ATTACK OF THE KILLER BEES! Okay, BEE!

Bean, I think this apple is smarter than Daddy.

Let’s see…I needed someplace to go for our daily field trip, and I still hadn’t fed the boys lunch…Got it! COSTCO! Buddy and Bean ogled the sample ladies and feasted on tasty snacks while Daddy ogled $15 linen shirts and the colorful boxes full of Leinenkugel seasonal beers. It was a perfect afternoon, until…
The boys were strapped into their car seats, sharing a banana while I loaded up the SUV. Just before the lift-gate thunked shut, I saw a bee fly inside the trunk! My heart sank! Don’t panic, Jon! I double timed it to open the lift-gate and the front doors. For some reason, I thought to grab a banana of all things off the front seat, like it was a butcher knife from the kitchen counter. (Works in the movies, right?) Without alerting the boys, I inspected the vehicle. Nothing. I waited a minute. Still nothing. Yet something told me to take another look. Just as I started to dissect the boxes in back…ATTACK!!! 
That little buzzing bastard zipped right past my head! It’s okay now Jon….PANIC!!!! I tapped the close button on the gate as I circled the car, the bee dead on my ass! I slammed the doors shut! Now I can hear Buddy yelling from the car “WHAT’S WRONG DAD!?” What he witnessed next will take years to explain…Daddy, SWATTING and STABBING the air at some invisible assailant like a schizophrenic Mime! The little asshole buzzed my legs…KICK and a MISS! He hovered in my face…SWING and a MISS! I flung the banana across the parking lot in hopes that prick would follow. No good. He was not going to stop until he laid a stinger into my doughy ass! He came at my face once more…eyes on the ball Jon…The wind-up…the swing…POW!!! 
I knocked that honey-lovin’ little ass-stinger back a few feet and DARTED for the car!!! I SLAMMED the door behind me as that angry killer flew straight into my window like those dipshit birds that bounce off your house! My heart was racing! Calm down Jon, compose yourself. “Who were you fighting, Dad?” asked a confused and concerned Buddy. “A bee, Buddy. I was fighting a bee.” “Was he a big bee, Dad?” “No Buddy, not really.” “Then why were you scared, Dad?” BECAUSE I’M A PUSSY AND I WAS TRYING TO PROTECT YOU, I thought as I put the car in drive and pulled away, still looking over my shoulder…
F**k you, bee. Today is MINE!

CLASH OF THE COUPLES IS COMING…LITERALLY!!!



As I sat on the toilet, tapping out my submission for this book from my phone, hoping to get picked, I never imagined Shitter Draft 1 would have been accepted!? Yet, here we are! The mere fact that I’m on the same list as these writers is humbling to say the least. THANK YOU Michelle and Crystal for the nudge and the opportunity! And THANK YOU to all my friends following One Funny Daddy! Lets face it. If it weren’t for you stirring things up, I wouldn’t be typing this right now. Alright, I’m done sucking ass…Scroll down to take a peek inside ‘Clash’ and check out that list of writers! That list is lengthy, AND girthy!


                        

                         
CoupledomFact or fableAdam and Eve birthed the perpetual relationship drama as seen on TV today. Despite the serpents,this couple HAD IT MADE. Luxury real estate, lush gardens, and privacy out the yin-yangLife was glorious until the bare-bottomed babe could no longer resist temptation. Despite herbetter half’s warnings and threats to sleep in a tree, she tastedthe forbidden fruit. One bite of that seductive, juicy contrabandanthe stage was set for eternity a nibble that has blossomed into an endless supply of tiny tidbits that divide lovers to this day!

Taking a cue from the naked explorers of authentic sin, Clash of the Couples is a new anthology featuring a collection of completely absurd lovers’ squabbles and relationship spats.Think couples fight over kids, sex, and money? Think again! Furniture, the last beer, and where to store the placenta are what genuinely ignite our feuds. And no argument is off limits. This book has it all!

Inside you’ll find a gut-busting compilation of stories such as: “I Can’t Believe You Ate My Sandwich,” “Never Assume Anything,” “Only I Can Talk About Me,” and “You Want Some College Boobs?” from forty-three fearless writers. Prepare to laugh, roll your eyes, and shiver in suspense. While Eve may have had the first bite, we ate the whole tree. And made pies. 

Published by Blue Lobster Book Co.Clash of the Couples launches loudly and obnoxiously on November 3, 2014You’ll hear us coming, but look for it on Amazon, B&N, Apple, and other places where you typically buy books. For instant updates,follow along on Facebook!


This AMAZING lineup includes:

Andrew S. Delfino of Almost Coherent Parent
Crystal Ponti of MommiFried
Camille DeFer Thompson of Camille DeFer Thompson
Meredith Napolitano of From Meredith to Mommy
Chris Dean of pixie.c.d.
Linda Roy of elleroy was here
Kevin Zelenka of Double Trouble Daddy
Sarah Cottrell of Housewife Plus
R.C. Liley of Going Dad
Mary Widdicks of Outmanned
Marie Bollman of Make Your Own Damn Dinner
Ginny Marie of Lemon Drop Pie
Mike Reynolds of Puzzling Posts
Leigh-Mary Hoffmann of Happily Ever Laughter Blog
Lisa Petty of Lisa R. Petty
Lynn Shattuck of The Light Will Find You
Jeff Bogle of Out With The Kids
Stacey Gustafson of Are You Kidding Me?
Angela Godbout of FRaPS
Courtney Conover of The Brown Girl with Long Hair
Jenny Hills of Express Bus Mama 
Marcia Kester Doyle of Menopausal Mother
Julia Arnold of Frantic Mama
Jessica Azar of Herd Management
Susan A. Black of I Like That
Sarah del Rio of est. 1975
M. Nicole R. Wildhood of Naught Be All Else
Angela Keck of Writer Mom’s Blog
Alexa Bigwarfe of No Holding Back
Brian Sorrell of Dadding Full Time
Kathryn Leehane of Foxy Wine Pocket
April Grant of 100lb Countdown
Bev Feldman of Linkouture
Jodi Flaherty of The Noise of Boys
Scott Rigdon of Three Five Zero
Lydia Richmond of Cluttered Genius
Allie Burdick of VITA – Train for Life
Michelle Grewe of Crumpets and Bollocks
Barb Godshalk of Co-Author of Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey
Jonathon Floyd of One Funny Daddy
Chris Carter of The Mom Cafe

Sweet Dreams! We’re Sleeping "Green"!

Wifey and I have had “NEW MATTRESS” on our wish list for over 5 YEARS now! We have kept putting it off for multiple reasons. Mainly, our sleep wasn’t a priority in the grander scheme of things, especially when it came to divvying up the budget. Next, we didn’t want another box-store-bought, made out of plastic, make your house smell like you spilled a can of paint in it for two weeks, kind of mattress! So why did we wait so long? BECAUSE ALL NATURAL MATTRESSES ARE WAY TOO EXPENSIVE, RIGHT!? That’s what we thought, until I scrolled past www.mygreenmattress.com

                                       


