Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Does my butt look big in this?


How come every time I hear this question from my wife I want to scream? Not because I am worried how she will react to my answer, or because my wife's butt looks big in everything she wears and there is no way I can pretend it doesn't, or because I don't love to discuss the really important issues with my wife. It's because her butt is not big, and does not look big to me, and when I tell her this it gets as far as her ear then drops out of sight. Does she not believe me when I say this? Would she rather I tell her "yes honey, you have a massive amount of junk in your trunk"? Does she really not want an answer because she has already made up her mind and she is really just talking to herself. Who knows??? I have been with my wife the better part of 2o years, and her body has gone through many, many all people that walk the earth. It would be impossible to think that a 30something woman will look the same as she did in college, especially after having two kids. I know all you see in the media is how super star so-and-so got her body back in shape only 5 hours after delivering her child. What they don't tell you is that she either a) really didn't have a child and did it just because it's all the rage in Hollywood, or b) she didn't eat anything during pregnancy and after birth the first two people to visit her where the plastic surgeon and the personal trainer. I understand the pressure that women feel to look their best, stay in shape, never ever age...but in my messed up male head if your significant other tells you that in his eyes you are the best looking, most in shape, hottest babe on the planet then that should be enough, right? WRONG!!! Thanks for playing. You may pick up your participation gift at the back door before you leave. If I could invent anything it would be a mirror that let women see themselves the way the men in their lives see them. Even though my wife and I have been together a long time I still will sneak peaks at her coming out of the shower. I still ogle her like I did back in college. I still think, no matter how many times she asks me that silly question, that she has the sweetest tush around! I also know that she will still ask, I will still answer, and I will still want to scream.


