Since Feb. 2001 I've been a stay at home father. With my lovely wife Martha I'm struggling to raise three young ladies ages 7-1/2, 6, and 3-1/2.

Martha has all the instincts of a good parent. I struggle to keep my mind in the game.

We are so lucky to have these wonderful girls: May, Tai, and Mimi. We brought them home one by one from China and it changed our lives in every way.

This blog is a record of our life on the lighter side. I didn't know so much humor would be present. But, I should have guessed.

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Oct 28, 2006
The Past

Long absence.  Many excuses.  None valid.

I've returned hopefully to stay.

Much new. Most forgotten.  That clarifies the need to blog frequently.

The ladies now are 3-1/2, 6, and 7-1/2.  Changing daily.  School influence most noticeable.  No. 1, May, started reading 'The Sorcerer's Stone' last night--she's stumbling on many words but doing well for a new 2nd grader.

Spelling words only keeps the 3 year old out of the know.  No. 2, Tai, progresses rapidly with reading in 1st grade.

Mimi, No. 3, has taken up art--look out world.  She carries the latest creation to Mom or me with a determined, "You will keep it, and you will like it."

We have always read to the girls and they have a large library of their own. It pays to read to your children--even in the cradle.

Save us! Somebody, please.


Posted at Thursday, October 26, 2006 by bobrose813
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We love our Grandparents, don't we?  We love some of them because they let us do things our parents won't.  We love others because we can get away with lots of stuff and they never notice.  We love others because they give us anything we want (maybe within reason).

A few grandparents are just as demanding as our parents and we don't quite know how to deal with them.  Word on the street has it that grandparents should be soft, soggy, and easy. 

The street has it all wrong!

Now, I will forgive those grandparents that don't know any better.  Those are the ones who were terrible parents to begin with.  In that catagory I place most ot the babies who raised babies and now are continuing their immature behaviors.  Heaven forbid that the child of a baby becomes a mother while she is still a baby, too.

I once knew a girl who celebrated her 15th birthday two days before her daughter's first birthday.  I know a 17 year old who gave birth to a daughter, and that child gave birth to her second child before she turned 20.  In these cases, all three of these mothers treat(ed) their children as if they were Chatty Kathy dolls.  One day each of these girls will become grandmothers, if they aren't already.

You know what?  Not one of them know how to be a parent, and not one of them will know how to be a grandparent, either.  That's ok, because they don't know any better.

I can't forgive those grandparents who think that the title "grand" extinguishes the responsibility that goes with the title parent.  Guess what--the burden is doubled, not halved.  A grandparent should be teaching their children to be good parents AND teaching their grandchildren to be successful adults at the same time.

Grandparents should not make the parent's job harder by being irresponsible.  Spoiling grandchildren and letting them run wild, then taking them home for a parent to deal with isn''t appropriate.


Posted at Wednesday, March 02, 2005 by bobrose813
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Snow Angels?


A commentor asked if we taught the girls to make snow angels.   In brief, No.

Making snow angels would require contact with that cold white stuff.

Forget that.

Posted at Saturday, February 19, 2005 by bobrose813
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Fresh Snow-Deep fresh snow


Today the snow is deep enough to capture the imagination.  At least the imagination of small girls.  They clamored for play in the snow from first light.

Mommy took them out to play in the snow, while Daddy drove to DTW to get Uncle Stephen.  They went for a walk in the clean untrodden snow and got their first thrill of playing in fresh new powder.  I remember my first time in powder--NOT!!!!!  Memory doesn't go back that far without augmentation.  I have no such augmentation.  Sigh!!!!!

They came in, I am informed, frozen to the bone and happy as clams at a beachparty.

Posted at Thursday, February 17, 2005 by bobrose813
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More Snow


Snow is now of little interest to the thundering herd.  It snowed again last night and not a word has been mentioned about playing in the snow.  Perhaps the slipping and sliding around the car just to get in the door has dampened interest?  I'm not too sure what has happened.

