May 31, 2010

It's 2:00 AM, Do You Know Where Your Dad Is?


People often ask me, "Where do you find the time?".

 It's 2:00 AM and I'm on the front porch assembling patio furniture. To be honest, its actually the second time I'm assembling this furniture. The first time, I assembled it in the family room. It was only after I finished that I tried to take it outside that I realized my mistakes.  You see old houses had much smaller doors than the McMansions of the modern day. No matter how you twist and turn, you simply cannot get a 34" Rolston patio chair out of a 32" door.

 I'm blaming this time consuming oversight on George Lucas. If the Star Wars trilogy hadn't been on tv, then I probably would have been paying a little more attention. Or perhaps, I wouldn't have constructed the entire patio set, arranged it in the family room and tested it out while enjoying a few beers. So, where do I find the time? Somewhere in the middle of the night, between the Empire and Jedi, after the second beer (but before the third).

Happy Memorial Day, it's already been one to remember (and forget).

May 27, 2010

Take Me Out To The Ballgame...And Now I Want To Go Home

We have developed a new family tradition of the "turn the wrong way day". Everyday I take the kids to daycare at my work, while Margret heads off in the opposite direction to her job. Occasionally, through a myriad of "accidental" circumstances, Margret ends up in the car with us (e.g. Mommy's car doesn't work, let's get donuts before Mommy leaves for work, etc.). Then we go somewhere fun like the beach or the zoo. It's a fun way to break up the monotony of our daily routine and has proved to be an exciting surprise for the kids.

This Friday, we planned the ultimate Chicago "turn the wrong way day": Wrigley Field, Cubs vs. Cardinals. As life long Cubs fans, Margret and I were excited to baptise the girls into the self-loathing world of Cubs-fandom.

Everyone was really excited, but it only took about 3 pitches (2 of which went for Cardinal hits) for it to wear off. After we counted flags, watched the sea gulls dive for food, we had almost run out of things to do until Ava noticed a girl walking up and down another aisle selling cotton candy. Now there was something to do.

Seeing she was distracted, I asked her if she was going to watch the game. Her response:
"If I'm going to watch anything, I'm going to watch for the Cotton Candy girl."

As expected, the Cubs lost, thereby completing the Wrigley Field experience.

May 18, 2010

Finally, An Ad That I Like



It used to be that your parents driving a minivan was embarrassing enough; now they're rapping about driving a mini-van.  Now, if you were only taking your cousin to the prom in that mini-van, that would be the trifecta of social outcasting.

As a dad and a minivan owner (I'm rocking a Sienna myself), I like this ad.  I don't know if this will help win back the hearts and minds of car buyers in the midst of automatic acceleration, sensationalized news reporting and massive recalls, but its a good start.  Although, all they really need to do is show someone wrestling to put a car seat in the third row of an SUV versus someone easily walking it inside a mini-van with a sliding door.

May 16, 2010

An Everything Day

Today our family managed to do just about every activity, both good and bad, that you experience as a parent.  We had a crack of dawn wake-up from Oscar, cooked 2 breakfasts, set up a tent in the family room, went to church, planted our garden, painted the clubhouse, did a family polar bear club, bbq at the neighbors, drank a bottle of wine, told 2 stories (with shadow puppets), cleaned the house and even had a middle of the night accident (the brown kind).  Technically, the accident happened early Monday morning, but we'll just round it down to Sunday for fun's sake.

Even for our ever increasingly unmanageable schedule, that was a busy day.  Wait...polar bear club?  Yes, polar bear club.

In an effort to offer everything our city had its 1st annual Pre-season Plunge at the Beach.  The Beach is an old quarry that was converted to a beach (sand and all).  It's deep and cold.  As parents, we've been looking to start some new family traditions and this seemed to be a good (and weird) place to start.  So, we packed everyone into the car and headed to beach.

Not surprisingly, the cold water didn't phase the kids...any kids really.  Once they initial shock wore off, people were splashing in the water and playing in the sand just like any normal summer day.  The only give away was the blue lips.