I don't know about you but this year's Christmas went by crazy fast. It was way more busy and hectic... getting things together for the family... planning, decorating, organizing... there was no time to sit back and enjoy it. Just lots of happy, crazy chaos (as seen with the first picture on the left). I've been off of work for a week now but I'm tired. I need time off from my time off... a break from my break. Things need to slow down. Oh, and it doesn't help that Andrew's birthday is the day after either. At this rate, he'll never have a traditional birthday party.
Do you know about the elf on the shelf? I didn’t. I’ve seen it in stores around Christmas time but it never crossed my mind to look at it… that was, until we received a special package from “Santa Claus” or as I found out, their Aunt Julie. (To my kids who may read this in the future, the secret’s out. Boom!) It’s interesting… basically the elf is Santa’s eyes and ears, reporting back to Santa on a nightly basis when the kids are sleeping, because how else could he keep track of the millions of kids around the world. He has elves to do his dirty work!
WTF. Look at what the media and retailers have done to my precious Thanksgiving. The craziness of Black Friday forced stores to open earlier every year and now it has crept into Thursday, spawning the name Brown Thursday. Yuck. Who decided on that name? Why brown? Why don't they just call it the Thanksgiving Day sale? Or better yet, stop opening on Thanksgiving Day! Let those employees stay home with family instead of dealing with those deadbeats at Walmart. The media and retailers just turned a family holiday to dookie.
The fall soccer season came to a close last weekend and with eight games played... Jacob scored 11 goals, or so that's what he told me (I wasn't keeping track) and Andrew scored a gazillion goals, or something close to that, but I do know he had a couple hat tricks (3 goals in a single game), including the final game. Yes, I know... run-on sentence. Terrible writing.
Last week my uncle passed away. It was quite sudden. Unbelievable. No one saw this coming at all. With grandma, you could see her slowly deteriorating so mentally you prepare for the inevitable. But with my uncle, nope.
Are big and bright... *clap clap clap clap*... deep in the heart of Texas! It's too bad we were only 30 minutes outside of Houston. It all began at Target when we were browsing and saw tents on sale. We always wanted to try camping so just like that we bought it. But there's a lot to it so before taking the whole family camping, we wanted to have a test run first sans kids, to make sure it's doable. What's nice is that there's a state park only 30 minutes away from our house (Brazos Bend). The staff at this park were super friendly and accommodating. I'd definitely recommend going there.
Halloween is only a couple of weeks away and we need to start working on our costumes. In the meantime, here are our costumes from previous years (since my old blog no longer exists). The first picture on the left was from 2005... before kids! I was so gansta back then. G-G-G-G-G-Unit!
You know what that means, say goodbye to any free time you had. Jacob has two practices a week and Andrew has one a week, each of which takes an hour out of your day. Then weekly games are an hour long and with two kids this season, double that. Factor in time to do their daily homework, read and eat dinner... there's little time to "play".
No, I've never seen the movie but just wanted to use it since it has "Seattle" in the title. This trip was the opposite of sleepless since we went without the kids and had the opportunity for some good sleep. But dammit, I kept waking up at 5 am (PST) since my body was still on the kids' morning school schedule from home.
I eat a lot. I'm always down to trying new places. But my problem is that I have terrible memory. I'll forget which places are worth going to again or what specific dish I already had so that I could try something else. So I decided to make another half-ass'ed blog to document my eats. Unfortunately, I'll be one of those people taking cell phone pictures of their food. I know, ugh. But this will help when Lynn asks, "Where do you want to eat?" Hmmm, I don't know. Let me check out the blog. It's called The Forgetful Eater.
I really like Labor Day. It's the only holiday that guarantees you a 3-day weekend. Well, unless you get Good Friday or Columbus Day off, in which case you're lucky and I'm jealous of you. Being that I'm a lazy bastard, I'm not in the mood to write much but I can sum up this weekend in a few words: family, friends, food, football, fantasy football, fun, and beer. Damn, I almost got everything to start with an "F". I guess I could have omitted "beer" but there was a lot of its consumption during this weekend so it would have been a crime to leave it out.
