Movin’ on up

Me and the boys

I’m back (again)! Yes, I know that my previous post, the one from last September, was a bit premature in announcing my triumphant return to the blogging world, but this time I’m really here to stay… but I’m not, well, I am… but I’m not.

That is, I’m back to blogging (hopefully to stay), but I’m just not blogging here, as in my wordpress.com site. I’ve made a switch over to my own self hosted site Random Dadisms

A lot has happened in the year I’ve been away, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to writing again. Random Dadisms will give me a chance to try new things, post about the kids, our be crazy adventures, projects around the house, toddler photography, my own artwork, and much, much more.

The site will be going through a lot of changes in the weeks ahead so check it out when you get a chance. I welcome suggestions on how to improve, be patient though, it’s a work in progress (especially now).

So check it out, tell me what you think… er, I mean, check it out, bare in mind I’m just getting started, laugh at my newest post The Baby is Not a Bullseye, and then come back later and marvel at all the changes and how much better the site looks… and tell me what you think.

Sorry I buried your feet

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!

When I was five I went through a "pirate phase", everything was treasure and therefore must be buried.

When I was five I went through a “pirate phase”, everything was treasure and therefore must be buried.

My Mom has had to put up with a lot from me over the years and has always been there no matter what. She’s endured over forty years of my weirdness and now my offspring are carrying on this fine tradition.

It's all fun and games until the baby decides to play tackle football with Grandma!

It’s all fun and games until the baby decides to play tackle football with Grandma!

Thanks Mom for putting up with all these years of buried feet and up-your-nose photography. We love you.

"Wow, Grandma sure is tall!" taken by Zack (age 2)

“Wow, Grandma sure is tall!” taken by Zack (age 2)

In case you’re afraid that all my boys do is torture my poor unsuspecting mother, they can be rather sweet at times…

Mom and her newest grandson "Andrew James Husted" (3 days old)

Mom and her newest grandson “Andrew James Husted” (3 days old)

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Josh’s birthday present

April 2014 has been a momentous month for our family and our lives will never be the same because of it.

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It kicked off with my having the long awaited surgery on my left arm. I won’t bore you with details here, I’ve already posted about it once and I’ll update again further along in my recovery. Thanks to the surgery I’m unable to work which means for the first time ever I’m a full time Dad. Granted, I can’t do much because of my arm, but I’m home 24/7 which takes a lot of getting used to.

In between taking care of the boys and resting my arm we’ve been frantically preparing for little Andrew’s birth. Theres a lot to do to get ready for having a baby in the house again. Thanks to the combination of baby chaos that had taken over our home, my bum arm, and my wife Kat being very pregnant, Josh’s 3rd birthday had to take a back seat. We decided to hold off celebrating it until after his Grandma Suzy arrives in a few weeks. Thankfully, he didn’t seem to mind.

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I asked Josh what he wanted for his birthday, he told me: “I want a pirate hat for Andrew so we can play pirates. Andrew needs a pirate hat because he’s in Mommy’s belly and he doesn’t have a hat in Mommy’s belly”.

So Josh’s birthday wish was to play with his new baby brother Andrew. Well, I guess Andrew took him seriously because Kat went into labor on Josh’s birthday (15 days before her scheduled due date).

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Several hours later we were blessed with our third beautiful baby boy. Andrew James Husted was born on Josh’s 3rd birthday at 4:44 pm on 4/24/14.

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They didn’t get to play pirates, Andrew mostly slept and ate, but Josh was still thrilled to have gotten a little brother for his birthday present this year.

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Why is your brother crying?

This morning I heard the boys fighting in their room.  Zack came running into the living room and I could hear his little brother Josh crying down the hall.

Me: “What happened?”

Zack: “Josh hit me.”

I could still hear Joshua wailing down the hall.

Me: “If Josh hit you why is he the one crying?”

Zack: “Because I told him to stop!”

He's still awfully cute for someone so violent.

He’s still awfully cute for someone so violent.

I wasn’t sure whether to believe this story or not until his little brother came out, still sniffling and upset, and tattled on Zack.

Josh: “Daddy… Zack won’t let me hit him anymore.”

Oh boy, it’s going to be a long day.

The boys later worked it out in the relative safety of their trampoline.

The boys later worked it out in the relative safety of their trampoline.

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Parenting with one arm tied behind my back.

Well not really behind my back, it’s in a sling, but I’m still stuck with just one arm for the next couple weeks. The only reason I’m able to write this now because I used my iPhone and uploaded it from there to my blog.

