Saturday, December 31, 2005

Vacation By Numbers

2 -Weeks is the amount of time I spent up in Pennsylvania visiting family and friends.
12- hours is how long it took to get from Orlando Florida to Washington DC.
5- Hours is how long it took to get from Washington DC to Philadelphia. It should only take 3 hours. I hate Alexandria VA Traffic as well as anything called "Beltway".
17- hours of "Elmo's World" That we listened to on the DVD player to occupy Max. (Neh Neh Neh NEH, Neh Neh Neh NEH Elmo's loves his goldfish. His crayons too......)
140- Dollars worth of Gas to fill the Van to make the trip.
1017- Miles driven from my house in Orlando to Lauren's parent's house.
11- The Number of roads traveled in that 1017 miles. Seriously there are only 11 roads between my house in Florida and Lauren's Parent's house in PA. One of the roads just happens to be I-95.
90-Miles per hour was the average speed we traveled on our way up. (Until we hit Alexandria that son of a bitch town)
4- Number of Grandparents that were happy to see Max.
0- Number of Max's grandparents that were happy to see either Lauren or myself.
40-degrees Fahrenheit was the average temperature in Philadelphia PA.
20- about the number of Aunts and Uncles Max got to visit with.
3- The total number of "takes" it took LawnWhisperer, Jim and myself to stop laughing while making our semi annual "Make Fun of our Siblings" Holiday Video. (By the way Sharon if you are reading this, it was all Jim and John's ideas. Especially the parts where we make fun of you, my favorite sister.)
3- The number of Balloons Santa got Max for Christmas. Max loves balloons. And since the dollar store where Santa gets his Balloons had a limited supply, the one with Elmo on it had "Happy Birthday" printed on it. But we wrote "Jesus" on the bottom so it was okay.
3- The number of Dogs at my In laws house. Their two and our one.
103- The number of times the dogs were yelled at with phrases like "Be Quiet! You'll wake Maxfield." Or "Luna stop licking Jake." Or "Luna, Jake, Skeeter! Stop Begging for food."
25- Times I was accidentally locked out of my in-laws house because I always forgot to unlock the door when I left.
1- Flat tire on the Kia Mini Van during the whole trip.
6- Trains my Dad had working in his basement when we arrived for the holiday.
2- Trains that were working in my Dad's basement when we ready to head home.
1- Train that Max may be responsible for breaking. Maybe. There were lots of kids playing with the trains.
Gazillion- The number I would equate with how much fun we had.
9- Hours it took to get from PA to Florence SC where we stayed overnight. Why 9 hours? Because of Alexandria VA and DC traffic. Those cities suck for traffic.
2 -Roast beef sandwiches made for me by my mother inlaw.
1- Ham sandwich made for Lauren by my mother in law.
0- is the number of sandwiches Jesus got on this trip.
1- the Number of trucks we saw with plastic testicles hanging from the back that Lauren had to take a picture of.
75- degrees Fahrenheit was the temperature when we got back to Florida at 2pm on 12/31/05.

We had a really fun time over the vacation. Max got to see all his cousin's His Godmother Bridget and his Godfather Mr. Miyagi. Both sets of grandparents numerous times and he had a wonderful Christmas Morning. I am trying to post some of the pictures from the trip.

Max sporting a new Jacket. Notice the "Sear's catalogue-esque" pose.

It was a long ride.

You know you are in the South, when you see a Quad on a trailer attached to a pick-up truck, the Dixie flag and what appears to be testicles hanging from the Quad.

I hope everyone has/had a safe and happy New Year's Eve.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Happy Anniversary

I forgot to say Happy Anniversary to my parents. The inspiration for Poop and Boogies were maried 42 years ago on December 28th.

"Oh what a night. Late December back in 63."

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. Sorry It was a day late.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Like Father Like Son

Doing Good

It is nice to know that Poop and Boogies is responsible for some Good in the world.

Read this post.

And this was the comment that the Lawn Whisperer left.

"lawnwhisperer said...
You got a note in your lunch?!!?"

Well, I received a phone call from the Lawn Whisperer and he said, "Guess what I got for Christmas. I got a lunch box from Mom with a note in it that says I love You."

