Monday, November 24, 2008

Inspiration and Thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am taking a few days off from the blog to enjoy the holiday, to spend time with family and friends, enjoy my 20 year reunion, nurse a potential hangover and be thankful.

I am very thankful for all of the people who stop by Poop and Boogies. Seriously, thank you for reading. It means a lot to me. I know most who stop by here do not leave comments but, could you do me a favor, and de-lurk this week and tell me what Blogs you are thankful for.

Here a few blogs that I am thankful for. Each is different and each one inspires me. Some are funny, some are insightful, some are so well written you can't help by be inspired by the style and voice of the author and some are just by inspiring people. The thing that draws me to most of the blogs that I read is that you can sense the positive vibes from the authors. Go read a few and leave them a comment that I sent you.


Bogart

Cat

Eclectic

Gigglepotamus

GreebleMonkey

Lois

Bossy

Klog

Mrtl

Circus Kelli

Oh the Joys

Rude Cactus

Doc Ern

What Was I Thinking (Turkey Post is up again)

Susie

Kettle

I Wright

April

Sarah

Mr. Big Dubya

JP

Donovan Quads

Magic word

I find it amazing that my kids think that the word please is a truly a magic word.

When Maxfield and Wyatt ask for something and they forget their manners, Lauren and I remind them to use the word please.

We do not teach them to use please by asking "What's the magic word?" Lauren and I, instead say something like "How should you ask?" or "There is a nicer way to ask for something." Hoping they pick up on the fact that they forgot to use the word please. It usually works.

Here is the magic part. When either of the them ask for something and the answer is "NO", they immediately say please, hoping that by saying the word please will change the answer.

Wyatt finishes his bag of M&Ms, and he asks for more.


"No Wyatt. That was the last of them."


"Pwease."

"No buddy. There are no more."


"Pwease."


"Wyatt. They are all gone. There are no more."

"PWEASE. I said Pwease?"

By repeating the word "please" as well as increasing the volume when saying it, Wyatt thinks, that magically, more M&Ms will appear.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tub


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Awkward Hugs

I use to work at a pretty popular nightclub in the 90's. I managed the place with my brother (the one who always comments here as Anonymous). He was the big Mahoff and I was the little Mahoff. Besides the day to day operations we both worked the front door on most nights as, for lack of a better description, glorified greeters.

We greeted everyone. Frome Hollywood movie stars to hookers, from Atletes to the bus boys who worked at the local restaurants. We treated everyone the same. The club had a very large Italian clientele as well and we soon both learned the European greeting of kissing both cheeks of the guest. Including the male customers.

It usually went something like this. The guest would walk to the front door and upon seeing me or my bother would raise his arms as if waiting for a hug and would say "YO, How you doin? This place bumpin tonight? Or what?" The guest would then lower his hand to shake my hand and then hug me with the other arm and then kiss both of my cheeks. I would kind of make the kissing noise to both of his cheeks and then the person would enter the club.

At first, it was uncomfortable, since we were Irish boys from the suburbs and somewhat out of our element, but after a while we got used to it.

My brother and I must have done this European gretting at least 150 to 200 times a night. 4 to 5 nights a week.

After doing this for about a year my brother took a night off to go out with his wife and another couple they had not seen in a few years. My brother, out of habbit, greeted the husband of the other couple by hugging him and kissing both of his cheeks.

Apparently the guy was little freaked out by my brother's affection.

I keep thinking of this story because my 20 year reunion is next week.

I see my group of friends about every two months. When I see some of my guy friends I still give them a handshake and a "Bro Hug".

When I see my female friends, sometimes it is a kiss on the cheek, and sometimes it is a hug. But most times we do that awkward dance of where they lean in for what appears to be a kiss on the cheek. And so I lean in to return the kiss to their cheek but then realize they were just leaning in for a hug and it becomes an awkward moment of suspended animation. I have a split second to figure out if I should stay committed to the kiss on their cheek and end up kissing their ear. Or change direction and give them the half hearted hug. It freaks me out all the time. And part of me knows that it freaks them out too. I think Ali and L Mac know what I am talking about.

Recently, I made the decision that I would just give my female friends a kiss on the cheek. It is easier. They do not have to stand to greet me, if the are already seated and I can just lean in and give them a peck. But some of them are still huggers and awkwardness continues. But now I am committed to the kiss and can stay on target.

But now with the Reunion around the corner I know that I will be seeing people I have not seen in 10 years. Some of them were people I was very close to both men and women. Are they huggers? Kissers? Or are they just firm handshakers? I can see many awkward moments happening. I need to come up with an official greeting.

