Share and Share Alike

One of the most difficult things for a toddler to do is share. Teaching them how to share can be just as difficult.

“It’s mine!” “My blanket!” “Stop it! That’s mine!

Walk into any daycare, kindergarten class, or home with toddlers and I can guarantee you will hear those phrases. If not those exact phrases, you will hear variations of them. Sharing does not come easy for those youngsters.

Today, however, my wife posted something that melted my heart. After I left for work, she took the kids out for ice cream. She caught Ella sharing her ice cream with Andrew …

She said that she was proud to be sharing with him. Look at how careful she is feeding him. What a beautiful scene. Sam told me that he was just as sweet. He would clap his hands when he ate and was very patient to wait for Ella to give him his next bite.

So you have the naturally impatient baby who grabs at what he wants, being patient and awaiting his next scoop AND the naturally selfish toddler who opened her heart and shared her treat with her brother. It was as though the two of them had major personality changes – even if it was just for a few minutes.

What a truly amazing moment!

Prompt: That Was Then, This Is Now

Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic.

This week’s prompt is: That Was Then And This Is Now  “Growing up, we all had dreams and aspirations.  I’d like you to think back about what you were like and what you wanted as a kid compared to the adult choices you made.

Here are the questions and my responses:

When you were a kid, did you like your name? Would you have changed it if you could? Do you like it now?

I suppose I liked my name growing up. I really didn’t have a reason not to like it. I was the only Keith in my class and I was ok with that. It always bugged me that people always spelled it wrong, even though I know why (i before e, except after c – so everyone spelled it Kieth).

I really don’t think I would change it. I wasn’t even aware that a name change was possible, and then I found out my dad had actually legally changed his name from Salvatore to Sam, which everyone called him.

Yes, I like it just fine.

As a kid, what always brought a smile to your face? What about now, as an adult? (family-friendly please)

As a kid – summer and all that came with it: vacations, baseball games with friends, trips up north, running through the sprinkler. As an adult, my family. My children make me smile everyday. My wife also makes me smile. The times that we can all be together are priceless.

What was the most important lesson your parents taught you? Did you pass that lesson down to your family? The most important lesson(s) I learned from my parents was to always be supportive, respectful and responsible. I hope that I have passed that down in the way I have parented my children.

Are there talents you started as a child that you still have? If so, what are they?

I don’t know that I would call it a talent, but I always seemed to be able to make people laugh, I truly try to bring levity and fun to wherever I go. I also seem to be good at whipping off some sort of silly rhyme on command. I am a far cry from Nipsey Russell, but I get by.

Is there something you regret not doing or starting when you were young? What was it?

This is sort of a loaded question, because I think I am where I am at today because of where I have been and the decisions made along the way (good and bad). I do regret not going to college right away, but it was probably better that I didn’t. I’m sure I would have flunked out. I also wish I had learned to play the guitar at a young age. My dad recently gave me an acoustic guitar that I hope to try to teach myself.

Did you have more close friends as a kid or as an adult? Any idea why?

I would guess I have more close friends today than I did as a kid. I had a couple good friends growing up (and they are still good friends today), but I think we were kind of the “weird kids” and we all decided to just hang out with each other. As far as “why,” I am not sure. The ones who were important to me still are. They are the ones I confide in, complain to, and share with.

Where did you go to think as a kid? Where do you go now?

As a kid I would often walk up to the elementary school and sit on the swings to think. I spent hours there, sometimes alone and sometimes with a friend. When I got my license, I would drive up to Jefferson Ave and sit by the water. On occasion, I would get to watch a moon rise which was spectacular. Now, I would guess I drive around in my car or go for a walk. If the weather is not ideal, I guess I think in bed.

What would be the name of the chapter of your life from 10 – 18? What would the name be the name of the chapter of your life currently?

Wow, that’s tough. That’s an entire 8 year span and so much was going on. Perhaps it might be called, “Finding Myself” or ” Struggle” or “What Next?” The chapter name for my life currently might easily be “A Wonderful New Beginning” or “The Second Chance” or “Happily Ever After.”

What wonderful thing happened in your adult life that your child self could never have imagined?

Divorce might not be what you expect to see in this answer, and as a child, I never thought it would happen to me. But it was a “wonderful” thing that brought about the opportunity to meet and marry my soul mate and have two more children.

Would your child self like your adult self? Why or why not?