I swear I could hear through the phone his heart growing much like the Grinch at the end of the original The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Pillow Talk

I am not sure what year my Godmother, Aunt Michelle, started this tradition, but I think I was maybe 14 or 15 when she gave me a pillow for Christmas. A nice, regular bed pillow.

Now you may find this weird or a strange holiday gift to receive but every year since then She would get me a new pillow. I think it is the perfect gift. Having a new pillow to sleep on every year is not something that I think is on the forefront of everyone’s mind to buy for your self. So receiving one every year at Christmas was such an excellent idea. She never really had to think about what to get me. No extensive shopping, no going to different stores. A pillow is all I wanted and it is what she would get me. I love getting a new pillow every year.

Lauren thought this was such a great idea. She was happy to receive the new pillows every year as well. We decided that this year we would continue the tradition that Aunt Michele started by getting Max’s Godparent’s Pillows for Christmas. Everyone could use a new pillow at least once a year. So if you ever get stuck trying to think about what to get someone for a Christmas gift or a birthday gift, think of Aunt Michele, and get them a pillow.

It is the gift that keeps on giving all year long.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Santa Wore Chuck Taylor's

I want to thank the Lawn Whisperer for guest blogging for me for the past week. Lauren, Max, Luna the dog and I traveled to Pennsylvania for the holidays. So this is a post from PA.

Did you know that between 1976 and 1980 Santa Clause wore Chuck Taylor's Converse All-Star sneakers? I swear this is true because during those years, when I woke up and ran downstairs on Christmas morning, there were always white footprints going from the tree to front door, that had the exact same tread as Chucks.

I knew this because my dad had two pairs of Chuck Taylor's Converese All-Star Hightops. A black pair and a white pair so I knew those diamond shaped soles anywhere. I always thought it was cool that Santa and my dad wore the same type of shoe.

I never could figure out why the footprints always looked like flour, but I guess it was the magic of Santa.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

HOT! by Lawn Whisperer

Guest blogger William's brother the Lawn Whisperer.

Too many times I write the negative side of Mrs. Whisperer. I feel a tremendous need to let others know of silly things that make me laugh. When the Cupboard is empty, I have to tell people of my plight. When the Hamper is so full that it takes three people to carry it to the washing machine, I have to let others know. But for one time I want to tell you blogger people that I find my wife to be Sizzling Hot. When all else gets nutty, I fall back on the fact that she is the hottest chick on the planet.

The First day I saw my wife, I told the guy I was with “I’m going to marry that chick.”
I still remember the outfit she was wearing, she was freaking blazing.

Many, many rejections ensued. Finally she came with me to my brothers wedding. She was absolutely smoking.

We got married in August; it was 100 degrees in a church with no AC. My wife made it feel like it was 65 degrees. She was so hot, that she cooled down the air around her.

She had help in raising our daughter, but she was a single mother for half of that time. She raised an absolute angel of a kid, and I find the strength, she needed for that, to be hot.

She puts up with me, and she gets mad at me, but she is hot when she is angry.

She looks 20 times hotter today, than she did when I first saw her. That makes her 20X freaking blazing.

The absolute hottest I ever saw her was just the other day. She was sitting on the couch reading a book to my five and four year old. She was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, but she was doing what mothers do, she was raising our kids, and that I find to be the hottest thing in the world.

So, the laundry and the shopping can wait. My wife is busy being hot.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Can I get a sticker?

Guest blogging by The Lawn Whisperer (AKA The Keystone).

My wife runs my little guys on the Sticker System. We have these little charts on the fridge, one for Luke, one for Kyle. When they do something good, or behave for a certain event, they get a sticker added to the chart. Once they hit ten stickers, they get to get a toy.

There are a ton of breaches in this system, cracks that I for one cannot accept. If the Terrible Twosome goes into the playroom for five minutes, every toy is dumped on the floor. They dump every bin out to find what they are looking for. The room is turned upside down. When they are done playing, they leave the room in shambles. Now, if they clean up that room, they get a sicker. So they get a sticker for cleaning up the mess that they made. I don’t get it. So it got me to thinking. I would like to be on the sticker system. It’s a no-brainer. Once I get ten stickers, I get a prize. The only prize I want is some action. Ten stickers…I get lucky that night.

