Wednesday, August 6, 2014

We all must adapt

Adapting is a key to survival.  We all need to adapt to changing situations and if we don't we get run over by those who do.  Sometimes adapting is easy, say like moving a play date inside because of rain.  Other times adapting can be hard, like starting a new job with better chance for advancement but less pay up front.  Or even worse, finding a way to live with a major disability or without a limb.  (Mad props to those in the latter category.  I don't know how y'all do it.  You are the real superheroes!) Some people are better equipped at adapting than others.  Some do it creatively.  Others do it rationally.  Others just wait until it is done for them.  But I believe we all are good at adapting.  Lets face it, if we weren't we wouldn't be here.

That being said here is a good story about adapting:

This past week we embarked on a small family vacation.  My wife had a work conference and the rest of the family tagged along, because why the hell not.  Her job has a yearly, regional conference at the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire.  There are times when there is a national conference in other, more exotic locales (Chicago, Montreal, etc.). But we can bet we are at least going to New Hampshire once a year.  And the place where we go is a giant facility.  If you were to build this place today it would cost you a billion dollars, maybe ten times that.  It is an old hotel at the base of the famed Mount Washington and they spared no expense building it in 1902.  Pools, golf courses, tennis courts, horse back riding, hiking, fresh air, you name it, they have it all and then some.  Check it out if you have some free time (and some free funds). And to say this place is fancy would be an understatement.  Up until this year, jackets were required in the main dining area.  And I don't mean parkas (It is the mountains of New Hampshire).  I'm talking sport coats, suit jackets, blazers.  Fancy threads!  (It is also the reason I go to the tailor every few years, just to have my jacket taken in, let out and taken in again)

The main drawback to this trip is the four and a half hour ride to get there.  But nothing good comes easy.  Our trip started rather effortlessly.  We left when everyone was up; no early wake up calls or middle of the night departures.  We were on the road for about 45 minutes before the first "I don't feel so good," was said.  Thanks a lot Bonine!  What a great start!  So we pull into a fast food establishment for some soda (good for keeping car sickness at bay) and a light munchy.  And to feed the baby, because lets face it; we stopped.  Mind as well take advantage.  Back into the car, all filled up and feeling better.  Then filler-up stop for the car down the street, and back on our way.  An hour later another potty request.

"Didn't you go when you sister went?"


"Did you try?"



Another stop only this time we are at a gas station.  That means candy and snacks! (great for kids, not so much for adults)  So after three stops in under two hours we are back at it.  (The baby was sleeping at this stop and we all know the number one rule with babies: DON'T WAKE A SLEEPING BABY!)  About an hour later some fussing from the carseat and the wife and I realize it is time to feed said child.  But we are both determined not to stop unnecessarily.  That is when my wife had the most brilliant idea I have ever heard her say.

"I'll just feed her in her seat."

Great!  No stoping.  I had packed a few bottles so it seemed easy enough.  But they would be cold from the cooler and there are times when the baby is very particular on the temperature of her beverage.  When I noticed my wife had not grabbed a bottle I looked in the rear view mirror and saw this:

Adapting at it's finest

She was breastfeeding in while still in the car seat.  Driving down the interstate at 70+ miles per hour.  Boob in baby's mouth.  Not skipping a beat.  To say she is dedicated to this feeding from the boob thing is an understatement.  (I mean, it is the best for baby) And the little one was never the wiser.  She just sat there and gobbled it up like nothing was different.  What a trooper!  

I know this probably was not the safest thing for my wife to do.  But she has faith in my driving abilities and I wasn't about to stop.  We have done that enough already.  

So needless to say, we made it to our destination without any more unnecessary stopping.  And thank God we did because I really had to pee.  

And here is a couple gratuitous shots of the view.  Soak in the relaxation. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I think my views on beauty have changed

For Christmas my wife go me a one year subscription to Playboy.  Yes , my wife got it for me.  Have I ever told you how awesome she is?  The holy grail of spank mags comes to my house every month.  But Hef's publication isn't really a spank mag.  Its more classy art, with boobs.  And some really great articles.  And who doesn't like boobs?  And airbrushing. (more on that later)  And the articles.  They aren't half bad, either.

