My New Year's Eve


While most of the world celebrates the start of the newest Gregorian Calendar Year tonight. My wife and I usually celebrate tonight for a different reason.

Five years ago, we gathered together with our siblings, parents, and close friends at KC's father's house. We visited, and snacked on finger foods most of the evening.

Then when fireworks starting going off up and down the street, all the guests focused on the living room. MaddSkillz walked his mother down the hallway towards the fireplace where I was waiting with Pastor Larry from church.

She looked beautiful. MaddSkillz gave me her hand and we stood there in front of the fireplace while Pastor Larry performed the wedding ceremony.

We we exchanged rings and "I do's" and were married at 12:42AM on January 1st, 2005.

While it was not the wedding that we had been planning the majority of 2004. It was our wedding and there's nothing that we would have changed.

So while the world celebrates a new year on the calendar. I celebrate a new year with my beautiful bride. The woman who has trusted me to take care and guide her son, and given me four more reasons to smile and thank God everyday.

Usually we go out on December 31st, but this year will be a bit different. Em graced us this week and going out would not be wise. So we will be celebrating our New Year's Eve at home this year. Hopefully we will both make it to the twelve o'clock hour after this weeks events.
What do you do to celebrate your new year?

I hope that all of your New Year's are safe and enjoyable. See you next year.


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Juggling Eric Origins: EM


Week ONE

We went into the hospital around 2:30AM on Sunday. Em was born at 8:24AM the same morning. Both came home about 4PM on Monday. It was the shortest visit in regards to having a baby that my wife has ever had. I guess after five kids, she's like "I got this!!"

Usually I am able to stay a night or two after the baby is born. With each birth, the logistics of taking care of the previously birthed children gets harder and harder. Nana had been taking care of the children when we go off to the hospital. With us going to the hospital Sunday morning, she is in charge of the three others. Collectively they have been known to take out powerful mutants with their unique abilities. The fact that Nana hasn't jumped into a spaceship and left this planet yet makes her quite immune to their powers.

Regardless of Nana's mutant ability to negate my kid's own powers, it was not possible for me to stay in the hospital this time. Before Em left the hospital, I held her once. Usually I'm able to hang out at the hospital a few hours and hold the baby during the day. Not so much this time.

I was off from work last week. I had scheduled it at the beginning of the year before we knew about Em's potential arrival. Most of you know, we were also counting on the baby to come last Monday. It would have been great. I wouldn't have to work. I could get things done around the house. I could help out with the baby. Again, not so much.

We can't afford for me to be off TWO weeks from work. I do however, have been given the option to work from home that next few weeks. It's not as scheduled as I would like. When KC is feeding the baby, I'm in charge of any intra-sibling skirmishes. With appointments and other events, I'm working varying hours and she just eats and sleeps all day. I haven't been able to just sit down with the baby, hold her and relax.

Except at night.

For two nights in a row from 4am-6am, I've been able to quell her nightly cry sessions by holding her on the couch in the living room. It reminds me of the time with her big sister when I would catch up on my recorded TV shows around the same time.

But with going off about 10 hours sleep so far this week, I'm not up to it.

So the only time I have been able to spend with my new daughter this week is during these hours. I wish I could be more appreciative of circumstances, its just that I'm tired right now. I need to work on retraining myself to be more awake during this time.

I'm excited about Friday. I'm off from work and there are no possible hospital visits. I'll have time to recover from Christmas (it destroyed this house) and spend time with the wife, the prior kids and Em.

KC said that Em wants to spend time with me and this is how she does it.

Already? With only being 3 days old?

What do you think?

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"Juggling Eric Origins: Em" is going to be a new weekly feature focusing specifically on Em, my growing relationship with her, and the family adjusting to the new addition.
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Randomness and Cynicism: Jumping The Shark Edition


In an effort to accommodate the possibility of less time being afforded to me for quality posts (if any of them ever are), I've decided to go to a random post once a week. Is it Jumping the Shark?


Maybe, but we just had our fifth kid.


Devil's Advocate would say a fifth kid would give more stories to tell. Sure it would, but if last night was any indication I am on track to get 6 hours of sleep this week.


Speaking of last night.

60 Percent of my children took turns getting up multiple times last night.

75 Percent of my children keeping me up were under the age of 14.

100 Percent of my children keeping me up are named Disco, Beautiful and Cinco.


McDonald's Mocha is my new best friend in the morning. I have to apologize to Dr Pepper. But I'm not sure how long this relationship is going to last. It costs three times as much for one and I get half the liquid volume of a Dr Pepper.


KC is breastfeeding Cinco. Last night was weird because Cinco wouldn't go to sleep after she was done feeding. I'd hold her on the couch and she would fall asleep. I then take her to her bassinet. She'd be fine. The moment I pull the covers over me. Cry. She's already playing this game with me. She's winning.


I held her on the couch from 4:30-6:30 this morning while she slept. I was late logging into work, but I think I'll have a pass.


She takes the pacifier sometimes.


On the topic of pacifiers. I've bought about 10 pacifiers for Beautiful. They've all been lost. I'm convinced I have a basement I have yet found access to. These pacifiers have all managed to find their way down there. It's the only logical explanation there is.


The same goes for the kids sippy cups. They'd lose them at inopportune times. So last night I stocked up on them. They'll be gone in a week. I'll find them when I find the basement entrance and they'll be disgusting with sour milk.


I really need a new blog name for Cinco. Cinco was fine when she was in utero. Now that she's a girl, I have to come up with a cute nickname for her. Ladybug came naturally. Beautiful did too, but I call her Celi Belly now. I already had the blog name for Cinco if they were a boy, "Rowdy James."


