Category: Meanwhile at the zoo we call our family

Vacation Hot Spot: The Hospital Visit Number 235134613461

  We get to take vacation in a nice resort this week. The food is free. You have a lady who waits on you hand and foot whenever you press a little red button that always sits beside your bed. It’s a dream come true! Oh wait…. It’s not. I just read the name on the front of this resort. This is a nightmare. It says HOSPITAL! NoooooOOOOooooOOO! Many of my more dedicated readers know by now that I have children with some pretty messed up health. Thanks ObamaCare… (It’s actually because they were born early, but blaming Obama makes everything more interesting.) My youngest daughter with us runs crazy fevers due to unknown infections. It happens often, and has become part of our lifestyle. It’s not that we accept it, and are willing to live with it forever. It just doesn’t shock us, and send us into a frenzy when it happens. That’s how you get gray hair. I’d rather not have gray hair yet. *pluck* As of right now, my daughter is sitting in her hospital bed with monitors, tubes, and wires coming from every crevice. If you are a SciFi nut, you would totally geek out if...

When You Accidentally Walk into an Alfred Hitchcock Movie

We lived an Alfred Hitchcock move. In December, the family decided that we would take a relaxing trip down to warmer climates. My home state had ice storms in the forecast. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Winter is for polar bears and penguins. Since I’m neither, I migrated. Our journey brought us to Mississippi right along the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. Our tropical excursion brought us to shops, cultural foods, and, most importantly, the beach. This sounds like the perfect way to spend a winter day, no? Another family thought so as well, except they were more of the psychotic nature. I swear they practiced some form of witchcraft to bring forth the apocalypse. Let me explain. While we were dipping our bare toes in the cool ocean water enjoying the sun pouring in from the clear blue skies, this other family brought in a sacrifice of whole grain breads, and began this horrible, satanic chant. I can still hear their cacophonic (How’s that for a word choice?) voices echoing in my memories. “Here Birdie, Birdie. Here Birdie, Birdie.” A shudder as I type out these lines. They began to spread out their sacrifice in what could...

You Deserve a Gold Star for All You Do – A Message to Mom and Dad

Everyone remembers their elementary school years. It may not be in fine detail, but the gist of it is in tact. You remember that these years were a breeze compared to Middle and High schools on into college. How many of you got straight A’s for the most part in Elementary school? If you tried, you succeeded. We even have the no child left behind policies now. All you have to do is put forth a little effort, and listen to your teachers. Voila, star student. My daughter is in first grade right now. Apparently, this whole effort thing doesn’t apply to her. She brings home a daily folder. On the front of said folder is a grid for daily behavior. If she had a good day, she gets a gold star. We’ve had 4 days of school. She only has 2 stars. All she has to do is show up for life. But that is too hard for her. She’d rather take a nap, and ignore her teacher. I feel like I deserve a Gold Star, or even a few. As parents, I feel we should get a gold star every now and then for what we accomplish throughout...

5 Things That Really Stress Out Mom and Dad

Okay y’all. Let’s just get honest for a minute. Being a mom is hard. Being a dad is hard. Heck parenting is hard, and with that comes huge stressors. I mean seriously, we’re responsible for making these tiny humans productive members of society. That is simply not an easy task. We are sleep deprived, overworked, underpaid. We are taxis, maids, nurturers, and doctors. We negotiate with tiny terrorists and rarely get the better end of the deal. We are the unsung heroes of the world, and our stress level can reach overwhelming heights. So let’s talk about what makes us absolutely crazy as parents and some ideas I have on how to survive these trying obstacles. 1. When your children cry for absolutely no reason Look ya’ll, I won’t even lie, when my children start screaming like crazy people for no reason it makes ME want to cry. They literally want nothing except to cry, and watch you search for an answer. It’s almost like it brings them some Joy. Now I know obviously it doesn’t, but there are times I feel it does. It’s like, “Hey! Let’s play a game. Scream until Mommy cries!” My youngest daughter used to...

Common Misconceptions About Stay at Home Dads

In today’s day and age, child care if off the wall expensive. I don’t fault them for charging that much at all. I mean, I have seen my kids in action. They are well worth the cost of childcare. The simple problem is I have 4 at home, and they each have multiple medical needs that require doctors visits. Some of them have more than one doctor they have to see regularly. Ashlee holds a full time job that requires her to work insane hours. She’s a paramedic. It’s her passion; her dream come true. She went through half a decade to achieve this goal, and she’s very good at it. I; however, am a stay at home dad. It’s hard for me to say sometimes. But there it is. I don’t say it out loud because other men in around automatically look down on you from the get go without looking into your life. There are several misconceptions about stay at home fathers at least in my case. Yes, I do know there are some dead beat dads out there who slump on the couch while getting spoon fed. Let’s assume they aren’t included in any of this article. I...

