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!

Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

I hope this blog finds you well rested after the holiday weekend. It was a relaxing weekend for us for the most part. We had lots of outside time and actually got to enjoy some family time.

Andrew will be walking on his own and without any help VERY soon. He’s taken some steps randomly here and there. Yesterday, he took like 10 steps from the couch to where the cat was. That’s the most I’ve seen him take so far without falling.

He had some lasagna the other night for dinner and he was so soaked with sauce, we had to give him a bath, Afterward, he was sitting in the living room and I had to laugh that his hair was like Alfalfa from the Little Rascals.

One day while he was napping, Ella and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. She always asks to see her “puppy friend.” Lately, the pup has been up on the back porch. She was so happy to see it closer.

When we got closer to home, I noticed the smell of lilacs. Sam planted them when she moved in about 7 years ago and they are getting so big. They smell just amazing. It’s always a spring highlight when they bloom.

She got some mommy daughter time this weekend, too. Mommy took her out Monday morning for donuts. She got to order donuts for everyone. She knows dad likes Boston Cream, mom likes chocolate dip, and she loves Tim Bits. She loved sitting at the picnic table watching the cars go by before bringing home my donut.

Still in PJ’s! Eating Tim Bits with Mommy.

Andrew’s high chair needed a good cleaning. The last few meals were messy. So Sam took it outside and used the hose to clean it up. This caused a big pool of water to build up on the driveway, which Ella immediately wanted to play in!

Sam knows she loves the water, so she got Ella (and Andrew) a new water table. I spent the day putting it together so they could play with it. It came with plastic fish, turtles, and buckets. I’m sure they will have a lot of fun playing with it. Now, we just got to get Ella to share!

After the lawnmower fiasco (see previous blog), we stayed home and enjoyed the remainder of the holiday. We threw some brats on the grill and afterward, had ice cream. All in all, it was a nice family weekend.

A Fun and Busy Weekend

To say this weekend was not a hectic one would be a lie. In all honesty, the entire month has been busy for Sam and me. Sam has been running back and forth to various doc appointments and helmet appointments, plus helping her folks out with her sister. Both of us are running on little to no sleep. How we are making in through our nights at work and our days at home, I really have no idea.

Sam was up early on Saturday. I cam home and slept about 3 hours before having to get up and get my son. I picked him up at his mom’s house and then we drove to Sam’s parents’ house. She was there with Ella and Andrew helping out with her sister. I picked up Ella and came back home.

It was beautiful on Saturday! There was a lot of sunshine and it was close to 80 degrees. Ella wanted to play outside, so she ran around the yard playing with her toys as Dimitri and I worked on a couple projects. The biggest project was the swing set that Sam bought for the kids. It took about 3 hours to put together and I was pretty impressed with it.

Back in the day, I remember my dad having to dig or drill holes for the swing set poles to set into. Then he’d have to pour cement in them and it had to dry before we could use it. This set was neat. It had “shoes” that went on the bottom of each leg. There was a stake that you “screwed” into the ground and then you bolted the shoe to the stake. That thing is solid, let me tell you! I was pretty impressed.

Ella loves going to the park and swinging on the swings and Andrew had never been on one. We ordered a toddler swing to go put on it (it came with one) so both kids could swing at the same time. They absolutely loved it!!

The kids got to swing for a bit and then we went in and had dinner. We all went to bed early, because we were all wiped out.

Sam had to work Sunday, so she was up for a bit and then went back to try to get some sleep. So I decided to take the kids for a walk before it rained. Ella wanted to take her baby doll for a walk too. So I loaded up Andrew in the double stroller and she grabbed her baby doll and we walked the neighborhood.

What made me really smile was to see the people who were passing by in cars looking at Ella, waving at her and smiling. It was awesome. She really enjoyed being able to walk her baby. After we got home, we played outside for a while. Andrew was so interested in everything. He loved just playing around on the blanket out on the lawn.

I had planned on Dimitri staying until the evening, but I guess he had some dinner to go to. So Dante’ came to pick him up and take him to the dinner. Dante’ is working a lot and going to college, so it is rare for me to see them both together. Even though it was just for a few minutes, it was nice to have them both there. I had to fight them to get them to pose for a picture!