Working the system under the same parameters that the kids get, I should get lucky at least twice a week. If I hang a picture on the wall and it is crooked, when I fix it, I should get a sticker. When I go to work everyday, I should get a sticker. I should also get a sticker for coming home from work. Granted, these are things that I do everyday, but again, the system has flaws. I put the trash out twice a week, two stickers. I bring the cans back twice a week, two more stickers. I clean up the mess that I make in the kitchen that is another sticker. By my estimation, I should be getting 20 stickers a week, without even trying. That means I should be getting some action twice a week, without even trying. Anything I do over and above the normal should be a bonus sticker. Bonus stickers equals’ bonus action, right? I am only trying to operate under the same rules and regulations set forth by Mrs. Whisperer. Hey, it is her system, and I am only asking to be a part of it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Key Stone

William is on vacation. Guest Post by the Lawn Whisperer

I have lived the better part of the past 30 years as the poor deprived middle child. I have suffered through self-proclaimed neglect. I have been forgotten, misplaced, left, and pretty much ignored. Why, because I am the middle child of nine. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you. So I have lived with this burden, and have done so with great fanfare, and complaining. I let everyone know of my plight. I beg the world to pay attention to me. I plead with anyone that will listen (and there are not many that will) to please hear me out. But now, I am changing my tune. I have had an epiphany. Well, actually, my mother has had an epiphany.

You see my mom has come clean. She has recently told me the truth about my neglect. That’s right ladies and gentlemen; the woman who cooked up many a meal that consisted of poop and boogies has spoken the truth. Momma Poop and Boogies has decided that it was time for me to know the truth. She shouted, “ You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!!!” No, no, no, I’m sorry, that was Jack from A Few Good Men. My mom was much nicer about it.

She told me that it is common in large families that the oldest child, and the youngest child are the ones that keep the family together. They are the ones that make sure that all stays good, and everyone sticks together through life. She said that is the case in most normal families. She then said, “Our family is not normal.” This is where it got interesting. My mom told me that I am the centerpiece to the family. That’s right, me. The Lawnwhisperer. She said that I was much like the middle stone in the great arches that have been constructed. She said that I am the Keystone. If you take the middle stone out of and arch, the rest of them fall, and the arch crumbles. I am the stone that holds up all of the weight. The Middle stone. The Keystone. She told me that I am the one holding the family together.

Now, I know that she told me this, just to make me stop making negative comments on Bill’s Blog. She reads them, and scolds me. I know she is just trying to make me feel better, but I have chosen to run with this theory. I, the Lawnwhisperer, am the Keystone to the Poop and Boogies family. I am very important. I would like to keep writing to you folks now, but I have other things to do. I must go, and keep the family together. There is a lot riding on my shoulders. I will try to check in from time to time, but I have a family to save.

Signing off,

The Artist Formerly Known as the LawnWhisperer

Now Known as the Keystone.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Coming Attractions

While I am away for a few days the Lawn Whisperer will be guest posting in Poop and Boogies.
You can find some of his previous posts here , here and here.

Here is what people are saying about the Lawn Whisperer.

Grace said "I love Lawn Whisperer"

Ozmyndius commented about one of Lawn Whisperer's guset posts "That's got to be one of the funniest things I have ever read!."

Kristine from Random and Odd said "William couldn't have picked a better guest blogger.

Eclectic said "likes me some lawn whispering"

Pssssssstt. The Lawn Whisperer, coming soon to a blog near you.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Card

This was the Christmas card we sent to family and friends. I wanted to wait to post it to make sure the people we sent it to received it. I will be on the road for a few days and may have a guest blogger post a story or two.

Psssssst.......The Lawn Whisperer is coming. .

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Santa Blogs

Dear Santa,

I know you are busy this time of year but I was hoping that you would be able to add a few items for the people on my list. I am going on vacation and I wanted to make sure you had this list early. These are gifts that I think you should get for the regular comment-ers on Poop and Boogies. I also like all their blogs.

