Monday, September 30, 2013

Nintendo Power

     A week or so back, I was hanging out at my Mom's place. I was getting ready to leave and she handed me a freezer bag full of stuff. The content was varied, everything from old report cards and magazines to drawings and folded posters. All of these items were things I had given my Dad when I was a kid to hold onto. Mom debated on giving them to me and had actually thrown them in the trash and decided last minute to fish them out.
     A lot of the stuff was good nostalgia but had no value to anyone other than me. The one item that caught my eye was an old issue of Nintendo's player magazine, Nintendo Power. This issue was the premiere edition and was in great shape. I did a little research and found out that not only was this a sought after item but that two key components in the issue were considered somewhat rare: the included fold out map and a rear poll card. My issue had both.
     I listed it on ebay later that day. I didn't get a huge amount for it ($73.00) but for something that had been sitting in the basement since my childhood and that had gone in the trash, I was pretty surprised and happy that I got anything for it. I wonder what made the 10 year old me think that this was worth setting aside. I wonder what the girls will be giving me to hold onto.      

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bed Stuff

Just in case you have ever wondered what all we have to take off of Ruby's bed when we change the sheets, here it is. We've tried to get her to pare down her blankets and bed friends but she's not budging. Amongst the stuffed animals and covers were a few books and a couple hair clips. Oddly enough, Sailor is a sleeping minimalist: two pillows, one blanket and four animals that she'll occasionally shove to the floor for want of being alone in the bed. Amazing, how two sisters in the same bedroom can be so different in their habits.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Bird

     Somebody on a forum I belong to suggested last week that I did not have a "real job." Sure, technically speaking by the literal definition, he might be right. What was insinuated, that I do not work, is what I found bothersome. Below is my response. 

"Haha, that's rich.
I don't blame you for thinking that way though. Before I was a stay at home dad to two children I was pretty ignorant to how much hard work being a domestic engineer was. I can assure you, I don't watch soap operas all day while sitting on the couch eating bonbons...

If you've never had to be at the beck and call of another person, someone who was wholly unable to look after their own well being and needs, than you have no idea just how much work it is. Now add into the mix that this person does not listen to reason, has no knowledge of logic and at times will ignore everything you say to writhe on the ground in a fit and you can see where the tough part begins. Multiply it by two...that is what I deal with.

On top of that add cook, taxi driver, maid and catch-all to the list as well as changing shitty diapers and I would argue that my job is far more work and more "real" than most people's. Plus the money I save the household by being home vs putting the kids in day care each month is equal to enough income to pay the house note and some of the bills."

In case you are wondering about the bird...that is just for all the folks I've encountered in the past two years that share his mindset. Oddly enough, nearly all of them were morons who are lazy and couldn't handle it. Maybe this post should have been titled "The Punch in the Face."

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mythical Creatures

     You won't find the Southeastern Stay-at-Home Dad on this list, or any other list for that matter. Perhaps that is really how rare they are. I have heard tell of sightings and begged for more information only to come back empty handed. I have been pretty sad at times, thinking that I was the only one. That is until last week where I was actually introduced to another one. Holy cow! It took two years but I finally had a playdate with another stay-at-home dad!
     We met at a park and Sailor and his daughter killed it on the playground while he and I lamented our previous experiences being ostracized and shunned by stay-at-home moms. We bonded over our similarities and our surprise at the costs of daycare. We shared tips and tricks and discussed all the manly things we've forced our daughters into. It was awesome and we were both stoked.
     In the end, the girls cooled their jets and ate a snack while we sat and bathed in the warm glow of catharsis. We made plans to meet again and talked about where we should go. I was surprised that he had met one other stay-at-home dad and it made me want to form a network or support group. Having harbored these feelings of being alone and experiencing the desperation and loneliness, I wanted to get in touch with other dads like us and let them know they are not alone.
     Or maybe I just want more guys with kids and no jobs to drink beer with. You be the judge...and seriously, if you are reading this and you know a stay-at-home dad in or around Birmingham, please send him my way. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Big Bad John

