Happy Second Birthday Oliver

Two years old? Like how is that possible. (I mean I know how it’s possible in a literal sense… but still, I just can’t believe it. Thank you to an amazing mom who has done everything for this happy, healthy little man… a very caring older brother who has not one time pushed him down a flight of stairs… a loving Bammy who has helped to raise this little man. His Auntie buys him more clothes than any child needs and his Mima continues to buy him those damn remote control Magic Track cars which drive me crazy… thanks for that and thanks to all the amazing family and friends who have contributed in one way or another.

Dear Oliver,

I’m not sure what it’s like being the youngest or the second born. I was the oldest and loved that role, but I can imagine it’s not always easy being the little guy. Then again you are almost as big as your brother, so I’m not so sure how much longer we can use the phrase “the little guy.”

I guess the first thing I need to say is thank you. You have been an amazingly perfect blessing to mom and me. You have brought so much joy and happiness to everyone around you. Your huge smile and whimsical personality. You walk in and you light up the room. People are in a better mood when you are around. It’s unreal how much joy a little boy’s giggles can bring to so many people.

You’ve given your brother a best friend and especially someone to get in trouble with, although at times I suspect Jax is the one blaming you for his trouble, but that’s what older brothers are supposed to do! I love watching you two play together. I love watching how your eyes light up when you see him. I think Jax is a happier little boy because of you. You just do that to people. You make everyone better… happier.

You’re already such a sweet and caring little boy. You show kindness and compassion at such an early age it makes us forget how young you still are (I’m sure the fact that you eat like a grown man I’m sure contributes to that as well). You’re going to be a momma’s boy for sure, don’t get me wrong… being a momma’s boy is a great thing… just look at uncle Vinny.

Please keep your smile as big as it always is… your laugh as loud and continue to be inquisitive about the world around you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, when you say sorry- mean it, be kind to strangers and animals and love your mother and brother. If you do those things you’ll always be in a good place.

I’m proud of you. I love you and I’m so thankful you came into our lives. Happy birthday (not-so) little guy

Love always,

Dad

Oliver’s First Fourth Day of Daycare

Lately, Oliver has been floating all over the face of the earth. Just a Nomad living a nomad’s life.

Daycare to daycare.

Teacher to teacher.

Cot to cot.

… until today. Until the day he finally found a place to call home and a cot to call his own. (Don’t get me wrong where he was previously was amazing. They treated him like family. They communicated more than I could ever have imagined and he loved it there). But now… he’s home. He’s the little Italian boy… in the little Italian daycare.

Listen, this ain’t our first rodeo… we’ve been here before. We’ve done the first day of day care thing before. We have this down like clockwork. – Lay out his clothes, pack his lunch, lay out all his extra clothes, bottles, cups, bowls… all packed and ready for transport.

Forms were filled out. Emergency contact list had been updated. We were set… all we needed to do was get the little guy there, drop him off and head to work. All seemed to go according to plan until it was time to leave. The cries filled the room. Panic set in and guilt gripped our hearts. It’s what every parent who drops their child care off at daycare for the first time goes through… and it’s terrible.

The teachers tell you everything is ok and that he’ll be fine… hell I’ve said that to a thousand parents on the first day of school for years. It hurts just as bad each time. But it does get better and it did get better. Ollie turned out to be the star student.

His best subject: NAPPING!

Monsters vs Best Friends

Setting: Jax’ room; 8:00pm

Jax: “Dad a monster might come in the room and eat you up.”

Me: “There aren’t any monsters in here bud.”

Jax: “Yes there are, they like to eat daddys and cell phones.”

Me: “I promise there aren’t any monsters in here bud.”

Jax: “It’s ok dad, Buster is in here. He eats monsters. He jumps off the bed and chases them out and then eats them up. He’s my best friend.”

Ollie’s Winter ONEderland

img_5486-1I’ve professed my unadulterated hatred for children’s birthday parties (sorry to anyone who has recently invited us, or plans to invite us to their child’s birthday party… No really, I’m so excited to attend). In all honestly though I don’t hate kid’s birthday parties. I just wish they weren’t as stressful for the adults.

On one hand you have the person attending the party. All the stress of what to get, how much to spend… how long to stay. It’s too much decision making to partake in on a day off from work. I worry at every party I take my boys to how much money worth of family heirlooms they are going to destroy. It’s scary, trust me.

