Friday, December 12, 2008

Kid Stuff....Twenty-Plus Years Ago

As Husband and I prepare to brave the malls and toy stores in an admittedly-procrastinated effort to complete our holiday shopping, I can't help but to remember some of the better childhood toys I received way back when, as well as some of the other "kid stuff" that helped to shape my generation...I only wish some of these toys were still around today, because they were totally kick-butt! From the obvious to the more obscure, here are some do you remember 's for kids of the 80's....

*The original Transformer toys...Yeah, the live-action movie totally rocked, but you can't beat the original toys...definitely More than Meets the Eye! And do you remember the "original" Optimus Prime????

*G. I. Joe's...Can you still make the rapid-fire machine gun noise with your tongue? (Warning: Author assumes no responsibility for cleaning bills incurred or embarrassment received resulting from attempting rapid-fire machine gun noise in public. Attempt at your own risk).

*Banana-Seat Bikes...Whatever happened to them??...They were stylish and comfortable! Enough said.

*Atari and Colleco Game Systems...Because sometimes realistic graphics and complex soundtracks are of no help when you are trying to get your frog across the road.

*Fraggle Rock...wait for it....wait for it...ok...Cast your cares away - Worries for another day - Let the music play - Down in Fraggle Rock".

*Film Strips in school...Don't forget to press "Play" on the cassette player!

*Happy Meals...I'm talking the kind that came in a box...Eat, then play...Genius!

*Read-Along Books...Sure, the ones that came with records were good...and cassettes were great...but I had a Disney "Lonsome Ghost" book that had a device that, when slid across the page, would read the book to you, complete with sound effects....Way cool!

*He-Man and Masters of the Universe....waking up Christmas morning to Castle GreySkull set up under the tree, complete with the vehicle that had real boulder-pounding that was a Christmas.

*The Garfield Christmas Special...who knew John's grandma was a biker chick? I didn't see that coming!

*Sesame know, when it was good! No Elmo...Mr. Hooper was alive...can you tell me how to get BACK to Sesame Street?

*Reading Rainbow...But you don't have to take my word for it! ;)

*Christmas Trees that were NOT pre-lit...what Christmas would be complete without dad muttering strings of expletives under his breath as he diligently worked to get all of the light strands working on the tree? (Ok, so I am glad I get to reap the benefits of 20 years worth of technological advancements, but I can still enjoy the memories, right????).

Clearly, I could go on and on. But I won't. Feel free to add your own in a comment - I'd love to hear it!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Request...

I am the first to admit that my family is, well, less than traditional. There are obvious reasons for this (I'm from the North, Husband is from the South....) *ha ha ha* .... And there are the "not-so-obvious" reasons.

When I met Husband, he was in the final stages of a divorce (and no, there was no scandal here, sorry....if you want scandal, tune in to Days of Our Lives or C-Span...). While I am sure no divorce is easy, this divorce was particularly difficult, as Husband had grown extremely close to his extended family - so much so that I had the awkward (at the time) pleasure of being introduced to them, in much the same manner as any boy- or girl- friend would meet the parents. In my case, the awkwardness quickly dissolved, as I was accepted into this family unconditionally. To this day, we remain close - clearly not "traditional", but very much family. We now get together frequently with Husband's ex-wife and her family for holiday gatherings and birthdays.

I have chosen to provide you a little insight into my less-than-traditional family because I need to ask something very important of you, my readers....

Several days ago, Husband received word that his ex-wife's grandmother was admitted to the hospital after having trouble eating. Tests confirmed our worst fears. Yesterday, she was transferred to a hospice facility, and no one really has any idea how much longer she really has.

Any prayers or happy thoughts sent their way would be most appreciated. And I would also encourage each of you to take a little time out of your day to truly recognize and appreciate the value of your own friends and families, in whatever forms they may take.

I am thankful for the opportunity to share our view from our corner of the universe with you, and I look forward to providing continued updates, especially those in which I can offer a more light-hearted (and dare I say "random") perspective.

Until then, thanks for wading through the serious side of "His2Dads"... You all ROCK!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Little Moments

I don't know how it is for everyone else, but lately it has been very easy for me to sit back, take a deep breath, and live in the moment - knowing that, while there is a lot wrong in the world, everything is as it should be in my life right now.

