Posts filed under 'family'
The Amazing Technicolor Cast.
When I was in first grade a classmate, Carson, broke his arm during recess. I can’t remember the circumstances surrounding how the accident occurred but what I do remember is him showing up to school the next day in a shiny, white plaster cast. During the day we all took turns signing our names on it. As happens with kids of that age, his cast became the envy of everyone in the class.
The envy didn’t last long. Within a couple of weeks Carson was complaining about his arm itching. And then there was the smell. Since he couldn’t get the cast wet, his arm under the cast was hard to clean. I remember sitting by him at lunch and telling him his arm smelled and him explaining to me that it was hard to clean. I think I still scooted down bench a foot or two to eat my lunch.
At some point the cast came off and life in first grade returned to normal. What I do remember from that incident is that Carson seemed uncomfortable enough wearing a cast that I hoped I’d never break an arm or any other part of my body that would require me to get a cast. Even though everyone could sign it, it just didn’t seem worth it.
Fast forward to 2013.
Last Sunday my 5-year-old daughter fell off her scooter and broke her arm. Thankfully, she didn’t need pins or any other surgery. The doctor took x-rays and put her arm in a splint. A few days later she went to get a cast.
How times have changes since I was a kid.
I came home from work on Thursday and discovered that not only did she have a cast that looked like an exploding rainbow, the material it’s made from is waterproof. She can take a bath or shower, swim, or do any other water activities without worry. For the most part, she’s going on with life like nothing ever happened to it. And though I still hope I never break an arm or any other part of my body, I have to say that wearing a cast doesn’t seem as bad as it did when I was in first grade.
May 6th, 2013
I’d like to officially welcome Holden to the Keogh family. We’re so glad you finally arrived.
January 23rd, 2013
One of the things I hate about this time of year is that I generally drive to and from work in the dark. For some reason it makes me feel like an entire day passed me by—all because I didn’t get a chance to see the sun.
But since we moved this summer I’ve discovered that the drive home doesn’t seem as dreary or dark. Our new house sits on a small rise. As a result, you can see it (if you know where to look) from about a mile away. Seeing the warm lights of home in an otherwise dreary and dark world actually brightens my spirits and makes me feel like there are still plenty of things to do even if the sun set a long time ago. It’s a reminder that there’s a family who can’t wait to see me and spend the rest of the day together work.
So thank you warm, bright lights at home for reminding me on cold, dark winter nights that there’s still plenty to do and something worth coming home to—even if the sun has long set.
December 21st, 2012
Snowy conditions and sparse attendance for the Northern Colorado vs. Weber State football game, November 10, 2012
For the last couple years I’ve bought a family pass to Utah’s forgotten college football team. It’s turned into something that the oldest four kids really look forward to. And even though I spend more time keeping up with the kids than watching the action on the field, it’s something I look forward too as well.
This season has been an ignominious one for Weber State. They’ve only won one game and are struggling on offence, defense, and special teams. Today was the team’s last home game. If anything it was a garbage game as both Weber State and Northern Colorado had nothing to play for but pride. To make things worse, Mother Nature dumped 12 inches of snow in the last 24 hours and the forecast called for temperatures to be below freezing. Because of the freezing weather, I decided to give the kids a choice: we could go to the football game or we could go to the game or a nearby entertainment center and play laser tag and (indoor) miniature golf.
Much to my surprise the all four kids voted for the football game. There wasn’t any hesitation to their decision either. They all wanted to spend the afternoon at the game no matter what the weather. So I dressed the kids as warm as I could and packed blankets and other warm things into the van and off we went.
Even though we only made it until half time (it got too cold for the younger ones), everyone had a good time playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate, and huddling under blankets for warmth. Yes, Weber State put in another lackluster performance, but that’s not what mattered. What was important that the kids had a fun-filled afternoon with Dad and we all made lots of memories together. In that respect the cold, the snow, and watching Weber State lose was worth it.
Can’t wait to do it all again next year.
November 10th, 2012
This week I realized that Marathon Girl and I made one mistake when planning our stay with the in-laws. Since we were originally planning only staying three or four weeks we didn’t bring much in the way of toys and other things to occupy the kids. While we’re trying to get them (and us) out of the house as much as possible, there have been a time or two we’ve wished we would have brought over the Wii or some more toys over. Thankfully, we have a series of vacations and other activities planned through the end of the month that should keep us busy enough that it won’t be an issue through the Fourth of July.
