Spare the Shower Curtain Rod.. Spoil the Child..

When I was growing up I was scared of my dad. I was scared because I felt nothing I did was good enough for him and I was afraid I would upset him no matter what I did. Like many my age and older, I'm sure they were real familiar with the thick leather belt with the name "DANIEL" in black cowboy font coming off the back of the belt. Now my dad wasn't the kind of dad that would beat my butt at random times to keep me in check, I just feel that the punishments came with frequency because he was either stressed, angry, unhappy with other things going on with him. After each time I would say that I would never treat my kids like he did me.

Fast forward to present. I have three kids and one on the way. Oldest kid is thirteen. His name is Michael. Technically he is my step-son, but I consider him my son. I love him as my son, I would give everything for him. But I've only been his parent for almost 4 years. I've known him more than half his life and I'm there more than his father ever has. Which is why it is my responsibility to teach and guide him in the right direction. Little did I know that this was going to be the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with.

Michael had almost 9 years of no responsibility. He was an only child and had 100% of the attention. I come around, get his mom pregnant 3 times, and expect him to contribute to be part of the family in the span of four years. Unlike my daughter and baby boy who I can mold and train as they grow up, I do not have that luxery with my son.

The main problem that I get from him is not helping out or pulling his own weight. He never had to do it with his mom, but I expect it everyday. Do I get it everyday? Not so much. I would be stretching if I got it twice a week sometimes. Now he has his regular chores that he usually has to be reminded to do. We've told him countless times about it. His grandfather has told him about it as well. The difference is that he's scared of his grandfather. His mother and I? Not so much. Sometimes he makes me wish that I had a thick leather belt with the name "ERIC" in cowboy font, but it has never gotten to that point. With him, I have to be a bit more creative.
Past disciplines have been where I wake him up at 6 in the morning, make him stand up against the wall, tell him what he did wrong. Then I had him go to back and forth to his room and the wall for various objects that were being taken away from him for an unspecified amount of time. One time when he couldn't keep his room clean, I brought about a dozen boxes from work and I put everything that wasn’t bolted down in those boxes to where he had nothing left in his room. There was no way he could mess it up afterwards. Those were ideas taken from my Corps of Cadet days.

Lately it's been the standard "groundings." We've taken away his phone, his TV, computer. Short term it worked, but nothing long term. Now I have to get more creative.

Some examples:
Window Sill
Violation: We've told him countless times to not leave soda cans or empty glasses or cups on his window sill. I went into his room this morning and saw one on there from a soda [whataburger cup] that he could have had last night. I'll get to the could have had in a minute. But if it wasn’t from last night, it means it was there longer than 10 hours.
Corrective Action Taken: So what I did was get a few more empty Whataburger cups from the garbage, some empty Gatorade bottles and put them all on his window sill. See picture.
Reasoning: If he's not going to clean up one all by himself, I'm going to make him clean up FIVE when I tell him. In hopes that he will be more attentive to what he leaves behind and picks up after himself.
Feeding Dog
Violation: My son is responsible for feeding and watering the family dog. The dog sleeps in his room. The dog follow him around. Yet that clue along with us telling him to feed the dog everyday, he neglects to feed the dog.
Corrective Action Taken: Take the giant bag of dog food and keep it stored in his room on the television. See picture.
Reasoning: That if I have to be put out by doing his duties, he is going to put out by this huge bag of dog food in his room. By hoping that this reminder will help him get into the habit of not having to be told.
Violation: Not putting away glasses or cups that he was using and leaving them on his desk. This one had a Whataburger cup on it as well. He only had one cup from last night. Why was there two? One of them had to be there more than a day because I do not remember the last time he had Whataburger.
Corrective Action Taken: Get a lot of cups from our cabinets and put them on his desk as well. See picture.
Reasoning: Same as the garbage on window.

