Saturday, June 27, 2009

Shamone! MJ RIP / Vacation Recap

Double themed blog post tonight regarding two completely unrelated topics on the death of Michael Jackson and the end of the family vacation with the boys. At said family vacation in West Virginia on Thursday, I got a text message from Lori notifying me (and by proxy everyone else on the vacation) that The King of Pop had died of cardiac arrest in LA. I was instantly shocked by the news and then slightly depressed by it because for me, Michael Jackson is one of the most influential music artists of my time and I grew up listening to his hits. The fact that the Michael Jackson from the '90s and 2000's became a complete freak-show train-wreck of a man does indeed tarnish his legacy. But Thursday evening I kept thinking back to the MJ of Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad and Dangerous, before all the kid-touching and baby-dangling ensued. We all knew the life of Michael Jackson was not going to end well but I didn't think it would end this soon. The HIStory album (which includes a greatest hits CD) will continue to get solid playtime on my iPod and MJ music will always equal an instant jam at any wedding reception.

Josh, Alex and I got back earlier today from a fun-filled three-day adventure in the mountains of West Virginia. The past two nights I switched the sleeping arrangements so I shared a bed with Josh. Alex is a complete nut-case and would squirm and wiggle through the night. Each night we put Alex to bed in a vertical position with his head at his pillow and he almost always ends up horizontal in the morning. I got more sleep the last two nights as result of sharing with Josh. It didn't help though that the room we slept in is pitch black and only had one outlet. I had to sacrifice lamp light for being able to charge my phone at night. Therefore, Alex woke up at 3 AM last night looking for his water cup and stumbled loudly over his backpack and other items on the floor waking both Josh and I up (as I frantically tried to use my phone to provide some light - dropping it in the process). Sleeping aside, the vacation went off without a major hitch.

My cousins Matt and Mollie were kind and brave enough to escort the boys to the Zoo yesterday morning while Nate and I played 18 holes at the pristine Spiedel Golf Club at the resort. Nate was on his game and beat me by two strokes (Nate, I think I still owe you "something" from our bet). It was a fun round as I hadn't played 18 with Nate since just before his wedding two years ago. Nate assures me that Nate 3.0 (without school commitments) will be playing more golf. The boys had fun at the zoo and apparently Josh ate 2.5 hotdogs (followed up at dinner by three slices of cheese pizza). After one last night of games with my Mom and other family members, I packed it in last night and woke up and packed up the cottage for our drive out today. Josh did not want to see his new best friend Jackson (my cousin Jenny's middle child) leave this morning. I told him that we could visit him later this Summer when we go down to see Gran (my mom) again.

Since the kids behaved above average through the week, I stopped at Target on the way back and bought the Bolt DVD Josh had been craving for weeks. That kept them quiet for most of the drive back. The new DVD player is a moderate success. It didn't break during the trip but the biggest issue is that Josh has to control the menus of the DVD. He couldn't find the PLAY option on Bolt and I had to pull over to help. As we got going again, I realized the movie was playing in French! Luckily I helped guide Josh on how to fix that (thankfully he could read the word ENGLISH). Gotta get laundry done and a BJ's run tomorrow to get ready for reality back in the office on Monday.

I'm very proud of my two sons for being good troopers throughout the week on our trip. My aunt and uncle made a point of telling me last night that they behaved very well at the resort. It's good to be back with Lori and Rebecca (who is as calm and cute as I left her a few days ago). Only a few more weeks until Summer vacation part deux at the Jersey Shore.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day One of Guys Vacation

So the big trip out to West Virginia was actually a lot less painful than I imagined. The kids were real good in the car and watched several DVDs before we stopped to get food at Sheetz (the Wawa of the WV/Ohio/PA region). I even got them to sleep for a little bit during the last half-hour or so. Once we arrived at Oglebay Resort we briefly met my Mom at the lodge then headed to the (appropriately named) Rosebud cottage to unpack our stuff.

As soon as we got settled we drove to the nearby outdoor pool to meet up with some of the cousins. Josh had a blast and has been playing with his 7-year-old 2nd cousin Jackson ever since. The two of them get along real well and Alex follows along in tow. Alex and I went to the nearby Kroger to get groceries for the next few days while Josh gave a Wii demo for the people in our cottage. At night after the kids went down (and while my cousin and her husband stayed at the cottage), I went to another nearby cottage to visit the Penton/Spath/Crummeys and played a little Rock Band on the XBOX 360. It was good catching up with that side of the family and I'm hoping I can take the kids to stop by sometime today to see some more of their 2nd cousins.

As we drove in yesterday around 1 PM, we drove by a few of the golf courses here. They are all in fantastic shape with lush green fairways. I totally wish I could go play 36 holes today AND tomorrow but I can't leave the kids to do-so. There's a chance I may try to go play the Par 3 course today with Josh. At least tomorrow I will be able to get in 18 holes with Nate and my cousin while the boys go to the nearby zoo with my Mom and some others.

Right now Jackson, Alex and Josh are playing on the floor with Jackson's 7-month-old brother Robby. There are 10 kids here 7 and under so this vacation truly has a "Romper Room" vibe to it. Tonight the WHOLE family will be getting together near the pool for a full family BBQ. Complete with "Talent Show" which should be interesting.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

And we're off!

6 hour drive to WV without Lori and Rebecca. Should be interesting.

Sent from my Windows Mobile® phone.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dia de Los Padres

I'm winding down on another Father's Day (my 4th!?!? already). Today was the first to celebrate with Rebecca and I spent a lot of the day with her sleeping on my chest as I watched the soggy epic that is the US Open. Alas Tiger is not really in contention anymore but I'll still have it on tomorrow at work on my spare laptop. I enjoy having Rebecca take naps on me. It really does give off a peaceful feeling to have a small infant resting on you. I have about 1 more year of this left to savor (perhaps nieces, nephews and grandkids can suffice later in life).

Lori made some bomblicious cinnamon muffins for breakfast (and perhaps desert) that were extremely fluffy and tasty. The boys wrote a homemade card for me (in a sad revelation I realized that Josh really does write the word "Dad" better than I do). It's still hard to believe this tall 4.5-year-old is the same little boy in the pool with me in Costa Rica (above pic). I got to sleep in a little bit (thanks to my all-star wife) and relaxed for most of the day outside of a gym visit and a spring cleaning of my car.

We were all set to head out to Chili's for dinner as a family when the boys once again decided to talk back and not listen. Alex continues to not understand the consequences of his actions and Josh is becoming an expert at back talk. I keep threatening to not go on the vacation with them on Wednesday (when in reality we have to go because we paid for it and Lori needs a break away from Super Alex and Josh). None of this seems to be working and it may be a while before Josh gets to play Wii again. Needless to say we ordered takeout from Chili's instead and gave the kids a basic boring dinner. Overall though Father's Day was solid for me. I may only do one hour of work tonight instead of three which would be a bonus as well.

Happy Father's Day to my Dad and all the other Dads out getting it done day after day.