Saturday, August 27, 2011

Groans and Greetings for Gray Balls

My first high school crush Carla dumped me during our sophomore year. A few weeks before the break-up while we were still on summer break, I nearly maimed myself biking home from her house on my 12-speed when the brake handle became detached and lodged itself in the spokes of my front tire as I coasted down Union Street near Crescent. I’m pretty sure this is the second time I’ve blogged about the bike accident of 1990 – what can I say, I’m apparently still traumatized by either the crash, Carla breaking up with me, or both.

The reason I bring this event up again in the first place is that my buddy Chad was with me when Carla delivered the news to me by phone. I was in my bedroom using a phone that was not cordless. In other words, I couldn’t leave the room and Chad got to witness the drama firsthand. Anyway, after comprehending that the break-up was irreversible, I asked Carla what was wrong with me in my pathetic state of sorrow. Upon hearing my question, Chad began to smirk and opened the space between his thumb and index finger while placing it on his forehead. He then mouthed the words “your hairline” or something to that effect.

Back then, due to the size of my forehead and the high location of my hairline, my buddies and I were fairly certain I was going to be the first bald one of our crew. Fast forward twenty years (that’s right class of 93, our sophomore year in high school was that long ago) and I still have grass on the green without assistance either from Rogaine or Maury's wigs. Even better, I have yet to discover a gray pūb in the Chewbacca wheat field.

While I acknowledge this fight against aging and vanity is futile, there is one particular trait I earnestly look forward to acquiring as the years accumulate. It's actually a badge of honor in my opinion. Three words. Old. Man. Strength.

When I think of Old Man Strength, three people immediately come to mind: the father of William Wallace’s best friend in Braveheart whose character was named “Campbell”; Julio Franco; and my old next door neighbor in Hooksett whose true identity I will protect by simply calling him Mr. V.

Campbell (portrayed by Scottish actor James Cosmo) is a paragon of Old Man Strength. Campbell’s not as svelte or handsome as he probably was in earlier years. The beard is gray. The hairline has receded. He needs to sit down for a rest a little more frequently than he used to. But he’s still a total badass and answers the call of duty when pressed into a fight. For chrissakes, he gets his hand chopped off in one battle, then comes back to the next one with a swinging mace attached at the severed wrist. That’s the medieval version of Old Man Strength, I believe.

Julio Franco was a professional baseball player who played for something like 100 years. He retired in 2008. I know little about Julio except that he was super ripped well into his 40’s and could still probably tear Dustin Pedroia into several pieces with his bare hands. Just trust me, Julio’s an appropriate spokesperson for Old Man Strength.

As for Mr. V, he is quite possibly the best example of Old Man Strength I can conjure in my brain. First, Mr. V's had bulging biceps that have intimidated me since I was 6 years old. Second, he is a master carpenter, plumber, electrician, and builder of anything. Third, he hunts animals and eats his kills – I believe a mounted boar’s head hangs in his garage (or at least I imagine one in there) as affirmative proof of his fearlessness. Fourth, he is the nicest and sweetest guy you’d ever know. Put it this way, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, I’d definitely seek refuge at his house.

[While we’re on the topic of Mr. V, I feel the need to confess that I used to climb up onto the bumper of his silver utility work truck when it was parked and no one was looking, so that I could peak in through the back window at a Playboy centerfold taped on the back of the partition between his front seat and the rear back area. (The Internet was still a whole decade away.) Furthermore, I also apologize once and for all about the snow ball I threw at his brand new car around 1984. Once I saw Mr. V jam on the brakes and get out, I booked it into the woods and didn’t come home for a couple hours. Although I may not have known then what to call Old Man Strength, I was smart enough to understand it was a force not to be messed with. Anywho, where were we?]

Old Man Strength is almost like a consolation gift for men as they advance in years from young buck to grizzled veteran. While they may require the assistance of Lipitor, Flomax, and/or Cialis, a seasoned pro with Old Man Strength can still answer the bell and rise to the occasion when necessary. It’s a kind of phenomenon whereby this reservoir of youthful testosterone remains stored in a reserve just waiting to be tapped in case of situations that may vary from a simple “rub some dirt on it if it hurts” to an outright challenge of one’s masculinity.

