Aidan Provides Yet Even More Material

So, some background to make these upcoming Aidanisms as funny for you (hopefully) as they are for Renee and me.

Item 1.

We try to go to church every week. We try very hard to involve Aidan in as much of the mass as we can. And we try very hard to keep our cool when he doesn’t follow instructions.

Item 1a.

Aidan loves bananas. He often has one for breakfast. Sometimes, we slice the banana for him in the shape of a little disk.

Aidanism Number 1.

It’s communion time at church. Renee is carrying Erin. Aidan is walking in front of me. He stands there between the priest and I as the priest puts the host in my hand. I take it and put it in my mouth and start to walk away, with Aidan, back to our seat.

“Daddddd,” he says, as we are walking down the aisle. “What did you get? Is that a slice of banana?”

Item 2.

We have an abundance of chipmunks in our yard. Aidan calls any of them “Charlie Chipmunk.” One day, poor old Charlie had gone to the great big chipmunk land in the sky. Aidan was aware of what happened. (Honest, this is important.)

Item 2a.

The other morning, we had a rabbit just off our driveway. He must have been hit by a car and then somehow got into our yard. He couldn’t move. Before we could do anything, the crows made him breakfast. Again, Aidan well aware of what happened. We dubbed the rabbit, of course, Roger.

Item 2b.

Every time we go to church, Aidan helps me light two candles and say a short prayer for my grandmother, father and brother.

Aidanism Number 2

So, mass has ended, and Aidan and I are up front at the church, getting ready to light candles. He chooses blue first, and we light that one for my grandmother.

“We pray for you, Great Mimi O,” he says.

Then, we walk across the front of the church to the red candles.

“We pray for you Papa O; we pray for you Uncle Tim. We miss you,” he says. “And we pray for your Roger Rabbit and you, too, Charlie Chipmunk.”

And sometimes I wonder if he gets it.

What else? I got nothin’.

 


I’m Branching Out

Ok, so I’m on Facebook.

If you read the last post, you know this. And if you didn’t read the last post, two things: now you know and shame on you.

But, back to the topic at hand.

This little Facebook thing is pretty incredible. Prior to this, I had registered for both Facebook and My Space but hadn’t done anything with either. Now I would have to say I have close to a full on addiction to the ‘book.

Technologically, I’m amazed at how it works. It sort of reminds me of the old shampoo commercial that many of my faithful readers are probably too young to remember…but basically, the screen keeps multiplying with someone saying, i liked it so i told two friends and she told two friends and she told two friends and so on and so on and so on….and the next thing you know, the TV screen is covered with faces.

How this little thing works is nuts. I know someone who knows someone that I might know. Boom, we’re friends. I’ve already connected with a couple of friends I haven’t talked to in a few years. All because of the ‘book.

And, there’s someone I know professionally who found me and I’m not even sure I know how she found me. But still cool. Very cool.

I can’t get in — at least not yet — to all the added components and applications you can do. I mean, I’m still trying to be a semi fulltime blogger — how am I going to find time to do all the other stuff the ‘book can do? It’s crazy, this 21st century tech stuff. Crazy I tell you.

I mean, Tortious sent me some flair the other day. I don’t even know what that means. I’m assuming it’s all good, because, let’s face it, my blog crush isn’t going to steer me wrong. Right?

A few of loyal readers have already ‘friended’ me and I thank you for that. Cool to be connected to some great people in another way.

What’s next you ask? Beats the hell out of me.

Not quite sure I’m ready for this Twitter thing.

Or am I?


Post 200/Aidanism

200 posts. Are you kidding?

Nope. Not kidding. The little counter tells me how many. And it says today is 200. So who am I to argue?

Thanks to Molly for getting me into this blogging thing nearly two years ago — which means there’s another milestone coming up in August. I remember the day in the office when she tried to convince me to do it. Well, now I’m pretty much hooked.