Dimitri helped me put the swing set together and also helped me take down the remainder of the Christmas lights. Yes, I know, it is almost May! That should tell you just how crazy life has been our way. On the days I wanted to get out and do it, it was either freezing, raining, and most recently – snowing! I’m glad they are finally down!

He also helped me move some furniture around. Andrew is having some separation issues. It has been a challenge to do anything without him attached to us. If we are not in the same room with him, he loses it. He’s never really slept well if it isn’t in our arms or in our bed. So we moved the crib to our bedroom, got him his own sound machine, and hoped that he’d start sleeping in it.

Yep. That’s his crib … at the end of our bed! I’m really hoping that he gets into that crib sooner than later. Sam and I would welcome a night of sleep without getting a helmet to the head or kicks in the stomach.

Finally, some big news that is NOT family related…

As a life long Detroit Tiger Fan, it was very cool to hear that Miguel Cabrera joined an elite club on Saturday. He got his 3000th hit! Miggy has certainly made baseball fun to watch here in Michigan. Now, we just need to get back to the World Series – and win it! Congrats, Miggy!!

Weekend Wrap Up

What a crazy weekend! As much as I hate not getting a lot of sleep, I have to admit that some of the funniest stories I write about are due to lack of sleep. Take Saturday for example:

We needed groceries and a few things, so Sam went to the store. On her way home, she texted me, “On my way. I have Easter things. Like bubbles and chocolate, so watch it unloading.” So when she got home, I go out to start unloading the van. She sent Ella outside because she has been cooped up inside. The first thing she sees is two books that Sam bought. She looks up and me as says, “Go inside and read books?”

So she walks in with the books. Sam looks at me like, “what the hell?” I told her she spotted them and wanted to come inside and read them. Sam told me that she was going to put them in her Easter basket. I had no idea.

A few days ago, Sam mentioned getting some rain boots for Ella so she could splash around outside. There was a pair in the back of the van and when I walked in I said, “Looks like mommy bought some rain boots” as I held them up. Sam shoots me another look and says, “Those were for Easter, too!” “Easter things” to me are chocolate, candies, etc… I had no idea the boots or books were Easter things.

Needless to say, she has worn her rain boots almost every day since!

The day became even more uncomfortable when I had to have a talk with my middle son. It was one of those “Dad/Teen” talks that made us both squirm as we talked. I remember my dad and I having a similar talk when I was about his age. It had to happen, I just wish I had been a little more prepared for it.

Andrew had his first taste of real food this weekend. Carrots to start. I was really surprised at how well he did. With each day, he gets better and better at eating. I loved seeing the “this stuff is so much better than the stuff in the bottle you keep giving me” smile!

Even though it hasn’t been that long since Ella was in the high chair, I had already forgotten just how messy feeding the baby can be!

At one point this weekend, Sam just happened to have both kids on her lap. I snapped this one and I just love it.

Monday morning, Ella walks over to me as I am sitting in the living room. “Daddy needs socks,” she says. Then she proceeds to put one of AJ’s socks on my foot and walks away. “You did it, Daddy!” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at how it looked!

Andrew has been getting up earlier than Ella the past week or so. Him and I were already out in the living room playing on the floor when I saw that she was awake in the monitor. So I went to go get her. As I brought her out to the living room and she says, “Play with Bubby (that’s what she calls him)?” So I put her down and she went over to his toy box and dumped it out. She sat down and started playing with him. It was truly a heartwarming moment!

Looking ahead

You may recall a while back that my buddy, Max, wrote a couple “guest” blogs for me. His topic was the Beatles. I have said to him numerous times that I want to write a Beatles-themed blog, but just haven’t had the chance to really think about what to write. There are so many things I could do.

Well, Max and I are taking part in some musically themed blogs with our friend Dave. He will offer a topic and we (and a few other bloggers) will be writing on those things. For the first topic – he chose the Beatles. He has a specific angle he is shooting for, but he is also giving us a bit of freedom within that theme. So I am sitting her scratching my head on just how to tackle it. That should be posting within the next week, so hopefully I have something ready by then….

