Questions I Asked My Kids

Kids are fountains of youth and knowledge. I ask mine questions all the time while they still know it all. We leave for a short camping trip with DW’s brother, his wife, and their 4 kids in 6 sleeps. The boys are as excited to see their cousins as they are to sleep in a tent for 3 nights. We’ll be visiting the neighboring province, Prince Edward Island. Home of the fabled Anne of Green Gables, PEI potatoes, Cows Ice Cream, and an alpaca that, four years ago, scared a certain 2 year old for years.

PEI 2013

We will try to recreate this image from 4 years ago…

1. What are you most looking forward to doing in PEI?

Crash: Hanging out in the thing… the tent and trading Pokemon with my cousins. And going to Shining Waters
Bang: Roasting marshmallows (he doesn’t eat them, just roasts them)

2. Who is Anne of Green Gables?

Crash: A girl and she was in a bunch of movies but I completely forget who she is
Bang: Pime Minister?

3. How long will it take to get to PEI?

Crash: Probably about 75 minutes
Bang: 18,000 minutes
(It will take 4 hours)

4. What is something we should do while we are in PEI?

Crash: Go to Shining Waters
Bang: Ride our scooters

5. How many S’mores will you eat in 3 days?

Crash: 10+
Bang: Zero because I don’t like them with marshmallows on them

6. What is something you want to learn about while you’re in PEI?

Crash: Who Anne of Green Gables is
Bang: Being safe

7. What is something you remember from last time we were there? (4 years ago)

Crash: That I got my Cows Ice Cream shirt that said “Gangnum Cow”
Bang: I got scared by the alpaca (an alpaca was laying behind a wall and stood suddenly when Bang approached scaring him. For the longest time we kept him out of places (such as basements) by telling him there alpacas in there)

8. What will we do if it rains while we’re camping?

Crash: Me and my cousins will trade Pokemon cards
Bang: Go in the tent

9. What’s your favorite animal?

Crash: Cat because they’re stealthy and cool
Bang: Camel because people can ride on my humps

10. What country would be fun to visit?

Crash: Houston, Texas
Bang: Alberta… no wait, Newfoundland!
(Seems we need some geography lessons)

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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!

My Thankful Post

Once upon a time there was a family who celebrated Thanksgiving on a farm. So many family members attended that two tables were needed to sit everyone. There was so much food, two tables were need to hold it all. One of the seats was a church pew. There was much talking and laughter. There were bumping elbows and food stolen off plates. There was always one dish getting passed the wrong direction.  Through the years we ranged in age from newborn to grandparents.

After a hearty meal, the table cleared off and the dishes cleaned and put away, there would be football and parade watching on TV. They would doze in and out of tryptophan comas.

Well rested, the boys would gather in the front yard for some pigskin tossing and tackling. “Down 42! Blue! HUT HUT HUT!” Just like they were a Pittsburgh Steeler or a Dallas Cowboy. On warmer occasions, the girls would participate and it would become a family game of two hand touch .

Today, while the table remains, not as many gather around it this Thanksgiving. My grandfather, having passed away many years ago, no longer steals food from my mother. My brother and his family are now in South Korea. I and my family are now in Canada. My cousins are scattered up and down the east coast from Florida to Maryland. Some are travelling the world. There is no more football in the front yard.

The times have changed and nothing seems as it was in the “good old days”. Our gratitude, however, remains healthy and constant. Forever are we thankful for those days together. Thankful we could share a table with so much family, with so much love. Differences were set aside for a few hours of food and fun. Quarrels were ignored in the spirit of the holiday.

The newborns are now great grandchildren. Grandparents now outnumber children. Blessings outnumber worries. And we’ll celebrate American Thanksgiving here.

Happy Thanksgiving…

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Questions I Asked My Parents

I call them Ma and Pa. Or Mom and Dad.  Over 40 years ago they brought me into this world. Nearly 4 years later they brought in my brother. They did before seatbelts were mandatory. They did it before cell phones. They barely did it before computers (they gained their popularity in my middle school years) (their first computer had 1/2 gig hard drive!). We sure had our share of laughs (too many to list in one spot). Now I’m living through the memories of my childhood as my parents.

