One Thankful Mr. Mom

30 10 2014

A lot of challenges fly around social media these days.  From the more mundane and charitable, like the ALS ice bucket challenge, to the crazy and insane, like the fire challenge.  I will have to admit, I did dunk myself in ice cold water, but have no desire to set any part of my body ablaze.

One of the more recent ones has been the “Thankful” challenge.  List three things that you’re thankful for each day for seven days.  My wife completed this challenge, and subsequently challenged me.  As of today, I haven’t completed it.  Not because I’m lazy, or because I was ignoring her, but because I really wanted it to mean something.  I wanted to express what I was really thankful for.  Like REALLY thankful for.  This past week I was afforded the opportunity to be reminded of what I am most thankful for.

See, I’m a CPA, and that means long hours, especially during tax season.  My wife on the other hand is a stay-at-home mom.  While I have never thought she had it easy, I certainly didn’t understand her complaints related to her job staying at home.  I mean come on, you can set your own schedule, naps in the afternoon while the kids napped.  Not easy, but not too shabby either.  Due to a family event in New York, my wife took a week off from her “taxing” job, and I took a week off from my own.  She traveled with her mother to New York for the event while I got to stay at home with our 4 year-old son.  I mean hey, if Michael Keaton can do it, I should have no problem, right?

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In case it wasn’t evident from the title, or (long) intro, this didn’t quite turn out to be the vacation I expected.  I had plans, plans and more plans.  Clean the house thoroughly, clean my wife’s car for her, have a great time with my son doing all sorts of fun stuff.  I quickly learned that when I did have time to do anything remotely close to “planned” it was quickly changed by the noises (or lack of noises) coming from the other room.  I lost count of the times I yelled “What are you doing?!?” only to have it met with silence, which means I had to do a quick follow-up with my own eyes to see what he was doing.  The cat I’m sure was thankful for my quick follow ups more than once.

Time quickly became relative.  Having fun, it flew by like it was nobody’s business.  On the other hand, watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates for the umpteenth time, well, let’s just say I’ve seen less torture in the Saw movies.

My biggest surprise was the loneliness.  After about two days, I craved and desired, no, I absolutely NEEDED some adult company and conversation.  Someone to talk to about anything other than pirate adventures and the number of poops my son took.  Not in a day, how many pieces in one poop.  I’m completely done with poop for quite a long time.

I had a great time with my son.  I love him to death, and love spending time with him, but my wife is coming home tomorrow, and I might just throw a party.

I like to hope that this will give me an opportunity to be a little more sympathetic to her complaints, because they’re as valid as any other.  I can’t guarantee that there won’t be times that I forget about this experience, and let my need to take a nap after work, or play guitar, take over again, but I like to think I’ll more often give it a second thought, and put her needs before mine.  She deserves it.

So all 21 of my things that I’m thankful for can be summed as: my wife.  She’s a wonderful wife and even better mother.  Her patience rivals that of the world’s most pious figureheads, both with my son and with myself.  How she does what she does on a daily basis, I will never know, but I’m darn glad she can do it.

P.S.  I know this does not just apply to my wife, but all the stay-at-home moms (and dads) out there.  So kudos to you for doing what you do, because some of us just aren’t cut out to be Mr. Mom.





Consider a Helmet

17 09 2011

Damn this blog is getting depressing.  I usually like to keep things as light-hearted as possible, but given the long span between my recent posts (SLACKER!) a lot has happened and I feel like there’s one more serious issue that needs to be addressed.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my best friends had a bad accident on his motorcycle.  The cause of the accident and exact circumstances are unimportant, but the results of it are very important.

It started with a weekend morning call from his mom to me wondering if I had spoken to him.  She had received a call from his boss saying he hadn’t shown up to work.  We called the local hospital and they couldn’t give us any information and had no one by his name.  We called the local jail thinking maybe he had gotten in trouble somehow, but no info was available.  I sped to his house and pounded on the door.  Nothing.  I also noted that his truck was there but motorcycle was gone.  There was a not so good feeling creeping into my stomach.

His mom called me and let me know that he was in the hospital, but the hospital had him listed as a number, no name, because he had been brought in with no license (it turns out the first responders had his wallet and had called the hospital to give them his info, but it had gotten lost somewhere).

Initial assessments of him showed a broken temporal bone, broken shoulder bone, fractured neck, road rash covering his face and brain bleeding, but no swelling.  Later it was discovered he had two broken ribs as well.  Please, I invite you to take a guess if he was wearing a helmet or not.  The physical injuries have started to heal in the weeks since, including the brain injury, but the memory problems remain.  He is slowly remembering things, but at this point even it is still a struggle.  He sometimes thinks he’s in his sister’s apartment instead of the hospital.  He thinks that he wants a cigarette, despite the fact he quit smoking over a year ago.  There are times when I’m in his hospital room and he’ll ask when I’m coming as if I’m someone else.  It’s been rough on not only him, but his family and friends and will continue to be.  The worst part is the not knowing, not knowing if he’ll ever remember anything, or if he’ll be his old self again.

