shoot me…Six 10 yr olds sleeping over?

Dude, I am not looking forward to tonight. The girls are getting here around 6, going trick or treating for a while, coming back and sleeping over. All of them. Man, I hope someone decides not to sleep over:)

Did I mention that there were SIX TEN YEAR OLDS?!?!?!?

I think I’m getting a lot of saint points for this one.

Aidan’s trip to Fairview Lake

Dictated by Aidan to Fae tonight:

This was an extremely exciting trip for me, and it was emotionally stressful and took a whole lot of preparation, Knowing me, I get really anxious quickly and easily, but I had no anxiety at all during this trip.

The first day, Dad and I drove over to the school. He got my bag in and left, and I got on the bus and drove to Fairview Lake, in Sussex County, NJ. When we got there, I unpacked and ate lunch with a couple of my friends. Our first activity was teambuilding, and we did really well getting all the challenges done. After that was a hike to the 3rd highest point in NJ. I brought home a stick from the top. After dinner  (, we played tennis, and then had a guest speaker who brought in birds. We then had snack and went to bed.

I was worried about falling asleep the first day, because it was pitch black and people were making weird noises. I fell asleep much more easily than I thought I would.

The next day I woke up, got dressed, went to the mess hall for breakfast, and then we went out to the lake for limnology (study of water). In the pouring rain, we went out on an open ferry in 40 degree weather. While we were out there, I froze my butt off and measured the depth of the lake with a stone tied to the end of a rope with numbers on it. It was 14 feet deep. When we came in, I couldn’t feel my legs. I ran around a little and felt better.

After that we had eco-art, making art out of things in nature. First I made my name out of sticks, then I knocked that down and made a bed out of sticks and leaves. We then ate lunch (turkey and mashed potatoes) and headed out to boating. Luckily, it had stopped raining. My friends Luka, Enlin, John and myself shared a boat. I really had to pee, so they dropped me off at the shore and didn’t come back when I was done. I got really bored, so I climbed up onto the lifeguard chair and watched everyone.

Next was forest ecology. We found two salamanders and named them Slimy and Slimy (it was my friend Matt’s idea). It started raining again, so we couldn’t hang out outside. We sat in our cabin and played charades. We went over to the mess hall for dinner (baked ziti and garlic bread, didn’t eat the ziti because I have an aversion to pasta). We had a party with live music (cough cough – the teachers). They had make-your-own sundaes, and I hung out with my friends.  Then we played truth or dare [insert from Mom: it was innocent – in an all guy cabin…like “I dare you to sniff my sock” *whew*] and went to bed.

This morning, I woke up, got dressed, ate an amazing breakfast – pancakes, sausage, cold cereal, the whole shebang – and then we went to Survival and made stick forts on trees. After that we went to archery and I shot four bull’s-eyes! We loaded the busses and headed for home.

Still my little girl

Dear Peanut,

Who are you, and why am I here? Um, excuse me miss.  Who told you that you were allowed to grow up?  TEN?  You’re not allowed to be TEN!  I want a redo!  No, I wouldn’t change a thing, not one little bit, I just want to relive it all over again because it’s been an amazing trip with you so far.  This is you and me at around 3 weeks and 30 yrs respectively.  I think I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do with two! 🙂

What's with the hat? Just to go on record, the hat was not my idea.  The storyteller we had for your 3rd birthday was cool as hell, but that hat is a bit much.  You do look way too cute in it tho, sorry honey.  This is TOTALLY coming out when you bring boys home.

at 5, trying to act all 'cool n stuff'

Hanging out in Grammy’s backyard, trying to look all cool n stuff.  At this point we realized that you take great pics and tried to get you into modeling, but after a few weeks, decided not to.  Not going to force you to do anything, even if it was your idea in the first place! 😉  “I want to be on TeeeVEEEEEE!”

first trip to Puerto Rico The small hat incident.  Everyone was buying a little something at this one store, and you HAD to have this hat.  I think you outgrew it an hour later it was so small, but no one was going to be able to tell you otherwise.  At this point you are 7 and you’re still growing normally.  We had a great time in Puerto Rico on this trip, you liked the ocean the best.

