The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Jet Lag

Last weekend we were able to sneak away to the zoo so that our kids could play with their favorite cousin . I wanted to air a blog a lot earlier on this. Forgive me, I have jet lag. Or so it feels like. It seems a I picked up a pesky stomach virus at the zoo that took root on the drive home. I was worthless for a few days. So friends and family and all others across land and sea, forgive me on this.

The first thing we ran into at the zoo was a nasty domestic dispute however. It seems these two couples had a disagreement and it just escalated! By the time we walked up on the scene there was already a small crowd watching.  We got there just in time as the volume between the four just kept getting louder and louder. It wasn’t pretty, especially at a zoo on a beautiful Saturday morning.

It was hard to make out what all the yelling was about as they weren’t talking too clearly.  You know how ugly domestic disputes can be! Just a bunch of uncontrollable,  irrational yelling, crying and pointing of fingers. Where were the zoo personnel to break this up?

About the only things I got out of the whole argument was one party  called the other a baboon.

“Oh yea, well you walk like an orangutang! hollers the other.

I thought it was going to be an all out war and free for all when the other finally compared the female to the “missing link”.

And then I remembered, I have a blog to fill. I should be getting all this on film! So, if you have a curiosity about the nasty underbelly of domestic quarrels check out this video. Its not pretty!

See? Did you see their chins blow out like a frogs? They were loud and upset!

So we made it past that disturbance took a look around and it was lunch time already.  We grabbed a picnic lunch on the tropical March afternoon. The kids played hide and seek and the adults tried to envision themselves with that much energy.

The rest of the day was just your typical zoo outing.  Lions and tigers and bears. Climbing on the sculptured art work….

Giddy-up lion cub!

Eating sweet, unhealthy snacks. Rides on the train through the enchanted forest. Riding horses.

Giddy up horsey. Wee-haa!

More junk food. More souvenir cups. More rides on the carousel….

Riding "Kung fu Panda"!

We saw the aquariums, the snakes, the alligators. The elephants were getting their elephant litter changed so no elephants. But we did see the giraffes with the four new baby giraffes.  Birds, kangaroos, kolas, squirrels, flamingos, gorillas, and a silent stomach virus in disguise as zoo food.

I envied the Lions. They are the king of their domain!

If you want a quick run through the zoo, including the giraffes and a Brown Bear trying to cool of (its the first week of March!) you can follow Dylan in her run through the zoo video below. Get the kids! They may be talking ‘monkey’ the rest of the day!

This great weekend was actually a week before our great run of birthdays at our house. We call them birthday-weeks. But the birthday-week month got an early start that Saturday. Not only did the kids get a chance to go to the zoo and play with their favorite cousin, when we got home their was a huge box waiting on the doorstep for us.

I brought the box in and Dylan says, “Look Dad…D-Y-L-A-N. Dylan! is this box for me?  Sure enough. One of our kids very thoughtful grandmothers absolutely filled a box of gifts for both our birthday girls. Their must have been 20 individually wrapped gifts inside this one box.  Thanks grandma!We love you!

What a great ending to a great day! Or was it a great beginning to a long Birthday-week month? All I know, I had to stand by the sink fearing the girls might get yet another surprise!


Let the Birthday-Week month begin!

Daddy, I think this lion needs more batteries...

Get Over It

There’s a big race coming up in Charleston, SC. It’s maybe one of the biggest 10k’s on the east coast that you never heard of, the Cooper River Bridge Run. It gets runners from all over the world. Lots of them! And I am not going to run it this year. Actually, I haven’t ran it in the past 3 years I think. Why? Its too hard to get to the starting line!

On your mark, get set...

The CRBR has grown into a 40,000 runner /walker event. They actually cap the limit at 40,000. Some of the best runners in the world will be here. Runners, that will run in and possibly win the Boston Marathon a few weeks later will run in this race. They come from Kenya, Ethiopia, Russia, New Zealand, and the US.

Slow down guys!