I would think that my child self would like my adult self. After all, we both have the same taste in movies, music, and TV. We also love baseball, golf, and football. We also love the same types of books. I’d think we’d have plenty in common …

I’d love to see your answers to these questions, too!

Thoughts on The Measure

A week or so ago, I mentioned that I had started reading The Measure by Nikki Erlick. In case you missed it, here is the Goodreads “tease” about the book:

Here is the summary from Goodreads:

Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.

It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.

But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything. 

My Thoughts

All in all, I found the book to be very good. I found it to be thought provoking and almost scary in regard to just how much of it I could relate to the world today.

There is so much division in the world today. Those divisions can be religious, racial, political, sexual and many other subdivisions. In the book, those divisions are based on the length of the string a person had. In the story, long strings mean a long life and short strings mean a short life. Throughout the story, we see the way “short stringers” are treated by “long stringers.” You could easily substitute “White, Straight, or Christian” for “long stringers” and “Black, Gay, and Atheist” for “Short stringers” and kind of apply the book to today.

In the story, there is a “short stringer” running for President. People are up in arms about voting for someone that they know could very well die in office. Lincoln, Kennedy, FDR, and a few others died in office and many would think that they were good Presidents. If people knew they were going to die, would they have been elected? If not, think of the possible alternate historical outcomes.

While the strings are the underlying theme of the book, as well as the thing that brings everything together, it is really about the 8 main characters and how they react to them. I found them to be believable and I really enjoyed how the lives of these characters all intersected and came together. I questioned a few things about a couple of the characters and then realized that the way they were written was something that was needed to compare with the strings.

There was a couple twists toward the end of the story that were unexpected. Some reviews I read said that the book left them in tears. I didn’t cry, but it certainly made an impact on me and I thought about it for a few days.

Would You Open Your Box?

There are characters in the book who do not open their box. They chose to live life without the knowledge of when they are going to die. They chose not to feel the burden of knowing they only have a short while, or relax knowing that they have a long life ahead of them.

As for the ones who know the length of their strings, we are shown the various feelings that go along with that. Husbands with long strings and their wives with short strings. How do you prepare for that? What if you were let go from your job, or not hired for one, because of the length of your string?

The book made me think about a lot. I would certainly recommend it.

Closing thoughts

I have said before that one of my “life quotes” was something I read in 1988: “Live every day as if it were your last. Some day, you’ll be right.” In the book, I read where someone had a sign or a t-shirt that read, “Live like a short stringer” or something to that effect. Same kind of thing.

Now that I am in my 50’s, I think often about wanting to be sure that I get the most out of the rest of my years. I want to experience all the joys of my marriage and make memories with my wife. I have 4 children – two of them under 3 years old. I want to witness all the things they do. I want to see graduations, weddings, and grandchildren. I want to experience daddy/daughter picnics and dances and once again coach t-ball and teach them how to throw a baseball.

Once you reach 50, life sort of begins the downward slope. I am eating right and losing weight because I want to be around for a long time. I don’t want to leave my family alone. I want to be there to offer the right advice. I want to be there to comfort any sadness. I want to be there to give praise and encouragement. I want to be there to share the happiness and sadness of life’s ups and downs.

I don’t have a string to tell me how long I’ll be here, but I plan on living each day to its fullest.

Her Name Up In Lights – Sort Of

There is never a dull moment at our house! It was a weekend full of some really memorable moments.

Saturday was a laid back kind of day. After dinner, I took the kids for a walk around the neighborhood. It was a bit warm and I was sweating pretty good afterwards. I knew that if I was hot, the kids were probably hot, so I grabbed the hose and let them play with their water table.

Normally, I’d put them in their bathing suits, but I just let them get wet. They had so much fun. The only bad thing is that at that hour of the day, the sun is blocked by the trees, so they were in the shade. Combine that with the fact that the hose water is ice cold, and it didn’t take long before they were shivering!

We have hardwood floors in the house, so I had to mop up the puddles after I stripped them down. By the time it was bed time, they were both pretty tuckered out.

One of the most “exciting” moments of the weekend was provided by Andrew. Ever since he started walking, Sam and I are always chasing him. He get’s into everything. He is so fast, too. You take something away, turn your back, and when you see him 2 seconds later, he has something else he isn’t supposed to have.

We actually started calling him Bamm Bamm because he is forever banging stuff. He’s our little strong man. It’s hilarious to hear Ella yell, “Here comes Bamm Bamm” when ever he walks into the room.

