Entertaining Kids On The Cheap (Less Than $1)

I just ran across this article which lists 10 ways to entertain young children for $1 or less (without the TV). I have three children and yes I like to do things cheap (especially in the last two months). So I thought I’d share the love with all my millions of adoring blog fans. Sorry, the migraine medication is giving me delusions of grandeur.

Daddy’s Home!

I got home from my first day away at work a little after 7 PM. I was greeted by the three most beautiful children in the world all screaming, “Daddy’s home!” That’s a very nice way to walk into your home. They had waited for me to get home before eating so we got to business of dinner pretty quickly after that. Aubrey had prepared a delicious meal and got the table set and kids in place while I changed into some more comfortable clothes.

Of course my youngest daughter, Avery the 14 month old, did not last through the entire dinner. She kept holding her hands up to me and saying, “Da-da!” Then she points her finger down on her highchair tray. So I ask her, “Do you want to get down?” She responds by grabbing both sides of the tray and lifting with all her might accompanies by a little grunting sound. I hadn’t seen her all day so I got her down and… yeah, you guessed it… she lead me right down the hallway and to her bedroom. We did blocks first this time, skipping the book reading. She then got one of her many musical toys and proceeded to perform a little spinning dance for me. When the music stopped she pushed the button to start it up again and went back to dancing. All the while she is watching me to make sure I’m paying close attention.

I’m glad I’ve had this time at home with all of my children. It will be a tough getting used to being away from them for so long during the day.

First Day On The Job

My first day on the job was… well, as you would expect any first day to be. I spent the first half with the human resources lady filling out paperwork and getting the business of formalizing my employment done. There was also a drug screening for which I was not so prepared. I had the long drive to Fort Walton accompanied by my morning coffee so my first order of business upon entering the facility was to use the restroom. Of course I immediately got shipped off to give a sample for the drug screening. And of course I couldn’t go when I got there. So after the first failed attempt I sat in the front of their little building and read a magazine for almost an hour waiting until had to urinate. It’s funny, the office actually called while I was away to make sure I hadn’t gotten lost or anything else bad had happened to me.

My new supervisor and an entourage of software developers escorted me to Godfather’s Pizza for lunch, their treat. It was very nice and relaxed… good conversation. I got see a little bit more into the lives of the people I will be working with. I found out two of them share my enthusiasm for the martial arts.

After lunch I basically made sure I could logon to the network, I checked my email and read through a lot of information: insurance information, various employment paperwork, etc. I was able to look on as one of the developers did some software testing and I read through the release notes for the product they were currently working on. That’s about it. I didn’t expect to get much more than that during the first day, so nothing out of the ordinary.

All of the people I have met and interacted with so far have been extremely nice. I’ve also worked with several of the employees there already so it was good to see them again. I’m excited about working for this company and expect that it will be a great move forward in my career.

Employed Again! Praise The Lord!

Yes, the time has finally come for Mr. Mom to get off his rumpus and start earning for the family again. I thank God for the new job. Where’s the new job? I’ll be working for Bsecure Technologies starting this Friday (July 27, 2007) located in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Yeah, I’m not looking forward to the long commute every day, but it’s a small price that I’m willing to pay for actually being able to work again. Plus the company has very good benefits and a family atmosphere. I also already know and have worked with several of the employees there.

Thank you so much to all the friends and family that have prayed for us during this hard transition. Also thank you so much for all of the ways that you have helped us out material or otherwise. We could not have made it with my sanity intact without you guys.

What about Aubrey’s job? Glad you asked. We don’t want her to bail on her job since they’ve been so nice and accommodating to her. Not only that but we could still use the extra income to try to get caught back up on a few financial loose ends. Hopefully we’ll be able to work it out that she is working nights and weekends while I’m not at work. We may need to juggle the kids around while I’m driving home, but we know God will provide a way.

I Am A Slave To My One-Year-Old

Yesterday’s tale in the continuing saga of Mr. Mom was a new one. I’ve experienced this before, but never on the scale of all day long. What am I talking about? Being a slave to my one-year-old beautiful little girl. How is this possible? Read on.

I sit down in front of my computer to just check my email. It’s about the sixth unsuccessful attempt at doing so. Avery, my daughter, toddles up to me and babbles off some cute gibberish. She then grunts at me and turns as if walking away, but pauses and stares back at me. Her bright twinkling little brown eyes flash at me and her pudgy little grin just beckons to be smooched. I’m determined to at least weed through the spam in my Inbox, however and so turn back to the screen. She comes back to my side and grunts louder this time. I persist in my task convinced that if I just ignore the cutey-pie, she’ll just go to playing with something on the floor nearby. Wishful thinking. Her grunts and ramblings become increasingly loud and she even feigns a cry (no tears included). She reaches up and pulls on my shirt and shorts. Next she grabs the finger on my hand that is closest to her and leans almost at a 45 degree angle to pull me from my task.

Drat! Foiled again. She leads me down the hallway and into her bedroom where I assume my rightful position on the floor. Her routine now consists of the following steps. First she pulls all of the books of the shelf one by one and brings them over to me to read. She sits down on my lap, hands me the book and states, “boo”. The ‘k’ is still silent. 🙂 I do not have to read it though; I simply open up to the first page and start to read. She then gets up impatiently and repeats the process, until all books are on the floor next to me.

