'Cause I Got Five Kids....

While I was in New York, some things bothered my siblings and future sister-in-law.  They would ask why something wasn't affecting me, and I would reply oblivious to their pain.  For instance, they got annoyed when a kid was screaming on the bus.  It didn't bother me honestly because I have five kids.

"'Cause I got five kids" was my catch phrase while on vay-cay.  Towards the end of the visit, everyone else was saying it before I would.  I didn't know if it's because they understood or they were simply annoyed.

So I came up with this list.  After each line, you can add the phrase, "...cause I got five kids!"


  • My sleeping schedule is so screwed up, I was waking up at 5:50AM while in New York, which means it was 4:50 back at home.....
  • I have no time to commit to any sports franchise or even my old college football schedule....
  • I work usually work 20 plus hours of over time....
  • A kid screaming three feet from me does not cause me to cringe, move away or get annoyed....
  • I drive a 2008 mini van and it's still not big enough....
  • I need to have a logistical plan of attack when going someplace new and unfamiliar....
  • My food sometimes gets cold before I have a chance to eat it....
  • Our house is always a mess....
  • If you come over and it does not appear to be a mess, do not go into our room because we threw everything in there....
  • Laundry sucks....
  • I sometimes feel we aren't invited places....
  • After Christmas parties, we have to rent a UHaul to bring all the gifts home....
  • I'm more emotionally attached to Dora, Diego and Sponge Bob than I am to shows in my demographic....
  • My carpet has stains that resemble the entire archipelago of Philippine islands....
  • I no longer care if a stain that might resemble Guam shows up....
  • My wife stays at home because with her working will only pay for daycare....
  • I don't get drunk....
  • I probably should....
  • It is never quiet in the house between the hours of 6AM and 9PM....
  • I can change a diaper with my eyes closed....
  • I never would change a diaper with my eyes closed....
  • I wish I didn't have to work 20 plus hours of overtime a week....
  • I wish I could win the lotto and didn't have to work at all....
  • I'd eat cold food for every meal if it meant their's was served on time and hot....
  • Honestly, I'd rather stay at home sometimes and just hang with them.....
  • I love Christmas time, especially Christmas morning after Santa comes....
  • Five smiles make my heart happy....
  • My heart will never be empty of love....
  • I will always be taken care of....
  • At least one kid will always want to give me a hug whenever I want one....
  • My wife and I are blessed beyond belief....
  • I may be tired, I may get grumpy, I may not be able to finish my dreams just yet, the house may be a mess, but my life is perfect and I love everything about it....



Have a great week my friends...

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Fifteen and Stranded

A month or so ago, MaddSkillz was telling us what he wanted for his birthday.  Usually with MaddSkillz he gives us this insane list of obvious items we cannot afford, yet he somehow feels the need to ask for them anyways.

Honestly, if we had the money I would have no problem getting anything he wanted.

But with five kids, asking for a iPhone and his own plan (we're on T Mobile, iPhone is strictly AT&T) is just about retarded.  Seriously Dude? Your own phone plan?  Anyways that's not what happened during his possible birthday discussion.

He told us he only wanted two things.  He said he wanted a set of dumbbells (because he wants to get buff and stuff for all his upcoming movie roles) and something that wouldn't cost us anything.  I told him there is no such thing when it comes to him or any kid except fresh oxygen. Since he already has access to it, there must be something else. I already knew what his request would be, but I let him drop it on us anyways.

He wanted to be able to date at fifteen.

Prior to this, we had told him he could start dating at sixteen.  Part of the reason was because we want him to focus on school and not be distracted by the opposite sex.  Last year we found out he had a girlfriend for six months and didn't tell us.  Would we have approved at the beginning of six months, probably not.  But we realized that we couldn't stop him from caring from someone.  We still did not approve and we limited the time he could interact with this girl.

When the girlfriend did come around the house (which was only a couple times at the most), she never said a word to KC or I.  We would try to talk to her, but she wouldn't openly communicate.  If we picked her up, the same thing.

So Momma Bear was not taking too kindly to this girl his son was choosing to hang out with.

Needless to say, high school things happened and they kaput before a year was up.

Enter T.

T started out as a friend, and feelings developed.  MaddSkillz told T about the no dating until sixteen rule. So while MaddSkillz I'm sure would have broken it again because he felt he got away with it the first time, T felt the need to respect his parents rules and said she would wait.

We had met T quite a few times.  Totally the opposite of the first girl.   She would talk to us, ask about us to Michael, show concern for his siblings.  Basically we had no problem with MaddSkillz request to lower his dating age.

