Daddy Blog

Labor Day Hiking at Red Rock

We went hiking today at Red Rock canyon. It’s a short drive from where we live in Las Vegas. A couple of the crash kids said they didn’t want to go, but we made them and then of course when they were there they loved climbing all over the rocks. I of course chose the hike with lots of bouldering for the kids so I could make sure that they loved it. Although, it always scares the life out of me as a father. It’s so much easier when it’s someone else’s kids to just let them climb all over.

Anyway, I captured this video of Crash Kid #3 doing an original number. If you can’t tell, he’s drumming on the sand while he’s singing. It’s pretty awful, so I thought I’d share it with you all:

We also took this nice family photo at the end:
Crash Kid - Labor Day at Red Rock - Funny Faces
Ok, this was the funny face family photo. It’s much more fun than a regular one. Although, my favorite face in this picture is Crash Mom’s face. She tried to stick her tongue out for the funny face picture and accidentally licked Crash Kid #4’s salty ear. I think she liked it.

Daddy Blog

When Your 2 Year Old Jumps in the Bathtub Fully Clothed

I just stepped away from work to my 5 year old screaming about something. He’s in the bath, so when he really starts screaming I fear that something bad has happened and usually check it out. I’ve learned the various levels of screaming from my children. When it’s an angry scream I usually ignore it when I’m working. When it’s a hurt scream, I usually at least go and check out what’s happening. I feel like I need to at least see if I need to stop further damage.

When I stepped out of my office (my bedroom) to check on the screaming today, I found my 5 year old taking a bath and my 2 year old fully clothed in the bath next to him. Not fun. My wife arrived just after me as we assessed the situation and how to respond. Since it wasn’t anything life threatening, I went back to my office and left the wet clothes and wet child to my wife.

At first I was feeling a little guilty for leaving my wife “the mess.” I guess I could have helped her, but I’m technically working right now (and I have more than a lot of work to do). Then, I thought about all the times I’m at work and a fully clothed 2 year old hops in the bathtub. Ok, not an actual 2 year old, but all day every day I’m solving the problems like a 2 year old hopping in the bathtub. In fact, some days I wish I was only dealing with some wet clothes and wet diaper and not the business problems I deal with day in and day out.

Luckily, I have the sweetest wife in the whole world and she didn’t say anything about it and happily (at least as happy as you can be with a wet 2 year old) fixed the situation. I’ll admit that sometimes I go out and spend time talking with my wife about my soaked clothed 2 year old work problems and that’s often very helpful. She’s a great listener. I think she knows she can come and talk to me about it anytime she wants too.

Long story short, we all have our fully clothed 2 year old in the bathtub problems. Life isn’t whether we’ll have challenges, but how we deal with them.


How’s My Italian?

If you’ve spent more than 15 minutes with me, you probably know about my love addiction to Italy and everything related to it. I love the food. I love the language. I love the people. I love the culture. Seriously though, it can be somewhat unhealthy. While I wasn’t born Italian, I wish I was. The closest I’ve come is marrying an American with Italian ancestry.

The other day someone mentioned that I had lived in Italy for two years and spoke Italian fluently. I’m always proud of that fact, and I truly adore the Italian language. There’s just no way to speak Italian without emotion. It’s beautiful. Plus, I’ll admit that I get this amazing high from being able to say something that makes no sense to people, but makes complete sense to people who know the language. If you speak another language, you know what I’m talking about. It’s so empowering and beautiful that different sounds can communicate the same thing.

However, as the person mentioned that I spoke fluent Italian, I started to wonder. Do I still speak fluent Italian?

One problem with living in Las Vegas is that there aren’t many Italian people around. Of course, that makes it hard for me to really practice my Italian. As Crash Mom can attest, I take every opportunity I can to speak Italian (and I mean EVERY opportunity). However, it usually doesn’t amount to much and it’s the normal greeting stuff which is pretty easy. It makes me wonder how well I really speak Italian.

Unfortunately, I won’t know until I go back to Italy and I’m forced to speak Italian for a long period of time (Hopefully we’ll make it back when the Italy Rome temple is dedicated!). My gut tells me that I could do ok, but not having really spoken it much I could be totally wrong. Maybe I need to schedule regular skype chats with my Italian friends. Either way, I’ll be sad if I lose my Italian.

Also, my apologies to anyone who goes out to eat with me. You can guarantee that I’ll be suggesting Italian food. What can I say? It’s an addiction.

Being Sick

Pain in the Neck

No, I’m not talking about my children. They’re perfect angels (something like that). I’m talking about literally having this crazy pain in my neck. The muscle in my neck just goes totally crazy and I can barely move without it hurting.

