Dad Versus…Decorative Bed Pillows

Wake up…at my normal time. There is an unusual life form in bed beside me. The Machine is not at work at her normal 4:30am. Weird. Everything is now out of kilter. The fine-tuned schedule I have established getting Little Human ready for Pre-K is now complete chaos. Everything out of order. Our usual potty, brush teeth, get dressed, breakfast, sunscreen application is now breakfast, and everything else happens at the kitchen table. Minus the potty. Watch The Machine and Little Human speak a different language while doing The Mop. Little Human wants “Elsa braids”…whatever that is. The Mop does whatever The Machine wants…lays down, does tricks, speaks, rolls over, etc. Why is it so easy for her and so hard for me? Chaos finally ends and the dynamic duo depart for school and work. I am alone. In my office/house/confined space. Silence. Nice.

Make bed. Look at the pile of decorative pillows that adorn California-king bed laying on floor. Decorative pillow pile almost reaches window level. 6-10 decorative pillows at all times. Bend down and start arranging decorative pillows neatly on bed. Mess with The Machine from time to time and make teepee shapes or weird geometrical figures with decorative pillows. This rebellious act sends anal-retentive Machine into near panic mode most of the time. Place decorative pillows correctly according to plan today. Count in seconds the amount of time it takes to retrieve and arrange decorative pillows. 30 seconds. Begin to do simple math of how much of my life is wasted by retrieving and arranging decorative pillows. 30 seconds times 7 days in week equals 210 seconds. 3.5 minutes per week. 3.5 minutes weekly times 52 weeks equals 182 minutes…or, just over 3 hours yearly. I can run 20 miles in 3 hours. I can watch a football game in 3 hours. I can do a lot of things in 3 hours. My 3 hours yearly are spent retrieving and arranging bed decorative pillows. I have been married 5 years now. 15 hours total spent retrieving and arranging bed decorative pillows to date. I could run 4 full marathons with this time. When I ask The Machine why we must have decorative bed pillows…her answer? “They look pretty.” TO WHOM?!?! Nobody parades through our house! Ridiculous…

Run 5 miles. Hard. 25 miles in 4 days now. Am now officially in shape. Working on pace and increasing miles. Just trying to get my feet/knees to cooperate with the rest of the program. Have good days and bad. The thought of the 50K ultra-marathon 6-weeks away still terrifies me. 30+ miles. Still wondering when this new wall will hit and how to overcome this both physically and psychologically. Does the new wall now hit at mile 24-28 or still at 18-22 as with marathons? Will be interesting.

Work. Have a few incredibly hard positions to fill. Like finding a needle in 10 stacks of needles. But hey, if it was easy…anyone could do it. Jump on bike to ride to neighborhood café for lunch. Witness an accident. Go into former EMT/firefighter mode to help. Still miss these days from time to time…it’s in the blood. Speaking of blood, yikes. Person lives. Crisis averted. Finish work. Pick-up Little Human. Arrive home to see her neighborhood friend playing outside wearing Elsa dress. Little Human must immediately run inside to change into her own Elsa dress. Elsa’s run around while I have beer with liver-intolerant neighborhood friends. Work on more Christmas lights. About to have quarter bowling and dollar beer night with liver intolerant neighborhood friends. Will be interesting…

More to come…

Posted in Blog, Dads, Fathers, Little Human, Mop, Parenting, Ty Carver, TyCarver | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dad Versus…December 2nd, 2014

Wake up…4:30am. To the sound of The Machine getting ready for work. I use the word “Machine” for my wife actually in an endearing way. The Machine works an insane amount of hours while leading human resources for opening a new million plus square foot distribution facility. The Machine is also an Adjunct Professor, fixes Little Human’s lunch every morning, etc. etc. The Machine is constant efficient motion. Unbelievable. Cannot fall back asleep after The Machine leaves. Decide to catch up on last two DVR’d episodes of The Walking Dead. Nothing says “good morning” like a zombie apocalypse. Sometimes feel as though I am in a zombie apocalypse. Still PISSED they killed off Beth. Really?! COM’ON!

