Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Wide World Of Sports

Adam is ending his latest endeavor into the world of sports with the close of basketball season in the coming weeks. Soon it will be time to sign up for T-Ball thus coming full circle. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the 3 sports he's played this year.

T-Ball was my favorite though I didn't realize it at the time. The second game Adam started crying because he only wanted to bat and not play outfield, but that was the only bumped. He didn't care where you put him in the field as long as he got to play. I helped coach and really didn't mind. It was fun for both of us. Plus he got to play pitcher a couple of times.

Football immediately brings to mind collisions, contusions, and chaos. Not three things you want your 5 yr-old involved in. The great thing about football though was all the running. Offense, defense, it didn't matter as long as he could run up and down the field. It got cold a few of those nights, but Adam had a blast.

Basketball was going to be the sport we were going to be fantastic at. Adam hits nothing but net all day long at home. Come game time and the facts are basketball is an individual sport where it's acceptable to hold the ball for entire quarters at a stretch. It's not even the good kids that do it either. Some simply refuse to pass the ball.

Anyway like I said it's all almost over and soon we will be playing T-Ball again.

Tonight's Chips Off The Old Blockhead:
# I don't think I've ever met a female Kelly that was mean. Cathy's of course. Beth's more than likely. Kelly's are always cheerful though.

# Adam has been sleeping in the floor the last couple of nights. Tonight I thought he'd love to sleep in a tent...no dice, back in bed he went for some reason.

#Have you seen The Chew? It's a talk show made up of cooks all talking and making tons of recipes everyday @ 12. That's also the same time I take my lunch and I think it's the reason I'm eating everything in site for an hour.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I'm A Blockhead And I Know It!!

Not a lot going on tonight so I'm just going to skip around a bit.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Alex sorta realized Buttons wasn't around. I say sorta because he was playing with the door that hid the litter box and it hit him that he could push it all the way to the wall now. He stood there for like 5 minutes walking back and forth swinging the door trying to figure out what was different.

# A lot of people have asked about Adam's Acorn Bag (nut sack) so I figured I'd update what happened next.....which isn't much. Since that morning he wanted to bring them to school he really hasn't said much about them. Alex was walking around with a tin can the other day. There was something inside that was making noise but he couldn't get the lid off. He brought it to me to try and sure enough there was Adam's nut sack.

# Hand Foot & Mouth is now a 7 county epidemic in our area. We know 2-3 other people that have it that Alex has not come into contact with.

# Last but not least here is a link to a Sesame Street song parody that sent Alex going crazy tonight.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


The kids spent the night with Gigi last night while Mandy and I tried to easy our sorrows in chocolate chip cookies and ice-cream. It was the first time we'd truly been alone and pet free in 14 years. I slept all afternoon. Not sure if that was because I was depressed over Button's passing or just tired of all the stress this new year has brought.

I've been listening to The Police and suddenly I have an urge to use my iTunes gift certificate. I'm bad about buying music when I'm depressed. I'm soaking my sorrows in ColdPlay and Death Cab. A week later I'm looking for something to help me clean house faster and it's all cry me a river songs on my iPod.

There are habits that will fade with time. Caught myself about to go fill his water bowl. Mandy went to put something over a basket of clean laundry and suddenly realized that no longer would there be a hairy cat sleeping on it the next morning. Adam asked if we would be getting a new one....it's too soon. Honestly I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to sign another 15 yr pet contract again.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Adam twice today showed that he is truly my son. The filter is just not there. Mandy asked "Did you miss me last night at Gigi's?" Without a thought "No mom. I didn't think about you at all." Gigi said 'Hi Adam. How's it going?" 'Buttons is dead. We are not getting another one."

# Alex starts his new class tomorrow morning with Mrs. Christina. She was Adam's teacher too and we love her! Knowing Alex though he's not going to just willingly accept change. Not because he hates things being different, but more so he hates not getting his way.

# I hate how the weather man strings you along the entire half hour just so you will watch the other mess in between. "So it will be hot tomorrow, but will there be rain by Tuesday? Stick around to find out." "Will Mother Nature be giving us a dusting of snow this weekend? I'll let you know after this 20 minute story on how the government is wasting your money."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Buttons Beck: The Great Main Coon Kitty

Today we put Buttons to rest. It was time. The Vet took one look at him and agreed that he had some major health issues. If Adam remembers him at all when he's older it will be that of a mean old cat that use to hiss and try to scratch him every time he walked into the room. Just last year he weighted 16 pounds. Today he was down to only 8. He scratched me down my arm one last time while I was getting him out of the carrier. I'm not upset. He was scared. It may sound weird but I'm fine with it not healing for awhile. I think I understand why people get tattoos. A few years back he put a 3 inch long scar on my chest. Suddenly I don't mind it so much.

He was 14 yrs old and for a long time there he was my very best friend. A house gets lonely when you're the only one in it. Mandy would be working late at the grocery store. It would just be me and my kittens Buttons & Sassy waiting for her to get home while watching late night TV. I buried him beside her under the pecan tree outside. I've already started telling the kids stories of the mighty Buttons that could jump higher than Adam is tall. He was the biggest cat in the land! He was a good listener.

Sure I'm sad, but mostly I feel old and depressed. 14 years is a very long time. It feels like I'm officially putting an end to my teenage ways, the trench coat of adulthood has finally covered me and at this particular moment it feels very heavy. Change is still in the air and it's going to be a long time before things start feeling normal again.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Talking To Myself Again

Alex is finally back on the mend. Special thanks to Nani and The Gigi for helping out this week. I've been spending more time with the boys lately what with Mandy in school and me taking two days off to be with Alex. One of the things I've discovered is that contrary to what I had previously thought, apparently I'm not talking out loud as much as I think I am.

