Saturday, September 26, 2009

The truth is finally revealed

Red, Pudge and I found ourselves in the house without JAM and Wifey this afternoon (see explanation below). Since it was a pretty dismal rainy day and they had just gotten up from nap the TV was still on. Who am I kidding, the TV would have probably been on anyway this being college football season and all. :)

Anyhow, we found ourselves switching back and forth between the Yankee-Red Sox game and the Miami-Virginia Tech football game. As I was changing his diaper Pudge pointed to the TV at the crowd of people they were showing and said something about the people. Red looked and said "Yes Pudge, look at the people! Hey! I saw my Daddy on that show!" I laughed and said "No Red, your Daddy is right here." She giggled a little bit and then said, with a totally straight face, "No, my real Daddy!" No joke! She even walked over and said "Let me show you."

Yup, she walked right over and pointed to a Virginia Tech player running on the field. Now, ever since she was born with this mop of bright orange hair we've (I've) been making poor jokes about not being quite sure about her lineage but for some strange reason I'm pretty sure this young man had very little to do with her creation.

Either that or someone in this house has some serious explainin' to do.

Where Wifey becomes a star

Today is the day she's been waiting for. She's been working harder and harder on her writing on her blog, building her own readership which eventually led to a gig working with the book-dedicated blog 5 Minutes for Books. She's a machine - reading more than I ever thought humanly possible (although she tells me stories of other book bloggers out there that go through dozens of books a month) and posting so many reviews that she quickly built her own following on that site. She's even been noticed by another very impressive group where she will soon begin posting her thoughts (I don't think she made nearly enough of a big deal about that in her announcement buried within this post).

But today was the culmination of all that hard work. We packed the whole fam into the van and picked up L at the Metro station before heading down to the Mall in DC. We all walked Wifey right down to the Media tent (yes, the Media tent - she's an official member of the press now) and said our good-byes as she prepared for her first interview with Craig Hatkoff, to be followed by her interview with Mo Willems.

Without much of a plan (my bad with that I realized) I took the kidsso Wifey could concentrate on the task at hand. Yup off I went with all three of them by my gimpy self, down to the PBS tent where we spent some time coloring before quickly coming to the realization that there wasn't really anything I could do with the three of them by myself - the age difference is just too big between them. Someone must have been looking out for us though because there was a stage set up in the PBS tent with some carpets on the ground right in front with rows of chairs behind. I found out there were going to be some authors reading from their favorite stories which reminded me that Wifey had said Mo was going to be reading somewhere. Putting 2 and 2 together like the smartypants I am I realized that THIS must be the place! So I plopped the 3 Amigos down on that carpet before anyone else had even shown up. That was the best idea I've had in a while. The place quickly filled up because word must have spread that Steve Sings was going to be there with Mo following. The place turned into a zoo but we had prime spots! I didn't record any of that Steve guy but I did video Mo's reading-turned-interpretive-dance. :) The sound quality from my phone stinks - it picked up all the snotty nosed kids in the audience but not his voice from the speakers.

But the purpose of this post is going slightly astray... the purpose was to sing the laurels of my beautiful, talented Wifey on her big day. She rocked the house with some fantastic interviews and I'm so proud of her for swallowing all that anxiety I didn't want to call attention to this morning and going for it. Good job lady - you're my hero. I'm sure she'll follow this up with some posts of her own but I had to get it out there first. I'm a buzz-kill like that. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's good for the goose...

I've got to admit to a bit of hypocrisy. It started with a simple little email sent to a friend asking if he was feeling alright after not hearing from him in a while. It reared its ugly head again yesterday when I made my innocent little comment to Wifey. But much like my friend and Wifey, I know I haven't been recording what's been going on in my own simple world either.

And I know why too. Although I've known for a while I just haven't wanted to put it out there. But, I need to keep reminding myself of the promise I made when I started this thing. This is my space and I need to use it to record what's going on in my life, and hopefully as honestly as possible. So, here goes.

