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

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

A Mental Holiday

In contrast to the way my old crinkled body was feeling at the beginning of the week, I did manage to find my way to the gym Saturday morning. It was kinda vital given the state of things.

If you have been following along you may have picked up on my being seduced by the dark side of Christmas Cookies. Yes, we’ve been having a torrid love affair since pre-Christmas. I am due for a few detoxifying runs over the weeks ahead.

I did a few quick rounds around my upper body circuit. I did what I could given my neck and back. I spent a few long minutes stretching and headed over to the treadmill.

If you want to click on the video below you can get a feel for the pace and intensity I try to muster when I hit the treadmill. My running workouts usually are at a fairly quick pace. Like another blogger put it, I’m a runner not a jogger. I usually try to knock out 400-450 calories over a 30-35 minute run.

But, since those cookies told me I need to burn considerably more calories then 450, running like somebody was chasing me on the treadmill was not what I needed. My actual goal was to drain 700-800 calories over an hour long Saturday run. So, you can kill the music on the above video. I need to switch gears a bit.

As you can imagine, trying to keep a decent pace for over an hour takes a bit of willpower; or a good running Ipod. Since I can’t muster the willpower of OneFitMomma or Fitness 43 anymore, I needed a different plan. I felt like a good run on the beach instead, despite the fact that a typhoon type storm was hitting our fair city.

I pulled out my vacation Ipod, filled with the same images I dreamed of on my back in Jamaica and Curacao.

Do you feel like a mental Holiday? Click on the video below of some coastal background music and. let it play while you read on, and see if  it works for you. Hopefully you can get a good visual of the beach, sounds of Caribbean drums, feeling the warm sun on your face, and a gentle tropical breeze in your hair. Maybe you too can slip away to the beach for a run;  or whatever. If you are stuck inside, with some ‘weather’ going on outside, you may need this…”a great beach tune with a magic kind of medicine that no Doctor could prescribe”.

If the video has the feel of a small beach party on the banks of a tiny tropical island that’s because that’s where its at. ~Let the imagery begin!

Yes, these Jimmy Buffet songs had me running on the beach last Saturday, bronzing in a lounge chair, or sailing on a summer breeze; skipping over the ocean…like a stone. Like him or not, Mr Buffet is a genius at painting coastal images via words, melodies, or Caribbean drums.

The songs I went running down the beach with Saturday were the same ones I listened too on those tropical trips before. I pictured myself running on the beach, running all the insulation off my 6 pack.

I heard this next song about cabin fever that made me think of my family up north and friends north of our border as he sings “I want to go where its warm!”….

Speaking of cabin fever, if you have been cooped up this weekend and you want to get up and move, here is a song that may do it for you….on the beach

‘Fins‘ is one of my girls’ favorite Buffett songs. They do “Fins to the left, Fins to the right” in the car while we are driving. Yep, she’s doing it behind me now…practically moving the curtains with the fun she has acting this one out. It may be the closest Buffett ever gets to physical fitness!

If I haven’t lost you and you still want to continue on this mental Holiday, here are few songs you know that he covers in his tropical way. I think they illustrate, again, how Jimmy can take any song and turn it into a care-free, salt on your lips, sun in your eyes casual getaway.

Brown Eyed Girl:

Take the Weather With You:

So that’s how I went for a run on the beach Saturday, to some place warm, where I’ve been before. I did run off 725 calories on the run. I hope I can take another long run on the beach next weekend too! Come on along!

What songs do you have that take you some place far?

Once Upon A Time….

Once upon a time, there lived this queen and a troll. Their first home together had everything they needed at the time, a big backyard, nice wooden cabinets, a fireplace, running water, and a roof.


But over time that house began to sink into the murk of their surroundings. The walls began to buckle. The lovely wood started to age and then decay. Their running water only ran cold…in the middle of winter. And their neighborhood may not have been the best place to educate the fine young minds of their two Princesses.

Something had to change!

They dreamed of a castle facing the sun, overlooking green fields and a calm pool of water. But every step they took they found their foot landing in something else entirely!

