As a parent, we deal with a constant change. What happens happen today, might completely change tomorrow.  This is all part of life, right? Of course, but when there are other factors involved, it does make it a little more challenging.

I feel lately that we have been in a state of constant change with Boy B. One minute, things are great, the next he is beating up his brother. Granted, having had a younger sister, I get the fighting thing, but only to a point. And my wife, who is an only child, doesn’t get it.

I have seen so much growth in my son that it is beyond amazing. And yet, when the outbursts happen or he hits his brother, it feels that we took a few steps back. BUT and this is the most important thing, even though we have these issues, he is growing out of many that he had and the outbursts are decreasing.

So in a state of constant change, it is good to see a lot of growth. And with it being the summer and less structure, that has not helped with some of the behaviors that we have seen as well.

 

Read more

Fathers Day has come and gone, but I will never get over the feeling of excitement when I wake up that morning.  I don’t get overly excited about gifts, I have never, but I do love waking up and the boys running and hugging me and wishing me a Happy Fathers Day!

I had several friends that had their first Father’s Day this year and all they could say was that they couldn’t put into words how the feeling was to experience their first Father’s Day.

 

Read more

The struggle is real or at least, it has been the last few weeks. We have come to the final home stretch of Kindergarten and by all accounts, the boys have exceeded their first year’s grade level expectations by a lot. And, we all survived, which is also important!

I have noticed though that in the last few weeks, Boy B has struggled with a few classes and some of the changes in his schedule. I remember a long time ago, when I was in school, the last few weeks bothered me because of the lack of structure. So the struggle is real with him and the lack of structure of the day and it has reflected in his daily behavior sheets at school.

Speaking of no structure, today was Field Day for the boys and as I made my way onto the campus at school, I stopped for a moment to watch at how far my sons have come in the last year. And the struggle is real for me, as much as it is for them. You see, we all have grown, we all have changed, but we made it. We worked through the changes together and had a lot of talks, but we made it through their Kindergarten year.

So Dad’s, as you embrace your child’s 1st real formal school year, the struggle is real, but you will make it. You will be ok and your children will be ok too. Be there for them. Help them when they have struggles, but let them make mistakes. The struggle is real.

Read more

As most parents have struggled with picky eaters from time to time, I feel like for the first time that my boys are finally coming around to trying new things! Granted, I’m not giving them a lot of choices, as I’ve explained that they don’t have to eat it all, but they have to at least try everything that we make on the weekends.

And the funny thing, is that they are starting to really open and broaden their food palates. And yes, I’m talking about 6 year old children having a broad food palate, but I want to do the opposite of what my parents did for me. Did they expose me to foods, yes, but they also didn’t have me try new things either. My mom, who I love dearly, would just make me a  burger if I didn’t want to try something.

Growing up in a rural area my parents were not exposed to certain types of foods and neither were their parents, my grandparents. Doesn’t make it wrong, it is just a reality. But when I was old enough and went out on my own, I tried  new things. I feel in LOVE with Tex Mex when I lived in Houston, Texas for 7 years. Breakfast Burritos are life changing kids. My point is, it took getting away from my environment and comfort zone and forcing myself to try new things.

As a parent, I have encouraged the boys not to be picky eaters and to at least try new foods. In doing so, they have realized that they too like things that test their palates. This weekend, they will be trying a skirt steak and shrimp with a chimichurri sauce. And yes, for dessert, there will be creme brulee. How many 6 year olds BEG for creme brulee?  How many 6 year olds try chimichurri sauce? Probably not many, heck, I think that I had my mom try it for the first time her last visit to see the boys.

As parents, it is our job to provide an outlet or at least an experience to try new foods. And hopefully, if you too can get your kids to try new foods and to be less picky eaters, you can expand their food palates too.

Read more

Where does the time go? I literally just had my son yell down form the bathtub that he had washed himself and his hair at bath time.  It seems like a few days ago, he was calling me to bath him.

My mom and I were talking this morning about when I was my son’s age and things that I went through and did and my mom paused and asked “where does the time go? I remember like it was yesterday you were doing the same thing that your sons are doing.”

Time, it is an important thing and something that we can’t get back and we aren’t promised tomorrow. So enjoy the time that we have today, with our family and our loved ones.

Growing up, my dad didn’t spend a lot of time with me or at least if he did, I really don’t remember it. And that isn’t a knock against him. He was doing what he thought was right for our family. But those things came with a sacrifice. And as a child, I decided that I wouldn’t follow in my father’s footsteps and that I would do something different. So, I choose time. I choose to spend time with my children today, because I am not promised tomorrow.

So, a few weeks ago, we got an email from our teacher and without looking at my work schedule, I hit reply to the email with a quick response of “count me in.” And then I realized what I did. I committed to being a chaperone on my son’s field trip, without asking for time off from work, clearing my work calendar, etc. But, I was able to move my meetings to the next day or the following week, my boss is great and didn’t hesitate to say yes to my request off and tomorrow, I get to spend TIME with my son’s on their class field trip with school.

The lesson that I want my son’s to learn is very simple. I choose time with them over work, things that I wanted to do, etc. I chose time with them over basketball or baseball games. I chose them over everything, because they are the most important people that I want to spend my time with.

So, tomorrow, we goto the zoo, with a lot of little kids.

Read more

There is nothing worse than when the kids are sick. Ok, in my case, it is just one kid, but it is still not fun, especially when they are throwing up.

Adults can understand or rationalize getting sick, because at some point in our lives, either due to a bug or self inducing (drinking) we have thrown up. But for kids, their experience with this isn’t as great and there is a level of fear there. What is wrong? Why am I throwing up? All great questions, just not one I am prepared to answer while their heads are in the toilet.