     Early last week we were in the car listening to the radio, specifically 97.3 Y'all. For those of you who are not local, this new station is in the "Jack FM" format which is basically all music, no DJs, and the songs have no discernible genre or time period. More or less it is like putting a really well stocked ipod on shuffle and we really enjoy it.
     So Jimmy Dean's "Big Bad John" came on and almost immediately the girls were captivated by it. The largely spoken track, styled much like a story from traditional American folklore, tells the tale of a Cajun miner and a doomed mine. It was a big hit for Dean and won him a Grammy in 1962.
     The lines "Big John" and "Big Bad John" are repeated several times in the 3 minute track. Towards the end I heard Sailor, in a bass tone, emit her own "Big John" which made Ruby and I both laugh out loud. Over the course of the week the girls asked to hear the song again and again and Sailor's "Big John" has been uttered at random points for no apparent reason. It is painfully cute and never gets old. I know their obsession and her take on it won't last so I am enjoying it while I can.

Friday, September 13, 2013


     The girls have started producing a lot of their art. They color with pencils, crayons and markers or just about anything they can. In addition to paper, I've found color on walls, furniture, the carpets, the fridge...its pretty much everywhere. I can think of at least one previous post on this blog where I had to clean crayon off the the big screen tv.
     I used to try and clean it all immediately. I guess part of learning to be a parent is learning not to freak out about everything because believe me, there can be a lot to freak out about. In a few years when everything settles down a bit and the girls learn better control, self and otherwise, I'll have to spend a couple week going over everything in the house with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  Until them, I'm just going with the flow...and learning to live in a house covered in color streaks.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Back to School

     Since the girls started back to preschool later than most, the pictures are coming later. This is old hat for Ruby (she'll just be going more days this year) but it is a brave new world for Sailor. On her first day I was expecting some wailing and gnashing of teeth but she was a trooper and did not even hug me goodbye. It was a little sad but with two days a week where they will both be gone I'll actually have a few hours to kill.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ruby's Choice

     Earlier this week, Ruby was in The Reading Room (our hallway bathroom) and decided to look at the 2013 Harley-Davidson bikes book. I picked one of these up last time I was at the dealership and it has been sitting around the house ever since. Later the same day, Ru came up to me with the book and told me this was the motorcycle she wanted. It is a 2013 Sportster Forty-Eight, not a bad choice and understandable that she would like it as my current bike is built on the same platform.
     I have bene thinking ever since about what I will say and do when she gets older and the conversation becomes a little less make-believe and a little more real. I am sure as she grows into her teenage years (and begins to despise and dislike her parents and all that we enjoy and represent) that she will probably not want a bike anymore just on principle. In the event that she does, what will I say and how will I act? I know I could start her young on a mini-bike and let her grow into bigger bikes learning how to ride safely as she goes but the thought can be a bit scary.
     It is a hard decision for me, walking the line as a rider and as a father. I lost a good friend to a motorcycle accident in High School. I gamble it all every time I get on the road so I am not a stranger to the risks...and I am not sure I am willing to put it on the line when it comes to my children. I will not discourage them and I am thinking they'll get a lot of closed lot time. When they get on the road will be based on their ability and maturity as they get older if they want to pursue it.
     Every time something like this comes up I am reminded that even though they don't always seem like it, these are the easy times. With us providing a safety net and a lot of the decision making the girls are free to stumble and fall with little to no consequence. As they grow and the net slowly pulls out from under them, the work we do now will be that much more important and the stakes much, much higher. All we can do is give it our best. Here's to hoping the foundation sticks.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Home Again

     After a few days in New Orleans for a wedding, we are back home with the girls. Ruby and Sailor were so stoked on their souvenirs, they put them to use right away. They both got a shirt and one each of our Hurricane cups from Bourbon Street. Rest assured, we washed them out well before putting them into use. We spent last night as a family watching Lady and the Tramp and eating pizza and bomb pops.
     Special thanks to our friends TJ and Amy who kept the girls all weekend so we could make the trip. Between their kids and ours, I can only imagine the chaos they endured. Also a big congrats is in order for our friends Christy and Davis who tied the knot. Best wishes on the new chapter.