Thanks for reading!

Celebrating 4 Years

It is now officially our 4th wedding anniversary. Over the past few days, the various photo memories from 4 years ago have popped up in the Facebook Memories feed and they have made me smile.

Sam and I were married in Florida. Ours is a wonderful love story. I know that I have added many new followers since I first told how our friendship turned into a relationship and eventually a life as husband and wife. For you newcomers, I blogged all about it for our first wedding anniversary. It was a series of three blogs. Here they are so you can catch up:

As I reread those blogs, all the emotions come running back to me. They made me laugh, smile, cry, and smile all over again. What a wonderful journey we have been on.

Of course, our family has grown since those blogs were written. We’ve been blessed with our beautiful daughter, Ella and our handsome son, Andrew. The kids keep us VERY busy and we are always lacking sleep, and we wouldn’t change that for the world. They bring us both so much joy and I’m sure they will continue to do that for years to come.

I can’t imagine life without Sam. I disappoint her and annoy her often. I forget to do things all the time. I make messes. I make mistakes. I’m far from perfect. She continues to love me. She forgives me. She puts up with me. She reasons with me. When I am confused, angry, or emotional, she is the voice of reason. She is the “glue” that holds everything together. That is why I wanted to write something specifically for her.

My dearest Samantha,

I could spend hours and hours standing in a Hallmark store looking through thousands of cards, and none of them would ever be able to express how grateful I am for you. None of them would be able to convey how very much I love you. To be perfectly honest, I am not sure that I can even find the words to do that, but I’m going to try..

I had no idea when we met that we would fall in love. When we did and talked about getting married and having children together, I had no idea that when we did it would be this amazing. I had no idea that along with the happiness, there would also be struggles. In four years, we have been through a lot, and always come out on top. God has always made sure things fall into place. I have no doubt that He will continue to be ever present in the years we have ahead.

Thank you for being so good to me and for being so loving, patient, and kind. You’re as thoughtful today as you were when we first met. I’m thankful that you’re so willing to listen to me and to share with me your feelings and dreams, even your concerns and your worries. I always heard how important open communication was in marriage, and I wholeheartedly believe it.

I honestly can’t think of how my life would be without you in it. I imagine it would be empty, sad, cold, and meaningless. As the coming years pass, I know that the love that we share will continue to grow. I look forward to growing old together, (even though many would consider me old already). The thought of all the upcoming years spent by your side brings me such deep joy and an inner peace that I can hardly comprehend. I know that, no matter what, we’ll stay together, through thick and thin. That’s what real love and commitment is all about, and that’s what I have for you.

Thank you for the many memories that we have made over the past four years. They will forever make me smile. Thank you for being such a wonderful wife to me. I am so very lucky to have you as my soulmate. Thank you for being such a loving mother to our children. They are as lucky as I am to have you in their life. Finally, thank you for loving me. Your love means everything to me. I look forward to the future and cannot wait to make new memories with you and our family.

I love you with everything that I am today, tomorrow and forever.

Keith.

The Shenanigans Are Over

For the first time in 2 years, the Chicago River was dyed green yesterday.

The St. Patrick’s Day tradition had been put on hiatus because of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The dye will stay in the water for about 48 hours and then it will change back to normal.

I posted my usual stupid St. Patrick’s Day Puns on social Media:

I also posted my yearly reminder that while “every one is Irish” on March 17th, St. Patrick wasn’t!

As I scrolled Facebook yesterday, it was full of plenty of people decked out in their best green outfits. Many people indulged on green beer, corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, and Irish stews in bars and restaurants beginning early in the morning.

I scrolled upon a post by a pastor friend of mine, and I felt that it was certainly worth sharing:

“Saint Patrick was a passionate evangelist who believed in the potential of young people to change the world. Instead of drinking green beer in his honor why not share the gospel with a young person today? He’d be way happier with that “

I think he would! I found a great quote from St. Patrick:

I didn’t partake in any green spirits yesterday. I didn’t even wear any green!