I have been reading and "reading" the issues.  But something isn't right.  The ole head isn't quite reacting to the beautiful, nude women's bodies like it used to.  I remember watching National Lampoons European Vacation as a kid just to get a glimpse of some boobie and being in awe of their wonderfulness.  Or even getting a glimpse of a boob in Just One Of The Guys.  (Great 80's movie where a girl changes her gender to get a job.  You should find it and watch it, but it is an 80's movie so be warned)  Boobs are really wonderful.  I now find myself reading more of the articles.  (You see, it really is true.  Guys do read it for the articles)  I am having internal conflicts with the fact that most of these girls were born after I entered high school.  (Well maybe not that young but they are very young, by this old man's standards)  I look at the fine specimen of female and search for signs of normalcy.  I look for things I find cute, sexy and adorable.  I look for things real woman have.  They have a personality.  They have a sense of humor.  They have battle scars of life; stretch marks from pregnancy or a macaroni necklace their kids made them draped around their necks.  (Dangling into their delicious cleavage.)  They do not have the most perfect body.  They do not have very perky breasts, but what fun are those after a week or two?  I can only assume these models have those flaws as well but they are just covered by an airbrush artists before the issue goes to press.  (But that guy has a job and by the looks of it he does is well)

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am the father to three girls.  Maybe it has something to do with maturity (don't start spreading the rumor that I have matured.  My street cred will take a big hit if that got out).  Perhaps the culprit is seeing what a real woman does for her family at the expense of her looks.  Real women work.  Real women stress.  Real women get pregnant and grow a child.  Most breast feed that child to give it the best nutrition on Earth.  Most women embrace their bodies no matter what they look like.  Albeit most, if not all of them, wish they looked like the girlies in the magazines.  These "real women" are the sexiest, most beautiful women on the planet.  They are the ones giving life, nurturing life, wearing their battle scars with pride.

Is it Hugh Hefner's fault women feel inferior to the girls in his magazine?  Is it society's fault that all women look to the models as a gauge of beauty?  Is it the man's fault for gawking at cover after cover, mentally banking his ideal woman, piece by piece?  They are just doing what sells.  And year after year the models get thinner and thinner.  A real woman has some meat on her bones.  She is someone who won't get blown away on a windy day if she didn't have rocks in her pockets.  A real woman has flaws.  And those flaws is what makes her beautiful.  It is also what makes her individual.  If every woman was thin, with round shapely bosoms and a perfect bottom there would be no one to stand out.  And no one would buck the trend.

So embrace your woman-friend's flaws.  That is what makes her special.  Like the old adage says:  "Shake what your momma gave ya!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My worst parenting decision to date

Lets start off by saying I am usually a good parent. Sometimes I am even great! Just ask me.  I keep my kids safe and clean (most of the time) and even fed.  I play with my kids.  I teach my kids important life skills such as the importance of being polite, sharing (a work in progress), cleaning up after ones self (an arduous task) and the art of laundry folding.  Yet the other day I had a lapse in judgement.  One that I am not proud of.  I purchased the Frozen soundtrack from iTunes. A harmless act, you say?  Sure.  The music of the latest Disney craze/fad/brainwashing movie is filled with songs my children know by heart (another example of brainwashing; they learn them in school!) and keeps them occupied for hours, even whole minutes on end.  But the drawback is hearing Let It Go (both versions) or Do You Want To Build A Snowman in constant replay.  These songs must be what Zendaya was singing about in her song Replay.  Yes, I know that song too.  It is on RadioDisney.  A lot.  Further proof Disney is taking over the psyches of the world.  All these songs get wedged into my brain and I am forced to sing them to myself ALL DAY.  ALL. DAY.

The problem is some of the songs are very sad.  I have seen the movie (further proof of brainwashing; Disney makes it so parents AND kids watch their movies if they want to or not).  Every time I hear some of the songs I remember back to the scenes and how unfortunate the character's situations are.  Frozen  is a great movie but replaying the whole movie in my head all is getting old.  I just hope my kids are relating to it like I am.  I hope they are getting the message of the movie:  True love is the most important thing.  But not Prince/Princess true love (that has been done a thousand times over, by Disney. It's their bread and butter) but the the true love between family.  I can only hope that message will set in soon and my girls will stop bickering and fighting with each other over who sits next to whom at the dinner table or which one got their water cup first.

So maybe there is something to this brainwashing thing.  I only have fifteen or so more years to test my theory.

And to be fair, I do not believe Disney is brainwashing my children or society.  They do a wonderful job creating, marketing and promoting their products.  And they try like hell to get a great message to the younger generation (and sometimes the older crowd, too. And if you are over the age of 30 and camp out for the next Disney movie to come out at the theater, you need more to do. Let me know if your have some down time.  I have a ton of stuff that needs to get done and I could use an extra hand or two).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

We have a roller!

Since I was last in touch with all of you, things have happened.  Sunday was Father's Day here in the good ole U S of A.  (It could have been it other parts of the world, I just don't know definitively) I was treated to a day of golf and some lovely cards from the family.  The golf has become sort of an annual traditions for my father, father in-law, brother in-law and whatever father/son teams we can drum up.  It is a nice break from the daily SAHD life (for me).  I wish I could have played better and won some money for team Hoehne, but that wasn't in the cards.  Oh well.  At least it was a beautiful day.  

