Cutting Off Precious Time To Study Marie Biology

For whatever bad parenting decisions we were making, we allowed the children to watch TV.

A lot of TV.

A whole lot of TV.

Specifically cartoons.

Now my kids weren't glued to the tube at all hours of the day mesmerized by the glowing ambient light emitting from the 27 inch babysitter. They would want to go out and play, or end up playing during the show in their room. Both my wife and I felt bad about the amount of TV they were watching.

Sure they've learned quite a bit of stuff from the cartoons.

My daughter can be a Marine Biologist from all the SpongeBob she's watched.

But with the weather finally clearing up, time in front of the TV needed to be moderated. As well as the arguing about whose turn it is to watch their cartoon. Fights, arguments, and fits would erupt if one of the kids didn't get to watch something when it wasn't their turn. My daughter being a bit of the drama queen lets her brother know quite often in "subtle" ways that she does not want to watch what he has chosen to watch.

Case in point, Team UmiZoomi. It's a newer cartoon that focuses on counting, math and patterns. All three kids have learned a lot from watching the show. It is currently Disco's favorite cartoon beating out Blue's Clues and Fresh Beats. During the show, the characters are singing their songs and Bot's part goes like this:

I'm Bot.
I can show you anything,
On my belly belly belly screen.

So to show her irritation with the show when she would rather be watching Sponge Bob, Ladybug remixes it into her own version.

I'm NOT Bot.
I CAN'T show you anything.
On my belly belly belly screen.
NOT a Skyscraper!
NOT a Taxi!
NOT a Traffic Light!

Now it may not be an original, but the negating the song sure does piss her brother off and she loves doing it.

And because of these fights and to moderate the TV time, I instituted "TV TICKETS" a picture of them is below.

I printed them on Word in the address label format giving me 30. I give the kids (Ladybug and Disco) three TV TICKETS in the morning. Each ticket is good for one half-hour cartoon. It can be what is coming on TV or it could be one that is recorded on our DVR. It cost two tickets to watch a movie. Now, one person can either pay 2 tickets to watch the movie, or they can each contribute one.

The person who pays the ticket gets to watch what they want to watch. When that show is over, the other person can have the option to use the ticket or not.

The tickets are only good for that day between the hours of 8AM and 5PM.

So far the plan has worked pretty well. There hasn't been any fighting about who watches what or who can't watch what.

They were excited about the ideas of spending tickets, that they would spend them just to spend them. Ladybug picked a show she doesn't really watch and then they left the room for the remainder of the show. Disco did the same thing with a show he watches all the time.

I'm really glad it's working out. While they were not always spending time in front of the TV. We knew it was too much time and it had to be corrected.

Do you have a system or certain times your kids can watch TV? Do they fight or scream if they can't watch something they want? Feel free to use the TV TICKET for your own use with whatever rules you want to implement.

Have a great weekend my friends.

Also be sure to check out Fatherhood Friday over at Dad-Blogs.


Honest Crap??

The same day that Que told me I was full of Sunshine, Scott over at This Daddy put me up for the Honest Scrap Award. If the Sunshine Award were the Nick Kid's Choice of blogging recognitions, I would say that The Honest Scrap Award is the Screen Actor's Guild of blogging awards.

No one really cares.

Except my wife, mother and mother-in-law that is.

But like with the Sunshine Award, the Honest Scrap comes with great power and great responsibility.

Yes, just like Spider-Man.

The responsibility is to tell you people ten HONEST things about me that you don't care about and then use my power to choose ten people to do this as well who probably won't do it.

1. Speaking of Spider-Man, when I was a kid (circa 10 and 11). I seriously considered being a super hero when I grew up. Somehow I was going to be bitten by a radio-active spider and swing from buildings stopping bank robbers and thugs. But then I went outside and saw that I lived in a suburban subdivision that comprised mainly of one story houses. Not a lot of swinging room. That dream died.

2. About the same time (1985), I really wanted my dad's 1979 Ford Thunderbird to be a Transformer. I would imagine the classic frame transforming with it's long doors being "wings" and fighting the neighbor's evil Dodge Ram Conversion Van.

3. I also wanted to see if there was a way to dig under my house to build a secret base and garage to house what would be my 1985 Trans-Am "Bat Mobile"

4. I actually did have friends when I was a kid.

5. I used to drink and go out quite a bit prior to getting married and we were invited to quite a few things with our families. When I got married and starting having children, we stopped drinking and going out as often as we had. This has had an effect on our relationship with our family. We are not included in get togethers or plans any more. We've tried to include family when it comes to our family or events. They just stopped coming. It's a big let down when a brother or sister will not return a call. Maybe they're just afraid of my growing invading army.

6. It goes both ways too. I neglect to pick up the phone to see how they're doing. Just like myself, they have their own lives. One brother is always on the move with the military. One is working weird hours at a federal prison. I have one brother who is only 20 and he's off doing his own thing, a sister is in the middle of finishing school and getting married in six weeks. The one I should have the most in common with (the one who has a son) has his own life. It's just that part of me that doesn't like bothering people. I'll continue this in the next part.

7. I don't ask for help. It's not a prideful thing where I feel that I can do it by myself. It's a mental thing. I've always believed that your issues are more important than mine. Even if you're not doing anything, I wouldn't want to bother you to help me with something that isn't your problem. It was probably something that was engrained in me as a kid that things that were important to me we're important enough to others. It's something that I need to work on.

8. I really enjoy being a father. It's allowed me to grow as a person and become responsible. There are days I get so much inspiration from all five of my children that I can take on anything and everything that comes my way.

9. I love my wife with all my heart, body and soul. Without her, I wouldn't be half the person I am today. I appreciate EVERYTHING she does for me and our kids. This operation wouldn't last without her. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

10. Even though I love her the way I do. I still do not trust her with the location of the entrance to the secret base and garage under our house.

