Q is for…

Today is the day of the week I get revenge. The boys are forever asking questions and I’m forever giving them answers. Usually truthful. I am dad. I know all. Well, almost. If I don’t know, then Google does. Thursdays is the day is the day I ask them questions. This is episode 39. That’s 390 questions. This isn’t counting questions like:

  • What do you want for breakfast?
  • Are you ready for school?
  • Did you brush your teeth?
  • Who broke this?
  • Who spilled this?
  • Why is there blueberry yogurt on the wall and the fridge door?
  • Why are you naked?

is for the questions I ask for the blog. I’ve asked the kids questions. I’ve asked my parents questions. I’ve asked my grandmother questions, too. They are usually a bit more amusing than my run of mill, every day questions. The boys often ask, “Can we answer questions for your blog?” They look forward to it, now.

1. What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer?

Crash: Play baseball
Bang: Do the ice bucket challenge

2. What do sharks eat?

Crash: Seals
Bang: Fish

3. What animal would it be fun to be?

Crash: An Eagle
Bang: Giraffe

4. Why would it be fun to be that animal?

Crash: Because you have the ability to fly and glide
Bang: Because you have a tongue that’s 22 inches



5. What would you like to learn more about?

Crash: Gravity or how the world started
Bang: Your skull

6. What’s the best thing about you?

Crash: I’m smart
Bang: That I play on the trampoline

7. What’s the best thing about Dad?

Crash: His farts!
Bang: That the Orioles win

8. What’s the best thing about Mom?

Crash: She loves us, I guess.
Bang: That she drives faster than you

9. What do you want to be famous for doing?

Crash: Making Lego Minecraft sets
Bang: Being the king

10. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Crash: I want to work at Lego or Nintendo. Either one, but probably Lego because Nintendo is all the way in Japan.
Bang: Builder. I want to build houses and drive a cherry picker

As always, feel free to ask your own kids these questions. Just be sure to link to this post so I can read and laugh, too! 

P is for…

You’re sitting the front car, a dozen more are behind you. All is quiet except the familiar click click click of a chain slowly pulling your coaster to the top of a very high hill. For just a split second you hang motionless staring down the near vertical drop. Then the chain lets go…

According to crosswordsolver.org there are 22,046 words that start with the letter P. This is exact number of time I’ve told the boys to clean up their toys in the basement.

The possibilities are endless.

This is a house of mostly boys. Therefore, P could be for penispee peepisser, or pecker. I’ll refrain from talking about our private parts.

This space is generally about being a dad. Hence,

P will be for parenthood. One of life’s greatest accomplishments is to raise self-sufficient, happy, healthy, educated offspring. There is also nothing else more frustrating. Except for maybe that last piece of leftover pizza disappearing from the fridge.

Are we ever prepared for this journey? Oh sure, we buy the book about what to expect. That’s like me describing what the roller coaster The Super Duper Looper felt like. Until you ride it for yourself, you’ll never really understand that first drop and the feeling of your stomach in your throat. Isn’t that kinda what parenting feels like? You climb that hill, anxiously waiting for the ride to really begin just as mom’s belly grows and grows (you might even call her your punch buggy). Suddenly, life is flashing by at 65 mph and the best you can do hang on and scream. But, my God, it’s fun!

Like I wrote in Life Before and After Kids, our lives change drastically. No longer can we do what we want when we want how want where we want. We suddenly have this little ball of squishy, adorable, Jell-O tagging along.

matilda-honeyI always thought I’d be a parent like Ms. Honey from Matilda, was a teacher. I would kindly ask in my sweetest voice for something to be done and the kids would scurry to get it done. They would answer my questions in complete sentences and dazzle me with their brilliance. Turns out my parenting style feels more like Ms. Trunchbull.


So whether you have 1 kid or, like Mr. and Mrs. Vassilyev you have 69 children, do what you gotta do to get it done. Books, TV, other parents, non-parents, and “experts” will try to tell you the best way to do it. Sometimes they’ll be right. Sometimes they won’t. Sometimes you’ll get it right, sometimes you won’t.