So on or about the 8th tee box my phone starts going crazy.  So I look down and see my Twitter account has some action.  Now I haven't even looked at the Tweet machine in quite some time.  So I wrote if off as spam.  Then another one.  And another.  I could have looked to see what all the commotion was, but screw that.  I'm playing golf.  Or trying to.  (we use the Quota point system so we are all on an even playing field.  In a nut shell, you get 1 point for a bogey, 2 for a par, 4 for a birdie and so on.  And I had yet to score a single point.  And it was the 8th hole.  My golf game was lacking.)  

Fast forward to Monday afternoon when I get a chance (or finally remembered to look) to see what all the hub-bub was about.  I was a featured dad on Dad's in the limelight series by a fellow blogger @dadofdivas.  His mission: "Being a Dad is hard work and the Dads in the Dads in the Limelight Series are doing an amazing job balancing life and fatherhood on a daily basis."  He had reached out to me a few months back inquiring about my participation in his project.  He sent me some questions that I gladly answered.  Almost as soon as I was finished, I forgot all about it.  When I looked, I was reminded of my insightful answers and it all came running back to me.  "I remember that thing I did."  What this fine gentleman did was feature me on Father's Day; when the world is searching the interweb for all things "Dad."  (or so I hoped.)  He even left in the link to this fine and worldly blog.  (shoutout to all the European readers.  Thanks!)  To say it was an honor is an understatement.  Even if no one outside of my Facebook friends read it (because I bombarded them with the link) it was nice to be recognized.  I  was a celebrity, even in my own mind, for a day.   So to thank him I ask all of you to head over to the Dad's Of Divas web site.  Poke around.  Read what his is up to.  Follow his blog.  Or just be a Peeping Tom, lurking from the bushes.  But if you all could give his site some traffic that would be penny in the wishing well of thanks.  

Back to the title of this post.  

Yesterday the littlest offspring was playing on her playmat, as she does most days.  Hey, it quietly entertains her and lets me get other things done.  But this time I happened to be sitting next to her, prime seats for the milestone show.  She had been hinting at rolling over, getting onto her side only to fall back to her back.  But last night she made the leap to adulthood.  She went right over to her tummy.  That's rolling back to front! (Keep your stories of you kid rolling over back to front/front to back like a barrel at 4 months.  She isn't that advanced yet, but soon.  She's only 12 weeks.  Get off my back and let me have this on little thing, at least for one minute).  Of course once she was on her stomach and got bored of the lack of scenery to gaze at she became annoyed.  So I flipped her back over.  Then it happened again.  Flipped back.  And again.  

So there you have it.  My child is now (semi) mobile.  I guess this is just a primer for the crawling stage.  And/or the walking/running stage (I'm telling you she's advanced.  She might not crawl and go right for the jugular and walk right on out of here).   So if you see me grinning from ear to ear, or just looking tired and tattered from rolling an infant back every so often, you'll know why. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The other big thing I left out of yesterday's post

Like I said yesterday, I knew I forgot some things that happened on my hiatus.  And it was kind of big.  You are saying to yourself, "How can you forget something big that happened?"  I did.  Well I didn't totally forget it.  I remembered it today, and every day since it happened.  But it is big.  "Nut-ah," you say?  I say "Um-ha!"  "Nut-ah."  "Um-Ha!"  "Nut-ah!" "You're right."

So before the baby was born, my six year old decided one day that she was a vegetarian.  Kids go through stages.  Try new things.  Do drastic things like change their hair color to blue or some radical shade of OSHA pink so everyone in society will stand clear of their heads.  The wife and I inquired about such a life change.  Her response was priceless.  She had just watched a movie in school about poachers and poaching.  From that movie she took away that all animals are important and NOT TO BE EATEN.  (I can agree with the first part)  She said she didn't want to hurt any animals, especially the endangered ones.  Because we eat endangered species all the time.

"Honey, what's for dinner tonight?"

"Oh, just some oven baked Bald Eagle with a side of Black Rhino in a red wine demi-glaze." Said no one ever. (but it does sound tasty)

Now we are not vegetarians.  Her teacher is but we are pro meat in this household.  It has its own category in the food pyramid.  (And if animals weren't supposed to be eaten, then why do they taste so good?)  We chatted about the benefits of eating meat and how the meat we eat is raised to be eaten.  But she stuck to her guns and was very adamant about being a vegetarian.  Ok.  Run with it, kid.

We discussed that she would have to get her protein elsewhere, mostly through beans, cheese and other high protein (non meat) foods.  That night we prepared a nice salad.  We were all dressing our abundant salads of greens, vegetables and chickpeas when we asked if she wanted bacon bits (real ones; not the imitation crap) she hesitated.  Yes being a vegetarian would meant giving up bacon too.  Giving up the worlds most perfect food; bacon.  A food that should have it's own category in the food pyramid.  She thought for a moment then decided that she was going all in on this vegetarian thing.  Bravo, child.  She made up her mind and stuck to it.  (This does not fare well for me when she hits the teenage years.)