School is back in session and with that, the daily routine of getting ready in the morning. But this time, I have to wake up another sleeping body... Andrew. He starts Kindergarten this year! So I was a little sad to see him go to class... but it will probably be the saddest once I send Tyson off to school. But no, I won't cry. My heart is too cold. (That was for Lynn.)
It's not what you think... it's the title of Matthew Berry's new book Fantasy Life. Unless you're a hardcore fantasy football player, you probably don't know who he is. If that's the case, it's probably likely you don't know what fantasy football is either. He's a writer for ESPN who specializes in all things fantasy related but that's not why I like him. He's a funny guy. I love his writing style, which makes reading boring stats enjoyable.
Last week (Sunday - Friday) we were in Southern California. When I say we, I mean everyone. All three boys included. And it was the first time any of the kids flew on an airplane so that was something new for all of us. It was pretty stressful, mainly worrying about every aspect relating to the kids (Are they hungry? Tired? Need to poo or pee?), but overall it was doable. Just exhausting.
If you know my parents, they are the least tech savvy people in the world. The only other people worse than my parents are those tribesmen living in the Amazon rainforest. It's bad. I tried to teach them the basics of using a computer to get on the internet but that didn't go far. But I think my dad is more willing or grasps technology better than my mom. He boasts that he knows how to use a touch screen navigation system on his boat. Bravo dad, bravo.
First of all, happy birthday to my dad who turned... hmmm... I'm not sure. I can't ever seem to keep track of his real age or his younger legal age. But I do know that he's old. Anyway, we took him out to eat (at an Asian restaurant of course) and each got a fortune cookie at the end of our meal. And if you are the superstitious type and believer of psychics and fortune tellers (and cookies), then we are definitely having another baby.
I'm feeling dreadfully lazy but in order to keep up with my own commitment of updating at least once a week, here's a shitty update. The weekend was full of pool action, beer drinking, and eating with family and friends but unfortunately there were no pictures of that. So here is a glimpse of a few random pictures that I did take from my cell phone. Enjoy.
That someone is my mom, who turned sixty years old. Sixty! It seems unfathomable. In my mind, she's always in her late 40's, early 50's and even that seems old to me. It's funny, as I was discussing my plans of a surprise birthday dinner with my cousin Jon, I said I only invited the adults, no kids and he understood exactly what I meant. Our parents are the "adults" and we will always be the "kids" even though we're full-fledged adults who have kids of our own.
Initially I was going to write a funny quip about Father's Day (how unplanned my fatherhood came to be) but as I was pondering what to write, my mind drifted and I was thinking about what being a father really meant. My dad was pretty much nonexistent in my life. I only have but a couple memories of him when I was young. When he would get home, we would wrestle and I would imitate moves I saw from watching WWF. And he would let me stay up at night to watch The Benny Hill Show with him. (Quite inappropriate for a 5 year old to watch.) But besides that, there's not much else. He never helped me with school work or gave me life advice. In fact, I don't remember seeing him that much at all. But I can't fault him for that since he was working long hours to provide for the family. It's just that I don't want to be like him. I love him and know I'm an asshole for saying this but I want to be the complete opposite of my dad.
Two more months before he turns two years old and he finally got his first haircut (that was desperately needed). I've been delaying it as long as possible because once he gets his first cut, he's no longer a baby in my eyes. Yes, I know he's technically not a baby but I wanted to preserve the baby-ness, which meant keeping the hair he had since birth. So why now? Someone mistaken him as a girl. :(
I didn't think I was going to be sad to see Andrew graduate from preschool since we already experienced the "oh, he's growing up so fast and is going to start Kindergarten" with Jacob. But it was sad to see him all grown up. Unlike Jacob, Andrew was happy during his graduation ceremony. Actually, too happy. Very giddy. I was the same way with my graduation, mainly because I knew that I never had to go back to school.
