Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's A Dog Life

In yet another reminder that we have a lot to learn about having an indoor dog I bring you the following story.

Ang and the kids had already headed over to my parents house for dinner tonight when I ran home after work to change into my "non-work" clothes. Usually when I enter the house the four legged creature that has taken over my home is RIGHT in front of the door waiting to attempt to lick all the skin on my body. Today? No dog.

After hollering his name several times I could hear a faint whining sound emanating from my bedroom. Upon entering the room I discovered my closet door completely closed and scratching coming from the other side. I opened the door, Keagan ran out and I found two bags of Carmel Creames tore open on the floor with the individual wrappers opened up just like a human would do it. Oh yeah, the light was on and Ang SWORE she turned it off.

So I've got $7 worth of candy gone, a dog that apparently can turn a light on and close a door but not open it and the sinking feeling that no matter now often I take this thing out to go to the bathroom I'm gonna find a not so nice surprise waiting for me in the morning.

I've have GOT to install closed circuit cameras in the near future.

Imagine, just a few short weeks ago I was worried that Trot was going to be the one who sent me to an early grave.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Hot Dog and a Life Lesson

Who knew Trot would bring me one of the sweetest moments I've ever had that involved somebody I'd never met before?

Ciera spent the night with a friend and Ang and I took the boys out for hot dogs for dinner.Right as we're getting ready to wind our meal up this man I've never seen before, along with an adorable little girl wearing a bandanna appeared at our table.

"My daughter just wanted to know if your son is ok?" he asked. I explained that Trot had alopecia and he informed me that his daughter, a 7th grader for God's sake, just finished her Chemo and had spotted Trot the minute we walked in the door of Zacks, our local hot dog establishment.

And just like that all my self pity over my son losing his hair and worrying about other kids making fun of him went flying out the window. My son is perfectly healthy except for having no hair, yet this precious little girl fighting cancer saw us walk in and immediately worried about HIM.

I fully believe Trot's hair will come all the way back one day in the near future but if it doesn't?

Sweet Holy Moses I've still got so much to be thankful for.

I'm pretty sure I'll remember that sweet little girl for a long, long time.

Leave it to a child to remind us of what is REALLY important.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Prince of the House

* I got the idea for this post from tonight's episode of "Touch" on FOX, but all likenesses and other crap is strictly coincidental*

Once upon a time a young prince was born and he was a sweet, docile child.

For all of about 5 seconds.

From then on the prince has been a whirling dervish of pee and mischief who has provided his royal family hours and hours of angst and joy. While other princes learn to fence and ride horses and fight with swords this prince just fights with swords. And pees. EVERYWHERE.

Other princes are blue eyed and blond haired and while this prince has the blue eyes the blond hair has disappeared, albeit hopefully temporarily. Other princes learn how to woo a princess and eat regally and all the other noble stuff princes do, this prince, MY prince likes to fart. And burp. Sometimes at the same time.

And while my prince may not be the ideal example for royalty, he's the greatest prince I've ever known. He's  funny and smart and kind. He loves his Mom and Dad and brother and sister and although he has a strange way of showing it he loves his dog too. Good luck convincing the dog of that by the way.

Prince Trot turned 6 today and even though he's aged me in doggie years for 42 in that time frame I couldn't love the little maniac any more than I already do.

And yes. The fact that he could possible become President one day scares the ever loving crap out of me.

Happy Birthday, Dirt Dog.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thhhhh That's All, Folks.

Every day around 3 o'clock I call home and check in on how the boys made out at school that particular day and every day my Mom or my Father in Law usually has something to tell me about what Trot or Rakes or sometimes both had to say.

Today was no exception.

My Mom took the boys to McDonalds for lunch and along the way realized both of them were leaning way too forward in the seat so she asked if they were buckled in. Turns out they were but really loose so Mom did the old standard "It would be a shame if I got pulled over by a policeman and they took my driver's license away because you two weren't buckled up properly. Nanny wouldn't be able to take you places or come over or go anywhere. Wouldn't you feel bad about that?"

A half second later the following took place.

Rakes: "Nanny, I know how you get a drivers license."

Nanny: "You do? How?"

Rakes: "Well, I was watching Daffy Duck the other day...." and proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes detailing how Daffy Duck went to the DMV to get his license. Never mind the fact that Daffy is a cartoon character and the episode more than likely involved a talking pig and rabbit, Rakes told this story with a straight face like he was reading the newspaper.

I may need to sit down and explain that not EVERYTHING you see on tv is, you know, REAL.

Monday, March 26, 2012

And A Dirt Dog Shall Lead Them

*Image courtesy of Associate Press*

There will come a point during the season where I'm pretty sure Bobby V's self promotion will make Hulk Hogan blush.

I'm also pretty sure that by May I'll utter the words "If I hear one more story about chicken and beer in the clubhouse I'm gonna toss an otter through the bathroom window".

