Thursday, September 30, 2010

To go or not to go, that is the question

Thanks in no small part to family and friends we have the opportunity to go see the last launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery.  We would also loop in a trip to Disney as they are reasonably close to each other.  That is the good news.  The bad news?  The launch is scheduled for 11/1 so we would miss Halloween traveling, it is VERY spendy, and it is twelve hours away.

So we need to make a decision.  Go or no go?  Let's look at each choice in more detail....

Go flight:
  • Twelve hour drive did I mention we have four year old Triplets?
  • Once in a lifetime chance to see the last launch of the Discovery
  • Large crowds and long lines
  • Disney
No go:
  • Trick or treating with the Triplets
  • We host our annual Small Group Halloween party
  • Save the money we would have spent
Normally I am all up for the challenge of long lines, spending money, lots of traffic, cranky kids, and large crowds but with it butting up against Halloween I am torn.  If you ask the kids they want to go trick or treating.  Recently we are more and more convicted that we need to use our money more wisely.  You know, the way God would want us to spend it.  Which makes my soul feel good but the rest of me (the fleshy part) feels no bueno.  

So we pray.

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space.
Douglas Adams 

That intelligent creatures exist in outerspace is proven by the fact that they have not contacted us.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Love the sarcasm

If you have read my blog then you know I love sarcasm.  I found this post the other day and would like to share it with you.  It is titled Over Protective Mothers.

Sweater, n.:  garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.  
Ambrose Bierce


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The two hour breakfast

Jackson is the TOD (triplet of the day) so he got to choose breakfast.  He chose pancakes, but just any pancakes but blueberry pancakes.  But wait, there's more... he wanted Mickey Mouse blueberry pancakes.  No problem, well, almost no problem.  We only have one Mickey Mouse pancake form so I was/am limited on how many I can make at one time...  one.  I just finished, seriously.

I despise the pleasure of pleasing people that I despise.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689 - 1762)


Monday, September 27, 2010

Being green

I am no Al Gore but I try to be "green" when I can.  Unfortunately I do not have a private jet to fly around saving the planet but I try to reduce my carbon footprint when possible, where possible and when affordable.  BTW, do we REALLY think we are "saving" the planet?  Let's be honest, we are trying to save US, the humans.  As George Carlin would say "the earth can shake us off like a bad case of fleas."  The planet will eventually heal itself, it has time, we do not.

Back to trying to be green like Al Gore minus the jet and the beard.  Packing the Triplets' lunch for their day out program got me thinking... a rare thing these days... well, OK just rare:)  I use 6-9 plastic bags each day for their lunch that end up in a landfill.  I have read where people use organic cotton bags for food but then they would need to be washed which uses water and electricity at a minimum.  BTW where do we get off that using electricity is good like in electric cars?  Most electricity comes from coal plus in those cool eco cars you have batteries which will end up where?... in a landfill!  Back to my point.  Or I could use containers but they also need to be washed and they might have BPA in them.  Luckily the Triplets' got their smarts from the CFO so they have plenty to spare but I want to limit the loss of brain cells where possible.

Don't report me but we actually drink tap water...ooooooo!  I know, how radical.  Sometimes even unfiltered.  That's right, sometimes I even run with scissors and drink milk past the expiration date.  Don't try to stop me, I will only take you down with me.  We do use some bottled water but primarily to keep in the van for when we need it on the road.

Now to the affordable part.  I switched their sippy cups a while back to BPA free stainless steel insulated sippy cups, to the tune of $12 a pop!  So I spent $72 plus tax just for each of them to have two cups, one for water and one for milk.  Did I mention that I am already sending four of them back for warranty repairs?  It seems that been green is not always kid proof.

Time to go burn some fossil fuel!

There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.  
Mohandas K. Gandhi


Saturday, September 25, 2010

What kind of Man are you anyway?

A recent post on Daddyshome Blog got me thinking what does it mean to be a "man" these days.  That also begs the question of what it means to be a "woman" but I am not touching that one with your ten foot pole.  It seems that there are a lot of different schools of thought from which to form a definition of what a man should be/do.

Biblical - Don't even try throwing Timothy 5:8 at me.  If you do try to use that verse you first need to define "provide."  The word provide shows up 101 times in the NIV according to  Looking at those verses it does not seem that "provide" means go to work and make money.  But hey, that's just me.  If you want to get Biblical on my why don't you try focusing on Ephesians 6:4.  I see way too many Dads exasperating their children and I don't see any Religious "Leaders" doing sermons on that.  I have to admit I am also guilty of it from time but then I try not to throw too many stones, I am too busy worrying about my glass house:)  Also, does anyone consider that the only "true" view of what God really wants a man to be is in Genesis before the fall?  The rest of what the bible says about the relationship between men and women is because of the fall and thus, in my mind is not what God "really" wants of us.  BTW, you either take EVERYTHING in the Bible literally or EVERYTHING is in context.  You choose which way you want it before you start throwing verses my way:)

Personal Experience - Many if not all of us develop our definitions of what "should be" from our experiences. For instance if you are a fan of Mr. Mom, ala 1983, then you probably envision SAHDs as flannel wearing, beard growing, slobs using 220, 221, whatever it takes to get it done.  Or maybe you have read about or met men that do stay at home but don't like it.  

Worldly - Whether we admit it or not this is why most of us scoff at SAHDs.  People always like looking at the 50's and previous decades as the ideal to be lived up to.  Of course you don't want to look past 1920 or women couldn't vote.  You do still think women should vote right?

Here is a little sarcasm on the subject.  OK, more than a little:) - I mean wanting them to be barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen making pies is one thing but they should be equal to men on somethings right?  Oh, I get it... they can vote but only if they vote the way their "man" tells them to.  I mean, we don't want them thinking for themselves.  If they start doing that they might start getting crazy ideas in their heads like that they can talk in Church.  If they start that foolishness they may start wanting to do a man's job.  Being a secretary or waitress is one thing but do we really want women to start getting advanced degrees?  Sure they can be a teacher and teach boys and girls but we wouldn't want them thinking they can teach men things.  If they started doing things like that who would watch the rug rats while we are out with "the boys" and making all those great decisions like what country to invade next.

Don't even get me started about what to call us SAHDs (Stay at Home Dads).  I know some guys get all sensitive about wanting to be called something else but that sounds a bit like whining to me like how you have to say "do you work outside the home" to women.  I am OK with saying I don't work.  I am a SAHD and proud of it.  But in case someone wants another acronym I propose "THE Man" with "THE" standing for Tactical Home Engineer.  If someone doesn't like what we SAHDs do then they can just go pound sand.  I think it is a far worse sin to be a workaholic and ignore your family while justifying it as "providing" for your family.  If someone thinks being a SAHD is sad, a sin, don't respect it or think someone that does it is not being a man then I only have one thing to say...... jealousy is such an ugly thing ;)

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.
Fulton J. Sheen

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.  Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass."  "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply.  "We're raising boys."  
Harmon Killebrew

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.  
Clarence Budington Kelland


Friday, September 24, 2010

The McWane Birthday party

A big THANK YOU to all of our friends at the McWane Science Center for a GREAT Birthday party last weekend!  Of course we went with the animal option for the kids.  There was a Madagascar hissing cockroach, a spotted gecko, a Malaysian leaf frog and a chinchilla.



Another big THANK YOU to all of our friends a Publix for not one but two awesome cakes!

The Triplets loved blowing out their candles.

After all the fun in the party room everyone played in the McWane Center until about three or so.  The Triplets love the touch tank.  Yes, that is a shark:)

It's never too early to panic.
Unknown author, provided by Kelly Netherton

It is better to wear out than to rust out.
Bishop Richard Cumberland

The only person to get all their work done by Friday was Robin Crusoe.
Author unknown


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kids say the darndest things

I taught one of our children's classes at Church last night.  I really like interacting with the youth at our Church for two reasons.  One, I get a glimpse of what I am in for with the Triplets.  Secondly, I get a chance to listen to them.  It seems I learn more about myself than they learn during our time together.  Hopefully they get something good out of it too:)

Last night we were talking about respect and how you don't have to like someone to respect them.  I asked them for examples of people that they do not always like but they need to always respect.  I got some expected general answers like parents, teachers, coaches, etc...  They also mentioned some specific names but one kid took the cake when he turned to me and said "my Mom doesn't like you."  I laughed out loud.  He tried to continue/explain but he was quickly interrupted by the barrage of others' answers.  I told him that that is OK and we moved on.

I was actually a little excited at the news as it is a running joke with the CFO that "everyone likes Al".  I now had more solid proof that just is not so:)  There is actually someone we are friends with that says they don't like me just because everyone else does.  Jealousy is such an ugly thing:)  But with a wife like the CFO, great kids like the Triplets and the "cush" job of being a SAHD who wouldn't be jealous?