I'm thinking of calling her "Em". Short for Emma. What do you think?


Why do I feel the need to shorten a four letter name? It's like people who write "Jun" or "Jul" for dates. Seriously!?!


There is a box of misfit toys from Christmas that I hid from the kids. They are misfits because they have more than one piece. It's a rule that I prefer when it comes to gifts for my kids. I'm convinced the givers of these gifts hate me.


One of the kid's toys has been talking in Spanish for two days. No one has noticed.


With the completion of this post, I do officially feel that I jumped the shark. Or was it more of nuking the fridge? Should Ted McGinley do a guest post next week?


Regardless, have a great week my friends.


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Jingle Bells... Shotgun Shells...

For those of you who are still subscribed or have read my previous blog, you saw that we thought we were going to have our baby on Christmas Eve. Those circumstances gave me the best text message I could think of when notifying people.

"There's no room at the inn.."

Some people got it, others did not.

It didn't matter anyways. It turned out that we were turned away from the hospital as well. We went home and gave the kids the best Santa Claus EVER.

Christmas day we thought that we would make another trip. Not so much. It followed to Saturday where we were sure we were going to go. Again. Not so much.

2AM Sunday morning? So much.

After about six hours in the hospital, I am please to announce that Cinco has graced us with HER presence. Yes, that is right, another HER.

Emma Barbara Rose was born Sunday morning at 8:24. She came weighing in at 7 pounds 4 ounces. She's perfect.

This is my THIRD daughter. Now the ratio is 3:2 with girls in the lead. With MaddSkillz being my bonus child, that leaves only Disco to carry on the Juggling name.

We were shocked when she was born, because everyone was expecting her to be a he. Ladybug had been calling the baby "Joshua" for a couple weeks now. We were going to name the baby "Joshua David" if a boy.

I was going to call him "JD" and he was going to have a black friend named "Turk" and like Journey and Appletinis.

But now that this is my third daughter, I will have to stock up on my ammunition.

That means three teenage daughters at the same time.

That means three teenage daughters that will be "courted" by jerks, punks, nogoodniks, and d-bags. MaddSkillz will be long gone by the time that happens. Disco and KC will be my only allies.

KC hopefully will be on the same page as me while Disco will kick the ever living crap out of anyone that looks at them wrong.

Will it really come to that?

I hope not. MaddSkillz is a teenage boy. He is not a jerk, punk, nogoodnick or d-bag. But I'm not a teenage girl's father.

So, is it too soon to stock up on firearms and ninja swords??







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No Room At The Inn...

...So we headed to Labor and Delivery...

KC is currently hooked up to the monitors, and we're told that we're having the baby today.

We've been here since 5:30 this morning.

I was concerned about the kid's Christmas tomorrow. But KC said to go ahead and continue Christmas without her. If we hadn't told Ladybug that Santa was coming tonight, we could have gotten away with until Mommy gets home.

KC is doing fine. She's enjoying her diet of ice chips. I'm going to go search for a Dr Pepper.

It's a good thing GiGi sent Cinco a gift, because I sure as heck didn't buy them anything..

Also, KC was supposed to go buy my gift today. Doesn't look like that's happening.

I'll keep you posted.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas my friends.
Eric.



****UPDATE Thursday 12:39PM.. They are sending us home because the contractions stopped. Said there is no reason to induce or break the water.. Have to pay for parking now..

*

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Christmas Card

We mailed out Christmas cards for the first time this year. Maybe because our ranks keep changing. But since I can't mail one to each of you who keep coming back to my mediocre blog. I give you this. The front of our Christmas card.



Merry Christmas to each of you from

Eric, KC, MaddSkillz, Ladybug, Disco and Beautiful.





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Ladybug's Portfolio - Merry Christmas

Ladybug's Portfolio is a collection of pictures taken by my 4 year old daughter from my cell phone. Usually I do not know they exist until I go through my pictures. These are her better ones.





Merry Christmas from Ladybug


Story behind the picture: This one, I admit was set up by Daddy. I gave her my phone and told her to take a picture of herself and the tree. Used as a message from her to my blog readers who have come here every week and viewed her pictures.

I hope that Christmas is coming along smoothly.

Have a great day my friends.














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Now Open.. Mommy and Daddy Cuts.

I don't blame the economy for my financial problems. If I have too much month at the end of the money, it's because our ends extend our means on occasion. Being the sole money maker in the household, our income is limited to necessities. Bills, food, clothes, diapers and Dr Pepper.

Things like my haircuts get sacrificed. With tip, my haircut can run about 15 bucks. If I do that two times a month like I prefer, that is 30 bucks that could be spent on diapers. So I made an investment some time ago that when the funds are low, I would cut my own hair. Usually it's a buzz. I was in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University and I'm used to short hair.

Now that I have a baby boy, I am responsible for his haircuts as well. His cuts run the same price as mine. Now when the option is a haircut for the boy or gas for the car, the gas is going to win.

So KC said that I should give him a haircut.

Uhhh..

While KC doesn't want his head buzzed like mine, she still has confidence that I can cut another human's hair.

We tried it yesterday and Mommy and Daddy Cuts took it's first customers.

After some trepidation and a couple lollipops, Disco let us cut his hair.

While I've seen people cut my hair for years now, it doesn't make me a cosmetologist. I think I know how to cut hair, but I'd rather just take the shears and buzz it. I did the sides with the shears and KC did the top. I blended the sides to the top, but I'm not very pleased. KC said it looks good.

I say it's a good thing he's too young to be embarrassed.

You decide.

Before.



After.




Then it was Ladybug's turn. Now we only cut her bangs because they were getting ridiculous.

What do you think?

Before.

After.


We can only get better from here right?