Shower Curtain
Violation: His mom has requested that we close the shower curtain when we get out of the shower. I have made it a habit. He has not. Every morning we have to tell him to shut the shower curtain. I even put a large note on his door to shut the curtain. It worked for a while, not it has just become door scenery.
Corretive Action Taken: I took the old shower curtain and hung it in his room. See picture.
Reasoning: By making something so big, obnoxious and annoying that he has no reason not to forget to close the dang shower curtain. This too will remain as a way of making it a habit.
I hate being like this, because it takes stuff away from what I really have to worry about. But I need him. I need him to contribute to this family. And he is not going to be getting the cowboy belt like I got.
But I told him, "You tell me what you want and I give it to you. I ask for something that I need from you, and you give me what you want. Pretty soon, you are going to tell me what you want, but I'm going to only give you want you need."
I don't remember being this complicated. I asked how high when my dad told me to jump. Michael questions the reasoning for jumping. I don't want him to be scared of me, but I just need him to contribute to this family. I am not taking the "he's thirteen years old" excuse. He's in this family, there is no excuse.
My wife has similar issues with him as well.
We'll see if it's going to work.
Until then.


I Have a Twin Daughter.

Three years ago my beautiful daughter was born. I was at work when my wife called me and said that she is having bad contractions and that she needed to go to the doctor. So we did, and about 5 hours later my daughter was born. What is funny about this is that I was there at conception. I was there at all the office visits and sonograms. I was even there in the delivery room when my daughter became the most beautiful baby born in this world [outside Jesus the Christ]. My wife and I did a great job. She was like Mary Poppins.. Practically perfect in every way. If I could do one more children's reference I would say that if there was a spider in the delivery room, she would spin a web that would read "One Terrific Kid." What I was unaware of is that she was actually two kids.

I found out during the next several months that Loreli was in fact both "her daughter" and "my daughter." She would be joint property, (our daughter) when we would introduce her or when we would talk to people about her. But the way it turned out is that whenever she did something that wasn’t to Kristie's liking, it was "your daughter." Inversely, when she was doing something that my wife approved of, it was "her daughter."

-Take the toilet paper from the bathroom, unroll it, and then make the prettiest wedding runner ever to exist out of Angel Soft. - My Daughter
-Draw a picture of her and momma. - Her Daughter
-Take all the books from the bottom three shelves, lay them down in the living room to make her own version of ceramic tile. - My Daughter
-Make a bed for all her Care Bears in the entry hall. Complete with pillow and blanket. - Her Daughter

You see the theme here? Whenever it is something that might be construed as destructive or annoying it's my daughter. Then when it something that is cute or artistic it's her daughter.

Here's what is funny about the above situations:
-The wife is the one who would use the wedding runner. - Yet it's my daughter.
-Daddy is the artist. - But it's her daughter.
-Wife wants the tile floor. - My daughter.
-Daddy bought the Care Bears for her and is the one that makes the bed. - Yep.

This brings us to today. I'm at work and I get this text message. "You will not believe what your daughter did." I responded to an earlier situation where she told me that Loreli had ran over to her little brother (Seth) gave him a big hug, said "I love you Seth" and then danced with him. I asked her if that was my daughter then too. She replied that it was her daughter at that time. So I asked what happened and got this:

"She locked Seth and herself in the bathroom and poured toilet water all over him and would not unlock the door. I could feel water splashing under the door."

YES!! This made me laugh out loud.. LOL even. The first thing I did was ask for a picture. But apparently there was not enough time and my wife did not see the humor in it as I did. Probably because she had to clean up the mess and I was at work laughing about the entire event.

From the stories that I've heard and I remember. I'm the one that would bring my little brother hotdogs to his bassinet because he was crying. She was the one that would beat up her little brother.

But it's MY daughter.

Hmm mmmm.
Until next time.



Barn Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Originally posted from MySpace - 012408

The other night on the news they started talking about the issue about the possibility of cloned meat being available to consumers through our supermarkets. Cloned meat of course, meaning coming from cloned cows. Now these aren't clones from Vaca Fett the Cow Bounty Hunter in some far reaching scheme by the Empire for complete galaxy control. It is of course regular cows that have been cloned by scientist trying to replicate cow life.

Now while the idea of an army of cloned cows as foot soldiers in the domination of our galaxy does sound like a cool idea on paper, that is not what cows are used for. Cows are used of course for eating their flesh and drinking their milk. Cows are a reason I am part of PETA. People for Eating Tasty Animals. So, the obvious question about the reasoning for cloning cows would be. What do you do with them now that you've cloned them? With the idea of a universal empire out of the question, the only thing left to do is eat them. Because frankly, cows aren't needed for anything else other than drunken nights with rednecks tipping them over.

