Diary of a SAHD: And So it Begins.

Well, we’ve come to that moment.  We have reached the end of one era and the beginning of another.  Days gone by, relegated to our memories, to be recalled fondly while sitting around a fire, burning the hell out of a marshmallow, in a hideous attempt to squeeze it between two graham crackers and a piece of Hershey’s chocolate and call it smores.  Seriously, does anyone make those things without turning them to a inedible molten lava mess?

I'm thinking smaller socks maybe.

I’m thinking smaller socks maybe.

No matter.  It’s gone, all gone now.

We signed Frank up for AYSO Soccer.

No turning back now.  First it’s soccer, then basketball, then baseball….

The lazy days of hanging in the backyard, hitting golf balls at Frank as he dodges them in his motorized tractor, are just about gone.  For those of you that have been to one, we call the game, Driving Range.  It’s just like at a real driving range where the guy drives out on the range with a tractor to scoop up all the balls and the people practicing spontaneously take aim at him.  Same thing here.

Frank drives his John Deer dump truck around the yard and I hit balls at him trying to get them to land in the truck bed.  He laughs himself silly and it’s great practice for me.  If I manage to land one in the truck bed, I do my victory dance and Frank reaches back to get the ball, while still driving, and throws it out of the truck with a snarl and as much distain on his face as he can possibly muster.  As much as we play this, I should be better at golf than I am.

Anyway, once we start down the road of organized sports, forever will it dominate our path. Driving Range will be replaced by actual driving, to and fro, hither and yon, here, there and everywhere.

It was inevitable I guess.  Just like pre-school.  I was wrong about that, Frank loved it and it was great for him.  I’m assuming the same will apply for soccer and what ever else he gets into.

That AYSO is some serious business. The online registration form was no walk in the park.  I’ve filled out applications for security clearances that were less involved then that AYSO form.  It’s not exactly the most user friendly site either.

After about 2 hours of struggling, cussing, and not being able to print the form, I grabbed up Frank and we went to the registration joint with check book in hand, but no form.  The entire drive I was steeling myself for the inevitable confrontation with the rules happy folks who must run this para-military organization.  My frustration with the inability to print the form was compounded by the fact not one sign directed us to the building we needed once we entered the park.  After turning around for the fourth time, suppressing several F-Bombs, I get this from the back seat: “Daddy, hahaha, you missed 11 roads already, hahahaha.”

I am now ready to throw down with the first senior citizen volunteer who tells me I need the printed form from the web site.

Turns out that was a big build up for nothing. A dude comes up to me and I start in on my tale of woe.  He says, “If you were able to submit the form on the site but just can’t print it, no worries. Give your money to the girl there, get your uniforms from the table there.”

Alrighty then.  So the girl taking the money was 20, maybe.  The lady running the uniform table was 35, maybe.  The dude greeting us when we walked up was 40, maybe 43.  In other words I was the oldest person in the entire park, by years.

In the end it took all of 6 minutes to drop a check, get tiny tim his pint sized soccer uniform, and think up some pretty lame excuses why I couldn’t volunteer to coach Frank’s team for an hour each Saturday.

Of course Frank is ecstatic.  The socks are his favorite part of the uniform.  He was able to “ice skate” on our wood floors all day long.

All and all Frank’s organized athletic career is off to blazing start.

As for me, well at least eight weeks of four year olds playing soccer should yield a few blog posts.

I’m going to miss playing Driving Range.

Diary of a SAHD: What a year a baby makes.

July 26 2012

July 26 2012

So we’ve been doing a lot of celebrating with this kid. We partied a little when she came home. We partied hard for her first birthday. We then partied mildly hard for her baptism and her due date, which turned out to be the same day. That was by sheer coincidence of scheduling.

Now we just got finished with a small party for the anniversary of her being home one year. Hard to believe it’s been a year already, until we looked at the pictures from then till now. Trust me, there are tons of pictures. This business of the first child getting all the attention and the second child barely getting in a picture, yeah not the case here. I’m a little surprised we can even find shot of Frank amongst the avalanche of Anne Marie pictures.


As has become the norm with this kid, words are useless. Pictures tell a much better story.  And as I said we have a metric ton of photos, so for your viewing pleasure, one year at home….

From this...

From this…

...to this

…to this











From here ....

From here ….

...to this

…to here












From bath time...  Who farted?

From bath time… Hey who farted?

...to pool time.  Hey who farted?!

…to pool time. Yeah, alright, it was me.  I farted.











And finally from basically being immobile to walking in a year.  And yeah, that’s a golf club in her hand.  It was un-prompted, not staged, it’s just the first thing she picks up in the mornings. Probably a balance issue, but who cares.  Frank didn’t pick one up till he was two, and now he’s walking 18 holes with me at four years old.  She’ll probably be better than both of us in a few years.

So, happy one year at home kid.  Glad you decided to stay around for a while.

Just a cupcake, but still pretty nice.

Just a cupcake, but still pretty nice.

Yeah, good to be home.

Yeah, good to be home.

















Diary of a SAHD: “This is not a rock kicking contest Mr. Linardo.”

And so began my relationship with one William McClory. In 1975 Mr. McClory was a teacher at my grade school, St Vincent de Paul, in Mays Landing New Jersey.  Several years later he became Bill Man, my brother-in-law. Married to my oldest sister Jane, or Jannie Cakes as my brother Tommy refers to her.  Then he became father to my godson, Sean, a great kid.  I’ll save you all the arithmetic, I have 7 brothers and sisters.  I am seventh in line, Jannie Cakes is third and oldest sister of five.  She was 10 years younger than Bill.

In the classroom doing work.

In the classroom doing work.

A year or two after they married, Bill Man became my beach buddy.  I got to spend a week with Bill Man and my sister at their house in Woodbine,  not far from Sea Isle City, NJ.  Osage Ave, as they called the place (this is a south Jersey/Phila reference to the Move org – google it) was a little oasis that summer.

Bill and I would hit the beach around 9:30-10am and pick our spot.  Had the whole joint to ourselves. Then we would mock the shoobies as they trudged onto the beach around 1pm. (shoobies – people from phila so named because they carried all their crap to the beach in shoe boxes in the late 50ies, now it’s just a term of derision)

Bill taught me to surf, we played endless games of horse shoes on the beach and he taught me how to pee in the ocean right before loading up to go home.  Quite possibly the funniest thing he ever did, Bill would put on his visor, sunglasses, pick up his can of coke that was actually rum and coke, and hoof down to the water, going in about waist high.  Then he would stand there, gazing out over the ocean and all of God’s creations with this go to hell stance, hands on hips, head moving slowly back and forth, all the while peeing as if no one knew what he was doing.

No one would mess with him anyway.  He grew up there.  Bill was mayor of that beach.

That one week became a summer ritual almost the entire time I lived in South Jersey.

A graduate of LaSalle College in Philadelphia, an ROTC graduate during the Vietnam era with a extremely high and extremely lucky draft number, Bill spent his life teaching kids in grade school. Hell he taught me a ton.  Not the least of which, it really wasn’t a rock kicking contest.  From that very first encounter in the schoolyard parking lot when I was in third grade, to the last time I saw him on a visit home to Jersey, he was always teaching.

He was cool.  And I miss him. Bill died suddenly this year, way too early.

My life in Knoxville has prevented me from getting home for some major family events.  But missing his funeral hurts the most.

Seems like only yesterday Mr. McClory was coming over to play ice hockey on the lake across the street with my two older brothers.

On the water with his son.  A smile that's hard to forget.

On the water with his son. A smile that’s hard to forget.

Today is Bill Man’s birthday.

No ocean to pee in here in Knoxville Bill Man. But today I taught Frank how to pee outside on a tree.

I’ll be damned if he didn’t put his hands on his hips and slowly look around while he did it.