A Typical Dad Day

(I’ve never read this book, but I may have to …)

Sam worked last night, so it was my day with the kids. What does a typical day with dad look like?

The day starts with Andrew up first. We take the baby monitor out into the living room so we can see when Ella wakes up. I make him a bottle and take care of diaper change number one. Within 5 minutes of finishing the bottle diaper change number 2 is in order, because he poops like clockwork.

We usually go to get Ella together when she wakes up. He thinks its funny to push open her door. I then have to grab whatever Ella wants to bring with her out of the crib. This usually consists of a nana blanket, maybe a book, maybe a stuffed animal, maybe a pillow, or maybe all of the above.

She gets a diaper change and it is time for breakfast. Somedays we eat eggs, others waffles, another day pancakes, and sometimes a smorgasbord of fruits and other things. Sam usually arrives home around breakfast time. Today she brought donuts for them. Ella loves pink dipped donuts, not that she ever eats the donut. She loves the frosting, though.

Depending on the day, we either read books, turn on the TV or play with her toys. This is when I usually make myself and Sam something to eat. I made us scrambled eggs and had to make extra because the kids were eating all of Sam’s!

Sam almost always brings out an outfit for the kids to wear. We ventured out on our morning walk and looked for our puppy friends. She now knows just about every dog in the neighborhood’s name!

When we returned home, she began to read books. Most of the time they are books off her shelf.

After reading one of her favorites, she told me to sit down so she could read me a book. The book? The Weight Watcher’s Cookbook!

She kept calling the sandwich in the book (shown above) a cheeseburger!

While she is reading to be, my daredevil son continues to find ways to hurt himself. He’s been climbing, so Sam thought it was time to bring the swing/slide thing we got for Ella a few years ago back upstairs. Well he can climb it, he just hasn’t really figured out how to slide down yet. So he gets up there and starts shaking the one wall of it and eventually steps on the slide and falls off.

He truly has no fear. Today alone, he busted open his lip three times. None of those were from falling off the slide! He just tripped over stuff and fell on his face. I swear if we have to go to urgent care again, they will have to put in a window just for him.

Comedy continues to ensue with Ella. Today she grabbed her winter coat and winter hat and asked to wear them. She had me help zip up the coat and said, “I’m already for winter and then asked to watch Frozen.

We watched it like 7 times today. I will be singing “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” and “Let it Go” in my sleep tonight!

Lunchtime this week has brought the same answer to question, “What would you like for lunch today?” “Grilled cheese and crackers!” That answer has also been offered up to “What would you like for dinner?” and “What would you like for breakfast?” I’m glad that Andrew isn’t able to answer that question yet. When they both start asking for different meals, it’s gonna drive me crazy!

After lunch, it is nap time. Today, thanks to the neighborhood dogs and open windows, the nap was cut short. Shortly after wake ups, Sam woke up for work. She said some packages she ordered were on the porch and Ella went with her to get them.

They were the Halloween costumes they are wearing this year. I won’t say what they are here, but hers involves a dress. She wanted to wear it. Sam told her she had to wait until Halloween. This was not what she wanted to hear, so Sam offered up another dress for her. My friend from work gifted us some dresses that her daughter has grown out of. They are going to be perfect for holidays or family photos. Anyway, she spent the rest of the evening wearing one of those dresses.

Earlier I had thrown some chicken in the crock pot for dinner. Sam cooked up some buttered noodles to go with it for the kids. I took the chicken out and started cutting it up. I tried a piece to make sure it had cooled down enough and it tasted funny. I can’t even really descibe what it tasted like – but you know how they always say, “it tastes like chicken?” This didn’t. I wound up throwing it away.

After Sam left for work, Ella said she wanted a snack. So she handed me one of those applesauce pouches. Andrew got one, too. They both had like three of them! Ella kept asking for more and when I got her one, he wanted one, as well.

After playing with toys for awhile, more diaper changes were needed and it was pajama time. I was lucky enough to be able to get pajamas on her tonight. I really thought that she was going to want to wear the dress to bed! I’m sure I would have let her…

She took a book to bed with her, we said prayers and I closed her door. I brought Andrew with me and tried to rock him and sing him to sleep. He had the funniest case of the giggles and it took him forever to fall asleep. Once he was asleep, I put him in his crib and took a shower.

