Sunday, February 28, 2010

Optimistically pessimistic or pessimistically optimistic?

The CFO and I have an ongoing discussion on whether I am an optimist or a pessimist. The CFO points out that I have a unique talent for sucking the fun out of a room. Not that I am a kill joy mind you but I can be presented with just about any situation and come up with a VERY bleak scenario. I say bleak but if frequently boarders on catastrophic.

I argue that this is a very useful skill in that I am usually prepared for most possibilities. Here are a couple of examples...

In the van I have:
  • Diapers
  • Pull ups
  • Wipes (ready to use and and extra pack)
  • Extra clothes for the Triplets
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Roadside hazard kit
  • Potty
  • Food (snacks and canned food)
  • Flashlight
  • Pain medication (several different types for kids and adults)
  • First aid kit
  • Extra fuses
  • Two liters of water
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Lip balm (Addison gets VERY chapped lips)
I know I have more but that is just off the top of my head:)

In the backpack I carry with the kids I have:
  • Extra clothes for the Triplets
  • Extra shirt for me
  • One liter of water
  • Snacks
  • Wipes
  • Pull ups
  • Diaper cream
  • Neosporin
  • Small first aid kit
  • Bactine
  • Hydrocortizone
  • Pain medication (for the kids and adults)
  • Sippy cups
  • Sham wow
  • Pens
  • Sunscreen
And finally on my person I carry a flashlight and Leatherman Skeletool. Not that I am ready for EVERYTHING but I am more prepared than most. I like think that I hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I usually argue that I am an optimistically realist and the CFO will sometimes concede that point. No matter what she thinks about it she likes that I have all this stuff with me in case we need it:)

I've never run into a guy who could win at the top level in anything today and didn't have the right attitude, didn't give it everything he had, at least while he was doing it; wasn't prepared and didn't have the whole program worked out.
Ted Turner

Al

Friday, February 26, 2010

Is it today, yesterday or tomorrow?

The triplets seem to get their days a bit confused, I guess most kids do. Heck, I do:) But they can be REALLY confusing if you are trying to find out when something happened. But most of the time it is just plain funny. They tend to bend/break the space time continuum into something that resembles an upside down, inverted, inside out, contorted helix.

As best as I can tell here is a rough definition for their most frequent terms:
  • Yesterday - before they woke up most recently. This could be right before their nap, the day before, last week, last month or any time in the past.
  • Tomorrow - any time in the future. It could be later today or in a few years.
  • Soon - usually before they go to sleep again.
  • Last night - any night in the past.
  • This morning - any time in the past. It could be a few minutes ago, yesterday or any day before that.
The Triplets actually get two days to our one. It seems, as far as I can tell, each time they wake up it is another day. I have yet to decide if this is good or bad. I do think it affects the aging process. No, not theirs, mine. I am now aging twice as fast!

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday
Proverb

Al

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Potty training scare

Our saga with potty training William continues.... I feel like I am fighting in World War I. It is trench warfare and both sides are dug in. You can gain some ground but it is very painful. Some days I just stay in the trench and don't even stick my head out:)

All that being said we are having some progress. He has been going to the potty much more frequently. Yesterday he wanted to wear big boy underwear so I conceded and decided to forgo my trip to the gym. Everything was going well up till bath time. He was going on his own without my prompting and everything.

It was his turn for a bath so I told him to get his PJs off (I see no reason to change them into clothes if we are not leaving the house) and get in the bath tub while I was combing Addison's hair. A minute later William yelled from the bathroom... "I went poopie Daddy, I went poopie!" My heart dropped, my pulse raced, Addison shot off my lap and I bolted for the bathroom. All I could envision was my streak of no poopies in the bathtub had come to the end. Visions of Caddy Shack were in my head, but my in my vision it was not a candy bar.

Much to my delight when I rounded the corner I saw a VERY proud William sitting on the toilet! He got whatever he wanted for the rest of the day:)


We are the people our parents warned us about.
Jimmy Buffett

Al

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kids and dogs....

While we were pregnant we read a book "To Train Up a Child" that was given to us by some of the CFO's family. One of the analogies that the book uses is between kids and dogs/cats. Here are a few of the similarities.

Why is it that the kids want to bring the potty in to where everyone is? We have two of the little portable potties in the house for the kids. If we are watching a movie they will go get it and bring it back in the room where we are to go to the potty. That is all well and good unless someone has snuck one in on me and it has not been emptied. Yep, William did that:) Just like our Dog who loves to bring some of his food into the room we are in to eat it. It is cute until I step on the pieces he misses.