Now, I’m not usually one to harp on things, and I value an individual’s freedom of choice as highly as anyone.  I’m also realistic in realizing that not everyone will wear a helmet, which is fine.  All I ask, is that if you are a motorcycle rider, give it some consideration, even to a half or 3/4 helmet.  Is it as fun, no, but I do know that had he been wearing his helmet (he owns two) a lot of this probably could have been avoided.  Whether you decide to wear one or not, I wish you all safe and good rides, and keep the rubber side on the road.

As a side note, the situation is not without humor.  One of his requests so far has been a three-foot elephant he can train to sit. :)





Slackers and Honesty

16 09 2011

I think the first part of the title speaks for itself.  I have been a slacker when it comes to this blog.  Now granted, it’s not without reason, but regardless, I’ve been a slacker.  As a CPA, I do a lot of June 30 year-end audits, and business has been hectic.  Thus posting went far down on the list on priorities.  I apologize to one and all.

Now, the honesty part.  I’m a pretty big fan of honesty as a trait in a human being.  I’ve even been evaluated at work as being a “little too honest”.  That it might do some good to learn some tact.  I disagree, but tactfully keep my mouth shut.  I think sometimes the world could use a little more direct truth and be a lot less PC.  Anyway…

About mid-July I had an interesting phone call from a reporter in South Carolina.  Now, in my vast travels of the world, South Carolina is one place I have never made it to, but I did have a friend who lived there and was curious as to the phone call.

A little background on the friend.  We met in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma in 2000, while we were both learning the awesome job of blowing stuff up with 155mm howitzer.  We hit it off fast and became quick friends.  As luck would have it, following Ft. Sill, we both got assigned to the same unit in the Marine Corps.  Long story short, we ended up best friends for our Marine Corps career.  A good enough man to stand up as my best man in my wedding.  A little later down the road he hooked up with one of my wife’s friends and told her some “un-truths”, but I chalked it up to trying to impress a girl (I swear, it’s bigger when it’s warmer!)  He left the Marine Corps a year prior to me and we lost contact.  A couple years later we ended up finding each other through Facebook and reconnected.  We even had plans to get together when my wife and I were going to be in North Carolina for a wedding next summer.  Enter reporter’s phone call.

So being curious, I of course call the reporter back.  The reporter is excited I called, the story she did one my friend is apparently going to print that night, but she had just wanted to verify some facts about him.  She wanted to verify that we were in the Marine Corps together…check.

She wanted to verify that we served in the same unit…check.

She wanted to confirm that he had received his Purple Heart saving me from a firefight in Iraq…ummm…WTF????

For the record, I have never served in Iraq or any other combat zone for that matter, so it came as quite a shock for me that apparently I had been in a firefight, shot, hit by a grenade, and carried out on my best man’s back?  I would like to repeat…WTF????

Needless to say this put me in a hell of a hard spot.  *Rock* *Me* *Hardplace*

It only got worse.  Come to find out, he had used local charities and veteran’s organizations to get a free house.  This of course pissed me off to end, so in the end I told the reporter she could quote me or do whatever she wanted, I was telling the truth.  The story never got run, and my so-called friend soon de-friended me on Facebook.

It was a bad situation to be in.  I had to choose between my integrity and what was once my best friend.  I chose integrity.  I just hope none of you are ever in that position.





Eating Primal

12 07 2011

Those of you familiar with the Paleo diets will notice that there are several differences between Paleo and Primal.  The first is that dairy is encouraged on a rare occasion.  Additionally, alcohol in moderation is ok as well (generally limited to two drinks per night).  For the rest of you, after answering some questions from my co-workers I realized that this idea of going primal/paleo may not be as widespread as I first assumed.  I guess because it makes sense to me that we as humans evolved this way (we won’t get into the evolution/creationism argument here) I assumed that it was wide-known.  So to give you an idea of what I eat on a daily basis I’ve included yesterday’s food log.

