Happy Birthday

12years
Breakfast w/ scones

Today is exactly 12 years ago since our coolest and oldest daughter arrived.  She was 5 weeks premature, but that has certainly not stopped her from being an awesome child.

I’m very proud we were chosen to be her parents.  It has been, and still is, an honour to see her grow up and become the awesome individual she is today.  I know she will continue to grow and become an amazing woman with all the possibilities ahead of her.

She is excelling at school, which is obviously good genes from her mother.  She loves games, outdoors and has great sense of humour.

Happy Birthday my little girl!

Disclaimer / Warning

I do wish to warn all boys that I have a small forest behind the house, with plenty of wild life and areas not often visited by by-passers.  If any you hurt my baby girl, break her heart for some foolish attempts to be her boyfriend and then dumping her, you will probably not be walking away from it. 

I have several friends who would happily share their protective gestures and outbursts, if anything emotional harm would be afflicted on her.  Just like I would support them if their daughter’s were harmed.

We hare the clan of proud fathers.  We have viking blood running in our veins, and some of my brothers are trained in the art of pain.

Merry Christmas – hope you’re not offended

123ae2681b367cb92eb1d77ec787fdafIt is obvious – we live in a World were freedom of speech has become a misused verb.  It has lost its value and has been replaced by an exaggerated use of political correctness, which is driven into us by the media and daily routines.

Heck, even this blog might be considered inappropriate and offend people.  It may even go viral, but somehow I doubt it.  It’s just a post written by a middle class white immigrant dude, who’s enjoying life and living the American Dream.

What do I mean?

People can no longer express opinions, be assertive or even be proud of their heritage without worrying about how people might react.  We are stepping on glass, and at times that prevents us from being creative and drive progress.

Personally, I could care less what color, religion and political views you have, as long as you treat people the same way you want to be treated.  It’s rather simple really.

In an ideal World, we respect each others believes and traditions.  Just because you have a Christmas tree in your front-garden, and greet people with ‘Merry Christmas’ does not mean that you are attempt to offend people.  Heck, you are just happy and want to pass on your happiness to others no matter background.

  • I say Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends and Happy Eid al-Fitr to Muslim friends.
  • I hug my African-American friends just as hard as I hug my Irish/Danish relatives
  • I drink Guinness just like my Irish friends (not as much 🙂 )
  • I love food from around the World, no matter who cooked it
  • I’m utterly amazed with cultures and sights when travelling

We have to be careful we don’t put up too many obstacles for people to enjoy each others company. Some people will always be offended, and they will never be happy.

It’s like dealing with Father Jack (Father Ted series) or Archie Bunker (All in the Family series).  You just can’t make them happy no matter what you do.  But, let’s be polite to each other, respect each others celebrations and traditions.

So, my words to you during the festive season “Merry Christmas y’all.  I love you all and hope you will have lots of love in the future”.

Mid Life Baywatch

pamela-anderson-baywatchJust by me mentioning ‘Baywatch‘ you instantly get a picture in your head of Pamela Anderson running down the beach, in her red bathing suit and boobs bobbing up ‘n down, while she smiles awkwardly clinging to the lifesaver.

Patrick_StarWell, this is not what this post is about.  Life saving yes, but slightly different mental picture.  It involves me walking along the pool edge, looking similar to Patrick Star in both skin color and oddly body shape, wearing my somewhat tight blue swimming trunks with a small hole in the crutch area (which I actually wasn’t aware of!?).

I have the daddy look going these days; “small” belly, pale as death himself, ginger beard and tight trunks.  Not the poster icon for next swimsuit edition, but I am apparently carrying the hot daddy look these days, something that I wasn’t even aware even existed.

Apparently women dig this look according to my 20-year-old nephew who mainly sleeps during the day, who now aspires to look more like his “cool” uncle.

Anyway, we had been invited to this amazing family pool party in a wealthy area of New York State called Chappaqua – a name I have seriously difficulties pronouncing without insulting native American Indians.  We weren’t too sure what to expect, but were pretty impressed when we pulled up to the mansion that could easily fit 3 of our house inside.

We approached the back garden and crossed a football sized lawn, to reach the pool area, which had large BBQ area, plenty of seating for 50 people, pool house with small kitchen and a supersized pool.  It was perhaps 40-50 feet long, and ranging from 3 feet to 8 feet deep.  A really nice size pool.

PoolParty

Within 10 minutes of arriving, feeling the sun frying my bacon, my kids happily jumped into the pool with various belt and floating devices – and plenty of sunblock.

Another kid, a 10-11 year old boy, was playing in the pool.  He was mainly jumping on the bottom and he didn’t look like a super confident swimmer.