Ever let your child do something you don't normally let them do as a "treat?" This also butts up against RULE #1 - No good deed goes unpunished. If you have an outside cat and you let it in the house even once it will continue to try to get in the house from then on. But if you never let it in it will eventually give up. This happens to both me and the CFO. The difference is that when I let them do something I know it sets a precedent and the other two will immediately want to do it also. Not to mention they will probably do it/try to do it when I am not around, usually with messy results. The CFO on the other hand forgets this and midway through something I will mention this fact and the realization hits her. This usually happens when she lets them use something of hers; rollers, comb, brush, hair clips, make up brushes, etc....


Of course the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you--if you don't play, you can't win.
Robert Heinlein (1907 - 1988)

Al

Monday, February 22, 2010

You MUST be specific.

Being a stay at home dad (SAHD) for almost two years now has been and interesting trip. I learn again and again that I need to be specific and leave NOTHING up to interpretation. Teaching the Triplets to brush their teeth has been one of the times where I learned I needed to be VERY specific with my instructions. This was especially true when we switched to toothpaste with fluoride. I am also reminded that when they follow the explicit instructions but not the implicit instructions I need to give them some grace.

Here is how it went, the first time:)
Daddy - This is special toothpaste so you can't swallow it.
Triplet - I won't swallow it.
Daddy - You spit it out.
Triplet - I spit it out?
Daddy - Yes, you spit it out.
Triplet - OK
You guessed it, they spit it out alright... all over the mirror:)

Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.
Anne Sullivan

Everything from airplanes to kitchen blenders and even chopsticks comes with an instruction manual. Children, despite all their complexity, do not.
Lawrence Kutner

Al

Friday, February 19, 2010

Toddler comments

If you have kids or have been around kids then you know some of the funniest stuff out there comes out of their mouths. No, I am not just talking about how they have the innate talent for picking the one word or phrase that we would least like them to remember out of a conversation and then repeating it like a mocking bird. I am talking how they start testing logic and their skills of deduction. Some of these are what a speaker at a conference once called these BFOs or a blinding flash of the obvious:)
  • "When we get to school, we will be somewhere else." - Addison
  • "Because I did" - William answering why did you do "that" no, it does not matter what "that" is, same answer:)
  • "William, I am so proud of you" - Addison after William went poo-poo in the potty.
  • "I bumped my cheek on my teeth". - Jackson in response to my question "what did you bump your cheek on?"
  • "If I loose it I won't know where it it" - Addison
  • "I can't see when he's in my way" - Addison
  • "I didn't bite him, I pinched him with my teeth" - Jackson's answer after I asked "Did you bite your brother?"
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), What Is Man? (1906)

Al

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Take my picture!

The Triplets LOVE having their pictures taken. Especially when I do break out the camera as I/we don't have it out as much as we use to. I am trying to do a better job of grabbing it when something cute/funny is happening or has the propensity to happen. Such was the case the other night.

It was bed time and Addison was laying down with her Triplet baby dolls, a gift from Santa. I ran downstairs and grabbed the camera. Luckily for me she likes having her picture taken so much that she stayed still till I got back. Then Jackson had to get into the act with his glowies. Finally William wanted a picture with his "new" bear.


The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish.
Robert Jackson

Al

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Somebody did something....

As anyone with more than one kid knows... tattle telling gets elevated to an art form by kids. As I am an only child, I missed out on this a good bit:) There is not much time that goes by where one of the Triplets is not running up to me saying "Somebody....." It could be any of the following:
  • hit me
  • kicked me
  • pinched me
  • pushed me
  • closed the door (they are not allowed to play with doors due to the fact that God only gave each of them ten fingers and we don't have spares)
  • took my toy
The list goes on and on. William and Addison are usually very specific telling me who did it. Jackson on the other hand, ALWAYS says "somebody." Even when he knows who did it. I have to ask "who did it." To which the answer is almost always "William." Then I must put my investigative hat on to find out what happened as most offences are preceded by an offence perpetrated by the tattle teller. So then I must determine appropriate discipline for both parties. They will hopefully soon learn that they are better off keeping their mouth shut and solving the issue themselves:)

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931), (attributed)


Al

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Day

Last year I slacked and the Triplets didn't have any valentines to hand out to their classmates because I didn't think about it. Ooops! Of course I was forgiven as I am a stay-at-home-dad:) Heck, I get props for them just being dressed, fed, and to school on time:)

So the CFO made sure it didn't happen again this year. She bought the valentines and the Triplets colored them. William's attention span kicked in and he finished all nine of his. Addison and Jackson lost interest after two valentines.



I even brought cookies this year!

When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.
Bernard Bailey

Al

Friday, February 12, 2010

That's the way I roll.....

