Monday, August 31, 2009

I am really slacking...

I use to be this paranoid, over protective Father. Well, I have been letting things slide lately. I now let them do things that I never would have before. I am attributing it to them getting older and more capable rather than me loosening up:) We even let them have ice cream at least once a week and eat hot dogs and other processed meats. Maybe all that doesn't sound that bad to many parents but it is a pretty big departure from a year and a half ago when I started staying at home with the Triplets.

Maybe the honeymoon period is over and I am just settling into my new "job." I have always tended to do that. At the beginning be an over-achiever, get in early, stay late, do everything kind of person. But eventually I would slide back into the achiever, be on time, leave on time, do most things kind of guy. This will soon be the second longest "job" that I have had in my life. The longest was about 12 years with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The three other positions I have had since then have each been for about one and a half years. I plan on making this one my career:)

Addison and Jackson trying out the fireman's pole at the park.

Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning.
Marlo Thomas


Another busy weekend

I slept in (7am) so this will be short.... We went to the in-laws Friday afternoon. Saturday was the CFO's 20th High School reunion. We went to the picnic in the afternoon then met the CFO's parents for a little shopping then ice cream. Then back to their house for a nap, change clothes and off to the reunion dinner. We got back to their house around 1am. Thankfully the Triplets let us sleep till almost 9am! Sunday we went to Church (two potty breaks during the service) then had lunch with Aunt Ra-ra and Grandmom (their Great Grandmother) before heading back home. We made it back to town just in time for our Small Group meeting at 5pm. Whew!

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.
Leo J. Burke


Saturday, August 29, 2009

What is "providing for your family?" SAHD style

I have heard this verse used by a few people in a way that seems to attack the idea of SAHDs (stay at home Dads).

1 Timothy 5:8
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The first time I heard it was from John Hagee. I was recently reminded of the verse when a member of our Church said it during a Men's retreat. I don't think he was directing his comment toward SAHDs but it was directed to Men that don't work. To say that I have a vested interest in this "discussion" would be a HUGE understatement.

Our Preacher is very big on looking at the context of verses in the Bible. Huh, what a novel idea! It seems that this verse is under "Advise about widows." I did a little digging online and found a few commentaries:
I do not see the connection and it seems that many others do not see the connection between 1 Timothy 5:8 and SAHDs (stay at home dads). Where I do see a connection is between 1 Timothy 5:8 and 1 Corinthians 12 4-6. Seems that God does not just see "providing" as bringing in money.

To be fair, maybe they were just painting Men who don't "work" with a broad brush. Or maybe they were just in a moment of weakness and they did not take into account the SAHDs that take their role (job) as the primary caregiver very seriously.

If anything, people that say things like this make me sad for Christianity. No wonder people get turned of by "Christians." At our recent Men's Retreat we watched Gladiator and talked about what it says about Men and being a Christian Man. One friend pointed out that our tongues are the swords we use most often. The really bad thing about a sword is that it is sharp on both edges so that if it is rebuffed it can easily cut the handler as well.

I try REALLY hard to not judge others as the Bible does not speak well of those who judge others....
In short, I know several other SAHDs who feel as I do... this is God's calling for us at this time. By "us" I mean ALL of us, the Mommy and the Daddy. So before someone goes quoting scripture to back up "their view" of how things ought to be I think they may want to spend a little time cleaning the glass in their own house:)

Don't worry, I am not mad at people who say bad things about SAHDs. Doesn't the Lord command us to pray for our enemies? As one friend pointed out, it is hard to dislike someone you are praying for:)

Bless their hearts....

Friday, August 28, 2009

How strong are your kids?

I have always been amazed at how strong kids are. If you have ever had a baby grab you or your hair you know what I am talking about. That strength is tough on stuff on things around the house, including the dog:) We have burned through quite a few pinch guards and door stops. I prefer the door stops that go on the hinge but I may need to rethink that as the kids seem to think it sport to break them, see the picture below.

The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents.
Nathaniel Borenstein


Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's 5:30 am...

Jackson woke up with a fever at 5am and was nice enough to wake the other two up also:) Jackson went back to sleep with the CFO but William and Addison have decided it is time to eat breakfast:(

Long day ahead... gotta run.

No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other.
Jascha Heifetz


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The last week before school

This is the last week before the Triplets' schools starts again, whew! Thanks in large part to the CFO we have one down (for the most part) and two left to go where potty training is concerned. Addison is now wearing big girl underwear but does ask for a diaper when she needs to go poo-poo. She still sleeps in a pull up but wakes up from her naps dry and can go up to 3 hours (yesterday) without going. That's my girl!