So along with dumbbells and Driver's Ed lessons, we gave MaddSkillz an empty box.  He looked at it and was slightly puzzled.

"You said it's not going to cost us anything...."

He was excited.  T came over to give him his gift, he told her and she started crying.

I'm assuming they were tears of joy.

So then they go out a few days later, he uses some money he got for his birthday.  It's cool, I'm not paying for it.  But then my wife is the one taking them to the restaurant and picking them up from the movies and dropping T off at home.

It is costing me something, it's costing me gas.

I tell KC that he should give us five bucks per date to pay for gas.  She says no.

I say YES.

He said it wasn't going to cost me anything.  I can't just throw trash into Mr. Fusion and expect my Deloreon to make it to 88 miles per hour whenever he wants to go somewhere.  He wants the responsibility to go out and pay for his own dates, he should pay for gas too right?

Am I asking too much?

Or should I ask two-fifty from T?

I know most of my readers who comment do not have teenagers, but what do you think?  If he had his own car, he'd have to pay for gas as it was.  I'm thinking the next time I have to take them somewhere, I might have to pull over on the side of the road because I'm "out of gas" and stranded, then make him pay me five bucks to fill it back up.  Just to let him know I'm serious.

And while I'm at it, I'll play Miley Cyrus on the radio just to rub it in.

Have a great weekend my friends.

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Randomness and Cynicism - Eight


I haven't done an R&C for a while.  So I'll go back to the well for today's post.

KC picked Ladybug up from school on Monday.  We were excited as much as she was to be going to school.  Naturally, KC would be excited to hear what Ladybug's day was like.  So when KC asked what she did while at school, Ladybug responded "I don't know."

I always thought it was around 4th and 5th grade where the kids stopped talking about their day.  MaddSkillz would always come home and answer "Fine" when asked about his day.  It got so annoying, we told him he would need to find other ways to describe his day or face public humiliation.

One way I would try to publicly humiliate MaddSkillz (whether deserved or just some good bull hazing of the boy) was when I would pick him up after theatre practice.  I would have all the windows down and i would blare what he would call embarrassing music such as Yo Gabba Gabba, Tejano music or Miley Cyrus, Party in the USA.

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If you are listening to the songs on my phone and you come across that one, it's strictly for that reason.

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My wife gets upset with me if I waste food.  She gets upset when I drink all the Dr Pepper.  I tell her I'm doing what she wants me to do, I'm not letting the DP go bad.  Apparently, it's not the same thing.

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A favorite event of mine happens twice a year.  Large Brush Pick Up.  I usually find out about it when neighbors start throwing out their brush, trash and crap to their curb.  We usually get a notice telling us about the upcoming event, but it really gives us no time to get stuff out there.  Every year I want to tear down the trees in my front yard, take down one in my back, and remove the trees from behind our house (our back yard is adjacent to a street so we have no rear neighbors).

I noticed people's crap in their yards and knew it must be coming soon.  I dreamt of a yard with non crappy trees and foliage.  But like everything else I want to do, I just can't find the time to do it.  I especially wanted to get those tress out from behind my fence out.

So I hear the sound of a chainsaw on Monday coming from behind the house.  I look out back and I see daylight coming into my backyard.  Some guys are moving around and portions of the trees are coming down.  

I go outside to see what's going on.  I'm assuming the city just wants to do me a favor.  They tell me they're moving the telephone poles eventually and need to trim back the trees and bushes that would get in the way of the telephone lines.  

I thank them for saving me the time I didn't have to do it, go back to inside grab a DP and start singing Party in the USA in a celebratory dance.

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First Day of School

Today starts the first day of the school year for two of my kids.  For MaddSkillz it's the beginning of his Sophomore year of high school.  While he is no longer a fish and has assimilated quite nicely, starting school for him is not a big deal.  It's just the start of another year of him not wearing the nice polo style shirts we buy for him in favor of graphic tees with retarded depictions of headphones hanging from his neck (only in yellow).

The big deal today is it being Ladybug's first day of Pre-K.

This is something she's been excited about for a very long time.  Last week she was counting the days down until today.  When MaddSkillz got home last night from his father's house, the first thing she told him was.. "Hey [MaddSkillz], I'm GOING TO SCHOOL TOMORROW!!!!!"

So with her Disney Princesses backpack and her new clothes Nana bought for her, she got ready and was really  anxious to get to school.

