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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Goodbye to Me Time

There is a lot on the fiancial plate coming up. The decision to send LatteGirl to private school is going to set us back to the tune of $4K per year. Then there is the planned trip to Disney World in the spring. Of course, we lucked out last winter but to say that with oil prices where they are winter has me scared would be an understatement.

So, I did the only thing I could and took on a second client. The timing is pretty good because my current primary client is dragging their collective heels in funding the project and dragging things out. So, I worked out a deal to telecommute to client one and work "as needed" while taking on client 2. Oh, and Client 2 will be adding a couple of hours of commute time to my day.

That means I will be spending about 12 hours a day with client 2, between work and commute, to come home, spend some time with LatteGirl, and once she is in bed, logging in and working on tasks for Client 1. But I see no reason I can't get a solid 3 to 5 hours sleep a night. So everything should be fine right?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Battling Shyness

I alluded to it in the vacation recap, but really I have been glossing over it. LatteGirl is shy in new surroundings. She easily (for the most park) makes friends when she warms up and lets her guard down. But the time it takes for her to "warm up" in any given situation seems to have gotten worse and not better.

Now, we finally got to the bottom of part of it. It seems that one girl at summer camp that happen to be friends with some of the same people as LatteGirl, was a bit of a bully to her. She didn't like my little angel and this girl did not have any problem letting LatteGirl know it. LatteGirl has not so far really encountered such a situation where a person she was willing to befriend, simply did not like her and there was nothing she could do about it.

After finally getting this information out during a discussion one day during vacation, she did warm up around some of the kids at the resort. So, I can only assume that her understanding that not everybody is going to like her (something she could only ask "Why?" to, but seemed to finally accept), put her a bit more at ease. But I fear the underlying problem continues.

Part of the problem I suppose is that outside of school/daycare she has very little interaction with other kids. This of course leads to the problem of Mommy and Daddy having to also fill the role of "friend" most of the time. Which leads to her depending and expecting Mommy and Daddy to play that role, plus it is one she knows and is comfortable with. So she shys away (at first) from others.

It is frustrating. It is a problem easily identified. It is a problem that is easy to find the root cause. But it is one that I am perplexed as to how to solve. I thought things like getting her involved in dance classes would help, since there were several girls that she already knew from Pre-K in the class, she built on her relationships with those girls and even with the recitals continued to hide.

Starting a new school in the fall may help a bit, but that of course depends on who or how many previous friends are in the same class. She will start dance classes again, but many of the same kids will be in that class, so I don't know how much that will change anything. TheWife has tried to get her interested in a few other things such as gymnastics and soccer, but we have to contend one with the fact that she has expressed zero to less than zero interest and two we do not want to wind up making her one of those "overscheduled" children that are always running somewhere, but rarely excel at any one thing because they have their hands in too many things.

Do you have a shy child (or one that has broken out of their "shell")? How do you deal with it?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Latte Man - Decaffeinated

Expectations. We all have them. How they taint your experience has a huge impact on how you perceive things. I have gone plenty of places, with ammenities much more posh and elegant than are offered by Chestnut Grove, the location of our family vacation this year.

But with those ammenities comes a price tag. And with the higher price tag usually comes greater expectations. Now I had expectations when we departed for our vacation this year. In many ways these expecations were far tougher ones to meet. They were colored with fond memories of childhood vacations. Of happy family times. Distant memories that often are far more wonderful in your memory than the events actually were. This is a tall order to meet, and I tried to temper this as best as I could. But as it turns out, I really didn't need to do so. This vacation turned out to be everything that I had been dreaming of since we made our reservations.

If I however, had come in expecting accomodations as posh as say, when the wife and I went to Ceasar's Pocono Palace, or some expensive upscale hotel, I may have come away disappointed. If you only stay at 5 star hotels, this may not be the place for you. This is a basic family place. The accomodations are simple, comfortable, and bit understated. But this is exactly what I wanted and expected. This was not a vacation about staying in your room (as I will explain shortly), but your room was simply a place to get some sleep, a shower and refresh yourself to continue on with your vacation.

