The Shut In Life

Wow 2020 has come to us with vengeance. This year has brought something I never thought I would see in my life or something that I have only seen on the silver screen. .

COVID-19 has rampaged through the U.S. and the rest of the world and has left a terrible trail of death and carnage in its path. So many of us have been seeking shelter at our homes as our offices are forcing us to work from home or, for some of us, we are on the front lines serving the public and the infected as we all navigate through this pandemic.

We actually had an entire Disney vacation planned for the week of Spring Break and were super excited to head to Florida. Then everything was shut down and we were forced to reschedule our trip for September. We were able to recover our funds and actual reschedule our new trip for cheaper thanks to Disney for giving us our dining plan for free.

So what I been doing since being quarentined at home? Like most of you I have tried new hobbies, caught up on shows, and have added the title of teacher to my resume.

Here is what I have been up to…

I have picked up baking.

Like most of us I have turned to stress baking as a way to deal with all the recent changes and also eat my feelings. I know this is not the most super healthy way to live and is a recipe for disaster but I find it helpful in multiple ways. It is a great way to past the time with my 7 year old and also teach her something new that she may become interested in. It also gives me a chance to master a challenge and try something new at the same time.

I made some homemade chocolate chip cookies about two weeks ago. They were a little flat but eatable. My recent post on the gram was all about my lemon pound cake that I made from scratch. As it did look very good in the picture with all that tasty lemon glaze on it, I must be honest and explain that I left 1 and 1/4 cup of flour out of the recipe by accident and the inside was as dry as the Sahara and we ended up throwing it away.  I am still very happy with how it turned out and I plan on making another one soon… with the correct about of flour in it.

I started air frying everything! 

My wife and I decided to eat healthier a few months back( I know I just said I was baking but stay with me) and we both love fried food on occasion. A coworker of my wife suggested that we get an air fryer and try some of our recipes in it like fried chicken, nuggets for the kids, and cheese sticks. So after looking and looking we finally found one in our budget.

I must say…WHY DID I NOT GET ONE OF THESE SOONER? This appliance is a game changer and I love it! I made fried chicken in it on Easter and it was so crispy and juicy that even my kids ate it and did not complain. This was very much worth every penny and I am excited to make buffalo cauliflower soon in it.

I have become a highly UNQUALIFIED teacher!

Like all parents today, my kids school is closed and my wife and I have had the pleasure of entering the world of home schooling with our 1st grader. It has been both fun and difficult at times. Sometimes I find myself questioning my own intellect and if I really know what I am talking about. There are times where it gets frustrating and I have to walk away and then come back an hour later or I have to say to wait on Mom to come home to help.

It makes you realize that you take your kid’s teacher for granted and all that they do and for the little amount of pay and respect they get. If anything, the take away from this experience is to treat your kid’s teacher with more respect and to be there for them when they need help and be more involved in your kids education. This is something that at least with this school year I have dropped the ball on. Looking forward to changing that once this is all over.

I just hope that my ability to explain fractions to my child did not seriously screw up her future success in academics as I ate most of the example pizza.

One of the cool things about this is that my kids can still do their dance classes  and even a craft class with their friends via Zoom and I am impressed with how easy it is to set up. They made lava lamps out of water bottles yesterday in craft class and they do virtual dance parties and yoga sessions for the kids. I am so thankful for the digital age we live in.

I have watched a lot of TV and movies!

I think I speak for everyone on this when I say that the TV has become by best friend. I recently started binging both new and old shows. I watched the entire first season of Mystic Quest on Apple TV+  in one day and I am one episode away from being done with Home Before Dark. I have also started to rewatch Friends, which is always a fun show to go back to and it never gets old. I was not that young when the show went off the air(I was a senior in high school) so rewatching it lets me understand some jokes I did not pick up on the first time around. I watched IT: Chapter Two a few nights ago and I will say that I should not have waited to watch it at night.

I also downloaded Quibi and have become obsessed with Most Dangerous Game and Murder House Flip. Both are amazing shows and the best part is you can watch them on the go in under 8 minutes. They have a free 90 trial so if you want to try it then now is a great time.