The next step is dancing. She has a little puppy toy which has an array of audio sounds that can be triggered from squeezing various body parts: the foot (paw), the hands, the nose, the tummy, etc. So I squeeze the right parts to get the music to play “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider”, “The ABC Song”, etc. as she dances in circles around the room.

Finally, it’s time for blocks! She pronounces it more like “bocks” but Mommy and Daddy can usually figure it out. She has two sets of blocks; some oversized legos and some old traditional wooden blocks. The name of the game is build and destroy. Yep, you guessed it! I build ’em and she destroys ’em.

After doing this for a while I’ll find some distraction to get her out of the room. Sometimes I might be able to get her involved in something in my office or in the living room right next door. Then, the silly man that I am, I’ll try once again to sit down and check my email.

Writing this blog I realize how cute the things she is doing is. I also enjoy my time playing with her, but sometimes it’s a bit aggravating that I spend an entire day on the floor. It’s difficult for me to fathom how my wife actually cleans the house and does laundry and a myriad of other tasks while doing this. She is truly amazing as is my daughter. I know someday I will look back and miss these times.

So, how did I get to write this blog you ask? One word. Nap. 🙂

But I Don’t Want To Go To Sleep Daddy

I’ve been the good ole Mr. Mom quite a bit lately as Aubrey is working many hours trying to make some income. It’d help if I would get off my rump and find a job, right? Just kidding… hopefully I’ll be hearing back from a company in Fort Walton this week with good news (keep praying).

Anyway, my baby girl, Avery and I have somewhat of a routine now. We get the older two kids in bed and then I walk her until she falls to sleep. Spoiled? Yeah, maybe just a wee bit. That’s ok… it’s my last little girl. We were keeping her in her room to go to sleep and sometimes just laying her in the crib, but now that she is sharing the room with Ragan it is a bit more challenging. So I’m walking her around in my bedroom the other night with the lights off and the ceiling fan going. Avery was snuggled into my neck and her body was limp. For all I knew she was fast asleep and I was about to take her to her crib. Then  to my surprise I hear a little farting sound and a tickle on my neck. Avery has just blown on my neck. She sits up in my arms and giggles at me. She then goes back to my neck and does it again. 🙂 How can you be mad at that? How cute?

Kids do all sorts of things to try and keep themselves awake. Why? When I am tired I like to lay down and just go to sleep. Why do all kids have this strange hatred for sleep? I think it is because they believe they will miss something if they close their eyes. I don’t know; just a theory.


I just wanted you to know that my certification went really well today and I did indeed get “certified”!  Yay!  I even got to take home all of the food that the manager ordered.  Yup!  Free food! ;)  I quickly took it home to Jonathan and the kids (who were so excited to see some take out) so I could pick up a shift for someone tonight.  I worked all by myself and I survived… hee hee. I was able to get some shifts for this week as well and will be working lunches Mon – Wed if anyone wants to come in (Romano’s Macaroni Grill) and see me (for those who live in the P’cola area).  God is so awesome!

Thanks so much for your prayers and friendship.


You Got It…

This morning I got a call from Macaroni Grill letting me know that I got the job if I was still interested.  I was shocked!  I start training on Saturday and then continue my training through next week.  I will be running food on Friday and Saturday of next week.  This comes to us with good and bad feelings as Jonathan just had a great interview in Ft. Walton and could actually have a job where he’d be commuting 2 hours each day.  I couldn’t work if that were the case and I’d have to tell Macaroni Grill about that new situation and it would be awkward, but who knows if he’s going to get that job.  We can hope.  We don’t know so I am moving ahead with Macaroni Grill just in case. Something inside is happy that with the two major restaurant closings in town (Copelands & Smokey Bones) and all the applicants that were looking for jobs that I made it to the acceptance call.  It’s just a waiting job, but I think that it was encouraging none the less.

Anyway, God is in control and He knows what needs to happen in our family right now and He always provides for our every need… abundantly and above.

Thanks for your prayers,

Job Hunt Update

I had another interview today with a company in Fort Walton Beach, FL. It went very well from would what I could gather, though I was pretty nervous. (Apparently my grammar is getting worse) I guess the past month and a half has somewhat shaken my confidence level in the face of being scrutinized by other technical people. I could also tell that the gentleman interviewing me was very intelligent and knowledgeable about many facets of the software and computer industry. He was very nice though.

The interview consisted of the basic formalities followed by a list of technical questions designed to weed out the morons. Then he handed me some homework! Yeah, I actually get to write a program for them and turn that back in before they complete my assessment. Following that portion I was handed off to the human resources and got the whole benefits package rundown.

Overall I really liked what I saw of the company and pray that if that is where God wants me during this time that He will place me there. Of course… duh! If He, the maker of the universe, wants me to be there then of course I’ll get the job. I just pray that I’ll be able to hear God’s voice and know that it’s the right decision.

One really interesting thing about the whole experience was the location. It is in the exact same location as a previous job that I had where I was commuting to Fort Walton Beach. When I say exact, I mean the very same door in the very same shopping center. Of course they opened up the back wall and extended it into another region of the building to create a LOT more space then when I worked over there. What was the previous job? Selling beepers and cell phones. Fun.