TheWife was concerned when we initially considered this destination that it would be boring. She scoured the Internet for nearby things to do and see. As it turned out, we left the resort only once, for a shopping excursion to The Crossings Premium Outlets and The Christmas Factory. Plans to hit places such as Camelbeach Waterpark and several other places got put on hold, at least for this year.

The only problem we encountered along the way, was LatteGirl's decision to be shy and clingy. She was reluctant to socialize with the other kids, preferring to spend her time clung to either mommy or daddy. So in an effort to keep her entertained and to get some relaxation ourselves, we essentially wound up taking turns in being the person she clung to. She would play with Mommy or sit by and watch as I played Volleyball, Softball, etc. LatteGirl and I would usually hit the pool as Mommy got her time alone to take a walk, or just some time to read one of the books she brought along etc. We also put her to work as our ball-girl for some early morning tennis. (It is times like this that I wonder about her whole allowance situation. When we started it, we informed her that "standard chores" were expected and that she was not going to be paid for them, but that things "above and beyond" would allow her to earn additional money. Thus I wound up paying her $2 per day for her additional task of being our ball-girl). If you have to run into a problem on vacation, and this is it, then I would say luck is on your side.

Evenings, brought their own entertainment. Each night they had something like Bingo or "Cruise Ship Horseracing." Those were followed by a DJ that was as much an entertainer as he usually had games and gifts for the kids, or a magician or karaoke. Things wound down usually by midnight, which was fine, because by then everybody was ready for bed.

I would say that I was very well rested on this vacation. But that would only be true of my brain. With no Internet access, and spotty connections from Verizon Wireless. I was truely unplugged for the first time in about 12 years. Physically however was a different story. I have not been terribly active since tearing a tendon in my ankle a few years back, and I pushed myself this week. I know I mentioned it earlier, but for an aging out of shape guy, my schedule of tennis, volleyball, swimming, softball, swimming and then "going out" that evening is enough for ONE day, but I managed to keep this pace up for 5 days (a bit slower on arrival day, and departure day is a story unto itself for tomorrow). So while the brain is fresh and rejuvinated, the body wants another week to recuperate. But I wouldn't trade the pain for anything in the world.

It wasn't the most classy. It isn't the type of place that sparks comments of "WOW." What it is, is a place that delivers exactly what it promises. It meeets expecations of a pleasant family vacation destination. A good time was had by all, and 51 weeks from now, we will do it again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Back in the saddle

Well, as is usual in such situations, I must make the time honored comment that the vacation seemed to fly by and was not nearly as long as I would like it to have been. Oh, and I can't forget the timless classic, I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.

As cliche as these statements are, there is a reason they have become such staples that you can be sure you will hear them from anybody returning from vacation. That reason is, that they are usually true.

But the upside to that truth is, that the reason for it is usually because you had a good time. And that certainly was the case here. To say we had a blast would be a serious understatement. We had such a great trip, we booked the same room and same week for next year. This coming from people that have never done anything exactly the same twice is quite a testament to how great we thought everything was.

We were so busy enjoying ourselves, I have far too few photos to share (but will share what few we did take as soon as I can get an opportunity), because we rarely stopped long enough to think about spending time posing for pictures, or even bothering to bring the camera along.

I have lots of details to share, but precious little time as I attempt to get back to the grind of work, and the dozens of e-mails and meeting requests that have piled up while I was away, so details of the trip and more will follow as time allows, at least until I am back in the saddle.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

No Signal

Everything is fabulous and everyone thus far is having a blast, but an Internet connection is hard to come by so posting will be at best sporadic until we get back to civilization.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

So Gone

We are just about ready (I just need to pack MY toys) and we are off.

I will be blogging via AvantBlog (if my phone has a signal), but pictures will have to wait until we return (Flickr only works on the PocketPC if you had an account before Yahoo took it over... how unfair is THAT?)

And with that... I am off.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Does anything seem as long as...

