Happy Thanksgiving!

From Sweetie, Wife and I: Happy Thanksgiving to all of our family and interweb friends! Have a safe and happy holiday folks, we’ll see you on the detour!

Happy Thankgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sayin’ my thanks (yes, again)

This post has been trying to come out for eight months now, essentially since Sweetie had her 1 year check up. Fast forward to today – Sweetie’s 18 month check-up. And once again we were out of the doctor’s office in no time. No problems, no issues, nothing bad at all. We walked out with the doctor’s blessings and “we’ll see you in eight months”. But not everyone has it this way.

Doctor visit days are like vacation days in a way. Wife takes the day off and we all travel together. After the visit we get into adventures of some sort. Last visit we went Downtown with Big Daddy B, Momma Z and Linda. Today we spent the day with Abuelo and Abuela. Whatever we get into, we get into as a family. And again, not everyone has it this way.

And so I am saying my thanks. Thank you to wife and to Sweetie. And thank you to the universe in general. “Thinking” my thanks did not feel like it was cutting it, so I hashed out this post. I know some of those people who don’t have these same experiences. Their doctor’s visits are full of challenges and bad news. Or they are doing this parenting thing without a partner’s help. But our family doesn’t have it that way and I am grateful for it.

Since I am handing out thanks, I want to thank those of you who have joined the detour through the Facebook page. We all know that in the Interweb and social media paradigms, “Likes” and “Follows” are currency. It means a lot folks and it is nice to see consistent visits to the blog. Aw heck, for those of you who have followed from jump, lots of thanks too!

Alright, that’s all I’ve got. I hope it spurns you to thank your important people and whatever higher power you talk to. Tomorrow is a new day with its own adventures.

Ella Jenkins at Old Town

This was another reminder of what a treasure the Old Town School of Folk Music is to Chicago. We got to see Ella Jenkins playing live at one of the school’s concert halls as part of our weekly class.

For those of you who don’t know, Ella Jenkins is a long-time folksinger who is known for her children’s songs and children’s concerts. She is 89 years old and still commands the stage. She led the children in song while coaching their behavior and keeping the room in check. And despite her age, she lights up the harmonica!

EJ1

Our teacher, Maria, was invited to play alongside, which was fun to watch. Maria’s violin, another guitarist and Ella Jenkins’ harmonica made for a rockin’ time – yes, a rockin’ a children’s concert. That’s a good sign when the parents are having a good time.

The Old Town School of Folk Music offers a variety of activities for both adults and children. I have mentioned our music class a couple of times now. There are also instrument-specific classes for pretty much anything you want to play. Wife, Cap’n Jack, Micompadre and Micomadre, Momma Z and Big Daddy B have all taken classes there. And be sure to check out their schedule of events for upcoming concerts. It looks like Ella Jenkins is back there tomorrow…hhhmmm.

Our first heavy frost and “snow” preview came yesterday. I am sure we are going to spend more time at “Old Town” with the Chicago winter weather coming. Hey, want to put out a special thanks to la maestra Maria for letting us know about the concert and saving a seat for all us ‘worms!

EJ2

Random 360’s

Each night after dinner Sweetie and Wife spend time visiting and playing together in our front room. It is their time before bedtime. Tonight as my daughter walked past me she stopped, spun halfway around, paused, finished the full rotation then kept walking to join her mother. Keep in mind she still “toddles” when she walks, so this was a pretty cute scene. Her spin made me smile right away, and then it got me thinking: At what age to we stop doing random 360’s?

The question is about enjoying life, particularly the subtlethings. With Sweetie I often witness her enjoying some simple thing. Times like when we are outside and she gets so excited by the changing leaves or a random squirrel. Or when Wife comes home from work and Sweetie is nearly frozen because she doesn’t know what to do first; run to the door or shriek or maybe just stamp her feet in excitement. She shares all of these discoveries with smiles and pointing and her excited babbling, all of which are so genuine. But as an adult I find that have to stop and focus on these things in order to appreciate them. And I think most of us adults have this same experience. And that makes me kind of sad.

The reasons are obvious; work, social life, increased financial responsibilities, family, etc. It’s all part of growing up, I know this. So the need for vacation time, and recreation time become even more important – the “stop and smell the roses” bit. After hanging out with my daughter though, I can’t help thinking that the adult world is missing out.