Walking and exploring comes with bumps and bruises. When he was wearing his helmet, it took most of the bumps. Now that he is walking and helmetless, the potential to get hurt is much greater. Case in point (and the “exciting” moment I mentioned a bit ago), He was in our bedroom as Sam was getting ready for work. We’re not sure exactly what he tripped on, but he fell against the bed.

He hit so close to his eye and actually got a nice scrape which was bleeding. We couldn’t really tell how bad he cut was, but it led to a trip to the Urgent Care/ER. I swear, we have been there more times with him in 8 months than with Ella in her lifetime! Thank goodness the cut didn’t reach his eyeball.

The picture doesn’t do it justice. It looked much worse when I left the house to go. By the time we actually saw the doctor, I felt stupid being there. It started to look much better and he was acting normal.

Monday, Andrew turned 9 months old. I don’t remember picture taking being as difficult with Ella. Sure when she was like 11 months, she wanted to movie around a lot, but we always got more than one or two good pictures. I feel like we are lucky to get 1 good picture of him when we try to pose him.

We had taken about 7 pictures of him in his crib with the sign, and later I tried to get a few of him sitting on a living room chair. I had more luck here.

You probably remember my story about the stroller’s front wheel coming off our double stroller a week or so ago. Sam has been on the hunt for this wagon/stroller and decided to just get it. Let me tell you, I absolutely love it. It is so easy to push and it handles all terrains pretty well.

There is an ice cream place by us that does the coolest thing. Every day, a new name gets put up on the board out front. If you have that name, you get a free ice cream cone. Sam and I both follow their Facebook page, and she actually saw it first – Ella’s name was up there on Monday!

After our walk, I took her, Andrew and Dimitri out so she could get her free ice cream. She told me that she wanted chocolate, and I told her that I would make sure she got some! Upon arriving, we did what all the other Ella’s did – got her picture in front of the sign!

The funniest thing was that there were probably 3-4 other parents sitting outside calling their own “Ella’s” for various reasons. Every time she heard her name, she’d look at whoever called it. I had to keep telling her “she wants HER Ella, baby, not you.” When I called her name, another mom had to tell HER Ella the same thing.

Of course, Andrew loved every bit of his vanilla ice cream. I think I wound up wearing a little less than he ate,

I treasure each moment with my kids. I am so grateful to be their dad.

My Heart is Full

Recently I posted a blog that was difficult to write. It was regarding some things with my son. It dealt with some hurt I was sorting through. I am happy to say that I was able to see him today.

He is currently having difficulty with a summer school math class. He asked if he could come over and see if I could help him. I told him that I would do my best, but math – algebra, in particular – was certainly not by best subject.

Last night at work, I had a patient who was a no-show. Honestly, I wanted to pack up and head home immediately. However, there were studies that needed to be scored and submitted, so I stayed and did that. I was able to leave work about two hours early. When I got home everyone was still sleeping, and rather than crawl in bed with Sam (who had Andrew sleeping next to her), I went out to the couch and fell asleep.

When they woke up, they came out and woke me up. I helped Sam with some things and then went to bed so that I could at least have some sleep before my son arrived. I had told my ex to bring him over at around the kid’s nap time so that I could work with him. To my surprise, my oldest son wound up bringing him over.

We got to spend a bit talking about some things that needed to be addressed (some of the things in the previous blog), and just catching up. My oldest son was going to meet me at where we normally do drop off and pick up later this evening.

My son and I spent about 3 and a half hours looking at problems and searching my old college algebra books to see if we could figure out how to do them. I even called my buddy from school who is my “go to” math guy a couple times to see if he could help. We didn’t do fantastic, and I hope that it is good enough for him to pass the class.

Sam left for work about 5:30 and I packed up the kids around 6 to head to the drop off. When I arrived, my son was already there. He is in college, has a job, and is always with his friends, so Ella and Andrew rarely get to see him. Ella knows who he is because of pictures on the wall. She prays every night for her big and little brothers.

She was in her car seat and I rolled her window down so she could say hello. She asked to get out because she wanted to hug my oldest. Is was so cute. I naturally took Andrew out of his seat too, because my son wanted to hold him. He commented that he had the bluest eyes. He was surprised when I told him he was walking. I told him they are getting big very fast and he should come over to visit more.

