Friday, October 19, 2012

The Time Has Come

So much I have worked for over this past year and a half or maybe even longer is hitting me head on this weekend.

If you ask most people they would probably tell you that I am an asshole.  I'm OK with that. 

My priority is to be a loving, devoted, strong husband and a caring, gentle, understanding father.

In order to do that I have done a number of things in my life.  Become more patient, stopped drinking and started listening more.

Helping me overcome those obstacles was a place called the gym.  At the gym, I left the stress on the handles of the barbells, the dumbbells and when I walked out the door I had that refreshed, refined and confident body, mind and spirit.

At some point I came across CROSSFIT.  Finding Crossfit was just like finding T in Florida.  It was like love at first sight.  It was like the drugs and alcohol that I had been addicted to for so long. I couldn't get away from Crossfit.  I was wanting to learn more about fitness but I kept being sucked into this Crossfit stuff.  I couldn't stop reading about it, studying it, learning about it online, watching videos and listening to others talk and write about it.  Then it became clear.

Crossfit was for me.  I was for Crossfit. 

Over time I met people online that have helped me grow, understand and learn more about Crossfit than I could have ever imagined.  Some of them don't even know who they are, but they are out there helping others just like me.  Teaching others.

That's what I want to do!

So this weekend I am attending the Crossfit Level 1 Course in Atlanta.  A two day training course that will let me know if I am ready to do for others what they have done for me.

Am I ready? 

Kiss The Baby



Friday, October 12, 2012

Coaching and Parenting is the same

I know I do it all the time but here is another post in which I use sports and life to make a point and teach you all something.

Remember when Oklahoma State Football Coach went on his rant and screamed "I'm A Man I'm 40!" ?  Well I'm a man and I'm also 40.  I have been around the block a time or two or twelve.  From what I remember pretty much being born and raised by a single mom along with my Grandparents until I was 10.  Becoming a Military child I have been around and seen so much. The good, the bad and the ugly.  I have also done the good, the bad and the ugly.  Stolen things, drugs, alcohol, steroids, I have pretty much done most out there that can be done.  None of that stuff worked for me. If you are smart and things are not working for you, what do you do?  YOU CHANGE!

That is my point today.  I am making this point because this is a rule that I have learned to live by.  In life, in marriage and in parenting.  If you do something over and over and over and you are not getting the results you are looking for, then why keep doing the same thing?  Changes have to be made.  If you don't make those changes then you are going to do a number of things that will bring down you, those close to you, those around you and that village of people that are depending on you.

True Story.  When I was a heavy drinker I was killing my marriage and mentally hurting my children by not being the best dad I could be.  I changed what I was doing.  I stopped drinking completely.  When I was being a jerk to my wife and kids and not having patience with them, I changed.  I educated myself on how to handle things differently.  Those things were not working, I changed them and things are better.

Some people want to cloud their thoughts and think I don't know much about sports but growing up and all my life I have played sports.  I have played a lot of sports.  Multiple sports in fact.  Football, basketball, tennis, tried track, soccer and during these time and living in some of the places we lived and going to schools I went to I had the chance, well really the privilege to meet and play against and with some great players.  I have also met over the years some really great coaches.  I can remember playing basketball in Va. with Ralph Sampson.  An Army officer named Mike that worked for my dad took me to play with him and some other big names hoops stars.  That was when I was young.  What I remember most about those people I met when I was young was how they taught the game.  Its all about how the game is taught and how your life can be reflected by that.

Fast forward to college years.  While living in Kansas, I had the pleasure to meet two coaches that made great impressions on me.  Marty Schottenheimer (whose daughter was married to a military man that lived above my parents on base) and he was so mild mannered. And perhaps my favorite of all time Roy Williams the now UNC Coach who was then at University of Kansas.  Great teacher.

Now as an adult living in Houston is where i really came across so many athletes and coaches and this is when I really became a student of sports, not just basketball, but all sports.  I started to learn what it was like to teach people and now I can see how that has helped me with my own wife and kids.  I played a pick up game one time with Robert Horry and I was a baller, but not that good.  At first he would talk shit to me, yell at me and almost talk down to me while playing.  Then after a game, he pulled me aside and asked me how all of that felt?  I told him it sucked.  Being verbally beaten down while playing took my mind off task and shook me up.  I didn't respond to that well.  He then told me he saw me earlier yelling at a different teammate and that might have been why he didn't play well.  Robert Horry a big time Champ with the Rockets then sat me there and talked to me and told me that when speaking softly your teammates and players have to listen.  He told me that Rockets Coach Rudy T. never ever yelled at them in practice or games.   That is the same advice that I offer to you when dealing with your kids. 

