Ladybug's Portfolio - SpongeBob

Ladybug's Portfolio is a collection of pictures taken by my three year old daughter when she swipes my cell phone. A lot of them are what you expect, just a bunch of blurs, fingers and closeups. Her portfolio consist of her better ones.

SpongeBob SquarePants Plush



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Because of bad financial decisions, that's why!!

Ladybug has a new gimmick as she is getting closer to being a four year old. "Gimmicks" of the past have been where she makes us call her "Super-Hero" or "Ninja Turtle". She never really had a princess gimmick or anything that would make my wife happy. It usually involves some sort of sport, wrestling move, zombie, transforming robot, ninja or explosion. It's something that would make a father proud.


But this new thing that she does is question EVERYTHING. Maybe if you've had a child reach the formidable fours, they could have done things similar. Now, when I say that she questions everything, I do not mean that she is disrespectful and argues with her parent's decisions. She literally questions EVERYTHING.


She questions us by asking "Why?"


Again, it's not why she can't do something. She actually wants to know why things are the way they are. And being the type of dad I am, I answer her with some sort of reason.


Here's what I am talking about.


Last year, my office had a raffle for a 36" TV. A friend of mine won and gave me the TV. This is where this is coming from.


"Daddy, why did you friend give you the TV?"


"Because he already didn't want it."


"Why?"


"Because he probably already had a nicer one."


"Why?"


""Because he bought it from the store."


"Why?"


"Because he liked the options that the TV has."


"Why?"


"Because that's the way the TV company made the TV."


"Why?"


"Because they wanted to make money."


"Why?"


"Because they didn't have a lot of money growing up."


"Why?"


"Probably because their parents didn't have a lot of money."


"Why?"


"More than likely it was due to bad financial decisions they made early on in their life."


"Why?"


"They probably bought a house with an adjustable rate mortgage and couldn't afford it."


"Oh.. Ok!"


Now I know I only encouraged her by giving her an answer. But it's conversations like this that I enjoy. She makes me think and I have a feeling that she's not just being annoying, she's actually learning and storing all this nonsense. I know it makes her think too. I feel it promotes her creativity.


One of my brother's did the same thing when he was younger. But as his older brother, I took advantage and gave him wrong answers for the purpose to screw with him. Like telling him "being constipated" meant you're smart. My daughter, is learning to be an even more effective evil genius than I am.


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Sick, Tired, Hide, Seek!



For nothing happening, this was a busy weekend.



Friday I discussed with KC about taking the kids to an event downtown. I'm not sure why, maybe it has to do with money and the lack of it, but we don't take the kids many places that aren't errands. But Disco got sick and we had to cancel. That afternoon I also took down the above ground pool in the back yard. We had previously drained it, but the next day it rained for the first time in 18 months and it really never stopped. So, I had to bail water out in a bucket until I was able to let it spill out. I guess it has to do with my age, but I was really worn out and fatigued when I was finished. It also could have been the bacteria infected pool water. I cleaned up and went right to bed at about 7pm. I woke up about four and half hours later, I stayed up and hung out on the interwebs for a while.



Then right when I was going to bed, the baby woke up. I fed her and laid her down, thirty minutes later she was up again. We played this dance until 11AM. The boy woke up during this time too. I didn't get to sleep until 10:30PM Saturday night. It was almost 24 hours of no sleep. All the things I could have done on Saturday went away because I was just too dang tired to do anything.



The main thing that happened to me this weekend took about 35 seconds.



I was on the computer probably putting Babies in Beards, when my daughter was hanging with her grandfather. They had taken his dog outside which is a regular routine. But my daughter decided that she was going to start her Annoying Middle School Punk phase before she was four years old. While outside, she would knock on our door and then hide while someone answered the door. My dad had come inside, and I assumed my daughter did as well. I was still probably putting Babies In Beards, when there was a knock at the door again. KC had told MaddSkillz to go check the door and have his sister come inside.



With the door open, you can hear him calling for his sister. KC suggests I go outside too. I rush outside, and don't see my daughter anywhere. "LADYBUG!!" My head immediately starts spinning. "LADYBUG!" I check behind the cars, the trashcans, the neighbors fence.



"LADYBUG!" I scan up the street, down the street. "LADYBUG!" Looking at her brother who is starting to get a worried look on his face that is matching mine. "LADYBUG!" My mind is racing. "LADYBUG!" My heart is pounding. "LADYBUG!"



