Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A star is born

New Strain: OK, here's what I want to do.
Marketing Guy: Mmmm Hmmm.
New Strain: See, my kind just isn't popping these days. We've been overshadowed by West Nile Virus and other sicknesses. I'm tired of being overlooked. I need something hot!
Marketing Guy: Hmmm.
New Strain: I mean, I want to be on CNN 24 hours a day. I want the media to jump all over me like I was, I dunno, AIDS or something back in the 80s.
Marketing Guy: Mmmm Hmmm. Yeah. You know what you need?
New Strain: No, what?
Marketing Guy: You need a name!
New Strain: Whadda mean? I'm the flu. Isn't that enough?
Marketing Guy: Nah. Not these days. Remember, we're living in a tough world. New, flashy, superficial names get all the attention. Dramatic music accompanies news events. Even 30-second stories on TV are cut and pasted together just like MTV videos. You need something eye-grabbing.
This is a cynical society. People are losing their jobs. Whole companies are crashing. Newspapers are dying. There isn't much that will shake people up these days. 
New Strain: Mmmm Hmmm.
Marketing Guy: I gotta be honest with ya. Sure, you're very contagious, and you could be pretty serious, and no one should take you lightly. But you really don't seem that bad. I mean, most people who get you just get flu-like symptoms, right? And they're OK after a couple days? Just like the other strains of flu?
New Strain: (Sighs). Yeah. I was working on that. I've been working out, trying to mutate and all, but....
Marketing Guy: Hey, kid, don't worry (pats him on shoulder). The thing is, the flu kills thousands every year. I'm sure you'll get your share. The thing is, there's really nothing that separates you from the regular flu other than the fact that you seem to be able to spread really quickly.
Marketing Guy: So you know what all these new illnesses had? A name! AIDS. West Nile Virus. SARS. Even your kind got a great endorsement deal because of a catchy name. What was that, um...(snaps fingers several times).
New Strain: Bird Flu?
Marketing Guy: THAT'S IT! BIRD Flu! Catchy. Scary. People were already afraid of things in they sky coming to get them after 9/11. Bird Flu. Genius. It was perfect.
New Strain: So....um....
Marketing Guy: Wait a minute. WAIT A MINUTE! Think of an animal! How about....a cow?
New Strain: Um....
Marketing Guy: No, not a cow. We've already had Mad Cow Disease. How about...a snake?
New Strain: Hmmm....
Marketing Guy: No, everyone hates snakes. Too risky. They might try to wipe you out in no time. You don't want to be a supervillian, kid, just scary.
New Strain: I dunno.
Marketing Guy: Wait. WAIT. I got it! I GOT IT! What's dirty and produces really tasty meats that are bad for you? What rolls around in its own feces? SWINE! SWINE FLU! Ha haaaaaa. It's PERFECT!
New Strain: Swine Flu? I dunno.
Marketing Guy: Trust me, kid, it's perfect. You'll be all over CNN in no time. I wonder if we could get Yo-Yo-Ma to play a haunting Philip Glass theme by tomorrow?
New Strain: Swine? What about "Babe" or Wilbur from "Charlotte's Web?"
Marketing Guy: Those were movies, kid. This is real life. Swine it is.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Career change

