Thursday, April 30, 2009

I've been living a lie and it's time to come clean....and sometimes I am so clueless!

OK, I have no choice.   I must come clean.  There are witnesses, but I really didn't know for sure until yesterday.  I swear.   All the clues were present, but Sherlock Holmes  I am not.   Oh wait, I wasn't looking for any clues.  In fact, I hadn't a clue.  Now I do know, so I must provide full disclosure.

What the "h-e-l-l" am I talking about you say?  Is it possible that an at-home dad of forty-one can be so mental?  Why not?  Have you ever seen ABC's "Desperate Housewives?"  If you're a regular viewer I'll put this into terms you may understand.   Picture a dude that is 75% Lynette, 20% Susan, 2% Gabrielle, and 2%  Bree (the other 1% was Edie, but she's dead).   OK, enough screwing around, I'll come clean.....truthfully....I'm not six feet five inches tall.   I'm really a fraction over six feet four inches.  You're probably thinking "shut the effen heck-up you tall lanky bastard!"

Fair enough.  I'll take that and I suppose I deserve it, but the fact remains that I'm not as tall as I thought I was or said I was.  I had been living a lie.  I could blame R.E. Dad's Daughter for constantly measuring herself and asking me if I wanted to measure myself this time.  In the end, it's not her fault.  It's mine.  I should have double-checked many years ago.

I'm guessing, but I probably "reached" six feet five my senior year of high school.  My basketball  coach or possibly the people who put out the cracked media guide decided to give me a couple more inches to make our team seem taller and more intimidating.  Maybe the two parties conceived the idea to scare our opponents.  Who knows? Either way, "six feet five" ended up on my driver's license, and much worse...this was what I told all my friends, family and anyone who asked!!!!  What a crock!

The signs were there, but again I hadn't a clue 'cause my subconscious chose to ignore them. 
  • Friends, family and acquaintances seemed like they were taller.   I didn't have to tilt my neck down quite as much to carry on a conversation while standing.  Maybe I thought that I was just slouching more than before.
  • My jeans were dragging on the ground and I'd have to constantly pull them up...the bottom of my pant legs were frayed.
  • I didn't have to put the car seat all the back anymore.  In fact I found myself pulling it forward towards the steering wheel.
  • I couldn't do a reverse two-handed thunder dunk on the basketball court!  UH, actually I could never do that...that's D-wade.
So why the heck was I so darn clueless?  Perhaps I didn't want to believe it.  You say it doesn't matter, but to me it does...I'd been living a lie...WAIT!  Perhaps I have an explanation.  I had a discectomy in 1/2008.   Removal of my disc made me shorter...had to! 

OK, I feel better..please, forgive me time I renew my driver's license, I'll say that I AM six feet five, but ask that they include an asterisk addressing the obvious reduction to my stature.  I mean I'd feel terrible if my driver's license was intentionally inaccurate.  Really, who would lie on their driver's license??

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

At-Work or At-Home???? The Decision

Perhaps I'm spoiling the suspense, but I've made the decision to remain "At-Home" for the foreseeable future. I appreciate all the input and suggestions.

To recap, I received a call from a former boss who indicated that an underwriting position may become available in the near future. The job would be within two miles of my home working Monday through Friday, and roughly 40 hours per week. She wanted to know if I was interested. I said that I would need a few days to think it over and discuss with Mom the mean time, of course, I decided to solicit the opinions of my friends in the blogosphere.

Again, salary and benefits were not the driving force while contemplating a return to the workplace. I can't say, however, that I didn't feel a strong sense of guilt knowing that so many Americans including acquaintances, former colleagues and even a close friend had been laid off in recent months. I'm pulling for them to find new employment.

So, why not go back for the social outlet (w/adults). Yes, it's nice to chit chat with your workmates, but in the back of my mind I'm always thinking about who's making dinner tonight, my daughter's big social studies test, or about getting back to work as I can't stand having files pile up on my desk! I've made very few friends from the workplace over the years, and I can now see why....I don't like to do anything at work, but work!