... that final hour of work before leaving for vacation?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Search Questions Answered

Since I am hoping not to lose the 3 or 4 readers I have after yesterday's diatribe, I thought I would ease up a bit again, and answer questions and such that have brought people here from search engines.

But first I would simply be remiss if I didn't say I was thrilled to see that our legal system does still work properly as shown by the decision this morning that, NSA spying program was found Unconstitutional and must be halted immediately. (Of course, I am sure this will be blamed on "activist judges")

Now on to the lighter fare. What brings people here (recently), what were they looking for, and can I give them an answer.

Lilo and Stitch Cancelled - yes it is true. Lilo and Stitch has been cancelled as part of the arcane setup created under Michael Eisner that cancels all shows after 3 years or 65 episodes, regardless of how popular a show it is. Last Year Kim Possible was cancelled as well, but after a groundswell of support and protesting, the show was brought back for a 4th season. You can go here to try and help save Lilo and Stitch.

Bensi's Restaurant - an excellent Italian Restaurant... particularly for a franchise chain type of place. Oddly, they do NOT have a website.

biodegrable fabric softener - we have just recently started using the one from Ecover. And to tell you the truth we LOVE it. There are others from places like Sun and Earth, Seventh Generation and others, but we are very happy with Ecover right now.

war on breastfeeding - the latest salvo in the war is apparently due to the cover of Baby Talk magazine showing a baby breastfeeding. Why are so many people in this country so hung up on sex that they can not appreciate breastfeeding for the natural thing that it is? I wish I knew. From the attorney last year that wrote an op-ed piece comparing breastfeeding to urinating in public, to LiveJournal banning avatars showing breastfeeding, to the astonishingly stupid move at Victoria's Secret of an employee telling a woman to use the rest room for breastfeeding it appears that this is a full scale war by the "purity" nuts that just can not see a breast for anything other than sexual purposes.

john kiggins - don't know him, and worse have no idea how you got here from that search.

and finally

Kim Possible porn animated - you are sick and need serious therapy dude. (I am assuming this is a dude - and I think it is a reasonable assumption). It is bad enough there are still men out there pleasuring themselves to the image of Jessica Rabbit. But this is a kids show!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Get me outta here!

I am SOOOO ready for this vacation. Work is fine, busy but fine. But I just need to go. I am very on edge, and things that should be mildly annoying I am finding just getting me enragingly mad this week.

Whether it is Michael Chertoff claiming that Warrants are so 20th Century, and we need to be more like the Brits (Tell me, didn't we form this country to get away from the rule of the Brits?), or Andrew von Eschenbach (current head of the FDA) making the approval of "Plan B" available only for girls (women) 18 years of age or older, because he "believes" that is the appropriate age (whatever happened to relying on facts?). I am just frustrated.

I needed to take a day away from blogging yesterday, because I was so aghast that after I commented on this post, that another commenter would suggest that I am a part of a "perverted men who love to look at little girls in skimpy cloths" because I commented that educating a girl to respect herself and to value her own self worth was more important that to teach her to dress and act "purely" as a legacy as a father.

I always though it was scary that there are some seriously deranged nut jobs out there. But as it turns out, I think it is even scarier that there are people out there that in the 21st century actually believe them!

I sorry, but if you dress you daughter in this swimwear, be prepared for some serious backlash from her later in life, or at the very least some serious extended therapy.

Does anybody else think it is sad, that while we are busy exporting democracy and liberty to the Middle East, we are slowly having our own rights and liberities removed? Is this really an area where we can afford to have a trade surplus?

Am I the only person that can not listen to the newly released 911 calls from Sept. 11th?

