Looks like there might be a possible move in our future. At least as of today.

Next week, I travel for a possible new job. One that could be both exciting and challenging. But this possible move is also stressful as well.

There have been a lot of conversations, both with my wife and also with the possible organizations. The thought of moving, is exciting and scary all at the same time.

One on hand, it might be time for a change. But on the other, I would be away from my family for a month or two, 5 days a week, which is not ideal. Is it the end of the world, no, because families do it all the time. But for me, who is a very active father that puts his kids to be every night, it makes my stomach hurt.

Another big focus in all of this is my kids. They are established in their schools. They have little friends. We know their Pediatrician and he knows us. The thought of having to find someone new and build a relationship, does not excite me. But at the same time, this move could be a great thing for my family.

A good friend of mine asked where our end goal was for the family as it pertained to living and I said, North Carolina. And as we talked through that this was not in North Carolina, he reminded me that it took him 3 moves to get to his dream town.

This move would be a lot easier if it were just my wife and I. This could be possibly a no brainier to be honest. But I have to consider my kids. I have to think about how a possible move would impact them.

Everything would change. We would know not a single person there. We would be starting new. For someone that is not normally a risk taker, especially this late stage of my career, I am stepping out of my comfort zone and taking a leap of faith.

My guess, is that by next time this week, I will know if we will be exploring the possibility of going or not. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. But it does add a layer of stress to life.

So, here is to a possible move.

Read more

I have learned more about ADHD in the last several months than I ever thought that I would have to know. In talking with my son the other night, he started to tear up and start crying. The words hit me like a ton of bricks “Dad, I don’t have any friends.”

As a parent, I can not even begin to tell you how much my heart began to hurt. Words will never be able to truly describe that moment. I began to cry, but I also quickly thought to respond. I was able to reassure him that he did in fact have friends.

But the reality is simple, he doesn’t have many. So, I quickly found an article called Will My Child Ever Have a Best Friend? and this opening quote said it all:

Children with ADHD often invade personal spaces, blurt out rude comments, and play too rough — all of which makes it tough to keep friends.

This is it I thought! Exactly what I was thinking and feeling all wrapped up in once, because this is my son!

So, as some who that has to problem solve all day, I quickly thought through what can I do to help him? And the only way that I can help, is to create situations for him to be a better friend and to make new ones. I have contacted several of my friends that have kids and we are in the process of setting up play dates.

Is this going to help? Honestly, I don’t know, but I have to do something. As a parent, I have to do everything that I can to give him every opportunity to succeed and I wouldn’t be doing my job as his father if I did not try. We are signing him up also for a social skills class with other children that have ADHD as well, in hopes that he not only learns new coping skills but also to make new friends.

In the last year, I have seen a big change in my son and yes, medication is a HUGE factor. But I also think that he is learning more skills to cope with his outbursts as well. He isn’t jumping to accuse other kids and be so defensive. He is not being so fixated on something that he can’t get past situations and emotions.

Making friends as kids is already hard. Peer pressure. Differences. And to throw ADHD into the mix, it makes it harder. Not that it is something that he is not going to be able to overcome, but I think that it will help. My hope is that all of these things will help him establish friends and learn how to be a good friend to others.

Read more

I realized this morning, that I really do not like who I am becoming. I do not mean that as a negative, but really more of a fact.

This morning before leaving the office, I was tense and on edge. One of the boys spelled some of his milk and did not tell me, and when my wife found it became a HUGE issue. Was it blown out of proportion,  maybe?  But she was not happy and I was on the receiving of that.

So my response was a simple reminder that I was getting ready to start my hour and a half commute, that I had a day full of meetings and then I would be driving another hour and a half back home after work. And it was then I realized, who I am becoming is someone that I do not like.

The argument that my wife and I had this morning, was not over the spilled milk. It was over my job.
My work load has tripled and there is a chance in literally the next few weeks, that it could do so again. I am on edge the time that I leave the house until I come home and often times, it is now taking me hours to settle down.

And that time that it takes for me to relax, is time that I’m not me. I’m frustrated. I’m short with my wife and my kids and I don’t mean to be, but I’m struggling. I am really trying to keep it all together. I’m focused on ensuring that my teams at work are doing their jobs and at the same time, when I walk in the door at home that I switch gears.

So this weekend, the phone goes away. My focus and attention is going to be spent on my family and I am going to try to relax some. In order to change to who I want to be, I have to change who I am becoming.

 

Read more

I’m often asked if the boys do everything together and I quickly remind them, there are two boys with two identities. People just assume that the boys have the same interests and the same friends, but in reality, they are completely different.

The boys have completely different interests, but they have some commonalities too. They both love cartoons and especially Pokemon. They are both really getting into drawing and stretching their creative mindset by drawing comic books and telling stories.

But at the same time, they are completely different as well. One loves sports, the other doesn’t. One likes quiet time, the other wants to run and be loud.