Well, I've thought long and hard about this, and I think I need to make a career change.
That's right. I'm going to become the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Maybe 2011. It might take me a little while to get into football shape.
I thought about the NBA, but those guys get set amounts based on where they're picked, and I gotta tell you, to me that makes NO sense at all. Why on earth would I take my skills to the NBA when I can make, what is it exactly that Matthew Stafford will earn? $41.7 million guaranteed? 
That's the ticket.
I would like to stay in newspapers, but as we all know, they're dying, apparently, and the taking economy isn't leaving me many other options as a writer. I did think about being a professional blogger, but the couple grand a year I made in ad money just won't quite cut it for raising three young kids, and that money's probably not coming back this year, thanks to said economy and the fact that Google has reduced my page ranking to somewhere below Michael Jackson's Q rating with parents of young boys because I took those ads in the first place.
But number-one draft pick? Man. Where else can I make so much coin for doing NOTHING? I mean, other than Rush Limbaugh, no one has a job that sweet.
Rock Star? No, they go on the road a lot, and I don't want my twins to write a tell-all in 20 years about how they slept with the Jonas Brothers because Daddy wasn't around. Plus they have to write music, practice and raise money for Africa.
Movie Star? They mostly live in trailers on movie sets. That's not glamorous enough for me.
Porn Star? It's tempting. But I don't look good in tube socks.
Nah, I think NFL draft pick is it for me.
Oh, sure, I'll have to study a playbook, learn some formations and such and maybe work out a little more than I already do (probably only a little more actually), but lately I'm trying to memorize good starting hands in Omaha and it can't be any more complicated than that.
I mean, look at Stafford. The Lions are paying him that kind of money in this recession, when Detroit just might be the hardest-hit area in a country taking some teeth-rattlers lately. He might be able to buy up all the houses in the city when he cashes his first paycheck. Pretty sweet.
I realize some of you naysayers out there might think the odds are against me. Hey, you might have a point. I realize the only time I ever spent on the football field was in marching band. But I was co-section leader both in high school and in college, so clearly, I know how to lead a group of me (and women) into battle. 
Besides, we all know I can run. Like, a lot. I'll just run if things get bad out there. That's what all those pricey running backs and wide receivers do. I don't know why everyone thinks Larry Fitzgerald is so tough. All he does is run away from those skinny cornerbacks and safeties.
Anyway, I have hope, as I should, because Stafford set the NFL record for most guaranteed money ever. And he hasn't even thrown a pass in a game. Well, neither have I, so we're pretty much even in talent, then.
So, yeah, I just need to run this half marathon this weekend, and then I need to get over this apparent calf injury that's nagging at me *.
Then I'm hitting the gym for good. After all, 2010 is only a year away.

*In all seriousness, it really does hurt, and I'm planning on taking the week off in the hopes that I can heal it in time for the biggest race of the year. Maybe running two half marathons in three weeks wasn't a good idea after all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Alone, for a bit

I'm sitting here on the couch. It's 8:30 a.m. And it's quiet. It's oh, so quiet. It's oh, so still. The ticking clock sounds like Metallica. The dog's tail sounds like a drum solo. My breathing sounds like a hard wind.
I'm off today, meaning I'm home without kids, without wife and without anything to do (actually, not true, lots of errands to run, but still, it sure FEELS that way).
I used to have days like these every weekend, even after I got married. They're long gone. I don't think I've had a day like this in months. For an introverted, introspective soul like myself, it's heaven, in a Bryan Adams sort of way.
I wish I had more of them. 
I'll pay for this day later, when I have to work all weekend covering the annual jazz festival (tough work, but someone's gotta do it), and tomorrow will be a long, busy day, and not all of it will be filled with great music. 
But for now, I'll enjoy days like this. I'm grateful for it.
I'm also grateful that I don't have them every weekend any longer.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Horsetooth Half Marathon

"His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already, Mom's spaghetti
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready"
- Eminem, "Lose Yourself"

