Wednesday, September 30, 2009

he controls them with his mind

the benefits are lacking

I am sick today. I've actually been sick for a couple days now but this morning was the worst I have felt in a long time. If I worked outside the house I would call in sick but I don't so I can't. The boys have no sick day policy to speak of and seem to think that I should play even more when I'm sick. I am holding out for 2 o'clock when all three go down for a nap and I can take a nap too.

Monday, September 28, 2009

i set about to write one thing, but then wrote another

We live in a great city, in a big house on a tree lined street with lots of kids. We have train right down the street and a park at the end of the block. Our kids are cute and healthy and good natured and funny. We live with fantastic people and have family and friends close by. We are well loved and we are in love, Beautiful and I. We are coming up on five years of marriage and the years have been good to us. There have been some hard times in there and we are in the middle of one now, but when you look at the whole story it is happy one. I am trying to look at the whole story a little more lately. Sometimes I get bogged down in the chapters, paragraphs or even sentences. But the whole story is beautiful. I wanted to write about how perspective tells two stories, the one above and then one that I would write about that was harder times but I don't want to do that any more. That stuff is still there but it is just part of the bigger story and that bigger part is what I want to express. I am thankful for this city and it's lovely festivals and trains. I am thankful for our big house on a tree lined street. I am thankful for neighbors taking the blond one to the park while I finish dinner. I am thankful for the blond one and his polka dancing and the red head who backed away crying and shaking his head when we tried to get him to polka. I am thankful for our housemates and their generosity. And I am thankful for Beautiful and her goofy dances. For the way she wrestles away my tortilla spatula instead of getting her own. For the way cobbles together jobs to get us through this time so that I can be home doing the job that I love. I am thankful for all these characters and scenes in our wonderful story and I am looking forward to the next chapters with hope.

meet the housemates

Have you met our housemates? I am not sure if I have put a picture of them up yet and I am too lazy to look. Plus this is a great picture of them. Meet Jesse, Ian, and Carly. They are awesome to live with and even more awesome to know. I was filling out the census paper work and then talking to a census worker and I was able to answer almost every question they asked about them. You have to list all the people that live in the house and answer some random questions about them. One was "Does Jesse have problems with dressing or hygene?" I had some things to say about his choice of clothes but he's very clean. It has been really great sharing life with their family and I hope we are able to continue for some time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

i rest my case

I know there are some of you B.O.B. stroller people still out there even after that brilliant letter Beautiful wrote a year ago on her blog. Listen a B.O.B. is great if you got one kid and you don't mine taking up so much space at the market. But once you come to your senses and realize that more is better when it comes to kids but not with obnoxious stroller foot prints then the Phil and Ted is the way to go. Have you seen a double B.O.B.? It is ginormous and there is no way you could get that thing around the farmers market without knocking over the fresh flowers and getting all up in some granola girl next to you. It's just rude. Phil and Ted on the other hand has the small foot print coupled with the carrying ability that you need. I won't even have the discussion anymore about which is better, I mean look at that picture above, are you getting that kind of capacity from a B.O.B.? I think not. Wake up people, and by people I mean Jen!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

no really they love eachother

The boys are getting along really well lately despite the looks of the picture above. Henry is able to run and keep up with Finn so he is making for a better playmate then he has in the past. He gets the parking of the cars game and understands just about anything you tell him to do. He knows his Cars from his trucks, his tractors from busses so Finn accepts him into the "Detail every car that goes by" game in the car. We spent the morning after church at a playground and the boys played together on the play structure, climbing the slide and hiding from other kids. They were interacting with other kids on the playground as well but were doing much of it as a team and I liked what I saw. I know that as they get older they will play more and more together as they fight more and more as well but watching that "get older" process happen in front of me hits me off guard. All of a sudden they are older. At the park today I was feeling a bit tired of being on duty all the time. Beautiful is working over 40 hours this week and next, 7 days a week in a collection of jobs. It's an odd schedule that suites her with nothing starting before noon. She has been helping me with the boys a bit but we are still trying to find steps to that dance. There have been some missed beats and toes stepped on but we are trying to communicate expectations and I think that is working. I think we both could do a better job of putting words to our frustrations but when is that ever not true. I guess you never stop learning how to work together. Finn and Henry are just starting and Beautiful and I are 5 years in now. We will all get better as we get older, that's the goal any way.

Friday, September 18, 2009

our exchange students/Finn's girlfriends

They were super sad to leave, crying pretty hard when hugging Kate and Carly. I think they had a good time here in Portland and especially at our house. Not to brag or anything but we are kinda great to live with for two weeks.

white trash lunch

We had us some mac and chesse with wieners in it and some canned peaches. It was festival of orange and the boys loved it.

the not so red head anymore

Henry has been chatting up a storm lately. He has an ever increasing vocab and likes to sing in the car. He uses NO to answer any question, it is low and slow when he means no and higher and short when he means yes. We are trying to get him to say yes but it comes out jesshh. He is fearless climbing anything and Finn worries about him a bunch. When we were taking off on the plane we hit a little patch of turbulence and the plane dipped. Henry was saying "off, off, get down, no fly, off, get down...." while shaking. Once we got up there he was fine but I felt so bad for him. He is getting so much personality the more he can say and he is funny like his brother. Henry is also our minor tantrum thrower. When he is mad or can't do something he starts his loud cry and starts running off high stepping his feet like he is dotting the I at half time of the Ohio State game. It is super cute and doesn't at all help him get what he wants.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