Having twins is a wonderful and sometimes frustrating thing at times. People ASSUME certain things because we have two kids that are the exact same age. But in reality, no two kids have the same personality. That is what makes them unique! Two kids = two identities.

I want my kids to be different. I want them to have different friends and different interests. How boring would it be if they did everything the same?

Read more

At the age of 41, almost 42, never did the phrase “I need to do yoga” ever cross my mind as something that I would be saying. Somewhere along the way of life, I realized that my knees would not hold up enough for me to be a runner anymore.

Yoga has become a great way to be a stress reliever from work and life, but also gives me a chance to workout. I’ve gained more flexibility in the last several weeks, than I had in years of going to the gym.

My wife and I had decided to get back into working out, but we not only had different goals, but we had different preferences of what we used to work out with. She went with Beachbody and that is great, it works for her, but it didn’t work for me. I went with DDP Yoga, which challenged me and I was able to relate to the injuries that some of the athletes had, my wife could not get with it.

The outcome, we are both working out daily, tracking our progress and our goals. And more importantly, we are determined. We are determined to live healthier lifestyles, which in turn, teaches the boys to be healthier. As I told a co-worker today, I didn’t put on 20 lbs of extra weight overnight, so it is going to take a lot of extra work to get it off too.

But what I’m learning, is that I’m it isn’t just yoga that is helping, it is working on meal planning and ensuring that the entire family is eating healthier as well. So, as I sit on the sofa, the boys are asleep, I’m working on meals for the next two weeks and planning out my workout schedule.

Who knew that yoga could be fun?

Read more

This is a non partisan rant on regulations within our healthcare and now, it is personable.

Today I went to get my son’s ADHD medication refilled, with no luck. I went to 4 different pharmacies and we are talking major chains and I was told the same thing at each stop. And with each trip, the more furious I became.  Each no was met with, we aren’t able to get his medication due to regulations.

What the hell? Regulations? Regulations on a medication that has proven in major medical studies. Regulations for what reason?

So now what? My son has done amazing on his medication, now do we start over? Do we have to start testing new things? I’m waiting on the Doctor to call me back, but in the several conversations that I had with the pharmacists today, it seems that we are going to have to change to a new medication.

To quote a co-worker, “why do things have to be so hard?”

More to come.

Read more

I’ve stared looking at the year in review and all in all, it has been a good year. The family is healthy, spent a lot of time with friends and family.

So here are just a few of the highlights and they are not in any particular order.

  • Both boys are doing great in school. In fact, both have been recognized for achievements in learning.
  • Boy B was diagnosed with ADHD & has been doing great with both a combination of medication and also additional services to help him learn to cope with this.
  • We celebrated the life of my Grandfather this October. My Grandfather meant the world to me and taught me so many valuable life lessons. You can read more here.
  • We were able to meet our 1st financial goal that we set for the year and that was to pay off at least 2 major credit cards. 2 done and a few more to go. But, in all honesty, that was hard because we had an increase of medical bills due to my son’s therapy. Not complaining, but just a fact. But we are on pace to hopefully be in a better place in 2018.
  • My wife was in a major car accident this summer. I will never forget the feeling of pulling up to the accident and seeing the damage to my wife’s van and feeling how blessed we were that she was still alive. Her guardian angel was definitely there for sure protecting her.
  • We added a new addition to the family! Meiko aka The Meeks aka a great little puppy.
  • I started doing DDP Yoga, which is something that I never thought that I would do or even more importantly that that, enjoy.
  • Grateful that my family in Houston were spared any damage during Hurricane Harvey.
  • Cooked a whole lot and really started to broaden my horizon with cooking and taking some serious leaps with that. I also added grill number 4 to the deck. Which gives me 4 Grills and a smoker.
  • The boys just started martial arts and love it. And Boy A is starting to play basketball at the Recreation Department.
  • Work is, well work. Nothing really good or bad to say.
  • My wife’s job has changed a bit as well, so there has been an adjustment period there for us too.
  • My two favorite teams won championships, UNC Basketball and the Houston Astros.

All in all, life is good. We had our ups and our downs in 2017 but made a lot of great memories too.

And 2018 already has some bright spots. My wife and I will be celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary and will be renewing our vows, with our kids there. And if all goes well, we should be able to really knock out a lot of debt in the front half of the year and being on our way to being debt free. And we already have at least 2 trips planned for the year as well, with many more to go.

So, from my family to yours, enjoy the moments and have a Safe and Happy New Year.

Read more

All is calm, all is bright, those are the words that kept coming through my head over and over again Christmas Eve. As I walked out side and looked at the luminaries that my sons and I put out in front of the house, all was calm.

There has been a lot going on lately it seems and it is things that are not outside of the norm. Work, preparing for Christmas, Family obligations, etc. But in the midst of the chaos, life has not been calm lately, far from it to be honest. I feel that I’m worn down and in a difficult place in life.

And by difficult, I mean, life. Life has been life. Let’s be honest, as parents, we deal with a lot on any given day. We have the stresses of work. We have the stresses of financial bills. We have the worry of knowing that we are putting our kids on a bus each day and trusting that someone other than us will protect them.

But in the midst of chaos of last week, I found a since of calm. I stopped all of the work issues for  a few days. I put aside all of the financial stress and worry, granted it is still there, but for last week, as we approached Christmas, life was ok.

As parents, we want to always do what is right by our kids. We put their needs first and ahead of our own. I will go with out in order to give my kids something that I did not have. I learned that lesson from my mother and though she will never told me all that she sacrificed, I know that she did. And I’m doing the same for my kids and no, I will not tell them either. Why? Because it isn’t important.

So, Christmas Eve, after attending our old church for the early service and as soon as I walked in, I was at peace. Granted, that did not last very long, as Boy B wasn’t happy that they did not have a children’s service in his old class and had to stay with us. But never the less, I enjoyed watching the service on tv in the lobby of the church. Point being, even in the chaos of that moment, I was calm.

And as we got home, we started putting candles in the bags and lining them up on the street. This was a tradition that I had when I was a kid and it was something that I LOVED doing each and ever year. And for me as a kid, it didn’t seem like Christmas until we did the luminaries.  And as we braved the cold and the wind and a few quick snow showers, we were able to light the street up in front of the house all the way to the front of our home. And then, all was bright.

All is calm, All is Bright - Christmas Luminaries

So, as I type this, the after Christmas, the calmness has subsided and chaos has returned. But I left the house this morning with two little boys laughing and playing with their new toys.

From my family to yours, I hope that you had a safe and Merry Christmas.

Read more

At dinner on Saturday night, the boys were playing games and all of a sudden I hear “Son of a B…..” shouted at the table. Not something that you expect to hear at the dinner table, especially in public at a restaurant, but there it was.

I was in second grade before I heard my first cuss word, let alone saying it out loud. And the one time that I did say it in front of my dad, let’s just say that it didn’t end well for me. But sitting there Saturday night, hearing my son say Son of a B….. for the first time, totally caught me off guard. I was speechless for about 30 seconds.

And then I was faced with two choices and he knew as soon as he said it, that he was in trouble. But Option 1, take him out side and spank him or Option 2, calmly explain that what he said was wrong. So, I went with option 2 and we talked about how little boys do not need to talk that way.

Let’s just mark this down as just another thing that I was not expecting to deal with at such an early age.  I knew that it was coming, heck my wife swears like a sailor at sea, but I have really tried my best to keep my language clean. Now that being said, the boys are still not allowed to watch the UNC vs. dook basketball game, as I save all of my bad language for those games. But it was moments like Saturday night that really made me question if sending the boys to public school was the best option?

Do not get me wrong, I have zero plans to send the boys to private school for several reasons and the most important is that I pay city and state taxes, which directly effect the school, so why would I pay more? But more importantly, I will not lie and say that home schooling the boys did not cross my mine Saturday night.

As the night went on and we talked more about appropriate language, I was taken back to sitting on my grandfather’s front porch, talking with my Dad and he spanked me. And as I talked with my son’s about their choice of words and how they responded, I realized that I made the right choice in talking with them versus spanking. Even when they Son of a B….., I just sometimes shake my head.

Read more

It is that time again, time for Thanksgiving. But wow, what a difference a year has made.

This year, we will be enjoying the traditional with a twist. Because it is just my wife and the boys and myself, instead of a traditional large turkey, we will be having 2 turkey breasts instead. 1 of the turkey breasts will be baked and then the 2nd turkey breast will be cooked with the Joule from ChefSteps.

Since the boys are still not huge fans of certain foods, I am working on a roasted potato dish with rosemary and thyme, green beans casserole and yeast roles. And for dessert, apple pie and cheesecake. This year though, the boys get to help cook, which makes the day even more exciting for me.

We are going to also do something new, as Boy B has asked that when we have our lunch tomorrow, that we start with saying what we are thankful for. It honestly caught me off guard when he asked, but at the same time, really made me proud. It also got me thinking about what I was thankful for this year, so here goes:

1) I am beyond blessed to have a great family. This includes my sons, my wife, my parents & brother and sister as well. But it also goes much further into close friends too.

2) That my wife was not severally hurt in her car accident this summer.

3) Even though I recently lost my grandfather, I had an amazing relationship with him and my life has and will be forever changed because of him.

4) We got a puppy who really completed our family.

5) Both boys are doing great in school and to go a step beyond that, Boy B is doing is really excelling and has been learning how to cope with ADHD in school and how it effects his learning.

These are just a few of the many things that I am truly thankful for this Thanksgiving. As I finish my break from cooking, from my family to yours, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Read more