O is for… 

 is for Orioles! This has zip, zero, zilch to do with parenting except that I did allow Bang to stay up and watch a game last Friday. It was an 8 pm start time and his big brother was having a sleepover at Nanny’s. Bang didn’t want to go home and go to bed so I offered to let him stay up to watch some of the Orioles game. They were playing the Blue Jays, his favorite team. We are in Blue Jay territory, so I allow it. We have a friendly rivalry. DW went to visit a friend so Bang and I skipped off to the store to pick up a bag of Ruffles then we parked ourselves on the couch and munched our way through 7 innings of baseball. He learned what all the numbers meant – the score, the count, the outs, and the innings. Mom was surprised when she got home at 9:30 to find him still wide awake. By 10, his Blue Jays were losing 5-3 and he lost interest in the game so up to bed he went. I was impressed that he was so interested in the game for that long.

is for obsession. My two obsessions are running and baseball (and perhaps this blog) (Okay. Definitely this blog). Though, I’ve been watching more baseball than I have been running. But I’m slowly getting back into it. I’ve got a new pair of shoes to help me do just that. I have a drawer full of running shirts. Long sleeved. Short sleeved. Tank tops, even. I only have a few pairs of shorts and some pants for running. I use Nike+ on my phone to track my runs. My Orioles memorabilia is limited to a couple hats, a lanyard, and few shirts. The Eddie Murray jersey being my favorite. I can’t wait to make it back to Camden Yards again.

Crash’s obsession, like so many other 9 year olds, is with Minecraft. Some may argue that it’s a waste of time. Others argue that it’s a tool for creativity through it’s endless way to build. Or a tool for science with its redstone circuits. It’s a double edged sword. It can be obsessive. If we didn’t set a time limit he would do nothing else. I can see it’s obsessive nature when his time is up. I hear either, “1 minute” which he tries to drag out to 20 more minutes. Or I hear, “UGH!”. It’s to the point now that if he doesn’t turn it off within a couple minutes of his time ending he loses it for a week. This is one of those weeks. We’ve allowed him to earn it back each day by cleaning. I also see how much he loves to play it and after a long day of school, it’s a great way to wind down. Plus I’ve seen how much he loves building and exploring.

Bang’s obsession is a bit more subtle. He enjoys playing Minecraft with his brother, but I wouldn’t call it an obsession. He loves playing Mario Kart on the Wii, but again, it’s not something he’s constantly thinking about playing. He loves junk food, chocolate especially. But who doesn’t? He’s just taking after his parents. I think the closest thing to obsession he has is with Candy Crush. Yes, that cell phone game. What’s more though, is that he’s good at it! Not only does he beat levels that we’ve been stuck on for days, he also gets us top rankings in high scores among our friends. Whether he plays on my phone or his mother’s, he loves it.

DW’s obsession might be me. She loves me to no end and everything she does she does for me. Stop laughing, it’s not a joke. Okay. Yes, it is. I would venture a guess and say that Facebook might be DW’s obsession. She loves coming home from work and just relaxing on the big, comfy couch and catching up with friends via Facebook. It’s also her way of sharing everything from what we’re up doing to what’s going on in town our local friends are interested in. Her other obsession is gardening. Her rose bushes make the neighbors jealous. Her clematis is climbing up the downspout and the porch is always in full color with the flower she picks for the planters.

Our obsession are the little things that make us happy. They’re the things that distract us from the endless responsibilites of life. It’s our time out. I just have to remember to put down the blog, turn off the Orioles game, and go make supper before the kids start eating each other.

What’s your obsession? If it’s Twitter you’ll find me at Stomperdad.

N is for… #AtoZChallenge

We are officially half way through this challenge. If my stats stay consistent I’ll have 1,838 views by the end of it. Lets go for two grand!

 could be New Growth. 

 These little guys showed up over the weekend. Broccoli, Romaine, Cucumber, and Peppers. Carrots will be planted directly in the garden. It may not be warm outside yet, but these little guys are a promise that it will be. New growth from the boys, too. Each of them is growing like a bad weed. Crash is nearly in my size shirts and he’s only 2 sizes behind me in shoes. He’ll be 10 this summer and he’s already wearing size 8 shoes! Bang is a 50 pound wrecking ball. According to the door frame marks he’s taller than his brother was at the same age.

 will instead be for never. This word has been stuck in my head all day. There are never ending bills, laundry, arguments with kids who don’t want to clean, and work weeks that drag on longer than the 100 Years War. Never is, by context, a negative word. I’ve never been to Australia. I never won the lottery. I never appeared on “Freshly Pressed”. However, after pondering most of the day I realized that never is not always negatie. Hence, I opted for the more positive side of never.