And no, there’s no update on our short sale. We’re hoping and praying for good news soon. Maybe next week I’ll have an update.
June 11th, 2012
We just passed two weeks of living with the in-laws. First, the good news: As of now, we don’t seem to be getting on each other’s nerves. The arrangements we worked out before we moved in regarding meals, etc. seems to be working rather well. The kids seem to be adjusting to the temporary living situation and now that school is finally out for the summer, I think a lot of the morning and evening chaos will be reduced.
Another plus is that we’re doing more family (me, MG, and the kids) activities after I get off work and are spending more time together as a result. Relationships seem to be improving and growing stronger. We also have two mini vacations planned for this month that, if all goes as planned, will take us to Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska. (Sorry, Liam, no planned trips to Michigan at the moment.)
Now the bad news: As far as we know, the status of the short-sale hasn’t changed and we’re still looking at a nebulous July closing date. This has me worried. Since things are moving at a snails’ pace, I can see the date getting pushed back to August or even later. I’d really like to get the kids can settled into their new surroundings before the new school year begins. Living with the in-laws for an indefinite period of time simply isn’t an option. If it looks like things might fall through or get pushed out to the fall, we might look at renting a place temporarily or looking at other homes. I’m not opposed to buying a different home if necessary but the market out here is awash in short sales and it’s hard to find a good one that’s not going through the bank in some way. I was kind of surprised that our old home sold in seven days but after seeing what’s on the market day-after-day, I’m becoming less and less amazed.
Here’s to hoping our home goes through soon.
June 4th, 2012
Well, it’s official. We sold our home and are now living with the in-laws for about six weeks until the short sale we hope to buy closes
Heaven help all of us.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my in-laws. I couldn’t have married into a better family. We all love each other and have a great relationship. This is why I want to make our stay at their home as short as possible.
The hardest thing about temporarily moving in with them is that I no longer feel independent and self-sufficient. I shouldn’t feel this way considering that I’m otherwise supporting myself and my family and have done so without a problem ever since Marathon Girl and I tied the knot.
It’s just that if given the choice between living in a cardboard box and moving in with someone, I’d take the cardboard box every time. But my kids would probably have a hard time with living-in-a-box thing.
So let the adventure begin.
For everyone’s sake, let’s hope it’s a short one.
May 22nd, 2012
During the winter months the first thing I’d do after waking up is head straight to the living room where I’d send next a heater vent. There I’d sit there until the furnace clicks off and my legs and toes were toasty warm. Once the heater clicked off I’d hurry off to my bedroom where I’d get dressed and get ready for the day.
When it turns cold, the first thing my kids do after they wake up is tiptoe downstairs and lie on the heater vent near the foot of Mom and Dad’s bed. They share the vent until the furnace clicks off and which point they race to the table for breakfast then, after eating, hurry off and get ready for the day.
December 12th, 2011
As a kid my dad took me and my brother to Utah State football games. Some of my fondest memories as a 5-year-old were sitting about as high as one can sit in Romney Stadium watching the action on the field.
We moved soon after that and though I watched a lot of football with my dad, we didn’t attend any Utah State games for another 10 years or so. The only reason we went back was because Utah State offered family passes to their football games. Since they were cheap, I was able to talk my dad into getting one. I think the family only attended the first game. I believe my dad and I were the only ones that used the pass after that. Most of the time we watched the Aggies get their butts kicked by unheralded college teams like Pacific and Cal State Fullerton but we had a good time anyway. It was football, after all. It was hard not to have a good time.
Looking back, I realize the games we went to as a kid and a teenager were fun not because of the football but because I got to hang out with my dad. Now that I have young kids of my own who like watching games the occasional game on TV and playing football in the yard with me, I thought it would be fun to take them to some college games. The problem was finding a close and fun place to take them.
The popular college football tickets in this state are to Utah and BYU games. Having attended games in both stadiums I know from firsthand experience that neither are places I want to take young kids. The passion and intensity that can be found in both places is great if you’re in college or an adult who has his or her identity wrapped up in a football team, but there not so good if you’re a dad trying to spend a fun Saturday afternoon with the kids. (Utah State games aren’t much better.)
