Monday, January 31, 2005


The next step in urban fashion?

11 days?

Man, does time fly. I can't believe it's been 11 days since my last post. Sorry for the slack. Updates on below:

Attention Update
I made an appointment with the doc who was vacationing when I entered the last post. It's next Tuesday. Look for a follow up. Also, I had a reader email me asking if I'd ever been checked for allergies. Apparently, he is similarly afflicted (and perhaps also a SAHD or considering the plunge) and his food allergy exacerbates the problem. The funny thing is that I'd never considered allergies to be a problem for me, but one time at Four's allergist (he's eggs, walnuts, dust, and dogs) the doc said that both M and I sound like we had allergy issues and suggested that we look into it. Am I sensing a pattern?

As for Four and his attention deficit, I contacted his peds doc and got some forms to fill out and give to his teachers to also fill out. Still waiting to get the teachers' forms, apparently they want to walk me through it. This is painfully slow.

Stomach Stuff Update
Part of the reason, I was not blogging was that the bug eventually got me too. Thursday morning, several hours after posting, I began to feel the stomach cramps signaling that I would soon be seeing the contents of my stomach. At the bug's peak, I could not move from the couch. Suffice to say, the kids probably got their month's quota of TV that day. But it was gone as soon as it came, and 24 hours later I was back. We were all very excited that our much revered bread-winner had escaped the bug unscathed. We even went to a neighborhood party over the weekend to watch the Eagles defeat the Falcons and earn their first Super Bowl berth in 24 long years. Tuesday morning came and M was now hit by the bug. It was crazy how slowly it moved through the house.

Hyperactive Update
Still continuing with the flying. It's awesome. Did 9 landings this weekend. I've not been riding as much as the flying definitely takes a lot of time for study. I definitely miss the exertion. My sister came over for dinner and just to hang last night. She was telling us about her roommate's dog, who is an Australian cattle dog, and if he doesn't get frequent exercise, he goes a little bonkers. After perusing this Australian cattle dog website, I feel like the human equivalent of this breed, particularly after reading "The Australian Cattle Dog is an EXTREMELY active breed, with mental stimulation being of paramount importance." I am glad to have begun flying which challenges me mentally, but am also so interested in so many other things also that my stack of books to read I constantly growing and never shrinking. [No, Philip, I've not made any more progress with Getting Things Done.]

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Brain Dump

Too much going on right now. Matters weren't helped at all when blogger seemed to be having some server problems earlier today. I knew I shouldn't have typed too much without copying it when I got a 404 error just trying to log-in. But, of course, I didn't save the thoughts and emotions that I was pouring out on the keyboard, no, that would have been way too smart.

So instead of the witty and insightful version, what will get captured here is the Reader's Digest version:

Some calls to folks in the hood and their contacts led to what seem to be some valuable resources for the attention deficit stuff that Four and I are going to explore. Following up with pediatrician, predicting that we'll contact this development peds doc. For me, a doc was recommended who is unfortunately out of town. Hoping the urge to get healthy lasts until her return.

Stomach Stuff
After a dinner out of Mexican food on Friday night, Four proceeded to empty the contents of his stomach into a succession of sheets. It was weird because he was fine for several hours after dinner and then it just hit him like a brick. Then he woke up 'fine' the next day. That night, no problems. Then Sunday night, a few vomiting episodes again. Monday morning, fine. Tuesday afternoon and evening we were treated to diarrhea. Seems fine again. Except now its LuLu. Around 11:30 she threw up. M and I worked together to calm, clean, and console her and her bed. M went back to sleep. I went to basement to put sheets and blankets and puppy (stuffed plush) in washer. No sooner than I got up the stairs, she vomits again. Wish me luck!

One night at dinner after saying grace and M.'s prayer for the Tsunami victims, Four says, "I have the great idea. [pauses for can only be effect] Let's have a garage sale. We can sell some of my toys, and send the money to the people in the 'earth shake'."

This time the term above does not refer to Four, but rather to me and the weekend I had. I was able to squeeze in nearly 80 miles on the road bike and two flying lessons. Yes, flying lessons. This has always been a dream of mine, and I have finally gotten together the motivation, and hopefully, stick-to-it-ive-ness to get it done. Here in the Mid-Atlantic the temps were frigid this weekend, and as I rode along many of the creeks and rivers that follow some of the great riding around here, I was reminded of the beauty of riding. This weekend it was the marked difference in the viscosity of the water flowing down these banks. The absolute or percentage difference I imagine is quite small, but the effect was striking. I likened the thicker, more slow flowing water to the functioning of my own mind lately.

Today I was backing out of the garage with both munchkins in the car. I don't know how or why but LuLu, not yet two, says "Watz out mGali tar" reminding me not to back into Magali's car which was parked directly behind the van.

I know there's more. I just can't find it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Pile it on!

Adding to my feeling of ineffectiveness. I just stopped in at got twins?, the site done by a fellow stay-at-home-dad (or full-time father or whatever term happens to not piss off those easily offended by labels), fellow blogger, and apparently fellow road and mountain cyclist. The guy makes me look like a total slacker. He's got streaming video, a live webcam, AND TWINS! Ty, how do you do it?

There's also Philip of Blue Sloth who, though he's in the process of rebounding from a little slump, also deserves serious kudos for making me feel a bit blue and a bit like a sloth.

