Monday, March 30, 2015

Belly belly

I'm not sure if I'm happy about this or not: my sons are becoming quite sensitive when I've been sick, to the point that they try to do some nice things to help me feel better.

On Saturday, I ate something that really disagreed with me. I'm not really sure what it was; the boys and I had the same food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and they didn't have any ill effects. Still, I was a little queasy at bedtime on Saturday.

Sunday, I woke up feeling like a truck had run me over. I managed to get 1&2 to Sunday school, and 3 and I went back home afterwards instead of to the JCC like normal. He watched some shows and allowed me to pass out on the couch. Lunchtime was at grandma's house, so I was able to drop off 3 then head back home to sleep.

Well, considering it was a stomach bug, I only slept part-time, and very lightly. For obvious reasons.

I will admit to being more than a little panicked about this one. Considering that my last bout of stomach issues put me in the hospital for three days, I was more than a little diligent about making sure that my fluids were kept consistent.

The boys spent most of the day at Grandma's house. They came home in time for dinner. Little Bear came upstairs to get me. "Daddy, it's dinner time. You should at least come downstairs and eat some rice. It's good for your belly."

Isn't that sweet?

The other boys are very obvious in their care when they come to give me hugs. It's very nice to see. They can, on occasion, be empathetic.

Long story short, I'm back on my feet and ready to go. Sort of. I worked at home today, with thanks again to great management that gives me that option. It's a lot easier on the body, you know? I think I'll be normal - or as close as I ever get to it - tomorrow morning.

Good thing - I have chorus and can't miss rehearsal time.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015


This morning, we had the pleasure of The Wife having a Saturday off. It was good timing, because I had to work. One of the best features of my job: work at home, when I have to work on Saturdays.

So, she had the boys cleaning the house for much of the morning. I had lunch leftovers when I was done with work, then dueled Little Bear in Yugioh. He's still not quite figuring out how to combine his cards, but he's getting better. He reduced me to 100 life points before I finally managed to beat him.

He does beat me occasionally. Just not often, and the longer a duel goes, the better odds that I'm going to win. I'm not going to let him win, but I will admit to the fact that I don't press my advantage as hard as I otherwise would have. Today, there were three or four occasions when I could have ended the duel very early, but I pointed out his mistake or helped him play his cards better. I'm supportive and educational without pandering.

The Wife allowed me to have a nap while she took them to the JCC to run their mile. We would have run outside, but I was tired and it was snowing (!). After, we had a pajama party at Rodef. Two and three came with me.

Mom and One had a nice night: started some plants in planters by the window, then eat n park for dinner, then Grandma's house to play. She needed that kind of a night with him - just all positives.

The two boys and I went to hear stories - Passover stories. After we listened to them, we went to the mulipirpose room, ate pizza and ice cream, and made crafts. Then the preschool kids ran around, played ring around the Rosie, and tackled each other repeatedly.

The multipurpose room is the indoor playroom for when it's too cold to go outside, so they are programmed to go a bit nuts. I also remember a time when watching my children tackle each other on linoleum floors would make me nervous. Weird, right?

We went home, read stories, and went to bed. A wonderful, eventful, boring evening.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Busy Evening

So, tonight I met The Wife and the boys at Rodef for services. The choir was singing, so it was a Big Deal service tonight. The boys were dressed in their cutest white shirts and clip-on ties.

Since I got there at 5, and the services didn't start until 5:30, we went into the preschool room to hang out for a half hour. The boys played with some pirate ships, and costumes, and trucks - you know, normal stuff. At 5:20, they started cleaning up, and we went in at 5:45.

We take a break at the 2/3 mark of the service, as a group. Each of the older boys took turns escorting The Baby into the bathroom and back. The Baby cutely fell asleep right at the end of the service, which was beautifully done by the choir and my wife. I left him snuggled on a couch during the post-service snack time.

When we got home, I started straightening up the downstairs and sent the little ones up to get ready for bed. Once they got upstairs, I heard some crying and "Yep, that's puke."


The Baby got into the tub while I cleaned up, and The Wife finally arrived home to help. She took the baby, and I grabbed 1&2 to help me downstairs. The kitchen and dishes got cleaned, and I told the boys all about themselves. Once that was done, we got into pajamas, read some stories, and bedtime.

You'd think this would get easy.