They always talk about the “Luck of the Irish.” Well, I am not Irish, but I consider myself one lucky man. I am married to the most beautiful woman on the planet and we will celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary on Saturday.

4 years ago …

I have been blessed with four amazing kids. My two oldest boys from my previous marriage and my daughter and baby boy with my wife. Who says you have to be Irish to be lucky?

Ella and AJ 2022
Dante’ and Dimitri – 2015

Yes, I am one lucky Italian!

Oh, yeah, I guess I did partake in some St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans at work …

We do sleep studies on a lot of pediatric patients. This week, one kid drew pictures for us and we put them up on the board in the tech room. Another kid made a thank you card for us. I grabbed a piece of paper and some crayons and I drew a picture of one of my coworkers and said, “You had a kid in the room I was in last night, right?” I told her I “found” a picture that her patient must have drawn of her and that it looked just like her!

I’m sorry, every time I look at this, the lips make me think of the Joker from Batman!

I understand this is probably only funny to me … so I apologize. I hope you had a nice St. Patrick’s Day ….

It’s Just Around The Corner

Spring!

I enjoy stupid puns. Every time someone says that spring is just around the corner, I think of the above picture!

Despite having a big snow a few days ago, the temperatures are rising and the snow has pretty much melted away. We actually got over 60 degrees today! When I left to go to work, I was pleasantly surprised at the temperature:

What a wonderful day to get out and enjoy! Of course, I had to sleep through most of it. It was nice to walk out of the bedroom to fresh air. Sam had the windows open in the house and there was a nice breeze in the living room.

On my way into work, it was very obvious to me that people were loving being outside! Just some of the things I witnessed as I drove in:

  • The park was crowded with parents and children.
  • Many people were walking their dogs.
  • Pairs of mom’s pushing kids in strollers and chatting with each other.
  • Two people playing catch at the park.
  • Extra long lines at the ice cream stand down the road.
  • Countless people walking without jackets.
  • Plenty of cars driving with Windows down.
  • People reading books while sitting on their front porch.

Earlier today, while I slept, Sam actually was able to get out the double stroller and she took her first run of the season. Ella already loves talking walks, but this was Andrew’s first jog through the neighborhood. Ella told me when I got up that she got to see her “puppy friend” (an old bassett hound we see on our walks).

I know I am excited for warmer weather! I love my walks with Ella and I’m sure Andrew will enjoy them, too!

I also know that I may be rushing things a bit. If I “uncrop” the temperature picture a little, and you take a good look at it, you will see that Old Man Winter isn’t quite done with us …

Stupid Snow!

I guess I just need to keep thinking positive and thinking spring!

Aaargh You Excited? Absolutely!

As the title of this blog suggests – I am excited. I have a couple things to be excited about and I wanted to share them with you. I guess I should explain the whole pirate flag first …

What Kind of Shoes Go With a Peg Leg?

My job often requires us to put in for time off months in advance. This is never an easy thing for me, because quite frankly I barely know what I am doing next week. At any rate, a day or two after the May schedule was posted, I found out about an event coming up that I had to go to!

There is a nature preserve and arboretum near us that is having a Daddy/Daughter event. It fell on a day that I work, so I hurried and put in a request to swap days if possible. Luckily, my boss was able to switch my schedule for the day so that I could go to this with Ella. I didn’t know much about the event, other than it has a pirate theme. Honesty, I thought it was a Daddy/Daughter dance with a pirate theme, but I don’t think that is the case now. Either way, I am excited to have a special night with my little girl.

I may have to do some searching on the internet for a pirate costume! When I thought about it, I remembered that there was an episode of Ella’s favorite show, Bubble Guppies that featured Alice Cooper (Yes, THE Alice Cooper) as a pirate named Windy Pete. Maybe we could go dressed like they did in that episode?

Of course, Windy Pete has a penguin, who he thinks is a parrot in the show. I might look a little funny with a penguin on my shoulder.

… and ear muffs! I would look weird as a pirate with ear muffs.