In the days ahead there will be a lot of challenges. Everything from getting the boys dressed and fed in the morning to changing Josh’s messy diapers is going to be tough.

Zack snapped this shot of me trying to corral his little brother with just one arm.

Zack snapped this shot of me trying to corral his little brother with just one arm.

So what exactly happened to me? I had a repetitive stress injury, “medial epicondylitis” which is a fancy term for “Golfer’s elbow” and my ulna nerve (your “funny bone”) had become displaced. After living with the pain for the better part of a year and a half I finally underwent the corrective surgery to remove scar tissue and return my nerve to its proper track.

The weeks leading up to the surgery have been a blur. Knowing that I would be unable to do manual labor afterwards, I rushed to get all my “honey-do” jobs done. Not the least if which was building new furniture for the boys.

No more beating myself up doing tasks around the house. For the first time ever I’m going to have to pay someone to mow our lawn because I won’t be able to push the mower. The rest of my jobs around here are just going to have to wait.

Final assembly of the boys' beds. Thanks to my "helpers" I got it done in time.

Final assembly of the boys’ beds. Thanks to my “helpers” I got it done just in time.

These first few days after surgery while I’m still drugged out of my gourd I’ll have help with me all day. But Starting next week I’ll be on my own for part of the time. That’s what scares me.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed the boys will continue to take it easy on me. So far they’ve been pretty accommodating not to climb on me or wrestle like we normally do. Zack has being a great help bringing me pillows to prop up my arm and fetching me glasses of water. Even little Josh has been patient with me, pointing out “Daddy’s boo-boo” and not touching my arm.

Another of Zack's photos. This is how my kids see me now.

Another of Zack’s photos. This is how my kids see me now.

Just a few days into April and it’s already proving to be a crazy month. With all that’s happened in these few short days, its hard to imagine it’ll only get crazier. We’ve already survived building bedroom furniture, surgery, the boys sharing a room, and Dad being home all the time.  In the days ahead we’ll be preparing for the baby’s arrival, starting physical therapy, setting up the nursery, welcoming visiting family, Andrew’s birth, and more, and all this with one arm tied behind my back (er… in a sling).

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Three more days to torture myself

I’ve been neglecting my blog lately, but it’s been for a good reason. With a new baby arriving soon I have a ton of stuff to do and not much time to get it all done. Being on the computer has taken a back seat until I get all my “honey-do” jobs done. The deadline used to be AJ’s due date (May 9th), but now I’m having arm surgery (April 2nd) so I’m starting to panic. After the surgery my left arm will be immobilized in a splint for two weeks and once it’s off I still can’t do much for several weeks.

There’s a lot to do, and not just the usual getting ready for baby things. To make room for Andrew’s nursery, Zack and Josh will need to share a room and that means new furniture. I don’t have the time, the tools, the materials, or the skills, but I’m just insane enough to try and make it all myself. I don’t know if I’m just stubborn or a special kind of stupid, but I’m determined to make this work.

Josh "helps" me measure and cut the side rails on his big brother's bed.

Josh “helps” me measure and cut the side rails on his big brother’s bed.

Zack will get a loft bed with stairs and Josh will have a brand new “big boy bed”. Both of them will be extra-long twins and as indestructible as possible. I’ve been working on the beds every weekend and any spare minute I have. My bum arm and lack of carpentry skills has bogged things down a bit.

Zack's bed frame disassembled waiting to be sanded and stained.

Built entirely out of 2x6s and 2x4s, Zack’s bed frame disassembled waiting to be sanded and stained.

One of my father’s favorite expressions was “Measure twice, cut once”. For me it’s been more a case of “Measure three or four times, cut once, cut once more, swear at it a bit, make a trip back to Lowes, and then do it all over again.”

I turned my back for a moment and found this artful arrangement of building materials had somehow appeared. Hmmm... I think it may be my "helpers" again.

I turned my back for a moment and found this artful arrangement of building materials had somehow appeared. Hmmm…  either we have a poltergeist or it may be my “helpers” again.

The boy’s enthusiasm is encouraging, but their “help” leaves a lot to be desired. Tools and materials have a bad habit of wandering off. I even I caught Josh “playing Daddy” the other day:

“”Where’s my wrench? It was right here!”

“Now I can’t find the hammer!”