That feeling of accomplishment for completion of a job well done lasts only about five minutes in my line of work. As soon as I complete one file, it's on to the next one. Anytime I attempt something new at home.... say trying out a new dinner recipe, and over sixty-seven percent (that's 4 or more) of the household does not complain I am certainly feeling very good about myself! Now, that's a feeling of accomplishment.

Other considerations dealt with time constraints. I understood this new position would not afford the flexibility to work part-time or at home. I would have significantly less time to continue rehab after back surgery by going to the gym. Someone would have to get the kids ready in the morning, pick them up in the afternoon, and take care of them when they were sick...that "someone" would most likely be me. Chores would have to be divided up and most likely we'd have to hire a cleaning service. Ultimately, I'd lose time for not only myself, but with Mom MD and the four kidlets.

Therefore, as Bren enters sixth grade and the triplets start Kindergarten in the fall, I'm eager to have additional opportunity to volunteer at their school. I'm doing my best to make nice with the other parents, mostly moms of course. I want to be around to assist my kids with homework or any other challenges that they might face. I want to be there for Mom MD so she can perform her daily tasks at the highest level. This is my life for now and I'm sticking with it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Preschool medical professionals

I can't tell you why, but every time I hear the words "Do you want to play doctor?" I begin to snicker. Perhaps you do as well. Just in case you haven't noticed , however, the activity once requiring compete doctor/patient confidentially has evolved. The preschool medical professionals have clearly moved on from private part anatomy to diagnosing complex sniffles.

JuJu, the near-five middle triplet recently completed Elmo medical school and is our resident physician. So last evening when she asked Alec, Vivi & I if we wanted to play doctor, I snickered and said "OK." It wasn't like the chicken nuggets in the oven would be done anytime soon.

JuJu eagerly grabbed her little blue Elmo doctor's kit and told me to lay down on the carpet. Vivi introduced herself as the nurse, and from what I could gather Alec was a medical assistant (he grabbed a pillow and put it under my head - nice touch). JuJu had begun the exam in her typical way by shoving the "object with the little round mirror on the end" into my mouth and scraping my cheeks, teeth and tongue...kind of gross you say...I suppose.

Before she could reach for her "plastic blue and yellow gizmo that she puts into her ears and listens to my heart", Alec the oh-so-fired medical assistant grabbed her "tiny rectangular black box with numbers that beeps" and ran away. Yes, I'm referring to her pager and she knows that it's a pager and an important part of being a doctor. So like any doctor whose pager has been compromised, she totally loses it, yells and cries, and then drops what she's doing and sprints after that soon-to-be-dead M.A. I say "Dr. JuJu...don't cry...doctors don't cry."

After about ten circles around the big couch and with an assist from her patient, Dr. JuJu regains control of her pager and the exam ensues. Eventually, the exam ends with no real diagnosis. I'm thinking "what am I paying for here?" Dr. JuJu then said "don't worry Daddy, everything is all right" and she proceeded to gently give me a sweet and I hope that I can be as comforting to the good doctor when she and the other two preschool medical professionals go in for their pre-K shots next month!

Oh yes, you may ask what did the young Vivi nurse do while all this was going on? Well, she asked me what nurses are supposed to do? I said to go upstairs and ask Mom MD. She came down and said "Nurses help you get better." - I said "good answer...Mom MD."

Here's to questions by preschoolers - Vivi asked me the other day "How do babies get out of your tummy?" Answer from R.E. Dad, NOT Mom MD - "Now that's up to the doctor to decide." - pretty good huh? I didn't lie............

Monday, April 20, 2009

OK FINE, I'll read start reading "Harry Potter!"

OK FINE, I give up...stop badgering me! R.E. Dad has been worn down. Bren a.k.a. Reinventing Dad's Daughter and Mom MD have been suggesting over and over again that I check-out the "Harry Potter" series. So this morning I caved and grabbed "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" off the shelf, placed it on the kitchen counter and will soon be heading off to Hogswart.

I suppose I'm hopping on the float near the end of the parade, but when the first "Harry" book hit the shelves in the late 90's, I wasn't doing much pleasure reading. Mom MD was not yet Mom MD, and little Miss Bren was doing more pooping and slobbering than just 'bout anything else.