So this new found diet has stuck around since then; all told about 12 weeks (give or take).  She might be the healthiest eating six year-old in the history of six year-old eating.  We even ran into a nice older woman at the grocery store in the frozen veggie burger section and got schooled on some of the things.  Like how the Bocca Burgers are the fast food of vegetarian eating, meaning not all that good for you but still within the vegetarian limits.  I even had one and they aren't all that bad.  Now I am not going to go veige anytime soon; I just tried one to check it out.  Ya know, to make sure it's safe for my kid.

The new menu has some challenges.  I have never made a special meal when the kids don't like what we are having.  What is for dinner, is what is for dinner.  I am far to busy to be a personal cook.  We have been taking into account what she will eat and plan our meals to fit in.  Maybe we are all eating healthier because of it?  We were always into the fresh vegetables and not so much into processed food; but we occasionally divulge.  So the change wasn't that far out of our comfort zone.  Just no tasty, delicious, yummy meat for her.  (Her loss.  More for the rest of us)

So that is the other big news.  We haven't even discussed the "V" word with her.  I don't think anyone in this house is ready for a vegan.  And I will hunt you down if you mention it to her.  Kidding.......  Kind of.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I'm not going to make excuses. Its been busy.

I don't really know where I left off with you all.  And I am too lazy to go back and read, so here's the latest:

Many of my loyal readers (including those in Europe; which still blows my mind that people that far away and whom I have never even met read my blog) know my better half was pregnant, again.  (And if you didn't know, now you do)  On March 24th of this year we welcomed our newest DAUGHTER (Yes, now I live with four women) to our family.

Wait, that might be a bit too gory.  Lets try this one:
That's better.  Anyhow, Josie's story starts like this:
The plan was to drop off the soon-to-be middle child off at preschool and head out to the hospital for our scheduled C-Section.  The aforementioned preschooler gets dropped off at 9 and we were not to be at the hospital until 11:30.  What can two grown adults do for two and a half hours that didn't involve food? (Because no eating before surgery)  So we meandered on our way, stopping at the book store to get a book about pets moving onto the afterlife for our friend's child that recently lost a beloved dog.  That killed about 15 minutes.  Then to the card store to hunt for an "I'm Sorry Your Pet Has Died" card.  Surprisingly hard to find.  Another 10 minutes burnt.  But we were also 25 minutes closer to the hospital.  So we decide to just go early and see what happens.  Good idea, right?  Or so we thought.  We get to the place where they fix people (Hospital), head up to L&D, wait, check in, wait, get our staging room, wait, wait, watch the other birthing women on the monitors, wait.  There was a backup in the O.R.  The nurses contact our surgeon to tell him not to rush because of said backup.  I went to get something to eat, ya know because we couldn't kill time eating before.  I was back maybe ten minutes when it was go time.  But no "We are going to start to move you," or no "The doctor is here and the O.R. had been cleared for takeoff."  Just a mass of nurses and staff whisking us down the hall.  Not so much me.  I was lagging behind with all the bags and left over food, and whatever I could carry.  The bed couldn't carry all that stuff AND a bag of clothes.  
The wife gets taken into the sterile environment while I get to wait (again, alone this time) and change into my very stylish and sexy scrubs. Then some more waiting.  The Dr. pops his head out to tell me that my wife has a nice back and the epidural went in without a hitch.  Thanks for that.  It's strange what people notice.  We were instructed to make a playlist for our delivery, which we/I did.  And it kicked ass.  So much ass that I forgot the iPod when I was finally called to join the party.  So back I run to the partner waiting area to gather said Apple device and hustle my way back.  Now I didn't think my playlist was that cool.  Just some Beatles, maybe some Beach Boys and some G'n'R.  But the staff raved about my soundtrack.  It was fun.  It was mostly appropriate.  
About an hour after I got to the party, my daughter Josie Catherine was born (to "Here Comes The Sun").  Both mom and baby did fine.  
I stayed at the hospital that night to help change diapers and such, seeing how post C-Section moms can't do any heavy lifting.  I changed 12 poopie (baby poop, merconium, the stuff they tar roads with).  One thing we knew after that night was this kid can poop!  It is a major life skill, after all.  Really a key to survival.  
Like I said, I stayed one night and then back to tend to the other offspring.  They missed mommy. But they were excited for their new sister.  The next few days we all spent time going back and forth to visit and tend to both mom and child.  Then homeward bound and things get real fun!

