Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Man, it sure is quiet upstairs

As any parent knows, it is not a good thing when the kids are being too quiet.  I was fixing breakfast the other morning when I suddenly realized that the Triplets were playing together a little too well.  I went upstairs to investigate.



Needless to say we spent a good part of our morning putting the playroom and playroom closet back together.  

What's on your mind, if you will allow the overstatement?
Fred Allen (1894 - 1956)

If we insist that public life be reserved for those whose personal history is pristine, we are not going to get paragons of virtue running our affairs. We will get the very rich, who contract out the messy things in life the very dull, who have nothing to hide and nothing to show and the very devious, expert at covering their tracks and ambitious enough to risk their discovery. 
Charles Krauthammer 

Al

Monday, August 30, 2010

That is cute

Last night we had our usual little visitor in our bed, Jackson.  I only noticed this because someone laughing woke me up.  Yep, you heard me right, laughing.  I was a bit annoyed but I quickly went back to sleep until I was once again roused from my slumber by laughter.  OK, that's it.  He's getting back in his bed.  I got up and went around to the other side of the bed where he was and to my surprise he was asleep.  I only noticed this when I picked him up and it startled him.  "Oh" I thought "that's cute... annoying but cute."  So rather than vanquishing him to his abode I just moved him to my side of the bed so the CFO could get a god nights sleep.  No more laughing ensued.

A cute picture of the little giggler from an evening at the kiddie carnival.


I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972)

There are too many people, and too few human beings.
Robert Zend

Al

Friday, August 27, 2010

A six minute battle of wills....

video

We have had a few of these over the past two and a half years but this is epic.  It is also LONG so I don't blame you if you stop watching before it is over.  Also, notice the cameos from William and Jackson:)

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
Mahatma Gandhi

If you think you can do it, or you think you can't do it, You are right.
Henry Ford

Al

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Did I just hear music?

Musical beds definitely has a bad connotation for me.  The Triplets each have their own single bed now but Jackson rarely sleeps through the night and William does about 60% of the time.  Jackson is the most restless sleeper that I have ever known but he is a chip off the old block.  I remember my parents talking about how I use to kick them all the time.  But as far as I can remember I only got in bed with them during storms.

Now Jackson gets in our bed by 1am or so.  Some nights it seems like he is just waiting for us to go to bed.  He actually told me that one night around 11:30 pm.  I heard the door to their room close so I went up to investigate.  It is funny that how, as a parent, you learn to tell what they are doing by the sound, or the lack there of.  I asked him if he was alright to which he responded "are you ready to go to bed?  I want to sleep in your bed with you."

It is not uncommon for the CFO or I to end up in the guest bed with one of the Triplets.  Jackson has a knack for turning perpendicular to us, kicking on one end and hitting you with his arms on the other so even our king size bed offers little solace.  It is a gift he has:)  This morning we woke up with William and Jackson in bed.  I am torn.  Should we make them stay in their beds all night or "enjoy" it while we still can before they grow up?

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.  
Irish Proverb

I slept like a baby last night... I woke up screaming every two hours.
Garry Brantley

Al

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Four to forty

The Triplets turn four and I will turn forty in September.  So I will be ten times older than they are.  Man if that doesn't make you feel a bit old I don't know what will:)  But seriously how did this happen?  Last I remember I was in my late twenties and it seems like just yesterday that the Triplets were going through 24 bottles and diapers a day.

As the great philosopher Ferris Bueller said "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  What he doesn't mention is that it tends to speed up the older you get.  I try not to say "I can't wait till..." anymore because I know I need to enjoy there here and now.  I believe I do a pretty good job of it but like everything I do, I want to get better at it.

The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?"
Ferris Bueller

You're not dying, you just can't think of anything good to do.
Ferris Bueller

Al

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sneaky

The CFO (and I) bought a new comforter set over the weekend.  It is one of those sets that speaks to America's (and my) over indulgence of stuff.  Not because of it's cost as it was a screaming deal but because it has nine pillows.  Two of which are those unusable square euro sham pillows.  I even had to go buy euro sham pillows to go in the shams.  They are called "shams" for a reason:)

William and I were talking in my bedroom when he looked at the mountain of pillows on our bed.  He pointed to it and we had a brief conversation:
  • William:  "I can hide behind all those pillows."  
  • Daddy:  "No, you are not allowed to play on Mommy and Daddy's bed."
  • William: "Well, when you go in there (pointing to the kitchen) I will sneak behind you and hide behind them"
We are working on the concept that even if Mommy and Daddy cannot see you make a bad choice it is still a bad choice and you are not allowed to do it.  Funny how we (I) think we can hide stuff from God too:)

Sex education may be a good idea in the schools, but I don't believe the kids should be given homework. 
Bill Cosby 

Al

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Accident or negligence?