This place is a growing traffic hazzard.  I mean inside the house as well as outside.  The streets in this fair city (well, small town) are a tribute to poor city management.  I hear that they lost a small car in a pot hole just last week.  In better weather I'd take an afternoon and stand in front of city hall with tin cup, dark glasses, and a cane; wearing a sign: "Give for street repair."

Inside the house, the piles grow higher as closets, drawers and shelves are emptied and spread out for this weekend's decision hours.  Ah, to keep or not to keep, that is the question. 

Trash bags enough to fill a pickup truck are ready to go to the dump.

We're having a hell of a time.

Now, back to the grindstone.

Posted at Wednesday, February 16, 2005 by bobrose813
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I opened my blog to make a new entry and discovered news from a reader (thanks for reading, Philly) that no entries would be forthcoming for about a month.

Not true.  Could I disappoint all of my loyal readers?  What would the two of them do for a month?

The girls walked on water for the first time in their young lives, today.  Never mind that it happened to be frozen.  I know with the certainty all fathers have that they will walk many many miles on water before the end of their sojourn on this planet.

We went out to the local lake that is frozen now about 12-15 inches.  May took convincing that she wouldn't sink.  Tai slipped and slid her way across the ice with glee.

We had a good snowball fight, watched the ice fishermen for a while, then came back to the house and the girls built a grand snowman in the back yard.  It's a beautiful day, about 48 deg. so the snow is gong fast.

Posted at Saturday, February 12, 2005 by bobrose813
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Four hour drive.  Snow covered scenery flying rearward showing deeper snow with each passing mile. Temperature drops proportionally as well.  We crank on the heater and passby oblivious to all.

Shock at the gas stop.  Coats fly on before we freeze stiff.  This truck stop needs no statuary on the gas island.  Naturally, all must go tinkle.  To do this all must be bound tightly in cold weather gear.  That means opening the car doors and that allows a very determined winter wind to chill, quickly, little people.  Complaints about the cold are abundant.

But soon all have peed and we're back in the car headed north to Michigan.  Will this melodrama never end?

Posted at Friday, February 11, 2005 by bobrose813
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These kids are so great to travel with!

We flew from Seattle to Chicago, laid over for 1-1/2 hours, caught a hop to Columbus, Ohio, and then caught a shuttle to the long term parking lot where we picked up the car Phil, my brother-in-law, had dropped off and drove to Dayton.  Another 1-1/2 hours.

Through it all there were no tears, no arguments, no are we there yet's, and no complaints about anything.

Of course, they did mention that the trips to China were much longer.  God is that true.  There is no trip in the CONUS that compares to an international trip.  Why, the waits in airports and customs were longer than our entire trip here.  Our last return trip was the shortest of the three, 27 hours.

It snowed here and the girls rushed out first thing to play.  Soon, they were at the door asking for one of the dogs to come out and play, too.  The dogs said no thanks, its warmer in here, thank you very much, anyway.

Going to try a new (to me) beer today called Mississippi Mud.  Critque to follow.

Posted at Thursday, February 10, 2005 by bobrose813
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Packing is for the birds


Today's the big day.

I woke May for school at the normal 6:30 and Tai popped up from the lower bunk asking, "Is today the day we go to Michigan?"

My yes response catapulted her from her warm bed, and she hustled down the hall and into Mommy's bathroom just to tell her today's the day!

So ends weeks of the daily question, "Is today the day we go to Michigan?"

I must keep this short and sweet since there is much to do to get ready--still.  And the house must be spit and polished for the house sitter who should be led to believe we live a spit and polished normal life.  Oh, sure we do.

Posted at Monday, February 07, 2005 by bobrose813
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Aunt Phyllis


The girls just love Aunt Phyllis.

They look forward to every opportunity to see her.  But, they are especially keen on her babysitting.

I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that it appears more like they are babysitting Phyllis that endears her to them.  Probably has nothing to do with the likelyhood that--whatever little girls want, little girls get when Aunt Phyllis is in Charge.  Did I really say in Charge?