Since this is actually my first "First Day of School", I took a shower, threw on some shorts, a shirt, a cap and my sandals.  I had no idea this was an end of summer social event.  KC showered, shaved, did her make-up, hair, gave herself a Mani and a Pedi got collagen injections and even rented a stretched limo.  Apparently, you have to look nice on the first day of school because you and your kids will be judged by other parents based on your "First Day of School" appearance.

We take pictures prior to leaving, and I pretty much lose it at the first picture I take (the first one below).





I'm not sad about having to let my daughter go out into the world.  I'm all about her experiencing things she is excited about.  I know she will be protected and will come back home in the same condition as she left.  It's just one of those things as a parent you can not prevent from happening.

Growing up.

You remember when they were born. The first time they roll over and over and over and over right to the wall and reach up to play with an  electrical socket.  The first time they're leaning against the window screen, it gives way and they fall out the window into the backyard.  I could go on and on.

But I was a hot mess.

So back to Real Housewives with Pre-Kindergartners of San Antonio.

KC tells me and the rest of the under-dressed undesirables to stay in the car as she makes her grand entrance.    I drive around the school parking lot (I know what you're thinking, she rented a limo.  Yes, but she didn't rent a driver and guess who had to drive a stretched limo through a school parking lot.) as other moms with their hair all did up take their kids to the school cafeteria where I assume they drink mimosas and talk about their sandal-wearing spouses.

Ladybug was a little nervous according to KC and didn't want her mom to leave so soon.  KC stayed as long as she could, told her daughter good bye and left the school building.

It wasn't hard to find me at this time because I was the only one left in the parking lot.  They must have been good mimosas.

Have your kids started school?  Does it get easier?

Tomorrow will be the first day of her riding the bus.  I honestly do not know how much more of this I can take.

Have a great week my friends.

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Beat the Heat with Gatorade

I played Little League baseball as a kid.  I also played outside, all the stinkin' time.  Back then I didn't think the heat bothered me all that much.  That was until my freshman year of high school when I passed out during JROTC drill.  It was a combination of not being properly hydrated (I drank lots of tea and soda and not so much water) and locking my knees while at attention.  One time I fell and hit someone on the way down and the with second time, the last thing I remember was someone yelling, "Catch Bolton!!!"


Well, I don't really want my kids to be caught by other team mates during drills, inspections or any outside event.  Which is why we always made sure they have a bottle (sometimes three) of Gatorade available.


Falling down is their dad's legacy.  Seriously, everyone remembers me falling down from high school.  I don't want my kids' FaceBook's to be constant wall posts about how they fell in such and such activity from jerks who say they're your friends but will never let up about it.


Seriously.  It gets old.


So....


Gatorade is conducting a "Beat the Heat" campaign this summer.


This program will begin on Monday, August 16 and run through Friday, August 27. Gatorade’s “Beat the Heat” campaign educates athletes, parents and coaches about heat-related illness and the importance of proper hydration. The goal is to reduce the number of heat-related injuries and deaths and help raise funds for organizations dedicated to preventing heat-related illness. 




  • Dads play a key role in keeping their athletes safe, so Dads need to understand that young athletes may be at greater risk for heat-related illness and know the ways to prevent it. 
  • Water isn’t enough. While fundamental, water alone does not hydrate and refuel as effectively as Gatorade.
  • Gatorade supplies the proper amount of fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates to rapidly put back what your young athlete loses in sweat and provides energy to keep them going.
  • In drinking water, the brain may turn off the perception of thirst before the body’s overall fluid needs are met and stops the athlete from fully rehydrating.  The electrolytes in Gatoradehelp maintain the stimulus to drink so athletes drink enough to replenish and refuel .
  • Equipment makes a difference - wear light net-type jerseys, T-shirts and shorts, change sweat-soaked clothing, avoid wearing excess clothing, remove helmets when not playing and remember to stay hydrated.
  • You can help- download a free Gatorade Heat Safety Kit found at www.nfl.com/trainingcamp. For every unique download Gatorade will donate $1 to “Beat the Heat” charities up to $20,000. 
  • For additional information, please see the Gatorade “Beat the Heat” fact sheet attached.
Go give it a look through this weekend and hopefully we all will  think about considering Gatorade the next time we go out in the heat.


“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Gatorade’s “Beat the Heat” campaign and received Gatorade samples to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

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Dork In New York Recap.

From Atop 30 Rock
I survived New York.  I had a blast with my mother, brothers and future sister-in-law.  While we didn't tear the city down, we left our mark.

My mother had stuff planned for us everyday.  It wasn't a "hey let's see where we can go walk today" kinda trip.  She had it all planned out.  Which honestly helped out a lot because I wouldn't have known what to do other than go to Times Square over and over again.

