Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stupid Poison Ivy

Yes, I am blaming a plant for my discomfort.  Forget the fact that I know that I am allergic to it, forget that I was pulling it with gloves, shorts, no show socks, and a short sleeve shirt.  It is the plant's fault not mine! :) lol  The part that sucks the worst, apart from the gooey mess that is my left wrist, (I got out lucky) is that I can't go swimming until it gets better.  Thus the Triplets don't get to go swimming either.  They are understanding but I still feel bad about it.  For some reason pools don't like people with "open sores" swimming, crazy huh:)

Oh well, I guess we will try and get some stuff done this week.  Today I started organizing our pantry and food storage area.  It seems it might be helpful to know what we have, how much of it we have and when it goes bad.  Who knew?

A picture of us on a recent hike (walk) by the river.

Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.

Karl Marx (1818 - 1883)

You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.
Al Capone (1899 - 1947)


Monday, June 28, 2010

OK, now Summer begins!

I don't really feel like Summer has begun until recently.  That is because for the past two and a half weeks we have been going to VBS's.  The first one was at our Church and I volunteered.  The second was at a Church near the CFO's work.  She took them in each morning and I met them for lunch and brought the Triplets home.  The last one was a backyard VBS at a friend's house.

Now that we are done with the VBS tour I hope to settle into a Summer routine until their day out program starts back up in August.  What will it be?  Here are what I see as our daily choices:

  • The YMCA three days a week taking one swimming at a time and I get to work out.
  • The Science Center  it gets pretty busy in the Summer.
  • One of the local parks with or without tricycles it is HOT
  • One of the local free movies.
  • Host a backyard play date with baby pools, sprinklers, bubbles, balloons and lunch.
  • Stay around the house so Daddy can get to-dos done.

Mixed into most of these I will have trips to WalMart, Publix (the grocery store) and picking up our vegetables from Grow Alabama.

I actually chose to not put the Triplets in their day out program this Summer.  Yes, that may be a bit crazy but I figure I only have about 14 more Summers with them and less than that when you figure they will be doing their own thing some of those.  I better make the most of each one.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs

Adventure is just bad planning.
Roald Amundsen


Friday, June 25, 2010

Play time

The Triplets are really getting into pretending. It is funny all the stuff they come up with. The other day both the boys needed "help." Luckily Addison came to their rescue:)

About Superman and Batman: the former is how America views itself, the latter, darker character is how the rest of the world views America.
Michael Caine

As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration. I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children.
John Adams


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Recycling the SAHD way

I REALLY don't like throwing away food. But I also don't want to make the Triplets eat everything I give them. Anyone else see a correlation between "clean your plate" or "eat all your food" and the obesity problem/epidemic in the U.S.? Now I know some kids don't eat at all unless forced to eat but we don't have that problem. I don't want the Triplets to see food as a punishment. Now we do offer incentives sometimes, especially if it is something that is good for them and they don't like it i.e. vegetables. For instance they may need to eat a certain amount of veggies before they get their fruit. But I still don't "make" them eat.

Inevitably we end up with half eaten meals sometimes. There is no rhyme or reason to it so I have learned to adapt to it. I do not eat until the kids are done. Quite often my meal is what they don't eat. I don't like putting food back that has been on their plate as it has probably been covered with an ample amount of spittle from our often times lengthy and animated meal time discussions. But I usually don't have an issue with eating it as long as it is not chewda (already been chewed.) I started fixing my own meals and eating with them but I started gaining some lbs so I cut that out. Now I wait to see if they leave me anything before fixing my own.

Of course this is different when we have "family meal time" on the weekend or special occasions. I do sometimes still get my own food but it quickly becomes the Triplets favorite food and I end up sharing it with them anyway:)

It would be nice if the Food and Drug Administration stopped issuing warnings about toxic substances and just gave me the names of one or two things still safe to eat.
Robert Fuoss

As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.
Buddy Hackett


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I got it!