Jackson likes going in the potty both pee-pee and poo-poo but seems to have the attention span issue. He'll be playing then look at me with the very sad look and say "I went pee-pee in my pull up." William is also there on the pee-pee part but has not dropped "the kids off at the pool" yet:)

I have been "lazy" with pictures lately. I will get some up soon.

Doing nothing is very hard to do ... you never know when you're finished.
Leslie Nielsen


Monday, August 24, 2009

A stay at home weekend

My Dad came in town last Thursday and leaves today. We usually try to get out and about when we have guests in town but we didn't do much. Well, not much as a group. Dad and I went to a Men's Retreat at our Church Friday night and Saturday morning. A friend of my Dad's, Melvin, visited Saturday afternoon and we went out to an early dinner.

Part of the reason we didn't do much was that William has been running a 100 - 102 temp the whole weekend. He is so sad when he doesn't feel well. It just breaks our hearts. Hopefully he will be better today.

Woke up late this morning (7am) so I gotta run:)

The difference between rising at five and seven o'clock in the morning, for forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to a man's life.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

I need to find an easier Church:)

I say the title frequently and always in a VERY sarcastic and humorous tone. It is funny how things work out. Our Preacher (and friend) once did a lesson on "sometimes this is really about that." That is how I feel that our move to Birmingham has been. When the position that the CFO has in Birmingham opened up (her company only promotes from within and is a great company) we first discussed what a great career step it would be for her and it wouldn't hurt to be closer to family. But after being here for a while I now realize that the main reason we came (were brought here) it has really been more about our walk with Christ.

Many people at our Church are surprised to find out, but it is VERY true, that until we moved to Birmingham it did not take much to keep me from going to Church. If I can point to one thing that keeps me going to Church (two to three times a week) now it would be what our Preacher calls "the crazy uncle that lives in the basement that no one talks about," the Holy Spirit. I can see the Holy Spirit working in our lives and our Church.

Back to the title.... I sometimes reminisce about the days when I could just go to Church and feel good about where I was. Seems I kept the Holy Spirit in my basement for a long time. Now that I let him roam the house (I still need to unlock all the doors) he is moving me in directions that I would have never thought I would go. As I am a Man, I won't go into all the internal mushy stuff about how my thoughts have changes but here are a few of the external changes....
  • I actually want to read the Bible.
  • I look forward to Church
  • I pray (not just when I want something)
  • I seek God's will and His face
There is more but those are the first ones that come to mind. I hope you realize that I really don't want to change Churches. But it does get a laugh out of me and others at Church.

Going to church does not make you a Christian anymore than going to the garage makes you a car.
Dr. Laurence J. Peter


Friday, August 21, 2009

How to keep eight kids under five occupied

We have a small group from our Church that gets together weekly. We do a weekly pot luck dinner then someone (sometimes two of us) watches the kids while the rest of us have an hour of Bible study. That is great for everyone but VERY challenging for the person(s) with the kids.

I have to say that the CFO is VERY creative when it comes to kids. It was her turn this past weekend and she did GREAT! The only reason they had to come back in from the back yard early was because of rain. She took them on "animal hunts" and many other creative adventures. Contrary to her current career she was a wildlife biology major in college and even has a year of grad school in that curriculum under her belt. She has been known to jump up in the middle of a business meeting to catch a wayward lizard that got in the office.

It turns out that she also has an artsy creative side. She had the kids draw outlines of each other on the fence. With the home owners' permission of course:)

There's right and there's right and never the twain shall meet.
H.I. - Raising Arizona


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Trips out of the house take on a whole new dimension

Now that Addison is officially in big girl underwear (still asks for a diaper most of the time for #2) our trips away from home have become a bit more complicated. They are also a bit more time consuming and trying. But I hear that in about 6-8 months (assuming William and Jackson are soon to follow) I will be used to the new routine and the kids will largely be accident free.

Addison is doing GREAT but she goes quite often. The good and not so good news is that when she goes EVERYONE wants to go. Since I don't quite trust them in the stalls by themselves we take turns on the potty. So then I have two three year olds running around while one is on the potty. Jackson yesterday at the science center did not do a good job listening and smashed his finger while playing with the stall door. When they are not touching everything in sight the other two are usually giving instructions to the one on the potty. Addison may not have the boys' same equipment but she can sure tell them what they need to do with theirs:)

Our minivan is now also a porta-potty:) We try to take one of the kids' potties with us wherever we go to minimize the issues. Another strange twist is that they always seem to need to go in the middle of a meal. Again, when one goes, they all want to go. Or the ever-fun need to go potty as we are walking out the door to go somewhere. The later you are, the more they need to go:) Now I don't mind the expense of diapers any more:)

Jackson LOVES having his picture taken and now he wants pictures of his glowy.

