Mom and her three girls Day 2

A Husband Free Week –

I feel like John would be able to come up with some clever & entertaining intro… I’ve got nothing right now.   We all had a rough time sleeping last night. Jules was up till near Midnight. I was up till 1AM, on a normal Saturday I am lucky to make it to the SNL monologue.  Mia & Olivia both came into my bed in the middle of the night.  Needless to say not a restful sleep.

When we woke up I saw a text from John that he had thankfully landed in London.  It was nice to start the day by exchanging texts, made it feel like he wasn’t as far away. John spent most of the day on a plane so we didn’t hear from him again until after dinner.

We didn’t have much to do today other than some cleaning, baking & Jules had a super cool American Ninja Warrior party to attend to celebrate her teammates birthday.

To say emotions were running high for the youngest Floyd would be a bit of an understatement.  She went from zero to meltdown several times today.  I would prefer that she didn’t have the meltdown but I am thankful that I was the recipient of the rage & that there was no Sister on Sister violence.

Things that set her off today…. No eggs left in the fridge, the idea of having to eat lunch, not getting what she wanted at the store, being thirsty & last but not least losing at Uno.

Mia had her moments today as well but not as extreme. Jules was the only child who did not seem to be right on the verge of a complete meltdown.

John made it safely to India, saw some roaming livestock between the airport & hotel.  He is trying to get some sleep before heading into the office & I am going to try to do the same.

Thankfully beginning tomorrow our life will be at its regular level of chaos.  Normally I wouldn’t look forward to Monday but this week its one day closer to My Man coming home!

Mom and her three girls Day 1

While I am away traveling to India on business, my wife Catherine will be guest blogging about her experience home alone with our girls. Since I was traveling the first day and didn’t have access to post I will post both today.

A Husband Free Week –

I absolutely love reading my husband’s blogs, his writing is so entertaining.  One of my favorite blogs was a series that he wrote while I was in California with family for my Uncle David’s funeral.  It was so nicely done that it became a topic of conversation with the whole family & a source of entertainment during a very sad time.

I’m sure this reads as a shameless plug for Johns blog but I bring up his “Time as a Single Father” blogs because it was the longest we had ever been apart in almost 15 years of marriage…. Until this week.  Tonight John left for a trip to India.

John has said a few times now that it would be fun if I did a guest appearance on his blog so I thought this was the perfect opportunity.  I would like to add a disclaimer in here that I am nowhere near as entertaining as my husband.

We had a pretty normal Saturday, actually calmer than most since we only had two games.  Mia had a soccer game at 12:30, Olivia played at 3:30.  Both girls walked off the field in victory.  We came home & had an early for us chicken taco dinner which is always a hit in this house.  Less than an hour later the car service came to pick John up.

The farewell was filled with individual hugs & group hugs… lots of hugs.  There were tears, I would like to lie & say it was just the little ones but John has blogged enough that ya’all know I’m a crier.  Olivia & Mia cried as John walked out the door while Julia boasted how she has great control over her emotions.

As the car drove away the tears continued to flow. Thankfully the girls chuckled when I mentioned that we no longer had to keep on the College Football game.  So we threw on NetFlix & watched a movie.   They were not ready to call it a night when that was over so we played Uno.

While we were playing Uno Mia was texting her Dad play by play of what was happening in the game. The 1st game went well, 2nd game ended in an epic Mom/Jules battle.  Game 3…. Well I should have seen the warning signs that people were getting tired & cranky but there was no physical altercation & we made it to the end of the game so it could have been worse I suppose.

The girls finally made it to bed, although at almost 11 I still have a stubborn near 13-year-old who is still awake.  John is on his flight, in business class, with a fully reclining seat with complimentary bar as I sit on the couch hoping that the next 6 days go quickly!

Halloween Hangover

You always hear that if there was a nuclear holocaust that cockroaches would be the only thing to survive. While I don’t doubt that is true but I believe that there is something else that would survive a nuclear holocaust, left over Halloween candy.

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A nuclear Holocaust might not be that bad

There are three bags full of Halloween candy in our cabinets and I’m not sure all of it is from this year. Halloween candy seems to last for years and at certain points seem to inexplicably multiply.

Halloween itself is a very short holiday. Even in adding the time to decide on a costume, pick it out and get ready it is only a few hours, most of which is spent trick or treating. But the after effects of Halloween last months. Doing the math if you figure the average trick or treat is approximately two hours, at minimum averaging three houses every 10 minutes, at two pieces of candy a house, that would be…..I don’t know, I hate math but it equals a sh#t load of candy.

