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Same blog new address(http://www.tedanddebbie.com/blog)

Visit the new look to our blog. Still the same old content you’ve grown accustomed to. Barfing kids, late homework assignments, who is beating who up and how we make sense of this world while sharing one big bedroom. And as always, no commercials!

And while your there take a look at the new website. There’s something for everyone or your money back!

While Twitter, Facebook and blogging have started and finished a revolution in Egypt in a matter of weeks, I’m sitting here in the brown chain in the living room armed with laptop and espresso trying to keep the powers that be at a status quo. Henry and Theo are upstairs in our bed looking at the new issue of GQ which features 25 of the “coolest” athletes of all time. Simon is working on valentines. In the background I hear the “sweet” improvisational soundings of Ollie on a homemade drum set while Jimi Hendrix flows through my mind. Shine on my sweet angel(s)…

My Funny Valentine

I haven’t been surfing in almost 2 weeks. Everyone except for Sam and I came down with the flu. It’s always hard to get away when the danger of barfing is lurking with one of our kids. The yard needs my attention. I know another weed abatement notice is working its way through city hall at this very minute.  Debbie spent 4 days sick as a dog in bed so needless to says things have been piling up around here. Everyone who had the flu and wore skinny jeans realize that tthey are not skinny jeans anymore.  I’ve been working non-stop on our website redesign. It was slated for a new Years launch, postponed to Ground Hogs Day, postponed to Valentine’s Day and finally I think we can get it done by President’s Day. I find myself pouring a drink in a glass and drinking from the bottle. My espresso intake won’t make my cardiologist happy but I swear I can stop anytime I want.

Doggy Pile

Last Thursday night was a small test of Henry and Theo’s will, fortitude and sense of experimentation. Actually it was a test of my will, fortitude and sense of experimentation. I don’t like to help too much (do) with our kids homework. Partly because I’ve already completed the 4th and 7th grade and I’m horrible at math, but mainly because it’s their homework not mine. Henry had an Age of Exploration flying machine project due and Theo had a 2 paragraph summary of the early years of Father Junipero Serra. It was 8:30 and both assignments were due the next morning.

Some Flying Machines

Henry was making a blimp. This assignment has been going on for weeks. There was research, a small written essay, a list of materials etc. which culminated in a Friday parade of flying machines being brought into his 7th grade class. Henry started the physical construction of his blimp 2 days before it was due. I think that was sort of a problem. He thought he was right on schedule.

Trial and Error

Theo and I took turns reading chapter 1 of, “Never Look Back- Father Serra’s Mission” around the kitchen table while Henry divided his time between the workshop and kitchen stinking up the entire house with spray paint and rubber cement. Whether it was the way the Serra story was written or the fumes from the rubber cement, Theo was having trouble with getting started on his essay. The story was a little confusing. It was written in flashback form starting with him departing for Alto California with a gimpy leg on a donkey in an attempt to start the 1st. California missions while reminiscing about his youth and hard work.

Forgive me Father..

Speaking of youth and hard work…Henry’s project wasn’t going too well. After struggling with gluing the stabilizers and gondola onto his roundish balloon shaped paper mache’ blimp I suggested he cut slits in the flying machine with a razor blade, insert the pieces that needed adhering and secure them with hot glue. Well, the second that sharp piece of metal pierced the blimp skin the biggest blimp catastrophe since the Hindenburg began in the workshop. Oh the disaster, oh the humanity…His blimp sort of deflated. “Daddy, look what you made me do!” Henry screams. He’s in tears. It’s about 10:00 and his project is a mess. I help him inflate the blimp/balloon with the round end of a shish kabob skewer and I get it looking reasonably repaired. Henry then says, “it’s never going to fly.” I say, “Henry, you said the project didn’t need to fly.” He says, “well, we need to drop it off a ladder and observe what it does.”  We both know what this is going to do.

