A snow at Night

I’ve got 17 minutes while my video Crash and I recorded this evening finished rendering so I can get up on the channel. Crash wants it on his channel, too.

Anyway, Bang is off to a sleepover at Nanny and Pop’s house. The snow is flying here and we’re supposed to get 4 inches tonight and another possible 12 inches tomorrow night. The winds were calm so I suggested to Crash, “Lets take the drone for a fly.”

“But it’s dark and snowing!”

“So. It’ll be alright. There’s no wind.”

The grin he gave me nearly split his face in two. First, we were going to fly the drone. Second, it was slightly risky because it’s dark and snowing. Good father/son times. Excluding severe weather,  wind is our biggest enemy with this toy. Since there was none, we strapped on the GoPro (which doesn’t mind extreme weather) and took off.

It was calm enough that I fairly comfortable handing the controls over to Crash. Allowing a 9 year old to manoeuvre a done that doesn’t have GPS capabilities isn’t highly recommended. He didn’t do too bad. I was there to coach him. His only mistake was that he kept throttling down too fast so he kept “bouncing” it off the snowy ground. Fortunately, it was only falling from a few feet. No harm done and he got to experience handling the controls.

I got some neat video at the end, but because I had forgotten to wipe the snow off the camera on the last bounce there wasn’t much to see. You can just barely make us out through the snow crystals clinging to the lens.

Anyway, this little toy of ours has become something he and I can do together. Granted, the battery only lasts about 10 minutes… it’s still time together. After our flight, it was snack time, teeth time, then read time. We’re on chapter 29 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – another us time moment that we both look forward to every night. Now I’m looking forward to spending a few minutes with DW before we both crawl into bed between our new microfleece sheets.

Click here to see the drone in the snow at night video…

snow-drone

The Icers or How to Make A Royal Mess

Sugar cookies can be as much fun to make as they are to decorate. If you don’t like messes you might want to stop here. I don’t want to cause any aneurysms. I had the buttercream icing the right consistency. It tasted like I could devour the whole bag. Then I added the food coloring. The consistency went out the front door that one of the boys refuses to close upon entering or exiting the house.

Ooops.

It just made it messier. The boys thought it was amazing. All the swirling colors leaking and slipping from the  bag like they just couldn’t wait to land on a cookie. Much like the itchy bellies aching to steal a cookie.

Drip-arific.
Dip-tastic.
Smear-azing.
Swirlywoo.
Slipping off the cookie.
Slurped off fingers.
Spectacular
Splendid
Sugar cookie mess!

img_3188

If this is what the cookies look like you can imagine their hands looking like a Monet

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…

md-happythanksgiving_11-2012

 

 

P is for …

P

P is for superheroes. Trust me on the this one. I know what I’m talking about.

We’ve rounded the horn and gotten through Elemenopee. Well, we’ll be through P after today.

When you have boys, P could be for pee. I’ve written enough about pee to fill a travelin’ johnny. Speaking of which, I think Crash was doing jumping jacks during his morning pee this morning.

P isn’t for poop either. That’s just gross. Though it’s funny when Bang does his #2. He talks to himself the entire time. I’ll have to record his conversation with himself sometime. “I’m all done making my pick-axe!” he hollers when he’s done.

Today will be a shout out to all the Parents out there. Even more so, to all the grand-parents. You’re too much parent to be just a parent. You’re so much parent we call you grand. My boys are lucky to have even met a great grandparent, my grand mother. Crash was lucky enough to meet both of my grandmothers.

Crash and Bang absolutely love their grand parents. They’re lucky to have an extra set. My parents are Nana and Pop Pop (Grumpy Frog). DW’s mom and and step-dad are Nanny and Pop (sometimes Popcorn). DW’s dad and step-mom are Nanny and Guppie (they couldn’t say ‘grampie’ as babies. It came out Guppie, or Gup).

We are the parents we are today because of the parents they were. We aren’t taught parenting. There are no University courses (none that I know of, anyway). There are no night classes. We learn it from watching it, living it, growing through it. Our parents didn’t know any more than we know today. I’m sure my dad would say otherwise, though. Look how awesome we turned out. Thanks! They did all right with our brother’s, too.

I think everyone goes through their phases of what they think of their parents.