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
Kurt Vonnegut


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Miss Kelly comes to town

Miss Kelly was our Nanny for a year when we lived in Texas and she is now our friend forever. She took care of our kids in our home from 6 months old to 18 months old. I did not plan it this way but she came in town the day the CFO and I decided to really "try" to start potty training. When we told her that we were moving to Birmingham from Dallas she was mad. Not because she would miss the CFO and me but because of the kids. But this visit she did share with me the one thing that consoled her in that moment.... she wouldn't have to potty train the Triplets:)

The Triplets LOVE Miss Kelly! They were excited all week before she came and VERY sad when she left. We kind of felt bad this trip because we didn't do anything as we had Addison in big girl underwear for the first time this weekend. Our two excursions for the weekend was to McDonald's and a short walk (hike) on a trail our BFFs introduced us to.

Miss Kelly was their favorite model over the weekend along with the gifts she brought from her cruise to Mexico.

Tell me what company thou keepst, and I'll tell thee what thou art.
Miguel de Cervantes


Monday, August 17, 2009

A successful weekend

What do I consider a successful weekend? Addison wore big-girl underwear (pull-ups at night and nap times) with only had one accident! Of course that accident happened in a friend's playroom. It was probably my fault as I jinxed us by discussing our friend's kid's accident right before it happened. Friday was a whole different story but we will put that one behind us. Let's just say I am glad we were in the basement and I had some weekend laundry to do:) Jackson is also peeing "like a big boy" with MUCH better aim! I hope that today goes as well as the weekend did.

Another big part of the weekend being a success was that I spoke at Church during "Sharing" or you may know it as "Giving" or "Offering". This is only the second time I have done so and it went very well. I have written before about praying out loud being a challenge for me. I have always said that if you want to work on something set goals, pray for God to help you and let others know what you want to improve. Needless to say I got on "the list" for speaking (praying) at Church and it has been very good for me. I type out the prayer and I read it rather than doing it "on the fly" but I am working up to that:) I just need to let go of my competitiveness and realize no one prayer is really "better" that the other. Of course then that would mean I need to stop rating prayers I hear as good and better.... good golly, will the work with me never end:)

I have more pics to upload but no time to do it now, will get some up tomorrow.

A competitor will find a way to win. Competitors take bad breaks and use them to drive themselves just that much harder. Quitters take bad breaks and use them as reasons to give up. It's all a matter of pride.
Nancy Lopez


Friday, August 14, 2009

Potty training update

So I have taken the slow approach to potty training. You could say I have been going with the flow:) Jackson is now peeing "like a big boy" thanks to their friend Caleb. Last week we were all at the park when Caleb needed to go pee-pee. Since there were no bathrooms he used the nearby shrubbery. He had quite an audience with the Triplets there. Jackson is excited about it but I am running out of rags to clean up the overspray:)

We started out rewarding (bribing) them with M&Ms. But I felt bad giving them candy. We headed out to WalMart to buy some potty toys. They chose a camera (water and kid proof), a radio controlled Lightning McQueen car, and a sing along toy. The camera and car are the favorites so far but the house is a wreck! As soon as we got back Addison went to the potty and wanted the camera, then it was ON! As soon as Jackson and William saw her with the camera they ran to the bathrooms. The next hour was chaos between keeping the timing of who had which toy for how long and trying to figure out if they REALLY did go to the potty in the first place. OYE VEY!

I can't wait to see what today brings:) Here are a few of the pics from their camera.

I don't really trust a sane person.
Lyle Alzado


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just keep swimming....

The title is a line from one of the kid's favorite movies; Finding Nemo. But it was what we found ourselves saying over and over and over the other night at the pool. The pool at my Mom's apartment complex to be precise. Surprisingly William turned out to pick it up the best!

We bought life jackets for the kids a while back and have not used them much as it is quite an ordeal to get everyone to the pool, pond, or lake. Not to mention that you really need to have one on one coverage for it to work real well. We are looking into swim lessons now that we don't have to be one on one in lessons.