Side note: wtf, Pittsburgh? Snow? It's March 27, for crying out loud.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Night In The Life

I got home from work at the usual time, more or less, and I got changed out of work clothes. The weather was 48 degrees and drizzly, which is actually a step better than most of the month. Thursday is a running day. I gave the boys a choice: run before dinner and have more play time after, or run after and have less.

We ran before dinner. Cool thing? They ran with hero costumes on, Batman and Superman. Little Bear was Superman, of course. He had a rough run - he said his legs were tired from the beginning, which made it harder on all three of us. Eventually, he got the idea that we weren't interested in listening to him complain, so he stopped. (I might have encouraged him that complaining had negative consequences.)

We had a nice dinner, and they put their plates in the dishwasher. I cleaned the kitchen while 1&2 practiced. Afterwards, I played superheroes and bad guys with The Baby: I was Red Skull to his dinosaur. He would roar at me, and I would spin backwards, out of control. We "fought" for a while, and Little Bear joined in to defeat the villain (me).

I dueled Little Bear in Yugioh afterwards, and he got very upset when I beat him. He said, "Daddy, I dueled my hardest, and you still won!" I showed him how he should have used the cards and beaten me, and I'm sure he will next time.

The boys entertained themselves for a while (highlighted by The Baby building a recognizable house out of duplos), allowing me to straighten up a bit. Then, Mom left for choir practice, and I bathed the kids. We watched this week's Flash episode, and The Baby fell asleep. I read "The Matzoh Ball Fairy" to the bigger ones, then they went to sleep.

I did some chorus work, interrupted only by The Boy, who had snuck out of his room to play with Legos in the play room. I shuffled him back to bed, then did some pictures work after my chorus work was done. Then, off to bed once The Wife got home.

A wonderful, plain, boring evening at home.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chocolate Sunday

Sunday morning, I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I slept in and didn't exercise. Side note: as I'm getting older, and reading the things I'm reading, I'm really trying to pay careful attention to what's going on inside me, and to give myself a break when I really need it. At age 40, sometimes my body doesn't want to exercise 6 mornings a week, and I need to be patient with myself. I don't want to make a habit of it, but there is only so much willpower that one can use in a given day, and I knew later that day would be difficult.

We went to breakfast with Grandpa like usual, but we ate at the Eat N Park in Squirrel Hill instead of the one near our house, at Little Bear's choice. I dropped things 1 & 2 off at Sunday school, and The Baby and I went to the JCC, as was our custom. We did make a quick stop at Home Depot first, though, so were a shade later getting there than we usually are.

He doesn't like to climb as much as his brothers did at that age. He likes to run, and he really likes to play ball. We sat and rolled the ball and threw the ball back and forth. The best game was just me rolling the ball down a foam ramp to him. He laughed almost every time he caught it.

We left the JCC and went home to rest for a little while. I turned on a TV show and napped for a half hour while he watched the shows. After lunch and some cleaning around the house, we went to a birthday party. One of the boys' friends - a girl, B - has twin sisters that were turning 1. We went to Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor, which happens to be around a tenth mile from my office. Sigh. So much for getting away. The Baby and I met the rest of the family there.

The boys had spent a couple of hours at the end of preschool at the "Chocolate Seder." The Seder is the special meal/ceremony at the start of Passover where they retell the Passover story, drink ceremonial wine, etc. This day had the whole Seder thing, but with chocolate and candy. They drank glasses of chocolate milk (the cups of wine), had tootsie rolls instead of the lamb shank, chocolate eggs instead of the hard boiled egg, etc. so, basically, they spent two hours eating candy before heading to the ice cream parlor.

Did I mention the milk shoots right through my kids, to disastrous digestive results?

So, they arrive, already soaring from a sugar high and with upset stomachs from too much candy. They proceed to behave badly for an hour or so, until we got sick enough of them to go home. They didn't eat any ice cream, but at least they hung out with B for a while.

Grandma and Grandpa invited us over for dinner, so we sent them the children and stayed home. I cleared out my Hulu queue while The Wife messed around on the computer. We had leftovers - while not as yummy, I needed the rest.

The Boy started with the diarrhea as soon as he got home and spent most of the next hour running back and forth to the bathroom. The others got settled, and The Wife and I went to bed nice and early. At 12:30, Little Bear came in: "Daddy, I threw up in my bed."