When yelling at kids, they often shut down or other emotions take over those listening skills.  Raising your kids is like coaching.  When it isn't working for you one way, change it up and try something new.  Tony Dungy never yelled at his NFL players and they were winners.  A team I cant stand and love to hate UGA's Mark Richt doesn't yell at his players and they are winners.  Its all about teaching.  It is easier to learn when you are talked to, not yelled at.

Most all successful coaches are not screamers.  I could list you a million of em.  And they are probably good parents as well.

That is why in my personal life I make an effort daily to not yell at the kids and if something isn't working I change it up. 

Just some food for thought.

Sports Picks for you sports fans

Texas will cover the +3 and actually beat Oklahoma
South Carolina will cover the +2.5 and beat LSU

Green Bay will cover the +3.5 and knock off Houston
Atlanta going into the bye week will destroy Oakland and cover the 9

Kiss The Baby



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fight For Your RIght....Ga. Amendment One

I have written several times about how we are a homeschooling family.  K12 / GCA (GA. Cyber Academy) is the forum that we use for our kids to receive an education.  We have done this for years now.  We are not strangers to the walls that are needed to be climbed or the paths that are needed to be  created to keep the charter schools going strong for families like us that choose this route. 

I used to knock "Traditional Schools" but I learned over the years that not every one is in the same place in their lives where they have the options to make a choice like we did. And if you read back over that last sentence you will notice a key word that pretty much sums up what this is all about....


Why would or hell, why should we as parents and (our) kids not have options as to how an education is achieved.  Some kids need that option.  Some parents what to have a choice.  Some kids don't fit into the "Traditional School" setting and some parents can't afford Private Schools.  Some local schools are not up to the standards in which some of us want our kids to be educated.  Again it is all about being able to have a choice.  We are given choices in almost everything we do, so why take that away from families in this area?

Personally, in our area the school that our kids would be going to is not a great school.  Based on scores and activities going on at the school we felt like we would be able to provide a better education for our kids by homeschooling them in an online charter school environment.  Personally I know teachers in the local schools and they are great people, very nice people, our friends and family members in fact but that does not mean I want them teaching our kids.  I also personally know some people that are involved in the local schools and there is no way in hell I would want them educating my kids based on behavior outside of that learning environment. 

Homeschooling is so different than it was before.  That perception of how it was in the past is gone.  My kids don't stay at home locked up in a house without interaction with other kids and adults.  Our kids don't miss the chance to go visit and take trips that will help them learn new things.  I think our kids have more of a chance to learn and educate themselves in the everyday life that we provide for them.  The three kids that are involved in the online academy right now are advanced in all areas of learning.  Two of the kids are so far ahead in some areas that I have to remind myself that they are still kids and still learning little kids things.  I am truly amazed at how well the kids have done and how well my wife T has helped them along that path.

Before you vote please make sure you read and get both sides of the story.  You may be making a positive and or negative difference in a child's life.  Come to find out you may even know that child.

(This information was provided by  GA Public Charter School Families for Amendment One) Save Our Public Charter Schools - Facebook Page  If you facebook please go LIKE this page.

Find out more about Amendment One here Georgia Charter Schools Amendment One
There are approximately 50,000 Georgia students attending public charter schools.
Georgia ranks 12th in the nation on the Parent Power Index©. But despite its favorable rank, a score of 72% out of 100% is hardly a ringing endorsement of our current education system. Only 62% of our children graduate from high school and only 28% of our 8th graders can read at grade level and sadly the numbers are worse in urban centers.

7 Things That WILL HAPPEN if Amendment One LOSES:

1. Choice will be limited; parents will lose their ability to select the education that fits best for their child. If parents can choose a doctor, a realtor, a grocer, a banker, and a dentist, why can’t they choose a school? 2. More kids will be shoe-horned into a school that doesn’t fit their unique needs. 3. Kids who have fallen behind won’t get the attention they need. 4. Classrooms will become more crowded. 5. Some kids will be put back into an unsafe environment – exposing them to unruly bullies. 6. Students who excel tackling advanced challenges will waste away the hours twiddling their thumbs and hoping their classmates can catch up. 7. Sick children will lose a lifeline to continue their education – causing them to fall farther behind while they wait for their health to improve.     Thank You for your time.

Kiss The Baby




Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Attachment Parenting - Part 2....Time for the Men to Step Up

Attachment Parenting...So many people do this, some label it and some do not.  Just like in my previous post that I wrote with the influence from Jamie, Attachment Parenting starts between a husband and a wife but the most impact you can have is when you show your child / children that special kind of love.  Most of the times I read about Attachment Parenting it is based around the relationship of the mother and the child. 

I want to be that dad that helps other dads learn how to have that bond with their baby.  I want to be that dad that has other dads saying "I learned a lot from that guy!"  Now, I will never admit to knowing all there is to being a dad.  Sometimes I even question if I am a good dad or not, but I will say that I am always at the head of the line when it comes to learning. 

Dads here are some ways you can make that bond better between you and your child or children,

BabyWear..Man, I loved when the kids wanted me to wear them, I even had my own sling.  I felt like the biggest and baddest dad when I would walk around wearing my kids.  Think of that bonding time you get when you can carry your young child, that safe feeling they have.

Help your wife while she breastfeeds..I am a huge breastfeeding advocate.  A lactation consultant will tell any husband that he an important part of the feeding process.  In the beginning write down the feeding times and the poop and wet diapers.  Help relax your wife, get her a drink, if she wants a cover get that for her. Be supportive of her if she chooses to do so in public.  Act normal since what your wife is doing is normal.  You have no idea how much you will help if you just do the little simple things.

Change diapers..This is the hardest one for me.  Ohh how I hate diapers.  But if you are better than me and man enough to change a dirty diaper then I applaud you. 

Bath time with your babies..Make it fun. Your babies will smile so much more if you make bath time a fun time.

Co-Sleep..I love the fact that each of our children have and still sleep with us.  They will move and did move on their own.  C1 and C2 have cool bunk beds.  C3 and C4 have bunk beds and when C3 is ready to go to his own bed he can and he will.  I am not one that will shut our door in order to keep the kids out.

Love and Logic..I am a huge Love and Logic fan.  I am so hardcore against spanking and hitting your child the negative style of discipline.  There are so many better ways to teach your child and educate them on behavior and how to act and learn from mistakes and bad choices.  Would you have learned more in school while getting yelled at by your teachers?  No, so why yell at your kids, they wont learn from that.  Be sweet and gentle. 

I think we as men feel that sometimes we need to be this hard ass, tough, mean figure and stand over our kids in order for them to listen and learn from us.  That is so wrong. There is nothing wrong with being that soft, gentle parent that can deliver that strong message. 

Attachment Parenting is something that comes under fire STILL, but to be honest there are so many parenting practices that do.  It just so happens that I am on the positive side of the Attachment Parenting conversation and I support this and will continue to write about it and show my support.  I think more men need to do the same and stop leaving this in the hands of our wives.  Our wives are big girls and can handle themselves but when our children are involved and how we care for them, sometimes our wives need that teammate.

Kiss The Baby



Monday, October 8, 2012

Winning While Losing

Hard to figure out if the games that I picked wrong make up for the games that I picked right.

So lets be completely honest.....I could care less about the Braves.  I love sports, I know sports.  Baseball isn't up on top of my list.  I picked the Braves to win and just like they do every year.......THEY CHOKE....They damn choke.  And then to make it worse, those fans that threw all that stuff on the field...LOSERS!!!!  It was a horrible call.  A wrong call, but guess what people...IT DIDN'T LOSE THE GAME.  The BRAVES lost the game.  The players lost the game.  Bad calls happen in games....But that call wasn't the reason they lost.  Way to make Atlanta fans look good people by trashing the field...Classy.

Well Ga. Tech was trying to prove me wrong Saturday and not only keep it close but they actually wanted to win that game.  I knew the good ol Tech team would show up and blow it.  Clemson was too strong and too good.

I picked South Carolina to win and cover the points against the UGA Bulldogs but DAMN...Boy they didn't just cover the points they straight up whooped the shit out of the Pound Puppies and I loved every second of it.  Kept checking the score of that game and every time I did my smile got bigger.  UGA always blows it you just never know when. 

But then all hell broke loose and someone dumped a big bowl of slop on my Bulldogs Suck Ass Cake.  That someone happened to be the West Virginia football team.  Man, I knew that game was going to be a hard one and I knew it was going to be close but Texas couldn't hang on to the lead and WVA went into Austin and took that win and marched down 6th Street with it.

Then Sunday came.  This was not a game that had me smiling the whole time.  I love my Dirty Birds and I'm not a flip flopper but hell, I wasn't a fan of the game plan and the defense couldn't tackle for shit yesterday as that rookie running back left cleat marks all over my Falcons.  Ryan had a nice screen pass go for a touchdown...TO THE WRONG TEAM.  RGIII and the Skins were looking to upset the Birds until he got knocked out of the game.