  1. I love you!
  2. Ugh! You’re so annoying.
  3. I wanna leave this house.
  4. My parents were right.
  5. I love you!

We’re at stage 5. Our kids are mostly at stage 1.

Even now, they support us, encourage us in every way they can. We’re damn near 40 and they are still mom and dad. A title bestowed upon them the day we were born. A title that by far outweighs any other title. Whether it’s Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc… None will be as important as mom and dad.

They are the original superheroes.

167171

 

J is for… #atozchallenge

J

is for so many things. I’m being indecisive. I’ve scoured the J section of the Scrabble Dictionary. 

Jaculate – to throw; I’ll jaculate my kids into the river if they keep fighting, making messes, or leaving the hamster’s cage open.

Jenny – a female donkey; “You son of a Jenny” just doesn’t have the same insult factor as its cousin.

Jealous. I’m jealous of those parents who have their shit together. The ones who can honestly use the #ParentingWin and mean it.

Jackass. Sometimes my kids are mean to each other for no reason other than to be a jackass and piss the other one off.

Journey. I did that one last year. Besides, this journey called parenting is too much like Jacob’s ladder. It has no end. Or if you believe the biblical Jacob’s ladder, it leads to Heaven. Heaven doesn’t want me and Hell’s afraid I’ll take over.

J could be Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Justin Time, two shows Crash and Bang can agree to watch together.

In this thing called parenting some things are done better together. Showering isn’t one of them. Like classic peanut butter and jelly we stick together. Everyone’s awake, everyone’s been fed, everyone’s lunch is made, everyone’s ready to get their day started.

Perhaps our sandwiches are made with chunky peanut. Not everything goes smooth.

We have our bumps and lumps in the every day life. One kid can’t find all the stuff he needs for school which results in a meltdown. One kid has a coat sleeve turned inside out and can’t get his arm in. This, too, results in a meltdown. Perhaps we’re not as ready as we thought we were.

This is a joint effort. When one kid takes 45 minutes to fall asleep we call in the reliever. When the kids are on last nerves, we call for backup. When there’s readying to be done we’re there for the assist. Or the 9th inning 3 run homer for the win.

When there’s playing to be done, we do it right. Dirt diggin’. Tower crashin’. Lego buildin’. Soccer kickin’. Trampoline jumpin’. Igloo buildin’. Playgroundin’. Fun.

We try to stay on the same page with the disciplining, too. We try to give the kids a bit of consistency. Not that it always works, but we try. Sometimes the severity of punishment will depend upon how frustrated the one delivering the sentence is. No matter, we try to support each other’s decisions.

There’s no I in parent. But there is part. We’re part of a team. Part of our children’s lives. Part of their success. When our children are successful that’s a #ParentingWin.

 

134afd62c5e65af8e4c03f0a7af9f17b

C is for… #atozchallenge

C

is for Crash. Of course. But it’s not what you think. This part is not for the kid who attempts to run our lives. It’s not for Mr. Attitude. Nor is for Mr. Tenderheart.

 

Nope this morning it’s for this game called “Crash”. Fitting name, actually.

crash

We popped into a Toys R Us one day to find a fun family game to play. This is what we came out with. As you can see from the box it’s a tower game. It resembles Jenga in the sense that you take pieces from the middle and stack it on the top. The difference is that you have to roll a die to determine what color you have have remove. Bang’s favorite color to roll is black.

Black means you do nothing.

That’s everyone’s favorite color to roll. If you don’t have to remove a column then there’s no chance you’ll be the one who topples the tower.

Here’s the gist:
Each white ring as space for 10 columns. To start you build the tower 6 levels high. Then your youngest starts the game by rolling. Remove the color column and add it the top. This continues until all 10 spaces are filled on the top at which point you add another white ring and continue playing. We’ve never fully filled the 5 extra rings there are to add. We’ve built it high enough to add the 5th, but we didn’t get it filled. Here, check it out:

C

is also for Crash, our 8 year old boy wonder. Because, boy does he make us wonder. He’s the creator of his YouTube channel, Crash’s Corner where he likes to create Lego videos. His curiosity rivals that of a little monkey named George. His questions are relentless, amazing, and show that he really is a thinker. Even if he does think of doing some really dumb stuff. He provides as much comic relief to our life as his little brother. Hiding a Nerf gun behind his back, he comes to me smiling and says, “I’m no handed, Dad.” I knew what he meant but I just had to ask him, “You mean unarmed?” He’s stubborn, full of attitude and hates math and cleaning. But he’s our tenderheart, our snuggler, and hugger. He’s also protective of his little brother. He’s the only who is allowed to pick on his baby brother. He’s creative, curious, and a creator of calamity.

