We went to Paige's end-of-school-year program the other night. The kids sang and danced and, to her ultimate delight, Paige's class got to tell knock-knock jokes. (Paige is the queen of Laffy Taffy-esque zingers, always making up her instant classics, e.g., "What kind of ghost does a football squad like? Team spirit.) I loved watching Paige sing her little heart out (she's the kid that sings about 20 decibels louder than everyone else), but my favorite part was at the end.
The theme of program was "Because I Knew You." Each of the first graders wrote a little paragraph on the theme. They were hanging on the back wall. Paige wrote an ode to Curtis:
"Because I knew Curtis I can always know when to laugh. It makes your life a more joyful thing. Laughing makes others lives more joyful and it makes you happy. Because I knew Curtis I am filled with laughter."
Pretty sweet. (When we read it to Curtis, he simply shrugged his shoulders, as he tends to do.)
She also made this self-portrait, holding her favorite book, which is (apparently) High Tide in Hawaii.
We were happy when we found that Paige had tested into the Advanced Learner program after kindergarten. But we were also a little apprehensive about sending her to a new school.
We shouldn't have been nervous. She loved first grade and it's been good for her to be surrounded by other little nerds who love reading and spelling and telling their parents that they are smarter than them (probably true, but still not okay to say).
We only had one little problem. Always worried about Paige's social world, I tend to ask her more about who she sat by at lunch than what she's been learning in class. In the winter, I could tell something was up.
"Paige, who'd you sit by at lunch today?"
"Um, I don't...exactly...know."
"You don't know who you sat by? Who did you play with at recess?"
"I mostly just played by...myself."
[The sound of my heart breaking] "Really? Why?"
"I...just wanted to."
"So what did you do exactly?"
"I just played in the snow."
"With the other kids?"
"No. Just by myself."
We went through this for several weeks. She went out of her way to tell me that it was by choice that she was all by herself, and that she really didn't mind being alone...and that she didn't really want me to keep bugging her about it.
We couldn't tell if she was being left out or she'd been mean to the other kids or she was being weird to be weird. But I didn't like it one bit. Traci and I talked about all different approaches we could take to the problem--from calling other kids' moms to encourage their kids to play with Paige to sitting at recess with her so she wouldn't be alone. We finally decided to talk about it with her teacher. (Which was the approach we should have taken in the first place.) But right as we did, the problem corrected itself. She was back to playing with friends and we haven't had any problems since. (We never found out what the original problem was, though.)
It's been a good year. Though she (regularly) drives us crazy, we've got a pretty great, smart, beautiful little girl.
Don't think for a second that Tate chooses to drive a truck because it's cool or trendy. No, my friend, it's about functionality. He was adamant that we load his trike in the back (which is nearly the size of the truck). 'Cause that what trucks are for. Hauling stuff.
Big day for little Curt. Preschool graduation. For years, I've been writing about Curtis refusing to smile. Today was no exception.
During the little graduation program, the kids were giggling, and singing, and doing the actions for the songs. Not Curtis. That's not the kind of guy he is.
Here's a little sample of his performance: (This is Curtis as his most enthusiastic. Seriously):
At the end, the teacher showed a little slideshow, including a
few closeups of each of the kids. When Curtis' picture came up she said,
"Here's Curtis. You can almost see his teeth. Believe me, that took a
lot of work."
Traci kept commentating about how fast the two years of preschool has flown by. Curt does seem like a big kid, but when I think of him starting kindergarten in the fall, I'd like to slow down the clock a little bit.
Despite his stony exterior, he's really enjoyed preschool. His teacher is so sweet with him. At parent/teacher conference she said, "Curtis is a very confident boy and when he makes a decision, he sticks to it. These are very good traits." You'd think she was just using euphemisms for "stubborn," but she's from the Eastern Bloc--where Curtis' iron will really would take him far.
On Memorial Day, we hit the road and headed to an exotic Utah locale: Ogden. Here are a few pics from our trip to the Hill Aerospace Museum with our Dutch friends the Koots. (The museum was way better than I had expected. Highly recommended.)
My work got a Best of State award the other day. Traci and I went to the award dinner. It was a swanky, black tie affair. It kinda felt like the Utah version of the Grammys or something with its red carpet, swing band, and giant 10-foot-high rotating Best of State statue. But instead of real celebs, we got Mark Eaton and Breinholt. A nice evening, nevertheless.
