May 26, 2009

Tricycle Heist

Apparently the residents of Ypsilanti Township are incapable of making certain decisions, such as which company to pay for rubbish removal. Thank goodness the township government rushed to our rescue and saved us from our own incompetence. Knowing that their constituents were incompetent dim wits, they did their civic duty by selecting a garbage company for them. As a result, we now pay taxes to a brilliant group of omniscient bureaucrats, who then in turn cut a check to Waste Management to pick up our garbage. I feel so blessed that they relieved me of the complex task of choosing a company to do a job and then paying them for the service. I hope that someday they do me the favor of making other, more important decisions in my life for me. Hey, maybe they will dictate what size car I can drive someday!

Now, we are allowed to put out 3 bags of garbage but unlimited recycling. We have become avid recyclers, but with triplets the trash tends to pile up. Rest assured though, that if we put out a fourth bag of trash, the sanitation engineer will see to it that I not enlarge my carbon footprint and will refuse to take it. That is, of course, unless that fourth article of trash happens to be a bright and shiny new Schwinn Roadster.

Exhibit A - My Driveway On A Typical Day

As you may recall, the triplets received three brand new tricycles a couple of weeks ago. This past Wednesday morning, they were playing with them and the rest of their toys in our driveway, as they do everyday. About 11:00 a.m. I received a call from Greta informing me that the garbage man just went by and that one of the tricycles was now missing. My first thought was that it could not have been mistaken for trash since there were three tricycles in the driveway, along with a bunch of other toys. Plus, we had our maximum of garbage out anyway. It must be some kind of mistake.

Nevertheless, I called Waste Management, who told me to call Ypsilanti Township, who then called Waste Management who then got a hold of the driver who then got in touch somehow with Ypsilanti Township (tax dollars at work here). Ypsilanti Township, after speaking with the driver from Waste Management, called me back with an update. The driver did take the tricycle, but claimed that the it was "in" the trash and that it didn't look new. Look at the picture above and tell me that the these tricycles do not "look" new. They are each 30+ pounds of solid steel and chrome, quite possibly the most eye turning trikes ever created. They are only 2 weeks old and even stink like new tire rubber. I was told that it was a lost cause because the driver threw it in the compactor. NO WAY did he compact it! NO WAY! Even if he thought, in some blind moment, that we were tossing it out, there was no way any right minded person would compact a brand new tricycle like this. That thing went in his cab as soon as he turned the corner. I hate to assume this about someone, but come on. Not to mention there were two others just like it in the driveway along with a boat load of other kids toys. Not to mention, if that had been a 4th bag of trash it would've still been sitting there.

Exhibit B - Shiny, Isn't It?

The city basically told me "too bad". I would love to ask the driver about it, but I don't need trouble with my garbage man. At the end of the day, I can't just select another garbage company. I have to keep using Waste Management because my township doesn't give me a choice. So basically, I have to keep paying the guy who stole my kids bike. Is it that big of deal? No. It is just a tricycle. It does, however, exemplify everything I find wrong with the world these days. Namely government incompetence and theft, only on a small scale.

Exhibit C - One Of The Victims

May 19, 2009


This past week, Greta has been sick with bronchitis and recently our kids have also been coughing up a storm, especially at night. Today we became concerned enough to take them to the doctor and found out that both Lukas and Niklas have walking pneumonia. There is so much hacking in my house, it sounds like a TB ward. In the last post I described how we are fairly certain that Niklas is getting some headaches. As a result, we had his August neurosurgery appointment bumped to this Friday so that we could get a MRI and put our minds to rest. I called NS today to get their opinion on the matter and they don't even want to touch him for at least 4-6 weeks. No big deal, but we just want to get to the bottom of the "Headdy Hurts" complaints.

On the lighter side, the monkeys have been pretty darn funny lately. In the picture, a naked Lukas and Niklas climbed to the top of the changing table and thought they were pretty cool for doing so. Greta plopped Gabbie up there and snapped the shot. We now call Gabbie the "Ann Arbor Kooky Lady". She insists on constantly wearing her sunglasses and baseball cap, even while in the house and she wont even go to bed without them. On top of that, she lugs around every possession she comes in contact with during the day. By evening she is carrying around a few stuffed animals, a couple books, her blanket, her binky and whatever else she finds. All she needs to do is plop all of it in her play shopping cart, push it down main street and ask for money.

On a final note, I am trying to get rid of the pacifiers. Some of them are getting holes in them and are referred to by the kids as "yucky binkies". Sunday morning we were sitting on the couch and Niklas said "yucky binky!" while attempting to suck on a defective pacifier.

I said "Sorry buddy, it's all we have."

He replied in a louder more assertive tone "YUCKY BINKY!"

Again, I told him "It's all we have, sorry."

Niklas got up off the couch, walked over and opened the front door, chucked his binky out into the lawn, slammed the front door shut, and came back to the couch and sat down. I about died laughing. This, however, gave me the idea on Sunday night to cut the tips off the rest of the binkies (we kept a couple for emergency). They have gone to bed the last two nights with "yucky binkies". We'll see how it goes, but I really don't like those dirty little pieces of rubber anymore.

May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day Greta! After spending all weekend alone with the kids while you were in Chicago, I seriously have no idea how you do it everyday. And Mom, I now know why you carried a yardstick while driving the station wagon. I have never been so tired in all my life. I have it so easy going to work every day. Thank you Greta for doing what you do everyday, and thank you Mom for not going insane while we were growing up.

May 5, 2009


This weekend, Greta and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. Friday night, my parents took the triplets for the entire weekend. Actually, they took them until late Monday afternoon. Greta and I celebrated by doing 10 hour days of landscaping cleanup each day (hot and romantic, I know), and going out for cocktails at night. It was nice to have a weekend away from the kids, and I can't thank my parents enough for taking them. Ben & Emily swung over to Lansing to lighten the load and even took Niklas out to dinner one night. When the kids came back on Monday evening, I had their Schwinn Roadsters put together and waiting for them. I have been eyeing these trikes since the day I found out Greta was pregnant.

On another note, please keep Niklas in your prayers. One of the advantages of the kids getting a little older is that they can now articulate their feelings. Niklas has been telling us for a while that his head hurts. He used to just say "bump" while pointing to his head, but we didn't really give much credence to it. Now he says "Head Hurts" in both English and Lithuanian. Headaches alone would be only a slight cause for concern but he has also periodically been having slightly odd episodes. He will suddenly become cuddly (Niklas is not a cuddly child) while telling us his head hurts. After lying on mommy or either of the grandmas for a while, he vomits, takes a nap, and then wakes up like nothing ever happened and is ready to take on the world. This has probably occurred 6 or 7 times since Christmas and almost always occurs in the morning. Our fear is that his shunt is not properly draining while he is lying down and sleeping. When he finally wakes up and stands he gets a big drain and gets queazy from it. This is all just theory, but we really want to get it figured out. Our next neurosurgery update was scheduled for August, but we are having it bumped to sometime in the next week or two. I pray that we are not dealing with hardware malfunction.