20160401_111023

Once Upon A Wish

Once upon a time, I used to wish to have a baby girl. Sugar. Spice. Everything nice. Pony tails and painted nails. Tea parties and cute dresses. Turns out my Y’s are faster swimmers than my X’s so we only make boys. Welcome to the boys womb. Where there’s always, dirt, noise, and pee on the toilet seat.

Just like my parents before me, we have two boys, Crash and Bang. Perhaps you’ve heard a bit about them? We have been asked numerous times if we’re going to try for a girl. We’re good with two boys. I’ve heard stories about people “trying for a girl” and end up with 6 boys. No thanks. We’re good.

If I am their Superadad, they are my Supersons. We fight off villains with Nerf guns. We embark on grand adventures through the high grasses of the small field behind our yard. We climb trees and “mine for gold” (aka dig holes in the mud). We slop when we eat and we rarely make in the toilet when we pee.

Their energy knows no bounds. They show no signs of slowing down any time soon, either. That’s okay. I wouldn’t want them, too. Trampolining, playgrounds and bike rides in the summertime. Sledding, snowballs, snowmen, and igloos through the winter. After all of this they still have the energy to play inside. Legos, floor hockey, and sword fights. Hide and seek, jumping on beds, and practical jokes (everyone loves a good scare except the person getting scared).

They drive us absolutely insane sometimes. They kick off their muddy boots. Literally. Mud right up the walls. Wet snow clothes in heap by the back door. Toys strewn everywhere. The video game craze and all things Minecraft, Mario, Lego and trucks of every kind. Everything they touch falls to pieces. Some of the stuff they broke we thought should be indestructible. Guess we should have known  better.

They make us laugh. They decide at bedtime, after fifteen minutes of laying quietly, that it’s time show us how to do the whip and nae nae dance they learned at school. Stanky leg included. They come screaming down a hill on a sled and hit the jump at the bottom then hit the ground rolling with laughter. Then do it again and again. They talk to themselves while sitting on the toilet having a poo. And he’s not done pooing until he’s done talking to himself so don’t bother interrupting. They tell the same joke a thousand times because it was funny the first time. But mostly because it’s the first real joke they learned to tell.

What do you call cheese that doesn’t belong to you?
Nacho cheese.

They make us say things we never dreamed we would say. Stop playing with your pee pee. Don’t touch your brother’s pee pee either! Where are your pants? Don’t sit on your bother’s head. Don’t fart on his head either. Who wiped their booger on the couch? Who peed in the garbage can?

But most of all, they make us feel loved. When we find ourselves in a quiet moment, they snuggle up so close we can feel their breathing slow as they drift off to sleep. When all they want is a hug. When they think of each other and want to buy two chocolates instead of just one for themselves. When we get a random “I love you” from them for no reason other than to remind us.

I no longer wish to have girls. We may not be all ponytails, painted nails and everything nice around our house. But we do have a well balanced life of love, happiness and frustration. Or perhaps we just love to be happily frustrated?

tractors-trucks-and-toys-theres-nothing-quite-like-little-boys-printed-trucks-cute-inspirational-home-vinyl-wall-quotes-decals-sayings-art-lettering_156218

 

I’m not hiding

Dear you,
Hi my loyal loyal readers. Especially those of you who stopped by to read wn old post or leave a comment to let me know you liked something. I feel I’ve let you down this month with so few new posts. I aas hoping to blog our trip beacuse remembering all that has happened is going to be tough. I do have some photographic evidence that I can’t wait to share with you. But you’ll have to wait until we get back. Don’t worry, we won’t be too much longer then it will be back to life as we know it.

We are currently in Maryland and head to Virginia tomorrow for some much needed catch up with some “old” friends. So hang in there and we can play catch up upon my return.

Your blogger
Eric
aka Stomperdad