Friday just can't get here fast enough.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Just a few more days

One tought thing about going on vacation is surviving the week before. On the one hand, I have the highly organized wife that wants to be "all set" to go well before hand. Luggage has been pulled out already, and items are already being packed. Personally I am a procrastinator on such things and would rather leave it all for Friday night. But in all fairness, I am also well known for forgetting things that I needed or wanted for a trip, which I guess is almost inevitable when you leave everything to the last minute. I guess this is one of those instances where"opposites attract" comes in as a benefit. She starts early and worries constantly that we will forget something. I maintain the laid back attitute to keep her from burning out. She keeps me from forgetting things, and with all that extra time, I become "suitcase man" because I can find a way to make all the overpacking she does, actually fit into the suitcases.

The other drawback is more obvious and probably more understandable to just about anybody. I am so ready for this vacation, that it is only Monday and I am ready for this week to be over already. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of work to keep me busy. I just have no actual desire to get any of it done. I feel fried. I so desperately don't want to be here today, that I would rather be home (over)packing than be at my desk today. But of course, somebody has to actually PAY for this vacation, and it is tough enough remembering that since as a consultant I am in business for myself, I do not "get" a vacation, I simply get "unpaid time off." In the good old days, it was easier to say, "well that is what I get the big bucks for" but today thanks to outsourcing and such, I no longer get the "big bucks," but all the drawbacks are still there. It could be worse I guess, I could not have the current semi-steady client contract that I am currently enjoying. But still, feast or famine consulting can sometimes be nerve wracking.

Today's Non-Sequitur

Today, TheWife and LatteGirl are going to look at the private school that we are considering.

Then after that they are heading over to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. While I am fully behind, if we cower the terrorists win. However, I am also fully behind the fact that our President, through a failed foreign policy has made this country less safe, not more so. And the Statue of Liberty, is a tempting target (despite the Department of Homeland Security NOT regarding it as a national symbol). The only thing that gives me some sort of "comfort" is thanks to the "thwarted" terrorist plot last week, the raised alert level and additional security that goes with it, makes things a bit safer in the short term (until we get lazy again). Regardless, I will be at least a little concerned until they call and tell me they are back home safely.

The Shangri-La diet is still working amazingly well. When I started it about 9 weeks ago, my goal was to lose 10-12 lbs before vacation. I have now lost 24.4 lbs with a week to go before vacation. I actually have some clothes that I had hoped to fit in by next summer that I am now considering taking with me on vacation.

In order to keep this from turing into a diet blog, I have started one here. Although if things keep going this well, I will still probably post here, just to brag a bit.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lightening up a little

I have a bit somber lately, so I thought for a change, heading into the weekend I would lighten up a little and share something a friend sent to me, which gives me some solace and reminds me why I should be happy that:

I don't have a boy.

1.) A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.

2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3.) A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.

5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball.

7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.

8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9.) A six-year old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

10.) Certain Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old boy.

11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12.) Super glue is forever.

13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15.) VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20.) The fire department in Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.

21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24.) 80% of women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.

25.) 80% of men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Can will get rid of the "Color Warning" System now?

Throughout the day, if you watched the news, read the news, or basically were anywhere but under a rock, you know that officials in the U.K. have "thwarted" another planned terrorists attack, utilizing "possibly" liquid explosives.

However, what you may not have noticed unless you were paying really close attention were some interesting facts, which tell me that the "Terror Alert System" put in place by then Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge is worthless, and nothing but a propoganda tool.

In the details of the stories on yesterdays events, came some "background material" that seemed almost to be "filler." How we were able to stop this thanks to some fantastic undercover work and how they had been tracking this for months. Through this undercover work they were aware that a "test run" was only possibly a few days away and the actual attack would happen within days after that. As the events unfolded in the early morning hours, the President had not even been awoken, because he had already been fully briefed and was aware of what was happening since Sunday.

Wait... What??

This attack was "imminent," we were "fully aware" of it on Sunday and yet our Status remained Yellow? "Code Red" means the very real threat of attack in IMMINENT, so why were we still at Yellow? It was not until AFTER the fact that we went to "Code Red" on international travel. What if the timing of all of this was off? Since we knew of these "unfolding scenario" for MONTHS and we were fully apprised of the immediacy of the situation since SUNDAY, should we not have HEIGHTEN SECURITY IMEDIATELY? Of course we should have.