Never ending growing up of our children. Like I said earlier, Crash is damn near wearing my T-shirts and shoes. Once upon a time he was an 8 pound 9 ounce jelly roll. I remember washing all his newborn clothes beore he was even born. I was joyous hanging all those tiny clothes on the clothesline in the Virginia summer sun to dry. Now he’s a saucy, snuggly, 4th grader. To see Bang already taller than his big brother was at his age is amazing. I keep reminding Crash to be nice to his brother because one day his younger, little brother will only be his younger brother. Sometimes we wish they would be 

Never ending grocery bills. While Crash eats better than Bang, they both have a healthy appetite. They can eat and eat and eat and I’m fearing when they turn teens and decide they need 8 billion calories a day. But it’s not the amounts they eat so much as that we’re able to feed them. We certainly aren’t making millions, but we are making enough to feed a family of four healthily and for that I’m thankful. 

Never ceasing to amaze. Crash and I are the 7th book of Harry Potter. Until last week it has been me reading to him. Last week he wanted to read to me. Give’r buddy. And he gave’r. He read the chapter in which Dumbledor died. Being a teacher parent, I asked him about what he read just to make sure he understood it. He did. Even the big words like accomodating and excruciating. Bang is following in his footsteps. He, too, is reading above grade level. He sounds out big words and can use context clues and pictures to help him figure out the words. He’s also a little math whiz. He compares number to 100 using < and >. He adds and subtracts numbers to 20. He’s even picking up Crash’s multiplication cards and trying to memorize some of them. He caught on that multiplication is repetitive addition, too. They never cease to amaze me.

Never feeling excluded. Love flows freely here. All though it’s harder to see through the frustrations of parenting, it’s always present. We get frustrated because we’re trying to raise self-sufficient human beings and when it seems all your hard work is fruitless, it’s frustrating. But we do it because we love them and want them to be the best they can. When they’re not living up to their best we get them back on track. It’s a two way street, though. When they tell you at the most random time they love you, when they ask you to be with them simply because they want to be with you, when they imitate you because they want to be just like you, you know that love is present. 

So never mind the struggle and the strife, we are all fighting our own battles the best we can. Never mind those who judge and the naysayers, it’s their opinion and none of your business. Never mind what everyone else is doing, just do the best you can and the rest will fall into place.

Sunday Share: Week 16 #AtoZChallenge


I hope the Easter Bunny found everyone happy and healthy this glorious morning! Bonus points if you figure out the common link in all these posts!

Dorky Mom Doodles
M is for Marriage

A Momma’s View
M is for Miracles

Coach Daddy
M is for Men I Forgot to Be

John Mark Miller – The Artistic Christian
M is for Music of Mercy: Echos from the Titanic

Writing is Communication
A – Z Blogging Challenge, Raising Boys: The Penis Chronicles Presents the Letter M for Magic Mike

All In A Dad’s Work (aka Stomperdad) (aka me)
M is for Mom

Have a letter M post you’d like to share? Leave it in the comments!
Not enough Easter Bunny today? Hop on over and find me on Twitter!

M is for… #atozchallenge

 is for the real super heros, the boss of the house, the ever loving mothers. Known as Mommy, Mom, Mum, Ma, and Mooooooooooooom! they are the wise ones, the protectors, the sacrificers. They take on a job with no pay, no vacation time, on call 24/7 and they do it willingly. This post is about them

I’ve got so many Moms in my life that I’m convinced it has taken that many to keep me alive this long. My own mom kept me alive until I went off to university. She raised me right and was able to impart just enough sense and know how so I could fend for myself. My friends’ moms took care of me, too. Watching out for me, calling my mom when I made it to their house, etc… Now I have the mother of my own children, her mom and her stepmom looking after me, too. Am I lucky? I’m 40 and still kickin’. I’d say I’m lucky.

Moms, you make sacrifies we dad’s only dream of making. You give up your time, your money, your energy, your space, even your body and your junk food to make sure your kids have everything they need or want. Working all day, or staying home all day with kids, then having the energy to cook supper and go through the three billion step bedtime routine is a super power not even Ironman can compete with. 

Female = Fe (iron) + Male (man) = Ironman

This post is for the moms who can laugh through tough times. Perhaps the kids broke another window. Perhaps the kids managed to somehow get blueberry yogurt on the wall, the ceiling, the floor, the fridge and 2 wall hangings. Perhaps they’re just tired and restless and stuck on an airplane. Either way, you always do what you have to do and move on. Then look back and laugh at how stressful it seemed to be.

This post is for the moms who are too strong to break. Or perhaps just too strong to break in front of their children. Through financial burdens, busy schedules, no time for yourself, and the worst of the worst, you keep it together, you stay strong. Or perhaps you break down and your children see that it’s okay to break down and talk about the troubles. 