And I know adults who do appreciate the small things in life. It is not accurate to say they have a “child-like” approach to life. I think that could be taken the wrong way. But there are people are content with good food, good company, and an occasional elegance. I find their presence to be a refreshing reminder also.

Ah well, maybe I should just try to enjoy the changing fall leaves this Fall and keep an eye out for those subtle, simple things. It’s probably safer that way because I think if I tried to spin around while walking I would probably fall on my butt. For a toddler that’s cute, for her Dad it’s just weird.

Goin’ Mo

In 2010 Micopadre invited me to grow join his Movember team. I didn’t understand at first, but quickly learned that I would be growing a mustache for the entire month of November. This was meant to be an engaging, fun way to raise funds for researching male cancer, supporting men who are currently fighting cancer and honoring survivors. It went well and planted a seed for future participation…and that future is now.

That’s right folks, the detour is “goin’ Mo” (maybe “growin’ Mo”?). This was a good idea last year, but I didn’t act on it. Now we’re on! We are going to try to utilize the detour to spread the word and raise money for men’s health.

If you get a minute, check out the Movember website. Their philosophy and activities are pretty cool stuff. I am still learning the facts and the numbers, so right now I am more of a men’s health advocate: http://us.movember.com/. Both Grandpa and Abuelo are male cancer survivors, and I think this is a solid way to honor them. The detour is doin’ it for them and survivors in general, supporting the current fighters and pushing for increased reasearch.

Sweetie has agreed to help in this endeavor, although her ‘stache is more immediate and impressive. I figure we will try to snap photos throughout our adventures this month. And although she won’t realize it, she will be contributing to the greater good. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a lifelong habit.

"Sweetie" 'stache

“Sweetie” ‘stache

So if you get a chance, please visit my Movember page and consider a donation: http://us.movember.com/mospace/7827561 . The initial invitations have gone out to grow a team – please feel free to join “Gen Mo” if you are inspired! And thanks!

October 1 - all clean

October 1 – all clean

Happy Halloween!

From the D-3 household to all of you spooky monsters out there – Happy Halloween!

Halloween 2013 was definitely about making the most of the day. Our challenges started two weeks ago when we started testing costumes with Sweetie. She didn’t want anything to do with a costume. We tried out some hand-me-downs from Sister Older-Older, but that sent her into screaming fits. We tried to dress her as Pegasus for her cousins’ Greek Mythology-themed birthday party. Again, screaming. We eventually settled on the plush dragon from Sister Older-Older, but only for quick stints and usually not complete with the headpiece.

ATTEntrance

You want me to go outside like this?

Wife and I brainstormed a bunch of options we consulted the interwebs, but Sweetie’s response really limited our options. Anyone else out there with an 18 month old who doesn’t want to wear a costume? Today she suffered through a few wearings, mainly for camera ops. And I thought I got a bunch of cute shots but all of my pictures are blurred or she turned away. I guess that sums up how she felt about being the dragon.

The day worked our fairly well. We drove out to Shorewood to visit with Nana and Papa who are in from Florida. Sister Older-Older took today off so we were able to visit with her as well. Sweetie also got to hang with her cousins who so that was a nice “treat”. On our way home we stopped in to see Abuelo and Abuela, but they were not home. Go figure, I should have phoned ahead instead of trying to surprise them! No good deed goes unpunished!

No answer? Gotta go!

No answer? Gotta go!

Back home we prepped for all of the kids we thought would be trick-or-treating. We live near an elementary school and a high school so we usually have a decent number of kids come through. Chicago was rainy (but warm) all day, so that threatened to damper the trick-or-treating. After some last-minute skull and spooky lantern placement, we were ready. Too bad we only had 30 or so kids come through – last year brought five times the kids. Hey, what can you do about the weather? I thought more kids should have dressed like crab fisherman or crossing guards or anyone else whose uniform includes a slicker.

Thankfully, Sweetie was not scared by the kids coming to the door. She likes seeing other kids and being around them, so I was hopeful. We also joked about the few scary masks that came through, just to make them less scary. Wife made it home a few minutes early to help give out treats, so that was nice too. It was a bummer not to see the abuelos, but I think we may visit them tomorrow and give the dragon one more try. Maybe next year we can try the life-size minion costume, or the Yoda on Luke’s back, or anything really! I think Sweetie got a good taste of the night though, so nowhere to go but up. And I think we had a good balance of treats to help with the day’s tricks. I hope you all had a fun day and a safe night – long live Halloween!