Some of you who know me might remember that this happened a year or two ago as well. Although, that time I had gone to the local trampoline place called SkyZone and I thought that was what caused the issue. Well, this time I didn’t do anything special and the pain came on and got progressively worse.

It turns out you use your neck muscles for a lot of things. For example, swallowing has been incredibly tough the past 7 days. Try living for a week while barely being able to swallow and it hurts when you do. Not fun. Try just laying down or sitting up in bed. You think it’s the abs working out (and they probably are), but your neck muscles are working overtime then too. They hold that massive thing (at least in my case it’s massive) known as your head from just smacking the ground. Not fun.

The bathroom is another place where you use your neck a lot. As a guy, you have to look down to aim. Try doing that when you can’t bend your neck down without hurting. The shower’s not fun either since it hurts even worse when you tip your head back to get your hair wet and wash out the soap. Even shaving uses a lot of neck muscles. Hard to shave when you can barely move your neck.

Long story short, it’s been a brutal week for me…or should I say…a total pain in the neck (pun intended).

I guess the start of 2015 hasn’t been great for me with this neck problem and my previous sickness (I wonder if coughing so much inflamed my neck muscles?). As I said in that post, being sick or hurt is a great way to help you appreciate when you’re healthy. There are so many little things we do that we take for granted. Hopefully I can heal up from the neck pain and still remember this lesson.

For those concerned at home, I’m on some drugs from the doctor that I think are helping. The Crash Mom has been a great help to me even though it’s not fun for her either. Hopefully we’re on the mend as things seem to be getting better. I wonder if I really should start Yoga to help keep the muscles limber. Although, that’s definitely out of question until I heal up. Long story short, pains in the neck are not fun.

Daddy Blog

Are You Having Fun? Not Soo much…

Crash Kid #3 is 5 years old and absolutely hilarious. We’re visiting the in-laws this week in upstate NY and we’ve had a chance to do a lot of fun things. Whenever his grandma asks him if he had fun at an activity he’s been responding, “I had fun, but not so much…” She then replies, “So, you didn’t have fun?” He then answers, “No. I had fun, just not so much.”

How funny is that? At least he’s an honest kid. He wants to be very precise in everything he says. What a cute kid!

Here’s a picture of Crash Kid #3 and #4 sleeping. That’s when mom and dad are happy….much happy! Plus, how sweet is it to see these two snuggling together? Last night when Crash Mom put them to bed Crash Kid #3 told her he couldn’t wait to snuggle Crash Kid #4 and give him kisses.
Gianluca and Micah Sleeping

Couple Trips Daddy Blog

My Trip to Niagara Falls and the DWTS Live Tour with My Wife

There really is nothing better than time with my wife without kids. We’ve been pretty blessed that we regularly have friends and family that are willing to take our kids while we have a night or more to ourselves. This usually includes a trip to somewhere cool which is an added bonus. Although, the most memorable thing of any of these trips is often the time spent in the car talking about life. On these trips, I often think…

“If this is a preview of retirement life, I can’t wait to retire.”

This weekend, my Crash In-laws (Thanks Grammy and Poppi!), were kind enough to let Kristine and I spend a night away from the kids. We decided to head up to Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is not that exciting in Winter, but the falls are still extraordinary and the place holds special meaning to us because that’s where I proposed to Crash Mom. At least it was the first time I proposed. I still keep asking Kristine if she’ll marry me and at least for now she’s always said Yes!

Here’s our selfie at Niagara Falls:
Niagara Falls in Winter
As luck would have it, the DWTS Live tour was just starting at Niagara Falls the night we were there. Most of you probably don’t know I run the leading Dancing with the Stars blog. You can see my coverage of the DWTS Live tour here. We got lucky to get tickets since the show was sold out. I guess that’s one of the hidden perks of being a blogger.

The show was fantastic, but I love dancing so that wasn’t a surprise. It was also funny that the Crash Mom got carded at the Casino. She didn’t think it was as funny, but I did. The Crash Mom did an amazing job capturing pictures of the event. I guess that now makes her a professional photographer. Once I post her photos, you’ll see what I mean. Although, here’s a selfie we took at the event:
Dancing with the Stars Live Tour - Niagara Falls
The highlight of the weekend might have been our late night dessert run. We’d made it back to our hotel (we stayed at the Choice hotel near the falls, budget but fine) close to 11 PM and we were both still hungry. We’d had dinner at TGI Friday’s already, but decided to head back there for a little midnight dessert trip. Considering the Crash Mom usually’s in bed between 9 and 10, that was quite the event. It was also ironic that we had dinner at TGI Friday’s since we’d walked out of one 12 years earlier on our honeymoon in NYC, but that’s a story for another day.

Long story short, I highly recommend taking trips with your wife. Niagara Falls is a great place, but definitely visit it in summer.