Day 1 (Thursday) 
My brother Ed, and future sister in law Christine arrive from Houston minutes after I arrive from Austin.  We meet up in baggage pick up and I'm surprised that my mother booked a Town Car to pick us up.  Not surprised because it's something she wouldn't do, but surprised because I had expected to take a Taxi.  We pass the alien ships from Men In Black and about 30 minutes later we're at my mother's apartment.

Alien Ships from Men in Black


After lunch the plan was to head out to the Empire State Building, but it was really cloudy and it was expected to  rain.  So we didn't even try to attempt it.

Side note.  My mother lives in Hell's Kitchen (Yes where DareDevil protects) and all the major attractions are within walking distance from her place.

But we walked around for a little bit while my mom and Christine went shopping.  I pick up some souveniers, some little Asian lady calls me a liar when I tell her I'm going to Heaven, and we head back home to await my brother Evan's arrival.

My brothers and I head to Times Square later in the evening.  I took some pictures.  I even convinced a certain super hero not to beat me up.



But I couldn't convince a former Heavyweight Champion of the world I wasn't an evil Russian from the 1980s.



Day 2 (Friday)
I take my first Subway ride and we go to the Staten Island Ferry.  The Ferry uh..ferries us past the Statue of Liberty to Staten Island.  Reading GiJoe comics when I was a little kid, I remembered that the Joe's original HQ was located on Staten Island.  More specifically Ft Wadsworth.  Even more specifically BENEATH Ft Wadsworth. But Cobra infiltrated the base and General's Hawk and Hollinsworth blew up the base as to take out Cobra Commander and Destro.  They did a good job rebuilding the place in the last 25 years.



We finished up the day with a Subway to Times Square in the daytime, where I bought more souveniers.

Day 3 (Saturday)
Day 3 was fun because I entered a world of secrecy and possibly ATF raids.  We went to Canal Street.  Canal Street has a ton of vendors and store fronts of people trying to sell various items (Sunglasses, watches, jewelry, purses, clothes, etc.).  But the thing is, you're supposed to haggle over the price.  I saw a Disney Princesses matted picture on a table and asked how much it was.  The guy said 20 bucks.  My mother and I both said we saw the same pictures in Times Square the night before for five bucks.  He called it garbage.

He asked us how much we wanted it for and we said five bucks.  He said 15.  We said no and left.  He called out to me and said he'd give it to me for six.  I gave him a ten and he said I could have one more for four.  So I got two matted pictures (approx 11x14s) for 10 bucks when he was trying to get me to buy one for twenty.

On Canal Street, people walk up to you and ask if you wants watches or purses.  You ignore some and the ones you don't show you a flyer of watches and purses they have.

They're knock offs of brand names.  If you say yes you want to see it, you follow them into a room or thru a fake wall, up three flights of steps and then they knock on a door followed by a password.

I couldn't hear what they said, but it was like.. "bowl of chili dollar twenty" or something like that.

Inside the room there's tons of purses which you attempt to haggle again.  I didn't even bother.  My wife has a ton of bags and there was no way in heck I was going to contribute to her addiction.

While waiting for the women to shop.  My youngest brother Ed, decided to start giving out free high fives up and down the street.  We got mixed results.

After Canal Street we went to the World Trade Center.  There wasn't much to see at Ground Zero because the construction site was blocked.  I would think that after almost 9 years, there would be more progress.


After World Trade Center we made a stop on my request to see the Ghost Busters' building.  It was sad to see that it wasn't in operation any longer.  It's actually empty.  When I got home, I looked it up and I had the wrong address.  We were on the wrong side of town from the Ghost Busters' HQ.  This is what I thought was  the place.




But along the side of the building is a pretty ineteresting clock.  If you've seen Big Daddy with Adam Sandler, there's a scene where he walks past this clock with Julian.  So it wasn't a total loss.



Day 4 (Sunday)
We headed to Fifth Ave and Central Park.  We stopped at FAO Schwartz Toy Store to look around.  Getting a hot dog from a vendor after leaving, my brother asks me "Hey is that Kobe Bryant?" and sure enough it was.  He had what I'm assuming were his two daughters with him, walking right past us.  I wasn't about to ask a father for an autograph or a photo op. It would only draw attention to him.  My brother did say however, "What's up Kobe?"   To which Kobe replied, "Hey Man" or something to the like.

I also went to the top of 30 Rock for some pics.  I did not meet Tina Fey however.

At the park my mother took a picture of us on some rock formations.  She apparently doesn't believe in zooming in, so when I got the pic I had to crop it looks like we were part of a Twilight movie poster or something.




