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I have always been nervous about meeting a girlfriend’s family the first time. Not, stumble over my words nervous, just I hope they like me nervous. Normally they do, but the rare times I knew they would like me; those were the times they didn’t and all the nervous times, they did like me but I felt they didn’t.

With my wife, the first time I talked to her parents was on circumstances which would make the meeting even more nerve-wracking. We were out on a date at the Vanderbilt Mansion and Planetarium and while on the tour of the house, Erica started to feel a little faint. She decided not to say anything, hoping it would pass, but then she leaned into me and hugged me. I thought it was great because this awesome woman I was out with just randomly hugged me, but then she sort of clung on. I asked her if she was ok and she shook her head no and then she fainted. I caught her and helped her to a chair and her head went straight back, which hyperextended her neck and cut off her air so she started turning blue. The nursing student in me said to get her to the floor so I did and she started breathing and then 3 or 4 seconds later she sat up like nothing happened. We went to the hospital and she was just slightly dehydrated, but while at the hospital I had to go outside and make the call to her parents, whom I had not met yet, and tell them what happened.


“Hi. This is Jim, Erica’s boyfriend.” I wasn’t her boyfriend yet but it made it easier than saying the guy who just started dating your daughter and now she is in the hospital.

“Oh, Hi Jim. How is everything?”

“Well, we are out at the Vanderbilt and, I just want to say she is fine, but Erica fainted so we are now at the hospital getting her checked out.”

“Oh. She is ok?”

“Yeah the doctor says she was just a little dehydrated. We forgot to bring her bottled water with us and it was hot and a small area we were in.”

“Ok. Should we come down?”

“If you want to but we should be leaving here soon and everything seems to be ok, but if you want to definitely come down.”

“Well if you are leaving soon and she is ok, just have her call me. This happens to her from time to time.”


“Yeah, once I was brushing her hair and she just passed out and I went downstairs to call the ambulance and the next thing I knew, here comes Erica acting like nothing happened.”

“Oh. Well I will make sure we always have water for her from now on. I am so sorry this is the way we first talk.”

And that was my first conversation with her mom. SO when we went over their house a few weeks later for dinner I was very nervous. Her Dad made some jokes about it, but they were very nice about it. They did say they were glad it was handled well and not to worry about it. We had a good day with her parents and now, as my in-laws, they are still great about things. Luckily, she has not passed out again since that date, but we always make sure she has her bottled water with her!


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Sunday is Father’s Day. For me it is not only Father’s Day but my very FIRST Father’s Day. I will never ever get another first Father’s Day again and I have no idea what we should do, or are going to do. I always wanted kids and, although it was later in my life, now I am finally having that day. I do not know what to expect, but now that I am a parent I understand things parent-related much more. I love this parenting thing.

I am very lucky because, due to some crap at work I couldn’t deal with anymore, I changed my weekends which makes it my weekend off. I am glad that my first Father’s Day (At this point, I think I said Father’s Day so many times I am thinking of making this post a drinking game!) will be an all day event with my favorite women. Normally I would spend the day with them… up until 2pm and then I would have to be ready and get to work by 3pm. But that is not the case so La Ti Da!

I was going through some posts on some other blogs I follow and I agreed with TechyDad, I would LOVE to see a movie but bringing an 11 ¾ month old to the movies, I am thinking other people may not like it so much. And I am a once every other year amusement park goer. I love rollercoasters but I don’t think going to a park every year like my good friend Matt and his family does is what I want. Spending the $100 for my wife and I do go to rides, most of which she will not ride, and wait in line for what feels like hours for a ride which lasts 1 or 2 minutes is time I think we could do things more suited to what we both like. But once every 2 or 3 years is acceptable. I am lucky my wife is so awesome in that regard, I just hope I can “train” the kids to like coasters like I do!

I was thinking maybe a picnic somewhere we haven’t been before. I am a big fan of road trips. I love just jumping in the car and going and seeing where we wind up. When I was younger, my best friend and I were notorious for taking unplanned trips to upstate new York on a moments notice. Once we even drove all the way upstate, in the snow, to his grandparents house and called when we got there. My Mom was understandably upset and said get home right now, after I told her we were at his grandparents house but had not told her where that was. Then I could hear her skull crack when I told her we were way upstate neat Oswego! LOL. That was a fun trip, until we arrived home. Oy Vey! Luckily my wife is fine with these trips, as long as I am with them.