So MOM....I know you had your moments yesterday when you were talking trash about my Falcons and you were THIS close to being on the winning side yesterday but when it came down to it, Matty Ice led them down the field and the defense finally showed up and sealed the deal.  I wont be too hard on you Mom, I mean I can't fault you for loving your team...But that 5-0 feels so good.

Other than sports, it was a great weekend.  Something About Mary!

Kiss The Baby



Friday, October 5, 2012

I have a question for you.....

Are you ready for some SPORTS ????

The City of Atlanta is.  Its Game Time!

Whats better than a beautiful Friday evening around 5pm and you hear the awesome sound of drums and the TomaHawk Chop Chant going off at Turner Field.  With a One and Done Playoff Game for two Wild Card teams you have the St. Louis Cardinals (defending World Series Champs) coming into town.  And everyone hopes that this will NOT be Chipper Jones last home game. Braves will win.

Then Saturday arrives and you know what that means.  College Football.  So many great games this weekend with teams in the Top 25.  Two teams in the Top 10 battle it out in South Carolina as the team I love to hate the UGA Bulldogs (Why people call them DAWGS is beyond me) travels to take on the GameCocks.  USC is a narrow 1.5 point favorite and I am pulling for them in the biggest way.  I am hoping that with UGA's starting WR out for the year that MAYBE just MAYBE it will slow down that powerful offense and Lattimore (USC RB) will run all over the BullPuppies.  I'm picking S. Carolina to beat UGA and cover that 1.5

Then you have the Ga. Tech Yellow Jackets who have no stinger left at all hitting the road and taking a trip to Death Valley to LOSE to Clemson.  The Jackets have no shot.  As much as I love Tech, they have no defense and that awesome option attack they have........yeah, not so awesome.  It pains me but Tech will lose and Clemson will cover the 10 points.

Then my boys from the Great State of Texas, The University of Texas Longhorns have a true test as West Virginia and the Super Hero Geno Smith invade Austin on Saturday Night.  The Horns are a 7 point favorite and even down by 6th Street that is just too many points.  W. Va has not played a defense that is as fast as Texas yet.  The Horns will not be able to shut down Geno Smith but they will slow him down just enough to win the game and pull out another close victory.  Hook Em' Horns will win but will not cover the 7 points against W. Va. 

Now we have come to the moment that will give me great joy.  I am going to talk some shit to my Mother.  My Mother happens to be a lifelong Washington Redskins fan.  That is great.  I'm happy for her.  But what will happen Sunday when the Atlanta Falcons head North to take over DC is going to have her watching her massive 900 inch tv and calling me asking if she can catch a ride on the Falcons bandwagon.  Sure Mom, you can join the Falcon Fan Club.  RGIII is awesome.  The Skins are good this year.  I'm glad that they are winning again.  But, with the Falcons defense and an offense that is loaded with more weapons than our Nations military I just don't see the Skins being able to keep up.  That's right Mom, I'm going to be blowing up your phone with text messages and pictures of Falcons gear.  Atlanta is favored by 3 points and will move to 5-0 by beating the Skins and covering the 3.

Other than that, looks like I will be having some home fix it projects to do.  T has been putting in some overtime finding some projects and C1 just walks around the house looking for stuff for me to fix. I have a neighbor that will hopefully be fixing my mower today so I can cut my 3 week long grass.  I'm sure I will be busy with plenty to do and mixing in some Crossfit wods at the house and some trips to the gym....Going to be a fun fast paced weekend.

Keep up.

Kiss The Baby



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I too have feelings

Working 12 hours days doesn't have too many advantages for me personally.

Most mornings I am up a little after 4am heading to the gym to get my Crossfit in.  Other mornings that I don't go, I am still up early and heading into the office. 

Getting home late sucks for many reasons.  I miss weekday soccer practice, soccer matches, dinner, bath time and I usually only get an hour or so with the kids before they are off to bed.  Guess its a good thing we homeschool or I would never see them.

So it pissed me off last night when I started feeling sick on the drive home.  I could hardly make it home without having to pull over and let all of the bad toxins out of my body. 

Getting home and giving C3 a fast congrats on her goal in her match and telling C2 to just keep playing hard and it will come, was about all I could muster up.  C1 gave me a hug, C4 yelled "HEY DADDY" to me as I bury my face in my pillow.

T. Well she didn't even want me getting near her.

So there went a night.  Crashed early.  Maybe tonight I will feel better and I can hang with T and the C's for a while before bed.

Kiss The Baby



Monday, October 1, 2012

Attachment Parenting....It All Starts With Pee On A Stick

That's right I said it.....It Starts with Pee On A Stick.

So if you read my post last week about my online encounter with Jamie She Had Me At......... then you knew what was coming. I am going to take some time and write about my own personal experiences and stuff that I did during T's pregnancy, birth and the short time after that in hopes that new fathers and just men / dads in general can feel better about this thing that has recently blown up in the media called Attachment Parenting (AP - for short).

Attachment Parenting as defined by Wikipedia was a term laid out there by Dr. William Sears. Fact of the matter is that I believe moms have been doing this since the beginning of time. Look back in history and you will see examples of this, it was just never given a label. Read that link above from Wiki and you will see that everything it mentions can be done by both parents but when discussed by the general public it usually only includes the moms. And just so you know all of this begins that minute you find out you are having a baby.

 Guys, do you remember when that love of your life came to you and told you she was pregnant? I do. I can remember everything about it. It was awesome. And from that very minute I had the mindset that I had to step up my game and be a better husband because I was going to be a father. At this point some guys think that there isn't a whole lot they can do except absorb the endless hours of shopping, eating, cravings, and bitching and moaning that will come with the wife being pregnant. I'm here to tell you that if a guy is thinking like that and tries to just coast through those months then he is in for a long long road ahead.

In my opinion Attachment Parenting starts with Attachment Husbanding. Is this really a word? It is now. Being a husband is hard work, but its work that is worth it. When you take this journey with your wife you are in for some tough decisions, but you have to remember that your wife comes first. She has her friends and support but what she really wants is you, her man. Attachment Husbanding in my opinion means you are going to show and express a different kind of love to her than you have in the past. You are going to talk to her differently, hold her differently and act towards her differently. Endless hours of rubbing her feet, her back. Oh my god, I have logged so many hours of foot rubbing that I should be a professional massage therapist. Its going to be hard. Trust me, I have done this four times. People, friends, and family will talk about how you have changed and how you are different now, but all you have to remember is that you are showing that one special person a true, soft, special kind of love. When you think of caring about a child and how delicate that is, the same is true for a woman. T is a strong willed, hard core woman. She is out spoken, tough, and has that "I'm a winner attitude" but I also know that she has soft, gentle, kind emotions too and during pregnancy I had to make sure I paid attention to those as well. So guys, its going to be a long road, don't make it any harder for either of you than it has to be. It may sound silly but you can be a strong, tough, kick ass man and still be an Attachment Husband. Its all about the love you give and how you treat your woman.

Now that you have made it through all of those crazy months and moments where you hid in the garage or bathroom and wished it was all over, you are in a labor and delivery room. I hate hospitals. They smell, people are nasty..etc.. But you are there and your wife is probably not feeling too good YET. I say yet because until she either gets or does not get that epidural she is going to be, well lets just say uncomfortable. Yeah, lets use that word. I would say Bitchy but I know too many women and love having my manhood connected to me. Something that I told my friend Michael who just became a father was "Stay in Control." I mean don't get nervous. So much will be going on and you have to be calm so your wife will stay calm. This is another area in which being an gentle husband will pay off. Let your wife be moody, let her vent, she is about to have a baby.

As your wife lays in that stiff bed you are going to be saying to yourself "What in the hell can I do?" Here is my advice...DO WHATEVER THE HELL SHE WANTS YOU TO DO! Like I said, T and I have been through this four times and each was different. With C1, we had a novel for a birth plan. Packed up like 5 bags. Didn't do half of what we talked about. Each time we took less and the birth plan was not as thick. Its kind of funny looking back on it all. But guys, you need to remember that YOU are the only one that knows what your wife wants. Rub her hands, her legs, get that cool wash cloth for her head. Just be there for her. Friends and family are all fine and well but what your wife really wants is the man that did this to, to be next to her.

Remember you are about to be a parent. If you are choosing to raise your child in an "AP" lifestyle then you need to make sure you also treat your wife with gentle love and care also. Being a Attachment Husband doesn't mean you are a "Helicopter Husband", it just means you are showing a deeper, special kind of love.

Guys you have the rest of your life to be a jerk to your wife, don't do it during pregnancy and birth.

Go check out Jamie Lynne Grumet over at I Am Not The BabySitter. This series of posts were inspired through my talks with her.

Come back......there will be more.

 Kiss The Baby


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