Last year I got word that my alma mater, Weber State, was offering family passes for its home football games. I bought one on a whim even though I wasn’t sure if my kids were going to enjoy it. At the very least I figured it would give me an excuse to go to a couple of games—even if I ended up going with just one or two of the kids. Besides, I figured the kids would have a good time since Weber State games are about as family friendly as a football game can get. On a good day the stadium is half full. That means if your kids get bored about halfway through the game, there’s plenty of empty bleachers to play on and tons of other bored kids to befriend. And the fans that do show up for games never have high expectations. If Weber State wins, everyone goes home happy and somewhat pleasantly surprised. If they lose, everyone shrugs their shoulders and goes home happy. It’s kind of the way sporting events should be.
Much to my delight, the kids loved going to the games. Granted they seemed to enjoy the kettle corn and root beer I bought them just as much, if not more, than the action on the field but the loading up the van on Saturday afternoons and making the 90 minute drive to Ogden become something they really looked forward to.
This year renewing the family pass was a no-brainer. The tickets arrived in the mail yesterday and the kids were thrilled when I showed them what was in the envelope. We marked the games on the calendar and the kids went to bed tonight chattering about kettle corn and upcoming football games. And to be honest, I’m just as excited about it as they are.
When they look back at these days I hope they realize the reason I take them to football games isn’t because of the action on the grid iron. It’s because I enjoy spending lots of uninterrupted time with them. Football games just happen to be a fun way to do just that.
September 1st, 2011
I’ve got this urge to throw my kids in the van and drive to Iowa.
No, I’m not crazy. Just have this urge to go on a 1,200 mile road trip to visit a baseball field, spend some time running the bases and playing catch with my kids, and walking from the corn into right field.
Life is short and I’ve got vacation time.
Maybe it’s time to use some of it.
June 27th, 2011
A while back I was playing Monster with my kids (read: chasing them around the house) when one of my boys turned around and held his hand straight up, palms facing each other and yelled “Pause!”
“Pause?” I said. I’d never had any of my kids pause a game of Monster before.
“You know, like the Wii games,” my kid said. “You pause them when you need a break.” Then he held up his hands again and I realized he was making the pause symbol with them.
I nodded and went off chasing the other kids all the while wondering when Pause became a phrase kids used to stop real world games. Back when I was kid—one who grew up with video games—you called Time Out. Since then I’ve noticed that all kids (at least the ones who play with my kids) all of them use the word “Pause” instead of “Time Out” or some other phrase when playing real world games.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not complaining. I just find it fascinating how games my kids and other play in the virtual world influence the way they play games in the physical one. So far I haven’t seen them use the world “play” when they start up again after taking a break, but have noticed that they sometimes they turn their Wii games into games they mimic in the real world. That’s Something I never did either. Back in my day video games on the Atari 2600 or other consoles weren’t as interesting, in-depth, or fun as they are today. In the meantime I’m keeping my eyes open for more signs that the virtual world is bleeding over to the real one.
June 10th, 2011
Back when I was five or so my favorite cartoon was Scooby-Doo. I remember watching the episodes over and over again on the black-and-white television in my dad’s art studio while he worked on his art projects. My brother liked the cartoon too. One Halloween my mom made me a Scooby-Doo outfit and my brother a Scrappy-Doo outfit. (The photo she took of us in those costumes is still one of my favorite childhood photos.)
Fast forward 30 years. I have four kids. The oldest three (ages 6, 5, and 4) are the same age I was back in the late 1970s/early 1980s when I liked Scooby-Doo. What’s their favorite thing to watch on TV or stream from Netflix? Episodes of Scooby-Doo.
The other night, too tired to write, I sat down and watch an episode with them. I was a little surprised that the writers are still using the same formulaic. Yes, the show’s been updated. The characters use cell phones and computers, but they still dress the same and drive The Mystery Machine. The bad guy always dress up in monster costumes, Scooby and Shaggy are still cowards, eat like pigs, and manage to stay thin, and the villain always says that he/she “would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids” at the end of every episode.
But why mess with something that’s not broken? I liked it 30 years ago and my kids like it now. (My oldest has a Mystery Machine lunch box he takes to school every day.) In fact the new episodes are just as fun as the ones I remember watching as a kid. If anything, it’s nice to have something like Scooby-Doo that stretches across generations. I know who Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby are, I’m happy to get my kids “Scooby snacks” from the treat cupboard, or laugh with them at the silly slapstick humor in every episode.
