T is for Birthday… 

This A to Z Challenge is in the 7th inning stretch. Not much more to play, now. 

One year is one trip around the sun. That’s 584 million miles.

 is for three. Plus 60. Today is the day my dad turns 63. That’s 36,792,000,000 miles. That’s more miles than Gangnum Style has views. Sometime ago, Bang was assigning nicknames to family members. None of them stuck except for one. Dad’s. Bang called him Pop Pop grumpy frog. Dad is Pop Pop to his grandkids, just like his dad before him and will be after him. We still don’t know how Bang came up with Grumpy Frog, but it still makes us laugh. 

I called Buck and let him know that it’s Pop Pop Grumpy Frog’s birthday and that he really wants a win for his birthday. Apparently he forgot. The O’s are currently losing 3-1. 

Nevermind. They just tied it up at 3.

So, anyway, I get my patience from my Dad. I remember him teaching me to drive a stick shift in his little, blue Nissan pick up truck at the ballfield before it was a ballfield. We were bunny hopping all over the field like Peter Cottontail. When I decided to join the wrestling team in high school, dad would go to the attic with me so I could practice with him on whatever old carpet was up there. In 4th grade I got to go duck hunting with him and a friend of his. I sat in the duck blind reading most of the time. 

Of our favorite stories to tell, though, involves a sucker punch to the chest. Dad was famous for scaring us. Usually, it would happen in the car while he was driving. There would be long lull and silence. Suddenly, Dad would yell smack our chest and scare the shit out of whoever was riding shotgun. Well, one day, I was about 10, I think – Crash’s age. Our house had a long hallway and the rooms were off to each side. I hid in the bathroom and when Dad came down the hall I jumped out, punched him the chest as best as a scrawny 10 year old could. The grunt that came out of him! 

Of course, I’m the dad I am because of the Dad he was and still is. 

*I’m sorry to interrupt this post, but the Orioles just took the lead 5-0 with a two run homerun by Adam Jones. I now return you to your regularly scheduled post*

And now to watch him with his grandkids it reminds me of when he would play with my brother and I. Have a styrofoam pumpkin and some plastic soda bottles? Lets make it bowling. Except the kid will call it knock a boom. Shoot some hoops. Play some catch, some racquetball, horseshoes, or whatever else you want to play. He was always up for it. 

Thanks Dad! And Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday DW!

6:15am this morning…
Bang (5 years old): Moooooom (hollered from bed)
Mom: Yeah, buddy?
Bang: Is it your birthday?
Mom: Yeah.
Bang: Well, then, lets go!
Mom: Go where?
Bang: Make your cake and Walmart!

I’ve known her for 14 years. That’s 5,110 days.That’s 5,110 days of laughing so hard we fart and laughing even harder. That’s 5,110 days of learning to work as a team, which mostly means that if we do it her way we’ll get it right the first time. That’s 5,110 days creating memories we’ll laugh at until we’re the age we can’t remember why we’re laughing.

That’s almost a whole mile worth of days. And not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for her. She’s kept me out of more trouble than one person should be responsible for. My mom is relieved to not be the one responsible for me anymore. DW exercises daily. She does more eye rolls by 8 am than a 9 year old “pre-teen” will do all day. 

She is beautiful, which is why I married her.

She is brilliant, which is why I married her.

She is hilarious, which is why I married her. 

She has big…. uh… calves. They’re are crazy strong, which is why I married her. She was once told in a gas station by a big, black man who was built like a freight train, “Damn, girl. You got some fine legs. I wouldn’t trade those legs for Cindy Crawford’s legs!”

She’s the mother of my children and the woman in my dreams. As a true Jedi, she’s strong with the force. Thankfully, she reminds me more of slave Leia than Yoda. 

Today is her birthday. Today’s the day she turns the big four-oh. 

That’s 40. That’s 14,600 days. Here’s to another 365 day journey around the sun!

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The BEST Birthday Card Ever in the History

Supper was awesome (lasagna). The Coke was awesome. Cake and ice cream were awesome. All the the presents were super awesome. DW’s card was touching and sincere (love you, too Wifey). My parent’s card was brilliant (no one’s me-er than me). The boys’s card reminded me that I’m unique. But this one topped them all. Thanks buddy.

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“NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

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The three people with hearts over their heads would be Crash, Bang, and their mother. The floaty head on the right is a Baltimore Oriole (the baseball team, not a bird). And, of course, that’s Luke Skywalker at the bottom.

The boy knows all my favorites!

The Birthday Boy’s Time Capsule Blog

Happy Birthday USA! You may be 240 today, but someone else turns 9!