When we went to the beach we stopped the Air Force Armament Museum. Here is a funny series of pictures that looks like Jackson notices something on a missile that needed cleaning.

What's this?

Do you see this mess?

That's OK, I got it!

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.
General George S. Patton


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One busy day

I have mentioned several times that I like putting myself in challenging situations. Yesterday I feel like I ran the gauntlet. After a week of VBS at our Church (where I did pre-school games) and a week of VBS at a Church near the CFO's office I was not sure if the kids were up for more but I threw it out there anyway... A friend was hosting a backyard "Rock the Block" backyard bible club so I asked the Triplets if they wanted to go, they did. I was very intrigued by the idea and the CFO also liked the idea of a more intimate event. I told her I was torn between taking them swimming at the YMCA or to the backyard bible club. Being the CFO she of course laid it out there for me.... "would you rather them go swimming or go learn more about God and Jesus?" We hold each other accountable:) Hmmmmm, tough decision:)

Can you guess what I decided? Yep, I did both! I got up at 5:30am to start getting everything together. Here is what I got done after I blogged and before we left at 8:25am...

Pack swim bag
  • Three swimming suits, wait, check that, four (I needed mine too)
  • Four sets of goggles
  • Pool toys
  • Four sets of shower shoes (flip flops)
  • Shampoo, soap, conditioner, brush and loofah
  • Change of shirt and underwear for all of us.
  • Sunscreen
  • Towels
Pack lunch
  • Make four peanut and honey sandwiches (decided by the Triplet of the day)
  • Rinsed grapes
  • Put snacks in bags (also decided by the TOD) Cheese-its, cheesy poofs, and Teddy Grahams
  • Filled sippy cups with water
So far so good. Did I mention that the Triplets got up around 6:30? I still had my normal routine of fixing the CFO's coffee to have after her morning walk (I am very proud of her for getting up so early to exercise) and her thermos of coffee to take to work. Now I just had to get the Triplets fed, dressed and in the van.

We arrived on time! Being that is was a "backyard VBS" it was a bit warm but we had a great time thanks to the terrific teachers and the family hosting the "Rock the Block." They sure know kids! A few Scooby Snacks, Capri Suns, Fig Newtons, suckers and popsicles later we were on our way to the YMCA. Of course when the CFO asked them what they learned at VBS they jumped with joy to show her their "crab walks." It was one of the games we played:)

Arriving at the YMCA around 11:15 we hit the locker room. After a mandatory potty break everyone got dressed for the pool. Okay, I got everyone dressed:) BTW, I have another rule... one goes, we all go. This only applies in public but it saves time as the one time I did not do this I spent about 75% of dinner at a nice restaurant in the bathroom rotating through the Triplets. Not the way I wanted to spend the evening.

Our YMCA has a pool break every top of the hour. So we ate lunch at the noon break. I am not sure who made the "wait 30 minutes after eating rule" I had to follow as a kid to not get cramps but I am not following it with my kids. I feel that it is one of those rules "the Man" used to keep me down and I am having nothing to do with it:) We hit the pool after finishing lunch and played till the next pool break at 1pm. Showering Triplets is always a challenging endeavor especially in a men's locker room but we manage.

Not to be thought of as a slacker we headed to Publix, the grocery store, when we got back in the van around 1:35. Hey! It takes a long time to get one adult and three toddlers showered, clothed and hair brushed. Publix is actually one of the rewards I use when at the YMCA. They get a cookie and balloon (keep Ms. Dorothy in your prayers, she is recovering from a surgery) if they make "good choices." We picked up a few things and headed home for naps.