I am standing in a crowd of almost 1,000, and I AM nervous as the first song of the race, the song I've quoted above, pumps through my head. 
The air has a bite to it, but it's a welcome chill, as I know what's coming. 
Well, sorta. I'm about to run Sunday's Horsetooth Half Marathon, perhaps the toughest in Colorado. I had many offers to run the course before today's race, and I turned them all down. I wanted to experience it for the first time on my own. I am running this race for the challenge, yes, but also the scenery - the course runs over a huge, sparking reservoir surrounded by mountains - and I want to see it all with virgin eyes. It, like many first times, is more special that way.
Still, man. Really? I look up and up and up and my eyes still can't see the top. I knew this race was steep, but, man, really? I've climbed a few 14ers that weren't as steep as this.
I wasn't planning on running a great time. I was hoping for under two hours. I've got another half marathon in two weeks, the Colorado Half, a huge yearly event, and I didn't want to blow it all on this one.
That goes out the window as Eminem pumps through my head. A race, any race, should not be taken for granted. They're special, almost magical rewards for months of running through the pain and drudgery and bad weather of the grind of training. You finally get to see if it's all paid off.
The song's working. I'm focused for what's ahead. The gun sounds and I'm off.
I'm panting almost right away. Jesus, this road's steep. Sweat runs down my forehead, even with the ballcap I've got on, and at one point, I walk, wondering if I'll go just as fast as running. Running is faster, I discover, but not by much.
By the time the two miles is over, my shin tightens up, a recurring problem, and my thighs are burning and my calves are yelping. But we've crested the "mountain," and the worst part's over. Only 11 miles - and three long hills - to go.
I keep running faster than I want to. Running requires more willpower than just pushing through the pain. You've also got to hold back no matter how good you feel, and on race day, usually you feel wonderful. You're pumped, you're rested and all those lingering aches are gone or at least buried under adrenaline and joy and the time off you take before the day of reckoning. 
On the last hill, around mile 6, I pass many people. I love passing people on hills because it's such a pick-me-up.
In every race, there comes a time when the exhaustion takes over, and then it's just all guts. Sure enough, around mile 10, the weariness elbows me in the ribs, then kicks me in the butt, and finally tackles me, and I've got three miles to go. A 5K. At this point, the course winds through a concrete trail. Concrete, quite frankly, sucks. There's no give, and after a while, it feels like someone is pounding on me with a hammer. I run on the soft trail occasionally, but there's no "spring" on that one, and so I'm constantly switching back and forth.
Really, what I'm trying to do is get comfortable, but I feel like a prisoner trying to sleep on a stone bed. There's just no more comfort to be had.
At mile 12, my calves start to cramp. We're just not used to running up and down all those steep, punishing hills. I yell, out loud, "No, you've still got one more mile to go!" and a few runners look my way, startled, before smiling. We're all in the same boat now. We all hurt. Many stop to walk a bit before trotting on again. I can't stop. If I do, I don't know if I can start up again.
At mile 13, a crowd cheers my plodding, and I see the finish line. I start to sprint and suddenly I'm there. 

The finish line is not my favorite part of the day. It offers the most relief, to be sure, but it's not the best part of the day.
The best part, instead, comes at the beginning, when I'm just about to lose myself in the music, in the moment, in a futile attempt to block out the pain.
This is a tough half marathon, and so most of the people who surround me as I slip on my headphones are real athletes, cut, determined, talented athletes. I overhear them talking about "redshirting" or "track meets" or "scholarships." These exact same people, in other words, who picked me last for just about every game at recess. 
I might be a little nervous before these races, and I might need music to get me through the hard parts, and I may not be as talented as them. But I've also got a message for them as well: The guy who they really didn't want on their kickball team is storming up the same hills they are and is, in fact, right on your tail.

Edit: I finished in 1:53, an 8:42-per-mile pace. I finished 300/952.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Growing up by example

This column ran today in the Greeley Tribune:

My wife pretty much always dreamed of being a mother. I think she had other dreams - something along the lines of living in a romantic chick flick, preferably one staring Matthew McConaughey - but being a mother ranked pretty close to the top of her life list.

On my list, being a parent was somewhere ranked between “hike to Everest base camp” and “get to Level 34 at Dig-Dug.”

Needless to say, I didn’t want to grow up. I didn’t get married until I was 30 and when I did get married, I gave up exactly nothing. I started my goal - started, not wrapped up - of climbing all the 14ers in Colorado. I bought an X-Box and played it enough for Kate to occasionally refer to it as “The Mistress.” I read books and watched lots of movies and kept up with every new rock band. 

I was 30, but my mind still pretended I was a teenager.

And then Kate got pregnant. Now I make it sound like it was not planned. Oh, it was planned. We were trying for six months. But let’s be honest. Trying to get pregnant is really fun. It’s easy to forget about the ultimate goal behind the trying when you’re trying as often as we were, especially when you’re brain is still 17.

But all that trying eventually worked, darn it, and Kate was pregnant. When she told me, I acted happy. I was happy in a sort of, “Well, this will be cool, let’s try this out.” I went along for the ride. I helped pick out furniture for the nursery, argued with Kate about my son’s name (she won, of course) and went to birthing class. I even drummed up some nerves, as if my brain realized that it was going to have to accept some responsibility for this baby, nerves that were not calmed until I took Boot Camp for New Dads at North Colorado Medical Center.