Saturday morning I woke up way too early for a weekend (6:30 am) and decided to waste time in front of the computer. I was reading up on events and noticed that the Free Press Summer Fest was going on that weekend. And then this conversation happened in my head...
A busy weekend. Saturday was Jacob's last scheduled soccer game, which was a make-up game for a previous rain-out. Unfortunately the opposing team didn't get the memo (or misread it, who knows) and only one player showed up. What a shitty way to end the season. So Jacob's team won by default, making it their only win of the season. Eh, I'll take it. A win's a win.
Mother's Day for my favorite mother who is not my actual mother started with a little something on Thursday. Did you follow that? (It's Lynn.) While Jacob and Lynn were out for soccer practice, Andrew and Tyson helped me make some cupcakes. Okay, Tyson didn't help. He just ate the chocolate frosting and made a mess.
On Tuesday, we got to see Mo Willems for a signing of his latest book This Is Not a Good Idea!, which happened to be the same day it was released to the public. Very cool. I'm a big fan of his books, especially the Pigeon series. If you haven't read them before, what are you waiting for? His books are funny and entertaining for both kids and adults. I actually enjoy reading his books to the kiddos (unlike some other ones). I also bought a copy of Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, which is another good one but if there's one you had to read, it's Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Oh man, it's past 1 a.m. on a school night/work day... why am I still up writing this post? This is not a good idea.
This past weekend I did the Tough Mudder again in Austin. It was the second time for five of the twelve in our group. To be honest, I wasn't as excited for this event as I was for the previous one. There was no anxiety. No fear. I've been through it before. But as the day came closer, I was pumped. This event was awesome.
Andrew's teacher gave us a folder of some of his school work from throughout the year and one portion was dictation. Jacob also did the same thing when he was in Pre K-4. Here are some of Andrew's responses.
Tyson just turned 20-months-old and his vocabulary has been growing exponentially. I meant to document this when he turned one and a half (18 months) but I forgot, had no time, never put out much effort until now. I'm not a fan of telling someone your child's age by months after they've turned one. If asked, I'll tell people Tyson is one or now, one and a half years old. In a couple months, he'll be "almost two". Once someone told me their kid was 26 months old. I was stupefied. Initially I didn't say anything but my facial reaction said it all. As if someone had just cut open some durian, my face was of pure disgust. After a long, silent five seconds later, I rhetorically asked, "You mean two?"
Mass on Easter Sunday was crazy. Besides Christmas, you won't find this many "practicing Catholics" jammed into a church at one time. So where are they on the other weeks? Probably at home taking care of their toddler who is going through his terrible twos but is not yet two. Yes, I too am guilty of not going to mass on a weekly basis but I try. I blame Tyson.
Never thought this day would ever come but I am officially a soccer mom dad. Jacob joined our neighborhood soccer league and to get a sense of how big this league has grown, there are TWENTY FOUR teams... just for his age group! And with that, there are only so many colors to go around before you run out. But no, this was not a problem for this organization. They have colors like turquoise, burgundy, lime and tangerine. Unfortunately, Jacob was assigned to the lavender team. I would have settled for any other color besides that one. Well, not pink but that wasn't a choice probably because it's not a unisex color... like lavender. (sarcasm)
The break began this week (still ongoing) and it was much needed. The days prior we were hit hard by a stomach bug. It lasted for about a week but felt like an eternity. Crazy painful diarrhea, too many times to count. Projectile vomiting so forceful that it came through their little nose. Puke and poo everywhere. But the worst part of it all was that it affected everyone all at once. So we (the parents) were already miserable but to clean up a pool of puke because one of the kids missed the bucket was dreadful. This was the worst ever! Okay, enough of that.
Tyson is one and a half years old (18 months old) and he's quite independent. Almost too independent. At times when you try to help him with a task, he will get upset and want to do it himself. Just the other day, he started eating cereal... on his own... without making a mess. And he knew to put his bowl in the sink when he was done! This little guy is growing up way too fast.