Before heading upstairs I got one of my minions (Roomba) busy cleaning the kitchen floor. The Triplets CRASHED! I got about a 15 minute nap before heading downstairs to clean up from breakfast and start laundry. I finally sat down around 3:30, ate a tomato sandwich then vacuumed. After tidying up the place and updating the announcements for Church it was time to start thinking about dinner and waking up the Triplets. A few trips upstairs and a few chops of the knife later they were up and dinner was cooking. When I say "dinner" I am being liberal. We had pizza (left overs), turkey (sliced), green beans (canned then cooked with bacon), and fried squash. OK, I did chop, bread and fry the squash myself:)

Like I say in my header... I am a workaholic:) I LOVE/LIVE this slogan about burnout.....

Of course I love you, just not as much as God does:)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wait, hold that while I get the camera

One of the things you learn as a parent is that you almost never have the camera handy when you need it. This is especially true for us as we have a digital SLR with an external flash and two piece flash diffuser. Fortunately for me Addison is our little drama queen and she loves giving me "looks." So she held it.... I not only got the camera but I also got a series of pictures. These are the best two.

I forgot what I did to warrant this look but I am sure I deserved it:) The best weapon in a SAHD's or SAHM's arsenal?.... humor!

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?
Dennis and Wendy Mannering


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers' Day!!

Happy Fathers' Day to all the Dads out there; past, present, and future but a special one to my Dad.

Have fun!


Friday, June 18, 2010

May I see some ID please

I have learned that you can stop a lot of whining and issues by putting a few rules in place. When I do preschool games at VBS I like to let the crew leaders and my team blow bubbles for the kids while they play with balloons. Of course the kids all want to do the bubbles themselves. While I might me a little crazy I am not stupid but my GPA from college would lead you to think otherwise:) So while I don't let the kids hold the bottles of bubble mix I do let them hold the bubble wands. How do I accomplish this? I just said that you must be 7 or older to hold them. Believe it or not they don't question it much. I start off by saying "raise your hand if you are over seven." Then when one of them asks "can I hold the bubbles" I just ask "how old are you?" It works for me.

You have no control over what the other guy does. You only have control over what you do.
A. J. Kitt


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rule #5

A new one I just explained to the Triplets. "If you don't like the way I do it, learn to do it yourself."

William's request

As a parent I try to fill most of the requests of my children. Some are easy, some are difficult and some... well, they just make you smile. That was the case the other day when William came up to me after coloring at the kitchen table. He handed me the paper and said "Daddy, will you put this on the Internet please?"

My answer... "I would love to"

Whatever they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most important of all the things we can give to them is unconditional love. Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our children.
Rosaleen Dickson

Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them
Oscar Wilde


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ask and ye shall receive...

I was wondering what I was going to wash the Kids' VBS shirts with tonight.... VOILA! One pees the bed during nap time. Problem solved:)

You gotta have a sense of humor to be a SAHD of Triplets:)


Seriously... how long is this going to take?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Loaded for Bear

Packing for the YMCA has taken on a whole new dimension now that I take one of the Triplets swimming with me each time. My backpack carries snacks and their water cups in addition to my normal supplies, see previous post. I also have my gym bag that contains workout clothes, a lock, a MP3 player, and clothes for after working out. Last but not least I have our swim bag which includes:
  • Goggles
  • Dive stick
  • Slash balls
  • Swim suits/shirts
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Comb
  • Loofah
  • Flip flops (shower shoes)
  • Wipes
Of course I am a bit crazy so I took all three swimming by myself the other day so instead of just one pool noodle we carried three of them AND three life jackets. That day I left my gym bag at home:) I got all three of them showered at the Y that day so I figured that counted as my workout.

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Somebody said to me, 'But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.' That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, 'Now, let's write a swimming pool.
Paul McCartney


Monday, June 14, 2010

The VBS laundry schedule

When you think about Vacation Bible School (VBS) you think of all the fun kids will have. What you don't think about is that you need to do at least one load of laundry every night so they can wear the same shirt all week without becoming the "stinky kid" in their crew. I had to make a few adjustments last week but all in all it worked out well. The nice thing was that I did not have to pick out clothes each day, I just pulled them out of the dryer:)

I also needed mine clean as I led pre-school games for the week. I know what you are thinking... I already stay at home with the Triplets, why would I want more? There are a few reasons but the main ones are:
I like helping others out.
It is one of the least favorite for people to lead.
If you run out of time just bust out balloons and bubbles!
This year I brought out the heavy artillery. On the last day I had popsicles for everyone. Nothing makes kids and adults happy like frozen colored sugar water:) Did I mention that pre-school games are held outside each day?