The fact is that the "Terror Alert Color System" is nothing but a tool and toy to use to allow the Press to scare the bejesus out of people. So just toss it already. It is nothing but a sham, and the way these events unfolded without the system changing "colors" until after the fact shows just how useless it is.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Missing You

Originally uploaded by JayMonster.

Two years ago, it was a beautiful day, much as today was. I was walking home from LatteGirl's Pre-K program pulling her behind me in her red wagon, when I got the phone call from my sister. "Dad is not doing well, he may not make it."

I frantically rushed home. I couldn't get a hold of my wife. I started dialing everybody and anybody I could think of to watch after LatteGirl so I could get to the hospital. Finally I got ahold of my sister-in-law who was not only able to watch after LatteGirl, but gave me a ride to the hospital.

Rushing in, I frantically looked for somebody to tell me my father's whereabouts. I got pointed to a ICU area behind a white curtain. I ran over.

I was too late.

I would never get my opportunity to say good-bye.

By most standards he was just an ordinary man, who lived an ordinary life in an ordinary town. But to those lives he touched he was anything but ordinary.

  • He served in the Korean War (and only just before his death did I find out, he worked Special Ops for the CIA).
  • He was very patriotic and proud of the United States and respectful of the Flag.
  • He worked at Western Electric/AT&T/Lucent for 36 years
  • Volunteered in a soup kitchen for almost 10 years after his retirement, and only stopped because of health issues that did not allow him to continue.
  • Continued to raise money for the Soup Kitchen up through the time of his death.
  • Helped raise money and acquire funding for the local library
  • Was a primary organizer of the local chapter of "Pioneers" (organization of retired "Bell" employees).
  • Was always their to make signs, volunteer, etc for the needs of his church
  • Raised money for Disabled American Veterans
  • Was a 3 time commander of his post of the Catholic War Veterans
  • Collected and raised money for POW-MIA's and their families
  • Still had time for his family, attend my and my sister's little league games, sporting events, play performances, recitals, etc.

and believe it or not... much more.

They say time heals all wounds, but two years later, while life goes on, I don't feel any more healed. He was more than just a father, he was a statesman, a mentor, a guide for me to learn from and try to live up to, thought I doubt I ever can. And a part of me still feels missing and empty.

Rest in Peace.

Joseph P. Romeo
1928 - 2004

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Decisions Decisions

What a pain it can be at times to try and decide what is the right thing to do. And this year the decision revolves around school. I have been more than happy to display my contempt for my local school board. Having lost on every front (or so it seems) so far, of course does not make me a happy camper to begin with. But it goes beyond even that.

With our public school system unwilling to start an aftercare program (I am not asking for a FREE program here, I would be more than willing to pay for it), we are left with three choices within town. Two of which border on disgusting, and a third, that well we though perhaps it was just us, and because we had such a wonderful Pre-K that our bar was set too high. And maybe it is. But this is my daughter, and when it comes to her I WANT that bar set as high as possible. With the school year quickly approaching, we started talking to LatteGirl about it again, and the thought of returning to that aftercare program (which she this year only had to be at 2 days a week, and for no more than about two hours), brought her to tears. Well we knew she wasn't thrilled with it by the end of the school year, but had attributed it more to "spring fever" than anything else.

So now we are back to deciding what to do. Which puts us considering something that I NEVER would have dreamed of before. Sending her to a Catholic school. Ugh. It tears at me in so many different directions. I want what is best for her of course, and this may very well be the best option... but it is not as much of a no-brainer as I would like. Even if I can get past the Catholic part of it, which is as easy as it sounds (I attended 4 years of Catholic High School, and manage to come out unscathed, but by then of course you have more of a mind of your own and are more ready to judge information on a congnitive level.), I still have to contend with the whole soul crushing uniform thing (which in light of my defeat on that issue with our public schools, she will wind up wearing a uniform regardless) and of course there is the not small issue of coming to terms with the fact that despite my property taxes (well 51% of my local town budget anyway) going to the local school systems, I will now have to pay an additional $4,000/yr on top of that PLUS the aftercare costs. It is almost enough for me to actually support the incredibly slanted "school voucher" program. (Hey, I said almost. I have not sold out... but it is certainly more tempting)

Then of course the last option (and one we can not complete before this school year) is giving up on our hometown and looking elsewhere. TheWife, in even a bolder though suggested that we consider leaving NJ for greener (less property taxed) pastures. I can't see that happening, as I LIKE New Jersey! (Hey, you stop laughing).