I was thinking of staying on Long Island though, and making up a picnic and taking the boopah out for her first picnic. Let her go crazy and just have a nice, lazy day. But I have to see if Erica has anything planned for the day. But if we do it I will more than likely take TONS of pictures!

How are you spending father’s day or planning father’s day for the father in your life.

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This week’s Writer’s Workshop, I couldn’t decide between the topics so I decided to mix and match.

The first thing which stood out was something mean someone said, then something you learned from your husband (but in my case wife) and we will see what other ones fall into place.

To be honest I remember it like it was yesterday. Growing up in my house was not very easy. I wrote a post once about how my best friend and his family saved my life. My dad is an alcoholic. He was from when I was little and I used to blame myself for because when I was 7 I was very sick. I had chicken pox and pneumonia and was hospitalized for over 3 weeks. My parents did not have health insurance so it cost my parents a lot of money for the bills and I always felt that is what led to his start on drinking WAY too much.

Anyway, back to the mean thing. We were out camping. I have always loved camping as does my family. My parents bought a pop-up camper and we used to head out east to go camping almost every other weekend from the time I was 12 until I was about 15. I liked camping, meeting new kids my age around the campgrounds, I love hiking, especially with the dogs, but back then I liked the solitude.

We would arrive at the campgrounds, I would help dad setup the camper while my sister and mother were out food shopping (doesn’t really feel like camping when there is a Pathmark just down the road). When everything was set up my dad would have already been about 2 beers in and that was about the time he decided I was his servant and make me get him the beer from the fridge. Don’t get me wrong. Dad was not abusive in any of the real ways. He was a friendly drunk and never mean. But we didn’t like his drinking and making me get him something I didn’t want him doing made me angry. (around 16 years of age, every time he made me get a beer I would shake that bad boy up! Hee hee!) This was about the time I would decide it was time for me to explore and he would always say yes.

I remember my mom was yelling at me once about a week before the camping trip and my dad stood up for me. It was one of the few times he stood up for me because at that age I not only felt it was my fault dad drank because of the bills I caused, but I also felt my mom blamed me as well.

Anyway, I was coming back to the camper and I could hear them screaming before I could even see the camper so I stayed out later. I think that was the time I rode my bike from the camp ground to Orient Point. I short 30 miles from the camp site but also 30 miles back. Anyway, when I did come back the second time it was not too late but I had missed dinner and Mom had this thing about missing dinner.

When I arrived back the fighting was done and as I walked up that is when the meanest thing in the world was said to me. I remember it so much because it came from my mother.

She saw me coming and came outside and was pissed and asked why I missed dinner. I told her I came back much earlier and they were fighting and screaming so much that I could hear it from way across the field so I decided to not come back to that so I went for a bike ride and lost track of time.

What she said made a little sense but also no sense. Out of the blue she said, “You’re father may be taking your side but that won’t last long. But if you think you are going to drive this family apart, I will never let that happen. I would kill you and gladly take the jail sentence if it meant keeping this family together.” At the time I think I was either 12 or 13, I cannot remember but I remember those words clearly. It hurt but I pretended like it didn’t and that I didn’t care. I do not remember my remark but she was pissed and went back inside. At the moment I knew a couple of things. I knew that I would NEVER allow any of my children to feel like she made me feel that day. They would always know I love them no matter what and regardless of any problems or mistakes they make; I would be there to help them through it and learn from them. I also decided that I was not really a part of the family since she would so easily get rid of me for missing dinner and blame all the issues on me, even though I felt it was all my fault already. But as a parent it is our job to make them know the actions of a child should not influence the actions of the adults. That is why we are adults. Things happen and it is our adult decisions that make us who we are.

Many years later my mother and I had a HUGE fight and I brought that instance up. She said she didn’t remember it but acknowledged that if I remember it must have happened and she was sorry. I told her the apology was too late. She also told me that her mother had said something similar to her once and I retorted that it did not make it right. It took time but we did mend our relationship and we had a very good relationship in the end.