And I'm 99.9% certain that Jr and I will have come THIS close to having a Steel Cage Match on public access television over whether Josh Beckett is an elite pitcher (my position) or he just plain sucks. (Jr's stance)

The one thing I'm 100% sure about?

As long as Dustin Pedroia is hitting bombs, talking trash, getting his uniform as dirty as humanly possible and driving Valentine up a tree?

I can make it.

I can make it through Ciera's downward spiral into a mouthy teenager.

Through Trot's Alopecia, urination, and terrorizing the dog.

Through all the fighting and arguing between Rakes and Ciera about who bothered who first and who stole the other one's pencil and all the other crap that is going to spring up over the next 6 months.

In Pedroia I Trust.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday in Suburbia

I find myself yelling a lot lately and I don't know whether it's my advancing years causing my impatience or the kids or El Nino but I end up blowing my top like Etna about twice a week.

Tonight it was brought about by Rakes taking Ciera's pencil box at some point over the weekend and Ciera going completely bonkers and every time I tried to speak and find out where Rakes put the pencils she would yell in that way that only teenagers can yell and after about 5 minutes I went off like that guy in "Broadcast News".

I have no idea what I said; it was just about a 45 second long rant where I'm pretty sure the veins in my neck made me look like Bruce Banner and my blood pressure went up about 100 points and the dog ran out of the room like he'd chewed on the bottom of the television and I'd caught him in the act.

Throw in the fact Rakes got up about 475 times after I put him to bed and Trot is turning the dog into a basket case and Ang spent the weekend with a migraine and I'm THIS close to a nervous breakdown.

Thank God tomorrow's Monday.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hat Becomes Him

*Image courtesy of my awesome brother in law Marty*

I'm pretty sure Pancho Villa got his start this way.

Sipping a Sprite at a local Mexican restaurant an hour past his bed time and hopped up on cheese dip and salsa.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Mild Reprieve

There isn't anything, and I mean ANYTHING that can't be made better by the following words.

I love you, Dad.

Especially when it's spoken by the child you spend most of the time envisioning as running the Gambino family someday.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Today, much like the parting of the Red Sea, Jimmie Johnson's hair and Al Roker being gainfully employed, a miracle happened.

Trot scored 8 goals in his soccer game. Not one or two by luck or chance but EIGHT goals where he ran hard, dribbled the ball and shot with both feet. After 2 1/2 seasons of doing cart wheels, picking flowers, and happily chatting on the bench instead of focusing on the field he all of a sudden turned into a bald, pint size version of Pele who had this look of pure happiness as he clomped up and down the field.

I'm sure by Saturday that competitive fire that burst out tonight will have abated and he'll be back to asking the kid on the other team if he collects Pokemon cards but for tonight?

You couldn't wipe the grin off my face with an industrial grade sander.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's a Dog's Life

We're one week into being dog owners and finally making progress.

The dog doesn't follow me to the bathroom anymore and wait RIGHT outside the door like I'm going to come out with the world's biggest Milk Bone for him.

On the other hand I've found Trot on multiple occasions with the dogs front paws on his shoulders and the two of them dancing like some demented Fred Astaire/Cujo combination so we're not exactly out of the woods yet

In a related note I'm thinking about installing closed circuit cameras in the house to finally uncover what exactly a dog does in an 8 hour day when nobody is home.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ready? You Bet I'm Ready

Somehow, in the midst of waiting for Opening Day and the first new episode of "Deadliest Catch" I missed the fact there is a show about these crazy maniacs who dive into the Bering Sea to dredge for gold on it's bottom.

First, where have I been?

Second, how have I missed this?

Third, the only thing that would make it better is if the Hillstrand brothers came rolling up on the Time Bandit with Pedroia standing at the front of the boat yelling "I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!!"

Sweet Flipping Frances I'm gonna lose it before the first game.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

All I'm Missing Is A Ring of Fire

Today we learned a very important lesson; no matter how good a dog has been about leaving food on your plate alone or passively watch while you make a sandwich for lunch or just sit and look at you while you put out food for dinner on the counter you never do one important thing.

Leave an apple pie out on the counter while you go outside to talk to the neighbor. 'Cause that sucker is going to be GONE.

Thank God it wasn't chocolate or I'd be feeding this dog medicine to make it throw up while I held his head in my hands.

So, to clarify I now have a teenage daughter who I'm pretty sure swiveled her head 360 degrees the other night, an 8 year old who occasionally stammers like Mel Tillis, a 5 year old with alopecia and a propensity for public urination, a wife working full time and taking her Master's Degree classes online and a dog with a craving for apple pie and Opening Day is about 2 weeks away.

I gotta be out of my ever loving mind.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Keagan and Me

Meet Keagan, the newest addition to the family. Part Golden Retriever, part something or other we brought him home yesterday.

