Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Comedy of Errors…

Yesterday evening I came to the sobering realization that movies like “Daddy Day Care” and “Three Men and a Baby” were never really supposed to be comedies.  No, in fact, after taking a step back to survey the events of the past six months, it has dawned on me that those movies are actually very accurate documentaries.  I will no longer point and laugh at the hijinks and shenanigans of the “actors” in those movies.   I will no longer remark about how ridiculous, outlandish, and unreal some of those scenes are.  I now understand that the creators of those movies were trying to depict accurate portrayals of what  happens in real life when Dad’s are left to fend for themselves.  The fact that I can now relate to every scene in those movies is, in fact, quite a revelation for me. 

For example.

One night, after my daughter’s nightly bath I was left with a wet toddler and a wet bathroom and I realized I had a limited amount of time to dry both.  Unwisely I decided that I should mop up some of the water on the bathroom floor before getting my daughter dressed. 

Now, my daughter has recently become very mobile and very agile.  After taking my eyes off of her for one second, I saw her throw down the towel and start running buck naked towards the bedroom.  My bedroom.  Being the agile little squirt that she is she proceeded to climb into my bed (which is actually taller than she is).  Now, normally this would be kind of cute scene.  Cute baby with a wobbly walk, running and squealing naked, climbing into your bed and wrapping herself up in a big mass of sheets and comforters.  Kind of like one of those Downy commercials right?


My daughter has also recently learned to jump.  She loves to jump.  Jumping on the bed is even better.  So here is my baby daughter in all her chubby toddler naked glory, bouncing up and down on the bed and squealing with delight.  I’m doing what all modern parents do and hover over her to make sure she doesn’t fall but still enjoying her delight and excitement.  The only problem is that I forgot that when babies get excited there’s also another natural reaction. 

She pee’d.

On my bed.

How glad am I now that my wife is home.  This particular Daddy documedy is now over.  Unfortunately being in the military almost assures us that a sequel is in the works.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Breaking from the Routine to get back to the Routine

Probably one of the single most important tools we used to make this deployment more bearable is Skype. 

We appreciated the fact that it was it was both free and effective.  It worked pretty well for us 95% of the time.  When the internet connection was good on both ends the video feeds were crystal clear and audio has always been excellent.  Being a guy with a tech fetish, I even figured out how to connect the laptop to the flat screen in the living room and feed the sound to the home theater system.  So on weekends we were able to spend time as a “family,” with my daughter and I playing in the living room and my wife joining in the festivities in all her 1080p Hi-Def, 7.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound glory.  She was practically life sized up on that TV.  Obviously no replacement for her actually being here, but it was nice to have her “here” with us during those times.

Skype is also part of our daily morning routine.  My wife was fortunate enough to have been stationed at a major base in Iraq and had ready access to computers and internet.  I know there are many others who are stationed in more remote locations, thus communicating with their families is more sporadic.  Keep up the good fight and know that you’re family is supporting and waiting for you.  So back to the routine.  As I typed earlier, part of our morning routine is a daily Skype session with my wife before I take my daughter to daycare.  We’ve gotten used to waking up and going into the kitchen for a little breakfast and face time with Mommy. 

Today was different.  No Skype. No e-mail. No facebook status updates.  No, today after my daughter woke-up, I got her dressed, spent a little time playing with her and then off to daycare.  For those of you with kids you know how important routine is for the young ones.  My daughter knew that something was different.  She doesn’t like not following the routine.  But she’ll have to adjust because we won’t be doing this routine again for a long time (hopefully).  She’s going to have to adjust to the “old” schedule again because today, instead of being in front of a computer, my wife is on a plane, finally heading home.

5 more days until reunion!


Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your hear take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            --- Psalm 27:14

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        --- Psalm 30:11-12

Love bears all thing, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      --- I Corinthians 13:7

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Down Day

Ah, holidays…

Who doesn’t love a holiday? It’s a welcome break from the hustle, bustle, and general busyness of work.  An opportunity to break free from schedules, deadlines, and conference calls that seem to never end.  It’s a respite from demanding clients and arbitrary timelines.  As we approached celebrating our nations 234th birthday this year, I was looking forward to a nice three-day weekend for Independence Day. 

Except for one problem.

“We had a lot of fun today!”" “ Well, it’s time to say bye-bye!” “Enjoy your 4-day weekend!” enthuses my day-care provider.

What 4-day weekend? I don’t have a 4-day weekend.  I have a 3-day weekend… 


So our base decided to throw in a Down Day on Friday giving most everyone on base a nice 4-day weekend.  Basically when you have a Down Day EVERYTHING on base shuts down.  Including the CDC and base affiliated daycares.  Like mine.  Since I don’t live or work on base I found out about said Down Day the day before it happened. 

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t begrudge our service men and women their time off.  Lord knows they deserve it.  At the same time though, for as much as they try to promote the “modern military” to spouses and families, the truth of the matter is that working professional spouses with careers outside of the military are still a relative minority. And it shows in a lot of the military’s decision making.  I mean it’s a fact that we are a nation at war and because of that war many of our brave service men and women are deploying overseas leaving their families behind.  Families that depend on childcare if the spouse is working in the private sector to help support the household.  Who don’t get a “down day.”  See what I’m getting at?