There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.
Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)

Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.
Erica Jong


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Someone got overlooked when they handed out cake

We are not sure how it happened but unfortunately Jackson got overlooked when the cake was handed out.  When I took this picture I wondered why he was sad and I did not find out till we got ready to leave and he asked for cake.  Don't worry, he has gotten more than his fill since then.  We also told him to be sure and tell us when he wants/needs something.  But I still feel terrible about it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The third time is the charm

Saturday we had the third and final Birthday party for the Triplets.  This was the Big One at the McWane Science Center.  When we entered the Science Center we were greeted by William.....

In addition to being a finalist in the Birmingham Parent Cover Kids contest the Triplets are in the latest edition of the McWane Center's magazine, Eureka.  Well, all but Jackson.  He was a bit more interested in playing than having his picture taken during the photo shoot.

I would have the pasted the whole cover but it seems that my all in one printer/scanner is on it's last leg.  So all I can get is a partial scan till our new one comes in.

If you haven't already, don't forget to vote for them!

I have no use for people who throw their weight around as celebrities, or for those who fawn over you just because you are famous. 
Walt Disney

A very quiet and tasteful way to be famous is to have a famous relative. Then you can not only be nothing, you can do nothing too.
P. J. O'Rourke


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Birthday, take two

The CFO takes the Triplets' Birthday off each year so we can have a day of fun.  She even gave me another Birthday gift by letting me sleep in till nine!  She rocks.  When I got up everyone was fed, bathed and dressed.  More rockage.  We soon took the Triplets to the basement to show them their bikes.  To say they were excited was an understatement.  Of course I had to explain to Jackson that the spiders on his bike were Spider-Man stickers which meant he did in fact have a Spider-Man bike.

We quickly realized that our number one rule even applies on Birthdays.  After a few meltdowns, temper tantrums and wrecks we headed to IHOP for lunch.  After lunch we went to the kiddie casino, Chuck E. Cheese.  They even have a game that is almost just like a slot machine including a lever you pull.  "The Man" starts his indoctrination early.  It is always interesting "teaching" them to play each game.  My favorite is Skee Ball.  Of course it is a bit challenging getting them to roll the ball verses throwing it.  Over the next two hours or so we blew through 200 tokens having fun and earning enough tickets for our trio to each get a package of pop rocks and their own cotton candy.  Let the sugar rush ensue.

After a good nap back at the house we headed to Publix to pick up some dinner and get them a small ice cream cake.

All in all we had a great day.  One celebration more to go....

Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised.
Marilyn Manson 


Monday, September 13, 2010

Your awesomeness is only surpassed by your humility

A little while back one of the CFO's friends from College visited with her family.  Her teenage daughter and I have a very brief but funny conversation.

Teenager: I am awesome!
Me: Your awesomeness is only surpassed by your humility.
Teenager: Huh?

To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.
Benjamin Franklin

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
Albert Einstein


Saturday, September 11, 2010


I saw an article yesterday that made me think of the entitlement that we all feel from time to time.  Whether that be as parents, Americans, Christians, or whatever label we or other people put on us.  Here is the article for you to read: Message to parents getting louder: No screaming babies allowed!

First, some observations...
The article, like many articles or news reports, it is written to incite a reaction from the reader.
The sign that the restaurant posted saying “Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!” is seen as being anti-child rather that pro-quiet. If it said "Cussing Will NOT Be Tolerated!" would people that regularly use profanity feel discriminated against?
The restaurant in NY that banned strollers was also seen as anti-child rather that pro-safety and pro-service as a bunch of strollers could block the space between the tables.  If they banned parking bicycles in the restaurant would bikers get mad?

I see more and more that everyone wants everyone else to conform to what they want.  If someone smokes they want to smoke everywhere.  If someone doesn't smoke they don't want people to smoke anywhere.  Parents want to let their kids act any way they want and go anywhere they want with them.  People that are child free want kids not to be seen or heard.  What happened to voting with your feet by going somewhere else?

It also seems that everyone wants proprietors to cater to them also.  It seems eating and drinking establishments must have the following sections:
Child free
Smoke free
Cell phone free
Casual clothes free
Tattoo free

How about a "complaining free" section?  I suggest one simple sign for every public place "Use common sense or choose somewhere else to eat."  I know common sense is uncommon these days but let me suggest some initial common sense rules:
  • If your child is screaming and you cannot calm them down in less that a minute or so then take them outside.  
  • If your cell phone rings, answer it and go outside or away from others to talk.
  • When talking on a cell phone use a "normal voice" (under 70db). 
  • If you are unable or unwilling to talk under 70db then text them.  
  • At meals your child needs to stay in their seat.
  • If they do not stay in their seat then take them to the car.  
  • If your child makes a mess then you clean it up.
I have three four year olds and try to follow these rules.  Yes, it means that I sometimes eat my food at home rather than at the restaurant.  Yes, it means that I need to be "inconvenienced" by my children but guess what.... I chose to have kids.

