Friday, February 28, 2014

Older sibling's helping to raise our children

 We all know parent's play a major role...

  In the development of our children, parent's play a big roll, however I have also noticed with our children. Ryder will copy Rebel all the time when she is home, he pick's up on her habit's and does the same thing's she does. After dinner Rebel used to have to empty her plate in the trash and rinse it off at the sink.  Ryder would try and do the same, he would empty his plate in the trash then try to get to the sink to rinse it off. 

 Since he isn't quite big enough to see above the counter this created a good amount of dishes being dropped in the sink, and him trying to climb the cabinet's to get to the sink and rinse his plate like his big sister. I had asked Rebel to stop emptying her plate and rinsing it, instead just set it on the counter and I would take care of it. About 3 or 4 night's of this happening and Ryder had quit emptying his and just started putting it on the counter.

   When Rebel is hyped up about something Ryder is right there with her, jumping and spinning like top's.
If Rebel is reading a book a lot of the time Ryder will be right there next to her trying to read along with her. These moment's I try to get her to read the book to her brother, which work's out great for both of them. As well when we are working on Rebel's flash card's Ryder will be sitting there trying to count the number's just like Rebel. 

  More often than not when Rebel is home Ryder will be following her around constantly, he loves his sister to no end. And I know it aggravates her at time's but I can tell she love's him just as much. They have a bond that I really hope never get's broken, it's great watching them play together. And for instance last night Ryder didn't want to stay in bed he wanted to get up and play, as I was walking away from tucking him back in he was crying and obviously mad at me because I wouldn't let him play. The I heard Rebel telling him It's ok to be mad at daddy bubba, but it's time to go to sleep I have school tomorrow. 

  Ryder had quieted down and wasn't trying to get up and climb the baby gate anymore, so I left them alone for about 30 minute's. Sometime in that 30 minute's Ryder had crawle    Nd into bed with Rebel and went to sleep, Rebel had her arm wrapped around him and they looked so cute. I could tell both of them were very happy, and instead of trying to move him and wake him up I let them sleep like that, at about 1:00 am Ryder woke up yelling, that's when I moved him to his own bed. And he slept the rest of the night away.

But we can't get down to their level.

  I think it may have something to do with them being closer together in age, and the younger sibling not looking at the older one as a authority figure. As parent's we scold our children for doing wrong, and praise them for doing right. But the difference I think is it's not on their level, we are older and have lost the true child in us. It's really not possible to get down to that level again, Try as we might we can get close but we as parent's have to know the boundaries. 

  For instance taking a bubble bath we know that if we dump the whole bottle of bubble bath in the tub and start splashing around it's going to make a huge mess and we will have to clean it up eventually. However as a child the thought process would be OHHHHHH let's dump the whole bottle in here because that will make more bubble's and then splash around in it cause that would be super fun. there is no worry about having to clean the mess up.  

  There in lie's the difference I think in how our role's in development differ, children have similar thought processes and are therefore on the same page so to speak. As adult's we are quite a few chapter's ahead of our children. And as nice as it would be to turn back the clock and be children again it's just not possible. Not even with a time machine, we would still have the same thought processes as we do as adult's.

   We can't really get on the same level as they are close yes but never really the same. With that being said encourage your children to be positive role model's for each other,  especially the older one's remind them that their younger sibling's look up to them and will do as they do especially at a younger age. But don't forget that even though you may not see it all of our children still look up to us as adult's.

Thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you please leave a comment and let me know what you think, if you liked my blog please share it with your friend's. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

WHAT !!! Oh My God It's 5:45am

  This morning I am having one of those good sleep's, the kind you get only once in awhile. Everything was well with the world, I was dreaming of something awesome. I can't remember what it was but I do know that the knock on our bedroom door at 5:45 jerked me out of my peaceful bliss. I sat bolt upright and muttered under my breath damn door.

 Normally I get up anywhere between 6:00 and 6:15 to get Rebel ready and off to school. It's 5:45 and she is up knocking on the door, I honestly don't know what time she had gotten up. But I know that when I came out of the bedroom she was dressed, had already braided her hair and was ready to go. I love the girl's enthusiasm, it's a great thing she is always excited about going to school. But child you robbed me of 30 minute's of peaceful slumber!

  As luck would have it Ryder was also on the verge of waking up, though I was able to get him back to sleep. I think Rebel had accidentally woke him up when she was getting ready, no harm it happens sometime's even I have woke him up before trying to get her ready. We come out to the living room and I get her some cereal turn on some Tom and Jerry for her and proceed to get my coffee.

 After breakfast Me and Rebel are sitting here watching cartoons, she tell's me her shoe's are still in the bedroom. Not in the bathroom where I told her to put them last night with the rest of her school clothes. Not a problem though, I sneak down the hall like a ninja hoping I don't step on something that will make a noise and wake up Ryder, so far so good I make it to the room climb over the baby gate as quietly as possible. Putting my foot down on the other side of the gate, the trap had been set... I step right on a Hot Wheel's car. Biting my lip so I don't scream out in agony. Well played son, well played.

  I get her shoe's then sneak back down the hall and stop right at the end, listening for any telltale sound's coming from their room to make sure I didn't wake him up. Everything is all good, Ryder is still asleep, Rebel has her shoe's, and I have a fresh cup of coffee. Then about 10 minute's later I glance toward the hall and see Ryder walking to the living room, that boy is a better ninja than I ever could be. He didn't make a sound climbing over the baby gate or coming down the hall. I'm attributing his ability to avoid the Hot Wheel's trap due to the fact that he had set it.

While watching him come down the hall I realize what woke him up, I left the hall light on... DUH! So should have checked that off on my ninja list.... There is no point in trying to get him back to sleep now, he is wide awake and ready to go. Normally he sleep's till about 8:30 or 9:00 and I am able to get some writing done or whatever else I want to do in those couple of hour's after Rebel head's off to school. The only reason I am able to get this out is because Mickey Mouse is on T.V. Ryder will drop EVERYTHING to watch Mickey!

 Which it is about to end and I still have to get the breakfast dishes done before he decide's to play mini Godzilla and start trying to climb up Rebel's doll house with her Barbie's. Have a wonderful day everyone and thank you for reading!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Working Mom

     Hello all you lovely people. I am Mrs. Ray, also known to my friends as Anna. My husband has invited me to do a guest spot in his blog, and I have accepted. So let's get started.
     As all of you know, Raymond and I have a reversal of the "normal" roles, where I work and he is the stay at home parent. It wasn't always this way. For seven years, I was the main parent at home. I worked nights, and Raymond days, so I was the one usually up with our daughter, starting homework, etc. Then after our son was born, I was the stay at home parent, plus a caregiver to my grandmother. I cooked, I cleaned, I helped with homework, did laundry, attended school functions, parent teacher meetings and chaperoned field trips. I got up with the kiddos at night, but this was mainly because I was the food on demand.
     A little over a year ago, our world flipped upside down. Raymond, who has always had problems with his hips and back, got hurt at work. Hurt to the point that it wasn't better in a few days. It wasn't better after a week. After a trip to the emergency room and some X-rays, we realized that Raymond staying at his job was more of a risk than either of us were willing to take. It was only a matter of time until he had a spasm or his back froze up on him at the wrong moment, and he fell from one of the ladders or, heaven forbid, from a rafter over fifty feet in the air. So we decided that Raymond would leave his job and I would go back to work.
     I must admit, that first day, I almost skipped out the door. After three years of being with naught but children under the age of ten all day, and my most interesting conversations revolving around Mickey Mouse and Tinkerbell, I was ready to rejoin the world of adults. I found a job as a waitress at a local diner, and though I loved my job, I was not prepared for how much I missed my children. I was also not prepared for how nervous I was about Raymond staying at home.
     I knew what a handful our kids could be. I knew how hard it was to get dinner cooked and on the table, unburnt, while a six year old threw a soccer ball around the house and the two year old decided that he needed to cry at the top of his lungs because you would not let him climb on top of the washing machine.
     I think I called him fifty times a day those first few days. He would reassure me that everything was fine, and let me talk to the kiddos to assure me that all was fine. (Though at times I think he may have bribed them.) The first day, when I came home, he looked at me and said, "I am so sorry." He then explained how he had thought what I did was a cakewalk. And how wrong he was. I also apologized. I had no idea how hard it was to be away from our children for ten plus hours a day.
     The days passed, and slowly we adjusted to our new roles. I valued the time I had with our small family more than ever, and Raymond appreciated those few stolen minutes to himself. And he understood why I locked the bathroom door.
     Now, over a year later, we are firmly established in our roles. He has dinner on the table every night between five thirty and six. He helps our daughter with her homework. He schedules the parent teacher meetings and makes sure that our daughter has what she needs for school. He helps her pick out her school clothes the night before, and he does his best at doing her hair. Our two year old son can count to ten and can say his ABC's up to G. Our daughter is in the first grade and can read on a fourth grade level. He helped her take her math grade up from a very low C to a B and it is still climbing.
     He does wonderfully. He does much better than I ever did. I and our kids have clean clothes, he has only burned dinner twice in a year, which is far better than I ever did. The house is as clean as it can be with two children under the age of ten in it, and our kiddos are happy and thriving.
     Yet, when people ask what my husband does and I tell them he is a stay at home dad, most give me a weird look, and some even make catty or straight out unneeded remarks. One older lady once told me that in her day "a man who wouldn't work didn't deserve a wife." I politely informed her that my husband was willing to work, but we preferred that he be around to see our children graduate high school. Another woman, about my age, asked me how I could trust my children with a man all day long. When I asked her what she was implying she turned bright red and started stammering over her words. I told her that if I thought my husband the type to hurt my children or do anything to them that would negatively affect them, I would not have married him.
    I have seen all kinds of comments online, that not only confuse me, but infuriate me to no end. I have seen moms who say that a dad can't be a stay at home parent, because a man can not be a nurturing as a woman. Why not? Though my husband is more strict than I am, when my daughter skins her knee or my son hits his head, he is the gentlest person in the world. He is also the first to stand and applaud them when they do something great. Even the small somethings that no one else would find amazing.
     I have seen women say that any dad that stays at home must be a pedophile. WHAT?!?!?! Where is your reasoning in this? And if that is your first assumption about any parent, you need your head checked, because that is a YOU problem, not a stay at home dad problem.I hear women cry that a man is supposed to work, and these women are the same ones that gripe about equality. It's a two way street. You can not beat down men just to bring yourself up, because it will not work.
     I joke with my husband all the time and tell him he makes a better house wife than I ever did. And it is true. He balances things more than I ever could, and his one step at a time approach works better than my multitasking approach. He gets more done in a day than I would in a week.
     I am so proud of my husband, and support him. I support all stay at home dads out there who are trying to change this stereotype that only women can be good care givers. I will fight along side them to anyone ignorant enough to make remarks that put them down, and I will tell anyone who tries to put them down how wrong they are.
    I have a wonderful partner, who is great as a stay at home parent, he just happens to be a man.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

