Monday, March 31, 2008

100 posts

This is my 100th post. I wish I had some great reflection on the post since Christmas when I started this thing. I guess when I do my 100th post for the year I should mark the occasion with a link to my favorite photos for 2008. It would pretty much meet what I was thinking I'd do... making my photos better. In the interim... I'll give you an update on my bathroom.

When I got home from work my green powder room was blue. Lise is fantastic... two boys with no naps, and Ryan puking, and Lise was able to paint the bathroom walls AND ceiling. Oh, Did I mention that Ryan is STILL sick. The Yuck persists. After a long day at work that included HR issues, and an epic struggle to start the day, it was just the kind of news that made me smile and relax. After getting the boys to bed, I sealed the grout in the bathroom, and contemplated working on the toilet... I got over it as I cleaned up with Lise and wished my parents well on their trip to Hawaii. Have a great trip, Mom and Dad... hopefully you'll actually blog and let us know what you're up to?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

White Trash

So I don't have a dead muscle car in the driveway, but for a while I had a toilet on my back porch, and a pile of dead trees still litters the front of my yard. I'm waiting for someone to set fire to the big pile out there. Until they do, I'll keep cutting down 3 or 4 a week. I hope to have that one done this week as well.

We got the bathroom tiled and grouted. I didn't expect to have to wait 24 hours to seal it, or I would have the toilet back in there this evening. I'll be hoisting it in there tomorrow night for certain, but until then, I've Spackled, and next we'll paint. Lise and Ryan have both been nauseous off and on all day, but no one lost it, which is great considering how sick they have been. Ryan was in very good shape off and on today. I hope that tomorrow, Lise is feeling better and Ryan is ready to go to school. For Lise and me, it will be a long day... waiting for me to come home to scape and paint.
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yuck 3.0

Yuck 3.0 is different than Yuck 2.0. First and foremost, it attacks girls. That's something new in our house... Yuck has been very attached to boys, and being attached to the only girl in the house is particularly bad, when that girl is your wife, and she cant go into the bathroom when you're trying to take the toilet out, due to the septic smell. The other thing about Yuck 3.0, is that it's not the pukes, just the constant threat of treating your neighbor to a roman shower. Nevertheless it was Yuck 2.0 that made it's presence most felt when Ryan decided that he wanted to revisit his lunch this afternoon. All this while I was pulling out the last of the demolition debris and getting ready to tile.

The morning had started out rough for Ryan. First thing this morning, he decided that he was feeling good enough to test Dad. He was outside of Connor's room at 6am being very loud. I told him to be quiet and not wake his brother. The then told me "I'll wake him up if I like and I'm going to wake up Mommy too." This he says naked from the waist down, to a man that's been up since 4am with Connor. (SMACK) One red hiney... way to start the day right... with a shiny butt. I know you might have strong feeling about this, but today makes exactly one time that I have hit him. He was stunned, and didn't even cry for at least 2 minutes. I don't like doing this, but he's trying to figure out who runs things around here for a few weeks now and conversation and long talks aren't sinking in. I know that this kind of thing has limited effect, and I hope it's the last time I have to flex any muscle with him, that doesn't involving lots of tickling. To get over the trauma, we went to the Flamingo place for breakfast. He had a muffin, and was telling me that the had "pooped out the monster in (his) belly". I told him, that that was great, but not the best conversation for the table, let alone a restaurant. He told me he felt great and was happy as a clam when the clocks in the restaurant all tolled 8am and the Coo Coo clock's resident popped in over Connor's head.

Getting back to the power room. For a project that had so many things competing with it's priority, we got alot done. It was completely demo'd by noon, and we had finished tiling by 7. It took us some extra time to get into the swing of things, measure 1/2 the thinset we needed, hold pales for puking kids and have me return a drum sander that I shouldn't have rented. All in all, it is starting to look like a powder room again, and it will have grout going in tomorrow at noon, and the next day, we'll have a toilet again... depending on how long the grout sealer takes to dry. Worst case, by mid-week, we'll have our bathroom back and water will once again be spilled all over it from kids washing their hands like squeegee men in NY, wringing their hands and shaking filth on the walls and vanity. Why am I doing this again?