Readers, you know that a little bit of puke is not a big deal. The Wife took him and cleaned him up, rinsed his mouth, and settled him down. I changed the bedding, started a load of laundry, and put new sheets on the bed. Still, it can be tough to settle down.

Stomachs were fine by the morning. Still not thrilled with the idea of the chocolate Seder, though I did love the ice cream I ate.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Busy weekend:

Friday night, the preschool classes (and recent alumni) sang the first few songs at the Friday night Shabbat service. It was very cute. Little Bear escorted The Baby up to the bima (altar), and The Boy sat with his friend, M, and sang with her up in front. We kind of had a late, late dinner afterwards, but the post-services snacks, combined with the pre-service stuff they had for the kids, served as a meal.

Saturday morning, I took the boys to run at Minadeo for the Saturday marathon run. We had a bit of an issue: The Boy got mad when Little Bear didn't want to run right with him, so he wound up taking a time out for a couple of laps. After the run (mile 24), we went to Home Depot and the farmer's market before lunchtime. Little Bear went to a birthday party, and I took 1 & 3 to the library to play, read books, and play chess. On the way out, we saw an awesome thing: a poster for a free performance of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, at a local college. The rest of the day was spent working outside.

The show was perfectly pleasant: a small drama club at Chatham College, an all-women's college nearby. The cast was all-female except for Snoopy. Because the genders were switched, they had to make some musical choices that were a little questionable. They made it work, mostly. We were most interested in the three or four new songs that we hadn't heard or remembered!

The Baby fell asleep right before the show started and woke up in time for the last two songs. The other two were paying close attention for the most part, although Little Bear was a bit squirrelly.

The highlight of the show had to be the actor who played Sally. Poor thing just couldn't find the rhythm - she was trying so hard but just couldn't get there. Like, the rest of the cast was snapping on 2&4, but she was on 1&3 and missing that some times. We applauded the effort.

The boys said hello the the actors after the show, which was nice for them. The Boy, in particular, said nice things, individually, to each cast member he met.

We got home close to 9:30, which was very late. Sunday deserves its own entry, so that'll be for tomorrow.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Stream of Consciousness

really do enjoy listening to my children play games together. When The Boy and Little Bear play Yugioh together, it's very cute. It's also very illuminating as to the nature of the game and their natures.

They play by the rules, somewhat modified to suit their mood at the time. Most of the time, they keep some sort of score - but they don't remember to take points off all the time. The math is correct - it's adding and subtracting two digit numbers (with two zeroes at the end - 2000 minus 1800, for instance, and take that bit and subtract it from the 8000 life points) - but the point isn't necessarily to reduce your brother's life points to zero. It's to crush the other person, to make it so they can't do anything except get their butt kicked by the opponents cards.

"Conan! What is best in life?"


Tonight was a reunion of sorts for the boys: current students at the Rodef preschool and recent alumni students sang the first few songs at temple services. It was a neat event to get some people to come to a normal Friday night that don't normally come to Friday night, particularly since it came with cookies and fruit. The boys got dressed in their finest little suits and sang ferociously. It was very cute.

The Boy has been growing his hair out long, which is really kind of cool. It's at a shaggy length so far - not long like Austin from Home Free, more like a flamboyant conductor. With his glasses, it gives him a bit of a young John Lennon feel. I dig it.

At bedtime, the older two put themselves to bed, and The Boy made up a superhero story to tell his brother. That was kind of cool. I was proud of him.


The Boy has decided that he wants to take a shower in the morning instead of a bath at night. I'm cool with that. It'll certainly make it easier to comb the anime out of his hair. This morning was the first morning he did, and I walked him through how to turn the water on, get the temperature right, then turn the shower on in his bathroom.

While it's great that he can start to do it by himself, I'm disappointed in losing the cute three men in a tub that we used to have.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Beautiful Afternoon

This afternoon, the kids stayed in the park after getting off the bus in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day, starting at 36 degrees upon waking and getting to 67 degrees after lunch. The park was full after school hours, and we saw a few friends that we haven't seen since the winter drove everyone into their homes.

After dinner, the boys and I went for a jog around our neighborhood. I had plotted a course that was right around a mile, and we three ran our marathon mile together. It was really nice: not only was the temperature perfect for a run, but people were out on their porches and front yards. Even the local fire house was open, airing out a winter's worth of smells and letting the fire truck hang outside for a while.

