Category Archives: Family

Time Out for Remembrance…

Yesterday marked the 13th year of my mom’s passing…

Dearest Mom,

Wishing you were here,
Your grandson… filling you with joy.
Seeing you in him,
A heart beaming.

Selflessly, you raised me up,
Older, I’m learning…
How much you loved,
How much you gave.

Grateful, thankful
Without you, I wouldn’t be,
I couldn’t be.
The Father that I am.
The Father that I’ll be.

Remembering you…
Loving, Learning, Laughing.
Living.

Malachy and my mom...

Time Out for X-Rays…

X-Rayed!

Last Sunday, we had guests over, so Malachy decided it would be fun to start jumping off the couch.  You can say he was excited.  And, when you have guests over sometimes, you’ll let your child get away with more things, and Malachy being Malachy, must have picked up on that.  Anyways, of course, I told him to stop and that he would get hurt if he didn’t stop.  Did he stop?  Nope.  Did he get hurt?  Yup.
When he got hurt, it was an “I told you so moment.”  Didn’t help.  He winced, he whined, and I didn’t think of much.  He usually is able to shake things off, and this time, he kept saying his foot hurt.  We tried an ice pack.  He was tearing here and there and obviously in some pain and discomfort.  Since he was able to walk and periodically forgot about the pain, I figured he was fine.  Shien was more worried.  She said there are so many little bones in our feet.  She also heard stories from friends, whose children hurt their foot and didn’t even know it was broken.  THAT started getting me worried.

Throughout the night, he would bring up the pain in his foot.  After shower, he limped.  I just prayed he would wake up and everything would be okay.  When he was asleep, I even got a flashlight out to examine his foot.  Not much swelling and no discoloration.  When he got up, he said it still hurt, and he was still limping.  Ai ya.  We decided he would be okay going to school.  It wasn’t like he was in constant pain, and I wasn’t sure how much of it was just drama.  I called the doctor later in the day to see if Shien made an appointment.  She did.  I had a meeting after school, so I met them at the doctor’s.  The doctor thought he was fine, but recommended he get X-Rays just to make sure.  That would alleviate our worries, too.  Luckily, the X-Ray Imaging Center was right around the corner from the doctor’s.  This is one of the great benefits/conveniences of living in the city. 🙂  Malachy was great about it.  He had to lie down, and they put those heavy lead jackets on him.  Then they wedged his foot with these foam wedges and the technician asked him not to move his foot, while we had to quickly exit the room, while they took the x-ray.  The first time, he moved, but after that, x-ray after x-ray, he was very good about it.  The doctor took a look at the x-rays and proclaimed him fine.  WHEW!!!  🙂

All these years, the only X-Rays I’ve had were for my teeth!  It’s crazy how one thing can just turn your life upside down.  We were SO grateful.  Nothing broken, but it could have so easily been another scenario.  It could have played out VERY differently…

I also thought about how lucky we were to have insurance.  What if we weren’t insured?  I thought about all the parents out there with no insurance, and how they wouldn’t have that luxury of going to the doctor’s and getting their children immediate medical attention.  How stressful and painful that must be for those parents and children.  Our worries were alleviated pretty quickly.  We were so fortunate.  The pain went away for Malachy after a couple of days.  The memories will last a lifetime.

Time Out for Halloween!

As a kid, who doesn’t LOVE Halloween?  As an adult, I started dreading it…  until Malachy came along. 😉  This Halloween, I found the perfect costume online… Chinese Take Out!  The giant chopsticks weren’t included. 😉 Found them in Chinatown for $1.50! For the past year, whenever Shien has class in the evening, Malachy and I have ordered Ming’s for take out!  Malachy and I call it date night.  😉  They are really nice there and the food is pretty good for Chinese food.  We usually get some kind of appetizer like dumplings or spring rolls, some Beef Chow Fun, a small soup, and some vegetable dish with rice.  Malachy also always asks for a cold beverage, like Lychee or Longan or Chocolate slushies.  They add little pieces of gelatin to it too, so it’s quite yummy.