He with Old Man Strength has acquired the skills to sniff out a bluff in poker. He with Old Man Strength can both drive and navigate the [station wagon/minivan] towards the destination while the rest of his family sleeps during the road trip. He with Old Man Strength can go shirtless at a family cookout without shame, even if his moobs could really use a manssiere. Perhaps most importantly, he with Old Man Strength has learned how to conserve his energy for the witty back-and-forth that precedes a fight until the very last second when he gets the first punch in and lets all of his buddies jump in to prevent the exchange of any more punches.

As for me, I still cry whenever The Notebook is on. Unopened boxes of furniture from Ikea make me shudder with fear and loathing. I watch Project Runway enthusiastically. Not only do I rarely wear a tool belt, but I’ve never changed a spark plug. Hell, I can't even grow a respectable mustache let alone a beard.

Clearly, I have a ways to go before attaining Old Man Strength status. But at least I’ve got a hairline that might be receding....

Friday, August 26, 2011


I had no idea anyone outside of the U.S., Canada, or the U.K. read the blog. In any event, I'm happy to have you all along. Special shout out to the Ethiopians for paving the way into Africa, as well as the Russians who help us double dip into Europe and Asia! That still leaves South America, Australia, and Antarctica for continents not yet infiltrated by De Novo.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Tiebreaker

In high school, a couple of my buddies invented a card game called “Schnoog.” We usually played it on Friday after school before we headed out for the night. When someone proposes to play the game, he picks up the deck and makes an inhaling snort noise through the nose. If others want to join the game, they echo the original snort of the dealer with a snort of their own. It’s a simple game that I could explain to you if we were sitting at a table drinking beers, but the rules are irrelevant for the purposes of this post.

One of my favorite parts of the game, though, is when we are down to just two players left and each of them flips a card over. If they both got the same card, everyone in the room immediately starts to yell “Tiebreak-errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”until the two players flip over a new card. It sounds mundane perhaps, but this is the highlight of any Schnoog game – trust me.

So, imagine that THE WIFE and I are playing a game of Schnoog. I pick up the deck and snort. THE WIFE comes over to the table and snorts back. We sit down. We are down to our last card. Each of us flips a card. One card is Gigi. The other card is G-man. That makes two ladies in the house, and two dudes in the house.

EVERYONE: Tiebreak-errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

Now hold that last syllable until January 2012 because that is the date when our next baby arrives. (Waiting a couple beats.) Yes. You read that correctly. Baby Tiebreaker is due to arrive in the last week of January next year. Here we go again!

What possessed us to have Irish triplets, you may ask? Where do I start?

Before we married, we didn’t have a fixed number in mind as to the number of children we would have. We knew we would have kids, but the plan was basically one at a time. We figured the amount would just kind of work itself out.

So there we were earlier this year with two bambinos. We had our one girl and our one boy. We were very happy with our family of four. Our transition from the 2 v. 1 zone to 2 v. 2 man D had adjusted pretty smoothly. We were in a good rhythm. With every passing week, we were that much closer to emancipation from all the many accessories associated with a baby: diapers, cribs, formula, bottles, bibs, onesies, the list goes on. We were also that much closer to sleeping late and our kids being able to feed/dress/bathe themselves.

Plus, the prospect of adding another kid to the mix is – frankly – an expensive decision. A bigger family truckster is the most immediate cost increase. (The minivan is a foregone conclusion at this point – don’t get me started.) And eventually, baby three is another athlete/musician/artist with summer camps and equipment. Another college tuition. Another wedding. Why not just stand put? What else did we need?

You name a material possession, an experience, or even just bare necessities, and I’ll name a way that it could be upgraded and costs more money. Would we prefer to eat organic at every meal and snack? Yeah. Would we love to own a vacation home someday? Sure. Do we want to travel with the kids to foreign countries every once in a while instead of Santa’s Village? Obv.

But now, a word from the devil’s advocate. Could we survive by eating food with high fructose corn syrup? Yeah, at least in moderation. Could we get by from freeloading off others with beach and lake houses? I’ve been doing it for 36 years, so what’s another 36? As for traveling outside the states, there’s always studying abroad when they go to UMass or whatever other short list of colleges we’ll be able to afford.

If money was really the only reluctance I had towards fathering a third child, I didn’t think it was a good enough reason. There is never enough money to do everything one wants.

The consideration of whether to expand the population, therefore, shifted to one of more important analysis. Did we have that loving feeling for a third? After Greta was born, I was almost concerned I couldn’t love another child as much as I loved her already. And yet when Gus arrived, my heart felt as though it doubled in size. I had more than enough room to share in there between the two kids. This time around, my parental spidey sense tells me a dad’s love can be felt equally as strong three ways.