Gillian school pic 2006-7 This is the school pic that was taken before we realized you had Celiac Disease.  We were trying to fatten you up, put calories on you, help you to be healthy but nothing was working.  You ate plenty, and it was all healthy, but you hadn’t gained anything in over 2 years, at this point your teeth stopped coming in, your hair was not really growing, and you were getting horrible stomach aches.  We took you to the doctor after cousin A was diagnosed and they said you had it as well.  We put you on the adjusted diet and within days you felt better, weeks you looked better, and months you were mostly back to where you were before.  Sorry, Mom wants to blame your height on the disease, I know it’s just because she’s only 4’10” 🙂

pool 2009 Lookin healthy, acting healthy, and feeling healthy.  It’s amazing what happens when you eat right and stop poisoning yourself 🙂  This is at the pool this summer, you Aidan and your friends were going crazy in the pool, and this is about the 10th time you asked me to come in.  Yeah, I did 🙂

singing with Guitar Hero Happy Birthday Peanut.  You’re growing into such an amazing young woman, I don’t understand how quickly you’ve grown and changed and become this wonderful person that makes my life that much more amazing for being a part of it.

I love you,

Daddy

Looks good so far…

Gillian was concerned for her big brother so before she went to bed, she wanted to light a candle for him.  We all thought good calm thoughts directed at him, and lit the candle.

Did it work?  Did all the things he talked about with his therapist work?  Did he just say ‘fuck the fear’ and succeed because he wanted to?

Dunno, but the phone didn’t ring.  I woke up at 12:30, 1:45, 3:15, and 4:45 this morning, jumping out of sleep thinking I heard something.  Checked to make sure there weren’t any messages.  There was, but it was old.  *PHEW*

As far as I can tell, he’s home free.  If he can get through it last night, tonight will be a piece of cake.  He was looking forward to making the morning announcements and again at dinner.  All in all, I’m sure that this is going to be a liberating experience for him.  Me and Fae?  yeah, we’re a wreck after last night.  Now that he’s made it through the first night, I’m not worried.  Can’t wait to see him tomorrow.

Thanks for all the well wishes and support.

Good thoughts for my son (nothing bad)

Aidan’s had a bit of anxiety for a long time now about sleeping – sleeping alone, sleeping at a friends, etc.  We’ve tried everything and he’s slowly growing out of it and in the last few months done really well.  Tho for the last few weeks, he’s had problems with sleep overs where he gets himself so worked up and anxious that he almost makes himself sick to his stomach.

That’s why I’m freakin a bit right now.  There is a class trip that they make in groups from his Middle School to a camp up in North Jersey.  It’s a lot of history and science, and hiking and cool camp stuff.  It’s also a three day event.  With other kids.  In the same cabin.  He’ll have to take showers, holy crap!

Seriously, the thing I am worried about is him sleeping away.  I want him to do it.  I’ve been trying to find ways of getting him to do this stuff without forcing him to do it which causes anxiety, which makes him sick to his stomach, which makes him freak, call me, and I go pick him up.  I REALLY don’t want to go get him.  No, it’s not the driving I mind, it’s the feelings he feels and talks about on the way home.  He feels like he’s failing in some way to face his fear, and that he gives in too easily.  So when he said he wanted to do this, I was not only surprised, but skeptical.  Not wanting to quash any feelings of independence, we talked to his teachers, asked what was involved and worked out a gameplan with his therapist.  He’s got things that he can use as tools to manage his anxiety and just curl up in his sleeping bag and crash.  And I have a feeling he’s going to be exhausted and hopefully just crash.

His teachers have already said they will let him call if he asks to, but we’re going to try everything to discourage him coming home.  Again, not that I wouldn’t drive across the country to get him if he needed me.  Mostly because he asked to put himself in this situation, I really feel like I can’t go get him, that to do so would be setting him up to fail.  So we’re going to be tough to a point, but if he’s really panicking, I’m in the car in a second.

So what I’m asking for is around 10pm tonight, light a candle, say a prayer, send energy to Aidan to help him through the first night.  I know once he gets through it, he’ll be fine, but he needs to believe that, and in order to do it, he needs to get through it.

Hi internet, how are you?

Me?  I’m slammed!  Sorry it’s been a while since I posted, I’m trying to get ready for a presentation I need to do on the 11th, and the project the presentation is on is HUGE!.