I feel like decisions these days are always a choice between finding the lesser of two evils. Why can't some decisions be easy?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Anniversary Changes - 12 year edition

Things definitely change after between the 1st and 12th anniversary of marriage. Although not all of the 12th year items actually happened THIS year, they have happend over the years, or at least some similar variation:

1st - Sleep in late. Roll over in the morning, saying "Happy Anniversary" with a little song in your voice, some intense kissing, and horizontal celebration to start the day.

12th - woken up by excited child jumping on the bed. Saying Happy Anniversay doesn't happen until teeth are brushed because somebody put socks on your teeth while you were sleeping. Morning horizontal celebrations have not occured since child was born.

1st - You spend no less than a month trying to find a card that says things, "just right"

12th - You get a card during a sale.

1st - You buy gifts that the other person "wants" but you probably can't afford, but buy it anyway because, hey "they are worth it"

12th - You buy items to complete chores around the house

1st - You make reservations for a romantic candle light dinner

12th - You pick a restaurant that has the best children's menu

1st - After dinner you go out, party and stay up all night

12th - You come home after dinner and take some tums so you are not up all night.

(of course not all things change equally, such as)

1st - You both dress up in your best outfits

12th - She still worries about how she look whereas he asks "Does this stink too much to wear?"

1st - Neither of you finish you dinner, instead spending time staring into each others eyes

12 - She doesn't finish dinner because she is tending to the kids, or on a diet. He finishes his meal, looks at her plate and says "You gonna finish that?"

1st - Money is not object on this day

12th - He Says "Money is no object" She says "We really should save some money"

And with that, the 13th year commences.

Friday, August 04, 2006

12 Years Ago Today

I was running around, like a nutcase (OK, so in twelve years some things have NOT changed). My company was moving the following week. I had to pack my desk because I would not be there. I had to run to the worst part of one of the worst towns in New Jersey, because located there was the only place to find the Tuxedo I wanted.

Home to pack. (More freaking packing.... I was SOOOO sick of packing).

Call my sister to finalize arrangements to take care of the two cats we had at the time.

Have a few drinks to calm my nerves.

Tryed Sleeping but that didn't work out so well.

Why was I going through all of this? Because twelve years ago tomorrow, I married TheWife.

What a long strange trip its been.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Nothing to worry about... Right?

Almost twice a week LatteGirl has been going with her Daycamp to various lakes in the area. She must wear her camp t-shirt over her bathing suit so that the camp workers can keep track of the kids. Because of this, my wife pointed out that it would be much more simple for her if we always gave her bikinis to wear, since a one-piece would create problems with bathroom trips.

There was one side-effect that we had not considered in this though. While she wears her t-shit and shorts over her bathing suit going to camp, with her little panties packed in her back-pack for after changing, it seems LatteGirl has now taken an affinity to going commando. When then leave the lake, she simply leaves on her bikini top and t-shirt, removes her bikini bottom and puts her shorts back on.

Admittedly, the first time she came home and declared..."Guess what, I'm not wearing any panties." We thought it was cute and giggled. However, now it seems to have become a trend. My wife has tried to emphasize to her that she MUST... but in this heat, she has met with resistance. I mean, she is six years old, too young to explain what "good girls wear panties" means (and believe me she will ask), and thus the reference is lost, so we are stuck with the "you just should."

