Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: Is there a doctor in the house?

Paging Dr Vinnie Boom Bots, Dr Vinnie Boom Bots please report to the sick ward.

In case you were wondering the sick ward is here…

Not puking, just napping

Not puking, just napping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and here.  Tracy is on the other side of the bed, but I’m not allowed to show her.

Lenny the Lamb always has Frank's back

Lenny the Lamb always has Frank’s back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sickness has finally found us.  We had been dodging the germs so well too. Everybody has a temp except me.  Everybody is consequently laying in bed, except me.

The baby is not a good patient.  She’s needy, demanding, impatient and cranky.  Had about enough of her.  Frank and Anne Marie (pictured), on the other hand are model patients.  Frank just needs Lenny, an iPad with Thomas cartoons queued up, his juice, a pop-tart and he’s good to go.

Anne Marie, well, she just goes helpless and really only needs to be held.  That I can do all day.  AM had been doing well.  We have made it through the majority of the flu season without an issue.  Of the 3 sickos here she has the slightest temp and nothing else.  One more month of flu season and we will declare victory.  It’s been a long winter as she’s been confined to the house and restricted from visitors other than direct family members.  Come April she should be a free range chicken and make some appearances outdoors for the first time in a long while.

I have found some benefits to everyone being felled by slight fevers and congestion. Everyone naps all day.  Drug em all up, tuck em in bed and the house gets pretty quiet. Aside from the running up and down the stairs with food and drink requests, finding a wayward binker, or re-fluffling a pillow, it’s been a long but tame week and a half.  Well, tame as far as sick wards go anyway.

The one hazard, Frank has taken up residence in our bed.  And since Tracy has taken up residence there as well and according to the Pauli exclusion principle two objects can’t occupy the same place at the same time, Frank is on my side of the bed. (of course Pauli was referring to electrons, but Frank moves like an electron sometimes so the analogy works)

A quick shout out to Grammy and Uncle Butch & Aunt Sally as they have stepped in to take AM out of the house when the other two were at their sickest.

Things will be a little slow at Frank’s Place for a bit as we continue to deal with the plague.

Stay healthy my friends.

Edward Vincent Devlin Jr. – A profile of a great American

Edward Vincent Devlin Jr.

Edward Vincent Devlin Jr.

In 1992 I was fortunate enough to meet Senator John McCain and the then surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen.  It was at an Air Force Sergeants’ Association banquet in Indianapolis, Indiana.  As a young airman myself, only 4 years into a 22 year career, I was more than a little star struck.  I remember thinking how awesome it was, the chance to meet such great Americans.

What an idiotic thought that was.

Now don’t get me wrong, those men were and are great Americans and their service to this country and their contribution to our freedom may go unmatched.  The idiotic part was thinking I had not already met some great Americans.  Even dumber was the implied premise I had constructed that you had to have grand achievements and be noticed by a bunch of people in order to be considered a great American.

Mr. Devlin blows that premise out of the water.  To most of you this matters not a bit, and that’s ok.  Really no way you could know who he is, or why I consider him to be a great American.  But if you read on I’ll tell you who he is and why he is.

I met Kevin Devlin, or Duffy as we called him, when I started working in the Sears hardware department, back in Jersey, in 1985.  Man, Duff was a different dude.  Respectful to a fault, always on time, never left early, work hard from punch in to punch out (time cards kids – look it up), and the most conscientious kid you will ever meet.  Sadly those qualities made you standout, as they were not the norm in that joint.  The manager introduced me to Kevin and later told me she doesn’t mess with the stockroom, Kevin has it squared and we like it that way.  I said, “He looks like he’s only 12.” She said “17, but that’s ok, he’s the best worker in the place and he’s all ours.”

It took six weeks of Air Force basic training for me to learn the labels for the traits that made Kevin a “different dude”: character, honesty, leadership, followership, desire to do well just to do well.  Duff has those in spades.  I had seen them before, in my old man, just didn’t know what they were called.  I also learned in those six weeks at Lackland AFB that people don’t come by those traits by accident.  They are taught and they are learned and hopefully they are applied.  Ed Devlin had taught his youngest son well.

So Mr. Devlin taught the kid to be a stand up guy, respectful and respected.  What else did he do?  Oh nothing really, other than serve his country almost the entirety of his adult life.

A United States Marine, Mr. Devlin served in Korea with distinction during the war. After getting home he became a New Jersey State Trooper.  He served the state of New Jersey as a Trooper for 31 years retiring as a Lieutenant.  During that time he, along with his wife, raised a family of 7 kids: the afore mentioned Kevin, two more boys and four daughters.

He sought no fame, no fortune.  He chased no excess.  He gave and he served.

Some of you may be saying, so what, a lot of people do this, what makes him great?

Good question.

Answer: All of it.

The people who tend to get labeled great are such because of their ability on a court or field, or because of their acquisition of enormous wealth.  Some get that label for just being born into families of athletes or millionaires and somehow become famous for no apparent reason and we are left scratching our heads asking why.  For some it seems the more bizarre the circumstances surrounding their tragic and untimely death, the higher the pedestal they are put on, the more notoriety they receive.  This appears to be society’s definition of great.

I’m tired of that definition.

Mr. Devlin never asked for applause, limelight, or tried to put his kids birth pics on the cover of People Magazine for a hefty sum.  He built a life, raised a family, served his fellow man, and taught his kids to do the same.

