Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dinners out are such a scream. No literally.

"Welcome to Abuelo's, would you like to see how much your kids can scream this evening?"

OK maybe they didn't say that but that is what happened. The night started out good. Alicia, I and the kids were going out to eat for the night with her family for her brother's 19th birthday. They had been at basketball tournaments all weekend and were up on the North side of Indy so we drove the 25 minutes to meet them for dinner at one of our favorite places to go, Abuelo's.

At 4:45pm we all got in the car and things started great. We got on the freeway and were headed towards the restaurant. By 4:58pm Alicia's mom called to check if we were there yet. When I said we were not there yet and that we were about 15 minutes away she gave me the "Well what are we going to do because our reservations are at 5:15pm" response. Quickly and fortunately with no sarcasm I asked if they would be there by then. They said they would so I just told them to go ahead and sit down. No brainier but you never know sometimes.

By the time we get to Abuelo's at 5:15pm (yes I drive very well/fast) both the kids were asleep. I don't know if anyone reading this is one of those "grumpy when woken up" people but I know my son gets it from me. In any case we get out of the car and wake Sawyer and Beckett up. Beckett is his normal self, all be it not quiet by any means, but Sawyer has turned into Chucky by the time we get to the table. Everything must die in this place. Sugar packets must be emptied into the fountain that is 3ft from the table, hands must be inserted into candles on every table, he must sit at every table except the one that the family is sitting, I don't even want to hear anyone talk to me and did I mention I want to scream and cry like you told me I have to shoot my own dog.

For all the times my son is a perfect kid who minds and tells you what he wants, he cashed in his chips tonight for the worse night out we've ever had. Worse than the night Beckett let us sit at Chili's right up to the point where the waitress was about to set the food down on the table, causing us to leave without even getting a bite of our food.

We tried everything to get Sawyer to calm down. We let him try and sit wherever he wanted. We tried to bribe him with food and chips and whatever else we could think of. Finally it was to the point where he wouldn't even sit in one place on the floor and scream so we forcefully (it took 3 of us) placed him in the highchair. Luckily he's big enough now where he can't easily get out of the chair.

Sometimes I wish I had duct tape

After 10 minutes of screaming he finally stopped throwing his fit but leave it to dad to ruin that. Once he finally stopped screaming I looked over at him and shortly there after he commenced screaming again. This gave us a total eating time of maybe 30 seconds. Not to mention that this whole time Beckett has been ok but still in the "OK I see mom so it must be time to eat" mood. Finally Alicia hands me Beckett and heads outside with Sawyer to cool him down. Unfortunately for me I wanted to take him in the bathroom 8 minutes ago for a good talking to in an environment that wasn't so friendly and where he couldn't just laugh and have something else to go look at.

I've now eaten probably half my food which was about the best thing I've ever gotten from Abuelo's before. I turn to see Alicia come in from outside with Sawyer who looks to not be screaming but still having tear stained cheeks. He again doesn't want to sit in his chair but he's ok sitting with Grandma. After 2 minutes of that he's had enough and wants to go walk around. The only alternative being he'll start throwing a fit again. I'm not the type of person to just let his kids cry and cause a fuss in a restaurant but A. Alicia wanted him to just sit there and know that he won't get his way and B. There is hardly anyone in the restaurant at this time and no one near us. Alicia on the other hand says her her food is just ok and after having spent the last 10 minutes outside I'd just be having OK food too.

As the seconds slip past Sawyer becomes more and more unmanageable. Finally Alicia grabs him to go out side and suggests we just get the food to go as neither of us is going to get to enjoy our eventing out. Well by the time Alicia comes back inside we've gotten boxes and begin boxing up our stuff. Before I we get it all boxed up Sawyer sprints around the restaurant into a private room where no one is. I take this as a good sign and stay in there hoping that the rest of the family can have a manageable dinner with out us. In the mean time back at the table the waiter has spilled tea onto Sawyer's plate which hasn't even been touched. Once I come back to the table Alicia has told me to have them take it off the bill and luckily the waiter comes back quickly and goes to get our ticket less 1 children's meal. After 5 minutes ( seemed like 60) our waiter returns with bill and card in hand surprisingly enough with everything taken off correctly. So after 35 minutes or so of restaurant fun under out belts we now have our food, out kids (we couldn't leave them there we asked) and what is left of our frail sanity.