This post is for you moms who support each other. There isn’t much greater in parenthood than parents who help each other. Whether they watch your kid after school or bring over a bottle of wine after the kids are in bed, the support is inspiring. 

But mostly, this post is for you moms who give up your nights and weekends for sports, for dance, for band, for travel, for family… You go to parent/teacher night. You know your kids favorite food make sure it’s well stocked. You play Barbie, you play trucks, you play. 

We dad’s are forever in awe of how you do it. You get it all done and it amazes us. 

Cheers, Moms!

#AtoZChallenge L is for Life Long Learning

If we were playing Scattergories that would be a 3 point play. 

I have always encouraged the boys to ask questions. The littlest one seems better at it, but they ask about every subject imaginable. From the universe to anatomy to geology and biology and every other ology out there. I answer their questions as honestly as possible. Sometimes Google is involved. Sometimes pictures are necessary. Other times I adamantly avoid them. Then, on this little blog space, I answer their questions for your amusement and education. The hardest part is remembering to write down their questions so I don’t forget them.

Why are they called the White Sox?

The Chicago White Sox were originally a minor league team called the Sioux City Cornhuskers. This was before the American League was called the American League. They were the Western League, but not like John Wayne western. In 1894 (when my dad was a wee lad) Charles Comiskey bought them, moved them to Saint Paul, Minnesota and was fairly successful. 

In 1900 (when my mom was a wee lass) the Western League changed its name to the American League, but it was still a minor league taking orders from its parent, the National League. With permission, the new American League was allowed to put a team in Chicago, provided they didn’t use the city’s name. So Comiskey moved his St. Paul team to the Near South Side and renamed The White Stockings, a nickname once used by the Cubs. They won the American League pennent that year. That would be the last year the American League would be a minor league. They declined to renew their membership with the National League and declared themselves a Magor League. 

In 1901, the White Stockings won the pennent again. Journalists shortened their name to the White Sox in their headlines and 1904 the White Sox officially adopted the shortened name.

Why are they called Indians?

This is not a question about Native Americans and that Chris Columbus thought he was in India. This is about the Indians from Cleveland who were playing the the former White Stockings in a game of baseball. 

The Grand Rapids Rustlers was founded in 1894. In 1900 they moved to Cleveland and named themselves the Cleveland Lake Shores. Not a very menacing name, really. In 1901, when the American League declared themselves a major league, Cleveland renamed itself the Bluebirds. The players disliked this name, even when it was shortened by journalists to the Blues. They tried Broncos, but it never really caught on. 

It’s debated that when they changed their name to the Cleveland Indians it was in reference to Louis Sockalexis, a Native American player for the Cleveland Spiders. However, in 1915 Native Americans weren’t viewed in the best light so it’s questioned why they would name themselves after a mediocore player. Some say it was in reference to not the player but to the fun he would bring to the crowds. Either way, they’ve been the Indians for 102 years.

How much do cows sleep?
These are the questions that arise at bedtime. When eyes are supposed to be closed, voices silenced, and sleep achieved. While children need 10+ hours of sleep, a cow sleeps for just 4. And it’s not all at once. According to studies (how fun must it be to study the sleep habits of cows?) they sleep for just 1-5 minutes at time throughout the day – mostly at night. They don’t sleep standing up, either. They may go into a half-awake state, but never sleep upright. Because cows lie down to sleep, cow tipping does not exist. 

Why don’t girls have pee pees?

I’m not sure why, but this question keeps popping up in one form or another. Bang has become curious to know the differences. He has also asked if girls have pee pees. I’ve told him before that girls DO have pee pees and while boys have penises, girls have vaginas. Their pee pee isn’t on the outside of their body like a boy’s. It’s on the inside. I certainly didn’t go into any details. This will be the last time I answer this question until he’s old enough to understand more. Next time I’ll send him to his mother. She knows more about them than I do. That, or I’ll just tell him to go Google it himself.

p.s. it’s 11:52, i made it just in time

#AtoZChallenge – K is for…


I could write about kids but that’s so vague I could I could write a book. Or at least a novella. Perhaps the world needs a parenting picture book.

But today is Thursday and I don’t like to break tradition. Neither one of those is a “K” word. Besides, the kids were asking anyway. So today…

K is for knowledge. Not just random useless knowledge like

If all the females in a group of clownfish die a male will change its gender in order to keep its group alive.

There are humans that do that, too. But not because they want to save their species.

Nope, this kind of knowledge is about my kids. It comes in the form of an interview – questions and answers.