Reflecting back on the day:

7 outfit changes. 5 poop diapers. An unknown amount of pee diapers. 3 times sweeping the floor. 2 times picking up the same toys and putting the in the toybox. 2 times vacuuming. 7 viewings of Frozen. 3 busted lips. 8 bumps on the head. 12 crying fits. 2 bad pieces of chicken. 3 cheese omelets, 2 grilled cheese sandwiches. 3 video chats. 7,953 times I heard, “Daddy!” 2 sleeping kids.

Add it all up and it equals one amazing day for a very blessed Dad!

Back to the Grind …

Back to Work …

After three weeks off work, tonight I have to return to the grind. I was lucky to be able to take some time off to be with Sam and the kids. While showering yesterday, I realized that the time I’d be home was coming to an end. Sam joked that I was probably happy to be able to get away from the crying and craziness, but that isn’t true. I know that I am going to miss them and want to be home instead.

I am looking forward to getting back into “the norm”. Things have been “on hold” for a few weeks while I’ve been home. I’m behind on my Bible reading, my classes, and other things, but know that once I am back into the swing of things, I’ll get everything caught up.

One thing about being back at work that will be nice – lack of snacks. Over the past three weeks, I feel like I was always eating! Potato chips, cookies, fast food, and candy seemed to be everywhere. I am glad to be back at work where I have a packed lunch and a bit more control of what I am eating.

AJ

Our baby boy has kept us VERY busy. We took him to the ENT to discuss his lip tie and tongue tie. While in the office he snipped both (which freaked us both out – because they literally just clip them with scissors!) and he has been doing much better. Sam and I discussed things and we’ve decided that he will eventually go to all formula. He has no trouble with bottles and is sleeping much better. He still has the GERD, so he will be on meds to help with that.

Sam has all her pictures saved on her iCloud. She found picture of Ella and took a picture of AJ and they could be twins. It’s really amazing how much he is starting to look more and more like her as a baby.

Ella on top. AJ on bottom. Both about the same age.

He still gets cranky, but he is starting to take time to look around. He’s more and more alert every day.

Great Neighbors

I don’t recall if I blogged about it, but this summer a neighbor had posted on the neighborhood Facebook page that they needed someone to mow their lawn. I reached out and said I would help. She asked whether I had children and explained that I had two sons from my previous marriage, a daughter with my wife and one on the way. She asked if I knew what we were having and at the time I knew it was a boy.

Last week, Sam was on the couch breastfeeding and there was a knock on the side door. She freaked out, because the couch is right by the door! She asked if I was expecting anyone and I told her I was not. When I opened the door, it was the lady whose lawn I mowed. She asked if I remembered her and I told her I did. She told me that she wanted to drop something by for the baby. She had a little gift bag and handed it to me. Ella was standing there saying “Hi” and “Bye Bye,” so the visit was cut very short. I felt bad because I couldn’t even introduce her to my wife.

Anyway, she made a beautiful sweater for AJ. I can’t even begin to imagine how much work goes into something like this, but it is so nice. I can’t wait to get a picture of him in it to send to her.

Halloween Weekend

For Halloween, we had to make sure to let AJ wear his “My First Halloween” onesie. Ella happened to be wearing her Halloween dress, so we snapped a few pictures of them.

As I began this paragraph, I started to write “my youngest son came over…” I realize that I can’t say that anymore, because now AJ is my youngest son!

Anyway, my second born son came over for Halloween weekend. I picked him up on Saturday and he stayed Sunday night to trick or treat. He brought a bag with two or three costume ideas. He decided to go as “an old man.” As he trick or treated, he told people who asked that he was “my dad when he was younger!” That got quite a few laughs.

Prior to trick or treating, I took Ella on a walk around the neighborhood. I had to stop and get a picture of one tree, because it was just breathtaking. So much color to it.

Ella had her first round of Trick or Treating and didn’t quite get what to do. She went as a ladybug and was so cute. At the first house, I got her out of the wagon, handed the bag to her and she walked up to our neighbor. I told her to say “Trick or treat” and hold open her bag. Once the neighbor started to put the candy in the bag, she dropped the bag and grabbed the candy from them! It was quite funny.

We walked just our street with Ella and then took her home. She didn’t get her afternoon nap, so she was getting pretty tired anyway. I then drove Dimitri around the rest of the neighborhood. I was glad we drove, because it got very windy and very chilly as the night went on. My aunt had some things for the kids and actually found us while we were out trick or treating. She stopped by when we got home and got to see them.