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted our annual Thanksgiving Dinner - it started out as a group of teachers who were not going "home" for the holiday, and has turned into a gathering of friends and family from all over the city. As it happened, after dinner I found myself in the playroom with our son and my parents. Our son was kicking his mini-soccer ball at Grandma. For her part, Grandma was totally involved in this game, loving this time with her grandson. Unfortunately, Grandma got a little too involved, which resulted in her kicking the ball harder than she intended. As an observer, I was reminded of a cartoon - the ball struck our son square in the face, and he seemed to spin backwards head-over-heels at least 4 times before landing on his back (of course, the 3 glasses of wine I had consumed could have altered my perception...). Grandpa, Grandma, and I all held our breaths in anticipation of the reaction - and we were all shocked to hear giggles in place of the screams we were expecting.

As we laughed about my mother's over-exuberance and innate soccer ability, she asked if I even remembered life before we welcomed our son home.

This was one of those sit-back-and-sigh moments. Of course I remember life before bringing the little man home...but it was so fundamentally different. Everything has changed....literally everything. Things that were once important are all but forgotten, and things that were once mundane are now the highlight of my day.

Last night, my activities included some laundry, grocery shopping, dish washing, and some general tidying-up. Since Husband was at a meeting, it was just me and Bubs. Every step of the way, he was right next to me, often wanting to help. As I was transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer, he was waiting patiently for me to finish so he could close the dryer door. If he didn't feel like the hamper was in the right spot, he would move it to a place more to his liking (even if that place was in the middle of the walkway in the living room). He worked hard, allthewhile chatting away. Even though I have no idea what he was talking about now, I know that someday I will be able to understand him - so I am choosing to NOT wish these moments away. I'm happy to let him be himself - to explore, to help, and to be loved.

I know it is easy to see the bad in the world right now, and it is hard to escape. Take a moment, take a breath, and find peace *grin*

From our family to you and yours,

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Quick Update...

To those of you who know me as "MrJourneyman" as I reply to your posts....

I have changed my "handle" to "JustADad".

In any case, I promise to be the same goofball as ever!

Thanks for your patience as I go through my mini-identity crisis! *grin*

Life Happens.

Hello, friends!

I wish I could tell you that we have not updated our blog because our family ran off to join the circus, or that we are part of a top-secret organization of peace-keeping spies. I'd even settle for being able to say that we were placed in the witness protection program after testifying against an underground crime ring.

The truth, however, may not be as exotic -- Life Happened. Since February, we have been rolling with life's events, even as they have rolled over us. I want to offer my sincere apologies to those of you who visited the site, left comments, or wondered about our absence. You all rock!

Ten months is clearly a long time; I admit I feel a sense of "blogger obligation" (blogligation?) to share with you some "His2Dads Highlights". (Note: While I am anxious to get to the highlights, I have to tell you how much I like my new word....blogligation...the sense of obligation bloggers feel toward their readers to update their blogs...*laughs*....Go Me!). Ok, so on to the excuses...(er, highlights)....

*Husband, a generally normal and (dare I say!) predictable guy, managed to surprise us all this summer. He chose to leave the middle school classroom, trading his 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in for 2nd graders. SECOND GRADE! After 3 months in an elementary school, he says he loves it. I think he is crazy. Certifiable even. Ok, so I admit I am truly afraid of 2nd graders. Really. Don't judge. It's ok if he is crazy...we still love him.

*Not to be shown up by Husband, I decided to jump on the "major change" bandwagon myself. Unfortunately, when I jumped, my footing must not have been the best. I decided to leave the middle school classroom to become a middle school administrator. After 2-1/2 months, I arrived at the realization that the long hours and added stress were not as fun as they may sound. I made the difficult decision to resign that position and return to the classroom. Besides, I didn't really like having my own office or the freedom to use the restroom whenever I needed anyway (or something like that). But don't count me out of school administration yet...Retirement is a LONG way off - I may hit the gym so the next time I decide to jump, I can land in a comfortable seat on the bandwagon of change.

*Our son? Yeah. Sometimes I think he is sitting in the driver's seat of that change bandwagon. When I last posted a message, he was a relatively quiet baby who still relied upon Daddy and Papa for putting food in his belly and moving from point A to point B. Now? Here's what I can honestly say to you...he is not mobile. Oh no. He is more like "Oh-My-God-Catch-Him" mobile. To top it off, the boy can eat. I can only imagine what his teenage years will mean for our grocery bill. Overall, though, we wouldn't change a thing (except I am thinking of adding 6 inches of sand to our floor just to slow him down a sounds crazy now, but just you watch - just like "blogligation", "sandfloors" will be all the rage...Everyone will be doing it! The picture is a rare example of what he looks like when he is neither moving nor eating...

Ok. So we are back. We were gone for awhile - but remember, Life Happens.

Feel free to leave a comment to say hi! We look forward to hearing from you.

It's good to be back!

Happy Holidays!