A full weekend, with much to be happy for. #Broncos #Family #Wrestling

That was a full, but tiring weekend. I am happy with everything that we did. It was definitely a fun filled weekend. And now we can really begin to move on to the next phase of things.



Saturday was spent on another wrestling tournament. Jimmy did very well. He came in second. And was very close to first. The kid who did place first beat Jimmy in the first match, but it was close, going to a fourth period. And I think Jimmy had him beat early on, but this referee for some reason would not call a pin on a cradle. But that’s all right. It was a good tournament for Jimmy and a good confidence booster. If he can keep up this back and forth of winning or placing high in the B division, versus being competitive in the A bracket, he will just keep getting better.

It was a good tournament overall. Although I had to shelter myself a few times when things got overwhelming with people arguing and causing controversy. We then had a good meal after that. And picked up Danny from a sleep over and day spent with his cousin. And returned home for a game night.


We taught the young ones how to play Settlers of Catan. Which is a really fun game. They had a good time overall. Until the dice did their thing, and Jimmy was able to get himself in position to blitz out a win. Which happens some times. The odds were not in favor of what he did, it was just the right amount of long odd dice rolls in a row. So Emily especially was a little ticked off. But we helped explain how unusual that was. And then she decided she came in second and was happy with the result. It was a good evening overall, even if it was a long, tiring, day.

Sunday was another full day. First we got up, had breakfast, and then took the little ones for haircuts. Danny was definitely getting a little shaggy. And Emily had finally surrendered to the inevitability that her hair is just too curly for her to really take care of properly on a day to day basis. She got hers cut real short. But it was very cute.


After the haircuts and grocery shopping we got home and I ran the D&D game for the boys. This time with Danny joining in. He had a good time, and did well enough that they welcomed him as a regular member of the group. Kim and Emily then ran some errands. And then returned to watch the Broncos game.

We finished near the end of the third quarter so I was able to watch the end of the game. Which I enjoyed. I am definitely happy the Broncos won. And I think it is fitting that they won in the same fashion they won all year: a close game, coming down to the wire, with a dominant Defense coming up with the clinching play. I am glad for Manning to have one more shot, and a shot at going out like Elway. That said, I have made up my mind that I will go up to Denver to play D&D instead of staying home to host the game. Given the way these football games go, there’s a chance we might be home by the fourth quarter. Which will hopefully be all I need to watch. And, to be honest, I sort of prefer not to watch these games in large groups, watching it in isolation or just with Kim is enough for me.

It was a fun weekend. With plenty of fun events for family and kids. Everything turned out close to how I would have wanted. And we are getting much closer to a time when life will really settle down.



The fun weekend was… fun #Kids #Life #Mentalhealth

For a full weekend that ended up being one day longer than planned that sure was fun. There were family fun moments. There were proud moments. There was some pure entertainment. And there was even some fun productivity. Yep pretty much fun for me.

Friday night turned into a family movie night. And for a wonder all of the family actually sat still and watched a movie together. It wasn’t the best movie, but it was fun for the whole family, which is what we can hope for. I got off work early to see the doctor about my toe, which resulted in a cortisone shot. And then I felt kind of under the weather the rest of the day. Which was a harbinger of things to come, as every kid in the family was sick by Monday, which is why I ended up staying home on Monday. The main thing though is we all had fun watching the movie together.

Saturday was Jimmy’s wrestling tournament. This was the school district classic, the last tournament of his middle school career as far as school organized wrestling. In addition two of his buddies, boys that are in the D&D game, and who I have watched grow up, were also in the tournament. And there were also a number of other kids that he has wrestled with in his club, so we knew a lot of the wrestlers. So, while Jimmy and his buddies were wrestling for his school, I did as much cheering just for the geographically close kids (Westside!)

Jimmy ended up placing third in his weight bracket. Winning 2 matches and losing one. I was proud of his victories, but it was the loss that made me most proud (and angry.) The thing is, it was clear to us in the stands that the opposing wrestler was hurt. And James told us after the fact that the other kids was in tears, and was apparently suffering from a headache, and very likely a concussion. I was angry to hear that because he should not have even been wrestling in that condition (even if he did beat Jimmy.) But I was very proud to hear Jimmy tell me that he did take it easy, not fighting as hard as he could, because he knows what it is like to suffer from a concussion. Would I have been proud for Jimmy to wrestle for first in his class? Sure, but I am prouder that he showed the class and sportsmanship to avoid hurting a kid just to win.

The day of wrestling was a long one overall. A good 9 hours in the gymnasium, dealing with and talking with other people, and the little ones when boredom kicked in. So I was pretty exhausted when we got home. But I did the right thing, found a movie to relax to. Made sure the kids got to bed. And did not try to do anything else. Even conceding the point and just going to bed and reading when I reached the point of no return.

