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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.

I decided to do this writing prompt but I had a difficult time figuring out which time I was going to choose. I mean there were MANY times I was caught doing something I was not supposed to be doing.

I was not a bad kid. I listened to my parents for the most part.

I ate my vegetables at least the ones I did not feed to the dog under the table.

I was never in trouble with the police truthfully; it was only because they could never catch us.

The time that stuck out the most was this one time when I really was bad. I think it stuck out to me because I was embarrassed by my actions and still am to this day.

Well, I was hanging around with my friend Tom. We were just hanging around and we went for a walk or something. I don’t remember. Anyway, we lived near these factories and everyone always cut through the factory parking lot because it was faster to go to the next block.

As we were walking up the driveway I found a can of spray paint. Yeah, you see where this is going.

In all honesty, our first reaction was “cool. We could use this on the model car I am doing!” I am sure it was probably more specific, but I am not Poppy Montgomery from Unforgettable and I cannot remember everything. Well we continued on and for some dumbass reason I thought it would be a good idea to spray paint on the factory wall. I have no idea why especially since I had never done that before. I think it was the fact that the wall already had a lot of graffiti on it. I mean I did grow up in New York.

So we spray painted on the wall, but halfway through, Tom stopped, looked over and there was this very large woman watching us. We booked out of there and ran down the street.

Tom dropped the spray paint and I picked it up again. That was dumbass mistake number 2. We ran a couple of blocks over and I suggested to Tom that we run the other way and go through the shortcut through the woods. He thought going by the school was a better idea and as we were by the school walking about to go to the back of the school a large car screeched up to us and a guy jumped out. He yelled at us and told us we had to paint over the wall and that we had to bring him to our parents.

I was scared silly. The thing was, he did not want us in his car, he wanted us to walk home and he would follow us. I told Tom that I still think we should go by the woods and then run into them. The path took us to 3 different streets and his car could not fit and he was WAY too big to catch us on foot.

But we did the right thing. We went home.

My Mom was pissed. She agreed with the man and was very embarrassed about my behavior. I think that is why I was embarrassed as well. I apologized to the man MANY times and my mother. We accepted our punishment. I think what was worse was the humiliation I felt when I would hear my mother tell the family what I did. I don’t mean my Dad and Brother. I mean she told them and my brother made me feel like a complete idiot about it. I was an idiot. Bu I mean she would be talking to Aunts or Uncles that we hadn’t hear from in months and then she would say how I painted on the wall.

A couple of days later we went to the factory to paint the wall and the wall had been painted already. Apparently, they caught some other older kids painting on the wall and they painted it.

What REALLY made our actions reallllly bad? It was what we painted.

We painted our names on the wall. We were 13 at the time and all 13 year olds are idiots. We just proved the point a little more.

What did you do and were caught doing?

Now, I am going to modify this a little. My reasoning? No one likes to be “Alone” but we don’t mind being single at certain times.

It may have been a while, but I remember a time when I was single – I was never a huge fan. But there are certain things I wouldn’t mind being able to regain back. Here is my List:

  1. Being able to go out and meet friends after work and not worry about “checking in”.

The fact that I work until 11pm. If I were to even ATTEMPT to go out and not call in to my wife and let her know… I am sure I would come home to a house with changed locks.

 

  1. Deciding I need to go to the store and just go instead of the 20 minute ordeal that happens now.

If I need to go to the store I have to throw my jacket on AFTER

  1. chasing down MJ
  2. checking her diaper to see if its dirty (PS – it usually is)
  3. changing said diaper while she is squirming and I am trying to keep her from falling off the table
  4. Redressing her, which is a chore in itself. Thank goodness little things distract her, unfortunately at the expense of my poor little iPod (RIP iPod touch)
  5. finding socks for her
  6. trying to keep her feet still and toes together so I can put on each sock
  7. Crap… she has 2 feet!
  8. Putting her jacket on her (this is worse than putting socks on her)
  9. Picking her up and NOT closing the front door until I make sure I have the keys.

    Nothing is worse than having a baby and being locked out. Trying to break into your house with your baby is not easy, thank goodness that has not happened yet (DANG IT! I bet I just jinxed myself.)

     

  1. I miss my iPod (see #2d). It was nice buying things I wanted, now I have to wait and get things we need then maybe I can get something.

     

  2. Being able to use the bathroom WHENEVER I want/need to.

Right now I have double trouble. I live with 2 girls. MJ will let me use the bathroom for about 3-4 minutes before she is crying over something. My wife, she has the use the bathroom EVERYTIME I need to. I come home from work at 11:30pm. I come in, change kiss her lightly on the cheek, go to use the bathroom and hear a quiet “Are you using the bathroom”

I cringe and my first reaction is to try and use Jedi mind control and say “There is no bathroom here. Go back to sleep” But what I wind up saying is go ahead and use it.