46443-rainbow-birthday-party-hatsWe celebrated Crash’s day of eviction notice from the womb on July 2nd. He put up one hell of a fight. It wouldn’t be until 3:27 on the morning of July 4th that he joined us outside the womb. Now he’s nine. He’ll be starting 4th grade school in September! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,

Nothing shows you how fast time truly passes like watching your children grow.

Today’s post will be a time capsule of sorts. Just as I did for Bang 17 days ago. I’ll capture his favorites to save for later. Girlfriends. Graduation. Wedding.  You know, those important dates when he’ll need some embarrassment.

1. What is your favourite color?

Crash: Red

2. What is your favourite toy?

Crash: Lego

3. What is your favourite fruit?

Crash: Strawberries

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4. What is your favourite TV show?

Crash: Lego Ninjago

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5. What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?

Crash: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

6. What is your favourite game?

Crash: Minecraft

7. What is your favourite snack?

Crash: Goldfish

8. What is your favourite animal?

Crash: Hamster

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9. What is your favourite song?

Crash: Hall of Fame by The Script ft. will.i.am

10. What is your favourite book?

Crash: Number the Stars

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11. What is your favourite sport?

Crash: Hockey

12. What is your favourite thing to do outside? ?

Crash: Bounce on the trampoline

13. What is your favourite drink? ?

Crash: Chocolate milk

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14. What is your favourite holiday?

Crash: Christmas

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15. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

Crash: Monkey

16. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?

Crash: Banana chocolate chip pancakes

17. What do you want for supper on your birthday?

Crash: Pizza

18. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Crash: Racecar driver

19. Did you have any dreams last night?

Crash: No, not last night. I can’t remember any.

20. What do you want for your birthday?

Crash: A laptop

Here is his door tonight. I can’t wait to see his reaction in the morning. Like I said when I did Bang’s door, I wasn’t going to hold back when I did Crash’s. Fortunately, he didn’t mind that it’s Christmas wrapping paper. 

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Go Ask Your Father: Pavers, Returning, Fortunes, and Sleeps

Today is a happy sad day. I just returned from dropping Bang off at his last day of kindergarten (aka preschool). He starts “big kid school” in September! WTF? It wasn’t that long ago he was a funny little infant. Now he gets to school and doesn’t need/want mom or dad to help and explicitly says so.

I said to one of his teachers this morning, “This is the last time I’ll be dropping him off” with a frown. She said, “I know! I told him the other day ‘I’m going to miss you when you go to big kid school’ and he told me, “Don’t worry, Mrs. Shannon. I’ll come up to see you and give you a hug and tell you I love you.” I told her that he will and she said that’s exactly what the other teacher said. He’s a lovey little boy for sure.

1. How do pavers work?

I’m sure you saw this question coming. I could make today entirely about the machines that occupied our driveway in the past two weeks. The most interesting to the boys though was the paver. This beast takes a pre-heated load of asphalt into its hopper from a dump truck. From there an auger (screw) moves the asphalt to rollers which are heated to 300+ (F). This heat further softens the asphalt making it like oatmeal. The paver then spreads the oatmeal over the surface being laid simultaneously flattening and compacting it. After it cools a bit, a roller will finish the job. When the roller vibrates it will literally rattle the dishes in the cupboard.

2. Are you coming back, Dad?

Backstory: I was called in to substitute after school had already started because a teacher wasn’t feeling well. This question got asked as I was walking out the door at 9:30.

In short, yes, buddy, I’m coming back. In long, I won’t be right back. I’m not sure if he meant right back or back later, but he was curious to know if I was coming back. This is where I keep my food and my new mower so I’ll definitely be back.

new mower

I considered doing an “unboxing” video but decided against it

3. What’s a fortune?

There are big fortunes and there are small fortunes. Birthdays are good for bringing the latter. Fortunes are like infinities, they come in all kinds of sizes. There are an infinite number of numbers counting upward as there is indeterminate number of dollars one can have. There is also an infinite number of numbers between 0 and 1. This would be equivalent to a small fortune. It’s all relative to the one holding the cash and anyone eyeballing it wondering if they’re going to share their fortune big or small.

4. How many more sleeps until I’m six?

He had just turned 5. Literally 3 days had passed when this one was asked. 362 sleeps since it’s not a leap year. 362 sleeps until you turn six. He found a candle in the cupboard, “Hey! I found a 6 candle!” (it was in the shape of a six) No, we’re not planning that far ahead. Flip it over dude. It’s your brother’s 9 candle. However, there are only 9 more sleeps until your brother turns 9 and 44 more sleeps until your dad’s birthday.

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Birthdays Are Tough

Ever been a kid’s birthday party? Ever notice what happens when it’s time to open the presents?

