Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Teaching the Incredible Hulk!

Over these past few weeks I have been disillusioned to to how I thought being a SAHD was going to be.

I had in my mind this idea of going places, teaching them things as we go about our day and time to get things done both around the house and little projects (like fixing my motorcycle and lawn mower).

Really all I feel like I have accomplished is the ability stay on top of laundry,dishes and go on walks with the kids. Oh course keep the kids a live and away from serious injury. But, I also feel like I find myself having trouble with control of my emotions.

Image result for hulk
I feel like my level of calm, cool and collective has drawn to an unbelievable low level. I turn into the Hulk and see myself as more of this guys who is not able to control my emotions when the kids either don't do what I think they should know how to do because they have been told to do it before.

I know that Hezekiah especially is a very smart kid. I mean yesterday he was riding his bike and I told him he needed to wear his helmet. He told me he did not want to wear it. I told him that it was important to wear it while riding his bike and that is why papa wears his helmet. He says "Well then I don't want to ride my bike". I was frustrated because I knew he only said that because he did not want to follow the rules. This made me furious because he had been pushing my buttons all day and this was the tipping point. I told him well since you are only saying this because you don't want to follow the rules you are going to wear this helmet for the rest of the time we are outside so that you can get used to your helmet and learn to follow the rules. My blood was boiling while I was telling him this and afterwards I felt like I was just the mean ole dad who does not know how to control his emotions. I apologized for my outburst cause it was unwarranted, but he also needed to know that he was in the wrong for his actions but I was no better for my own actions.

Today is a new day and I have told myself that I WILL take a breathe before reacting to frustrating situations. In no way do I was my kids to view me as some person who is able to fly off the handle and lose his grip on being level headed to frustration. H is great at bringing me back to center with this when he will ask me after I have yelled at him. He says "papa, are you sorry for growling at me?" to which I realize, wow, I did do that and that is what I had told H he was not to do when he is frustrated.

Kids are great at being that mirror that forces you to look into and see that you are broken and need a focused life on the Savior. Failure to do this is a failure to teach our kids how they should be functioning in situations they come into contact with.

 Image result for at the cross

I write all this as my kids sit in the living room on the love seat peacefully playing together while looking at books and listening to music. They really are great kids who are super easy it is my messed up self that is making this more difficult than it needs to be.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The First hill of the Roller Coast!

Monday and Today have been a learning curve I did not expect. I thought I had seen much of how my kids function by what the do during the weekend. I was wrong.

These two have been living a double life. During the week they would see us in the morning before daycare and then in the evening for a few hours before bed and hitting repeat the next day. But monday and today have been eye opening because it takes some juggling to keep these two out of trouble and focused on the tasks at hand. It sounds bad but it has a lot of silver linings. For starters, H has a clock in his room and I told him to not come down till it said 8 (I put a kleenex box in front of the other numbers to keep from confusing him). This may also seem like it is late for a kid but I can tell you we are blessed to have kids that like to sleep long and hard. It is only due to stupid day light savings time that this rule has to apply. He normally would sleep till the sun came up but when that is happening earlier it does not help. Ruby has had no trouble sleeping till at least 8:30 if not 9:00 due to her battle of in coming teeth and ear infections.

Monday consisted of debating on going to the Opening day parade which I decided not to go and was so bummed when the rain never came and it would have been perfect weather for a parade. But we wore our Reds gear and enjoyed time at the playground and then lunch and naps went well. The afternoon after naps consisted of hanging out at the house playing the fish game and watching the baseball game.

In the evening I planned our 10yr anniversary trip to Niagara Falls, ON. We are so excited to be able to do this partly because we have an awesome friend we consider another auntie to the kids and she has agreed to watch the kids for 4 days so we can go on this trip.

Tuesday every other week will have Corie being here in the morning since she does not go into work till noon or around 10 to make a little but extra money. But it was nice having her around this morning and the kids enjoyed having breakfast with all of us and getting a few extra cuddles in before work.