Maybe I need to start (and finish) the book my wife bought me, Getting Things Done.

Reaching Out

Lately, I feel completely ineffective as a parent, as a husband, as a human. I just feel like we're not working as a family. I mean we totally love each other and we're generally happy, but I feel like somehow I'm failing the kids. It just seems like we're so all over the place. Everything takes forever. I feel like we're losing control. The other day I picked Four up from pre-school, and his teacher says, "Dad, we have to talk." She didn't have time that day but we talked Monday morning after drop-off. Essentially, they are observing many of the behaviors that we are seeing at home. Previous to this we had been taking solace in the fact that while he could be a handful at home, at least he was doing well at school. So long, solace. After the discussion with the teacher, I began trolling the internet as any geek parent would do, and began to essentially reaffirm the amateur diagnosis we feared a couple of years ago, ADD/ADHD. A brother of mine was diagnosed years ago, we joke that my dad and I both have, and now it looks like in addition to my charming good looks, my son has inherited my lack of focus and my surplus of physical energy. While I've been pretty critical in the past of my ability to do this job, I am now even more seriously considering how positive a situation it is to have a likely ADD/ADHD boy staying home with an almost definitely ADD stay-at-home-dad. So, not wanting to give up my current position, at least not full-time, I am planning to get more serious about seeking some behavior modification, therapy, medication, etc. for myself(previous attempts have petered out due lack of stick-to-it-iveness) as well as for Four.

Getting back to Four, if it was just the excess energy I think we could tolerate that, in fact in this society where increasingly hear of the problems of obesity and the numbers of overweight toddlers and pre-schoolers, I actually don't mind the energy level. As I write this, I am beginning to wonder if our increasingly sedentary, prim and proper expectations for youth and schools is not doing a disservice to kids like Four and kids who don't get off their keisters enough. I digress. With Four, its the lack of self control -- grabbing toys from others with out asking, not doing as told, losing focus when doing simple tasks, and the inability to sit still. Even after begging to watch something on the tube, when I finally give in, often just visits the TV in between periods of being a nudge to his sister and playing with toys and jumping on the furniture (despite repeated reprimands and time-outs for the very same action).

I found a website that has an article and checklist for ADHD. As I read it, I couldn't help but think that they had my son pegged. At first, I was very upset and scared about the possibility of such a diagnosis. Now, I almost feel relieved. I feel that since I now know what I'm dealing with, I can better find the skills and tools to help us all cope with it better, and, in the end, help this little boy to become a happy, well-adjusted person who will be loving and well-loved.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

More of Funny Things They Say

The other night, I went in to LuLu's room because she was crying. As soon as I opened the door, she felt the need to tell me, "I pying [translated: I'm crying]." It was adorable.

Now I don't remember where we were going, but I had forgotten (or neglected) to put on my seat. LuLu reminds me from the backseat, "Daddy belt on." M and I were floored. I asked rhetorically, in fact more to M, "How old are you?" She thrusts forth her pointer and declares, "I one."

While typing the above I was reminded of something Four said this summer. We were driving my parent's mini-van (a Dodge Grand Caravan) around. We had swapped cars prior to our trip to Ohio. One day, we pulled next to a regular Caravan, not the Grand Caravan. Four says, "Why is that van shorter?" I know some adults who wouldn't notice the difference.

Photo Updates

Just getting around to getting all my digital photos for the past month or so uploaded. If you're friends or family, enjoy. If not, well, you might enjoy some of the pics too. Be well, I'm trying my best to do the same. More on that later.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

"Mommy and Me" Special

Its raining here today. So, I took the kids to one of these indoor playgrounds. As I walked in I noticed a large sign announcing the "Mommy and Me" special -- essentially $2 per kid from 10 AM to 2 PM. Being the cheap bastard that I am, I smilingly paid my four dollars so the little ones could play. But it still pisses me off that our society just isn't ready to accept stay-at-home dads. What's worse, I counted no less than five other fathers there. Still a minority, but we're growing.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Happy New Year!

Admittedly late, but Happy New Year! May you have a safe, joyous, and fulfilling New Year. New Year's isn't my thing in terms of the partying and what not, and I have mixed feelings about the whole new leaf thing. New Year's Day is really just another day, and typically resolutions and such do not stick real well. In fact, this year I've just foregone the whole resolution thing. Don't get me wrong, in the larger scheme of things if we give up on resolutions, introspection, and self-improvement, then we're in real trouble. I personally don't have the energy to do it right now.

Lately, I have been struggling with many of the issues Philip of Blue Sloth writes about in "The Wall." I have been trying to find that special thing inside of me that I can contribute. When describing this to M, she responded "Those two children?" And yes, absolutely, the care and nurturing I give them and how it impacts their health and happiness and the people they become is absolutely a great gift and contribution. But I want to contribute something else. Something that is all mine. Something that is beautiful and benevolent. And mine. My art. Or my words. Or my ideas.

Raising the Next Generation of SAHDs

After putting on his camoflage pajamas, Four went up to M who was changing LuLu, and began to profess to her his career aspirations:
Four: I want to be a policeman, a race car driver, and a stay-at-home dad on Fridays when I grow up.
"Can I do that?"
M: "Yes, I think you could do all of that."

Why just Fridays? Although come to think of it, its not a bad idea.