Everyone wants to help. They swarm around the gift opener like a starving wrestling team around a hot pizza.

It’s no different when you’re the birthday boy with a nearly nine year old brother. I had a discussion at bedtime with him the night before, but it brought no relief for him. I knew his little brother was going to be receiving copious amounts of attention for his birthday. I also know that jealousy can be ugly beast when you want what someone else has. I know when DW is opening her birthday gifts or Mother’s Day gifts, I wish it was me opening them.

But I know it’s their turn in the spotlight. An eight year old with impulse issues struggles with giving up the spotlight, especially to his little brother. Then his little brother gets to open gifts and all you can do is sit there and watch and pretend to be happy for him when in actuality you’re wishing those gifts were yours. Especially if it’s a remote controlled El Toro Loco monster truck.

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“Will you share it with bub?” is completely innocent question. Except the toy in question hadn’t even been removed from the box yet and already he was asking his little brother to share it. I know what that feels like dude. I was like that the day his mom got a new tablet. The first thought that went through my head was certainly not, “Oh, you’ll love that tablet. It has a 10″ screen and a detachable keyboard.” It was more along the lines of, “Man, that’s not fair. I want a big tablet with a keyboard, too! Wanna trade tablets?” I knew better than to voice that thought because it’s not nice. It’s greedy. It’s selfish. It’s rude. And I have a birthday coming up. Winking Face on Microsoft Windows 10

He has a birthday coming, too. It is literally 17 days after his little brother’s. He lives in the here and now, though, not in the 17 days following. The difference is that the filter between his brain and his mouth is more like a fishing net than a filter. It doesn’t stop him from saying nearly as much as it should.

So, yes, birthdays can be tough. Especially when they’re not yours and the birthday boy is getting gifts you’d like to have for yourself. However, he still gets to reap a couple of the birthday boy’s rewards. Cake and ice cream!

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The Birthday Boy’s Time Capsule Blog

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He started counting down the sleeps about 20 sleeps ago. It wasn’t even his birthday month and he was getting all fired up. He’s 5 y’all. Or will be tomorrow (a couple hours from now, actually). Today is the day we celebrate the day DW went into the hospital to give Bang his eviction notice. It wouldn’t be until 6:36 tomorrow evening that he joined us outside the womb. Now he’s five. He’ll be starting big kid school in September! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,

Nothing shows you how fast time truly passes like watching your children grow.

Today’s post will be a time capsule of sorts. I’ll capture his favorites to save for later. Girlfriends. Graduation. Wedding.  You know, those important date he’ll need some embarrassment. I’ll do this again in a couple weeks when big brother has his birthday.

1. What is your favourite color?

Bang: I know it’s Blue and orange

2. What is your favourite toy?

Bang: I love my big garbage truck because it can it hold all my blocks in it

3. What is your favourite fruit?

Bang: Apples and bananas (the only 2 fruits he eats)

apples-bananas

4. What is your favourite TV show?

Bang: Team Umizoomi

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5. What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?

Bang: Peanut Butter sandwiches

6. What is your favourite game?

Bang: Crash (I’ve written about this game before. It’s a fun one)

7. What is your favourite snack?

Bang: Crackers, cheese, and bananas

8. What is your favourite animal?

Bang: Cow

9. What is your favourite song?

Bang: Beautiful Now by Zedd ft. Jon Bellion

10. What is your favourite book?

Bang: Exact Action – it’s full of neat trucks

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11. What is your favourite sport?

Bang: Soccer

12. What is your favourite thing to do outside? ?

Bang: Play with my friend on the trampoline (the friend he named is our neighbor’s 12 year old daughter)

13. What is your favourite drink? ?

Bang: Apple juice

14. What is your favourite holiday?

Bang: Easter beacuse you get to eat chocolate chocolate chocolate

15. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

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Bang: Penguin (the stuffie his big brother gave him “for being born”) and Captain America and Divo (a stuffed rabbit he pretends is a dog)


16. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?

Bang: Banana chocolate chip cinnamon pancakes

17. What do you want for supper on your birthday?

Bang: Hamburger slop (the recipe for this can be found here)

18. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Bang: police man

19. Did you have any dreams last night?

Bang: Yes. I woke up in my underwear, then inwalked to school in my underwear and peeked around the trees and you came to get me

20. What do you want for your birthday?

Bang: Lego fire station

Here is his door as of 9 pm this evening. I can’t wait to see his reaction in the morning. Y’all will be hearing about if I can catch it on video.

birthday door

Go Ask Your Father: Ads, Lava, and Electrocution

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Ahhh… The kids are in bed. The 30 28 banana chocolate chip muffins are finished baking. The only thing that would make this better is if it were Friday night right now. (Hint – this is getting written Thursday night) When you read this it will be Friday. YAY!