Growing up in that house I had to learn my own morals of right and wrong. I took all the bad parts of my parents and chucked them and took all the good traits I saw mothers and father do on TV and adopted those. I think I am a good father. My daughter and I have a lot of fun together and my wife and I do as well. I know sometimes I become a little hot headed at times with her but we always talk everything out and we are on the same page regarding our kids. We will not hit them and do our best by them and make them know they are always loved and cared for. I know my wife’s amazing patience is something I admire in her when it comes to our little one. I know we both will have off days and maybe raise our voice over something minor, but I also know we will go and apologize for it and never let it get more than a raised voice.

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A couple of weeks ago we had a scare. A pretty HUGE scare and it involved our daughter.

Now we know we are overly cautious, new parents, but aren’t all parents overly cautious with their first one and then ease up a little with each consecutive child until we arrive at the point of telling them “it’s just a flesh wound, walk it off!”. No? Oh well, that is what I was hoping. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago Erica and I had a pretty huge scare but we also learned how awesome and amazing our daughter really is.

It started with me being diagnosed with Pneumonia. I was feeling like crap and I thought I had the flu. Not a big deal, I usually just ignore and push through it until it goes away. Well, my temperature would spike suddenly and I would feel my face burning and then it would drop down to near normal. I went to work on Monday and Tuesday I called in sick to work and went to the doctor. He said Pneumonia and I became nervous. Not for me because I have a really great immune system. I was afraid for my boopah. I take care of her during the day until I drop her off at the sitters and I was afraid she had become sick from me.

Wednesday I took her to her doctors and she did not have pneumonia, but she did have a really bad ear infection. SO we got her the antibiotics and the idiot pharmacy did not add any flavor to the medication so she threw it up each time we gave it to her. SO she didn’t receive any benefits from it, so we called the doctor and he changed the meds and this time we made sure they added flavor… this time she kept it down. She recovered from the ear infection but just did not seem herself. It was then that Erica felt ill and was diagnosed with Bronchitis. Again, I took boopah to the doctors and she did not have bronchitis but did have an elevated temp.

After a few days, her temp would spike up to 101, 102 and then go down to 99.something. We just kept giving her baby Tylenol until it stopped working. We tried baby motrin but she threw it up immediately. Now, normally when boopah pukes she smiles as if nothing happened, this time she would cry and cry and cry until Erica and I could console her. Unfortunately, Erica was targeted 3 times with baby vomit and I was not at the receiving end at all… whew!

So one night she could not fall asleep so Erica brought her into bed with us. She finally fell asleep and around 5 in the morning I rolled over and my arm touched the little boop and she felt like she was on fire! I immediately woke up and took her temp. 103.2! I was officially nervous. I had brought her into the ER I work at a couple of days prior because she woke up from a sound sleep and I picked her up. She seemed fine but wanted Erica. I handed her to Erica and BLAH! Puked all over her. We took her to the ER and they said it looks like a simple virus to keep with the Tylenol and motrin and water down her formula for a day. Anyway, after an hour it was up to over 104! Now we were REALLY nervous. Since she was not keeping any medication down, I went to CVS and picked up suppositories and gave her once immedialtey when I arrived home. We called our primaries service, because it was Sunday and the office was closed, and they said to bring her to this pediatric center and they were REALLY thorough. They checked her out, took blood and urine, ran everything they could think of and it was termed a “temperature virus”. Apparently, it was something going around by us that the child shows no other symptoms other than a spiking fever.

By the time we had arrived at the wall in pediatric, her temp was down to 100.8. She was so calm and good through ALL of this. When she is not 100% all she wants is to be with me or Erica and cuddle. She cried bad only once with me and after about 10 minutes of her crying directly in my ear I put her down and put on her favorite show POCOYO and she calmed down. I do not think I have ever come across a baby who was so calm when they were obviously not feeling well. She threw up any food or meds for days. She had some diarrhea and her temperature kept spiking and through it all all she wanted was Erica or myself to hug and hold her.

Since the suppositories and last doctors visit, she has been 100% better. She is herself now. Smiling and giggling more, playing with her toys and leaving me alone… I mean not being as clingy. She really showed me that not all babies act like my dumb brother when they are sick. I hope no one has a child with this, but over the last 2 weeks since Boopah has improved we have received quite a few toddler/babies who have this temperature virus in the ER. I feel bad for them but they all seem to feel a little relieved that they are not the only ones.

