The Blog

Who I am . . .

I remember walking out of the hospital, 3 day old daughter in hand, and putting her in the tiny car seat in our car.  I also remember closing the door, and saying to my wife . . "That's it?" "We can just take her home?"   "No manual?"  "No official 'parent approver' to tell us we've passed inspection?".  "We don't have to take some sort of test or something"?

And that happened TWICE!

Between all the fights, laughs, talking back, silliness and tears,  they are funny, smart, wonderful young kids who amaze me every single day.

They are the thing I'm most proud of. 

They are who I am. 

"Day in the Life" - Schroeder Family

Another "Day in the Life", another incredible family.  As a gift to his wife, Dad bought a "Day in the Life" photo essay for his wife for her birthday.   This was a jam packed, morning to night, event filled day.  I don't know how they do it.  After looking back at this book, and all the different activities, places and things, I'm exhausted! These kids were amazing.  So polite, smart, respectful to everyone, and smiles on their faces.  This day reminded me why saving these moments are so important.  They go by in a an instant.  The days are about "Go! Go! Go!", and by the time you have a moment to breathe, you get to start all over again the next day. 

Watermelon Face

Ah, Summer Camp.  This this is one of the faces I came home to yesterday . . . 

700 miles of silence

For anyone that's read my blog or who knows me, it's obvious that my kids are everything to me.  So much so, that my wife and I rarely get time for ourselves.  I think since the first of my two daughters were born 7 1/2 years ago, I think we've both spent a night away from home ONCE for a wedding that we attended.  Sometimes I've had to travel for business with a night or two away, my wife even less.  Well, my wife made plans for a night in a hotel she's been eyeing in Santa Barbara (my old college stopping grounds).  Thanks to Grandpa and Aunt, the girls would be well taken care of and we could enjoy some "silence".  Leaving at noon on Saturday, and back in the car at 2pm on Sunday, didn't give us a lot of time, but the total round trip of 700 miles was certainly the most peaceful car ride we've had in some time.  Lots of uninterrupted conversation.  We got to enjoy a nice hotel, walk down to the beach, have a nice dinner, catch a movie (and not the Alvin and the Chimpmunks variety), and my wife even got a massage in the morning. . . wow.  A little time on Sunday to walk around State Street and then back home to bathe the kids and get ready for school/work the next day.  I am so grateful to my wife for being so incredibly dedicated to our children, but I think having some time for her (and us) makes doing all she does a little more do-able.  Thanks Amy for a nice day.

by Michael Clemens

School Daze . . .

Who's right and who's wrong? My daughter has a project from school that is obviously beyond her 7 year old capabilities.

Now, she can certainly "do" the project, but when other kids show up with suspiciously polished presentations (cough, *parents*, cough), do you help your child so as to compete with the other children?

Or is it that we , as parents, are competing with other parents?

So, is it wrong that the teachers assign projects that are too advanced, or is it wrong that we feel we need to make it great instead of letting our children complete it themselves even if it's not going to look spectacular?

All I can say is "Thank God" I (and my kids) have my wife.

The project was to make a doll that reflects part of your heritage.  With my wife's family from Portugal, she embarked in the "helping" of the doll creation.

As you can see, she would pass 2nd grade with FLYING COLORS.


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by Michael Clemens

Sugar-free diet . . .

I can't say that I'm sad.  I know the girls love her, but I'm tired of cleaning up after the "house trained" dog.  Pooping and peeing on the carpet is not fun for me (did I mention the girls can't even be in the same room with the poop without gagging).  The dog has brought a lot of smiles and exercise with long walks on the trail, and of course, so good photographs, but I don't think we (ok me) is ready for a full time dog.

Bye Sugar. . . we'll see you around the neighborhood

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by Michael Clemens

8 girls, last soccer game + mud = loss (but lots of fun)

it had rained the night before, so you knew this morning's game was going to be challenging.  As if the girls weren't struggling to get their own feet under them firmly for their first year of soccer, and in life, but now "someone" had to throw mud all over the field.  At times, playing with the mud when out of the game, was more interesting than the game itself.  The result was a lot of fun, a LOT of mud, and a "post last game pizza party".

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by Michael Clemens