In the end, for me at least, what pushed me into the “yes” category for having a third, was something that just kind of itched inside my core. It didn’t quite feel like we were done. I don’t know how else to explain it. A family of five just felt right for us.

So will Baby Tiebreaker push our balance into an estrogen-dominated household? Or will testosterone rule the roost? We had our second ultrasound a few weeks ago (THE WIFE is 17 weeks along now) and the tech gave us a 60/40 prediction, so we have an educated suspicion of where the pendulum will swing. But we’ll wait to tell you all until the next ultrasound, when we will supposedly have 99% accurate reading.

With that being said, our population expansion will stop at three. Honestly. That’s it. End of story. (How crazy do you think we are?) And of course, we hope it’s a story that concludes with the words “happily ever after.”

Baby Tiebreaker, we can’t wait to have you along for the ride, even if part of that ride involves multiple years in a Honda Odyssey…

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vacation 2011: The Finale

Last week seems like ancient history already. Before my memory deteriorates any worse than it has already, here’s the finale of our vacation diaries.

Day 5

Remember the ancient days of the 1990’s (or the medieval years even before) when the operation of cameras involved loading film, rotating a knob to latch the film into place, clicking a button, finishing the film, removing the film, and praying when you retrieved the photos from CVS about three weeks after your shoot, that the one shot you took while standing at the Eiffel Tower, Fenway Park, or Millis Hall came out well? A given roll of 36 could include shots from Christmas, New Year’s, and a random trip to Colby or UNH in February when you road-tripped with a bunch of friends using an actual atlas or directions written down on a napkin during a “house phone” conversation. There was no “upload to Facebook” option available with click of the button.

How did we exist as an image capturing society before digital cameras and cell phones with delete buttons conveniently located for that unflattering photo of a double chin, or the “eyes were closed” shot? Not only did women dare to pose for pictures back then without doing that awkward one leg in front of the other thing that anyone on Us Weekly does, but many of them didn’t even wax their eye brows (which is most likely why you don’t see many of the shots capturing the au naturel caterpillar look popular circa pre-1997), but that’s another story for another day.

Back in my day (imagine me saying this in Grandpa Simpson’s voice,) photographs of multiple, obnoxiously-sized penises drawn in black marker on the face of a buddy who passed out in a place not called his bed may never have developed because the film’s negative accidentally ran through the laundry, as opposed to today when said photograph would sandbag said buddy from ever running for political office because it was on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube within four seconds of the shot, easily becoming accessible during a simple Google image or video search.

Where the hell am I going with this? Oh yeah, photography. Back to the Hall of Justice…

Photographic footage of Griswald Vacation 2011 is minimally available because THE WIFE realized she forgot to pack our camera and I refused to turn around when she discovered it six minutes after leaving the house because it was: a) non-essential; and b) a hindrance to making good time on our drive north. Needless to say, my executive decision to keep going and not turn around after the discovery made for a “frosty” first half-hour of the drive on 24-North and even onto 93-North. The decision also led to photographs from our cell phones with unimpressive resolution, as well as videos that will most likely never be seen from anywhere other than the phones themselves because THE WIFE and I are so minimally skilled in these types of computer endeavors.

As for Vacation Day V, it went like this: departure of the Zillas, beach, naps, and dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Café Noche. The restaurant was great for families but see the Day 4 post for my fears about family trips to restaurants. Gigi was pretty well behaved but the G-Man was wiggling around as soon as we sat down. I plowed through my Margarita and food, then restrained Gus in a half-nelson while waiting for THE WIFE and Greta to finish.

Fortunately, the night was salvaged with an ice cream trek to a really cute 50’s-style ice cream soda shop and diner in Albany, NH. Our waitress wore a poodle skirt, which Gigi loved. The waitress asked if we had a dog. I said no, but we had a fish, and Greta said his name is “Fishy Teravainen.” I beamed with paternal pride while the waitress had no idea what Gigi just said.

Fortunately, our ice cream order was easy to understand. THE WIFE and G-man split a black raspberry fro-yo, while Greta unabashedly double dipped between my peanut butter cup frappe and her raspberry swirl kiddie cup. To put an exclamation point on the night, Gus spit up all over the front of my shirt before we left. Of course, I didn’t notice until after I spoke to the owner for a good five minutes. I’d say that was a successful night.

