Work, Then Play

Day three of tiling is in the books.  I am dirty, exhausted, and ready to get all this done!  There is crap all over my house.  My washer and dryer are in the kitchen, I have tools everywhere, and I haven’t been able to park in my garage for two weeks.  Today was a super productive day though!  All of the tile is laid and it looks great!  We are very happy with our choice of tile, and it went in without really any problems.  Usually with my family you are guaranteed a few major hiccups.  So far however, everything has gone well.  We still have a lot to do to be completely done, but the hardest, most time consuming part is done.  Tomorrow we will grout all of the tile and get the counter top reinstalled so we can put the washer in dryer back in.  Then we have to install the vanity, lights, toilet, and trim.  That is all easy right?

The best news of the day is that my sister and brother in law called me on their way home from the city and wanted to hang out.  I warned them that my house was an absolute disaster but they were welcome to come over.  We love hanging out together because we have some drinks and play games like euchre and drinking Sorry.  This is a perfect end to a long day.  It is well needed after all the work these last two days.  What is even better is the news I just learned.  My niece is watching them and we are going out for a while.  That is fantastic!  Then we will come back and play some games.  On that note, I am out of here!

It is always nice to end a long, hard day with some fun.  I fully intend to make the best of that tonight.  Tomorrow when we have to go back to work I may regret some of these decisions, but we will worry about that then.


Zoo day

Today we got to go to the zoo.  It was a pretty nice day in comparison to what we have had lately, and what is to come.  We are also watching a friend’s little two year old while they are both out of town.  I was thinking about venturing to the zoo with three of them on my own if no one would be able to go with me.  My other option was to drop Haddee, our friend’s daughter, off at day care and take just my two.  I would have felt terrible about doing that though.  There was also no way I was taking these three on my own.  If I wanted to do that, I would’ve had three kids!  Luckily my wife at the last minute was able to join us.

My goal was to get there when it opened, and get out before the dense crowds came.  She had a call at 10:00 which is when the zoo opens. We decided I would take the kids in and see a few animals while she was on her short call.  Or what was supposed to be a short call.  She called me as we were thick in a crowd trying to all get in at the same time.  I had her wallet with her pass in it.  I was too far committed to turn back and give it to her, so we went in and hit a few spots before she was able to meet us.  Finally she was able to meet us and we were on our way.

We planned out our walk pretty successfully.  My goal was to try and get to the monkey house somewhat early because it fills up so fast.  On our way around we ran into a colleague, you may know her as “Please Don’t Hug Me.”  Then we ran into another friend in the monkey house.  She told us she got to the zoo right around 10:15 or so, and said they had to wait an hour and a half to even park.  We got there maybe a half hour before her and had to only wait about ten minutes.  It is crazy how fast it filled up.  Luckily with the size of the zoo, it never really feels that crowded.  One way or another, we were basically in and out of there within about two and a half hours.  The little ones like to see the animals, but their attention lasts about ten seconds per animal.  My son likes to watch them a little more now, but still we did a quick look and move on.

It was a really fun day and the kids were literally perfect.  Just like yesterday, they all came home and slept.  My wife went back to work and I watched TV for a little bit.  Now I think we may just go out to pizza and a well needed beer!

Perks of teaching

I laugh at the people who tell me that teachers have it so easy.  Telling us that we get all of these breaks and all of that.  I challenge them to step in our shoes for a day.  However, with that being said, I really do love the perks of having these breaks.  Today was a perfect “break” day.  As usual like we do when we have days off, the kids woke up and hopped into bed with me and we watched cartoons.  I am a huge fan of cartoons still.  I love the morning cuddles we get with them as well.  It is nice not just having to do this on the weekends.

I decided to get out of the house today since we had a lazy day yesterday.  I got them fed and dressed and we headed out to our first stop, The Children’s Museum.  I circled the crowded parking lot looking for a spot.  There was nothing!  I knew that it would be crowded today, but when I saw a worker handing out maps of other places to park off-site, I decided this was not the day for this place.  I went to stop number two, the Children’s play place near Danada.  We got in there and again it was crowded, but nothing like the museum.  The kids had a ton of fun running around and playing with everything that appealed to their eye.  They also got to chase down bubbles with the other kids there.  They jumped around, laughing and squealing as the bubbles floated down from the ceiling.  They had a great time, and got to burn off some much needed energy.