This has been a massive learning experience. While my bed construction is a tad on the crude side, it has so far proven as indestructible as I’d hoped. After I finished the frames I bolted them together and let the boys torture test Josh’s bed for a bit. It helped show me a few areas that I needed to improve and I made modifications based on that.

Let the torture test begin! It's not everyday Dad sets up a twin bed in the living room. The boys take advantage and bounce as much as possible.

Let the testing begin! It’s not everyday Dad sets up a twin bed in the living room. The boys take advantage and bounce as much as possible.

I’m getting closer to the finish line on the great furniture debacle of 2014. The beds have been made and then disassembled ready for sanding and stain, and I’ve nearly completed the staircase (with dresser drawers under each step) so it will get sanded and stained tomorrow as well.

Testing for fit. These are the stairs that Zack will use to get into his loft bed.

Testing for fit. These are the stairs that Zack will use to get into his loft bed.

Once the beds are finished and assembled I’ll post an in depth blog detailing their design and construction. I’m keeping my fingers crossed I’ll make it. I have three more days to push through the pain in my arm and do as much as I can with two crazed little boys under foot.

Well, enough computer for me… now where’d that sander go? Ugh…

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Toddler Photography Friday!

Josh gets ready to snap a few shots.

Our youngest photojournalist Josh gets ready to snap a few shots.

Its Toddler Photography Friday!!

Things have been crazy around here, but after a brief interruption, I’m back with “Toddler Photography Friday!” Zack and Josh love taking pictures, so I thought I’d kick off the weekend right and share more of their handiwork with everyone.

“We need more photos!” Taken by Josh, age 2

“We need more photos!” Taken by Josh (age 2)

Yes, as you’ve probably guessed, we’re obsessed with pictures around here. On our giant living room wall are framed pictures of the boys at various ages. Lately they’ve taken to demanding that we update our collection with even more pictures of them. I’m not sure if it’s because we don’t have any recent pictures up yet or that they are tiny egomaniacs that just want to see more of themselves. I suspect it’s the later.

“The Happy Disaster!” Taken by Zack (age 2)

“The Happy Disaster” Taken by Zack (age 2)

Ever the neat freak, Zack snapped this photo of his little brother Josh (7 months) covered in baby food. Unlike most children, Josh never quite outgrew this stage and continues to eat like a pig. Covered head to toe in food is his natural state. I’m just surprised he doesn’t have more of it up his nose.

“Ignore that guy... I’m the real ‘sexist man alive’!” Taken by Josh (age 17 months)

“Ignore that guy… I’m the real ‘sexist man alive’!” Taken by Josh (age 17 months)

While my wife and I watch “the Voice” Josh takes a ‘selfie’ letting us all know that Adam Levine doesn’t stand a chance against the power of his cuteness. J might not have been voted People Magazine’s “sexist man”, but he sure has the ego for it.

“The Right Hand of Doom” Taken by Zack (age 4)

“The Right Hand of Doom” Taken by Zack (age 4)

Zack captures the moment just before his little brother Josh obliterates his Lego tower. Don’t worry, since then many, many more towers have been built in its place (followed by many, many more obliterations).

Well that’s it for Toddler Photography this week.

Life has been pretty chaotic lately (blog entry about it soon), but I’m hopeful that I’ll get back to posting more regularly. Thanks for your patience.

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Toddler Photography Friday!

Zack would rather take pictures than leave his Dad alone to watch the football game in peace.

Zack would rather take pictures than leave his Dad alone to watch the football game in peace.

We made it to Friday so that means more photos taken by my pint sized photographers! Over the years my kids have taken hundreds of bizarre photos of just about everything and I pick out a few of the most interesting ones to share here each week. It’s always fun to see the world from their unique perspective…

“I gots me some tiny feet” taken by Josh (age 2 ½)

“I got tiny feet” taken by Josh (age 2 ½)

One of Josh’s many photos of his feet. He absolutely loves taking pictures of them, either by themselves, next to an object (for scale), or in action stomping on something. They seem to be one of his favorite subjects, and its convenient too since they’re always right there at the end of his legs.

“Great Gammy Anne’s Gams” taken by Zack (age 3)

“Great Gammy Anne’s Gams” taken by Zack (age 3)

Anyone can take a normal vacation photo, but our kids like to do things a little differently. Why just snap a picture of your family with their heads in it when you can lie down on the floor and take pictures your great Grandma’s ankles instead?