If people don't start using common sense then Congress will legislate it.  Oh, wait, they already do, they tell restaurants what they can fry food in rather than letting us choose where to eat.

OK, I am off the soap box, for now:)

No one asked me to be an actor, so no one owed me. There was no entitlement. 
James Earl Jones 

I don't have a sense of entitlement or that I deserve this. You'd be surprised at the lack of competition between nominees - I think a lot of it's imposed from the outside. Can I have my champagne now?
Cate Blanchett


Friday, September 10, 2010

Birthday, take one

Just like last year we are having a Birthday extravaganza that involves multiple parties.  Take one was at Mimi and Granddaddy's on Labor Day.  A lot of the in-laws made it for the last minute party.  The CFO and Uncle Tommy fired up Granddaddy's new grill to cook steaks for the adults while Granddaddy cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on his old grill for the kids.  Everyone had a great time and the Triplets came away with some cool toys like a Bat Cave, a baseball set, a boxing set, a cool frog game (even me and the CFO like to play) and books.

Now I just need to finish getting those bikes put together:)

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.  
Chili Davis

Thanks to modern medical advances such as antibiotics, nasal spray, and Diet Coke, it has become routine for people in the civilized world to pass the age of 40, sometimes more than once.  
Dave Barry


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Birthday alert

We are less than a week away from the Triplets' fourth Birthday!  We are giving them bicycles for their Birthday.  But being a man you know that I can't do things the easy way:)  

Addison's wish is easy.  She wants an Ariel (Little Mermaid) bicycle.  Thankfully there is a Disney Princess bike that has Ariel on it.  Jackson wants a Spider-Man bike.  There is one that is for sale many places but it is two pieces of sheet metal welded together and it received very poor reviews.  The biggest challenge was that William wanted a Batman bike.  There was one for sale earlier in the year but I dragged my feet and now, no bike.  There is a "Dark Knight" one that is the same as the Spider-Man one.  What to do?.....

I came up with the great idea of buying the boys two bikes that I could "transform" into Batman and Spider-Man bikes.  By "transform" I mean remove all the stickers and purchase replacement Batman and Spider-Man stickers.  But for some reason that sounded too simple so when reading about the bikes I saw where the wheel bearings in the bikes rarely had much grease in them so they did not spin very well.  Upon delivery of the bikes I noticed that this was true and the pedals did not spin freely.  No problem, buy new pedals and repack the bearings!

True to form I have taken an easy task, buying bikes for the kids, and made it morph into a project that requires additional purchases of stickers, bike tools and a bike stand.  I love being a guy:)

We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)

Men don’t want anything they get too easy. But on the other hand, men lose interest quickly.
Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

On the road again... and again... and again....

We are not stranger to road trips, with or without the Triplets.  They were born in Texas and we made more than a few twelve hour treks to Alabama to see the in-laws.  Several of those we drove through the night so our little trio would sleep.  We even did late night/early morning drives while we were "child free" leaving after work in NC to arrive at the in-laws around two in the morning or so.  Once when the in-laws visited us in Seattle we drove 1800 miles during their week long visit as we checked out all the sights.

The last ten days will also go down in our history as one of the crazy driving adventures of our lives.  It all started on August 27th with a trip to see Uncle D, Aunt J and Cousin C near Nashville, TN for a 400 mile round trip.  Then we headed up to the in-laws to drop the Triplets off for a weekend with Mimi and Grandaddy for a mere 200 mile round trip.  Thursday we headed to NC for a quick (VERY quick) trip to see my Dad.  We have lots of very good friends in NC but had no time to visit as this was a purpose driven trip.  My Dad is de-cluttering his place and the CFO did not trust me to choose what we wanted:)  We headed back to Alabama on Sunday to complete our 1100 mile round trip.  Of course we still needed to head back to the in-laws to retrieve our trio for another measly 200 mile round trip.   I know this is not much for you road warriors out there but after 1900 miles with 800 of them being with four year old Triplets, I am a bit fatigued.

The Triplets had a GREAT time!

The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
G. K. Chesterton

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
George Moore


Friday, September 3, 2010

We want your vote!

No, I am not running for any office nor will I ever.  Let's just say I am a little too "virtuous" to run for any office:) But the Triplets on the other hand would like your vote.  They made the finalists for the Birmingham Parent Magazine Cover Kids Contest.  Once you click on the link scroll to the bottom and you will see an awesome picture of them under multiples.

It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.
Darrin Weinberg

Those with few vices usually have few virtues,