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If you could have a super power, what would it be?

The ability to mute anyone, any time...

Ask me anything

Ask me anything

Took a softball off the leg last night. Can you tell?

The stress of daycare

I believe sending your kids to daycare is a right of passage. It’s a mile stone. It’s the Pièce de résistance of your kids infant years. Pat yourself on the back, you made it this far! Now its time for the next step; social interaction.

My mother always told me horror stories about how much I threw a fit when she dropped me off at school. My aunt also. Apparently I would throw myself on the ground, kick and scream and cry. I’m not totally convinced that this happened. After all, I don’t remember it.

We stuck our kids in a new daycare two weeks ago. This was a massive change not only for our kids but also for Crystal and I. It means less time on the road, less miles on our vehicles and more adult social interaction between my wife and I; priceless. It also means a brand spanking new change for our kids. Different schedule, strange people and a cesspool of disease and sickness that they have never been exposed to. Crystal and I were nervous.

Here is your opportunity to say “I told you so”. Dropping the kids of the first week was a nightmare. Liam was hysterical and did not want to go. When people tell you their horror stories, its just that; a story. They can not articulate the feeling inside that you get when you see your child screaming in terror, wanting nothing more than for you to come back and hold them. It’s probably one of the worst feelings you’ll experience as a parent.

Here is the kicker… Walk away for 30 seconds, come back and they are fine. They’ve moved on, playing with blocks or trains or a big trough of pinto beans. It’s amazing how fast the drama begins and ends. It’s a roller coaster ride for sure. It’s not easy…

I’ve come to the conclusion that while it’s probably difficult for my kids, it’s much harder for the parents. We stress out about it all day, hoping things are going well. Our kids aren't worrying about us. They aren't hoping mom and dad are doing ok. They are thinking about and stressing over who took their toy, how much paint they can get on their clothes and how many blocks they can stack without knocking them over.

We worry too much as parents and torture ourselves over such little things. Crystal and I are paying $400 a week to stress ourselves out. It’s time to relax a bit. My kids aren't a car payment. The first week cam and went, they are doing fine know. Drop-offs are easy, they seem happy; we are happy.


P.S. I forgot to mention the side effects of day care. My kids are total brats at home now. Just another fantastic milestone in parenting. Enjoy your kids!

He's at it again!

La Jolla Vacation
Originally uploaded by Crystal & Billy
I really need to work on my sons drug problem...

Crystal's Edumacated

Today was Crystal's graduation!

She graduated with a BS in Management!

She's not technically done until she completes one more class and pays even more money to the school to have a diploma mailed to her. In other words, SHE'S DONE!

Or is she? We've been tossing around the idea of Crystal continuing higher education and getting a master's degree. It would take 12 five week classes to complete and would cost us $18,000.

I've come up with two reasons why I think she wants to continue...

1) School is mentally challenging and she likes that (even if she tells you she doesn't). She likes staying busy and she likes working out complex issues.

2) She's setting a precedence in our family. No one in our family has accomplished this on my side or her's. Only one person in our extended family has (Uncle Al).

My opinion on it is this:

The economy is terrible right now. I don't see an end in site. In fact, I imagine it getting a whole lot worse than it already is. As a friend of mine says "The ship is sinking". I figure now is the time to snag the low interest rate student loans while they are available.

It is going to be more difficult for companies to borrow money (worse than it is now). This translates into companies making much less than they are now. Salaries may decline but regardless of that I believe companies are going to be more particular with employment decisions. I suspect that employment strategies will change in a way that companies aggressively filter out people without experience or education. Companies will target top-notch people because they'll need these top-notch people to keep the companies afloat during the down economy. It won't be like before where a company can afford to take a risk on a person they were not 110% comfortable in. That sucks because taking risks like that is a part of business. Our company took a risk like that on me and it paid off for both of us.

Based on this logic, and given someone with several years of banking experience, management experience and a master's degree, I think it will make her very marketable in a down economy. Actually in any economy...

Being marketable is important to me. We both love our jobs but will it always be that way? Will we always enjoy and respect the people we work with? Will we always work together? Will the company always be in business? These are very real issues that you'd be foolish not to address. Because we work for the same company you could say that Crystal and I have all our eggs in one basket right now. It makes sense to get a little insurance for our family in the form of higher education.

I think the fact that we have a working relationship (literally) makes life a lot easier on both of us. We can talk to each other at work, we can run work concepts by each other, we carpool sometimes. It makes it really easy for us to live life and it makes it easier for both of us to find time for school.

Ok, that was a very long opinion.

As far as I'm concerned, Crystal is kicking ass and taking names. As a new wife, mother of two, working mom and full time student, Crystal has managed to keep our ship running smoothly.

Congratulations Crystal, you truly are awesome! I say don't stop now because you may never start again. Get that masters degree and make us all proud!

Copy Cat's

Don't you just love when your kids copy EVERYTHING you do? This is Crystal doing squats on wii active and Liam is doing them right along with her.

As cheesy as this may sound, it's actually nice to have activities where they whole family can get involved. I can't wait to show Liam how to play Tiger Woods golf. Of course I'll need a screen protector for the TV before I even try that.