The time's they are a flying.

  I know it seem's like it has been forever since I've posted a blog, but in truth it has only been a couple of day's. Thing's have been a little on the hectic side the last few day's trying to get Anna's parent's house ready for them to move in. This has included a ton of digging, running water line to it, and trying to get the septic hooked up. It has also included me getting home with pipe cleaner and glue all over my finger's and hand's to the point it looked like I had strangled a smurf.... and last night I swear I brought enough dirt home with me to fill the grand canyon, well that's a little bit of a exaggeration but it was a lot. Enough I'm sure to fill a Tonka truck.

  It has also brought with it the joy's of pain, I think I may have bruised a rib while rolling over under the house, and my whole body is in a massive state of pain. Some of you know I have arthritis in my neck and deterioration of one of my vertebrae, and also the sciatica in my hip. For those who didn't now you do. So it hasn't been the best couple of day's. I'm just glad that Grandma has been able to help out with the kid's and cook dinner during the evenings while Anna was working. *Thumbs up for some awesome ribs and fried chicken !* Since you have all been brought up to date for the last couple day's now onto the actual blog in mind.

Time Flies:

 The last few day's for some reason there has been a trend going on of people mentioning how fast kid's grow up. And missing it when it's gone, my Dad, my Wife, and a few other's have said something about it. This morning I was reading facebook and noticed a post from one of the guy's in the S.A.H.D. group I'm in. About his son discovering his chest hair, A couple guy's said something about it as well and one from my buddy Cuda which said. "you will miss it when they stop." 

 It got me to thinking about all the thing's Rebel used to do with me, the little thing's that are aggravating at the time, like pulling on my beard hair, or thinking I am some sort of super human jungle gym. The constantly wanting to be held even when my hand's were full, no joke I could have 20 bag's of grocery's in my hand's (cause I would rather make 1 trip with 20 bag's than 2 trips with 10 bag's) and she would be trying to shimmy up my leg like a logger going up to top a tree. And the time's someone would try talking to her she would run around behind me and hide, at the time it was aggravating, but now 4 year's later I have realized. I was her shield, her protection, and her safety. 

  Looking back on it those day's being long gone. I really do miss them, it's one of those thing's you don't miss until it's gone. It seem's so far away now too, so much has happened since then.
First day of school
 First time she jumped off the diving board by herself, first time riding without training wheels, first time I sent her for a tool and she got it right away... And many many more firsts, too many to name, and there are yet to be a bunch more. I do however feel sorry for her first boyfriend. So if you happen to be reading this consider this my apology.

  Now what I am trying to get at here is that with all of the firsts of any child's life it's impossible to be there for them all, but the little things our children do each day that we may find annoying. Are things we need to start embracing,  because like any child's firsts they don't last forever. Our kid's grow and become their own people. Complete with their own personality's. 

  And it all happens way too fast, It really does fly by and there is no way to get it back, but to relive the moment's you can remember. And so I say enjoy it while it last's because it will end and you will miss it. Thank you all for reading I hope you have a wonderful day !

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

This is going to hurt me, more than it will hurt you.

It'll hurt me more than it will you...

  I was sitting here earlier during one of those silent moment's, the one's where your not sure if you want to go check on them because you may break the spell they are under. But your also wondering if they are ok because they are being so quiet. Or they could be doing something they know they aren't supposed to be doing...

  It was a beautiful moment today Rebel and Ryder weren't arguing, they were actually getting along without a problem. Both of them watching a movie together, it about brought a tear to my eye not because they were actually getting along. Because I was able to get almost 30 minute's of uninterrupted thought, peace, and quiet. And that my friend's is a beautiful thing. 

