I am sorry to that I haven't written anything in a while. I have been busy with some issues that have taken up most of my time, even impeding my sleep.
Hurrican Irene made landfall in New Jersey late Saturday night, 8/27. My wife was at work and I was home with the kids. I did not get home till early evening, which I will explain later, so it was time to relax and get ready for the brunt of the storm as soon as I set foot in the door. My house is a Bi-Level, so when you walk in the door you either go upstairs or downstairs. My downstairs is 75% below ground, and we have a sump pump to that pumps rising water out to the street to prevent flooding. Now my house has been in my family for almost 7 years and I have never seen water in the basement. The power went out around 9:30 p.m. and I was instantly worried about the sump pump and flooding. The pump is run by electricity, and I do not have a battery back up or a generator. We were listening to the radio when it announced a Tornado Warning. So the girls and I went downstairs and I showed them where to go if we heard the tornado coming. They were champs, weren't scared much, and slept on the floor. I continued to listen to the radio for updates. My youngest went to the bathroom we have downstairs and said, "Daddy, there is water in the potty." I chuckled and replied, "I know dear, there is supposed to be water in the potty." With her hands on her hips she said a little sternly, "But not on the floor Daddy." I went over and heard the squishing under my foot before I ever got to the bathroom. I told the girls to head upstairs, we sat in the living room listening to the radio in the dark. I checked the water level downstairs about every half hour, and it continued to rise. I had moved what small stuff I could, but I resigned myself to the fact that the furniture was just going to have to be ruined. Around 3 a.m. the power turned back on and the sump pump did its work and got rid of the water. Now we are doing the clean up. We have lost all of our furniture including our couch, hutch, my great-grandparents stereo/8 track/phonograph, and all of my oldest daughter's bedroom furniture. I just finished her bedroom a couple of months ago, and it was ruined. The drywall was really damaged, and so was all the wood and molding. Electronically I lost a few computer towers I was working on, a PS2, a printer, and my sub-woofer for my surround sound system.
Now onto "Hurrahs" from the title of the blog. My Uncle and Aunt met later in life, and because of that, are older first time parent. My Uncle was like an older brother to me, and he and I are very close. He asked me to be God-Father to my cousin, and i was overjoyed. The Baptism was this past weekend, yes, the weekend of the Hurricane. The Baptism had to go on due to upcoming surgeries needed for my cousin, and they wanted her Baptized before the surgeries started. The moved the party to Saturday, hence the reason I was not home till early evening as mentioned before. Then Sunday was the Baptism. My Aunt and Uncle live an hour away from me. It was a good time, and this is my first time being a God-Father. I was/am truly honored that they asked me to fulfill such a large role in their daughter's life. My wife got me a great T-shirt. It has the marrionet handle and string from the Godfather Movie cover, but it says, "Irish Godfather" underneath. To explain, my mother's maiden name is Lynch.
"Home remodeling" shouldn't need much of a description. The carpet is mostly out, the furniture is at the curb, and we have salvaged what we could. Now it's time to cut away the ruined drywall, treat the studs for mold, plan for the tile I am putting down instead of carpet this time, and we have to buy furniture to replace what we lost. It isn't a good trade off, but since I lost the stereo that was my Great-Grandparent's and a hutch, my mother offered my my Grandparen't hutch. I like having a good antique from family in an area where we spend a lot of time. Kind of makes you feel like a real family room because there is an influence of previous generations there.
I have been blogged about my issues with soccer my town for my children. I think I have officially hit the wall of unhappiness. I was looking over the rules of my 9 year old's league last night and found some items that made me very unhappy. Notes for coaches
Good sportsmanship, fun and learning are a priority
Players can be substituted on either teams goal kick or your own throw in
No scores kept
We have a 6 goal deficit rule, meaning no team should beat another team by more than 6 goals.
o You can remove players
o Shoot wide of the goal
o Pass the ball around
o Make the other teams keeper look good, pass the ball to him
o SUGGESTION is to start to put restrictions on your players after being up by 3 goals, things like have to pass 5 times. Don’t blow another team out.
Now, I agree that you shouldn't blow the other team out. I also agree that you should work on different fundamentals like passing and such instead of going for a score right away. But really, my children are going to learn things I don't want them to.
1. Don't try your hardest all the time.
2. Winning is not a reward for hard work.
3. Losing is not a reason to try harder to improve yourself and your team.
I don't want any children to feel like they are a failure, and I also don't want children to feel like they need to be super competitive. But, how is my daughter going to have the drive to improve unless she faces adversity and doesn't win? How is she going to learn to be a gracious "loser" and congratulate the other team for a good win unless she is on the losing end of the equation? Also, how is she supposed to feel accomplishment for hard work and practice unless she wins. And, how is she supposed to learn to be a good sport and congratulate the losing team on a great effort unless she is on the winning side?