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Yuck stands alone

So I worked from home today. When Connor's bus came I ended up watching Ryan while Lise collected him. I had to keep working and keep a 4-yr old occupied... So I gave him my camera. I am now the proud owner of about 37 shots of my front yard. :) What I did get was this cool, but unexpected shot of me working (and looking like a trash bag) at my desk. It's strangely out of focus, as Ryan cant actually stop moving (he might start to feeeel tired... then the world would end). What I especially found amusing was all the stuff he wanted to take pictures of usually involved taking pictures of himself. Ryan "G"... 10% water, 80% ham, 10% little boy.

ON the upside, he's feeling worlds better and even is starting to look the part. Tonight he stuffed down some Chinese food and then laid down on the couch to ward off any motion sickness that may darken his door. He felt better after only 10 minutes, but we went to bed early and hopefully he'll be 100% tomorrow. What good would a Saturday without a visit to the flamingo place. Tomorrow we pick up the drum sander at the crack of dawn and then I grind the mastic off the floors. It will be a crazy day. If I do things right, I should have the bathroom stripped and ready for tile on Sunday. I expect to have a toilet in there by Monday, and then we install the fixtures. I will also be taking down an old mirror, so I figure I have a 50/50 chance of doing a little drywall and a bit of electrical. The light fixture is hung on the drywall with nothing behind it, which is a disaster waiting to happen... hmmm make that a 90% chance of doing some drywall.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Ok, so the puking kinda stopped. Connor is feeling fine, but joined Ryan on the couch tonight. Ryan had bland food all day and is feeling better. We had one "dry heave" episode and now is feeling better and laying in bed. I hope we all get some good sleep tomorrow and banish this stomach bug for good.

It's not a late night for us tonight, but I plan to prep for the impending bathroom overhaul. I have to do my materials list and take care of a bunch of last minute details... Until then, wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yuck 2.0 (this time they mean business)

Yes, it's back and this time our contestant is a four and half year old with little to no vomit coping skills. This means we have a high maintenance puker on our hands. Will wonders ever cease?!? It's been a crazy two days and Ryan's illness seems to be the topper to my little cake of non-stop running about. He had a heck of a time going to bed tonight... every 2 minutes he sat up and said "I just know I'm goin' to puke THIS time!!" Grabbed a bucket and did nothing (not even a little heave) and laid back down and told me he was lucky... Lise and I think this is going to be a LONG night. ick.

Yesterday after work, I picked up the horrifyingly heavy playscape we bought two weeks ago. It fit nicely in the car, but I have to admit that I was nervous because I didn't have any bungees and had to tie the back door closed. The whole ride home I had these nightmare visions of lumber spilling on the highway causing cars and insurance rates to soar. I made it home without incident, but it took me a bit to get over my paranoia. Getting it out of the car took my mind right off my worries about accidents, and had me thinking more about the permanent hump back I could get if I lifted this sucker wrong...

This morning I was back in my old car, and off to the races with meetings until noon and then out to meet with my friend Paul, who I haven't seen in over a year. He seemed to be doing well, and our old company seems to have remained the same since I left there. In fact, from the sounds of it.... it's EXACTLY the same, and while I miss a few folks, it made me happy I had made the right decision to leave. We had salads and coffee, which does break from our old eating habits when I worked there, and although it had been a while, it was good to see Paul.

After that I headed back to work, (after chasing down an AWOL employee... I'll leave that for another time) where, out my window I saw a seal on the rocks below my office building. He was very happy staying right where he was and flapped his sealy tail off the rock after a good 2 or so hours of fish digestion. After work, I drove through the Fort Trumbull neighborhood next to my office. It has inspired me to bring my whole camera kit down there and take some pictures... It's not inviting, but it has this kinda ghost town feel to it... and I like it. A few snaps before they blow it up and use it to become a super-high-rise-condo-hotel-uber-complex that caters to people that don't live in New London. I am envisioning Reston town center or Tyson corners in Va. but I expect it will be more like a bad hotel and sundry shop, in the end... poor new London.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Rehab and the Coo coo's nest