 But it got me thinking about thing's my dad had said to me as a child, and the one that kept slipping to the front was of course, "This is going to hurt me more than it will you." Now at the time I knew without a doubt he was WRONG! I would think to myself afterward's there is no way on god's green earth his butt hurt's as bad as mine does now. At the time I failed to realize just what he meant, there really wasn't a way for me to understand the emotional construct of a father.

  I amazingly also had time to reflect back on the first time I spanked Rebel, now granted it was no more than a swat on the butt barely enough to have killed a fly. But the emotional turmoil that came with it is incredible. And i realized something, It did hurt when I spanked her. It literally tore at my heart, here is my little girl, my princess, my angel. And I have just caused her to cry, I had caused my precious bundle of joy pain. I felt so so bad, honestly there is no description for the pain I felt.  I found out on that day what my dad said was absolutely true.

  I have experienced some serious amount's of pain, from almost cutting off the tip of my finger to cutting my leg down to the bone. Physical pain is nothing compared to the pain of the heart, it cannot compare in anyway shape or form. So with that being said, I just want to say. Dad I am sorry I didn't believe you when you told me. And I love you!

Monday, February 17, 2014

From the mouth's of children

Randomness from Rebel.

  This hopefully will turn into a constant thing, knowing our daughter and some of the crazy thing's I have heard her say I'm sure that it will.


Standing in the kitchen tonight and washing some of the dishes while Anna was cooking dinner. This conversation took place.

(Prelude: After Rebel got home from school we gave the kid's strawberries as a snack. Rebel and Ryder ate a whole tub except for like three so about eight for Rebel and four for Ryder. Then 15 minute's before dinner was done.)

Rebel: When is dinner going to be done? I'm hungry.

Grandma: I don't see how you could be hungry after all the strawberries you ate.

Anna: Rebel, tell her you have a hollow leg.

Rebel: Gramma I have a hollow head!

Anna: NO! A hollow leg

Grandma: I believe that.

Rebel: I do have a hollow head!

Me: *laughing so hard I'm about to cry*


 Ryder had just woke up from his nap, as I'm getting his snack.

Rebel: Daddy when Ryder is done with his snack could we please go back outside?

Me: Honey I don't know I have to get dinner cooking and the only place you can play is the back yard.
   (The back yard is very small but it's all we have that's fenced in right now)

Rebel: I promise it's still nice out, could we please... I don't care if it's outback. I'll get Ryder's shoes on and I don't care if I have to change his butt. 

  Well I guess I will let them obviously she wants to go outside.


Rebel: Hey daddy we're acting like dogs. Not just any dogs... Talking dogs!

Time for a break

  We have been cooped up in the house forever it seem's like, the weather has just been horrible. I had been watching the weather and waiting on a nice day when Rebel wasn't in school to take them out. Today was that day, I promised them we would go outside and play for awhile yesterday. Little did the kid's know I was planning to take them to the park here in town. It was overcast, and there wasn't a bit of sun shining through. We even had a little drizzle occasionally.
But we didn't let that ruin our fun!
Rebel, Me, And Ryder
   It was a BLAST! The kid's had a great time and so did I, The original plan to go to the park next to the highway was ditched. One of the reason's was because it was right next to the highway and the second is because it sucked. The only thing there was a swing-set and a small slide. Nothing to really play on for Ryder.  We decided to drive around and find a different park, Rebel was so glad we did. Turn's out one of her friend's from school was there.

Rebel and Skylar
    Rebel got out of the truck and when she seen her friend, her face lit up like Las Vegas in the middle of the night, she was so happy to see one of her classmates. I was happy too, Rebel acted like she didn't really have any friend's in school. I got to meet Skylar's aunt, to begin with I was a little apprehensive about talking to her, because of all the horror stories I've read about from other S.A.H.D's. But she turned out to be a really nice lady. From what she told me Skylar said that her and Rebel are best friend's.

They ran

They played
And played some more
 Ryder had a great time too, he was climbing all over everything. And running all over the place. His favorite had to of been the horse, Rebel really enjoyed it too.

or as he called it HORSEYYY!!!!                         Rebel even had a great time on the horse.
  They were both all over the place, but after being cooped up in the house I'm really not surprised. 

I tried to get them to pose in the tunnel,
but Ryder wasn't interested in that nonsense.
 He had way too much to do
And Sliding
The Teeter-Totter 

 After all the running around, climbing, swinging, jumping, and playing we went to have some lunch at Sonic. They had a playground too. *Insert evil grin here*  I was really looking to get them tired out, it seemed to work too. Ryder was in my lap falling asleep just a little bit ago, but he has caught his second wind and is now running around terrorizing his sister. 

Some of the great moments at sonic

Rebel coming up the "hot-dog" ladder
Big steps
Climbing the wall
One small step for girl's.
One giant leap for girl kind.