After play time, we met my wife for lunch.  We did a quick lunch and then went home for some much needed naps..for all of us.  Second greatest thing about having break and two kids that still nap.  Well one always naps, the other is on and off.  Today though, he slept for three hours, and she slept for two.  Which means I got to sleep for a couple of uninterrupted hours.  It was amazing!

These are the things that I do love about having this job.  I think about how most parents only get to really see their kids at night, and on the weekends.  As teachers we get the benefit of having winter, spring, and summer breaks that we get to spend full days with the kids.  We get to play, take them cool places, or just cuddle up and nap.  It is definitely a perk!  Tomorrow our adventures continue as we go to the zoo.  I am just hoping no one else notices that this will be the nicest day for the next two weeks!

Where to go?

Next July my wife and I will be celebrating our ten year anniversary.  Ten years already, that is crazy!  It has been a pretty amazing ten years at that.  We have decided that we are going to do a vacation just for us, no kids!  This is something that I have looked forward to for the last couple of years.  It will be so nice to get a week away with just the two of us.  The only problem we face is where do we go?

We got married in Jamaica, and weren’t in love with it there, so that is out.  Our favorite place is St. Maarten, but we have been there twice already, so that is out.  This is one of those vacations that we are going to do right.  I have brought up going to Hawaii many times.  It may not be my number one place over all, but it has so much to offer.  I have always wanted to take a helicopter ride in Hawaii to see the volcanoes, the waterfalls, and just the islands in general.  I want to hike (maybe just for one day) through the amazing hills.  I want to lay on the beach and have some drinks.  Maybe even try and surf…who knows?  I like the options that Hawaii brings.  It has many different islands that we can go to, each which offer just enough of a difference.  In my head, this has been my choice for a while.

My wife is on board with Hawaii, but lately has been veering in other directions.  There are so many amazing places in this world, so we want to use this vacation as a chance to see one of them.  My wife just brought up Bali which is a place we both have wanted to go to forever.  I mean just look at pictures of the perfect clear water, the huts that are in the water with the see through glass floors.  The soft white sand beaches that are just calling for us to lay on all day.  I am not against this at all!  The only problem for me is since we will be away from the kids, we are somewhat restricted due to time.  My problem with some of the places we talked about…Bali, Thailand, New Zealand, and so many more, is the travel time.  I have a hard time with losing two full days of our vacation on a plane.  If we had two weeks, I would be totally game, but since we are more prohibited, it makes it difficult to choose those options for this trip.

None of these options we have talked about are bad.  It is just hard making the right choice that works for the time we have and the money we want to spend.  Either way, I know we will pick somewhere amazing, and I am so stoked to go.

Productivity Feels So Good

It is amazing!  A project that we have wanted to do for a long time is under way!  Typically the day after going out with friends ends up being a useless recovery day.  We wake up, get some much needed grease in our system, then become bums for the rest of the day.  I usually will look around at all of the things that I should be doing, and get mad at myself for not doing them.  It usually involves a nap and a complete waste of a day.  Not today my friends.  Today was a day that I got myself up and had a very productive day.  It felt great!

I posted a few days ago that I was going to spend my break getting our downstairs bathroom and laundry room tiled.  I met my dad early at Menards and got all of the materials.  We ended up getting all of the cement board cut and laid.  It was easy, almost too easy.  We had only two tough parts, one of which being that we had to remove a counter top and get the washer and dryer out.  That was complicated, but we got it done.  The only other hiccup we had all day was that the screws we bought wouldn’t go through the old flooring so we didn’t get it all screwed in.  That will be my job tomorrow, but that is easy.  Every cut turned out perfect, and we bought just enough boards to get the job done.  All the stars seemed to align today.  Hopefully the rest of the process will go this smooth!

Day one is now in the books, and I am hoping that we can get this project done by the end of this week.  My father in law is coming on Thursday and Friday to actually get the tile laid.  If we can somehow get this all done this week I will be ecstatic.  There will be other little things to do after the tile, but that won’t be too bad.  I am really looking forward to having new tile, a new vanity, and new lighting in our bathroom.  This has been an update that has been hanging over my head for a long time, and I am so glad that it is finally under way.  It will be so nice not being embarrassed when people come over and use that bathroom.