My wife felt invincible after this and then cut my hair. Not the usual buzz I would give it, but gave it the same consideration that she did to Disco.

No photo available for that I'm sorry. Though the haircut is quite nice. Next time I will ask that she possibly set something in her schedule to get rid of the hoards of gray hairs that seemed to have pop up recently.

Now we managed to save about 45 bucks. It looks like the kids won't be reusing those Huggies next month after all.

Do you cut your kids hair? Have you even considered it?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you continue to have a great week leading up to Christmas.




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Countdown to Cinco - T Minus ZERO

Nesting and Raking
We've finally hit week 37. Week 37 is the week everything happens with my wife's pregnancies. While she's not due until January 10th. We feel that her actual due date is December 21st.
Today.
After what seemed like we were going to have the baby Friday or Saturday, turned to not much happening in that department. I figured that something was going to happen on Saturday night. From out of nowhere, my wife wanted to clean out the utility room. I was quite positive that she was nesting. She's told stories that while pregnant with MaddSkillz, she just started cleaning and he came pretty soon there after. But nothing happened. While she could be "nesting", it's not time just yet. If she needs to do some additional nesting today, I'm going to hand her a rake and point to the front yard.
The Juggling Eric United States Tour with Ladybug
We finished off most of the Christmas preparations this weekend. We had to drive across town to the only Best Buy that had a camera we are giving MaddSkillz. While there, Ladybug discovered RockBand and didn't want to leave. We then head over to Old Navy and there was a RockBand set up there as well. Well, that made her all kinds excited. She wanted me to sing along while she slapped the skins. I declined. I then later felt I should have. What would have been cooler than a dad belting out "Eye of the Tiger" being accompanied by his daughter's mad drum skills in the middle of Old Navy?
Christmas Carpal Tunnel
I won some customized cards from Digital Room via Daddy Forever's Blog a few weeks ago. They arrived and we chose to utilize them as Christmas cards. I would have used them for thank you cards or baby announcements, but since I had to take advantage of the offer prior to December 31st, I chose Christmas. They turned out pretty nice and KC spent Sunday hand writing all the cards. Turns out that we have close to 50 friends and family that we're sending cards too. I think we've been scratched off people's lists a few years ago since we've never sent any out. Now I just hope that we actually get them mailed out. If we don't, I'm sure KC will be all kinds of pissed because she spent close to five hours writing out all the cards.
This is why I need Astronaut Sleeping Bags
And because we don't like the kids going to sleep, we moved Beautiful in with her siblings. She has been in our room her entire life. Now she's going in with a couple of rowdy kids. We are moving her from our room because she is a light sleeper. If I even think about getting out of bed or entering the room, she'll hear my thoughts. With the baby coming soon, we could only imagine how much sleep she'll get with Cinco waking up every couple hours to feed. Last night was the first night. It wasn't pretty. We eventually got what we wanted. Three kids sleeping in the same room, but didn't happen until 10pm.
On the good side. I was able to go into my room when I went to bed and make as much noise as I wanted to.
Santa Checking In
Sunday, I went to Christmas Dialer. It's something that I found last year that sends out free Santa recordings. While not personal, it has a few options of what recording you would like to use. I entered our phone number, turned down SpongeBob and had the kids come to one room. We waiting and nothing happened. Ten minutes went by and nothing.
Crappy Vonage.
I tried calling from my cell phone, but I was afraid that I would call at the exact same second that Santa would. So, I checked the website and like a dork, I entered the wrong number.
Are you serious, Eric?!?!
I tried to request a new one, but I am only allowed one request. The next one would cost .57 cents.
Give me a break.
So I called Nana and had her request it. Santa called and the kids freaked out. Not freaked out like when they had their pictures with Evil Santa, but freaked out with extreme happiness. They start jumping up and down repeating what Santa was saying. Ladybug called Nana to let her know that Santa called.
I love seeing how much she loves Christmas.
My only concern now is that Cinco will want to come on Christmas Eve. And I mean Christmas Eve when Santa is coming and we have to run off to Labor and Delivery while his elves are setting up the gifts. We decided that we'll just tell the kids that Santa will come when Mommy and the baby come home.
I hope they buy it.
Hope you all had a great weekend.
Have a great week my friends.



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Countdown to Cindo - Special Edition

Unscheduled Countdown today.

Last year when KC was in labor with Beautiful, we still were undecided on a name if the baby was a boy. We chose to be surprised on the sex of the baby and had our names picked out for both genders. We're sitting there at the zero hour and she's not sure what to name the baby if it's a boy.

For a couple months now it was decided that it would be Joaquin. But she wasn't feeling it any more.

There were no back ups.

I tried to solicit a Junior or a The Second, but she wasn't having it.

Now she's laying in the hospital bed at five in the morning having contractions and I ask her, "If anything happens to you during delivery, what do you want to name the baby if it's a boy?"

It was an honest question. She wasn't mad or shocked at my line of thinking because she knew I was thinking like a husband and father that does not know the future.

Well, she still wasn't sure.

I retorted, "Fine, I'm naming him Eric The Second."

Well, Eric The Second was a girl and my wife was fine.

I mention this because we're on the cusp of this next baby. Bellies are dropping, contractions are contracting, and icky stickies are icky stickying. The baby could come this weekend quite possibly.

The name is not an issue this year, but sometimes thoughts come into your still that ask "What If?"

I know I give my wife crap for the thoughts that pop in her head when she's reading her books.

But I am guilty of alternate universe Elseworlds too.

One that always comes in my mind when we get this close to delivery is, "What if complications arise and my wife's life is in danger? If given the choice what would I do, tell the doctor to save the wife or save the baby?"