7:00am. Try to wake Little Human. Little Human does not want to wake up. Snuggle with Little Human instead. 7:20am…still trying to wake Little Human. Resort to tickle monster. Tickle monster always does the trick. Have developed a pretty solid morning routine with Little Human during The Machine’s fourteen-hour workday schedule. Little Human can now dress herself, brush her teeth, etc. The Mop is another story. The Mop owns me. Why is it SO FREAKIN’ HARD TO DO HER HAIR?!?!?!?! Spray water. Spray de-tangler. Try running the brush through. No luck. Still tangles everywhere. Feel like I am ripping the hair right out of Little Human skull. Spray more water. Spray more de-tangler. Mumble to myself. Suck my thumb and rock in corner for a bit. Finally get The Mop to lay down…albeit partially. Get ponytail thingy. Ponytail thingy falls to floor. Little Human will not be still. Lost all momentum I once had with The Mop. Let go of The Mop. Pick up ponytail thingy again. Manage to get ponytail thingy around a portion of The Mop. Try to double-back and then triple-back the ponytail thingy. Definitely do not have surgical dexterity. So. Freakin’. Hard. Third attempt, semi-success. Put bow in The Mop. Put beret clippy things on side of The Mop. Inspect work. The Mop looks a step above homeless status. Success.

Take Little Human to Pre-K. Give Little Human kiss goodbye. Little Human eyes her favorite teacher and runs off…always smiling. Except when not screaming at me. Miss Little Human already. Arrive back at home office. Working from home is interesting. It is always here. Zero in-person interaction. Except with cool neighborhood peeps. Consider running. Have ran 20+ miles in three days. Decide my old body needs a break. Besides, I am in email hell. Dive into email hell. I support 53 TV stations in 37 markets nationwide with 240+ openings. Picking priorities is no joke. Good thing I did not run. Look at schedule. Eight interviews on the books. Sigh. Blink, and the day is done. Time to get Little Human…favorite part of the day hearing her scream “daddy!” and run into my arms. Good stuff. Cool neighborhood kid goes with me to pick-up Kennah. Watch them play. Have small tragedy. Overcome small tragedy. Play with Little Human. Take Little Human on a wagon ride. Park. Etc.

More to come…

Posted in Blog, Dads, Fathers, Little Human, Mop, Parenting, Ty Carver, TyCarver | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dad Versus…Christmas Lights (Part II)

Wake up…Sunday morning. Sore from 13.5 mile run yesterday. Feet. Sore. Knees. Sore. And know I am about to be on my feet for most of the day. For today is the dreaded Christmas light installation day.

Feed Little Human. Take Little Human with me to begin the Christmas light installation extravaganza. Have rented a hydraulic lift “Cherry Picker” (CP) with two other neighborhood guys. We begin at Fish’s house. Fish is the designated CP driver for the day. Fish is in for a long day. There is a learning curve to setup the CP. The CP has outriggers and a 35′-40′ reach. Navigating yards with sprinkler heads, landscaping, and two-story homes with large porch overhangs is not easy. Expected to be finished all three houses in four hours. Finish Fish’s house in just over five hours. Reposition CP no fewer than six times trying to get the correct angle to reach house. Finally use a ladder on top of the roof at one point. I am on the ground crew…and, witness near death experience numero uno. Nobody dies. Move to house number two. Wolverine’s. Even taller than Fish’s. Finish this house in just over 2 hours. No near death experiences, but his lights did partially blow down a day later. Fail. My house. Number three. No longer on ground crew, I go up on the CP. Reach pinnacle of house and the CP goes into alarm-mode. Loud alarm mode. Like “danger Will Robinson” loud alarm mode. The CP has gone off-center while settling into the grass. While 40′ in the air. Nearly 500 lbs of human in the CP basket. Not. A. Great. Feeling. Come down. Kind of quickly but kind of not. Reposition CP for tenth time today. With the help of great neighbors, extra ladders, while on the CP, finish right at dark. Eight hours after starting. Would ladders have been easier? Perhaps. But, we had a CP. It was the principle at that point.

The Machine brings Little Human outside to see the house when completed…while covering her eyes to surprise her. Little Human opens eyes. Little Human lets out a scream of joy and starts dancing up and down the sidewalk while singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Eight hours, but well worth it and mission accomplished.

