Showing posts from October, 2007

Trick or treat

Today was Halloween, and the boys had fun, most of the time. We had fun, most of the time. It was a good day, except for a couple little bumps, literally.

Wife helped throw the Halloween party for Eldest's preschool class, and it went well. He also participated in the school's parade, which was fun and a little exasperating -- he just didn't want to follow the parade route all the time, then didn't want to leave the playground after the parade was over. I think I'm coming to realize that on days like this, we should expect the kids to get a little overstimulated and not listen to us and melt down a little.

With the daylight savings time not ending for another few days, it was still light out a 6 p.m. Littlest wasn't going to last until it got dark, so we got ready to go trick or treating. Then, Littlest tumbled off the front porch. I'm not sure if he didn't see the step (he's better with steps, at least knowing he needs to scramble down if he's no…

The lost Halloween

With Halloween upon us, I was having a conversation with a co-worker on trick-or-treating as a kid and started to reminisce the last year I did go around the neighborhood and the first year I didn't.

Here's what the last trick-or-treating venture was like -- I went with a couple friends on a journey for a house where an owner of a taffy apple company supposedly lived. Though it wasn't too far (and we never got taffy apples), it was out of the way enough that walking home, I trick-or-treated more houses than a 10-year-old should. I was dressed as a vampire that Halloween. When I got home, I went with some of my other, older friends to a high school football game (thinking back, was that a playoff game for the high school I'd eventually attend?), got my hand on a field goal kick after it went through the uprights, and had one friend take by force a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (crunchy) after I waffled on giving it to him. That was 1980.

Here's what the first year I d…

Horsies, castles and spaceships

Eldest is really into games right now, and we decided to preliminarily teach him chess. I don't expect him to get it overnight, though, if I may brag, I was playing chess at 4. For now, I'd love him to know what the pieces are, where they initially go, and how they move. He's apt to learning, but he also wants to play his own way. That means his knight (he's calling it a horse, though he's not calling a rook a castle yet) takes every of his opponent's pieces on the board and moves wherever it wants. It makes sense, I suppose, to a 3-year-old, a horse should be able to move everywhere.

The other cute thing -- when he first saw the bishop, he thought it looked like a rocket and flew it around the board. And when he heard us call it a bishop, it just made sense that we weren't calling it a bishop, but a spaceship. Does the multi-level chessboards on "Star Trek" have spaceships? Just wondering.

Anyway, he's having fun, and eventually, he'll lear…

Take a hike

I wrote about our Moab trip on my last post, and it's already been almost a week since we got back. Funny thing about vacations, even short ones, is how the few days after you return go so quickly as you try to get back into your routine.

Anyway, it was a good trip, especially the couple hikes we took at Arches National Park. One was a longer hike (but not too long), with Eldest walking and Littlest in the backpack. Eldest had a blast, especially looking for rock cairns that mark the trail (he'd try to add rocks to the cairns). The second hike was shorter, to Sand Dune Arch, a small shady arch in a sand dune (hence the clever name). Both boys walked this and both had so much fun, especially Littlest.

We've done hikes with both boys before, but this just seemed different, where before it seemed we brought the boys along, this time we hiked as a family. The first family hikes of many.

Value meal

We just got back from a three-day trip to Moab, Utah. Moab is a little desert town near a couple national parks, and it's one of our favorite places in the state. It's the first time we took both boys down there, and aside from a little car trouble, it was a fun trip. But perhaps the best part for me didn't involve any hiking or scenery, or even just getting away. No, the best part happened at Wendy's on the drive back.

It's about a 3 1/2-hour drive from Moab back to SLC, and we were planning to push through without stopping, but the boys were getting crabby after a busy trip, so we stopped at a Wendy's about halfway home. For those of you without kids, going to a restaurant with two kids under 4 is an adventure, putting it mildly. But amazingly, this turned out to be the most non-eventful meal out we've had with the boys yet. Note I didn't say quiet, we don't expect that, but it was just ... fun. Maybe our expectations were lower because it was just…

Sleep deprivation

Eldest has been resisting sleeping in his own bed the last few days. On nights I work, Wife lets him fall asleep in our bed, then I transfer him when I get home, and he knows it's just for that night. But lately, he's been trying to fall asleep, even asking to sleep, in our bed. And he's becoming devious, before bed, he'll say he's cold and insist he get under our covers, knowing he'll fall asleep there and thinking I won't then move him. Tonight he insisted he wasn't sleepy so he wouldn't have to go to his own bed (I moved him and read him half a book before he zonked). We get these spurts once in a while, where he resists his own room, and sometimes we give in and let him stay with us, though that usually relegates me to his room, where I never sleep well.

I know there is a security for a child to crawl into bed with his parents. Stormy nights, really frigid evenings and bad dreams will do it. Eldest sometimes wants the light on while he falls asle…

This magic moment

Four years ago, when Wife was very pregnant with Eldest, we were sitting in her OB/GYN's office waiting for her appointment, and I was perusing Parents magazine. It was the October issue, featuring kids in Halloween costumes, kids dressed for fall, school advice as well as all the usual stuff you'd find in a parenting magazine. There were several "Wow, I'm having a kid" moments throughout the pregnancy, but this is one of the few that really stands out.

I'm reading the magazine, and I realize, this will be my child dressing up for Halloween someday. It will be my child dressing warm for a crisp fall day, one in which I walk him to school. And through all of the imaginings of what his life would be like, this for some reason resonated.

Well, part of that came true today, as I walked Eldest, decked out in fall clothes to school on a crisp October morning. It wasn't quite as overcast as I'd imagined, and the leaves aren't quite falling here in Utah yet…

The classic fall

The Cubs are back in the playoffs, and once again, they are destined to break my heart, as well as all millions of other suffering fans.

I'm not sure what's worse, to have the Cubs be bad all the time or to occasionally tease us with these trips to the playoffs. This is the fifth season in my lifetime they have been in the postseason, and I'm almost positive there will not be a World Series in their immediate future.

Through the years of heartbreak, there's always been a catalyst, something that turned destiny into resignation. The black cat, Leon Durham's glove, Les Lancaster forgetting the pitch count, Brant Brown almost blowing the Cubs' chance to get into the playoffs in 1998, or Steve Bartman, it's always something. And that something isn't necessarily the reason the Cubs lose, but just the ominous sign of imminent doom -- Bartman didn't lose that game in 2003, but as soon as it happened, I looked at Wife and said "That's it, they are go…