Now to nominate people who will more than likely ignore me (this is the feeling I talked about in #7).

This is the part where I feel that your time is too valuable to follow through with a request from me.

I know these things can be annoying.

So here are my nominees who have better things to do than worry about me.

Tales From The Dadside

Almighty Dad
Clark Kent's Lunchbox
SAHD in Lansing
SAHD in Portland
Irrational Dad
Weasel Momma
And Triplets Make Six
The Life of a Father of Five

Happy Scrapping Everyone!


My Starving Artist: The Bob

Like Hollywood, I'm rebooting a classic.  Well I always thought it was a classic.  I'm changing Ladybug's Portfolio to "My Starving Artist".  Ladybug recently  stated she wanted to be an artist when she grew up.  Which means she wants to sleep on the couch until I can get her married.  She'll be eating Ramen Noodles and ketchup packets seven days a week.

So I decided to imagine how her art will look hanging in a museum or out in public.  Hopefully it will encourage her to work faster and get off my couch.

The Bob

Have a great day my friends.


I hate the Bag Monster

I'm not a fan of naps.

Naps for my children, heck yes I'm all for them.  Hopefully between the hours of twelve and three PM.  But for myself, they are evil weapons of destruction.

I haven't always felt this way though.  I don't remember taking many as a kid.  Nor did I take them as a teenager like MaddSkillz can.  It wasn't that I didn't want to take naps in my teen years, it was just that if it was daylight outside on the weekends or the summer, I had to be watching my little siblings or cleaning the house or something.

It wasn't until I got to college where I discovered the "Call of the Bag".

Having to wake up before 6AM every morning for PT or Morning Formation (I was in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M), one was tired by 8AM and the "Bag Monster" would be calling us. The Bag Monster is like the Sirens in the Oddessy.  It's beautiful cry would call out to weak CT and lure them into the trap which was the bag.

So during the day we'd come back to the dorm and take a nap between classes.  It didn't matter if it was only 30 minutes between classes, we'd come and "hit the bag".  Subsequent semesters, we'd plan out our classes around good times we would come back and take naps. 

One year I had no Friday classes and could "bag" all day.

There was nothing like covering the window with foil and turning the A/C in the dorm room to 63 degrees and sleep in a pitch black cold room.

Even getting a job after school, I would continue this exercise and come home and sleep.  I didn't have many responsibilities at the time so I could afford that luxury.

But now that I have FIVE kids? 

The Bag Monster has been stabbed in the chest and no longer calls out my name. 

If I take a nap now a days, MY DAY IS RUINED!!

I fell asleep for about an hour on Saturday.  Nothing felt right afterward.  Everything was off.  I couldn't get into the groove that needed to be taken care of.  I don't remember if I fed the kids and they got their baths around 11:30PM.

It was horrible.

Sure most people would say that making sure the dishes were done or laundry started is nothing big, go ahead and take a nap. 

You have five kids, you deserve a nap.

But having five kids is the reason why I can't take a nap.  Too much needs to be done and the time spent not doing it pisses me off.

Even if it is well deserved like yesterday.

It's the same reason I can't watch TV during the day on weekends or days off. 

Too much needs to be done.

I've actually become OCD since having kids.

I'm not checking the stove every five minutes, but if my schedule is skewed a little I'm not very happy.

Maybe one day in the future, the Grandparents will want to take my children for a couple days so KC and I can get a hotel room.  We'd then put foil on the windows and turn the A/C to 63 degrees, pull the covers up to our chins and submit to the call of the Bag Monster and it will take me back into it's loving comforting arms.

Do you have time to answer the call of the bag monster?  Or do you get freaked out like I do when you realize you've wasted a perfectly good day?

I hope you had a great weekend and have a great day my friends.


A Prestigious Award

I was notified last week that I won an award for my blog. Now I know that first sentence is making people go,

"What the heck for?!?"

Well all you naysayers, I won The Sunshine Award.

The Sunshine Award: The Sunshine Blog Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blog world.

One of my Lurkers felt I encompassed the mission statement of this award. Sure I have blog posts about being cynical, I want my daughters to avoid boys at all costs, and I won't allow my son to go to the prom with a high school cougar. But I'm positive that my feelings are justified.

Creativity is also a characteristic of the Sunshine Award. Heck if Babies in Beards has showed anyone how creative I am, I don't know what has.

So thank you Que. Thanks for your vote of confidence.

The rules for accepting the award are:
1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post
2. Pass the award to 5 bloggers
3. Link the nominees within your post
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award
6. Share 5 things about yourself
It's very hard to narrow it down to only five.  There's a lot of great blogs that I read.  I read mostly parent's blogs and I comment on them and talk about me and my life.  So when they post their winnings, I'll talk about how I won the award as well.


Five People I'm Giving This Award To:
Luke, I am Your Father - Surprisingly, not a blog about a Sith Lord and his two year old son living in Seattle.
Real Men Drive Minivans - The only guy that let me put a beard on his kid.
Parenting Survival Guide - Doug has NINE kids. I'm giving him permission to slap me when I complain when I have to take FOUR kids to a baseball game.
Fatherhoody - A new dad based out of San Antonio like myself.
Howefitz - Great dad, great views and ideas.  Dad of three.

[-post edit-] I feel bad because I'm "limited" on the number of recipients I can give this to.  But something else is happening next week where others *could* be rewarded for their contributions.

Five Things About Me
1) I'm cool.
2) I'm good looking.
3) I'm wicked funny.
4) I can bench 215lbs.
5) I once killed a man with just my pinky.

But you guys already know that about me. Let's think of some other things.

