Friday, December 31, 2010

A summary of the events

I know it's been awhile since my last post but quite honestly I have been super busy with the holiday season and what not.  I am sure most of you paid special attention to the seating chart with the Christmas dinner and what not and realized how much I made sense.  I hit the seating chart lottery this year at my mother's house.  She had a perfectly designed children's table and I placed myself the furthest from it as possible.  As a result, my brother(because he was one of the closest) stepped up and dealt with the youngins during dinner.  It was heavenly bliss.  And while I can sit here and thank him for stepping up to the plate, I must also pat myself in the back for such a strategic move on the seating chart.  He was great for offering, but also really didn't have much of a choice.  Good guy, but great strategy.  And those of you that are always wondering why I do dishes at the family events it's plain and simple.  I do not want to be part of the cleanup down where they are opening gifts.  When you are down there, not only do you have to clean up, but you have to deal with the kids always asking you to open this gift that they want to try and it just adds to the mess.  This way, our kids open less gifts at my mother's house and therefore lose less parts in said gifts.  Truthfully, I think they would rather play with the other kids gifts anyway, this way, they can lose their stuff, and not ours.  On top of that, I'm sure my mom likes an organized dishwasher anyway, and it makes it much easier to put away when we are all out of there...see previous without further ado I wish all of you(9 peeps) a happy holiday and a great new year.  I have some gadget ideas that will make your life easier when we enter the new year so stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blame it on the Children

Jaime Foxx has a song that came out a couple years back called "Blame it on the alcohol" that had me thinking about this next one.  A heads up gentlemen, and moms too, you have a permanent excuse built in at all times.  I use it rarely for fear of being the boy who cried wolf, but I use it nonetheless.  Blame it on your kids.  Yes, I said it, blame it on your kids.  When I say it, I mean anything.  Anything that you feel can get you out of an altercation, a problem, a razzing.  Whatever it is, for some reason in this world there is a certain sensitivity about the kids.
I was at the airport in a little debacle about how I was going to get home.  My flight was already delayed 3 hours, we were on standby for another earlier flight, which was a connecting flight too, and it was a nightmare.  I went up to the stand and told them that I needed to get back to Detroit that night because I have my kids that I have to get back to.  Instantly, the crabby helper behind the counter turned to positive and was doing everything she could to get me back to my kids.  Granted, my wife had the day off the next day too so it wasn't dire, but she didn't need to know that.  Now, gentlemen, there are certain times where this will backfire and make you look insensitive.  Be careful of this story in particular.
I was in Kroger the other day and a guy behind me had one item: a case of Budweiser.  I had my fair share of items and I was second in line behind a lady that had a full cart.  The man leans forward and speaks to the lady in front of me.  "Excuse me mam, is it possible that I skip in front of you, I have kids in the car?"...The lady replied back, "You left kids in the car so you could grab a case of beer, sounds like you have a problem."...see my point here, be careful when you use your kids as an excuse, timing is essential.
I recently have a legitimate disclaimer on my Christmas lights.  My son desperately wanted color in the front and much to the dismay of my wife I obliged.  She hates a mix.  If I am going to do white, she wants all white.  Same thing with color.  So when I decided to mix I brought her out and she was sorely disappointed and turned to me.  Before she could get anything out of it, I blurted out..."The kids wanted both.", does it excuse the fact the storm has trashed my lights from the roof and they are hanging everywhere, no...but it gives me a disclaimer of why my lights look white trash...the kids...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Minor Details can make it an easier day