I came home, wearing the award medal around my neck. This really intrigued five-year-old Curtis.
"What's that, Dad?"
"A medal that my work won."
"It looks kinda...itchy. You should take it off."
It wasn't. But I did.
One second later, he had it around his neck. Well played, Curtis.
"What's this guy holding," he asked, looking at the medal. "Is it a basketball?"
"No. I don't think so."
"Do you wish it was a basketball?"
"Uh, I guess?"
"You love basketball, dad."
That's right. I do. I guess I need to figure out a way to win a basketball medal.
I got up, got everyone bathed and dressed. I even did Paige's hair (okay, I combed it and then but a headband in it--close enough). We were all set and ready to go.
"Kids, get in the van!" I hollered. (I couldn't believe how smoothly this was all going. We were going to be early!) I had just overlooked one thing. Curtis, of course, had no idea where his shoes were. Blargh.
After a few minutes of digging, we found them. We weren't early, but we were on time--still an impressive feat.
Things went well in sacrament meeting until Tate discovered the container of baby formula tucked away in the bottom of our church bag.
"I want milk, dad."
"Tate, we're not going to have that kind of milk, buddy. After the sacrament we can go to the drinking fountain."
"I want milk."
"Shh, buddy. We have to wait."
"I WANT MILK!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Tate then grabbed the container, pulled it opened with his teeth and POOF! A cloud of baby powder went up in the air and landed strategically on my crotch. Wonderful.
But we made it through. After church, Tate took a nap and Paige and Curtis helped me clean up the house for mom's impending arrival.
We were reunited with Traci a little after 5:00. The kids were excited to see her, but they couldn't possibly have been as excited as I was. I am a lucky, lucky man.
Day number three started pretty much where day two ended up--fighting with Paige. Our kids do chores on Saturday mornings. Done without complaining, this takes about two minutes. I spent a good hour-plus arguing with Paige about her chores, then about getting dressed, and then about how she didn't want to go to Curtis' soccer game ("Dad, do you really want to go to Curtis' game in the rain? Do you want your children to get cold and sick? Do you want your children to get sick, dad?).
Luckily, she cheered up when she saw her friend Mackenzie. (Otherwise, I may have left her at the soccer field.)
A little rain didn't hold Curtis down. He put on his jacket and went to work, scoring four goals. (It helps that it's a Pre-K league, ages 3-5. A five-year-old, Curtis is having a heyday.)
With the morning drama out of the way, we were able to have a pretty nice afternoon. I guess all of the horribleness of assembling the grill was worth it because we had a nice little hot dog picnic in the backyard. Paige and Curtis had a great time playing with the maple helicopter leaves.
After dinner, we picked up Traci's dad and headed to the Utah Blaze game. Paige and Curtis love going to the games. Though he usually does okay-ish, I don't take Tate if I have the choice. Obviously, with Traci out of town, I didn't have the choice.
We'd been at the game about five seconds when Tate said, "Go home, Dad." Thanks to some popcorn, he made it through the first quarter. But, as tends to happen, all that popcorn made him thirsty. He grabbed Grandpa's water bottle and spilled a bunch of it down the front of his shirt. He didn't like that too much. So he spent the second quarter bare chest-ting it. (Which is totally legit at a Blaze game; in fact, it usually gets you on the Jumbotron.)
At half-time, we discovered the playground in the upper level concourse. Filled to overflowing with kids, it was a death-defying experience. But it kept Tate entertained for another quarter, which was all I could have hoped for. I didn't get to see much football, but Tate was happy on the playground and Paige and Curtis were happy watching the game with grandpa. A good night.
I got home, dumped the kids in bed, and called it a night. Three days down, one to go.
We got off to a rough start this morning. No preschool on Fridays, so I only had to worry about getting Paige ready for school. Things were going smoothly until I told her she couldn't wear jelly princess sandals because it was PE day. Major meltdown.
A few of the hits:
"Dad, you want me to wear those shoes?"
"You're not the boss of me!"
"Fine! I'll do it your way. Is that what you want?!"
"You want me to wear these big shoes that no one will think are cute?!"
This continued on for the length of the ride to school. When I let her out of the car, I said, "I hope you have a good day at school."
"I won't because I have to wear these shoes! Hmmph."
The next few hours were much better.
After a successful trip to Cookie Cutters, (notice that though the haircut may change, the expression remains the same) we headed to the park with Grandma.