Monday, May 25, 2009

The story of my first marathon

This story starts off with a beautiful day, perfect for running. I was excited, nervous and really ready to get this thing started. At 7am the gun goes off and away I go with 300 fellow nut jobs. I felt strong and was going to be my day. I made sure to stop at every drink station, I mixed in a little walking, but not as much as I did during training. Things were going great. After 10 miles I was at a sub 10-minute mile pace. WOW. I felt like I could back it up a bit and still make my time goal, sub five hours. Miles 11 to 15 went slower. The major hill was during this stretch, I walked a little more and at the turn around I grabbed some cookies and took an extended walk. I was still in great shape for my time goal, all I had to to was bring it home. It was just past mile 15 that it hit me…the hamstring cramp…OH SHIT! I had the same thing happen after my 10 miler a couple of weeks ago. This was no ordinary cramp…this felt like a sniper had shot me in the back of the leg. Damn….what now. I stopped, because I could not move forward anymore. I straighted out my leg, because to bend it would only increase the pain. There I stretched it and rested. After the same thing happened during training I was able to loosen it up enough to walk for about a half mile or so. I would not stop here. I started to walk, stopping every few feet to straighten and stretch. After a bit I was back in the race. Walking for a good while then able to start running again. I was off my pace, but still able to get under that 5 hour mark if there were no more delays. At the 20 mile mark I had another delay. The cramp was back, and worse. This was bad. 20 miles was the longest I had ever run during training, and my body seemed to be telling me it was not going any further than that. Again I stopped, straighten my leg and stretched. This time it was closer to 10 minuets before I could start walking again. It was about this time that B came riding up to me on her bike…my guardian angle. She herself ran the 1/2 marathon with her sister, my sister and a good friend from high school. She wanted to make sure I was doing OK, I told her I was not. She rode with me while I walked and tried to run more. After a few strides of running I could feel the hamstring tighten up. Stop, walk. Now the chance to get under 5 hours was out the window unless things changed dramatically with my leg. I drank more fluid. B got me some salt tablets. I stopped to stretch more. Mile 21 and 22 pass and no sign of my leg getting better. Time to stitch to goal B…just finish. I told myself before the run I wanted to get under 5 hours, but if that was not going to happen then finishing would be good enough and there would be no disappointment. Well, at this point in the race I am disappointed, but only with my leg. My wind felt great, I was feeling strong mentally. There was nothing that would have slowed me down except my damn leg. This was something out of my control and I just had to suck it up and keep moving forward, even at fast walk pace. With about 3 miles left the rest of my support crew was there cheering me on. My kids, my parents, B’s family…wow. I was excited to see them all, but was not expecting the emotion I felt. I gave some high fives and kept going….not saying a word for fear of opening up the flood gates. Pretty soon I could see the finish, it was about a mile or so away, but I could see it. I was past the 5 hour mark by now, but it didn’t matter…the finish was in sight. With about a 1/4 of a mile left I started to run again….everyone has to cross the finish line running right? Wrong. My leg quickly reminded me that it had given up at mile 20, and that my mind was not going to make it do anything it didn’t want to. Stop, straighten and stretch. The finish line was a stones throw away and I was not moving another step until my leg was ready. That is when it hit me…emotion so strong that I could not hold it back. Tears started to flow. My family was cheering me on, urging me to cross that line, and I was a mess, both physically and emotionally. B was at the finish line waiting for me. My sister was next to me telling me I could do it. Finally, after what seemed like forever, I stood up and started walking No longer able to run. My body would not allow that. I walked across that finish line with my head up and a true feeling of accomplishment inside. I did it. I finished a marathon. Something only 10 months ago I would have never even considered. A volunteer handed me my medal, the announcer read off my name..I did it. I really did it. B was there with a big hug..god I love that woman. I can’t imagine what those last 6 miles would have been like without her there. My parents, sister, nephews, nieces, in-laws and friends were there with congratulations and you did it and way to go. Wow. I was able to compose myself enough to thank them all, and to soak up the moment. Until yesterday the longest running race I had ever done was 7 miles. Until just over a year ago the longest running workout I would even consider was no more than a mile or two, my legs hurt too much to do much more. Now I can say I am a marathon runner. Now I can say there is really nothing I can’t accomplish if I really set my mind to it. Now things are different and will never be the same. As I write this my legs hurt like they have never hurt before. I am looking forward to taking some time off from training and just resting. Then, after a little rest and a little reflection it’s time to choose my next goal….stay tuned!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh Snap!

When logging on to the Internet the other day I was greeted by some very sad news. After 4 seasons NBC decided to cancel one of their Thursday night hit shows "My Name Is Earl". This came as a big shock to my wife and I. "Earl" was one of our favorites and part of the best tv line-ups ever. The reason given by NBC was declining ratings, which is really hard to believe given it's choice time slot and talented cast. In my opinion the ensemble cast sit-coms that are done well are the best things on television. With more and more reality crap shows taking up prime real estate on televising the great comedy shows are a dieing breed. "My Name Is Earl" had it all, snappy catch-phrases, lovable characters, outrageous situations, and one very hot (and talented) actress, Jamie Presley. I would go as far to say that "Earl" was one our top five shows to watch...

1. 30 Rock - one of the funniest shows I have ever seen

2. The Office - if not for 30 Rock this would be the hands down favorite

3. The New Adventures Of Old Christine - someone finally broke the Seinfeld curse, big time

4. My Name Is Earl - mentioned above

5. Scrubs - suffered same fate as Earl, but brought back by another network

My hope is another network picks up "Earl" too. What other shows have lines like...

"When you go into the witness protection program do they let you pick your own name? Cause if I ever witnessed anything I'm going to name myself Crash Fistfight." - Randy


"Hmm, no, I don't have a gambling problem, I'm winning, and winning is not a problem. That's like saying Michael Jordan has a basketball problem, or Def Leppard has an awesomeness problem. So why don't y'all just pour some sugar on that?" - Earl

and even...

"I hope you get nut cancer." - Joy

Here is hoping some television executive has the grapes to grab "Earl" and put it back on TV. It would be bad karma not too.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tiny little destructive minds

Today after I picked the girls up from school we stopped by a local construction site to check it out. After pulling up I noticed a friend of mine, the contractor of the job, was there so he gave us a first class tour of the project and gave us all sorts of great information. What an amazing opportunity for my girls to see something like this up close, to be able to talk to the person in charge of it and ask him questions (and maybe stop asking me questions for like 5 minuets). So, what does my 7 year old ask when given this golden opportunity..."what would happen if that crane fell over?" What??? Of all the questions she could ask she comes up with a questions like that. My 5 year old follows up with "what if one of the guys working up there fell off?" Come on, where are they getting this stuff. I know there is way too much violence on TV, but not the shows they are watching. Is Elmo falling to his death in Sesame Street? Did Bob the Builder get run over by one of his machine friends? Did Dora's map take her over a cliff? After a little chuckle my friend just said those would be bad things, but probably wouldn't happen. Then the seven year old comes back with "but what if it did?" For some reason I picture the movie playing in their head is not rated "G" and features buildings collapsing and people crashing to the ground. I, of course, try to steer them back in a kid friendly direction when I hear, and they see, one of the workers drop a piece of plywood about 100 feet with a very destructive crash at the end. I'm thinking "come on buddy, how about a little help here?" The seven year old didn't miss a beat and asked "what if we were under that?"


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Creating our sanctuary

When my wife and I bought our house about three and a half years ago all I could think about was the amount of time and money the yard was going to need. It was basically dead grass, overgrown juniper bushes and a collection of weeds. My wife could envision what it could be with a little sweat equity, a beautiful sanctuary for us and a great play area for the girls. I could not! While I do love working out in the yard, this was going to be a monster job, the likes of which we have never seen before. Could we really make this pile of crap look not only decent, but nice enough that we would want to spend any time out there at all? Would our marriage survive the constant back and forth I knew we were going to be dealing with? How will I convince a woman that believes she will be able to make a bed frame for us someday (it's true, but that is a story for another day), into just hiring out the work we want done so I can enjoy my summers like any American Dad should?

I could see no suitable answers for myself, so I just had to live with the fact that I would be spending most of my summer, and a fair amount of cash, fixing up this goat pasture we just bought. Damn, my golf game is really going to suffer, and forget about those spontaneous 3-day weekend trips....oh, and my back, my poor aching back. How am I going to get through this and still be able smile at the end of the day?

That was three and a half years ago. Last night my wife and I enjoyed a glass of wine on our back deck and we both agree we have the sanctuary in place, with only a few more items to take care of. I love it. Somehow we managed to share common design ideas and not bicker about our different opinions. While some of the work was hard, we made it fun and involved the whole family. We took each project one step at a time, always looking ahead to the final product and never rushing to fast to just get it done now. I don't know when my wife became one with the force and starting using her Jedi mind tricks on me, but some how she got me to buy into her vision without much fuss or fight.

So this summer there are a couple more things we want to do, but I think I'll get to relax and enjoy more this summer than I have the previous three. So pass me a beer and turn on the Jimmy Buffett!


Monday, May 18, 2009

It's the final countdown

Can you just see the big hair flowing, the spandex shinning, the sound of Europe rocking your speakers. What a great song that is, and so very relevant for me right now. The final countdown is on for me. On this Sunday I will run my first ever marathon. This is something I have been training for since the fall, something I would have never, ever thought possible until recently, and something I can so very excited about. I have been lucky enough in my life to have done a lot of fun things, but this will be the hardest/most rewarding thing I will do as an individual to this point in my life. And, I think the example I am setting for my children will have a lasting impact in their lives as well.