Life, for the last few weeks, has - in the immortal words of Mike Myers from Wayne's World - blown chunks. I haven't been interested in just about anything and as stupid as some people might see this, I think it all boiled over when a fat guy fell on me. It's hard to put into words, but ever since then I've just felt like garbage. I knew I put a lot into those morning games as a way to keep myself grounded and get out my much bottled-up aggression, but I never thought I would feel quite this crappy without them. I guess I always figured that if I ever had to stop playing, maybe if my schedule changed and I couldn't play in the mornings or something like that, I'd quickly find something to replace it. But in this situation I can't even do that!

Okay, so there's that part of the problem. Now lets add the double fact that 1.) I can't even kick a ball in the yard with my kids and 2.) in all honesty I get home too late to do much of that anyway. The late arrival-quick transition into dinner-bug infested yard has had a very negative impact on my instigation of outside quality time with the 3 amigos. I've never been really great at the inside-sit down type quality time stuff like Wifey is able to whip up. Painting, games, puzzles, playing cars, etc. etc. - I just can't seem to get excited over. I've always been far better at outside play but I think we've reached a critical juncture. I think we need to do something about both the schedule AND my interest in sitting on the floor-type quality time. I don't think anyone is in danger of starving when I get home, so I think an adjustment of the schedule might be doable. But, that would require a father able to play with them. I've got work to do.

Adding to this (this is really hard to admit in a public forum but its not like everyone else doesn't go through it too) is the lack of connection Wifey and I have been going through. Again, it didn't exactly start from scratch with the knee thing, but since then poor Wifey has had to deal with four helpless kids instead of three, then to top it all off she got wicked sick while I wasn't able to pick up much of the slack. I know everyone goes through times like this, it is a part of being in a relationship, but it is just so hard to deal with so many issues all at the same time.

The cherry on top has got to be the more difficult financial situation we've been in since #'s 2 and 3 came along and Wifey started staying home to be with the babies. It is such an amazing thing for her to be there for them (I know I couldn't handle being home all day every day - I've got much respect for all the moms and dads who can do that) but if I'm being honest it has definitely taken its toll. We've talked about the impact of working vs. not working - the cost of child care would likely wipe out most of the added income, then add to that the costs of her not being able to take care of the hundreds of little every-day things she does during the week. Having to get everyone up and out of the house way early in the morning, getting home late after picking everyone up, then worrying about a dinner and homework and play time and baths and bed.... It just seems like a whirlwind that would sweep us away. I have a generous respect for people who make that work as well. All this works to add to the daily mental baggage though. We're (like most people) literally one car accident or water heater meltdown (I just realized I never posted about the almost-fire we had with our water heater!) or water main break away from a really bad situation. We can't take actual family vacations, a dinner out once in a while is an extravagance...

I'm even annoying myself with all of this. But the point is made. It drags on the mental outlook.

Hopefully my outlook will clear up some as I start to get back to normal and that will help - but a break is needed. Personally, as a couple, and as a family, there is much work to do. But thank God that I've got them with me to work with - I'd never want it any other way.

**Update - I just realized how bizarre it is to have this post and the post immediately under it right next to one another. Seriously, happiness should be far easier to come by.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happiness is easy

With working so hard every day to try to find some elusive measure of happiness - family, job, home, friends, etc., etc. - I'm happy when I find reminders that happiness is really easy to come across. It was a simple but really good day with a young friend's birthday party at the lake and playground in town starting things off nicely. Spending time with the fam and great friends at the park where we've had our own birthday parties was really fun. After some homemade quiches for dinner made with love by Wifey and a surprisingly easy bedtime comes some quality me time. While Wifey is busy reading/reviewing/blogging inside on the couch I'm enjoying a nice fire in the fire pit outside while watching my Giants beating the Cowboys and drinking a beer.

It really is simple - and I've got to remember that.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

So much for Twinkle Twinkle I guess

Typically, when I put Pudge to bed our time includes a few songs after we've read our story and the lights are out. We usually go through the old standards - Row, Row, Row Your Boat, The ABC's Song, All Around the Mulberry Bush, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star... you know, the songs adults usually sing to children. Tonight was a little bit different apparently. Tonight I snuggled in with Red while Wifey had the joy of putting Pudge down. As I walked out of Red's room I heard the usual singing coming out of Pudge's room but I was amused by the choice of tune. I think this might be the first time I've ever heard a song about a bank robbery being sung to a 22 month old. But, when you marry a woman who would much rather be married to a bare naked lady, what do you expect?