I got home and apparently, I had started another project. :) Lise is getting full swing into spring fever, and has begun a few projects at once. Today, she killed trees until Connor begged her to go back inside, (he so hates being colder than 55 degrees) and when they came in, they started prying up tile off the bathroom floor. Now I do plan to rehab the bathroom this weekend, so it's not a crazy dismantling of the bathroom in any sense of the word, however; the enormity of the project kinda hit when I got home and saw the first three tiles pulled out and Lise asked me to show her how to use my pneumatic chisel. The last time I came home to a question like that, I installed a new kitchen the next weekend. :)

Work is a nuthouse, but that isn't new. I read my friend Carla's blog and it simply assures me that I'm not going crazy on my own, I'm taking a bunch of nice people with me. I wonder when this express train to the sanitarium stops and sometimes I ponder if I'm driving it when asked what an "IPT lead" is, and I know the answer, and what it stands for. Either way I'm on for the duration, until someone asks me to get off the train, or run it into a wall. At least I have a scary project at home looming in the distance to distract me from work on nights and weekend.

Toot toot.. next stop "Bedlam"!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I cant describe the whole day.. it was fun and it started with a little confusion. It seems that when we came down stairs, there was string everywhere. It took us all a few minutes to figure out what it was the Easter bunny wanted us to do. You can click here on this video to see what happened next!

After finding Power Ranger Gold, Mom got the cooking going while Dad foraged at the local store for some eggs and we prepped the house for Gigi, Nee nee and Louise and Bob. The boys were thrilled to see them and let them know all about the Easter bunny's arrival. After some amazing food, we ran off the extra pounds by kite flying.

I have to say, Louise and Denise started things off, and the boys followed her lead. Soon the both of them were flying their own kites, without assistance from any adults. It was a treat to watch them have so much fun while burning out on the front lawn. Both of them so exhausted, that first Connor and then Ryan asked to come back inside to rest. I think it was the best idea for the adults too. :)

We all had a great day together, and enjoyed the time thoroughly. Even though Marie was a little checked out, she told me that she needs these kinds of days to "stay young". I couldn't agree more.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Cleansing

It's been a day of cleaning and general running about. Ryan and Connor towed the line most of the day, except for an exchange of slaps in the face, which lost the boys power ranger privileges for the week. I know it sounds weird, but it got my point across. The highlight of the day was a party this evening at 7pm. Our neighbors have an annual St. Patrick's Day party (albeit late this year). The amazing part was we were a little early and ready to go. Our neighbor's daughter was to babysit, and she was a little late... so we hung out and no babysitter. I looked across the street.... no cars. "I bet we got the wrong week" I said. Lise stared at me over the fresh guacamole that she just finished. I looked. ... "ummmm... hope you like that guacamole" I said.

Out I go for Indian food... well, mostly because we hadn't prepared anything that didn't go with chips alone. I logged my journey back from the store, to play with my time lapse photo feature on the (still) new (to me) toy. :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Brenda's Birthday

Today was our friend Brenda's birthday. Brenda is only 3 months older than me, but she thinks she looks 10 years younger and is 10 years smarter... and then again, who am I to dispute her. :) Ryan and Conner helped mommy make her cake this afternoon, and besides beginning at the end of her rope, with kids that wont take naps without assistance, who have been sick and puking, and a long list of other Mom-like stresses, the cake came out wonderful. I even had a bite. Ryan and Connor had theirs before me, but when you help, you get the spoils. :)

After a yummy plate of ribs and a pile of cake in the kids, I revved them up and told Ryan and Ally, that it was acceptable to tickle Brenda today, because it was a birthday tradition. Connor and Sean got into the act and totally chased her down the hall and around the room. :)

It's been a fun but stressful day and I think the weekend might be the same, I'm going to see how much sleep I can get tonight, with the kids going to bed late, it should be a late morning. I have a haircut tomorrow and then a party in the evening. (Late st. pats), so if I don't blog early, it will have to be on Sunday.

I promise I'll take my picture.

Tonight I took a horrible picture with my new camera of the moon, After I played with it a while, I got it looking kinda spooky-blown-up-filmy-blotchy. It's got a sixties rock poster appeal. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Fourth Horse sleeps in the basement

We got these little, old fashioned horse toys that Ryan uses as his trusted steed when he dresses up as a knight. It recently has shown it's true purpose as the 4th horse of the Apocalypse. It used to make a running sound when you pushed his ear... now he does it alllllll the time. It's new job in life is to make anyone near it crazy. After a full day of galloping to nowhere, Lise banished him to the basement, where he is tear-assing to oblivion as I type this. Connor keeps going to the basement door and saying "Horse Mama!!! Horse!".