A few weeks before the birth, the oldest picked up this attitude.  Lots of back talk and general nastiness.  It could have had something to do with the baby.  It could have been the weather.  It could have been school.  I think she's just blossoming into her teenage years sooner than we thought.  Needless to say, we have yet to curb this new peachy attitude.  And, boy, is it fun!

Some other things that happened:

We took a mini family vacation to Boston.  That went well.  

The garden got planted.  I had to expand one garden and reduce one.  All told, I now have 1080 square feet of garden.  So what do you do with a plot that big?  I put in 34 tomato plants, corn, squash, zucchini, beans, spinach, eggplant, watermelon, other melon, lettuce, kale, basil, thyme, oregano, dill, parsley, beans, peas, and strawberries. You know, because I have a screw loose.

This past weekend we just attended the two girls dance recital.  Usually their recitals have one or two major catastrophes.  No one ever gets hurt.  Things like the sound shuts off, or the preschoolers cry throughout their entire routine.  This year I lent my audio expertise to the sound issues of years past.  At least that part was under control.  No sound dropping on my watch!  The first show went rather well.  Nothing too, too bad.  Just a broken "stretcher" (table on wheels) and minor logistical issues that go with the territory of getting 100 or so (or more, or less.  I lost count) women and girls where they need to be at the time they need to be there.  Again, no one got hurt.  The second show.  Ahh.  The second show.  We all should have know that something was going to happen.  The first show went well.  In the second show, in the very first number, the lights go out.  18 minutes later we figure out what in God's name happened and restart the show.  Major crisis resolved, or so we thought.  Somehow in the blackout and rebooting of the light board, on light stayed on.  It stayed on, illuminating the stage during set changes, shining right on the crew moving props.  The real stars of the show were now THE show.  Now I have been back stage for a great deal of shows of all kinds.  The back stage folks do not want to be seen.  We are the people that make the show run smoothly and we are not used to being seen.  But the crew never let it bother them and kept right on going.  Intermission came and we were determined to fix this rogue light.  And right when it was resolved, the board shut everything down again.  Another 5 minutes of extra intermissioning (now all told 23-25 minutes behind schedule) we got it figured out.  And I am just the sound guy.  All shows come with their own stress.  But this show was the most stressful show I have done.  Ever.  The rest of the second act went off with out a hitch.  (Thank Goodness)  

All said and done, we have been very busy these last few months.  And now that my wife is back to work I should have more time to blog.  Sitting at the computer while she was home didn't feel right, with the baby around and all the other work that had to be done.  Now I can goof off in peace.

I am sure I left out a bunch of stuff that happened.  It must not have been important, otherwise I would have remembered.  Or living with four girls has already turned my mind to mush. 

Here is what I do remember, and not just because there is a photo.  Here is me and the three kids on Easter.  

Until next time!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Stand your ground ammendment

First off I would like to state that my personal beliefs have no bear on the Stand Your Ground law stories that have been in the news recently. If I make a humorous statement about the case or the person(s) involved, it is just for the sake of a laugh. This is just another thought from a parent's standpoint.

The other night I made a wonderful (or so I thought) dinner. The other parental unit as well as the younger of the offspring thought so.  However the eldest child was not in the same Praise Camp. To her it was "messy and disgusting looking," and "It tastes repulsive."  All while not even trying a tiny bit of it.  How does one know if a meal is repulsive tasting if one does not even put a single bite in their mouth is beyond me. We all ate our respective meals while the newest hunger strike member campaigned for a new meal.  Over cries, tears, yelling, gagging, and defiance.  We calmly said that this is dinner and there will be nothing else to eat for the duration of the night.  I do a great deal around the house.  I cook.  I do laundry.  I clean.  I make meals.  ONE meal per sitting.  I am not a personal chef; I don't get paid enough. We all eat the same meal.  If you don't like it, you don't eat.  (I know some of my grandparent readers will say "Just give her her own meal.  You can't not feed her." But it is not my job to be at the beacon call of their culinary desires. It is the grandparent's job to do that.)

Kids won't starve.  If my children had a food allergy or some sort of dietary restriction, then I will make a special dish for them.  Most likely we would all eat the same meal with consideration made to said restriction. That being said, my kids have neither.  They aren't even picky eaters (aside from this instance). Needless to say she had a few bites and went to bed.  I'm sure the food-borne tantrum was directly related to the fact that she was tired.  Do you know what happened the next morning?  She woke up.  She didn't starve because she didn't have dinner. She didn't turn into a pile of dust during the night. She woke up and had breakfast, just like any other day.

Back to Stand Your Ground.  What I am proposing is that parents should not be looked down upon for malnutrition if their child doesn't eat a single meal.  It is just one meal. The parents should not be forced to make a new meal just to please one child.  We work hard and the last thing we need is to make more work for us.  Again, kids won't starve. The meal put before them is the meal.  Eat it or don't.  Their choice. Parents, stand your ground.  You work hard doing your jobs plus all of the other parental things you do.  Don't make more work for yourselves.