1) I'm not scared of many things. But you can count on never see me riding a motorcycle or a horse. I've never ridden a horse, but Superman fell from a horse and look what happened with him. I've ridden dirt bikes and have taken nasty spills on them. I refuse to put myself in a situation where I'm going 65 mph on the freeway and there is nothing between me and pavement.

2) I wasn't scared to jump off a cliff into a river my freshman year of college. I wasn't running from a serial killer and needed to save my life, I just wanted to jump from it. It was about 30-40 feet above the river and it was pretty dang exhilarating. Shortly after that (whether right after I did or the following year), the Student Body President-Elect of Texas A&M University (the school I went too) jumped off the same cliff, got hurt, and paralyzed. Subsequent years going to the river after that, the cliff has been closed to cliff jumpers.

3) This is actually my second blogging award. My first given to my by the original Father of Five, David. He gave it too me around November or early December. I remember being sick around that time and it just being crazy with the baby coming soon. I never got around to thanking him. Thanks, David.

4) I'm more than likely going to get my Texas Real Estate license activated again. I only practiced real estate for a little over a year before I quit due to family needs. For the past 28 months, I have still gotten phone calls from people who come across my name wanting to see or sell a house. I'm working on my website/blog and will most likely only practice part time and from home. I might be showing homes with a kid or two in the backseat sometimes.

5) I used to love to draw. I would draw all the time. I have sketch books full or comic characters I made up in my mid 20's. Between then and now, I broke my drawing hand and spent less and less time drawing. Now I have no confidence in myself like I did 10 years ago in regards to my drawing. I would still like to create a comic book, but I have concentrated more on the writing and character part rather than how cool to make them look.

So there you go. Thanks again to Que for the award love. Everyone be sure to check him out as well. Have a great weekend my friends.

Also, be sure to check more sunshiney dads over at with Fatherhood Friday.


MaddSkillz, My Favorite Kid

Last week I mentioned how I was going to give MaddSkillz his own post since a lot of them are dedicated to the three middle children. Since that post, there have been two consecutive posts about him directly. So to continue what I started, this is my MaddSkillz post.

MaddSkillz is the oldest kid in Boltonshire by ten years. It makes it hard for him to try and relate to the next oldest kid (Ladybug, 4). He was the only child for a really long time when it was just him and his mom.

I first met MaddSkillz when he was 6 years old. I was overly smitten with his mother and she talked me into bringing some Rocky Road ice cream to her house. So I did. I get there and he's there lying on the couch sick. I think he was watching Jim Carrey's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". He had the covers pulled up to his chin and I remember his hair was nicely cut.

I felt kind of bad by not bringing him any ice cream, but since he was sick it was probably for the best. Fast forward to today whenever I make a snack or ice cream run, I have to include him. I have no problem with that, but if I keep it up and I'm making ice cream runs in 10 years, I have to include four kids in that ice cream run.

Forget about it.

When we got married, MaddSkillz is the one that gave his mom away. I also asked him first prior to asking either of her parents permissions to marry KC.

For his 10th birthday I made him a Spider-Man cake. I marbled the cake with blue and red food coloring and gave it a web look. Which was covered by the reddish-pink frosting on top. I drew Spider-Man's face with the icing. It turned out pretty good until the middle of the cake fell and it looked like he had his wisdom teeth removed then sucker punched by The Green Goblin. That was the first birthday that my family attended of his. It was a great time.

I was in the attic earlier this year and found a box of unopened toys from that party. One I think is a backpack tank that you fill with water and shoot it out a cannon. I think I'll surprise the kids or KC with that one day this summer.

He never played with toys or action figures really. He got tons of Power Ranger and Spider-Man toys but he never played with them.

I'm not sure what was wrong with him.

I introduced him to professional wrestling. His mother loved that I did. In 2005, probably the biggest star at the time was John Cena. For those that didn't follow at the time, he was a white boy gangsta living the thug life. He was the Professor of Thuganomics. His finisher was called the "F-U". One of his big rivals was Brock Lesnar, who's finisher was the "F-5". It was called the "F-U" to contrast Lesnar's signature move.

So one day we're watching RAW and Cena is about to finish someone. Mom walks in the room just as Cena finishes the guy off.

MaddSkillz jumps out of his seat and yells, "F-U! F-U! F-U! F-U!"

To which his mother does a "WTH?!?!"

I quickly had to take care of the situation and tell MaddSkillz that he can't say the finishers name EVER AGAIN!!!

Since then, in an attempt to be more TV-PG, the name of John Cena's finisher was changed to "The Attitude Adjustment.

We've been to quite a few wrestling events. A house show, a Raw, Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 25. My wife gets mad because I have yet to take her to ONE Tim McGraw concert.

In 2007, we went to the Royal Rumble when it came to San Antonio. They had a Fan Axxces event where they called people up on stage based on their signs. MaddSkillz got called up for his Batista sign and was asked who his favorite wrestler was and he told them Eddie Guerrero (Eddie had died about 18 months prior). Then in front of a few hundred people MaddSkillz did the "Eddie Shake" or whatever it was called and yelled out "MAMACITA" over the microphone. This could have been the first time he felt the rush of being on stage.

     The Batista Sign At Royal Rumble   Eddie Guerero Sign For House Show 

He got the acting bug probably around late 2007. He wanted to be an actor and filled out the forms on the internet to get in contact with people. "Agents" would call us and KC took him to one and they gave their schpeel. It would have cost around $1600.00 for 12 months or something.

No, I don't think so.

He had a history of quitting things once he got started.

Drums, Karate, Baseball, Basketball

I wasn't going to shell out twelve-hundred bucks if he was going to quit. So I told him to find stuff locally and through school. He didn't like it because he wants results NOW and didn't know how to go about "looking" for parts. A few weeks later he said there was a play at school and he was going to audition. He called me at work after the audition and told me he got the part.

