The chronicles and ramblings of a stay-at-home father raising his three beautiful girls, Anya Rose, Caitlin Rose and Reegan Rose.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Life in the Spotlight

All is well in Seattle.  Last weekend ranks among the best weekends I've ever had.  The weather here was absolutely beautiful; 73 degrees and sunny. Our pale-white skin dragged us outdoors to take in the sun's nutritious light after so many months of rain soaked days.  So naturally we thought we'd hit up the mall, you know, while numbers were down.  The girls played in the park while Alicia bought some new work clothes.  Afterwards we went outs to eat and headed out to hike to the Puget Sound.  We found a perfect 1.5 mile hike that went along a stream and led to the beaches of the Puget Sound.  We sent out and made it to the waters in a half hour.  We spent the next 3 hours playing in the sand, looking for sea shells, and taking in the rays. On our trek back, only Reegan needed to be carried.  Caitlin, who was my odds on favorite to require assistance up a somewhat difficult hike, made it to the car without wanting to be carried! I knew it was going to be a special weekend.

On Sunday we went for a beach hike on Lake Washington.  Again the girls did great.  We stopped for lunch at Chipotle (which the girls ate surprisingly well; if the girls didn't so much resemble the kids from 'Village of the Damned, I might suspect they were Mexican.)

We then went home to our local tennis court and played outside for the next 2 hours.  Having not touched a racket in over 2 years, I can say with confidence that Alicia could join the ATP in a month if she wanted to. The girls got skillz!  And I'm writing this while she's out of town, so there's no sexual incentive to obscure my judgement.

The whole weekend was great, I wouldn't change a thing about it.

Earlier this week I received an email about applying to be a participant in a docu-series about stay at home dads. While I initially deleted the email, a few days later I started thinking about how cool an opportunity like this could be. How cool would it be for a national spotlight be put on me to look at this new phenomenon of fathers taking the primary care of their children?  Why wouldn't I be a great candidate for the role? I'm clearly in way over my head and that ALWAYS makes for good TV, I mean isn't that why we watch the View?  But seriously I would love to share all the joys and challenges of being a stay at home dad with people around the country.  So tonight I put in my application.  This will likely be the last you'll ever hear of this topic, but I thought I'd let you in case any of you know any of the producers of such hits as American Idol or Americas Got Talent. ;)

Tip of the Day: Slamming 16 ounces of dark roast right before you hit the gym doesn't give you a harder workout, it makes you vomit.

Tip of the Day 2: Public toilets are exponentially more disgusting when you lift the lid and put your face withing 6 inches of the seat. I threw up a little in my mouth while writing that.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Home Sweet Home

It's been a whirlwind week for the Schmidt's.  Last Saturday, April 7th we took the tribe back to Minnesota for our first visit home.  It's strange to visit a place you've called home for the past 30 years of your life.  It's like all the people and places are the same, only I'm driving a way cooler car now (a rental, but still way better than my 2002 silver Town and Country).

For Easter, we decided to head up to the Pohlmann's farm.  The girls were thrilled to see Grandpa and Grandma.  When I asked Anya what she liked best about visiting the farm, she answered "I like Grandpa because he's silly, and I like Grandma because she cooks good." Apparently in her head, the Swedish Chef would make for the ultimate grandparent.

All the girls had a great time playing in the barn, 'helping' Grandpa fix a tractor, and going for fast for-fweeler rides. Between the basement toy room and a barn full of kitties, it's pretty tough to leave.  We're really blessed to have a place like that to visit; a place where the kids see first hand the work that goes into our food, a place where work doesn't stop just because it's the weekend, a place where family always comes first, and a place where flannel is always in season.  We love the farm.

 On Tuesday, we had to head down to the cities to drop Mommy off at the airport.  The girls and I spent the rest of the week at Papa and Nana's house.  Its amazing how busy a guy can be on vacation!  We had at least two playdates and get-togethers scheduled a day.  In the 5 days we were in town we hung out with the stay-at-home dads group, our old neighbors Rollo and Dodie, my buddy Jake, my in-laws Carrie, John and Noah, and Ben, Dianne and Isaac, my ref buddies Jose, Nick, Ross and Antonio, and Uncle Tim, Aunt Patty and the Welle Wild Crew.  We fit all that in and I reffed all day on Friday and Saturday at the Northern Lights Qualifier.  I need a vacation from my vacation.

And now for some of my favorite quotes from the week:

Anya:  Are we flying above the clouds now?
Me: Yep
Anya:  Then where's Jesus?

Caitlin: Dad, when are we going to blast off?

And Reegan's new response to questions:  "Of Course!"
It's the cutest thing.  I have no idea where she came up with this, Alicia and I don't ever say it, but every now and again when you ask her to do something, she'll look at you with her dimply face and angelically respond 'Of Course!' Can you put on your jacket Reegan?  Of course!  Not okay, or yes dad, but of course!  Like she wouldn't even dream of doing something opposed to my request.  'Isn't it obvious dad that I would do whatever is in your best interest Dad?'  The best part is that often times my following request is met by a complete meltdown.

Me: Can you put on your jacket Reegan?
Reegan: Of course!
Me:  Thanks hun, now can you pick out your shoes?
Reegan: NO!!! I don't want to! (Sobs and hysteria)
It's like she has an inert understanding of jacket-wearing, but a request to pick out shoes is on par with asking her to cut off her right leg with a rusty saw.

Catilin:  I like Nana because she likes to sew and I like Papa because he has a broken eye.

We had an awesome time visiting Minnesota and look forward to our next visit in June.  If we didn't get a chance to see you last week, I apologize.  We have so many friends and so little time to visit them all.  The good news is that our house is always open to welcoming guests and summers in Seattle are beautiful.  Just saying...

Tip of the Day:  The next time you ride an airplane with a kid sitting behind you, just expect your chair to get kicked.  My girls are pretty well behaved, but the seats are too long for their feet to hang down and it's practically a requirement that they push on the seat in front of them to stay upright. I spent 3 hours yelling at them to not kick the seats and I still had people complaining to me.