So, that is where comes the issue. Will stores sell cloned cow soldier meat? HEB says they don't plan on it. Neither does Wal-Mart. But Target is like. "Maybe."

But it's not going to be any time soon. Because cloning a cow is pretty expensive I guess. And the subsequent killing of said cloned footsoldier cow for dismembering and selling in various parts would not equal the total cost it would be to make the godless being. So, what scientist are waiting to do is wait for these cloned cows to have real baby cows and then use them as our possible food product. It makes sense.

I for one, don't care. If it's labled, if it's not labled. I don't care. If it's edible meat. I'll eat it. Put it on a bun, on a plate with mased potatoes. I don't care. I'm easy to please like that.

My wife though. She's more of a "I can't get past the fact it's clone" person. While I doubt she has problems with the fact that they clone cows and chickens and sheep to begin with. She doesn't think that she can mentally put herself past the idea that the meat she is about the eat was not created from the earth.

It's totally like the fact she won't eat the green or purple colored ketchup. It tastes the same. Just looks unnatural.

So, I tried to convince her that there wouldn't be anything wrong with eating cloned cows. So, I tried to turn it around. I asked what if we cloned our dog if we lost the one we had. Nothing. She hates our dog. Then I asked, ok. What if something happened to one of our kid. Your precious sons. Your beautiful daughter. What if you could bring them back through cloning?

She stuck with her guns.. She wouldn't eat them either.

Have a great day my friends.. God Bless


What Pisses Me Off

Originally posted - 013108

I know that there are major things in my life that I would find time better spent. But there are just somethings that just piss me off. I'm sure most of my [three] readers will feel the same.
Any time I hear someone mention "Global Warming" - "We have to protect the enviornment" "We have to be more green" If the world is getting warmer, why the hell did the temperature drop 30 stinkin degrees the other days in various parts of the country? "Didn't you see The Day After Tomorrow?? It's because we're melting the ice caps with our SUVs" And I guess when the dinosaurs were driving their SUVs they caused the enviornment changes too?

When people consider The Destruction of Britanny Spears, news - We have men and women over in Iraq who are dying so Miss Spears can act like a loon, why not do a story about them, dangit?

Cars, Trucks, SUV's who have a sticker in the middle of their back window obviously trying to center the thing, and it's OBVIOUSLY NOT CENTERED!! Anyone with two eyes can plainly see that the sticker about your kids cheerleading team is off center. I should be more pissed that you're driving with one eye.

When congressmen or senators [mostly democrats] say - "The president needs to work with congress to acheive these [things]." Give me a break!!!! He's the dang president. You work with him. He doesn't have to work with you!! He can have you killed if he wanted.

People who think 'Free Healthcare" is the answer - I work in the helathcare industry. In the insurance industry. The government already runs medicare. And the providers HATE it. Medicare discounts like 80 percent of the billed charges. The providers have to write that amount off. More and more providers are getting off of medicare. Just because you have the government paying for your healthcare, doesnt mean it's going to be great. You're going to have to go to the doctors they choose. The ones that they'll pay. If you don't, you'll be having to pay out of pocket for out of network doctors. There will be waiting lists to get certain tests done. If you're pregnant, you're going to have to sign up for a 10 month waiting list to deliver.

Hillary Clinton - 'nuff said!

Bananas - We can create cloned sheep and cows. We can even invent a light that will not burst because it is in the freezer. Why can't they do something about the bananas starting to go bad after having bought the bunch 2 days before? I even buy them when they are green. Is there some kind of quick mutating banana power that someone in my family has that I am not aware of? I have to eat bananas just because I don't want them going bad. And I'm not a banana eating person.

Blade Runner - Some reason we had the DVD at home. I think we bought some movies for my wife's uncle who was in Iraq and he came home before we could send it. Anyways. My kids got this portable DVD player for Christmas, so I take it to work and watch movies during my lunch. So, I decided to watch Blade Runner. I don't know if its because I'm used to movies like Minority Report, Transformers, and iRobot, but I started watching it and Blade Runner wasn't doing anything for me. I don't know if it was the slow pace of the movie. The bad editing. Or the annoying synthesizer. I just couldn't finish watching it. Sorry, I can't be apart of the cult classic.

People who don't comment on my blog - I don't care if I don't know who you are. I want to know if my message is getting out there. I see people have viewed it. But I only get one person commenting. Come on you lazy slugs. Comment.

