Mr. Mom Goes To The Soccer Game

Monday night my oldest daughter, Ragan had a soccer game. Now usually this would be a family affair, unless of course I was at home in bed with a migraine. Then my wife would faithfully haul all three kids out to the park for the event herself. Well she had some prior engagements so the duty fell upon my shoulders this time and I willingly accepted.

I work from home and some days for one reason or another it’s just hard to get anything accomplished. Monday seemed to be one of those days. Not only was it one of those days, but two of my employers were asking for deliverables on that morning so by the time Monday evening rolled around I was not in the most patient of moods. My daughter was in her usual… shall I say… “chatty” mode. I think God designed her with a particle accelerator about 2 inches behind her lips. She was asked to get a Gatorade (Public, NYSE: PEP) from the pantry for the game. Of course the drink was not cold, which she pointed out so it was suggested that I put some from the refrigerator that I had premixed into a container for her. I found a suitable thermos, but she wanted to use the large plastic mug that I had pulled out while searching. I was trying to patient so I figured, why not (foreshadowing).

This game was not at the usual location, which is 10 minutes from where we live. It is half an hour (without traffic) on the other side of town. I’ve never been there so I call the coach who also happens to be very close friends with us and secure directions to my destination. So I’m on the way to the game with all three kids, a seven year old girl, a four year old boy and a 10 month old itty bitty whittle girl (who also has Daddy wrapped around her whittle finger). The interstate is the best route initially as there are no turns for a while, which is good because as it happens there is no place to put the mug full of Gatorade which we’ve brought along for the ride. I’ve got it on the floor of the minivan right beside me with my hand rested on top of it to steady it. The kids are great. They are laughing and not fighting or bickering. The baby is playing with a toy and looking out the window. This isn’t so bad.

We get off the interstate and start towards the soccer field which is in the not so nice part of our town. This is also rush hour so traffic is terrible. Ok, still not too bad. I left 45 minutes before the game starts. That’s 30 minutes travel time to be there in time for the 15 minute pre-game warm-up. We should be fine. Suddenly I’m startled by a strange sound. What’s that dinging noise. There it is again. I still haven’t figured out my wife’s new minivan so during the next halt in traffic movement I survey the dashboard to see what is the matter. Hmmmm. No gas. I mean none. Zilch. Nada. Great.

The first few gas stations I drive past look really run down; especially scary. Furthermore I don’t see any pay at the pump signs, so I continue on and hope that the fumes in the tank will somehow propel us further. We do make it to a BP (Public, NYSE: BP) at the next traffic light and I pull in. I step out and start filling the tank as quickly as possible. Of course Avery (the baby) starts crying even though I’m right on the other side of the glass from her making as many funny and ridiculous faces as I can. I finish up, put the gas cap back on and answer “Yes” to the pumps question, “Would you like a receipt?” But guess what. No receipt. Of course. Isn’t that always the case. I just pray that there’s a pen in the minivan. After searching the glove compartment and the diaper bag I find a pen and scribble the pertinent facts about the transaction (I maintain our money records if you couldn’t have guessed) and jump back in the driver’s seat. I’m so aggravated. The baby is crying now. The kids are now asking me a zillion questions about when we are going to get there and what are we going to eat for dinner and blah blah blah. “Are you guys buckled up!?… Good.” I zip around the gas station and pull back out onto the main highway to get back on track to our destination. My right hand gravitates back down to where it previously rested atop the drink and… umm… awe man! I look down and the mug is not upright. Noooo! It’s lying flat on the floor. I quickly pick it up in the futile hopes that it somehow just happened, but of course it didn’t and the mug is a LOT lighter than it previously was. Well, no sense crying over spilled… Gatorade.

In rush hour traffic there are a lot more cars on the road. Duh. You need a lot more forewarning about things ahead. If you have a two-lane highway that empties into a one-lane road it’d be nice to know that ahead of time. Also if you happen to be in the lane that’s the “must turn right” lane it’d be nice to know about that two blocks ahead. But of course I’ve never been to this particular field so I didn’t realize this. I had to try and beg people to let me into the extremely long line of cars full of people that did know this. I know they were all thinking, “Why didn’t you get in line waaaay back there like the rest of us, you jerk!” Because, sir, I’m a jerk and well… I didn’t know.” Anyway, a nice Asian person let me in and we were finally almost there. All I had to do was find 57th Ave. Ok, there’s 52nd Ave. Almost there. There’s 58th Ave. Huh? There’s 60th Ave. Obviously I’ve missed it. I turned off on 61st Ave and turn around in some persons driveway. I head back and find a road that I suspect may be 57th Avenue. It is. Only someone has knocked down the street sign. Nice. Just about a half mile down the unmarked road and we are at the Y.M.C.A.

I get the kids out of the minivan and get the stroller out of the back and get the diaper bag, all the while the baby is screaming to be let out. I get the now empty mug and put it in the back of the minivan to my daughter’s dismay and inform her that, yes, Daddy spilled the drink and we don’t have anything to replace it with. I go around and unbuckle the baby and lift her out of the car seat and… woe-nelly! What’s that smell?! Great, a poopy diaper. With the baby securely fastened into the stroller and the older kids holding onto the sides we make our way onto the field. We are still about five minutes before the game, so not too bad. Ragan runs ahead to warm up with her teammates and Gavin takes off behind her. I make it to the sidelines where the other moms are sitting and where Gavin has made his way to greet his teacher, who’s daughter plays on Ragan’s team. I ask Gavin’s teacher to watch out for him so I can change the baby’s diaper.

She kindly obliges and I head off with baby in one arm, diaper and wipes in the other hand. I get to the building with the restrooms and walk inside the mens room. Of course I knew better, but I figured I’d check it out just for giggles. Yuck. To the minivan! My little princess and I make the trek to the minivan and I get the nice automated sliding side door open and lay her on the floor. I get the new diaper open and ready for a quick swap-in. Then I open the pack of wipes to be ready for the cleanup. Nice. I’ve got one crinkled up, slightly moist wipe. This should get really interesting. I open up “the package” to survey the damage and Thank You Jesus it wasn’t a nuclear disaster. It was mostly solid and well formed with a slightly piquant odor, for you dookie connoisseurs. I made the most of it with my rations. I was using the edges of the soiled diaper that weren’t so soiled. I’ve never been so creative in soiled diaper cleaning in all my life. Anyway, as any good dad would do I got the job done and got back to the game, depositing the battle debris in a dumpster along the way.

I don’t really recall much of the game as I didn’t get to watch that much of it. My time was spent watching my son kick a soccer ball around the sidelines and keeping my daughter from getting completely filthy while chasing him around. Yes, she is walking at 10 months old. 🙂 At the end of each quarter I felt the failure of fatherhood as I watched the sweat drip down Ragan’s forehead. She smiled up at me and listened attentively to her coach, not complaining that we didn’t have anything for her to drink. I can’t express how bad that hurt me.

The game ended and the snacks came out, which was a huge relief to me. Ragan got a drink and something to snack on. They had some extras so Gavin got some as well. By this time Avery was tired and pulling my hair out while trying to either eat the right side of my neck or knock herself unconscious on my shoulder. While the kids snacked I relayed the story of the spilled drink to a couple of the moms and how bad I felt about it. I got the baby into her stroller and she calmed down thankfully, almost as to say, “Yes, I’m ready to go home father.”

We started to head for the minivan and Ragan, my seven year old daughter who had been listening to my conversation earlier asks me, “Daddy? You spilled my Gatorade in mommy’s van?” I reply, “Yes.” She says simply, “Mommy is going to kill you.” …

“I know.”

Spring Is In The Air!

Everywhere I look around… (music playing in head). Of course this is Florida that’s no big surprise. We hardly get a winter to speak of. Anyway, in celebration of the season I’ve updated the site once again with a new “springy” feel. Hope you like it!

Also included in this theme update is the ability to login directly on the front page. That’s right. You no longer have to go to that ugly WordPress login screen again… that is… if you don’t want to.

I’ve also updated my site (http://www.franzone.com) with a dark and sinister look… muahahahaha!

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a great Holiday season. I know that we did. It was very relaxing around here. No traveling and we only made a trip to each of our parents’ houses for Christmas.

Ragan and Gavin each got a brand new Gameboy Advance and they are putting them to very good use. I’ll say this… the car trips have been a lot less “chatty”. lol

Sorry my wife is correcting my lame grammar as I’m writing this post.

