New Skills.

So when I spend all week at work, my kids learn new skills.  Case in point, Ladybug.



Have I mentioned before that I'm not very happy working for the man? Sure the man has provided me a place to work for the past 10 years, but he's changed and I'm no longer pleased with our relationship. I only stay because for insurance and stable income. If I had the chance to jump ship, I probably would.

I had an interview with a real estate company a little over a month ago. If you don't know, I have history selling real estate. I loved working in real estate. I loved the creativity I could use when marketing myself. I enjoyed the fact I decided if I succeeded or failed. I was upset when I chose to leave after my son was born. Spending almost every waking hour split between real estate and a full time job took a toll on my family. I needed to be home more, my wife and family needed me.

Now when I saw an opening at a local real estate company for a marketing position, I thought "why not?". The position was for the actual corporate office, which meant I would be eligible for medical benefits. I applied and a short time later, I received a call for an interview. I excited and thought, "I got this!!" I got a bunch of my marketing material from when I was in real estate, and even some of my portfolio when I went to school in 2009.

The interview was going great. They understood my reason for leaving and were impressed with my samples.

They asked me what was my reason for wanting to leave. My answer was I was tired of being confined to "a box" when it came to what I was allowed to and not do. Creativity and opinion was not an option anymore. Being married and having five children required me to have forward progress in any position I was in. Any future with my current one did not seem too opportunistic.

At the end of the interview they asked if I had any questions for them.

"Yeah, what will I be doing specifically?"

The different parts of the marketing department could include making flyers, putting together ad inserts for the newspaper, helping with the weekly TV show and other duties assigned.

I would be making flyers and other duties assigned.

Making flyers is cool right? I enjoyed making different styles when I was selling. But no. I would have to use a template which means no creativity. The other duties assigned meant uploading photos into a database. Again no creativity there. When they were finished answering my question (I realized and I'm sure they did too), I was going to be put back in that box.

I left expecting to hear from them (and would take the job if they offered), but would not be upset if I did not get it.

Well they called that afternoon thanking me for my time but their going with someone else. This was expected because they knew I didn't want to be contained. They knew I could eventually be unhappy there as well.

But it's all good.

So I'm sitting in training in a company I've been with for going on ten years, and I make a decision.

I'm going to retire on my 40th birthday.

Right now I'm 36 years and 8 months old. That gives me 3.33 years to get to that point.

When I called KC today during break and told her this, she literally dropped the phone and threw up in her mouth. Though not from my goal, but for the fact I'm going to be 37 in four months.

But what is different now than before?

KC and I have started are own business along with some friends of ours. We're excited about it and we're both tired of my working somewhere I don't want to be.

I know it's a bold thing to declare, but I have faith we can do this. Now it doesn't mean I'm going to stop working all together, just stop working for them man.

I'm not going to go into much detail about the business just yet, but if you're interested I'll be happy to tell you about it via email.

Have a great week my friends.



I've been back at the office for a week now. Working at home for the past 18 plus months caused me to become a faint memory in a lot of the people I used to interact with on a daily basis. Their initial reaction when seeing me has usually been, "Hey Eric!! I haven't seen you in a while!!"

Translated they're saying, "Wow. You still work here?!?!"

I do like I do to deflect any attention on myself by making a joke about something or other, but I get the feeling they are genuinely somewhat excited to see me back.

There's also the contingent of co-workers who did not know my name, but recognized me as the tall white guy, who probably thought to themselves or said to their cubical neighbor, "Hey... It's.... that guy!!" They'd respond with a "What guy?" "You know, that tall guy who just disappeared one day." "Oh you mean Andy?!?" "Yeah I think that's his name. Well he's back." "Hey everybody.. Did you hear that guy Andy is back.. You know that tall one who just disappeared??"

Being gone for a year and a half, I also notice a bunch of n00bs working here now. Even before that, there were n00bs coming in I had no contact with. So now the place is filled with n00bs. n00bs who I don't know. n00bs who will think my name is probably Andy and I am a n00b too and think they're cooler than me.