They have graciously agreed to take part in today’s blog. They even responded to the questions in time for me publish this today. So in lieu of “Questions I Asked My Kids” I bring you the all new “Questions I asked My Parents”. Even I learned something about them! Thanks Ma and Pa!

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1. What are 3 words your parents would use to describe you?

MaTomboy, talkative, dog lover
Pa: Quiet, patient, smart (I was going to say extremely intelligent but you limited me to 3 words so I will just go with smart)

2. What other names did you like for brad (my brother) and I?

MaYou were Boo (because you liked to play peak-a-boo as a baby). Bradley was Bub because of Aunt Mary Ellen.
PaActually Bradley & Eric were just fine for me, although they were pronounced in various ways depending on the situation, and what you two were up to or into.

3. What was your favorite vacation?

MaTrip to Alaska for our 25th anniversary.  It was a dream trip and never thought it would happen.
Pa: Alaska

4. What’s one memory of Brad and I that makes you laugh?

MaThere are lots of those.  You played so well together.  Homerun Derby in the backyard, you getting your head stuck in the cinder block.  Flashlight Tag and  Mrs. Cooper (our elderly neighbor) thinking we were being robbed because of the dark house and flashlight beams flying around.
Pa: The Drive thru at McDonalds when we ordered sundaes with nuts (balls), I still think about it every time I drive thru
(whole story: back when they asked you if you wanted your sundae with nuts my brother I were in the back seat telling him “yeah, get nuts, wet nuts! Sweaty one!” Dad was laughing so hard he had to leave the drive thru, circle around and try again)

5. What’s something you miss from “the good ol’ days?”

MaAll of yours & your brother’s sporting events. Watching you guys play and the social aspect of watching games with friends. 
Padigging my own worms and walking to the river to go fishing

6. If you get reincarnated as an animal, what do you hope to come back as?

MaAn otter.  They aren’t hunted so much anymore and they don’t fight, but solve their differences with games.  Besides, they are just darn cute!
Pa: Eagle

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7. What’s your karaoke song?

Ma: Really?  Think about that. Dad & I doing Karaoke?  Really?  Think about that. (They don’t do karaokeI sing along to any song I know the words to. Love classic rock, country and Frank Sinatra kind of music.
Pa: Actually I’ve never sang karaoke but if I drank enough I might try Louis Armstrong’s “It’s A Wonderful World” or Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues “

8. What was high school like for you?

MaHigh school was good for me. I marched in the drill team and was the sports editor for the school newspaper. High school was a good distraction from things being tough at home.
Pa: I was 
pretty self-conscious when it came to making friends but I had my own ballpark so that helped, other than that just being oblivious to what an adult working for a living would actually be like

9. What are 3 things (shows, sports, etc…) you like to watch on T.V

MaNCIS, Orioles baseball, Steelers football
Pa: Road Runner cartoons, Orioles Baseball and science shows

10. What was your first car? What color was it? Do you remember how much it cost? 

MaMy first car was a brand new Ford Pinto that was bright orange.  It went on the road with tax, tags & title for a whopping $2800. I, unfortunately, was able to buy it with the insurance money I got when my Dad died right after I graduated from high school.
PaImpala station wagon, blue, free (I think)

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Endings

Endings are so bittersweet.

Endings are so sweet and sour.

Endings are just really something else beginning.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

My Taboo Word Challenge ends today. Numerous bloggers took part and excelled at it. You’ll find a link to read these other blogs down below. We used what Google reports as our top 20 most used words. Today’s word is a toughy, but I’m not telling you what it is, yet. See if you can figure it out.

I once wrote a post (albiet a short post) without using a single “e”. I learned that I as I continued to write it became easier to find words I wanted that didn’t have an “e” but retained its meaning. My experience here was nearly identical; difficult at first but easier as I kept writing.