Then I hear my wife laughing inside. I open the door and I see my daughter hiding behind the couch.



I storm through the entry hall and sternly tell her, "DON'T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN!!!"



Turns out, she was behind the couch the entire time. Her grandfather thought that we knew she was there and we were playing along. KC didn't know she was there until we were outside freaking out. I went back outside because I was pissed. I wanted to yell at my dad for letting that happen. If anyone HE would know what it’s like when a daughter hides and you freak out looking for her. My little sister had did something similar when he was my daughter's age. The whole thing gave me a headache and it affected me for about an hour.



It's one of those things you don't expect and don't think will ever happen to your kid. But in those thirty-five seconds it happened in my mind to my kid. That's why it took me a while to get over it. Another reason was when I saw her, I immediately scolded her and didn't scoop her up in my arms and squeeze her to never let her go again.



And it could have been that I had been up since 11:30PM the night before.





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Babies In Beards - Number 1


I use picnik.com with my online photo editing. I have a graphic program on my PC at home, but since I spend the majority of my time on the laptop, I go ahead and use that for the limited editing on do for this blog. While making a graphic, I came across the "mustache and beard" option.

So with that.. I decided to start something new..

Babies in Beards!!
Disco likes like a 30's Style Boxer and Ladybug belongs in Slytherin

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Ladybug's Portfolio - Plankton!

Ladybug's Portfolio is a collection of pictures taken by my three year old daughter when she swipes my cell phone. A lot of them are what you expect, just a bunch of blurs, fingers and closeups. Her portfolio consist of her better ones.

~Plankton~
Taken during an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.
I tweeked with the effects just a bit. But it's still her creation!






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The Day That Changed My Life


Eight years ago today, I met someone that changed my life forever. I had been laid off my previous job for almost a month, and today was the first day of training at my new job. I walked up to the front doors of the building not really knowing what to expect. At this point in my life, I preferred when I was by myself and not having to meet, impress, or deal with new people. So, I took a deep breath and walked inside. I'm greeted by the receptionist who is probably still on high alert since 9/11, and asks me to have a seat to wait for the instructor to bring me back. I walk to the designated area and that's when I see her.

There she was sitting in a chair that is also in the "designated area". She was looking down at a book, folder, binder, or planner. I only scanned her over for a second, but it is one of those memories that I can playback in my mind with no detail lost. It's like the movie "Click", with Adam Sandler. He's able use a "universal remote" and access different parts of his life to view them. He is able to pause the memory, but not interact. This is one of those times I would just pause time and take in the beauty of the scenery.

In those few seconds, I knew that she was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Her hair was dark brown with a bit of wave to it that fell just below her shoulder. She wore a maroon blouse which also accentuated my interest because maroon is my favorite color. She sat with her legs crossed in a black skirt and black hose. Her matching shoes completed the picture of beauty that was presented before me.

I walked up to sit in the chair next to her. She looked up at me then back to her book/folder/binder/planner. That brief eye contact did it for me. Inside my head, my mind was racing "Who is this chick?" "I hope she's in my training." "She's beautiful." "Oh crap, I have a girlfriend." When she had looked at me, there was the polite smile "hello", but there was no "moving her hair behind her ear" technique that chicks use to flirt with guys. But that didn't matter. Even though I may never see this woman again, I was at that time sitting next to the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.

Well it turns out that she was starting training that day. YES!!! I will be seeing this girl every weekday ALL day for the next six weeks. The class had five students. The class was your standard customer service training class where we would learn the company policies, the computer systems and applications, etc., etc., etc. But one different part of this class was the trainer would ask random trivia questions. For some reason, I have thousands of random trivia files stored away in the back of my head. Where did I learn all this?? I have no clue. Maybe I'm like Bill Murray in Groundhog's Day and I have lived the same day over and over again to where I just learn a lot of things. And I had to learn all that stuff by living September 24, 2001 over and over before I got it right. Regardless, I kicked butt in these random trivia questions in class.

Then one day early in training, She turned around and told me, "You're really smart!"

I melted in my chair.

Up until this point in my life, I could not remember a time in my life where I had any positive affirmation directed towards myself. This girl who had only known me for a few days, had finally given me what I needed from anyone in the 26 years of my life.