I am often times torn on whether to admonish or not when an "accident" happens.  Take the other day for instance.  We were at the grocery store after going to the YMCA.  It was after 1pm and the Triplets were ready for lunch.  So I decided to go with a popcorn chicken deal they had.  The nice Publix employee put the chicken in three different containers so they could each have their own.  But as our rule #1 tells us, this would have bad consequences.  First Addison dropped her chicken and since it is "popcorn" chicken much of it landed on the floor.  Right after I cleaned that up Jackson promptly dropped his.  When I noticed a piece on the floor under where William was sitting I had enough and confiscated all the remaining chicken, which by this point was about half what we were given.

So I ask you.... accident or negligence?   On their part, not mine:)


Barnum was wrong - it's more like every 30 seconds.
Unknown

America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week.
Evan Esar (1899 - 1995)

Al

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I am in trouble....

I have mentioned before that I don't want to "make" the Triplets eat their food but I am not beyond rewarding them.  We frequently won't let them eat their fruit until they eat enough of the meat and/or vegetables.  Sometimes I break out the big guns and go with the double stuffed Oreo cookies.  I mean seriously... why waste your time and calories on the regular ones.  It would be like buying a doughnut and telling them to go easy on the glaze.

Here is how the conversation went at the lunch table:
Daddy: "If you eat both halves of your sandwich you can have an Oreo cookie."
Addison: "Two Oreo cookies?"
Daddy: "You can have two if you can say two in Spanish."
William: "Two in Spanish"

I laughed and explained that while that is very funny, that is not what I meant.  He knew that, I knew he knew that and he knew I knew that he knew that.  Oh the bantering that is yet to come with this crew.

William getting ready for a ride on in the tube.



Wit is a sword; it is meant to make people feel the point as well as see it.
G. K. Chesterton

Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.
Oscar Wilde


Al

Monday, August 16, 2010

Friday the 13th

Some days I don't post because I am busy and some because I am lazy.  Friday was a case of crazy busy.  William was getting out of a seat at the kitchen table when all of a sudden he had what I call a gravity storm.  He was suddenly clutching onto the island's counter top saying "I'm dizzy."  I sat down with him and talked to him a minute quickly realizing that he was acting like he just did a double dose of the Gravitron.  I went the the CFO and said "I think we have a problem."

As it was 7am I called the Dr.'s office to get the after hours number they give you on their five minute long message saying they are closed, if you are dumb enough to call this number during an actual emergency (do people call during simulated emergencies?) hang up and call 911 you moron, if you owe us money call back.... please please call back, if you still need us it will cost you, and oh yeah... if you have not already hung up or passed out yet please call 2058675309.  Yep, they only say it once, they say it like the Fed-ex guy, and only when they are SURE you are not paying attention at the end of the message.  You guessed it, I had to call back, lovely.

I ran through everything with the nurse that called back after leaving a message with the answering service and she said "yeah..... I would take him the the ER."  So off we went.  Grandma Jack left work to stay with Jackson and Addison as the CFO was on her last day of end of year so she had to go in.  The CFO had to do a few entries (accounting stuff) and she was going to meet me at the ER.  Heading to the ER is a catch 22.  You want them to get better but you also want to know what is going on.  If they get better, as William did, then it is hard to diagnose what happened, which it was.  After some questioning, taking vitals, taking pee, taking blood, and an EKG they said he had a "spell."  Superfantastic.

I will follow up with our Pediatrician today to see what he thinks.  But after Jackson's sore heel turned out to be a bone infection two years ago we are a bit on the cautious side with the kids.


Medicine makes people ill, mathematics makes them sad, and theology makes them sinful
Martin Luther

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. 
Lord Byron 

Al

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Down by the river!