Church isn’t where you meet. Church isn’t a building. Church is what you do. Church is who you are. Church is the human outworking of the person of Jesus Christ. Let’s not go to Church, let’s be the Church.
Bridget Willard

The perfect church service,would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God.
C.S. Lewis


Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh the joy of yard work

One of the many things that I do not like doing but I love being done is weed pulling. The CFO has been pulling weeds 15 minutes a day for about a week now and is really making a dent. We had our yard redone not long ago and we are being bombarded by weeds since the earth was turned up so much. Too bad the plants/trees don't grow like the weeds:)

The other weekend we were in the back yard with the Triplets and some friends when I decided to pull some weeds. I noticed some poison ivy coming back so I thought I ought to take care of it before the kids got into it. I was very careful not to let any of it touch me. Unfortunately I was not as careful when my nose itched:(

Notice the red strip across my nose? Well, all the kids at VBS did:) lol

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
James Dent

That is the saving grace of humor, if you fail no one is laughing at you.
A. Whitney Brown


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sometimes parents know what they are talking about

As we are in the middle of "why storm" with the Triplets, I try to take the time to answer them. I really do want them to ask and or think "why" or "why not" as they get older. I know this is a HUGE pain sometimes and will pester people along the way but I always think back to my time working "outside the home." I really do not like yes people. Keep in mind there is a very fine line that is constantly moving between not being a yes man/woman and being an inflexible selfish pest that just needs to learn to cierre la boca and tow the line sometimes. Sorry about that, I had a flash back to being a manager:)

I know it is a tall order but I want my kids to learn to find that line and dance on it. So when they pepper me with whys I try to get to the "oh" that comes once they are satisfied. Or they are least tired of asking:) Either way, I win! But sometimes my answer is predictive. Like when I say "be careful sitting there" and the answer to "why" is "because you may fall down." Their usual answer as they are starting to sit or right after they sit down is usually "I won't/didn't fall down." But every once in a while natural consequences, as a good friend calls them, takes care of confirming that Daddy and/or Mommy was/were right.

Be careful Jackson

Natural consequences.

Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.
Alfred A. Montapert

You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.
Dave Barry (1947 - )


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rule #4

I am constantly adding to my list of "House Rules." My latest is "I will never make you eat anything that tastes good." I have told the Triplets this many times over the past two years so I figure it is time to put it in the rules:)

I was reminded of our "House Rules" at VBS yesterday, yep - it is that time of year again, several kids did not want to "play" the games I had for them. In the first game I would ask everyone to close their eyes then I would put a sheet over one of the kids. I then asked them, who sees an angel? They would have to guess who the angel is. I do not make kids be the angel and several opted out by saying over and over and over "I don't want to be an angel!" I would then tell them a version of our rule #2: I will never make you have fun. They seemed perplexed by this, as perplexed as a three or four year old can get, but they accepted my answer.

The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect.
Esther Dyson, Interview in Time Magazine, October 2005

Do something everyday that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
Mark Twain


Monday, June 7, 2010

The funniest thing ever said....

The CFO and I try to get out every once and a while without the Triplets. Not that we don't love them but we need a little adult time now and then. A couple of weeks ago we went to dinner with some good friends who are expecting their second child soon. We were talking a bit about politics when she said I love Cheney (she used his first name) but I hate George (she used his last name). To which I said "obviously, you are pregnant." It took her a second to realize what she had said. She quickly turned a bit red as we all laughed.