So I was thinking of a cool way to mark the 200th post. I mean, it’s gotta be something fancy, right?

Wrong.

I had intentions of doing something that I might still actually do. It’s just going to take some time to do it. And, I would have had that time, had I not discovered my recent addiction to Facebook — thanks to pals Anna and Tortious.

So, in lieu of that, it seems appropriate to mark the occasion of the 200th post with an Aidanism. And the timing couldn’t be better as this one just happened this morning.

So we’re getting things ready for breakfast, which means Renee is busy in the kitchen, I’m trying to stay out of her way, Erin is in the high chair and Aidan is running around like a mad man.

He goes up to the high chair and really gets in Erin’s face to make some goofy sounds and expressions.

Erin, showing her moxie, doesn’t like her space invaded so she takes her hand and bops him on the head.

He responds, “I think that’s her way of loving me.”

Can’t make this stuff up.

What else? I got nothin’.

No, wait. I do have something. Thanks to the faithful who have stuck with me from the beginning, and thanks to the newcomers who have discovered me along the way. 


A Look at the Weekend — Literally

So I haven’t played golf in three years. So, what the heck, why not get back into the swing of things (no pun intended, honest) at one of the top-rated courses in the country? I mean, how bad could it be? Well, apparently, it could be bad. Very bad. But look where I was. Goodness. Oh, and it’s a private course. Thanks to Matt and another friend, I was able to get on and take my regular golfing father-in-law for an amazing time.

There was time in Mimi and Papa’s pool for Aidan the fish — still a way to go, but what a difference a year makes!

Of course, Auntie Steph had all she could do to hold Erin back. She eventually did make it in. And talk about a little fish!

There was almost this great shot of the two of them in Watch Hill.

Look out, Daddy, I’m coming to get you!

And, of course, Watch Hill means the best carousel around!

And the carousel means reaching for the golden ring (which wins you a free ride).

Erin loved watching her big brother go round and round and round!

And then she loved her first feel of sand between her toes.

And, well, I love these three — more than anything.

A great family day.

What else? I got nothin’.


Aidanisms

It’s been a while since I’ve blessed you with some great words of wisdom from Aidan, who now rocks on as a four-year-old.

So the other day, we stop for ice cream. He orders raspberry chip. He’s licking away at his cone, almost mastering the lick technique of keeping it smooth and drip free, when he stops, ponders and says, “Mom. Dad. Raspberries aren’t purple.”

Of course he knows what color they are, but how do you tell a four-year-old that purple and sometimes blue are the preferred raspberry colors? I guess I have to understand it first.

My favorite came the other night at dinner. We were having breakfast for dinner and Renee made this great big ‘ol omelette sort of a thing. Aidan’s not much for eggs (yet), but he was interested in trying them — so this was cause for an internal victory, regardless of what the results were.

So,  he’s got a hunk of egg on his fork, but he’s only nibbling away on it.

“Everything ok, bud? Do you like it?”

“Daddy,” he said, “I’m taking little bites because I’m just getting used to it.”

It completely cracked me up.

And the results?

He didn’t like it.

But, at least he tried them!

What else? I got nothin’.

Oh, except I was at the Celtics/Lakers game last night!!!


Brotherly Love

Dear Tim,

I gotta tell you, I’m sick of writing these letters. It’s hard enough to write one to Dad every year, let alone write one to you. I mean, let’s be honest, when I started this blog, I really had no intention of using it as a vehicle to write letters to my family members who had passed away.

It sickens me to actually sit here and write this, because in doing so, I have to admit again that you’re not here. And that you haven’t been here in a year. I know I have no reason to even say this, but I still find myself getting mad at you for dying. Not upset. Not frustrated. (Well, OK, both of those.) But, mad, too. You were the leader of the family after Dad died. You were the one we looked up to. You were the one we looked to for approval (at least I did).

Now what?