Maybe Mr. Zimmerman was just trying to get Mr. Martin to eat his meal. Maybe he didn't eat the fish or the broccoli or the flafel.  Even if that were the case, I am not saying we should all injure (or worse) our children if they refuse to eat the meal of the night. Remind them that One Meal, One Sitting is the law of the land. Unless that is, if you live in Florida.  Then all bets are off.

(Apologies to the Grapefruit State)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Its Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day, all. Happy holiday created by Hallmark to sell you stuff and make you feel guilty for all the stuff you haven't done yet. And if you say Happy V-D you better be saying it to an ex that told you that Star Wars was stupid or someone that killed your cat or dog because they were taking too much of your attention. Because VD is the best gift you can give that person.

So it is no surprise that I am a horrible gift giver. If you have ever gotten a good gift from me, it probably came from my wife. I lack all thought and preparation. I usually don't think about the occasion until it is very, very near.  Like the day of, or even in some cases the day after. So if you've gotten something totally weird, inappropriate, or downright idiotic it most likely came directly from me.

That being said, I had this great idea for a Valentine's Day gift for the Mrs. I will call it the Why I Love You Project. Over the last week or so, I wrote down the reasons why I love my wife and planned to give them to her throughout the day.  After I sent the first one I added #wily, hoping she would get the reference.  She didn't and I had to explain it. We so aren't Twitter people. It is no secret that I despise the hashtag.  Check out the Fallon/Timberlake skit about it, here.  I'm with ?uestlove on this one. He is the best. If you don't know him, check him out. But I had to use the hashtag (#).  Mainly because I was too lazy to type Why I Love You after every thing.  It was all about time management. The hashtag:  the perfect combination of laziness and efficiency.

I won't go into all the reasons but here are a few that I have sent so far:

Why I love you
You are beautiful
Your pretty blond hair
You support me in whatever I do
Your determination and 
Your drive 
The way you help people
Your (mostly) even tempered parenting style
You look good in anything you wear

The way you brighten any room you enter

Sappy? I know. But it's Valentine's Day and that is what Hallmark wants. I do not want to upset the capitalistic Gods. 

There are more. I am not going to post them here because my wife is a loyal reader and I don't want to spoil it for her. Trust me. They are sappy, some are funny and all are from the heart.

So married, dating, friends-with-benefits friends, families, random strangers, please join the project. Tell someone why you love them today and every day.  You can use the "#" if you want, but I will NOT be checking. I am already cringing at thinking about it. 

#rantingsofastayathomedad (cringe)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Its Been A Long Time...... Since I've been writing.....

My life pretty much stays the same. Day in. Day out. Occasionally something comes by and throws a wrench in the schedule, but even the wrench doesn't bother me that much.  Occasionally. But this day was the same, aside from some snow and some more snow and then some more snow.

This is the before photo.  
I don't have an after because I am too lazy to go upstairs and take another pic.  
You can use you imaginations.

Many know that we are expecting another mouth to feed in late March. And if you didn't know, you do now. While we were getting pummeled by the biggest winter storm of the year (it was just a normal Connecticut storm; only twelve inches. Hardly anything to bat an eyelash at. We've had worse. Like the year we got almost 100 inches, most of which were major storms. None of this two inches of snow that shut down the south. That year we got storms that dropped FEET of snow, so one measly foot ain't nutin) we thought (and by we, I mean my lovely beautifully pregnant wife) it would be good to ready the baby's room in case things needed to progress faster than the scheduled C-section. Things happen, I understand. High blood pressure, PUPS (A.K.A. itchiness from the depths of a really hot, despicable place), alien hijacking, and any and all other random things that can happen to a pregnant woman.  I agree to tidy up and wash baby clothes and get all the other things in order to lessen the load IF something progresses quicker than the schedule.

Side note: Laundry is relaxing for me. Watching some Cheer's on Netflix and tackling the load of the day.  Half hour and I'm done. That's normal people's clothing. Folding baby clothes takes forever.  There are way too many things for one load.  Tiny socks. Tiny Onesies. (I can't figure out how to put in a registered trademark sign here so Gerber, don't come after me for using your product name. I mean, everyone calls them Onesies. I don't think I've ever heard anyone refer to them as "body suits." And besides, aren't body suits the things girls wore when I was in middle school? Those snaps were impossible) Little pants. Little hats. Little blankets. Little everything. I guess its just been quite a while since I've done a load of baby clothes. Like three years.

Back to the story, I arrange the tiny washed and folded clothes (all of which are unisex colored because we don't find out what we are having. Something has got to be a surprise these days.) in drawers and in the closet the way I think will be most logical. Honestly, I really don't care. I was just trying to do something so I didn't look outside and think about shoveling.