I already went over the last two weeks, so you don’t want to read that.  What’s up with me?

  • getting ready for Nov 11th conference in Orlando.
  • Glad I have an employee who thinks I know what I’m doing and has confidence in me.
  • Nervous about my son going on an 2 night overnight trip next week with the rest of the 7th grade.  Hoping he can get to sleep 😉
  • Glad my wife is feeling better emotionally, sad she’s got the flu.  No, she doesn’t have swine flu.
  • Feeling fat, out of shape, and my left elbow is screaming at me.  Plus I have a cyst in my right wrist.  I’m just old, I should hang it up and get a cane now.
  • My little girl is turning 10 next week.  Not sure how I feel about that.  Already told her she can’t have a boyfriend.

Ugh, gotta get some work done – had a min while some code was compiling and it finished, so time to grind out some more cool stuff.

Wow man…what a two weeks

Thurs – Mon  we were on Singer Island in Florida, visiting my wife’s Grandmother.  Ever have the universe just tell you around every turn that you are supposed to do something?  We went to Puerto Rico in 2008 and on our flight down there, we had the chance to take a later flight in exchange for flight vouchers.   They gave us like 1000 in vouchers, nice eh?  So we’re thinking we’ll give them to my parents to take a trip.  Fae offers them to my Mom who says, “I want you to go see your grandmother in Florida, just go see her.”

You have to understand – Fae and her Grandmother barely speak, they’re not close to say the least.  But, my Mom said, “Do it for me, I want you to go see her”, so Fae acquiesced and we thanked her.  So now to plan the trip.  We’re really short on cash, REALLY short on cash, so finding a place down there would be really hard.  Didn’t want to stay with her, didn’t want to stay with friends of ours who just moved down there since they just got settled.  So Fae’s just talked to her G-Ma and set up when she thinks might be good (this is in Feb, planning for October) and is looking at the calendar for dates.  Then the phone rings.

“Hi, is this Matthew Cushing?”

“Yes Mr. Reading from a Script, this is he.”

“How would you like to come down to Singer Island to our new timeshare so we can try to make you overpay for a crappy little place?”

“Where’s Singer Island?”

“It’s right near West Palm Beach Florida”  (which is where her grandmother lives).

“Hold on, let me have you talk to my wife.”

So we get this cheap cheap cheap room that turned out to be really beautiful, for 5 days, visited with the grandmother for a bit of it, saw some friends who had moved down there from NJ and had a nice relaxing CHEAP weekend.  I went snorkeling under this bridge near by and saw some really awesome fish.  Really wished I could have scuba’d, but didn’t have the time or the money to do it, and I was amazed at not only how much I could see, but just how long I could stay underwater 🙂

So we get home, get unpacked, I go to work on Tues – the kids go to school, and when I’m at work, the phone rings and it’s Fae.

“Why did I unpack?  We have to be in North Jersey for the weekend for the twins B’Nai Mitzvah”

Crap, I totally didn’t even think about that.  Our best friends have twins who had their ceremony together – if it’s a girl, it’s BAT Mitzvah, a boy is Bar Mitzvah, more than one, is  B’Nai Mitzvah.  I’m pretty sure it’s just more than one, not a boy and girl at the same time, but I grew up irish catholic so what do I know.

So I work tues, wed, and thurs, take Friday off to be their bitch – yes, I drove to places all over Jersey picking stuff up and dropping things off.  Noticing as I went to their house at one point that their son has a HUGE swollen eye – we think it was an allergic reaction – it cleared up by that night thank goodness.  We had the ceremony in the morning and the party that evening and it was such a wonderful day, watching the four of them be amazed and amaze one another.  The kids did beautifully, Mom sang and organized, and looked wonderful, and Dad was just amazing when he did his speech for the kids and his wife.  Many wet eyes in the temple.

It all comes down to this – family is sometimes people you are related to, some maybe not.  It’s that bond of love that is shared, even if they drive you crazy sometimes.  Reach out to someone and give them a call or a hug, or even just an email.  Let them know you’re thinking about them.