Serra's Journey

It’s getting late. Henry runs upstairs to talk to Debbie who is still feeling crappy with the flu and I’m reciting Junipero Serra’s donkey ride  essay to Theo in 4th grade lingo. He’s not getting it. I resort to a bubble graph teaching technique and he stats to understand the time liness and important people, places, dates and events. Henry comes downstairs and calmly says he’s going to start over. I suggest he make an extra paper mache’ blimp just in case and he agrees. At 11:00 he’s outside with a hair dryer trying to dry his blimps with no luck. “It’s just making the pastse melt. It’s not drying,” he says. I tell him to go to sleep and get up early to finish off the project.  So, at 3:00am we hear his alarm go off and he trudges downstairs. At 4:30 we hear him screaming, “I cut myself!” I go downstairs. Every light in the house is on. It really stinks of paint and glue and hard work. He’s got an all night AM sports talk show on the radio. The cut isn’t too bad. As I wash and apply pressure to it,  I ask Henry how it’s going. He says it’s going pretty good as I put on a couple of band aids. At 5:30 Henry wakes me up because he’s run out of spray paint. I tell him where there is another can an 10 minutes later he comes up and says, “It just deflated again.

Sam sacked out on the couch

Both Debbie and I tell him to bring everything you have to school and during your oral presentation just tell everyone the truth. I tell him that anyone who has ever created ANYTHING has experienced failure.  Sam, who has been sleeping on the couch for the past couple of weeks so as not to be contaminated by everyone in our family who has been sick has slept through all of this. It’s time to get up and go to school. Time to make breakfasts, lunches and put band aids where a band-aids are needed. Oh, and by the way, check out those Minka Kelly pictures in GQ. Va Va Va Voom.

Ollie, ready for his day

Band Aid and Spray Paint

While going (wading) through some (tons of terabytes) images for our website redesign the other day I came across these pictures we did during a recent Graco Casting. A Saturday “call back” amongst our horde of  boys always puts everyone at ease. Ollie stared at the baby on the sheepskin and told her she looked like an alien. I’m pretty sure both families made the final cut… Even the alien baby.

 

I think she looks cute

 

This is not my beautiful wife

This is my beautiful house

 

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was...

 

The corner of Arizona & Infinity

After surfing last Saturday Sam said, “I haven’t caught a good wave since September.” It was a beautiful morning. The sun was out, the temperature was in the mid 70’s, the winds were off shore and the water was cold but refreshing. The waves were so-so but while most of the country was under snow I felt fortunate to be able to be surfing even if we haven’t had a really good swell since September. So it’s time for Dawn Patrol. That’s where you set your alarm clock to ring at an indecent hour, dress in the dark, grab your wetsuits in the dark, strap your boards on the car in the dark, get to the beach in the dark, check the waves out in the dark, suit up in the dark and paddle up just as the sun is coming up.

Setting Moon

Big ole moon

This is where the sun comes up

It’s dark, hard to see the water. It’s like looking through a pair of cheap binoculars. We hear waves and start making out white water. We walk back to the car.  Sam get’s his wetsuit on first and as usual he asks’ “Daddy, can you zip me up?”

Vantage from the Volvo

Sam

The sand is cold as I walk to the water. Sam is already out. I pretend to stretch a little, put my leash on and paddle out. It’s high tide and it’s shoulder to head high. The sun is just starting to come up over buildings where I imagine people are just starting to get up. It’s just me and Sam in the water and the super high tide is killing the waves. The first wave I catch is for my old surf pal Alex who passed away last week. Alex and I used to surf here at Bay St. almost every weekend morning. He hadn’t been in the water for a few years and we hadn’t talked in about a year but this is where we used to surf. He rode a Hap Jacobs long board.

Time for school

We catch a few waves and I look at my watch. It’s time for Sam to go to school. I tell Sam, “One more wave.” The sun is up coming up as we take our last waves in. I remember once when Alex and I were taking our wetsuits off after surfing one morning in this very parking lot a homeless guy walks up to us and asks if we had any money we could spare. I told the guy, “No man, sorry.” Alex tells him, “Dude, I’m in a wetsuit…what the hell are you thinking!” The guy then asks, “Well, what about a cigarette then?” Alex reaches in his car and gives the guy a cigarette and says, “Here. Here’s a cigarette,  get your own match.” Alex was a goofy foot and I will miss him.