I was inspired to write this list by Lois and Susie.
I have numbered them (in no particular order) and have provided links to them so you will be able to find them.

For Kristine- Bathroom spider repellent. lots of people to order stuff from Holey Shirt, and a boob hair razor.
Susie-Washable graffiti paint. And different outfits for her dog. (the dog is always wearing something.)
Kalki- a Target (the store) in her back yard with unlimited PPP. She could also use a new Cow fence for her neighbor oh and John Stamos.
Cat-The DVD's of all the American Idol, Veronica Mars and Buffy Seasons. She does not really need them because she probably knows the words to every episode.
Mrtl-. A better cleaning service and a moose. Lots of pie.
Lois-A book Deal. No more pets. A fire Extinguisher. A girlfriend for her son so she will have lots of Blog material. Oh and pictures of all of the largest items across the US. (she already has her own pictures of some but she could use more).
Barry-A better Fantasy Football Team and his addition completed on time.
Mary-An Armadillo for a pet. Lot of visits from her family since she transplanted to Florida.
SoozieQ-A fantasy football trophy so she has a model in which to make a bunch more and sell. (it really is a good idea.)
CK-A Mini van with flames on the side and a hot tub in the back
Ern-Her own license plate that reads ERNS-BIRD
Jewl-Her husband to come home safe and sound.
Stacie-A cross word book because she had so much trouble with word Verification..
Meegs- Pants that will stay on her fiance when he sleeps.
The Three Bitches-More comment-ers because I think their blog is a hoot.
KimmyK-Money so she could quit her job because she would be "very happy being anti-social bitch."
Yonzie-She really does not need anything because she keeps winning stuff from Blingo.
Eclectic- Raquet ball lessons and A life supply of popcorn (she likes popcorn more than Icecream. Strange I know)
Kami-More Overalls
Effie-Centipede bug spray and a book of poems.
Susie (Raising Liam) - DVD of the first two seasons of Biggest Loser.
Tammy-Nachos and Bean dip.
Metro Dad- A book of classic prank calls.
Mama Duck-A real Tailgate Toilet.
The Lawnwhisperer. A brand new John Deere Walk-behind mower or a week with Dr. Phil. OR his own Blog because he is too damn funny.

There are so many other bloggers that I may have to make a second list because I know I missed some. Sorry.

PS. Santa I would also like peace on earth and goodwill to all people and large screen HI-Def TV for Max.

Lost at the Target

We went to The Super Target last night to pick up a few odds and ends. Most times when we shop either Lauren or myself does the actual shopping while the other one entertains Maxfield. We picked up most of the stuff we needed when at one point we decided to split up. Lauren and Max went to go pick up cat food and I had to go over electronics. We were to meet at the front of the store.

Now I have been shopping enough with Lauren to know that whenever we split up we never are able to meet back up. The reasons for this are simple. One, I always forget to take a mental note of what she is wearing. So I walk back and forth in the front of the store looking at every person that resembles Lauren. I think to myself, “Was she wearing jeans? Was she wearing a gray sweatshirt?” I never get it right. And Two, I always try to think like her and predict which aisle she would use to get to the front of the store and head her off at the pass. I can never think like her. I always get it wrong.

So last night I am walking back and forth in front of the store looking for my wife thinking, “She said she needed candy bags, she probably is over by the holiday candy section.” I was wrong. Then it hit me, “She has Max. I just need to look for a 30 year old woman with brown hair with a toddler in the cart.” That fit the description of about 80% of the people in the store last night.
I go back to the front of the store because “Vizzini always said Go back to the beginning”. I am pacing back and forth for what seems forever but it was only like 5 minutes when I hear a toddler cry. It sounded just like Max. They say that a parent knows it’s baby’s cry. So I follow the cry. It stops. I listen again. There it is. I star walking to the sound. It stops. I stop. I try to listen over the ring of registers and the pumped in Christmas music. I hear it again. I am getting closer. It is just like playing Marco Polo.

I finally pin point the source of the cry. Not Maxfield. Parents knowing their baby’s cry thing. So not true with me. I felt like a lost kid.