Then Jayden arrived, and things, of course, changed. But they didn’t change as much as you might think. Kate got up most of the time. I still played video games - I remember him taking a nap on me once while I blasted aliens  - and I finished the 14ers that year.

When the twins arrived, playtime was over, and I really struggled. I got up with Kate every two hours, for months and months and months, because we both had to feed a baby. I learned how to do things with one arm because the other was always nestling a baby in its crook. I did not climb much at all that year, ran only a few races (and nearly quit one 5K because I was so tired) and focused all my creative energy on making an iMovie of the twins’ first year.

The thing was, I didn’t want to give up fun time. I still went to bed around midnight. I spent a lot of time with my kids but, at times, slightly resented it. I was always looking forward to the next Kansas basketball game or the next movie or, yes, the next level of whatever video game I was playing.

I loved my kids dearly. I just didn’t want them taking over my life.

As a result, I ignored the subtle hints. Kate would throw a huge pile of laundry on the floor and sigh about how hard it was to get it done and cook dinner and vacuum with the kids everywhere. I would nod in agreeable sympathy and talk about how yard work was the same way. 

Finally, one day, Kate broke down and, through tears, said she was overwhelmed. I’m not sure if it was the tears or the words, but a small part of my brain kicked the rest of it in the shin. 

The problem with twins and a toddler is you can put in a lot of work and not really make much of a dent in what needs to be done. You can, for instance, play with one child and have Mom chase the other two around and still believe you’re doing your part. I thought I was being a good husband and father, and I was, by some fairly weak standards. It wasn’t nearly enough.

So - insert the “Rocky” music here - I volunteered to do the laundry. I started cooking dinner at least one night a week. Most of all, at night, after dinner, I was getting wet during the kids’ baths and playing with them until it was time for bed. 

I also shoved Kate out the door so she could spend time with her friends, even if it meant I had all three kids alone. It turns out that Kate, like me, needed her freedom as well. I even recently watched all three for four days when Kate took her first trip away from the kids (to Las Vegas, appropriately). 

The girls turn two in May. People ask me if it’s easier. It’s easier in some ways. Jayden’s settled down, listens to us a lot more and is turning out to be a smart little guy. The girls sleep through the night (usually), can entertain themselves at times and can talk to tell us what they want.

Jayden also still needs more attention than we realize, asks us “why” about a billion times a day and insists on doing everything himself, even if it creates a big mess. The girls still scream loud enough to break the sound barrier and do it way more frequently than I would like.

All of them, however, say “Daddy!” when I get home. So in many ways it’s not getting easier. It’s just a lot more fun. Even those four days with the kids, alone, was fun. No, really, it was.

I am now taking a perverse satisfaction in the fact that I’ve washed more clothes to cover all of the 14ers I once climbed. I am coming up with new recipes to delight and confuse my wife at the same time (she’s still not sold on citrus carrots). I am loving the times when Andie climbs on the couch to roughhouse and am amazed at the punishment she can take (and dole out).

I’ve also given up video games, go to bed by 10:30 p.m., and I’m such a veteran, I teach that Boot Camp class a few Saturdays a year. 

The cool thing about all this is not that my kids are growing up. It’s that we’re growing up together.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Egg Scramble

I really think they should call what you'll see below the "Easter Egg Scramble." Not only is it funny - get it, scramble, heh - but it's way more accurate.
Calling what we did today an "Easter egg hunt" would be like tying a bunch of old tires to the back of a few turtles and calling it a chase or hog-tying some deer, throwing them in a cage and shooting them and calling that a hunt. Our city's staff threw a bunch of eggs on a softball field, a bunch of tiny kids gathered and we all dashed for the eggs.
It was over faster than it takes to cook a bacon and cheese omelet.