Running outside, particularly in Pittsburgh, is much harder than running inside. Our neighborhood is really hilly, and Little Bear ran out of gas a little more than halfway through. He does a great job (particularly for a five year old) on the flat, and he just needs to get his sea legs under him. It's a lot more rewarding to run outside, particularly for curious little boys.

The Boy did a great job of practicing after the run, teaching himself some third position shifting on one of his songs. I'm really proud of him, as it's farther along than I ever got. He's turning into a great little musician.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Games Played

After being gone for a few days, things picked up as normal. I got to my in-laws' house at about 12:30, and we enjoyed a nice lunch with Uncle C, who was in town for a bit. The kids and I cleaned up a bit before leaving, which would be a nice habit for us to get into, and got home so that Mom could nap for an hour. I turned on Yu-Gi-Oh! and got a ten minute catnap.

Side note: I've become a little too caffeinated lately. I need to cut back. I'll work on it.

After watching two episodes, I bounced the kids from the house to go outside. The Boy made up stories while sitting on the porch. Little Bear rode his bike up and down our hill. The Baby ride his big wheel down and around the curve, where he found a big pile of icey snow. He, Little Bear, and I spent about fifteen minutes kicking the snow because it was fun.

The Wife was home around then, and she banished The Boy from the porch. He came down and all four of us played a rousing game of tag. It was a lot of fun because they played so nicely with The Baby; since everybody kind of wanted to be “It,” nobody ran too hard. Eventually, The Baby just decided that he was going to keep tagging everybody regardless of whether or not he was “It,” which was fine with us.

The Boy eventually got a scooter with which to play, and the other boys and I played monkey in the middle using The Baby's bounce ball - you know, the thing with the handle that you sit on and bounce. It's bigger than a kickball. It was a lot of fun: I would bounce the ball off of the monkey's head, and we all did a good job of keeping the game competitive.

Before I knew it, about three hours had passed and it was about ready for dinner time. Little Bear and I dueled once, then we ate, and we dueled again. He's starting to figure out that he needs to be imaginative with how he plays his cards to succeed against me, which is the point.

He was very proud, earlier in the day, to explain his strategies to Uncle C, who is a game player. Hopefully they'll be kindred spirits like that.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sleepy time

Today, I'm leaving for Greensburg for a few days for my chorus retreat. We're bringing in a friend of the chorus from Denver to work with us for three days and really kick off contest season with a bang.

This, of course, provides some difficulties for the family. Thankfully, we have a wonderful and supportive set of grandparents living nearby, and the boys are so comfortable with them that they can, relatively seamlessly, fit in their life for a weekend. It's still a lot of work, but as the kids get older, it gets easier. I mean, there aren't any more diapers to change, right?

However, being without half of the parental team for three days and two nights is challenging. Thankfully, my family is ready and able to support me.


We've finished the first rehearsal, and it was wonderful. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to sleep tonight, without little bodies draped all over the place. I mean, not getting kicked by little feet all night long... That's just weird, man.

Although, when little hands reach out for you in sleep, just to touch your arm; when little bodies snuggle into you, for warmth and protection; you can't help but to sigh a bit, settle yourself carefully and just sleep. It's comforting to me as an adult, much less to the little people.

I do miss them, and I think and talk about them regularly. Like, when I call for a pitch: "play a D, like The Boy." Soon enough.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015


Our run this evening was cut short by Little Bear having a sudden attack of the bathroom jumpies, so we had to leave Minadeo (where we went to run, considering that it was 60 degrees out this evening). But, we did get to go outside to run, which was really nice. We were only 1/12 short of a mile, so it wasn't too bad.

The boys are still really cute, and they enjoy the physical affection that I like to show. When we run, The Boy is happiest when we can hold hands, which I think is just wonderful! I know it won't be too long until he's too "big" to hold hands with his daddy, and I have every intention of enjoying it until then. It's really kind of neat when LB is on one side and The Boy is on the other. Makes me really happy.

I was dueling Yu-Gi-Oh! with Little Bear, and our neighbor came by. She's a newly single mom, with a boy that is right around the same age as the older boys. We went outside and played football together - sort of. It was more of a "Calvinball" with loose football rules, but it was fun. Made up for the tenth mile we were missing, I think. The players on the teams ebbed and flowed, and players switched sides at random. The plays usually resulted in a touchdown, only because players kept switching sides and renegotiating the definition of a tackle. That's cool, because running them around was the important thing.