A few minutes later we meet up and Lauren tells me that she has to run to the store next door. I tell her to meet Max and I out at the car. Max was getting a little antsy and it is easier to contain him in the car. I get him strapped into his car seat and I reach for the diaper bag to get him a snack when I realize that the bag is with Lauren. So in an effort to entertain him I put on some music.

Maxfield loves music. He claps hands and bobs his head to the beat. He complains when the music is not upbeat enough. He really likes when we dance together. He always laughs when either Lauren or myself shake our heads to the music.

We were listening to Ben Folds when I find the Black Eyed Peas CD and put it in the player. It’s dance party time in the KIA minivan. We were listening to track #9 (featuring James Brown). I am sitting in the front seat watching Max in the rearview mirror. He is laughing at my moves. We were really getting into it, and I was in the middle of my third Janet Jacksonesque head swerve thing when I look over and I see a Target employee watching me. The employee was gathering the shopping carts. But he just stood there watching me. I started to feel the flush of embarrassment creep up my neck and I signaled to him that I was trying to entertain the Kid in the backseat.

He looked at the back window, shrugged his shoulders and shook his head, laughed and continued to gather the carts. I then realized that we have tinted windows in the back of the van. He could not see what I referring Max. He probably thought I was some deranged idiot.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Yes, we have no bananas!

Monday, December 12, 2005

What's driving me crazy.

Yes, I know,

"Every Kiss begins with K(ay)" *

So does Killing me with these commercials.
Every Kiss my ass begins with K also.

*for those who know this ad, I know you just hummed the little jingle.

It's the books

I wrote about this before HERE. It happened again this weekend. Twice. We went to Borders on Saturday morning. We were only there for about 10 minutes when he stopped in the middle of one of the CD aisles. I kept calling him to follow me but he had that look. You parents out there know that look.

We went back to Borders Books again on Sunday evening. While he was enjoying the Dora the Explorer sounds book he was making sounds of his own.

I am amazed at this phenomenom of him pooping in book stores.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


A few weeks ago we went to a birthday party that had one of those moon-walk-things. I forgot to post pictures of Max having the best time of his entire life. Ever. He spent close to two hours in the thing and put up a serious fight when we took him out of it. Also, I do not advise letting your almost two year old wear "windbreaker" type pants while in a moon-walk-thing. Sure they are good for breakdancing, but in a moon-walk-thing, once you fall, the pants make it quite difficult to get back up.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Greatest Gift

Lauren and I have been quite busy preparing for the Christmas Holiday. Lauren pointed out to me that we have 22 people on our gift list this year and that does not include Max, Lauren or me. She said to me last night, “I don’t know how your parents did It.” with having so many kids and Godchildren and brothers and sisters.

Every year at this time I think the same thing. How did they pull it off? There were 9 of us. That’s a lot of presents for Santa to deliver.

Christmas morning was always a whirlwind in our house. The night before, my parents would arrange the gifts in piles under the tree with each of our names on our designated pile (We still, to this day, joke about who had the biggest piles of gifts, FYI- Jimmy). We would all come down the stairs at the same time and sit in front of our pile and as my parents watched sipping their coffee and tea, open our gifts at the same time, There were 11 of us in a small family room, tripping over each other to see what Santa brought for us.

I always tried to keep my wish list reasonable after I found out that my parents were acting as Santa’s agents. I knew they had a lot of mouths to feed and they always did their best to provide us with nice Christmas gifts. But one year, the only thing I wanted cost $60.00. I was willing to forego all other gifts if I could just have this one thing.

You see, in 1982 I was 12 and I thought I was a budding comic book artist. The only piece of equipment I would need, to be the next Jack Kirby, was a Drawing Table. I knew that sixty bucks was lot of money at that time and I did not have high hopes because I also knew that I needed socks, gloves, a hat and probably a new pair of Tough Skins.

When I came down to the tree that Christmas Morning, I noticed that there were a few gift boxes with my name on them. I was a little saddened that there was no table waiting under the tree but I knew that it was a lot of money and understood that things were tight. I opened the few gifts (gloves and socks) that I received and I sat and watched everyone else open their much bigger piles. I guess I would have to wait to create the next Spiderman.