Hand me downs

Growing up I recall getting a lot of hand-me-downs. When I was old enough to understand what a hand-me-down was I hated it. As a kid it is normal to want new toys, games, shoes, etc. I liked new things and it sometimes sucked seeing friends get new things while I'd get a hand-me-down. My brother probably feels the same way. I'm sure he got my hand-me-downs. It's an endless cycle of child torture.

It just now occurred to me how great hand-me-down's are. Young people; well they are stupid and can't see the value in a hand me down. Now that I'm old and no longer stupid (my assertion is debatable by some), I truly understand the value of a hand-me-down.

Both of these plastic baby-sitters are hand-me-down's and are valuable to so many ways. Most importantly is the smiles on their face.

Money is the root of all evil

Easter, 2009
Give a kid some money and a piggy bank and look what happens.
(Click the picture for a larger view)

This may have been a mistake. Now that he's had the piggy bank experience, each time we bring it out he freaks out in excitement, which is cool, but when we put it away, world war three begins.

Hey Liam, catch this!

Yes, I felt bad after this happened. It's funny, so I'm posting it.

Can you keep another secret?

 Part duex - Do you think anyone would notice that my child is smoking marijuana? Shhhh, don't say anything!

P.S. picture was taken @ the Thunder in the Desert air show.
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A real-life cone-head

 I thought it was just a movie...
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Mister Potato Head

 I think most people can agree that Mister Potato Head is a classic. I find it amazing when I see things that last for generations. It is not often that someting you played with as a kid, or thought was cool at some time in your life, will be appreciated in the same way by your children. Someone got Liam a Mister Potato Head (Giant) that had Mister Potato Head's and mini Mister Potato Head's inside of it. In the spacious toy room I call our house, it seems like there are bits and pieces of this spud everywhere. I suspect the reason Liam loves this toy so much is because he's got a builders mind. He's always trying to construct things and then knock them down. Also, this toy has many features. For example, the giant hat is really cool when spun on a finger. Even cooler when you spin it on the tile like a top. Even cooler then that when you spin it like a top and put the mini spuds in it. Even the cousins get in on the action.

Can you keep a secret?

Do you think anyone would notice that my child is smoking marijuana? Shhhh, don't say anything!

P.S. picture was taken @ the Santan Mall pimp slide.
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My Dream as a Father

I grew up with out a father. I knew of him and he briefly came into my life when I was very young, but he was never a part of my life. My father figures were my coaches in sports and my mom, aunt and grandmother.

I wanted to make sure that when I had a son, that I’d give him all the love and bonding that I never got from my dad. The concept is simple really. Your children are an extension of your flesh and blood. You are there to raise them, protect the and love them. It is easy for me to say my dad is a chicken shit who lacked common sense.

Even without a father, I was always the sports stud. The sport didn’t matter; I was great at it (golf not included). Even so, I could have been better at everything. What if my dad would have thrown the ball with me in the back yard? What if he would have taught me how to run the football and tackle people? What if I didn’t have to teach myself all these things by watching others do this? Would I have been NFL or MLB material? Maybe, I can’t really say for sure. What I can do is take the mistakes that my father made and stick them up his ass.

Liam is coming into his own. He’s not the baby anymore. The other day I was playing ball with him and he played back. It was the greatest feeling in the world. I felt for the first time that I was giving him something I never had and it felt great. He’s got this copy cat thing going on right now and it is very cool. If I go in the yard and kick a ball around, he’ll do the same. If I try to run and balance on the curbing, he’ll do that same. I know this will come back to bite me eventually, but it freaking cool.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some video of Liam and I breaking some rules and playing catch in the house:

I want a Cadillac CTS

In fact, every time I see one on the road or on those commercials with that sexy red head I do this:

Poof, you have a sister!

Liam loves his sister. He constantly wants to hold her, kiss her and be around her. When she cries, he shows concern. It’s really neat to observe this behavior. The problem is its an interruption to his daily routine. He takes this frustration on us the parents. So far, its been manageable. We did a professional photo shoot yesterday and I thought I was going to pull my hair out. Poopu diapers, screaming babies and acting like a little devil… I hear that he shares some of my own similarities when I was that age. He’s acting out towards us but no worries, its seems to be a cry for attention. He still wants to be the baby but he’s not anymore; he’s the big boy.

I read that this blows over. I hope it blows over soon. Do the terrible twos last for days, weeks, months or years?  

Kennadie Hope Coover

Born on January 7th, 2009. She was 8lbs, 8oz and a screaming bundle of joy.


Click here to see a slideshow of her first few pictures.

Click here to compare Kennadie’s first pictures to Liam’s first pictures.

Male labor...

It's 1:18, 42 degrees out, and I'm sleeping in my van...


Darth Vader

 Maybe this is how it all started... He was a young Jedi knight and a hero. Maybe it wasnt Palpatine who forces him to the dark side. Maybe, just maybe, he had asthma and needed alburterol treatments and liked the way he sounded...
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Christmas, 2008

Christmas was fun this year. It was a little easier to hang lights now that Liam is a big boy:

It turned out great:

Almost as good as our neighbors:

Opening gifts was a blast:

Robin got gum stuck in her hair:

We found America's next top model:

Played apples to apples:

And crashed the train: