Jul 092014
 

This title proves prophetic today.  I had forgotten just how much an infant forces you to slow down certain things.

Over the past 2 weeks I have had to slow down many times, with my writing and housework and yard work.  I have watched more movies and tv shows in the last 2 weeks than I have in the past 6 months when I started this whole online venture.

I have been writing about unplugging the past few days and I think that he has a lot to do with this.  Now, if you have read any of this blog in the past, you know that my family is very important to me.  I love doing things with my kids and I really am excited to watch them grow and develop.

It is so much fun to see them grow and change through all of the ages.  It is fun to see their tastes in music and movies change and mature as they grow.  It is also fun to see what the new one will choose when he can control what to watch.  My 4 year old is finally gtting into some of her own things and not just copying her older sister.  My son has always kind of done his own thing, it will be interesting to see if my new son follows him or does something totally new.

I think it has been good for all of us to just slow down.  It has been good for me to get off of the computer and just hold the baby for a couple of hours at a time.  These are the times you can’t get back if you miss them.  This is exactly why I am a dad.

Being a Stay At Home Dad allows me to see all of these milestones.  These 4 kids I own make me want to work my butt off and be able to stay home with them and all of the things that they accomplish.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Have a great weekend!  We get to watch fireworks tomorrow!

-Justin

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Jul 092014
 

I am a stay at home dad.  I have touched on this before and I am I will again.  So it may be asked why?  Why is it that I stay home while my wife works.  Well a simple answer is complicated in coming.  Here is part one of a peek into my life so far.  BTW, I have decided I will run my fiction stories on Saturday’s if anyone is interested.

Way back when, after high school I was doing the college thing with my wife (then girlfriend) and things progressed, we got married and she graduated.  She was one of those who has known what she wants to be when she grows up from about 5 years old.  I was not like that.  I am still working on that one.  She wanted to be a Nurse and so she became.

In the meantime we had our first child and when here came to there, we looked at the budget and decided that almost 80% of my income at the time would go to daycare.  We couldn’t justify that so I stayed at home and took online classes working on my degree.

Through this and that our second child came along and the same argument held.  I would be working to pay for daycare and someone else would be raising our kids.  Of everything, that was the most important.  My wife and I would raise our own kids.  We would be responsible for their development and how they turned out.  No one else would be in charge of them.

I think that has had a very positive impact on these kids.  I the “old” days of my parents at least there was not daycare.  When I was a child it was available but I would say most kids were raised by their parents.  As I got older, more kids were being raised by others.  We were not going to let our kids be raised by others.

I did go back to work for about a year when my son was small and my wife was pregnant with our 3rd.  That was hard for the family but it worked.  Things finally were looking around and I was thinking about school again so I quit work in April of 2007 to do that.  Two weeks later my 11 month old had a seizure and was diagnosed with Kidney Failure.  That led to 16 weeks in the hospital to get her regulated and healthy enough to come home.

Jul 092014
 

I have been reading Josh Hanagarne’s World’s Strongest Librarian blog for a while now.  He has helped me realize that life is, well, livable, no matter the trials.

Laced through his blog is the “How to Have Tourette’s” series.  He is currently at part 22 and they are continuously informative and inspirational.  Through his eyes and magic fingers, we see that while he has Tourette’s, Tourette’s does not have him.

There is much to be learned from this.   Now I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet.  I do not pretend to know anything more about Tourette’s than I have read on WSL.  I do however know that it is not just the weird guy screaming profanity crossing 13th east and the stereotypes that have been perpetuated in popular media.

It is not funny, and it is not something to laugh about.  It is debilitating and insidious in its forms.  So, what can Josh teach us about?  Living.  Doing whatever you want to do despite what nature has dealt.  Own the disease, don’t let it own you.

This is a trait that I really want to pass on to my kids.  My youngest daughter was diagnosed with kidney failure when she was 11 months old.  It took 2 years of dialysis and hospital visits, including 2 major surgeries and 9 less major surgeries, before she got a kidney transplant. She is now almost 1 year post transplant and nearly 4 years old.

I want her to have much the same philosophy as Josh.  While she has kidney failure, it will not have her.  She was amazing through all of the tests and surgeries, just rolling along and doing what was necessary.

She did 4 four hour sessions of dialysis every week without much complaint.  Some people will say that it is because she is young and kids will adapt.  That may be some of it, but there is a personality that can handle these trials.

She will be on medication for the rest of her life to keep her body from rejecting her new kidney.  This kidney will also fail at some point in the future.  At that point she will be back on dialysis and hoping for a new kidney.  We, our family, know this, and it is okay.  We are going to go on living.  We are going to make her strong with Kettlebells.  We are going to teach her to be mentally strong and be prepared when this kidney fails.

We have an online role model in Josh.  We will go on as long as we can with what we have right now.  We will push for our goals and take the setbacks in stride.  We won’t let kidney failure stop her or our family.

He is a role model for me because I need to be physically prepared for the day when her new kidney fails; so I can give her the next one.  I don’t have a disease that precludes me from anything, unless laziness is a disease.  I am giving myself 3 years so that I can be ready for the RKC cert, physically prepared for anything.

Thank you Josh for teaching us how not to be owned by your trials.  You are a continuous inspiration.

Thoughts?  Comments are open below.

-Justin

Jul 092014
 

I was watching TV with my 4 year old the other day.  Usually she has the TV on while I am writing or commenting or otherwise trying to build my empire.

If you have a 4 year old or anyone who records their age in single digits with “and a quarter” you will know that they get focused on one particular TV show and beat the hell out of it.

My oldest daughter was born right before DVD became big.  She had a lot of video tapes.  There were certain ones that I prayed would break.  Some did.  Some “really” did.  One I know I stepped on “accidentally”.  It played for another year or so.  Then DVD came along.  You can’t let them degrade like a videotape.  They just keep going and going.

It is bad if you know where the scratch is on the DVD and it seems weird to not have it there if that show is ever on TV.  So now it comes to this.  Kids get obsessed.  All of my kids have been obsessed with the Wiggles.  My daughters have been obsessed with Dora The Explorer.  My youngest still is.  She is also obsessed with Scooby Doo.  I like Scooby Doo.

With that obsession you get many many repeats of theme songs.  They watch multiple episodes, get the CD, and sing them all of the time.  It is inevitable that those songs get stuck in your head.  And after approximately 12 million times “Dora, Dora, Dora the explorer” starts to get…..well….twisted in my mind.

A decidely PG-13 begins to form.  Followed by something that would make George Carlin blush and sailors run away crying.  I won’t write them here, this is a family friendly blog.  You can fill in the blanks for yourself.  Sometimes that is just how my mind twists…..

Don’t tell my toddler about the barbecue of Scooby Doo or Boots the monkey’s after hours endeavors.

Do you have any kids themes that need to be remade???  Comments are waiting!

-Justin