27 February 2009

Sniff...Our little man is growing up!!

Today's a big day in Aidan's young life. He graduates from the Special Delivery classroom to the Happy Hippos room.

It actually is getting me a little emotional and picking him up this afternoon is going to be pretty special in itself.

Developmentally, this is perfect timing as the make-up of the infants classroom is pretty young right now, so he doesn't really have any friends in there and his buddies Norah, James and especially Tyler are already in the Hippos room. He's the only walker in his current room.

I don't know what other schools/daycares do, but Goddard has had him on a two-week transition from the infants room to the Hippos room where he spends a little time each day, increasingly each day until today when he's basically in for the full day. He's so funny because as they get ready to take him BACK to the infants room, he throws a little fit and cries. Hey, who likes getting bounced from the cool kid's party, right??

He's such an eager learner that he understands that he's stepping backwards in his environment and he doesn't want to go. The Director said that his acceptance of the transition was far better than they normally see but I'm sure kids of different levels take change differently.

I do think that how we work with him, getting him out to restaurants and events and broadening his experiential world helps him adjust to change a lot quicker than most kids. You can imagine what his little brain is going to do in 7 weeks when we load him up on a 767 and wing on off to Barcelona for a couple days and a 10-day Mediterranean cruise!! At 17 months he's going to see monkeys and birds on Las Ramblas, Sagrada Familia, the Greek Theater in Taormina and probably the Vatican in Rome. It took me 39 years to get to Rome and 18 to get to Spain so he trumps me on BOTH!

Yesterday was the first time we "walked" into school together. I'm usually the one dropping him off in the mornings and I thought it was time he held my hand and we walked in. Other than his stopping every 5 steps to turn around and look at the car, it went very well. It's not that he's getting too heavy (although he's crankin' out 22 lbs right now), but it's this sense of change and maturation. They decided to keep him in the Hippos class all day and it was his first time sleeping on the cots. He also had his first official lunch of Sloppy Joes, tater tots and apple sauce. Yeah, he wore a fair amount of the Sloppy Joe's. He seemed so happy when I picked him up. He definitely didn't want to leave and frankly how cool is THAT that he doesn't want to leave school? Let's see how long that lasts in life (eh, 3rd grade??)

But today is the final day and then he starts his move "down the hallway". Thanks to Leah, Anahi, Roxayn, Kim, Simone, Danielle and all of the others who have watched our little man from 3 months to 15 months. I will always admire you for the work you do with these kids and can never thank you enough for how you've taken care of our son! It has clearly impacted how he views the world and makes him want to come to school every day.

25 February 2009

Fan comes from Fanatic

Probably once or twice a week while driving East on I-88, I find myself behind/next to a Hyundai Sonata, license plates CLAYM 8.

On the commute you see tons of vanity plates and usually, as long as eyes are on the road and hands at 10 & 2, you play the game of trying to figure out what they mean.

This one wasn't tough as there was a license plate holder around them that says "I'd Rather Be at a Clay Aiken concert". yeeeeeeesh. What is classic about this is that once I pulled up next to the car, it was a woman roughly in her late 40's/early 50's who had red hair in a Pete Rose hair cut.
So I started thinking on whether or not I ever adopted a look that honored someone I admired or looked up to or even idolized. I did!!! Sorry faithful readers, I do not immediately have a picture of it, but I know they exist, I just have to keep digging through the thousands of pictures but while in college I was a huge John Mellencamp fan (still am and still am a member of the fan club!!).

John had American Fool as an early 80's hit album and Uh-Huh hit it big in 1983 and his look stayed consistent with the Scarecrow album in '85. My Midwestern-born, cornfield-loving self embraced his cause and his music without fail.

John's look at the time was black penny-loafers, white sox, faded blue jeans with cuffs folded up (not sewn), black belt with silver buckle and usually a t-shirt under a jean jacket or black leather jacket. Yep, that was me in 1985.

I'll eventually find a picture but here's a screencap from Pink Houses that'll give you some sort of idea. Just find ANY Mellencamp video from Uh-Huh or Scarecrow and you'll see.

24 February 2009

Bailouts from the Government and the Individual

So I got my first sign that the bailout will not be televised*.