I've heard and seen people complain about being the stay at home parent. Having to be a childcare provider, chef, dietitian, baker, dishwasher, laundress, seamstress, event coordinator, chauffeur, nurse/doctor, psychologist, diplomat, peacemaker, disciplinarian, accountant, painter, decorator, and gardener. And the list goes on. In 2010 a blog was posted on, This blog say's a Stay at Home Mom is supposed to make $117,856.00.

Today my payment for everything I've done isn't cash, or direct deposit. It was the smiles on our children's face's Spending time with them. And enjoying a wonderful day.

Me and Rebel
Me and Ryder

These moment's right here, are worth more than any amount of money.

And to finish off an amazing day out with the kid's, we went by Mommy's work and seen her before 
we went home. The only thing that could have made today better is if Mommy could have been with us.

Awesome Anna
    We had a awesome day together, everyone came home smiling from ear to ear. And I could tell the kid's and I got rid of  the bah humbug's we had from being cooped up inside for so long. Ryder wasn't home for more than a hour before he climbed up in my lap and started falling asleep. Then after he got his second wind. Him and his sister were playing together like they used to, having fun and not fighting with each other. 

  If the kid's are arguing, and plotting together to drive you crazy...

Take a break!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Nuclear Pull up

This morning our son decided he was going to get up with his sister at 6:15, no problem I would have stayed up working on my blog or hanging out with the guy's drinking coffee until he woke up anyway. We got Rebel dressed, all of her thing's ready for her valentine's day party and got her on the bus. 

 I took him to the bathroom the same thing we have been doing for the past week, trying to get him potty trained. What a adventure that is in itself, he sit's on the potty for a little while then tell's me he is done. I check it to see if he went, he pooped like a champ I was so proud.

About a hour later I'm sitting here at the computer trying to finish up my latest blog. Support for Stay at Home Dad's, Ryder was sitting next to me in the recliner watching his morning cartoon's. and I smelled something... It smelled so bad I wanted to duct tape one of the tree air freshener's you use in your car to my nose. This stench literally permeated throughout the entire room, it was untraceable. I got up thinking maybe one of the dogs went to the bathroom in the house, I searched and searched couldn't find anything. Thinking to myself I hope that it's not coming from my son's butt I do a spot check on the outside of his pull up Dinosaur still there check, no brown around the edges check so it's not him.

 I'm like ok well it's time to take Ryder to the bathroom anyway so I'll open the back door and let some fresh air in on our way. Got the door open and I was so relieved to have some fresh air in my lung's. We make it back to the bathroom without anymore stench, I pull out the back of his pull up and don't see anything. So instead of tearing it apart on the side's I just pull it down. Then..... OH MY GOD !! It almost knocked me on my butt this runny gooey mush which is now streaked down his leg's smell's so bad I'm gagging, and wishing I had duct taped that little green tree to my nose. 

This pull up could have leveled a city with the stench it was putting off. I'm quite surprised I didn't wake up the wife from the noise I was making trying to get away from it. I honestly think it burnt some of my nose hair's.  I learned a valuable lesson today, Ryder DOES NOT get anymore baked bean's. Well let's make that two lesson's. The second being I need to keep a little green tree in my back pocket at all time's.

Support for Stay at home dad's

  After my wife and I decided it wouldn't do me much good to keep working due to my back and the pain it was putting me through, we switched role's. I took on the responsibility of being the stay at home parent and she went back to work. My first thought's as I'm sure has been the same for many people who have switched roles was this is going to be a cake walk. Well that's not the truth in ANY way shape or form. Being the stay at home parent is by far the hardest job I have undertaken, and I have had some seriously hard job's. Working on the circus, warehouse's, and about all of the trade's in the construction industry.

 None of them prepared me for taking care of two children and keeping house. And it's not just the physical labor or trying to keep up with someone 3 decades younger than I am, but also the mental stresses that come with the job. And to top it all off the back problem's I have do not help in the least.  I have learned a lot in the past seven month's almost all of it through trial and error. A lot of it because I didn't want to seem like a fool asking my wife about things. Which I also learned it doesn't hurt to ask, she had stayed at home with the kids for seven year's. She knew all the little tip's and trick's, and our kid's personality's better than I, because of the time she has spent with them. Lesson learned here: "The only stupid question is one left unasked."

  Beginning my adventure as a stay at home dad I felt as though I had no one to talk to. Having the wife at home when she is off of work is great, I love talking to her and spending time with her. But I was missing the companionship of the guy's being able to have a conversation that didn't involve Lightning Mcqueen, princesses, or barbie doll's. was really getting to me. Granted I love watching movie's with the kids and playing with them. But I was missing the adult element. Lesson learned here: Anyone who is staying home with the kid or kid's need's some type of adult interaction.

 One night I was waiting on my wife to get home, kid's were asleep and i was bored out of my mind. So i decided to see what I could find online searching for stay at home dad groups etc. I found a facebook group and immediately joined. After a couple day's of not seeing anything being posted on the group. I started searching again, and i was lucky enough to find a affiliate facebook group of the National at home dad network.

Facebook Groups:

Facebook group for stay at home dad's
 These guy's have been a life saver for my sanity. Thanks to all of you in our group!

Stay at home dad's UNCENSORED! 
As the name implies it is uncensored. you have been warned! but thanks to these guys as well

Northeast Ohio Stay at Home Dad's
A brand new group for Stay at Home Dad's in northeast Ohio.

Dad And Mom Blogger's. A group created by my good friend David. Also the guy who run's Dad All Day

Facebook page's you may want to Check out and like:

Mr.Awesome SAHD
Cuda's Facebook page. A pretty cool stay at home dad's Facebook page

Big Cheese Dad
Carl's Facebook page. He also has a blog listed below

Dad N Charge
Chris's Facebook page. He has a blog listed below also.

Just A Dad 247
Pat & Kepley's Facebook page. These guy's have a website listed below as well.

Geek Daddio of 4
Mike's Facebook page. Also the author of the blog site listed below.

Daddy's Nook
Yeah it's my Facebook site, but I have to take every shameless plug I can right!

Unfortunately there are not a whole lot of stay at home dad website's googling it will bring up a few result's but honestly from what I had seen most of the result's are not all that active.

National At Home Dad Network
 A great website for at home dad's with plenty of blogs and reading to check out.

Dad 2.0 summit
A great site for blogging dad's lot's of helpful information and a great community.

Dad all day
My good friend David's website, Whom I have to thank for getting me into blogging.

Just A Dad 247
Pat & Kepley's website a couple of awesome S.A.H.D.'s, They have some awesome content on their site.

Enlightened Neanderthals
This is one I found googling one day but still haven't really checked it out too much. It does have a lot of post's on the site though.

Also I have found blogs some of which have made me laugh and some that have made me cry. It's a great thing to be able to find other's who we can relate to. So here are some of the blog's that have also helped me keep my sanity.

Nerdy at home dad's
Jame's Blog site. who is also a Doctor Who fan so you know he's cool!

Dad on the run
Eric's Blog site. I have read his post's great writing !

Big boned biker
Micah's blog site. Though he say's it's not dad related I seen where he has talked about his kid's and working out in the same blog's so it is dad related. HA! Micah I got ya.

Geek Daddio of Four
Mike's Blog site. Some great reading here too and that Pesto Veggie Pizza look's KILLER !

Big Cheese Dad
Carl's Blog site. Some good reading on here too. He also listen's to Chicago so he can't be all that bad right .

Cooking with SAHD
Phil's cooking blog. BRILLIANT! I seen a bunch of awesome recipe's on here and the sweet potato hash looked killer.

Dad N Charge
Chris's Blog site. Good reading here as well, and he called someone Crusty Yogapants! That's just awesome.

Designer Daddy
Brent's blog site. Some more good reading on this one. He also has a store on there selling T-shirt's all of the profit go to JJ's college fund. needless to say cool!

I Hope I Win A Toaster
Bill's Blog site. Yes it's a actual blog with some great content and idea's on it. I especially loved the idea of the time capsule email. BRILLIANT!

Not so much at home dad related but they are still authored by at home dad's so lets show them some love!

Elope Asheville
Another Stay at home dad working his butt off online to provide for his family. He also has a blog on this site it's worth checking out.

If you have found any of this information useful please share it with other's who may be able to benefit from it. Also please if you have any comment's I am more than glad to hear them, Or if you have a blog site you would like posted leave me a message. And thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Everyone can benefit from a nice smile !

 I have been trying to be a little more on the active side with blogging and sharing my experience's. This morning after I got Rebel on the bus. I was reading through some of the things other Stay at home dad's have posted and shared. These guys have become invaluable to me. Really thank you to all the guy's at My stay at home dad's group. And it got me thinking about writing this blog. As soon as my mind got set on writing it Ryder woke up (our 3 year old boy). But that's ok! Mickey Mouse is on he has his cup of coffee like daddy and is happy. So we are going to smile and keep on writing.

 Now back to my story, last night me and the kids stayed up a little late about 45 minutes past their bedtimes. SHHHH don't tell mommy, but I wanted to reward Rebel for doing so well on her flashcard's and spelling word's. So we stayed up and watched brave on the computer. Well this morning I let Rebel sleep in a little longer than normal. Usually it's a fight to get her ready for school, I'll get her up and 15 minutes later have to either go get her up again or walk in the bathroom and find her sitting on the heater vent still in her pajama's, which lead's to me getting upset cause we only have a hour to get all ready before school anyway.