Meanwhile, Ryan is concocting a plan to keep himself awake at all costs this week. He began this morning at 6am, and napless he started to fail at 6:30pm. It horrible to watch him degenerate into a weeping puddle. Everything is dramatic, until we're in bed, and then... well.... he NEEDS to TALK, like he's had 30 cups of coffee... then, he falls deeply asleep. Earlier when he was holding thingstogether, he was all about showing me his bunny he made from a milk jug and cut out paper ears at school. :)

Tonight his main focus was that he was going to bed when it was still light out. That and that he was totally creeped out when the Easter bunny showed up at his preschool today and his face never moved! When directly asked if that was a man in a rabbit costume. I told him that it could have been one of the Easter Bunny's helpers. I got a bad feeling that this whole lying thing about the Easter bunny ain't gonna make it past the age of 5. CRAP! I want him to enjoy this.

Out with(out) the Kids!

Last night I went out with the local troublemakers. I don't often get a chance to spend quality with my workmates, when not running some sort of emergency drill, so it's nice to visit over a glass of wine. I got home pretty late for me, and Lise was shot. The kids have been a wee bit high maintenance these days, and Ryan has been acting out a bit. I could tell that Lise was beat when I arrived, as the garbage bin was still at the curb, and she usually gets that if she has the time... but when I found the keys in the door, I knew it had been a tough day. Four seems pretty easy from here, but it's his first time being four, so I guess it's about as hard as being 36 is to me. I certain someone 30 years my senior would tell me that I have it easy, etc etc...
I was remiss last night... I'll have another post around 9 tonight.... while we watch "Lost".

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Yuck Stopped

I took this picture this morning and over saturated it a bit... I still love it. One morning I'll get down to the beach at sunrise... yeah, right.

A new day and the baby has stopped his puke-fest. Connor started the day asking for a bagel and kept it down. He spent the rest of the day tailing Mommy and going to the Dr for a quick checkup. He seemed otherwise fine, so we thought we should check to make sure this is a virus, and not something crazy. He's been sick pretty much since he started preschool, and the doctor tells us, he has maintained his streak with a fine rotavirus. I remember this same sick for months bit with Ryan. Lise and I were praying for summer recuperation time. It hasn't been so bad with the boys YET. I'll bide my time till the warm summer sun scares away these mutant preschool strains of stomach and nasal infestations. Until then, I was thinking about a bubble outfit for Connor. When I tucked him in to bed tonight he said "Ouchy Belly bye bye.... Ooooh yucky... Connor tooted". That kid is definitely broken on the inside. phew.

Side note... I found this site very funny. It's worth a review.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Yuck I posted at 6:00... by 7:00 Connor puked... for the second time today. If you recall on Sunday, we had a similar reaction... I have been under the weather, and thought he may be coughing so hard he puked yesterday... Guess I was wrong. I wont send pictures of this one. Unless he makes a habit of it. :) Dr's visit tomorrow... if you're having trouble loosing weight, now would be the best time to visit us.


Listening in.

I felt under the weather today so I worked from home. I wasn't crazy sick, but I felt like it could go bad on me. I like working from my home office. It has some distinct advantages. I am still in my seat and it's just about 6PM, and I got alot done today. The office is sometimes the worst place for me. Anyways, where else could I be and hear screaming of children, and the occasional conversation that goes something like this:

Ryan: "Shh Connor, I don't want Dad to hear us"




Ryan: "CON-NOR"

Connor: "Shh, Daddy"

Ryan "Help, I climbed the stairs my self and I cant get down. I need a power ranger to save me!!!"

(Prolonged Silence)

Ryan: "Coooonnnnn-noooorrr.... Come and save me..."


Ryan: "I'm not being loud."


Ryan: "I'M NOT BEING LOUD!!!!"