Now I'm sure that there are other things as well. But this is all I can think of at the time.


Bananas, Snooze alarms, Anti-Christs, and Helping Global Warming

Taken from my MySpace blog dated 022608

Just a few random things to keep my blog audience member occupied.. I promise it won't be as long as the last one.

If you read a previous blog, you saw my feelings about buying bananas. Well, we bought them, and I've been taking them to work for lunch the past couple days because time is against us that these cased fruits will go bad very soon. And I realized. When eating a banana, it's one of those foods that you really don't want to be making eye contact with anyone while you're taking a bite.

I would like to copyright the idea of having a snooze alarm with decreasing intervals for those habitual snoozers. First it starts off at the norm nine minutes. You press snooze. Then seven minutes later it goes off again. Then five. Then three. Then one. Then 30 seconds. Then 15 seconds. Then every second. It would annoy the heck out of you to the point that you would have to wake up. Or throw it against the wall.

I would like to give graffiti artists their props. Some of you are very artistic. Some of you are 7th grade beginners. But all of you are idiots. Don't you realize that by making your tag in various places in town that you are leaving evidence of what property you vandalized. Morons! I've come up with my own way to fight vandalism. If I see some, for example.. "MEGA".. I'm going to spray paint.. "smells" right under it. That ought to show them.

Today, I started my part to help Global Warming. We bought a gas guzzling suburban. I'm hoping that the fumes from my truck will be enough to kill all the owls in Alaska, so we can use our own friggin oil reserve. Yes, I know I am an Evil Conservative!

I was pleased with the Oscars Sunday night. I thought I was watching the end because they just announced the best chick in a movie. But it lasted an hour and a half longer. But I was happy that George Clooney didn't win. Mainly because for some idiotic UN reason he was appointed as the UN Secretary of Peace. Remember this blog my friends, because I predict that he will win a Nobel Peace Prize in the next few years. He also has been added to the column of potential Anti-Christs along with Barack Obama.


Blog With No Title

Taken from my MySpace blog - dated 073008

Random rant: I wish it were still ok to slap people at work. I'm serious. There are just some people who don't get it. No matter how long they've been here. They choose not to comprehend and retain and it frustrates the crap out of me. It's proabably how my wife feels 98% of the time with me.

On with the show: I had a honey-do list this past weekend. What started off as just fixing the toilet seat turned into a near total bathroom make-over. When we bought the house a few years ago, the toilet seat in the hall bathroom was one of the wooden ones. It was coming apart so I had to buy a new one right away. I remember it vividly because my mother in law used it before I bought a new one and she complained how it pinched her when she sat down. We have one of those enlogated toilets, and the only ones at the local Wal-Mart that would go with our toilet color were a cushion one and another wooden one. So, I got the cushion one. My wife didn't like it, but she didn't like the wooden one either. Her only other option would be to fall in the toilet when she sat down. So we got that one. Well, that one broke. So we found a real one this weekend and while we were at Lowes she wanted a new showerhead. I also had to pick up some flashing to patch the roof from that weeks rain.

My daughter had come out of her room to tell her mom that it was raining in her room. Perfect. Hurricane Dolly did it's damage. When we got home I promptly fixed the roof, the toilet seat, shower head and fixed a loose towel rack. All within 60 minutes. Now I know it impressed my wife because she told me. But what I didn't know is that my 2 year old daughter was impressed as well. When my mother in law came by last night, Loreli took her to the bathroom and gave a tour of daddy's bathroom makeover. She told her that daddy fixed the toilet. That daddy fixed the new shower head. Daddy fixed the towel rack. She was bragging and proud of her daddy. I couldn't believe it, this girl gets in trouble daily for assaulting her baby brother, and listens pretty much never, but she took the time to appreciate something I took no time in doing. It's just one of those things that makes me proud to be a father.

I know it's silly, but I have to take it. When they get older they're going to take things like that for granted.

Carry On.


Great White Fat Ninja

When I was working at home for 3 weeks, I found cable stations that I never knew existed on the upper echelon of digital channels. One such network was G4. I'm not entirely sure what the "G" stands for. It could be for Geek or Gamer. They show the Spaceballs movie a lot as well as a bunch of gaming shows. I did get to watch some of the first season of Lost, there was this other show that was almost as cool. Ninja Warrior!

While at first I thought it was another version of MXC where hopeful Japanese-Asian people attempt humiliating and near impossible obstacles and stunts while being heckled by English dubbed announcers. It was not like that at all. While they were still Japanese-Asians, the stunts and obstacles where not at all humiliating and only impossible to those of little athletic ability.
The point of Ninja Warrior is to complete these obstacles to go to the next round of obstacles. Where if you complete them all you move forward in this tournament and become an official Ninja or something. Easiest thing to compare it to would be American Gladiators without the roided up freaks pelting you with tennis balls or padded fists.

But I was amazed how they tackled these ramps, logs and walls with near ease. I drifted back to my days in the Corps of Cadets when I could do the obstacle courses with some degree of athleticism. Now a days? Not so much.

We recently got a new bike as well as a baby cart to pull behind aforementioned new bike. Since I am the only one in the family that knows how to ride a bike that is not pregnant I am the designated biker. Which my daughter wants to utilize often.

I've been married almost 4 years, and I have probably gained at least 30 pounds since getting hitched. I wish that was all in muscle, but alas it was not. Add that to my total lackadaisical urge to get myself into shape and you can tell that these bike rides have not been easy.

My entire life I hated being "the skinny one." I'm not some anorexic movie star that is considered hot because my clothes fit better hanging on a hanger. So, I start to gain a few pounds and I start to complain about being fat. While I know I'm not and fat people will call me an idiot, but this is my blog dangit.

I tend to get winded in the simplest of tasks, playing with my kids is an easy one. Pulling that baby cart with a 30 pound girl and a 25 pound boy along with the cart that weighs 50 pounds? Forget about it! While to my kids I'm strong and nothing hurts me. This totally upsets me. How am I supposed to become a Ninja Warrior? While I want to work out, I just can not find the time to do it.

When my days consist of 14 hour of work and kids and wife and flooding toilets and peeing dogs and dirty dishes, I'm just too dang tired to wake up at 5AM to get 30 minutes worth of running or bike riding in.

But I'm tired of making excuses. If I want to juggle Eric efficiently, I need to at least pick up the ball and throw it in the air. So, I'm making the promise to try and work out. Unlike before where I don't TRY at all.

So, hopefully pretty soon, all 30 pounds of flabby fat fat that has symbiotically attached itself to my old Ninja Warrior self will be gone or at least redefined so when my daughter throws Chinese stars at me, they won't hurt as much.

We'll see.



To Snip.. Or not to Snip?? That is the Question.

I got married January 1, 2005. Six weeks later we found out my wife was pregnant. It was suprising, you know. We had only been married less than 2 months. We already had Michael, my 9 year old step-son. While unexpected, I was excited about my first born. Pretty quick after we found out, Kristie had to be put on bed rest. She was always getting sick and couldn't do much, so I was the only one working for my new family. It was quite stressful because we were still newlyweds but we really couldn't take advantage or appreciate it. We bought our house and two weeks later to the day on October 14th my daughter Loreli was born. My goodness she was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. The stress that we had during the previous nine months were forgotten.

Afterwards, my wife wasn't sure if she wanted to have any more children. It was based on how that pregnancy put her out of commission quite a bit. She was 28, not old but not young either. Even though I wanted more kids of my own, I hated seeing my wife laid out so I conceded to her wishes. But during the following year, she seemed to change her mind. She decided that she wanted another child.

About 18 months after our daughter was born, we found out she was pregnant again. Again, a surprise. But this time was different. I had just left my job of 5 years to be a full time realtor. I didn't have insurance. She had worked somewhere before hand but left to take care of my daughter who was constantly sick everytime we sent her to daycare. I went back to my old employer and got the insurance and this pregnancy wasn't much nicer than the previous. What was different this time was that she had a toddler to take care of while she was home not feeling well. Seth was born two weeks after his sister's birthday. But he was 4 weeks early. He had to stay an extra day in the hospital, but again like before we had forgotten about the stress we had during this pregnancy when Seth was home with us. It was all worth it.

People would ask us if we were going to have any more and we would say, "How ever many God gives us." We were just getting used to the two babies when in May of this year we found out Kristie was 10 weeks pregnant. Ok. Now this is getting a bit ridiculous.