If this rare occasion were to peak it's ugly unfortunate head, I have told my wife on previous pregnancies that I would choose to save her.

This is not coming from the fact that I already have enough kids, this was a question that was posed on kid number one and two. My line of thinking comes from, I can always make more kids, I can't make another her.

I have this same practical thinking when it comes to our deaths.

I am to be cremated the kids and her are to be buried. Because I do not want to be a financial burden in my death and I can't fathom the thought of setting fire to my family.

My ashes are then to be displayed on KC's headboard for the rest of her life. Even when she gets married again for money.

She on the other hand would say, "Save the baby." That's the unselfish mother not wanting anything to happen to her children.

Am I selfish with the way I am thinking or just being a practical husband and father? Do other fathers or fathers to be ever think about this? Do mothers and mothers to be think like my wife.

I know my wife and baby are going to be fine and perfect and healthy. This is just a side effect of me getting off my Ritalin years ago.

Continue to have a great weekend my friends.



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You Don't Have A Work...

Ladybug has become pretty adept at playing the flash games over at nickjr.com. So we let her play for a limited amount of time occasionally. It gives her something to do which does not involve being in the same room as her younger siblings.

While at work on Monday, I get this email from my wife.

"So Ladybug wants to play Nick Jr. games and I told her I need the computer for
work. She says I don't have a work. I told her my work is staying
home and taking care of her. Then she said when she gets big, she is going
to go to a boys work like Daddy. When she gets big, she is going to go to
school, drive and go to work. I asked her if she wants to work at home
like mommy and she said no."


My initial response was that my future son-in-law is going to be a S.A.H.D., but later I thought about how she perceives her mother and I.

One way I viewed this was that she is a glorified "Daddy's Girl". She'll probably choose Daddy over Mommy any day of the week. By wanting to go to work, she's just wanting to be like Daddy by emulating what he is doing..

Another way is that she thinks boys go to work and girls stay home to take care of kids. You can't fault her for that. This is what she sees everyday. Her mother, her grandmother, her aunt all stay at home while their husbands work. Daddy is a boy and goes to work. Mommy is a girl and stays home. She makes the same observation about bathroom behavior.

"Boys stand up. Girls sit down. Boys sit down to poop."

The other was is that she doesn't see what mommy does as work. To be fair, work is actually a place Ladybug has visited. She likes to go potty there when they pick me up on occasion. She then repeats her bathroom knowledge in the large empty restrooms.

"Boys stand up. Girls sit down. Boys sit down to poop."

Work is a building far away. It's not where you sleep, play, watch TV and eat. She's only four, she'll get it eventually.

She also does not see the work, progress and attention that her mother gives to the home as actual work but as things that are not very fun. Stuff like cleaning up, washing clothes, and taking kids to doctor's appointments. Maybe this is just a kid thing and she'll learn to see the responsibility and importance of a stay at home parent.

Or it could be that she just doesn't want to be at home. I could be leaving to roll around in sour milk and coffee grounds and she would want to come with me just because I was leaving the house.

So should my wife take it personal? Do your kids think the same way, whether it's the mother or father staying home?

What do you think?

Have a great weekend my friends.
Eric.


Be sure to check out Ladybug's Mommy's Blog.

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I Wasn't Supposed To Be Here Today....

These past few weeks, we've been given carte blanche to work as many over time hours as we possibly can. So at night, I've gone from working two hours at night to four hours at night. That puts my evening hours over at 11pm. I have to be at work at 6am, which means I need to get up at around 4:30 to start getting ready to leave. Now if I go to sleep the minute I was done with work, I'd get five and a half hours of sleep.

In a perfect world.

I need a little time to decompress and eat Rocky Road ice cream. Maybe the end of a Criminal Minds episode my wife is watching. Couple that with the evening wake up of my baby, I probably don't get to bed until after twelve most nights.

You can look at the bags under my eyes and not have to do the math of how many hours I really do sleep.

I'm not sure what happened, but today I didn't wake up until 5:55am.

Not good.

Thursdays I usually work from home, but today I HAD to be at work for a meeting and other activities.

I rushed and was out the door in about 12 minutes.

Ladybug was up and asked for breakfast. I told her that Daddy was running late and she needed to ask Mommy. Not wanting to wake her up, she poured her own cereal. She also gave me an extra hug this morning while I was out the door.

I pulled up to work 30 minutes late. Not too bad for not having to be physically at work today.

I reached for my laptop and it wasn't there.

Crap crappity crap crap!!!

I talked to KC and she asked if I could just work from home in the morning and come in for the meeting. It would have been unproductive. I would end up trying to work for about 45 minutes before I had to leave for work again. Not to mention the kids who would want to see their daddy because they haven't seen him since he put them to bed last night.

Round trip back to work with a little more traffic, I'm not an HOUR AND A HALF late. It's at that point where I should have walked in with donuts, because I wouldn't be the guy who was late for work. I'd be the guy that brought donuts.

It doesn't matter that I wasn't supposed to go in today, I was upset because I was late and I'm never late. Not even with four kids. I'm always on time ready to go when I need to be. We always beat the other people who have only one or two kids. This just adds to my anxiety.

But when I get to work, my anxiety all fades away. My co-workers had surprised me with a few gifts for the upcoming baby. It was very nice and very unexpected.

I say unexpected because when you're on your fourth kid in five years, people seem to stop caring as much. They look and talk to you like you're creating a burden other than a blessing.

I'm really thankful for them, even if they made me come in when I wasn't supposed too.

Have a great day my friends...
Eric.



Why don't you check out someone who is never late to the office.. Because she never leaves.. My wife's blog below.

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Ladybug's Portfolio - My Rainbow

Ladybug's Portfolio is a collection of pictures taken by my 4 year old daughter from my cell phone. Usually I do not know they exist until I go through my pictures. These are her better ones.


My Rainbow


Story Behind The Picture: On this day we saw about 4 different rainbows in about 20 minutes. It looked like it was in the neighborhood right infront of us. She wanted to get closer. But the closer we got. The further away the rainbow seemed to run. We never caught up to the rainbow.





Have a great day my friends.


Check out Ladybug's mom over at her blog. And by check out I mean her blog. Not like, "check her out".

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I Got This!!!

The comic above is from a side blog I have called Pretty Dang Exciting.

With Cinco due anytime now, I find myself pretty at ease about the whole situation. It's not like the time when I found out KC was pregnant with our daughter. I remember I couldn't get home quick enough to embrace her. It was like I was running in marshmallow fluff. The days leading up to her birth was a mess on account we had just moved into our house two weeks prior. It was my first dealings with doctor visits, contractions and mood swings. When we brought Ladybug home, I had no clue what to do.

We had birth control for a while, but the hormones emitted from it caused her to have major continuous migraines. Three months after she got off the birth control, we found out she was pregnant with Disco. I was home during this time and there was no running and no marshmallow fluff. I was working as a new Realtor and had no health insurance. While we were happy, I still had no clue what I was going to do.

It all worked out and Disco got here fine. We talked about birth control as she breast fed the boy. Little did I know, but the breast feeding prevented her from ovulating. That's pretty dang cool if you ask me. But the feeding stopped about three months in and the ovulations started. This is also the start of her next pregnancy with or baby daughter Beautiful.

Again, no marshmallow fluff marathons. It was more of a "guess what" kind of thing. I was somewhat competent at this point. I got this now! People should start paying me for advice. Maybe I should write a blog. Beautiful was only five months old when my wife got herself pregnant again.

I think she told me in a text message.

KC: I'm Preg. UR the Dad. Bring home marshmallow fluff.

BOLTON: K.

The baby is due any time now. Again. I got this. I totally know what to do. I should contact a reality show producer.

Last week we get a call from her doctor's office. I picked up and it was Cindy. Cindy said she had good news. At first I thought maybe they found another baby after all this time and I was about to get pissed off. She instead told me that her Mirena had come in. We had planned on getting the Mirena before we got pregnant with this kid. But the baby decided to beat us to it.

We were concerned about the whole cost of the IUD, but with her deductible and out of pocket met, it's covered at 100%.

So six weeks after the baby arrives, hopefully they'll be no more surprises. My wife said that she would not know what to do if she wasn't pregnant. She's been pregnant more than half our marriage life together.

Me?

I GOT THIS!!!

Do me a solid and check out my wife's blog.

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Countdown to Cinco - Water and Pee!

Sunday is the 36th week of KC's pregnancy with our fifth child. She's dilated to 3CMs as of this past Wednesday. The contractions are irregular and the doctor told her to wait until they're five minutes apart before we come in. But she went from 0-3 within a few days. So I'm pretty dang sure that the baby will be here in the next 14 days.


Saturday morning was supposed to be a quick trip to the bank. KC didn't get much sleep the night before, so I took Ladybug and Disco while Beautiful stayed home and slept with Mommy. While driving I noticed a billboard that advertised free pictures with Santa at Winter Wonderland at a large outdoor shopping center not far from our bank. I figured since we already got our picture taken with Evil Santa, I'd just take them to go check out the Winter Wonderland.

But after the bank, I noticed that the Krispy Kreme sign was turned on. A small amount of the population know that when the sign is on, it means free donuts. My kids are part of that population. They didn't see the sign, but since free donuts are my favorite kind, I decided that I would treat the kids to a couple donuts and some chocolate milk. We finished our visit with a trip to the bathroom. While Ladybug was going potty. Disco was testing the acoustics and noticed the drain. He got down on the floor and looked down the drain. He inquired about it and my daughter said that it was for water.... and pee. My son repeated and I actually got the whole thing on video with my phone. But my phone is crap and I can't upload it to the interwebs. You'll just have to trust me.

We then headed to Winter Wonderland where the water and pee would be in snow form. It was actually at Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World. I told the girl it was a Winter Wonderland and they ignored the deer skulls and antlers as we entered. I didn't mention them either because I'm sure they would have thought they belonged to Comet and Prancer. The Winter Wonderland was a place where people were lining up for pictures with Santa and other activities. They had a remote control race track about the size of my living room. A rifle game where you shoot lights at targets on wild game. Ladybug killed a Wild Turkey, a Squirrel, a Fox and some unknown animal. Sasquatch I think. Disco was only able to pick off a Squirrel on account we had been there a while already. They shot Nerf arrows at some wild game as well. But they got away. The kids apparently make better Cowboys than Indians.

There was also a large fish tank in the middle of the store. If you go into the elevator, you can see inside the tank. We rode the elevator four times while the kids admired the large fish.

Later that night, KC and I went Christmas shopping. Since money is tight and every year we seem to have a new kid, we had to be creative. We hit up Family Dollar where most of the toys were FIVE DOLLARS. We were able to get a good amount of gifts and stocking stuffers for the three kids for under seventy bucks. MaddSkillz requests couldn't be found there.

We'll probably spend as much on him as we did the three kids. The quantity will be substantially less than what he might be expecting, but unless he wants a Cars Beanbag Toss he better appreciate it.

I put the gifts in the attic, then told her that if anything were to happen to us, then no one will know where they were. So if anything happens to us, can someone find my family on Facebook and let them know the presents are in the attic.