On a side note, where I sit at work is right by a helicopter pad, and I see one about 4 times a week. This is pretty neat, but I noted while sitting at my desk today that in the neighborhood of 5 or six flew over my house today and they create an awful racket. The scourge of the suburbs.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sappy Sunday

Being a Sunday and all, I decided to make pancakes from scratch for the family. I keep making them from recipes online, and today I decided I had gotten the hint and me and my helpers got to business mixing the ingredients. Essentially, I add mix and hand off to Ryan and then Connor. They love the mixing and concocting of breakfast, no matter what the ingredients, no matter what I make. After a pretty good job and some very cake-like pancakes, we sat down to eat. Connor decided to throw a wrench in the works when his unproductive couch became very productive, and he puked up breakfast. At least I had eaten something by then and didn't feel the urge to over stuff myself with breakfast. Thank god for small favors. He seemed OK after a glass of OJ, and then we had to make him something else, well, because neither Lise nor I could see making him eat more pancakes after his eruption.After checking to see if he was sick or just had a cough get the best of him, we all went outside as a family and killed trees. Mom with her clippers and me with my chainsaw, trapped and killed another score of budding saplings (most of which were 8-10 feet tall). I never did take down the big tree I wanted to get, but it's pretty huge, and will be a few hours to dispatch. Meanwhile my chainsaw has become pretty dull and I pretty much found I was burning down trees, instead of cutting them down by the end of this session. We think it will take one more weekend to finish this saga of tree murder. In the interim the carcasses of discarded tree soldiers will line the street as a warning to other passing spring seedlings of their fate, should they try to plant in out newly exposed front yard. :) Being that we know the trees have their own protectors we showered after getting inside. I have yet to find a tick on the kids, but we don't dive in the leaves and stuff like that, yet. Then the kids passed out for some good naps. When the kids woke up, we decided to give up on work and go to enjoy their first movie with them. The movie was "Horton hears a Who", which was tolerable as kids movies go. If I suspend my preference for the original, then it was really good, and The boys loved every minute of it. Ryan kept standing up and talking to the screen, while Connor was singing and asked "Who's that? Whats that? Who's that?" Lise and I enjoyed it very much and when we got home, we called Grandma to tell her about it. Ryan was very impressed and told us "That's the biggest TV I ever saw!"

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cut em down to size

The Great tree destroyer visited Clinton today. Lise had her eye on cutting back some of the overgrown front yard for almost 2 years now, and she's ready for action. Today the carnage started after our weekly visit to the flamingo place. After the customary breakfast, we sped back home and gunned up the chainsaw. Like at our house in Amston, Lise decided to clear the font yard with clippers first and made a good run at it. I took down the trees and we have about 40% of the yard cleared. The big trees will stay along with some of the larger saplings. We are taking one tree down that is sick, but the others will stay... I'll probably take the big one tomorrow... It's not the cutting that's so bad, it's the hauling.

After a good morning of hard work, we showered and took naps. At three we woke up the crew and went on an Easter egg hunt. Our neighbor up the street has an annual event, when they hide (in plain sight) over 300 Easter eggs with candy and get the neighbors to stop by and hunt for them.
The kids loved it and played until close to 5pm, where we decided to go to dinner. This time at the parrot place. I figure that tomorrow I will be working all day on the trees (weather permitting), so what the heck.

Connor has had a great day and can't get himself to quiet down. Ryan is still awake, but being quiet... I guess all said and done, it's been a great day, and I look forward to a great weekend.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Dinner out with Lisa and John

Today was a good day.... Connor woke us up at 6:45am, and with his usual call... "Maaaaaaaaaama... Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaama". He sleeps all night in this doggie blanket, which must be a 1000 degrees. After getting everyone downstairs we had our typical morning... an Omelet for mom and dad and bagels and sausage for the kids. I am going through a million dollars in cream cheese. As Lise got her morning brew, I went to work upstairs in my newly refurbished office. The day was very productive and as I finished up the babysitter arrived for a well needed break. My sister and her husband came up our way for a weekend away, and we thought a dinner out would be a nice getaway for us all. We had a great time and chatted about all sorts of things, from work to kids and family. I wish I had some enthralling story about a sudden epiphany or important news from the clan in NJ, but it was just a great night with family. Being that they live so far from here, these kinds of nights are scarce for us.
At the end of the night... Lisa and John sandbagged us with presents from NJ. Lise commented that the boys had "hit the mother-load" with baskets that included fun motorcycles which I'm sure will be whipping around my house in short order. I'm sure they'll love it.. Thanks guys!