Daughter number three still sits back and looks questions at Aunt Phyllis.  She did allow herself to be picked up and coddled the other night.  That was quite the accomplishment by Aunt Phyllis--Amelia is no easy sell.

Aunt Phyllis had trouble turning up the volume on the TV.  Did I mention Phyllis might be modern convenience challenged?  The ladies were so tickled by the situation they rolled around on the floor laughing.

Amelia has just begun showing signs that she no longer thinks of Daddy as the Big Bad Wolf come to ruin her day.  I actually get smiled at and she is now babbling at me.

Well, it's a good sign for all concerned that she finally feels competent enough in English to try and speak.  She only took 5 months and it could have been a lot longer.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Aunt Phyllis from May, Tai, Amelia, and Mom and Dad, too.

Posted at Saturday, February 05, 2005 by bobrose813
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Well, now that all the emergencies have been disposed of without calling 911, I can settle down and catch you up on the past year.

I had too much going on to even think about writing a blog, I guess.  Between personal issues, adoption issues, family issues, and all the other normal everyday issues that we all face everyday, I  lost the simple truth that shit happens, and we need to deal with it and get on with our lives.

In August 2003 we decided that there was room in the house for another little girl.  Naturally, that meant designing another addition to the house to make that room physical.  But, what's a little thing like? So, the four of us packed our bags in August and flew to China where we met the newest member of the family.

This one proved to be a big challenge.  The day we got her she had bronchitis and as we later learned was very near to dying.  Her body was shutting down from malnutrition.  We have fought health problems with her since that day and finally, she is showing signs of full recovery and is on a road to good health.  Whew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had the most amazing medical treatments in China!  I mean that in all sincerity.  Without the excellent Doctors and the medications they perscribed... Well, I believe we'd be visiting little number three at Forest Lawn, if you know what I mean.

You know, we spent a total of about $100US in China for doctors and medication.  Once our pediatrician got over the shock of it she admited it would have been thousands of dollars at home.  Go figure.

In many ways this little one is the toughest of the three.  Born two months premature, left under a bridge and not expected to be rescued, sick with at least bronchitus for probably two months, poorest diet of the three, by far.  Nearly given up for dead by her Chinese nanny.  Still, she is a strong willed, stubborn little fighter.  A lesser human would probably have died before we got to China.

There is much good news even though I haven't sounded too upbeat to this point:  About two weeks ago she started showing signs that she had finally started learning English.  May and Tai learned so quickly, we expected Tian to learn as fast--she didn't.  May spoke her first english words the day we got her.  Well, she was older, she was 23 months.  Tai started understanding at about 17 monthes, two months after we got her.  So, maybe we were expecting too much of Tian.

Posted at Thursday, February 03, 2005 by bobrose813
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Just when you thougt it safe....


More than a year has past.  Lots has happened and maybe I'll get it all up to date in the near future.

Number one daughter is now in the second half of her kindergarten year.  Oh, my.  That makes Daddy feel older.

The family grew, too.  Now there are three little darlings for Daddy to wrangle while Mommy is not at home.  Number three is 22 month old Amelia.  (Known formally as Amelia Simone Tianying.)

More later got to go rescue number two.

Posted at Thursday, February 03, 2005 by bobrose813
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Just another morning on the Farm!!


Whomp!  WHOMP!  (Giggle. Giggle. Giggle.)  "Lucas, don't let go! (May being firmly Motherly.)"


The whomps were little China bottoms hitting the floor in the front room.  Lucas, who outweighs both girls combined by about 35 pounds, is the un-sportsman-like German Shepherd who just let go of the tug-of-war rope.


Eli, our Bernese Mtn. Dog puppy, is in on the game, too.  .  He's 9 months now and weighs about the same as Lucas, 100 lbs.


All in all, four small hands and a Lucas' mouth on an 18" tugging rope take up more than the available room.  So Eli frets around the scene waiting a chance to jump in and get his own mouthful.  Little fingers are at risk.