I'll be sure to blog all about it next week after it's all said and done...hopefully I'll be physically able to type it then.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Weclome to the club young man

Yesterday I took a big step on my way to becoming the ideal "part-time-stay-at-home" dad. My first official adult play date! I don't know if this is even the proper term because it is so new to me. Basically I had some of my kids friends over for a play date and their mom stuck around to chat. Whoa....what a nice deal that is. I mean, most of the time I use the "play-date" to get some things done around the house, but it was genuinely nice to have another adult around to talk to in the afternoon. She sat on down in the kitchen and we talk while I put away dishes. I took her outside to show her our new garden area. I brewed up some coffee to enjoy. Our conversation centered around the kids of course, what summer plans were, schools and teachers. We had the occasional child whining/crying interruptions which were taken care of quickly so as to return to our important discussions. Although I think to truly join the club our talks are going to need to get into more gossip and less small talk. I mean, the way I understand it you can really learn a lot about your community neighbors at these gatherings. I am not veteran enough to warrant such information, but maybe someday.



Thursday, May 14, 2009


I was sitting in my office pondering what to write on the old blog today. I could talk about my little green garbage can (AKA my mini-van) working again, I could talk about some of the funny things my girls have been saying lately, I could even write a follow-up to yesterday's blog (I forgot a couple of other, very important, night time rituals my wife has...she pointed those out to me last night!). At that moment I decided I had to pee. We only have one restroom at our office space, and from my office I heard someone leave. When I turned the corner I saw it was our receptionist. JUST GREAT!!! I was about to enter the "kill zone" again. I don't know if I am weird or not, but I refuse to shit at my office. Like I said, it's a small space and just about everyone here is within ear shot and some within nose shot of it. I will make a run to the closest hotel to do my business if need be. Well, some of those I work with do not share my 'no poop" code, and our receptionist is a prime offender. It would be different I guess if she didn't just wreck it in there. I'm not talking about a little smell, something you can hold your breath for 10 seconds and no harm is done. This is a full on nasal assault. I don't know what that woman eats in the morning, but it sure does a masterful job of clearing her out...way out. Most times I decide to hold it for about a half hour or so and then make my pee run, but I was too far along for that to work. I took on last gulp of fresh air, ran in, took care of business and got out. And just when I think I have survived the worst of it, another co-worker is waiting to use the facilities after me. What in the hell do you think will be going through their head when they enter after I leave. I would love to explain that the smell of roasted dog crap they were about to enjoy was not my doing, but the reception area is too close for the real culprit not to I just head back to my desk knowing I getting the blame. I should post a memo "NO CRAPPING IN THIS EXTREMELY SMALL SPACE UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO TAKE FULL CREDIT FOR YOUR ACTIONS!" Well, at least I found something to write about now.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sleeping with the bionic woman

When reading the title of this post there is a chance you might think I am writing about something else...something sexual. Before you get too excited please rest assured that this is about sleep, and nothing more than sleep. It should still entertain you, but I didn't want your hopes built up and then squashed like a bug. So with that, here goes...

I am one of those people that has no problem whatsoever sleeping. I fall asleep fast, stay asleep all night, and wake up refreshed and ready for the day (for the most part). My wife on the other hand is the complete and total opposite. It takes her forever to get to sleep, she will wake up at just about anything (to be explained further) and mornings are, let's just say a little rough on her.

Her pre-bed routine goes a little something like this:

1. Make sure all lights are out, including, but not limited too nightlights, street lights, flash lights, lighting and lightning bugs. And I mean out! If you think that closing a door of a bathroom with a nightlight is sufficient, you are so wrong.

2. Make sure the white noise is on and set at the proper volume. In our bedroom the bedroom fan serves this purpose. To control the volume the door to the bathroom must be no more and no less than 6 inches open. Stray from this measurement will only require trying again.

3. Make sure all 6 pillows are in their proper place. I think she could have double this amount, but then I would be sleeping on the floor.

4. Make sure the door to the girls room is open the right amount. This is close to the 6 inch rule for our bathroom door, but there is a little more flexibility here.