Which they aren't.

But back to those who did know me (and maybe had a feeling I was still employed working from home), every single one of them ask the same thing.

"How are the kids/children/babies?"

I tell them the stock answers such as, "Doing good", "Getting big", "Probably driving Mom crazy right this very second.", and "if you subscribed to my blog you'd already know."

I let them tell me about what's going on with them, but I'm waiting for an in to tell them more about my kids.

I know I've known this for almost six years now, but it came to me again this week.

I am defined as being a father.

Family, friends, co-workers, they may not come to me to talk about business deals. They may not come to me asking for a place to go on vacation. They also know better than to come to me to talk about sports that aren't related to pro-wrestling. No one even talks to us about going out to have a drink (even when it's obvious being responsible for six kids should be a dead giveaway that we NEED a drink or seven).

I'm cool with this.

Nothing gives me more joy than talking about my family. From MaddSkillz prepping to become a Senior in High School, to Ladybug's T-Ball team getting fourth place in the city. From Disco's slowly but surely transition to going potty without us reminding him, to Celi being an eloquent speaker for a 2 and a half year old. And with The Emsters over abundance of joy and excitement in everything.

And it's not just the shiny happy things, it's the stressful things too. It's the frustration my teenager gives us when talking about college and he just "not getting it." It's the fits my daughter can throw when she's tired or when my son doesn't tell us he had an accident. The assaults on the other kids from Celi when she's jealous. And the Emsters getting into everything she can reach, then when she can't reach it, she climbs.

This is what defines me. This is what the people that know me know as well.

So even if life is crazy right now on account of me heading back to the office. Even though I'm not excited to be here, I'm glad I can be somewhere I can talk about my family all day even though I can't see them all day like I used to.

What is it that defines you?

Have a great weekend my friends.


Back at The Office.

I'm back to going into the office on a full time basis.  I've had the opportunity to work from home since October of 2009.  From October until April 2010 it was only a few days a week and then from that point until last week it was every day. 
The decision to work from home was based on a variety of reasons.  When I started we only had one vehicle.  Working from home part time gave KC the opportunity to schedule doctor appointments on days I was scheduled to be at home.  Eventually after I started working from home full time, it was a lot easier on her to schedule appointments.
The fact I didn't have to get up, get ready, and get out the door also helped when it came to the kids waking up in the morning.  Since KC had to handle the children all day, I took care of them until I had to log in.  It gave KC a little longer to sleep (although with the noise production for five kids, I don't know if it really helped).  The morning activities gave me more time with the kids as well as being able to walk Ladybug to the bus stop everyday.  On breaks and lunch I would be able to see KC and the children, which both parties enjoyed.  And of course there was the financial benefit or not having to use gas or buy a lunch.
A drawback of working from home was the fact I was working at home with four (eventually five) babies and a wife.  I worked in our bedroom which is adjacent to the kitchen and the living room.  I don't live in a recording studio so the walls are not soundproof.  Every once in a while, there were times when I would be working and a random child was playing, screaming or yelling and a caller would go, "Do you work from home?"  I'd feel horrible because that wouldn't be the only time there would be noise in the background.  It meant other people more than likely heard the noise but didn't say anything.
Working in the bedroom also caused problems when it came to nap time.  Now with two babies (The Emsters and D) both sleep in our room at night.  So there's no way they can sleep in the room while I'm working.  Now that I'm back at work, KC can throw the babies in their cribs when they're ready and not have to worry about keeping them quiet for my benefit.
There's also the commute time now that is taking away from everything.  I'm usually out of the house by 5:30am and get back at 5:30pm. That's four less hours spent at home.
The kids aren't big of fans of me going back to work.  For The Emsters, it's all she knew.  I've been working at home since the day she was born.  While it's great to get home and hear and feel the excitement of the children missing me.  It stinks that I've been gone all day and have to play catch up on what's going on and seem like I should be someone to listen to.