Now it wasn't just her looks that I was attracted too. In the next following days, her voice, her laugh, the way she walked, the way she would pinch her nose when it itched. Whether she knew it or not, she had my heart.

One night, I told my friend that I am going to ask her to lunch the next day. The next day arrived and I was a scared turtle. I wanted to say something, but couldn't. The lunch break started and I hung back, purposely stalling to hope maybe I might gain the strength to say something.

It never came.

I was going to die alone. No one would know that I was even dead. They'll find me 1000 years from now in a glacier or something. Study my habits and say, all he did was read comics, eat hamburger helper and steal wrestling pay per views. They'd probably just put me back in my icy tomb.

Instead she turned around and asked me what I was doing for lunch.

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!

I had to play it cool.. But more than likely played it like a dork.

We had lunch, where I was just overwhelmed, infatuated, and intimidated by this woman. I only answered questions she asked. I hardly asked about her. I think it was because I was afraid that she would say that she had a boyfriend and they were happy together and she's only doing this because her boyfriend pissed her off and she wants to get back at him by going to lunch with another guy.

During the next eight years, we me for lunch often. We became friends. Good friends. Best friends. I eventually asked her to marry me and she said yes. We're going to celebrating five years of marriage on January 1st. We're expecting our fourth child together around the same time. A lot has happened these past eight years. Stuff that has made us laugh. Stuff that has made us cry. Stuff that has made us fight. Stuff that has made us run to each other in forgiveness. She's still the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. And I am blessed beyond belief from everything that transpired from the moment I walked into the new job that day. I will always remember this day that changed my life.

I love you Sweetie.. Happy Anniversary.

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Weekend Wrap Up - In the form of a Haiku


Lazy Saturday
On Sunday We Went To Church
Huge Insect Hit Car




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Naming Our Upcoming Baby!!

This past weekend, my wife and I decided on the names for our upcoming baby. Again, we have opted to not find out the gender of kid. KC enjoys this more than I do. She finds a thrill and excitement not knowing the sex of the baby. I on the other hand, would rather know if I would need to buy more baseball equipment (for a boy) or firearms (for the potential girl's boyfriends). Our first two children together, we opted to find out the sex of the baby. Her oldest and our last child, we did not.

I always found it off when people would ask…


"Do you know what you're having?"


"Yes, a girl!"


"A girl?!?! Awwwwww!!"


I've often wondered if there's ever been a time where the inquisitor was put off by the answer.


"Do you know what you're having?"

"Yes, a girl!"


"A girl? Oh.. Well, good luck with all of that!!"


One time I asked someone if I told them it was the opposite gender would they have been excited. They thought for a moment and said yes. So this leads me to believe that people are just nosey. Be excited that we're having a baby if you hold no personal interest in it yourself.


Our first two children together, KC already had the names picked out for the kids and I had no input whatsoever. I tried to get the boy named after me, but it seemed like the most disgusting thing she's ever heard. But this last baby, I was the one who had come up with the names. My wife is Hispanic and I'm a whitey. Our three oldest all have predominantly "white" names. It's not so bad because the kids have a nice light tan skin color. I feel that I would need to provide my DNA anytime I went to pick up my kids from church daycare if they were any darker just to prove that this white boy is their dad. So this last kid, I wanted to go with a Hispanic name. The name I came up with for a boy was Joaquin. Joaquin Alejandro. I thought it was perfect. He'd grow up to be the next Zorro. KC liked it. As did others. MaddSkills? Not so much.


KC started balking on the name of Joaquin as it got closed to the due date. But she did not have any back ups. And Eric Daniel Bolton II still made her throw up in her mouth. Fast forward to delivery day. Joaquin is still top of my list and she has no backups. So I ask her, "if something happens to you, what do you want name to be if it's a boy?" She still didn't know. But I said, if something does, it's going to be "Eric 2.0" and you can just be mad at me from Heaven and take it up with me when I show up. Thankfully she was fine, and our baby was a girl. So now Joaquin can never be used again for any future children.


Now back to this upcoming one. For a boy, I want his initials to be "JD". So I can call him.. "JD". The name made it on the official name scratch paper which makes it totally binding in any court custody case.


People ask.


"Do you have any names picked out?"


"Yeah.. "JD" if a boy…"


"Awwwwwwww.."