Ed also brought High Five Guy back to Central Park.  This time we found a piece of cardboard and wrote FREE HIGH FIVES.  Apparently everyone in our path LOVED it.  He was getting high fives from everyone. A wedding photographer stopped him and put him in some couple's wedding pictures giving them high fives.  Tourists even came and got their picture taken with Ed.  It was pretty amazing.

Day 5 (Monday)
Ed and I went to Times Square to try to get on Good Morning America.

We did.



We also visited the USS Intrepid Museum for a while and got home early to take my brother Evan to the bus stop so he could catch his plane that evening.

Day 6 (Tuesday)
I caught my bus early that morning.  I landed in Austin at 12PM.  My family was there and I was super excited to see them all.  I didn't want to let any of them go.  I gave them their gifts in the van on the way home and they were excited about their New York stuff.


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Spinbrush MY WAY! Review and Giveaway!

A couple months ago, I was approached to review the Arm and Hammer KID'S SPINBRUSH MY WAY!

The SPINBRUSH MY WAY! is customizable and currently aimed at little girls.  The email accompanying the offer boasted the following:


Each package comes with more than 140 (water-safe!) stickers, including:

  • Letters (pink and purple: for spelling out their name or nickname!)
  • Adorable animals (puppies, bunnies, ladybugs and birds)
  • Fun phrases (Girls rule, XOXOXO, Glam Girl)
  • Cute rainbows, flowers, peace signs and hearts (who doesn't love those?)
  • And for your little princess-- or rock star-- there are themed stickers as well!

It's been proven that kids brush 38 percent longer with a battery-operated Arm & Hammer Spinbrush for Kids toothbrush.  Plus, with a $6.99 price tag and a jeweled purple on and off switch, you can't lose!

When it came in the mail, I presented it to Ladybug and she was very excited to have a new unique toothbrush.  She was even more excited when she realized it was electric.  Then got even more excited than the previous excitement when she found out stickers came with the product.  

I helped her spell her name and she put the stickers on she liked.

At first.

Then later she fit all 140 stickers on the SPINBRUSH.

She really liked the brush and screamed for joy when she saw a commercial for her brush on TV.





My only problem with electronic brushes is they are intended to hold over an area or tooth while the spinning cleans and breaks down the food on the tooth.  My daughter was taught to brush back and forth with her brushes. With her going back and forth like usual, it pretty much made the spinning part non-essential. 

Aside from that little pet peeve of mine.  The SPINBRUSH MY WAY! for girls would be worth it for the near 7 dollar price tag.


GIVEAWAY

The company is willing to give an ARM AND HAMMER SPINBRUSH MY WAY! to one of my blog readers.  All you have to do is reply below and say you are interested. We'll run the giveaway thru next Friday.  You'll get an extra drop in the hat if you tweet the giveaway.  

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Fifteen?!?!

Fifteen.

Fifteen?

FIFTEEN?!?

What the heck happened!??  I think it was just a year ago where I was posting about MaddSkillz turning 14.

Seriously?!

I'm not old enough to have a 15 year old kid.

In celebration of the man-boy that is MaddSkillz, I present my favorite posts about him.


Have a great day my friends.

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In Case of Emergency

My bags will soon be packed and by this time tomorrow I will be in an Austin, Texas airport waiting to board my plane for New York.  Or if you don't read this at exactly 6AM it might be less than 24 hours.  Or if you don't read this until Thursday you will actually be in the future.

Regardless, 7AM on Thursday morning my plane is set to take off to the Big Apple.

Since I'm going to spend most of my time looking for super heroes, I am not going to blog while I am there.  So if there is a Daddy blogger emergency, below is the information you need to find me.

I will more than likely be posting pictures of myself in front of a famous landmark, crazy looking people who live there or a picture of my brother leaning back on a barstool, a bottle in one hand, chunking a deuce with the other while possibly making a drawn out burping sound.

If you want to be privy to those antics, be my friend over at Facebook.

At Facebook and Twitter I will more than likely posting about everywhere I am going or if I see a famous person.

For example: @ericdbolton: OMG I think I just saw Heidi Klum. Whoever said orange was the new pink was totally wrong.

And you can follow me at Twitter right here.

And for those of you who want to hear those long out burps from my brothers or what it really sounds like when they call someone a jackass or gay, you can head over to my UStream page.  I set it up so I could broadcast my adventures live from New York

I really didn't do it for you guys, I did the video for my wife and kids so they can see me when I party with Jon Gosselin on Ed Hardy's yacht.

All of you have a great rest of the week and a pleasant weekend my friends.