I put that in my "Top Ten Proud Times of Being A Dad List".

Since then, he's been in more plays and greatly developed and grown as a person. There are times where his pisses me the heck off, but I don't hold it against him for too long. He can be hard headed and be arrogant at times.

And with him wanting to be an actor and his sister wanting to be an artist, I'll be supporting two kids well into their mid 30s

but regardless...

He's still my favorite kid.


Ladybug's Portfolio - The Return

If you're new to my blog or just lurk and subscribe because I leave comments on your blog.  I had a weekly feature last year that consisted of my daughter (Ladybug's) photos from my cell phone.  I usually had no idea that they even existed until I went through them. 

The pictures stopped being creative and eventually, I retired the feature.

She has always loved to draw.  As I've mentioned before, there are numerous drawings that she has done, adorning many walls of our house.  Recently, she told us that she wants to be an artist when she grows up.

Great, that means me having to support her unemployed butt years after college.

But the other day she showed me a drawing that was exponentially far superior than anything she's done before.  She was laying on the kitchen floor drawing this.

The Ruby and Cloud

Ruby is a rabbit from Max and Ruby, a cartoon the kids enjoy.  I don't know where the cloud came in, but it could have had to do with the constant rain we had last week.

I love the detail about the ears.  And the multicolored arms are awesome.

I'll be taking donations and charitable gifts to help support her in her adult years.

Have a great day my friends.


Already Got It!

Being a kid with divorced parents sucked pretty fierce growing up. But one thing that seemed pretty cool for a kid was that my brother and I had DOUBLE the birthdays and Christmases. Actually it was more like four or five when you counted all the visits to the different grandparent's houses. I particularly remember one year, my mother was the last Christmas my brother and I had celebrated. I want to say it was actually Christmas morning. My brother and I woke up to go to the living room and see our next spoils of war.

We started opening presents.

He Man Action Figure.

Already Got It.

He Man Vehicle.

Already Got It.


Already Got It.

Gi Joe Toys.

Already Got It.

95% of the gifts we got from our mother, we're already aquired at our previous Christmases that year. Looking back, I can see my mother's deflated pride. It was something that she worked for and her kids tossed the duplicates aside because she happened to be last that year.

Fast forward twenty-five years or so.

With MaddSkillz having about the same number of Christmases that my brother and I had, history is bound to repeat itself sometimes. His dad's parents are good about calling us and asking what he wants. We give them a list and we tell them what we're already getting so there's no duplication. His dad on the other hand doesn't care and MaddSkillz is not allowed to bring any of the gifts from his dad's house to ours.  We don't give a stink what MaddSkillz does with the gifts we give him.  They're his gifts and shouldn't have limitations and boundries where he takes them.  If that were the case, MaddSkillz would be going to his dad's house naked every other weekend.

All this is just set up, I promise.

We live about five minutes from Sea World San Antonio. Because tickets cost $50.00 - $65.00 for a day's admission, it's hard to bring the cash together to take the whole family. One day we were driving past Sea World and Ladybug wanted to see the roller coasters. So I pulled into the entrance and drove up the main gate and showed her Sea World. I got really excited, I talked to KC about going and she was thinking the same thing. We drove home and pulled up the prices of tickets and season passes. We decided that we could afford year passes for everyone. We were excited that if we wanted to wear the kids out get the kids out of the house for a few hours, we could hop in the car, drive a few minutes, and go look at dolphin shows or something.

This was on Friday.

Sunday, MaddSkillz comes home from his Dad's house and tells us he got a season pass to Sea World.

Heck yeah, that's one less I need to buy!!!

But it has to stay at his Dad's house.

Cranberry Sauce!!

I was kind of upset and deflated.

Only because I didn't have the passes in my hands yet, you know?  I wasn't first.

I mentioned, we could offer to reimburse his dad for half the pass, that way MaddSkillz can bring it home with him.

MaddSkillz doesn't like that idea. Mainly because they got what is called a "Fun Pass" (good until 01/02/11) and we were going to get the "Yearly Pass" (good for 12 full months from date of purchase). MaddSkillz thought about the times he would like to go with his friends and he wouldn't get the extra benefits on the Fun Pass as you get on the Yearly Pass.

We're going to get the passes for everyone anyways.

This isn't the first time, I've thought of something and then MaddSkillz comes home and his father did the same thing or similar. So I'm going to think of things right now in hopes that his father will not let me down and beat me to them as well.

- We are planning on getting MaddSkillz a new car.
- We are planning on paying for MaddSkillz ENTIRE college education.
- We are planning on paying for MaddSkillz eventual wedding.
- We are going to buy MaddSkillz his first house.

I think I hit on all the major ones. Let's see what happens.

Do you have a relative or someone that buys gifts or things for your kids before you have a chance too? Does it deflate you or are you like, "heck yeah, less I have to pay for"??

Have a great week my friends.


Cougar High Class of 2010

Like my post about Em on Wednesday, I wanted to dedicate a post about MaddSkillz for no other reason than the lack of stories about him.  Unlike his siblings Ladybug, Disco, and Celi; he doesn't get a lot of "air time".  If my family were the cast of Lost, he'd be Jin.  You know him, you care about him. You don't want him to die.  But there's no main story with him.

But I'll have to save the post about MaddSkillz' lack of stories for another day on account he brought home some material for a blog post.

MaddSkillz is a freshman is high school.  His birthday is in August, so he's a young freshman at 14.  Most fish are 15 towards the end of their first year.  I preface with this and will come back to it shortly.

A rule that we have in the house that MaddSkillz is the first to experience is no dating until your 16 years old.  It was a rule he hated us for when he fell in love with this chick last year, but we stood by it.  Since then, they broke up.