Let me tell you why I fell in love with The Quality Sleep Shop IMMEDIATELY. When you first visit www.mygreenmattress.com, you’re not met by some faceless company. There was the owner, Tim “The Bed Head”, his family, and a header that read, “my kids…my testers”. Must be a cutesy front to lure in hippy tree-hugger parents, right? I kept clicking. There was Tim and his wife, explaining why they decided to CREATE a mattress for their chemically-sensitive daughter. (Insert eye-roll, and “get a load of these people” gesture) These MUST be actors, right? I decided I had to check this store out myself. Road trip!
Wow. There it was. The Quality Sleep Shop. Just like it looked on the website. And we were greeted by Kyle, a salesperson that didn’t immediately walk us to the most expensive mattress in the store. I must add, salespeople usually strongly dislike Wifey and I. We do our research. We do NOT buy junk. And, we ask a LOT of questions! But Kyle didn’t break. He stuck with us for almost an hour, making sure they would BUILD the perfect mattress for US. We were able to see and feel every single fabric and fiber that our mattress would be made from! Funny, they have a competitor’s mattress (the brand name rhymes with Schmempurpedic) dissected right there in the show room, so customers can compare the construction of a rival’s mattress. You could literally go to Hobby Lobby and build a Schmempurpedic yourself for less that half the cost of what they charge! I could not believe the difference in quality, and more importantly, the difference in COST! By now, I was REALLY starting to love this business! And if Wifey was convinced, you KNOW this place is legit! 
Just then, I heard someone walk out of the workshop and turned around to see…that “Bed Head” dude Tim himself! Wait a second. The owner of this Company is actually in the workshop, hand-crafting these mattresses, just like he said on the website? Was I getting “Punked”!? Within seconds, I knew that wasn’t the case. Tim was happy to walk through our options once again and help us make a decision. Wifey was STILL hung up on changing one small detail of our mattress. (I was thinking, “REALLY!? COME ON ALREADY! WE’RE THIS CLOSE!!!) Tim simply said, “I can make it that way. No problem.” Let me tell you, I was mentally chest-bumping and high-fiving Tim while jumping on a mattress like schoolgirls having a pillow fight! SOLD!!! USA!!! USA!!!!
Oh, did I mention the fact that the mattress we ordered was HUNDREDS, and in some cases, THOUSANDS of DOLLARS CHEAPER than any other place we shopped!? How is that possible!?!? Two words. Factory. Direct. Okay, what does that mean? That means that Tim buys the materials. Then, he and his crew HAND-CRAFT your mattress right there in the shop! There’s even a window in the show room, so you can watch them construct these custom, quality beds! From their workshop to your door. No middle-man. More importantly, NO DOUBTS that you couldn’t find a better made mattress! You know EXACTLY what you are buying when you buy from The Quality Sleep Shop! One thing Tim said that stuck with me was, “I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. If there was a better product out there to put in our mattresses, I’d be using it.” Wifey’s smile got wider, and I breathed a sigh of relief. 
NO, I never met Tim before I walked into the shop that day. This is not some sneaky, paid plug for www.mygreenmattress.com. Note: I have never, ever did a product review or plug. I’m too lazy. In this case, I couldn’t wait to tell you about The Quality Sleep Shop! We bought the safest, best quality mattress we could find, at less than half the cost of anything else we had seen! All this from a family guy, so obviously passionate about bringing you the best product he can at a price you can afford. I know that sounds like a fairy tale, but it’s not! It’s rare nowadays to find a LOCAL business like this, ran by a person that sticks his face and his reputation out there for all to see. Why does he do it? Because he can. Tim uses products like cotton, wool, and latex. Those are materials I can pronounce. When our mattress arrived, and the plastic was peeled off, we could smell…nothing. No noxious fumes, off-gassing and stinking up our house for weeks! There is absolutely no doubt that our kids’ next mattresses will be made by The Quality Sleep Shop. It’s only fitting, seeing that out next kid will probably be made ON a mattress made by The Quality Sleep Shop;
Before we left the store, I told Tim, “It just feels right buying from you.” And you will too. If you’re in the market for a mattress for yourself or your kids, do yourself a favor. Before you buy from anywhere else, go to www.mygreenmattress.com

Renewing My Vows, Or Else…

Why am I always chasing THIS guy!?
If you think the following sounds familiar, you’re right. Most of it is taken from a post I wrote back in 2012. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I fucked up again…

Ever since I can remember, I was known as the funny fat kid. I would go on some fad diet and lose weight, but then I was really just a “skinny-fat” funny kid. This has been going on for over 20 years. About 6 years ago, I was in what I considered to be the best shape of my life. I weighed 185 pounds, I had 12% body fat, I was strong, and I could run for miles. Then, I had an injury. Nothing major, just a busted wrist. But, it was the beginning of my next downward spiral. I let all those good habits and hard work get spoiled by bad habits and laziness. My past time became grilling and drinking beer. I put on 30 pounds, again. For these last few years, I had gotten back in the habit of exercising. Not as much as I should have, but at least I was moving again. But, the grilling and drinking kept those 30 pounds right where they didn’t belong…hanging around my mid-section! In 2012, I got “inspired” again. I essentially went Vegetarian and got into Yoga. Like magic, I dropped those 30 pounds, again, in just under 4 months. Fast forward to 2013. Bean was born. I worked more hours that year than ever before. Good habits reverted to bad, and guess what? I gained those 30 pounds right back, again. 
(I think I see a pattern here;)

I received a little “Wake-Up Call” yesterday in the form of a slap in the face from two different Doctors. I won’t get into the boring details, but I have been shirking off obvious health issues for a few years. I don’t need medicine. Nothing’s going to happen to me, right? Wrong. I was basically told the only reason I haven’t wound up ON the ground yet is because I am still (relatively) young, and still in (relatively) decent health. My body has been able to cope with itself. But my baseline for “healthy” keeps getting lower and lower. Holy shit. This is real. I can’t ignore “it” anymore. 