We spent the morning walking dexter around the neighborhood, hanging out, Ruby was battling not feeling good. This I noticed because she kept having these burst of energy followed by looking sleepy and then coming to me and putting her head on my knee while I sat on the couch. Nap time was easy for her and she slept for 4 hrs. H had fun playing with playdoh and kinetic sand before having lunch and taking a nap. But with H keeping himself busy I was able to clean the bathrooms, and empty an load the dishwasher. H aslo before nap wanted to read so he pulled out his BOB books and did a good job reading about two and  half of the books before he started to lose focus and it was nap time. He impresses me each day with his intelligence. In many ways I feel like he would not be so far along in his development if it were not for Agape Kid Care the daycare he was at for 3 yrs. (It sucks that they closed but the Lord has everything in his hands so the reason for why it happened makes sense).

After naps we took another walk since it was nice out and the kids got to play with some church friends down the street and then we met this guy on the way home who works on motorcycles.  I was just at a show recently downtown and seen one of his bikes. It was cool to know that he lives in the neighborhood and was nice enough to offer me assistance if I need it to work on my motorcycle.

Dinner was pizza and then after baths we watched a movie, I gave H the choice of two Wild Kratts episodes or An American Tail. He chose An American Tail and he really liked it. I was so happy to share with him a movie that I loved as kid. and then it was bed time.

Hump Day is tomorrow and the weather looks not nice to the challenge what can we do inside. I have some ideas.

Two Monkey's Jumping on the Bed!

Friday was the last day of Hezekiah's daycare and it was a sad day but the start of a new adventure. H also got a new bible that he loves. It has some great artistic work in it and will be another great tool for teaching.

Saturday was a day of relaxation with the family and prepping seeds for our garden. H loves to help with the garden. Watched the movie Trolls and Dr. Strange. 

Sunday was church and then mowing the lawn and tilling the gardens to prep them for planting. Our garden is the highlight of the summer. It is going to be HUGE! We are planting: carrots, beans, peas, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, and blueberries and raspberries and blackberries. 

Monday starts the adventure of having both kids at the same time. Wish me luck and pray for me. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Dog, a Toddler and Awesome Friends!

This week has been transitioning with much ease so far and I am feeling ready for when Hezekiah finishes up with his last week in daycare.

Today we hung out with our friends dog so they could enjoy a few days at the Gorge, because friendship and marriages matter to keep families strong. Even taking care of our friends kids fish. The dog is a very youthful and spunky dog and is a whole lot of puppy. Enjoying the beautiful weather was top priority today.

Me and the little one spent some time out walking around the the neighborhood and picking up the dress I dropped off at the dry cleaner for Corie.

A major blessing is our good friends the Carpenters who love us and our kids so much that they carve out time to bless Corie and I with a night out without kids to go to a concert.

We were invited to a benefit concert for the Underground a place I thought was only a concert venue but is so much more than that. This place is doing some great things for the future of the kids that may not have cared enough otherwise. The partnerships that they have forged and will continue to forge is going to be huge in growing the Kingdom for God.

Rend Collective is by far one of our favorite bands to worship to the Lord with. Getting to listen to them live was amazing. After the concert we got to have time with other adults without kids. It was an amazing time and all thanks to friends who were willing to let us stay out till much later than most would want to stay up on a work night.

Having friends like the Carpenters are so rare that they even bless use with encouragement through notes and letters left behind for us to find after they left for the evening. I have never known such friendship.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

3 Dad's, 6 kids and lots of Animals!!

Today was Ruby's first visit to the zoo with friends and also where she was going to start recognizing animals. I was excited for the day, also we were going with my best friends here in Cincinnati and their kids.