Now, Eli sees an opening and lunges for the rope.  Little fingers scatter.  Much tugging and growling ensues.  May and Tai leap into the midst of the fray scrapping for their share back.


They seize the middle and pull against both dogs.


"Pull Tai"! May yells.


Tai giggles as she hangs from the rope.  The dogs pulling against each other hold her off the floor.


I can't watch.

Posted at Friday, February 06, 2004 by bobrose813
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I Believe


That people who are born physically beautiful have a unique set of problems.  First, they must learn to balance vanity with modesty.  Beauty, after all, is only skin deep and what's under that cute skin looks pretty much the same on a morgue autopsy table. 


That does not mean you should have no regard for your attractiveness.  While you must not let your own beauty go to your head, you must be prepared to deal with the some of the problems your beauty will cause you.


If you are vain about your physical appearance, your friends and acquaintances will take advantage of it.  Your vanity will blind you to the truth you should be hearing under their words.  Even if you aren't vain, people will assume, since you are attractive, that you are in fact vain and treat you as such.  Be analytical in your relationships.  Think about it.

Posted at Thursday, February 05, 2004 by bobrose813
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Let's go back to the good old days, shall we?


Remember When...


Telephones were on party lines and you had a ring code to know the call was for you….The hiss on the line led you to suspect your neighbor was listening in on your call….Sometimes the quality was so poor you had to yell to be heard….It took hours, sometimes, to get a long distance call through?  Forget calling a foreign country, like Canada….The squat black plastic thing with a dial that sat on a table was the phone….No body had more than one phone, let alone more than one line….A table radio took up the whole table and hummed and buzzed and scratched and wheezed….Portable radios could only be carried by strong men….TV came in a box the size of an easy chair….The picture on the TV was round, 6" across fuzzy and black and white….TV programming lasted about 8 hours a day….Only one station could be tuned-in on the TV….Rabbit ears came on TV sets….To see a movie, you had to go to a theater….Music came on a plastic platter called a 78….There was no such thing as stereo.


If you wanted to use your flashlight for more than two hours, you needed an extra set of batteries….The batteries only came in lantern size (very large) or D size….You had to add water to your car battery….The tires on your car lasted about 5000 miles, if you didn't hit any potholes, that is….Nobody had power steering or power brakes….If you left the radio on for 30 minutes without the engine running faster than idle, the car battery would be dead….The car you drove couldn't be dented in a 40 mile an hour crash—but all of the occupants died because instead of absorbing the energy of the impact, the car passed it on to the passengers….When we finally got seatbelts, we were too stupid to wear them…. The sexiest automobile on the road still looked like a shoebox….Your choice of colors for your new car was black.


Food stuck to every cooking pan….Food storage bowls couldn't be sealed….The freezer in your refrigerator would hold about 2 half gallons of ice cream and 2 trays of ice cubes--until it frosted up….The refrigerator had to be defrosted--often….Nobody had ever heard of hair conditioner….The best shampoo for your hair was a couple of beaten eggs….Saturday night was the only night anyone bathed….Antiperspirant wasn't. Neither was deodorant….Cotton clothing always shrunk.


Patients couldn't be heard screaming over the scream of the dentist's drill….There were no treatments for any cancer….Polio crippled and killed hundreds….Measles, and mumps were common as the cold….The only thing anyone transplanted grew in the garden.


Would you really wants to go back to all of that?

Posted at Monday, February 02, 2004 by bobrose813
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So!  Yesterday's Super Bowl turned out to be a contest after all.  Right down to the last 4 seconds.

I did see the last 47 seconds.  As well as some of the preceding game as well.

Did you notice that little girls can't sit still?

Is it too much energy or a short attention span?  Keeping them in one spot requires as much attention as landing a fish. 

Today, they watched while a lab tech drew Daddy's blood.  I have to say they did much better than I would have done.  Their big disappointment was that I didn't get a pretty bandage.