I have coached Little League Baseball for a long time, and we do have these rules in place for 5 and 6 year olds; these rules don't exist at 9. I know football doesn't run by these rules at the same age. Neither does, basketball, wrestling, or softball. I just don't agree with it at all.
My not of Facebook can be viewed here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&¬e_id=10150275875048316&refid=7
Last night my oldest had her first soccer practice. Even though my wife had spoken to the coach, and notified him that it was my oldest's first year, I was met with disdain when I didn't show up totally prepared. Apparently, I needed to have soccer socks, a size 4 ball, and shin guards. I assumed we needed cleats and already had purchased them. I was a little upset that we never received a list of equipment to have, but it was assumed I would have all the equipment she needed. It was a nightmare. There isn't even a schedule or uniforms yet. And my youngest doesn't have practice yet because there isn't a coach. I wish they would be organized like Little League Baseball so all of these issue wouldn't exist.
My girls were making chalk drawings on the sidewalk yesterday while I cut the grass. They apparently left the chalk outside the front door, and my wife asked them to clean it up this morning before I took them to daycare. I was getting dressed so my wife told them to stay near the front door since I was still inside. I finished getting dressed, grabbed my truck keys, and opened the door to find two soaking wet kids. Apparently, my oldest decided since they cleaned up the chalk so fast she would "water Mommy's flowers". Well, watering flowers became a water fight with the hose and the girls laughing about how much they were squirting eachother. I put on a serious face, all the while laughing on the inside, and told them to go get changed that we didn't have time this morning to play. The each went to their rooms and got changed in record time. Then they ran out to the truck and buckled in without a word. On the way to daycare my youngest asked, "Daddy, are you mad at us?" I laughed and said, "No, dear, I am not mad at either of you. I used to squirt Uncle Aaron with the hose all the time." The girls laughed the whole way to daycare. They enjoy the fact that my brother Aaron and I are about the same age difference as the two of them, so they know I can relate to them.
Today started as a fun day. It was very cool outside last night and we had the windows opend due to a beautiful day yesterday. This morning I was awoken by both of my girls, "Daddy, we are cold. Can we cuddle with you?" I grumbled something I can't even remember and they crawled under the blankets with me. My wife was up early for work so they like to sneak in and cuddle with Daddy on those mornings. Next thing I know I am 15 minutes late getting up and we were in instantly into "Hurry Mode" as my youngest calls it. We got out the door in time. On our way to my Mother-In-Law's, who is their daycare, my oldest said, "Daddy, you are the best. I bet not all kids get to have cuddle time with their Daddy. I love you Daddy!" I was so happy, and it was well worth the loss of some sleep to know my kids look at me with such high praise.
Tonight is my oldest's first soccer practice. I admit, I am not a soccer fan, but I will be there screaming my head off in praise and support for her and her team. The fun part will be that my youngest is playing too. Which means no rhyme or reason, just a bunch of 4 year olds chasing a ball around the field. Lol
And now to address the "Humble" in the title. Now, I have spoken about Skaggy the Poet in a previous post. He just posted his 100th Blog Post, Congratulations Skaggy! The humble part is that he wrote a poem about me. Please follow Skaggy's Blog. He is a great family man with many insightful and witty things to say about the world. http://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/a-big-thank-you/
On a side note; the wheels of progress are turning. I have been working on getting my information together about podcasting, web-hosting and such. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate the help. I am hoping to get the first podcast recorded in September.
Had a fun weekend of cutting grass and helping my brother reorganize his storage space. He is moving next month and I have earned a reputation as the Tetris furniture expert. I am not a huge Simpsons fan, but the scene about packing makes me laugh at the similarities.
I got an unexpected shout out from the before mentioned, Skaggy the Poet, on his podcast Skagtravaganza(http://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/skagtraviaganza/
) and on his Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/skaggy_the_poet). Thanks again, mate.
Sunday has been a great day. Spent the morning playing Dungeons and Dragons Online "DDO" with my oldest (Age 9). Our Cleric and Fighter Combo is reaching level 3. Went out to buy soccer cleats, got some fish, picked up dinner, and came home. The Phillies had a rain delay so it's as if they waited for me to get home to watch the game. As we were leaving Wawa (Major gas station/convenience store) I opened the door for my youngest (5 in October) and said, "Here you go Madam" She ran to my driver's side door, opened it, and said, "Here you go Sir" She is so cute. Hope you had a good weekend. Back to work tomorrow.
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Skaggy the Poet is man that I have met through an online game called Dungeons and Dragons Online, which is an MMO based on the Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying Game. He is an example of a renaissance man; having a good eye for photos, a true talent for poetry, a wonderful storyteller, and someone I would love to do karaoke with. He is a family man, and as you can see on the Rambling Dad's Stories page, I forsee him regularily being involved with this site and eventual podcasts. Thank you Skaggy for submissions, and I am sure everyone will enjoy them as much as I did.
Attempting to get this down pat. How the site works, update time, and general web site maintenance. Please bear with me as I go through my growing pains. Thanks