The boys had a fabulous time. They ran up, and rolled down, the hill so many times that Tate took a three-and-a-half hour nap when he got home. And Curtis, who's not a napper, fell asleep for two.
And then Paige came back home from school.
She was done being mad about the shoes and even apologized for how she'd acted (with was accompanied by "I'm really good at apologizing"). Within 10 minutes of being home, however, she was at it again. What started with her being upset that Curtis and I were not playing basketball "right," morphed into two hours of:
"Dad, you don't appreciate me."
"You're not the boss of me." (again)
"I'm tired of this crap!"
"You never told me I couldn't say that word."
"It's your fault I said that word because you didn't tell me I couldn't."
"I can slam the door if I want."
"I'll watch Sponge Bob...but I'm not going to enjoy it."
She's seven years old.
Things got better as the night wore on. We even went to my-favorite-place-that-is-also-Traci's-least-favorite-place, The Chuck, with my parents. Though it's hard to enjoy it when your five-year-old is refusing to eat and your two-year-old is literally crawling all over place (and knocking over everything in his path).
Every is now officially in bed (and hopefully asleep--Curtis has a tendency to reappear at strange times).
For the first time in 11 years, Traci is taking a (well-deserved) vacation, spending the weekend with her mom and sisters in St. George. For the next four days, I'll be on my own with the little monsters.
Here's how day one went down.
8:15 a.m. Drove the carpool to school. Loaded up the Sutherlands, drove to the neighbors, drove to the other neighbors, dropped Paige off at the elementary school, and then headed to the preschool where I had to wait with the three rambunctious preschoolers (and Tate) for 15 minutes until school started. Exhausting.
9:30 a.m. Cleaned the kitchen.
11:00 a.m. My mom comes over to help me whip my yard into shape (and to laugh at Tate's nonstop talking).
Noon. Curtis comes back home from preschool
1:00 p.m. Tate goes down for a nap.
2:30 p.m. While trying to spray weeds in my backyard, I hit my on a branch of our cherry tree so hard that I thought I wouldn't be able to get back up again.
2:31 p.m. I get back up again.
3:00 p.m. Load up the boys and head off to pick up Paige.
4:00 p.m. Realize how incredibly tired I am and try unsuccessful to fool Tate into letting me take a nap while we play Punch Out on the Wii.
4:30 p.m. Play outside.
5:30 p.m. Warm up the dinner that Traci made for us, try to keep Tate from locking himself in the fridge (his f)avorite game).
6:45 p.m. Take Paige to dance class.
7:15 p.m. Wonder if Paige's herky-jerky, flailing dancing is actually some sort of jubilant exorcism.
I've been doing a lot of "man" stuff lately--fixing the sprinklers, assembling the grill, putting up the basketball hoop.
Regardless of what they do for living, men all seem to have an inherit desire to be construction workers. There's just something about working with your hands, wielding tools, exerting physical energy.
Something that I loathe.
I have absolutely no desire to do manly stuff. When I was 14, I spent two summers working for my friend's dad's landscaping company, digging trenches and laying sod. I hated every minute of it. (Well, not every minute of it. I liked working with various dirtbag coworkers and learning pickup lines like "Hey sexy pregnant lady. Wanna go over there in them bushes and try for twins?" Even at 14, I had a hunch that didn't make scientific sense.) When I was 16, I got a job bussing tables at Red Robin. I hated cleaning the bathrooms, hosing off mats, and smelling like grease when I came home (but I loved the fries and being the birthday-song leader).
By the time I was 17, I had decided that I never wanted to have a manual labor job again.
So now I write words for a living in a tiny cubicle. There's no fresh air or sunshine or exercise but I do have a little fan and a window seat (and sometimes I take the stairs). It suits me just fine.
But unfortunately, you can't always avoid man stuff. Like when you have to fix sprinklers or assemble grills or put up the basketball hoop. I'm lousy at it and it takes me forever. I am the least handy man in the history of handymen.
I know guys who say stuff like, "I'd rather just fix it myself. That way, I know it's done right." I say the exact opposite. "I don't want to put it together because then I have to spend all my time worrying that it's going to blow up or start on fire."
I just need to find a job where I can sit in a bigger cubicle and make more money so I can pay someone to fix everything around here.
I am not happy about Chris Kelly, aka Daddy Mac, aka one half of Kris Kross, dying. Not happy at all.