We showed up right when the zoo was opening for those who were members which means an hour of no big crowds. I strapped Ruby in to the Ergo and off we went. I wanted her to be able to see things easily without having to pick her up out of a stroller all morning. It worked really well. We went to see the Elephants and she nailed the sound they make and then we moved on to Swan Lake. She was so excited to see the ducks. We seen Giraffe's, Lions and enjoyed watching the Hippos. Rode the train and nailed a great group pic of us! Saw the baby tigers and the polar bear and black rhino. Even seen a few college friends with their kids so that was fun to catch up. After about 2 hrs it was time to go, Ru was getting cranky and I knew that meant nap time. So we said goodbye to our friends and headed home. She took a little nap, fed her some lunch till the belly which helped to them put her down with no problems.

After the past few days of things and boxing the night before it was time for a nap myself for about 30 mins. Watched some Netflix and then got Ru back up. We took mama's dress to the dry cleaner and had a nice walk. I must say it was during the walk I started to feel kind of down. The attack was about the feeling of not having a job in the marketplace. I realize this is something that I am going to feel for a little while, but I also know that this is going to be the best decision for our family.

These next few days I am also taking care of a friends dog while they are away on a camping trip so we went by to take him for a walk and then had him hang out at our house for a couple hours while I worked on dinner and picked up H.

After dinner I went up to David McMillen's house. See every other Wednesday we have a men's meeting time to talk about a book we are reading, life and just get a chance to be around other guys for the main purpose of having a brotherhood where we can know that we are not alone and that we have other men to walk along side of us and support us in our walk with Jesus.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Day #2: Perspective

So today started out with getting Hezekiah ready for daycare.  After dropping him off at daycare came home made myself some breakfast and enjoyed some nice French press coffee. After about 2 cups of coffee it was about 8 o'clock and I went in and checked on Ruby she was still fastest Leap probably due to the fact of either growing or the fact that she's teething and dealing with a double ear infection .  So I let her sleep for another half an hour while I am joyed my last cup of coffee by the time I was finished she was up and awake .

 I realize that not every day is going to have lots of excitement and I'm OK with that today was actually a day to get a few things done around the house and just enjoy spending time with Ruby.  She has quite the character and personality I think the thing that I love the most about her right now is the fact that she's really cute when she sees a dog she usually lets out a pretty loud scream to show her excitement .

 So after nap and lunch we went for a walk around the neighborhood talked to a few people and just enjoyed the ability to get out of the house. We got home let her watch a little bit of cartoons on PBS and all she wanted to do was hang out with me and  Play dress up by trying to put my hat on my head which was quite cute.

 Before we went and picked up H from daycare I was laying on the floor and she decided to lay down beside me for a little bit which was pretty funny because that moved into her getting up and then jumping on me so we had some fun playing before I cooked dinner and then I went to my boxing class .

 For the past three months I have not been able to go to the boxing group that meets on Tuesday nights that I had started going to back in the fall.  See in December I had a vasectomy and after the procedure I had complications and after a series of tests and pain medications and scans and an ultrasound everything came back normal and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.  This was a little disheartening and so after some time I decided that I was going to give all the pain up to the Lord and let Him deal with it. I kind of figured that somehow someway it was connected to some sort of spiritual warfare that I was going through and the interesting  thing was that once I did that the pain went away and so I felt like it was time to get back into the boxing group so I went tonight.

 It was actually quite enjoyable though I knew I was gonna feel out of sorts but after some time of shadowboxing and body sparring we hit the mat for some full on sparring. I went up against a guy who is probably twice my size and body mass but I came up with a game plan that I was going to stay in my area  and not shy away from this big guy. I stuck to that plan and definitely took some good shots but got in quite a few good shots myself and felt pretty proud of myself. The guys from the group were a little concerned with the fact that I was staying so close to this guy but I held my own and felt like I came out on top so it was a good time.