When I first got back into running about 10 years ago, the only race I had heard of was the Cooper River Bridge Run. I used to be a pretty good runner in high school so I wanted to see how I did. I drove some 70 minutes to get to the start and finished around 52:00 minutes. It was a learning experience. What I found was every runner I ran into always had a conversation include, “What’s your Bridge Run time?”. Every local runner looking for a challenge ran the CRBR. And I ran it every year after for about the next 10 years.


It took me a few races to realize the 10k run is actually 2 races in one. The bridge run gets its name because it spans the Cooper River in Charleston, SC. The Cooper River bridge is a two mile long span bridge. It’s about a mile going up, at a 4.5 degree angle, and a mile going back down at a more gradual decline. What makes the run nice is the bridge is right in the middle of the run. So you get a 2 mile start to warm up your legs before conquering the very challenging 4.5 degrees for an entire mile. The CRBR’s motto is “Get Over It”. A very cool name once you have climbed the bridge.

So, to me, the first race is to run 3 miles and make it to the top of the bridge at a competitive pace. This is the hardest race of the two I think. The second race, of course, is the second 3 miles in which I like to say I just put it on cruise and finish up. Your legs get some strength back on the long slope down and then you just run your pace to finish, sprinting the last few blocks if you can. Here is a video that is a good representation of the entire run:

Since doing my first CRBR I worked hard on my running. The next year I did the 10k in 48 minutes. But I knew I still had more. My goal was to come in under 44 minutes. Two times I finished in the 45’s. Finally, a few years back, all the training I learned, the workouts, preparation and trial and error paid off and I completed the race in 43:05, blowing away my goal. I was in the top 10% of all, including the Kenyans! I was a happy camper.

The run is always a lot of fun. It finishes at a park downtown, complete with bands, freebies, all sorts of vendors, and some of the happiest runners on the east coast. The smiles on the runners for completing the race is probably on of the best perks. We would end up walking downtown to the restaurant district get a great lunch, replace some fluids, and go home and take a nap or lay on the beach.

So why am I not running it again? The race has actually turned into 3 races in my mind. Now the first race is to get downtown, stuck in a 5:00am traffic jam, find a place to park, run to the bus shuttles that take everybody across the bridge to the within a mile of the starting line, get to the starting line and wait an hour for the run to start. It was kinda stressful just getting there. Check out this years video on the rules  tips on how to run the race.

Sorry, that is too many rules to follow, at too early of an hour on a day I should be sleeping in, in order to make me wish that I had not gotten out of bed. There is the early hours, traffic jams, finding a place to park, looking down while you run so you don’t trip over a set of ankles in front of you and then trapped in another jam as 40,000 people attempt to leave the downtown around noon.

Ok, I am exaggerating here. But it isn’t as fun as it used to be. A few weeks later is a mild-mannered, less competitive 5K run that is more my style. It starts at the local minor league baseball stadium, a miniature Camden Yards, then circles a local college before you come back to the baseball stadium, enter it by the right-field foul pool and cross home plate as the finish line while lots of the baseball players and other runners cheer you on, on the field. Afterwards a local seafood restaurant, Bubba Gump’s, caters a shrimp and grits dinner in the upper deck, complete with tasty shrimps, wines and beers before all the runners get bleacher seats to watch a great minor league game as the sunsets over the river. Does that sound like more fun than the Bridge Run? It actually inspired my fastest 5k of 19:20, something I haven’t come close to matching since.

Boy that is such a long way to get to the point! The point of this blog and my running history summary is there are a lot of fun races for runners of all levels out there. If you are a runner, at any level, do yourself a favor and go out and run in some. Running is one of the very few organized sports that we still have an opportunity to compete in, with our scholastic days in the rear view mirror. Take advantage of it!

Practically every local race, whether 5k, 10K, marathon, etc. is for a charity. So your entry fee is for a good cause. These charities want as many people to run these events as possible so they really try to make them fun. Check them out! There are runners of all levels, of all ages, of any ability running these. You are not racing any of these. You run for the challenge and to race yourself.

