Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time Flies Like an Arrow; Fruit Flies Like a Banana

Just over two years ago, the documentation of our Noisy Little Adventures started with this post. It's still one of my all-time favorites.

But last week I was reminded of my second post when Rach came home from her week of supposedly-it-was-a-business-trip-but-who-knows-what-really-happened-because-well-you-know in Vegas and, yet, I was greeted first when she came with me to pick up the kids.

I didn't gloat about it at all...outwardly, at least.

There's No Gratitude Without 'Atitude' (repost)
"Mommy! I missed you SOOOO much!"

There's nothing like being greeted with a warm welcome when you walk through the door after a tough day at work. My wife came home the other day and Mini-Me, our 2.9-year-old son, welcomed her with that booming announcement. She beamed in a way I hadn't seen since the day we walked down the Target and 24-packs of Mountain Dew were under $5. Caffeine is a necessity in keeping up with the boys.

As trying as life can sometimes be with the tantrums of a 2.9-year-old, such moments of loving gratitude far outweigh the beastly attitude. And what about me, you ask? Oh, I get my share of gratitude, too.

"Daddy, thank you for making dinner. Thank you soooooo much!" Actually, he's still working on the fricative 'th' so it's even more adorable when he says it: "NAHK you for making dinner, Daddy!"

My heart just melts getting that amount of appreciation for opening a piece of string cheese and slapping some PB & J on a slice of bread. I slaved in the kitchen for six minutes and for him to acknowledge that at such an early age...tears. What can I say?

My favorite moment of Mini-Me's gratitude, though, came when Papa Boyd (his grandfather...and no relation to Papa Smurf) and I assembled and improved upon a 'new' swing set. You see, my wife has become an expert craigslister. Flipping through a Toys R Us flier, I mentioned wanting to get Mini-Me a cool set-up for the backyard. Within minutes (maybe it was days, but still, it was fast...she's that good) Papa Boyd and I were in West County disassembling and loading a swing set in the dark. A couple weekends later we worked furiously during Mini-Me's nap in the hopes of having it ready when he awoke. Unfortunately, Mini-Me rushed out of the house while the swings and such were still scattered around the yard.

It didn't faze him one bit...

"What's dis, daddy?"
That's your new glider.
"NAHK you, daddy...NAHK you!"
That's a big boy swing.
"Oh, NAHK you, daddy! NAHK you, NAHK you!"
This is a telescope (aka 'cheap plastic tube with no magnification value') to look across the common ground.
"Ooooh, NAHK you!"
And this is a steering wheel so you can pretend to be in a ship.
"NAHK you! NAHK you, daddy!"

The pure joy of the moment seemed even greater than Christmas morning. He was ecstatic with the treasures scattered in the grass and genuinely grateful for each and every one of them. Mini-Me spent the next half-hour carefully examining each piece prior to its assembly.

And me? Atop the new fort attaching the cheap plastic tube with no magnification value, I felt as though I was standing atop Everest. Fists on hips, chest out, chin up, I could do no wrong. I was Superdad!

“Daddy, why are you standing up dere like dat?”

Of course, Mini-me knows how to bring us back down to size.

The day he greeted my wife so warmly after her long day at work he immediately kicked off his shoes and ran to the living room where his toy trains waited.

"I missed you SOOOOOOOOOO much, Geotrax!"

At least we know who the competition is.

It's wild to think that it's been two years since we added the "fort" to our backyard. So much has changed and, yet, so much stays the same:
  • Mini-Me's now able to swing himself
  • The Wubster could replace Mini-Me in a near exact remake of the above post
  • Since we've taken down the glider and added a third swing, Mickey (TKNTD) is happily swinging alongside her brothers
  • I get more thanks for meals that take mere minutes to prepare than I do the creative culinary masterpieces
  • The kids still think I'm weird for standing tall and proud atop the "fort" (just because that's how I choose to greet each new sunrise doesn't mean it's wrong...the fact that I'm only in my underwear might).
  • The Geotrax don't trump us anymore...Legos do.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

in Just-

Hanging out in the back yard before dinner, with Rach home from her work adventure in Vegas, the evening couldn't have been more perfect. As the family and I frolicked in the sweet Spring air, I was reminded of why this is my favorite season:

I hope your Spring is as mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful as mine!

Monday, April 11, 2011

What Happens When Your Wife's in Vegas...Gets Posted on Your Blog

Rach headed to the bright lights and lighter pocketbooks of Vegas for a week-long conference, leaving me with a bountiful supply of adorable munchkins and the adorable munchkins a bountiful supply of Jolt, pixie stix, Cap'N Crunch, duct tape, toilet paper, eggs, tar, and feathers.

Should be a fun week!

Luckily, I got the upper hand on them last night:

Unfortunately, it didn't hold them for long. I guess I should be proud that they know how to work together and fashion an escape tool out of a bink, a flower barrette, a tube of diaper cream, two dirty diapers, and a stuffed panda.

When I discovered them roaming the house around 3am, Mickey (TKNTD) was dressed like Mickey (TMNTK) and practicing her juggling...

This photo was taken seconds before she switched to knives and flaming bowling pins. She's getting quite good! I would have gotten a photo of that, but the Dynamic Duo arrived and chased me out of Gothopolis City...