I can’t even begin to tell you how very excited I am to have this Daddy/Daughter event to look forward to in a few months!

Celebrating 4 Years

My wedding anniversary is coming up on Saturday. I am excited to be able to share some time with my wife. Our schedules do not allow for us to spend time together often. The schedules work well for minimizing the need for child care, but husband/wife time is lacking.

Having two children under 2 has really taken a lot out of both of us. We were lacking good sleep before, but it has reached a whole new level of tiredness. Lack of sleep is not good for anyone, and as sleep technologists we are well aware of the issues go along with that. We both tend to be a bit shorter with each other. Little things tend to get under our skin a bit more. All of it is due to our lack of sleep.

That being said, I decided that I wanted to make sure to do something special for our anniversary. My wife deserves it. I don’t know how she does it. I wish I could afford to have someone come over and watch the kids so she could sleep. She hasn’t really ever had a break and we’re both feeling the stress – her more than me!

I have never been the best gift giver. 9 times out of 10, she knows what I get before I even give it to her. I guess I really suck at that. I also am not the best at coming up with interesting things to do. I’m not sure why, but I kinda suck at that too.

I began a search of all of the nearby theaters a few weeks ago. I was hoping that somewhere there would be a play, a concert, or event we could go see. We had been talking about seeing the Symphony, but that show falls on a Sunday and she works. The only thing that I found happening on Saturday near us was a hockey game. I’m sure she wouldn’t enjoy that as much as I would (and it is not about me, but about her, so hockey was out)!

Interrupting to tell a funny story

I had taken $100 out of our account and stuck it in my wallet to use for our anniversary. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing yet, but I wanted to have it ready. I had taken Andrew to the doctor and Sam gave me her insurance card. I put it back in my coat pocket to give back to her and forgot to do so when we got back. When I was sleeping before work, Sam was making appointments and needed the numbers off her card. So she went looking for it. No big deal, she knows the places I usually put my wallet, so she looked for her card – and found the $100.

Caught Red Handed!

When I woke up, she said she was looking for her card and asked why I had $100 in my wallet. I was so surprised that she found it, I fumbled around trying to lie my way out of why I had it. “It must have been in there for a long time and I forgot about it!” LOL – who the hell am I trying to kid?! She is my wife and knows me better than anyone! She knew I was flubbing my way through! I finally told her I was saving it for our anniversary. I should have just come out and told her, but I didn’t want her knowing I was spending that much.

This Saturday

As far as Saturday night, I knew I was going to take her to dinner. We always go to Lucky’s Steakhouse, which we love, but I wanted to do something a bit different. Some co-workers and friends offered up some really neat places (which I plan on going to in the future), but I wanted to stay semi close to home so we weren’t out all night. We have a sitter, and I know she’s totally ok with us being out late, but I know Sam would feel better if we were close.

So I have two things planned – one is dinner and the other is a surprise. I really hope that she is going to like it. I can’t wait to go. She knows what towns we are going to and keeps questioning “What is there that we can do?” She’s pretty good at figuring stuff out, so I hope that she doesn’t before Saturday.

I also ordered her a couple gifts. One has already arrived (and needs to be wrapped). The other is something that probably won’t arrive before Saturday. Again, she probably has some sort of idea about what I may have gotten her, so I hope she doesn’t figure it out. I wish that I could give gifts like she does. She hears me mention something off the cuff and stuffs it away in her mental filing cabinet until she needs it and then always surprises me. But she can always figure mine out. Example: We were at Target the other day. She saw that her favorite author, Jodi Picoult, had a new book out. I immediately think “I need to buy this for her.” If I hand her a gift bag, she will know that it is that book. (For the record – I did NOT buy that book for her! Now, I may at a later date, but not for our anniversary.

I am truly excited to have a day/night with my wife. I know she would be happy just walking the mall (as a matter of fact, she told me that!), but I am really hoping to make the day special for her. I need to make sure that I find something that we can do together at least once a month. We need a date night. It is easy to lose “us” time with two kids, and “us” is SO important right now.

I can’t wait!