I never considered to go under the knife before because we always said that we'd take as many as we were given by God. But now I was actually considering it. Partially because we were going to have three babies. Which meant three kids in high school at the same time, which meant three kids in college. So financial issues were an issue. But the main issue was my wife's health. 100% of the time she was pregnant, she was on bedrest.

We had been married a little over three year, and have our third kid together on the way. My wife had been pregnant more than half the time we had been married. And most of the time she was bed-ridden the entire time. This time though she has TWO kids running around while she was not feeling good. Which means if she was pregnant again after this one, she would have three kids running around if she happened to be on bed rest again. I couldn’t have that.

So, my decision this entire time was to have the procedure. My wife wasn't happy about it. But I told her I wouldn’t go thru with it unless we both agreed. Needless to say, she is on bedrest again. This time she has been hospitalized 2 times for pre-term labor.

I'm a manager now at work. I have a responsibility at work I need to be there as well as being at home. I was stressed beyond belief. We have no family that we can rely on to help us regularly. I know family comes first, but how am I helping my family if I can't provide them with anything because I have to miss work. Fortunately, work was gracious enough to let me work at home for a few weeks. I could take care of all things that I needed too. Still stressful, but I didn’t have to worry about getting to work after Kristie was admitted.

I thought about Loreli a lot when Kristie was pregnant with her. I thought of Seth often from what I remember, but definetly not as much. Mainly due to work and stress. This baby, I sometimes have to remind myself that I have one on the way. It's gotten quite sad and I feel guilty. Especially what my wife is going thru.

But it's hard not to think about them now that they are here and terrorizing everything up to four feet high in our house. How can I not laugh at the family of CareBears taking up residence on the top of the couch all day? Is it possible not to enjoy the laughter from my son as I chase him on the floor? All these things outweigh everything that we went through during those hard times. And soon, when Cuatro is running around doing these same things, I will laugh and enjoy it. Totally forgetting the duress we were under the past few months.

How could I deny that feeling? How could I deny a blessing like that? I live vicarously through my kids and look forward to things that I can do with them. There is nothing on earth that I would rather do than to be a daddy to them.

So, I've decided not to get the Snip Snip Procedure done. Is there room in the house for another kid? Not currently, but I know that my God will provide. If I say that we will take how ever many God gives us, that is what is going to happen. Yes, we will be a little [read A LOT] more careful when "planning" these possible upcoming blessings. But a lifetime of enjoyment and blessing is much more preferable to a few months of stress mentally or physically. And I know my lovely wife feels the same.



Rhetorical Questions.

Being a father of a 13 year old boy, a 3 year old girl and a 1 year old boy, there are some questions that you ask that you only ask out of human response reflex. No answer given will help.

These are some that I have come across:

  • "Why are the fridge magnets in the that push walker thing?"
  • "Why is there a drawing of a flower taped to the bottom shelf in the fridge?"
  • "Why is my driver's license bent?"
  • "Why are there pennies in my shoes?"
  • "How come my belt wrapped around the neck of the stuffed animal?"
  • "What is the rolled up sleeping bag doing in baby's crib??"
  • "Why do Loreli's bears have their own shelf in the linen closet?"
  • "Is there a reason why all the brushes are behind the TV?"
Being a Dad you can appreciate these things. Even if you are not a parent, you know that no amount of answers or reasoning will convince me of any acceptable answer to the original "Why?"

The truth is, there is no "Why?" or "What is?" or "How come?" anymore. I waived my right to get a reasonable answer when I signed on to be a father.

Now you can probably guess that these are not coming from my 13 year old. The questions I ask him mainly deal with how come something wasn't done. My 1 year old hasn't gotten to this point yet. This is all coming from my 3 year old daughter.

I can only assume that my parents asked these same questions when I was her age. But the truth is that I can only look at the magnets in the push walker thing and smile. I have to sigh an amused sigh when I find 27 cents in my shoes when getting ready for work. She wasn't trying to punk me or to get back at me for something I did to her. It just made sense when she was doing it before I found it. It's just the way she is beautifully made.

I look forward to the many years that she will do this. As well as looking forward to my youngest son and soon to be newborn doing it as well.

Until next time.


JETV - Juggling Eric Television

President Obama Promises To Pass New Bill Through Congress!!