Food Name
Amount
Unit
Cals
Fat (g)
Carbs (g)
Prot (g)
Total
1,695
87.3
88.9
119.9
Coffee
 16  (8 fl oz)
5
0.1
0.2
0.6
Carbonated beverage, low calorie, cola or pepper-types, with…
 24 fl oz
0
0.0
0.0
0.0
Egg omelet or scrambled egg
 3 large
288
21.4
3.5
20.4
Walmart Turkey Sausage
 2 serving
180
12.0
0.0
18.0
Honey
 1.5 tablespoon
96
0.0
26.0
0.1
Beans, string, green, cooked, from frozen
 1.5 cup,
106
5.9
13.1
3.0
Broccoli, cooked, from frozen
 1.5 cup
84
3.9
9.9
5.7
Beef, ground, 95% lean meat / 5% fat, raw (a.k.a. hamburger)
 128 grams
175
6.4
0.0
27.4
Wasabi Sauce
 1 serving
15
0.5
3.0
0.0
Mayonnaise, low-calorie or diet
 1 tablespoon
35
3.5
1.0
0.0
Game meat, deer, ground, raw (a.k.a. venison)
 6.4 oz
285
12.9
0.0
39.5
Mushrooms, cooked
 20 slices
40
2.3
4.3
1.8
Peppers, green, cooked
0.5 cup
35
2.0
4.6
0.6
Onions, yellow, sauteed
 0.5 cup
57
4.7
3.4
0.4
Raspberries, red, raw
 0.5 cup
32
0.4
7.3
0.7
Blackberries, raw
 0.5 cup
31
0.4
6.9
1.0
Cream, heavy, whipped, unsweetened
 0.25 cup
103
11.0
0.8
0.6
MGD 64
 2 serving
128
0.0
4.8
0.0
Total
1,695
87.3
88.9
119.9
As you can see, I’m not in any way hurting for good food (I mean good grief, I’m using heavy whipping cream).  The carbs today are a little higher than I would have liked, but the honey I had in the morning tasted great. And to top it all off, according to the scale I lost 1/2 lb yesterday.  Now I understand that weight fluctuates from day-to-day and that it is not entirely accurate.  What I am arguing for is that it is possible to eat great foods, which are low-calorie (see my total is well below the RDA of 2,000) and never feel hungry throughout the day.
One additional note is that diet soda is generally not encouraged in either Paleo or Primal, but I just love it so darn much.  I’m going to attempt to wean off of it in the coming weeks, but it’ll be a battle of willpower, that’s for sure.  I encourage any questions comments as always :)




A Quick Note on Primal Living

11 07 2011

I will say that I have noticed some immediate effects from changing the diet. Mostly that I no longer have the 2-3pm blahs. It seems like I have more sustainable energy throughout the day. Let’s hope it keeps up!





Going Primal in a Modern World

11 07 2011

Holy snot it’s been a long time since I had a post!  Work has been crazy, but I’ve finally hit a slow patch until the end of this month when it picks up again.

And oh my how things have changed since my last post.  Starting yesterday I went primal.  No, I’m not going to live in the woods and hunt bear with a wooden spear or anything like that.  I’m referring to the Primal Blueprint, a “lifestyle change” book by Mark Sisson (www.marksdailyapple.com).  I mean, I’m 31, have a one-year old son and let’s just face it…my days of living off of pizza and beer with a McDonald’s breakfast the next morning to get rid of the hangover are over (and OMG how I ADORE McDonald’s breakfasts).

So the whole idea of the Primal Blueprint is in line with the Paleo diets.  The premise is that man (and woman) evolved over millions of years eating what was available to them.  This included vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, insects and what meat they could hunt.  Notice that there’s something missing in there (hint…it’s the largest part of the USDA’s food pyramid).  That’s right…grains!  It wasn’t until the advent of agriculture and man could more easily produce mass quantities of food, when generally man became less healthy.

I could go on and on, but I’ll let you check it out yourself.  Essentially this is the first diet (or lifestyle change) that I’ve found that makes sense to me.  It helps that I’m not a huge bread guy to begin with.  So my decision is to use this blog to track my progress and see how things go.  I’m also using www.fitday.com to track my weight, measurements, moods, etc…  I’m giving this 100% effort for 30 days.  I hope the results are good.  For the record, here are my starting stats:

Weight: 227.5

Neck: 16

Bicep: 13.5

Forearm: 10.5

Chest: 45.75

Waist: 42.5

Hips: 44.25

Thigh: 24.75

Calf: 17

And a starting picture.  I know I’m not standing up straight, but you can still see the gut and that’s the point.  I’ll get a better one soon.





Automobile Snobbery

22 05 2011

Short post today, but just an interesting thought I had while driving around today (well, maybe only interesting to me).  Of course while driving you notice the other cars around you, and sometimes you make judgements about the people inside those vehicles based solely on their auto.  While I do not condone this, and am not saying it is right, it’s a fact of life.  If I’m the only one doing it, well then to hell with me.

Anyway, so I realized this morning, that yes, I have become a car snob.  Not so much in terms of make and model.  Good Lord, I could never judge for rust or something like that, after all, you should see my truck.  No, that is not the defining factor of my judgement.  What is you ask?  Bumper stickers.  Plain and simple.  In my opinion bumper stickers on your car automatically cast you into the lower class of automobiles.  I don’t care what you’re driving, it could be a Bugatti for all I care, if you put a bumper sticker on it, you are automobile trash, and might as well pull the Bugatti into the dirt drive of your shanty, step out in all your wife-beater, butt crack-showing, muffin top glory, and pop the top on another PBR.

The strange part that I noticed while contemplating all of this is I do not classify window decals in the same class as bumper stickers.  I enjoy seeing a family with their pets in stick form across a rear window, Calvin peeing on a brand of truck or a tribal design for that matter.  I’m all for expressing yourself, but if you’re using bumper stickers, I don’t care that you want to coexist, where the hell your kid is an honor student or that you love your (insert dog/cat/horse/person breed here).  You just moved down in my mental caste system of things.

Maybe I’m just getting old and cynical, but good gracious folks, let’s class it up a little bit and avoid the bumper stickers.








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