Still, it was fun:

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

High stakes poker and a couple other thoughts

This season of High Stakes Poker is by far the best so far. Adding Dwan to the mix was brilliant, as he had three or maybe more of the most memorable hands of every season.
And just to prove that, last show's $900,000 (!) pot between Dwan and Greenstein was the least interesting of the three, since it was just a coin flip after the flop (overpair versus pair and flush draw) and it practically played itself. The only reason I list it here is because, holy shit, it WAS a $900,000 pot.
Plus anyone who's had a nightmare session playing poker (yep, that's me, raising my hand) had to be comforted watching Daniel Negreanu's meltdown. It can happen to the best of us.
They're adding a new mix of players this week, and I have a feeling it will be a bit of a letdown. Still, why the hell did GSN ever hesitate to renew the show? It is, no doubt, the best poker on television. I usually watch the World Poker Tour after I watch HSP, and I almost fall asleep watching all-in after all-in showdowns.

On another front, April is Omaha-only month in the Pokerpeaker household. I'm writing about this for Pokerworks and will let you know when the story runs. So far, so good. There are too many bad players at the lower limits for me to keep scratching out birdseed in Hold 'Em when I can be eating three-egg omelets with cheese, ham and bacon in Omaha.

The Horsetooth Half Marathon is next weekend. It's been a long, hard winter of training but I know I'm ready. The racing season is underway and I can't wait.

Finally, I'm happy for UNC and Roy Williams, but what a boring game. I found myself rooting for Michigan State just to give me a good game. Still, it's nice to see Roy win his second. I root for him again after we got even by handing out the beatdown we did against them last year.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Mr. Mom's photo blog. The Sunday edition.

Rather than whine about how hard my day was again, I thought I'd post a few photos from today's trip to the Bounce place. This, after all, is why I do it.

Besides, Kate is coming home very soon and I'll be out the door for a 12-mile run.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Mr. Mom's live blog. The Saturday edition.