As I sat and listened to my brothers “Ooohing and Ahhing” over their gifts I heard my mother, not raising her voice or anything but just a normal tone, say “Bill.”

I turned to look at her (and I know this sounds totally cheesy, but I will never forget the smile on her face) she smiled and nodded her head towards the back wall. I followed her eyes. There it was, a giant box, leaning against the back door. I jumped up and ran over. I tried picking the box up but it was too heavy. I spun it around so I could look at the front picture. A drawing table.

I was ecstatic. I turned around and looked at my mom. She had a devilish grin on her face. I guess the table was not with my pile of gifts because it was so big. I also think that my mom wanted to see my reaction to actually getting the gift. With so many kids opening gifts at the same time I am sure it was difficult to see everyone. Or maybe she was just letting me sweat it out.

I never did become a great comic book artist. The only drawing I do now is MooneyAngelo stuff, but I kept that table until I was 27. It is still one of my favorite gifts. Ever.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mood Changer

We went to see the OB/GYN on Wednesday. We are supposed to see each of the doctors at this practice. Being a man, I get confused sometimes and forget which doctor we are going to see. Lauren suggested a while ago that we just call them all Dr. Vincent Van Gina (not to their faces of course).

While we were waiting in the exam room Max was having a grand old time playing with the stirrups. Moving them from the up position to the down position. I was surprised and slightly amused at the fact that the stirrups had covers on them. Covers similar to a golf club cover, but only these looked like little Crown Royal bags. I looked closer to see the printing on them. Ortho Tri Cyclen, a birth control pill, was written in yellow on both sides of the cover. Those drug manufacturers really know how to advertise. Pure Genius.

We waited for a really long time and I was starting to get pissed. I hate waiting. We were trying to keep Max from touching anything else in the room ( I mean sure he can play with the stirrups and get some kind of fungus but..well you know). Usually when we go to the doctors I grab a tongue depressor from the glass jar with the metal top and hand it to Max and he is entertained for a while. They don't have tongue depressors in an OB/GYN office, and if they did I would be somewhat worried. They did have these giant Q-tips but I did not think it would be cool for Max to play with them, besides I do not think they were for cleaning out ears.

Max was getting antsy and I was getting more and more irritated that they were keeping us waiting. Finally Dr. Van Gina comes in and apologizes about the wait, but I didn't want to hear it. I wanted to be bitter. Lauren was somewhat annoyed as well. It took the doctor about two seconds for introductions when she whips out Doppler machine and has it on Lauren's belly.

We all heard the quick thump-thump-thump coming from the small speaker. Max started smiling. Lauren started smiling. I started smiling.

Nothing can change a bad mood quicker than hearing your unborn baby's heartbeat

Missed Communication

Sometimes Lauren and I are so in tune with each other we can complete each others sentences, or we think of the exact same thing at the exact same time. Other times we are so not connected, that we have a hard time figuring out what the other is saying. Maybe it is due to me mumbling, Lauren being distracted or if it is just a miscommunication. Sometimes the miscommunication is funny. Here are the recent examples.

While walking into a store.

Bill: I need to find the men’s room. I gotta take a leak.
Lauren: What do you need a measuring tape for?
Bill: What? I said, “I need to find the men’s room”.
Lauren: Oh.
Bill: Do you want me to measure something while I am in there?

Over dinner.

Bill: How hot do you think this sauce is?
Lauren: How Happy?
Bill: Hot! How hot?
Lauren: I thought that was a strange question.

A few weeks ago we were over our neighbors house for dessert and coffee. It was getting close to Max’s bedtime and I really was not in the mood to socialize so I kept dropping hints to Lauren as well as the hosts that we had to get going. After a few, “Wow Max looks really tired.” And “Hey Max it’s almost time for bed.” Lauren was not picking up on my hints. At one point I turned to her, so no one else could see me, and I mouthed silently but exaggerated “LETS GO!”
Lauren not realizing that I was trying not to be rude says loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, “Sheesh Okay Bill, I heard you! Just hold on a sec.” She totally threw me under the bus.
I felt quite embarrassed.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


"Hey Lauren, you know how I have not been feeling well for the past 3 or 4 days? I just want to point out that I have not had icecream in 5 days. Coincidence?"