Oh, well.

Posted at Monday, February 02, 2004 by bobrose813
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Super Bowl Weekend


While most of the nation waits with great anticipation.  I had to ask someone what network carries the game this year.  CBS?  What a coup.

Football is NOT our life around here.  We have cartoons to watch.  Blogs to write.  Fish and Chickens to feed.

Besides that, I hear some foriegn clubs from the East are playing.  What happened to the Seahawks or Chargers?

Look, life is too short to waste it in front of the tube.

Still, given that as a philosophy I will watch, at least until it becomes one sided.  Doesn't that happen every year?  This is just going to be the 38th one sided football game with headline billing.

Enough said.

Posted at Sunday, February 01, 2004 by bobrose813
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Bad Week.  If you can't say something nice...

I will be back.  Things must get better.

Posted at Saturday, January 31, 2004 by bobrose813
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Don't forget your napkin, Daddy.


I have numerous supervisors both human and not.  I must exude the need for oversight, since the entire household assures I get it.


Cats insist on feeding, petting and litter box cleaning with uncanny regularity.  Dogs need water, treats, and petting, too.  Always on their schedule, not mine.


Daughters don't necessarily supervise my attendance to their needs; they make certain I follow all the rules.


No elbows on the table, Daddy.  We need our vitamin, Daddy.  Don't forget your napkin, Daddy.  One hand in your lap, Daddy.


You might suppose they have good table manners.  Well, they do.  They began learning to eat properly, bath correctly, and brush their teeth and floss twice daily, and etc. the day they joined the clan.  Even though they spoke not a word of English.  Even though neither of them was yet two years old.


Not long ago a sitter remarked that they pointed out that she was eating sans napkin.  Naughty, naughty!


You should see them floss.  They both are able to move the floss around using their tongue as a third finger.<

Posted at 09:25 am by bobrose813
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A witch and a leopard rushed out the door for the school bus this morning.  Father trailed in their wake carrying the keys to the van.  It's almost 4 tenths of mile to the bus--to far to walk in the morning. It's pretty scary around here at the end of October.  Today is a half day of school and the annual Halloween Parade and classroom parties. Tomorrow is the school PTA's annual party/fund raiser and I will take the girls.


Martha is out of town until late tomorrow night so I'm on my own.  She's disappointed that she can't be there and so am I.  We take great pleasure in watching the little 'rats' (spoken lovingly) scurry to and fro.  Two eyes don't follow three paths very well I'll miss her tracking assistance to say the very least.


At least she'll be home for the main event Halloween evening when we go over to 'the big city', Oak Harbor, for trick-or-treat in the downtown district.  The merchants have established a great tradition there that makes for a safe/sane Halloween.


Martha has had to travel quite a lot this month.  She's been home only about 8 days all month.  I'm sure glad she doesn't go out of town as a general rule.  This month just seems to be a rare month.  It's has been very hard for her, she's short two managers; and suddenly years of work on some major projects is coming to an end in a rush.  She is doing the work of three.  So she works by remote even when she can't be in the office personally.  That makes for long days and poor sleep.


I'm painting the girl's bedroom.  They are camping out in the living room.  It will be nice to have the house back in order. But, Wednesday when 'she who must be obeyed' returned from her last trip, she tossed out the main color (I'd almost finished applying) and yesterday came home from Home Depot with the new color.  I'll apply that later today.


I guess it wasn't just a simple repainting job.  We scrapped off the acoustical cottage cheese stuff that was so popular when this house was built and I retextured the entire room before starting to paint.  At least the trim color won't change so I don't have to redo all the base/door molding I just refinished.


Fed ex just delivered the latest serving pieces.  Martha is fleshing out our collection of signature polish pottery.  I believe she has finally got the last on order.  I did discover in all of this, that it isn't really more expensive to ship stuff here from Poland than it would be from New York. It just takes a little longer.  The Internet is too cool, isn't it?  The world at your fingertips.

Posted at 09:25 am by bobrose813
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