Sunday was a fun day. Jimmy and I had a good talk on the way to Denver. Worked out some rules for his grades and his ability to go to Denver, and wrestle in Club tournaments. And while we didn’t do a lot during the session it was still fun. And a welcome get away for me. And I didn’t have the expected problems getting home despite the Broncos game.

Monday I woke up with a plan to come in to work, get my computer and go back and work from home while Emily lay around sick. Then it became clear that Danny was sick as well. At which point I just called in. But I didn’t just hang out. I got some stuff done around the house. Even took a walk to test the effectiveness of the cortisone shot (still not 100% but definitely better.)  And played around with some game stuff. Basically I found a way to enjoy being productive while the kids did their thing.

Like I said, what turned out to be a 3 day weekend was fun. Enjoying a number of different things. Family movie fun as a group. Watching kids wrestle was diverting. Taking some time for myself was fun. And the fun of a role playing game. I found the fun in a variety of activities, and did not have any real problems. As in all things, the amount of fun was relative, but what was important to me is I had fun.

Managing the highs and lows better

This was an oddball weekend. Lot’s of highs, some lows, and had more than a little trouble managing it. Jimmy had a good tournament, probably the best one he has had. I then had an odd day, reflective of my not being sure how to manage my time and mental state better. And today is a mildly painful return to my hoped for routine.

Jimmy had a very good tournament. His first match was against one of his nemeses, a really good young kid who has just owned Jimmy. When we got the bracket we were more than a little worried. But Jimmy held his own, refused to allow a pin. He still lost 15-0, but he wrestled his heart out, and really fought. And that carried over into his second match. He again wrestled very well, finally active and aggressive, and got the pin. His last match he was probably a little over aggressive, getting himself into trouble, so he lost, but was still very aggressive, and did not get pinned. Overall it was probably his best tournament top to bottom in terms of effort, execution and effort. He is really starting to put things together.

On the other hand from our perspective it was a very poorly put together tournament. We were told to be there by 3, but his age group did not start wrestling until 5:30. And he did not get his first match until 6:30. Which meant a lot of sitting around in a very crowded place, which is definitely not my idea of fun. But I handled it as best I could, but I was still exhausted by the time I got home.

Sunday I had some plans, but none of them worked out. First, I could just not bring myself to get out and run, that has become a real problem lately, not sure how to get myself back into that frame of mind and practice. Second, I was going to get some new tires put on my car, but Costco did not have them in stock, so that was a wash. And then the rest of the day I was pretty much off kilter, almost manic then depressive. I really cannot wait until the arrival of warmer weather again so I won’t feel as cooped up in the house with the kids.

But today is a Monday, and despite Emily not feeling well and staying home it is pretty much back to the routine. After last weeks erratic wake up times, illnesses, snow days, this week should be much better. Closer to the normal routine. And that should help with my mental state, returning to a better routine.

A long, alternately busy, fun, relaxing, busy weekend

Had a 3 day weekend, which was nice. We sure did a lot in those 3 days, even if it didn’t feel like it. But we also had fun, enjoyed ourselves, even getting out of my comfort zone. And we started making plans for what is next, after the craziness of the next week and end of the wrestling season. And also got some needed things done as well.

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Sometimes you’ve just gotta ride the pendulum

It’s been an interesting week so far.The type of week that reminds me that raising kids is simply not for the weak of heart. It hasn’t been easy, and it could get even harder. But the only thing I know for sure is I should pause before making decisions, and just hang on for the rest of the ride.

Danny first, for a change. Monday Danny had a tummy ache, but he went to school anyway. Then Jimmy stayed home because of a sore throat. Then yesterday Danny was still complaining about his tummy, and seemed to have a little bit of a fever (Jimmy had one too.) So I decided to keep him home. He was okay for the day, and after the Dr. gave them both a pretty much clean bill of health (probably just some virus or cold) he was feeling good. When I had him sit down and work on his home work he did so without much complaining. And overall had a real good day. And today he is back in school, none the worse for wear. In retrospect I should have just let him stay home Monday, because his illness was pretty clearly a case of needing some downtime from the very active and social weekend. In the future I will try to think about the bigger picture when this happens with him.

Jimmy stayed home Monday, or rather came home, with a sore throat. Which also meant no wrestling practice. When he was still suffering yesterday I decided to have him stay home as well. And took him to the Dr. too, where he got the same clean bill of health. And I made the call that he should maybe skip this weekends tournament. Well he then went to practice for team pictures. And while he was there, and I was home making dinner after an exhausting home work session with Danny, I started getting texts about changing the plan, and wrestling this weekend after all. I was not pleased, here I was trying to make dinner, deal with the younger two, and then getting messages about changing a plan that everyone had agreed on. I had my first outward expression of anger in a while.