It was the first opportunity in forever that all four of my kids were together in one place. My oldest tried to snap a selfie, which was cute, but I wanted a picture of all of them.

We found a place in the parking lot where they could all sit and after a few tries to get everyone looking at the camera – I got one. It is perfect. All four of them together.

My blessings – Andrew, Dimitri, Ella, and Dante’

I am overwhelmed with joy as I look at this photo. I never really understood unconditional love until I became a father. I understand how God loves me, despite all of my faults and screw-ups, unconditionally. I understand it, because, I will always love these amazing kids that way – no matter what.

One of the coolest moments happened after the picture was taken. I mentioned to Ella that the boys had to get going because they were going to stop by a classic car show. She said ok, and when they stood up, as my oldest began to walk, she ran up to him and grabbed his hand and held it all the way to the car!

I was so glad I still had my phone in my hand so I could capture it. He helped her into her car seat and actually buckled her in as I got Andrew in his seat. She looked at him and said, “I love you, Dante’!” which I think really took him by surprise. He said “I love you, too!” and then she told Dimitri she loved him too. What an amazing moment to witness. They both went to Andrew and and he smiled at them, before we all got in our cars and left to go home.

After we video chatted with mommy at work, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. Ella was excited because she got to see 4 puppies who were out walking while we were. She had to get out of her seat and say hello to them all!

We came home and it was bedtime, so I helped her brush her teeth ad within minutes of hitting the pillow, she was asleep. Andrew took a bit longer to fall asleep. As soon as they were down, I fixed a salad and began typing this. I’ve only had 3 hours sleep today and really should have just gone to bed …. However, I wanted to share my happiness while I was still smiling about it.

Tonight, I head to bed with a heart full of love, joy, gratitude, understanding, and happiness!

Thanks for reading.

A Blog I’ve Been Avoiding

After much thought, I have decided to sit and write about something that is really hurting me. I am writing this for the sole purpose of talking about it in hopes that it will calm my inner soul to “get it out.” Please bear with me.

Today is my second son’s birthday. He is 15 today. He lives with his mother (my ex). I’m supposed to see him three weekends a month. I’m not sure exactly when it all started happening, but at some point those visits were based on whether or not he wanted to come over.

A few days before I was texting him to ask if he was coming over. He would answer on occasion, but not always. His mother told me a few months ago that she assumed I wasn’t asking him to come over. She suggested a text conversation that included my son, her and me. Since then, I have texted and asked him if he was coming over and wouldn’t get a response from either one of them.

The last time he was over was early May. When we got Covid, I texted to say that it might be a week or two before he should come over. After getting clearance to go back to work, I texted and said, “Cleared to go back to work. Hope to see you this weekend.” A few days later I texted to see if he was planning to come over. This text he responded to. “No Thanks.”

On my birthday, I received a call from my oldest son, but never heard a word from my second oldest. I sent him a text on the first weekend of June asking if he was planning on coming over and got no response this time.

My oldest son has a Facebook messenger group that includes his friends, his friends parents, his brother, and my ex and I. They are always communicating on this thing. Lately, each family has been hosting a get together every weekend. One family has a pond in their back yard that they can all swim in. My sons were there the second weekend of June, so again, no visit.

Father’s Day weekend there was a fair in town and they were discussing going there. I believe they went Friday and Sunday, but had talked about going Saturday, too. My oldest son stated that he worked on Saturday and so they planned on just Friday and Sunday – Sunday, of course, being Father’s Day.

With the group discussing the fair, my ex chimed in and said that the 4 of them (her, my sons, and her boyfriend) should go to the fair in the morning. Then she suggested they “Chill before we do the Father’s Day dinner.” Because of this, I didn’t text my son to see if he was coming, because they obviously had plans.

I had to wonder, though, shouldn’t the “Father’s Day dinner” be with their father?! Apparently not.

On Sunday, my oldest son called me to wish me Happy Father’s Day. He asked what my plans for the day were. I told him that I didn’t know what I was going to do. I said I might head to the store, but other than that, I’d be home. Deep down, I expected him to ask if he could stop over, but he didn’t. It was ok, I knew he had plans.

I never heard from my other son.

I didn’t text this week to see if he was coming. I knew his birthday fell on Saturday and that his mom probably had something planned for him. There is certainly no way, he’d want to be with me. So I dropped a birthday card in the mail earlier in the week. I am sure that it has already arrived. I’m not surprised that I haven’t gotten a “Thank you” yet.