Day 6

Prior to this day in the history of the T-family either as a unit of 3 or 4, there were many occasions when I wanted to get on the road at the crack of dawn. However, THE WIFE always vehemently rejected such suggestions – to the point that she might as well have hissed and spit at me when I proposed that we feed the kids in the car while we drove. But on Day 6 of vacation 2011, the situation was somehow different because we were heading to Santa’s Village. That day, THE WIFE wanted to make “good time” for the first and only occasion I’ve ever known her. She was actually planning to leave with the kids in pajamas, and feed them breakfast in the car. Unprecedented.

As we prepared, THE WIFE reported an ominous forecast for the day: temps in the 90’s and high heat. She was already stressing about the kids becoming dehydrated. Meanwhile, it was 58 degrees in Madison. We proceeded to pack all sorts of sun block, bathing suits, towels, and warm weather gear, in addition to the 47 other bags full of “necessities” for a standard day trip.

The drive from Madison to Jefferson was scenic and beautiful, not that Gigi observed it because she watched endless episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba! on the portable DVD player. But it kept her quiet. We arrived by 10:15 a.m. A personal best for THE WIFE: only 45 minutes after we originally planned on being there!

The weather upon our arrival was overcast, breezy, and about 62 degrees. Good thing we packed towels for the water park because we were able to use them as blankets for the kids.

Undeterred by the elements, and encouraged that Greta didn’t puke once we got in the parking lot, we headed towards the entrance. We of course picked the line where some dude’s credit card was denied five times as dozens of families in lines around us blew past as if in an Easy Pass lane. Classic moosh.

Finally, we made it through. Greta declared that she was ready to sit on Santa’s lap (last year didn’t go very smoothly.) We headed for the token St. Nick photo shoot location immediately while Greta’s courage remained high. As we waited, a cookachoo (our code word for weirdos) family started chatting us up about their neighbors’ Christmas lights display this past winter. Cookachoo Dad was killing it with a solid Kenny G perm, a Tom Brady jersey (of course he was a Pats fan,) and the left-ear-only earring dangling multiple inches from the lobe. (Yeah I’m going to hell, I know.)

After the Cookachoos shot the breeze with Santa for a half-hour after their family pic, we finally got our turn. Naturally, Greta refused even to look in Santa’s direction when we were all in the same room. As we approached Santa, she clung to me for dear life but eventually relented and sat on THE WIFE’S lap to pose for the requisite picture. Gus-man, meanwhile, was ready to dive head-first into Santa’s beard. Somehow, we pulled off the pic without any casualties to Santa or the kids.

From there, we did the rides, the unhealthy food, the waiting in lines, etc. Greta went on the Rudolph Merry-go-round about four times. Fortunately, the kids didn’t become either sunburned or dehydrated.

We also got to cross paths with my buddy Bones (another Westland manor alumnus,) his wife Mrs. Batch, and their three sweet kids, who just coincidentally decided to take a family trip on the same day we were there. They were gracious enough to invite us back to where they were staying, so we got to relax, drink a few beers or juice boxes, and shoot the breeze.

Another successful day.

Day 7

The final day has arrived. For the record, we will miss the Dunkin’s we’ve patronized during the course of our stay. They are batting about .993 on our orders, which is no small feat with THE WIFE’s scrutiny of her “extra skim” portion of her iced coffee order.

Gigi and I headed down to the beach for a brief final visit while Gus-man catches his morning siesta. The kids there already were not playing Marco Polo. They were playing Marco Scutaro. (You gotta love New England.)

After some swimming, playing, and a final survey of the frogs, Gigi was ready to go. We went back to the house for lunch and the final pack up. No one was in a rush to go home. I think that means we had a great time as a family. Mission accomplished.

[Special thanks to Pep for making our family excursion possible. So, um, is your place available again next summer? Just curious.]

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Chronicles of New Hampsha Continued

Day 3

Back to the beach. Déjà vu all over again. The weather was great. Greta got brave and swam with me out to the floating dock. We climbed on top and waived to Mama and Gus. Though she refused to do so herself, Greta ordered me to jump off. I complied. We headed home after lunch for naps.

At dinner time, the Zilla family arrived. (Their true identities will be withheld because the patriarch of the family – we’ll call him Crandall – did not have the next day off as far as his employer was concerned.)

We had been looking forward to the Zillas’ visit all week. The origin of the connection between the Zilla family and the T family started with my UVM freshman French class in which Monsieur Crandall and I were technically enrolled. I say technically because I generally went to class and he generally did not. (Mon dieu!)

