October 28, 2009

And to top it off, the anchor stole my kid’s chocolate milk

“Tomorrow, you get to go be on television in your Halloween costume while drinking chocolate milk!”

The kids laughed at the notion of being on TV as I broke the news to them of what we would be doing the following morning. Swee’Pea laughed and exclaimed how fun that would be. TheMonk smiled and agreed that it would, indeed, be fun to drink chocolate milk while dressed as a red Power Ranger.

We were invited by a nice woman who I had befriended on Twitter. It just so happened she handled PR for the Got Milk ad campaign. We were invited, along with a couple of other kids – including blogger Mommy I’m Hungry (whose blog I will not read until after I win my weight-lost be because the food on that blog is not good for my will power), to participate in an on-air segment that offered suggestions to parents on ways to enjoy a healthier Halloween. I was told the kids would be drinking milk in the background while the dietician was interviewed.

This turned out not to be the case. Instead, they were at the table coloring and the news anchor, a very nice man named Raoul Martinez, actually expected to engage with the kids. Only one problem. My kids don’t talk to strangers. And it’s not even as if we’ve told them, “Don’t talk to strangers! They’re bad!” No, my kids just don’t talk to strangers. You have to earn their love and affection the old fashioned way, by getting on your knees and begging. Or bribery. That works too.

Anyway, the kids did well as the dietician representing Got Milk explained how a bucket-full of candy will kill you. They sat there and colored like good girls and boy.

Until TheMonk made a run for it. He’s lightning quick and dressed as a Power Ranger only increased his ability to zig and zag. On live television. If this is the beginning of his television career, then I’m thinking comedy might be his genre.

Of course, everyone laughed it off. After all, TheMonk was corralled pretty quickly and the segment went well overall. In fact it went so well that after the segment was over, Raoul came over and took my kid’s chocolate milk. He’s lucky he didn’t get his butt kicked by a muscular Power Ranger or turned into a toad by a cute little witch. Lucky for him I had promised the kids donuts if they did well on TV. Yes, bribery is my method of earning my kids love. Sue me.

Take a look at the great escape for yourself.


October 25, 2009

Cancer Sucks

A few weeks ago, a fellow Daddy Blogger, Hank from Shotgun Daddy, whom I have known for several years now, approached me about a story he felt warranted attention.  The story was of Jalen, a handsome, bright, athletic young teen who just happens to be battling cancer.  As I read about Jalen’s journey, my heart got caught in my throat and tears welled in my eyes.  I pictured this brave boy battling this awful disease and felt so helpless knowing how scary this must be for him.  You see, Jalen has seen this before.  His 4 year old sister, Breanna, died of a brain tumor when Jalen was nine.  That’s right. Jalen’s parents are now facing another battle with cancer with another of their beautiful children.  I cannot even imagine the emotions that those parents must be feeling.  My heart aches for this family.

As you may know, this month is Cancer Awareness month.  Most of us know someone who’s been afflicted with cancer.  Some have survived.  Others have not.  Cancer sucks.  But it seems most unfair when it’s children who are expected to battle this awful disease.  They deserve more.

So, I am asking you to learn more about Jalen’s story at his family’s blog, Jalen’s Journey.  Send him words of encouragement and let him know that we are all rooting for  him.  You can also send a donation to Jalen’s family via the blog but that’s not the reason I’m writing about this.  I’m writing because 13 year old boys shouldn’t have to worry if they’ll live long enough to drive.  And parents shouldn’t have to go through the terrible fear of losing a child – let alone two.

Cancer sucks.  Let’s beat this thing.  Let’s find a cure for Breanna and Jalen and everyone you and I have known who has been afflicted by this awful disease.  Too many of our babies are dying.

October 11, 2009

The Week That Was – A Body Made for Radio

It started out like any other week. Monday morning was the usual struggle to get the kids back into our weekday morning routine. A certain girl didn’t like the socks I picked for her. A certain boy didn’t want to put his shoes on. A certain Daddy was under-caffeinated and rushing to get to work.

Tuesday was more of the same. Nothing very exciting.

Wednesday, however, got interesting. In a brief chat with Tania from Chicky Chicky Baby, we both got into a whining match about how much weight we’ve gained since BlogHer. My memory of the actual conversation is vague but I seem to remember references to thunder thighs and hippos. It also got more interesting when Tania said, “I smell a bet.” So a bet was made. The bet? Whoever loses the most percentage of weight in the next six weeks is the winner. The loser? The loser will have to post a photo of herself on her blog wearing spandex.