Because he had school the next day, I had to take my son back home. My oldest son had gone out trick or treating with his friends and was at his friend’s house. The house is pretty close to ours, so I met them there and he took his brother home. By the time I got home that night, I was in bed and fast asleep!

As far as weekends are concerned, it was a good one! It’s always nice to get to see all of my kids and spend time with my family!

Halloween Dress Up

Tonight on ABC, one of the greatest Halloween specials of all time aired again – It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  It is in this special that poor Charlie Brown utters those sad words, “I got a rock.”

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In that scene, Lucy is wearing a witch mask.  It got me to thinking about Halloweens of my past.  I remember the streets would be packed with kids when I went out trick or treating!  I remember standing in lines at the doors of my neighbors, waiting for my turn to yell “trick or treat!”  By the time I took my boys out on Halloween, I was sad to see that the streets were not very busy at all.  I remember being out late and rushing from house to house – hoping to get them all before they turned the porch light out (telling you that “we’re out of candy”)!

As I sat here pondering this blog, I tired to think of some of my past Halloween costumes.  I can remember some of the ones from when I was older: a vampire, Oliver Hardy, and a Robot.  The robot was a couple cardboard boxes my dad taped together and spray painted silver.  We put cassette tapes, a vacuum hose, and other things on it and it was actually very cool.  My brother used the same costume for a play he did in elementary school.

Other than those mentioned above, I didn’t remember any specific costumes off the top of my head. This is probably because most of the costumes I grew up wearing sucked.  They were so bad, Jerry Seinfeld did a bit about them in his comedy act.  I did a Google search for Halloween Costumes of the 1970’s and it all came back to me!  Halloween costumes back when I was a kid were hardly original.  Today, if you go to an elementary school and watch a Costume Parade, you will see some really good costumes!  Many of them will even be homemade.  This was not the case when I was a kid!

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You usually bought your costumes at K-Mart, or Kresge, or the local drug store.  The costumes of the 70’s consisted of primarily a mask.  The mask had two big eye holes (which you really couldn’t see out of!), two small nose holes (which you couldn’t breathe out of!), and a slit by the mouth.  It was a cheap piece of plastic and it sometimes cracked.  The mask had a cheap rubber string that was stapled to each side.  This rubber string was what kept the mask on your head.  If the string broke, you either re-stapled in, or you took it off and didn’t wear it.

The costume also included a cheap one piece outfit.  They were like “onesie” pajamas.  You first put your feet and legs in it and then your arms.  There was a tie that you tied behind your neck to keep it on.  On the outfit it usually has the character’s name in bold letters on it.  This must have been so if the mask fell off, people knew who you were supposed to be.  97% of all kids wore these dumb costumes when I was a kid!

While I Googled, I came across two of those stupid costumes I sort of remember having.  The first was The Six Million Dollar Man:

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I also remember having C-3PO:

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I think I may have had an Underdog costume, too!

The outfits were so cheap that by the end of trick or treating, there were rips in the crotch or legs.  Sometimes they were ripped up before you even got to go out trick or treating!  We’d wear our costumes to school that day and they would rip in the classroom!  They were paper thin, too, so you either had to buy it three times too big, so you could wear something underneath it, or you covered it with your coat and no one saw what you were anyway!

Here are some of the funnier costumes I found while searching:

From TV – Welcome Back, Kotter:

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Mr, Kotter (above) and Barbarino (below)

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Mork from Mork and Mindy

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The Fonz from Happy Days

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There were plenty of super heroes, including Batman!

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And, despite how sexy she looked on TV, the Wonder Woman costume was actually quite scary …

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I mean – look at Lynda Carter!  She’s beautiful!!  That costume is just freaky!!!!

One of the most ridiculous costumes was this one based on the movie Jaws!

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Finally, for the gals who thought Donny Osmond was cute … this costume should make them think twice.

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Come on!  That looks like a weird Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner!!!

For whatever it is worth, I am going to guess that these costumes are probably worth money today.  I have a lot of friends on Facebook who have extensive toy collectibles, and they probably have some.  Mine are long gone, more than likely because they were ripped up and destroyed the same year we bought it.

It was fun to just spend time searching up the old costumes and looking at them.  Do you remember wearing these?  What were some of your favorite costumes?  What are some of your favorite Halloween memories?

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