What are you? A hugger? Kisser?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Generation Gap

I am only 4 years older than my wife. Sometimes, though, she makes me feel like I am 10 to 15 years older than her.

When Lauren was making the kid's Halloween costumes she had to dye a jacket blue for Wyatt. A pair of my white socks accidentally got ran through the wash with the jacket. The dyed jacket, of course, bled, and my socks ended up a nice shade of purple.

The other day, I decided to wear my new colored socks. Why? Because I really don't care what is on my feet, I mean no one looks at a guy's socks, do they? Besides their wife that is.

I was sitting across from Lauren while I was putting on the socks. I expected her to same something about the purple socks because she notices every time I wear mismatched socks that she would not miss the purple socks.

To beat her to her smart ass comment I said, "Yes. I am wearing Donny Osmond socks today."

"What?" she asked.

"I am wearing my Donny Osmond socks."

"What does that mean?" She said looking at me like I was speaking another language.

"Donny Osmond? Purple socks?"

She gave me a blank stare. "What are you talking about?"

"You really don't know what I am talking about? You never watched Donny and Marie?"

"Uhmmm. No."

"You are only 4 years younger than me. How can we be from two different generations?" I was in disbelief.

"I don't think generation has anything to do with watching the Osmonds."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Leaves







I keep posting pictures because I have not had time to write.


Read this post and this post for why.


That's right, being the appointed class secretary and planning a reunion is keeping me pretty busy. The event is two weeks away and I still have menus to select, decorations to figure out, RSVPs to count, checks to write and Guilder to frame for it. I'm swamped.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Charm

video

Max gets his charm from me.

It may be difficult to hear but Max says he wants to give the leaf to his mom because it is beautiful just like her.

(Please note no Wyatts were hurt in filming this scene although it appears so)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Is it Sunday Yet?

My fantasy football teams are pretty much in the crapper right now.

How are your teams doing?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Con

The dictionary defines the word "Con" as :To swindle or trick, to persuade by deception.

A true Con artist is patient and lets the con unfold over time in an effort to gain the CONfidence of the person they plan on duping. Most times a Con artist exploits their victims weakness such as greed or love or vanity.

The Con Artist: Lauren
The Victim: Me
My Weakness: Sausage, Biscuits and Gravy

I love sausage. Any kind, although I prefer the breakfast variety. I would eat sausage for every meal. (I know my brothers are laughing at me confessing my love of sausage and all the innuendo that statement possesses). Now I am going to mess with people's google searches by my next statement. Sausage is like Sex. There is no such thing as bad sex, or Sausage. Sure, some times some are better than others, but either way you are still getting some. Just like Ice Cream.

One of my favorite meals to have is Sausage, Biscuits and Gravy. When we lived in Florida, the South, I could order this meal almost any where and any time. Now that I live back in the North, not so much. There are a few places that try to make it but for the most part the only place that does a halfway decent job is Cracker Barrel. The closest Cracker Barrel to us is in Plymouth Meeting, a 30 minute ride and it is always crowded, so we never go.

A few weeks ago Lauren started to drop hints that maybe we should go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Every time she mentioned it we had already eaten and were busy with something else. She was teasing me. She was patient and she started the con early to gain my confidence. She was laying the groundwork. She mentioned it again this past Sunday morning. We had already eaten breakfast and we were busy.

The day went by and all I could think of was having Biscuits and Gravy.

Around 3 PM Sunday afternoon Lauren suggested we go to Cracker Barrel for Dinner. They would have enough choices for the kids and Lauren for a normal dinner and I could have Brinner of sausage biscuits and gravy. She exploited my weakness. I was sold and was excited with anticipation knowing that I would have my favorite meal in just a couple of hours.

Later, as we were packing the kids in the car, Lauren said, "Since we are going out to Plymouth Meeting I figured we could just stop by the IKEA which is right down the street."

And there it was, the greatest con.

I hate IKEA. IKEA is like going to Joann Fabrics. It is like the Pit of Despair. It is like Hell.

Lauren baited me with Cracker Barrel and switched in IKEA. We were in IKEA for an hour. I did eventually get the Biscuits and Gravy but it cost me a piece of my soul.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Observing the changes

Everyone says that the time flies when your kids are young. That "this age will be over before you know it" and all of the other cliches. I know that cliches are cliches because they are true.