Little boys need to run around. It's genetic. Little girls do, too, for sure; but little boys like mine need lots of physical activity for their brains to keep functioning. I'm glad we had that this afternoon.

The other thing we did was to have a birthday cake in honor of Grandma's mother. It's a nice way to keep her memory alive and to tell some stories. I had to buy the cake... which meant getting to Giant Eagle and face timing with my wife so she could pick the cake out for us to eat.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015


The Boy has another awesome moment yesterday: he got to use the "grown-up now hold" for his violin! When you learn to play the violin, as a young child, your thumb goes on the bottom of the bow handle (the frog) instead of the middle. Moving your thumb to the middle requires more manual dexterity and some maturity - so the thumb doesn't start to bend backwards or stiffen up, making it hard to play.

He was so excited to have changed his bow hold that he was literally bouncing up and down!

One of the youth orchestras in town apparently started an elementary school orchestra this year. Another year - maybe two - and he'll be able to play with them. I'm looking forward to it, because I want him to be around other kids his age who play.

He's a lot like me: it drives him insane to be second best. Last year, if one of the kids in his class got ahead of him on the ST Math program, he wouldn't stop until he got back ahead of him. It's a great point of pride that he's farthest ahead in the "warm-ups" at the gifted center. So, being around other kids is the single best thing for him.

Little Bear is less motivated by that; he's confident that he's the smartest kid in the room, but he doesn't feel it necessary to display that to everyone in the same way The Boy and I do. Different personalities. The Wife is like Little Bear: quiet confidence, not my swaggering arrogance.

Should be fun either way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Star Wars

Last night, we finished watching "Return of the Jedi," which was one of the transformative movies of my childhood. The entire Star Wars series have been huge influences on me as I've grown: one of the first comics I collected, one of the first book series I collected, and one of the first movies that I actually wore out on video.

It's interesting, watching it as a grownup. There are so many missteps that they took: poor choices in character behavior (Leia kissing her brother in each of the first two movies, and Ewoks), poor choices in redoing effects in later editions, and awkward dialogue. However, these movies actually set up a bunch of sci-fi tropes: the Han Solo type character, Lando's betrayed and subsequent redemption, Luke's hero's journey, the rise and fall and rise of Anakin Skywalker, and the middle movie which had the heroes surviving a series of massive defeats yet striving to fight again.

I can't call Star Wars one of the best movies I've seen, anymore. I think a number of recent movies have passed it, in terms of epic storytelling (Lord of the Rings but not The Hobbit), special effects (Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy), and action (The Matrix).

But, for a kid who loved space ships, whose first favorite book was "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel," and who worked to reenact every scene in Empire with his toys and the Hoth battle set his parents bought him.... it was the first and most influential. It was immensely satisfying to hear my kids laugh at the same jokes that I did, to watch them get scared and nervous at the same parts I did, to mourn the deaths of friends (Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin) and to celebrate with them at the victories. Priceless memories for me.

The discussion afterwards with The Boy, where he figured out that the Rebels didn't win a single thing in Empire - that Vader and his minions beat them like a drum for the entire movie - was awesome. It got him to think differently about the movie, about how satisfying it was even though his heroes didn't win.

Next up: Superman III and Superman IV, the the latter two movies in the Indiana Jones series.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Beaten Into Submission

Currently, I am watching sons 1 and 3 beating a pile of snow with baseball bats. I'm not sure why - maybe the snow owes them money, or maybe the snow was hitting on their girlfriend. Still, they've been at it for fifteen minutes or so. Whatever keeps them going, I suppose.

It's the Jersey in them - the need to occasionally beat somebody with a bat.

Little Bear has just put his bike away so he can get a bat and help them. Sigh.

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Multiple Children

I'm sitting in the playroom at the JCC, and I'm listening to some mothers talking about multiple children. I'm struck by the language that they're using to talk about it. "I'm pregnant with my second." "You SHOULD be scared about it."


I mean, parenthood is, ultimately, about fear: the daily fear of being able to take care of your children; the monthly fear of being a supportive, kind parent that will fill your kids' emotional needs without causing too much therapy; the long term fear of school and education and bullies and girl/boy friends and what kind of world am I bringing kids into anyway?