Getting sick is part of life, it happens. It is not a fun thing to deal with, but we all have to at some point. The one  frustrating thing this morning was that my son kept screaming before he threw up. Now, I can not imagine that it felt good to throw up or that it felt good to scream before doing so.

As adults, we can take care of ourselves, for the most part, but kids, it has to be a very scary feeling. As parents, we do have to remind ourselves that they are scared and need to be comforted and reassured. Watching your child when they are sick is hard, because you are limited in what you can do for them.

Read more

Disappointment is a HUGE part of life and sadly, it happens on a daily basis. And this week, has been a HUGE disappointment for me, both personally and professional. BUT, there is a way to look it, complain or move on.

Personally, I have had a really good friend that has been in the hospital for the past week and things don’t look good for him. He had an emergency surgery and has just struggled since coming out of surgery. The doctors are not sure what the problem(s) is/are, but are trying to do everything that they can for him. But this is going to be a long road of recovery for my friend. He is going to have a hard time, but I just hope that he gets that chance.

Professionally, I have been given more to do at work. Most would say awesome to that, but when I am basically doing the job of 4 people, I can only do but so much. And I finally broke down last night and said that I wasn’t liking who I was becoming and a large part of that is due to stress of work. I don’t like feeling like I am bringing work home. I do not like feeling like I need a break before playing with the kids.

Adding fuel to the fire, I am beginning to think that I was passed over for a job that was a dream job, though I have not been officially told. Yet another large part of disappointment for the week. This could have opened new opportunities for me. This could have been the career path that I was looking for. But, it might not happen and I’m frustrated, no, disappointed.I have really struggled this week, more so that I can every really remember to be honest and I think that that is ok. I think that it is ok to be disappointed when bad things happen to you, but it is how we handle them going forward determines our real long outcome. Jobs will come and go, it is just a fact. And yes, I really thought that this was it. This was going to be the one and my next career path. But maybe it just wasn’t meant to be? Maybe it wasn’t where I was supposed to be long term, but for today, I am disappointed and that is ok.

Read more

I feel like time is moving at warp speed and I’m watching the boys growing up in super fast mode. Last night, my my wife went out of town for a girls weekend and the boys asked to goto Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. Cool, I love that place, so why not? But, I realized something, they were able to order their own food, they were able to ask when they needed refills, they were growing up.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I love that they have become independent, but yet ask questions. Over the past several weeks, I’ve really noticed a big change in them. They are doing more chores around the house, taking interest in new things, etc. And somewhere, my babies, are becoming big boys.

New dads, enjoy these moments when you can hold your child in your arms, because there will come a day that you can’t do that anymore. There will be a day, that they will be taller than you. And each of these stages in life are important and also hard too. Take the time now, mold your child and teach them all of the important life lessons now, because as they grow up, you might not have the chance.

Read more

Changes, they might be in the future for us. I was recently and by recently, I mean less than 2 weeks about a job, literally 30 miles from where I grew up. This wasn’t on our radar for a possible move, but changes, they might be a coming.

This could be a huge career move for me personally and a great move for our family, but at the same time, it could present a few struggles too. Those changes would be a short term thing, i.e. I would have to move for 4 – 5 weeks and then my family would join me, but it could a short term sacrifice for a really good long term gain.

Changes can be both good and bad and after flying back home last night after a 23 hour round trip there and back. I was beyond exhausted when I landed and drove 45 miles from the airport back home, but I was fortunate to be able to put the boys to bed and it was exactly what I needed. I needed to be able to hug and kiss my boys, because in a few weeks, I might be flipping their worlds upside down.

 

Read more

How often do you walk around saying that today is a good day? Probably not often, if you are really honest with yourself. But, I heard someone say it this past week at work and it totally changed my day.

This past Wednesday was a BAD day and it started before leaving the house. My wife asked me a question that frustrated me and it was not as much the question as it was the timing of the question, as I was trying to walk out the door. My commute, though is only 50 miles and on most days, takes over an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, took closer to two hours. I walked straight into my first meeting and was in meetings the rest of the entire day. ALL DAY!

As with anyone in a management role, especially in the IT world, they know that there are personal issues and technology issues all the time. And this was one of those days, that while in meetings, I had multiple texts about outages, a down server, etc. And I had a personal matter that was pulling me out of the meeting as well. And, if that wasn’t enough, my wife called in tears because of something going on.

As I wrapped up my day and ended my last meeting, I was beat down and frustrated. I loaded up my bag and was getting ready to head to my Jeep and looked at the map for traffic, and it was going to be another hour and a half commute home. I was beat and I was done for the day. I just wanted to get home, hug the kids and rest for a little bit.

And as I was walking through the hall of the hospital on the way to me jeep, I was on my phone texting with a friend and not really paying attention and then I heard children laughing. And then I looked up and saw a father pulling a wagon with 2 kids on the side of the wagon holding hands with a little girl who was sitting up and enjoying her ride. And I noticed that the mom was pulling the child’s IV pole and wiping away tears, but it was in that moment, the father turned and looked at his wife and said “Today is a good day!”

WOW! I literally stopped in the hallway and was completely speechless. Here is a dad, pulling his sick daughter through the hallway of the hospital, who is obviously sick and all he could do was focus on the good and positive, because they probably have gone through a lot of really hard times too. In just a brief 10 second moment, I got to see that everything that I saw and went through that day, did not even come close to what this father was going through and dealing with.

What had been a hard and very frustrating day, I was able to see that even in the hardest days, the hardest moments and the hardest times, that today is a good day. I truly believe, that God was tapping me on the head and saying, pay attention, your life could be a lot harder. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Read more