My starting weight was 189.5 pounds.  Since the bet was placed, I’ve lost 3.5 pounds. I am determined to win this bet. Here is my game plan:

  • Have a net daily caloric intake of 1300 calories.  (I can eat more but the exercise I do has to cancel out the extra calories)
  • Exercise. A lot. I’m thinking of doing the thigh master at my desk at work.  Maybe some buttock squeezes whenever I’m walking. Perhaps even some running.
  • Taunt Tania with apple cider donuts. Thinking of having a dozen shipped to her every week day.
  • Shave my head. Every ounce counts. That hair was on its way out anyways.  If that doesn’t work, shave the rest of the body.
  • Lose a limb. How often do I really use my left arm?
  • Donate a kidney.  How much does a kidney weigh? A pound?

This better work.  If it doesn’t, I’m going to have to post a photo of a bald-headed, hairless, one-armed, spandex-clad me on this blog.  I’ll miss my readers.

Thursday was a lot of fun.  My body adjusted to me starving myself. And when I say adjusted, I mean my stomach growled all. day. long.  That evening, however, I got to chat with Karl from Secondhand Tryptophan on his internet radio show.  You can listen to the recorded show at his radio show website or you can look up the podcast on iTunes.  We had a nice talk.  I answered the questions that James Lipton always asks on Inside the Actors Studio and chatted about why I think women hold men back from parenting (you know you wanna listen now, right?).  It was fun and I had a good time.

Friday, aside from starving myself, I went to visit our day camp at the Y.  The staff asked me to participate in a banana eating contest with other staff directors in front of the  entire camp.  I happily obliged because I’m a team player and I wanted to support our camp staff.  As I stood with five of my fellow directors in front of the camp, they blindfolded all of us and handed us a banana.  Soon after, they shouted “GO!” and it was on!  I crammed that banana in my mouth.  As I finished it, I could hear the kids cheering and someone handed me another banana.  I started to shove that one in my already full mouth and suddenly, I was declared the winner.  I removed my blindfold, banana still in my mouth, and glanced around.  Every staff member that had been standing next to me was no longer next to me and not one was eating a banana.  It was then I knew I had been had.  The banana eating contest was a contest of one: Me.

Of course, the staff and kids began laughing and I laughed along too.  They got me.  They got me good.  Of course, they won’t be laughing so hard when I don’t sign their timecards next week.

Saturday and Sunday were all about not eating.  It’s harder than it sounds.  Stay tuned for that. Bald, one-armed guys in spandex could be a sight to see.

October 6, 2009


A tiny hand in mine, that has grown throughout the years
Eyes that look at me with adoration, and to reassure the fears
Tender moments shared, of hugs and gentle kisses
Encouraging words aplenty after after all those swings and misses

Ponytails and tea parties and adorning dolls with dresses
Showing how to write your name and celebrate successes
Giving you the confidence to take on the world alone
But showing you that I’ll support you through every unknown

Five years ago, I didn’t know what being a dad meant
Even though I read all those books before that blessed event
You see, being a dad isn’t about a stereotypical role
It’s about nurturing the best in you from your head right through your soul.

It’s baking cookies, reading stories and washing behind the ears
It’s doling out the discipline and then wiping away the tears
It’s showing you a man of honor so that you will be, or marry, one
It’s about joyfully spending time with you, my daughter and my son.

It’s about answering every question while trying to not go nuts
It’s about piggy back rides, hide and seek and even wiping little butts
It’s about pancakes every Sunday and afternoons at the park
It’s about holding little hands at night when frightened by the dark

It’s about everyday expressions of love to your mother and my wife
It’s about helping you to navigate this winding road called life
It’s about sharing my experience for you to take a bigger step than I
It’s about giving you your wings when it comes that time to fly

Because someday in the future, that tiny hand will be all grown
And you will take that step into the great big world all alone
But I will be there ready throughout the coming years
To celebrate your successes and to reassure your fears.

For I can already see that being your Dad, will simply never end
And someday I hope that lines will blur between father and a friend
But most of all, being a dad comes down to this simple view
About leaving absolutely no doubt, how much I do love you.


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