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Showing posts from October, 2013

Santa?

Trick or Treat, at least in theory, has gone over very well in our household. The idea of dressing up, knocking on doors, and getting candy has become very appealing...which isn't a given with young kids. Now, whether or not the idea works in practice remains to be seen. My kids wouldn't be the first or last to have a freakout at the door of a stranger.

In fact, it was sort of a preview of things to come that Cole has never wanted to pleasantly sit on Santa's lap the last couple years. Leda is a people person and she may be a different story requiring a special trip when she's old enough to request it. Cole, under current conditions, I just can't see ever wanting to head downtown to stand in line to sit on a strange old man's lap to ask for toys. And we're just not the kind of parents to force it. If it's not a happy experience, why push it? It's certainly not a requirement of childhood. We would like to get him comfortable with the train again to r…

Not you!

One thing I was totally unprepared for as a parent was how much the rise of independence...so young!...coincides with preferences that can (intentionally or not) come across as hurtful as a parent. They don't mean to be mean and oftentimes are simply asserting control or their growing personality. But it sucks to be on the receiving end. As parents, if you prick us do we not bleed? Sometimes young kids don't understand that there is someone on the receiving end of their rebellion and newfound likes and dislikes. (I suppose all of this applies to teens as well?)

With Cole, even his teacher has noticed that he's been saying "no" a lot lately. He doesn't want someone else setting the agenda, he wants to be in charge of his destiny, he resents the power adults seem to have. I get it. It's psych 101. He's tiny, the world is big and hard to understand--there's outrage.

But some of the cruelest words you'll ever hear are "not you." The vari…

Ruining childhood

When I read the note about the protocol for my son's elementary school Halloween party, I cringed. It's not a Halloween party, it's a Fall Costume Parade. No face makeup. No weapons. No fake blood. Must be put on over regular clothes. No wearing it to school. Please do not send candy or chips. Bring a gently-used book or non-perishable food item to participate.

No, really. I'm not making it up. Even my liberal bleeding heart has limits. When did we stop letting kids enjoy childhood? At what point did we decide to suck the joy out of being a little kid? My childhood wasn't immune completely, but I also don't recall the level of hysteria we see these days.

And, granted, not 2 weeks ago someone tried to lure a little girl in my neighborhood into a van. But, honestly, I think we're just more aware in our modern society about crime, danger, and risks. I don't want my kids to grow up in a bubble. But I also don't want them to live in fear of crossing the …

Tending to my flock

"I wanna move up to Nashua, get a nice little spread, get some sheep and tend to them." --Good Will Hunting With all of the NSA news lately, I can't help but think back to this quote from Matt Damon's character sometimes.  He's at a job interview and being asked to use his profound math intellect for national security...he'd rather be a shepherd.

When I was in--oh, maybe 9th grade--they sat us all down in my high school and asked us to take a test that would recommend several jobs we'd probably like and be good at one day. Mine came up "dairy farmer" and "forest ranger." Of course, I am neither of those these days. I live in the densely-packed suburbs of the nation's 3rd largest city. Nothing I've ever done has involved large acres of woodland, animals, or using the heavy vehicles that both those jobs seem to require.

But call it a mid-life crisis, we're currently obsessed with a lifestyle change involving becoming shepherd…

My Obamacare experience

You can't say the word healthcare these days without stirring up a debate. After all, Republicans shut down the government over it--stupid as that shutdown may have been. It's been a horribly bad rollout for the website. Which has been making my problems worse.

I've always said the "system" (and I mean larger society) isn't set up for people like us. And, by people like us, I mean non-joiners who present unique situations not easily addressed by anything mass-oriented. We don't like the typical tv shows. We don't drink the typical wines or beers. We don't do the typical sports. We're different. We love it. It's just hard to find handmade organic soap at Walmart and you can't get too upset that it is difficult. Well, actually, you can but we'll save that discussion about how much to fight for inclusion for another day.

This post is about an unmarried Stay At Home Dad trying to get some health insurance. And the difficulty in that is…

Of marathons...running & sleeping

It's now Friday...sorry for the lack of posts. I meant to get something up on Monday about the Chicago Marathon. Then the flu hit. Or whatever it was that resulted in me going to bed Monday afternoon and emerging 3 days later without having eaten, sleeping nearly every minute, with a pounding headache, chills, and a fever.

Not unlike the horrifying reaction my body also had to the first time I ran a marathon. Or the way it treats me after I let a dentist pull my wisdom teeth. Thankfully, I can now run 26.2, take one long nap, then usually rebound by dinner. I've never understood the people who pound beers, McDonalds, or stick around afterwards. I ran my ass off, I'm going home to sleep. 
This year's Chicago Marathon was...weird. Fabulously entertaining to watch. Yet I didn't even go downtown to be an in-person spectator. I'd tried to volunteer after we got back from Door County, but I'd missed the cutoff date. So this marked the first time since 2008 that I…

Living on peninsula time (Door County trip report)

If--like me--you had never heard of Door County until a year ago, I'm going to do my best to describe where I've been for the last week. I first heard of it when a neighbor of ours in the building did the Door County Triathlon. Which is one of the best-known, best-run indie races in the entire country. Then, by chance, I stumbled across a guide book in a local bookstore and it was...intriguing is a good word. It's hard to do the place justice because, even after visiting, I'm still at a loss for the overall theme.

For those of you trying to picture it on the map, Door County is the reason there is a Green Bay. It's that little pointy piece of Wisconsin sticking out into Lake Michigan...to the west is the bay, to the east is the lake. To the north, a series of islands. The largest, Washington Island, has a year-round community with a ferry running to the mainland. The passage between the two is dangerous and full of shipwrecks, however, and gives the county its name…