Crandall and I eventually lived together two different times after college first at the fabled Westland estate and then in Southie on Pacific. The bromance continued as we both married Michelles. The Michelles not surprisingly formed independent friendships of their own, which seemed inevitable from the get-go. For example, due to the Michelles’ tendency to be chilly in 70-degree rooms and often nodding off before 11 p.m., we declared them the “Golden Girls” with names of Helen and Blanche.

More seriously, THE WIFE and I had the honor of witnessing and signing the Ketubah at the Zillas’ wedding (the rabbi made me get so close to Mrs. Z’s face to confirm her identity that I got anxious we were supposed to kiss or something – but don’t worry, we didn’t. ) Our daughters were born soon thereafter within four months of each other. Now, Greta, Jordyn (or “Jerdin” as Greta pronounces her name,) and August (or “Baby Gus” as Jordyn calls him) are fast becoming BFFs themselves.

After all three kids went down for the night, THE WIFE cooked a nice dinner and we enjoyed a few libations. In years past, the celebration may have gone until 3 a.m. with a skinny dip in the pond. But now as responsible parents, we retired for bed at midnight never either swimming or undressing.

Footnote to Day 3: Greta woke up in the middle of the night because she peed through her diaper. In my sleepy/slightly drunk haze, I put her into mismatched PJs and a swimmy diaper, which went undiscovered until THE WIFE changed her later in the morning.

Day 4

We woke up to rain but it let up enough for the dads to take the girls to a playground down the street. We decided to hit the outlets in North Conway, which was a “ten minute drive” according to THE WIFE. Due to traffic, construction, and a severely congested parking lot full of parents pushing strollers, our ten minute drive turned into an hour. Using the time wisely – Crandall, Helen, and Blanche brainwashed me with their propaganda about the sheer awesomeness of a minivan. Slowly and steadily, they conspired to erode my resistance to the soccer-mom-mobile.

On the return trip home, we took a late lunch at Muddy Moose. (The link is here:

When it comes to eating as a family in restaurants, I am admittedly apprehensive and generally avoid it whenever possible. The main reason I resist is due to my fear of ruining the meals of anyone else in the restaurant. An additional reason is the fact that I like eating my food. THE WIFE and I rarely actually eat during our meals with our kids, be them at home or elsewhere. Usually, one of us eats everything on their plate within the first two minutes of sitting down while the other gets a little more time (maybe five minutes) to eat, but it comes at the end of the meal when everything is cold and Greta’s running mashed potatoes through her hair like mousse or anti-frizz product.

When someone suggests that we should have lunch, I envision the situation where I have Gigi’s upper arm in an unnecessarily tight grip as I’m loudly whispering between gritted teeth about whatever seemingly convincing threat I can conceive (if you don’t sit and eat, we won’t have Christmas/celebrate your birthday/see your brother ever again, etc.) in order to get her to keep her shirt on/not put her feet on the table/eat a vegetable, etc. Nevertheless, we heard this was a family-friendly joint and decided to roll the dice.

As usual, my fears are all for naught. Aside from Greta’s chronic dropsies of the side pickle, the kids are angels. Crandall and I even manage to sneak in a Bloody Mary. After lunch, we piled into the minivan and sang Happy Birthday several times to everyone in the car. The kids were ecstatic.

Back at the house, everyone took their turns playing on the swing. As the night sky rolled in, Gigi hit her wall from having skipped her nap that day. When Jordyn and her daddy took a shower to get ready for bed, Gigi wanted to shower with them, too. When I denied the request, she melted down Chernobyl-like. The next morning, Greta confessed to me, “Daddy, last night I cried and cried and cried.” Blissfully, she fell asleep after several rounds of songs.

After the kids went down, the adults reconvened to eat and drink in peace. To drive Crandall crazy, we all began to check Facebook. He turned the tables and refocused the conversation on the assets of a minivan. And so the night went as we made our way through the myriad varietals of red wine in the house…

To be continued.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What News From the North?

For the family archives, I’m recording some of the activities from our first two days of the Griswald family vacation version 1.0. The day of travel up to Edelweiss from Easton doesn’t count because we only arrived, unloaded, and went to bed.

(Quick tangent, I pronounced a “vee” sound for the “w” in Edelweiss because I imagine that is how it’s supposed to be pronounced in German. THE WIFE scoffed at the sound of my diction and said aloud in her imitation intellectual voice as if attending a Harvard faculty cocktail party:

WIFE: Oh I’m sorry, did you just say eye-dill-VICE (emphasis on latter syllable and thinking she’s really funny)?