As we get in the car to drive away I couldn't help but wonder how a perfectly simple thing like dinner out which we've done many times before has blown up in our face. The ride home is fine as both kids were out of energy (the were restrained too) and couldn't make too much of a fuss.

Fast forward to 10:30pm when Alicia and I sit down to watch some TV and eat our leftovers on the couch. So from now on who knows maybe we'll just make nice meals after bedtime or just spring for the baby sitter and actually have a nice night out with no worry of the kids going crazy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

When Moms Get Sick

I hate to admit to it but I bring home colds from work and it almost always leads to mom and the kids getting sick. Not very often but sometimes this requires me to take the day off from work and try and "MAN" the house although I have no chance of doing it quite as well as Alicia does.

I'm normally up and out of the house by 7:10am so on weekends or days I get to stay home I'm normally looking to get a few extra minutes in bed. Ever once in a while it ends up being 8:30am but like normal is was 7:20am or so. So knowing mom wasn't going to be up and around today we started the day off with a good dose of Dora. If you don't have kids you might not know there is a show called "Dora the Explorer". It is a show with a little Mexican girl who teaches kids all sorts of stuff (including Spanish) through the adventures her and her pet monkey (Boots) have. Becket and Sawyer both love this show. On very bad days in the past I'm sure the wife and I both have let Sawyer watch way to many hours of the show. On the other hand Sawyer knows more Spanish than I do now.

With Dora's help today went very well. When I say "well" I mean everything today was very good except for two events. One was having my boss and another co-worker get into an argument on a conference call. Luckily they were not in the same room or who knows what might have been said/thrown to/at one another. Second event was Sawyer getting sick. I'll give it to my kids if anyone ever kidnapped them it wouldn't take long before they were knocking on our door trying to give them back. Sawyer once coming down with the same cold Alicia has, began to go absolutely nuts. He cried, screamed, kicked, ran in circles, fell off the couch, hit, etc.. until finally Alicia was able to get him settled down. I even took him in the shower thinking that would help but unlike fighting dogs the water had no effect on him.

Well they are both finally in bed after some work and now I get to look forward to watching over the babies tomorrow. Unfortunately for me it is not the crying babies that I have at home but the bitching, whining babies that fill 5 days of ever week from work. It also seems that Alicia is doing better but if tomorrow morning she is not better I'm going to have some better stories about the kids to tell come tomorrow night.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Experience or Ability

I've sat at work for 2 days working on something and finally I've overcome my ego and asked for some help. In 2 minutes someone was able to show me how to do exactly what I was trying to do. I was doing it in a much harder manner that should have worked. Goes to show you that a little experience goes much further than having the ability to just about anything.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

War Stories

It wasn't until I was away from Texas and older that I wished that I had a good grasp on my grandfather's war stories. He was in the Navy during WWII on a troop transport ship called the Attala (APA 130). As I got older I wanted to know more about my grandfather's exploits in the Navy and since not living in near him anymore I was unable to ask. However while he was here for vacation I was able to ask him about his time in the service. I was also able to document the conversations afterworlds and will type it up soon. I hope to share it with the rest of my family also as I'm sure they would like to know and hopefully would have more to add to it.

I'd suggest everyone getting those stories out of their relatives because that is something you'll always cherish passing down through the generations.

Family History

I've always been a history buff but until this weekend I didn't really know much family history when it came to my grandfather's side of the family. Here are a few notable facts I did not know. As I think of more I'll try and come back and post them.

1. My great-grandfather's father died in a coal mining accident and left him [age 10] and his brother (Uncle Sam) [age14] to fend for themselves. My grandfather did not tell me what happened to their mother so I'm left wondering on that one. When their father died Uncle Sam started working in a coal mine to support the two of them.