Ironically, I purchased the five book set for Bren the summer before 4Th Grade because I thought she needed a challenge. She wasn't too interested and didn't start reading the first book for several months. Mom MD decided to check it out one day and has now read the series twice. Both are anticipating the first of the final two movies this summer.

I've noticed how popular the series has been with not only youth, but professional women as well. I'm curious if any men have completed the series and what they thought? OK, wish me luck. Bren and Mom MD have now moved on to the "Twilight" series, of course.
**Note: Update coming soon on the work/life dilemma - thanks for your comments.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What to do with the 2nd Half of My Life, Part Duh

Oh what to do, what to do?  Reinventing Dad has a dilemma.  My boss from my most recent place of employment called me yesterday and mentioned that the new company she manages may have an underwriting position available and wondered perhaps if I'd be interested.

Those of you who have been following my blog since its inception on Sept 9, 2008 (thanks Mom) know that I founded this blog as a vehicle for self exploration.  I wanted to discover what makes me tick, my strengths and weaknesses, and plot a course for the rest of my life.   Would this include busting back into corporate America at first opportunity or remaining at-home with the lion's share of all things domestic?

I'll skip the pro/con list of working away from home vs. working at home (sorry Mom).  I know from experience  when trying to compare Option A vs. Option B, I usually have already made-up my mind and go through the motions of doing the list to further justify my choice.  I won't lie, I have a clear cut leader this time as well.

What I'm asking is what questions you would ask yourself if you were in my situation? Assume that you don't have to work (outside the home), but you wonder if you've ever given your career a fair shake.  You enjoy spending more time with your kids, but you miss the (face-to-face) adult interaction. You've always felt productive at work, but sometimes have difficulty being that "self-starter" at home.  Any thoughts, comments?

For additional background and incite, here is my very first entry.  If you're a friend/relative from Facebook, please send me an e-mail.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stay-At-Home Dad article

The Sacramento Bee published an article yesterday addressing a day-in-the-life of stay-at-home dad Chuck Hammond who takes care of his 1-year old daughter Reagan while his wife works full-time outside the home. By the way, I prefer the term "at-home" dad as S.A.H.D. implies that the male caregiver has been ordered to remain at home until further notice.

The article addressed the typical topics of layoffs, down economy, household budgeting, changing daily routine, and the feeling of isolation. All of which I could go into much more detail, but I won't as I don't want you to leave quite yet. What I thought was fascinating were the comments made by SacBee readers online.

Public opinion ranged from "Be a Man, Get a Job" to "Finally some recognition for the dads...." Of course, there was also the name-calling, and bickering amongst the responders. Some felt that the increase in at-home dads meant an erosion in "traditional" family values and roles. Others felt that this trend is the result of a bad economy. Even others felt dads at home was no big deal, heck what do they want a medal for rearing the children and doing household chores?

My two cents (& maybe you can figure out which comment in the Bee is mine)....the "traditional" family has changed drastically in the past 50 it or not, that's the way it is. You or You and your partner must take care of your immediate family first and foremost. Your situation is what it is...your situation....and unique. You shouldn't care what other people think. Thank you for putting yourself out there Chuck, good luck with your decision and enjoy your little girl!

If you want to check out Chuck's website, it's

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Lord's Prayer

I wasn't going to do an entry today, but with Mom MD at the hospital doing a delivery my mind-numbing couch potato Monday evening television was on hold for an hour or so.

Oh, thank heaven for my DVR which allowed me to pause live TV indefinitely and write witty retorts on Facebook surf the net.  At the same time, my two four-year girls across the hall raised hell for what seemed like effen eternity continued to chit chat prior to Mr. Sandman's arrival.

Just as I was about to open a heapin' can of whoop-ass ask them politely for the third time to please please go to sleep, I heard them recite a passage oh so familiar, yet not something that I hear everyday....The Lord's Prayer.   I couldn't believe it.  We hadn't attended church in months (long story).  So, how did they know it?

I had an idea so I made my way to their room and asked "How do you two know the Lord's Prayer?"  Vivi wouldn't tell surprise, but Julia said "I know..I'll tell you.....St. Anna's." Hmmm, yeah that's what I thought.