Down Days are great and we should keep having them.  But c’mon, how about a little help for those of us that work and whose wife/husband is deployed?  At least find a way to let me know in advance so I can plan around it.

I guess that’s enough complaining.  All in all it didn’t turn out too bad.  I still worked that day and my daughter was surprisingly well-behaved.  I think there was only one conference call that day where she shrieked loud enough to be heard.  I have also discovered that 1-3pm is my most productive part of the day (nap time). My office is a mess though.


One quick note, lest anyone think I’m upset at my daycare provider.  I’m not.  She’s great actually and I really, really value her help. Often times my only source of information as to what’s happening on base, which isn’t how it should be.  It’s the Air Force’s reaching out to the families of deployed airmen that needs a little more work.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dad Life…

Saw this on facebook and just had to share it.  So true in so many ways…

seems to be a theme these days: Hard Core Gansta’ Parenting.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Sneak Attack

I was defeated.

I thought I could get through the six months of deployment unscathed. Who was I kidding?  I mean I know it’s happened before.  I guess I let myself get lulled into a false sense of security, thinking “this could never happen to me.”  Especially after 5 1/2 months without incident. Well it happened and I was betrayed by one of my closest allies in the process.

It all started like any other evening.  Supper was done. It was getting late into evening so it was time for “The Bath.”  As you may recall from a previous post that my daughter was once traumatized by the bathtub.  It was all my fault too.  It had taken me no small amount of effort to coax her back into the tub and convince her that bath time was “fun” again.  In the process tears and wails of despair were shed. My daughter voiced her own displeasure as well.  Eventually though, it worked.  Bath time was fun again! A rollicking, splish, splashing good time with the help of one of my more effective brainstorms: the bubble bath.

My daughter loves bubbles.  Sometimes we’ll play outside and I’ll blow these big bubbles for her and she’ll just chase them around for hours.  When Yo Gabba Gabba! comes one with their “Bubbles” song she gets real excited and squeals and dances with delight.  Her belly laugh when bubbles pop is one of the most addictive sounds in the planet. So the bubble bath really helped in getting her in the tub again.  It was my greatest ally in this bath time battle.  Little did I know that  it would also turn out to be my greatest betrayer.

So back to this evening.  Here is my daughter enjoying her bath, splashing around and generally getting water everywhere.  After washing her hair and giving her an all around scrub down it was time to come out.  So I pull the drain  to let the water out.  I remarked at how resilient the bubbles in this bubble bath were as, despite my daughters splashing around, there was still a good coating of bubbles over everything.  It was as the water drained that I finally noticed “it".  No warning. No outward sign from my daughter that anything was awry. No, it was a complete sneak attack. I had no idea until it was too late.  Like everything else that had been covered by a layer of bubbles “it” was also covered in bubbles and I didn’t notice “it” until all the water had drained out.

Yup. There was a bubble covered turd in the tub.

Sigh. Et tu bubbles?


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tick Tock

10 days.

As I write this there are just 10 days left in the month of June.  10 days until my wife’s time in Iraq is up.  Barring in unforeseen circumstances and accounting for transit time she should be back in the good ol’ U.S. of A within 15-20 days, God willing!

15-20 days! Woohoo!

15 TO 20 DAYS!!!! Crap! I’ve got a lot of stuff I need to do!!  The Piles! The dusting! The floors!  I’ve got get those piles contained… err… rid of! Piles of laundry. Piles of dishes.  Piles of papers.  Oh man. So much to do.  I’ve got to get this house in tip top shape before she gets here.  I’m sure she would not like to be reminded of the dust of Iraq here at home.  Right now though it might be close. Maybe I can convince her it’s part of a acclimatization program that I read somewhere.  To kind of “gradually” re-introduce deployed airmen back into civilization.

Yeah. I don’t think she’ll buy that either.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It’s the Final Countdown!!!

1 month left until she’s home!

Then it’s party time!


Know When to Fold’em…


It’s the bane of any bachelor’s existence.  It’s one of those things where he would rather do so many other things but laundry. Like playing video games. Or eating. Or sleeping. Working on the hotrod in the garage.  Getting a vasec…  Ok. Maybe not that extreme. 

However, my distaste for laundry is one of the carry-over’s of my bachelorhood that refuses to let itself be “fixed” by my wif….er, married life.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate clean, fresh smelling clothes and good hygiene, but it’s just so tedious and there always seems to be so much of it.  And…well…I kinda suck at it.

Let me clarify, the washing and drying part is easy enough.  Technology has wonderfully made that part easy.  Throw the clothes in, select the right setting, measure the detergent, and “presto!” clean clothes!  It’s what comes after that’s such a pain.  What was once a pile of dirty clothes has now magically, wonderfully turned into a pile of clean clothes.  But that’s the problem.  It’s a pile and we’ve already talked about how much bachelor’s love their piles.  It’s just so easy.  Why fold?  I mean it’s clean isn’t it?  And sitting there in a pile, it’s easy access too.  It’s ALL IN ONE PLACE! I can find whatever I want there. 