I should be back here next Wednesday.  Friday at the latest.

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New York Dork Tour 2K10

As my few readers know, my trip to New York is in a couple of days.  I've been looking forward to this trip ever since the initial planning.  When KC was away for the week, I would stay up late and research locations to visit while in NYC.  Most of the locations I looked up had to do something with New York through movies.  

My mother already told me and my brothers she has a loose itenerary set for our stay.  I'm sure she has all the staple attractions on the list with much excitement showing off her new town to her eldest son.  I will take pictures and post them to Facebook with much enthusiasm.  But since she said she had a "loose itenerary", I figured I could put some requests in to complete my first Dork in New York adventure.


"Monk's" Diner
"Monk's" a.k.a. Tom's Restaurant - The diner Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Elane Bennes, and Cosmo Kramer visited pretty much every episode.

The Soup Nazi
"The Soup Nazi" a.k.a. The Original Soup Man - Another Seinfeld stop.  It's August, it's stinkin' hot. Do I need to eat soup?  No.  I just want to go in and see the inspiration for a great character from the Seinfeld Universe.

Ghostbusters' HQ
Ghostbusters' HQ a.k.a. Hook and Ladder 8 - I'm not sure if my mom plans on taking us down to the financial district where this building is located. But if we get the chance, I'm going to go see it.

Dana Barret's Apartment
Dana Barret's Apartment Building a.k.a. Spook Central a.k.a 55 Central Park West - The apartment building where Zuel was going to bring all the ghosts into our world in Ghostbusters.  I wonder if they will let us on the roof so we could get the Ghostbusters' perspective of Stay Puft attacking.  Since this is adjacent to Central Park, I'm pretty sure I'm going to see it.

Some places that are not as familiar to everyone but mostly to my wife would be:
  • Just Around the Corner Bookstore Location
  • Parson's the School for Design
  • Mood Fabrics

Since my son is all into acting and theatre, I'm going to find where his favorite play (In the Heights) is being shown.

I'm also going to have to try and find Spider Man and at least one Ninja Turtle.  I would like to visit Avengers' Mansion or the Baxter Building, but I'm not sure if we'll have the time.

Do any of you have any favorite spots or locations you might want to request a picture of?

Have a great day my friends.

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Another Open Letter To My Wife

To My Dearest Loving Caring Wonderful Beautiful Bride,

Later this week you will be dropping me off in Austin so I can party like Jon Gosselin in New York.  I know this will be a tough time for you as it will be me.

First about me.

Do you know how much walking I will have to be doing?  You will have the luxury of having a vehicle at your disposal.  Me? Not so much.

I've heard rumors of foul odors that only exist in New York and that Disco's Diapers will smell like flowers compared to them.

I will be surrounded by 8 million people.  You only five.

I will more than likely have a screwed up sleep pattern due to the change in time zones.  It's a good thing you are safe in good ol' Central Time Zone.

I know you will miss me, so I've taken care of a few things so you won't have to worry.


  • I have taken care of dinner for the entire time I am gone.  All you have to do is call Dominos and let them know what you want and when you want it.  Also you will have to pay them.
  • Wednesday I will use enough soap and shampoo while giving the kids a bath so they won't need a bath until I return.
  • I have slobbered on the edge of your pillow like I would if I was sleeping next to you.
  • I have washed all the dishes that I would have used while I was gone.
  • The same thing with my laundry.
  • If you order enough from Dominos, you should have all your lunches taken care of.
  • There's plenty of cereal for breakfast.
  • I told Ladybug she can watch whatever she wants to watch on TV so she doesn't have a fit.
  • I told Disco he can watch whatever he wants to watch on TV so he doesn't have a fit.
  • I bought a supply of balls and cap guns to keep the kids entertained while I was gone.

You should be cush until I return.

Seriously.

I know I publicly gave you a hard time about leaving me home with the children for four days, but you knew I supported and encouraged your trip.  Thanks for giving me the chance to take this one.  I know you and the kids will be fine.  I will miss you greatly.  I wish you could come with me so we can each experience New York for the first time together.  Next time we'll recruit Nana and we can all stay in Gigi's apartment.  Our mothers can talk about how great their kids are while watching and spoiling their grandchildren.

I think that's possible.

I love you very much Sweetheart.  I can't wait to get back and hear about your adventures.

Much Love,
Bolton.

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Open Letter To My Children

Dear MaddSkillz, Ladybug, Disco, Celi and Emsters,

Next Thursday you will wake up and I will be gone.  As you know I will be on my way to New York to visit your grandmother, Gigi.  I will be return on Tuesday afternoon.

