Summer Help

Vincent's school year ends next week. You know what that means, don't you?

We need to find stuff to do.

I'm sure with the new house life will be kind of upside down for a while so that will make things interesting but once we're settled in, the kid's gonna need some activities. This is his first post-school summer, so he's been used to a set schedule and regular interaction with teachers and friends. All of a sudden - poof.

It's also Rose's first summer with two mobile children. Last summer, Peter slept 20 hours a day, so things were simpler the days she stayed home.

We've got certain things covered - trips to the park, a zoo membership, a weekly playdate with some school buddies, short vacations in Vermont and the Jersey shore. But that doesn't cover the dog days. The days with no naps and the two of them fighting over the Willie Wonka hat. They're too young to really make their own fun and too old to just follow Mommy around all day. The woman is pretty great at thinking on her feet but she's gonna need some ideas.

We are now officially open to suggestions.


Photo of the Moment

I think this about sums it up.


Living With Family, Breaking Things

The Move, Part I last weekend was exhausting and sad but settlement on our old house went really well and we're done.

While our bodies are at my parents' house for the next couple of weeks, our stuff is spread out in a few different places - the PODS facility in Oaks, PA, Rose's Mom's basement, my parents' basement & garage, the Denny's down the street, some random abandoned van in West Chester, the tennis court at that weird apartment complex near here, and under my desk at work.

The boys are handling things really well. They're vacationing at Mom-Mom & Grampa's for 3 weeks! We said goodbye to our empty house and everything. I think Rose and I felt it more than they did although I have a great photo of Peter in full on "WHAT IS HAPPENING?!" pose. I'll post it when I find my camera.

Interesting side effect of being exhausted and disoriented: breaking stuff. For some reason, I've broken a sugar bowl lid, a small porcelain vase and a small section of a recently re-caned wicker rocking chair at my parents (My Mom swears it wasn't re-caned properly). What does this mean?


Pod People

This thing is sitting in our driveway. I'm sure the neighbors love it. So far, it's a pretty awesome way to move furniture from a smaller house. It's like combining a storage unit with a truck rental, only sexier. And they pick it up and drop it off. It beats hiring movers or the whole truck rental thing hands down.

By the end of the weekend I may be cursing it, but so far, so good.

*Photo not actually of our driveway or POD. It's eerily similar though, now that I look at it.


Thank You for the Days

Cue Nostalgia.

It didn't really hit me until tonight that we are actually moving. Sure - we've been packing and making arrangements but for some reason, it didn't seem real. What did the trick? This conversation between Vincent and I while I was putting him to bed:

Daddy: Are you excited about having a new house to move into?

Vincent: I like our house.

D: But our new house will be as great as this one. Only....greater.

V: ....

D: Besides, other nice people will be living in this house and will take good care of it.

V: What other people?

D: (tells Vincent their names)

V: When?

Long pause.

D: Next week.

That made it real. Other people will be living in our house as of next week. So yeah, I sound like a softie but I warned you about my penchant for nostalgia here. I wasn't kidding. It's time for me to crack one open, put on some Kinks and document the moments that have made the last five years in this house memorable for us. If you've visited this site more than once, you know I can't get away from lists. So here goes.

Scraping paint off of 80 year old hardwood floors for weeks (Thanks previous owners!). Ridding the basement of animal stench (See previous parenthetical quip!). Enjoying our neighbor's amazing father teach us the ins and outs of top soil. Dave and I digging for roughly 6 hours and ravaging our hands to pull out those awful bushes that blocked the front of the house. Cigars & bourbon on the front porch with the Virginios. Beating Kevin's ass at basketball in the driveway until we got mad at each other. D'aaaah Kevin. Being within walking distance of the best independent book & music store in the galaxy. Waking up one Sunday morning to Rose telling me she had a positive pregnancy test to which I replied, "I guess we'll have to go to the doctor to be really sure." Bringing Vincent home. Staying up, laying next to his crib the entire second night he was home, listening to him breathe because he still had a little bit of liquid in his system from delivery. Doing the "letting him cry" thing for the first time, both Rose and I white knuckling the couch waiting for it to stop. Vincent shooting poop at Kate and I (Nice to meet you, Auntie Kate.). Watching good and bad TV when we should've been catching up on sleep because we just had to know how many crab pots the Northwestern hauled in this season. Vincent's first steps. And laughs. Watching the Amish guys we hired to replace our roof affix their ladders to the house with leather belts - the kind you and I wear to work. Stuffing 50+ people into 1450 sq. feet for Vincent's first birthday because it was violently raining. Not having a light switch cover on one of our kitchen outlets (out of the boys' reach) for a solid 2 years because I'm not too great at tile backsplashes. Watching our neighbors two doors away build all manner of unusual ancient gardens in their backyard and letting them sit unused. Really learning how to use a lawn edger and getting pissed that the guy's across the street looks like a golf course. Turning music up super loud and dancing (obliterated on caffeine) with Vincent on weekend mornings. Falling asleep holding Vincent for the 700th time, breaking all the rules of "getting your child to sleep on his own." Playing puzzles. Setting up Disney guys in every conceivable configuration. Bringing Peter home. Having the boys get to know each other. Noticing their differences. Watching Vincent hug Peter with abandon. Peter loving it. Peter's first steps. And laughs. His first poop onto the bathmat (Happened tonight!!). Countless beers, cups of coffee, chachi milk (spiked with half & half). Tears - real and crocodile. Episodes of Little Bear with the lights out. Not so silent steps taken on the creaky hardwood floors, trying not to wake them up even though both of their white noise machines are cranking. Coming home after a good or a bad day and just being.

Why am I mining my memory to commemorate an 80 year old house where we only spent five years?

As it turns out, they were some pretty big years.


Fun with Words

Since Vincent started school last fall, his vocabulary has really gotten impressive with each passing week. He's even starting to teach me words.

Now I fancy myself a bit of a wordsmith. I mean, I have this here blog (not that that counts for much) and I've been known to write for hire from time to time. But for some reason, the word chrysalis hadn't really entered my life. I remembered a record label popular in the 70s and 80s with that name, but that was it.

Vincent came home from school one day during "Butterfly Week" and sang us the following song he learned (to the melody of "Itsy Bitsy Spider"):

Little caterpillar looking for some lunch
Crawling through the leaves. Munch, munch munch
Spun a chrysalis, wrapped himself inside
When he awoke he was a beautiful butterfly

I looked at Rose and said, "Did he say chrysalis?" She nodded, wide-eyed as if to say, "CAN YOU BELIEVE HE KNOWS THAT WORD? HE'S 3 YEARS OLD!" A couple days later, I called my Mom to check in while she was babysitting and she said, "Do you know he knows the word 'chryslais?!' He sang his butterfly song and Dad nearly fell over!"

The kid is just knocking people out with this. And he's not even showing off. He just sings it when it pops into his head and rolls right through that beautiful word as if it's nothing. That's what makes it awesome. I get excited for the next words he comes home with. Extrapolate? Malfeasance? Bricabrac?

The possiblities are amaranthine.



We've got ourselves a house. It took us bidding on one we thought we loved, losing it, then finding one in an area we never thought we'd move to (7 miles west) to find the perfect house for us. So while we'll be leaving our beloved Dub C, we'll still be close by.

It's got a great backyard and a finished basement, which will be awesome for the boyz. It's in a cool, older neighborhood and it has it's own park!

So we'll be homeless for 3 weeks between settlement of our current house and the move-in date of our new one. So don't be surprised if you see a family of four, in tatters, on your doorstep with furniture strapped to our backs. THAT MEANS YOU, KEVIN. WE'RE MOVING IN. GET READY.