March 31, 2008



What an uprising of support! I am overwhelmed by all of you who came out of the woodworks to show your support. I am very grateful and very humbled by all the comments. Thank you to everyone!

And just to show you how grateful I am, I’m going to let you wear your Lightning McQueen pajamas top to daycare today.

Oh wait. That was TheMonk.

Anyway, thanks again and have a great day!

March 29, 2008

On being insulted

This post has been a long time in coming. When I first started blogging I did it to keep my family and friends up to date on our lives as we moved far away from everyone we knew. As we became pregnant and had our twins it became even more important for me to blog to keep family in touch – but also to chronicle the lives of my kids and how much I love them. I want this blog to be a gift to them in the future.

But somewhere along the way I gained readers who weren’t related to me. This was unexpected but extremely gratifying. I put a counter on my blog and I began to be consumed by how many people were reading my blog on a daily basis. Many times my choice of blog posts were aimed more at these anonymous readers rather than my own kids. I had lost touch with who my audience really is.

It was then that I decided that I would re-focus my blog. Even though I might not appeal to some who were reading, I decided to focus almost entirely on fatherhood and stories about raising my two little ones. Through this transition I did lose some readers. Oh well. While it was hard to lose that readership I decided it was worth it. The only readers that really matter are Swee’Pea and TheMonk.

Not that I don’t appreciate all of you who continue to follow our story. You are certainly welcome to come along for the ride and I do appreciate the comments that most of you leave – showing your connectedness to the story that I have laid out. It allows me to feel bonded with many of you who are going through similar struggles and joys or can identify with what I am writing about.

But not every commenter has been welcome. My post immediately before this one, for example, produced an unexpected comment. In this post I played on the time-honored tradition of overprotective fathers when it comes to fathering a girl as well as my impending gun ownership. And, in my typical style, I tried to produce a laugh out of these two converging stories in my life. I liked what I wrote – even proud of the way it came together. Some of you who commented got it. You laughed along with me and I was pleased that you appreciated my sense of humor.

Then, yesterday my good friend MetroDad linked to me in a post and I got quite a few new visitors from his blog. One woman, a new visitor named Kat, left a comment that really, really bothered me. She called me sexist for writing about “protecting my daughter’s virtue” and asked why I wasn’t writing about protecting my son’s virtue. She was disappointed that I was “cultivating sexism.”

I have never been insulted on my own blog before. I have heard about it happening from other bloggers but never experienced it myself. I have only deleted one other comment on my blog before this one but I deleted it. Obviously she has not read the many, many posts I have written about how I want my daughter to grow up (this post, for example) and she didn’t know me. My attempt at humor was, to her, a sexist remark and I didn’t agree so I decided to remove her comment, send her an email explaining my thoughts on her comment and move on. But it still bothered me. And it didn’t die because today she left another comment asking why I deleted her previous comment.

So, I submit this to you, dear readers (old and new). I am who I am. I know that I am a good person who wants the very best for my children. I know that I have a good sense of humor but that not everyone may appreciate it all of the time. I know that I have respect for women, people of color and those who differ from me. I am not sexist. Nor am I perfect.

Because this is my personal blog and something that I take pride in and will someday want my children to read without being influenced by someone who has an impression of me that isn’t accurate because she does not know me AT ALL, I deleted the comment. As much as I love comments, I feel like I have the discretion to decide who comments on my blog. And THAT, Kat, is why I deleted your comment.

So, if you don’t like what you are reading, then there are an estimated 50 million other blogs out there to find something that which you can better relate. Some of you have connected to what I am writing here and I appreciate that. If you haven’t connected, then I encourage you to move on.

That is all I have to say about that.

Now, back to regularly scheduled programming.

March 27, 2008

My daughter falls in love and how I’ll be getting a gun

At the Y that I most recently left I was the Associate Executive Director – a fancy title that means I was in charge of operations. This included maintaining a 50 year old building.

To keep the plumbing unclogged and the electricity flowing, I worked closely with our maintenance man – who had been there over 20 years and was easily in his 70′s.

He and I are very different people – he rode Harleys in his younger days (I drove a Chevy Cavalier – with dual airbags). He has a few not-so-PC ideas that he’s not afraid to share (I attended Columbia University – the bastion of Political Correctedness). And he has a love for guns – which he painstakingly engraves by hand with beautiful designs (I last handled a gun when I was seven years old – and it was a Daisy BB gun.).

Needless to say, he didn’t warm up to me at first but by the end we built a relationship of mutual respect that was hard earned on my part.

So a couple of weeks ago, he called me at my new Y. I was surprised to hear from him but eventually, after some light-hearted small talk, he told me the reason for his call. He wanted me to apply for a gun permit. After a long pause, as I thought this request over, I asked why. “Well,” he said, “I’m not getting any younger and I have this gun at my house that I’ve engraved and… every time I think about who I want to give it to, you keep coming to mind.”