Once I hitchhiked my way back home in the back of a Mini Cooper driven by a one-armed clown, I found all three kids on my computer, chatting with a woman of questionable morals in her swanky Vegas hotel room...

I've lost control...but at least I'm comfortable...

Original image here

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Want to Ride My Bicycle...I Want to Ride My Bike!!!

Stacy Uncorked is leading the charge in a Random Tuesday Rebellion. Visit her if you'd like to join in the fun! Onward and Randomward!

What just happened?

I blinked and we're five days into April! I totally had plans for a month-long personal blogging challenge in, maybe I'll just save that for May...or next April.

We bought Mini-Me his first big boy bike over the weekend as an early birthday present. Now that the weather's nice, we wanted him to get as much time with it as possible. He's been riding a balance bike for the past couple years and he's gotten pretty good at cruising, but he's grown so much the past few months he looks uncomfortably big for it. Now he's tearing up the sidewalks on an 18" green and silver beaut! Having ridden the balance bike for so long, I'm interested to see how quickly he gets the hang of the bigger bike and how soon the training wheels can come off. No rush, though, rush.

When we brought the bike out of the van, The Wubster immediately started to drool. "My bike! My bike!" I explained to him that I was going to adjust the balance bike for him, but the poor kid's still just a tad too small to reach the ground easily even with the seat as low as it'll go, so he gravitated back to the new bike. That led to more chanting, "I like. My bike! 'is my bike!"

Luckily, Mini-Me stepped in and helped me out...
"No, Wubster, this is my new bike, but you can have my old bike. I left a lot of love on it for you. You'll love the bike, too. I left love on the seat for you, too. Yeah. That's where I left my butt love."
Your butt love!?!
"Yeah, daddy. Butt love." *insert sly, goofy grin*
As much as it made me giggle, the message got through to The Wubster:
"Tanks, my bike now"
If that balance bike holds up through both boys, imagine how much butt love will be on it for Mickey (TKNTD)!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Better Beautiful than Perfect*

At the start of my second class today, moments before handing out an exam over Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, I noticed a few of my college-bound seniors were visibly perturbed, having come from one exam to mine:
"What's the point. What makes life worthwhile? I just wanna go home and crawl in bed."
"Yeah, no doubt!"
"No offense, Mr. Noisy Little Adventures (not my official teaching name), but why should we care? Tell me, what makes life worth living?"
Wow! Guys, that's a great question...a tough one, but great! I'll tell you what makes life worthwhile, despite all its challenges. This...[I pulled out my cell phone and showed off a picture of the Star Wars snow speeder I'd spent several hours the previous night building, despite not having bought the actual kit]. Working on this last night knowing that Mini-Me would be ecstatic when he saw it in the morning...totally erased the tears and tantrums we suffered through around dinner time. There's nothing quite like the joys that come with parenthood, the overwhelming emotions when you hold your child for the first time; the excitement over the various 'firsts'; the pride that comes with every accomplishment (yours and theirs)...but, guys shouldn't rush into having kids, so, what else makes life worthwhile?

Oh...and mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam...well, maybe not just mawage, but love. The nervous excitement in your chest when you're around the person who's captured your eye and heart, plus the joy and comfort of being around someone who knows your likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, and everything else about you...

And then there's college. You're on the precipice of adulthood, your future's right there in front of you, albeit muddled in a fog of possibilities, maybe, and college can be an amazing time in your life. Most of you will finally be living on your own, free of household rules and expectations, surrounded by a vast array of amazing, unique, people, able to study pretty much any topic you choose, stay up until all hours of the night just to see if there's a real guy or an elf who restocks the soda machines, discover who you truly are and what you want out of life, and rack up incredible debt via student loans and credit card opportunities (oops, I went the wrong way with that last one)...where was I? Oh is amazing. Don't take it for granted...or granite as you guys like to say.

And don't forget the beauty of the natural many of you have traveled beyond the state borders? How many of you have even left the metropolitan area? See...there's so much more out there and you should experience as much of it as you can.

How many of you have seen the Northern Lights? You absolutely must. Oh, and how about the neon glow of waves during a Red Tide? It happens when a bunch of plankton die off and it's pretty nasty...smelly, especially...except for the fact that this particular organism is gives off it's own light, so when the waves crash along the beach they glow a neon blue. It's one of the most amazing sights to behold...and it comes from something that's otherwise intolerable.

What about a total eclipse of the moon? Sun? Heart? An active lava flow? Hawaii, for that matter? Boston? Austin? The Grand Canyon? Paris? Munich? The Great Barrier Reef? The Great Wall of China? The World's Largest Ball of Twine?

There's so much to experience in the world, whether it involves travelling to far away places and meeting people from different cultures, or staying at home and watching the lightning of a distant thunderstorm while sitting with your best friends on the hood of your car. Life is amazing and real and magical and special and moving, but tough, at times, too. You've heard me mention before, that Langston Hughes once wrote "Oh, God of dust and rainbows, help us see that without dust the rainbow would not be." We need the struggles of life to help us realize what Roger Clyne sings in 'Better Beautiful Than Perfect':"Life is Grand, Love is Real, Beauty is Everywhere."

Well...I hope that answered your question. That pretty much sums up why I think life is worthwhile...Here's your test and here's to life!

What did I leave out? What makes life worthwhile for you?

*The Director's Cut--253 additional words and four added cliches compared to the theatrical release.