Anyway our New Year was very good too. We had a chili cook-off at Aubrey’s parents house and Aubrey was the 1st place winner! w00t for the Franzones! (Sorry had to put a little 733t speak in there in case any of my geek friends were reading this)

I also changed the site theme since it is no longer Christmas. Hope everyone has a wonderful new year and that you can stay on track with any resolutions you may have made. I know I’ve fallen off the wagon already… just the first week 🙁

August

Well, this has been an exciting month for us as I’m sure it has been for many people. Ragan started 1st grade at Alethia Christian Academy. It is a major change from a large Kindergarden room with many “centers” and friends sitting together around tables to a smaller room, desks in a row, and no centers. She seems to really be enjoying it already though. She’s excited about the year ahead. Gavin started Preschool this month at Alethia as well. He ran to his class on the first day and told me that he loves going to school. I (Aubrey) am dealing with a changing identity with two children in school and only Avery at home, but so far, I’m enjoying this new stage. Avery continues to be such a sweet girl. At 12 weeks and 16.1 lbs she is an arm full of love. We are enjoying watching her grow and develop into an alert, observant, little baby. She loves to hear Ragan sing to her and watch Gavin as he plays with his many bugs and dinosaurs all around her. They both change their voices to a sweet high-pitched tune when they interact with her and you can tell she loves it by the way her whole body smiles in response. Both Ragan and Gavin began playing soccer for the YMCA here in town and have their first games on August 26th. We can’t wait to attend our first games. Jonathan continues to work at Smart Cop. He has started running early in the mornings and is loving the rush of adrenaline he gets from that.

Until Next Time,

Aubrey

Avery’s 6 weeks

We can hardly believe that Avery is already 6 weeks old! Time flew by too quickly and now our newborn baby is 12.2 lbs! Yes, we did it again…a big baby. She is such a happy little lady and we are thankful for her. She caught her first cold this past week and had to visit the Dr. Poor baby really doesn’t appreciate the saline drops and suctioning that is taking place around here. Milestones include smiling at her Daddy and I, ahh-goo sounds, blowing rasberries, a trip to the movies, and her first shower. I must say that she loves the shower.
Ragan and Gavin have been very active this Summer, although I was worried that they would be bored to death since we just had a baby, and they have done lots of fun things with friends and family…Vacation Bible School, swimming at Grahm & Grandaddy’s, the Movies (Ice Age 2 & Curious George), trips to the library & various playdates with friends. Ragan got her hair cut to her shoulders and she absolutely loves it! Her Daddy is especially pleased with his big girl’s new do. She feels so happy that Mommy is no longer working on the tangles in her hair. Gavin is really becoming more social. He asks to go places with people and is venturing out away from Mommy more. He is really growing up and becoming a polite little man. We enjoy watching him love on Avery by rubbing her hair and sniffing it so that it tickles his nose. Both of the kids love her and have been very attentive and helpful. We feel so blessed!

First Month With Avery

Our first month with Avery has truly been a blessing.  She is so peaceful and sweet.  We sure didn’t understand the turn of events that occurred before actually getting pregnant with her, but we now know that God’s timing is the best timing.  We are so happy with the way that Ragan and Gavin are loving and welcoming her into our home without jealousy and just longing to be close to her.  The biggest question we get is “Can I hold her now?”.  Avery continues to lock eyes with us longer and even a slight “ah-goo” as we change her diapers and talk together.  She is currently still sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed and that is working out well.  At her two week check-up she had gained a few ounces (9 lbs.) and 1/2 an inch.  In this month (June) we have enjoyed a visit from Aunt Carassa and Uncle Andy.  They drove down from Memphis, TN and met Avery.  It was a special time.  The kids enjoyed being spoiled by them when they were treated to water guns and a big water fight in the back yard!  On June 19th we were able to share in a “freedom call” with our cousin Charles who is serving in Iraq.  He watched his 3rd son celebrate his 1st birthday!  It was an amazing and emotional event that we were so honored to be a part of.  Enjoying the ride….Aubrey

Avery Is Born

Hello Everyone!

We’re proud to announce that Avery Noel Franzone was born Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 5:46 PM (almost 2 weeks early). Aubrey went into labor Wednesday morning and by her scheduled doctor appointment at 2:30 she was having contractions about every 5 minutes. They sent us over to the hospital to be monitored. By the time they got Aubrey hooked up to the monitoring equipment she was having contractions every 2 minutes. They called our doctor and she was there within an hour delivering our new baby.

Avery was a big girl at 8 lbs 14.2 oz and she had a head full of dark brown hair. The c-section went really well and everything was just as smooth as it could have been. Thank you all for your prayers and support!

Jonathan, Aubrey, Ragan, Gavin and Avery