1. What makes me happy?

Crash: Drawing with chalk
Bang: When we clean our own messes
Mom: Me. No wait. Running.

2. What makes you happy?

Crash: Pug puppies
Bang: Playing baseball
Mom: Sunshine

3. How do I make you laugh?

Crash: Fart while we’re playing Lego
Bang: Do silly things while you brush your teeth
Mom: Do stupid shit

4. What is my favorite thing to do?

Crash: Watching the Orioles play
Bang: Look at clouds
Mom: I already answered that. Supid question. Running.

5. What is mom’s favorite thing to do?

Crash: Hanging out outside with her friends
Bang: Kiss dad (prompted to say that) 
Mom: Spend nice days next to, in, or on the water

6. What do mom and dad do after you go to bed?

Crash: Play Marbles (board game) and drink wine and have friends over
Bang: Go to a meeting or something
Mom: Eat junk and watch TV (what we do after the kids are in bed)

7. What is my favorite food?

Crash: Salad
Bang: Salad
Mom: I didn’t know you had a favorite. Spaghetti? I don’t know! I was going to say “my lasagna”.

8. What is mom’s favorite food?

Crash: Lasagna
Bang: Pizza – she’s a Lamborghini
Mom: Roast beef, turkey dinner or lasagna

9. What do you enjoy doing with me?

Crash: Spending quality time with you
Bang: Playing Uno
Mom: Star gazing and kayaking

10. What’s one thing you wish you could have?

Crash: The Nintendo Switch
Bang: A million people on my head
Mom: Vacations

J is for…

If you’re a parent you need a serious sense of humor. If you can’t laugh when your toddler decides too pee off the front porch because he’s too lazy to walk up a flight of steps to the bathroom, you won’t survive parenthood. If you can’t entertain the thought when one of your kids tells you that when he turns 5 he’s going to turn into a puppy so he can poop in the yard (different kid than the one who peed off the front porch) parenthood is going to be long and brutal. 

 is jokes. I bring you ten five jokes to tickle your funny bone.

1.“Every night before I get my one hour of sleep, I have the same thought: ‘Well, that’s a wrap on another day of acting like I know what I’m doing.’ I wish I were exaggerating, but I’m not. Most of the time, I feel entirely unqualified to be a parent. I call these times being awake.” ~Jim Gaffigan

2. For weeks a six-year-old lad kept telling his first-grade teacher about the baby brother or sister that was expected at his house. One day, the mother allowed the boy to feel the movements of the unborn child. The six-year old was obviously impressed, but made no comment. Furthermore, he stopped telling his teacher about the impending event. The teacher finally sat the boy on her lap and said, “Tommy, whatever has become of that baby brother or sister you were expecting at home?”

Tommy burst into tears and confessed, “I think Mommy ate it!”


4. A child asked his father, “How were people born?” So his father said, “Adam and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and made babies, and so on.” The child then went to his mother, asked her the same question and she told him, “We were monkeys then we evolved to become like we are now.” The child ran back to his father and said, “You lied to me!” His father replied, “No, your mom was talking about her side of the family.”

5. Little Susie, a six-year-old, complained, “Mother, I’ve got a stomach ache.” “That’s because your stomach is empty,” the mother replied. “You would feel better if you had something in it.” That afternoon, her father came complaining that he had a severe headache all day. Susie perked up, “That’s because it’s empty,” she said. “You’d feel better if you had something in it.”

I is for…

 is for inning. Our favorite sport of baseball is back. My O’s are currently in the bottom of the 4th and are losing 1-0 to the Red Sox. I’m currently in the 9th and 5th inning of my boys lives. Their game is 18+ innings which make it more like a round of golf. 

 is also for imagination. Even the humble genius knew that imagination was more important than knowledge. Knowledge will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere. Both boys are extremely imaginative and we allow them their creativities. Well… depending on the mess involved and our desire to clean it or make them clean it.

 is also for inspire. There are so many ways we can inpsire others. As a teacher, it is my goal to inspire my students to want to learn, to want to know more. As a parent I want to inspire the same sense of curiosity, but hopefully I can inspire more. Inspire then to better today than they were yesterday. Inspire them to love more. Inpsire them to clean up their own mess.

 is also for indecisive. I couldn’t think of anything good write, so I wrote something bad. I’m subbing in a primary (kindergarten) class this week. While I’m having fun with them, they don’t leave much energy left at day’s end. So I leave you this post about the letter I. If you’re taking part in the A-Z challenge, I hope you have more insight than I did tonight.

And now my O’s are in the top of the 6th and losing 2-0. I is for irratated.