That wasn't what they were referencing, though. As I'm considering it, my negative judgment might be retreating. What does a second child cause?

Loss of social life: with one kid, you can take turns being a parent and being an independent human being.

Difficulty of travel: You can travel easily and stay at any friend's house. One kid fits in a normal guest bed with parents. Two doesn't.

Sick time gets extended, as colds pass from one to the next and back again.

They never have sleepless nights at the same time.

They never nap at the same time.

They go from playing to brawling in a moment.

Bedtime takes an order of magnitude longer.

Meals are more complicated, and if one kid is a picky eater, the other???

On the other hand:

They will play with each other and look out for each other. There will be moments when they snuggle each other back to sleep, and they will provide significant comfort to the other (in between fights) as they grow up.

The travel time is more precious because it takes more effort and planning.

Your friends without multiple children, while they might never understand, are a source of vicarious living, occasional babysitting, and Christmas presents.

The sleepless nights, long term, are wonderful bonding moments for your baby and you, once your love affair with coffee is resumed.

Bedtime is a relaxing affair that will help you get to sleep as much as it helps them.

Having the team help prepare a meal, set the table, and clean up is a great thing.

Okay. My hackles are down. Not such a bad thing, to be afraid of baby number 2.

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Star Wars again

Tonight was a much more successful viewing of the Star Wars trilogy.

The boys had a good day today. They spent the morning at the toy library, then they spent a chunk of the afternoon at Grandma's house while The Wife had a quartet job. I was at an all-day quartet coaching, so I was gone from 9-4.

My blessed wife gave me an hour's nap once I was done, thankfully. I'm still not over whatever it was that crushed me earlier in the week, so every bit of rest is good. I haven't exercised since Monday, and - although I'm feeling it a bit - I needed the rest.

The boys got home and played Kingdom Hearts together. I finished off a couple of novels I've been dancing around, one of which was a collection of John Constantine comics that I picked up on Black Friday. We had a light dinner, because I had a big lunch and the boys went out for a pizza lunch.

We watched the last half of Empire Strikes Back and had a great post-movie discussion. I think we blew The Boy's mind about the fact that, in that amazing movie, the good guys don't win. Not once. They get cut off and out-maneuvered every which way, and it's their own immense heart and skill that allowed them to get out, with the only casualties being Han, Luke's hand, Lando's city, and C3P0's General status. We watched the first bit of Jedi, through the gang outfoxing and destroying Jabba the Hutt, before the boys went to bed.

Their favorite parts: the light saber battle between Luke and Darth Vader; Luke's jump and escape from the Sarlac Pit; Leia strangling Jabba (this princess doesn't need a rescuer); and Luke's light saber fighting against Jabba's men.

My New Year's Resolution is to get the pictures on the iMac under control, and I started in December 2014 and am working backwards. I'm trying to delete about 6-7 thousand pictures off the hard drive, both for space's sake and for organization's sake. I'm now entering April 2014, so I've finished most of the year so far. I figure if I can knock off a month every week or two, then I'll be caught up by the end of the year. It's a long game. I did some pictures while watching "Better Call Saul," which was awesome.

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Friday, March 6, 2015


Rough night tonight.

Little Bear is in the throes of the potty mouth phase, and it's quickly getting on the nerves of the entire family. While I enjoy a good fart joke as much as the next guy, there's a difference, you know? He's constantly calling his brothers potty names, and his trash talking has gotten out of control.

The Wife had already disciplined him this morning, and we had spoken to him a half dozen times during dinner, and when he got in the bathtub, he started on his brother: I wish you had been born without arms (long story), you're stupid, you're a butt, you smell like poop, etc. We finally lost patience.

So, instead of watching The Empire Strikes Back with the rest of us, he went to bed immediately after his bath. He was dramatically unhappy about this, particularly since he wanted to watch this movie. It is one of the all-time greats. But, despite the crying and begging and name calling (which defeated the purpose of convincing us that he wasn't going to call names), he was banished upstairs.

The Baby was asleep before they were off Hoth, as expected. He had a long day. I dumped him in bed while Luke was convincing R2D2 to change course to Dagobah.