We had a tough day yesterday, Tim. It was Father’s Day, and Tom had a graduation party for Ryan. Sue and Brendan have been having a tough time this week, and I know today won’t be easier for any of us. I was able to get Brendan’s mind off things for a little bit, though. I took him to see Billy Joel last night. He loved it. He was so excited to hear Piano Man, and when Billy played it, I couldn’t help but look at Brendan when Billy sang, “…cause I know that it’s me they’ve been coming to see, to forget about life for a while.”

Brendan finishes eighth grade this week, Tim. You’d be proud of him. But I worry about him. I worry that he’s starting high school next year, and he doesn’t have his dad to be there for him. I need to do more for him, Tim. I need to be in better touch and do more with him like the concert last night. I need to do it for him. I need to do it for Sue, to give her a break. I need to do it for you, and I also need to do it for me. I mean, he’s your son. How could I not? I will try, big brother. I really will try. He’s talking about playing football next year. Maybe I can use that as the perfect thing to connect with him on a more regular basis.

I wish you could meet your niece, Tim. Erin is our little angel, bringing us so much joy last year — particularly because you went and died within a week of  her birth. Damn you! Seeing the way you played with Lauren, I know you would love playing with Erin, Tim. She loves peek-a-boo! And one day, I’m going to tell her all about her Uncle Tim.

A lot of people are going to be thinking about you today, big brother. You touched so many. I’m sure the folks at your work are having a tough day, just like the rest of us. It’s been eight years since Dad died, and it still doesn’t get any easier. 

The only thing that makes me happy about today? While we have each other here, you and Dad have each other in heaven.

I told you already that I hate writing these letters. Today is no different. Writing this does do one thing, though — it connects me with you. And I’ll do anything that connects us again. So until I join you one day (which is hopefully a long, long, long way away), this is the best we’ve got.

Miss you, big brother.

Love,

Mike


I’ve Failed You

I promised five posts this week.

This is the fourth.

I’ve let you down.

OK, now that I’m done with that, let’s move on, shall we?

If it’s Friday, it means randomness for you, which means lack of ideas from me.

Had a classic lunch with the aforementioned work wife yesterday. It’s part one of our barnstorming two-lunch goodbye. We went to Wendy’s (I had a salad!) where they continue to mess with a good thing, i.e. the Frosty. Not only is there the basic Frosty (which is chocolate and only chocolate), but there is now a vanilla Frosty, Frosty shakes (including strawberry) and Frosty twists, which is there version of the Dairy Queen Blizzard. We tried one fo the twists — chocolate and M&Ms. Note to Wendy’s: stop messing with a good thing.

My friend that went into rehab gets out tomorrow from his 21-day treatment. I haven’t talked to him, but reports are that he’s doing very well. I hope so. And, honestly, I’m having a hard time with this still and will be curious to see how are first few conversations go.

Renee gets out of school for the summer on Monday. I was always bust on teachers working “half the year.” But always in a good way. Nobody works harder than Renee. The prep and correction time is crazy. She’s looking forward to the summer off. She deserves it.

Emotions all over this week. A year ago I was trying to find a way to celebrate the birth of my daughter while trying to deal with the impending death of my brother — all in a week. Monday is the anniversary of his death. Sunday, we’re having a family gathering for one of my nephews who graduated high school. We’ll all be together. Probably won’t be many words said, but they won’t have to be.

I’m also going to see Billy Joel again Sunday with two friends (yes, females) from college. There were supposed to be four of us, but there’s three. That means there’s an extra ticket. Anyone wanna go?

Oh, and Sunday is also Father’s Day….bittersweet for a lot of reasons. But, my goodness, am I the luckiest dad in the world, or what?

What else? I got nothin’.

 


My Work Wife

I have two wives, but by no means am I a polygamist.

You know about Renee. She’s the love of my life. The mother of my children. The world’s greatest math teacher. The planner, check-book-balancer and trip navigator. She’s my real wife. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What she’s not, however, is my work wife. That’s Sara.