5. Make sure the TV is on, but at a low volume, until she is close to sleep. If she is in control of this I get to watch some fat chick cooking and not being able to hear what she is talking about. If I am in control I can watch what I like, but still not hear.

She may also need a little "self-medication" help in the form of a Tylenol PM, but that is only in extreme circumstances. If all five steps are taken care of then it should only take an hour or two for her to drift into dreamland. If any of the above steps are changed while she is sleeping then the chances of her waking are high and it will take another couple of hours for her to get back to sleep. When you through in visits from our youngest at 2am you can guess what the result is.

I try to skimp on some of the steps, but like the title says, I sleep with the bionic woman. Any flicker of light, variation in white noise or doors open or closed any more or less than the desired amount will be like a blaring alarm to her and will be required to be fixed. The woman has the thinnest eyelids and most sensitive hearing of any one person I know.

Fortunately for me, as I mentioned before, I sleep very well. So even with all the prep that needs to happen I can get the winks I need without much fuss. I love her to death, but I will never understand her sleep issues, thank god!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday thoughts

It's Monday and I don't have one central idea for my post today so I thought I'd just jot down some random thoughts I have....enjoy.

1. There are few things I enjoy more than warm, sunny days and working in the yard with my family. There is something so therapeutic about's better than a day at the spa in my opinion.

2. Two birthday parties in one day is just about one to many for any kid to attend. Besides having to rework your entire schedule to make things go smoothly, you inevitably have to deal with an exhausted kid who will break down at the smallest thing.

3. Making breakfast is something even the most culinary challenge father can do. I was able to multitask a grand meal on Sunday morning that not only was filling, but I think tasted pretty darn good too.

4. Justin Timberlake is very talented. I almost feel guilty saying that, as a 38 year old male...but you gotta give this guy some props. He hosted SNL this past weekend, for the 3rd time, and he hit it out of the park again. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I may have a small man crush on him...what, forget that part...just keep reading and pretend you didn't read that part.

5. I think my girls and I gave my wife a perfect Mother's Day. She does more for me and our family than I could possibly list and deserves so much in return. I hope she knows how much the girls and I appreciate her.

Enjoy your Monday everyone.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Props to all the moms!

In my opinion, Mother's Day is one of the more important holidays on the calendar. While I was growing up I was amazed at how my Mom was able to handle everything put in front of her and now as a husband and father I have a front row seat to see my wife put on her cape and be superwoman on a daily basis. I know I would not be half the dad I was if it wasn't for this woman.

Happy Mothers Day to all moms out there!

A special thanks to the mom in my rock, you make the boys drool. I love you so much. Our girls could not have picked a better mom to have.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

wrapping my head around it all

So this is my 40th post...and the only thought in my head is why am I doing this? The next thought is why am I even questioning myself. For as long as humans have roamed the earth men have served as the hunter and provider for their families. If men could not fill this role then what was their purpose? In my family my wife and I have both served this role, with her making as much if not a little more than me with every move we have made. But, like so many other Americans the balance of provider power has shifted to the woman's side. I struggle with feeling like I am not providing like I should plus the guilt with my wife having to carry the burden of being the "almost" sole provider, even though she has told me (as recent at 5 minuets ago in fact) that she is happy with our set up, she likes me spending more time with our girls and not having them in 9 hour day care/school. She has encouraged me to start this blog, to branch out, to think way outside the box of ways to contribute. Is my skull that thick? Is the over inflation of the male ego for the past hundred decades plus brainwashing me to fight this? I have another possible job interview and again I am second guessing myself. WHY??? I have life so good right now. Why does this shit drive me bat shit crazy (Nickleback lyric). I don't know, but what I do know is that I need to start listening to my wife more when it comes to my direction in life. She is the smartest person I know and cares the most for me so I better pay attention to her opinion. I am also going to work the piss out of this blogging thing...but I'm going to need help. I already have found a great resource with Dad Blogs and a couple other great dad blog sites. I need to embrace my new working life, and tell that male ego to shut it! I'm also going to pass on that job interview. It's not a job I want, and I know it's one I don't need. It's part-time-stay-at-home status for this out!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Going old school

