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

Archive for the month “March, 2015”

The cold never bothered me anyway

Happy birthday Dylan!

I may have been conspicuously absent this week. You see it is half way through the birthday season here in our zip code. This week was Dylan’s birthday week.

Dylan turned 7 this week. As when I was a kid we started the week off with her favorite birthday dinner. The birthday dinner she asked for was at Texas Roadhouse. She later asked if her best friend from school could join her for her birthday dinner. Well, its her birthday, why not?

I think she had a good time for her birthday dinner

I guess she had a good time for her birthday dinner

We waited till the weekend to have her birthday party. She choose the locally trendy Carolina Ice Palace for her shindig.

What, ice?



Hasn’t there been enough cold already?

We had a great time. As part of the party everyone gets to skate for an hour.


Watch out for Mom!

Watch out for Mom!

True to form, in this Frozen themed ice palace we saw a Princess Elsa (above) and a Queen Ana (below)

skyeEveryone had some ‘walkers’ or ‘skaters’ to help them if they were new to skating. But it didn’t take my ‘A’ student long to figure it out…

She continued to learn and pick up speed until she more closely resembled a hockey player more than Princess Elsa

Did someone yell Pizza!


Then there was the traditional cake and ice cream and birthday song.

It was a good 7th birthday for her. At the end of the day we asked her what her favorite part of the day was?

She said having her (long lost childhood friend/ first neighbor/ first best) friend Drayton show up  at the party.

Drayton and his family were our neighbors when lil D was born and the two became good friends, as we all did in Dylan’s early days….

the-gang      d nd 2d n d 3

d n d 1

But his family moved away on assignment 3 or 4 years ago and they each grew up a bit in the meantime.

That is one pure smile with her buddy Drayton

That is one pure smile with her buddy Drayton

It was nice to see those two still good friends after all the time past and not feeling too awkward.

Next to come in this wonderful birthday season is the visit of Aunt Sue and the girl’s grand parents for more birthday gifts and surprises, followed by Easter and the Easter bunny, followed by Skylar’s b-day two weeks later. She is planning something much more low key at the local bouncy, jumpy trampoline place…


Stay tuned!

Stay tuned! We know that’s where she wants to go but everything else is still up in the air…

Drayton, along with all Dylan’s good friend stopping by, seemed to be the perfect cap on a great birthday party, at the end of a fun-filled birthday week at the frosty and Frozen Ice Palace. Yes, it was still a chilly afternoon, inside and out of the skating rink. Its OK though. The cold never bothered me anyway.



I thought I heard someone holler “Boat Drinks!

Someone get me two more boat drinks. I’d rather go where its warm..

Boat drinks,later that night we had boat drinks
Visitors just scored on the home rink
Everything seems to be wrong

Lately, newspapers mentioned cheap airfare
I’ve got to fly to Saint somewhere
I’m close to bodily harm

Twenty degrees and the hockey games on
Nobody cares; they are way too far gone
Screamin’ “Boat drinks,” somethin’
To keep them all warm.

This morning I shot six holes in my freezer
I think I got cabin fever

Somebody sound the alarm

Server, I think I need two more boat drinks
Then I’m headin south ‘fore my dream shrinks
I gotta go where it’s warm

I gotta go where its warm!

Happy birthday Dylan!

Happy Spring everyone!

I’m headed south to St. Somewhere.

I need to find some place warm..


Sunday was a lazy day. It was raining for what seemed like the tenth day in a row.

We came home from church and brunch. The girls had their baths and we put them to bed.

Mom and Dad have been good. I guess they deserve some quiet time.

Mom and Dad have been good. I guess they deserve some quiet time.

With the To-Do lists majorly caught up, Mom and I decided to take a break. We found a movie, among all the quietness, and Mom helped herself to a glass of wine and some slices of cheese to go with our Sunday Matinée.

For 'medicinal' purposes

For ‘medicinal’ purposes

At the end of our brief hiatus from reality Skylar comes down from her nap and sits on Mom’s lap, laying her little head on Mom’s shoulder. After a few minutes a sleepy Skylar sits up and squints her eyes at Mom, barely opening them enough to let the light in and says,

“Mom, you smell like the blood of Jesus”

Mom and I looked at each other and smiled. Maybe Mom communed too much?

Peace be with you Skylar!



How do you know what ‘the blood of Jesus’ smells like anyway?