Time to go

Putting Ollie to work

So it’s done and over with. We made it through the holidays one more year. The cycle continues. With a family of boys ranging from ages 4-16 it’s hard to sustain the myths that go along with the holidays. I don’t really know who believes and who doesn’t believe at this point. It’s hard to sustain the magic. On the other hand, it’s pretty easy too to keep the magic going. They want to believe. So do I.

Richard Wright & Silver Coffee Teapot

The shock of the alarm clock going off at 6:00 am signals that it is time to go back to school. Debbie and I roll out of bed. It dark and it’s cold. There is no way we are going to get these bums out of bed. We say, ” Get up it’s time for school.” There is absolutely no response. We yell, “Get up it’s time for school!” Henry looks at us like, “are you crazy?”

The last of the egg nog

Debbie and I go about our morning routines. She puts in her contact lenses, checks emails and then proceeds to get lunches ready for the masses. I warm up the espresso machine, cross my fingers that there are still some hot embers left in our wood burning stove to get a nice fire going, split some kindling and get back to trying to wake those boys up.

The last of the pantone

Simon and Ollie

The last panatone

While making as espresso I think about the Marx Brothers film we saw last night with everyone. I think it was A Day at the Races. Groucho plays Dr. Hakenbush a horse doctor who somehow is hired at a failing sanitorium. We eat the last panatone and finish off the last of the egg nog. It’s a beautiful cold crisp morning. Lunches are ready, there’s complaning about clothes. Ollie can’t find his new skinny jeans and flannel shirt, Theo says every pair of pants in his drawer are not allowed in games class, and Henry is dressed in all athletic wear he’s a walking advertisement.

Ollie checking out his lunch

I drop the boys off at school and check the waves at Bay St. It’s flat. I walk to the water’s edge and think about getting a routine together to make the house run smoother. Planned breakfasts, early betimes, a chore schedule. It would be nice. I put my hand in the water. It’s cold- mid 50’s. Back home Sam is still in bed and Simon is on his 2nd breakfast. He’s got a big day of Lego building ahead.

Winter Leaves

Vogue Bambini

A few months ago our good friend and extraordinary stylist Micaela Milangri pitched Vogue Bambini to do a fashion story with our family. She has always liked our blog and thought they would like to do something in the same vein. So here’s how this worked. She brought back a big box of clothes from Milan and divided them out amongst our boys. There was about 1-2 outfits per Catanzaro (except for Sam. At 16 years old he’s a bit old for Vogue Bambini) which they sort of lived in for the next few weeks. Sometimes they loved putting on the clothes and sometimes it was a pain to get them to wear them. Anyways, The Nov.- Dec. issue is the result of the shoot. Run out and pick up a copy. But, be forwarned at $29.99 it ain’t cheap!

2 Vogue Bambinis

This is the cover we didn't shoot this, we don't have any girls or Chihuahuas

 

The boys at the comic book store

 

Beefcake

 

Ollie- our supermodel

 

 

 

Leftovers (part 1)

As the year reaches its end I look through images that have yet to be shared and decide to share. There’s probably a story behind each picture,  but not enough time to sit down and begin…So I leave it to you to make up your own.

 

Persimmons

 

Ollie, bottoms up

 

Lola & Nina

 

Getting my Hasselblad fixed

 

Herman the German

 

 

 

 

Note for Henry

Simon

 

Death of my Tibetan Princess bamboo

 

A Visit fron St. Nick #1

 

 

 

A Visit fron St. Nick #2

A Visit fron St. Nick #3

 

Simon and Newspaper rack

 

Simon, Santa and Sookie

Sookie, Sevan and Simon

 

Junior Fireman

 

Raked Leaves

 

Theo with tree

 

 

 

To be continued..

 

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