Their behavior the past couple days hasn't been the best.  I think they know mom is stressed so they're taking advantage of it.
I of course feel guilty because I'm at work training (which means sitting and not doing much), while she runs around in the summer heat with five kids.
While it may be tough for a while, I know my wife will pull through.  She does an awesome job with all the children and even though she is obviously stressed, they are all better off because she is the one taking care and teaching them.
Unless I become independently wealthy in the meantime, I won't be eligible to work from home again for another 15 months.

It's also a reason I may not frequent some of your blogs or have as many witty posts on Facebook.  If any of you even noticed.

Have a great day my friends.



Before KC and I were married, she told me I would be responsible for  MaddSkillz' hair (in regards to keeping it cut, styled, whatever).  Well, about six months later, MaddSkillz decided he wanted to let it grow out and since I was all about short hair, I was no longer in charge of his hair.

So then it was amended to I will be responsible for making sure "our boys'" hair will be cut and kept.  Cool.  I can do that.

Now, just to get this out of the way upfront, my wife and those that know me have seen my hair get rather, how you say? Ummm.. oh yes.. Poofy.  Now this isn't a fashion statement, nor is it a representation of how I take care of myself.  It's all monetarily.  If me getting a hair cut twice a month costs thirty bucks, and thirty bucks could also provide for the kids somehow, I'll go poofy.  I also have a 10 dollar pair of clippers I'll just buzz my hair if it gets too crazy.

Back to the story.

With MaddSkillz off my hands in regards to the hair department, my responsibilities were delayed again when Ladybug turned out to be a girl.  I had no say so in her hair style or when it should be cut.  I think it was finally cut around 18 months. 

Now I could be wrong, and I will admit that.  Tonight, KC will probably correct me and say it was 19 months at some random time and I will have no idea what she will be talking about.

I could be watching TV, and she will finally have time to read the blog and she'd go.. "IT WAS NINETEEN MONTHS!!"

Well around 18 months, Ladybug required a haircut, it was KC's call and Ladybug looked great.

Now remember when I said I was in charge of all the boys' haircuts.  Well that responsibility was lifted when Disco started having curly and wavy hair.  So now both my sons were becoming long haired hippies.  And the responsibility I was given in that regards was taken away.  

Seriously, why can't the responsibility of taking out the trash or fixing the brakes be taken from me? 
Take a look at how insane Disco's hair had gotten.

And my wife was fine with this.  At around 20 months or 21 according to KC, Disco's hair looked like a Kraken.  We were only a few days away from a family reunion and I said we needed to get his hair cut.  KC reluctantly took him, and the makeover was something Oprah and Michael Kohrs will be proud of.

Now the next two children to be born into the Bolton Clan were Celi and the Emsters.  Two girls and I have no say so in their hair.  This I understand.  Celi's hair is just beautiful and the Emsters', even though it can get Kraken Crazy after baths and in the morning, when it's all did up she's the cutest thing ever.

Their hair is off limits to me, but I just found out that I still have no say so with Ladybug, and I can still be vetoed when it comes to Disco.  This doesn't sit well with me.
Disco is a boy.  His first haircut is over, he's had plenty since.  I should have 50% ownership in his haircut.  Not 49%
Ladybug had her first hair cut LONG AGO and is not a girly girl.  She hates doing her hair and doesn't even wear pony tails.  Getting her ready is amount to having her bursh her own hair.  That's it.  My argument is I should be able to say, "Hey Ladybug, you want to get your hair cut?"  "Yeah, okay let's go."
Apparently this is an event that is worse than being unfaithful in a marriage.
It's not like it's Pocahontus long and I want to turn her into Catherine Zeta-Jones-Douglas from Chicago short.  It's shoulder length. 
Should I need permission to get her hair cut?  KC doesn't have to get my permission to do it.  Is it strictly a mother/daughter thing or is it an "I don't trust my husband" thing??
And it's not like I've even thought about taking Ladybug to get her haircut.  I've always let KC make that decision.  But this stems from a conversation we had after reading a friend's Facebook post and I was told I was denied for making any decisons in regards to her hair.

What do my three readers think?