In her defense I had recently mentioned how funny it was when a lady, who was going to see Cheney speak at a graduation ceremony, said "I just love Cheney (she used his first name)". See, I have this tendency to view comments in a well... let's just say I see over-tones in most everything. Yes, I use to be the guy that said "that's what she said." I try to distance myself from that but it is well... difficult.

Don't ever become a pessimist... a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.
Robert A. Heinlein

I don't know if I'm very complicated at all. I wish I was. I wish I was one of these deep, intricate people. But I just love having fun really.
Channing Tatum


Friday, June 4, 2010

You want to what?

Thanks to Mr. Ken from Church, the Triplets and I were able to go to the Rickwood Classic game Wednesday. Turns out that Birmingham has the oldest professional ballpark still in use today! It reminded me of my trip to Fenway Park. Much smaller of course but similar in feel. The Triplets and I made our way to some seats down the first base line. It was general seating so we headed for an open section. You guessed it, we were there for two minutes when I heard "I want some popcorn... I want some peanuts." So off we went. Luckily the section did not fill up while we were gone.

Right after we got back a big group of kids from New Orleans joined us near by. One of the people with the group was a 2o something young lady that was taking pictures. Yes, she was cute, not that I notice that sort of thing:) A guy (also 20 something) across from me made a lame pass at her saying "I don't want to break your camera." I could not decide if she was playing dumb or if she did not get that he was flirting with her. I missed their exchange but I heard him soon say "no, it is just a saying" and he sounded a little embarrassed. I chuckled, I wanted to tell him a better choice would be to offer to take a picture of her with the group. The Triplets and I continued to eat our peanuts and pop corn.

A few minutes later she came up to me and said "sir..." SERIOUSLY, SIR? OMG, I am now officially a dinosaur. That's it, I am shopping for tennis balls to go on my walker next week, I think I will go with orange just to be different:) Back to the story.... she said "sir, I have a strange question to ask you, do you mind if I take a picture of your peanuts?" She then said something about it being for their blog or website. I had to stifle my humorous side and I just said "sure, no problem." But who can really ask if they can take a picture of a guy's peanuts and keep a straight face?

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say "I want to see the manager."
William S. Burroughs (1914 - 1997)


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Life's a beach

Our "normal" schedule at the beach consists of:
  • 7-8am - wake up; we sleep in the same room with the kids
  • 8-9am - breakfast; bacon, eggs, pop-tarts, whatever
  • 9-10am - get ready for the beach; it is a process to say the least
  • 10-11am - on the beach/in the ocean
  • 11-1pm - at the pool/hot tub; snacks/capri suns/flavor ice abound
  • 1-2pm - baths/showers
  • 2-3pm - lunch
  • 3-5 or 6pm - naps; for everyone:)
  • 6-8pm - dinner and playtime
  • 8-9pm or so - time to catch crabs on the beach
We of course had audibles with the weather and lack of crabs on the beach (global warming?) but we generally stuck to the schedule. As with many things we do with the Triplets, the CFO and I now have a greater appreciation for our parents. Vacation has a whole new meaning. Instead of SSDD it is DSDD:)

More pics ....
BTW I edit them at Picnik.com. You can use it for free or pay about $2 per month for their premium features.

Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.
Jane Wagner, Lily Tomlin in "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe"


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Beach!!!

We went to the beach with the Nuke Doc's family a couple of weeks ago. I FINALLY got around to editing a few of the photos. I know, I am a slacker:) The real truth is that after a hiatus from MW2 I recently got back into it with a "renewed vigor and enthusiasm not seen by many" :) But, alas, my to-dos got the better of me and I recently succumbed to the pressure of continued procrastination.

Here are a few of the photos. I will post more tomorrow.

I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later.
Mitch Hedberg (1968 - 2005), Mitch All Together

Play in the sand; splash in the water; get dirty; get wet. The beach is the only place my mom doesn’t get mad about me doing that stuff. Of course I love the beach!
Dixie Dykens (age 5)