But I am sure this is just a phase, and not the start of something my pre-frayed father fears need to be concerned with for the future right? RIGHT?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Summertime Escapades

Or, if you prefer... summertime ice capades. Here is a prime example of while I attempt to be more earth sensetive, I probably do not make the hard choices that those who are truly green would make.

Yesterday, LatteGirl's Daycamp trip was to an ice skating rink. At the time, I thought "Gee how cool (no pun intended), I wish I could go ice skating today with this hundred degree heat." But last night when I really thought about it some more I was less than enthused. I mean how much energy does it take to keep an ice skating rink running in the middle of summer? The rinks around here used to be ice in the winter and roller rinks in the summer. Now... ice... all year long.

Now part of me would like to keep her from doing things such as ice skating in the summer, just on principal. But the other part says, well the rink is open anyway. The Daycamp is going to have their outing anyway, why should I deny her the opportunity to do this? Hence not as green as I should be.

But enough about that. Today of course is going to be another scorcher with the potential to break record high temperatures. So of course today my client requires me to attend a meeting in mid-town Manhattan. It is probably good for my diet, but I am really less than thrilled to have to make these trips. But as long as their checks don't bounce, what choice do I have.

Fortunately, even though she will be spending the day at Mountain Creek Water Park today, I can be sure that LatteGirl will be only too happy to go swimming this evening, so at least I can look forward to cooling off in the pool later.

I can not believe it is August already. Summer always seems to go quickly, but this summer seems to be flying by at an exceptionally quick pace. It is only about 2 1/2 weeks until vacation time, at Chestut Grove in the Pocono Mountains. Whoo-hoo. I can not believe it is practically here already. I haven't even started begging for guest bloggers yet for the week I will be away. Anybody interested?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Nothing guilt free?

I try... I try as hard as I can to do everything I think I am supposed to do as a parent. But sometimes I feel like regardless of my best efforts, sometimes even "good" things wind up having their dark side.

Let me see if I can decrypt that a little so you have some idea of what I am talking about. An example... yeah, that should do it. OK, and example. My daughter made a statement, that at the time I must admit thrilled me. She said, "I would rather spend time doing nothing with you than playing and having fun when you are not around." Like I said, at the time I was beaming. I took it that besides just being a dad, I was in a sense a friend. Somebody that not only did she HAVE to spend time with, but somebody she wanted to spend time with. Since I love spending time with her, what could possible be wrong? Right?

Well, not exactly. As I trupeted most of last week, I spent a six hour stint chained to my computer as part of Blogathon 2006. No big deal here, it was a beautiful day. TheWife kept LatteGirl entertained for the entire morning (3 of my six hour shift). With her new found freedom of being able to swim without me attached to her hip, I thought, "No big deal" I would simply bring the laptop out on the deck and I could continue blogging while she swam. This did not exactly work out as planned. She went swimming for about 15 minutes and then got out of the pool and came and sat next to me on the deck.

She did not try and stop me from what I was doing, but no longer desired to swim. When I asked her why, she said, "It is just no fun without you." She entertained herself by trying to take an interst in what I was doing. Asking questions, watching Cathy, Doug, and their family on the web cam, talking about WHY I was trying to raise money for Farm Aid, etc. She tried. But deep down I knew she wanted to be in that pool, and man did I feel guilty.

Now I am willing to bet that there will be at least one person that will say that I spoil LatteGirl, and to a certain extent I can not refute it since it is a fact. When it comes to spending time with her, doing things with her, being there for her, I WANT to spoil her. And unlike typical "spoiled brat" fashion, she does not DEMAND that I tend to her needs, or whine when she doesn't get my attention immediately. She will simply not "DO" what she wants, and will then just wait for me to be available. Could it simply be a ploy on her part, playing the "guilt card?" I guess it could, but that takes a lot of patience to work, more than a typical six year old has (I think).

So now I am stuck. I can try and break this "dependence" on me, but that is of course a plan fraught with perils of its own. Or I can stick with living with the boughts of guilt when I am not as available as she would like me to be at any given moment.

Did I ever mention how I hate problems that do not have a clear solution?

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