It's not because I was listening to Totally Krossed Out yesterday or anything, or that I've been spending the last 20 years waiting for a comeback.
It's not even about the fact that, in the sixth grade, I wore my clothes backwards to school on several occasions. Or that Ben Yost's sister put my hair into tiny, tiny braids. Or that I also shaved stripes into my eyebrows.
It's because he was 34. No one should have to die when they're 34. And nobody should have to grow up so fast that their best days all happen before they're even in high school.
When I go back through pictures of my kids, my first thought is usually, "I can't believe how little Paige looks," or "I completely forgot that Curtis always did that."
Tate just hit the two-year mark. It seems like a good time to take a quick snapshot of our littlest guy.
Comfort stuff. If it's time for a nap or bed, there are a few necessities--his duck blanket (that he calls "baby"), his stuffed monkey ("Unkey"), and his bottle. Monkey gets more play than the others. Tate likes to push him around in a stroller, give him his own seat at the table, and let him sit on his little Thomas the Train chair. When Monkey is lost, Tate will settle for Sheep or Doggie. (Elephant is a distant third.)
TV. Tate likes to hang on us pretty much every second of every day. This makes it pretty tough to get anything done. Usually, the day's only free minutes come when Tate is watching TV. His favorite show is Blue's Clues but mostly just the the episodes with Joe (sorry, Steve). He calls Blue Bow-Bow and generally enjoys Salt and Pepper.
Black car. The vast majority of Tate's conversation revolves around "black car," our old Nissan Altima. I don't know why, but from the moment he wakes up ("Black car...garage"), to the time I go to work ("Dad...drive..black car...work"), to the time I come back home ("Dad...go work...drive it...black car"), he needs to tell us about the black car. When he's not talking about black car, or getting sooo excited to see it after we've been away ("There it is! BLACK CAR!!!"), he'll talk about "white van." But that's usually just as a way to remind us that it's not the black car.
Fashion. A few months ago, Tate made the decision that he was only wearing pajamas. Though we continue to try to get him to wear real clothes ("pockets," as we call them--telling him he needs to wear pockets if he wants to carry his race cars is one of the only things that works), it's generally a losing battle. Most days, the best case scenario is getting him out of his nighttime jammies and into daytime jammies. Siblings. Curtis is generally indifferent toward Tate, but Tate loves emulating everything Curtis does--and has thus learned all of the naughty boy stuff about bums and toots. Paige wants desperately to mother Tate. He responds by hitting her or pulling her hair. While he likes his siblings okay, he loves his grandpas.
Dad. Tate probably likes me best. This makes Traci sad when she doesn't have a kid to snuggle, but happy when she gets a break from him, since he's attached to me every second that I'm home.
Sacrament meeting is supposed to be a respite. A place for quiet contemplation. A place for spiritual rejuvenation.
Just not when you have kids.
We spend much of our Sabbath worship trying to keep Tate from escaping the chapel or from hurling cars at his siblings (or at the unsuspecting bystanders sitting in the pews around us). We try to keep Paige and Curtis from fighting over crayons or fishy crackers or over who's looking at who when that who doesn't like being looked at.
But something magical happened today.
It was quiet.
Paige and Curtis were both being good and Tate was sitting quietly on my lap. It was so peaceful that I was even able to close my eyes and silently take it all in.
And then I was abruptly brought back to reality--when a little finger was shoved directly up my nostril. Before I could even react, Tate had shoved a second finger up my other nostril.
I feel like Curtis gets middle-childed sometimes. We spend a lot of time working (or, rather, fighting) with Paige on her homework and piano. Tate requires energy and attention about every second of the day. And then there's Curtis, just doing his own thing.
So I thought we should do something extra fun, just the two of us. Curtis is becoming increasingly interested in sports. He loves playing soccer and football with me. Lately, we've also been having a great time drawing the logos for all of the NFL teams.
I called in some favors at work and scored some really good tickets to the Jazz/Trailblazers game. Curtis seemed pretty excited about going to his first NBA game--we talked about it for weeks--and I was probably looking forward to it even more.
Tonight was the big night.
Traci also had plans, so we had arranged to have her parents watch Paige and Tate. But when we all met up at her parents, Traci told me there was a slight problem.
"Curtis says he's not going."
"What?" I replied. "You're kidding."
"He's been talking about going all day," she said, "but when we got in the car, he said he didn't want to go."
If I only had one word to describe Curtis, I wouldn't hesitate to say "stubborn."