I have also become obsessed with Disney+ and have made my Fridays dedicated to watching all the new content that has come out. I am watching the final season of Star Wars: Clone Wars, Shop Class, Be Our Chef, and Running Wild. I also binged watch most of the Disney Nature movies in one weekend like Born In China and Elephant. My kids love the original Ducktales and Gummi Bears which makes me happy as I loved those as a kid and rewatching them has been a joy.

I am always open to suggestions on shows so if you have any, please send them my way.

I have been running long distance again.

Since recovering from heart surgery I have put running on the back burner and started to pick it up slowly over the past 6 months. I have worked my way up to 5 miles and have been treading the pavement after dinner the past couple of weeks. I feel great and it feels good to be back at it again. My only complaint is that I wish the weather would make up its mind if it wants to stay warm or stay cold.

Other things include… at home spa days

Night time bike rides

A trip to the drive thru zoo.

Family game nights.

 

and fun trips to the outdoor pool when it is warm outside. 

These times are hard but one thing that I always keep in the back of my mind is that we all must be support one another. I am a believer in acts of kindness and how it affects people. So although we are all practicing social distancing, please remember that some people don’t have it as easy as you and we all must do our part to help one another. Even if is a cup of coffee,  taking care of your neighbors electric bill, or even providing a meal for family member. Kindness goes a long way.

Please stay safe out there and please wash your hands.

Coffee And More Coffee

Welcome to 2019!

I must say this has been a very interesting year so far with only being 10 days in.

I know you are more then likely have been turned off from the blog as I have taken a huge break and was gone since the early summer. Sorry about that.

I hope to blog more in 2019 and just talk about what is new with me and my family as we go through our daily life. So much has happened that you may need a couple of cups of coffee. I know I just finished my third cup for the day.

The last time I blogged K-Dub just finished her dance recital. She is still in dance and is killing Kindergarten. She is learning so much that I cannot even keep up. She will be six years old in a couple of weeks. It is hard to believe that my baby will be six years old. Where has the time gone? She just learned to love her bike now that she knows how to ride it.

Evie is still Evie. She is the funniest kid I know next to my nephew. She is such a smart mouth and the princess of sarcasm. She has learned to ride her bike due mainly to the fact that she thinks she gets to do everything K-Dub gets to do. I can’t blame her. I was the same way. She also has a strange obsession with dinosaurs. She loves them and continues to love the movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. She walks around the house sometimes and roars at people. Actually, I think it is more of her having a meltdown after we tell her to put her shoes on or when we won’t let her wear a dress when it is 34 degrees outside. Yes, we are horrible parents.

My kids never cease to amaze me. I love them when they act crazy and when they are just plain cool. I love the meltdowns and the mellow times. I am ready to see what this years has in store for us and for this blog. I hope you have not left completely and will come back for some more. Until then…. Happy New Year!

Back At It Again

It has been a long time since my last entry. There really are no other excuses other then life happens and that sometimes breaks are a must. That does not mean that I am not ever coming back. It just means that my time was spent on more important things like my kids and family.

There last entry I posted was in February and so many things have happened since then. Let me take a second and update you.

K-Dub is getting big. I sometimes cannot believe she is five cause I swear in the last few months she has hit a growth spurt. She looks more like she is 7. In my last update I told you she was starting dance. She has since had her first ever recital and loves it. We have plans for her to re-enroll in the fall.

Speaking of enrollment… K-Dub is starting Kindergarten in less then three weeks! Where did the time go? We were very lucky she got accepted at one of the local charter schools near where we live. She is excited and this weekend I am going to start gathering her school supplies while BrittWhitFun gets her school uniforms. I just can’t believe that we are finally at this moment and it makes me sad and joyful.

Evie is a force of nature. She has been getting big also. She has really come around on the loving Dad front and now she never wants to leave my side unless Mom is around. She has been really trying to grasp this whole potty training thing. She has #1 down by #2 has been a really struggle for not only her but for Mom and Dad. I may have stepped on poop while putting her on the potty. It just kind of rolled out of her underwear. Sorry. I hope you were not eating when you read this.