Much like exercise, it’s hard at first. Difficult to keep a routine. Difficult to complete a workout without wanting to passout. Difficult to stop eating junk food. However, with dedication, determination, and whole lotta sweat, you get better. It gets easier.

All through September I gathered a small, yet loyal, band of bloggers to take on this challenge. Take Google’s list of most used words and write your post without it. We did it and today it ends. Our last word. I want to thank and congratulate those who joined me. I tried to read as many of your posts as I could.

I’m not sad it’s over. We bloggers will continue blogging. I’m sure I’m alone when I say it will be nice to not have to constantly check what taboo word isn’t to be used.

When it’s over, we are left with memories and memories (usually) last a whole lot longer…

One day I’ll only have memories of them being kids…

Today’s Taboo word was “the”.  To read more posts without my Taboo Words just click the blue frog…

S is for…

S

Family photo. Well, technically, it’s a family of stuffies, not people. Like Linus’s blanket, our stuffies are more than just inanimate animals. It’s a regular zoo… Where else will a rabbit, a panda bear, a monkey and penguin be BFFs? I’ve written it before and I’ll write it again; should anything happen to our house, after making sure everyone is safe I’ll be saving these four stuffies (and the external hard drive).  Continue reading

I is for…

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Insufficient ideas. Don’t delete this. I’ll write more this evening. I’m sure the kids (or DW) will provide me with something.

Impressed We spent more time swimming. What impressed me? Crash is getting better at swimming to the bottom. Granted, the pool was only 3.5 feet deep. But prior to today he couldn’t get his bubble butt under. Today he was laying on the bottom. He’s getting stronger at swimming on to the surface, but he either gets tired or lazy and resorts to putting on his life jacket. Bang swam on his back, let me dunk him, and let me throw him (don’t worry, I was gentle, I promise). None of which ever happened before today.

After DW’s conference ended we went and explored the mall. The first store we came to was a sports store where DW found cool (though not “flashy”) running shoes. Crash got a ool new hair cut and a new-to-him DS game. Bang got a new tractor trailer. I got a new Nalgene water bottle. At supper we were considering coming back to the hotel for a swim before bed when DW overheard someone mention bowling. Thanks to Google map and GPS we found the alley with no problem and a friend met us there. This what made the trip. It was cosmic bowling and Crash and Bang were beside themselves with excitement. Who needs Disney World when there’s cosmic bowling?

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Tomorrow, we check out and make our way home. It’s been a fun trip and 3 boys have a few new memories. Thanks for bringing us along, DW! ❤

F is for…

FFirsts…

Usually we’re so careful with our first borns. Their baby book is immaculate, documenting all their firsts, all their milestones and first memories.

First smile. First bath. First night in a crib. First time sitting up. First solid food. First crawl. First time standing. First steps. First trips, visits, first plane ride, first time in a forward facing car seat. First night in a bed. First tooth. First lost tooth. First day of school. First sports game. First recital. First time peeing in the potty. First time pooping in the potty. First sleepover. First girl/boy friend.  First date. First car. And suddenly they are grown adults with their own kids writing blogs about things you already know.

But what about lasts? We don’t recognize lasts so easily. Their last big kid tooth. Their last bubble bath because they only take showers now. Their last time riding with training wheels. The last time they sit on our lap. Their last day of school. The last time they want a kiss goodbye before leaving for school. These are the things that often don’t make into their baby book. These are the lasts we don’t immediately recognize until we think of them months and years later and wonder where the time went.

Nothing shows the passage of time like watching your kids grow. It doesn’t seem so long ago we brought home our first born. After his 16 day stay in the NICU and us being brand new parents, worried out of our minds. Now he’s a bustling 7 3/4 year old, in school, having friends over, having sleepovers, and full of attitude because mom and dad won’t stop nagging. In seven more years he’ll be entering high school and seven years after that he’ll be driving and in University (if that’s where he wants to go) and technically, an adult.

So, for now, I’ll go reminisce and leave you with the first time Crash held his baby brother, Bang.

Crash hold Bang