I realize that I have rarely been motivated by being healthy. I have just focused on losing a few pounds, not eliminating all the factors (like the gallon of Monster I was drinking every day) that are keeping me fat and unhealthy. Poor me, right? Maybe this is just how I’m supposed to be. Tired, sluggish, achy, hung-over feeling, overweight, shameful and guilty because I just can’t do what I know has to be done. Complete failure. Again. (I think I see a pattern here;)

I lost my Mom at the age of 55 to lung cancer. I am already 40. When I am 55 years old, Buddy will hopefully be in college. Bean will be graduating from High School. There may even be more of “them” someday:) The thought of me being IN the ground by then is terrifying!

Will I stick to my guns this time? There’s no choice. Yes, I have said that before! But then, the motivation was more about fitting into smaller clothes. This time it’s a matter of increasing my time here on the planet ABOVE ground. I have to do this for my family. Most importantly, I have to do this for me. My self esteem. My confidence. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin for once since I was a kid. I want to meet my children’s children. Finally, I want to look back fondly at the funny fat kid, smile, and wave goodbye. 

Monster Lesson #1

See. Not all monsters are bad:)
Snot-nosed Buddy awoke from a nap, obviously shaken. I always ask him, “How did you sleep? Did you have any dreams?” His usual response is, “Pretty good, Dad. The Pterodactyl….(Insert any Dinosaur or Pirate story here)” Although this time his response was, “Are monsters scary?” Oh boy. I knew this question, or one like it, would pop up sooner or later. Once again, I had procrastinated on preparing a speech. I let out a nervous giggle, in attempt to downplay and diffuse his fears. Then I did what I do best. I started babbling. 

“Sometimes, monsters ARE scary Buddy. But most of the time, we think monsters are scary just because they’re different. They might look different, or act different, so we’re afraid of them. But sometimes, those monsters can be silly and funny! They might even be your best friends!” I went on babbling through the wardrobe change, with the intent of convincing Buddy there was no reason to fear falling asleep. That would be MY worst nightmare! Thankfully, he ran out of the room yelling, “I’M A PIRATE!” Phew! Crisis averted. I left the room with a victorious smirk on my face. Then I really started thinking about the first few sentences I blurted out. 
Did I just teach Buddy a life lesson? 

Of course he’s too young to hear about the “real monsters” that walk the Earth. That’s my job to protect him and teach him how to spot the real ones as he grows older. Meanwhile, the first time Buddy sees a PERSON that looks different than he does, or acts different than he does, and asks “Is that PERSON scary?”, I have my speech prepared. The speech is titled: ‘Monster Lesson #1’:) 

DID I JUST HAVE BABY FEVER!?

Wifey has always wanted three kids. Me? Honestly, I was always indifferent to the idea. Could go either way. Other than the fact that I’ll have to work until I die to pay for college. But, I may luck out. The kids could be geniuses, or even morons and college tuition won’t be an issue. My point is, I’ve never had “the urge” to have another kid.

Fast forward to yesterday. I’m leaving for work. Big Baby says “Don’t go Dah, I’ll miss you!”…Little Baby cranes his neck to see over BB and yells “DAH-DA!”. I played it cool and said “Love you guys! See you soon!” Between you and me, I was all sniffly and quiver-lipped by the time I made it out of the driveway.

I get all emotional when I’m worn out. But unconditional love creates some strong emotions! Wait a minute…did I experience a moment of what women call “Baby Fever”!? Because I was ready to slide another bun in the oven right then and there!!!

The Ravings of a Lunatic!

WARNING: Having kids can literally turn you into a Pot-Head! 


A new friend, and soon-to-be fellow new Daddy asked if I had any advice for him before “B Day”? At first I thought, “I got nothin’.” And then I started typing…

Hey man! Sorry, this is the first time I’ve had a chance to get back to you. I’m typing fast on a phone so don’t grade me on this. Here are some of the lessons I’ve taken away from my experience with the whole Dad thing thus far…

First, I would learn a little bit about the whole birthing process to help reduce the stress involved. You don’t have to become a doctor, but if you learn a little of the lingo you’ll be more prepared to ask good questions and remain as much “in control” as possible. We took a natural child birth class that took a very honest look at “the business of having a baby”. Without going into a 14 hour story, a lot of the class was relaxation techniques and breathing. Most of which you’ll never use as your wife tries to choke you during a contraction! But those techniques make you a good coach and help Baby Mama deal with the pain. I was alone with my wife in the hospital, and in one of the most stressful moments of my life, something I remembered from my Instructor (An Angel, in my book) literally saved my wife from a C-Section! (Funny, two kids later, I’m THE only person that ever cried in the delivery room!)