(And, before I tell you more about this whole thing, you should check Sara out here. She’s a new blogger, and her concept is a good one. Check her out.)

That wikipedia even defines work wife is a pretty interesting thing. But again, they define everything.

I’ve been surrounded by women in basically every job I’ve ever had. I find it much easier to work for a woman than a man. Not sure why, just do. Three of my four closest friends from college are women. What can I say, I’m a chick magnet. 😉 But then again, most of you reading this are female, so you already know this, don’t you?!

And this is one of the reasons why Renee is so great — because she understands this. Well, I’m not sure if she totally understands it, but she deals with it — incredibly well, I might add.

I’m also the type that tends not to bring work home with me. I have a 30-minute commute, and I use that time to unwind and let go of all the stuff I just went through during the day. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to Renee about work, I don’t want to talk to anyone about work — when I’m not at work.

I love my job, and I love where I do it. However, there are moments. There are always moments. And it’s an important thing to have a bond with someone that you can gripe with and be frustrated with. Someone that you know gets it and understands the nuances. Someone that is usually going through the same type of situation, just in a different department. Someone who you can gossip with and discuss all the latest rumors with. And, quite honestly, someone you can just completely let go with.

That’s Sara. And it has been for a few years.

I tell her things about work I don’t tell anyone else, and she does the same. We can talk about anyone or anything. We have a secret handshake, and quite frankly, if it’s noon, we’re doin’ it.

We came up with that one planning a lunch. We try to go to lunch every couple of weeks. It helps keep us sane. And I’m a bit OCD about lunch. If I don’t eat at noon, I don’t do well the rest of the day. I’m a little regimented.

So one day, we were setting up lunch and the conversation was like, “so what are we doing for lunch?”

“Oh, we’re doin’ it.”

“Noon, right?”

“Yeah, I mean, if it’s noon, we’re doin’ it.”

You might not find that funny, but we think it’s hysterical. And I suppose that’s all that matters. Lunch with Sara is always a great time. We’ve talked funny stuff, serious stuff and funny and serious stuff. Either way, it’s always fun.

The last lunch we had was a perfect example of how we know each other at work. I was having a relatively bad day. I was being questioned about something by the president. And I was right, but in order to appease him, it was going to take me about four to five hours of (unnecessary) work.

I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t frustrated. I wasn’t ticked off. I was pissed. Borderline livid.

Sara sensed it immediately, realizing what state I was in. She’s seen me in all of the above moods, but she knew this one had really set me off. And she was right. She then made it her mission to cheer me up. And it worked. She did it. And she did it well.

Sara and I call a really great lunch a ‘classic’ — for one reason or another. This was definitely a classic. It had a ton of emotion in it, particularly when, after building me up, she broke the news that she was taking another job. Not a promotion or swith here. Another job. As in another place.

My work wife was leaving me. Oh the drama.

Not so. More happiness. She’s getting a promotion, a significant salary increase and a much shorter commute. She wrestled with this, and it was important for her to talk about it with me. That’s what the relationship is about. We went from me being pissed, to us laughing and making fun of our incompetent waitress to the seriousness of a job change.

Our lunches have touched on everything over time. Discussions about life, death and everything in between. A job change was just another topic for us to tackle.

Sara wanted my opinion and I gave it to her. First and foremost, you look out for number one. She did. Do I wish that she was staying? Of course I do. But she’s doing the best for her. That’s what matters. To me. And, most importantly, to her.

And we’ll be fine. The beauty of this relationship is that while it’s steeped in work, it’s gone beyond that.

I may be losing my work wife, but I am forever keeping a friend.

 

 


One Year Ago Today

My baby girl turns 1 today.

Dear Erin,

Happy Birthday, baby girl! You are 1 today. Your Mom and I can hardly believe it.

