A Nice Little Trip

So with this new job at Amazon, I get to create my own schedule based on the number of hours they need during the next few weeks. So far, my schedule has been Mon – Thurs, 5PM to 1AM. I’m getting more used to it, I’m going to shoot for that kind of schedule every week if I can, why not? Amazon did give us the option to not work on Memorial Day, so of course, I didn’t work, that gave us an extra day for our Port Allegany visit.

Visiting Port A was a nice little trip. We left Friday morning and pulled in to my parents’ house around 4, unpacked and visited for the rest of the night. Both of my brothers eventually arrived and we just kind of drank beer/wine, BS’d and hung out for the rest of the night.

On Saturday, my Mom put together a little party/picnic for my brother Jordan and his fiancee Kate and her family so we could all get to know each other a little better before their wedding in September. It was a fun time, it’s nice to meet new people and welcome them into the family. FYI: My brother Jordan is marrying a ‘Katherine’ and my brother Chad (aka ‘Weez’, aka ‘Vincent’) married a ‘Katherine’ last September, so there will be two Katherine Barnards. Luckily one goes by ‘Kate’ and the other ‘Katie’ so my brothers won’t mix them up, that could get awkward.

The party continued after the family picnic, a few of my friends that I haven’t seen in a while stopped by and stayed a while. We drank some beers, passed around a bottle of Fireball and munched on some Utz Jalepeno Cheddar chips (pictured below). They were freaking delicious. Some of my youngest brother’s friends stopped by too, at one point, we were all arguing about LeBron and Michael Jordan… Actually, I think there were a few ‘greatest of all-time’ arguments being finalized at this point in the night. Who else was brought up as the possible GOAT in NBA history? I’m glad you asked because I have the list right here: Carmelo Anthony, Steve Nash, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Magic Johnson, Kobe, Karl Malone, John Stockton and Shawn Kemp. This is a shotty list as a bunch of legit names were shouted out, these are the ones that I remember.

Long story short, the late-night ‘LeBron vs. MJ’ discussion was manifested by one of my buddies (to conceal identity, we’ll call him Jerry Fawver) just to see who would get fired up about it. My brother, Jordan, added to the entertainment by graciously and confidently channeling his inner Steven A. Smith. Actually, he was making some good points, but all-in-all, it was hilarious. The night ended with me, Beef and Weez discussing the best villains of all-time in TV show history. Shout out to Ramsey Bolton (Game of Thrones) and Trinity (Dexter, season 4) for that discussion.

Sunday was pretty relaxed. Me, my wife and the two Katherines headed to Kane, PA and checked out Flickerfest at the Flickerwood Winery. Not a ton going on, a few vendors, some music… We ended up doing some tastings then headed to CJ’s Distillery, also in Kane. We all got a specialty cocktail and then headed back to Port for family dinner. Monday was also pretty relaxed. My wife, myself and Grammy Barnard took the girls up to my old elementary school playground, messed around there for a little bit, then headed down around the high school and Jacqui went down the huge slide that has been there for probably 40+ years. I was always afraid to go down it because it was high and the metal always felt like hot lava. Jacqui didn’t care, she went down that slide like a boss. After the playground tour, we headed back to my parents’ house and had another family dinner.

Overall, pretty solid trip to Port A. I didn’t visit any bars, which may be a first, but I don’t really care about that any more unless there is a group of my friends going. I didn’t hear about anything going on so I didn’t worry about it. We headed out early Tuesday morning, we were home with plenty of time to spare before my 5PM – 1AM shift started.

Zoo update: We met one of Jacqui’s day care friends at the Columbus Zoo last Tuesday. We’ve got a membership so I don’t feel pressured to traipse around the whole zoo trying to see every animal. It was particularly nice on the day we went because we hit up the zoo playground then touched and gawked at some reptiles on our way out. One of the photos below shows Jacqui in-between her friend and her friend’s dad, holding hands and walking. I thought it was cute so I snapped a picture. As long as Jacqui doesn’t randomly just go up to dudes and hold their hands, I’m cool with it.

Education update: Been slacking really. Between our trip home and traveling yesterday, haven’t had much time for Father University school time. We did go to the grocery store this morning, I had Jacqui count out some of the items I bought, but even I got sick of that and just bulldozed my way through the store to get done.

Okay, this has been a long enough post.