And because my wife doesn't have enough to do. KC decided to start her blog up again. I'd consider it a personal favor if you go check her out over at Mama2Miah Plus 4. There you'll hear her side of these stories. You know, the stories where I saved the day after a big explosion. Her side will tell it from her vantage point where I actually caused the explosion.

That's it for now. Have a great week my friends.







The Wife's Blog. Check it out and make her happy. Which makes my life easier...

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W.A.H.F.D.

For the past few months, I've been able to work at home a couple days out of the week. It's a big difference than earlier this year when I was hardly ever home. I enjoy it for the obvious reasons.

Sleeping a little later.

Not having to get ready.

Saving money on gas.

It gives my wife a little break in the morning. Since I am usually at work by 6AM, I'm up when the children's internal clock wakes them up at 6:02. So she gets to sleep a little later than the other days of the week when I take off in the morning. This helps out especially since she's ready to pop the baby out any time now. It also helps with doctor's appointments. I can keep an eye on the kids when she goes or takes one.

This week though, has been frustrating beyond belief. The kids are up at 6:02AM and want everything right then. Ladybug tells me she hungry. She wants some juice. She wants her vitamin. Telling her to wait a bit while I attempt to at least pretend to be working only pisses off the early riser.

Her whining only awakens her brother, and the two of them contribute to the rising of their baby sister.

Ugh.

The boy needs his diaper changed. Wants his milk. The baby needs her diaper changed. They all say they're hungry. Now before you know it. After the changes, bowls of cereal, and deciding who gets to watch what show, it's 6:20AM.

This wouldn't be that bad if I wasn't on production. I'm already 20 minutes behind.

I've become a Work at Home Frustrated Dad.

Now this doesn't happen all the time. It's really only been recently.

I could be working and my wife could be sitting or doing something else, yet the kids always to come to me. We've tried to let them know that Daddy shouldn't be bothered during this time, but it has seemed to get worse.

Maybe it's the fact that Christmas is here and they want to see presents under the tree or update the Christmas calendar. This along with the juice refills, snacks, fighting, crying, pooping, all has frustrated me beyond belief this week.

My production has been crap the past few days.

I'm sure I'm OK, but I feel that they'll see that with my low production, I should not be working at home so much. Now it couples with the fact the claims I'm processing have a been a bit harder, but my claims per hour has dropped drastically.

I really enjoy working at home. And it's not just because I don't have to shower before I start working. It's because I can see my wife and kids. I see my kids dance to The Fresh Beats or Yo Gabba Gabba. I can talk to my wife during lunch and not contend with distractions over the phone. Ladybug will come up to me at random times of the day and give me a squeeze hug. She'll start talking to me about what's happening or show me her latest drawing. I can watch Disco jump around and be a cannonball of a little boy. I can peek on him as he is so nice to his little sister when he thinks that no one is watching. And I can be there when Beautiful walks up to me and just wants me to hold her. KC and I can discus things that we would not be able to during a normal work day. I can also get more hugs and kisses from her when I'm at home than when I'm not.

Is there a difference in the time not working when I'm at home? All the above certainly take away from the time I could be producing. But what's the difference?

Possibly mindset?

If I'm up and down constantly for 10 minutes, it takes me a little bit to concentrate and focus.

If I get a hug, I'm more capable of processing a higher quantity and not lose focus.

This is just another place I struggle and juggle with balance. We just need to teach the kids that Daddy needs to be left alone during this time. I also need to ask for help when I need it.

I have a problem with that.

Do you work from home? Would you like to work at home? What do you do to make sure that you get your stuff done?

Have a great weekend my friends.

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Creative Discipline

I know that I've said it before, but becoming a father the day I got married has been the toughest part about this job.

It has gotten a whole lot easier over the past five years, there are only maybe a few things that I don't get involved with (if that even). But I do not hesitate as much as I used to when it comes to raining down fire if there are any if any infractions in house rules.

We do not ask much of him. Just to contribute to the benefit of the family. We let him slide some on account of his school activities, but the rules should still be followed. One that I will not tolerate is getting an attitude with his mother. He's gotten better this school semester though. He started saying "Yes/No Ma'am/Sir" in the past month. Even though we've been telling him how to answer us or anyone, he is doing it now because his theatre teacher is making the kids do it. Although I do not like the fact that he listens to someone else. The point is that he is doing it now.

The other main thing I require of him is to keep his room clean. Or picked up at the least. I know I know. He's a teenage boy, his room isn't going to be immaculate. I don't want it immaculate, I just want it manageable. I would also like him to at least listen to my requests and attempt to pick up his room after I tell him too.

I've gotten creative with him before so he learns a lesson. And I'm doing it again.

To say his room is a disaster area is not an exaggeration. FEMA will not even touch it. They said they would rather deal with death and decay on a global scale than my son's room. I replied saying that I could not confirm or deny that there would be no death or decay in his room already.

Regardless, his room is mess. It's mainly his clothes. Both clean AND dirty. It's not like he has to fold them. We do the hard part. We just put them in his room so he can put them away. Well, they just get kicked off his bed onto the floor on his way to bed. He also has to just either bring his dirty clothes for the day to the laundry room or put them in a laundry basket. They get mixed up on the floor too.

So this is what I did today.

He has this thing where he will not wear the same pair of blue jeans twice without washing them. Now if they were stinky and dirty, I could understand. But they are not.

I went in his room and found his stack of clean jeans (about 3 or 4 pair), and I hid them. I then picked up his dirty jeans (about 6 or 7 pair), and hid them too. Yes he has at least 10 pairs of jeans because he is wearing a pair to school right now.

Now he only has one.

He will have to clean his room to get his dirty jeans back. He'll have to wash his own jeans and when they are clean and hung up, I will give him back his clean jeans.