"Oh, behold the power of icecream."

Monday, December 05, 2005

Max or Damien?

A few days ago I was having a conversation with our babysitter's dad about how difficult it is to get into the Christmas spirit when it is 75 degrees outside. Yesterday he stopped by with an invitation to join him and his family at their church's Christmas Pageant/Concert. He said the choir and music would help put us in the spirit of the holidays. He also told us they have a pretty good "drama-squad" that puts on a decent show. Christmas carols and drama sounded like fun so we met them at the church. The show was an interesting mix of a holiday and religious songs performed by the choir and basic story line that the "drama squad" acted out in intermittent vignettes, about the meaning of Christmas.

Lauren and I were concerned with how long Maxfield was going to last before he would throw a fit, but much to our surprise he was very well behaved. We kept him entertained with toys and juice and crackers and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. He also enjoyed the music and singing. We did not hear a peep out him and were very proud of his behavior.

About half way through the show, the actors on stage were asking “Aunt Belle” about the meaning of Christmas. It was at this point that Max decided to speak.

There was not a sound in the church besides the actors speaking.

(I am paraphrasing some of the dialogue. )

Kid 1: Why do we celebrate Christmas?
Aunt Belle: Well, do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?


Aunt Belle: And that he was sent here to help us?

MAX: Na na, NO.

Aunt Belle: Do you know how they say he was the King of Kings?

MAX: NO no no.

Aunt Belle: And that he died for our sins.

MAX: No.

I looked around to see if anyone was looking at us but no one was. I glanced at Lauren and could see her holding back the “church giggles” and in an effort to stifle my chuckles, I shoved a fistful of Goldfish into my mouth.

Maxfield did not say anything else after that. He was a perfect angel. Or devil?

I need to keep my eye on him.

Friday, December 02, 2005

When she said Yes.

Four years ago On December 3rd 2001 Lauren agreed to marry me (see yesterdays post).

After the disappointment of not being able to propose the day before, I went to work on Monday morning knowing that by the evening I would be possibly engaged. I did not get much work done. During lunch I went to the jeweler to pick up the ring. This time they had it ready for me.

I put the ring box in my front pocket and carried it around the rest of the day. I was afraid I would misplace it. Every half hour I would take the box out, open it and make sure that the ring did not disappear. OCD at it’s finest.

Since my plans from the day before were somewhat foiled I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out if I should wait until the weekend to propose or if I could make arrangements for later in the week. I kept thinking to myself, “Who gets engaged on a Monday?”

On the way home I decided I would ask her that night. When I got home from work I was surprised to see that Lauren had pulled out the folding card table and had it set for dinner (we did not have a dining room table at the time and we usually ate in front of the TV). She had candles lit and everything. “Shit. She knew what I was doing? How did she figure it out?” I thought. I think I tried to talk her out of eating at home and that we should go the mall but she went to all the trouble of making a nice romantic dinner.

I sat down and tried to eat but I could not. I was nervous. I played with the food, constantly checking my pocket to make sure that the ring was still in there as well as making sure that she could not see the box. I barely touched the food. She kept asking me if everything was okay.
During the dinner I asked her if she would go to the mall with me so I could get some shopping done. She did not really want to go. She pointed out the fact that we just went shopping yesterday and that the mall would be crowded. But she eventually said she would go with me.

When I met Lauren she was working at a UNO Chicago Bar and Grille attached to the mall. Since then it changed over to a Ruby Tuesday’s. As we approached the entrance I told Lauren I could really use a drink, which was true because I knew it would calm me as well as I needed an excuse to go into the bar. She agreed.

The layout of the Bar/restaurant changed since the time that we met and it took me several minutes to figure out the exact spot that we met. After we finished out drinks I asked her “Where do you think the spot that we met is in this place?” She looked around and pointed out over to a spot which was quite crowded with tables and patrons. I grabbed her hand and I said something like, “Let’s go look.”