Then there is the flip side… being the host of a child’s birthday party. You want to make it enjoyable for all.. you want to set the kids up for success while allowing for some enjoyment for the adults. Oliver’s birthday party did a little of all of that. There was something for everyone.

There was time adult talk and time for play for the kids. There was hide and seek and talk of politics and health. There were sandwiches as far as the eye could see (and knifes that sawed through antique furniture in the dining room). There was hide and seek and there was blue cake-icing that was mashed into the carpet in no less than four different spots.

However, after things settled down… thing is… it was all worth it. Family and friends together celebrating such an amazing little boy turning one. It is a huge milestone… for this little guy that milestone is more about the fact that he’s survived a year with Jackson as his older brother. Between full contact hide and seek and Jackson trying to feed Oliver anything he can get his hands on… it’s a miracle this kid made it to one!!!

PS: You know it was a good time when all the party penguins end up on the ceiling 😂🐧

Weird is the New Normal

 

Like father, like son

Being a parent is so interesting. I consider myself one of the weirdest people I know… besides my group of friends… Between Miguel, Adam, Eli and especially the oddest one of them all RFizzle you would expect nothing would be able surprise me anymore.

We’ve dealt with a variety of odd situations… Cambodian cages, mini golf swimming hole, grenade whistles, randomly yelling, “LET’S STAY FOCUSED HERE!”  Then there was a bunch of crazy Santa’s taking over Danbury…  somewhere in there was a friend getting yelled at for not being able work their cell phone and a few of us being scolded by Kimbo Slice.  I actually witnessed someone pay for a round of drinks in pennies… his response…”Isn’t this AMERICA?!!!”  Its evident that the people I associate with should have prepared me for the things I would witness, hear and say now that I am a parent.  

 Yet, I still sit here today in awe of the things that I find myself involved with when it comes to this kid… this wonderful, amazing and just plain weird kid!  I find myself witnessing things that I know no other human being has witnessed before; I also find myself saying things out loud and then thinking to myself, “I cant believe I just said that to another member of my own species.

The other day I watched my son, walk waddle as quickly as his knobby little knees would take him over to Buster.  It was as close to a run as a wobbly one year old can get.  Then I watched in horror as he took a full on swan dive on top of the dog.  I am talking a dive that would have won him a drunk belly flop contest at any Sandals Resort in the world!  As he turned slowly a smile formed and at the corners of his lips a witnessed a little drool form and then fall on poor Buster’s head.  An absolutely aggressive move.  Not even so much the long jump knocking all the air from Buster’s little puppy lungs, but the drool.  Nothing says I own you more than getting your saliva on someone.  Spitting is disrespectful and hateful, but drooling on them says “I OWN YOU!”

Last night I found myself saying, and I quote: “Jackson, DO NOT try to balance your sippy cup in between your chest and the coffee table!  Jackson… DO NOT WALK AROUND THE COFFEE TABLE WITH THE SIPPY CUP BALANCED BETWEEN YOUR CHEST AND THE COFFEE TABLE!”  How did my brain even formulate this sentence… how did my mouth even form the letters needed to sound this sentence out? Just picturing a half naked baby with his little chubby arms in the air as he navigates his way around the coffee table in a death-defying feat of balance.  Smile as big as the Grand Canyon, giggling like a school girl and just as carefree as lion in the Serengeti.

I’ve witnessed many weird things in my life, hell I’ve done many things in my life that you would categorize as weird.  Which is expected with the company I keep.     

     

Emma and Jax

 Sunny days on B-Run used to be filled with solo cups and whiffle balls.  It was all about single friends finding summer love (if only for a night).  I loved those nights.  I loved those weekends.  Reminiscing is good, it’s an effective way to put a smile on your face.

Then again, living in the past is not an effective way to enjoy the amazing things you have in your life now (unless you are a former hurdle champion… then its ok to occasionally include the past in your daily day dreams).

This past weekend lacked the solo cups and whiffle balls, it lacked tons of people and a bunch of people crashing on the basement couch/floor.  But it did include great friends and time to relax from the craziness of what is everyday life.

It’s nice to be able to spend some time relaxing with people you enjoy being around… grilling up some sausage patties and then falling asleep with a chocolate cannoli beer on your chest.

I’m more happy that Jax and Emma get along so well!