We had a great time with the in-laws down by the river.  Cudos to you if hearing "DOWN BY THE RIVER!" reminds you of a SNL routine.  So while our van was down by the river we actually stayed in a cabin with Mimi, Granddaddy, Aunt Julie, Kate (4), Abbie (4), and Trip (1).  Not only did we go outside in the heat but Granddaddy and the CFO also grilled out!


Mimi spent some quality time with the kids playing some games.



Uncle Tommy came for dinner and to mix things up with water balloons but he was unable to play hooky from work as it was in the middle of the week.  All the kids LOVE water balloons and luckily they like just busting them on the grass.  Throwing them at people and using launchers will come in due time:)  The CFO and I bought a tube to pull behind the pontoon boat Mimi and Granddaddy rented.  You will notice it is sitting a bit low in the water.  The boat held 12 people and only had a 50 motor on it.  "Full throttle" was a bit lacking:)


Uncle Daniel, Aunt Joanna and Coleman spent half the day on the water with us in the morning.  Uncle Daniel is already being a good Uncle teaching Jackson the finer points of being a boy (squirting the CFO).  But notice that she is ready for the challenge!



Not content to sweat during the day we also went out at night looking for animals.  The first night we found quite a few deer!



Good taste is the worst vice ever invented.
Edith Sitwell (1887 - 1964)

What's the point of havin' a rapier wit if I can't use it to stab people?
Jeph Jacques

Al

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The hottest days of the year

You would think that on the hottest days of the year we hunkered down at home, closed the blinds, cranked the AC and watched movies.  But that is what normal sane people would do, not a SAHD of Triplets!  No sir, we went to the in-laws, rented a pontoon boat, went horseback riding and topped it off with a trip to the Kiddie Carnival.

To be fair we also rented a great cabin on the river for two of the four days we visited.  Here were the views.....

 


Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.  
Russel Baker

Al

Friday, August 6, 2010

Kids know everything

Yesterday was William's day to swim at the YMCA.  He LOVES swimming and LOVES some one on one time.  I even gave up my workout time to swim some more with him after the "pool break."  During the break we ate a snack in the designated eating area/ant habitat.  A young lady (around eight years of age) was eating a fruit roll up at the table next to us.  William was of course very intrigued.  He asked "what is she eating?"  I told him it was a fruit roll up.  He said "I want one."  I told him that we could get some when they are on sale.

All of a sudden the young lady piped up and said "They are on sale now."  To which all I could say was "oh, I guess we'll get some then, thank you."  Too funny!

Next is a variation of no good deed goes unpunished.  When the young lady and her mother came into the snack area/ant sanctuary the mother said "watch out for those ants, they might bite you."  I told her that they weren't fire ants so they should be OK.  Right about that time I felt a BITE!  I looked down to see a big old ant biting the back of my ankle, NEWMAN!  It itched the rest of the day/night and it still itches. I have gotten use to the CFO telling me I am wrong but an ant?  Come on!


We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.  
Stacia Tauscher

Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas.
Paula Poundstone

Al

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Magic House

I was talking with the CFO the other night about how we live in a Magic House.  She was intrigued and decided to play my little game.  She indulges me from time to time as I have very little adult interaction during the day.  She said "Really?"  I then started to explain all the "Magic" that seems to happen in and around the house.  I may turn this into a childrens' book so don't even think of stealing this idea or the totally cool illustrations I have in my head that go along with the story.

  • Empty cups that are set down suddenly appear in the sink and/or dishwasher.
  • The towels never seem to get dirty.
  • The clothes that we wear every day seems to reappear in our drawers, folded!
  • The toys that were left out before nap time have migrated back to their bins.
  • The bed makes itself every morning.
  • Come to think of it, the sheets never seem to get dirty either.
  • The van never runs out of gas and the CFO's company car even refills itself sometimes.
  • Batteries rarely go dead and if they do they seem to recharge overnight.
  • After dinner the table cleans itself once the dishes take themselves to the dishwasher.
  • The soap dispensers at each and every sink in the house never seem to run out of soap.
  • The toilet paper holders, tissue boxes, and paper towel holder never seem to run out of paper products.
  • Knives stay sharp and never dull.
  • Meals are cooked while the pots and pans stay clean.
  • The children rarely smell funny:)
  • Dirt does not seem to stay on our floor very long.  Dog hair does stay a bit longer but then dogs are loyal aren't they:)
  • Dust may sometimes be visible on our dark furniture but it quickly disappears.
  • Air filters do not get very dirty and seem to clean themselves.
  • When the grass gets too tall it shrinks back down.
  • Annoying weeds frequently disappear.
  • Whenever a light burns out it seems to fix itself.
  • The Dog always has food to eat and water to drink.
  • All of the bills get paid and most of them on time:)
  • We never seem to run out of: soap, shampoo, detergent, toothpaste, dental floss, dishwasher soap, bread, milk, eggs and food in general.