We have tried to transition Evie from her crib to toddler bed but it was a disaster so we decided to keep the crib a little longer. She is just not ready and until she is fully potty trained she really needs to stay in her crib.

Here are some of the other highlights of the past few months:

My SIL got married back in April. 

K-Dub learned to swim

My brother and I could not be better

My brother dressed like a lady for charity

I decided to take on swimming

Easter was a lot of fun.

We went to the Zoo

I won Coordinator of the Quarter

Had a great Mother’s Day Mingle At The Mint Event

Got a Vasectomy and my wisdom teeth out in the same month

K-Dub graduated from Preschool

BrittWhitFun and I celebrated 7 years of marriage

I tried float therapy and like it and did not drown

I did a build for Habitat for Humanity

Enjoyed 4th of July with friends

What is next for the family? We have a lot of things coming up. K-Dub starting school, Evie is turning 3 and we are heading back to Disney World in less then 90 days and I am not even close to being ready!

As always comments are appreciated and I can’t wait to here from you.

 

Saturday Adventures In CLT

One of the coolest things about my job is that I get to go to new places and meet a lot of cool people. It also helps when you get to eat the newest foods from the best local restaurants.

This past Saturday my wife and I wanted to get out of the house as we have spent the last two weekends at home. I am usually one to stay home as I love to be in my recliner watching the latest episodes of Mickey Mouse and Sophia the First. That is a total lie and any parent that tell you differently is a total liar. At around noon and after we got the house cleaned we all got dress and loaded the car and went on a little adventure.

Since I work really close with the website C5 I get recommendations on restaurants all the time as most of our most popular stories are about new restaurant opening and new items on local menus. One of my reps told me about Bang Bang Burgers and that I was going to have to try it. I love a good burger anyways so this was the first place in our list.

I knew I was in for a real good meal when the parking lot was full. Also, when we entered the restaurant we noticed there was not an open table to be found. We placed our order and waited against the wall for a table to open up. I guess that is what we get for going to lunch at 1 pm. Finally a family got up from a booth and we slid in as they walked out the door.

We got the kids situated and got our drinks and waited patiently for our food. When the food came, which was really fast, I was really impressed with how everything looked. My wife and I both got the pimento cheeseburgers while the kids stuffed their faces with chicken nuggets. Big shocker there.

The food was awesome. The burgers were very flavorful and the sauces they give you were amazing. I personally liked the Bang Bang sauce and their ranch. So good and my kids loved their nuggets.

After lunch, we got back in the car and rode over to the Dillworth area cause I wanted my wife to try the amazing Duck Doughnuts. I am a huge doughnut fan and I love trying locally made doughnuts. Their is nothing better then supporting local business in your area and it helps if they have a really tasty product.

When we got to the store it was also busy. People were everywhere and we finally got up to the counter to place out order. My wife and I decided to get a dozen so we could have breakfast on Sunday morning also. We ordered a wide variety from my personal favorite which is the maple bacon doughnut to the French toast flavored doughnut. My kids got a strawberry one and a chocolate covered glazed one.

The only thing about our experience was that they lost our ticket and we waited for over 20 minutes before they noticed that we were waiting. Now I am never one to complain at restaurants and I did not. The manager took it upon herself to come out and apologize and gave us a card for a free doughnut. That was nice and very thoughtful.

We sat at the bar by the front window and ate some of our doughnuts and enjoyed each others company. My kids loved their doughnuts cause they came out fresh and warm. They kept telling me how much they like it and that they wanted to come back. I told we would but I want to try some of the other local doughnut places first.

When we for back in the car my kids fell asleep and my wife and I headed home. That was enough adventure for one day. We already started planning our next one and can’t seem to decide where to go next. I will keep you posted.

Now She Is Five

It is really hard for me to believe that I now have a five year old in my house. She has grown up right in front of me faster then I care to share. Now I just look at her in aw as she is turning into a kind and gentle soul.