Dying Day

An interesting thing happened on the way home from work the other day. ~ I’m gonna lose some readers with this ~ I was listening to NPR radio when something got my attention so much that I felt I was meant to blog about it.

Now for all of you that are going to comment on how it is a sign of old age that I am listening to NPR on the way home instead of something to help me unwind, relax. Don’t worry–I am already afraid of this.

The story was on ‘All Things Considered’. It was on a Winter Song List of people who wrote in on favorite or most inspirational songs and NPR got to pick a winner. The collage of songs caught my attention. The winning song, and story behind it, made me take notice and actually pull over to write down the author, the title to the song, and the winning contributor so I could follow-up when I got home.

The winning song was Brandi Carlile’sDying Day.” It’s an upbeat acoustic song about a writer longing for her love that is far away while she is on the road. Its a real catchy song in its own right but it is not what drew me in. Take a listen while you read on . . . .

You see the author of this winning story on NPR was locked in an adoption. She was going to adopt a darling 5 ½ month little girl from Ethiopia. She was on an international adoption trip where she had the opportunity to meet the potential baby she wanted to adopt.

For those not familiar with international adoptions, usually you sign on for an adoption program, you state what types of children you are willing and not willing to adopt, factoring in everything from race to birth defects to parental drug use and so on. Everything. The agency eventually matches you up with a child and you have to make the long trip to meet the child to see if each one is compatible with the other. Then you talk to the government agency, fly home and wait to hear if you have been approved or not.

The potential mother was Joanna Woodbury of Wauwatosa, Wis. and I’ll let her take it from here or you can listen to the episode here:

“It was awesome, and probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, all in one,” Woodbury says. At the time, the little girl the couple was applying to adopt was just 5 1/2 months old. “We got to be with her for about 45 minutes. I held her for 20, and then she fell asleep. We had to put her down and leave the room, and then take a 4 1/2-hour bus ride back to an Ethiopian court and say, ‘Yes, we want to parent this child.’”

A few days later, they were back in Wisconsin, where there was nothing to do but wait to hear that the adoption had been finalized. It would be a trying 11 weeks before word came through — and during that time, Woodbury says, she found a new appreciation for “Dying Day.”

“I was in the car listening to this song, which has always been a favorite of mine, and all of a sudden the lyrics just meant something different,” she says. “The lyrics are, ‘I just want to kiss you, and I’m going to love you till my dying day,’ and that I should be there to take of you and I can’t be. … It’s all about longing and a little bit of hurt, and just waiting until you get back to that person. And that’s how I felt.”

Meet ‘Nettie’ — short for Netsanet, an Amharic word for freedom

Meet ‘Nettie’ — short for Netsanet, an Amharic word for freedom

I got it. I knew exactly how she felt. In fact, I couldn’t even listen to that song without tearing up a bit. If you are a parent you probably know too. Now, if any of you are followers of my blog you have to know how I feel about my two little girls. They are a gift from God that have far exceeded my expectations of what being a Dad and raising two toddlers could have ever been. But I think only a few may have guessed by now that our kids are adopted.

My ‘Dying Day’ moment, similar to  Joanna Woodbury, was not pre-adoption though. We met our potential birthmother in a meeting prior to the adoption She was beautiful inside and out, as was her mother that came with her. We waited another 10 days ourselves until we found out we were finally going to be parents.


Parents with 10 days to prepare!

But it was so much more before those 10 days. I found out in my early 40′s that we could never have children; Think about it, could never have children. Ever. We tried the IVF procedure several times and while hopes and prognosis always started off high they always ended in tears and silence.

And so, sitting in my car, on the side of a busy roadway, I knew exactly how Ms. Woodbury felt. When we finally were able to receive our new daughter, then about 2 ½ weeks old, we were the happiest people on the planet. But as all you parents know, the magic is only just beginning at that point.

Receiving our new baby girl. The answer to our prayers!

You see I got to stay home on my company’s FMLA plan, to be Stay At Home Dad for the first time, actually seven years ago next Wednesday. I was left with our new beautiful daughter who just slept and ate and pooped and occasionally smiled. And I knew I was going to love her until MY dying day.

Actually, in reality my song was Jimmy Buffett’s, “That’s What Living Is To Me”. The lyrics went,

“..the world’s too big to understand.

Be good and you will be lonesome.

Be lonesome and you will be free.

Live a lie and you will live to regret it.

…that’s What Living Is To Me.”

 We had this new tropical DVD version of this song at the time, possibly one of the most scenic videos ever.