This is the first time I've been away from you for an extended time and you all will definetly be missed.  I plan to call every morning and every evening before you go to bed so we can talk about what we did during the day.  When going somewhere or seeing a specific attraction, I will no doubt think that this would be something one of you would enjoy doing as well.

Maybe sometime in the future, Gigi will let us all crash at her Manhattan apartment and we can see the sights together.

While I will miss each of your physically and emotionally, I am certain to not miss the following things that may involve you:


  • I will not miss when Celi wakes up in the middle of the night for no reason.
  • I will not miss when Ladybug manages to find her way to my bed and I'm left sleeping on the bed frame.
  • I will not miss when Disco doesn't tell me he went poop and he stinks something awful.
  • I will not miss sitting in the bathroom and being hounded about strange noises that may come from said room.
  • I will not miss having to wake up to feed you.
  • I will not miss the fights and fits.
  • I will not miss the mess that is left in the wake of your destruction.
  • I will not miss your cartoons and the fighting over the TV.
  • I will not miss bath time.
  • I will not miss bed time drama.
  • I will not miss having to remind MaddSkillz to help out around the house.
  • I will not miss diaper changes.


Just because I will not miss these things, does not mean I will not miss you.


  • I will miss the hugs.
  • I will miss the kisses.
  • I will miss the "I love you Daddy"'s.
  • I will miss the smiles.
  • I will miss the laughing.
  • I will miss you sitting next to me on the couch.
  • I will miss just hanging out.
  • I will miss playing with you.
  • I will miss having you in the same house as me.

Emsters, while I am gone will be a great time for your vocabulary to expand so  you can say "Dada" all the time.  You're doing great getting around on your own now.  Keep it up.

Celi, you're doing really good kicking your pacifier addiction.  Keep your kitty with you wherever you go and she'll help you through the tough times.

Disco, you need to be a good brother to your sisters.  Take care of them for me while I am gone.

Ladybug, help Mommy out with whatever she needs.  Please don't throw any fits or pick on your brother to make him cry.

MaddSkillz, you just got back from summer vacation and you're going to New York next year.  Clean your room, wash the dishes and feed the dog.

I am setting something up so you can possibly experience what I am doing while I am doing it.  Hopefully you won't frustrate your mother to the point where she doesn't want to deal with it.

I love you all with all my heart, 
Daddy


p.s.  Tell your mother her letter is coming next.

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When You're In New York Daddy..


The following is a conversation I had with Ladybug recently about my upcoming trip to New York.

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Daddy: Baby I'm going to be in New York for six days.

Ladybug: That's a long time, Daddy.

Daddy: I know, but I'll be back home before you know it.  Do you know who lives in New York?

Ladybug: Spider-Man...

Daddy:  Yes, Spider-Man lives in New York, but who in our family lives in New York.

Ladybug: Gigi.

Daddy: That's right, I'm going to be staying with Gigi at her home.

Ladybug: Are you going to see Spider-Man?

Daddy:  I would like too, but it's a big city and he swings around the top of buildings.

Ladybug:  No Daddy he shoots his web strings and he swings on houses and buildings over the street.

Daddy:  All right, but I'm not sure if I will be able to see him or not.

Ladybug:  You can take a picture of him when you see him.  You can go up to him and tell him you're a good guy so he doesn't beat you up.

Daddy:  Why would Spider-Man beat me up if I didn't tell him I was a good guy?  Do I look like a bad guy?

Ladybug:  No Daddy, that is why you tell him you're a good guy.  Are you going to see the Turtles?

Daddy:  The Ninja Turtles?

Ladybug:  Yeah Daddy, are you going to see them?

Daddy:  I don't know, baby.  They usually come out at night and they live in the sewers.

Ladybug: Why?

Daddy:  So they have a place to live and people won't bother them.

Ladybug:  So why don't you go down there and find them.

Daddy:  I'm not going down in the sewers, it's dark down there.

Ladybug:  Take a flashlight with you.

Daddy:  Even if I have a flashlight, I'm still not going down there.

Ladybug:  You can go down there alone, Daddy.

Daddy:  Uncle Edward is going too.

Ladybug:  Good so Uncle Edward will go down there with you.  You can take them some pizza.

Daddy:  Neither me or Uncle Edward will be going down in the sewers delivering pizzas to the Ninja Turtles.

Ladybug:  Okay then this is what you can do.  Put the pizza by the sewer hole.  It will get hot from the sun and the Turtles will smell the pizza and come out to get it.  You can see them then.