Me: (annoyed) Yeah. Um, I think that’s the way the word is supposed to be pronounced in German.

WIFE: (short pause while deciding whether to throw a challenge flag) Okay bug, I thought we were still in New Hampshire.

Suffice it to say, we’re staying in Edel-VICE for the rest of the week. And so our vacation begins…)

Day 1:

We decide to check out a free train ride a few miles from where we are staying, which sounds like a cute activity for the kids. THE WIFE and I are stressed because we want to make the 1:00 train as PB&J sandwiches are made and diaper bags prepared. Mind you, this isn’t a Boston-NYC Acela express with an obligatory ticket check-in/retrieval for a trip where we need to arrive in time for a business meeting. No, this train simply pulls into the station where we board without a ticket, before departing into the woods for twenty minutes, stopping, and then returning in the opposite direction to the same place where we boarded. It’s fair to say I need to decompress.

On the drive to the train station, Greta is spitting like an oscillating garden sprinkler on anyone and anything within a two foot radius. Half-heartedly, I ask her to stop. She ignores me. I ask again more sternly. August’s face gets sprayed. This time, I yell at her at a volume that startles THE WIFE and makes both kids cry. Rumor has it, my father of the year nomination is officially revoked.

Fast forward to the train depot. We are officially 15 minutes early. Good thing I yelled at the kids.

The train pulls up. Two open air cars sandwich a small engine. I put G-man on my lap. Gigi, still scarred from the car ride, sits with mom. The train lurches forward and we’re off at a blazing 3 to 5 miles per hour. As the ride progresses, the family loosens up as the woosh of moving air blows the hair of all four heads.

Gradually, G-man becomes fascinated by the passing branches overhead that he sees through the lattice ceiling. We pass by a pond full of beaver lodges and we explain to the kids that’s where the beavers live and sleep. Greta processes the information, though I’m not sure she’s seen many beavers in our animal books or flash cards. Duly noted. Along the way, we see a few herons flying by and Gigi says she saw a purple fish and a purple frog. At some point, an inch worm lands on the rail behind our seats and its methodical movements mesmerize Greta. Finally, we arrive back safely at the depot.

An old train car converted into a small diner invites us in where we take a booth for some ice cream. (See here: Everyone’s spirits are high. The first day’s adventure is a success. Now, we’re truly on vacation.

Day 2:

Weather forecast was iffy. 50/50 chance of rain. We are torn whether to declare a “beach” day or not. Screw it, we decide, I’ll pitch the tent and we’ll wait out any passing storm from there. Plus, we’re only a five-minute walk back to Pep’s Place if it pours.

Greta and I head down first while THE WIFE stays behind until Gus’ morning siesta completes. Greta is decked out in her standard swim gear: pink one-piece with ballerina skirt, clear jellies, lady bug flotation device, and single pony. We set up camp and get to work. The place is practically to ourselves as only one other mom with two boys are playing at the other end.

The pond is a quaint and quiet little Eden. No motor boats allowed. The water is flat as glass. Gigi charges into the water. As the sun and clouds flirt for position over each other, the hours pass and THE WIFE eventually arrives. Cue the rain. Good thing I have the tent. But the minute we set up for lunch, the rain subsides and the sun eventually comes out. G-man and his mama eventually get in on the water action. The kids are having a blast.

At some point, Gigi announces to us and everyone else within earshot on the beach that she’s pooping. Glad I’m here to help. We do the change-a-roo and back in action. Two o’clock arrives before you know it, so we pack up to head home for the kids’ naps. THE WIFE manages to catch a couple winks on the couch as I type away next to her. Aaahhhhh, I can get used to this.

To be continued…

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Toes Up

We started our first Teravainen Family Vacation yesterday. We are in Madison, NH for the week. I’ve been so amped to get up here and relax.

Both of the kids are asleep for naps. THE WIFE just went grocery shopping for the third time in twenty-four hours. I’ve got a new machine to write on. Now, I can finally write all sorts of blogs that’ve been swimming around in my brain for months. I’m thinking one post every day of vacation. Heck, I’ll double down on a good day. So here goes.

[Twenty minutes later after pouring a glass of wine, cleaning the house, and pacing for ideas…]

I've created a chart in MS Word and I'm trying to figure out how to paste it into the site. Stay tuned.