For some reason, I kept looking at the pool and the kids playing.  Something was bothering me, and it quickly became apparent.  Things escalated within seconds.

The happy and over-confident boy was starting to struggle to reach the bottom, and had difficulties getting back to the low-end.  His mum jumped in to help him, but she was then struggling to reach bottom as well and keep her son above surface.

supermandad1Without hesitating, I jumped into the pool still wearing my Hawaiian shirt.  I quickly got the boy into my arm, while reach the mother with my right arm – dragging both to safety.

The mother was for obvious reasons very happy that I had saved them both, and gave the boy plenty of hugs … and also a few angry comments about staying at the shallow end.

Several spectators clapped my shoulders for saving them, and I rewarded myself with a cold beer.  The severity of the incident started to hit me and from then on I kept monitoring the pool.

Lesson learned – when having a pool party, with many adults and kids, you should always have a dedicated lifeguard on duty.  It should not be the responsibility of a parent or guest.

I will look after my kids while swimming, but will also keep an eye on other kids, especially after this event.

Do I consider myself a hero - some of the guests called me hero

No, I did what I had to do, and hopefully what any other person would’ve done.  I’m just grateful that nothing happened and that I could help save these people.

Taco Sunday

Our oldest daughter had her 1st communion a couple of years ago, and it was a fantastic joyful day with laughs, friends and plenty of food.  She was dressed like a princess looking amazing and I was standing on the porch with a shotgun fending off all the potential boyfriends – A dad has to take the necessary precautions!

Being the proud father of three, it was just a matter of time until the next in line had to go through the 1st communion as well.  Behold, my little man was getting ready and preparations started 18 months ago for his big day.

Beside the mandatory church teachings where kids learn about Big J, Heffe, prayers and important scriptures, they also need to be comfortable with wine and unleavened wafers (or tacos as I call them).

This is where we the parents come in.  Every Friday for several weeks before the big day, we practiced getting wafer and wine, ensuring he would a) spit it out or b)make funny faces and then spit it out.

tacowaferAfter the first attempt at the VERY small taste of wine (5-10ml), it was clear that he enjoyed the taste of wine.  So, no need to practice that step any further and we replaced the wine with Fanta.

However, the wafers are not exactly a delicacy among food critiques and are not my son’s favorite food source.  To encourage some involvement by my son with this process, I initially swapped the wafers with Doritos, and that seemed to do the trick.  Unfortunately he was utterly disappointed as I re-introduced these dried up wafers, which caused a few gagging moments and wafers were hitting the ceiling, windows and floor 🙂

The big day finally arrived!

Sunday was his moment to shine.  He knew something was up that morning, probably because I was ironing his pink shirt and hanging up his new awesome suit.  He would be dressed like a true Kingsman.  And, the fact that I was wearing a suit too was probably a give-away + rest of the family was wearing fancy dresses.

Deep inside, I was fearing that he would walk off in the middle of the ceremony, when standing in front of the parish, or simply spit out the wafer as he did so many times at home.

Taco_TuesdayI kept reminding him it was Taco Sunday, so just be cool and do the stuff he learned.

Beside the fact he refused to join the line of kids before entering the church, it was a flawless performance.  He bowed as he walked in.  He held his hands up for prayers. He sang along (mimed more accurately) and did superb when getting wafer + wine.  All-in-all an outstanding achievement.

gangThe most magical part of the day was when he discovered that his aid had come to witness his big.  They hadn’t seen each other since my son moved school, but they have developed a very tight relationship.  My son’s eye lit up like Christmas lights, and he ran to give him a big hug.  It was true love and admiration for his best friend.

My wife started to tear up and people walked up to them to comment on how much their bond was shinning out.  Smiles on both their faces and big hugs proved that they are brothers.

I’m so proud of my son.  He did an amazing job in church, and we had a great day with close friends … and plenty of food as always.

Congratulations my son!

Brief History of Cinco de Mayo

Thanks to George Stephanopolous and ABC News, they have created a short movie explaining the history behind Cinco de Mayo and what a massive business this has turned into.  In essence, it’s a celebration of the Mexican beating the French army … who wouldn’t celebrate such a victory over the frogleg eating, brie producing and wine drinking French republic who attempted to Second French Empire.

To me it’s a Mexican version of the Irish Paddy Day, with a single purpose – drink, eat and party.  Many people suddenly develop Mexican heritage, the same group of people who only a few months ago claim to be Irish.  I have no doubt this is an important day in the Mexican history, but many of these celebration are turning into tourist traps and drinking parties.

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Viva Mexico!