6:30 a.m. - The day starts at 6:30 a.m. when a single cry - Daddy! - followed by the sounds of a crib's springs in duress jerks me from a peaceful slumber.
I stumble into their room. Pacey, Andie demands. Out! Out! Out!
Rats. I was hoping they might hang out in their crib a bit and read or, God forbid, sleep.
This is one of the harder parts of the day for me. I am not a morning peson. Few people are, I realize, but while Kate sees rainbows and sunshine when she gets up in the morning, I see dark, stormy clouds and a need for a slow wake up call. It never happens these days. I take them out, they both run into the room, hop on my bed, where Jayden, with the stealth of a ninja, deposited himself a couple hours before, and climb up. Jayden, who is 4 and not a morning person either, protests by climbing on one of them and holding her down. Screams. The day begins.
6:50 a.m. - Mom? Allie asks, as if to really see if she could give me a break and seek out Mom's arms for comfort. I say she'll be back tomorrow. Allie considers this for a moment and then demands to be picked up. I'm the man, apparently.
7 a.m. - Crack eggs. Put in cheese. Get out pan. Not in that order. Oops. I'm still tired.
7:05 a.m. - Snow snow snow snow snow snow snow. I am informed 758 times in this minute that snow has fallen. Hmmm. It doesn't look terrible. Looks like a trip to the Mall playground is in order.
7:07 a.m. - Demands for milk and juice fall on my ears. They are fulfilled.
7:45 a.m. - A new law is enacted. No more screaming. It is broken .0003 seconds later and three more times in the next three seconds. I consider the death penalty but instead retract the law. It can't be enforced without screaming yourself, and that's breaking the spirit of the law.
8:07 a.m. - Allie is trying to scramble up on my lap as I type this, and "I wanna know what love is" calls out on the kitchen radio. I think I know. Time to dress the kids.
8:55 a.m. - Taking care of yourself is almost impossible with three little ones to watch. I somehow manage a two-minute shower. Allie senses that I need help and tries to do my hair.
8:57 a.m. - I start to dress Andie and Allie. I call for them three times and they ignore me, lost in their toys. Normally this would piss me off, but today I've decided to leave my anal personality at, um, home. If they're having fun, it's all good with me.
Regardless, eventually one of them comes by, and I snare her in my trap. Andie screams and rolls over at every second I don't have both arms pinning her down. I realize most 2-year-old toddlers don't hold still, but my kids not only don't like it, they seem to have a serious aversion to it. Not only does that mean I'm constantly chasing them down, but things like dressing and changing a diaper is a workout, not just an activity.
9:30 a.m. - Jayden isn't dressed yet. I'm doing the best I can. Sigh.
9:33 a.m. - We're headed to the mall. The snow is definitely falling but the roads look clear, and I really need to get out. So do they. The mall has some quarter-operated rides and a play area. It has saved my life more than once.
10:25 a.m.- Diapers, six juice bottles, coats, three pacifiers, one bad snowstorm (clear roads), snacks, a huge-ass stroller and three bibs later, we're at the mall play area. We spent an hour there before heading to the food court. I get Chinese, they get overpriced hot dogs at Dairy Queen. Most of the other parents sit and watch their kids play. I don't even come close to sitting in the hour they play (and no, I don't hover), so it feels good to sit a bit. When we leave, there's a mess under the table three feet deep.
11:55 a.m. - Time to go home. I pack the kids back up in a raging snowstorm (streets still clear) and we manage to make it home. Diaper changes, Madagascar (what can I say, the boy likes it), a DQ blizzard and Omaha. Ah. It's probably the best part of the day until the kids go to bed.
When is the Final Four?
The girls are totally attached to me now at least. I'm finally A No. 1 parent! Who-hoo!
2:30 p.m. - They're still asleep. Sweet. Naps rock.
4 p.m. - I chop up the ingredients for our homemade pizza. Thanks OhCaptain for the suggestion. Summer sausage, Italian sausage, pineapple, ham and turkey pepperoni. We all gathered around it and put the ingredients on there. It was fun.
4:30 p.m. - We chomp up the pizza. Jayden is kinda driving me nuts right now, begging to go to the jumping place and not taking no. Plus he keeps hitting the girls. He gets a few time outs, attempting to set the record for time outs taken in an hour.
4:40 p.m. - The Final Four's on. Sweet.
5:25 p.m. - Allie pushes the kitchen set far out into the middle of the floor. Where did she get that strength?
5:26 p.m. - Jayden colors. It's much more peaceful now.
5:28 p.m. - Andie says "off" and wants a plastic ball stuffed down a cup taken out. I can't do it. It won't be the first time I disappoint her.
5:35 p.m. - Andie and Allie are having a drag-out, scream fight right now. Wow. I haven't seen that EVER. Then Andie seems to understand what's going on and tries to talk to Allie about "her shirt." Their communication is really funny. I do think twins can communicate more than other siblings.
5:36 - Andie keeps hounding me. I am neglecting my kids. Time to get a bath. Andie confirms this by getting right in my face and saying "No more Daddy."
5:45 p.m. - One of the tougher parts of the day. Bathtime. I corral Andie and Allie in our room so I can watch the MSU/UConn game. I gather their diapers, towels and PJs to the bathroom and corral them in our room again. Allie keeps taking Kate's summer clothes and trying them on and saying "Cute." I tell Jayden he's after the girls. He takes his clothes off and throws a shit fit when I tell him he's second. Whatever. I let him go first. Maybe he'll be a spoiled brat when he's older, but for now, I've seen enough fits over nothing. Allie's diaper is dirty, so I clean her up. When it's Andie's turn, she fights me once again. These girls cannot sit still for a second.
Wash hair, clean off, watch game, prevent drownings, dress, put diapers on. It's an intense 45 minutes.
6:30 p.m. - Andie blows my theory. She is sitting here with me, guzzling grape juice, while I type, and imitating everything on "Word World." These cuddle moments are few and far between, so I'm enjoying it. If it lasts more than a couple minutes I'll be stunned.
6:31 p.m. - Allie climbs on the chair and is close to toppling off. Moment's over.
6:32 p.m. - Oops. I mistook Allie for Andie, I actually had Allie with me there. Yes, that still happens.
7:07 p.m. - I have my first meltdown. Jayden sits by me, Andie crawls up and Allie, who I've held for the last half hour, starts to cry right by me after I have to tell her to stop crawling up. They all start whining, and I'm trying to update my music list, the first thing I've really done for myself all day. I freak out momentarily and even yell a bit.
Imagine being in a marathon, thinking you're only a mile or two away, then realizing that you've got a dozen left to run. 7 p.m is like that for me. So close and yet I've still got more than an hour to go before the kids go to bed.
7:20 p.m. - The girls go to bed. Andie calls for her blankie and I have to run down to get it, but I'm willing to do that at this point if it means she goes to sleep.
She does.
7:35 p.m. - Jayden and I watch the last few minutes of a movie I put together of his first year when he was a baby. He asks me 874 questions in that 10 minutes. Poor guy. He doesn't get the one-on-one attention he deserves after a day like these.
Regardless, I put him to bed, and he falls asleep in two minutes.
He seems as tired as I am.
One down, one to go. But today, I did it.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Mr. Mom's live blog