Why I love baseball

I’ve been a Red Sox fan since I saw Jim Rice hit a home run over the Monster in Fenway in the late 70’s.  I’ve loved baseball since I was really young.  I’ve been to several different stadiums (Candlestick Park – SF Giants, Camden Yards – Orioles, Shea – Mets, Yankee Stadium – Yankees, Astrodome – Houston Astros, & Fenway – Boston Red Sox), and I love watching the game both in person and at home.  Truthfully, if someone gave me tickets, I’d go to just about any place to see a game – minors or majors :).

I’ve been a fan for so long, but a lot more lately because of my best friend Alex.  The office I work in is me and two other Sox fans, two Mets fans, and the rest are Yankee fans and I mean YANKEE FANS.  Thankfully, most of them are the cool kind of fan, not the obnoxious – tho they’ve had a lot to brag about this year:)

I’ve had a lot of really neat experiences, but two stand out more than others.  I was at Shea during Game 6 when the Mets had an awesome comeback in the .  I swear the stadium shook as we went nuts when they came back to win.  I have never felt such a surge of electricity, such a surge of positive emotion.  I was ROARING at the top of my lungs, sharing the experience with thousands of Mets fans, belonging to something so much bigger.  Awesome Awesome Aweome.

The second opportunity came last summer when my friend Alex took me to Fenway to see a game.  Honestly, I don’t even remember who they played.    I know they didn’t win, but it was THE most amazing moment in my baseball history.  I finally got to go to the place where I saw Jim Rice hit the home run.  The experience still fills me with chills.  Just sitting in the same place with thousands of fans and being on the right side of it all for once 🙂  I live in NY,  you can imagine what it’s like living here.  Just being able to sit with my Sox hat, order some Chowder – yes, I had Clam Chowder at Fenway – was amazing.  One guy ‘punched’ me because I waited until I was 40 “to come home for a visit with the family”.  Funny as hell, and really touching too.

I have to say that I am more of a fan of the game than I am of the Red Sox.  I will always say that asked what team I favor, it will always be the Red Sox, but I tell you what man, I just watched the Twins – Tigers playoff before the offseason tonight?  Dude, that WAS A GAME!!!  They went back and forth so many times, and sitting there watching, I felt like I was back watching the 2004 and 2007 seasons for the Sox.  That was a BATTLE.  So many opportunities gained and lost on both sides, SO many amazing plays.  Wow.

Tell you what, if you ever want to truly understand baseball, give me a buzz and lets go to a game together. 🙂

Cleaning, cleaning & cleaning

So I changed the theme, what do you think?  Please let me know, I’m really curious if everyone likes it.  That’s cleaning #1.

Cleaning #2 – MY WHOLE FREAKIN HOUSE!!!!!  You have to understand, we’re about to go to FL for a few days of much needed break, and my inlaws are coming in to feed the cats and dump the litter boxes.  They are THE (and I mean number one) cleanest people I have ever met, and we didn’t want them coming in and having to see the place in the current state.  That and it just needed one of those: Roll up your sleeves, put on the crap clothes that you don’t care get bleach on them, and scour the whole freakin place.  Fae’s been out of commission for a good part of the summer getting her anx/dep meds in line so she wasn’t capable of much for a while there.  This was not only a cleaning of surfaces, but cleansing of the energy that was in the house too.  I’m a big believer in airing things out, so not only did we throw open all the windows, we aired out the energy too.

Cleaning #3 – I’ve been lapse in my meditation lately and I’ve noticed that since my physical regimen is hampered by my elbow sucking (tendonitis makes it hard to take falls in jujitsu or swing a sword), I’m not having that chance to get my “Rah Rah’s” out which tends to leave too much stress in my head, which boils over, blah blah blah.  So I sat comfortably last night for about 20 minutes and listened to myself breathe, and tried to regulate my body like I used to be able to.  Needless to say, it’s going to take more meditation 😉

So what are you doing to get ready for the Fall and Winter?  My favorite time of year is right now – sun is still warm enough that I can feel the heat on my skin, but it’s a little chilly at night so I need a coat.  The last part of cleaning #3 wasn’t planned .  After I sat and breathed for a while I went out to get something from my car and the moon was so full and the sky was so clear I just stood there and drank it in for a while.  It’s moments like that that make me glad I’m alive.  Such a simple, beautiful thing.