NYC was fun

Last weekend I decided to take the family to New York City for 4 days. We left Thursday and had a fun flight out of town. The kids were happy, I had been telling them all week the fun things we could do. It was a huge planning process. I forgot Sarah used to handle all of those things. Now it’s on me to figure things out. We were able to stay COVID safe. We all wore our masks and protected the girls by making a circle around them anywhere we went. They are not vaccinated so it was important to me to do our best. It’s hard keeping a mask on the baby but she’s doing much better.

I took everyone out to see the Statue of Liberty on a tour. The ferry ride out was interesting. We clustered away from most of the group. We found out we could not go up to the top or even go in the pedestal but that’s okay. Just standing outside and looking up was amazing. I have done that tour a few times. In fact somewhere on this blog is a photo of me with Lady Liberty in the background. We all had a great time. I think it’s some place we need to visit again this year.

So the Delta variant is here. That’s scary. It sounds to me like even if you are vaccinated, you can still catch it. So we are back to wearing masks, not going out much and social distancing. I don’t know when this will end but I do know that people that claim to not want the vaccine, will catch COVID and will be hospitalized. You can think you won’t get it, but some day you will and then you go through hell and regret that decision. Joe Biden has really turned things around and I am so thankful most of the kids have their shots already. Please continue to wear your mask, social distance and do your best to gather in small groups if you must. I did notice in NYC there was a huge surge in safety and health protocols. Trey had asked if we could ride the Subway but I said no. That’s too enclosed. Everything we did was a timed tour with just our little group involved. We had food delivered or I had my car service stop and pick it up for us on our way to or from places. That worked out the best.

Our next trip we are going on a car ride up to Steamboat Springs. I’m trying to get familiar with Colorado. We have not done much exploring. I am getting more into the local shopping. I love supporting small local businesses. I try to buy something even if I don’t find something I love. I can always use it as a gift.

I’m trying to plan a trip to Cancun, Mexico soon but with Covid restrictions that may not happen. There are a lot of International trips I had planned but I’m backing off of them. Not all of the world has been lucky enough to have the vaccines. It’s still not fully safe to move around the world like we used to. I’m going to be doing more road trips until things get a better outlook. Hope you guys are staying safe. I will add my photos into my photo section on here. Thank you guys for reading this and have a great week!

Happy $5000 Father’s Day Giveaway

Update: We picked a winner and posted the screenshot for PROOF on my Twitter page.

Today we will be doing another $5000 Cashapp Giveaway. The last one went over very well. I’m opening up the comments/email sections on this blog as well as posting on my Twitter account/Social Media accounts. Just drop your CASHAPP tag if you can see this and someone will be randomly selected. The winner will be asked to post a screenshot of their Cashapp activity to prove they did receive the funds. I have loaded up my Cashapp with money a while ago. It’s ready to go. I pray it helps someone or a family.

Happy Father’s Day to all the cool dads holding it down. I know how hard being a dad is in 2021. It’s a lot to shoulder and a whole lot of doing things you don’t necessarily have to do. 2020 kind of sent everything we have ever known into a tailspin. Supporting the family has taken a whole new meaning. I appreciate my kids, I love them dearly. I know I’m a 2 star Dad raising 5 star kids. I try very hard every day and I’m trying to lead by example. I never thought I would be here with 5 kids, living my life in Denver and still no mom in sight. I am trying to figure all of that out but I refuse to settle.

We have some very fun Dad things planned for today. We are going to plan our next day trip for this coming weekend. We had a trip planned for Friday night but we had some unexpected things come up. That’s okay we will be visiting that place this week instead. I think that will work out much better for the weather anyway.

Call your dad. Don’t buy him a tie. Dads love food. Give him something good to eat and tell him how much you love and appreciate him. That’s all we really want. That and the remote all day. Love you guys! Eat your veggies and fruits!

Rowboat Book Club #102

Malibu Rising

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over–especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud–because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own–including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

Catching Up

This is the week I’m trying to do about a year and a half of catch up work. I did our medical appointments the past 2 weeks. That was top priority. I did the Trey finalizing his conversion to Catholicism. I took him down to the Church by myself after the poor kid had to do virtual/delayed/virtual/delayed again class. I felt so bad for him. It took 3 times longer than it’s supposed to take. That was number 2 on my list.

Sigh. Clothes shopping. Like probably, all of you, I’ve had to shop online to buy clothes for 5 children that outgrow everything in 2 months. They are all at different growth spurts. It feels like I just get one re-clothed? Is that even a word? Lol We get everything in, someone else pops up with a shirt that is now a bib. It’s ridiculous. Throw in, I don’t know how to shop for kids. I had Sarah do that. She’s gone, enjoying her quiet life before she starts her new work life. I could have called her and asked her to help but I want to figure things out on my own. I signed a contract with Lynn and Brenda for 5 years. We are in the 2nd year of that, I have 4 more years to figure parenting out because at that time, they are moving on. I wanted to get Sky (MY LAST CHILD I SWEAR) into school and everyone else into a routine.