This is the ultimate compliment from this man. I felt so touched that he would think of me this way and I knew, even though I am not a big fan of guns, that I would get that permit. After all, I could store the gun safely and not buy any ammunition and it would be fine. But I’ve put off getting the permit – being a little busy but also still being a little skittish on potential gun ownership.

And then, something else happened. Swee’pea has a friend at daycare whose name is Brandon. Both TheMonk and Swee’Pea talk about him all the time and it is clear they have a very close relationship with this little boy. Until today, however, I didn’t realize just how close a relationship they had.

As I changed Swee’Pea’s diaper today she began noting that she was girl (and Mommy is a girl and Grandmother is a girl and Nutmeg the cat is a girl…) and that I was a boy. When I asked her who else was a boy she began naming off those closest to her. “TheMonk is a boy. And Brandon is a boy too.” Then she said the three words that I was not prepared to hear so early in her young life…

“I love Brandon.”

I’m getting my gun permit next week.

(And no promises about passing on the ammo.)

March 24, 2008

100 Things Worth Remembering, Part III

These are #’s 51-75 of the memories I hope pop up as my life flashes before my eyes.

51. Dancing with my daughter while she stands on my feet.
52. The look on my son’s face as he says “UH OH, PISGHETTIO”
53. The first warm spring day in college.
54. The red and black grip tape on my first skateboard
55. Watching the sun rise over the Finger Lakes in upstate NY by myself
56. Playing “Pirate Ship” atop the retaining wall at my childhood home
57. The lightning bolt earring I wore on race day
58. The warm laughter of my high school friends
59. Standing in line to see Star Wars for the first time
60. Giving my little brother “noogies”
61. Wearing my green & yellow Little League jacket to school on game day
62. My custom purple, pink and lime green Vans
63. Doing cannon balls into my aunt’s pool on the 4th of July
64. Playing volleyball on the beach during the summers of my youth
65. Watching my brother say “I do”
66. Buying candy cigarettes at the corner store
67. Climbing on the tractors at my grandpa’s house
68. Diving to my right to stop a penalty kick
69. Holding my acceptance letter to college
70. Asking my honey to marry me
71. My first “all by myself” apartment
72. The baseball pennants adorning the walls of my childhood bedroom
73. My first yellow Tonka dump truck
74. Waking up to find a photo of me running on the front page of the sports section
75. Catching a foul ball with my bare hands

March 23, 2008

“Buzz off!”

One of our favorite books here at our home is Pinkalicious, a story of a girl who eats too many pink cupcakes and turns pink. Swee’Pea, especially, loves this story as her favorite color is pink and I think it’s her secret dream to one day be pink.

In one part of the story, the little girl is at the park when a bee lands on her nose, thinking she’s a flower. The girl responds by saying, “Buzz off! I’m not a flower!”

Yesterday, I came downstairs to find Beautiful Wife, Swee’Pea and TheMonk looking intently at something on our sliding glass door that leads to our backyard. Evidently, they were checking out a mosquito that had landed on the screen. Beautiful Wife explained to them that when a mosquito lands on your arm, you swipe it off your arm with your hand before it leaves a mark.

As I approached them, Beautiful Wife asked Swee’pea to tell me what you do when a mosquito lands on your arm.

Swee’Pea turned to me, took her hand and dramatically swept her arm and shouted out, with a laugh I want to remember forever, “BUZZ OFF! I’M NOT A FLOWER!!”

March 19, 2008

100 Things Worth Remembering, Part II

These are #’s 26-50 of the memories I hope pop up as my life flashes before my eyes.

26. My newborn babies being cleaned off by the nurses
27. Train ride through the Canadian Rockies
28. Joe Morgan’s game winning home run to knock the Dodgers out of the playoffs
29. Watching my first snowfall on a Thanksgiving Eve in New York City
30. Snuggling with the babies after early morning feedings
31. Running along the ocean cliffs of my home town
32. The smile of my first crush
33. Wearing my letterman’s jacket for the first time
34. Seeing my wife for the first time
35. Watching baseball at Shea Stadium on my birthday
36. The Catch
37. Clowns on my eighth birthday
38. Rubbing my wife’s very pregnant belly
39. Barreling down the steepest hill in my neighborhood on my skateboard
40. Doing a drum solo with a broken wrist
41. Purchasing my wife’s engagement ring
42. My first car
43. My daughter’s laugh
44. My son’s eyebrows going up and down
45. Going to the high school state championship track meet
46. Racing in Madison Square Garden
47. The red and yellow bike I got for Christmas
48. Playing whiffle ball with my brother in the driveway
49. Eating refried beans and rice at my grandmother’s restaurant
50. The look on my wife’s face when she told me we were having twins