 I'm beginning to feel more motivated to get certain things done especially building up the ability to spend time in the word and also spent time working on my physical properties like working out. I think the Lord's got some things to teach me and I'm actually very open to what they would be so the adventure continues.  Tomorrow Ruby and I are going to the zoo with some friends so I'm sure that'll bring on some more fun stories.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A New Chapter in Our Lives! Stay at Home Dad

Day#1 of being a stay at home dad. I think before I talk about what happened today I would like to tell you a little of how we came to this decision.

For as long as I can remember I have always thought it would be awesome to be able to stay at home with my kids. Corie would agree that I take care of the house very well so the idea was not a bad one. But we also knew that it was something we had no power over making happen on our own. So we always concentrated on just working and our family life situation and kept our focus on what God had planned out for our family. Corie and I for the past year were even blessed with the ability to get to work together in the same building during the time I worked at Fidelity Investments. It was a great experience and we have enjoyed our time of getting to see each other at work but things changed very quickly which seems to be how God likes to bring things to light with us.

Hezekiah has been attending a great day care for the past 3 years (literally 6 houses from us) and Ruby has been going to a friends house that was on the way to work with a 20 minutes off shoot from our work drive route. During H's time at Agape Kid Care he has flourished in so many areas. He is such a smart kid and know so many things. I always tell people that the day care is more like pre-school because of what he learns there. And that is why were surprised when we heard the news about what was going on at the day care.

About 2 months ago Hezekiah was sitting at the dinner table and he says "hey mama and papa, Addy and Brandie bought a new house" we were surprised by this and asked H what he was talking about. He restated what he just said and we asked him where he heard this. His answer seemed weird that he had heard it from Addy who is only 5. Corie then texted Brandie asking her if what H just told us was true. We heard nothing all night which is odd since Brandie is usually good at responding to our text messages in the past. (a little insight into this situation. I have know for a while that Brandie and Joe have been thinking about adopting again and new that it was going to involve a bigger house but did not think about the repercussions of their decision)

That brings us to the next morning. Corie takes H to day care and there are Brandie and Victoria waiting to receive H but when the question is brought up again there are tears in the answer given and some surprise. See the Carella's had bought a house in the summer around July and they were getting things fixed up before moving and also make the announcement public. When Brandie said there was no way that H could have heard this news from Addy it was clear to us what was going on.

See in the past when we had been caught off guard about having to make big decisions it was because we were not very well connected to God and his will for our family but this time we had been better equipt. So much to the point that our son heard from the Lord about what was going on. I know to some that might sound odd but I have seen where God has spoken to young children before so I was not surprised. Also loved Jesus so much that it would make sense that he would be open to hearing his voice. We all know the Father's voice it is how to recognize it.

Any way so we then had to figure out what to do and with the extra time to pray and consult others that is just what we did. I reached out to some very trusted friends to let them know the situation and to be praying about possible outcomes. Meanwhile there were things happening at work that I was frustrated with and had been questioning what was going to happen there. But after sometime of reflection I understood that the Lord was closing doors at work to make this possible. See the day care is providing a service that there is not anywhere else around us and also the price is within budget and after having looked everywhere last year for a place for Ruby and finding nothing close we found help further away and it has been a huge blessing. However the cost in daycare and gas adds up close to my paycheck so it would seem easier to just cut that out and trim the budget to be a SAHD.

After a couple weeks I spoke with those trusted friend and it was clear that leaving work to be a stay at home dad was the next step. It was not going to be easy to make a change to a single income family but our faith is strong and our village is just as strong.

So here it is the last week of March. I had my last day at Fidelity on Friday and today was day #1 of the new journey. It will be me and Ruby this week and then Hezekiah will be around starting next week. He is spending his last week with all his friends before the day care closes down.

It was very uneventful but it was a smooth start. See Ruby has a double ear infection and is teething pretty bad. So today was lots of cuddles and cartoons. But when she napped I did get the house in order including doing dishes, laundry and even made Lasagna from scratch. I don't know how often I will do this but I will try to keep posting about my life as a SAHD since a friend of mine suggested it. Also I think it would be a great outlet when times get rough. So stay tuned!