I guess I need to start from the beginning as it is February and I am just now writing a blog entry about my daughter turning five, which happened last month. Can you say slacker dad? You see my daughter loves her birthday. We have heard nothing but her birthday party plans since before last summer began. Those plans have changed from a Frozen themed party to an Ariel themed party to now just a simple princess themed party. I am not going to lie I was so ready to dress up like Olaf or come in rocking my amazing Jamaican accent. Anyways, she is obsessed with her birthday. I wonder where she gets that. I mean I love to remind everyone about my birthday starting in October so I can make sure I have a good gift and cake ratio. Ok so she gets it from me. Man you guys really know how to make a guy confess. Just another reason why I could never get away with murder.

It came to the day of and I may have went a little over board with the decorations and making my daughter feel extra special. The birthday crown and matching sash may had been a little to much. What do you think?

My wife really is the grand champion of all things birthday party related. She sent out the group birthday part invitation text, bought all the food, and made sure the house was clean. All I was in charge of was getting the decorations and picking up the cake. These things I knew I could handle.

When it came down to party time. our house got full real quick. K-Dubs friends all came along with her cousins and of course little Evie was right behind them as they ran around the house screaming. I have never heard so many screams of laughter in my life. It was cute but also made it very impossible to carry on a conversation with any of the other adults at the party.

Being there crowd fearing person I am, I worked hard to keep the party moving so after about 30 minutes of mingling around and greeting guest I pushed for it to be cake time.

There is nothing more special to me then when I get to sing happy birthday to my kids. It is just a confirmation that they are getting older and more importantly that I survived another year of parenthood.

Then it was time to open gifts and one of things I have found hard about this is trying to get my kid to say thank you. Here we are surrounded by family and friends and some strangers and the last thing I want people to think is that my kid is an ungrateful monster. Usually when people pass judgement on me based on my children I am quick to point my finger in my wife’s direction but she was in the same boat I was in. Also it is really hard to enjoy my kid opening presents when there are so many kids around her trying to grab her new toy out of her hand and yelling that they either want it or they already have one. Its like watching zombies attack the only human left on earth. I seriously asked my brother for his taser.

After the presents where opened I spent the next hour opening all the presents out of their packaging so my daughter could play them. I must say that the toy companies don’t need to worry about someone stealing their stuff cause they may it very impossible to their toys out. so many rubber bands, plastic twists, and tape make it very impossible. You need a knife to open this stuff.

Finally the party was over and we were left to clean up. I remember just sitting on the couch and thanking the Lord I made it through another party alive. Then I looked over and saw happy my daughter was. I smiled as she came over to me and sat on my lap and kissed me on the cheek. We stared at each other and then she said she wanted a Belle themed party next year!

Help me.

Unicorn Party- Evie’s 2nd Birthday Party

This weekend we celebrated Evie with a little party at the park. I had to start my morning off with coffee of course.

My wife worked very hard pulling off an awesome Unicorn themed party. She spent a lot of time on Pinterest and making the decorations. She really is very crafty. The decorations she made turned out amazing and the cupcakes were very cute.

 

The party got a little damp as unexpected rain started but the kids did not care. They just got their umbrellas and played.

We decided to open presents and Evie had a blast opening them. She got a lot of Minnie Mouse stuff and clothes.

We then sang Happy Birthday to her and ate lots of cake.

Pumpkin Time

Fall is here or at least it has been here for a couple of weeks. I wish that outside felt more like it. It still feels like summer. Today as I am writing this it is humid and sticky outside. Gross!

I love the when it is fall. The leaves change color, it gets colder, bonfires, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and pumpkin spic lattes make this season great. Speaking of pumpkins, one of the best traditions we have as a family is to head over to the Pumpkin Patch at Riverbend Farms and pick out our pumpkins.

This year we went with my brother and his family and had a blast.

Climbing on fake animals…

and tractors.

Sliding down the slides

After playing it was time to get on the hayride.

The real work began as it was time to pick up out pumpkins…

I think my family had a great time and it gave mine and my brother’s family some time to enjoy each other.

Long Time No See

I can not believe it has been a month since my last post! I must say I have stay off the social media also. It is not that I have been busy but I have taken a break to focus on other things. That does not mean I do not have a load of stories rot tell cause I do.

For starters K-Dub has started Pre-K and she loves it.

We kept our nephews and their dog for a whole weekend and it was fun. It was also very stressful to have four kids and two dogs in the house. It was a lot of tag teaming between my wife and but we managed to prevail. We still had a blast. I can say that it was great birth control.