You truly are my little girl. I adore everything about you. And always will. Your blue eyes, Erin, just captivate me. It’s as if I could stare at you all day. Of course, I probably could. I don’t even notice your lip anymore. I really don’t. It bothered me at first, but now I know it’s just part of who you are — and that it will go away over time.

Your enjoyment of music is one of my most favorite things. I love to watch you ‘bop’ to any music we play or sing. It makes me think ahead to when your 8 or 9 and I bring you to your first concert to see the latest and greatest boy band of the day.

I completely cherish our special time, Erin. And for me, that’s putting you down each night. Holding you in my arms while I give you your bottle. Well, I can’t think of anything much better than that. I love looking at your while you are in my arms and I love talking to you — telling you how special you are and how much we all love you.

And that includes Aidan. He does love you, Erin. I know he does. He’s incredibly protective of you, as a big brother should be. But, I can see it in your eyes, Erin. One of these days, you’re just going to bop him, aren’t you?

I shouldn’t tell you this, Erin. But when you do bop him one day, I may say something strong to you at the time, but know inside I’ll be laughing like crazy!

You are our little angel, Erin. One day you’ll understand what an emotional time it was for us when you were born. Your Uncle Tim, who would so adore you, passed away suddenly less than a week after you were born. It made me raise so many questions. It made me question my faith in ways I never imagined.

But it also made me appreciate you so much more. Life was given. Life was taken. And you, littlest bit, brought so much joy to our family in a time we still have difficulty talking about. One day, you’ll know this.

When I look at you, Erin, I see the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen. I see your blue eyes, your smile, your wide-eye curiosity.

And I also see your Uncle Tim. That, Erin, is perhaps your most special gift. Every time I look at you, I am reminded of your uncle. I can’t think of a better way for you to pay tribute to the uncle you’ll never meet yet who you will be forever connected to.

I love you, Erin Margaret. Thank you for brightening our day — every day.

Daddy

Mmm. Cake.


You Asked for Pictures, I Give You Pictures

OK, you have spoken. And, yes, I will tell the Rachel Ray story. At some point. 🙂

First, some pictures, which should update you on a few things that have been going on here lately.

Without further adieu, let’s get to it:

So Erin got her hair cut. This was a couple months ago. I know, I know. Her bangs are ready for another trim already!

Henry obviously thought she looked pretty good.

And while Erin and Henry were making nice, Aidan was getting to know his friend, Will.

Ah, yes. The basement. This is the outside, obviously. But the water, should it come, needs to go somewhere. Better in the yard than in the TV room.

Inside the house. That gray pipe was put down all around the inside of the foundation after they jackhammered a trench that created, oh, I don’t know, six million pounds of dust.

Same vantage point, only this time showing theh cement they then put back in the floor. Of course, keep in mind that we now basically have to redo the finished room, because what you see on the right, that’s two feet of the paneling and sheetrock that had to be removed.

I know it’s not pretty, but the water has to get out of the house, and that’s what you see here. The pipes (and the down spout) are going into one underground pipe that goes in the trench in the first picture. And that other hideous thing? Radon fan.

So our town has this thing called Touch A Truck Day. This is Aidan at the controls of an excavator. Something about the glare in the picture actually makes me like it more. And, of course, there’s his smile.

Erin discovered that as long as she’s with Mom, this slide thing can be pretty fun!

Erin’s first parade (Memorial Day) was a huge success!

Aidan loved the parade, too!

Excuse the quality of the photo, but that’s Aidan waving to the crowd after being presented with his ‘diploma’ from the three-year-old program at his nursery school!

So, as you can see, a lot has been going on.

I’m going to make you a promise this week, however. I will be posting every day. I owe it to you.

And, quite honestly, it’s going to be an emotional week or so. Erin’s turns 1 on Tuesday the 10th and then it’ll be a rough time remembering my brother, Tim. Bear with me.

And thanks for sticking by me. I appreciate it.

What else? I got nothin’.