See what I thought was that when I saw Adam still sitting in his bedroom floor playing with a toy after I've clearly told him to put his clothes on, that I said out loud "Get your clothes on right this minute or we are going to be late for school!" Five minutes later I walk back in though and he's in the same spot.

Alex walks over to the stereo and starts gazing at all the wonderful buttons. I could swear I hear myself say "Don't touch. Don't touch. Alex don't touch. DON'T TOUCH!". Yet clearly I must have been saying this in my mind because the stereo came on full blast.

What I hear is:
"Hey Dad. Can I have a snack?"
"No. We are going to eat dinner in an hour."
"Can I have a snack Dad?"
"Not yet we are cooking tonight."
"I'm hungry Dad. Can I get something to eat?"

What is actually being said out loud:
"Hey Dad. Can I have a snack?"
"Can I have a snack Dad?"
"I'm hungry Dad. Can I get something to eat?"

The past day or so, I've started turning to the nearest person and asking if noise actually came from my mouth.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# I miss holding a paycheck in my hand. These days everything is direct deposit and I gotta say it really kills some of the thrill of working a 40 hour week. I remember getting a piece of paper on Fridays that told me I had money. That it all meant something. I would go the bank, cash it, and hit the town. Of course I'd also see how much the government was taking out and would be grumbling in minutes.

# Does anybody really take things off the record when they say something is off the record? Don't ever say that to me because if anything that makes me remember something more. "Off the record let me just say that I agree with you Bill. This whole mess is the sales reps fault" From then on out all I'm going to remember is that you are on my side. And I'm going to let others know about it "Off the record" of course.

# Drew Carey is the worst game show host ever! The Price Is Right used to be the reason to stay home and watch TV. Now it's just a great way to fall asleep fast in the middle of the day.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

He Sure Plays A Mean Charades

It's been a rough week so far. Mandy and I both had to take a couple days off to care for Alex. Tomorrow my mom (Nani) is supposed to help cover. Today Mandy had school which meant I had Alex all day by myself and Adam from 2:30 on.

Part of Alex's path to wellness includes taking a bath saturated with Dial antibacterial soap twice a day. Alex is the best charades player in the world. He can only say a few words, but can somehow manage to get you to accomplish the most complex tasks with only a few grunts and a couple hand signs. On Tuesday he literally got me to get him a bowl, grab the box of Lucky Charms out of the top cabinet, and get him a glass of milk without saying one word.

Alex practices his talking in the bathtub. Maybe it's the acoustics in there. It sounds like gibberish at first, but if you really start to listen closely there's a pattern. Sometimes it's a song from church, sometimes it's Adam's name, tonight I think he was making fun of me. He kept shaking his head and going No No No No.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Your mind tends to wonder somewhere around the 3rd straight hour of Sesame Street and I came across a very interesting problem. Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy come on at the same time on different channels. Now this isn't a problem for me because I can DVR them, however if my Grandfather were to run up against this problem you'd be able to hear him scream all the way from Linden, Al.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another Post Bites The Dust

I remember some things from my childhood. Some of it is hidden deep in the recess of my brain. Making odd appearances when I least expect it. I remember riding in the car with my dad listening to Queen's Another One Bites The Dust. One birthday he sent me a cassette of the Huey Lewis and The News Sports album. I must have played it until the thing practically disintegrated. At some point in my twenties I bought the Cd.....I pulled it out last night for the first time in years. The boys have music in them. It's like music is the thing that keeps their blood flowing. The moment the beat kicked in on The Heart Of Rock N Roll they both ran into the room and started dancing.

No Chips Off The Ole Blockhead tonight. Too much bouncing around. Nothing wants to form a solid thought. This is my 25 post in 25 days.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The State Of The Union

Thanks to everyone who has gathered around the world tonight to read this evenings State of Our Union.

For starters I'd say things are going pretty good. Like every marriage we have our disagreements, but we've overcome many challenges in the past 10 years and come out on the other ended even stronger than before. My recent hair cut is reminiscent of when we first started dating so that's added a bit of a spark.

Mandy is now a full fledged student. Taking classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6-9:00. Adam is playing basketball on Tuesday nights so that means she leaves for work @ 8 in the morning and never crosses the threshold again until around 9:30 that night. Basically she's only home on Monday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Of course I'm stepping up like a proper spouse should. Cleaning house, giving the kids a bath, cooking dinner, giving medicine, being perplexed at how all of that only takes an hour and wondering how I'm going to survive the next 3 without her.

There's some big changes coming up and we've formed a committee to discuss how everything will go down. A few times a day we pass messages back and forth presenting ideas. Looking for wiggle room in hopes of finding common ground. We expect formal presentations to be made in the coming weeks.

We've done a great job lately working together to fight the War on Chaos. Recently we've made some very large headway with Adam although Alex seems to be building a stockpile of ammunition. The force is strong in that one.

We've had a few setbacks in terms of our current economic status, but we've adjusted our plans and it looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Not to say the recent depression is over mind you, but with a little luck the plans we've put in place will lead us to a prosperous 2013.

In closing I'd like to say thank you to everyone who has helped us stay strong. Without your support we would not be who we are today. I love you Mandy. Goodnight.

Tonight's Chips Off The Old Blockhead:
# Yes this on some level was a blantant attempt to attract more readers.
# I know I made a big deal about how I don't try to attract readers a few weeks back, but I'm now backing away from that statement slightly.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Love In The Time Of Sickness

If Mandy gets sick...like low down puking her guts out, running a fever of 102, death warmed over sick...I can go live on the couch for a few days give her some space and stay out of her way. If I get down just leave me alone, don't touch me, and I'll be fine soon enough. It doesn't quite work like that when talking kids and illness.

If one of the boys gets sick like Alex is now you can't just put them in a room and slip some bread and Gatorade under the door a few times a day. If they are puking, you gotta hold the bucket and hug them after. If they get a sour stomach, you gotta pinch your nose and pat their heads. In our case this week if they are highly contagious with a virus that has their entire face, arms, hands, legs, feet, and chubby cheeks covered in oozing splotches you just gotta grit your teeth and rock them to sleep like you do any other night.

Yes it means you will likely be carrying your own bucket a few days later, running to the bathroom with a sour stomach the rest of the week, or finding yourself scratching at what you pray is nothing, but if you look there in the fine print of the Mommy/Daddy contract it's right under the section covering the proper way to kiss a boo-boo. It's just part of the job.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:

# Last night we had our first real taste of severe weather since April 27 2011. For 3 hours we were all curled up in a queen sized bed hiding under the covers. I used to be nervous during bad weather....now after seeing first hand what one can do it seems I'm scared to death.

# "Alex say I" "IIIII" "Love" "Ruve" "You" "Elmo!!!"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hand Foot & Ouch Disease

I fully believe that God will only give us what he knows we can handle at one time. Friday night we got some calming news, Saturday morning we woke up to Alex being sick with possible Hand Foot & Mouth. What was a tiny bump on his cheek yesterday turned into a massive inflammation all over his body this morning. It's never a good thing when you call the Dr. and he asks you to come in the side entrance so you don't come into contact with anyone else. Turns out little man has Impetigo which means no baby kisses for 7 days to say the least and the loss of at least one vacation day on my part.

We were very fortunate with Alex to be able to allow for him to stay home with Mandy the first year of his life. Adam started daycare at 6 weeks. There's an upside and downside to everything though. Adam has been exposed to every illness under the sun and these days on the rare occasion he says he doesn't feel good you better stand up and take notice. It's all new for Alex so the opposite is true, if it walks through those daycare doors there's a good bet he's gonna catch it.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:

# Shout out to the looky-loos from Mountain View, California and Wilmington, Delaware.

# I have somehow jacked up my ear and can't hear good out of my right side. May be my first ear infection in 36 years.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

To Everything Turn Turn Turn

Right off the bat 2012 felt like the season of change and while that has definitely been the case so far what with Mandy starting real estate school, some changes have thrown us a bit of a curve. For the moment one of the most unexpected is the likely passing of our cat Buttons.

The story of Buttons the main coon cat starts back in September of 1998. Mandy and I had just moved into our first apartment and did what most kids our age did in that we simply went whichever direction the wind took us. That meant instead of going down the street to visit the little old lady that had placed an ad in the local newspaper to pick out a kitten for my birthday, we ended up with two. There they were curled up next to each other in a tight little ball, Mandy reaching for soon to be called Sassy and I the future Buttons. It took us two seconds to decide to take them both home.

For the longest they were our children. We took videos of them, tons of pictures, played with them constantly, bragged to our friends what our crazy pets had done the night before. We used to buy them Christmas stockings every year full of catnip toys.

When we first found out Mandy was pregnant our old children very quickly turned transformed into house cats. We tried our best to prep them for the arrival of Adam. I even ordered a cd off the web that featured babies laughing, crying, throwing tantrums in hopes of getting them used to the noise. Sadly it didn't take....Sassy who was always the princess of the house quickly lost her mind. One day within that first month we turned our back for one second and found her trying to sleep on Adam's face while he lay in his swing. Buttons took a swing at him. Things kinda went down hill from there and eventually Sassy went completely off the deep end. Soon she became sick and very erratic. We were forced to make some tough decisions.

We took Sassy's passing pretty hard. Looking back it was as if she represented a part of our youth that had suddenly vanished. For 7 years it had just been the cats and Mandy and I. Suddenly we had a house, and a new baby, and this payment, and that full time job, and....it all seemed to happen overnight.

Buttons the cat will turn 14 this year and it looks like very soon he will be leaving us. He's deaf, has lost a ton of weight, and is having bladder issues. He hates everyone at this point. This new life is too loud for him, we move too fast, stomp too much, and he's constantly being forced to find a new hiding place. Mandy and I know we should probably do the right thing, but for the moment he's comfortable.

The season of change is just beginning.

Tonight's Chips Off The Old Blockhead:
# It was nice to just lay around the house all day and take catnaps. We cleared some room from the DVR and Adam scored 7 points in his 3rd basketball game this morning.

# The best thing about living in a small town is bumping into old and new friends everywhere you go. The worst thing about living in a small town is bumping into old enemies everywhere you go.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Taking the night off

We got some really good news today which I can't share other than to say God is so good. Half of a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders, a lot of prayers were answered, and now we just have to wait for the other shoe to drop. The big difference being that we now have a safety net to catch us and may decide to go ahead and jump into it instead of waiting for what seems like is going to be the inevitable. This weekend it all about rest and relaxing though so no Chips Off The Ole Blockhead tonight. We'll talk again tomorrow.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A-Corn-y Story

I don't even know if I should write what happened last night, but the thought of a 13 year old Adam being embarrassed as he reads what took place is just too much. I will warn you though that before you go any further this is most def a PG-13 kinda story.....

Adam's buddy Racer gave him a bag of acorns last night at church. Adam thought this was the most awesome thing ever and began to run around talking about how he was going to put them in the ground and grow an Ache tree. Funny but not as funny as what happened at bed time....again now's your chance to flip past this post....

I go to put Adam to bed last night and I notice he's holding the tiny black velvet bag with all the acorns in it. "What are you doing with that?" Thinking that I knew full well what his answer would be....instead I got back "That's my nut sack Dad. I'm going to sleep with my nut sack tonight." Now obviously my five year old sweet innocent Adam has no idea what this means so I choke back a burst of laughter and reply "Well let's put it on your dresser so you don't spill your nuts all over the place."

Fast forward 6 hours. I roll over in the night to the sound of what I think is Mandy talking in her sleep. "Wake up honey, you are talking out loud. You're having a bad dream." "I'm not asleep I was talking to Adam" "He was in here? Are you sure? What did he want?" I promise you I'm not making this up. With all seriousness and as matter of fact as if she had said the sky was blue Mandy said "He can't find his nut sack and wants me to help him look for it."

Fast forward a few more hours. Adam is up, we are moments away from walking out the door, and the acorns pop up again. "What do you have in your hand little man?" "It's my nut sack Dad. I want to take it to school and show my friends". At this point I'm losing it every time he says it, but I must reply in a way as to not encourage him to say it more. "Listen man I don't think nut sack is the best thing to call it......how about seed sack?" This practically sends Mandy falling to the kitchen floor in a fit of laughter. She's barely able to speak and somehow squeaks out "Call it his acorn bag!"

Mandy and I then spent the entire day letting our imaginations run wild as to what could possibly be taking place at school. "Mr. Beck are you aware your son offered to show his nut sack to Jenny Jenkins?" "Mrs. Beck did you know Adam asked if he could bring his nut sack to show and tell?" "Um yes this is the principal, Adam is in my office and he swears you hid his nut sack last night." I don't make it up folks. I just live it.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Watched Kung Foo Panda 2 tonight. One of the best movies I've seen in a while!
# Newman's Own Organic Extra Bold Coffee and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies should never be consumed after 11 P.M. I learned this lesson the hard way last night.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Curious Case Of The Casual Curse

People say curse words. Growing up The Angry Man (who I seem to be talking about a lot lately) was a master crafter of the curse word. He would all too often combine words that had never been attached before into such prose Shakespeare himself would likely stand back and bow in amazement of such creative prose. In another life I myself became quite skilled at the art of the curse. These days while I don't speak that type of language anymore, I don't typically flinch when I hear something on TV or in a movie that would be offensive to others. Honestly not much does offend me....except for something that happened twice today.

On two separate occasions people that I barely know casually began speaking to me using lets just call it alternative language. I couldn't help but laugh at how shocked I was and afterward I realized 3 things.

  1. Where once I completely surrounded myself with people that would use such alternative language it would cause the walls to bleed, for the most part nobody around me has spoken like that in 10 years.

  2. For some reason I've created an imaginary line where I'm not offended by things I see and hear in my entertainment choices but yet when those same words are said by real life people standing in front of me I'm left stunned like a punch to the gut. Sometimes I just stand there not being able to believe what I just heard.

  3. Clearly I'm not doing enough to show those I come into contact with that I'm a Christian.

Those that committed today's offenses were not friends, they were barely acquaintances. A few emails here and there, a couple phone calls, a handshake or two every six months, yet suddenly I felt like we were a couple of frat bros dishing the smack about last nights mixer.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:

# They caught the mugger!!! Here is the arrest report. He's the 15th one down. Intials REH

# This guy shook my hand today so hard I thought I was going to have to learn how to start writing with my left hand. An hour later and I was still considering left handed golf clubs, scissors, and going to get X-rays.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Two Dads

I snapped out of the funk I was in last night. My guess is everyone is thankful it only lasted one day.

My dad texted me this morning. I've got to say that I'm really enjoying waking up every morning and finding a message from him. I'm not sure he reads Charlie or not, but regardless it really gets my day started off on a good note to know he's somewhere out there in the ether wondering how Adam's basketball game went or if we got much rain overnight as he makes his way down the hospital halls at 4 A.M.

He wasn't around for a very long time for various reasons not all of which are his fault. We only get to see him once a year which means that Adam has only seen him six times and Alex twice, but we do talk every couple of days. There was a long stretch there where it felt like I was looking out for myself in terms of the kind of support that only a dad can provide. The Angry Man (passed away on Feb 9th a lifetime ago) tried his best but he just didn't have it in him.

I'm not really explaining it too well but in a weird way I am the kind of dad I am because of who they were. I'm not the Angry Man, I'm not my father, I'm a mix of both. I'm too much of one and too much of the other at times, but lets not go there.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Tonight's was Mandy's 1st full night of class. Halfway through and I was missing her like crazy!
# Giving the sermon tomorrow night and I gotta say that I'm just not in to it this time like I should be. Too much stress right now, can't blog about that yet though.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Something's Stuck In The Filter.

I'm too blunt for my own good. Some people would say I'm just a jerk, but really it's a compulsion to spit out the first thing that comes out of my mouth. Combine that with an obsessive side to my personality and the result is that there are some things that I just can't let go of. I think that is why I'm so good at working in Accounts Receivable. Everyday I am faced with invoices that aren't being paid, mistakes that have been made throughout the company, statistics that need to be better. All of these situations typically put me at odds with customers and at times fellow employee's.

You've heard of the saying the buck stops here. In my case the saying couldn't be more true in that if something goes wrong with an order or the customer doesn't pay what they owe, I've got to go digging for what went wrong in hopes it gets correct and doesn't happen again. My obsessive side refuses to allow me to let go of the problem until I'm satisfied as to what went wrong, my inability to filter my thoughts often means I ask the questions that others think but never say. This often leads to confrontations which afterward triggers my compulsive side again leaving me replaying conversations days, weeks, sometimes years later.

Tonight I'm chewing on something and can't let it go.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# The Golden Globes were last night. I hate television/movie awards shows. Who are these people that enjoy sitting around watching Clooney & Co. pat themselves on the back all night. At least with music awards you get unique performances that you can't see anywhere else.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The First Closing

As a Deacon in the Church of Christ it is my honor to pull together enough members required to put on a proper service. This could mean anywhere from 5-13 people depending on which service we are talking. I've been doing it for about a year so while it can be hectic gathering that many people in less than 10 minutes, I'm fairly good at it and I enjoy it. Part of the process means I occasionally ask those willing to serve to step out of their comfort zone and lead a prayer or read scripture. As a sign that I too am willing to make those same steps, I try to at least put myself in that same uncomfortable position once a month.

For the first time ever I lead closing prayer this morning. Here's what it sounded like:

Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you today in remembrance of the sacrifice you made of your son on that cross at Calvary. Dear Lord we come to you as a family. A family that shares in the ups and downs of life. A family that can't help but to smile as we look around the room and see all the others that have decided to join us in such great fellowship today. A family that offers this prayer today for those that are unable to attend or are no longer with us. We are family that worships together. A family that hurts together....some spiritually some physically...some have been mentioned...some have not. Lord we ask that you lift them up, ease their sorrows, and if need be open their hearts to the wonders that only you can provide. May we all come together to share in your glory once again at the appointed time. Amen

Afterward Adam who just seconds before refused to stand still, ran up to me to show me what he was doing as I was in front of the congregation. As I rolled my eyes and said there's no telling, he stood perfectly straight, bowed his head, and closed his eyes....some prayers are instantly answered.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# I will once again attempt to get up and start exercising in the morning. My co-workers may be getting tired of hearing me yawn so much in the morning, so I thought I'd try to get up 30 mins earlier and get the blood flowing better.
# Tonight we watched Mr. Poppers Penguins. Great family movie, although I thought the ending would have been better had he turned The Tavern On The Green into a penguin sanctuary like that duck hotel in Nashville.
# I also saw the movie Faster with the Rock. For some reason I can't shake wondering what happened to that guy once he killed all those that were responsible for his brother's death. Once you get your revenge what do you do with the rest of your life?

Taking A Break From All Your Worries Sure Helps A Lot

I can't write about everything that goes on in life on Charlie as much as I'd like to. Charlie is definitely the place I go turn to, when I need to work something out internally. Still though while I may work the outline out in my head, some posts are never meant to be written. Yesterday was the perfect day. It was a real chance for us to be a family and put aside some of the pressures that have been dogging us lately. Adam had his first basketball game, then I took him to his first college basketball game to show him what could be (I think he really got it). Last night Mandy and Adam went out, that left me to play with Alex by myself for a while.

It's days like yesterday that are truly gifts from God.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Fabulous Chuckie Cheese Hotel And Casino!!

You won't hear me say this too often and I won't say it too loudly, but deep down despite all my crying, moaning, groaning, and complaining, there is a part of me that likes Chuckie Cheese. I hate the noise, the kids are out of control, there's chaos everywhere (chaos is my arch nemesis), and the pizza tastes like it was made my Chef Boyardee.

Like a cat being forced to take a bath, I am occasionally left with no choice but to coalesce. I have to say However technically Chuckie Cheeses isn't a casino! It's a place where a kid can be a kid!! A place where Dad can spend $50 plugging in tokens which just happen to be worth 25 cents into slot machines that are shaped like wild animals and spit out tickets you can use to buy stuff with. Now I don't need a giant ruler, a heard of miniature buffalo, or a spider ring on every finger, but I do like the feeling of hitting a lucky streak on Bart Simpson's Jackpot-A-Palooza and walking away with $15 in my pocket...I mean giving Adam 60 tickets that are worth 3 Tootsie Rolls.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
#Working 3 minutes from home is normally a good thing. Unless you have bad day. A nice 30 minute drive home sure would help ease some tension before I walked into the door and started the next part of the day
#The weekend is packed! Basketball games, two parties, a ton of stuff to do around the house, and a copy of Mr Popper's Penguins to watch! Oh and I gotta get back to playing Tiger Woods 2011 and Zelda!

Charmed To Sleep

Fell asleep fast last night and completely forgot to post. It happened so fast I forget to feed Buttons and didn't get some cleaning done that on my list before bed. Some nights it happens like that. I blame it on my last minute decision to have a bowl of Lucky Charms at 9:30. All that sugar so late at night is never a good thing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yama Yama Pajama Drama

Alex has a special order in which he likes to wear his pajamas. If you attempt to put them on out of order, be prepared for some kicking and screaming followed by flailing, whaling, and whining. Then a half hour of him trying to pull his clothes off.

Alex's Pajama Line-Up
1) Tickle Me Elmo Pajamas
2) Regular Elmo Pajamas
3) Tigger Pajamas
4) Spiderman Pajamas
5) Super Cute Pajamas
6) Monkey Onesie
7) Construction Crew Onesie

This order must be followed or like I said nobody is going to be getting any sleep any time soon.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
#I know tonight was kinda short, but hey I've got 354 posts left to write this year
#I'm thinking about my New Year's Resolutions and so far the whole stop biting my nails thing is just not happening.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mr. Short Term Memory Strikes Again!

Every night I go to bed making myself the promise that I will get Adam up at 6:50. 10 minutes may not seem like that significant amount of time considering all the minutes in a 24 hour day. Yet those 10 minutes haunt me till around lunch time. See by letting him sleep those precious 10 extra minutes, I'm setting him up to put on his clothes 10 minutes later, brush his teeth 10 minutes later, grab his school stuff 10 minutes later.

That extra 10 minutes of sleep inevitably means he's at school at 7:40 instead of 7:30, I'm at the office at 7:55 instead of 7:45, and my morning report is sent out at 8:20 instead of 8:10....honestly it goes on like that until noon when I'm able to reset after lunch.

Now this isn't a post about how obsessive compulsive I am (not to say that's not fodder for a different day), my point is that every night I go to bed and without fail forget that children do not care if you are late. Don't waste your breath teaching them how to tell time. They don't care. You can scream, stomp, push, pull, beg, bribe, and bargain...not going to do you any good.

There's always a crayon to look at, a toy to try and sneak in their pocket, a sandwich that doesn't smell right, a seatbelt that doesn't fit like it did yesterday, a zipper that won't zip, a potty break that must be taken, a kitty cat that must be petted, a shoelace that must be tied, another kiss goodbye that must be given to brother, another game of Guess What that must be played, a rock that must be thrown, a stick that must be touched, a button that won't button, a waffle that must be eaten...they think it's funny and they do it on purpose. Silently chuckling to themselves on their way into school.

I'm the insane one though because every morning I creep into his room at 6:50 and I look at that precious angel fast asleep in his Spiderman pajamas and I think to myself "What's 10 more minutes of sleep going to hurt."

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
#I'm addicted to my K-Cup machine. I want it every night now. Trying not to hit my stock pile to hard, but nothing is better after a long day than a hot chocolate, chai latte, or lemon black tea.
#Love to Mandy who started school tonight.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Queue Today's Post!

We take our movies pretty seriously in this house, or rather we take out Netflix queue pretty seriously. Earlier in the year when they had the big spike in price we put our account on hold and switched to Red Box. The idea of Red Box is pretty simple. It's a vending machine with movies instead of candy. They are on every corner and for the most part they always have something you wanna see. Plus they routinely send out free movie offers.

Red Box is great idea however there is one major flaw that had us switching back to Netflix and that's winter. I can tolerate the occasional line and not always being able to get the movie I want. One cold morning standing in front of a machine with temps down in the 20's being knocked over by 25 mph wind gusts though and it's sooooo long Red Box. You just can't beat walking out to your mailbox every couple of days for a new flick.

As I said, we take our Queue very seriously. On Tuesdays I always make sure to add the new releases. A few times a month I will delete movies that are coming on Starz or HBO and DVR them instead. I check the Target add every week looking for what has come out on DVD then pop over to Netflix and add them to my list.

The list in itself is a thing of beauty. Every type of movie is included in order to make sure each member of the family is covered. Cartoons, documentaries, action, romance, suspense...depending on the mood and what's going on during the week, the perfect movie is there ready to be added to the top. Oh and just in case it's not available, there's always the backup and backup backup movie that is ready to be shipped.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
#Mandy starts Real estate school tomorrow night so wish her luck if you see her!!
#Still no word on Saturday nights excitement. Maybe they caught the guy, but I'll still be looking for a royal blue mustang with white horses on the side the next time I'm in town
#I understand that tonight's post makes me sound completely insane and I'm okay with that
#Not only did the BAM's win the National Championship they were the 1st to have a shutout in BCS history. I've been talking trash for a week. Gonna have to drink a bunch of shutup juice tomorrow
#The season of change is underway. More on that later....

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Like Water For Blockheads

We are not ones to ever stop much during the week. Between keeping the house clean, homework, baths, basketball, church, working late, and the occasional night out; the week is often exhausting to say the least. Still though once that bell goes off @ 5:00 Friday it's an all out race to see what all we can cram into two days and some change. Friday was dinner, some cartoons with the kids, and a few hours relaxing before pass out. Saturday was up early hitting the yard sales looking for stuff to sell on Ebay, then breakfast, then a good portion of the day spent putting up Christmas so as not to be one of those rednecks that keep them up (and turned on) until July.

By noon Adam was wondering if it was already Sunday. Later we hit the steak house, Target, the mall where we almost got mugged (see last nights post), finally we crashed watching SNL. Sunday Church, Pizza, Coupon clipping, cleaning house, meeting @ church, church service, Jacks, and then at 9:00 we got around to putting in the movie Water For Elephants (Pretty good. Nice old movie feel to it).

We've done all of this and should be in bed now @ 11:00, yet we just can't let go of the weekend. It's always like this on Sunday nights. Just 30 more minutes, just one more show, maybe a late night snack. It's the same way every Sunday. We just hold on to the weekend as long as we possibly can.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
#I did call the police today and tried to talk to an actual person about the mugger from last night, but still only got a message. There was nothing in the paper or local news today, so I'm thinking the guy wasn't caught. Maybe they will call back tomorrow.
#Alex is now refusing to where anything but Elmo and Spiderman pajamas. He has 2 of 1 and only 1 of the other. That means every 3 nights somebody has to do his laundry.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Silence Is Golden

When you have two kids alone time becomes a pretty tricky situation to make happen. By alone time I mean just time to talk about work, what the other person is going through, tell a joke. Before the boys came along Mandy and I had almost 10 years of alone time. We would read 4-5 books a month, there was not a movie we hadn't seen, and the only noise was the sound of me snoring during my Saturday afternoon catnap. Now I'm lucky to read 2 books a year, the only movies I get to watch involve animals doing Kung-Fu, and silence is an alarm that somebody is doing something they are not supposed to in the other room (coloring on the walls, using Mommy's makeup, trying to sneak food).

Maybe we took it for granted before the boys. I can't remember what it was like coming home to an empty house cooking dinner for two. Being at home alone and not having to worry about the toy room being a mess.

Not that we don't get to be alone now, when it happens though it's like a gift from God. It might be five minutes sitting on the couch together before the boys wake up, a few moments in the kitchen cooking dinner together, a quick glance and a smile from across the room that seems to make everyone in the crowd disappear. It comes in short spurts and if you aren't careful it will pass you by. I wonder if that's what happens in the early stages of divorce.....people let a moment slip by....then another...then another....soon they forget what they're missing.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
#I think we soooo almost totally got attacked tonight at the mall. Dude in a blue mustang got out walked up to the van, turned around, and walked back to the car. He kept getting in and out of the car. I sent Mandy and the boys inside, while I went back out pretending to have left something. He cranked the mustang, drove to the next row of parking places, and just sat there. I stopped by the customer service desk and apparently the guy had been out there for hours! I said they should call the cops, the cops showed up, and apparently the guy tried to speed out. The cops rammed him, but he got away.....no idea what happened next. Maybe it will be in the new tomorrow.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Bombs Away!!

It's Friday night so this is going to be a short one. Not much going on other than I'm sounding like the Angry Man tonight. Not in the extreme way, more like griping about toilet paper usage. Adam can't help himself but make these giant balls of paper and then wonders why the toilet breaks every time he takes the Browns to the Superbowl. I'm trying to convince him that you can't shove a dodge ball through a keyhole if you know what I mean. A couple squares at a time and everything will be fine.

He's still not getting it though so what ends up is me sounding like my stepfather banging around the house grumbling about "that boy" and how hard headed he is. "That boy is using too much paper!" "No wonder we have plumbing problems, that boy is flushing a whole role at a time. Tube and all!!" What can I say other than it's just another night at the Blockhead house.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
#I'm really getting sick of these BAM's!!! War Eagle and Geaux LSU! They actually cancelled Adam's 1st basketball game and it started 3 hours before kick-off. Heaven forbid one those tree killers misses 5 minutes. Instead let's just cancel every extracurricular activity in the state I suppose.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Multiple Questions and Answers

The planets aligned themselves this afternoon and I managed to have an hour where I could take Adam out for ice-cream just the two of us. I remember my dad taking me out for food some afternoons before Broccoli came along.

Today I was talking to Father of Five about statistics and keeping track of who is visiting. I used to pay pretty close attention to every little incoming link and spec on the map. Wondering just who in Moscow had stumbled across my little corner of the web. For a time there I spent quite a few weeks and months wondering how to attract the most attention. I even managed to get a mention on CBS's news site for a post I had done about a Mattel toy recall. As some of you may know for the longest I was even a Blogger For Hire, grinding out post after post on every thing from American Idol (I once interviewed a runner up) to Japanese high end golf clubs. I can write a post about anything in a matter of minutes all I need are a couple facts at the most and at times a picture would give me all the info I needed to craft a 500 word blog. As I said I did this for several years. Writing as many as 15-20 posts a week. I stopped all blogging on April 27th last year. The words ran out. For a few years there I was posting 100-135 times a year for Charlie. Last year I wrote 6. By this coming Sunday I will have doubled that total in the first week of the month.

These two things, exposure and money, would be the B & C options to the multiple choice question "Why did you start blogging?". Both would be incorrect. I got into blogging because I was scared to death about being a father. Now is not the time to dig up old bones, but needless to say that is one part of my life that was lacking. So I found Daddy bloggers across the web and I started following. Soon after I started doing it myself. Blogging is a way to relieve frustrations, to twist the valve and depressurize. Most importantly long after I'm gone, my kids will know exactly who I am. They will know their father's every thought, crazy screw up, rude habit, favorite event. The story of their birth and their birthdays. I've got them all saved to a file and as of today they number over 404.

The answer to the question is E) Both A-For my kids and D-For myself.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
#Do you say Egyptians like Egypt-shins or Egypt-she-ins? For some reason I think the Bangles mangled the word in the name of creative license.
#Last night I may have come off as a jerk when I talked about the horror of a 15 minute conversation about birds. I should have at least made an effort to fictionalize a portion so as not to offend anyone. Maybe I should get one of those Law & Order statements to popup whenever someone clicks over. "What you are about to read is partly fictional. Any relation to actual events is coincidental."
# Jersey Shore started tonight and I did not DVR it. I always feel like a dieter who just polished off a large pizza with everything on it afterward. People ask what I did the previous night and I simply can't bring myself to say I spent an hour watching monkeys throw poop at each other.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Thought Patterns Of The North American Father

The only downside to Adam throwing that big hissy fit last night during what was supposed to be basketball practice was that we may have gotten our point across (at least for the moment). We are the parents. You don't do what we say, you don't get your way. The second he got in the car this afternoon he said "Can we try again Dad?" The word basketball was never mentioned. To me this says he'd been thinking about it all day just like his mom and I had.

I'm still tinkering with the format but I like the whole random thoughts thing I've been doing the last couple of nights. I fully expect larger posts to come from those, but if not I think they are nice little windows into what's going on in my mind during the day.

The boys are fighting. I don't mean at this particular moment...I mean yes they are fighting as I type this....I mean in it in a broader sense as in THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE IN THE RELATIONSHIP! Don't get me wrong they love each other to death, but a certain level of annoyance has crept into what was a perfect state of brotherly love. Alex has no idea what the word MINE! is but he likes saying it and always gets a response from Adam. Adam knows what it means, but refuses to understand the connection between saying something and knowing what is being said. At least 20 times a day we hear "MINE!!" "IT'S NOT YOURS ALEX!!".

It's been a long day....time for TONIGHT'S BLOCKHEAD BITS....kinda lame? REASONS I'M A BLOCKHEAD!! I'll have to settle on something soon.

#I find it weird when people tell me they read the obituaries everyday in the local paper. I mean if I hear Frank James passed away (apologies to the James family for any confusion your husband is not dead) I go to my local paper and check it out. There are those that scout out the obits like I would the sports page looking for who's been traded to another team. I live with one of these people and honestly I just don't understand the need to take a daily roll call of the dead.

#I have discovered that I apparently have lost the ability to tactfully remove myself from a conversation. I don't know when I lost this valuable skill, but twice today I was forced to listen to 15 minutes of blah blah blah blah. I just stood there glued to the floor saying things like "Tell me about it" "I bet man!" "Wow that's rough". All the while my brain is screaming at the other parts of my body as if I suddenly became paralyzed. I promise you all I said was "This is some weather huh?" and I got a 20 minute lecture on the migration patterns of the North American Starling.

#Contrary to what my kids think I do like having conversations with their mother, however apparently they are dead level set on making sure this only happens between the hours of Midnight and 6:30 A.M

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

Since I'm in day 3 of 365 days of posting, some of this stuff is going to be completely random.

I started back to work today and as much as I talked yesterday about missing it to a certain extent, I did figure one thing out i.e. my back problems are magnified by my chair at work. Not to say the chair is directly responsible for my left arm going numb the moment I sit down, but it had almost gone away and now it's back to it's pre-holiday condition.

As a parent work brings about all kinds of issues. The first one to smack me in the face this morning was the list of things I wish I had done with the boys during the holiday season. Of course there is never enough time to do all that we want, but that doesn't stop me from daydreaming of all that cool times that could be had if given another day off.

There are going to be days when you can make up for lost time the moment you walk in the door...then there are those days when no matter what you've got planed the child is just not going to cooperate. Today's dream was taking Adam to the church gym to get in a little extra basketball practice before his 1st game next Monday. It was to be a father son moment made in heaven. Just a family hanging out shooting some baskets. In reality he started throwing a fit almost immediately, would only listen for 3 seconds at a time, and finally after 10 minutes he threw himself on the ground consequently bumping his head on the floor, and started screaming he had been pushed. Practice cancelled. Daydream crushed.

To rub salt into the wound he did all of this within earshot of the ladies exercise class who were nice enough to promise not to call the authorities all the while chuckling between sit-ups. Needless to say somebody is going to bed early tonight(probably 4 somebodies)

Tonight's random thoughts

  • My dashboard says I've been posting for 6 years! How in the world do I know if I'm repeating my title's or not?

  • I've always thought that my mother was born on Feb 29th during a leap year. That we only celebrate her birthday on the 28th so she won't have to wait another 4 years for a free dinner at the Chinese Buffet. I was recently informed that this was apparently something I made up out of thin air and while she was born in a leap year she was not born on leap day. I'm 36 and I'm just now finding this out.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Counting The Days Till November 2012

My favorite part of the holidays it all the time off we get. Typically Mandy and I are off for the better part of 13 days. This year I had a couple 4 day weekends back to back while Mandy got the whole week off. I would have joined her, but vacation days are like gold bars and I've already used 2 of my allowed 15 days. The remaining 13 are supposed to last me until November!

Today Mandy was back at work so it was just me & the boys. We spent the 1st half gathering all the miscellaneous pieces of the Batman Imaginext universe we have collected over the years. All together we have The Batcave, The Joker's Playhouse, Green Lantern Corps, almost all the villains, 4 different planes, trains, and automobiles, and about $200 invested. It's ridiculous the amount of toys these kids have. One of our projects this year is to organize and reduce the clutter in this house. A major portion of that will be in the form of toys that have fallen by the wayside.

It was weird being off work today. I think it's a good sign you like your job when after being off for a large period of time, you start to feel pulled back towards it. Not that I won't feel the opposite way in a month, but for now part of me is ready to get back to all my numbers and statistics.

I learned today that my kids have tape worms. They've done nothing but eat all day long! At first I thought I was just giving them junk food so I decided to only offer sandwiches and real food....it didn't stop them. They just kept eating turkey sandwich after turkey sandwich. Then it again it may have just felt like a lot because I was drunk on college football all afternoon (3 SEC bowl games on at the same time! I changed channels so much my remote almost overheated)

I leave you with a few things I can't shake off: Why does soup not accept it's soup and quit trying to be other foods (Taco Soup?) How much must you love someone in order to pretend 3o years have never happened in order to spare them the pain of remembering? At what point am I going to start the "losing weight" portion of my New Year's resolutions.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

I resolve to

I did some quick fact checking and it appears the whole idea of making resolutions at New Year's comes from the early Christians who typically spent this time of year looking back and making promises on how to change what they considered to be transgressions made in the past. I've been thinking a lot about the past/future recently. Where am I at both spiritually and physically. Where I want to be in my career come 2013. Is my family going to be any larger come this time next year?

My main problem with resolutions is the same as everyone else's. Here today and gone tomorrow. This year I'm going to resolve to make my resolutions stick by making more broad statements and not trying to limit myself to specific time frames. So here it goes...

  1. I resolve to go to the dentist more than I did last year

  2. I resolve to try harder to not bite my nails

  3. I resolve to lose weight

  4. I resolve to watch less TV, read more, and play outside more with the boys

  5. I resolve to be a better husband

  6. I resolve to pray more and not just close my eyes while wondering what's for lunch, dinner, breakfast, etc....

  7. I resolve to save money and be in a better financial position come the end of 2012

  8. I resolve to be a better Christian

  9. I resolve to help others more.

So far so good. Nothing that has to be accomplished today or tomorrow. I'm simply promising to try harder to do better. To be better in 2012 than I was in 2013. I do have one more though and it may be a tough one. It's something I think I need. Something that has been missing in my life lately. I resolve to blog everyday for the next 365 days. More on why later....So I guess all that is left to say is Happy New Year to all and for now good night!