2011
i wonder what she could get if she asked for another kid?
a dog is in our future. the first time i seriously raised the topic marty stopped what she was doing, turned towards me giving me her full arms-folded, hip-on-counter attention. surprised by her intentness, i moved forward a little uncertainly with things like:

i think the kids are getting older and more mature


they surely don't seem to go in and out of wanting a dog.


it's not about us, it's something we do for the kids.

the first thing marty said was ...

i won't do anything to help.

in reply, i asked her to elaborate on what exactly she meant by "anything". she said ...

when you go on your annual weeklong ski trip and the children forget to feed the dog and it is laid out, dehydrated in front of its water bowl and just needs me to pour a glass, a tiny glass, of water into it ... i won't. and the first thing you'll have to do after walking in the door after your annual weeklong ski trip is carry a dead dog into the backyard to bury it.

to this bit of insight, i said ...

oh. i see.

given that marty didn't appear to be "on the fence" about the matter, the getting a dog initiative kinda stalled, indefinitely. a few days ago marty told me about a girlfriend of hers who asked her husband about the family getting a dog. in response, her husband said:

i'd rather you had an affair than brought a dog home.

in the end, it turns out marty is near cuddly on the matter.

HYGIENE (permalink) 03.02.2011
blackheads, hairy moles, and panty lines
the kids had an extraordinary number of snow days this year (one more and i think marty would have made a house-call on the superintendent). on the last afternoon of the last snow day they had, marty took the kids swimming. in the bustle of getting out the door, marty didn't have time to address her adjusted winter time shaving routine. while at the pool bella swam underwater to marty. when she, bella, came up she leaned into marty and whispered in her ear.

mom, you have some hairs sticking out ... down there.

i'm sure i do bella.

BELLA (still whispering)
but what if someone sees them?

MARTY (whispering back)
i have the benefit that most people here aren't swimming at my crotch in swim googles bella.

we don't discuss often enough the crazy good parts of getting older, the number one of them being, caring less about what others think. in fact, i think our care level decreases in direct proportion to the growth of our number of wayward hairs. the jaw-dropping intelligence of the human body does not end in the womb or after puberty or after childbirth. it's smart to the end.

additionally, i remember a former boss of mine once telling me that a big breakthrough moment in her life was when she realized not only weren't people talking about her, they weren't even thinking about her. that woman taught me many amazing lessons and i attribute a great quantity of my professional experience to things she taught me in her small office in our large cooperation.

MUSIC (permalink) 03.01.2011
four out of five dentist agree, lady gaga has your best interest in mind
bella's recent ipod purchase has sent me into the depraved world of modern, popular music. lady gaga has been the latest talking point. having heard her name but not knowing anything about her, i bought a few of her albums. after pushing them to my ipod and listening to them while coding, i found what the rest of the free world had discovered months and years before me - her stuff is catchy, charged and kewl. if there's a burn it is that several of her songs are overly suggestive but, at bella's age, we're entering a period where it's hard to parentally ignore or deny such pervasive elements ... even when you don't have a tv.

that said, there is one song in her catalog that gave me great pause. it's called Teeth. yet, Teeth doesn't seem to be so much about teeth, in the academic sense at least. i've tried to make sense of the message but fear i'm a decade or two out of the conversant demographic. i assume hope it goes beyond her just having a tooth-thing like marty has a tooth thing (and dislikes chipped teeth in her suitors and offspring) and i hope it is figurative and she's trying to figure out what to make of an interested party and asking him/her to display their fierce and passionate edge. but which is the case is not abundantly clear and to date i've been the one expected to explain such matters to my children.

then one night while in the midst of struggling with this heady morsel and brushing anfer's teeth, he held his hand up in the middle of the job to pause me.

open your mouth dad.


i think you have a golden tooth.

TROY (opening mouth and mumbling)
i do. which one?

ANFER (in seeing all of my fillings)
OH! i think all of them! all of them are gold.

oh. that doesn't sound good.

when you were a boy, you ate candy too long.

and at that moment it occurred to me, perhaps this was gaga's angle. maybe she just wants to make sure her men or women didn't eat candy "too long" when they were little. in which case i not only feel ok about my daughter listening to her but am inclined to recommend her for your own daughters. of course, i'll leave it to you to interpret what is specifically meant in the same song by, "Take a bite of my bad girl meat". i'm hoping anthony will say something to me in the coming weeks that helps give meaning to that riddle as well. but aside from that lyrical gem, gaga is as good for your kids as fluoride itself.

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