I love the feeling of having a productive day.  It gets me motivated to do even more projects.  That to me is half the battle.  It is less talk and more action. I hate the thought of doing these projects, but I absolutely love actually doing them.  I look forward to seeing this all completed.  It makes it all worth it.

The Power of Laughter

With all the crap going on, a night out seems to cure all of that.  We got a night out with a bunch of friends tonight and it was just what the doctor ordered.  A friend of ours had a bunch of buy one get one coupons to Zanies in St. Charles.  We had 12 of us that were able to secure sitters and get out together.  My niece came over to our house and watched half of them which was key.  We were able to meet at our place for a few drinks first, then head out to dinner.  We were the loudest table in the place, and probably annoyed everyone else out of there.  To us, it was normal.

When we finished dinner, we headed out to the comedy club.  The first two acts were really bad.  I mean really bad.  I felt like they just grabbed two morons from the crowd and put them on stage.  We were really worried about the rest of the show.  The two drink minimum was not even cutting it.  In the end, it worked out pretty well because the main guy was hilarious.  Like tears streaming down your face funny.   He called himself Uncle Larry, and that name couldn’t have been more fitting.  He was your creepy uncle Larry, but he was hilarious.  He was what I needed.  It had been a tough week with a lot of bad news, but he was exactly what I needed.  I needed to laugh.  I needed to be with friends that made me laugh.

After the show we did what we normally do.  We came back here and played drinking games.  As a matter of fact we are currently right in the middle of playing.  I lost this round, so I decided I would quickly write my blog.  I was so in need of a night out, and that is what I got tonight.  I am so glad to have such fun friends.  I love playing games and laughing, and that is what I got to do tonight.  As a matter of fact, I have to stop writing because we are about to start another game.  Hope everyone else had a fun Saturday night.  Keep laughter in your life, it seems to cure all!!

Tough night

Tonight was a tough night.  We finally made the decision to put my dog down.  He was such a great dog for nine plus years.  He was suffering though.  My wife and I met at the animal hospital right after work and were able to say our last goodbyes to our boy.  He was so sweet, and everything went so fast.  It was so sad to see him go, and I will miss him like crazy, but I know that this was the best thing for him.

Luckily our kids helped us get through the night.  We picked them up right after, ordered pizza and had a movie night.  My son was sad his dog was gone, but he was super excited for a cuddle up movie night.  I love the comic relief that they provide.  We needed it tonight.  I also love that they seem to know when something is wrong.  We didn’t act sad around them, but yet they were still a little extra cuddly and sweet tonight.  It was the perfect way to end a tough night.  I am really looking forward to this week off with them to help get our minds off of our sweet boy.

Of course then my daughter gets a hold of my wife’s phone, and somehow resets the whole thing.  She may have lost everything….and now we’re back to reality.


The art of….tiling

Boo!  This is how I get to spend my spring break.  The positive about it is that the tile we have desperately needs to be changed!  It is the nasty stuff they put in when they built the house.  The tile is literally fading into a pee yellow that I can’t stand.  I get so embarrassed having anyone see it.  Now is the time to finally do something about it.

I would not consider myself a true handy man, like my father is, but I am not useless either.  Growing up I was usually the sidekick to my dad when we do projects.  He rebuilt every room in our old house, and I helped.  Now that I am the dad, I have to learn how to do more of this stuff on my own.  Of course my dad will be there to help, and my father in law also, but I will be manning this project.  That is a lie, I will be the sidekick again, but this time I will be really watching and learning so I can do this stuff on my own.  I know the big parts of tiling, it is the small details that I never account for.  That is where experience comes in to play.

My job in tiling was always the cutter, and my dad would lay the tile.  This time my father in law called the cutting since he used to do this as a side job.  That is good for me because it allows me to help out on other parts of it that I need to learn.  Although this project is not exactly what I wanted to be doing over break, the final result will be 100% worth it…I hope!  Just the thought of getting that urine yellow tile out of my bathroom and laundry room excites me.  I think it will be fun to get my hands a little dirty and learn from this project as well.  If it goes well, I will post pictures when it is done.  I just hope that is not in July!

Memories…from Facebook

There are a lot of things that annoy me about social media.  With that being said, of course I am addicted to it.  It is terrible, and I hate it, but I can’t get away from it.  It is like watching Vanderpump Rules with my wife.  I absolutely cannot stand those shows, yet I will get sucked into it and then start commenting about each of the idiots that are on that show.  I literally find myself checking my social media accounts five minutes after I just checked them last.  It isn’t because I really think there will be something new on there, it is just habit.  I have been breaking away from those habits lately and making myself refrain from checking them every two seconds.  We made a rule in my house that we can’t have phones at dinner.  That is such a nice, peaceful time where social media has to wait!