Both Maxfield and Wyatt are at developmental phases in their lives and they are both changing. I have been really trying hard to pay attention to those changes so I can remember them in the future. Wyatt is in his terrible twos, full swing, and is speaking in full defiant sentences that both piss me off and crack me up. Wyatt does not simply yell "NO" to tell us he is not going to do something. He explains it to us.

"I do not want to eat my peas. I do not want to eat my meat. I want you to get me dessert. Now. Pleeaaase." Is Wyatt's way of explaining he is not going to eat his dinner.

Every parent knows that the terrible twos is the first phase the child goes through in order to make their own choices and become more independent.

Now Max, on the other hand, knows that he is independent. He is growing up so nicely into a little boy I am afraid I am going to turn around and he will be a teenager. I have been paying particularly close attention to him and the changes he is going through. He is on his way out of that "terrible toddler defiant" mode. I have become so used to some of his tantrums as a toddler that I forgot that Max would eventually be a little boy. Sure he still has his moments of crying and carrying on but they are becoming fewer and farther between.

Over the past few weeks I have been lucky enough to see him in settings I am not used to witnessing. I attended a school trip, a school function, a birthday party and there was Halloween. At each one of the these occasions I found myself in awe of his ability to adapt and fit in and make the right decisions and do the right thing.

On his school trip I was on his turf and he took the lead. He introduced me to some kids in his class. Without prodding or suggestions Max said, "This is my dad. Dad this is Julianna. And this is Andre." I could not stop smiling at how proud I was of him for taking the initiative. The rest of the trip he made the decisions as to where we would sit on the hay ride and what pumpkins we would pick and even when we would leave. He is growing from a toddler to a little boy right in front of my eyes.

At the birthday party he introduced himself to a couple of other kids and he went off to play with them by himself. Some of the older kids were playing wiffle ball and Max got his turn at bat. When he struck out, he did not cry or demand a do over. Max gave the bat the next kid. Max did the right thing.

While trick or treating Max said "thank you" at every house. He is saying the right things. Max is no longer a toddler. He is a little boy.

Like I said, I have been watching him. I am noticing the changes. Max holds conversation with adults and he uses words like "actually" and "prefers" and "condensation" and other words I did not think a four year old would know. He talks about God and "What ifs" and dreams. I am not saying that Max is smart I am just amazed that he is paying attention to us and to himself too. Max is a little boy growing into a big boy.

Lately I have been overwhelmed with mixed feelings regarding how much Max has grown, physically, mentally and emotionally, over the past 10 months. I am proud of his independence but it also saddens me. For the past four and half years of his life I have been his best friend. But now, he is becoming independent of me. I am losing my little guy. He still needs me, but needs me less and less. I know he is now starting down the path where I have to be more of a father to him than his friend. I am sad because I am losing my friend Max.

This morning the whole family went to the playground and I was thinking about how grown and independent Max is when I let him run ahead of me. The invisible tether, in which I have had him leashed to me, is getting longer and longer. I felt sad. I tried to focus my attention to Wyatt who still needs someone to push him on the swing and follow him up the ladders to the slides, who still needs a friend.

I watched Max converse with other kids and he did not need me to steer the conversation. I let Max talk to other adults and watched how he conducted himself and I was very proud of him. I realized that "time was flying" as I helped Wyatt up some tire steps and I thought about how I used to do the same with Max. My heart stung a little. And as I was caught up in my own little world I realized Max was not playing with anyone else. He was sitting by himself in the sand box, his head, looking up at the trees, tilted slightly to one side, his bottom lip slightly protruding from his top lip. He sat there, that way, for a few minutes.

I handed Wyatt off to Lauren and I walked over to see if everything was okay. Part of me knew he was thinking of something profound about God and the trees changing colors and the chilly November winds. Part of me was hoping he was going to ask me to play with him. And maybe I got a bit of sand in my eye and a little lump in my throat because I was missing my little boy immensely when I finally asked him if everything was alright.

He turned his head towards me and I could see the sun glistening off his face.

"I'm fine dad. I am just trying to eat my snot." He said and he licked his upper lip.

I smiled from ear to ear. My little boy was back for a few minutes at least.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Costumes

Halloween was fun. Max was a robot.



Franken-Wyatt ...


...and I dressed as a cowboy, or as my brother Kevin would say since I have so much grey in my beard, Kenny Rogers.

Lauren made the kid's costumes and some awesome Eye Ball Treats.


The recipe for the eye balls and more pics can be seen at Lauren's site GigglePotamus.