Yes, that seems to be the craziness of our lives lately, made to feel like an ogre as society keeps dumping on me. (sniff, sniff) I think I told you about everyone needing more money from us last week. Undaunted, we are still moving forward.

We moved all the furniture and pictures out of our living room, bedroom and hallways last weekend. So I have no computer to do posts. Plus I have to sleep in our Inlaws room this week with that ol’ forgotten mattress. I’ve had a kink in my neck ever since! You know the one…the one that makes it hurt to turn your head, lift things up, or roll your eyes at your wife. Yea. Moving is just not a fun thing to do!

But my blues are not limited to the moving. Here are the other Top 5 things that have eaten at me the past two weeks:

  1. Caught the flu – for 18 hours but then an infection lingered for 10 more days. (cough, cough)
  2. EVERY TIME I come home from work I get beaten up by my girls! Sure it all starts innocently enough with screams of, “Daddy’s home!” But then it all goes south as my oldest one crinkles her nose and threatens, “I’m gonna bust you up!” while my youngest takes great joy at “whackin’ my bottom”. She takes great pride at this skill.  ~ No respect!06dangerfield
  3. Our youngest didn’t go to sleep until 4:00am last Tuesday. (!) She kept on creeping out of bed into our room and her sister’s. Of course if she’s not sleeping neither are we. Yes, we put her back in bed and threaten with bloody heck. But then I find myself lying awake, waiting to see if she gets out of bed again. These kids today! I never did that…I think.
  4. This week the girls are forced to sleep together, with us moving into the spare bedroom. They, unfortunately, take this literally and our youngest likes to crawl in bed with the oldest…while she’s sleeping. Dylan came to get us at 2:00am. Then at 4:30 we heard the giggles and the chatting start again…while I lay awake with a crink in my neck and now muscle spasms from being too old to sleep on Grandma’s mattress.
  5. Did I tell you I come home every night only to get beat up by my oldest and get my bottom whacked by my youngest and then there is no TV or computer to retreat to in order to unwhine / unwind before we go to bed in that nasty old bed that has no support what so ever for your neck and spine while I lay awake, in pain, wondering what ‘this’ night is going to bring after all the lights go out and planning a stategy for how I am going to get ot of bed in the morning??

Phew! That’s been life the past two weeks. But don’t get me wrong…..I don’t want to sound like a (big) whiner  with these moving ‘lows’! There have actually been some bright ‘highs’ these past few weeks as well. Take a look:

  1. I can still beat my two girls at ‘Simon Says’. Did I tell you my TV is packed up this week? I upped my game!
  2. I had to run to get milk and a few other things mid-week last week as we ran out early. I was actually quizzed by my wife on ‘how to shop’ to make sure I was getting the best deal! She IS a savvy shopper! Guess what? I failed! (meaning I didn’t have to go)
  3. We made reservations for our summer vacay last week. It’s at a great family resort on the Jersey shore miracoulously spared by Sandy.


See future posts on this at the new “Travel Blog”  I am trying to create on my site…with YOUR help.

4. Our favorite house we were looking at, one of the one’s with the pool, was just reduced $14,000 last week. 

Roma out

5. I was trying to explain the flow of hot air and cold air to Dylan one particularly cold night. I told her how the hot air rises to the secong floor and the cold air from there comes down to our room below, making the heater have to run harder. Dylan explains, “Its OK Daddy. I love hot air and I love cold air. You see, when you mix them both together it feels great!” 

6. Last week I had two region wide shouts , via email, based on some ideas I had and my performance. The emails were circulated all the way to our region VP’s. This week I was asked to join a corproate panel of 20 executives in our Logistics and Distribution departments focused on innovative ideas to save money for the company. The Director inviting me to join the panel tried to explain that it is an old panel set up 5-6 years ago. I reassured him that I would fit in quite nicely as I was kinda old myself!

 snyders lance

7. Working for this snack food giant, I set Personal Bests in Christmas Cookies consumed, topping out at a full box last Monday(sigh). Come and get 'em 006

The second PB is I have been on the cookie wagon ever since. I have not had one single cookie, although there are still plenty around! 