He understands the rule and has respected it since the break up.  Respected meaning, not to get involved with a chick as not to hate us for keeping them apart.

It's just like Twilight except with not as cool hair.

I guess.  I never saw Twilight.

So,  MaddSkillz comes home Tuesday night and he asks us a question.

"What would you say if I was asked to the prom?"

I sure as heck ain't paying for it, I thought.

"Who's the chick?" I asked.

"A Senior"

Yes a High School Cougar is wanting to take my son to prom.

KC is beaming for some unknown reason to me at the time.  Me?  I state "the rule". 

"The Prom is a date, we said no dating until sixteen.  Sorry."

"But the Prom is something special"  KC informs me.

"Does she think you have money?? Did she lose a bet?? Is this like that movie, 'She's All That'?  Are you going to get a makeover by this chick?  Is she white??"

KC get's annoyed with my barrage of purposely annoying questions because her questions aren't being answered.  Like, is she paying for your ticket? No. Are you going to have to get a tux? Probably.  Are you paying for dinner? Doesn't know.  Who's driving? Doesn't know.

I go back to "the rule". 

"Prom is special.  If any of my beautiful daughters were a freshmen and got asked to Prom by a Senior, I would let them."

Excuse me?!? Where the heck is President Obama??

 That's right, Barack.


What the heck is my wife thinking?   Offering my freshmen daughters up to a Senior boy like they're the Virgin Connie Swail??  A boy that can legally, smoke, vote, and be approved for credit cards and book hotel rooms for "after parties"??

I need you again, Barack.

I realize the sort of double standard I'm putting here.  I'm not all "AW HELL NAW" with just the thought of MaddSkillz being asked, I just stand by "the rule".  I would stand by "the rule" when it applies to my daughters and even Disco as well.  Barack and I are just "AW HELL NAWING" the fact my wife has no problem with it.

As it turns out, MaddSkillz informs us that he is like a "candidate" for her to go to Prom.  So MaddSkillz is again like Jin from Lost. 

What about you? Do you plan on having rules when your child reaches the "dating years"?  Would you have a problem if they were a freshman and were asked by a Senior?

Oh, and I would like to reply to my mother right now. 

Yes Mom, when I was a freshmen in high school I would have LOVED to have been asked to the Prom by a Senior.  I would have loved it even if I was a Sophomore.  I still would have been excited if I was a Junior and it happened.  Even as a Senior.  Sadly, I was not.  Your son was the awkward one with no confidence.  But it doesn't mean I should allow my kids to do it. Love you.

When you're done with this, why don't you head over to for Fatherhood Friday. 
Have a great weekend my friends.

[-POST EDIT-] This post was written earlier in the week.  I found out yesterday that MaddSkillz is no longer a "candidate" for the Senior Cougar. 


Em, My Favorite Kid

When you have five kids, you have to have a secret favorite right? Which one said Dada before Mama. Which one doesn't cry when you're around. Which one doesn't cause the biggest ruckus. It could be a plethora of reasons.

It doesn't surprise me that this blog consists of stories from three main characters living in Boltonshire. It's just that Ladybug, Disco, and Celi are who I deal with a majority of the time. When I run errands, I'm taking any combination of the three. Who do I make breakfast for? Ladybug, Disco, and Celi. So it's not like these three kids are my favorite, it's just they are the ones I have the most interaction with.

So because of the lack of stories with Em and MaddSkillz, I'll catch everyone up on my bookend children.

Today it will be about Em.

Em is now three and a half months old. She was born two days after Christmas which means it's going to be very hard for us to recover from Christmas to remember to have a birthday party for her. Honestly, she won't know the difference the first few years of her life. We can point her to a birthday cake on January 14th and tell her to blow the candles out and she won't be any wiser.

She was also born a few days before our wedding anniversary. Which means we have to get her expensive gifts for her birthday on years KC and I want go on an anniversary getaway. The expensive gifts are to make us not feel guilty while we are away.

In the past few weeks she has started "talking" a lot. Usually it's when she's laying down and in bed. It concerns me because I think she could be like that kid from the Sixth Sense and she could be talking to dead people who don't know their dead.

It would explain why KC complains about it being cold all of a sudden in our room.

She spends a lot of her day sleeping and eating. The fact that KC breastfeeds her means that I don't have as much interaction as I would like. When KC is gone for extended periods of time, I am able to feed her via bottle and defrosted breast milk.

She is like her oldest sister was in regards that she will not let me sit down while holding her. She could be relaxed in my arms after I walked back and forth around the house. I go to sit down, while holding her in the same position and she FREAKS THE HECK OUT!!!!


I stand back up and she's fine. She does the same thing when I'm holding her and I move one arm to pick something up. She thinks I'm going to drop her or something. I haven't dropped one yet. That KC knows of.

When I hold the kids and try to put them to sleep I hum a song. It usually is something that I don't intend on humming, it just comes out and it each kid had their own unique song. For Ladybug it was just some melody I came up with. It was probably some old song that I couldn't place and just hummed it to her. For Disco it was "Wheels on the Bus". When I would put Celi to sleep "Amazing Grace" always came out. For Em, it's the "The Air Force Song".

You know,
Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun!
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

KC looked at me like I was retarded when I first told her about this.

Em is the only kid we've had that has the same light skin tone as I do. Her hair is light and her eyes are not brown like the other kids. With KC being Hispanic, those traits have been pretty much dominant with all of our children. Aside from Disco, while he does have slightly darker skin than I, he has my wavy hair. KC has been wanting Em's eyes to turn hazel (like mine and none of the kids) for the past three and a half months. They're in a grey stage right now. So we'll see where that goes. KC has even admitted that if Em gets hazel eyes, she'll be her favorite.

Em is also the only child who does not talk back to me AND she sleeps through the night...