March 18, 2008

100 Things Worth Remembering

Stolen from my cousin Maggie (It’s okay, we’re family):

Scenes I hope pop up as my life flashes before my eyes. Numbers 1-25:

1. My father playing on the floor with me and my brother
2. Tetherball on the playground
3. Playing a crisp rhythm on a snare drum
4. Putting on new, Pink and Yellow, Nike Zoom spikes
5. My brother’s laugh
6. A Hawaiian sunrise
7. Holding hands with my wife for the first time
8. Throwing a guy out at first base from center field
9. The moment I pull away from the field on a winning 4×400 anchor leg
10. Learning that we actually got the house
11. Babies first steps
12. Seeing my bride for the first time
13. My mother and I dancing in the living room
14. Legging out a triple
15. Getting on the plane for freshman year of college all by myself
16. Fourth of July sparkler fun with family
17. Driving out of town by myself for the first time
18. Kindergarten on the stage of my elementary school
19. Climbing to the highest point of the tree
20. Riding a bike through Central Park in the Fall
21. Resting my head on the belly of my childhood dog
22. My first job interview where I really wanted the job
23. Being greeted at the door by toddlers at the end of the day
24. Beating my best friend Brent in basketball (because it didn’t happen often)
25. The feeling of High School Graduation

March 16, 2008

Five Things You Want Your Kids to Know

I was tagged on a meme by A Very Open Book. The meme is simple in concept. Five thing you want your kids to know. Simple right?

Well, it turns out, choosing just five things you want your kids to know is not as easy as it seems. If I only have five things they should know, should it be something that will keep them from being beat up, like, “Don’t wear plaid with stripes” or should it be more useful over the long haul, like “always check your eggs before buying them”? Perhaps it should be something that could save them embarrassment, like, “Never turn down a mint if offered.” Or maybe they should know the pythagorean theorem – that thing has gotta be useful for someone, right? You see? The possibilities are endless.

Nevertheless, I had to narrow them down. And if you ask me this question a week from now, I’d probably give five different answers but these are my answers today.

1) I want them to know that they can do anything they put their mind to. I want them to know, in their heart, that they can make their greatest desires come true if they are willing to go after it with all of their heart.

2) I want them to know the feeling of giving joy to those less fortunate. Knowing the look of appreciation and relief in someone’s eyes when you make their life just a little bit easier.

3) I want them to know love. I want them to know what kind of love they deserve and settle for nothing else. I want them to find someone that they know, in their hearts, will love them unconditionally forever.

4) I want them to know that they will always have each other. I envy the bond that they have already because they’ve known each other their entire lives. I want them to absolutely know that they will always be there to support each other and love each other.

5) Finally, I want them to know how much their father loves them. I cannot put into a few words how much I love them and my greatest desire is that when my children are older that they will know, without a doubt, that their father loves them with every fiber of his being.

March 13, 2008

It’s for the kids

Dear Beautiful Wife,

As you know, the car that I drive most days is the same car you bought for yourself when you were much, much younger – long before I swooped in and stole your heart and even longer before you spawned matching offspring. That period of time, when you first bought the car, is what we now call “the olden days.” As you may have noticed from the much newer car that you drive now, a lot has changed since you bought the car. For instance, cars nowadays don’t have antennas. They are built into the car. This is notable only because the antenna on my car, which once automatically went up or down when you turned the radio on or off, is now stuck in the “up” position for eternity. Cars nowadays also have radios with all of the knobs on them. They also have something called a CD player. Luckily, I found an old tape in your glove compartment that I can play on my fancy tape deck/radio but one can only listen to Neneh Cherry so often before going crazy.

But today, I found one more reason why we really need to get a new car. You see, it’s not for me. Yes, I’m the only Executive Director in the Y who who drives a car with two hub caps missing, but I can live with the laughter. I’m tough. But today, our little boy, the same little boy that begs to give you kisses and hugs when you leave in the morning, stopped short of the car as I was about to hoist him up and into his car seat (which, by the way, lacks the much safer LATCH system – it’s a death trap really). As I bent down to pick him up, he quickly put both hands on the top of his head and ducked while saying… “Watch my head, Daddy! No hit my head!”

Of course, I tried to calm his fears. “I’m not going to hit your head, Buddy.” I told him reassuringly.

Then, as I hoisted him up, I bonked his head on the top of the interior car door.

Apparently not for the first time. The car, it seems, is too small for our growing kids to fit inside.

So, honey, forget about everything else I’ve said about the car. If you have any compassion and motherly love you’ll let me march right down to the car dealer this weekend and purchase a safe vehicle made in the current millennium.

It’s for the kids.

March 12, 2008

FYI, Mommy was not in the room

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