Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: Not to be outdone…

This Halloween has been a lot of fun.  At the age of 3 Frank is finally getting it and enjoying putting on his costume.  Big school party today so he got to show off.

Too cool for school.

Frank’s costume is cool.  I mean when are flight suits not cool on a 3 year old.  Especially when you consider the only thing not authentic are the boots he’s wearing.  The patches are all real and from my old unit in Jersey.  The flight cap is official Air Force issue and the LT Col Oak Leaf on the hat is from his Uncle’s Army uniform.  Frank added the sunglasses for show.  The boots turned out to be somewhat of a disappointment at first but then became funny.

We got the boots at the last second and for a steal. Patent leather boots for ten bucks.  So I slap them on this morning to send Frank off to school.  He takes one step and I hear a squeak like from a dog’s chew toy.  He starts running, and I get running dog chew toy noises.  The heels of these freaking boots have squeaky noisy things in them.  Frank loved it.  I didn’t.  I also didn’t think he teachers would be to fond of it either.  I sent  a pair of shoes along with him in case it started to drive them batty, but they were fine with it.  They said the noise of the class drowned out his boots anyway. However they called him squeaky all day long.  Gotta be careful with stuff like that.  One bad nickname can stick to you for the rest of your life.  You think dudes like being called stinky, or skippy, or tiny (normally a fat guy), their whole lives?  Anyway,  while Frank’s costume was cool and entertaining at the same time, his sister’s costume was awesome.

His sister of course is only 7 months old and could give a flying rats behind about halloween unless that means unlimited bottles and more nap time on daddy.  But that’s not to say she didn’t get into, or get forced into, the spirt of the whole thing.  She can’t go outside because it’s flu and RSV season, and those things are bad news for any little kid, but even more so for a preemie.  But Tracy wanted her to have a costume, so we had to come up with a costume.  Tracy came up with a great idea and Grammy’s unparalleled sewing skills came through again.

There was really only one appropriate costume for this kid to wear.  Check it.

That’s our Super Girl.
















Here is the cape.

Yeah, it’s ten kinds of awesome.















It was so obvious really.  She couldn’t be anything but Super Girl.  She’s been that for 7 months now.  She didn’t get to spend too much time outside.  Grammy brought her out to the halloween pizza party in our cul-de-sac but too may germy kids and the temp drove Super Girl back inside.

Much like Super Man, who was impervious to every weapon and every enemy ever, but could be felled by one little rock from his home planet, she can deal with heart surgeries, getting the wrong medication, no heart beat, no breathing, etc… but one little germ could be the end of her.  Just can’t risk the flu or RSV.  We’ve come so far, no need to screw it up now.

Even Super Girl has her kryptonite.


Good cause update: Look what Y’all did.


Goal met. And then some. Thanks y’all.


















Wow.  Not much else to say, except thanks.  It’s a great cause and one that’s hit home for my family.  My sister will be a survivor.

For the Warden!


My Aunt Joan is a survivor.

This day was specifically for breast cancer but my brother-in-law Bob just recently beat cancer and is also in his maintenance mode.

So it’s a big deal.

Apparently Knoxville thinks it’s a big deal too.  About 10,000 people showed up to run/walk this thing.  And it was cold.  Not northeast cold, but Knoxville cold.  About 50 degrees at race time.  And then the rain started.  It occurred to me that only golfers and charity race runners are up this early on a Saturday.  Although as a gofer, I would not have put a toe out from under the covers in this weather.

Here is the squad that braved the weather.

It’s cold. It’s raining. It’s a good cause.

As I said this is a big event in Knoxville for a lot of good reasons.  The Susan G. Komen foundation does a great job with it.  They have to.  Herding 10,000 people into position who aren’t listening to the directions over the loud speakers requires some skill.

Here is what they were up against.

Just us some of our 10,000 close friends out for a walk.


The lady on the right in the pink hat is a 29 year survivor.

She thanks you.  My sister thanks you.  I thank you.

Friends of Frank’s Place – you came up big.

Here is the link if you still want to get in on it.

Team Kathy




Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: A good cause, always a good cause

So me and the misuses (Tracy) are doing our first charity event.  Well second actually.  A lot of you read about the big fundraiser UT Medical had where they interviewed Tracy and a few other parents about the experience in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  If not, you can see that here: Four weeks and Famous.

But this is our first event since bringing Anne Marie home in July.  Surprisingly, it’s not for her, or for premature babies, or for the NICU at all.  It’s the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a walk for Breast Cancer Awareness.  While we were in our little bubble of going to the hospital every day for four months, sometimes twice a day, life apparently moved on every where else for most.

In that moving on, my little sister heard words no one wants to hear.  “You have breast cancer.”   Of the eight of us siblings, she’s definitely the talker.  She was rendered speechless, for an entire day.  So shaken was I, that a day and a half passed before I could even muster up the courage to call her, fearing I would not be able to keep my composure.  I’m actually struggling as I type this.

As I said she’s the talker out of the eight of us, and probably the toughest, and my five sisters are as tough as they come.  My two brothers are the oldest of our brood and I remember plenty of times where my oldest sister Jane, and my little sister Kathy, would have both of them cowering in a corner or fleeing for their lives out the front door; chasing them with a hair brush or a long piece of orange Hot Wheels track.  We had some wicked bare knuckle fights when we were little.  She has become sort of the engine of the family and we call her The Warden for good reason.

It took her about a day or so to get up off the mat and make a plan.  Not unlike her frequent trips to The Container store, she has this whole deal organized.

Tracy and I want to help, but we live 700 miles away.  So Tracy has organized a team to run, (ok probably walk), in the 3 mile Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event here in Knoxville.  It’s a small thing, but it’s what we have at the moment.

Here’s the ask.  If you would like to help us in this endeavor go to Tracy’s team web site and drop some pennies.  Any amount is appreciated.  Team Tracy: Race for the Cure

Here are a few shots I know I’ll be in trouble for.  This was my father’s 80 birthday in 2009. Kathy is the bottom left.

Jimmy, Tommy, Jane, Carol, me, Susan, Mary Grace, Kathy, Mom and Pop.

This next shot is after some arduous camera instruction by Kathy.  As I said there is a reason we call her The Warden.  The inmates were starting to revolt.

Natives getting restless. Tommy never gets caught. Until this picture.