Not sure if you had a baby shower yet? But…We wasted countless hours registering for things we never, ever touched. In the first few months, all you need are diapers, some clothes, (because you’re gonna change them constantly) a place for them to sleep and either a bottle or a boob. That’s all you need to keep them alive. Some things that were priceless were a white noise machine, (for you and the baby. It blocks background noise and tells them it’s nappy time. I got the Marpac Dohm. It sounds like a wind tunnel. We have them all over the house now.) a few swaddles, and a decent monitor. My point is that you’re going to get so much useless stuff at your shower. Everyone thinks they know what you need. Register for big things and let people go in together on them or just ask for gift cards. Use those cards for big stuff like a stroller, crib, high chair, car seat, monitor, etc. 

My wife Breastfeeds, so she has the ability to soothe them with the boobs alone. I have man tits, but they don’t produce milk. I had to learn my own way to help get them to sleep when mama wasn’t around. Check out ‘The 5 S’s”. It’s something like sideways, shush, swaddle, shake (gently of course) and shit yourself. Kidding, I can’t think of the 5th. Although, I have them down to a science. I can still knock my 3 year old by cradling him on his side, shushing in his ear and rocking a little. The 5 S’s mimic what they experienced in the womb for almost 10 months. Them babies feel all comfy and safe. I have my 9 month old dialed in already. Works on him too. My dad called me “The Baby Whisperer” the first time he saw me do it! 

As much as you might want to let them sleep in bed with you, try to avoid it. It forms a habit that could come back to haunt you. Those little buggers need to learn how to sleep alone, for their sake as much as yours! 

A crying baby is a breathing baby. If they can’t stop crying, they are either: hot, cold, soaking wet, hungry, or exhausted. If you correct all of those and they’re still going ape-shit, it could be teething, etc? Sometimes it stings to let them cry it out for a bit. But with my 9 month old, I’ll let him hammer for a few minutes and then go use three of those five S’s. I had him snoring in two minutes last week. It was a record. 

Resist the urge to rush to the hospital if the baby’s sniffling or their temp is a little elevated. We did with our first and the nurses wanted to give him drugs and a cold bath! That could have put him in shock. His temp was down by the time we got there. From that point on, we used natural methods to help through fevers associated with teething etc. That said, if it’s approaching 104-105*, I would call your doctor. At those temps for prolonged time, it can damage other organs that are working in overdrive to fight infection, cause siezures or other nightmares. Also, if their breathing is so strained that it’s pulling their nostrils in when they inhale, call your Doc. 

Don’t waste a ton of money on toys. Most people will give you a ton of stuff that again will sit in a closet. The things they play with most? Empty water bottles and cardboard boxes. Save your money for when they are a little older and start to take an interest in something. 

ENJOY your “free time” now!  My wife’s first (and second, of course) pregnancy was a very cool, exciting, yet horrifying time! It’s all the fear of the unknown. But once that baby is here, things definitely change, whether you like it or not. The time for being selfish is over. And that is TOUGH to adjust to at first. Forget just running out the door together. Everything is baby! You’ll never be on time again. You will stay up late watching movies to maintain some resemblence of the old you, only to hate yourself in the morning when your hear that first little cry through the monitor. 

Sound miserable? Absolutely. At times. But 99% of the time, it is going to be the greatest time of your life. No matter how much money you make, stuff you buy, or things you build, they will never compare to raising that kid. When they recognize you. Squeeze your finger. Fall asleep in your arms. Say “Dada” or later on, “Love you!”, you will see there is no other feeling like it. Real unconditional love. Until they grow up and tell you to piss off!:) 

I already know you’re going to be a great dad. You know why? Because you asked me for advice. You care. You want to be good at it. After all this babbling, the most important thing I can say is, just be PRESENT. Everything I do is based on the notion that my actions are shaping their personality that will last forever. I PANICKED a few months before my first son was born! I’m talking total Whack-Job! I was PETRIFIED that I wouldn’t be a good dad, or turn him into a basket case later on in life. But you know what I found out? I’m pretty fucking good at it. Again, be present. Be encouraging. And just, love them. You will be their hero. You’ll see;) 

I could go on and on. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m sure I’ll think of more and pass it on. Don’t stress! Everything will be OK Big Daddy! 

It may not be the right way? But like Frank Sinatra said, “I did it my way.”;)