Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Walking home with Ethan

Todd: "Mom is cleaning up the apartment and she may be in a bad mood. So when we get home, tell her how clean the apartment looks."

Ethan: "I can't imagine myself saying that."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Great Wolf Lodge...again

You know, being at an indoor water park when it's snowing outside never gets old. It's the first two days of the boys' Spring Break, I start a new job next week, and...hey, why not live a little? For added excitement, we convinced some friends to come along, and I accidentally left the car lights on.

Anyway, roll tape.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Virtual Jacuzzi

The boys don't like sushi, but they like Japanese restaurants because of the hot washcloths they bring you at the beginning of the meal. "If you put it over your face and breathe in, it smells just like being in a jacuzzi."

I try to do it quickly when no one's looking.

Just got back from NCAA Wrestling Championships

I know that's something you're supposed to Tweet rather than devote a whole blog entry to, but I'm gonna go against the grain here and tell you why it was a big deal for me.

I wrestled at Iowa about 20 years ago, and even though I haven't been involved in the sport for a long time, wrestling was a big part of my life--physically, emotionally, symbolically. Lots of people are idealists when they're young, but as they grow older they get jaded and lose their sense of idealism--doing something because it's the right thing to do, not taking shortcuts, having a passion for whatever it is you decide to do with your short time on earth. Wrestling is just a sport, but it framed so much of how I've tried to live my life ever since, and how I hope Samuel and Ethan live their lives--with passion and intensity and purity of heart and a sense of idealism and a dose of humility.

Being up close to the action tonight, I couldn't help squirming in my seat like I was avoiding getting taken down, and I may have annoyed the people around me who really didn't want to know my opinion about whether the guy's legs were or were not in bounds.

It was a great blast from the past, and I feel like I could go right out there and wrestle again, at least for a good 15 or 20 seconds until my knees pop out of joint and I'm too winded to stand up.

Happy to be home with my family, and tonight I will dream that I am back at Iowa and wrestling again.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dog Haircuts

We had to do something to erase the image of Bailey eating cat turds, and the answer was: Makeover.

This has the added benefit of making it harder for kitty litter to stick to the fur around his mouth.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sidewalk Chalk

When I took the dogs out for a walk this afternoon, several of the kids from our building were having a little chalk-fest on the sidewalk. So we joined them, and one thing led to another.

Later, when we came back from dinner, all the chalk drawings were still there, and I said to Jennifer, "If we didn't already live here I'd say let's live in this building."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Read-Aloud Marathon

Samuel, Ethan and I just got back from Times Square, where we were volunteer readers at the 24-Hour Read-Aloud Marathon. The event was to promote global literacy.

The photo doesn't adequately capture the thousands of people gathered around us cheering, chanting our names, holding cigarette lighters in the air for an encore. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Just as Ethan says he doesn't get how walking cures cancer, I'm not sure exactly how many people we converted to literacy, but...who knows? Maybe one or two.

I read my own "How About a Kiss For Me?" (hey, someone has to), followed by Mo Willems' "Knuffle Bunny Free." I found out about the event from Mo's website, so it was a symbolic courtesy, one famous author to another.

But I digress. What were we talking about? Oh, yes. Literacy. I'm in favor.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ethan is 10

Ten, ten
where to begin?
I wish I could live those years over again

I'd tickle you more
I'd yell at you less
I'd take lots more pictures
I'd try not to stress

I'd spend more time listening
and looking
and hugging
and less time reminding
and prodding
and bugging

But guess what?
We've still got a few years to go
You still may turn out
to be evil, you know

So if I still bother
or prod now and then
don't worry
I think you've done great up to ten

And here is one promise
I vow to fulfill:
to love you forever
(and guess what? I will)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bailey is gross

Dogs can be so deceptively cute and cuddly until they do something completely gross like eating cat turds out of the litter box.

It's like an adorable little toddler in a princess dress suddenly licking her own snot.

How can a merciful God allow this?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Brains vs. Beauty

I used to think that being smart was more worthy of respect than being beautiful. But you know what? It's a wash. Neither means anything on its own. We have the gifts we have. We do with them as we do. If you're Frank Lloyd Wright or Pablo Picasso, and you're an a-hole, you don't get a pass just because you're Frank Lloyd Wright or Pablo Picasso. You're either a decent human being or you're not, and everything else is just DNA and window dressing.

I hope that settles it.