Which makes her MY favorite.

Have a great day my friends.


Weekend Wrap Up

We enjoyed a GREAT family weekend.  Ladybug had her first T Ball game.   Her team (The Cardnials) won 6-5.  Ladybug got on base twice and made 3 RBIs.  Afterwards we went to a function for our church.  I'll just let the pictures tell you about the day.  Have a great week my friends.


Just Like Her Daddy

When you're a kid growing up, you see the negative things your parents do and you say "When I have kids, I'm not going to be that kind of parent."  When you become a parent, you hope you're children don't pick up on your lesser sought after qualities (I'll get back to this).

But you relish in rapturous joy when they start liking and doing things you loved to do.

For instance, Ladybug enjoys and is excited about playing baseball.  We got her a bat and cleats the other day and she wants to play baseball all the time.  Her dad loved to play baseball as a kid.

She also said that she wants to be an artist when she wants to grow up.  Hanging in every room of the house are pictures that she has drawn and taped to the wall (it covers up the nail holes).  Guess what?  Her father loved to draw when he was a kid and is excited about her future aspiration.

She likes Indiana Jones.  Her Daddy? Yes he likes Indiana Jones.

She likes Spider-Man, Batman, Iron Man, Fantastic Four and Batman.  Her Daddy loved comic books and enjoys watching the cartoon shows with her.

Now with all these seemingly positive things she's taken after her Daddy, there's something that can be perceived at negative when she gets older.

Giving her heart away too soon.

Remember the neighbor kid?  Well the other day they were talking through the fence and when it was time for him to go inside, she says, "Bye D.  I love you!"




Yes that's what she said.  And again,


Why did she have to be like her Daddy in this way too.  Giving her heart away at the first sign of attention is the same thing that I always did.  Why couldn't she be more like her mother was in this case?  Her mother would hold back those feelings as NOT to get hurt.
Even though she wanted me in the worst possible way when we first met.

Now I know this is just her friend.  She doesn't want any romantic involvement with him at all.  She doesn't even know what that means.  It's just her way of telling her friend that she values their friendship and cares for him.

But all I could think of is my past and possibly her future.  Me putting my heart out there right away many times before and even when I met my wife when it wasn't reciprocated, affected the way I see and value myself and greatly had a hand in deflating my self confidence.

I just don't want her being like her Daddy in this way too and she has the same issues that I've dealt with in my lifetime.

Again, I know it's just Daddy thinking and nothing is going to happen.  It's just another one of those things you hope that you're kids aren't like you when they grow up.

Do you have personality traits that you hope don't get picked up by your children?

Have a great weekend my friends.

Also, check out for Fatherhood Friday.


When I Say Hillshire...You say Farm Giveaway

With all these giveaways about sausage, you think I was anti-pig or something.  But the truth is, my family likes sausage.  So when Hillshire Farm asked if I wanted to review some of their products, talk about it and give some away on my blog.  I was like "Heck yeah!  Ever since Ladybug stopped taking pictures for Ladybug's Portfolio, I've been sweating for material.  And Babies in Beards are already pissing SciFi Dad people off."

So they sent me a 14 oz. package of Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage and a 14 oz. package of Hillshire Farm Beef Polska Kielbasa.

One thing I learned about my last giveaway was...

Don't talk crap about the people that come to your blog just to sign up for contests.  So I will not be attempting any of that with this post.

Unfortunately, I was unable to take pictures of my reviews, so you'll just have to picture them in your Mind's Eye.

They supplied me with a Hillshire Farm cookbook to get examples from, but I went with practicality again with this one

First the Beef Smoked Sausage.
A 14 oz. package (prior to cooking) will not feed my family of seven as a meal.  Two ounces per person would be swell if I was a survivor of Flight 815 and the food was rationed, but since I'm not we didn't go that route.

Seeing as how I try to keep the kids on a somewhat routine schedule, I chose to cut the sausage in half-inch pieces and place them in a sauce pan.  I then drowned them in Hunts BETTER TASTING Barbeque Sauce.  I let them come to a boil and then sided them with a veggie and white rice and served to the children for lunch.


My kids HEART sausage!

While it wasn't anything Top Chef worthy, my kids did appreciate it and it was quite delicious. 


Now the Beef Polska Kielbasa.
I planned this one a little better than the last the Beef Smoked Sausage.  I cut the meat up again into half inch-ish sized pieces.  I then browned them on a skillet with a minimal amount of vegetable oil.  When they were nice and brown, I covered them with my local grocery store's brand of Garlic and Herb Pasta Sauce (H-E-B for those who are familiar with the chain).  I also added a small 8 ounce can of tomato sauce to increase the amount of sauce (I'm serving people who like to eat seconds). 

I served the Sausage Sauce over some cooked spaghetti.

It wasn't even on the plate when the Voltaggio Brothers called and wanted to buy the recipe.  How they heard about me, I can only assume they like Babies in Beards.

Again we had a hit on our hands and in our bowls.

And now...

The Giveaway

The generous folks at Hillshire Farm are giving away A YEAR'S SUPPLY of sausage.  This isn't like a year's supply of turtle wax or WD-40, you're actually going to be able to get multiple products.

So if that doesn't bring out the lurkers, I don't know what will.


Required Entry: Leave a comment saying you want a year's supply of sausage.

I'm not asking for additional entries, but if you want to tweet about it or blog about it on your own, I'll give you extra entries.

Small Print

The winner will be selected randomly on The contest will be over on Wednesday 14th at 6pm CST. The winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to reply. If there the winner does not reply, then I will pick someone else. If they don't reply, I'll just probably declare my mother in law the winner.

Also Jared over at was the winner of the Bryan Sausage Giveaway.  Go subscribe to his blog why don't you?