5 Things Every Couple Should Know Before Starting A Big Family

Being a parent in a large family is what I have always aspired to be. Whenever people asked me how many kids I wanted, I would reply with a hasty, “7.” My grandmother had multiples, and she was happy right? I was young and naive. Here are a few things to know about living with a large family before setting out on this task yourself. Bathroom Breaks I don’t care how many bathrooms are in your house. Whenever you need to use it, it will be full. If it’s not full when you decide it’s your turn, someone will run in right before you. My youngest boy likes to steal the bathroom out from under me. I usually wait until it’s necessary to visit the facilities. It’s emergent. We have to go right now, or this factory will explode. “Daddy, I have to go potty.” Wait.. are you serious? You don’t understand son. Daddy needs to go first. “But I can’t hold it.” Now… with my son, I don’t know if he can or cannot hold it. What I do know is he won’t. His mom decided one time that she really should have the right to go first. My...

Building a Family: When Everything Suddenly Changes

We now return to our regular programming. This is the final chapter in Building a Family. After having four children, Ashlee and I were scared to show much intimacy to each other. All four of them were within 2 years of each other. This left 6 months for recovery from C-sections, and 9 months for the next to be born give or take a few months in between. Basically, one of us were too fertile.  It didn’t help that we were now members of a catholic hospital. It was only a matter of time before Selah was born at 28 weeks gestation. Ashlee was in labor on magnesium for 48 hours. The IV had her like a zombie. The doctors finally decided that there was nothing they could do to stop the labor. They prepped the operating table. Out of all our births, this one was the most….. interesting? The anesthesiologist did her work in numbing Ashlee’s body, and the doctors got to work. Radio music was blaring in the background with the OB singing along. Total Eclipse of the Heart. They found a tear in Ashlee’s uterus where Selah was peaking her hand through. If they would not have...

Building a Family: NICU Vacation

Before I start, I wanted to apologize to anyone who was following this series on how my family grew to be from how Ashlee and I met to the birth of my children. I had to take a couple days break due to taking a sudden road trip to Arkansas for a funeral. I was away from my computer, tired from the events/drive, and couldn’t concentrate on writing. For that, I am sorry. Please don’t hate me too much. I’ll buy you an icecream or something to make up for it. And the saga continues!! You’d think after the birth of my two oldest, that we’d be done right? Wrong. It turns out, either I’m really potent, she’s immune to birth control, or God wanted to have a laugh at our expense. We had Elijah in 2008 at 32 weeks, and Emma was born 2011 at 30 weeks. They were both born via C-Section, and kept in the NICU. I lump these two together because anyone who has ever met them automatically assumes they are twins. They do everything together. If I ever separate the two, they talk about each other during the whole parting. Elijah has developmental delays both...

Road Trip with a Scrambled Egg

I apologize for the interuption for your regularly scheduled reading. We will return after our brief excursion to the south. I’m tired. Not just a little tired. I’m very tired. I know it was minor, but I’m just not used to it. Okay. I’ll clue you in. A family emergency came up, and we had to load our entire family up for a 9 hour drive to Arkansas. We had 4 children, and a mother in law. She’s not just any mother in law either. I’ll give you a little back story. Ashlee’s mother used to be a career drug addict. Before I met her, she was addicted to all the major varieties. The woman has been in rehab more times than I have fingers. She has since changed her lifestyle having a small nudge from Ashlee. By that, I mean Ashlee told her to straighten up, or never see her grandkids again. Now she goes to church and has been clean from major drugs for 3 years, and minor drugs for 6 months.  Health is returning to her body and attending church has become a new past time for her. However, the “this is brain on drugs” commercial is...

Building a Family – There Were Complications

So what comes next? What more could I ask for? I have already met the love of my life. And  she brought forth my first born son. What more could I ask for? Insert foot in mouth here. One thing I’ve learned about parenting in this season of my life is that raising one baby is a piece of cake. My oldest was cute. He smiled, sang, and danced. We were very mobile with him without even needing a vehicle. All we needed was a baby carrier to strap to my chest, and off we went. We did the breastfeeding thing, and we kept him with all the time. For first time parents, we were rocking it. Gold Star for team awesome! We were living the dream until Ashlee had to ruin it by taking another pregnancy test. I tell you, those things are cursed. Somehow the pharmaceutical company has them rigged to magically implant a baby in your tummy. Somebody needs to get their people looking into this before someone else falls victim. Ashlee was carrying a baby girl inside her. Our family had to make room for one more. Through a bit of the last, and the entirety...