  This morning I decided I'm not going to get upset at her I mean after all it is my fault she stayed up late. I went and woke her up, and let her know it was time to get ready. A few minute's later after I got my first cup of coffee. I went to make sure she was up, reminding myself the whole way to stay in a positive mood and not get upset. Naturally she was still laying in bed "stretching" as she like's to call it. I call it bundling up and hoping daddy doesn't notice the big lump under the cover's. I kept my cool and told her that since I let her sleep in we really didn't have time to be messing around this morning and please get up and get ready for school. Within less than 5 minute's she was out in the living room ready to go!

  We still had some time and I don't like her going to school hungry so I let her pick out breakfast which was a chocolate snack pack. Score one for daddy cause i get to lick the foil lid. I know I am a evil bastard. I get her settled in and get me another cup of coffee. After she get's done i notice the tell tale snack pack beard and mustache. I am groaning mentally but remind myself I'm not going to get upset. I clean her up and we still have about 10 minutes before she has to go out to the bus. This time normally consist's of me telling her she need's to brush her hair and teeth, and get her coat and backpack about seven times. She goes back to the bathroom and brushes her hair and teeth, meanwhile I'm going through her stuff to make sure it's all there. I look back in there and she is putting her hair up in pigtails. Another mental groan... But I am keeping my cool and we have time so I figure if it makes her happy then it's cool with me.

  She come's out finally and did a pretty good job on her hair thankfully, because we didn't have time to fix it. Out to the bus we headed joking and playing while we waited. As I watch the bus pull up I'm thinking of how blessed I am to be the father of this wonderful child and to get to spend the time with the kids that I do. And looking back on how much i missed out on while i was working. We say our goodbye's before the bus get's there, I tell her to have a wonderful day at school, be awesome, and that I love her.

   Normally I'm not a morning person but this morning has been absolutely great. I just had to make sure I was happy instead of getting upset over little things that would normally get under my skin. the trying to sleep in, pudding face, and trying to put her hair up when we didn't really have time. It's amazing what reminding yourself to be happy can accomplish and that was only a hour out of the day. I'm going to keep it going because I can do it. And everyone can benefit from a nice smile

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A little kindness can go a long way

As a whole I think humanity has lost what it had, everyone used to have to rely on each other. It wasn't a matter of want, more of a matter of necessity. If your neighbor needed help of any kind you would be there for them, no matter how big or small the need was. There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child, and that used to be true and still is for the most part. Even though you may think you are the one who is bringing your child up in this cruel world, you would be absolutely wrong.

   You are not factoring in the teachers who spend hours of their free time making lesson plans, or wondering if they are making a impact on your child among the countless others that they teach. Nor are you thinking about the police man who may only talk to your child once or twice during a field trip, or the fireman during the same circumstances.Or how about a soldier who is out there sweating in the trenches. How about the little old lady who offers your child a smile and kind word at the supermarket. And for that matter this big burly biker.

  In my opinion the mother of this child should be ashamed of herself. People like her put a label on this man. She did not know him at all but she thought it her place to put the image of a "dirty biker" into her daughter's head.  As he stated he would be the first person to run into their burning house to save her child's goldfish. Everyone your child come's into contact with has a impact on our children's upbringing. Some good and some bad granted but nonetheless a impact. 

  Now here's a Question for you, Have you taken the time to thank any of them? And that's not what we really need, it's nice to hear a thank you or even a kind word from someone. But what we as a whole really need and are lacking is passing it on. I'm sure that most of you have heard about "paying it forward". Which is a amazing concept (not to mention movie). But my question is why do we have to wait for someone else to do something nice before we do something nice for another? 

I don't know if any of you have seen this... But it made me cry, laugh at me if you wish but this absolutely touched my heart. 

    The men and women in this video are true angel's going out of their way to help complete stranger's and animal's. This is what humanity has lost. Instead of stopping to help a little old lady cross the street most people would just pass them by, thinking it's not our problem they will get across the street and i can't waste the two minute's it would take to stop and help them. Is it so important that humanity can't take the two minute's out of our precious time to show kindness to a complete stranger? Humanity as a whole has quit helping each other to take care of themselves and their family's. We have become so closed minded we don't see when other's are in need of assistance, preferring only to worry about ourselves. 

   I am a husband and father, I constantly think of how I can look out for my family. To protect them and provide for them are my primary concerns, nothing is going to change that not now or ever. But I also remember the kindnesses me and my family had been shown when we were in time's of need. For instance it was shortly after we had our daughter, we had just moved into a place of our own and were struggling to make ends meet. We had bill's due and a child's stomach to feed, so doing the only thing we could we put off some of the bills we had at the time and went to buy grocery's while at the store we were standing in line talking about our bill's. The cashier had finished ringing us up and told us the total, as i was reaching for our money. The man and woman behind us pushed his card through the machine and said I've got this. It had absolutely blown our minds at this man's generosity. He asked for nothing from us, but to help those who are in need when we can. And since that day if we could help in some way shape or form we have done our best to do it. This man had started something great.

So in closing don't wait for someone to show you a kindness to pay it forward to someone else. Be the beginning of something great.

