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True Confessions of a Stay at Home Dad
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This is a blog about my life. My wife and I have three kids, ages six, three and one. Last year I gave up my gig as a middle school teacher to stay home with my kids full-time. This past year has been the most challenging, easy, relaxing, stressful, fun, tiring and rewarding year of my life.

My wife Amanda and I have been married for seven years. She spends her days (and nights and weekends) as an overworked Medical Resident.

Our oldest daughter, Eloise, is a bright, sweet, emotional first grader that loves to talk (she gets it from her mom). When not at school she is most likely playing dress up, turning some part of our house into a playroom, or creating a craft projects that involve: glue, magazines, markers, staples, stickers, scissors, crayons, pens, and a dozen sheets of paper.

Henry, the three year old middle child, is hell on wheels. There is not a house or store Henry cannot destroy in five to seven minutes max. He loves playing with his trucks, digging in his sandbox and occasionally putting on his sister’s pink plastic high heels.

Maggie, the one year old, is as sweet as they come. At a very early age she learned that her crying could barely be heard over the volume of her siblings. She has developed a blood curdling scream in order to get our attention that would make any horror movie producer proud.

Well there you have it, that’s pretty much my family in a nutshell.

DISCLAIMER: If you are looking for parenting advice you have come to the wrong place. Enjoy!

O Christmas Tree
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O Christmas Tree

January 03, 2013 | 07:17 AM

My wife bought me a cheap little plastic six foot Christmas tree in college.

I loved that little tree, sadly that $14 investment broke after about seven years. I tried to replace the stand with another cheap tree from Dollar General, but it didn't work.

Finally, it was time for a real tree.

We arrived at the Christmas tree farm and were faced with two choices: We could take a tractor ride out into the tree field or buy a tree that was already cut. We noticed the tractor rides were all made up of the same types of families, one person was happy, the rest looked absolutely miserable. We headed over to the pre-cut trees. Thankfully.

We picked out our tree, set it up in our living room, filled it up with water and for the first 24 hours, it looked great. The tree slowly opened up and took over a good portion of our living room. The strangest thing happened though, it never drank a drop of water. I checked every day and the water level never dropped, not a bit. After a couple of weeks of checking, I noticed a smell coming from the water, a bad smell. My tree was dying a slow painful death and smelled like vomit, something needed to be done.

I decided some serious intervention would need to take place if this tree was going to see Christmas morning.

The first thing I did was change the vomit water. Since the tree was still in the stand I wasn't able to simply dump the water out. I needed to be creative. My wife handed me a baby "snot sucker" suction bulb and told me to suck the water out. I grabbed an empty bottle of Tanqueray and started filing it with sucked out vomit water. The irony of the whole thing was the empty gin bottle smelled like a fresh Christmas tree.

I also drilled some holes in the trunk, hoping the water would be able to go in the tree that way, but no luck. I wasn't sure how many holes to drill, but stopped drilling after my drill bit broke off and stuck in the tree.

My wife Googled, "dying Christmas tree," and one suggestion was giving it aspirin, so we crushed up some aspirin and gave that a shot too, talk about desperate.

Sadly, despite our best efforts, the tree didn't make it and out the door it went Christmas Eve morning.

Next year we may be back at Wal-mart looking for the perfect $14.99 tree.

-Pete


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