 

  1. Road trips!

I use to go on a road trip at any time just for the heck of it. I would just jump in my truck and head upstate for a hike on a weekend with one of my many hiking clubs.

Nowadays, my hikes include a stroller and park a few blocks away. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE going for walks with my daughter and my wife, but my hiking pace is a lot faster than theirs as well as my conviction to reach the top of the mountain. I haven’t been on a hike in over a year… and I miss them.

 

  1. Having control of the TV!

I am a HUGE fan of HGTV and any Do-it-yourself show. I also watch sci-fi, comedy, action and the like, but now my TV show selections from 8am-2:30pm consist of whatever is on Nick Jr. I have to admit, I do think the Fresh Beat Band is pretty talented! I can’t believe I just admitted that.

 

  1. Being able to go to the Movies!

I used to go catch a movie with my wife about every other weekend when we were dating and right up until MJ was born. Well, in the last 10 months we have seen the inside of a Movie theater once and once the movie was over Erica was out the theater and sitting in the car before I was able to get out of my seat. I think somebody was having separation anxiety? Lately all my movies come from Red Box.

 

  1. I miss going rollerblading.

Have you ever tried rollerblading, uphill, with a stroller, and all those baby things? It is not easy. And if a pacifier disappears? Oh my. Guess who is going back to retrace steps and hope he finds where she threw it. I will give you a hint… he is the ONLY male in the house!

 

  1. Long Showers.

I used to like taking my occasional long shower. When I was living with my wife, I would take my shower first because I can take a shower in under 10 minutes (and that includes shaving and getting dressed). When MJ was tiny and still couldn’t even roll over, I was able to take an occasional one when she was sleeping in her crib. But now, she fights sleep and is always up and getting into something she shouldn’t. Our neighbors already know what MJ’s first and middle names are by heart!

 

  1. Sleeping!

I have been working a night shift for MANY years now. My wife works a regular 9-5 so she would go to work and I was able to sleep until 10, 11 or even noon as I didn’t have to be to work until 6pm and now, for the last 3 years I don’t have to get there until 3pm. However, now MJ likes nice, round numbers like 5am or 7am. By the time my wife is heading out the door for work, MJ and I are in the living room watching Nick Jr.

 

That is my list. What would I do differently? Not a thing. I have an amazing wife, a crazy, funny, happy daughter and a life I enjoy immensely. Things do become hectic at times but I am very lucky and happy with giving up all these “privileges” in order to have my life the way it is now.

Would change anything about your life pre-wife or pre-kids?

I didn’t know my grandparents that well. Actually, I didn’t know them at all. My mother’s parents both died before I was born. My maternal grandmother actually passed while my mother was pregnant with me. My Paternal grandfather passed away way before I was even a thought. The only grandparent I had was my grandmother from my dad’s side.

When I was younger we would go over to her house and go in the pool. All my Aunt’s and Uncle’s would be there and we would BBQ. We would have a great time and I would see my cousins on almost a daily basis. We would also go to New Jersey, where my mother was from (Please don’t hold it against me) at least once a month and see my mother’s side of the family. We would also have big gatherings and have a great time. Many times the phone call to come over would be at 7am on a Saturday and by 9:30 we would be pulling up to my Uncle’s house.

I loved those times.

As we all grew older, our lives changed. People moved away or were busy with their own lives to be seen anymore. I haven’t seen my family all together since my wedding 3 years ago.

My grandmother was a very difficult woman to be close with. I never had that “grandmother experience” many people seem to have with their grandparents. On Christmas Eve we would all go over my grandmothers little house and get together and exchange gifts but once she turned 86 she told everyone it was too much to have everyone over all together and stopped that. I thought it was weird because she didn’t do anything. All my Aunt’s did all the work and brought over all the food and cooked whatever needed to be cooked and my Uncle’s and father would all do the clean up before we left.

As she grew older she became a shut-in basically. She would never come to family gatherings. She would only stay out for no more than 30 minutes when my Aunt took her food shopping as my grandmother grew up in the Bronx and never obtained her driver’s license. By the time she was 91 she never left her house.

But I have to say, she was a very tough woman. She didn’t show empathy or emotion at all. If she was hurt, you wouldn’t know it. I work in a hospital and see people in the 40’s and 50’s with less ailments then my grandmother had at 94 and she never complained and never acted like these people. She had a walker but never used it. She walked about her house with no issues, but started moving a little slower in her last couple of years.