We were so proud of William! He kept saying "don't touch me, I do it myself." He would paddle around the pool between me, the CFO and the steps. No points for style but he kept his head out of the water:) Addison and Jackson on the other hand were not too sure about the whole swimming thing. Don't get me wrong, they loved the water. They just loved it a lot more when one of us had them:)

As you can imagine with two adults and three toddlers at a pool we didn't get any pictures:( Maybe we will get some this weekend.

It's been told that swimming is a wimp sport, but I don't see it. We don't get timeouts, in the middle of a race we can't stop and catch our breath, we can't roll on our stomachs and lie there, and we can't ask for a substitution.
Author Unknown


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Who would have thought the Triplets would choose a Chitty movie?

We have Cars, Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, The Little Einsteins, Thomas the Train, Bob the Builder, and the list goes on. But what is their current favorite movie? Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! I got it free from Kellogg.

They rarely sit still for anything but they LOVE Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! We are thinking about renting Oklahoma and some other musicals to see if it is the music and dancing they like. Of course I will have to change their movie tastes before they go to elementary school. From what I remember kids that liked Broadway Musicals did not fair too well on the playground:)

A couple of pics of my little diva:)

The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way” C.S. Lewis


Monday, August 10, 2009

Rowdy or not rowdy?

We had another Sunday of not so good reports on the boys. They just moved up to the older toddler class at church this week and the regular teacher for that class was not in there so I hoping that it was the new surroundings. But I am starting to think that it is me.

I have written some about the differences between Moms and Dads. I there in lies the issue. Now I realize that I am stereotyping but Women usually speak to kids differently than Dads. Moms have much more of a drawn out vernacular... Nooooooooo, don't do thaaaaaat. While Men are more terse... No, stop doing that. Maybe it is also that Women give children more grace then Men do.

So I am thinking that when they, well, act like 35 month olds they do not respond to Women disciplining them. The Triplets are used to me correcting them and may see the more drawn-out way of speaking as suggestions rather than instructions. Ever seen this happen with a dog? I have. Most dogs are use to Men masters: sit, stay, down, etc.... But when someone tries to be "nicer" to the dog: siiiiit, staaaaayyyy, dooooowwwn. Well, it just doesn't work. One of the many books we have read (looked at) talks about how tone of voice is often times more important than what you say. Isn't that true about adults also? You know what I mean, like those people (bosses) that talk to you like you are a five year old.

So, what to do? I am not planning on changing the way I talk to the kids. I am planning on being in their class next week at church to see if they act the same way. If they do I will try modeling the type correction that they respond to. If they don't I will keep working on it and maybe observing them in class to see how everything goes down.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.
Oscar Wilde


Saturday, August 8, 2009

What is success?

I have asked myself and others this question for many a year. Very few people agree on an answer. My answer has changed quite a bit over the years and I hope it continues to evolve, if a Christian can use such a word:)

I use to always judge personal success as hitting goals or milestones. Money has always been a big part of that definition. You know, the old way of being successful through winning and getting to the top, or at least in view of the top:) I never wanted to be "The Man" but I did want to directly report to "The Man." I did not want to be the one calling the shots but I wanted a seat at the table and be able to influence those shots. I have yet to attain the monetary goal that I set for myself about two decades ago but now I don't really care if I ever do. I almost got there, I could have gotten there, I know what it takes to get there but I am now unwilling to give up what it takes to get there. So am I successful? Let's wait and see how the Triplets turn out:)

How about success for your kids? Is success getting straight A's, going to the right school, being in the right clubs, making varsity, going to (the right) college, getting your MBA (or other advanced degree) then working 70 hours a week to make six digits then buy a lot of "stuff" only to find out that the stuff owns you? Or, as we are starting to see it, is "success" having fun, helping others, loving what you do, liking who you are, loving God, seeking God's will, wanting to do God's will, and finally knowing that God and your parents love you no matter what?

Seems that we (America) want to compete with the rest of the world. Well, to me, it seems that the rest of the world is not all that happy. It appears that they don't love what they do. OK, maybe they do like who they are. I say let the rest of the world devote their short time on Earth to solving "the world's" problems by working all the time, going to conferences, having conference calls, top grading talent and other "essential" things while we spend a little time playing, praying and helping others:)

Pity the man who inherits a million and isn't a millionaire.Here's what would be pitiful,if your income grew and you didn't.
Jim Rohn

There's no limit to what a man can achieve, if he doesn't care who gets the credit."
Laing Burns, Jr.


Friday, August 7, 2009

One week down, three to go.