Clothes shopping with my boys is a nightmare. They want to look at everything but not pick anything out. And then there’s my favorite, the BAD ATTITUDES. One gets going, the other 2 join in and next thing you know I am saying PICK A SHIRT, I DONT CARE WHAT SHIRT. JUST PICK 1! And when they refuse, I grab 2 shirts and off we go with a chorus of I am not wearing that, That’s ugly following me Lol

My daughters have always been much easier to shop for. They love everything. Everything is Ohhh Daddy, its pretty. Easy. And now today, I have to finally shop for myself. That means I have to go to the Big & Tall stores because regular clothes do not fit me. I’m too tall and lanky. Also I have a round bubble butt so regular shorts, dress pants, jeans do not fit me either. I got the family butt and mixed with my dad’s tall tree family traits, I’m a freak Lol

It’s also uncomfortable because I’m going into a store where most of the guys are just Big, not so much Tall. My skinny a** is looking for things and the other guys are looking at me like you A**HOLE, get out Lol It sucks. So here is the game plan for today. The nannies are going to play a few games with the kids. I’m taking 2 hours out of my morning to hit 2 stores. I’m going to grab lunch on my way home to make it easy. I will spend the rest of the day doing laundry for my new clothes and finishing up the girls laundry with their new clothes from yesterday. We are going to swim and swim often. It’s been hot in Denver. I love it!

And then I am going to host a neighborhood dinner. I am FINALLY ready to make friends and invite people over to my house. My house is done, my yard is done. I’m ready. I’ve had my house in disarray for almost 2 years now. I’m ready to gather the few neighbors I sorta know and get to know them much better. I have 1 friend here in Denver, Gabby and 2 down in Colorado Springs. My buddy Mike and his mom. I haven’t made time to go get me some new friends. I tried to sign up for an Open Mic night, but then the place got shut down and they re-opened with no spots for a few weeks. I’m also planning on going to the Farmer’s Market on the weekend because honestly, that’s mostly where I’ve met my friends. That is one perk on being a Vegan. The minute you say that, the veggie/fruit vendors chase you Lol HAVE YOU TRIED MY GREEN BEANS? Uh no. HERE, YOU WILL THANK ME. Uh, okay.

My life has been on pause. I just hit Unpause, and off we go. We have several trips planned over the next many, many, weekends. I’m taking my kids the heck out of the house. This weekend is another trip. We just did Nebraska, last weekend. Next weekend is a trip, and the following week I have the car permit passes to drive up to Estes Park.

I’m happy to be in the air again. I love to fly. I love the convenience (Had to look up that word, I forgot the other e) of having my own plane. Right now it’s very safe and private. Right now, its the best way to get across the country. I don’t need hot weather trips, I have 99 degree weather in Denver. We are exploring up North. Yes, really. My babies need some heat relief. We have some beautiful tourist spots that even I have never seen. I want my kids to enjoy our land. It’s part of their lives too.

I need to go, this blog post has taken a year and a half to write my goodness. I can hear one of my son’s looking for me. Have a great day guys, Love you!

I still don’t know what the heck I’m doing Lol But I’m trying.

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

This is the year that all 5 of my kids are enjoying the pool. My daughters used to play for a few minutes, then want out. I think that was a little bit of fear added in with some boredom? I’m not sure. They are all fish this year. I love it. We swim twice a day. One after their ABC Mouse Academy school. We do 1 hour per day with them after breakfast. That’s when our pool is heating up. Swim for an hour. Go play downstairs while I prep lunch. My nannies are telling me how easy it is with them now. I appreciate the turn around on attitudes. My boys did not like virtual school at all. That was surprising. I thought they would love to stay home. It was sitting in front of the computer all day that was the bummer. Now we know.

We will be flying back to Nebraska this weekend. It’s time to visit my family. Some of them have never even met Sky or Trey. It should be interesting. I hope nothing offensive gets said but we will see. I would like a nice, social weekend with a few family announcements about the Holidays. We have to start working on our Thanksgiving and Christmas giveaways. We try to be creative but the fact is, we just give away money and free food. That’s our tradition. Maybe we will give away a new car just to spice it up. I don’t know about that though. Car insurance, car tags if you have to pay them, that kind of muddles up a gift that big. We will vote on ideas this coming weekend. I know my family is much more creative than I am. I can’t wait to see everyone.