It makes me feel bad about how helpless they are and how helpless I felt to protect her in this scenario. Both Erica and I wished we could take on her ill feelings so she could be ok, but I am sure that is what happens with all parents.

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I have not had the time to write in a few weeks and I missed it so this week I decided to make sure to at least do a Writer’s Workshop post. I chose the 10 things to do in June, however it is more going to be a summer to do list because time is just too short.

So here it goes.

1. Take and pass my first test with my new university.

    I have been putting things off, mainly I think its because my old school shattered my confidence so much that I need to push myself to study.

2. Figure out what to buy for the Boopah for her first birthday!

    It is her first birthday and it seems impossible to know what to buy for her. Granted she is not going to use it long if its clothes or toys. She won’t even remember it so we plan on taking a lot of pictures and video so she can see how it went.

3. Lose at least 15 lbs by the end of the summer.

    Right now I know I have to lose weight. I am tired of not feeling good about my physical appearance so I take the munchkin for a walk to the park near us and we walk the walking path a few times. Now I just have to curb my appetite for snacks… or do i?

4. Finish the project I started for the house.

    My wife was given this table her grandfather bought. I thought the table would be perfect with a couple of drawers to store the Boopah’s toys in and it is taking a lot longer than I expected but this month I will have both drawers in it and working!

5. Go out and exercise more.

    I use to go out rollerblading and bike riding on the exercise path near us which leads all the way down to the beach. I have not even had the bikes at the house since we moved. This will also help out a little with #3 so maybe I can rethink my sweet tooth, huh?

6. Clean out the 3rd bedroom enough so I can move all the items from our storage unit into the house.

    Our old place we ran out of room so I found a storage unit for not too much and moved all the big things in there. Now the new place is much bigger and we have 3 bedrooms instead of 2 and all of them bigger so moving all that stuff in here and saving that monthly payment is something both myself and Erica want to achieve. Even though I am the one who will be doing all the moving for it.

7. Write more on my blog.

    I keep taking breaks from blogging even though I love it. It’s fun and it helps me deal with things and get out things which are on my mind. I am also hoping to find the time to write at least 2 posts a week and I would LOVE to grow my viewer base and hopefully receive more feedback. It is so much fun to go through all the comments and respond and interact with people who took the time to read my posts. Thank you for everyone who is reading this.

8. I want to finish my tech website.

    I did a computer for a friend at work, since I have tons of computer experience, and that turned into me working on 3 other peoples computers at work. I wanted to start doing that on the side because, although I do love my job and cannot wait to finish and become an RN, I still have a love for all things tech. I know I can help anyone with just about any computer issue and the prices these places charge or definitely not user friendly. I am hoping to help people and keep it the way it should be… genuinely affordable.

9. Start taping and editing and posting videos up on youtube.

    I posted a couple of videos up, but, being a perfectionist, I was not happy with how they came out even though a couple did receive enough views to get my monetized. I have always wanted to post things up to youtube but have not really done anything with it so I am hoping to start that sometime by the end of the summer.

10. Sleep more.

    I never get enough sleep. I arrive home at 11pm and do not fall asleep until after 2am. Right now I am writing this and it’s 7 minutes to 2. I still have to post it on my site and then post it on mamakats. SO I want to get myself into a routine which allows me to not be so tired ALL the time.


Well, that is my list for the summer. I know the post was for June but I am not one to always follow the rules. Besides, rules were meant to be bent a little, I mean look at how much the rules were bent when they put Lindsay Lohan in jail for 45 days… she was out in less than 20 hours!

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of CDW for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Being a tech geek, one of the biggest problems which people experience when they are either buying a new computer, fixing an issue with their existing computer or upgrading their computer – is that they lose data. Most people do not run regular backups and then when they go looking for those pictures from the last family get together, they are gone.

That is exactly what Data Loss Prevention is. Backing up your information so all that important data is available to you when you need it. Whether it’s pictures, videos or data bases as well as making sure your employee, customer and internal company data is kept secure.