More to come…

Posted in Blog, Christmas, Christmas Lights, Dads, Fathers, Little Human, Mop, Parenting, Ty Carver, TyCarver | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Running Advice: 5 Race Day Tips

You have spent $25 – $100+ entering your race…be it a 5K or marathon. You have put in the miles of training to build your foundation. You feel ready. These 5 simple tips will help you on race day:

  1. Research the course – Does the course have crazy hills or is it flat? I did not research a marathon course once. This was a rookie mistake as it was my third marathon. It was the Cincinnati Flying Pig. The Flying Pig has a 450 ft ascent (40+ floor building) from miles 3 – 8 1/2. I had not trained on hills. None. My wife notified me the night before the race that I was running up Mt. Adams. I did not sleep well that night. Plan. Review the course map from the event website. Train accordingly. Or, you will have an interesting day.
  2. Plan Plan and Plan: Transportation, weather, starting line and start time – Know the weather conditions and dress accordingly. If you wear too much, be prepared to toss it along the route. Know what time the race starts. Nothing is worse than being stuck in traffic and missing the race you have trained weeks or months to finish. Find the actual starting line before race day. Have a parking plan or drop-off plan. Know there will be route/traffic changes by the police the morning of the run. Take public transportation or a shuttle, if possible…and follow the flow of runners. Or, have someone take you and have a designated meeting place afterward. Arrive early. I typically arrive 90 minutes early to stretch, make sure I am in the right spot, to people watch, and to try to settle my nerves a bit. Know that for most of the larger marathons, you will be corralled for a half mile to a mile beyond the finish line and will not be able to immediately see your loved ones. They do this so there is not a large log-jam at the finish. Most of us are going to be very tired and sore after the race. I did not have an escape plan after the Marine Corps Washington DC Marathon. Public transportation was a nightmare getting out and I traveled alone. There were lines around the block to get into the subway and it was impossible to grab a taxi. I probably walked 3-5 miles after running a marathon to try to figure out how to get back to my hotel. I did not want to do this. Have a plan.
  3. Nutrition – Do not try a new breakfast combo the morning of the race. You may have an unpleasant outcome…not good on the race course. Try different food choices as you train and try eating 2-3 hours before your run. My personal choice is a bagel and peanut butter. Also practice carb loading the night before a long run during training…beware of carb loading the night before a race if you have not done this while training. Again, you do not want surprises the day of your race. Practice taking in nutrition (such as “Gu”, etc.) while training. Consuming a paste-like substance while running at pace takes practice.
  4. Be consistent – Know when the race time starts. If it starts early morning, make sure you train at least some (if not often) with early morning runs. Your body reacts differently to time of day. Do not try new electronics, gear, belts, shoes, insoles, socks, compression gear, or a new outfit the morning of the race. Run your race in what you have trained in to avoid blisters, chaffing, etc. Race day is not the day to try new things. Try new things while training.
  5. Have fun! – People sometimes take running way too seriously. If you are not an elite runner, you are not going to win the race in all probability. Try not to be last either. Enjoy the experience, signs, camaraderie, spirit of the race, etc…Try talking to new people…everyone has a story. Try helping someone you see struggling along the way. Do not lose focus of your goal and do not be discouraged if you are passed by someone you think should not be passing you. Set a realistic goal and go for it…if you feel really good, try to crush your PR.
Posted in Fitness, Marathon Training, Running, Running Advice, Running Tips, Ty Carver, TyCarver | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dad Versus…Christmas Lights (Part I)

Wake up…To a slap in the face. Not an easy slap either. Hard. Try to remember if I am in a dream from my misguided college youth. Look over expecting to see someone from misguided youth. See The Mop instead. Smiling. Shake head. Look at Little Human and Mop. Ask Little Human why the “F” did she slap me? Hard. Except, did not use the “F” word. Little Human advises I am laying on top of her. Which, I am. Fair enough. Am in charge of keeping Little Human alive for half the day while The Machine is working. On a Saturday. Feed Little Human. Get Little Human dressed. Decide to actually take on The Mop today. The Machine bought new de-tangler. I finally have new weaponry in my Mop arsenal. Reach for de-tangler. Mop screams. Start spraying. The Mop dodges and weaves quite effectively. De-tangler everywhere. Sink. Mirror. Floor. Walls. Ceiling. Me. Little Human. Some of it makes it onto The Mop. Good enough. Brush The Mop. De-tangler is no match for The Mop’s magic force field. Brush Mop. Put in clip-things. Put on headband. The Mop semi-cooperates. Success. For once. Me: 1 – Mop: 786.

