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!!

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Pet Peeve

I have a few pet peeves. One of those is people who say “Happy Memorial Day.” To me, this is an example of someone who just doesn’t get what the day signifies. Memorial Day is not like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or a birthday. Memorial Day is a day for remembrance and honor! I saw “Happy Memorial Day” countless times on Facebook, on TV, and heard it on the radio. Please stop. For those who need a refresher – this is for you:

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties.  Please remember that when you are having your back yard BBQ next year.

A Busy Weekend

As most of you know, Sam is 5 months pregnant. We decided to stay close to home for the holiday weekend. There were a lot of things to do around the house and some shopping that needed to be done. We took a trip to Sam’s Club and picked up a bunch of stuff there, and then ventured up to Birch Run so I could get a few pairs of scrub pants for work.

The weather was just beautiful. Ella got plenty of time to play in the sandbox and on the trampoline this weekend. We also got to go out and walk the neighborhood a few times. One walk had a purpose.

Our neighborhood has a “group” on Facebook. A neighbor posted a picture of his daughter in front of her Melissa and Doug Lemonade Stand with the request to “make her day” by purchasing a glass for just fifty cents!

NOT my neighbor’s daughter…

We grabbed the stroller and walked a few streets over and grabbed three glasses of lemonade. I made sure to give her an extra fifty cents as a tip! Ella loved it!! So did we. As we started to walk away, another neighbor drove up to purchase some. We were certainly glad to help make her day.

Cool Treat

I think ice cream and summer holiday weekends go together. We decided that we wanted to grab ice cream on Monday. It was about 6pm, and I knew that the local Dairy Queen was gonna have a line of cars out to the road. I remembered that about 7 miles down the road, there was a little ice cream shop. They serve regular ice cream and soft serve, and since Sam was craving Moose Trax, we drove there.

The line was not long at all and we were at the window in less than 5 minutes. This place gives you plenty of ice cream! Their scoops are huge! Sam got her Moose Trax, I got mint chocolate chip, and we got Ella a scoop of chocolate (with sprinkles). She started to eat it at one of the picnic tables, and then they started to get busier, so we drove home to finish. Ella loved her ice cream. After she got toward the end, she actually picked up the bowl and started to drink it like soup or something!

Another First

We cooked out for the first time on Monday. I grilled up some burgers and hot dogs. I also cooked up some potatoes on the grill. Sam cooked up some corn on the cob. We decided to let Ella try some. She put the holders on the ends of the corn, Sam showed her how to hold it and she was off! She pretty much ate two cobs of corn. I wish I knew how to post a video on here. I took some video and asked if she liked her corn (as she was munching away on it). She shook her head “no” and kept eating, only to put it down and say “mmmmmm!” Love this girl!!

Bonus Vacation Day

Because the holiday falls on a day that I don’t normally work, those of us who work on Tuesday were given Tuesday off. Sadly, Sam still had to work, but I took advantage of the day with Ella. We went for a walk around the neighborhood, and then spent all morning at the park. She got to swing on the swings, play by the slide, walk by the creek, talk to the dogs that were out being walked, and run around like crazy!

We always start at the swings, and when I said it was time to go, she signed “more” and pointed to the swings. I took her back over to the swings and she got to swing a little bit more. She LOVES swinging! I was able to snap a picture that I feel sums up what summer should feel like:

Loving summer!

Back to Work

I have to be back at work tonight, but I got to spend some extra daddy/daughter time with Ella as mommy slept. We usually play on the floor with her toys. Today, she wanted to go down the little slide we have in the house. She must have done that about 35 times. Then she grabbed the stuffed Curious George my dad gave her and sat him on the couch next to me. She climbed down, grabbed a book and started “reading” to George. It was so sweet.

Listen up, George! I’m a Pout Pout Fish …

It has been a while, since we had a nice family weekend together. What a blessing to spend it with my wife and daughter.

One Bite Took Me Back In Time

In Psychology class in college, we had an entire unit on how certain smells can bring back memories. This happens to me all the time. What they really neglected to touch on is how your sense of taste can do the same thing!

Remember that scene in Ratatouille when the young chef brings food critic, Anton Ego, ratatouille? His coworker, his former boss, and even Mr. Ego cannot believe that this was the dish he chose to serve him. With one bite of the dish – Ego is immediately taken back to his childhood and is eating that very dish served to him by his mother. It is one of y favorite scenes in the movie.

I have certainly had this happen to me, but never with such a simple dish. I have had meatballs that taste like my grandma used to make. I have had breaded steak which tastes like grandma’s. I have had tuna noodle casserole that tasted just like my mom used to make. Today, it was something that I have certainly had more than once in the last year, and never had this happen. Today, while Ella napped, I made a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I was hungry and wasn’t really sure what to make. Sam had the peanut butter out on the counter, so I decided a PB&J would hit the spot. I threw it together and grabbed a glass of milk. I sat out on the couch and took a bite. With that bite, I was immediately 11 years old. I am home on a summer day in the back yard. Things I had forgotten about, are suddenly very vivid.

I was sitting out on our back patio at a round table with a glass top. The umbrella has a burn mark in it from when my brother set it on fire with a sparkler. In front of me is the brick barbeque that the previous owner built, but we only used it for the first few years we were in the house. It had a huge metal square lid that covered the grill. In back of me is the sliding patio door, where my mom stood and handed me my sandwich, chips, and glass of milk. In the middle of the yard is a swing set. There were two swings, a bar, and a set of rings (which I used to be able to do flips on). In one corner of the yard was a beat up dog house from the previous owner and in the other a garden.

I remember so many summer days sitting out there and eating lunch. The funny thing is, I mostly remember eating bologna and cheese sandwiches out there. Why a PB&J brought this memory back so vividly, I’m not sure.

When I was in elementary school, kids could walk home and eat lunch and walk back to school. I remember doing this on occasion. I want to say that the distance from my house to the school was like 5-7 blocks. I liked being home, but I remember you literally had to sit down, wolf down your sandwich, and get back to walking or you’d be late. In today’s society, I can’t imagine letting my kids walk that!

Today, the table, umbrella, doghouse, swing set, garden, and my mom are all gone. I think the barbeque is still there, I could be wrong. It was nice to think back on those days today.