8. Its been warm enough on a few days where I can hop on my bike over lunch and ride a few miles down to our favorite development and shop for houses. That has been a lot of fun and kinda vital based on #7 above! 

9. My post last week, Party Time, set a record  high for ‘Likes’ in one day.

The party crew: Dylan, holding Ariel in her PJ's, Eric, and King Triton

The party crew: Dylan, holding Ariel in her PJ’s, Eric, and King Triton

~ OK, the record was just for my blog, not all of WordPress.

10. And while my blog has not seen a lot of fresh or creative ideas run across these pages the past two weeks (see #’s 1-5 in the section above) I actually did 3 Guest Posts for some of my favorite blogs the past few weeks, as well as having a few reblogs to other sites. Kinda cool I thought! 

11. Last week, our nanny wanted to take our two little cherubs to a Valentine’s party at the First Grade class her sister teaches. A big reason for doing this is that she wanted our 4 year old Dylan to READ to the rest of the First Grade class. She says Dylan already reads better than most of the first graders there. (Yeahhh!)

valentines day

Speaking of Guest Posts, I am trying to create some Travel interest on this blog. We love to travel as a family, not doing it nearly as often as we would like. So I wanted to invite YOU to do a Guest Post on one of your favorite trips you would like to share.

Or, if you already did a post on a great trip, please let me know and I can reblog it here. I know some of you are real good at writing these travel stories. I think its one way for all of us to see parts of the world without leaving the comforts of our own computers. Think about it! Where would you like to share?


Thank goodness for the Justice League!

Did you hear there is a good size meteor heading our way today? Yes, a meteor, about 150 yards in width will travel within 17,000 miles to our planet. That’s closer than our moon is and within the satellites belt that controls every way we talk to each other on this planet. 


This calls for the Justice League! 


This is just the sort of thing we have come to rely on the Justice League for.  To make a decision. Take action. And keep our world safe from harm. 

Because the Republicans say doing any sort of action would cost us trillions of new jobs. 

The Democrats say sending any sort of resources to deter the meteor would cost our economy’s GNP zillions of dollars and increase to the spending budget deficit. 

Thank goodness for the Justice League to take care of us!

At least we have one real group we can have faith in to look out for us. A group we can count on to do the right thing and get the job done.


Four Grandmothers For Christmas; a true Valentines story

This is a reblog from my friend Luanne at Don’t We Look Alike. Last January she invited me to do a story about all the love ours girls receive over Christmas for her readers. Christmas is always a special holiday for the girls, as are their birthdays. As a parent it really touches me to see our kids so loved.

I didn’t reblog the post at the time as I did not want to burden my readers here with another ‘feel good’ story about our kids,  like I subjected you to over the Holidays. Plus, I feel like I take advantage of our two wonderful birth families enough, trampling awful close to there privacy many times. You know we love you!

But I thought, today is the day for love. See? That’s the third time I used the word so far! So if you are looking for a love story this Valentines Day, here is a very special one for you.


When my wife and I decided on adoption to start our family, we did not have any preconceived ideas on how. We first considered International but the time was not right for that. So we researched Domestic Adoption agencies, deciding on Bethany.

We loved how the birth mother could pick her forever family. It seemed more like destiny or fate somehow. Not only was she choosing a family similar to her lifestyle, the reverse would be that she, and her child, would be similar to us. While that was not a deciding factor, we thought it would help in the transition success.

During our first adoption we met a quiet pretty young lady and her mother. The birth mother, having difficulty with this life-changing decision, wanted to be assured she was making the right decision. She wanted pictures and open communication to help set her mind at ease. We had not considered open adoptions, pro or con, prior to that. We just wanted knew we wanted to start a family.

What a blessing that decision turned out to be. We never looked back. That first year we were surprised time and time again by the love and thoughtfulness coming from the birth mother and grandmother. Gifts would appear for Christmas. And then again for our daughter’s first birthday, along with attending her party. Then came Easter, along with signed cards and frequent calls and emails the entire year. We saved and dated these cards for a later time.