Malachy was SO excited ALL weekend, as Halloween was on a Sunday.  For us, it started on Friday.  Malachy’s school had a Halloween celebration, and I volunteered to read.  I read and sang with EIGHT classes in a row! 😉  I was able to “play guitar” with my Droid X attached to a Mic, and then the class played some Musical Chairs, while I played music from an iPod touch.   I think it was the first time for some of the kids.  Very cool!  Malachy’s Po Po and Gong Gong came to visit just for this occasion.  They made New York into a pit stop before traveling overseas.  Malachy and I quickly made his Po Po a costume on Friday morning, since she was going to march in the school parade with him.  I found some of the recycled brown paper wrapping that comes with deliveries, and we made a big bandage with it! 😉

On Saturday, we got to take a little break, but then on Sunday, all the festivities started up again, as our community has an annual HUGE Halloween blast with lots of activities.  The activity that exhausted me was the bouncy inflatable slides that they rented.  The problem was that they were SO vertical and Malachy couldn’t climb up to the top by himself.  So, I had to get in there and attempt to get him to the top.  It was so tall, that I had to climb and push, and he wasn’t helping me one bit. 😉  He kept cracking up, as I tried to hurl him to the top.  I slid back down with him a few times (failed attempts), and kept trying to climb and throw him up at the same time.  My back was sore for a few days, but it’s all good now.  WHEW! 🙂

In terms of the candy, his FAVORITE part, of course.  It lasts us for the year and we wind up not even eating it all! 😉  After a week or so, we put it out of sight and revisit it every now and then.  This year Malachy dubbed the candy bucket he got from his Po Po, a BOOket, since it looks like a ghost and glows in the dark.

Time Out for Apples!

I NEVER would have imagined how inspiring apples can be! 😉

Although I love living in the City, it’s always nice to get away for a day or a weekend trip Upstate. It’s really nice to take Malachy out of the City too, and let him enjoy the outdoors. 😉 It’s amazing how you can drive north for about an hour or so (when there’s no traffic), and you’re “away!” No more city lights. No more city sounds. No more city air. It’s crispy Upstate in the Fall! 😉 I love driving up there and seeing all of the foliage changing.

Before Malachy was born, I would often plan a Bed and Breakfast for me and Shien, once a year. We enjoyed walking trails, eating lots of yummy food, and just getting away for a bit. We were so grateful when the host of Sugar Loaf Bed and Breakfast, Maxine Charles, accommodated the three of us in 2008! That was an awesome weekend! 😉

It’s so nice to bring Malachy into this tradition, and so far (except for when he was less than one), it looks like he’s really enjoying himself! 😉

Time Out for the First Day of School!

Back to School!

As the days approached the first day of school, I started worrying a little bit about how Malachy would react to going back to school. We had such a great summer, and I didn’t want him to feel that he was going back to something that he wouldn’t enjoy. I also started to get anxious about all the testing that he’s going to have to undergo this year for Kindergarten next year. Ai ya!
Anyways, we all psyched ourselves up with excitement for his first day back at school. He woke up feeling really excited today, and that was just awesome. He tossed and turned for over an hour last night, and it would take a bit to wake him up. He actually woke us up! 😉

When I got home and asked him how his day was, he said that it was great. WHEW! Turns out he was more ready than I was! 😉  The name of Malachy’s class last year was, “LOVE.” Oddly enough, the name of his class this year is, “TRUST!” That one word captures it all. It will be a constant reminder to me of what a great kid he is, and that we just have to trust that he will make it happen. Sure, there will be some rough days ahead, but with the right attitude and frame of mind (and his Gong Gong would add Self-Discipline 😉 ), we can be sure to have another great year!  No worries! 😉

Graphic by Chris @ Daddy Doctrines

Time Out for Family!

Graphic by Chris @ Daddy Doctrines

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting by the computer, when Malachy handed me a drawing he had just made. He told me that I should hang it up right away somewhere. I took my Time Out from the computer, told him what an awesome picture he had just drawn, and hung it right up on our board. I told him that when Mommy woke up, she would be so happy! 🙂

If there was one word to sum up my Summer Vacation, it would have to be “Family.” What a blessing and what a gift! I feel like if I keep focusing on Family First, then things will be okay. It helps me to prioritize, and it makes me a better person. As the school year begins for all three of us, I hope that we can live up to Malachy’s picture. As Malachy would say, “A Toast to Family!” 😉

The 3 Of Us

Time Out for the Ballroom…

Graphic by Chris @ Daddy Doctrines

The other day we went to Ikea to shop for some shelving. The great thing about Ikea is that you can get tons of furniture for cheap, and since this shelving would be situated on the balcony, it would serve its purpose. And, I LOVE putting this stuff together. Feel like a grown kid putting together a cool Lego set! 😉