From J.P. Morgan Chase I received an Amendment to my credit card agreement. It looks like this:
My current FIXED rate on this card is 13.99% and it now jumps 4.25% to a VARIABLE rate. Thank the almighty lord that I don't carry a balance on this card. I only use it for the rewards I get from buying gas at Speedway (midwestern chain) and the fact that there's no annual fee.

So not only is JPMC getting an influx of cash from my tax dollars, but they are also getting an influx of cash on the back of the people who carry balances. Money grubbing suits!!

18 February 2009

Tomay-toh, Tomah-toh

Look, I know a bit about politics, but I couldn't stand toe to toe with people who obsess about it, so if you're looking for a deep, point v point argument, you're not going to find it here.

But explain to me how huge boat loads of money being spent on America is any better OR worse than huge boat loads of money being spent in Iraq, Afghanistan and hundred of other places around the world. They BOTH screw the taxpayer. Quit screaming that Obama is burdening our kids with massive debt we'll not get out from under, eh, Bush did the exact same thing via the war machine.

Equally, and almost exactly the same is label that of "Tax & Spend" versus "Spend & then not give a crap out about how to pay for it, oh maybe it'll trickle down" They BOTH screw the taxpayer.

I'm not saying Obama is right or wrong but can we all just be honest with each other that neither party has it right and no matter which policy gets pushed we, the citizens of this country get screwed?

Each side of the aisle needs to get off their high horses.

14 February 2009

6 points clear, 13 matches to play

Well, it wasn't a St. Valentine's Day massacre, but a well-played victory over Bath City keeps us six clear at the top of the table. It would be fantastic to just have the automatic promotion versus, yet again, another playoff run.

Read the table Dons haters!!

12 February 2009

High School Reunions

Although no date, time or location have been set yet, this year is my 25th High School Reunion year for Benet Academy which I mentioned in a previous post.

Although our school launched their own "alumni social network" website a few years ago, it only has some basic functionality and so although a lot of people signed up, not many are using it because it doesn't have the broader appeal of a MySpace or Facebook.

Over the last few weeks I've actually touched base with a few folks via Facebook. It's sort of odd because what Facebook has done (and started out doing for kids who were IN college originally) is truly call you on the carpet for all the "We'll keep in touch, no, REALLY, we WILL" comments you've ever made in your life as you walk out of graduation.

For some people, we pick up like we were just standing in the hallways by the lockers, except we're all 42 or 43ish. For others, it's probably surreal to see and hear from people you may truly have forgotten about or just haven't thought about in 25 years. I wonder how the various cliques or groups that hung together would develop via a Facebook sort of utility?

I've noticed that there's a few "groups" based on class years and there's also a few "I played football at Benet Academy" sort of groups which capture a wider audience than just your class at times. So as we get closer to the end of the school year we should see some notes/mail that has info on our reunion.

I went to the 5-year one, but that was pretty much like a Fraternity party and then, although I didn't go to the 20th, I was able to be in town for the night before party in downtown Naperville. That was a ton of fun and I remember it because I was in the process of buying the engagement ring I gave my wife.

Looking forward to this year. Here's a picture of me in my football glory days.

06 February 2009

Through the eyes of a child??

I received one of the most interesting emails from my Dad yesterday.

To set it up: My folks received a $20 Starbucks gift card from one of their friends. My parents have pretty much NEVER drank coffee in their lives. The don't drink soda/pop either. They stick to tea and water mostly. My parents are also not big followers of trends or what's popular. They aren't shut-ins (most of you who've met them know that), but they live moderately and are very happy with what they have and do on a daily basis.

So they finally decided to go use the gift certificate. They had NEVER been in a Starbucks in their lives. Here's what my Dad sent me.
I guess when (America) is hooked on something it's difficult to break away even in this economy. After mom's blood test this A.M. we stopped at Starbucks and used part of the gift card we got. Mom & I each got a hot chocolate Grande, she got a piece of pound cake and I got a Blueberry muffin all for the mere price of $10.00. The line was constant with at least 4 people at all times. I guess we just live in another world. The best part is we still have $10.00 on the card and we can do it again.
His observations are almost child-like, but very in tune with what's going on in the world as they bring 65 years of experience to what he's seeing. It's sort of been how he observes the Internet as well. He's had a computer for 10 years now (almost 11 and had never even used one before) and probably every 2-3 months he finds something new on the Internet, and its almost like a kid on Christmas morning.