If listening to me does not get his stuff done, then maybe if I inconvenience him enough he'll get it done.

We'll see how he reacts when he gets home this afternoon.

And to retort any future argument. No my room isn't the cleanest. Our room holds the baby crib. Any access storage boxes and we separate laundry in our room. And I have three babies.

I'll let you know how it goes. Maybe I should have his theatre teacher tell him to do it.

What creative ways do you discipline your kids? Do they respond to that better than the material restrictions??

Have a great day my friends.


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Ladybug's Portfolio - Why You Crying Boy?

Ladybug's Portfolio is a collection of pictures my four year daughter has taken with my cell phone camera. These are her better ones.

Why You Crying, Boy?

Story behind picture: I believe this was taken when we were on vacation this summer. Disco was throwing a fit for whatever reason (I think he ended up getting sick) and his big sister decided to take advantage of his plight.

Gotta love the big sister.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Christmas Book Giveaway Winners. I was originally going to give away one set, but it came to my attention that I could give away THREE sets. So there are THREE WINNERS.

Alex, bcgirl, and Melydia.

I have notified them all via email for their mailing addresses. If I don't hear from them by Friday morning, I will select backup winners. So get back to me ASAP.

Thanks for everyone who came to my blog and participated. I hope you stick subscribe to my everyday posts as well as any possible other giveaways that come my way.

Have a great day my friends.

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What I Want for Christmas: Ladybug

About three months ago, I started having this conversation with my daughter.

"Daddy, I want _(insert toy/game here)_!!"

"Ok Ladybug, we'll see what I can do.."

I'm not sure what happened. She's seen commercials on TV ever since she started watching Nickelodeon (Playhouse Disney doesn't have commercials). Maybe she made the connection that what they show on TV, they also sell in stores.

It started with Pixos.

"Ok Baby, We'll see."

Followed by MoonSand.

"Ok Baby, We'll see."

Now it's monsooned in EVERYTHING she sees on TV.

A baby that poops. Teenage Dora. Tween Dora. Diego Rescue. A toy horse. Splatster. Baby alive. My Real Pets. Barbie this. Barbie that. Dora game for DS. Dora game for Wii.

It doesn't matter that we have neither game system. So she trumped it with.

Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii to go with the Dora game for DS and Dora game for Wii. Littlest Pet Shop. Dora Links Doll.

The list goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

It's no longer, "Ok Baby, we'll see."

It's "I KNOW!!!"

I no longer look at the TV when she says something. She'll shout at me while I'm in the kitchen.

I yell back. "OKAY!!" Not knowing or caring what she wants.

My wife does similar stuff, like "When we can afford it, I want to get a couch like this..."

"Ok sweetie.."

Now I don't say it to shut her up or to pacify her dream. I say it because it's the same as my daughter's wishes. If I could afford it, I would get them both everything. But right now they're both getting the same answer.

My dad is a store manager for Family Dollar. He brought home this catalog and it has a crap load of stuff for five bucks.

I gave the catalog to Ladybug for her to tell me what she wanted.

On the cover alone she said, "Tinkerbell, the baby, the dollhouse, Mickey Mouse, The princess cups and that!"





Which is EVERYTHING that a girl might want on the cover. The other stuff she said her little brother would want.


When Christmas eventually gets here. I know that whatever Santa brings, she'll love it. Then she'll see what her brother got and love that too and want to play with his while not letting him play with hers.

It's like a big sister rule or something.

At what age does your kid start expecting to get what they want? Are they there yet? Do you get it for them? How do they react?

Have a great day my friends.


Als0, please remember that my Christmas Book Giveaway ends tonight. Get your entries in.

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Countdown to Cinco - Visiting Evil Santa

We're 35 weeks again. Apparently I was a week ahead. I guess that's good because I have an extra week. But we're still shooting for the week of the 21st.

KC had to go to the hospital Thursday evening because of strong contractions. These things always seem to happen in the evening. So we have to go to the hospital instead of the doctor's office. We couldn't find anyone to watch the kids, so I kept them and dropped of the wife. I had to miss MaddSkillz' play that night because of the event. I also had to skip my sister's college graduation this weekend because I did not want to be in another city if anything were to happen.

I promised Ladybug that we'd put the tree up and go see Santa Claus. Saturday we got the kids ready and went to the grocery store to see Santa. My daughter was excited as we drove to there. The night before said that she wanted Santa to come for dinner so she could give him a hug. We have the two little ones in the tandem. Ladybug is skipping and happy about what is about to happen. We get there about 10 minutes before it is about to start. Disco is wanting out of the stroller, but we refuse his request on account we don't want him running around with a lot of breakable things. I had also packed bags of snacks and brought a quart of juice because I was expecting a long wait. I've never been more over prepared for anything in my entire life.

We get there and we end up being first in line. Ooooooookay? There's no elves or reindeer or ANYTHING. Just the big Santa chair between a couple Christmas trees. I go ask people if we're in the right place, they assure me I am. I still don't buy it. I go look on the other side of the store where I saw the sign earlier in the week. Just free samples. We go back and we wait. We're still first in line, but we're also THE line.

This does not look good.

A few minutes later the Santa procession begins. By procession I mean the photo lab technician and an employee who drew the short straw dressed as Santa Claus. When Disco sees Santa he exclaims, "WOOOOOOW!!!" My wife and I exchange a glance that said, "This is supposed to be Santa Claus??"

When he approached the kids, you would think that he was Evil Santa Claus. The kids did not like him AT ALL!!