“Zeke don’t lick the camera” taken by Josh (age 1 ½)

“Zeke don’t lick the camera” taken by Josh (age 1 ½)

Once Josh was stable enough to stand and walk he loved to chase our old dog “Zeke” around the house. Fortunately for Zeke, Josh was rather slow and one well-placed head bump or lick would knock the toddler over long enough that he could make is escape. This time around Josh thought to document the dog slobber as it occurred.

“Josh and Daddy Do Dishes” taken by Zack (age 4)

“Josh and Daddy Do Dishes” taken by Zack (age 4)

This is my daily life. Doing daily chores with the little guys underfoot can be a challenge, but they enjoy “helping”. I just make sure to have lots of extra towels handy.

Well that’s it for now. Hope you had fun seeing the boys’ photos this week. Have a great weekend!

Hmmm… now where did I leave those towels?

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Dad’s sex mumble

This is the story of how my father groaned his way through teaching me about the birds and the bees…

The other day my wife pointed out
that since we have three boys and no girls, she’s off the hook and it’ll be my responsibility to eventually have “the talk” with our kids.
I’m not dreading it as much as I thought I would be. Granted my oldest boy is only four so it’s still a long ways off. We’re pretty open and honest about things around here so I have no doubt that when the time comes to teach my kids about the birds and the bees it shouldn’t be too awkward. I only hope that it goes better for me than it did for my own father.

I remember the day when Dad gave me “the talk” vividly. We lived in a large two story house with vaulted ceilings that echoed so I wasn’t too surprised when I overheard my parents downstairs talking about me. Mom had decided it was Dad’s job to teach me the facts of life and was trying her darnedest to send him on his mission.

“Warren, you’re going to have to talk to him about it” Mom insisted.

“Mmmmm…” Dad grumbled (Dad was always big with the grumbling)

“You’re his father, he should hear it from you”

“Oh…. alright.”

“Well, are you going?”

“Now?…. um… alright”

Bear in mind, at this time I was a fifteen year old sophomore in High School. I’d already learned where babies come from long ago. In elementary school I had a friend whose parents were hippie types and they had told him everything. The next day during recess we had a huddle where he went into great detail describing the process. We were all fascinated, until one by one, each boy came to the realization that that is what our parents do to one another… ew gross!

A few years later I found my brother Dale’s stash of girly magazines which cleared up any lingering questions I might have had about female anatomy and everything else was covered in Mrs. Roberts’ freshman health class (I’m still a bit traumatized by the “miracles of birth” pop-up book she showed us). Knowing what I was in for, I waited for Dad come up to have “the talk”.

I was sitting on the top step when he reluctantly came up and sat down beside me.

“So… hmmm…” he said. After this there was a moment when neither of us said anything until finally, “Hmmm…”

“Mmmm hmm?” I mumbled back, wondering where he was going with this.

“So, hmmmm… ya know…” Dad rubbed his neck and paused again, not quite sure how to start.

“Mmmm hmm” I replied.

“Mmmm hmm?” he seemed surprised.

“Uh huh” I confirmed.

“Ohhhhh” Dad seemed slightly relieved.

We both sat there next to one another on the stairs for a little bit more until Dad finally piped up with “Hmmmmm… um, hmm?”

“Um hmm” (I speak fluent Dad-ese)

“Hmmmmmm…” and with that Dad patted me on the knee, got up and went downstairs.

I could hear my parents once again. “So did you talk to him?” Mom asked. “Yeah I talked to him” Dad mumbled, “See, now that wasn’t so hard now was it?”

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Baby talk

As we get closer and closer to the due date for Andrew James, I’m trying to get our boys excited about the new addition to the family.

Move over Mickey, there's a baby coming to take your spot. Hope these two are ready for it.

Move over Mickey, there’s a baby coming to take your spot. Hope these two are ready for it.

Are you excited about getting a new little brother?

Josh: “His name is ‘Joshie’!”

Zack: “I have a brother named ‘Joshie’ too!”

Josh: “No, your brother is named ‘Zachary'”

Zack: “Hey, that’s my name!”

Josh: “Okay no, my baby brother’s name is ‘Vacuum Cleaner'”

Zack: “He no named ‘Vacuum Cleaner’, his name is ‘Chainsaw’!”

Josh: “Don’t put vacuum cleaners in your pocket.”

Zack: “No, pockets are for chainsaws”

Josh: “And baby brothers!”

At least they are kind of looking forward to the baby now, even if they do want to rename him. Don’t worry, when little “Chainsaw Vacuum Cleaner Husted” does get here, I’ll make sure to keep the boys from putting him in their pockets.

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