Date Night


This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of 20th Century Fox. All opinions are 100% mine.

One thing my wife and I do not get enough of is a routine date night together. The last one I remember taking was on Valentine's Day. Or actually it was the day before Valentine's Day because we couldn't get any of our loser single friends or relatives to watch FIVE kids on the actual day. So Nana and Grandpa Robert helped us out the day before.

I can't really remember where we went, it was either Olive Garden or Jack in the Box. I know KC loves the Chicken Alfredo there, but I love me some Jack in the Box tacos. After dinner we went to the movies and drank lots of...


Because that's how we thirty-somethings with five kids roll.

We came back home and she didn't get pregnant.

So a movie is coming out this weekend (April 9, 2010 to be exact) called "Date Night" and it stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey. I would really like to have my own date night to see this movie, more than likely with my wife.

The New York Times describes the movie..
In “Date Night,” which opens Friday, a bored suburban couple played by Steve Carell and Tina Fey go on their weekly dinner date and find themselves thrown into a night of intrigue: there’s breaking and entering, a car chase, a shootout and a showdown with an underworld boss at a strip club. Husband and wife come out of the adventure with some scratches and also with their ardor renewed.

(For the full New York Times article please visit:

Check out the preview below.

From the previews, this is EXACTLY what happens when I take my wife out. Except, I haven't seen any Jack in the Box tacos or mocha. To me the movie looks like it could be a fun filled two hours. It looks like an amalgam between The Out of Towners and Adventures in Babysitting. It will be hard for me not to see Steve Carell as Michael Scott and I'm sure Tina Fey will continue to play the "sheepish, only smart men think I'm attractive" type of character.

I would really like to get out and see the movie this weekend. Hopefully I can find a friend or relative that will not take offense to me calling them a loser earlier.

Do you and your spouse get out often for date nights?  Do you think you can get your single loser friends or relatives to watch your kids this weekend while you go see it?

Date Night Movie

Visit my sponsor: Date Night


Randomness and Cynicism - VI

My wife enjoys Starbucks. I do as well, but pretty much because she does. Being as how I became hooked on caffeine based products, I decided to venture into making my own in the morning so I wouldn't spend 4 bucks a day on coffee. I've made my own mochas and recently delved into the world of my own frappaccinos. With the help of MaddSkillz, I think we developed a pretty good product. I made one and had KC try it.

"It's okay."

I could see the judgment on her face.

"What's wrong with it?"

"I taste coffee."


This coming from a woman who apparently goes to Starbucks only for the independent music and baristas with cool names like "Van" and "Jade".


My Mid-Two year old son is working on his sentence structure. He's putting words together to form complete sentences more and more. There are still times where I have no clue to what he's saying. Usually KC and I ask Ladybug to translate.

She's great at Toddler Translations.

So the other night at dinner, he was saying something. It could have been a number of things from what he was saying, and each guess I was wrong.

So I go to the Translator.

"Ladybug, what is your brother saying??"

"I don't know.... I don't speak Spanish."



I've always been self conscience about my ears. I would get teased in school and have actually contemplated having them pinned back. It doesn't help my self confidence when ear buds will not stay in my ear no matter HOW FAR I PUSH THEM IN!!!


I asked MaddSkillz to get the red thermos from the van.

"The what?"

"The red thermos. It's in the van."

"The red what?"

"The thermos, the red thermos that holds liquid. It's yours!!"

"Oh, I know what you're talking about. I didn't know it was a thermos."

"What do you call it?"

"I don't know."



You probably noticed that I am slowly selling out this blog.  First I have the links on the upper right side that a company purchased, I'm giving away sausage, now I'm slinging Chipmunk DVD's.  I'm not blogging for the money, but if I can get money because of my blog, I'm going to do what I can. 


Disco got his cast off last week. Unfortunately, he has yet to display a 97 mph fastball.

Have a great day my friends.

Past Randomness and Cynisism
Randomness and Cynicism - 1
Randomness and Cynicism - 2
Randomness and Cynicism - 3
Randomness and Cynicism - IV
Randomness and Cynicism - V
Other's Randomness and Cynicism
Parenting Survival Guide
Do you have any R&C you'd like to add?


Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel on DVD


This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Alvin and the Chipmunks. All opinions are 100% mine.

My earliest memory of the Chipmunks is listening to Let's All Sing with the Chipmunks LP at my grandparents house.  Sometime later my parents got me the Urban Chipmunk LP.  I remember singing to the Chipmunk version of "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" when I was seven years old, now my four year old is singing "Single Ladies" by the Chipettes in the back of my van.

No wonder my wife tells me she shows more characteristics of her father than her.

I used to watch the Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon when I was a kid. Now my kids watch Alvin and the Chipmunks that we DVR'd from HBO for the kids and they want to watch it EVERYDAY. 

It's neat to see things that I enjoyed as a kid also enjoyed by my children.

Starting on March 30th, you could purchase Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel  on DVD.  It is available on Blu-Ray as well with increased quality.  If you just got the iPad, you are also able to get the movie on Digital Download.  "The Squeak Along" bonus disc was released with the special Double DVD pack.

The Chipmunk website is at  It has character bios of all the Chipmunks and Chipettes, videos, picture gallery and even some interactive fun.

You're able to "Munk Yourself" which means you can create your own chipmunk pimp or diva.  My chipmunk pimp is what you see above.

There's also a game that lets you "Munk to the Beat" which is about as cool as Guitar Hero.  I got 15,823 points on my first try.   Which I'm quite sure is the highest score EVER by anyone on my street whose name is Eric.  "Munk Mic" lets you sing along a la kareoke.  And you're also able to send yourself wallpapers, ringtones and videos from their mobile section.

If you're looking for a friendly family film, I would suggest you add Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel to your collection.