When she was 94, she fell on her stoop and broke her hip. She went to the hospital and they performed surgery to correct the issue. They were surprised that, at 94, the only issue she had was dentures. She never had heart surgery, she never broke a bone, she was very hard of hearing but she was very with it… when she heard what you said. She even told us one Christmas Eve that when she talked to people, if she ask them to repeat what they said twice and still didn’t hear what you said she would just nod her head and say “yeah” because she knew if it was her repeating she would be annoyed.

When she broke her hip they sent her to rehab and there was some complication with the surgery. They called us and said come down because she probably would not recover from it.

She did.

Then she wound up getting an infection while at rehab and they once again called us and said “She really is not going to recover from this.”

She did.

Then she wound up falling and doing more damage to her leg that they needed to fix. They called us a third time and told us to come in.

She recovered.

As she was getting through her rehab she became depressed. I mean this was a woman who did everything for herself since she was 5. She lived through the depression as a teenager. She had 8 children she raised on her own after my uncle passed.

The depression became severe and my sister told me to go see her, but I was never close with her. She never came to see me any time I was in the hospital and she even referred to us by our father’s name and which kid we were. So I was not Jimmy, I was Ken’s 2nd son. Only my sister was referred to by name out of ALL the grandkids.

She told my sister that she was done. That she lived long enough and just wanted to go be with my grandfather again. I mean I was born in 1970 and he had passed before that. She never dated or was with anyone after that either.

A few days later she passed.

And the thing we found out on 2 separate occasions, unfortunately, was that apparently my grandmother was a sexual dynamo.

One night she was over for dinner and my friend Mark came over. He was joking with her about taking her out with us and her reaction was “Hell yeah! I might even be able to teach you some new things!”. It was shocking to hear that from my grandmother in her mid to late 80’s but it was funny.

And then, when my grandmother was 92, my brother and my sister-in-law went over to my grandmothers Christmas eve early. They were talking and somewhere along the line my grandmother started talking about her sex life with my grandfather. She went into slight *ahem* detail about the size of my grandfathers, uh, well, you can figure it out. And she olso told them about how he liked to drink on the weekends and if she wanted anything she had to hurry and get in the bedroom before he fell asleep. And apparently THAT was why there was such a big age difference between he kids.

I wish I learned some really great life lesson from my grandparents but I only knew one, she didn’t really talk to us kids much and the only thing she informed us of that sticks out is her sex life stories!

I know my daughter will have better memories since my in-laws are both around and awesome people and my Dad is around and he is great!

 

I have never really pretended to be someone else. I am happy with who I am and now I am absolutely fine with the way I was brought up but definitely will not make some of the mistakes my parents made.

With that out of the way, I did pretend to be someone else… once!

It was 2001 and I was living in downstate New York. I was meeting up with all my new friends for our “anniversary night”. The reason for this was that we had all met online through an online Yahoo! Group and we became good friends pretty quickly. We still are to this day even though I moved back to Long Island.

On the first year of the group we all decided to go out to dinner and then a club. It was all fine until this girl I was really interested in and had dated for around a month showed up… with her new boyfriend (now husband) who we all know to be a jerk. Even to this day he is a jerk.

Well, not sure why it bothered me so much as I had thought I had dealt with the situation and was ok with her and I only being friends. But that night it bothered me more. I think it had to do that I felt I was a good guy and this guy, who is a big loser in EVERY aspect of the word was the one she chose to be with over me.

Anyway, put me in an uncomfortable situation where I can’t excuse myself and leave, add alcohol and there is going to be stupid hijinx on my part. Yes I actually used the word hijinx.

Well, I drank WAY too much. I was not driving as my friends had rented a room out in the hotel nearby so I knew if I did have too much to drink I would just crash there. Well, that night the more I drank the more of an Irish brogue came out. Now this was funny to my friends because, although I am over 75% irish, I was born and raised on Long Island to a father who was born and raised in the Bronx and then later on Long Island and a mother who was born and raised in New Jersey.

Anyway, the more I talked the more my friends would ask me silly questions. At one point one of them asked me who I was and my answer was “Patty… Patty O’ Furniture”. I think I used that name from a comedy sketch with Robin Williams.

Basically I do not remember much of the evening, but I do remember 2 ladies walked in to the club we were at and I tried to pick one of them up. Somehow my aim missed and the one I was trying to pick up was not the one who I have to say I gave my number to as she called me the next day. I do not remember giving my number but it was what it was. I was 30 and single so no harm no foul.