Simply, the next race try to beat your previous time or personal best. It can be a great motivator while your pounding all the pavements or battling the treadmill. For the 10+ years I have been entering races I found myself running faster in my mid 40’s than I did in my mid 30’s. That’s a great feeling! Howabout you? What are you capable of? You’re not just getting healthy, you’re building a sports franchise!

So where can your running hobby or training take you? Better health? Confidence? Stress killer? All great reasons and more to jog or run. Celebrate your hobby and passion! Make a date to do a local run or two or three. They are literally “Running Parties” at the post race events. Shouldn’t somebody throw you a party after all that time you spent running the streets and in the gym? You have earned it. Right?

Good luck and celebrate your achievements! And Have some fun!

Post Race goodies...biscuits and gravy and Red Velvet Cake

Irish Blessing….

I wanted to offer all my friends and followers and those just passing through an Irish Blessing on St. Patrick’s Day. Thanks for stopping by!

I hope you have a ton of  fun today and celebrate in your favorite way.  ( Take pictures) And I hope to see you next week with fun stories to tell. Let your Green out!

If you have, or have not traveled to Ireland, this Blessing is worth watching just for the picturesque scenes of a beautiful country. This is the real Ireland

~ Happy St. Patrick’s Day!~

Phriday Phunnies ~ That’s a really big number!

Its never too late for a Phunny:

A Blonde is watching the news with her husband when the newscaster says
‘Two Brazilian men die in a skydiving accident.’

The blonde starts crying to her husband, sobbing ‘That’s horrible!!! So
many men dying that way!’

Confused, he says, ‘Yes dear, it is sad, but they were skydiving, and
there is always that risk involved.’

After a few minutes, the blonde, still sobbing, says, ‘How many is a


Here's to you finding YOUR pot-o-gold Saturday!

Have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day! Or else ye be fulla blarney! We be goin’ to da zoo with the wee wittle wons to see da animals, don’t cha know. We shall trade some stories, pictures, and a wee bitta ale upon our return! Sláinte!

~ Andy O’ Malley


Happy Fathers Day!

This was a cute Fathers day gift last year from my oldest daughter and reprinted at Leanne Shirtliffe’s Ironic Mom site, “Stuff Kids Write“. It was cute to me, as I understand the reasons behind the answers. She is basically answering for herself and some of the things we shared together.

So here is the decoder ring:


1) She was three.



2) One thing her grandmother always said to her as she grew.  (Guys kinda like it too)




3) She had the cutest little coat to wear to church and we didn’t mind showing it off!




4) It was the beginning of summer and I made this every week. And she loved it!




5) HER favorite song at the time was Margaritaville. She knew it, knew the words since she was a baby (Dying Day post). So I would always sing it in the car




6) We would give her Curious George gummy bears as a treat for her potty training success. And I would ask her, “Now what do you say?”




7) See #6 above (no more diapers!!)




8) I was always running to the store for milk with our two toddlers. It wasn’t that I liked it




9) We were making vacation plans to take her to the boardwalk at Ocean City, NJ that summer. I showed her the videos on youtube.




10) Dylan is the one that likes presents. I like ‘rest’.




11) Texas Roadhouse was the nearby restaurant we would eat lunch at every Saturday afternoon. They had the BEST manager there that would stop what she was doing and just adopt Dylan and then our youngest too for the afternoon. She took them everywhere…in the kitchen, behind the bar, etc and they would come back with either or both a bowlful of cherries or marshmallows. Tammy was awesome!




12) Dylan was going through a phase with lollipops, still is. But, if Mom holds up her little pinky finger (wrapped around…) every time Dylan asks for something and I jump the answer works well then also.




What were your favorite, most memorable Father’s Day or Mother’s Day gifts?

Stuff Kids Write

Last year, when Dylan was three, her nanny asked her questions about her daddy and recorded her answers. With Andy’s permission, we’ve annotated Dylan’s responses.

One thing is for sure: Dylan loves her Daddy.


Special thanks to Andy of Our Life in 3D for submitting this. He and Dylan’s Mommy have an entertaining daughter!


With both Mother’s and Father’s Day coming up, why not have your child fill in a questionnaire and send us the humorous results? Email us at stuffkidswrite(at)gmail.com.

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