St. Anna's is a Greek Orthodox Church where the triplets attend preschool.  When Mom MD and I were searching for a hard nosed toddler military school  for a new preschool we asked the director "Does this school have a religious component?" - not that there is anything wrong with this...we just were curious.  I believe she said "just a little."

I suppose the fact that she was planning to do the "Nativity Scene" at the annual Christmas program the month after the triplets started should have been our first clue.  In any regard, how special to hear your little girls say the Lord's Prayer....I felt so blessed that I had to share.......

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ju Ju Art

Ju Ju (the middle triplet) loves to create artwork for Mom MD. So in the spirit of Easter with all that is innocent and pure in the world, I thought that I'd post a few of her drawings. You will also be pleased that on this Good Friday, this blog will contain no R.E. Dad ranting and raving!

The "Royal Family" with Ju Ju, Vivi (distance), Mom, Dad and the dreaded dragon. We're not sure where Bren and the Blond Boy are hiding.

This is Ju Ju's achievement chart indicating
that she has completed all her assignments
and chores in a timely manner.

Can you guess what this is? I couldn't until she told me, but now I can totally see it.......

Happy Easter.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Canker Sores and Home Run calls

Like March, I'm off to yet another painfully slow start in April. Gees, it's April 8th for pity sake. I had EIGHTEEN entries in January...a true R.E. Dad record. Like the single season baseball home run record, I don't believe this mark will ever be surpassed (at least in my lifetime, haha). I'd have to be "juiced" and literally chained to the laptop to cram so many entries into ANY 30-day period. Where have I gone? What am I doing?

On the downside, I'm nursing some nasty canker sores. ...yeah yeah, too much information as I've been told on Facebook, but at least I didn't post any pics of myself. In case you or a loved one has had canker sores and you have no idea how you get them or what they even look like, I have attached additional information.

On the upside, I just finished Mark Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny" which I found fascinating yet frightening. I won't preach, but bottom much civil liberty are we willing to give up to fund ever-expanding federal government programs? Yes Mom MD, I've been sneaking off and listening to Sirius XM channel 166 again.

Switching stations, baseball season '09 has officially begun and yes the Seattle Mariners are still in the pennant race. I'm praying that my team, the St. Louis Cardinals can somehow find a closer...I mean 27 blown saves in 2008, NOT acceptable. Put another way, even if they ONLY blew half those games, they would have won the NL Central. Well, at least I have Hanley Ramirez on my Yahoo Fantasy team!!!

Speaking of baseball....have you ever wondered if you were a baseball radio announcer what your "Home Run Call" would be? In case you're wondering "Elvis has left the building" has been taken. Here are a few that I would consider using...

"Here's the pitch....swing and a high drive to deep (left, right or center) field.....way back....and *with an elevated booming voice*

  1. Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat has smashed da Fiddle!
  2. Duck, duck, duck, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!
  3. Knock knock! Who's there? ... Nick Nack Paddy Whack...we got ourselves a Run!
  4. Oh praise heavens, it's raining kitties and puppies...the drought is O-Ver!
  5. Order me a Gin and Tonic....Happy Hour has arrived early!
  6. Thank YOU Easter Bunny!
  7. Get a note to THAT ball's Mom, he ain't EVER coming back!

One final observation. Am I the only one who is noticing that coffee shops and fast food restaurants aren't taking any bills higher than $20? Twenty years ago, you could withdrawal $20 from the ATM and go bar hopping the entire night (this included a trip to Taco Bell on the way home). Fast forward to '09. If the forties are consider the new twenties, then in terms of currency, isn't $50 the new $20? Out.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reinventing Dad's Daughter's 45 Favorite Things

R.E. Dad's Daughter wanted me to link my blog with hers so she could have a snapshot of her current (1 1/2 months shy of 11) 45 favorite things......her birth date is May 14, 1998 and I have to remind her that many other important events took place on that day....Frank Sinatra died at the age of 83, "Seinfeld" ended it's 9-year run, Israel celebrated its 50th year of independence, Chris Webber was traded to the Kings for Mitch Richmond, and my dear friends celebrated their 4th wedding anniversary.

See her current post, it will put a smile on your face..........

R.E. Dad