CDW explains it as the 4 Fatal Gaps which are:

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MOBILITY & ALWAYS-ON SECURITY.  Businesses these days are always on the move.  Smartphones and laptops carry so much sensitive information about our personal info and account if that without the proper tools, that information could fall into the wrong hands and pose a huge risk.  A small number of business laptops and phones are lost but nearly none are recovered.  

DATA LOSS PREVENTION.  Most of the issues where I worked were employees downloading, sharing, compromising, or unknowingly leak data to outside sources that could pose a threat to your business.  Having preventive measures and protocols will stop the leaks before they happen.

SECURING THE CLOUD.  The cloud, being a relatively new saving method, must be secured with data encryption and should be reinforced by firewalls and web proxies. There are even ways of bringing in devices top create your own cloud for your business accessible from any computer with internet access.

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Everyone has bad days. We have crap we deal with from our spouses, co-workers, job, even these dumbass street traffic cams so they can mail your tickets to you if you don’t wait the allotted 3 seconds. (I can’t believe they haven’t figured out that its pretty easy to just take a side street and avoid the dumb thing altogether!). The stress can be maddening! ( I think my daughter has me watching too much bubble guppies)

Sometimes I even wonder why we decided to add more stress by having kids. I mean they are cute and cuddly, but they cry and don’t let us sleep for the first, what, 3 years? I haven’t even hit the 1 year mark and we still have MANY more years to go!

Before Kids we were able to just go out and see a movie or just go away for a weekend on a moments notice. We have not been in a movie theater in over 7 months. Thank goodness for RedBox.

Some days I just come home from work and just want to relax and watch whatever the DVR taped or study or just watch YouTube videos on the internet. Most days I can… until about midnight or 1 (I work until 11pm). Then the inevitable happens. A certain 2 foot tall member of our family starts to cry. I rush in to calm her so my wife can sleep longer. She works the 9-5 and I want her to sleep as long as she can because when she doesn’t get enough sleep she is a grumpy sweet person!

Usually it only takes about 2 minutes to sooth her and give her a pacifier and she is back to sleep. But some nights, she stays up because she wants to cuddle, usually with mommy. I usually hang on to her for a few minutes and then bring her in to Erica so she can have more Mommy and baby time.

But there is an oxymoron to this situation. By adding the extra stress of being responsible for another human, for having to lose sleep so she can eat when she needs to as she can’t take care of herself yet, for lowering our bank account because no one told us that babies are expensive! They aleve more stress than they create.

When I come home and I am annoyed about how lazy some of these people at work are and how abusive they are towards us. When a patient who has basically destroyed their body and is taking out on us because we are not “just giving her a pill to fix it all”, when that idiot decided to be in a rush and nearly killed me and the other 3 cars all around us because they decided they needed to get in the far left lane instead of just coming into traffic and then merging for the U-turn at the next light. There is always something that makes me feel 100% better.

I walk into my house, put my keys down and then when MJ finally looks up from her Leapfrog learning center and sees me, she gets this BIG smile and then comes crawling for me. Then all the bad stress just erases in those few seconds it takes her to cross the floor and use me as her stool so she can stand up. (Why didn’t the baby manual tell us they go from not being able to crawl to crawling across a 20 foot floor in 3 seconds). When my wife walks in the door and I know she is coming in, I start saying “Where is mommy? Who is coming in the door?” and she looks at the door with a what-are-you-talkin’-about-willis look and then gets this HUGE smile on her face and says “Momma” and you can see how unstressed and happy my wife is for that.

Right now, as I am writing this, I am stressing about all this reading I have to get done for school within the time frame I have given myself and I get anxious. Then Nick Jr. starts playing her favorite cartoon and she crawls over and starts to laugh that little belly laugh that babies have when they are happy and tired. Or maybe she is pooping, I’m not quite sure. But she is happy and her happiness makes all my bad things all go away!

With all this stress, the best thing we did was add more stress to our lives so we would have less stress!

Thank you MJ. Mommy and Daddy love you!

And just in case you didn’t believe me, here is a little video of MJ giving her belly laugh and tell me it doesn’t make you smile! Sorry the quality is not the best but every time she sees a camera she stops what she is doing and just stares at the camera so it was a little rushed.

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