The Boy then decided to sit on my lap and fart on me. Which, actually, is pretty funny - except when you're on the receiving end. He's been told about this before, multiple times. On one hand, I like that I relax him enough that his body works well. On the other hand... it's cute when a baby farts on your lap. Not so much when the baby is seven and a half.

After the second time, he was given a final warning, the movie paused, and a bathroom break enforced. So, afterwards, he sat on my lap and farted again.

Off to bed, Lord Stinkbottom. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. We didn't even get to see Han frozen in Carbonite.

Tomorrow night we'll try to finish the movie off.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015


Today, the kids had another snow day. It was pretty miserable, and I didn't make it up the hill in the morning. Didn't help that one of the windshield wipers snapped in half while I was defrosting.

The Boy has developed the habit of reading for a half hour or so after bedtime. I'm really cool with that. Less cool with him passing out facedown on a book, but that's because I'm not so into drool damage. I love that he's reading and getting the joy out of it that I get. Tonight he read stories from a Marvel Super Heroes storybook that I bought him for Christmas.

He started playing Kingdom Hearts again today. His last game got destroyed along with our last PS3, so he hasn't been in a rush to start again.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Purim Redux

Took a sick day today from work - well, the type of sick day I like to take. I worked four hours in the morning then spent the rest of the day in bed, asleep. One of the benefits of having the ability to work at home (and a manager who is compassionate about letting me do it) is that I don't have to miss an entire work day because I need significant extra rest. I'm fairly sure this isn't a flu thing, but I'm tired enough to be concerned. Might do the same thing tomorrow. We'll see.

Tonight, though, is Purim, and The Wife's choir is performing. This means that I'm bringing the boys to temple, pretty much regardless of how I'm feeling. They're doing brinner tonight (breakfast for dinner), and everyone is wearing costumes, just like on Sunday. They're going to read the whole Megillah (pun intended) tonight, and then I'll go home and crash. Sigh.

It would be better if everything didn't hurt.

The boys are cute. It took them a while to decide on exactly which costumes to wear, which was funny. It makes me interested to see what'll happen when they're preparing to go out on a date.

The Boy had a big moment during his violin yesterday. He had a little extra time because the person following him was late, so they decided to play the Lully piece on which he was working. He said he felt like complaining, but he decided against it because playing the piece would end it faster than complaining about it. That's a big moment for him.

Here's a rare photo of Little Bear allowing someone else to wear the Superman outfit:

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Purim Bags

Tonight, the boys and The Wife stuffed Purim bags for their school friends. Basically, you're supposed to bring friends and neighbors small bags or baskets of treats on Purim as a celebration. We have some hamantaschen and some other tasty bits. We got to eat the leftover cookies, which I'm cool with doing.


The boys and I are just shy of twenty miles run for the Steel Kids Marathon. Considering they're supposed to do 25 before the April marathon, I think we're in good shape. I think we have an outside shot at having 40 miles done before the marathon.

Yes, I'm an overachiever.


Fighting a cold today and yesterday, as is The Wife. Might take tomorrow from exercising, which doesn't make me happy at all. We'll see. Maybe I won't lift; maybe I'll just do a nice, easy walk and jog. I hate taking time off because I sit at a computer all day and don't have many opportunities to move around.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Purim play

Today was the Purim play and Purim carnival at Rodef Shalom. Purim is a fun holiday in the Jewish calendar: it tells the story about how Queen Esther convinced King Ahashaverach to NOT kill the Jews and to take care of his advisor, Haman, who was trying to exterminate them. They read the play, and cheer when Esther speaks, and boo when Haman speaks, and it's a good day. The Boy played the king, and Little Bear played Mordechai, Esther's uncle. Everyone else is supposed to dress up in fun costumes.

The carnival has games and tickets and prizes to earn. There was a neat bouncy climbing slide thing, and a camp theme, and a bake sale, and hot dogs and popcorn and Sno-cones. The boys spent a few hours sprinting around, playing games, and eating treats. I wore my Flash costume, and The Baby wore an Iron Man costume.

This is one of my favorite days of the year. I love the carnival, and I love how happy it makes the boys.

The actual holiday is Wednesday night, and they're doing a family Magillah reading - that's the Purim story. They're also doing brinner - breakfast for dinner - beforehand, which is pretty awesome. The Wife's choir will be singing, and I'm looking forward to hearing that.

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