Time Out for a Flashlight!

Let there be light! 😉

I LOVE flashlights! I have purchased DOZENS of them and have quite an extensive collection at home. Shien told someone that I was a flashlight Connoisseur! 😉

We arrived in the Poconos on Friday evening. We soon learned that we arrived at the perfect time. If we had arrived sooner, we might have gone out in a boat and gotten stuck in a HUGE thunderstorm. If we had arrived later, it would have been MUCH later, because we would have been driving in the storm, and there were road closures and reports of tornadoes!

While we were eating dinner, the storm came down so hard, that the electricity went out, but luckily there was a generator in the house. That kept the electricity running on the first floor. After dinner, while doing the dishes, I noticed that the water pressure was getting lower and lower, and by the time I got to the last few dishes, there was a trickle, and then… NO WATER! Ai ya.
These are the things that this city boy has hardly ever had to dealt with, except for the big Blackout of 2003 in the Northeast, where we did lose all electricity and water for many hours.
I don’t travel often, but when we do, I seems to always pack a flashlight or two or three… 😉 On a number of occasions, the flashlights came in handy, so that’s one of the first things I always pack. I might not have enough change of clothes or forget a toothbrush or toothpaste, but NEVER a flashlight! 😉
On this trip, the flashlights were great! Malachy got to see Dad use them in action and might have gotten the sense of why Daddy has SO many flashlights all over. There were candles and all, and I didn’t have to use my own flashlights, but it was definitely cool to have them around, with no electricity and running water. The generator was turned off and there was no electricity on the second floor, anyways, where we slept.
We went to bed with enough packed water to brush up and go to bed. Malachy was wondering about why he wasn’t getting a bath or shower, but he definitely didn’t mind… So, it was lights out really early for all of us! 😉

Time Out for a Citation! :(

Ticket! ARGHH!

Last weekend, when we were in Maryland, we got pulled over by a Baltimore police car. Ai ya! Basically, I made a right when I clearly shouldn’t have. GPS put us in a predicament where, if I didn’t make the right, it appeared we would have ended up on a highway, when our hotel was clearly just a few blocks away. I wish GPS had SHOUTED, “DON’T DO IT! THERE ARE POLICE AROUND!” Obviously, telling the officer that the GPS was telling me to make a right didn’t make it right. He replied, “Well, the GPS isn’t going to pay your ticket, is it?” The worst part is are the bright flashing lights from the police car, as you’re pulled over, it seems like everyone driving by seems to be checking you out, wondering what you did…

Lesson learned. Don’t rely too heavily on GPS, and if you wind up going a little farther, just go. Don’t make a dumb turn for the worse, which is what I did. We made a right turn through the train rails. Even though there was clearly no train in site, I guess the speed of them doesn’t guarantee that my judgment would be correct. It was a DUMB risk. On the brighter side, we helped contribute to Maryland’s economy, and, all in all, we had a GREAT time in the city of Baltimore! More about that later. This was the blemish, but it could have been worse… 😉

Time Out for a moment…

We went out for dinner tonight, because Shien’s been cooking for another Malachy party with his cousin Jason, tomorrow. At the restaurant, out of nowhere, Malachy says, “Dad, thanks so much for taking us out to dinner!” During bedtime, with the lights out, after prayer, he says out of nowhere, “Thanks for taking us out, Dad. I love you, Dad.” After some silence, as I lay in bed, he says it again, “Dad, I love you.” Priceless… As a parent, now, those are the moments that make your heart melt, and one hopes and prays, “Please, don’t grow out of that!” 😉

Time Out for a Golden Birthday!

Golden Birthday!

Not until Malachy turned 3 did we hear about the term Golden Birthday. Someone had told us that the following year would be his Golden Birthday. We were like, “Huh?” We found out it meant that you turn the age of the date you were born on. So, Malachy turned 4 on the 4th this year. You only get one! 😉

When your child has a birthday, it’s like a birthday for everyone in that there is so much preparation and anticipation. He was showered with gifts, but it also came with promises. About a month ago, Malachy and his classmate shared a vision together, and that vision was a Chocolate River.

Chocolate River!

Once again, it was something we were determined to make a reality. At least, that’s what Shien was determined to do. I actually Googled it, and Rachel Ray, one of Malachy’s favorite chefs, created one! His was going to be different, because it had to have carrot sticks! 😉 Shien and him created it, and the cake tasted OH SO YUMMY! 😉 One of the things about being a parent is that you’re always trying to make your child’s wishes come true! Certainly not required, but definitely a plus! 😉

Another gift that I HAD to get him was this pen that I saw at a staff development meeting. It’s called the Livescribe Pulse Smartpen, and it was just too cool to pass up. It actually records what one is writing in a notebook, as well as audio! I had it for a while but we decided to save it for his birthday. It’s a way of now being able to record some of his writing, stroke by stroke, as well as him talking live while writing. Very geeky. Very cool. 🙂

Malachy’s ABCs
brought to you by Livescribe

Finally, we ended the evening with a great view of the most amazing fireworks! As PoPo said, they were especially for him… 😉 It is really nice to be able to share a birthday with your country! 🙂 (America is 230 years older! 😉 )

Time Out for CAMP!