I cannot describe how much it hurts to be shunned by your child. I have reached out so many times, without getting a response. I understand that the divorce wasn’t easy for him. Hell, it wasn’t easy for any of us. But in the end, it was the thing that had to happen. When he uses phrases that his mom has used in conversation with me, like “your other family” and such, I know where they came from.

I saw a quote as I debated whether or not to write this blog:

“I wish I could give you my pain just for one moment. Not to hurt you, but rather so you can finally understand how much you hurt me.”

He is a teenager. He’s got a lot of things going on. He has depression. He has had a very rough year in school. There are a whole lot of feelings he is sorting through. I will hope and pray that one day – when he is ready – we can once again have a relationship and move past all of this stuff. That’s all I can do. It really is up to him.

The hurt is real for me. He is my son. I love him. I will never NOT be his dad, despite what others may be telling him. I will be here for him. In the meantime, I will continue to reach out.

It is also is important not to let these things interfere with or disrupt my life with my wife and other children. They need the best of me. I need to provide for them, too. I have to be a good father and husband to them, as well – and I will.

So there it is. It’s out. I hope that writing down at least some of my thoughts will help me. Thanks for listening/reading.

We now return to your regularly entertaining blog….

My Father’s Day Weekend

Father’s Day began for me on Saturday morning. We celebrated Saturday because Sam had to work on Sunday.

When I returned home from work, my kids were already up and waiting. Sam had texted me that Ella was anxious for me to come home to get my present. Ella was excited because she had seen something in the store and wanted to get it for me weeks ago. Same ordered it online so it would be here for Father’s Day.

Ella and Andrew got to play with markers (which only happens on special occasions) and decorate the gift bag my gifts would be in. She was so happy to hand me the bag.

She waited for me to reach into the bag and could hardly contain herself. When I pulled out her gift to me, she shrieked with excitement! It was really the perfect gift.

We watch Bluey together all the time. It is probably my favorite cartoon that she watches. Bandit, the dad on the show, is what ALL dad’s should be! He’s awesome. This book is just wonderful. We read it before bed last night. I don’t know who was happier about this book – Ella or me!

Andrew got some help from mommy with his gift. As I have mentioned, I’m an older dad. One of the reasons I started this blog was to write my memories and such so that in the event something happens, the memories are here. Sam took it a step further for Andrews’s gift to me.

I’m not sure who came up with the idea for books like this, but they are great. I had originally gotten one of these for my mom to fill out before she passed. She was just too sick and too tired to ever really do it. I wish she’d been able to do that.

At any rate, there are a lot of thought provoking questions in this book and Sam thought I could take it with me to work and fill it in when I was on breaks and such. I love the idea!

After nap time, the family drove up the road to look for some new pajamas for Ella. She’s starting to not fit in her current ones. We went to the Carter’s store and looked around. She was forever handing Sam and I things for Andrew or herself that she found on a rack somewhere. The funniest thing of the trip was a foreshadowing of Ella in her teen and adult years. She kept asking for shoes and even began to make a pile of ones she wanted!

Just the beginning …..

After our shopping trip we came home and made dinner. I didn’t want Sam to have to take me out anywhere, so we made chicken on the grill. We also made corn on the cob and other sides. It was the perfect way to wrap up the day.

I was out grilling the chicken and I was using a brush to put BBQ sauce on a few of the pieces of chicken.

As I am doing this, Ella is standing there watching me. She see’s me dipping the brush into the BBQ sauce and putting it on the chicken. She then says, “Daddy! You’re painting!” Priceless!

Sam kept telling Ella to say, “Happy Father’s Day” to me and it kept coming out “Happy Mother’s Day” which just made me laugh even more.

On Sunday, or “Father’s Day in real life,” as Bluey might say, we had a wonderful breakfast. I made everyone eggs, sausage, and fruit. Ella stated that it was “Deeee-lish-ous!”

We called my dad to wish him Happy Father’s Day. My oldest son called me to wish me the same. Sadly, I never heard from my second oldest son. That’s a whole blog in itself and I will spare you those details for now.

After Andrew’s nap, I decided to take the kids to the Barnes and Noble. I wasn’t sure that there was anything I wanted for myself, but I though we could pick up some new books for them.