I decided to live blog the weekend all alone with the kids. Read for proof that all survived (I'm pretty sure, we haven't done a final count yet).


The dress rehearsal before Saturday and Sunday, when I have them every second of the day. Thursday was only a couple hours after work. Not bad.
I took Jayden swimming for an hour and a half and then picked up the twins at 3:30 p.m. from day care. Thus endeth the dress rehearsal.
I'm not sure how evolution decided to give toddlers who are almost 2 a full, intelligent and determined mind. I really wish at times like these their brains were still wiring up, so they would just sit on the floor and wait for me to dress them, bring them food and give them juice.
Instead, I have tiny people running around who believe with all their tiny hearts that they are fully capable of doing anything they want, when, in fact, they're capable of crapping their pants and that's about it. This means the percentage of time I spend taking them down from counters, chairs, tables is much higher than the percentage of things I actually accomplished. My kids also do not believe in playing with their toys. They'd rather get into everything in the house they're not supposed to get into, meaning I'm constantly picking up little piles of messes everywhere they go, or worse, removing, say, a pair of scissors from one of their hands.
I play Omaha for an hour today while Jayden watches "Madagascar." I finally get to relax for an hour. I lose $50 to three two-outers. Awesome.

Conversation with Jayden, 4: "Can I go swimming Daddy?"
Me: "We went swimming today."
Jayden: "Can I go to Ruthies? (His day care provider).
Me: "No, tomorrow we're spending the day with Daddy and the girls."
Jayden: "Why?"

Weather report: Blizzard warning after midnight. That's the best fucking news I've ever heard. Sweet. That means I'll be trapped in the house with all three kids.

It's not the best start? But the scary thing? It really could be a lot worse.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Help, I need someone

A couple hours after this time Thursday, the wife (not The Wife, Kate) will be leaving on a Jet Plane to head to Vegas with her parents and a friend.
Fortunately I do know when she'll be back again.
Unfortunately it will not be until Sunday.
Now before you pipe up about my two trips out there without her, yeah, I KNOW. That's why she's going.
Still, it leaves me with twins under 2 and a toddler under 4 from Thursday until Sunday.
It won't be terrible since I work Thursday and will only have Jayden for a while Friday. But Friday night the fun begins.
I have run or worked out every day for two weeks, pretended that my soft, soft pillow is really a club with spikes and am mentally preparing for the fact that I may not see much of the Final Four.
Kate's stated goal for me this weekend: "Just keep all three kids alive."
That's probably not a goal where 66 percent would be considered good. So let's crank up the comments, folks. I have a few questions:

1. What fun kid stuff can I make and serve for dinner? I can cook, don't you worry, but I'd like something other than Hamburger Helper (which will be served one night, Cheeseburger Mac is pretty damn good).
2. What fun kid stuff can we do together, besides go to the Mall play area (which we will hit up Saturday, don't you worry)?
Inevitably the thing I hate most about taking care of all three of them is I put out more fires and prevent them from killing themselves more than really spend quality time and have fun. So I'm trying to do a little prevention.
3. What should I tell them when they ask for Mommy? That she left to join a radical movement bent on saving the Polar Bear? That she needed a break because you all were driving her nuts? That she went to go play with her friends? What will a child that young understand?
4. What prescription drugs would you recommend so I can survive the weekend?