Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

Ever since she turned 3, my little M has been obsessed with the differences between boys and girls. A lot of it probably has to do with the fact that until she was able to safely self entertain, both her mother and I made her sit in the bathroom with us while we showered. It seemed like the best way to keep an eye on her and to not have to skip showers while she was awake. You busy single parents of toddlers know what I mean.

When she learned the name of Daddy's "boy parts" she thought that was the funniest word she ever heard: "You have a PENIS???!!! That's silly!"
A couple months ago, we were coming down the elevator on a busy Saturday morning. Our building at the time was huge. It has 865 apartments filled with one of two types of residents: families with young kids like us, or retirees who have been living in the building for YEARS who haven't left because of rent control. As we got on the elevator, M looked in the mirror at her hair. Daddy had made his best attempt at a pony tail (I've actually gotten quite good at it). She gave herself the once over and the conversation ensued:

"Look Daddy! I have girl hair!"

"Yes you do baby. You have beautiful long hair" I replied.

"Mommy has girl hair too! Daddy? You have girl hair?"

"No baby, Daddy has short boy hair"

"Oh" she said with thoughtful face. Just then, the elevator doors opened to the lobby. It was early and for some reason there was a large group of little old ladies milling around our cavernous lobby that coincidentally has a HUGE echo. M's face lit up and she asked loudly with a wry smile,

"Daddy, you have a PENIS?" ALL heads turned in our direction!

"That's right baby. Boys have a penis" I replied quietly. We exited the elevator and she continued...

"Daddy, do I have a PENIS???"

"No baby, you have girly parts"

"Oh" she replied with a thoughtful face, almost disappointed. I could see the wheels turning in her pretty little head. I could also see that every grandma in the place was staring either in disbelief! Our favorite doorman Norman, however, was laughing so hard he was about to pee his pants. After a few seconds M's little face lit up...here it comes...


"Yes my love?" as we walked past the little old ladies...

"I want a PENIS! I want a PENIS" she shrieked with delight while jumping up and down holding my hand, "We go to the PENIS STORE and buy one?"

Terror on faces everywhere as Norman doubles over. So for the grandma's I answered, "You know what baby, if you can find a penis store we'll go buy one."

"Ok! Ok!" she squealed.

And with that we went to the playground...leaving behind a lobby full of horrified old ladies and one very amused doorman :)

Now I just need to put together a plan for our new family business! Anyone know a good penis wholesaler?

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Change of Focus

So I've been sporadic as best in my postings for the last few months. Truth be told, I've gotten a bit bored with the whole thing. Not bored with the rest of your lives...I still love reading what's going on with each of you and seeing how your single parenting days are working out. It's just that (hopefully) I seem to be through the "crisis part" of the separation and divorce. Ex and I don't have much contact except for arranging drop off's and pick up's. Honestly, most of that is by design from me: I've realized that the less contact with her, the happier I am. Things still come up occasionally of course, but after having our Child Therapist establish some ground rules for us, we've managed to stay mostly within those lines and when we don't a quick "remember what CT said about..." email seems to do the trick. I'm SO grateful for that.

My major sadness that remains is that Ex still doesn't seem to spend a ton of time with M and M does express this to me. When drop off time comes, M will say things like "Mommy not home, Mommy's at work" or "We're not going to see Mommy, we're going to see (insert Nanny's name here)." This makes me sad but I guess I've realized that there's not much I can do about it. The nanny or babysitter Ex uses is great with M and while I'd MUCH rather have that time with her, arranging switch times around Ex's ever changing schedule is more trouble than it's worth. I have a backlog of nights where I've stepped in to have M and to date, Ex hasn't offered any reasonable nights to make them up; only nights which would make me not see M for longer stretches which I'm not willing to do. So, I continue to play Mr. Mom which I LOVE and M and my relationship just keeps getting better.