And by "old school" I mean having to walk my kids to school like they did before cars, because my car is dead right now. Yesterday I had finally decided to clean my car was disgusting. I don't know when I reached the point where having a dirty car was OK for me. I think it was one of those things that happen to adults when they have kids. That goes for the house too. It is just damn near impossible to keep things picked up and clean with kids, unless a) you are a "full-time" stay at home parent or b) you have a cleaning person come every single day or c) your kids don't make messes. I know option "c" will never happen, and unless we hit the lottery option "b" is out too. I'm not quite ready for option "a", so there you have it. I my car was a sty, so yesterday I clean the hell out of it....garbage picked up and thrown away...vacuum every little corner....wipe off all the hard surfaces...that bitch was clean. No longer can my wife call it the little green garbage can (I do drive a green mini-van, but that is a story for another day). Well, somewhere during my car cleaning frenzy I manage to hit a few buttons and my radio goes off (I did have it on while cleaning, somehow listening to 80's hair bands makes the job easier). I try starting it and nothing...dead as a freaking doorknob. This morning I jumped it and it started up no problem, that is until my wife leaves for work and I get the kids all strapped in and try to start it again.....nothing. You can almost see me mouthing the words "son of a bitch" can't you??? So, wife is gone, kids are are ready and car is dead. "Hey kids, how about we walk to school today?" They love the idea, and because we live in such a small town it really does not take us that long, oh, did I mention it was also cold and raining. Yeah, even better. So, I sit here in my office (walked here too) and write this, waiting for my very nice better half to come and rescue me. So, what is the lesson I learned today...fuck cleaning my car again and just deal with the little green garbage can as long as it runs.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Not ready for my baby to grow up

It has been amazing to watch my two girls grow up. Even more amazing is how fast time seems to goes by when you have kids. I still remember the diaper changing days, the crawling days, the first words days. How is it even possible that I now have a 1st grader and an almost kindergartner? "K", my oldest, has always done things ahead of schedule, from what I hear. I think she just has a desire inside her that pushes her to do things as soon as she can. My youngest, "R", is totally different in that nothing seems to bother her and she won't be rushed into anything. This has always given me the comfort that she won't grow up as fast and I'll have my baby girl longer. Well, things are changing, and fast. This weekend she picked up a book and was reading part of it to my wife and I....I don't know how or when this happened, but there she was, reading. She has also shown the ability to spell. She wanted to write Saturday on something and asked me to spell it for her. I told her to try first, and she proceeds to tell me s-a-t-r-d-a....WHAT?!?! Where did this come from? "R" has always had an amazing memory, so much so that my wife and I count on her to remember things we can't, but this was like going from zero to sixty in 5 seconds. What's next, a wiggly tooth? I don't know if I'm ready for my baby to grow up...but it looks like it's going to happen anyway.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Day off...sort of

Today the school district is closed, no classes at all. So I go from part-time-stay-at-home status to full-time-stay-at-home status. Lucky for me the weather here where we live is going to be perfect and I already have an afternoon play date planned here for my girls (and if you read my blog you know how I love the play date!).

I will spend the better part of this day removing sod from my yard. Not the way I would dream of spending my full day at home, but it is the next big project that needs attention and I won't have a better opportunity to get it done. It's funny because when we bought this house we totally re-worked the yard and grew a lot of grass and since then we have slowly removed parts of the grass in favor of more garden area. If you have never removed grass before I only have two words for you...SOD REMOVER (pictured above). This machine will not only remove your unwanted grass, but will also provide you a great upper body workout. I've used one of these machines in the past and I'm not sure who was driving who.

So enjoy your Friday and have a great weekend.



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