Daddy:  They're just going to come out of the sewers for the pizza?  Then what do I do?

Ladybug:  You need to tell them you're a good guy so they don't beat you up.

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

I love my daughter and her imagination.  I think I'll be using my video option on the phone to try and capture a couple scenes of Spider-Man and the Ninja Turtles for her while I'm there.

That is if they don't beat me up.

Have a great day my friends

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Travelling Man


MaddSkillz is home.

What you didn't know he was gone?

Maybe because he left and I was in that blogger funk and didn't talk about it.  But my teenage son has been away from home pretty much all summer.

Most of it has had to do with scholastic and the other part was fun.

MaddSkillz is part of Duke-TIP.  It's a scholastic talent program he qualified for in seventh grade.  With the program he gets a mentor through high school to help him with academic choices leading up to college, as well as taking courses during the summer.

He chose not to participate in the "going away to college" part between 7th and 8th grade.  It had less to do with  not wanting to take a class during the summer and more about not wanting to be away from home in an unfamiliar place.  It was a very mature decision.

On his way to 9th grade things hadn't changed much and he was still scared about leaving home.  We took him to Texas A&M (my old school BTW) and dropped him off.  His first week was pretty bad, but a visit from his mother helped him finish the remaining weeks with little problem.

This year was different.  This year he had to go to TWO different colleges during the summer.  One was Texas A&M again (roughly a 3 hour drive) and the other was Duke University in North Carolina (roughly a 23 hour drive).  Between the two he went on vacation with his father's parents to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

We just got home from the A&M visit and he breezed through those three weeks with no problem.  Well I guess the only problem was that he was trying to pull money out of his debit card he didn't have.

Seriously, why do colleges and organizations need to make a shirt for every event??

When I dropped him off, I had the Dynamic Duo with me (Ladybug and Disco).  After we got the stuff in the room he was all ready for us to leave.  So I took the kids on a tour of the campus where Daddy lived.

The biggest concern leading up to the summer was MaddSkillz had to go on a plane to get to Duke.  He had never had to fly before and he was scared.  The thing about MaddSkillz is he's worst case scenario guy.  It doesn't help that he takes things that people [other than his parents] say as fact rather than researching it for himself.  So he was concerned that the plane was going to go through turbulence, crash and he was going to be stuck on a time travelling island with polar bears and smoke monsters.

At the airport he realized he had to face this inevitable fear and did.  So no longer is he afraid of flying on a plane.

Which is good because two days after getting home from Duke, he flew off to Las Vegas.  He spent time there and LA for about 10 days before coming home.  Only to leave for A&M a couple days later.

The whole time away there was only one bit of drama and it was at Duke during his first week away.  I actually went into work that day and I receive this text message from MaddSkillz:

"Police are in pursuit of a suspect.  We are on lock down.  We are safe.  This may have made national news but we are ok..."

Yeah when you get a text message like that from your teenager half a country away, you're not okay even if they say they are.

I immediately call KC and we get those direct to voice mail type things over and over again because we keep calling each other.  One of us finally gets through and she tells me about MaddSkillz message.  I told her I got the text and she was like "what text?"  She tells me that he posted something on his Facebook page that went something like this:

"Men with guns are on campus shooting people."

Crap just got real.

I tell my boss what we were told and I excuse my self to find out what is going on.  KC tries to call our contact with the program.  I google "duke shooting" and any variation I can think of.  I check CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ABC and any news website I can think of.

Nothing.

I go to Twitter because the people I follow have their hands on the pulse of world news.

Nothing about school shootings but plenty of blog pimpage.

I check Raleigh news sites and still nothing.  I check with my wife and she still has nothing.  Meanwhile relatives who have MaddSkillz as their friend on Facebook are freaking out wondering what is going on.  So I email the only person I know in the area, PJ Mullen of Real Man Drive Minivans to see if he has heard anything.  He lives in North Carolina and must be an expert on all news happenings in the NC.

News is finally updated on a local news station's website.

The story had NOTHING to do with guns or people getting shot.  The real story was police stopped a van adjacent to campus that matched the description of a vehicle involved in a burglary earlier.  When police approached the van, four men bolted and the chase began.  Three were caught and one was still on the run assuming to be hiding in a wooded area on campus.  The wooded area was right outside the building where my son was taking his class.

They were on lock down, police knew what was going on.  No students were getting shot.  So I immedietly placed a link on the frantic Facebook thread to quell any unnecessary flights to North Carolina.

Welcome home MaddSkillz.  You make us proud to be your parents.

Now get to work, you got dishes to do.

Have a great week my friends.

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