It was a shock to her the next day when I answered the phone like my normal American dialect. I do think she wasn’t too surprised mainly because I was VERY surprised to find out that she didn’t even speak English. Apparently she was from Peru and only spoke Spanish. I do not speak Spanish so I have no idea how we conversed but I did figure if she was courageous enough to call me to go out I could at least take her out and ensure a dinner with a woman, whom I did not remember her name nor what she looked like, who also only spoke a few words of English.

It wasn’t as bad as I expected but beer goggles is a real phenomenon because when we met up, I was not attracted to her in any way. After the date she called me 10 or more times a day until I finally told her it was not going to work out. Not sure if she understood but I also never heard from her again.

After that night, although my friends ask me about “Patty O’Furniture” I have also never pretended to be someone I wasn’t. I also have never drank as much as I did that night so I think there is a direct relationship between amount of alcohol consumed and my bad mood because ex dropped me for a loser, dead beat dad and my level of stupidity.

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

“Best Songs with your Windows Down” playlist

Growing up on Long Island, I remember the feeling when spring had finally arrived and we would drive all over blasting our music. During the day we would cruise Ocean Parkway and hang out on the beach under the Robert Moses overpass. At night we would race cruise Route 231 or Hempstead turnpike and meet up with friends. Most nights we would even make new friends as well as potential girlfriends! Whereever we drove we would blast out music. Bon Jovi, ACDC, Billy Joel… Hey it was the 80’s! It was a great time for us, so when I heard of this contest

So, when I heard about this Kia Rio and Spotify were running a promotion called the “Best Songs with your Windows Down” I knew I had to check it out.

Basically, what you do is go to Kia Rio Facebook Link and you search for your song then enter your name and email address and you can create a playlist. Like I did below with “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones. I chose this song because this was one of our favorite to drive all over to. It even has a meaning for myself and my best friend Mark because this was the song we were listening to on Thanksgiving while out 4-wheeling with the Duster.

SS_entry  If you click on View Playlist it will open up the Spotify website where you can download Spotify and it will open the playlist so you can see what other songs have been submitted.

Some other songs I would choose might be 1, 2, 3, 4 by the Plain White Tees and A Matter of Trust by Billy Joel… but that’s just me. So feel free to leave a comment of what songs you would choose and why, or better yet, go over to the link and submit your songs for the playlist.

And don’t forget to visit the playlist often and see what songs have been submitted. You may be pleasantly surprised to be reminded of some songs you have completely forgotten about over time.

Also, check out the Voice-Activated UVO Infotainment System powered by Microsoft. This system is an AMAZING voice activated system which allows you to play music based on genre, place phone calls and even stream music from your Bluetooth phone to the cars stereo system, all by simply pressing a button on the steering wheel and saying what you want to do, such as “Call home”.

It really is an awesome system and definitely shows us where the future of in car technology is heading.

Visit Sponsor's Site

So this week I was looking at the prompts and there were a couple of prompts I could use… and a couple that made me realize that I am one of the few, lone daddy-bloggers among MANY mommy-bloggers. Anyway, I chose to post on the topic A LIE YOU TOLD because I did tell a lie somewhat recently and it’s been both bothering and biting me in the bum since,

I mean the lie was not a bad one, it was more a lie that just came out and instead of correcting the deception I went with it.

And I feel crummy about it.

You see, I am in Nursing school. The school I was attending was a really bad one, but I did not find this out until only 6 months left of the program. I know I talked about it once in a previous post but what happened was, with only 4 days left until my final the school decided some work I was doing was not “good enough” and kicked me out of the program. What is meant by this is that, by their own words, they told me that my work “wasn’t wrong” but they expected better from me. What? Well if I am a student and the work is not wrong, I am sure there is always room for improvement but if it’s not wrong then it should be correct – especially since I had a 79 average in the class so I obviously knew the material.

Well, enough of my rant about that, so back to the lie. With a 79 average I knew I was going to pass and my fellow coworkers knew it as well so they would always ask me about it. After I was kicked out I told my coworker friends what happened. But the coworkers I wasn’t as close with, for some reason a lie would just come out.

One person I told them that the school kept making me takes some of my older classes over so I wasn’t done. And, technically this was not a lie. They did make me take some of my older classes over and I wasn’t done yet but that wasn’t why I wasn’t done at that time. Another person I told I just needed to take the national exam but wanted to make sure I would pass it.

I feel bad about not being honest as I feel the truth ALWAYS comes out, but I was very embarrassed that I was kicked out of a program I worked so hard to get in and was kicked out of with only 4 days left.

I am in a new school now and I know I will graduate and be a REALLY great nurse, but it has taken me over 6 months to try and regain my confidence back.

Have you ever lied about something you were embarrassed about to someone?