It is funny the comments and/or looks you get at a stay at home dad (SAHD) especially one of Triplets. I am not sure if they think I lost a bet with the CFO, I "had" to do it or I am just as think as they dumb I am:) But when it comes right down to it I love my role/job as a SAHD. Sure there are things that I don't look forward to but there always is no matter what you do as a "job."

I will be the first to admit that I... well... let's just say I deviate from what most guys do any many given situations. In college my one of my nick names was "nurse." :) So when my daughter said she wanted green toes and the CFO was already gone to work, what do you think happened?



Not bad for a "dude." :)

The most important rule in a gunfight is: Always win and cheat if necessary.
Clint Smith

Al

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How much does a Playstation 3 and Modern Warfare 2 cost?

I will once again blame the Playstation 3:) A good friend of mine, the Nuke Doc, is strongly considering buying a PS3. I explained to him that time is the biggest expense in having one of these. See, my plate is a bit full these days and I am constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Sometimes I give up sleep, sometimes it is skimping on cleaning, or most likely less time and thought into blogging. Am I going to give up the PS3? No way:) But I am going to try and keep it from stealing too much time from things that matter more in my life.

It is funny, I use to ride my motorcycle to "escape" from things and clear my mind, now I play my PS3. I still think the motorcycle is a better way to have a break but at least the PS3 is bit safer:)

Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back.
Harvey MacKay

Al

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We took the camera, I promise

When we went to Stream Franklin the other weekend one of the things on my list to pack was the camera bag. We (I) have been REALLY slacking taking pictures lately. Now that I think back on the trip we could have had some great pics... the trucks jack-knifed, the cars stuck, the 2 inches of ice on the van in the morning, swimming in the pool, the beautiful snow/ice, etc.... But alas, it was packed away under the console of the minivan and there it stayed for most of the trip.

Not sure if I want to blame the fact that it takes A LOT more attention with the kids these days with all the why's, Daddy can I's, someone hit me (or any other of a multitude of high crimes against their perceived unalienable rights as a three year old), I'm hungries or thirsties, or any other request/demand from the trio. So in short, we are going to try and take more pics:)

The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?
Pablo Picasso

You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.
George W. Bush

Al

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What day is it?

I often times laugh at myself and today is no different. I frequently only remember what day it is by what we have going on. So when we do something that is out of our routine it often times hoses me up (a technical term I use a lot) for days. This happened the other week when the CFO took Friday AND Monday off work. We went up to a... well... it wasn't really a revival and it feels weird calling it a conference. We went to Stream Franklin in Tennessee.

More on the trip tomorrow. We had a GREAT time but it did hose me up trying to figure out what day it was till last Friday:)

Like I always say, there's no 'I' in "team". There is a 'me', though, if you jumble it up.
David Shore, House M.D., DNR, 2004

Al

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cleaning up after the "party"

The Triplets have taken to having "parties" at the house. I knew it was inevitable but I didn't expect it to start at three years of age. They are party animals having one or two a day. The good news is that their "parties" right now consist of taking food out of the pantry, putting in their dump trucks, transporting it to another room, dumping the food then arranging it on the floor for their party.

As of today they have had no major mishaps even though I let them take the hot chocolate mix packs, the boxes of pudding/jello, and drink mixes. I am just waiting for one of those puppies to bust open. With my luck it will be on the beige carpet, it will be cherry jello, and someone will promptly spill water on it:)

Here is a short video of them starting the clean up process after the party.... I might not be able to find anything in the pantry but at least the clean up:)

video

I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
Nancie J. Carmody

Al

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Addison's favorite toy

It seems that most kids have a favorite toy or luvy. Addison use to have a duck, then a piggie, and now a toy turtle. Oh no, this is not just a turtle but a turtle that she found at the Science Center one day. She takes it EVERYWHERE! As of today it is MIA but it has a way of showing up sooner or later. It is so small that it is VERY easy to loose and it gets lost often. Here she is having breakfast with her turtle.



I hope some kid has found Jackson's Glow Worm that he left there and is enjoying just as much as Addison is enjoying her turtle.

As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.
Dick Cavett

Al

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yes, we are a little crazy

We headed out of town this last weekend to go to a Church retreat in Tennessee. Keep in mind there was a winter weather advisory for this weekend with 2-5 inches of snow and ice predicted. For once, the weather report was right on spot. On the drive up 45 minutes left to go via the navigation system turned into a treacherous two hour drive. We saw cars spin out and trucks jack knife but we and our friends made it up just fine. VERY slowly but just fine:)

Time to get to work unpacking, cleaning clothes and cleaning the van.

Everything happens for a reason.... sometimes that reason is that we are STUPID!
Chris Seidman

Al