That being said, I suppose I should come completely clean.  I can see you neat freaks scratching your eyes out and screaming at the screen “The wrinkles! You need to fold and put away your clothes to prevent wrinkles!”  Remember what I said about me sucking at laundry?  Well, this is the part where I suck. 

I can’t fold clothes.

Well, I can but it ain’t pretty.  Often times the clothes that I fold will end up having more wrinkles than if I had just left it laying out in a pile.  So bachelor logic in me is reasoning that there’s no point if folding them if they end up looking worse than if I had just left them there in the first place.  Also, if I really need a clean, pressed shirt I’d still be ironing it folded or not so what’s the point.  The old bachelor is usually very convincing in his argument and coupled with my natural talent at procrastinating doing things that I’m not good at, he usually wins the argument.

Speaking of things I’m not good at, it’s bad enough if I were really just by myself.  Now couple this with a wife that’s deployed (so no help there) and the fact that we have a now 22 month old daughter.

Who has a lot of “cute” clothes.

It’s one thing to find the time to fold laundry between work, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of a rambunctious little toddler.  It’s a whole other thing when you’re already bad at folding your own clothes but must also fold the clothes of a baby girl.  First of all her clothes are small.  My hands are not. If I can’t even fold my own clothes without wrinkling them, what makes me think that I could successfully fold miniature clothing?  And then there’s the gender issue.  I’m a guy and I grew up with brothers.  Clothes for guys are simple, easy (probably in recognition of the fact that we suck a laundry).  Shirts, shorts, pants, and socks.  That covers about 99.9% of all male clothing. Scots need not comment please.  Girls, on the other hand, have much more variety in clothing and must be kept and stored in mystifying ways.  In addition to the shorts, pants, and shirts they have dresses, skirts, skorts, mumu’s, jumpers, leaotards, etc.  The list goes on and on.  And what the heck are bloomers!?

So the point of this post? Well you know how the military wives prepare “honey do” lists while their husband is away?  Usually it’s things like fix the car, fix the roof, move some furniture?  Well, let’s just say that I might have a “honey do” list too but it’ll be more like “Here are some bloomers and I have no idea what to do with them.”

Yay Piles!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Trauma at the Hospital

I don’t like going to hospitals. 

To me, you go the hospital only when you’re sick and because I don’t like getting sick, I don’t like going to hospitals.  My last visit to the hospital was the ER trip for my daughter that I wrote about in a previous entry.  It did little to temper my distaste for hospitals.

It is with this frame of reference that you can understand my attitude when I had to bring my daughter in for her last well-baby check-up the other day.  My daughter’s attitude toward hospitals is about the same as mine.  She just takes one look at the examining table and she “knows what’s up.”  Especially since her doctor’s visits are followed by visits to the vaccination clinic.  Yup. I was in for a great time.  Little did I know…

So this particular check-up was going pretty smoothly until the provider that was seeing us started asking me questions about my daughter’s development.  She was giving me advice about her diet, what her vocabulary should be like, and other cognitive developments that I should expect.  She then I asked me if I was potty training her to which I emphatically said, “No.”  So at this point the provider starts telling me that I should think about getting a little potty for her, gives a few tips here and there, and mentions the fact that the way kids learn about “going potty” is just by watching. 

Oh boy. I know where this is going.

And then the magical words come, “You know, you should start letting her come to the bathroom with you.  And, well…since she’s a girl, you should probably start sitting down when you go to the bathroom.”


I don’t like going to the hospital at all.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Night of the Living Dead…

“What is it? Is it dead?”

“It doesn’t seem to be moving. I’m gonna look closer.”

“Don’t do that! What if it wakes up?”

“Aw c’mon. It’s dead. It won’t move now. See?”


“Quit it!”

“Aw quit be such a ninny.  I told you it’s AHHHHHHHH!!!”


“It’s ALIVE!!!”


Yes, dear readers (if there are any of you left that is) this blog is being resurrected from a premature death or at least I’m going to try.

There’s probably a number of reasons for the huge gap from my last entry but the most likely reason is a combination of my laziness, lack or creative juices, and well, the fact that my life has been pretty boring.  Seriously. 

After the excitement of change and adjustment of the first few months of my wife’s first deployment things have kind of just settled down.  We REALLY got into a routine here at the home front so there’s actually been very little to write about.  The unfortunate by-product of settling into routine is that life quickly gets boring.  Not that I have time to dwell on that.  I’ve discovered that it’s entirely possible to be very busy all the time and yet be completely bored at the same time. 

Not that I’m complaining or anything.  If excitement is anything like what I went through the first couple of months, then I’ll take boring routine any day of the week.  Every day of the week apparently. It also explains why I’ve not really written anything in a while.  But as I write this it is now the last week of May meaning that we are getting near to the one month mark before my wife gets to come home.  It’s charged me up a bit.  Given me something to look forward to and gotten my energy level up a bit.  Hopefully it’ll get my creative juices a jolt and I’ll be back to blogging like when I first started out.