“Cottage Week” starts today

Don’t worry, things will be back to normal soon. But not this week. See, we’re going on a family vacation for the next 9 days with our besties. I’ll catch up with you all in a week or so.

Cottage Week 2009:

Cottage Week 2009 pictures here: http://thegearharts.smugmug.com/keyword/cottage%20week#602469993_f5x6v

Cottage Weekend 2008:

Cottage Week 2008 pictures here: http://thegearharts.smugmug.com/Vacation/2008-08-14-Cottage-Weekend/5742907_s34FP#354834988_bCkUk

Don’t feed them after midnight

GAH! Someone call Mr. Wing, quick. I have gremlins in the house, and they’re causing havoc. Things are coming up missing, then reappearing in strange places. My cellphone charging cradle disappeared a few weeks ago. I later found it in Delilah’s dog crate.

You need more? Well, how about this:

Three days ago, the mouse I use for my laptop – the mouse that had been missing for two weeks, which I had all but given up hope on ever finding again – materialized itself under our living room couch. I already know you’re still not convinced of the presence of Stripe, or even Gizmo himself, yet, so I’ll continue.

My missing tape measure suddenly appeared in a box with one of Tyler’s toys.
My camera lens cap disappeared for two MONTHS before being found in Sarah’s Blazer.
One of Delilah’s dog bones somehow ended up in the subwoofer of our surround-sound system. IN the subwoofer. Only a very small hand or arm could achieve such a act of destruction. A gremlin hand, right?
A shoe in the kitchen pantry.
A missing library book under our bed.

Yesterday, I watched Tyler open up the clothes hamper, lean in, and pull out a football.

Just today, TODAY, I found a flashlight (which I didn’t even know was missing until I found it) in Delilah’s crate. There’s something about her crate, I’m sure of it. Then, just a few hours ago, I found one of Tyler’s sandals in our mail slot!! Why is this happening to us?????

You have many faces, boy

Dear Mr. Hyde Tyler,

When you woke up this morning, you weren’t the happy and smiling boy that I so love to see before I head off to work each day. You wouldn’t smile at me, and you wouldn’t give me a hug or a kiss. I told you that I love you and you said, “no.”

And then, I made you cry. You see, we have a rule in the house. You are only allowed to have your pacifier at nap-time. When you wake up, it’s time to take the paci out. We make a game out of it by saying “POOEY PACI,” and then you spit the paci out. This morning, you came into our room at five in the morning, crying and asking for your paci. Mommy tried to comfort you, but you cried louder. So, she gave you a paci and you went back to your bed. When you woke up and came downstairs, you still had your paci. Mommy and I both told you that you couldn’t have the paci downstairs. You simply said , “no,” and wouldn’t take it out. So, I took it from you. That made you cry.

Soon, I accepted that my attempts at siphoning some affection from you were fruitless, and I told you that I was going to work. As I walked toward the door you bellowed, “NEEEEEEEEED DADDYYYYY!”

My heart split as I pulled the door closed behind me. I had to come back into the house a couple moments later, because I forgot a package I needed to bring with me. I gave your mommy another hug and, whispering in my ear, she implored me to try again with you. I did, and you rejected me once more. I felt a lump start to form in my throat, so I turned and left before the tears could begin to well in my eyes and spill down my cheeks.

Tyler, if you ever have a son or a daughter, I want you to read this letter again. You need to understand that, sometimes, there will be bad days. Heartbreakingly sad days. All-around, infuriatingly mad days. But, also understand, son, that your child still loves you and looks up to you, and learns so very much from you.

I do.

Later, when your child finishes waking up, or when you get home from work, it’ll all be water under the bridge to your little one. But you? You’ll still hold onto a sliver of those bruised emotions. You’ll wonder what level of hell you’re about to enter as you open the door. And when that child charges at you and jumps into your arms? Well, that next hug will amaze you, probably faze you, knock you down, pick you up, spin you around dizzy and daze you.

It did to me.

And when you think to yourself, Man, I really hope I’ve never put my parents through all this crap, read this letter again, you little turd.

He’s talking about chicken, right?


We enjoy sitting at the dinner table, as a family, to eat our evening course. It was a difficult routine for me to get accustomed to. I grew up eating dinner while sitting on the floor of the living room and watching television. I’m not entirely sure if my entire childhood was this way, because I have an extremely foggy memory. The memories I do have, though, had me watching The A-Team, or M*A*S*H, or other 80’s entertainment while eating a delicious bowl of my mother’s goulash.

For Sarah, it was important to her that we eat as a family, at the table. I struggled against the change at first, but it’s now status quo in the house.

A few days ago, the sunlight angled into the kitchen and against the wall behind me at the dinner table. Inspiration struck! I told Tyler to look at the wall as I raised my hands. Within moments, the shadowed representation of my ten fingers transformed into a Doberman Pincer. For a moment, I fooled myself and had to look around. Convinced there were no other dogs in the room, I put my attention back on the wall. Time for sound effects to really show Tyler the magic I held.

As I moved my thumb down and up, I said “Bark bark bark bark bark!”

Apparently, Tyler didn’t see the ultra-realism in front of him, because he shouted, “COCK!”

I blinked. “What’d you say?”

“Cock. Cock cock cock cock CAWWWWWWWWWWWWK!”

“Tyler, I don’t think I unders-”


I’m not sure how long Sarah knew what was truly happening. I suspect she knowingly allowed me to sweat for a few moments before speaking.

She said, “Yes, Tyler, that does look like a duck. Quack quack quack.”

“Cack,” he agreed.

I gave Sarah the ol’ stink-eye for a moment. Then, I turned back to my ultra-realistic duck and said, “Quack quack quack.”

Dinner is fun.