I would like to say I finished organizing everything and the room looked immaculate. I would like to tell you that I am an organizational mad man. I would like to be a millionaire. Unfortunately none of those things are true. But I did get a head start.

What happened while I was out shoveling, snow blowing, and playing the Driveway Clearing Fairy (I cleared off my neighbor's driveway while they were at work and it felt good to do good) the room mysteriously tidy'ed itself. Thanks to my wife for finishing what I started. I would have gotten to it, eventually. And besides, she knows where things are supposed to go. It's not like I don't know where everything else is in the house. I think she just did it to keep my on my toes. Throw me a curveball. Making me learn a new room. Or she just didn't like my organizational skills. Whatever the reason, it is done.

The moral of the story is people think and organize differently. What works for you probably won't work for them. One can't know for sure what the other is thinking, unless they are twins because they have that twin thing where they communicate with each other telepathically and freak people out. (We AREN'T having twins. Just one, that's all we've seen on the funny machine that looks into the belly) And if I were to know what another human was thinking, I would be a lot richer (see above about what I would like) and women wouldn't confuse the living daylights out of me.

[And I would like to thank my band mate for inspiring the title of this blog. (Just sing it and it will come to you) And if you want to hear what I mean, by all means come to Torrington tomorrow night (2/8) and catch our set. Sorry International readers, we don't have streaming. Just hop on a flight and it will be a fun adventure. We will be done by 9 so you can still get home to catch the late news! Unless you are catching a flight back to Europe.]

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I have found A secret

This week the other parental unit (a.k.a. my lovely, breadwinning, awesome, beautiful wife) is away again on business.  At least that is what I was told for the reason for the trip to sunny Disney World Florida.  I know she is having a tough time.  Sitting by the pool.  In the warm sun.  When she really is longing for the confines of snowy, negative seventeen degree (windchill) New England home.  But someone has to take one for the team and I guess this time it was her.  Thanks, darling.  We all appreciate it.  I mean which looks better?


Or this?

You all said option B, right?  I thought so.  

So I was giving the hellians a bath, and as usual they were berserk the second they get into water.  I don't know about you parents out there, but once my kids hit the bath water they go insane.  Throwing water.  Splashing uncontrollably as if they were having a seizure (which they aren't.  I've checked).  So last night as the bath was filling up they wanted it to go faster.  So I did what any semi-psychotic parent would do.  I filled a small bucket, usually used for rinsing, with water from the sink.  COLD water.  I have a well so it was really cold.  Seeing this the girls knew of their impending doom and calmed right down.  I put the bucket next to the bath within reach if things got out of hand again.  The rest of the bath went rather smoothly aside from the normal bumping and pushing to "get into warmer waters."  One kid was all washed and had gotten out of the tub.  The other, older and wiser child decided her ears no longer worked and ceased to heed my requests for tub exiting.

Oh, Looky here.  There's a big bucket of water here.  I sprinkled a little on her.  Still no compliance.  So I poured some out.  Onto her naked, yet submerged behind.  Oh the screams.  You'd think I put hydrochloric acid in the water and her skin was being devoured by tiny OH molecules.  I asked again for her to exit said tub.  The not-so-warm water must have unclogged her ears because she snapped right up and made a B line for the towel. Success!  Kind of.  I just hope I didn't scar her for the rest of her life.  Nah.  She's a trooper.  Much too strong for a little chilly water to forever footnote her childhood.

You may think of my actions last night down right cruel or sadistic.  I'm okay with that.  I had to do something.  Otherwise the mutiny would spread through the troops like wildfire and I would have had to turn the hose on them.  On a frigid night.  (The bucket doesn't seem so bad now, does it?)

I doubt they will try to pull that stunt again.  Until tonight at least.  Maybe I should grab a bucket of snow just incase.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tonight is special

For those of you who read my last post, you know I have been playing single parent for a few days.  No big deal really.  Just another stroll in the park.  (Cue whistling and nonchalant stroll)  BTW bedtime last night went off without a hitch.  The girls stayed in the same room - ALL NIGHT - without incident.  Will that ever happen again?  Shake your Magic 8 Ball to find out;  I bet "Chances are Not Likely" will come up.  

Back to the topic du jour.  Tonight being special.  It is special because the lady of the house is returning home.  Please do not ask what time she will come home.  That question has been asked more than a million-gazilion times since she has left two days ago.  At least they spread em out over the entire span of their mom's absence.  Because if they asked that many times all at once, or all in a row, I would be curled up in a ball in the corner rocking myself to insanity.  