But I calmed down, and reminded myself that kids are the pendulum, that things can change and swing back and forth very rapidly. And that they can be influenced to make a change very quickly. It’s not that big of a deal really.

And of course this was all overcome by events this morning as Jimmy slipped on some spilled water in the kitchen, resulting in a severe sprain that will have him out of wrestling for at least 10 days (and at least this weeks tournament.) The lessons in this being: kids change (minds, bodies), and the smart parents accepts that and realizes that putting their foot down on anything can very easily result in lost balance when the ground beneath the feet shifts.

Survived the struggle, and continuing to learn

This wasn’t the easiest weekend, but I survived and had fun for the most part. I managed to take some good pictures, and had some time to start learning Photoshop. Danny and I survived our rainy Camp Alexander for the most part. And in a lot of ways I am beginning to sense what is happening to me.

The Cub Scout camp was an interesting experience. And I thought we did pretty good considering it was up to the OCD, Introverted parent suffering from depression to keep up the spirits of the introverted child in the face of crowds, noise, poor conditions and chaos. Both Danny and I were in good spirits to start, and ready to handle things, but then the rain started. Rain so hard it overwhelmed the tent to some extent, and totally disrupted the schedule for the kids activities. Eventually forcing us into a large group area for the majority of the first day, which was neither of our strong points. And I was prepared to dash to our car at any moment during the night (which we didn’t have to do fortunately.)

The second day began much better. Clear skies, I was able to take some nice pictures. We got in some activities: crafts, first aid, archery. And some BB gun shooting after lunch before the storms settled in. Then it became a matter of just hanging in as we did some activities indoors. But around dinner time it became clear that the rain was not going to stop, and that we were not going to get much more out of the camp, so we packed up out tent in the rain and came home.

Overall it was a good experience, we both got out of our comfort zones for the most part. And we had some good times together. And I look forward to doing some other shared activities with Danny in the future.

I am also beginning to get a better grasp of what is going on with my therapy sessions. Beginning to realize how obsessive compulsive I have become. And realizing that a lot of the moments when I act out (for lack of a better term) occur when my systematic order is disrupted. Recognizing that is a big deal for me, because now I can do a better job of stopping and thinking “am I just upset because this person (typically the kids) are not following my sense of order? If so, is that order that important?” Because while kids do need some routine and sense of order, they don’t need the same amount that I follow and therefore there is no need for me to get so agitated. 

I know this is just the tip of the iceberg at this point, but as this begins to clear up for me it is making a big difference. And when I have moments like I did at the height of the rain storms at Camp when I just wanted to scream I can get myself to back off, because the reason I feel that way is not that important in the big scheme. 

So just a few weeks until school can begin and some sense of regular order returns, all the trips are done for now. Summer vacation is winding down. But I think it has been a very good one for the kids, and all the time off has been good for me in the larger sense. 

Turns out we are doing pretty good

As a parent you worry, what kind of kid am I raising? Is he a good person, useful member of society, well adjusted, etc.? Or at least I know that we think about those things.

Well yesterday demonstrated for me that we have done a pretty damn good job with our oldest so far. In the morning I dragged him out of bed for our weekly run (that we have not done in quite a while, but who’s counting?) Well not only did he finish well ahead of me, he completed the entire 5K course without stopping, not sure of the exact time but I imagine it was decent. This after not having done any running at all for several months. And we were beginning to get a little worried since he has been complaining about having to walk to the Magic store, when it is only 7 blocks away. Turns out that he is just fine as far as that is concerned.Still geing to keep him running so he can be ready for wrestling season, but he is already in more than decent shape.

Then, as we were driving to Denver all he could talk about was Magic, and his game that he was playing. Proving that he is well and thoroughly indoctrinated in that world of geekiness. And he was very enthused when I gave him the basics of D&D without actually starting an adventure, really ready for me to get that started. So in terms of mental acuity and ‘geeky’ pursuits he is doing well. He knows what he loves and is not afraid to show it and play.

Last, the reason we were going to Denver was to take him to my cousins house so he could spend the night and then go play Airsoft with his 2 14 year old cousins (my cousins kid, and another cousins kid, technically they are Jimmy’s Second cousins.) Which means that he was going to participate in a pretty physical activity, with kids he doesn’t know all that well, in a very competitive situation, and just dived in. Which means that he doesn’t lack for self confidence and have many problem getting along with other kids.

All told we have a very well rounded, confident, smart kid. And as a parent there just isn’t much more that you could hope for. As I told Kim on that car ride, we done good.