And I would also like to thank any and everyone who has ever had anything to do with my life from my teachers to the people whom I've passed on the street and got nothing more than a smile. Some day's those smiles helped more than you could know. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Run away and join the circus!

This is a brief rundown of part of my life. There are stories within this story and blogs will be written about them at a later date. But I thought it would be a good idea to give you a quick glimpse into a part of my life which has led me to where I am today.
       (The RBBB Circus Animal Cars during winter break in Tampa Florida)
Many people have wanted to run away and join the circus, but very few have actually had that chance. I was about 13 years old at the time, My dad had been raising me by himself since I was about 2 years old and at the time he was driving trucks overland for a company out of Indiana, He would take these box trucks like the UPS and Fed-Ex trucks and deliver them to wherever they needed to go. One of the summer's I was out of school and he took me with him on the road. We had put literally thousands of miles behind us, From New York to Los Angeles, Chicago to Houston and about everywhere in between.

        One day we were in Houston Tx. We had got thru with a delivery of trucks and Dad called dispatch to see if they had anything headed back home. Of course not but.... They did have a truck to transport from New Orleans to Shrevesport and would eventual lead us back to Houston, So we left our little Isuzu there at a pay to park place in Houston and hopped a bus to New Orleans. These were the facts as I knew them, Later when we arrived at the Superdome I would find out who we were transporting the truck for. It turned out to be one of the stock trucks for Sells Floto, The merchandise division of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

        I literally almost had a mental meltdown upon walking into the Superdome and seeing all the rigging in the trusses, all the props for the show being packed into their crates. I can still remember the way my heart was pounding as we walked backstage for the first time. What a experience all the performers were getting out of costume and all the vendors still packing up their merchandise. We checked in with the Sells Floto manager and was told it would be a little bit before we could take the truck so basically just hang out till then. We walked around for a bit and looked at a bunch of different things. Then we found the cotton candy stand.... I ended up walking out of the arena with a black industrial sized trashbag full of cotton candy !! Oh it was a great trip for dad, on our way to Shrevesport at last.

     We got there ahead of the show and got a hotel room dropped off the truck and it was a week worth of waiting, Once sunday rolled around we went to get the truck and take it to the next stop, After we got there my dad had  a meeting with the manager of Sells Floto and was able to get a job running snow cones up and down the seats. Which is by far not a easy job in the least if you goto the Circus and have any dealings with these guys give them a break they deserve it! Then he moved up to running a Table which is basically a small merchandise stand mainly for selling the snow cones and cotton candy. and a few of the novelty items. By this time we were out of the hotel rooms and living on the train oh what a experience this was. I was still traveling with my dad overland I hadn't got the chance to ride the rails yet. the rooms were about 5' x 7' if you got lucky and didn't have a single. After we got onto the train and dad was working for Sells Floto I got my first job on the Circus, working in the pie car. Pie Car Bob was my first boss on the show Andy (sorry I cant remember any last names really) was the Pie Car manager and allowed me to work with Bob on the mainline (dinner time) for the crew of the show. since I wasn't old enough to actually work for them and all I really did was clean the train car and wash dishes I got paid in tips. And during the day when I wasn't working in the Pie Car I would be at the Arena putting the batteries in the light swords and spinning globes you could get at the novelty stands. I was making some great money doing these jobs that noone wanted to do. and a couple weeks I made more than my dad selling things.

       My time in the Pie Car was the best part in my opinion though. Pie Car Bob taught me so much about cooking and baking, serving and customer service. His thoughts about which were don't F*** with the cook or his help. I worked in the Pie Car and "made lights" (putting the batteries in them) for about 2 years (being 15) I guess the guys figured I could take on more responsibility which in turn meant more money in my pocket so I wasn't complaining. I was allowed to help Jay with the Sells Floto stock trucks that came in. unloading them and also helping in the container cars where the merchandise was kept. And though I was still being paid under the table is was great work. Also I was allowed to help muck out the animal cars on the train. Yeah it was a nasty job and after shoveling nearly 2 tons of horse, camel, and elephant poop you really learn the value of a dollar. Which had to be done every week...

        I was also lucky enough to become friends with the animal handlers and was able to help them on the animal walks (from the arena's to the train and vise versa) These odd jobs continued until i was 17 at which time I was filling in for one of the program operators in Philidelphia Pa. after that I worked my way up to Program 2 I was in charge of stocking the tables with Programs, Video's, And Coloring books of the show also selling the programs at the front gate yes I was one of the guys that stood in front of the building hollering and trying to get you to buy a program. It has been 4 years of traveling on the circus. By this time I had visited every state except Alaska and Hawaii. I had seen parts of the country that anyone who wasn't traveling by would never see. And experienced things that alot of grown adults still haven't experienced. but those are all story's for different blogs.

      I hope you have enjoyed reading this one and I look forward to hearing all thought's and comments. I will be posting another blog as soon as I can with some of my experiences traveling in the Greatest Childhood On Earth.