I asked and I bribed and I threatened and then I bribed again. But I knew he wasn't going.
I'm not sure why he didn't want to go. I'm guessing that watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons for the thousandth time at Grandma's just seemed like a sweeter deal than sitting on the 8th row at Jazz game with his dad.
It's hard to buy gifts for my parents because they don't need anything anymore. So instead of giving them more things, my sisters and I try to give them stuff they can do--play tickets, gift cards, etc.
A few months, when we were trying to find a Christmas present for my dad, my sister Jenny came up with a great idea: tickets to the Rockies/Mariners pre-season exhibition game in Salt Lake. I, however, dropped the ball immediately thereafter. Instead of buying tickets the day they went on sale, like Jenny asked, I waited until day number two. Big mistake. They were completely sold out.
Luckily, my dad doesn't need the help of his lousy kids. Thanks to a hookup, he not only got two tickets to the game, but two tickets on the third row behind home plate.
In classic Sutherland fashion, the invitation to come along was extended to me thusly:
[Me in a room with both of my parents]
Mom: So do you have everything arranged to go to the game with your dad?
Me: [Looking at my dad] Well, we hasn't asked me.
Dad: [Looking at my mom] Well, Martha, I thought you were going with me.
Mom: Me? I don't want to sit outside at a cold baseball game!
Dad: It's supposed be be 65 degrees!
And that was the end of that.
Two days later, my dad called me about the game.
Dad: So, you'll probably need to be here by about noon on Saturday so we can be on time.
Me: I thought mom was going with you?
Dad: Well, you can be her backup.
Me: Traci is working on Saturday. I'll have to find a babysitter.
Dad: Your mom can tend them.
Sweet. I was in.
It was a perfect day for baseball--sunny and 68 degrees, with a slight breeze. I felt pretty lucky to be watching a couple of major league teams...playing in minor league stadium...set to the backdrop of a snow-capped mountains...with my dad (who even smiled for a picture--I don't think he knew what I was doing when I pointed my phone at both of us).
My friend Elizabeth is Catholic, so she gets to do cool stuff like give things up for Lent.
"You're giving up swearing? That's cool," I say to her.
"You can give up stuff, too," she replies.
Uh-oh. Maybe I shouldn't have started this conversation.
Next thing I knew, I'd committed to go without my favorite thing for 40 days--potato chips.
Because it's my goal, I can make up my own rules. No potato chips means no potato chips or any other kind of chips--Doritos, Sun Chips, Cheetos, etc. However, I am allowing myself tortilla chips (no, I do not consider Doritos to be a tortilla chip; I'm not actually sure what they are).
It's been hard--especially since one of my very skinny coworkers often walks around with a full-size bag of Lays, carrying it like a lunch sack--but I'm almost there. Easter is the end date. I'll celebrate with a bag of chips.
Learning to ride a bike hasn't been easy for Paige. (She can blame most of that on the uncoordinated genes she got from her parents.) But now that it's getting warmer outside, she's been excited to try out the new bike that Santa delivered.
The task is further complicated by having a little brother. Curtis was very interested in Paige's biking lessons. He spent all yesterday riding his scooter behind us as I hung onto to Paige (and to dear life) as we rode up and down the sidewalk. Today, however, he was a little less helpful.
As Paige and I went up and down the street, Curtis would run parallel up the sidewalk, roaring in his monster voice or randomly shouting, "STOPPPPPP! STOPPPPP!"
When Paige was finally able to tune out those distractions, he moved to Plan B.
One by one, he strategically placed rocks on the street, until he had created a barrier extending from our driveway to about halfway across the street.
"Curtis," I said, "No more rocks in the street, buddy."
"No," he said defiantly. "I'm not moving the rocks until you crash the bike."
Such a great little helper.
Despite his best efforts, we avoided all of his pitfalls. Paige even managed to stay upright most of our session (she only ran into one parked car and only fell down once). In fact, the only injury was sustained by me.
I have trouble blogging about the things that I want to write about the most. When something big happens, I always think, "I should sit down and really give this the attention that it deserves." But there's just never enough time, so I usually end up skipping it entirely.
I had one of those big deal experiences last year that I never wrote about. My first daddy daughter date with Paige.
When Paige brought a flyer home from school advertising the dance, I wasn't too keen on the idea. I was pretty sure that I hadn't danced since college, I didn't even really like doing it back then. But I could tell she really wanted to go.