2. My great-grandfather married a sottish woman 20 years his younger.

3. One of my uncles in California was a tail gunner in a 2 person aircraft in the Pacific in WWII.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend Visitors

I've had my grandparents here from Texas for the past two days and it has been great. I miss them so much and they live so far away so it has been great getting to see them. Better yet is has been great that the boys are getting to spend time with them. My grandfather is 80 and grandmother just a few years younger so it is time that needed to be spent. I've have follow up posts but just wanted to let everyone know that I had a great weekend.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Losing Sleep

Most adults lose sleep from time to time. I do most night and the nights I goto bed early I end up losing sleep too. Here is how the two scenario's go down.

A. Stay up late and get up early
My normal night ends somewhere between 11:30pm and 1am. This is because both the wife and I have a computer obsession. So assuming we actually get to bed before the sun starts to rise we tend to be woken up around 4am for the baby's first feeding. This is on a good night I should add. So after 15 or so minutes the baby is back in bed and I can go back to sleep. However about half the time I end up walking the baby in the stroller for at least an hour to get him to go back to sleep. Wait it's not over. Here lately the baby has wanted to get up around 6:25am and eat. Since my alarm clock goes off at 6:40am I turn it off before getting the baby and just stay up after that.

B. Early to bed or so I think
The other nightly scenario occurs when I'm dead tired and decided that I need to goto bed early and catch up on the sleep I didn't get the night before. So this might mean I'm in bed anywhere between 10:30pm and 11:30pm. As good as this sounds here comes the kicker. No doubt 20 minutes after I'm in bed asleep here comes the wife wanting to goto bed to. Not that I'm complaining (although I make it out like I am) about 30 seconds after she crawls into bed I start getting tickled. This must be reciprocated and 2 minutes later key the baby who wants to wake up early although it doesn't keep him from waking up at 4am again. After the baby is back to sleep and I'm ready to resume playing but the wife has decided she's tired and is ready to goto bed. I then proceed to lay in bed awake for atleast 30-60 minutes before being able to goto sleep.

Moral of the story? Stay up late and get more sleep.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I'm one of those people who needs something to do at all times. If I don't have something to do I'll fall asleep. This is most apparent on the weekends or at night where I can sit down for 5 minutes and fall aslseep.

Today was just one of those days at work. No mater what I did more things just kept coming in to my mailbox. Later in the day they guy assigning me asked if I was busy enough now. He then commented on how I'd said just a few days before that I'm only happy if I've got too much work. I think this applies to my entire life. If I have a few extra seconds I'm always trying to fit something else in. I'd try and set a goal to do less but I'm already over committed and can do that at the moment. But in the future, the further future than tomorrow I'll try and get a grasp on this. Until then back to the 2 websites I'm developing on my free time even though I do this stuff at work too.

Lunch Break

So Alicia and the boys came downtown today to have lunch and go shopping with a friend and her boys. Her friend's husband and I work together so it is a nice way to get out of the office and hang out with friends during the middle of the day. We just sat around and ate at the food court but it was a great step away from the bump and grind of work.

Work today was so busy I didn't have time to catch my breath till I stepped out the door to go home. It is amazing how some days you are looking for things to keep you busy and other days you just wished the emails and phone calls would stop.

When I got home and picked up my 6 month old some I realized it was the first time I'd held the kid since I woke up and I'd seen him twice during the day before then. The saddest of all was the fact that I didn't hold him when the family came to see me at work. It is days like today that tell you that you really need a break and need to plan a vacation. So hopefully soon we'll get out fo town and do a real lunch and a real break from the normal day to day.

The good thing although it happens every days is that from the time I get home till the time the boys goto bed they are mine. Mine to play with and feed and whatever else comes along. It's one of those burdens of joy that each parent looks forward. If I didn't have my 3-4 hours of kid time a day I' might just go insane.

My First Flag

I think everyone should fly the flag but up until this point I had not had one flying outside my home. I have had one hanging in my office since July 2007 but never have I put one up outside. So for this September 11th that was my treat to myself. I'd been looking at flags for a while oddly enough considering how simple it is to put one up. I should have done it long ago but this last weekend I purchased one and put it up outside. Each morning I put it out and every night I go and take it back inside. Eventually I'd like to have a nice lit flagpole but until then I'll have to be proud of this small one.

Good Music

Each day I sit down at my computer either at home or at work and listen to music. I've got thousands of songs (2k) on my computer(s) although it use to be a much larger collection (60k). Out of all those songs it is funny how you can narrow it down to say 20 songs that you spend 90% of your time listening to. I do not know if everyone does this but I tend to listen to those same 20 songs on repeat for the majority of the day. About once a week though I pick just 1 song and listen to it 20 or so times in one day. The polls have yet to come in on if this qualifies me an mentally instable but there are plenty of other indicators for that. But until the votes come in I'll go back to the random song selections implemented by my wife for the night.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Family Coming To Town

I don't think any of us really appreciate the family we have around until they are gone or they are too far away to see very often. For me this has been the case for 7 years now.

When I graduated from High School I moved to Avondale, Arizona (Phoenix) from Dumas, Texas leaving all the family I had known for 18 years. I again had to leave family when I moved from Phoenix to Mooresville, Indiana when I came to live with my future wife and her family. In 7 years I've left 2 parents, 1 step parent, 1 brother, 4 step brothers/sisters, 4 grand parents, 1 great grand parent, countless cousins, aunts, uncles and many more graves than I care to count. This latest move from Arizona has put me 30 hours from one set of friends and family and 16 hours from the other.

So when I do have family come to visit or we get to go back to Az or Tx it is something special.
I'm so happy to finally get to say that my grandparents from Texas are coming out to visit us within the next two weeks. My dad's family is great I love every last aunt/uncle and cousin. No one fights and everyone gets along despite the little spats that all families have. That being said not one member of my Dad's family (including my dad) has come to visit me and "MY" family since I moved out here over 3 years ago. This excludes my brother who was the only member of this side of the family to attend my wedding in October of 05.

Without all the family history or dramatics I'm glad that someone is finally coming out here and I hope it leads to others including my dad and his wife visiting. And on the other hand I hope we can figure out somethings for two people in or near their 80's to do with two 20 year olds and two small children. Either way I'm grateful that I'll get to spend some time with 2 of the 4 greatest grandparents in the world.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Crying Man

Today as you know is September 11th. I being the American-Man have a strong sense of nationalistic pride. This becomes very apparent if you step into either my home or work office and if you look at the back of my car. I am proud I don't just stop at showing my pride in those two places but unfortunately I can't say I was able to show my pride in a bright and shining way.

That way would have been by being able to serve in the military with those of my generation who are now putting their lives on the line for what was started 6 years ago today. The military talk will have to come on another post but this "want" makes me very emotional at times.

Case in point was today driving home from the post office. It was just me and my 6 month old son in the car and a song came on the radio that I'd heard once before but couldn't catch all the words due to two screaming kids. Well today I was able to listen to them all and they hit home really hard. I was waiting for the phone number to be broadcast on the station so I could request "Have You Forgotten" by Darryl Worley but Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This" came on the radio. I was excited as it was the song I had missed just days before due to screaming kids.

But as I sat there driving down the road each verse hit me deeper and deeper. The song pretty much is a death letter. A death letter being a letter a soldier writes in the event that he never makes it home. It is the last words a soldier might get with his family and loved ones. This one pretty much sums up the fact that he is not coming home and that he'll rest in a little field back home. He tells his family not to feel bad and that was sorry he had to go. The story and ends with "If you're reading this I'm already home".

Each time I hear this phrase in the song it brings a tear to my eyes. It sums up the story of all the brave American men and women since 9/11 who have sacrifice their life for everything I hold dear to my heart. For this I thank them, I remember them and I will strive to someday be able to do something worthy of their sacrifice.


The Ever Dreaded First Post

The past few weeks I've been wanting to create a new blog. Alicia created a new one and I though it would be good for me to have a new one also. My previous one is still up and will get my political comments but I'm hoping I can share a little more personal information here.

Stay tuned for:
  • Funny stories about little kids
  • Work related headaches
  • Rants about the loving wife
  • Sappy stories about my life and things going on around me
  • and not to be forgotten "Shelby Jokes"

9/11 Never Forget