My beautiful wife is coming back today and we have a date tonight.  These two occasions weren't planned to be in conjunction, but when God gives you limes, you make margaritas.  This date night isn't like the normal date night.  Its not "Oh, I'll watch your kids tonight so you can go out to dinner."  This is a full on, pre planned, dinner and a show date.  A while back I got tickets to Phil Vassar at a local venue.  (Honestly the only thing I know of Mr. Vassar is his song on our wedding CD that we made for our wedding favors.)  But he can't be too bad.  Adult Contemporary Country with a little hipness.  As long as it isn't One Direction or Ms. I-Can't-Really-Sing Swift.  I have heard enough of those two in my head when I wake up, when I go to sleep, when I drive the car.  Sometimes I think I have a brain tumor, then I just remember we only listen to Radio Disney.   (Woah, we have veered quite far from the topic.)  Maybe there's some validity to Radio Disney causing brain diseases.  I'll get back to you on that.  Please people of Disney, there is no scientific proof to my theory.  I am totally positive there is no correlation between your quality Satellite Radio Station and any body damaging sickness.  Please don't punish me by making me ride It's A Small World for eternity.  It will never happen again.  

We are planned to drop the kids off for a sleepover at the grandparents and head to our show.  I'm sure there will be some date stops in between.  Some really romantic stops.  Like the clearance isle at Target or a romantic stroll through the drug store on our way to pick up pictures that were printed, yet we have no room for any more photo albums.  And since the rise in popularity of digital cameras, who has photo albums anymore?  (I'm noticing a theme today - not staying on topic.  Mental note:  Don't blog in the morning.)  If we can keep ourselves under control on our romantic stops, we should be able to get to our show a little early for a pre dinner cocktail (for me) and an unleaded beverage for the one with the baby bump.  

And after the show we are to pick up the older one from her slumber and return her to home in preparation for her upcoming school day and leave the younger child to sleep.  (Don't worry, we aren't leaving her there for good.  She'll be dropped off in the morning.  If we haven't run off to Tijuana.)  All in all it seems like a good plan.  I'm excited for a night off.  The Wife has expressed her excitement for a night out.  The kids are excited to take over The House That Grandpa Built.  

Everything looks great, on paper.  What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Its that time again. The time where I make a blog post.

Its that time again.  The time where I make a blog post.  The first post of 2014.  Big news, I know.  Try to hold back your excitement.  Naahh.  Get excited.

This week my co-habitator/significant other/wife/baby-mamma is away on work business.  At least that's what she's telling me.  I think she just needed time away after the holidays.  Or she might actually be doing work things;  she's always doing work things.  So its just me and the girls doing what we do.

A funny thing has been happening lately at bedtime.  Usually we (the mother of said children and I) break off and each read stories or are read stories to, by the children.  Then its off to la-la land for them.  We just get some quiet time together.  Which means we watch some TV or clean up some giant mess that was left from the daily kid tornado.  Lately the older one is getting frustrated with her younger counterpart.  She is really into reading and genuinely likes it.  Who knew?  Must take after her mother.  Needless to say she needs peace and quiet, and anyone with a three year old knows, peace and quiet are things only read about in science fiction novels.  Or after the offspring have grown and moved out.  So she reads her books in our bed, usually reading herself to sleep.  Its great.  Unless you create a pattern and she is reading herself to sleep every night in your bed and you are transporting a sleeping first grader to their bed without trying to wake up her younger sister.  But that's my gripe with it.

Her sister on the other hand does not want to fall asleep alone.  She is fine playing alone.  She is fine watching the iPad or Idiot Box alone.  She's probably fine blowing up a building alone.  But sleeping?  That can't happen without a partner?  I feel her pain.  Sleeping alone isn't the same.  But my experience with solo sleeping and her's vary differently.  She just wants another human in HER ROOM.  My wife has been stealing my covers, stealing my body heat, and leaving socks in the bed for almost eleven years all the while building a fortress of pillows around her.  It has turned into a modern day Goldie Locks and The Three Bears.  This pillow is too flat.  This pillow is too hard.   This pillow is not hard enough.  This one is not soft enough.  I swear my bed is starting to look like one of those beds you see on HGTV where the pillows take up 95% of the bed space.  How are you supposed to sleep in it?  If they all are going to end up on the floor, what's the point of all the pillows?  You need one pillow.  Just one to rest your noggin on while you sleep.  And I'm not even sure about that.  I'm a little off topic here.

After last nights mini tantrum about falling asleep alone, I calmly break the news to Me. Sleepypants that she needs to keep quiet in order for her sister to sleep in the same room.  And after a few more coddling words, she finally agrees (basically I told her that it isn't going to happen) that for tonight, she will go off to sleepiness bliss without the company of her elder sister.  But maybe tomorrow night.  If she can keep quiet.  Here's hoping.

One day they won't want to be within earshot of each other.  But for now, I'm glad at least one of them wants to be with their sister.  And they will have to band together and form an alliance once the new baby comes along.  That will go over like a fart in church.