Kudos to those who have been able to keep the show alive in various incarnations over the years. May it still be around when I have grandkids that are old enough to enjoy it too.
December 17th, 2010
This fall I’ve taken my kids to three college football games. One of the unintended consequences of this activity is that they think I don’t know a darn thing about how to play the game.
Take Saturday, for example. I take the kids to the park so we can play football. I divide everyone up into teams and hand the ball to my oldest kid. He gives me a quizzical look and hands the ball back to me.
“We can’t play yet,” he says.
“Why not?” I reply.
“Because we haven’t run out of the tunnel yet,” he says matter-of-factly.
Now it’s my turn to give him a quizzical look. “What are you talking about?”
“Before the game starts the players run out of the tunnel and you say what team you’re playing for.”
Now I get it. At the games I’ve taken them to, the teams run out of tunnels on the other side of the field. He wants to do the same thing.
“OK,” I say, “run out of the tunnel.
He and his brother run around the park and yell “Denver Broncos!” at the top of their lungs. They run back to me and I hand the ball to him.
“Hike the ball,” I said.
“We can’t Dad,” he said. “You haven’t run out of the tunnel yet.”
“I don’t need to—“
“All the teams run out of the tunnel,” he says. “Oh, and you’re the Indianapolis Colts.”
The Colts? I don’t want to be the Colts. I open my mouth to object but realize it could be worse. He could have asked me to be the Oakland Raiders.
So me and my daughter run around the field and let the world know we’re the Colts. When I get back to the ling of scrimmage the oldest hands me the ball.
“You start,” I tell him.
“No, Dad. You need to kick the ball to us.”
“They kick the ball off to start the game,” he says as tosses me the ball.
The kickoff. How could I forget that?
I walk back to the goal line. My boys back up. I kick the ball over their heads. Laughing, they both run after it. My oldest picks up the ball and I wrestle him to the ground. He jumps up and gets ready to hike the ball to his brother.
“We’re going to get a touchdown!” he says before hiking the ball.
Let the game begin.
October 14th, 2010
Ten years ago this month I made a decision that changed my life: I laced up a pair of old sneakers and went running.
It was the latest in a series of attempt to lose weight. After working as a cubicle jockey and enjoying a constant stream of free sodas and snacks from my employer, I was on the verge of being obese. I hated the way I looked and physically felt. I knew I needed to change my lifestyle or I was going to be miserable for the rest of my life.
At the time I never thought that running would be something I be doing one or even 10 years in the future. I just thought a little exercise would help me shed some weight and, once gone, I’d change my eating habits to keep the pounds from returning. But as I kept at it I discovered that running was something I really enjoyed. More than just exercise, I liked feeling the sun on my face and feeling the road under my feet. I enjoyed running farther, running faster. Every day was a challenge to see if I could improve and do a little bit better.
And yes, the weight came off. Six months later I was 50 pounds lighter. Looking back, however, it wasn’t’ just lacing up the shoes that day that made the difference. It was getting up every morning after that, no matter the weather or how I felt, and tying to run a little farther, a little faster. It was making that decision the second and third mornings and every morning since that helped me not only lose the weight but rebuild my life, fall in love with Marathon Girl, and bond with my kids.
So here’s to a decade of running—something that changed my life in ways I never even imagined when I first put on those worn out sneakers. And here’s to running every day for the rest of my life.
July 30th, 2010
Now that the weather’s finally warmed up, Marathon Girl and I have taking the kids on weekly family runs again. In the back of my mind I worry that the kids will tire of them but every week they still enjoy hopping on their bikes or climbing in the stroller for a three or four mile run with Mom and Dad. The oldest two enjoy them so much that they’ve now ride alongside me during my morning—so long as they’re awake and ready to go when I’m heading out the door.
Most mornings, just as I’m finishing my weight routine I hear them running down the stairs to see if I’ve left without them. When they see that I’m home, they let out excited cries of joy, put on their shoes, and head out to the garage to get their bikes.
It’s been a nice having the two boys on their bikes with me as I run. Having them with me helps me focus my thoughts on the family instead of work or other stress inducing subjects. It’s been fun to watch their endurance increase with each passing day. A four mile bike rid is no longer a problem for them.
We don’t talk much during our runs but from the big smiles on their faces as we count off the miles, I can tell they’re having a good time riding their bikes in the cool morning air with dad.
I hope they can tell Dad enjoys them too.
June 28th, 2010