Until next time. PEACE.

port a college may 2017

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zoo collage may 2017

Underwear Stand-Off

So, Jacqui and I had a solid 20-minute underwear stand-off this morning before we started our continued letter J lesson. Basically, Jacqui was running around naked and didn’t want to put her underwear on and after multiple times of politely asking her to do so, she balled them up and threw them at me saying she couldn’t do it. Side note: She has a decent throwing arm. Anyways, I threw them back at her and told that I’d sit on the couch all day before I put the underwear on for her.

A few things… One, she can do it. I’ve seen her put on underwear before. Two, I was in too deep to just give up and do it for her. I waited… And waited. After about 20 minutes an idea came to me as Jacqui was still prancing around bare-assed. I closed my eyes and told her to wake me up when she puts her underwear on. After about a minute, she ran over and woke me up to let me know that she put her underwear on. Success. Kind of upsetting that I didn’t think of that idea in minute 1 of this old-western style showdown.

Educational note: I’m proud to say that Jacqui now knows that her name starts with the letter J! She just needed a good night’s sleep for it to sink in. We resumed our J activity this morning. We did the same exercise as the other day, but I did draw two J-related items so she could color them so I guess you could say we knocked out Art class as well. The before-color photo is below, go ahead and make fun of it, I don’t care. Also pictured is a huge J I drew so Jacqui could color that as well. By the way, Jules has been perfect today. She smiled and giggled her way through the underwear stand-off and during the letter J lessons.

Another educational note: I forgot to mention in my first post that I play classical music while I’m teaching Jacqui. It gives the our apartment a more scholarly atmosphere. Subtle, yet effective. Subconsciously it’s helping her learn and it makes me feel classy. Speaking of music, I’m on the verge of booking an adequately talented singer-songwriter to come over a few days a month to sing tunes and shred the ax for me and the girls. That’ll be fun, more on that after I book the gigs.

Well, my goal was to keep these somewhat short, so I’ll keep the items I didn’t mention here for another time.

Upcoming topics: Zoo trip, bird school, trip to Port Allegany, more education

Until next time. PEACE.

collage 5-24-17

Welcome to Father University

Hi there… I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how long I’ll keep this blog going, but my wife suggested that I start one as this new adventure in our lives begins, so here goes.

Background: I’m a 34 year-old husband and father of two beautiful little girls. I recently resigned (don’t like the word quit) as a Marketing Director for one of Ohio’s largest John Deere dealers to become a stay-at-home father. I’ll be working from home part-time in the evenings/nights for Amazon, doing customer service (phone, email, chat) and watching/educating my girls during the day. I’m not going to get into details about money or the job I left, but basically, day care costs are extravagant and I wanted to spend more time with my girls. Simple as that! This decision is not going to hurt us on the financial side at all. I’m sure you were worried sick over that, but don’t fret, all is good.

Why Father University? Two reasons… I’m a father and I live at a university. My wife’s job allows us the luxury of living in two-bedroom apartment within a residence hall at Otterbein University just outside of Columbus, OH. I don’t have to smuggle in alcohol, so that’s a plus. If I had no morals I could mark up the price of alcohol and sell it to the students here, but I want my wife to keep her job and I want to stay out of prison.

Anyways… As I mentioned previously, we’ve got two awesome daughters; Jacqueline and Juliana. Jacqui is 3 1/2 years old and Jules is 4 months old. The older one is mostly sweet, sometimes a pain in the ass, but what 2, 3 or 4 year old isn’t? The younger one is perfect so far and really never frustrates me. When she’s pissy, she either needs a diaper change, a nap or a hit of that sweet, sweet Mother’s milk. Yes, that last part sounded creepy and weird but I’m not deleting it.

Not going to try and make these posts too long because the attention spans of people these days are crap, so long story short, I’ll try to keep you guys entertained a few times a week with what’s going on as my run as a stay-at-home father. If views/readers are down, I’ll take the hint and stop.

Educational note: I taught Jacqui all about the letter J yesterday. I wrote out the Js on a piece of paper, she traced them with a marker and then practiced on a separate sheet of paper. I think that’s decent teaching, right? Jules wasn’t much help, I felt like she just sat there and made fun of us silently. I’ll probably continue with the letter J tomorrow because the last time I asked her what her first name started with, she said “C” and that was after our lesson, so I think we need some more work. Ohh yeah, we also did some Phys. Ed at the park. I stood around and watched Jacqui get some exercise.

Upcoming events: Zoo today with one of Jacqui’s friends. More education from Dad. Port Allegany, PA this weekend.

Until next time. PEACE.

collage 5-23-17