Naturally, Trot has been in full on overload and it's taking both boys some time to understand the fact he's not trying to bite their arm off when he gets excited while playing with them. Ciera is supposedly the one who is going to take care of it and so far, so good. I keep telling myself it's only been a day so not get too excited.

He's house trained, has all his shots, is fixed and has a microchip so money wise I'm doing OK so far. He's also been left alone for several hours and as far as I can tell hasn't touched a thing except a Santa Claus paper Trot had on the refrigerator for some reason.

Even with all that I still keep asking myself one question.

How in God's name did I let them talk me into a dog?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Caught in the Middle

I'm 41 years old and other than breaking my nose 5 times and my collarbone once in misguided attempts to keep my youth playing church softball, I've never really had any health problems. Unless you count mental problems that is.

On Tuesday morning I stepped out of bed and just about went to my knees with pain in my back I've never felt. I limped my way through Tuesday and groaned my way through Tuesday night, sure that I would feel myself in the morning.

No such luck; Wednesday was worse and after sleeping with a heating pad strapped to my back Thursday was a little better although I walked around like a 98 year old with osteoporosis most of the day. After finally getting a decent nights sleep last night I was sure I was on my way to recovery only to have today feel like Wednesday all over again.

I have no idea what I did and I'm starting to worry I'm gonna have to see a Doctor if this doesn't get better. My Pop has had three back surgeries over the years and if my pain is any indication of what his was? He's a whole lot tougher than I've ever given him credit for.

Somehow Trot is to blame for this.

I just KNOW it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Too Many Birthdays

After feeling absolutely crappy with some kind of cold all weekend I was starting to come around a little last night and was looking forward to going to work today. This changed when my feet hit the floor and an excruciating stab of pain hit my lower back and I think I screamed like a little girl at the time; the fact I think I blacked out keeps me from  knowing for sure.

I spent the rest of the day walking around hunched over like Quasimodo and yelping every third step or so and wondering if I should just step in front of a car and get it over with. It took me roughly 10 minutes to climb into the bed tonight so I could read books to the boys and Rakes had to help me get up. It's so bad at point I'm wondering if someone has a voodoo doll of a short pre-mature grey middle aged man and is just having a blast.

The only thing that has helped since I got home is the following conversation I had with Trot.

Trot: "Dad, is there a sight word called but?"

Me: "Yep. Why?"

Trot: "We learned it today. My teacher said if anybody giggles when they say it they have to move their card to yellow."

Opening Day is April 5th.

I hope I make it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

And So It Goes

One of the principals at the boy's school is also a member of our church and today he ended up sitting right behind us. During a break in the service he leaned over to Ang and asked if Trot's teacher had told us about the visit he made to Trot's class last week.

Turns out during a routine class inspection the teacher had pulled him aside and asked him to speak with Trot in private about a certain incident that had just taken place.

How he managed a straight face (At one point he told Ang he had to briefly walk away so Trot wouldn't see him losing it) he asked Trot, and I quote "We you trying to look up your teacher's dress?"

To which Trot replied "Yes. But only a little bit".

Yay. Now we get to add perv to the face licking and other general mayhem.

And he's not even 6 years old.

I wonder of they keep World Records for that sort of thing?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

When I write a book this is Chapter One

Per my usual Thursday morning routine I went and ate with Rakes and Trot before work. Or rather I went and sat with them while they ate; 10:30 in the morning is a little too early in the day for me to think about eating. Anyways, everything was going fine until about 5 minutes before Rakes was done and I looked up and saw Trot walking down the hall with his very nice teacher looking like he had lost his best friend.

In my mind I know something is wrong; first off his teacher never brings him down while Rakes is eating and secondly Trot looks like he's walking the Green Mile to his execution and he's crying. This is a child who wouldn't cry if he was missing a limb so I'm fairly certain this is some behavior related issue. What ensued was a new one, even for me.

Nice Teacher Lady: "Trot wanted me to call his Mom instead of you but when we went to the office they said you were here already."

Me: "What happened now?"

Nice Teacher Lady: "Well, we were lining up to go into the hall and Trot, well, he licked the boy in front of him on the head".

Me: ....

Nice Teacher Lady: "I didn't see it but another child told me. He just leaned up and licked him".

Me: "Like a cat"?

Nice Teacher Lady: "Apparently".

Me: ....

There aren't many times I'm speechless but this was one of  them. After sputtering on about personal space and hygiene and how we don't LICK people for God's sake they went on their merry way and I was left once again shaking my head in disbelief. When I asked him why he did it I got the standard "I don't KNOW!" amid all the tears and I STILL don't think he knows why he did it. He just thought that licking some kid on the head was a good idea I guess.

I've got three kids and I've read that stupid book a thousand times but that freaking Dr. Spock never ONCE  mentioned licking some kids head.