And if you're looking for more "Munk Mayhem" go check out

buy it now

More Munk Mayhem

Visit my sponsor: Alvin and the Chipmunks:


Babies in Beards - Season 2 Week 5

PJ Mullen, fellow dad blogger over at Real Men Drive Minivans, allowed his son to guest star in this week's Babies in Beards.  After you see how rugged his toddler looks, be sure to check out his blog if you haven't already.


Do you want your baby featured in "Babies in Beards"?? Because honestly, this can only go so far before I shelf it again, right?? Email me a link of your baby you want me to beard. C'mon, show a little child deprecation. They'll get over it. It might take years of counseling, but live in the now.

Have a great day my friends.


Fools and Hunters

I hope that my three readers had a great Easter weekend.

My April Fool's Joke was split with my readers and had pretty much an overwhelming success at home and work. My brother in law was the only one that I talked to that knew I was screwing with him. My family gave their obligatory congratulations before I told them it was April Fool's.

I mean, if you've physically been around us the past 4 years chances are we weren't joking. We found out we were pregnant with Disco in March of 2007, Celi in April of 2008, Em in May of 2009. So finding out we were pregnant again should not come across as a big shock to people that know us. I'm actually surprised that no one has asked if we were before this.

I also knew that my mother in law would not be fooled. She has some mystic connection with the inside of my wife's womb and knows when she's pregnant. She played along with it and expressed her congratulations.

At work the news spread pretty quickly. I was working from home and forwarded my picture to a friend. She bought it and I let her in that it was a joke. She then took my joke and made it her own. She proceeded to tell everyone that I was expecting again. Since I wasn't there, I'm pretty sure they were like "OMG, get cable or something."

Seriously, it was an excellent picture. I had yawned about 10 times to produce the red eyes, and I even held the pee stick with a wad of toilet paper. Not to mention my mad photoshopping skillz with placing "PREGNANT" on the picture!!

That last part got MaddSkillz, I showed him the picture in the van after school and he just about freaked the crap out. When I let him off the hook he exclaimed his apperception to God that we were not pregnant again. Honestly, he could not deal with another sibling. It's sad, and I don't know how to get him that siblings are excellent resources for slave labor.

We hung out at KC's uncle's for the afternoon. Towards the end of the visit, there was an Easter egg hunt. Well it wasn't really a hunt, it was a free for all. Hundreds of plastic eggs were scattered across the ground and it was a race to see who see who fill their baskets up the quickest. I don't remember the kids having done one before so I explained the rules.

See an egg, put it in your basket and don't feel sorry for the smaller slower kids.  It's kill or be killed.

At the beginning, Disco was being nice and putting eggs in his little sister's basket. It was sweet. Everyone pretty much got the hang of it and I hung back to take pictures.

The range of ages went from about a year to at least seventeen. The 17 year olds were acting like they were hunting for copies of New Moon or something. They were relentless. I heard parents telling them to chill the freak out and let the little ones get some eggs.

Ladybug managed to fill her basket up.

I was quite impressed with her hunting and gathering ability.

On the way home, I realized that celebrating Easter at families houses is almost as bad as Christmas when it comes to bringing things home. It can get insane. The van was loaded with plastic eggs, Easter basket grass and melted chocolate. The kids' Nana and Grandpa gave them Easter baskets with gifts and cascarones.

What's a cascarone?

For anyone living outside San Antonio or not of Hispanic decent it's a confetti egg.

I have a hard enough time keeping the house clean without 2 dozen cascarones given to my children. So we didn't tell them about those particular gifts when we got home.

Again, I hope everyone had a good weekend. How did you celebrate or not celebrate the holiday?


He is Risen!

1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"

 4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

 6"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "

From Mark chapter 9

Have a blessed Easter my friends.


Mighty Math Powers

A week or so ago, Keith a fellow dad blogger over at Almighty Dad posted a link to The website has hundreds THOUSANDS of printable math worksheets. There are different levels ranging from pre-Kindergarten all the way through basic Geometry.

When I read this post I immediately thought of Ladybug. She's been wanting to go to school for a while now. She knows where her school will be and there have been times where she's gotten ready for school all by herself. She turned four in October, so that makes her a "late starter" when it comes to going to school. Versus her older brother who was born in August is going to graduate before he turns 18.

Well, I downloaded a worksheet that dealt with addition on one hand.

I sat Ladybug down and explained to her what addition was. She already had the basic understanding of addition and subtraction from our bath time together.

No, it wasn't if I add soap to a rag and make you smell it, will it equal you screaming.

I would give the three kids a bath together (Ladybug, Disco, Celi) and I would say:

"There's three kids in the tub now, how many will there be when I take Celi out?"

She would answer "Two."

I would do the various options there could be adding and taking away kids.

So I went through the first line with her. I told her to put the number on top on one hand, and the number on bottom on the other hand and count the numbers. That would be her answer.

To make sure she understood, I helped her with the first line by making sure she got the logistics of it all.

She did the rest and here are the results.

As you can see she did AMAZING!!!

She got her Daddy's looks and her Momma's smarts.

I realized that 40 questions is a lot for a 4 year old when I gave her another worksheet the following day. About 10 correct answers in, she would just answer every problem with "4".

I asked her about this and she said that "4" is her favorite number.

I told her she did good with what she did seriously, and discussed that we won't do full worksheets in one sitting right now.

Especially while Max and Ruby or Wow Wow Wubbzy is on.

A few days later, I wanted to see how smart my little Mensa was. So I printed up this worksheet and told her to go at it.

As you can see, Daddy's Little Ladybug has MIGHTY MIGHTY MATH POWERS. I just wish she'd show her work.

Have a great weekend my friends.

Also, don't forget to check out mighty mighty mom's and dads at and Fatherhood Friday.