This is what greatness should look like.  This is how we should define it.  These are the people who should be celebrated.  This is what we should strive for I think.

Look through that lens and I bet you know a lot more great Americans than you thought.  When you think of someone fitting that definition you should tell people, people should know it and we should celebrate them.

Edward Vincent Devlin Jr. is a Marine, a father, and a great American and I think people should know it.

Semper Fidelis or Semper Fi, the Latin term for Always Faithful, is the common exchange between Marines when they come and go in combat or everyday life.  I’m not a Marine so I’ve not earned the right.  I’ll close with an Air Force tradition when one of ours takes their final flight to the heavens.

Blue Skies Mr. Devlin

A reblog from my political venture with an old Air Force buddy. Click the link and take a listen.

Unfiltered and Unfettered

Well, who would have thought we’d still be on the air for a 2nd episode?  I guess the old adage rings true, money talks.

Great episode for you today.  As you’ll come to find out we are all over the map, so if you don’t like something, keep listening I bet we hit on your favorite topic.

Episode two covers everything from the Super Bowl to the NJ Senator Menendez prostitute scandal, a possible civil war in the republican party, and all points in between.

The main topic tonight is the President’s drone war, plus Tony lands our first interview with a very high level government official.

If you have topic suggestions or questions or if you just want to pick a fight with us over something we said, email us at theunmail@yahoo.com.

So for your listening pleasure just click the link and enjoy.

Episode 2: The Drone Wars

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Diary of a Stay At Home Dad: A girl stands in Knoxville!

Grainy, like a Sasquatch photo

Grainy, like a Sasquatch photo

Apparently a certain premie missed the memo.   She ain’t supposed to do that yet.  Or is she?  The picture to the left is her standing unassisted. For the first time.  Ever.  The picture is so bad because I had to haul the mail (my posterior) to my office to get my phone and then haul it back to 1. take the picture and 2. be there in case she experienced gravity for the first time.

So I was one for two, sue me.

Why is this a big deal aside from the gratuitous bragging of any father who thinks his kids are more special then everyone else’s?  Well, to you it probably isn’t, but for us…   I mean, I can’t even tell you the day Frank walked for the first time.   He was into his 15th month, I know that.  It was a special moment as it is for all of us when our kids walk or stand for the first time, but this moment with Anne Marie has a little more excitement and quite frankly a little more surprise in it then when Frank first went bi-pedic.

Now she’s not walking, just pulling herself up on to her feet.  But we’ll take that.  She’s 10 months old technically.  But she was born 3 1/2 months early so her adjusted age is 6 1/2 months old.  You get the hang of the definition and mathematics of “adjusted age” pretty quick when your kid weighs 1lb 12oz and is 12 inches long at birth.  What gets hard to keep up with is development milestones.

She smiles when she farts, oh is that supposed to happen at 5 months actual or 2 months adjusted?  (apparently that’s not really on the milestone chart, who knew)  Her melon is as big as a volleyball – crap, is it supposed to be that big at 6 months actual or 3 months adjusted?  It can be a guessing game.  I’ll admit a fun one sometimes.

Standing at 10 months actual.  No guesses needed.  That’s freaking huge.  I don’t even care where it falls on the development chart.  The bigger issue is the problem solving she engaged in.  Using the rungs on the chair she hoisted her self to her feet.  She’s under the kitchen table because she wanted to see what’s under there. That’s not reflex, that’s thinking and curiosity.  For me those are better indicators then her actually standing.

Here is what she looked like at 1 week actual, negative 3 months 1 week adjusted – meaning still supposed to be in the womb.

Great grip for a baby 3 months pre-mature.  Another golfer I think.

Great grip for a baby 3 months pre-mature. Another golfer I think.

At the time of this picture we really weren’t sure she would ever open her eyes let alone stand.  That’s my not very fat or very long finger she’s holding.  She was barely longer than my hand at that point.  So to go from the picture on the left to this one –

Caught ya!

Caught ya!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– is a pretty momentous occasion for all involved.  And no I didn’t cry, something flew in my ey… yeah OK I cried a little.   Yeah alright I cried a lot, but not like a school girl cry, well maybe a tough school girl.

Anyway, then next important question is what would she do with her new found skill. That was an easy one.  No need to check the milestone chart, age adjusted or otherwise, for that answer.

Don't mess with the premie!

Don’t mess with the premie!

She opened a can of pint size azz whuppin, that’s what.  In technical terms she converted the potential energy generated by standing up straight, into kinetic energy by comin off the top turnbuckle with an atomic elbow and falling at 9.8 meters per second per second (3.22 ft per sec per sec for you english only folk).  Or in this case sliding sideways off the ottoman after losing her grip, landing squarely on her brother.  Same thing really.  It is.

Trust me man, I’m a scientist.

But I’m also a betting man.  So now that she has stood upright like those Homo Erectus, (Erecti?) so long before her, it’s time to take bets as to when she will walk for the first time.  Make your guess in age by months.  In other words she stood up at 10 months actual, will she walk at 12 months actual, 13 months actual etc…

Once she does take those first steps Frank and I will come back to this post and pick the person closest to the number one way or the other.

 

 

 

 

Frank's Place T-shirt

Frank’s Place T-shirt

The winner gets their choice of a Frank’s Place T-shirt or one of the 5 original rough drafts of the book, shown here, complete with errors and edits.

psst... go for the t-shirt

psst… go for the t-shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So guess away in the comment section.  Lets hope we get a winner sooner than later.