So, when I started this blog I did so with the purpose of putting my problems out there and seeing what all of you who have more experience at this than me can do to help. I am SO grateful to all of you who offered support, advice, or just a kind word when I was in the middle of of the muck. Granted, Ex is Ex, so I expect more issues occasionally, but my "toolbox" is more complete now and I've learned mostly how to deal with her. Again, that is with the help of the online single parent community. You guys are AWESOME!!! Kind of like my sobriety program, I think I'm now in a position to help more than "take more" since I've been doing this for a while. I have always found that the most rewarding relationships I get are ones where I'm "on the give more than on the take."

So, in an effort to not let BDC's blog die, the Change of Focus will be this...the subject to whom I am writing is going to be different. As M keeps growing, discovering, and changing, there are SO MANY things that I want her to remember or that I want to remember because they're cute, funny, huge milestones, etc. Why not make BCD's blog FROM Daddy TO my Little M telling her all the great moments and memories that might be forgotten otherwise? When she's older, I can compile them onto a book with pictures so that she can always look back on her childhood from Daddy's eyes.

I'm really excited about this. Nothing I wouldn't do for my little girl...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Apparently Size Matters...

And Disney doesn't know. This is a family resort people...get your minds out of the gutter!!!

M and I did all the Princess lunches and breakfasts we could in order to meet as many characters as possible. She also wanted to meet the Pooh characters and the fairies and was most excited to meet Tinkerbell and Cinderella. At the Norway restaurant at Epcot we met Belle, Sleeping Beauty (aka Aurora), Snow White, and Jasmine! Talk about a score. The big event was dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming however. They danced for us, took pictures with M, and were very sweet to her. M's favorite out of that group however...Anastasia, one of the evil step-sisters!!! I have no idea why but that's all M could focus on. Granted the actress who played her did a very good job. She took a lot of time with each of the kids and really played up the dumb step-sister thing (apparently Anastasia is the dumb one and Druzilla is the mean one). M loved her red hair too.

When we found out we could meet Tinkerbell, though, M was SO excited. I bought her a Baby Tinkerbell the first day (those Disney guys are genius, a baby doll dressed like TB with a baby blanket). M carried her new baby everywhere. So when we got to Pixie Hollow, M was so excited that she jumped up and down for the entire 30 minute wait. When we got to the door the hostess told us that as soon as we go inside, the fairies will sprinkle fairy dust on us so that we'll shrink down to the size of Tinkerbell so as not to scare her and that as we leave, they'll sprinkle us again so that we grow to normal size. I was very careful to explain this to M several times because of an incident we had with Pooh Bear that I'll explain next...

So, when it came to our turn, we were the first two in line. The hostess opened the velvet rope and M TOOK OFF RUNNING. I mean, fast! Ran after her and got there right as she turned the corner only to see...A LIFE SIZED TINKERBELL, FAWN, and TERRANCE!!! It was like watching a running cat try to change directions on a tile floor...her little legs hit reverse and she practically ran backwards out of the room crying and terrified!!! Poor baby obviously didn't get the fairy dust bit. I caught her and brought her over to TB and her friends, all M would do what cling to me for dear life with her little arms and legs and bury her head in my chest. The pictures are HILARIOUS. Smiling Daddy and Tinkerbell with a look of sheer terror of M's face and she hides in Daddy's armpit. Nice try Disney, but the little kids may not get the fairy dust shrinking bit...

Prior to that we went to a breakfast where Pooh Bear, Tigger, and some of the other characters were. M LOVES Pooh Bear as do I. Reminds me of the nice parts of my childhood. We were sitting at table where the characters were coming up behind us, so M didn't notice when Pooh Bear walked up. And Daddy didn't tell her because he didn't want to ruin the surprise. Here's what I wasn't thinking about...in the books and movies, Pooh Bear is Christopher Robin's pet, right? And only comes up to CR's waist. Given that CR is a little boy, M must have expected PB to be about 2 feet tall. She was SO excited to hug a little bear!!! What walked up, however, was a 6 foot tall bear with a GIANT head. The horror in M's face said it all!!! She jumped across the table into my lap and REFUSED to look at Pooh. We couldn't even get a picture!!!