We had just gotten back from vacation about 3 months earlier and I was still riding the tropical high. Knowing that my daughter was going to grow up loving Jimmy Buffett just as I did (she has little choice living close to the beach) I would play the scenic DVD for her as we passed the days at home. And when this song came on I would pick her up and hold her gently close to my chest until I could smell her baby’s breath, slowly dance to this song, and quietly sang in her ear,

 “That’s what Dylan is to me.

That’s what Dylan is to me.”

So, like Joanna Woodbury, we found our little girl(s), or did they find us? We will continue to love them until our Dying Day. Being flesh and blood means very little to us. These girls are a precious gift to us from God and some very special Angels. That’s what Dylan and Skylar are to us.

“…Oh I miss you

and I just want to kiss you

and I will love you till my dying day.”


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I wanted to reach out and say “Cheers” thee ol Irish way today. There are lots of Irish blessings being passed around. I hope you catch yours! I am hoping you too can get your Irish Up!

One of the great things I enjoy about the great Emerald Isle is the music there. Certainly there are many versions of Irish music.

On our trip to Ireland we visited a town, Doolin, in County Clare, that had the reputation of the best traditional Irish music around. It was a small town with 3 Irish pubs. Every night Irish musicians of all ages came into jam; nothing practiced, just ‘pick up sessions’. It was great.

So in attempts to help get your Irish up I wanted offer a few quick appetizers of some Irish jams and wishes for an Irish day filled with smiles, fun & some Irish gold.

Welcome to Gus O’ Connor’s Pub in Doolin, County Clare…


Or we can catch a jam session at my favorite, McDermott’s Pub, known as the best pub in Ireland…

Ireland Trip 08-24-2005-10

But beware….

they have some medieval methods of dealing with you if you get served too much!

Ireland Trip 08-24-2005-12

And across the bay from Doolin was a trip back to Celtic Ireland at the Aran Islands, where they still speak the ancient Celtic language and draw shamrocks in the foam of your draft pint.

So get your Irish up today! Dance a jig!

And have a very happy St. Patrick’s day!

Rainbows and a pot of gold

Rainbows and a pot of gold


Ireland Trip 08-24-2005-24

Happy Birthday Dr. Geisel!

As some of you know, my girls have grown up loving the books and poems of Shel Silverstein. We have read these stories or poems to them every day in their beginnings. They are fun to read and fun to act out. And it seems every year, this time of year, there is school or two somewhere that does projects on these poems as this is the year I get my most Hits in Bedroom Stories for Shel’s work and specifically Snowball.

But arguably the most noted children’s author and poemster is Theodor Seuss Geisel, otherwise known as Dr Seuss.

dr seuss pic

And if you have a youngster in school you know he just celebrated a birthday last week.

Well all the First Graders at my daughter’s elementary school decided to celebrate and honor Dr. Theodor Seuss this week during a cleverly disguised PTA meeting. Yes, those PTA’ers had the First Graders come in and honor Dr. Seuss during a volunteer meeting. ( Bamboozled I was)dr.

So we attended this Dr. Seuss show and a big pack of First Graders. The show was great!

They were truly treated as Rock Stars with all the paparazzi going on…

dr. seuss

Each class took turns reading several verses from Dr. Seuss’s most popular poems. Dylan was chosen from her class to do a reading with her best friend.

dr seuss

I think all you parents know what I mean when you can really feel for your young child as they get set to read in front of all their peers, and a big auditorium… behind a microphone.

dr. seussreading

You know what? She did great! She wasn’t the loudest but reading her rhymes she didn’t miss a word.

How did I do Daddy?

How did I do Daddy?

At the end we were all treated to a serving of Green Eggs and Ham.


Remember this one?

Try singing reading along with these enthusiastic kids from Thursday’s hoopla…

…..You do not like green eggs and ham?

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Could you, would you, with a goat?

I would not, could not. with a goat!

Would you, could you, on a boat?

I could not, would not, on a boat.

I will not, will not, with a goat.

I will not eat them in the rain.

I will not eat them on a train.

Not in the dark!

Not in a tree!

Not in a car!

You let me be!

I do not like them in a box.

I do not like them with a fox.

I will not eat them in a house.

I do not like them with a mouse.

I do not like them here or there.

I do not like them ANYWHERE!

I do not like green eggs and ham!

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.


Great job everyone!

And Happy Birthday (belated) Dr. Seuss!


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