It sounds like Canada is finally getting their sh** together. Kate and I hope I can venture up there in July or August. It would be nice to get a weekend away from the kids but I have to know it’s safe. She has already had her 1st shot. I won’t go until she gets her 2nd shot which will be soon. I’m looking forward to hanging out in Canada again. This will be my 3rd trip up there with her. It will be a lot of fun.

Hope everyone is having a strong beginning of the week. I’ve been busy. These kids run me around. We had medical appointments to catch up on. The boys have to do a hearing test soon. That will give me an update on how their ears are doing. I hope there is some growth and improvement. I’ve been praying on that for years. Be sure to enjoy the nice weather if you have it. Eat your veggies and fruits. A balanced diet is the only way to enjoy your food. Love you guys!

Kallie is doing fine. I see a lot of questions about her. She’s eating well, she’s playing with my cats. They are taking good care of her. We almost have her weight up to a normal range and her wounds underneath her body are almost all healed. I’m still cleaning it out twice a day to make sure. She’s going to survive. No we are not adopting her. She will go where the vet takes her OR my neighbor Gabby is going to take her. She is spending time at Gabby’s house for a test run.

Kindness equals Love

This morning my beautiful boys and I will be going to our local Food Bank and helping pack boxes with donated food for others to take home. I’m very happy we get to work as a team with other volunteers. I’m very sad this is even necessary. I want my boys to meet the Director so she can explain why Food Banks are necessary. I know my kids will have a lot of questions. When we are done with our hour I’m going to load them up in our truck and make them watch the boxes get distrubted for a few minutes. They need to understand, the work you do, gets passed on to others. Helping others is a big part of my life, I want it to become part of my legacy.

The boys are actually excited. I’m making them wear masks and gloves. I don’t know if that’s policy at the Food Bank. I’m excited to see how many boxes we can do.

I’m a little bit bragging because I want my Batfans to know I am doing my small part to make my community better. Think about volunteering this summer. I’m leading by example in my house. I’m trying to teach my kids about teamwork, community, and putting others before yourself, even for just an hour a week. It’s very important to stay informed and get involved.

I love you guys. I pray all the families we help today know we put a little love and kindness in each box.

2 Different Kinds of Adventure

I had a family meeting with my kids and the nannies this morning. I want to show my kids the need for community support and volunteerism. That’s always been a part of my life. My mom was ALWAYS volunteering me and my little brother to work for the Church for FREE. She said it was good for our soul. I didn’t realize as a kid, how ingrained that would become in me. I get it now with my kids.

We are going to work on a 2 for 1 system. Each week the kids and I get to pick 2 Adventures either around Colorado or around the U.S. And we will also pick 1 Food Bank to go volunteer at. The one thing I know that is Covid safe and is also very much needed is Food Bank volunteers. My kids can help sort food or stuff boxes. They will not be around passing out boxes. I don’t want that. Each person or parent with up to 2 kids can stand in a 6 feet apart, plastic guarded stall and stuff boxes or sort out food. It’s a very slow conveyer belt system. I signed my family up to work this summer. It will be good for them. I want my kids to make new friends. I want them to start building their work in the community. I found a local Food Bank that really needs helpers. I’m all for it. There will be other rewards for my kids as we start this process but for now this is my idea. My nannies will take turns because my daughters can not go. They are not vaccinated yet. All 3 of my boys are so I asked the Food Bank Director if I can have my nanny with one or 2 of my kids as we switch things up each week. She was awesome. And the best part we get to be on a schedule so I can go online and pick which day works best for us. I plan on picking the rainy (Or snowy, I mean it is Denver) days Lol One hour a week is not going to kill my kids. I also signed us up for the Recycling Center. That is going to be very fun for my boys because they get to break down boxes and put them into a big smasher press. They will love to help with that. We will go off and on and figure it out as we go.

I explained to my kids how much this means to me. I told them this is replacing them working in the Church. They liked that part Lol We will see.

So far we redid our backyard, we visited the Botanical Gardens, we went out to eat in a restauarant and we made Memorial Day wreaths that we went back home to have my cousins place on our family gravestones. Next weekend when we fly back to Nebraska I will take the kids out to the cemeteries and show my kids their wreaths. I’m trying, guys. I want my kids to grow up knowing that helping the world is the only way they will be raised. I pray our world heals and that I am part of that change.

Today we are going to swim and play outside. Both of my yards just got mowed so it’s time to enjoy them. I love it. This part of the year is beautiful. Denver is breathtaking on the clear days with the sun shining. I’m happy we live here.

Have a great weekend guys! I love you all. Thank you for continuing to be a part of my Batfan community.