There is one thing however that I do love about Facebook, and that is the memories.  With all of the pictures and posts I have put up over the years, it is so great to see some of them pop up that I completely forgot about.  I just watched one the other day of my daughter, who was not even one at the time, belly laughing at her brother being silly,  I must have watched it fifty times.  Then they want to see it, so I watch it another twenty times.  I get to see memories of things that I have gotten to do with my family.  Whether it be vacations, days to the zoo, parties, or just being silly around the house.  These are the memories that I love to see, and again sometimes forget about.  It also reminds me of great nights out with friends.  Going to concerts, bars, vacations, weddings, or just hanging out at someone’s house playing bags. It reminds me of stupid things that I posted because I thought they were funny, and those give me a laugh again.  It makes me think how dumb I used to sound when I would post random thooughts about the sports I was watching, like anyone else cared what I was saying.

Today had a memory of my last vacation with my wife before we had our first little one four years ago.  Our “babymoon.”  She was seven months pregnant and we went to San Antonio for  a long weekend.  She was a trooper with the amount of walking we did that weekend, and the fact that she couldn’t drink.  We had a blast, and even got to go see a couple of the NCAA tourney games.  That was on my bucket list.  These are memories that I don’t always think about anymore until they just pop up on my Facebook memories.  These are memories that make me smile and take me back.  These are memories that make me sad to see how quick my kids are growing up, but also make me happy to remember how cute they were.  These are memories that I get to talk about and reminisce about with my friends, remembering those fun nights out together.  So as much as I get annoyed with the repetitiveness of Facebook, I truly do enjoy when that notification pops up telling me that I have memories.  It is a great way to start each day!

Typical Tuesday

In the beginning of our relationship, I used to laugh at my wife because she always dreaded Tuesdays.  She loathed them and I never I understood why.  I asked time and again what was the big deal about Tuesdays.  She just said that they were just a day that she hated.  It was early in the week, and no good ever seemed to come from them.  This rang true today for me.  Today is a day that I can’t wait to get in the books.

First of all, it is Tuesday, March 20.  The so called “first day of spring.”  Hogwash!  It is just another day of winter right now.  It is still so cold out, and looking ahead there is no end in sight.  Luckily we aren’t the northeast with their foot plus of snow that is coming, but still it is cold.  It is starting to get to me.  I just want warm!

From the second I walked into school today, it was just a day that was not going to go my way.  I had the day off yesterday, and I usually walk in to pretty good notes from my sub. That was not the case today.  She had way too many problems, and that bugs me.  One thing I ask from my students is to be better for a sub than they are for me, and yesterday they didn’t do that.  Disappointing.  Then I did spot checks for my student’s reading logs to make sure they are filling them out correctly, and of the five kids I checked, not one had them.  This frustrated me, so then I decided to check my whole class.  8 out of 23 had them correctly filled out.  I know that sounds unimportant, but for a class that never puts any extra effort forth, it is to me.

Beyond that, every lesson I taught today seemed like I was talking to a brick wall.  I literally felt like I was teaching to an empty room today.  Maybe it was me because I just couldn’t get my head into the game today.  It was a very defeating feeling.  I then got some other news that bummed me out.  It is one of those things that you understand, but had really high hopes for.  I tend to get myself too hyped for things, and then if they don’t happen, I get let down.  Again, my own fault, but just added to the day.

Finally, I get home and get to hang out with the family.  This part was pretty awesome, except dinner.  I was trying out a new recipe and I thought it would be pretty good.  Well the completely full plates sitting on the table told a different story.  It was gross.  My wife and I took one bite and pushed the plate away.  We tried to get the kids to eat it just to see if they may like it, that ended in tears.  Two Ego waffles later, and dinner was over.  My appetite leaked right out of me.  Another notch in the day that needs to go away.

I don’t really buy into the whole Tuesdays suck theory, but I will say that this Tuesday did.  Luckily I am pretty good at leaving the past in the past, so I look forward to tomorrow and what it will bring.  My wife is out of town for the remainder of the week, so hopefully Wednesday will take it easy on me.