My wife thinks that certain things I do are strictly Obsessive. I have to have my dishwasher set the right way.  I can't stand why toilet paper needs to be on a roll, it's so much easier to pick it up and unroll it.  I change my children backwards.  I use my left hand to do the wiping so my right can control the baby.  Yes it's weird.
Now we all have our little quirks and patterns in life and what we need to do is make sure we pick the patterns that make our lives just a little easier throughout the day.  My suggestions may seem rather minuscule to you but throughout the year it will help relieve some stress.  Since this is a blog to help Dads(and moms if it applies) shortcut their way to buy more time then I mine as well put my two cents in.
Sort your silverware when you put them in the dishwasher.  What a pain in the butt it is to put the silverware away when you could have just grabbed the whole section and put them in the forks part of the organizer.  This is a tell-tale sign of whether or not I have loaded the dishwasher.  One time, I paid the babysitter to do the dishes for me because I was running late and I got caught simply because of the silverware.  But in reality, so much easier.  And let's be honest, most of us don't unload the dishwasher until we have used at least half the dishes so it's easier to navigate and find that baby spoon for the next feeding.
Lastly, and I know it's only two but my sister-in-law is asking for more frequency in blogs, back your car into your parking spot.  This is new for me.  I did it last night and when I was taking the kids to school this morning it was a breath of fresh air that I didn't have to back up and turn around and all that nonsense.  Metaphorically, it is looking forward to the new day, not backwards.  Realistically, try and and see how it feels.  You will notice that it does feel good to just drive out of your driveway once in awhile.  See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Strategy of the Seating Chart

Oh Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Well, here is your latest installment of fatherhood strategies that can add to the everyday shortcut enjoyment of your holiday times.  Help your wife set the table!  yes I said it, help her set the table.  This way, you can have some input in the seating chart for the family outing.  This only pertains if you are having a big celebrated family event.  If it is just your family, then it's just business as usual and you will probably have your normal seats.  Why is this important?  Great question!  But first we need to analyze the level of importance.  It is as important as watching the football game during thanksgiving, as important as making sure the wishbone was yanked out and dried for the kids to pull, and just as important as making sure there is some cranberry sauce on the table even though everyone is so reluctant to eat the stuff.
That being said, and grammatically incorrect as well, I offer you this piece of advice.  Choose your seat wisely.  Ask yourself what you want to be doing the entire meal.  At one point, you'll think that all that matters is that you are near your wife and children helping them with the portions they need.  Then you'll find yourself accidentally placed in the doorway closest to the kitchen.  Which is killer when it's a buffet style dinner.  You become the person that steps in and gets the salt, or grabs the bread from the oven, or gets your kids a quick glass of milk.  Again, if you want to do these things, then strategically place your child there.  But if you want to relax during your meal and enjoy your food, you must make sure that you get a seat the furthest/farthest(I never know which one to  use) from the kitchen as possible.  Then you become the playmaker, the one that starts barking orders and requests.  And if you are a magician, then you can figure out a way that your wife is in that doorway, because she usually doesn't want to tell you screw you at a family outing and wants to make sure that you get everything you need and want in life.  Just a tidbit to help you through this holiday season.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Daytime Television

I'm a man, so when I say daytime television I'm usually talking about sportscenter, Las Vegas, Law and Order SVU and I'm neglecting the "soap opera's".  As a stay home, these shows can most definately be a time sucker and you need to stay away.  However, keeping in mind that you do need a fix of entertainment throughout the day in your downtime, it is relevent that you use the On Demand feature of your cable.  I constantly am talking about ways to save time and sneak a few minutes here and there.  Well, here it is.  Law and Order usually sucks about an hour out of your day with their compelling cliff hangers and interesting content.  Same thing with a typical MTV Challenge.  However, if you On Demand the shows, they will decrease down to around 40 minutes, and maybe 36 if you fast forward the single commercials they have in there.  By using On Demand, you have made yet another shortcut to save some valuable time during your day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Dupe Genie