While we were walking Ella and I were just talking. Andrew was in the stroller and Ella was walking next to me. I don’t remember what we were saying, but a woman stopped me and said that she wished she had videoed the exchange we were having. She said she was very impressed with how we were interacting. She reminded me of a teacher or something. Ella then said hello, grabbed a puzzle with dogs on the box and showed the lady.

The lady, without skipping a beat, got down on the ground and they counted dogs together, asked about the colors of the dogs, and talked about what “doggies say.” It was so cool to see. She thanked Ella for showing her and Ella put the puzzle back. The lady was so impressed with how polite Ella was. Proud parent moment.

After we got home, we had lunch. Sam took Andrew into our room when it was his nap time. Sam suggested that since one of the local ice cream places had free cones for dads on Father’s day, we should go. We wound up going somewhere a bit closer, but it still worked out because dads got a free scoop of ice cream there, too!

Ice cream is not exactly on Weight Watchers, but I had some anyway and ate carefully the rest of the day. Ella asked for “white ice cream with sprinkles” and that is what she got!

Dad may or may not have had to help her on occasion because it was melting faster than she could eat it!

She talked to everyone who came to the ice cream place! She recommended getting banana ice cream to many, even though she was eating vanilla. She was a real hoot. The owner came out and asked how her ice cream was and she said it was the “best ice cream ever!”

After the ice cream, dad decided to walk the neighborhood. Sunday, she didn’t want to ride in the stroller. So we walked together. The workout was a bit less intense than I had hoped.

About half way through the walk she tripped and skinned her knee pretty bad. So I wound up picking her up and finishing the walk with her on my shoulders. That brought the heart rate up a bit and I probably burned off about half of the ice cream calories!

When Sam left for work, it was just me and the kids. We were playing on the “nugget” and having a blast. Andrew was climbing up like nobody’s business. Once he was on the top, he would start to walk off it. Most of the time, I was there to catch him. There were a couple times where he’d do this little stuntman fall. He is fearless!

Thank you to my wife and my kids for making the weekend such a special one for me!

Cast the Movie of Your Life

The Word Press App on my phone will offer a daily writing prompt to bloggers. I subscribe to a few “prompt” emails and such, and they can certainly be thought starters. Today’s prompt was one I had considered before and I may have even been asked a similar question by a Facebook friend. The prompt:

They are making a movie about your life. Cast it. (Keith adds – with any actors living or dead)

My thoughts on this are to jot down what comes to mind immediately for some (not all) of my family, and a few friends (other friends may request I suggest an actor/actress for them if they really want me to). I will then continue to ponder the question and see if, after thinking it over, I would change any of my choices.

Me

Dom Deluise – No Brainer. This has always been my answer to this question!

My wife, Sam

This was tough. I tried to think of who might look like her and carry herself like Sam. Toss up between Charlize Theron and Olivia Wilde.

My Dad

I’m not sure there would be any better than Jackie Gleason to play my dad

My Mom

Who in the world could play my mom? Tough question and still not really sure, but I forced myself to pick someone. At times, Cathy Bates’ facial expressions remind me of her, so for now – that’ my pick.

My Brother – Chris

Really difficult pick. So just because it will either make him laugh (and he needs that, because he is recovering from Covid) or it will make him mad… William Shatner (Because I wanted to post this stupid picture!)

My Grandma and Grandpa P

Estelle Getty on Golden Girls WAS my grandma! I always felt Abe Vigoda looked like my grandpa, so there ya go.

My Grandma and Grandpa D.

I have always felt like at times, Betty White reminded me of my grandma. My grandpa was tall, a bit heavy, and always smiling. John Goodman reminds me of him.

My best friend, Jeff

Another no brainer. I’ve said for years that he reminds me of Robin Williams.

My friend Steve K.

Steve always has some sort of crazy fact that seems unbelievable to tell. So, he would be John Ratzenberger – but John Ratzenberger AS Cliff Claven from Cheers.

My friend Joe K.

Joe is probably one of the smartest guys I know. At first, I couldn’t get Jeff Goldblum out of my head, and then I though Rainn Wilson is a bit more “Joe” to me.

My friend Steve M.

Steve and I wear our hair the same. My first choice was Vin Diesel, but then I though Michael Chiklis looked more like him (and he played Curly in a Three Stooges movie, so he wins).

My friend Margaret M.

She’s Italian. She’s fiesty. She is strong. She is an expert at inserting profanity into conversation. Without a doubt – Marisa Tomei.