I said: "is it little fairies doing all the work?  Is it elves?  Who knows?  Or maybe it is like Disney World where they have all kinds of hidden tunnels where workers can move about the park without the guests knowing about it.  Maybe we are the guests and our house has a team of workers that we don't know about.  Maybe we should look for hidden tunnels."  After listening to all this, all the while laughing where appropriate, the CFO nods and says "that is funny."  Then she says "you know what?  We also have a magic bank account."  Touché


I know the CFO knows all that I do and she does truly appreciate it.  Unfortunately far too many working parents that have a stay at home spouse do truly live in a magic house and they never even think to look for the purple curtain much less thank the person behind it who is pulling levers and pushing buttons 24/7 to make the magic happen.


Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.
Tom Robbins

Al

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yard work and maintenance

I decided to combine the last two as they are the duties that men usually do around the house.  Thus, most of the stay at home moms I know don't usually handle them.  I do know some that do but most do not.  This is where I think it can be a bit tougher being a SAHD than a SAHM.  I won't even get into the fact that society as a whole looks down on SAHDs a bit and some people even use religion (the worst thing to ever happen to God) to ridicule men that stay at home with their kids.  No, I won't get on the soap box this time but I always keep it close:)

Yardwork:
  • Weeding - I detest weeding!  The CFO helps out with this but there are only so many hours of daylight when she is home.  Yes, I know the kids can help but you try teaching three three year olds the difference between a weed, a plant you want and poison ivy:)
  • Edging/weed-eating - If you have ever used a gas trimmer then you know what it feels like to get hit (in the face, shin, arm, etc...) with rocks, sticks, grass, etc...
  • Mowing - I try to mulch but with the kids not in a day out program this summer the grass is usually so high I need to bag it.
  • Blower - Yep, I am a bit picky so I blow everything after I am done.  That also ensures a nice even layer of dirt on every inch of exposed skin:)
I have avoided planting for the most part and watering.  The CFO usually does those and/or directs it being done and we got a sprinkler system put in last year.

Maintenance is one of those on-going joys (pains) that goes along with home ownership (paying the bank to let me use it).
  • Filters - You have your HVAC (heating/air) filters, water filter(s), and any others around like an air purifier filter.
  • Lights - With CFLs (compact florescent light) you don't have to change them as much but then you need to be careful not to break then and take them to recycling.  But I am sure EVERYONE knows that as they have mercury in them.  
  • Leaks - Toilets, drains, sinks, faucets, etc... if water goes through it, into it or out of it, it will eventually leak.
  • Vehicles - Thank goodness we just have the van to worry about but you still have to stay on top of everything.
  • Everything else - It seems that the Triplets have a way of finding the weak spot in anything and exploiting it.  People, furniture, toys, etc...  Guess who gets to fix it?  Yep, me!
After listing all the stuff a stay at home parent does and going into it a bit of detail on each one you might think I am whining.  Just the opposite.  I am proud to be a SAHD as I know that there are very few men/people willing to do it and even fewer capable of doing it well.  I won't say I am great at it but I should at least get between a "meets" and "exceeds" on my next review from the CFO:)

My mom said the only reason men are alive is for lawn care and vehicle maintenance. 
Tim Allen 

Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Al

Monday, August 2, 2010

Homebodies

We have been homebodies lately.  It has been a confluence of events, the heat and my to-dos.  Staying at home has it benefits and a downside.

Benefits:
  • You can get stuff done: cleaning, laundry, yard work, etc...
  • The Triplets get to exercise their imagination: no it's not a kitchen... it's a fort!
  • We save money.
Downside:
  • The SAHD gets a bit stir-crazy:)
Time outs do increase the more we are home.  I eventually had to take their kitchens away after they kept jumping off the top of them.  Luckily for them some friends came into town later in the week.  I needed to get the guest room ready so they got their kitchens back.

 

 




The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.
John Ed Pearce

Al