Opening a card from a special Grandmother

Opening a card from a special Grandmother

Two years later we were ready to grow our family with a second adoption. We went through Bethany’s process and were lined up with another potential birth mother.

Once again we were met by a lovely young lady, her mother and sister. The difference between this meeting and the first was we we hoped for a second open adoption, based on the love and how well our first one went.

Once we met this family in person it was a done deal. We never knew if this second birth family had considered staying in touch or not after the adoption. We pretty much acted like this is how we like to do things, since we had one adoption under our belt already. And by the looks of things so far, I believe they have no complaints about our decision.

This second family has been such a blessing to our family as well. They call, email and send equal amounts of packages in the mail, all filled with love. And, while it might be human nature to send love for their own child, each family sends gifts in the mail for each child knowing they are now sisters and ‘family’. It is really touching to be a part of all this love and never in a million years would we have thought adoptions could be like this. What could be better to a child at Christmas than four loving grandmothers?

Every Christmas has been the same. First one huge package shows up in the mail and then another. This Christmas was was no different. The Friday before Christmas one huge box arrived in the mail. Then Saturday another huge box arrived at our front door. And then again, Christmas eve, our girls got to open another generous gift box that got lost in the mail the week before. If a box ever shows up on our door step our girls just naturally think it is for them. And they are usually right.

We try to film and photograph each ‘opening of presents’ so we can reciprocate the love by sharing (back) the gift opening experience with thoughtful the birth family. Take a look:

The love these birth families send practically doubles our girl’s Christmas. They enjoy the gifts. They enjoy the attention. They love that somebody is thinking about them. Last year when I was unemployed over Christmas these girls had the most lucrative Christmas yet. They didn’t suffer at all.

We are always amazed at the packages from these families. The best and coolest clothes our girls own came from these birth families. Each gift is individually wrapped. The box is stuffed full of presents. And the gifts are usually covered by all the mail peanuts for fillers.  As Mom and Dad, we really look forward to the opening of every box as they are always full of surprises. It’s as much fun for us as it is for them (almost)

The kids  have to dig to see if they found all the presents. We just watch their faces light up. Its a lot of fun! One year I got home early and let the girls open their gift box with their nanny, before Mom got home. I didn’t hear the end of that poor decision for weeks!

Boo in the Zoo 019

Watch their faces light up…

Boo in the Zoo 017

Last year our second child’s birth family visited us for Christmas. We all had lunch at a favorite local restaurant. We talked and laughed. This wonderful family just held and hugged and smiled with our daughter the whole time, usually with our 36 month on their lap; even while they ate. As parents, we loved so much to see the huge smile on our daughter’s face all afternoon. You have to be happy to see your child so happy and loved.

When we went to the parking lot and said our good-byes the birth grandfather snuck off to his car. He returned with two life-size gift bags, one for each of the girls. We were awed! How can you not love to see your kids so happy? And not love this family in return?

Forgive the bravado here, but you have to actually see what’s inside these packages! These bags aren’t filled with candy and trinkets they just bought the weekend before. The bags are filled with the most beautiful clothes and dresses you can imagine for a couple of toddlers. Check out the smiles and the riches from this wonderful afternoon:

What could be better than four grandmothers at Christmas? The more love the better!

Now some of you may be wondering how are we going to handle this in later years when stories of adoptions and birth mothers are shared, given the history from these birth families?

We are very clear each and every holiday. When the girls receive gifts from the birth families we tell them who they are from and that these people love them very, very much. We save and date each card received to show the history of love. We look forward to any visits from these families so our girls can attach an actual face to the names we tell them.

We tell them the gifts are from their birth grandmothers and their daughters, just like family. And that’s the way we consider these ladies. These ladies are their grandmothers both figuratively and literally. They love our kids every bit as much as we do. And we love these families just as much. Going back to the beginning of this tale, we feel we have been blessed to have such wonderful people placed in our lives via the Bethany process. Destiny. Fate. An act of God.

Some people may be leery or scared of an open adoption; to have the birth family so close. I would say, first, it would depend on the situation, the nearness and nature of the birth family. We feel very fortunate for our adoptions to be tied to two such wonderful families. We were blessed in our situation.

My blog is one way I try to stay in touch and show the development our girls with family and friends. If you have ever read my blog you would know that there is very little that I don’t share. Its one way to reciprocate some love back to our birth families. Hopefully, they won’t spend any long nights wondering; any more than any family would do.

I don’t know if it works or not as I can never put myself in their shoes. This past December we received an email from one of our birth families inquiring about our schedules over Christmas and Christmas wish lists for the girls. This email contained a super little Christmas gift for my wife and I this time. This is part of their message, word for word:

” I look forward to reading it (the blog) everyday.  I love the pictures and the videos of the girls.  I feel like I’m a part of their lives even though I’m not physically there.  You both are great parents.  I couldn’t have asked for anyone better.  I don’t think anyone else is doing a better job than you both are.  Enjoy the rest of your holidays, tell your parents hello! We love you all.”

Wow! Merry Christmas to us! How can you repay that? How can you not love four grandmothers at Christmas?

***And the hits just keep on coming! Ironically, the day DWLA published this story our girls actually received a package in the mail that same day. And this past weekend I called Mom to let her from having our taxes done, Dylan gets on the phone and says, “Guess what Daddy? There’s a package in the mail with my name on it!” Then she put Skylar on and she said the exact same thing. As there was. There always is.

And I invite you to share the love with Luanne and Marisha at Don’t We All Look Alike? They are doing a great job offering great adoption stories and education in their end of the blog-o-sphere. Thank Ladies!


Good Grief, Charlie Brown!


Yes, so sorry nothing original has crept across this blog in a few weeks. It’s beginning to look like Turner Classic Movies with the reblogging of all the classics. While I have done a few guest posts for other’s blog sites recently, I know I have done very little here to keep you entertained. Sorry bud! 

My creativity has just been zapped. All the details and processes of selling this darn house has me focusing on that instead of funny anecdotes from two cute kids. 

We are ready to embark on the house prep to help sell this money pit we live in. Next week the painters come in to paint our living room, hallways, and master bedroom. Which means this weekend we have to ‘move out’ of those rooms and jam the furniture, TV (!) and computer (!!!) in the garage for a week.  Ugh! Our house is settling and our contractor is trying to disguise some of those signs too. Is that wrong of me? 

With the house continuing to settle, or sink, I actually went underneath the house last weekend to see what’s going on. I noticed that the two main beams in the middle of the house (girders), that it sits on are actually splintering where they are coming in contact with the cement piers they rest on. I am no contractor but that doesn’t look good. So I guess I’ll have to repair them too if I expect anyone to buy this beast. 

Monday was our annual termite inspection to maintain our termite bond (insurance). This past summer I built a new flagstone patio behind my house, tearing down the old, rotting wooden deck. The termite guys says I tore up all his treatment. He needs $300 for him to come out and retreat that whole back side on my house in order to maintain my termite bond; a necessity in these parts to sell a house.  Yes, the house was not the only backside getting treated there it felt like! Everyone is trying to get one more piece of me it feels. 


Then, yesterday when I woke up, I had no hot water. (!!!) Yes, you guessed it, the hot water heater decided to quit while we slept. So, I had to fork out another $800 so that we could shower this morning. If you are wondering, no, I did not take a shower yesterday before I went to work. I held my head under an icy waterfall from the shower head in order to cultivate some image of ‘freshness’ before I hit work. 

What’s next? 

That’s the feeling as I went to bed last night and listened to some rain water drip somewhere from yesterday’s storms. Was the dripping inside or out? 

Some not-so-bad news, new neighbors moved in yesterday. They have a 5 year old little girl than can be playmates with my two cherubs. Nothing wrong with that, right? 


So, as I sit here, waiting for another shoe to drop, or get inserted, I wonder what else? And if that doesn’t sound inspiring, you are right. I could use a little love! 

Would anyone want to do a guest post here until I can find something fun to tell you?

 I’d like to keep this blog with a pulse; or else WordPress might ask for more money to keep it alive. (sigh)

Any donations would greatly be appreciated!

Pass the hat around

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