Since I had the summer off, I decided to start a one-man Summer Camp for Malachy.  He dubbed me “Camp Dad,” and he dubbed himself, “Camp Son.”  Instead of spending over a grand and putting him in a summer program, I thought to myself, “Wait, I CAN DO THIS!”  We would have more flexibility in schedule.  We could go on a Family trip and do other fun things together.  Malachy LOVED the idea. 😉

His first request was to have a campfire and roasted marshmallows.  I don’t know what possessed me to promise him one.  As July drew near, he got more and more excited about the idea of a campfire and marshmallows.   I started to fret, and thought to myself, “How are we going to do this in the City?”  A few days before our Camp was supposed to take off, I actually did a Google Search for Campfire in Manhattan, Camfire in NYC.  Guess what?  I found one!  I found something that said, “Beach Campfire!”  It was going to happen on July 2 at Jacob Riis Park, from 7:30pm-9:30pm.  I asked Shien and she said, “Sure!”  Still, I thought, maybe it was going to be a big fire, and we wouldn’t be able to toast marshmallows.  We kept telling Malachy that if it didn’t happen at the beach, we  would toast it at home by candlelight.

At the Beach with PoPo

I called a couple of days in advance just to make sure it was for real.  I got the car from Staten Island, and we went after dinner.  As usual, I relied too heavily on GPS.  It took us through local traffic, and I was so confused because it said it was in Queens online, and we were driving through local traffic in Brooklyn.  I thought it was going to take us to the wrong place.  Anyways, when we got there, NO CAMPFIRE!  I kept figuring it was the July 4th weekend, and that they just decided to cancel it.  There were a few people around, and we walked around the beach for a little bit and decided to stay just a short while and then go home… 🙁

"There's A Hole in the Beach!"

I tried calling the number a couple of times that I had called 2 days earlier.  No answer.  I kept looking far off in the distance, and saw a group of people.  I decided I had to check it out to see if that could possibly be it.  IT WAS!  I couldn’t run back to tell them, because it’s SO HARD to walk fast in the sand.  I called PoPo, and told her the great news.  Malachy was SO excited! 🙂  He got to have his roasted marshmallows and even a hot dog!  There was some even some campfire singing; the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  Unbelievable!  Another thing I could never have imagined.  A campfire in NYC, at the beach!  SO COOL! 😉

Toasting Marshmallows at the Beach!
First Beach Campfire EVER for all of us!

Time Out for Amuse Bouche!

Our most expensive night out EVER! 😉

Malachy got to spend the night at PoPo’s, so Shien and I were able to go out for an early anniversary dinner! 😉  It’s always awesome to know that Malachy is okay with us going on a date. 🙂  Originally the only reservation Shien could get at Wylie Dufresne’s, WD-50, was 10:30pm!  I called at around 3 to see if anything opened up.  At first, the Maitre D told me she had something at 10pm, but then she said there was an opening at 7pm!  That was AWESOME, because we didn’t want to start a 12-course meal at 10:30pm.

Besides being the most expensive meal (FOUR Franklins! 😉 ) we ever had, it was definitely the most entertaining.  Shien said it was like going to an amusement park.  Every dish that came out was another adventure into the unknown, and they all could be eaten in one or two bites!  It was like eating someone’s science experiments.

The one that was the most fun was the Everything bagel, smoked salmons threads, and crispy cream cheese. When it came, it looked like a baby miniature everything bagel!  It was actually made out of ice cream with sesame and poppy seeds spread on top!  On the side was salmon that was dried to an almost powder-like consistency and the cream cheese was like a cold thin film!  When you put everything together, it indeed tasted like an everything bagel!  YUMMY!  Two of my other favorites were the scrambled egg ravioli and the cold fried chicken, buttermilk-ricotta, tabasco and caviar. I wasn’t a huge fan of the caviar, but everything else was really tasty!  All of the dessert was really tasty.  I actually wasn’t close to full until I had all of the desserts! 😉

When we got home, we watched Sherlock Holmes, but I kept nodding off.  Still, it was a great night out!  Married for 8 years and together for 17 years to the most amazing woman!  WOW!  I am truly truly blessed! 🙂