But, what’s there to do for kids, you might ask? Well, there’s a cafeteria where you could get a pretty decent kids meal for less than $3 and then… There’s the BALLROOM… and it’s FREE! (Indoor Fun for Kids – Ikea – washingtonpost.com). Lucky for us, Malachy met the age requirements and the height requirements! I saw many a sad kid turned away, either because they were too tall or not tall enough. Sad kids = Sad parents… 🙁

Basically, you could leave them there for an hour, while you go shop. Was I able to do that? NOPE. After a wait, Malachy was released into the Ballroom. 😉 What separated us was a floor-to-ceiling pane of glass. THICK glass! It was virtually soundproof, so when he tried to scream his delights to me, I couldn’t really hear anything. And that was even when he came right up to the glass! All I knew was that he was ECSTATIC – jumping for joy, tripping and flailing all over, swimming in the balls, lying down and trying to bury himself, and just going CRAZY! 😉 I wanted to bang on the glass and tell him (YELL!) not to bite the balls, to not bury himself because the kids might step all over him, and to just be careful. All these things I should have/could have told him BEFORE he went in, but now it was too late. I felt powerless… 🙁 But then, I had an idea!!! 😉

I had some scrap paper from Ikea, so I wrote in CAPS, “DON’T BITE THE BALLS!” He nodded. Then I wrote, “STOP LYING DOWN!” And finally… “DON’T GET BURIED!” It was awesome that Malachy could read. Now, I didn’t have to rip my hairs out (the little that I have left), and hover over him like a hawk. He still was going crazy, but at least he wasn’t putting the balls to his mouth or burying himself in them… ai ya!

Now, what if he couldn’t read? I would have had to turn around, walk away, and come back in an hour… 😉

Time Out for The Father 100…

artwork by Chris@The Daddy Doctrines

There’s an amazing movement that I’m witnessing online… Dads. The internet has now allowed us to show how much we love being dads! Very Cool. 😉 I joined the #DadsTalking Twitter Party last night, and it was amazing to see how many dads have entered/are entering the blogosphere.

Brian H of chalkboarddad.com has started some really neat projects on his site.  This one is called The Father 100

The rules are simple. I will give you a word. Yes, that’s right A word. As in one. Single. The cheese stands alone…you get the point.
You will have between now and midnight on Friday to write a one hundred word post inspired by that word. Entries can be less than one hundred words, but they cannot be more. Posts must focus on some aspect of parenting. Even though I call this the Father 100, moms are encouraged to join us!

The Word? LOVE

Here’s my entry… Could be read top to bottom or bottom to top! 😉

Loving Dads

Sleepy dads awakened.
working and playing
singin’ and dancin’,
kissin’ and huggin’
Jammin’
Smiling,
Laughing,
Sharing,
Caring.
Teaching,
Learning.
thinking, speaking, writing,
chatting, texting, blogging
Finding a voice.
Anyone listening
Feeling.
PROUD.
All-in-one
For all.
Dads.
Being.
Dads.

Below are the other entries from fellow blogging dads…

Time Out from the City…

We’ve been at Shien’s parents’ house in Illinois for ten days now, and it’s good to get away from the City for a bit.  Life is SO different out here!  😉  There is so much SPACE here for Malachy to run around.  It’s great having a backyard for him to run around and play in, and a golf course to boot… 😉  Almost every evening, after eating a delicious dinner prepared by Shien’s mom and Shien, we all go to the golf course.  We usually get quite a few mosquito bites, but this summer it’s been so hot that even the mosquitoes are too hot to fly! 😉  Shien’s dad and I play 3 or 6 or 9 holes with one club.  Malachy will tag along for a couple of holes.  Right now, he’s much more in tune with nature than with golf… 😉

It’s great fellowship golfing with Shien’s dad.  It’s hard to believe that he introduced me to the game 17 years ago!  Golfing used to be in my blood (before Malachy 😉 ), and not playing well used to upset me so much.  Not anymore. I’ve realized playing calm yields a lot more crisp shots.  Just being able to play for an hour after dinner feels really good.  Makes it feel a little bit less guilty eating dessert.  😉  Lots of great peach pie with ice cream, thanks to Shien and the neighbor’s! (Thanks, Paula!)  😉

Time really slows down out here.  Shien’s mom has always allowed us to really take it easy out here (Thanks, Chiou Ma! 🙂 )  There’s more time for reading and less time watching television for me.  I’m really grateful all the times we’ve had out here through the years.  After two weeks, though, I’m ready to head back to the City again. 😉