Lauren resisted slightly, but followed. We were standing between too big tables filled with diners when I said, “Do you think this is the spot?”
She said, “ What are you doing? I don’t know. It’s too hard to tell.”

I then pulled out the ring, got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. My hands were shaking and my voice quivering. The look on her face was one of disbelief and shock. The people that were enjoying their meals surrounding us did not notice a thing. She said, “Yes”.

We kissed and then left the Ruby Tuesdays. On our way out we passed a carousel, which we decided to ride on to kind of remember the moment.

Later that night, after telling both sets of parents, we went for a walk in the park. We were trying to extend the special night. While walking hand in hand, our breath visible from the cold, Lauren looked up into the dark sky and saw a shooting star. So it turned out okay that my original plans fell through.

It would have been romantic.

Exactly four years ago today I was supposed to ask Lauren to marry me. It did not happen as planned.

Flash back to November 25th 2001. We were already, as Mom would say, “living in sin” for a few years so it was time to, as Dad would say "shit or get off the pot" and make it official. I worked in a Sports Bar at the time and I was working on a Sunday afternoon because of football. Every now and then I would bet on a few games but I would rarely win. This particular Sunday I had some type of weird parlay bet going with three different games. I won the first two but the last game did not look good. I bet on the Miami Dolphins who were being dominated by the Buffalo Bills and were down by 14 in the fourth quarter.

As I left work I said to Mike, the guy I bet with, “Call me if a miracle happens.” I went directly to the jeweler to price out engagement rings. I was talking to the sales lady about all the payment options and when I could actually pick up the ring. I was on the fence about whether I should get a simple ring and get engaged right away or if I should wait until I had more money, buy a nicer diamond and wait until after the holidays to propose. My cell phone rang. It was Mike form the bar. “A miracle happened. Miami won 34 to 27.” I hung up and ordered the nicer diamond and a nicer ring.
The sales lady said I could pick up the ring in one week because they needed to set it. I said okay and made my plans for the following Sunday to ask Lauren to be my wife.

I was going to ask her Sunday December 2nd, 2001. We were going to go Christmas shopping, have dinner at the place that we met, I would pop the question and we would have plenty of time to go tell her parents and my parents the good news. She did not have a clue about my plans.

Sunday December 2nd, 2001, I told Lauren I had to go to work “for a few minutes” as an excuse to go pick up the ring. She was a little disappointed because we had plans to go Christmas shopping at Peddlers Village, a nice, outdoorsy festival type of place. I told her I would be only a little bit and that we would still be going shopping.

I arrived at the Jewelers, nervous and exited to actually pick up the ring. I knew this was gong to be a great day. I found the sales lady that assisted me from the week before and she gave me a puzzling look. I pulled out my paper work and asked for the ring. She looked it over and said that the ring was not in yet. It would be there tomorrow.

“What? Last Sunday you told me a week.”
“ I know but our office downtown was closed on Sundays so I could not place the order until Monday so it is a week from last Monday.”
“But YOU said a week. Do you know that a week is SEVEN days? Not Eight.”
“I’m sorry.” She pouted but immediately perked up and smiled to say, “But it will be here tomorrow.”
“But I wanted to get engaged today I had the whole thing planned.”

She looked horrified and she apologized about 90 times. She made a few phone calls and told me that I could pick up the ring in Delaware if I wanted. Delaware, which was about 1 and half hours away. I couldn’t do that because I would then have to explain it to Lauren and ruin the surprise.
I left the store in a huff.

Lauren and I went shopping at Peddlers’ Village and we had a nice time but I could not help but be distracted with the thought of not having the ring. The day was perfect. It was sunny and cold, but not too cold. We shopped drinking cider and hot chocolate. Perfect day to get engaged. We were driving home and Lauren even suggested that we go to dinner at the place we met. I was so pissed because it would have been perfect but I declined because I wanted to bring her there the when I had the ring.

Needless to say we did not get engaged that day. It would have been romantic.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Happy Day

Happy birthday to Max's cousin Marcus. He is One today.

Also today Maxfield is 21 months old. We're going out for beers.