The day out program that the Triplets go to two days a week is taking a month off between Summer and Fall. I originally thought it was two weeks, oye vey! Thank goodness I have my secret weapon... Grandma Jack!

That being said I do find it a good bit tougher getting the housework and yardwork done without them in "school." My biggest challenge is deciding what to do. I want to get out of the house each day if possible but what to do before, during and after getting out of the house? We also want to start doing some more structured time with the kids coloring, doing puzzles, and other skill building activities but it is not like we sit around twiddling our thumbs now:)

So I need to decide what to cut out... TV time is an easy one but they (we) usually watch things like LeapFrog's letters/words videos or SuperWhy on PBS. Not sure if they would learn more with just me there or not:) Plus when they (we) are watching I am usually cleaning, doing laundry or some other household duty. That is usually the way I watch/listen to TV.

All this brings up a subject I have been thinking a lot about.... when people say that parents need "set up children to succeed" what do they mean? What is success? More on that soon....

This series was shot right as Addison said "I want to go REAL high!" OK, you got it:)

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.
James A. Michener quotes


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grandma Jack rocks!

I am not sure if I have mentioned it or not but we REALLY love having Grandma Jack (my Mom) in town. Yes, she reads this blog:) The story of how it happened is kind of funny. One day last year my Mom called and said "What do you think about me moving to Birmingham?" I was in shock. She had lived 95% of her life within about a 10 mile radius and she was ready to pick up and move several States away? The first reaction the CFO and I were "sounds great!" and it still is our reaction today.

Long story short the first time she visited us here was in the moving truck with all her stuff. The reason I bring all this up is that she has, is and will really help us when ever we need it. Need to take a kid to the Doctor? She's here to watch the other two. Need to cut the grass? She watches all three. Need/want a date night? She feeds them dinner and puts them to bed.

Grandma Jack watched the kids two nights last week. One night for a date night and the other day/night so a friend and I could pour about five yards of concrete into our basement. Viola! Another 250+ square feet of storage space.

Did I mention she also irons, cooks and sews! Here are some of the outfits she has made for the kids.

The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have a common enemy.
Sam Levenson


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why can't daytime be like nighttime?

Anyone with more than one kid knows what days are like...
  • Stop hitting him/her
  • Don't take that away from them
  • Why are you crying?
  • Who had it first?
  • Where did you put your brother's/sister's shoe?
  • Why did you kick them? Oh yeah, because you wanted to:)
The list goes on and on. On a side note, I feel bad for the CFO. By the time she get home I am done talking. You know the rule of thumb.... Women have a word quota each day and Men have a word maximum:) Usually there is nothing really bad, just your sibling rivalry boy vs. girl stuff. But after bedtime..... it is all team work! I know I am jinxing myself but I can only think of one or two times I have had to break something up after bed time. Now I frequently have to tell them to be quiet and remind Addison not to wake up her brothers. She is a night owl and late sleeper.

We can hear everything that is going on and it is hilarious. I don't see us giving up the baby monitor before they move out of the house:) It is usually Addison who is in charge. She tells the boys what to do. Seems William is the only one that listens. Maybe I should have her discipline William for me:) It is go here, stop, don't touch that.... Talk about mini-mommy. She also tells them to "WAKE UP!" when they are sleepy and she is not done playing. Apparently Jackson got tired of her bossing last night and moved to the couch in the play room to sleep.

Two great pictures of Jackson!

If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn't have a job if he was any smarter.
John Gotti


Monday, August 3, 2009

Another great weekend except for...

It is funny that since having kids I really look forward to the weekends a lot more than I did when I worked 70+ hours a week. OK, I did look forward to Saturdays but that was only because I could get so much done at work since no one was there:)

We went to a new park this weekend with the kids and took their tricycles. They did a great job pedaling them around the paved walking path. Then they played on the HUGE play equipment. When I say HUGE I mean it. Just look at the picture below!

The weekend was great until I heard from the kids' nursery worker, the nursery volunteer and one of the Children's Ministers that the boys were a bit unruly at Church. Turns out that William is the ring leader, shocker. William has the most gentle heart but the toughest body. He has always thought it sport to hurt others. He doesn't do it with any malice, just your usual poke you in the eye fun, literally.

So the CFO and I are talking about switching tactics as the battle has moved to a new front. So we are tightening down the discipline with more time outs and more praise. For example the CFO asked William why he took Addison's book from her while she was sitting on the potty. His response.... "I wanted to." Well, you have to give him points for being honest.

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be. William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)