Called number from one of the signs on the off-ramp from the expressway advertising to hang exterior Christmas lights. Decide this is a great idea. I do not want to hang Christmas lights myself. Guy will be here at 9am. Sharp. Guy arrives. 9am sharp. Shocked.  Contractor dude explains he is from Georgia. Contractor dude must have just fallen off the peach truck from Georgia. Like, on the way here. Georgia’s accent makes Kentucky sound like Boston. For real. Try to comprehend what Georgia is saying. Georgia measures house. Georgia does some figurin’. Georgia quotes $380. Without lights, extension cords, clips, etc. All that would be “extrey.” Look at Georgia. Wolverine is standing next to me for a quote also. Explain to Georgia I wanted this figure to be closer to $100. Or less. Try to explain to Georgia the economics of this negotiation. Try to explain to Georgia I could put out the “Bat Signal” for our cool neighborhood and probably get him 10-30 additional customers if his prices were not absolutely ri-f’ing-diculous. Georgia quotes Wolverine $400. Bye Georgia.

Take Little Human to Sam’s to Christmas light shop. Call The Machine to make sure I purchase what The Machine wants. It has taken five-years of taking stuff back to learn to consult with The Machine first. Purchase 168 feet of LED icicle light pure power brilliance. Purchase extension cords. Purchase adaptors. Purchase shingle clips. Purchase a glowing lit-up Rudolph thing Little Human wants. Purchase half of Sam’s Club. $400+ later, I’m good. Renting a “cherry picker” lift thingamajob tomorrow with some of the neighborhood guys for installation. This should be interesting…

Watch college football rivalry Saturday. Watch my UK Wildcats lose to the dreaded UL Cardinals. The Machine is a UL alumni scholarship athlete and all-conference in pole vaulting. The Machine was a beast. The Machine looked like Helga from the East Ukraine in her heyday. Crazy ripped. The Machine does not even rub-in the loss this time. Four in a row. Why bother? Nice. Run 13.5 miles to take out frustration from loss. 70 degrees. Perfect weather. 101 miles so far for November. The thought of the 50K I have already signed-up for in January makes me want to vomit.

More to come…

Posted in Blog, Christmas, Christmas Lights, Dads, Fathers, Little Human, Mop, Ty Carver, TyCarver | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dad Versus…Black Friday

Wake up. Black Friday. Day after Thanksgiving. Stomach still full. Ran eight miles yesterday at good pace. Legs sore, but a good sore. Bike ride afterward followed by flag football in our neighborhood. Our neighborhood is awesome. Had two Thanksgiving dinners with multiple groups of great friends. Would of eaten leftover Halloween candy for Thanksgiving otherwise the way The Machine (aka the wife) is working right now.

Consider going shopping on Black Friday. Consider poking an ink pen in my eye. It is my responsibility to keep Little Human alive today while The Machine works. Little Human wakes up. Feed Little Human. Get Little Human dressed. Little Human looks like a psychedelic homeless kid. Put ball cap on The Mop. Perfection. Take Little Human to zoo. It is cold in Florida. 52 degrees. Ride carousel with Little Human. Twice. Ride roller coaster. Ride train. See every single living organism in zoo. About three-quarters through zoo, Houston…we have a problem. Someone has to use the restroom. Very badly. And it is not Little Human. In a serious dilemma. Has a Finch-like aversion to public restrooms. Multiply aversion times ten when I have Little Human. I mean, really? Am I supposed to have her stand inside the stall and traumatize it for life? Or, leave her outside the stall to see whatever? Stumped. What to do? Somehow make it home after stopping twice on the side of the expressway wondering what was about to happen. Hazard lights on. Little Human asleep in the backseat in booster chair. Wondering what I would say if a police officer pulled over to at this moment to check on me. Would I use the former firefighter excuse or the fact I am about to use the restroom on the side of Interstate 75 in broad daylight? Or, I am just hanging out on the side of 75 enjoying the warm Florida sunshine? Watched cars fly by at eighty plus MPH. Wishing I was going eighty plus MPH at that moment. Geesh.