Again with the nosiness. Not that it matters anyways. My wife feels that it's going to be a girl, so I know she's just humoring me with letting me choose the boy's name.
If you're a parent, did you always find out the gender of your baby or babies? If you plan on having kids, do you plan on finding out? Any interesting name stories out there?


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FMLA from Blogging

Sorry for the lack of blogs this week. I had a bit of an accident Sunday night while preparing dinner for my mother-in-law's birthday. I was slicing potatoes and all of a sudden, I only had nine fingerprints left..

Now, the picture posted here was found thru Google Image search of "severed thumbs". While mine is not as severe as this, it did bleed a helluva lot. In fact seven hours later it was still bleeding and had not clotted like I thought it would.

Long story short, everything is ok. I just have this annoying bandage on my dominant thumb that gets in the way of EVERYTHING I do.

Not having full use of your thumb is a logistical nightmare when you have children. Especially changing diapers. Because you can't tell where your thumb bandage ends and the rest of the world begins. Meaning, I've had to change out the bandages after changing diapers.

Anyways, the magic coin tricks are on hold.. :\










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Criss Angel and David Blaine Better Watch Their Arses!!!

This past weekend, I showed my daughter the disappearing quarter trick. Rather simple, I learned it about ten years ago. I haven't thought of quarter tricks since then, so why did I perform one for my almost four year old daughter? Maybe just to see excitement on her face with something she would think is cool.

I took the quarter in my right hand, placed it in my left hand and clinched it tight. I had her blow on my left hand and when I opened my fist, the coin had vanished. She started looking around for the quarter. When I pulled it from behind her ear, she was AMAZED!!!


"Do it again.. Do it again!!!"


So I did, I pulled the quarter from her ear, from behind her baby sister's ear, from her sister's shirt, various places.

Then she wanted to try.


I gave her the quarter, she put it in her right hand and she had me blow on her hand. She opened it and the coin was still there. She was a bit disappointed and had me blow again. She's tried it for a few days now and the coin never leaves her hand. She now blames me for not blowing hard enough.. ;)


I decided to show her a trick I felt she could handle. The trick of putting the quarter through a wood table.


I picked up the quarter. Tapped it on the table a few times to find the "soft spot". Then…


CHANK!! CHING CHING CHING!!


The quarter successfully went through the solid wood table and hit the ground.

Again, the nearly four year old was impressed. I taught her the trick, and I want to say that she can pull it off pretty good. She needs to work on her misdirection a little bit, but otherwise she's the Criss Angel of nearly four year olds.


I did the disappearing coin trick again last night in front of my nearly two year old boy. This time I pulled the quarter out from the back of his diaper. The boy had a "WTH" look on his face.
He managed to con a quarter from his grandfather and came to me to show me that he knew how the trick worked.


"Daddy!!! Money!!!"


"Yeah, Buddy. Don't put it in your mouth ok."


He doesn't.. He puts it down the back of his own diaper, raises his hands in victory and exclaims…


"DID IT!!!!"


The David Blaine of Toddlers I tell you!!!


The next trick I'm going to teach them...


"WINGARDIUM LEVIOSO!!!"


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A Real High School Musical

This week, MaddSkills is having auditions for an upcoming play at school. He got the acting bug one evening years ago, when he was making his mother laugh by quoting movies in the backseat. His mother told him that he should be an actor. Was it a rhetorical "you can do be anything you want to be" remark? I want to say it was, but MaddSkills ran with it.

His first audition he got a lead part in a school play. It was one of my proudest moments when he called and told me he got the part. The following year he won a UIL award for a small play in competition (with a broken arm). Last year he helped direct the spring play.

This year he's in high school and going out for a part in Annie Get Your Gun the Musical.

He's concerned about these auditions because it's in three parts. Two of the three he doesn't do.

Monologue, Dancing and Singing.

I would have loved to been in the audience on Tuesday to see him do his dance number. Only because parents love to be there for those awkward moments for their kids. Especially when they are trying really really hard. He came home and said he did "ok". Nothing big. He knows that it's not one of his strengths.

Yesterday was singing. Again, not a strong one for the boy. I'm sure most of us have seen Peter Brady singing in that Brady Bunch episode. Peter is the Fourth Tenor compared to my boy. I'm not trying to be mean. The boy does try hard. Again, he's just at his awkward 14 year old boy stage where nothing on your body works the way you would like it too.