3 babies and a man

Day two of being at home with three boys went really well. So far all the boys are playing really well with each other and I have successfully kept them from causing major injuries to themselves and each other. Henry is trying to run with Finn and keep up and Ian is trying to keep up with Henry. I have them napping at the same time in the afternoon giving me 2 hours of personal time that was taken up by a book today, and internet time yesterday. We are trying to find time to get to the zoo but with the little ones taking two naps there isn't enough consecutive awake time for all three of them. I think later when they are all down to just one nap we can do more of that. After Carly got off work she took all 3 boys on a walk giving me plenty of time to make dinner before Jesse and Kate came home from work and Kate took care of the baths afterwards. That is one of the benefits of being the stay at home dad, both moms are a lot more helpful then I would be or Jesse. No word on jobs for Kate though she has been pretty busy with the two she has right now and the trickling in paychecks are sustaining us. I think a bus pass would benefit us nicely, maybe I can negotiate that as part of my Daddy day care services.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

baby feeder and ESL teacher

Finn was really great with Tobias most of the time. He would even give him a bottle in the car while Kendra was driving. He has been just as helpful with our exchange students that he met tonight. They were during the time we were in Arizona so we have nearly missed their entire stay. But tonight we picked them up from their day trip to Seattle and took them out for Pizza on their last night in Portland. Finn was shy at first but quickly came around to two adoring people that laughed at his every silly face. He is a slave to comedy so when they started laughing he started hamming. By the time we were walking to dessert he was fully comfortable. They were holding hands crossing the street and when the trains were not running and we had to take the bus Finn explained it to them. When they told him OK in their heavy accented english that sounded more like "Row kay" Finn corrected them. "Now Row Kay it's Ohh kay, ohh kay!" They quickly answered OK without the R and Finn nodded his approval. It's really too bad he wasn't here for more of their stay but what little time they had with him they loved.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

new life amongst the ruins

My Nephew is going to have some great photos taken during his life but this one sets the bar pretty high. His daddy is so talented with a camera, and I know that working with such a cute subject makes his job that much easier. Tobias Aaron Rohl at 5 weeks old in a old mining town in Jerome, AZ.

family photo

This has been the summer for getting together for some family photos. While we were in Indiana we had the chance to get a picture of the extended Mcgrail family and in Arizona we got the extended Rohl family. From Left to Right we have Tobias, Kendra, Ze'nea, Beautiful, Finn, Mark, Simeon, Papa, Grandma, me, Henry, Lyric, James, and Zonda.

back to life, back to reality

It's getting late and the boys and I are heading home tomorrow with Grandma and Papa. It has been a great visit with Mark and Kendra and their baby is beautiful. Getting and opportunity to get to see the community that has fought for them and cried with them and now is celebrating with them has been a real treat. They in amongst great people and the boys and I have been lucky to get to spend some time with them. Finn has had the most fun I think. He has gotten to play with so many kids at so many different house and with so many different toys. Just tonight he was playing with Haley and they were running around eating up imaginary things. He was really great to see that huge social development of imaginative play with another kid. He was gotten a lot of that here and I think he is going to miss that when we go back home. It really underscores the need to get him into a community with more kids around his age. I'm pretty excited to get home and get started with that and now that our roommates both have 9 to 5s it will be one more little man in the group. I will be responsible for Ian as well as Finn and Henry. Luckily we have experience with 3 kids thanks to our wonderful time with Beefy. That was primarily Beautiful's responsibility so this my chance to step like she did. With no more trips on the horizon I am looking forward to getting some sense of normalcy back for the boys. Find our rhythm back in Portland before the rain comes back. Still no full time job for us but we are making it. We are hopeful and having fun and super thankful for our friends and families. You have shown us love and your prayers have helped sustain us. Thank you.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

slip slide and away

finally a grandchild that looks like grandma

We are having a great time with family and friends in Arizona but the best part is getting to be with little Tobias. He is a sweet baby and well loved here in the desert. We were at church this morning and I was holding him while he was fussing a bit with some gas. I was approached by a bunch of people in the lobby asking me if I needed help. I don't think it was for the usual reason of a man with a crying baby obviously doesn't know what he is doing. I think that I was holding the much anticipated and loved Toby and they didn't know who I was. They wanted to make sure I was taking care of him, luckily Kendra was there to vouch for me. Finn has been helping with bottles in the car and holding his hand when he starts to cry. So far we haven't eaten a meal in the same house yet and with a trip to SB in the cards I don't think we soon will. It is hot but fun and Beautiful gets here tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

beauty in the midst of uncertainty

Every day is Sunday, that's the way Carly put it the other day while Beautiful and I were on the couch reading, the boys napping, Jesse at the dining room table on the computer. It was 2 in the afternoon and we were all home, seemingly without a care in the world. Looks are deceiving though. Both Beautiful and I were trying to take a break from the worry by getting lost in a good book. I think I was more successful then she was. After long periods of no response from resumes followed by the occasional 'thanks but no thanks letter', Beautiful got an interview. We were both excited knowing how winning she is but it turns out the company that scheduled the interview is just a pyramid scheme in the form of Insurance sales. Jesse had been to an interview/recruitment seminar the other week and warned her away. What was some hope in the midst of the crushing silence turned out to be mirage. Beautiful was discouraged, really discouraged for a bit. I told her she isn't unemployed she's just under-employed and for some reason that helped. She has two jobs now and is staying pretty busy. Our bank account seems to be a loaves and fishes miracle where a little has gone a long way. We are mostly in good spirits and only occasionally get pulled under by the worry. It is great being with the boys and getting to take the train to the zoo in the middle of the afternoon but there is something to be said for a bit of security and insurance. So after 2 months of unemployment for me and underemployment for Beautiful we are still hopeful and positive most of the time. We are enjoying the time together and taking advantage of the journey like Linsey advised. We have seen and spent time with lots of friends and family that we would not have to chance to if we had a full time job and for that we are thankful. Really for all of it I am thankful, this is not too much to handle. It is hard to be sure but I am thankful for the hard stuff and the beauty in the midst of uncertainty.