My friend, Chris B,

Tall and funny = Conan O’Brien

Uh …… I’m Stumped

Now, as far as my kids …. I’m just not sure. My older boys (Dante’ and Dimitri) have personalities that are very established. Ella does in a sense as well. Andrew is just a smiling happy baby. How do I begin to pick who will play them? I just don’t know….

It’s my blog and my rules. Let me think a bit on this ….

If I left you out …. and you want me to think about who will play you – let me know. In the meantime ….

Go ahead and cast YOUR life. Who would play YOU?

Something to look forward to

It seems like forever since my wife and I have actually had a night (or day for that matter) out. We will remedy that tomorrow. Even though I work tonight, I have arranged for the kids to visit Nana and Papa tomorrow so that we can enjoy some time together.

Sam’s birthday is coming up on Monday, and we’re taking the day to celebrate it. We will definitely be going out to dinner (or lunch) at one of our favorite restaurants. While there are a list of possible things to do as well, nothing is really set in stone. We are simply looking forward to time together – just us.

I think it was Anthony Robbins who once said, “Do what you did in the beginning of a relationship and there won’t be an end.” There is a lot of truth to that. Our love was built by spending time together. We talked. We held hands. We dated. Yes, we are a family now, but together – Sam and I are the foundation of that family. In order to strengthen the family, we cannot lose sight of “US.”

There is so much truth to the above quote! Our challenge has always been our work schedules. We have already talked about the need for us to make sure that we are taking time off from work to be sure that we have time to be together. That is SO important. Without that time to strengthen our relationship and husband and wife – our roles are mom and dad will suffer (and so will our family).

This may sound ridiculous, but knowing that we will have this time together tomorrow has me so very excited. There is a new found energy in anticipating our date tomorrow. Even this morning, when I got home from work, I watched my wife as she walked into the kitchen and took in all her beauty. My mind raced as I thought about just being able to sit across from her and have the opportunity to hold her hand and look into her eyes. I’m excited to be able to kiss her without the cries of a child interrupting that moment. I can’t wait to hug her without a tug on my pant leg because of spilled milk that needs to be cleaned up.

Tomorrow – I plan on enjoying every single moment that my wife and I get to be a couple. I cannot wait to celebrate her – celebrate us – and celebrate all we have been blessed with!

My Kids – Posers?

One of the things I love about Facebook is the ability to meet others who share the same interests as me. I belong to many different “fan” groups and have connected with some very cool people through those groups.

Some time ago, I saw a painting of Moe Howard that I thought was very well done. I’m not sure exactly where I had seen it, though it may have been in Moe’s book. At any rate, through one of the Three Stooges groups, I found that the artist was a member. Her name is Belita William and she painted the amazing portrait when she was in her teens!

Moe, Belita, and her painting.

She and Moe became friends and they were in contact with each other until he passed away. Moe liked her work so much, he had her paint him a portrait of President Kennedy.

Moe, JFK, and Belita

I was surprised to find out that she had also painted a portrait for Larry Fine, as well. This is another picture I had seen somewhere prior to learning she painted it.

Larry and his painting

Belita is very talented and I am in awe of her talent. She has painted portraits of her children, church members, and many others. Here are just a few examples of her fantastic work.

To make a long story short, Belita and I became Facebook friends shortly after connecting through the Stooges group. She has often commented on photos of Ella, Andrew, and my kids. I was truly surprised when she reached out to me privately recently.

“Hi Keith. Your kids are gorgeous. Maybe you might consider portraits.”

I won’t lie, it is certainly something I would love to do. She talked about pricing and such and it is something that I definitely want to save up to do. It may take a while (thank you highest inflation rate since 1981!), but I really think this would be an amazing and one of a kind way to capture the kids. I am sure that she would do a wonderful job.

When Ella was first born, one of my co-workers said we should enter her in a “Cutest Baby Contest.” Others have said the same about Andrew. As a parent, you are biased. I mean, you KNOW how cute your kids are, right!? Sure they are “model” material! Sure they would be perfect for a portrait! Absolutely they could be in a magazine ad! You always think that, but when someone reaches out to you and actually asks to paint them (as Belita has done) or asks to use them in promotional material (like Andrew was by the place where he got his helmet), it makes you feel pretty darn good!

Thank heavens they got their good looks from their mommy! LOL