I dropped him off at school yesterday evening. He said it would only be 30 minutes and I asked if I could go watch. He gave me some crap about it not being open to audiences or something. This wouldn't have been a time where I would want to be there for the awkwardness of it, but for honest support. Thirty minutes later he came out with the same lack of enthusiasm as the night before. He knows he's not a strong singer which is why he hopes to get called back tonight for the monologue part of the audition.

The monologue he prepared for is a part in Nacho Libre. MaddSkills says that his influences are Chris Farley and Jack Black. Which there is nothing wrong with that, but I feel that he's limiting his potential entertainment facets. He needs to expand and be open to other actors and actresses. Watch ones that carry a scene with their presence. And not ones that have to be the fat idiot to do so.

Actors like Tom Hanks, Danzel Washington, Harrison Ford, Eric D. Bolton..

Yes you read that right, Eric D. Bolton. MaddSkills' father acted in a major Hollywood movie. You know, the war movie that starred Matt Damon..

Maybe you heard of it..

Courage Under Fire.
Starring:
-Denzel "Virtuosity" Washington
-Lou "Sha-vez" Diamond Phillips
-Meg "Rom-Com" Ryan
-Matt "Really Anorexic" Damon
And Introducing:
-"Pre-Juggling" Eric D. Bolton

I played the part of United States Army, Private Taylor. I was part of an eight man team that was responsible for a top secret operation. The "op" was so classified that even the producers, writers or director didn't know what exactly we were up to. Our mission took us right between Lou and Denzel. Denzel was sitting on Lou's car and Lou had just thrown a cigarillo on the ground. I was positioned in the rear rank closest to Lou Diamond.

Here's a screen shot from a Korean youtube-esque site..




I tell my son that I drew my motivation from a scenario I created in my mind. I had a gal back home. We were high school sweethearts. She wore my varsity jacket and class ring. I had promised her that after I made the rank of Sergeant, I would marry her and get her a house in the country. We'd raise our kids to be congressmen and retire enjoying our grandkids playing in our vineyard. I carried a picture of her wherever I went. I showed it to all of my buddies.

The subplot of our mission was left on the cutting room floor.

The final edit of the movie just has marching to a vanishing point in the background. After viewing the film, it made me feel like they considered me as only an extra.

WTH?!?

I spit on extras..

PTUI!!!

For that reason alone, I opted out of appearing on the VHS Tape Cover.

It's probably best the way it turned out. Because usually, when you have a character such as United States Army Private Taylor they end up being the first ones shot and killed in a war movie.

So, there's still a possibility for a sequel.

But back to my original point for this entry. I am very very very proud of my son and the commitment that he has given this over the past few years. It is something that he really wants with his life, he can take his "guns" and show them off somewhere else later. Something that isn't a High School Musical..




---Post Script Disclaimer. There actually is an accomplished actor named Eric Bolton. if you IMDB him, you'll see his resume. The only reason I know this is when I was shopping for my website domain, ericbolton.com was taken. So I started going by Eric D. Bolton 3 years ago.---


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Toddlers In Da Hood!!



Yesterday afternoon, I'm relaxing on Labor Day in my living room watching some television. Now this isn't Daddy having to watch the Spongebob Squarepants Movie because the kids love the Goofy Goober song. Or even the Criminal Minds marathon on A&E because it's one KC's favorite shows. No, the kids were outside playing and the wife was somewhere else.


I HAD CONTROL OF THE TELEVISION!!!!


And it wasn't even the allotted 3am time that I am given.


So I'm sitting there watching my show. The wife comes in sits next to me, glances at the TV and judges what I'm watching with.. "What are you watching?!?!"


So I told her.


Then my daughter comes in from outside, sits on the couch and starts watching TV with me.


Then all of a sudden, my daughter starts throwing up gang signs!!


WTH?!?!


She starts doing it again!!


"Ladybug stop that!!"


More gang signs!! Apparently she still needs to represent her crew..


"Ladybug STOP!!"


"What is she doing?!?" KC asks..


"She's throwing up gang signs!!"


"CHANGE THE CHANNEL!!!!!"


So a tip for all you dads with children of impressionable ages... It's probably not a good idea to watch Gangland on the History Channel with the kids around..


But I guess it already made it's mark on her, because I go outside and I see this spray painted on the wall...


It looks like the Ladybug Mafia is in it for life!!!


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