Moral for Disney on this one: job opportunities for "little people" are limited enough as it is. Think about how many could be employed by making them Disney characters such as Pooh Bear! We could put a serious dent in unemployment. Should someone contact Obama???

Monday, July 12, 2010

Single Single Dads...This is a Must Read!!!

So, M and I are back from Disney. We had SO much fun!!! Each of the last two mornings after she woke up she climbed into my lap and said "Daddy, let's go to Disney today!!!" Guess she liked it. :)

I have a ton of fun stories about M from there which I'll share with everyone throughout the week. Sticking with our single parent focus though, and particularly my single daddy brethren, I thought that today I'd give you one huge observation that I have from our trip:


That's right. Unbelievable!

Now, personally I'm committed to RN at the moment and hope that doesn't change. She gets sweeter by the day and I REALLY like her. We're even Facebook official now! New ground for me...There was therefore no hanky panky for me while M and I where there. I did, however, either strike up or just have random conversations with so many pretty single mommies. Never expected that!

Now, M and I stayed at the most economical Disney (the All Star Resort). Nothing fancy at all. Just basic rooms like a Holiday Inn, but two nice pools, a playground, a food court, and frequent bus transport to and from any of the Disney Parks. And TONS of other kids for M to play with. I figured why spend money on an expensive hotel when we weren't going to be there anyway. That said, I'm assuming most single parents would be on a limited budget so therefore single mommies galore! What was really nice to see was that a lot of them were with their parents. We did eat at a couple of the other "nicer" resorts for Princess Breakfast or Princess Lunch, but honestly, I saw very few singles there and the hotels looked less kid friendly. Great for couples without kids but otherwise who needs it, right?

Fellas, I'm just sayin', if you want to give your kids a GREAT vacation and have the chance to hang out with a bunch of other single parents this is a must do!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy July 4th!!!

So, no major new news today so I thought I'd just drop a few lines to let everyone know what's going on.

Most important, M is doing great. Honestly, that kid has a great life whether child of divorce or not. After a week at the beach in SC with my family, she's headed to the beach on Eastern Long Island with her mother today for the long weekend. I won't see her until next Wednesday morning :( but she's going to have fun so I'm happy for her. As soon as she gets to my place Wed, we're hopping on a plane to Disney World for 4 days! She's SO excited to meet Cinderella and all the princesses. We're staying in a hotel on Disney so we don't have to drive and can just catch the shuttles everywhere. Very exciting! She has two more beach vacations coming up this summer as well as a trip to see my family. We're also planning on a trip to Sesame Place (the Sesame Street theme park in PA) later in the summer. It's good to be my M!

M and I are moving in a couple weeks. Only two blocks away so no huge change. Same neighborhood, playground, friends, etc. The big change is that little one gets her own large bedroom and bathroom!!! She's very excited. Her current room is the converted dining room in our one bedroom apt. Decent size for a baby but not big enough for a "big girl." She helped Daddy pick out the design of the room...pink walls, white furniture, yellow floral comforter, fairy princess bathroom, etc. I'm going to be painting and moving a few things this weekend while she's with her mother.

RN and I are doing GREAT! I'm really excited about her. Luckily, after returning a text from CP earlier in the week, I haven't heard back, so it looks like that one is dead. Not that my mind wasn't already made up but I hate to have to make those kinds of choices since I generally don't trust my own judgement. Anyhow, RN and I talk at least once a day and text throughout the day. We're getting together tonight and then again Sunday evening and Monday all day. She works this weekend which is good. Gives me time to do apt stuff. Getting the stomach butterflies with this one...she's super expressive, a total cutie pie, and always seems positive and in a good mood. Monday we're going to the beach for the day. Agreeing with everyone who's left comments, this one may be a keeper :)

Ex has been especially agreeable lately. Maybe she's sick :) Seriously, no issues on a couple months and even some financial relief. Hopefully we're past the ugly part of the divorce and can just get on with co-parenting and our separate lives.

Work is...work. Work to live not live to work I say.

That's all I've got peoples. Enjoy the 4th and if you're watching the fireworks in NYC, look for me and RN in the crowd. We'll be watching.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm Tired But It's OK

So, back from a week's vacation in SC with my family. Those of you with whom I'm friends on Facebook have probably seen some of the pictures. I love that week with my family since I don't get to be a part of their daily lives and miss them a lot. M loves it too because she gets to spend time with her Family. Funny, even at 3 1/2, the concept of family isn't lost on her. She loves that she has grandparents, an aunt and uncle, and cousins. She was totally at ease with everyone and really seemed to enjoy herself.

Now back to life as usual, but not quite...my dates with CP (CVS girl) and RN (the woman from the arcade at the beach) happened the week before last. CP is very funny and cute and I had a good time with her. Some cultural difference might make it tough though. She's from Taiwan and while she's been in the States for many years, her family is over there and a lot of the pop culture references I talked about she didn't get. She's a bit older than I thought (31), which is a good thing. Funny thing though, is that I'm actually closer to her mother's age (50) than her age. Doh! We got a good laugh out of that. She's in Turkey for a friend's wedding so I won't be able to see her for a bit...however...

RN and I went out two nights later and had such a great time, we went out again the next night! We spoke and texted continuously during the week I was at the beach and got together again last night and stayed out until 1 AM. For those of you who don't know me, I'm in bed by 10 regardless of who I'm with so this is huge for me. And again, we had such a good time that we're going to see each other again tonight. She's so sweet, very affectionate, has a beautiful smile and giant blue eyes. Total melters for me. And as I said before, she doesn't seem "complicated" by all the money, status, or other distractions of the city. She never even asked me what I did for a living until the 4th or 5th time we talked. That's usually one of the first questions you get in NYC. I mean this in the best way possible, but so far she seems like a very simple family girl. I LOVE that. She's a "good girl" as well in that no rushing into the physical. While one part of me (down below) would LOVE to do that, it never seems to work out. I'm happy she has the smarts (or self control) to take that part slow since I DON'T :)

So it looks like I'll be tired again tomorrow. Oh well. Looks like serious potential with this one. For that, I'll gladly miss out on a few hours of sleep.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

'Nuf Said...

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm On a Roll

My luck with the ladies away from the Internet dating thing is looking up! Now, I've had enough of these positive times (WAY in the past) to know that nothing, good or bad, lasts forever. Still, ride the way while you're up, right?
CP (the CVS girl) and I have yet to get together. We keep trying but with her work schedule and my schedule with Miss M, it's tough. Still, we're working on it and hopefully will happen later this week.

Last Wed, Thurs, and Friday I took off from work so that M and I could go to the beach with a buddy and his son Gabriel. Gabriel is Miss M's "boyfriend" (she's started early). They live in our building and most weeknights when M is there we get the kids together for a post dinner play date. Have to admit, that's another advantage of the big city...play dates without even leaving the house. G's parents are still together and have a 1 year old daughter as well who's cute as a button.

Anyhow, Brian, G, M, and I went to the beach house they have for a couple days just to goof off and let the kids have some time together. As we drove down on Wednesday though, it was pouring rain, so we were a bit perplexed as to what to do. Just going to the house could be ok, but we figured since it was mid week, maybe a trip to the arcade might be fun. Simple stuff like ski ball, the claw grabber things (to pick up the stuffed animals), and other easy games. I have a strange talent for the claw grabber things...not sure why but I ALWAYS win at least a couple of times (this time...6 stuffed animals in less than an hour). So M was really excited and shrieking with joy at her new toys.

The place was pretty empty except for one group of people who seemed to be grandparents, a dad and mom with son, and what appeared to be a very attractive single mom and her daughter. The SM was playing one of the claw grabby games with her little girl when M ran up the machine next to them. I walked up next to them and looked...BEAUTIFUL. Not just pretty but totally stunning, and NO ring. Sweet!
I started playing the game as they watched and of course M started talking to the little girl. Love that about 3 year olds. Don't even remember what I said but we exchanged a couple words and as it turns out, SM is painfully shy! It was cute though. Anyhow, I tried a couple times for a Big Bird animal that I couldn't quite get and during which time SM and the girl went to play another game. Her parents were next to us watching the whole time though, and chatted with M a bit. M and I then went to another machine and proceeded to win a purple stuffed bear when SM came up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "here, my dad won this and we thought your daughter would like to have it." It was the Big Bird! I thanked her profusely and again tried to strike up conversation but she seemed very nervous and scooted away with her little girl.

A couple minutes later I saw her Dad so I thanked him and he smirked and said "Dude, I was trying for you." He was TOTALLY trying to set me up with his daughter!!! How funny is that? At this point I figured screw it, I need to talk to her so we just played games in her proximity until I got the chance to corner her. Once she got talking she was very sweet. Turns out she lives just outside Manhattan (only about 20 minutes away). We exchanged numbers and have talked 3 times since and our first date is planned for this Thursday.

No idea where this one is going of course but this woman seems to be totally my type...sweet, not cocky, not affected by New York (huge problem in Manhattan), very into her family who live only 20 minutes from her, and is a nurse (practically every woman in my family is a nurse so I have a soft spot for them. She's in her mid thirties, which is a bit more age appropriate than CP, and as it turns the little girl she was with is her niece, so no kids. Neither here nor there I guess.
I would say luck of the Irish except I'm full Italian. Anyhow, I'm liking the non-Internet dating thing and having fun talking to relative strangers. We'll keep you posted on this one as well.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You Can Get More Than Prescriptions at CVS

So, part two of week one of BCD's dating exploits. After my date with Russian Girl, I decided to walk home (about 30 blocks). It was about midnight and I was still pretty awake. As I walked by a CVS, I remembered I needed to pick up a few things. Here's the benefit of living in the city that never sleeps...CVS is 24/7.

As I'm wandering around the store picking up various things, I turn the corner and see a beautiful pair of legs attached to a very pretty brunette (see, I like non blonds ;). She turned to look at something so I got a clear view of what is a very pretty face, although a bit on the young side for an old guy like me...probably mid to late 20's. The opportunity just didn't seem right for me to say anything then because we hadn't even made eye contact. What am I going to say..."hey baby, like that conditioner?" I was feeling pretty bold though, so while I picked up my items I kept an eye on where she was in the store.

Eventually I was done and noticed she was just making her way to the check out. I had two options...1) the empty check out next to hers or 2) I could plant myself in line right behind her. I chose option two. Now, why she was in CVS buying a bunch of Vitamin Water and Gatorade at midnight on a Friday I have NO idea, but it certainly struck me as funny. As the check out girl was doing her job, she needed some help grabbing Cutie Pie's things (that's what we're going to call her for now, or CP for short). I ever so GRACIOUSLY reached out and pushed them toward check out girl. CP shyly looked at me and said thanks. Feeling smarmy, I simply smiled and replied " You're welcome. You must be thirsty." THAT'S IT. She giggled and we exchanged a couple sentences about nothing I remember, and then...SHE LEFT.

Grrr...I waited for check out girl to finish, (to her credit she was quick. She TOTALLY knew what was going on) and I thought "F this, I want to talk to her." So I ran out of the store and chased CP down, who was by now a block away, going in completely the OPPOSITE direction that I needed to be going. When I caught up to her, I simply said "Excuse me, you seemed really nice back there and I have to confess, I planted myself behind you in line because I saw you in the store and think you're very pretty. Have a minute to talk to a complete stranger on the street?" She blushed and was very cute about it.

We talked for a couple blocks and as we got toward where she was going, I asked for her number to see if we could meet for a drink later. She then said something that I thought was very cool, "Well," she said with a smirk on her face, "I have one block before I'm at my building. Convince me before I hit my door that I should go out with you"

NICE!!! It may sound cocky but to me, that meant I was practically in and just needed to not fumble. I don't recall what I said but the crux of it was...I'm not from NYC, I'm a well mannered Southern Boy. No big ego, good manners, and I'll always open doors and pull out your chair for you. She LOVED it.

I've since called and we've exchanged some very cute texts. Problem is I have a busy week so I can't meet her until next week. Regardless though, I'm just proud of making the effort and having the courage for the cold walk up. Haven't done that in YEARS.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, June 7, 2010

And the Internet Dating Begins...

Not my favorite way to get back on the market for sure, but I figured this will at least get me out there and give me a chance to practice some of the small talk. If you remember, I went right from Ex wife to Hot Girl, who I knew from a previous job. I haven't had a "cold" date in something like 9 years! Scary when I think about it.

So, I signed up for a couple of free sites, put up the minimum profile, and started fishing. There are always thousands of pretty, accomplished, seemingly nice women on these sites. Problem is, there are always WAY more men than women so the hit ratio for guys is pretty low. After a week or so I was talking to a few different women (after a ton of unanswered emails) and lined up a couple dates for this weekend.

Let me say first, that I don't live in fantasy land. I'm 42 with a 3 1/2 year old daughter. I fully realize that the 26 year old lingerie models aren't going to be beating down my door, or even worth my time writing. Of course, like any bonehead guy, I'll lob an occasional email to one of those but it never works out. So, given that ideally I want more kids of my own, I figured early to mid 30's (with or without kids already) is probably my best bet. I also prefer divorced vs never married. Sure I could be totally wrong but at least I know then that she has tried it once.

Now, usually a 2 date weekend isn't in the cards for me. I have a good group of buddies, some single some not, that I hang with on Fridays. Something easy like grabbing a bite, catching a movie or sporting event, or just hanging out. Problem this weekend was that ALL of them were out of town. So I lined up a date Friday night and another for brunch on Saturday.

Friday night was Russian Girl. She's 38, divorced, and a nurse. All good things right. No kids though. She was nice enough on the phone, was attractive, and seemed eager to meet. Of course, when she showed up she was probably 30 lbs heavier than her picture. Not that I'm against a little meat on the bones...I prefer that to a stick skinny woman, but why not just be honest? So I was already skeptical. During dinner she proceeded to talk about her bad divorce, bad last relationship, and her friend who is divorced with three kids who never dates because the kids rule her life. That woman sounds like more my type. She then proceeded to ask me where I was taking her on vacation...HUH? I didn't talk much except about Miss M, and once RG realized that I wasn't one of those Wednesday and every other weekend Dad's who has a ton of time to date, she said a very insightful thing: " You're going to have a hard time finding a woman who's willing to play second to your daughter and to work around your schedule. You should date single mom's since they'll understand better and be more flexible." Couldn't agree more. So, overall the date kind of sucked but at least she was up front about what she did and didn't want (picture thing aside) and we parted ways nicely, agreeing we'd never see each other again.

Date #2: Beautiful Latina woman from Westchester...32, never married, no kids. Had a bad feeling on this one right out of the gate but figured it's just brunch so no big deal. I had a lot to do that morning so I was running a couple minutes late. Probably should have called but figured I was only a few blocks away, people in Manhattan are ALWAYS late, and it was only 3 minutes, literally. I'm a block away and for some reason checked my phone and saw 3 missed calls from BL. Not checking them I called her right away. She picked up and angrily said "Are you standing me up?" HUH? I replied calmly no, that I was a running a bit late, apologized, said it was only 1:04 now, we were supposed to meet at 1:00, and I was 30 seconds away. "Well, I left." she says in a huff. Too weird. Figured she was only a block or two away so I told her to come on back and we'll start over. Ok she says.

I then waited 25 minutes and she never showed, so I went home. Thirty minutes later she calls me again. I didn't pick up and checked the message afterward. She actually went back to the restaurant after I left, got angry that I stood her up a second time, and left me a scathing message to never call her again!!! Don't think that will be a problem.

Geez, this is what I have to look forward to? There's gotta be a better way.

Weekend success was, however, that I randomly met a very cute woman (in CVS no less) after my date Friday night. TOTAL cold pick up which I NEVER do. For that story though, you'll have to log in tomorrow... :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hi Everyone

Wow has it been a long time. