Wednesday, February 29, 2012

She'll Always Come Back

Yesterday was the Nani's birthday and I wanted to post something nice about her but the boys wore me slap out so I did a Best Of. Today I make up for it.

I don't remember what age we were, but I do remember it was Broccoli, mom, and I in a car going down the road when a song by K.T. Oslin came on. I remember she kinda teared up for a moment and said anytime we missed her to think of this song. Happy Birthday Nani

Oh there's a nursery rhyme it's a favorite of mine
Bout a little girl and some sheeps that she could not find
They told her not to worry they'd come back
Darling you're my shepherd I'm your little lamb
You ain't always gonna know where I am
Oh but don't you worry I'll come back
I'll always come back baby to you
I'll always run back straight to you
I'll never get too far away from you
I'll never get too lost that I can't be found
And I'm never gonna swim too far out I might drown
And I'll always come back come back baby to you
I'll come back
Keep your eyes on the horizon and when you start to missin' me
Just look out your window and there I'll be
Cause I'll always come back baby to you...I'll always come back come back baby to you

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Best Of Blockhead: A Room With A Coo (August 9,2010)

It's only been a few weeks since we found out our second child was on it's way and things are being discussed that to the casual observer might seem insignificant. To the soon to be parents of two though what may seem trivial to some are matters of National consequence to others.

We live in a modest 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, that while not a mansion fits us fine. I've always thought that one of the most interesting things about a home is that the more rooms you have, the more you feel the need to pile them high with things you don't need. For example before Lucy moved her office in there, our front room was a beautiful living room with couches, a love seat, and a complete entertainment center....that nobody went into because the big screen is in the backroom along with the computer, another more comfortable couch, and the fridge is closer.
Before Fred we had a Guest Bedroom, a Master Bedroom, and additional bedroom that Lucy was/is using as a walk-in closet. In came Fred out went the Guest Bedroom. You can understand why this really wasn't that big of a change (unless you were a guest and got sent to the Ho-Tel Mo-Tel Hol-i-day Inn)in terms of the way the house was being used. Now while the announcement of Baby#2 isn't really the shock to the system that brought on mass fits of panic as did the first trip into the Parenthood, this visit easily makes up in storage issues what it lacks in first time jitters.

The best example of this decorating dilemma involves the litter box which is currently being kept in guessed it....future room of Baby#2 (which I like saying better than calling it an IT). There's no room in the kitchen, Lucy uses the front room for clients and has people in an out all day (doing Real Estate stuff you perv!), the bedrooms are out of the question as nobody wants to go to sleep smelling that (clean or not), the 1/2 bath is more 1/2 than bath....this leaves the den or the Full Bath. Like the bedroom the den is no place for what that cat leaves behind (scooping only buys you a few moments cause he likes to hold it all day and hide around the corner waiting for it to be fresh again) and Lucy says no to the Full Bath. Which're guess is as good as mine. I'm thinking about taking it up with the United Nations.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Grass Is Greener This Side Of Avalon

I thought we had a big yard at the last house. I saw the yard at the new place from a distance and thought "This isn't so bad. I can cut this easy" Over the last few days I've walked across it and thought "It's not that much bigger. I got this!"

Today was the first afternoon since the move that we were really able to get outside and play around. We got the basketballs out and shot some hoops. We got the bikes out and toured the driveway a few dozen times. We got the football out and ran and ran and ran and the yard that I had paid little attention to at the beginning suddenly stretched for miles and miles.

Now this isn't a "look how much cooler I am than you with my huge back yard" kind of post. Instead it's a "HOW AM I GOING TO KEEP THIS GRASS CUT ALL SUMMER!! kind of post. I'm sure tonight I will awake in a cold sweat crying "Please Mandy let me hire somebody to cut grass. I just can't do it I tell you. I just can't"

Tonight's Chip Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Adam got his test scores in and was way above the end of the year numbers. My boy is a genius!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Would You Like To Talk To My PR Mgr?

If you know me then you know that I don't have that filter that is in most people's brain which stops them from saying what some might consider inappropriate things. Not to say that a majority of it isn't the brutally honest truth, but still inappropriate just the same. I try hard to suppress this urge that some may say is a form of rude turrets, but at times it's several hours or even days before I even realize I may not should have said "I'm too tired to pretend to remember some address you think I will need someday although I highly doubt. If it's that important to you, can you just text it to me?"

Being aware of my lack of filter as I am though it's helps to have a PR Department that gets in front of any potential scandal and eases the situation before it explodes in my face. That's one reason I love Mandy so much because essentially she's that PR Mgr that puts a good face on what can be a very ugly pig sometimes. I depend on her so much that there are times when I ask the person I'm speaking to if they would like to talk to her. This odd request typically gets me a look of confusion, which I can see right away, and thus makes my uncomfortablity that much more obvious. Silence is my worst enemy. If I'm talking to somebody and getting zero feedback, you can bet I'm about to say something stupid in five seconds. "Sooooo hmmmm yeah I've been working around the house all day....I think ummm Mandy's around ahhhh somewhere if you want to talk to her." "No. Do I need to talk to her?" "No no no....uhhhh I just was say'n ummm anyway"

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Alex used the potty for the first time tonight!! He walked around the house looking for GiGi, found her, and lead her to his seat!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Moved To Tears

My fingers are killing me. My knuckles are scrapped up. I've got cuts all up and down my arms and back of my hands. It's literally hurting to type this. Feet are killing me. Goutie toe may be back....back hurts too. I took yesterday off and moved all day. We moved all day today...still got at least a couple loads left.

The Angry Man did maintenance for several apartment complexes in town. He would always come home with cool stuff people left behind. I remember wondering why people would just pack up and never come back for the rest of their stuff. Today I understand because I'm about to say forget it. It's no longer worth it. I don't need the stuff that bad. I'll buy more stuff to replace it.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# If you were driving down Avalon avenue today and saw some guy in a trailer holding on to a basketball goal for dear life as it literally picked him up and sat him back down....that was me.

# If you were driving down Avalon avenue today and saw some guy in the back of a pickup truck with his pants struggling to stay around his waist mooning all those around.....that was me.

# If you were driving down Avalon avenue today and you saw that guy in the back of a pickup truck with his pants holding on for dear life and mooning everyone around and you saw that pickup truck stop suddenly thus sending him headed face first into the back of the cab with nothing to hold on to....unfortunately that was me also.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Best Of Blockhead: Confessions Of A Dropper Offer (December 7, 2007)

One thing about having a two year old or a kid at any age for that matter is that regardless of where you go or what you are doing you always have to bring along a portable toy chest. Now depending on your child and where you are taking it (or him/her whatever pronoun you prefer) you might be able to get away with something as simple as a couple cars in the bottom of the diaper bag or you may just have to bring a separate "bag 'o' toys".

This week I find myself facing a certain dilemma with Fred involving toys in the car. Being the dropper offer (Lucy the quicker picker upper) I'm in charge of getting him to school alive and making sure he at least pretends to wear a hood long enough for her to kiss him goodbye and close the door every morning. Now to get him out of the house and away from mommy without throwing a tantrum we bribe him. There's nothing wrong with it. We just shake a pair of sunglasses or a set of plastic keys in front of his face and it's all good.until it's time to do the actual dropping off.

This is when I'm faced with having to take the bribe that worked so well to calm him down five minutes before away from him so that I don't end up donating half his stuff to the daycare. Some days he understands, some days he thinks I a just being a jerk. In my defense I'm really nice about it. I don't just yank them away and scream "MINE MINE MINE!!" like he does when he takes my stuff away from me. As I said I try to be nice, but I'm literally taking candy from a baby. So that's why at least once a week Lucy gets an email at work along the lines of "He wouldn't let go of my cell phone..remember to ask for it when you pick him up."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Attack Of The Walking Fred!

The weather was perfect this afternoon so while Mandy was in class the Gigi and I took the boys on their first walk to Gatman Park. It's about a five-ten minute walk but it's all sidewalk all the way. The park has a ton of playground equipment and in the summer they have a splash pad that stays on till late afternoon. Can't wait to start flying kites!

Things are finally settling in around the house even though we still have a few truck loads to get from the old place. Last night I took Adam to potty at around midnight. I thought he was awake enough to get back in bed while I took my turn. I got to his bedroom seconds later to find him missing. I'm walking through the dark house, blind as a bat trying not to wake the entire house (namely Triscuit). Looking on the couch, loveseat, under the dinning room table...he had somehow made his way to Gigi's and had crawled into her bed. This morning she said he rolled over and with a puzzling look asked "How did I get in your bed Gigi?"

This morning Mandy found Alex cuddled up with the puppy. She went to pick him up to take him to school and both freaked out. The puppy started yapping and jumping. Alex was waving his arms. It's been all day and that dog still won't look her.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# I love the smell of mulch. If I could I'd wear it like a cologne. People would see me coming and say "There's Old Man Hickory. He's the best smelling guy I know!"
# No woodpecker this morning. Maybe he's flown the coop

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Best Of Blockhead: Fridge-O-lympics (August 1st 2007)

It’s amazing how much the inside your fridge evolves during the course of your life. Back in college I had a mini-fridge and all it could hold was 2 six packs of wine coolers and a bottle of Boones Farm (turned sideways). Once I moved out on my own I never seemed to have enough food to account for the regular sized appliance. However back then I could fit an entire pizza box in it thus saving myself from having to wrap the left over pieces in foil (I’ve never been able to figure out how to use plastic wrap) or heaven forbid Tupperware (just something else to eventually have to wash).

Getting married requires that food be in the house mainly due to the fact that women are not born with the ability to eat nothing but frozen burritos and week old pizza for months at a stretch. That and romans in a cup should never be the husband’s answer to the wife’s “Honey what are we having for dinner tonight?” So the wife comes in and the shelves get filled but not over-filled mind you, just a few things on here and there. Oh and the married man has condiments. Single man just eats everything plain unless he remembers to get extra packets of mustard/ketchup from McDonalds.

Once baby comes along getting something out of the refrigerator turns into an Olympic event.




“Ok it’s never on the bottom shelf, so I’ll look top first.’

“No No that was too easy. Second from the bottom…..crap!”

“Second from top has got way too much on it. Wait!! I think I just saw the bottom of it from the top of the second shelf!!!”

“Alright!! Now I know where it’s at…the time is ticking though!!! My commercials almost over and my sandwich is still missing jelly…I may just have to settle for a PB instead of a PB&J”

“Let’s see…what if I take the juice container and slide it to the right, put last nights leftovers on the bottom, move the two gallons of milk (whole for him and 2% for us) where the food was, oops don’t wanna smush a grape (top shelf cause baby can reach them everywhere else), tea pitcher goes to the left, cake icing fits in the door (same reason as the grapes), and maybe just maybe I can reach back between the OJ carton and two liter of Coke, grab the top of the jelly, and go over the top of the drinks…..yes TETRIS!!!!!”


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

To Kill A Mocking Bird

Apparently we aren't the only ones who have decided to move into the new place. For the past three days a woodpecker has created quite a stir around the house. It happens at almost exactly 7:00 A.M every morning and creates a ripple effect. The bird lands on the chimney and goes to headbanging on the metal covering. This causes a sound similar to a jackhammer which echoes down the chimney causing the puppy to freak out. The puppy panics immediately and begins to run like wild to the front door. This wakes Alex up who hates to wake up so he starts crying. This of course wakes Mandy up. The Gigi jumps up to calmed the dog down. I run outside to shoo the bird and within 30 seconds the entire house is ready to start their day.

So Blockhead fans, any idea how to kill a bird that seems to be mocking us?

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Forget Me Not List

Adam keeps a running list of things we no longer and proclaims to miss them with all his heart on a weekly if not daily basis. With the new move taking place he's added something new to the list i.e. the old house. Below is what I believe to be the complete list:

The Red Couch: We got the red couch from a catalog return store about five or six years ago. It was supper comfortable but after years of eating, sleep, sitting, and stomping all over it; we had flat worn it out. At one point in it's run at our place the bottom broke out of it and had to be rigged using metal wire and a piece of plywood. We sat it at the end of the driveway one Saturday and it sold within hours.

The Orange Car: It was a Ford Edge that felt huge until Alex came along and very quickly it began to feel like a sardine can on wheels. Adam was the one that kept pushing us to sell it and was all for it until the day after it was gone. That was a year and a half ago and every time he gets in the van he mentions getting the Orange Car back.

The Old School: We pass the Hill every morning on the way to kindergarten and Alex is currently enrolled there. Every time we pass Adam sighs like an 85 year old man thinking about how pretty his young bride was the day he went off to the fight the Nazis.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# I'm going to try and stay away from the Best Of's as much as possible but part of me loves reading those old stories that we would have forgotten if not for putting them on Charlie.

# "Mom can you come get Alex out of my room!! I can't handle him any more tonight"

# We pulled up to get a couple things from the old place last night and Alex started point and crying "No no no no no no no no no no no!!" For some moving on is easy I guess

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Invasion Begins!

Been away for a few days and I gotta say I've missed Charlie. The reason for the Best Of's is because we are moving and are stuck in this weird limbo world where half our stuff is at one house with the other half at the other. Thankfully somebody nearby didn't think to lock up their WiFi signal so I'm able hitch a free ride till I can get my own.

Moving is a horrible experience in general. George Carlin once said the only reason we invade other countries is so we can have more room to put all our extra stuff. It makes sense if you think about it. You start out in college with no stuff so you only need a one bedroom place. You get married and the stuff doubles so you get a nice cozy house. Then a baby comes along and there is a ton more stuff so you gotta upgrade again. It's easy to see how eventually you find yourself invading Canada simply because you can no longer find a place to put your socks. Canada's kinda like our attic. Mexico is our basement.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# The boys seem to be adjusting fine. We knocked out Adam's room first and Alex may never leave his grandmothers side again.

# Things have happened so fast not sure how to feel about all this change. I'm not one to really celebrate major shifts in the Space-Time Continuum, but I have experienced moments of sheer joy as I look around at all the new places to put my stuff!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Best Of Blockhead: I Promise Not To Cry (June 7th 2010)

Daddy do you have to work today?

Yes I do baby. I'm sorry.

But why?

Because we need money so we can do stuff. Please don't cry.

But I don't want you to go to work today Daddy.

I know, but you are going swimming at Nani's.

That will be fun.Okay Daddy. I promise not cry when you leave for work.

That's my good boy.

And when we go to Nani's I won't cry either.

Cause you're a big boy.

And when we leave Nani's house I won't cry for you then either.

Thank you. Give me a kiss and hug. I love you Adam (silently to myself I promise not to cry either).

Friday, February 17, 2012

Best Of Blockhead: Fred (Adam) Says Amen!

Contributed by Lucy:

If you know the real Charlie and Lucy ~ you know we are both loud, love to have fun and love to laugh. Why should our sweet little Fred be any different? I have a hilarious story that must be shared.

A few Wednesday nights ago we were at church. Fred was behaving on a moderately good level - UNTIL the closing prayer. Now he knows that after the closing prayer he gets to go to class, sing songs and be with his buddies. Obviously he was ready to go!

The poor guy leading the closing prayer didn't stand a chance. He had hardly gotten started when Fred says Amen. Now mind you, the prayer was not over. Awe how sweet he knows how to pray, right? Yeah sure until you hear the next AMEN! I quickly covered his mouth and listened to the chuckles coming from our friends surrounding us. He was proud - he got a laugh. Maybe that would quite him up - no chance then came a much louder AMEN! Good grief Charlie, help me out a little. AMEN screams our child. By this time he has totally lost it . . . "I SAID AMEN" screams my child. When he was totally exasperated he looks at me with a pitiful face and said "Mommy I say Amen" and laid his head on my shoulder. Poor sweet Fred ~ if it were only that easy, I'd Amen my way to the weekends.

Sorry Mr. Gary ~ that disruption was us!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I Feel Like Dirt

Things are difficult around the house to say the least. You can't clean anything because half the place is in boxes. The kids can't drag out. There's stuff every where. We are all very frazzled and unfortunately we are taking some of it out on each other.

It was Tuesday night and Mandy was at school. Alex was exhausted and needed to be put to bed, but I still had a few more things to do before I could just stop and hold him. Adam is trying to watch cartoons in our room when the crying starts. Alex has had enough and is letting everyone know it. I just need a few minutes so I'm trying my dead level best to put him off just few minutes. He's crying rather loudly, Adam can't hear, and starts yelling at him to be quiet. This is not allowed so I yell at Adam to stop yelling at Alex. I know it doesn't make sense but it happens. Adam does it again....and again.

Finally I've had enough so I yell at Adam "The reason he is crying is because he misses his Mommy!!" This was a completely dumb thing to say and immediately Adam starts crying because he feels guilty "I didn't know he missed his Mommy! I miss her too waaaaaaaaa!!!!!!"

I quickly back tracked and got them both calmed down but two days later and I'm still feeling like dirt about it. The season of change is taking it's toll.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stark Waving Mad

I ran into an old friend Monday night who I hadn't seen in a while. Turns out that although I hadn't seen him, he on the other hand had seen me at least three times a week since last August. Apparently I have been passing him on the road on my way to drop Adam off at school with no clue that he had made multiple attempts to get my attention on more than one occasion. Luckily he didn't take my complete lack of recognition as a sign that he should take a hike and instead understood when I explained Adam's complete ignorance of time which leaves me scrabbling to make it to his school before the bell rings every single morning. I still felt guilty for the slight and decided to rectify it yesterday morning.

Adam and I get in the car and head out to school. It's raining one of those kinds of rains where you don't need your wipers but the window is still a bit wet so it's a little hard to see. Immediately the very first car I throw out a wave...but that may have been a the next car gets a wave....but I think that was teenager with the same kind of hair.....about the fourth or fifth car that passes it hits me that I have no idea what kind of car this guy drives so I start analyzing everyone coming from the other direction, but just when I think it's not him something clicks and I end up waving. I'm basically waving at every car that passes us like Gomer Pyle flagging down customers at the local 7-11. The worst part is I have no idea if I even passed this guy so now it's like I get a case of turrets every morning between 7:30 & 7:40. It's like I'm on a parade float and I'm thanking the crowd as I make my way through the town square

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Still thinking about that bacon Mandy got me for Valentine's Day. Thinking about freezing the other pack, but I'm really torn about it.
# One of the reasons I write this blog is to share with the boys what we went through while they were growing up. That includes talking about historical moments in time. This week we lost one of the most beautiful voices every to grace this planet. Whitney Houston was an icon in which the world will never see another like.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How Do I Love Thee? (Special Guest Speaker Billy Joel!!)

As I write this the kids are moments from going to bed and Mandy is still at school. Today is Valentine's Day and it's a little different then previous years for a number of reasons. School being one of them of course, the other being this is our last Valentine's Day at our home of 10 years. I don't know how she does it going to class, working full time, packing boxes, and still finding time for the kids. Honestly there simply aren't words in my vocabulary to describe how wonderful I think she is or how much I am in love with her. Thankfully that's why God gave the world Billy Joel:

To Make You Feel My Love
When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I would offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
There's nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rollin' sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain't seen nothing like me yet

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love

Among other things the boys and I made Mandy Valentines Day Butterflies this year:

In return my bride blessed me with the gift of cracked black pepper bacon! I've already downed one pack and the other will be gone in days. Better than a bunch of chocolate any day if you ask me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Best Of Blockhead: My Angel Valentine

It’s hard to mention everything that goes on in the period of a week. So many times I think “Oh that would make a great Charlie post” only to have the idea swallowed up by a dirty diaper, a child refusing to eat his green beans, a story about how the bus driver was a lady and she had a beard, or my boss calling me into his office. What get’s printed is often what just has to be printed for the sake of history and all those little thoughts never see the light of day.

Unfortunately the consequence of that is I don’t get to brag about my Valentine as much as I should. She literally sets the table for me every day. I’m not talking about food (although she did fix my plate at the church potluck yesterday which was really nice) I mean that when I think about my life she has literally put everything I could ever want in front of me. She somehow instinctively knows when I’m out of undershirts and has them washed before the last one is used. She understands how forgetful I am and that I need to be reminded of things a hundred times. She knows that I cannot color coordinate clothes to safe my life and makes sure Adam has an outfit ready every night so he doesn’t leave the house looking like a garbage pail kid.

My Valentine understands that sometimes I just need to gripe and complain. That saving money makes me happy and fruit juice in the fridge brings a smile to my face. She feels the same sadness that I do when more than 3 or 4 hours go by without a word from the other via email, text, or phone. She allows me the time to write a thousand hours ever week and doesn’t give me grief when I’ve got a deadline that causes me to have to come home early from church or a night out with friends.

I pray that I do enough to show her that I’m always trying to do my fair share and that the last thing I expect is for me to be just another person in this house she has to clean up after. That she knows I understand I am nothing without her and that I regret those times when I’ve looked around to discover I have taken her for granted. I hope that I do enough to make her life easier, but ultimately it’s her that brings everything together in my life and the lives of Adam & Alex.

This Valentine’s Day I hope my Valentine knows that I am nothing without her by my side.

I've got an angel
She doesn't wear any wings
She wears a heart that can melt my own
She wears a smile that can make me wanna sing

She gives me presents
With her presence alone
She gives me everything I could wish for
She gives me kisses on the lips just for coming home

She can make angels
I've seen it with my own eyes
You gotta be careful when you've got good love
Cause the angels will just keep on multiplying

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Trash Talking

I was out looking for boxes today and found a ton behind Austin Shoe's. The problem was that I had to climb into a dumpster to reach them. When Adam found out he was jealous he didn't get to jump in there with me. Truth be told it wasn't the first dipstie dumpster I'd ever dived in. Growing up we lived in an apartment complex surrounded by a ton of other families and as kids tend to do we had our share of adventures. We used to scrounge for cool stuff in the dumpster; old jewelry, hats, toys. One time every kid in the complex came down with a case of head lice. It was almost a week before someone figured out the source of the breakout was an old mattress we had found and been using as a WWF wrestling ring.

To this very day I don't like taking the trash out at night because of something that happened back then. The dumpster was located at a dead end at the end of the parking lot which couldn't have been more than half a football field away. At the age of twelve though it might as well been two miles away. It was dark...the kind of dark you only get from living out in the country. The street light was out and there I was hauling the trash all alone. Staring deep into the shadows watching for movement of any kind. Finally there I was scared to death of what might be lurking behind the cars or under the stares of the other buildings. The door was open so quickly I flung the bag of trash over my head and into the dumpster. Almost immediately I heard the clang of it hitting bottom and then it happened...out of nowhere a blur of claws and teeth launched out of the darkness of the empty dumpster. I closed my eyes as the cat landed on my head for a split second before taking the next leap and running of into the darkness. I almost passed out in fear. Had my feet not already been propelling me towards home no telling how long I would have laid there.

Now if given the choice I would rather set my alarm to wake me up early in hopes of catching the garbage man rather than walking out to the curb after sunset.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# The move is in full effect. We are hoping to get the majority done next week, but will more than likely not spend the night till the first weekend of March.
# The deadline for T-Ball sign up is the 24th. Hard to believe it's that time of year again.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

These Are The Days....

Today was Adam's last basketball game and the entire family showed up in support. As I sat there on those metal bleachers watching the kids warm up I got caught myself watching everyone walk in.

Pops- He's been going through something lately but won't quite tell us what it is. He insists it's not health related, but we know he's smoking again and are worried about him. Last weekend he walked into our church services out of no where and sat down like he'd been going his entire life. In fact he told us later that the last time he'd been was Mother's Day was her last year.

Brock & Brooke- I talk to Brock in spurts. Three times a week for a couple of weeks, then nothing for two months. Lately when we talk it feels like a game of twenty questions. So what kind of trouble have the boys been in lately? How are you dealing with that? What is it like trying to teach Adam stuff? What kind of foods do they eat? What are your mornings like? It's clear he's prepping himself for a time when he has to go through the same thing. The only real question is how soon will that be?

Mom- Her apartment is a nightmare. She lives under a married radio DJ who stomps around at all ours of the night (Adam always thinks it's storming at her place) and when they aren't fighting lets just say Mr & Mrs DJ are making their own music to the point that mom can't even sleep in her own room some nights. This weekend the plumbing from the apartment behind her got clogged causing everything to backup into her bathtub. The water has been cut off for two days and she's staying with a friend. She's recently started dating and I'm not going to share my opinion about it because it's really not going to matter one way or the other.

Molly- She's always been like a sister to both Mandy & I. Married, a house of her own...I still see her as that teenage girl who had the honor of meeting Josh Duhamel at a high school dance. That was ten years ago and to me she's still the same.

Mandy, Gigi, and I- Are all learning how to adapt to our new environment. Honestly this whole living together thing may not succeed, but it could be very awesome.

Together there watching Adam run up and down the court while we cheered for both teams and passed Alex from arm to arm, I couldn't help but think about what we have all been through over the past few years.....heart attacks, divorce, marriage, a couple kids....there's been heartache and pain and fear and at times I'm scared to death to even roll out of bed....but there we were clapping and laughing, just enjoying the moment and I hoping it will always be like it is now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

It's Friday Night!! Why Doesn't It Feel Like It?

Not much going on today. The good news is I'm able to walk again and didn't have to resort to using a cane. The bad news is there's little doubt that I have gout. Very painful, but it was gone just as quick as it came about.

This weekend we are going to try to make a major push into the new place even if the wind chill is going to be in the single digits in the morning. Oh and Adam has started coughing. He's boarder line asthmatic but over the years it has gotten a lot better. Still though tonight is a bad night. He's been coughing for two hours straight and the humidifier and cough medicine haven't helped at all. Going to be a restless night for Mandy and I as we get up and check on him every few hours. Plus more than likely he will wake up thinking he slept like a baby while we are barely able to open our eyes.

I posted a pic of Adam last night so here is one of Alex:

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Closet Napping

Adam fell asleep in the closet tonight with the door almost all the way closed. Some suggest he was in the middle of turning into a superhero, but I think he was mad at me because he didn't get his way all night. He almost gave his mother a heart attack when she came in and couldn't find him for five minutes. Last week I found him asleep in the floor. Yesterday he was curled up at the end of his bed. I don't know if I should be worried that maybe there's something going on that we don't know about or just be worried that he's turning out to be as weird as his father.....

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Best Of Blockhead: We Got the Beat. We-Got-The-Beat!!! YEAH!!!

With all the moving taking place and the new found fact that I have gout, I've decided to amend my resolution to post everyday this year. On occasions such as today I thought it would be a good idea to repost some of my favorites from the past. Tonight's comes from Sept 12 2006. A time when I was still going as Charlie, Mandy was Lucy, and Adam was Fred (Chief Redface). Enjoy!!

So it was about a 6-hour drive back from the beach and Fred was amazing.He slept, he played, he ate, he drank, he laughed…but he did not cry.That’s right!!! 450 miles, 2 stops, and no tears. Un-freak’n-believable.We got 15 miles from home and just knew we had it made. Nothing could stop us now!!!But maybe someone could.A full days worth of tears combined with the pain of being strapped into a car seat all day forged a tantrum we are seldom witness to. Chief Redface had returned.So what do you do? You’ve been away from home for four days. You’re tired, irritable, the legs need stretching, you gotta go to the bathroom…but that sign says Muscle Shoals 15 miles. Normally that’s an easy answer. You man-up and push forward, ignore the pain, pee in a bottle, and get home!! Babies don’t know how to man-up. They just throw tantrums.Redface almost got us this time.

We were in the car and far away from our tried and true happy baby tools. We were at our weakest moment, all was thought lost. Lucy was begging me to pull over even though we were only 10 minutes from home…when a flash of brilliance crossed my mind. In an instant I saw Baby Fred bouncing at home in his exersaucer, he’s been there too long and is starting to cry just a little. There is a Barney video playing in the background and out of desperation, I began to clap to the beat. Baby Fred calmed down.Over the noise of the road/crying/Rascal Flats, I scream “CLAPPPPPPP!!! CLAP WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT!!!”Lucy, who at this point would have probably made armpit farts if it would have worked, starts banging her hands together with all her might. It worked at first, but it just wasn’t enough. In a show of expert driving ability, at 65mph I adjusted myself so my left knee could steer and began clapping/singing “WE WILL, WE WILL, ROCK YOU! ROCK YOU!!!” “WE WILL, WE WILL, ROCK YOU! ROCK YOU!!!”And the crying ceased. We stopped clapping and the crying started again. We were now forced to play Redface’s wicked game.

As we drove the final few miles home, we felt the stares from the people in the other cars as they drove by the maniacs clapping as if their lives depended on it. I can almost hear them say “Hey that guy is driving with his knee!!!! Drive past!!! Drive past!!!” We were bruised, battered, and our hands hurt for the next three days, but we made it home and that’s all that counts.Until we meet again Mr. Redface...until we meet again.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

No Gout About It

What started out as a pain on the bottom of my foot right under my big toe, now seems to be gout. It's not as gross as it seems however it is extremely painful. Just for those that don't know what this is here's a brief description. The items in red are all symptoms I'm currently experiencing:

What is gout?
Gout is a kind of arthritis. It can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe. These attacks can happen over and over unless gout is treated. Over time, they can harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues. Gout is most common in men.
What causes gout?
Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Most of the time, having too much uric acid is not harmful. Many people with high levels in their blood never get gout. But when uric acid levels in the blood are too high, the uric acid may form hard crystals in your joints.
Your chances of getting gout are higher if you are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat and fish that are high in chemicals called purines. Some medicines, such as water pills (diuretics), can also bring on gout.
What are the symptoms?
The most common sign of gout is a nighttime attack of swelling, tenderness, redness, and sharp pain in your big toe . You can also get gout attacks in your foot, ankle, or knees. The attacks can last a few days or many weeks before the pain goes away. Another attack may not happen for months or years.

Last year at almost this exact same time I had something similar happen that was also my right foot. The over compensation on the other muscles in my left leg as I tried to limp a long caused me some major issues for several months.

Of course this only make the big move happening in three weeks that much more complicated.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# The house across the street put up a for sale sign today. They have lived there for over 50 years. It feels like the whole world is moving on.
# No I haven't been to the Dr. but that's because I do have some prescription strength Ibuprofen that here that is recommended to reduce the pain and swelling...we will see.
# I wonder how odd it would be if I started walking with a cane for a few days.

Monday, February 06, 2012

They Paved Paradise And Put Up A Parking Lot

The new place will feature an apartment for Gigi so I thought we'd talk a little bit about that tonight. Now of course I can't attest to this from personal experience, but I can say that it seems from my perspective that the best part of being a grandparent is probably the ability to leave the chaos behind and go back to your quiet little slice of heaven just before things get out of control. Now although Gigi will have her own space large enough for a couch, bed, full bathroom, etc....I do worry that she's hasn't fully considered what she is trading her quiet single occupancy life for.

Let's take tonight for example: Dinner is just about done and Adam has decided to walk around with his sandwich instead of sitting at the table. Alex is shouting HEY MAN! at the top of his lungs every few seconds which is something we had been practicing at Wal-Mart for 30 minutes but he refused to repeat. Suddenly a High-Five contest breaks out, Mommy included. The problem with 5 year olds of course is that they don't know when to quit. In seconds the High-Fives turn into jack slaps followed by cries of pain, screams of fright, and of course there is the HEY MAN!! going on in the background. Next Mandy steps outside to take out the trash and apparently Alex begins making more. I take Alex, Mandy goes her way, and Adam is left at the table by himself. Alex was wearing a diaper but little did we know he had a wedgie which caused things to exit stage left. At the moment I'm realizing this, Adam screams that something is in Alex's highchair. I pull the baby's pants off, poop is smeared from his waist to his big toe, and now I'm screaming. Adam runs down the hall to help by bringing a plastic bag, takes two steps into the room, the smell hits him head on, he throws the plastic bag in the air, it lands no where near where I'm at, and takes off running through the house screaming YUCK GROSS YUCK! I've got the baby on the diaper table with one foot in the air trying to keep his hands off his bits and pieces which are covered in sludge, he starts crying, Mandy comes, grabs, the bag, and without realizing what she has done grabs Alex's leg thus covering her hand with what must have been Alex's lunch at some point.

By now I'm looking for an exit strategy so I immediately grab the diaper and pronounce it must be taken to the garbage that Mandy just conveniently rolled all the way to the curb for the next morning's pickup. I'm walking out the front door and I hear her shout there's no way he's coming clean with wipes, so she gets Adam to turn on the bathtub water. Alex goes in the tub, gets a five minute scrubbing, and Adam who has been running around the house naked waiting for Alex to finish, immediately jumps into the bathtub...slipping of course on all the soap left behind from Alex's bath moments before. The house shakes from the force of the fall. I take off in the direction of the bathroom to find Adam laying on his back, the shower water hitting him in the face, Alex is across the hall and getting his pajamas put on by Mandy, he spins around to the sound of the crash thus launching himself off the changing table and is barely saved by Mandy who managed a quick grab for his leg, now both boys are crying.....meanwhile Gigi is at home in beautiful peace and quiet living the life I only dream of.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Truth Is Out There

For the past month my family and I have been going through something earth shattering. Something life changing. Something that caused us to do some major soul searching. Up until last night only a couple close family members (Gigi & Nani) were aware of what we were going through. The past four weeks have been some of the hardest in our lives and it has brought us much closer to God then we ever knew we could be. I must say that this challenge was also complicated by the passing of Buttons our beloved pet and Mandy going to real estate school. Now finally we are ready to share.

First though the We Are Nots:
*No we are not pregnant.
*No we are not sick.
*No we are not getting a divorce.

What we are doing is moving. After 10 years of living in a house that used to seem as big as the Taj Mahal, it is time to start the next chapter in our lives. Pops has been more than gracious over the years, first inviting us to live here in his childhood home for a small portion of rent which was more like a maintenance fee, and then always assuring us that we would never have to worry about someplace to live. It was during the first week of this month that we all looked around and realized maybe it was time to move on. To re-evaluate what we all wanted and what the future could be. Suddenly an opportunity arose that was simply too good to pass up.

There's no need to talk about the particulars of the deal, lets just say soon we will be applying for our first home buyers loan. The new home will have 4 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, a very large yard, walk in closets, a laundry room that does not require you to step outside to access, and a kitchen that you can stand in the middle of and stretch out your arms as far as they can go without touching the opposite walls. Plus there will be a place for Gigi as long as she wants to stick around.

We are excited about this new place but of course we can't help but be sad a little as we prepare to leave our very first home. If it were not for Pops and the gift he as given us by letting us stay here over the years we would have missed out on so many great things the most important of which was all the precious time Mandy was able to spend with the boys due to being able to work part-time without worrying about a large house payment. We are so blessed.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Madonna played the Super Bowl tonight. I really can't stand her, but will say it wasn't half bad. I remember when she used to be considered a controversial entertainer. Now she might as well be Betty White up there singing show tunes.

# I keep seeing things made with crumbled bacon. Bacon never lasts long enough around me to have a chance be crumbled and put into something else.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Not Every Time Is Game Time!

Tonight I'm talking about video games. Growing up if we wanted to play a video game we'd have to go to the arcade at the mall or there was our Nintendo which only worked if you blew on the cartridges over and over. Now they our on our phones, computers, built into our cars, they are entire channels built into our TVs that feature nothing but games that can be played at any time. My problem is that's exactly what is happening...these kids are playing them all the time!

Now I'm point the finger at myself here a little bit too when I say PARENTS ENOUGH WITH THE VIDEO GAMES ALREADY!!! I don't care if they are bored or can't sit still or don't care what's going on around them it's Church!! Church is not a place for video games. I would rather my child lay down and take a nap then sit there biting his tongue while flinging his arms in the air as he tries to get Mario over the mushroom. Sporting event's are not places for video games!! Like it or not I cringe when the crowd is screaming, the band is blasting, the game is mere points from being tied, the place is going crazy, and Timmy is oblivious to it all because his brain has been kidnapped by Angry Birds.

Again I'm just as guilt myself of this at times so no offense to those that don't think this is a big deal, but my skin just crawls every time I'm trying to get Adam involved in something and all he's interested in are two things: Can he play games on my phone and why can't he play games on my phone.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# I know I didn't talk about the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the room (it's gotten way to big to be called an elephant at this point), but I promise I will at least give everyone a hint tomorrow night if not confess the whole darn thing
# Mandy, Alex, and I had a belly slap concert tonight. He raised his shirt to slap his belly then would squeal at us until we did the same.

Friday, February 03, 2012

So Much To Say So Much To Say So Much To Say!

Not much to say tonight. This could be the big weekend in terms of the major changes that are coming. Might be ready to make a big announcement this time tomorrow night. Just depends on if the stars align correctly or not. Either way things will take another turn at work on Monday. Again I can't say much now, but will definitely be able to expand on that over the next few days. I'll try not to be so vague tomorrow night I promise.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Please have a seat nobody is pregnant.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Who You Talk'n Bout Mrs. Wallace?

Today was witness to our first Parent-Teacher conference. Apparently he is a good listener. He pays close attention in class and cares about the feelings of others. He is a quick learner who enjoys math. His test scores are good and is a genuine joy to be around...yep Mrs. Wallace has high hopes for little Allen Becker....unfortunately not so much for Adam Beck who's file she mistakenly got out of order. Just kidding

Honestly though I did have to ask to make sure she was reading from the same file because at home he never listens to a word we say, could care less what's going on around him as long we stop what we are doing whenever he bellows, and at times intentionally makes things difficult because he can. Don't get me wrong I love him with all my life, but he's everything a 5 yr-old should be and has perfected the art of driving his parents crazy.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# Alex is coughing. It's only been a few days since he got over the Hand, Foot, and Mouth. I think it's tied to him moving up at the Hill and getting to play outside. Adam had allergies really bad and we are praying this is what's going on with little bro.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Chip Chat

We had taco salad tonight and it's because of that (and the fact that I have nothing else to talk about yet promised I'd blog everyday this year) that finds me rambling about chip & dip ratios. Now when talking chips such as ruffles and say french onion dip (which just happens to be in the fridge right now calling me to come eat) things can be somewhat confusing. Too much chip/not enough dip and you're left eating a plate of chips that used to be awesome but are now just Plain Jane's. Too much dip/not enough chip and your left with either going back for more chips which throws the ratio off even further or depending on what company you are keeping at the time, resorting to just using your finger to take care of the rest which is kinda disgusting but hey we all do it.

Taco salad or nachos are a little different though because unlike a plate which features say the left side full of chip and the right side full of dip, everything is piled on top of each other. Take tonight's dinner for example you have about three layers of chips covered in ground beef, tomatoes, melted cheese, lettuce, black olives, and topped with salsa. With all the toppings there's no way the two bottom layers of chips get any coverage so you stir it and then all the stuff on top is on the bottom not to mention half is on the floor because by this point you've piled the plate so high it was hard enough to get it all on there to start with. I like to treat it like a game of Jenga attempting to pull from the bottom without disturbing the top.

Clearly I've put way to much time into thinking this out and I could possibly have a weight problem.

Tonight's Chips Off The Ole Blockhead:
# This may have been one of the weirdest posts I've ever written.