yeah, that's right, I call it the Dupe Genie.  When we were having our first we did the traditional baby shower must and gun pretty much every product at Babies R Us and this was one thing my wife's friends said was a must have.  I don't understand the concept, quite honestly.  Put all of your smelly crappy diapers into one bin and throw it away 15 days later when it's full...does anyone else see the flaw in this concept.  Let alone the prototype that we had only used specific diaper genie bags that weren't inexpensive in itself.  It was a monopoly on baby fecal matter disposal and it seemed like our only option.  I never liked it.  It was a pain from the moment I took it out of the box and we threw a couple diapers in and they hit the floor because we forgot to tie off the bottom.  On top of that, they fill up too quick, and are a pain in the butt to dispose of.  By the third child do you know what we are using, the good ol fashion garbage.  Yeah, we put the stinky ones in there too.  Shoot, by three kids we probably take our garbage out once a day so it all works out.  But I digress, these "convenient" dupe genies were suppose to make my life easier and it did nothing of the sort.  If you have one, putting the diaper in alone is a gross feat.  It squeezes your hand when you push it in and you get the remnants of all the other diapers you have put in their from the prior changes.  So here it is, here is my expert advise:  Use your grocery bags from Kroger or wherever you go.  Yeah, saves you money and you finally have a place to put all those bags instead of under the sink.  If you get a bathroom trash can that has a flip up it will conserve some of the stink and it's easy to just yank the grocery bag out, tie it up, and take it out to the trash on your way out.  I feel like the dupe genie just dupes people into thinking it's necessary and everyone just goes with the flow thinking it's just something we should do if we have babies.  But if it's my job to find you some shortcuts and non-stressers(if that's a word) then I would say it hurts more than it helps.  It's quite a bit more convenient to use grocery bags or drop them in your trash when you are taking it out.  Shortcuts are my forte, even if the moms do not like it...stay tuned for more....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two tricks in one day, you should feel honored

to tell, or not to tell that is the question...some mothers may judge the shortcuts fathers make, and just pass us off as just being lazy or what not...the truth is, I'm not that overprotective type person that puts a helmet on my kid just when he is going sledding.  I can't stand that, and while studies show that it prevents this and that I feel if I didn't need it then neither does my child.  My wife's argument is that we didn't have the protective technology back then and that is why we didn't use it.  I disagree, for me, it was uncool to wear that stuff.  It made you soft.  I could be all alone on this but when I was growing up there weren't many kids wearing elbow pads when skateboarding and helmets on a bike.  Somehow I ended up fine.  (or did I?)  Alright, shortcut number 2:  Mix the oatmeal and fruit.  Those of you that have infants know what I am talking about and some mothers might actually approve of this one.  My daughter can't stand oatmeal, and for some reason I fought her on it and had to watch her spit, hit, and claw her way through eating it every time.  Then, when I gave her the fruit, she was money.  So, I integrated the two and made a fruit oatmeal mix.  Saves time, saves cleanup, saves your sanity.  Everything that is in my Daddy to-do list.  Stay tuned and I will talk about the falacy of the diaper genie.

An Intro to the life of a stay home pops

Wake up, feed my daughter (8 months), feed my other two sons, get them ready for school and perhaps get a moment to have a morning view of sportscenter before I leave the house for taxi service.  Yeah, that's right, Sportscenter!  I could have put the normal and yet cliche' coffee in there but quite frankly I don't know how people can drink that stuff.  It comes out too hot, you can't walk around with it, and you definately cannot carry a baby with a cup of coffee in the other hand.  Let alone the safety issues of having hot coffee on the table with a 6 and 3 year old running around the house.  So I'm simple.
I created this blog to get some feedback on some of the ideas and shortcuts that we as fathers take that of course our loving significant others seem to scoff at...letting the kids wear pj's all day...breakfast for dinner...basically all of the inside outs of being a Dad that absolutely drive the women crazy.  I will state my case, provide healthy bantar and hopefully provide some sort of insight how to make parenting fun and energetic throughout the day without it sucking your inner fire.
I am not a perfect father.  I don't claim to be.  I claim to be someone that loves his kids enough to leave teaching in high school and take another career pathway so I can see my children thoughout the day.  (that and the price of day care just didn't seem to make sense) So what is my first tidbit or helpful hint of the day that can save you some sanity.  Well, it's simple.  I'm pretty sure that some of you have thought of it at one point or another.  I have three kids, my sons are 6 and 3 and getting independent.  With that regard, that means that they still want to wake up early and play.  A shortcut to get your sleep:  Fill their cuppy's up in the nighttime and put them in the fridge.  Everytime my kids wake me up in the morning(besides the 8 mo old) it's usually because they want some milk or something to drink when they wake up.  Get your kids in the routine of finding their cuppy in the fridge and you will steal another 45 minutes of sleep in the morning.  Couple that with making sure your T.V. is on the right channel when they turn on the tv and you should be fine.  I will be back with more info as it comes, but shortcuts will help you gain your sanity.