When we walked into the high school, all dolled up in our nice clothes, I had no idea what to expect. Would we be overdressed? Under dressed? The only ones there? The answers were no, no, and no.
The place was absolutely packed. After checking our coats (that's what you do at a classy joint like Kearns High School), Paige heard the music and literally sprinted out onto the gym floor. Before I knew it, she was dancing at warped speed in giant circles around the dance floor. I couldn't hope to keep up with her; I could barely even keep an eye on where she was going.
She was so excited to be dancing (and dancing and dancing) that it was difficult to get her to stop long enough to get our picture taken. The second the photographer snapped our photo, she was back on the floor, dancing to her favorite jam [video link]:
I don't think we could have possibly had a better night. So of course it had to become an annual tradition.
Paige was so excited about the dance that she made this comic strip (and even took the self portraits).
This year, my friend Brett and his two daughters came along with us. We showed up early so we could get our pictures taken before the dance started. The picture line was already out the door by the time we got there. We were still waiting when the dance began, so we let the girls going into the gym by themselves (this dance was at Paige's elementary and was much less hectic than at the high school). After a few minutes, Paige came out and said, "Daaaad, we don't need to wait for the pictures. WE NEED TO DANCE!"
So we did.
They played all of Paige's favorite tunes--Call Me Maybe, We Are Never Getting Back Together, Gangnam Style--mixed in with some Macarena and YMCA.
Luckily, Paige's dancing-in-circles was confined a smaller space this year, but she still managed to sneak away from me. I looked down just in time to see her getting whisked away by a conga line (which looked more like a really long, slow moving caterpillar of delirious little girls) that kept on going for several songs.
With all of the spinning and jumping and repeated requests to "dip me, dad," there was no time for professional photos, but I was able to get these:
Here's the great thing about the daddy/daughter dance. You would think
that you'd look/feel like an idiot dancing to Justin Bieber in an
elementary school cafeteria. But you don't. You're are in room filled
with lots of different dads--from those who still know The Electric slide (I mean, really knowit) to the scary dad with the giant face tattoos--who all just really love their daughters.
Going on vacation turns me into my dad. We had been at Snow Canyon for maybe 10 minutes when I said, "That's it. Everybody get back in the van. We're going home." And I was really going to do it this time.
Luckily, our rotten kids decided to stop being rotten and we had quite a wonderful time playing in the sand dunes.
Despite my temporary, child-induced grumpiness, our President's Day weekend trip to St. George was quite lovely.
It was great to get out of the dirty, cold Salt Lake City air for a few days and enjoy 60 degree weather. (Perfect temperature for sitting in the sun, still a little too cold to swim outside, despite our best efforts.)
The trip was short a sweet--some time at the pool, at the park, at Fiesta Fun. Before we knew it, it was time to come back home.
2012 will be remembered as the year that Paige started losing her baby teeth. I wrote about her first lost tooth a couple of months ago. But I just realized I had a video of Paige retelling the experience that I never posted. (I pretty much love everything about this video--especially the annoying little brothers at the end.)
This holiday season has been a great one for visits from distant homies. RB spent the night at our place en route to a residency subspecialty visit with the U of U. After going a bunch of years without seeing him, it's been nice to see him twice in 2012. I've got my fingers crossed that he'll end up in Salt Lake for the next phase of his doctor stuff.
I was also happy to spend a lunch hour with my good friend Noah Riley, visiting from the NYC. It's nice enough that Noah has let me sleep on his couch not once but twice, but it means a lot that he makes time for a visit while he's in Utah, when I know he has to see a million other family members and friends.
And last but not least, Traci and I got to hang out with Ty McHenry, who snuck back from Brazil to visit his parents for the holiday. Hopefully after he has his new baby, he'll still have enough room for Traci and I to visit.
Last night was probably the best New Year's Eve I've had in years. I took Paige and Curtis to the Grizzlies hockey game. There was scoring, fighting (Curtis: Did the Grizzlies win the fight, Dad? Me: Yep. Curtis: [smile]), and intermissions filled idiot teenagers racing around, pushing giant hot dogs and cookies across the ice. Pretty much all a little family could ask for.
We just got back from our annual bowling-at-9 a.m.-on-New-Year's-Day with Traci's extended family. Curtis loved it. Tate loved it. Paige loved it. And now I'm ready for my first nap of 2013.