Nap with Little Human. Take Little Human to a “big girl” movie. Penguins. Madagascar. Dumb, but Little Human likes it. When not scared. Keep telling Little Human it is a kid film and everything is about to work itself out. Little Human does not believe me. Everything works itself out. Little Human crisis avoided. Eat $7 small popcorn. Want to debate/negotiate popcorn price. This is $.30 worth of popcorn. Consider asking for a manager. I am in that mood. Decide against it. Go to car after movie. A jerkoff leaves me 3 inches on my side to get in door. Consider setting fire to jerkoff’s car. Former twenty-year volunteer firefighter equals former trained arsonist. Decide against this. Besides, Little Human is with me. Somehow wedge myself into car. The Machine comes home after fourteen-hour day. Leftovers with neighbors. Games with neighbors. Not a bad neighborhood.

More to come…

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Dad Versus…Thanksgiving

Wake up. Thanksgiving morning. Alone in bed. The Machine (aka the wife) left long ago for work. Evidently, people need packages delivered on Thanksgiving. Secretly loathe Black Friday now. Must. Have. Coffee. Coffee makes everything better. Read paper on iPad. Still receive Louisville Courier Journal for some reason. Missing my Louisville teen daughter today. Miss her like crazy all the time. Thankful I helped raise such an amazing young lady.

But, thankful to have my Little Human with me all the time. Most of the time, that is. Maybe not for a minute or two yesterday. Came home from working from Starbucks for a bit. Hired a sitter to watch Little Human. Four hours. Evidently, Little Human gave sitter a run for her money. Walk in. Immediately almost slip and fall on beads. Tiny beads you make bracelets and necklaces with. Not just a few beads. Hundreds. Maybe thousands. Every color. Every size. Every shape. Over entire first floor. Entire first floor is white tile. Kitchen. Family room. Office. Bathroom. Butler’s pantry. Beads. Everywhere. Paper everywhere. Full pieces of paper. Tiny cut pieces of paper. Play-Doh. Everywhere. Kitchen island. Floor. Couch. Coffee table. Toys. Everywhere. My mind tries to process/comprehend complete chaos before me. Look at sitter. Sitter looks at me. Then her eyes hit the floor. Little Human running around like a crazy banshee. Ask obvious question to sitter. “What happened?” Sitter states the obvious. “She is not listening.” Look at Little Human. Little Human looks back. Nicely ask Little Human to begin clean-up activities. Little Human responds/screams “no!!!” Sitter smiles, while still looking at floor. Sitter is pretty much just rocking back and forth in a corner at this time almost sucking her thumb. Quickly pay sitter. Sitter literally runs out door. Will probably never see this sitter again. Close door. Summon Little Human to stand in front of me. Ask/demand Little Human again to clean-up maniacal mess. Little Human again responds “no!!!” Tell Little Human I will immediately box every toy it owns and give them to needy kids. Little Human screams for me not to give her toys to “Needian Kids!!!” Little Human is so upset she has to clean up her own mess or lose toys to Needian Kids that she pukes. Evidently, sitter gave Little Human marshmellows. Evidently, Little Human did not chew marshmellows when swallowing them whole. Have brownish puke, whole marshmellows mixed-in with beads all over Little Human and floor. Almost puke myself. Water/saliva jets shooting into mouth. Pick up Little Human. Put Little Human in bath. Walk outside to breathe fresh air. Clean puke/beads/paper/marshmellow blend off white tile floor. Get Little Human out of bath. Clean chaos for 1.5 hours straight. Good times. Life.

Thanksgiving. Thankful for a healthy family. Thankful for 2 beautiful, very different daughters. Thankful for the fiery ball of fire that is my 4 year old. Love her spirit. Thankful for a selfless wife who is the hardest worker and best mother I know. Thankful for great careers. Thankful for where life has taken us. Beautiful home. Amazing neighborhood. Amazing neighbors. Fun neighbors. New friends. Great friends. Near the ocean. Beautiful weather. Wishing oldest daughter was here but keeping everything in perspective. Missing family back in Kentucky. Thankful at age 4…err…29…can still run distance. Speaking of which…going for 6-10 miler now. 70 degrees. Sunny. Thanksgiving. Football. Dinner with friends later. More to come…

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