Ladybug sees Santa and hides behind her mom. We try to take Disco out, but the boy who previously wanted to get out of the stroller was protesting because he realized that Santa is really a scary character. We go to hand Beautiful to Santa and she starts crying. Santa looks scared out of his fake beard. We wrangle the kids to where KC is holding a crying Disco. I'm holding a petrified Ladybug. The only people that are smiling in the picture are myself and KC.

But honestly, I took the picture in my head prior to going and the picture is exactly what I imagined.

MaddSkillz is a teenager and didn't want to go. Plus he had a procrastination project due on Monday that he had to get done. If he would have went, we could have made this our Christmas card.

But the kids were more than excited about getting away from Santa and his Throne of Lies.

My daughter also asked this question. "Where are Santa's reindeer?" Excellent question Ladybug. We don't think she'll understand the "Santa's Helper" story, so I told her that they were on the roof waiting for him to finish. She didn't buy that and said that they dropped him off and went back to the North Pole.

Whatever works.

We also got the Christmas Tree and some decorations up. I had to get these things done this weekend. I am not grunted this luxury the closer it gets to Christmas with the baby threatening to come at any time now.

The main thing that I need to do next is get the baby's crib put together. Hopefully I can get to that this weekend.

Have a great week my friends.

Also, if you haven't already. Go check out my Christmas Book Giveaway. The winner will be chosen Wednesday.

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This is why I'm not a Meat Urologist.

This is a screenscrape of the doppler radar in the past five minutes.

For two days they said it was going to snow in San Antonio. For two days I said they were full of crap. Well look who is eating crow now?

San Antonio doesn't get snow. Maybe a flurry. Lots of hail. Sleet. Recently it's rained more than in Genesis. And we freak out when it gets cold. Infrastructure goes haywire. City Planners don't know what to do. The idea is so foreign here that the city shuts down pretty much.

This pisses me off because my wife is having a baby and could happen this weekend.

And even if it snowed. My teenage son will still only wear his hoodies and push his sleeves up. Because it's not cool to wear a coat.



**********EDIT 1.5 HOURS LATER**********


Hmmm.... Maybe it's a good thing I saved my money going to Meat Urologists Skool...


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Christmas Book Giveaway

Hacette Book Group tapped me to solicit a giveaway of a set of Christmas books. The set consists of of five books from Hachette Book Group.



Below is a description of the books from the groups website.


Miracles A 52 Week Devotional .
By Karen Kingsbury.
Full Description
MIRACLES draws from five of Karen's most popular books, delivering readers a fresh word from God for each week. Each devotion is an excerpt from one of Karen's Miracle books, selected for the uplifting and strengthening message it offers.

Angels A Pop-Up book.
By Chuck Fischer.
Full Description
Whether you consider angels to be divine messengers, spiritual guides, or the stuff of legend, you will find something to marvel at in Chuck Fischer's beautifully illustrated Angels: A Pop-Up Book. Fischer's original art, inspired by classic images from art history, is crafted into astoundingly intricate three-dimensional pop-ups with fold-outs and moveable parts. Angels brings to life the most captivating stories of these celestial beings, from the angels of the zodiac to Biblical angels to angels in the arts and popular culture.

The Gift of an Ordinary Day A Mother's Memoir.
By Katrina Kenison.
Full Description
The Gift of an Ordinary Day is an intimate memoir of a family in transition-boys becoming teenagers, careers ending and new ones opening up, an attempt to find a deeper sense of place, and a slower pace, in a small New England town. It is a story of mid-life longings and discoveries, of lessons learned in the search for home and a new sense of purpose, and the bittersweet intensity of life with teenagers--holding on, letting go.

Poised on the threshold between family life as she's always known it and her older son's departure for college, Kenison is surprised to find that the times she treasures most are the ordinary, unremarkable moments of everyday life, the very moments that she once took for granted, or rushed right through without noticing at all.

The relationships, hopes, and dreams that Kenison illuminates will touch women's hearts, and her words will inspire mothers everywhere as they try to make peace with the inevitable changes in store.

Christmas Memories A Keepsake Book from the Heart of the Home
By Susan Branch
Full Description
From the author of the popular "Heart of the Home" series comes a five-year memory book for the holidays. Families can record their traditions: around the tree, on Christmas Eve, Christmas dinner and grace, special gifts, parties, and New Year's celebrations. Full color, ribbon marker.

The Paper Bag Christmas
By Kevin Alan Milne
Full Description
Dr. Christopher Ringle is the last person you'd expect to find moonlighting as Santa Claus at the mall on the day after Thanksgiving. But it is there that he meets a young man named Molar Alan, who desperately needs a new perspective on the underlying value of Christmas. Dr. Ringle recruits Mo and his older brother as volunteers at a nearby children's hospital for the holiday season. At the hospital, Mo is tasked to help bring holiday cheer to the young cancer patients on the fifth floor. His biggest challenge is befriending a decidedly angry girl who is so embarrassed by her scarred appearance that she hides her face behind the safety of a paper bag.


To enter the drawing for the set of books, simply leave a comment below stating you would like to be included in the drawing. Please leave a comment on the original blogger post. I'm not sure where all this blog actually gets fed too and I wouldn't want to miss anyone because they responded somewhere I didn't know they commented. Facebook comments are ok.

If you are getting the books for yourself or someone else, I would like for you to get them before Christmas. So we'll close the contest Tuesday, December 8th at 11:59PM. Name will be pulled from a hat from the number of entries submitted.Winner will be notified on Wednesday. Winner should respond with their mailing information within 48 hours so I can get the information to the company.

For an additional chance to enter, post the giveaway on Twitter and let me know about it.

This contest is open to US and Canadian residents only. Also, please no PO Boxes.

This is my first blog giveaway, so let's make it a good one.

Thanks for all your support and have a GREAT weekend.

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