We spent a lot of time at the park and playing games. We even made s’mores in the backyard.

I been hitting the gym pretty hard over the past 5 weeks and I am really starting to see a difference. I am getting stronger. Now if I could only keep up with my meal plan.

More to come tomorrow.

 

 

 

Weekend Training, Cheat Meals, Projects & Other Wild Times

I live for the weekends. Every week my wife and I are on the go from the time we wake up to the time we finally hit the hay. There usually is no down time during the week. The highlight of our conversations is usually about what to make for dinner and I am sorry that is just not a conversation I want to have at 7 am. By the time Friday comes I am an over worked zombie and need a nap. I think a lot of parents who work full time feel this way.

When Saturdays come I am very much excited as I am not going to be awaken by the harsh sound of my alarm clock but to the tapping on my head by my oldest who wants to go downstairs and watch TV. To be 100% honest here, nine times out of ten I tell her to wake her mom up. I know I am a horrible human being.

This weekend I got up and went to the gym first thing. It was leg day and I wanted to go ahead and get it in first thing. After pounding out some deadlifts and other exercises, I went and got some coffee cause no workout should go not unrewarded.

We decided to take the kids to the park and let then run all their energy out. This was a great idea considering we ended up having a solid 30 minutes of the park to ourselves. I ended up being the master of the kids zip line. The park stated to fill up but we stayed and played. I swung with Evie and Wife slid down the slide with K-Dub.

The kids were tired so we headed home for a quick nap before going to lunch. Not just any lunch. It was a lunch to celebrate by SIL who turned 25! Lunch was at the best Mexican restaurant that is local her in Indian Trail. It real is life changing Mexican food. The kids were disaster between Evie putting her hands in salsa and then rubbing Wife’s shirt and K-Dub having to go to the bathroom, I was done and ready to take the demons home but we had to go to Target first.

We have been working on this Coffee bar project for sometime and we finally found the right model we wanted to get. So I spent the next couple of hours after Target building it and I am so glad it is done.

We still have a couple of things to do but in the end I think we are off to a great start to a new favorite spot for Wife and I at our house. We survive on coffee and the more the better.

Sunday night I had been waiting for my cheat meal. All week in fact and I wanted a burger, fries and a milkshake and I finally got it. My wife treated me to American Burger Co. in Sun Valley. I have to say it was worth it. My burger was called “Hot Mess” which is what I was as I devoured that thing. So worth it.

Now we are back in the grind of work and here we are on Wednesday. lucky for us we only have one more day of work as we are off for a four day weekend!!! Yay!

Fireworks And Heavy Weight

This Fourth of July was just like any other. I feel I do the same thing every year. Maybe that is a good thing.

I started off the holiday with what I do best…a workout. This workout was not like the one we did last year but I like that it was different. The past few months I have been doing my own thing and it was great to do a workout with the class.

You and your partner complete the following with one partner working at a time. 20 minute cap

Run 1,6oo meters at 400 meters at a time while other partner holds 115 pound bar overhead. If they drop it then they do 5 lateral burps. 

Then into…

150 wall ball shots while other partner holds deadlift weight of 205 pounds. With time remaining do max reps of toes to bar or weighted sit ups. 

It was a hard one but I managed to only have to put the bar down twice. That is a big win for me.

After that I came home and had my shower, helped my wife clean, and played with Evie. K-Dub went to the parade with her grandparents. My wife went to the store to pick up dinner and to later pick up K-Dub. While she was gone I put Evie down for a nap and just laid on the couch.

When my wife and K got home we headed to the pool for some cool off time but it was short lived as a storm headed in. Thank goodness It did not last long.

After we changed I made burgers, hotdogs, cut up some strawberries and watermelon, boiled some corn, and made homemade ice cream. We invite my MIL to come over and hangout for a couple of minutes.

Soon fireworks started popping off so we sat out in our driveway and watched them before sending the kids off to bed. My wife and I even had on matching T-shirts.

All and all it was a great low key holiday. I hope this blog entry did not bore you too bad. Sometimes you just need a simple day at the house.