February 5th. It’s Nanny Moe’s birthday! (DW’s mom) I asked the kids “How old is Nanny Moe going to be on her birthday?” Crash’s response? “40 something?”

No wonder he’s Nanny’s favorite! (Just kidding. I’m her favorite)

Since mom just turned 39 30 something, that means Nanny was less than 10 when mom was born. Neat trick, kiddo. She’s actually 60 something. And upon her request, we’re cooking her some fish, smashed potatoes, and broccoli. And a cake on fire!

1) Why does he have letters on his truck?

We in the drive-thu picking up our most unhealthiest, but so tasty, supper and a local contractor was in front of us. He has his name and phone in great big letters and numbers on his truck. (He does awesome work, by the way, if you ever need a contractor) Bang knows this truck and can spot it three and three quarter miles away. Anyway, the reason he has his name and phone number on his truck is obvious. Should we need igloo renovations done (which we do) we can call him up to come fix it.

2) What happens when you pour water on lava?

If this were Minecraft, you would make obsidian. If this were Game of Thrones it would make dragon glass to kill the White Walkers. However, this is fortunately neither. My first guess is that it immediately turns to steam and evaporates. Since lava is between 1,300 and 2,200 degrees and water boils at a mere 212F. Thanks to YouTube there are plenty of lava videos. The simplest one, someone pours the water out their plastic water bottle on lave. Guess what? It steams away immediately. Someone else threw what looks like a 10-20 gallon jug of water into a pool of lava. The lava got pretty pissed off when that happened. However, the opposite of this happens all day every day. Lava gets poured into water. This is how the sea floor was and still is, being created. Lava escaped through vents in the sea floor then cool immediately in near freezing water.

3) Why can he touch those wires?

He can touch those electrical wires because he is either Zeus or Thor. Or there is no electricity flowing through the wires. Plus, that linesman has on really thick rubber gloves. Rubber is an insulator, therefore electricity can’t flow through it. If he wore copper gloves, he’d be burnt toast. Since he is touching the ground electricity can flow and shock him if he’s not careful. Unlike birds who only touch one wire and not the ground. Since birds don’t complete a circuit no electricity flows and they don’t get shocked. Kind of like running through the rooms of your house. If a door gets shut there’s no more running.

4) What does electrocute feel like?

How does it feel to be electrocuted? I considered giving him a first hand lesson. “Here. Put this butter knife into that outlet on the wall.” (which might be a myth I’m not willing to test. You possibly might need to put a knife into BOTH sides to complete the circuit and get shocked) I didn’t give him this idea though.  Instead I just told him it’s kind of like being burned. So naturally, the next question is…

5) How hot?

Really hot. I could tell him 100 degrees. I could tell him 10,000 degrees. They’ll mean the same to him. So I opted for 10,000 to help persuade him to NOT want to be electrocuted. Speaking of electrocution, my dad knows what my mom would look like if she got electrocuted. She was in the bathroom blow drying her hair. My dad sneaks in behind her and starts banging on a metal pot with a wooden spoon. To this day he tell us “I’ve never seen anyone get the electric chair, but I know what they’d look like.” I’m surprised he survived to retell this story so many times!

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Behind this Great Guy

 

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Hi DW. Happy Birthday!

Once upon a time I called myself Superdad. But I wouldn’t be so super, I might be mediocre at best, if it weren’t for someone else. I have my moments of greatness. Not often, mind you. When they happen, there’s a reason. I wouldn’t be Superdad without her.

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While today might not officially be a holiday- local, national, international, or intergalactic, we’ll be celebrating as if it were. Stew. Singing. Cake on fire. Presents.I’ve written about her before so you have a few hints at how incredible she is.
But do you know how amazing she really is?

If she were a B52, she’d be the BOMB.
If she were a racecar, she’d be a Ferrari.
If she were a dude, the Queen would tap her shoulder with a sword and we’d call her “Sir”.

161 moons ago (that’s many moons ago) I met her at an airport. Not by chance, mind you, I flew her to that airport so I could see her in person. She lived in Nova Scotia, I had just moved to Virginia. 13 years, one big move, and two kids later, I’m still the lucky one.

She’s thoughtful, caring, kind, generous, smart, beautiful, and a plethora of other wondrous adjectives. She’s an amazing mother, wife, daughter, niece, and aunt.

Thanks, hon, for making this guy feel like a king, smarter than I really am, and for laughing at with me. We’ve been on one hell of a rollercoaster ride, but it’s only made us stronger. Love you milluns and billuns, babe!

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