I know what you’re thinking “what is so bad about candy in the house,” I’ll tell you what is so bad, I might eat a lot of that candy. In years past, when my kids were asleep I would rifle through their bags looking for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or Kit Kats, Snickers, you name it. Now, in my defense I was very fair and made sure I would equally steal from all my daughters. Hey, I’m a lot of things but unfair is not one of them.

Halloween has been over for more than a week and I still have copious amount of candy in my house. And let me tell you it’s not because my girls have been eating the candy in moderation, it because there is just so much of it. Thank God we don’t stay at home during Halloween to hand out candy because I can only imagine how much we would have left. Speaking of which, we are a family with three kids and go out trick or treating, yet don’t hand out any candy ourselves. mr-_brad_gurdlinger

I can’t very well encourage my girls to gorge on the candy to get it out of the house, that isn’t exactly great parenting. Bringing it to work isn’t an option because apparently every single person in my office have already had that idea Halloween might be one night, but it’s aftermath lasts a long time.

Pushed to the sidelines

968925_10201143646931036_71760859_nIn 2009 I began coaching my daughter Julia in soccer. I started out as her recreation coach and eventually became her travel coach. Along the way I also became Mia’s rec coach when she got old enough to begin playing soccer. When Mia moved to travel I became her assistant coach. Since 2013 I was Julia’s head coach and Mia’s assistant coach.

With such a heavy coaching load when Olivia started playing soccer Cathy jumped in and coached her in rec. Recently US Soccer announced changes to how they structured the age requirements and I suddenly found myself without a team. So, for the first time in seven years I would have no team to coach. Olivia moved up to Travel this season and since I had already been coaching two teams another coach stepped up and took over her team.

Right now my daughter’s play soccer for three different soccer clubs in three different townships. With the conflicting game and practice schedules I wouldn’t have been able to coach even if I wanted to. The season started over a month ago but I wanted to wait before I made this post to give me some time to adjust and see what it was like. I had time to get used to it because in the summer I didn’t have any practices to run, just practices to run my girls to.

When the first week of soccer came I took Julia to her game. Julia, the girl who I had been coaching since she was five. The biggest difference came at the end of the game, which Julia’s team won 1-0. The feeling of victory was different; I don’t know how to describe it but it didn’t feel as complete as they did when I was coach. I didn’t feel I was a part of it like I did when I coached. It didn’t feel like we won, it felt like they won.

But like in all things you adjust, that feeling lasted only that one weekend and I quickly learned how to enjoy my daughter’s victories just as a parent and not a coach. Now more than a month into the season I am enjoying life on the sidelines. It is nice not to have to plan out practices, make sure I have all the paperwork before games and lug around a bag of balls (insert your own joke here). Best of all Julia’s new coach is 1000 times better than me.

I do miss my former soccer family and especially miss the girls I use to coach. I had been coaching the same travel team since 2011 and always felt I had more than three daughters. As tough as it was to not see my former players all the time I know change is inevitable. I always took pride in being identified as “Coach” and of course being able to teach something to my girls. However, they outgrew what I could teach them, I guess that is another inevitability I will have to get used to.cucnkzeuaaast1d

36 hours of bachelor life

The previous weekend I got to relive bachelor life again. I was left home alone as my girls went to my sister in law Chrissy’s wedding shower in Connecticut. They had taken day trips without me in the past but this was the first time I was home alone overnight, after 14 years I was a bachelor again. A house usually overrun with women was guys only, Roo (the cat), Shadow (the dog) and me (the human?).

For once the house was overrun with testosterone. Ok, Shadow and Roo are fixed so I had to carry most of the testosterone weight, but I felt up to the challenge. I didn’t do anything exciting, didn’t have a boy’s night out or made any special plans. I did get Chinese food which on the surface sounds like nothing but ever since my wife’s first pregnancy she can’t stand the smell of it so I don’t get it too often; it is life’s small victories really.70854471

I did get an amazing amount of work done. I got the lawn done, straightened out the shed and got some other lawn work completed. These of course are things that theoretically I could have done with all the girls home but in reality with all the girls home we probably would have made plans to do something. With three active travel soccer playing girls you rarely have a weekend to do nothing. Usually the work around the house has to be squeezed in.

Typically, when everyone is home I don’t mind doing work around the house. It turns into a little bit of me time. When I cut the grass or shovel snow I put my headphones on and am alone with my thoughts. It is one of the reasons I usually walk during lunch time at work (along with the obvious exercise benefits), it is sort of my brief escape during the day.

The one thing I learned is that without the girls to get me time from, me time isn’t as nice as it usually is. Being totally home alone gets a little boring and I end up missing the girls. Sure having control of the TV and being able to play FIFA 16’ anytime I want is a great bonus, but the novelty wears out and I realize why I wanted a family to begin with. The sobering thing is maybe I just don’t have that many thoughts to be alone with to keep me occupied.

Another 10 year old daughter?!?!?!

A decade is usually a pretty good marker of time. If you have been at a job for 10 years than you have been there a significant amount of time. It is a milestone for a marriage. You are long past the newlywed stage and while not an old married couple you have a pretty good handle on married life. An athlete who has played a decade is a grizzled veteran.

10 is also a very significant age. You have been alive for a decade, not a little kid anymore but not quite to adolescence yet. I bring this up because Mia turned 10 today. Now only Olivia remains my only child in single digits and I have to admit that has made me a little sad.

When Julia turned 10 while still momentous it didn’t affect me the same way because I still had two single digit girls. Julia now sits on the cusp of being a teenager (oh you know a blog is coming when that happens) and Mia is 10. I wonder how the heck I have two daughters who have been alive on this earth for a decade. I was 31 when Mia was born, 31!!!!, now I’m 41 (I will save you from having to see all the exclamation points I want to type but I assure you it would be like 5 lines of them).

I have to admit I was excited when my girls got out of the baby phase. Sure babies are cute but the older your child gets the more stuff they can do. They start walking, talking and developing personalities. You get to watch them play games or do concerts and talent shows and I love all that stuff. Parenting is definitely more fun and challenging now than when all I had to do was hold them and wipe their butts (I do not miss that).

It’s just that I do miss those baby days and before when one aged out I had another one still there. Now I got two girls who are 10 and over and even at 7 Olivia is getting more and more independent. Hey it is great that they all can make themselves breakfast and read their own books entertain themselves and especially wipe their own butts, but man where did the time go? Suddenly my girls are turning into little woman and I’m turning into one of those parents who say things like “they grow up so fast.” That is the kind of stuff you say and think and 41 that you didn’t at 31.

I am a hypocrite

Nobody wants to be called or thought of as a hypocrite. When people describe themselves you won’t hear them say “I have a good sense of humor and am a hypocrite.” It is also not a trait you look for in a friend or mate. I have never met anyone who considers it a desirable quality and you try your best not to be hypocritical.

However, the one great thing about being a parent is not only can you get away with being hypocritical, you wouldn’t be doing your job if you were not. I think I have made it clear that I wasn’t the best student growing up and didn’t get good grades. The parental hypocrite in me makes it unacceptable for my girls not to get good grades. They have to study hard and make sure they get their homework done, all things I never did.

My room was always a mess, clothes thrown everywhere with comic books and toys strewn on the floor. Yet I scream, yell and give my girls a hard time for not keeping their rooms cleaned. I require Julia to do her own laundry even though I know I was much older before I did my own laundry. In my defense this has more to do with the fact is I refuse to do her laundry since now she wears bras, I am really having trouble with that.

As my girls get older my hypocriticalness (yes I know it isn’t a word) will increase. Underage drinking? They better not. Smoking weed, Hell no….underage sex…..I don’t even want to think about it. Honestly I wish I had a lot more underage sex when I was younger but there just weren’t that many willing participants. All those things I will preach to my girls about avoiding and being responsible about, even though perhaps I was not.

My oldest brother David who has no kids likes to tell on me to my girls. That of course is what people without children like to do and say things like “when you were younger you didn’t keep your room clean” and telling me I am being hypocritical. He doesn’t realize that as a parent it is my right, nay, my duty to be a hypocrite when it comes to my daughters.

I have to amend my first statement; nobody wants to be a hypocrite unless you are a parent. Hypocriticalness (I am trying to make it a thing, like Fetch) is a powerful, effective and necessary tool in the parental toolbox. We don’t want our children to make the same mistakes we did and want to use our experience to help them make better choices and be better people. We want to set an example for them, we just don’t want that example to be of us when we were their age.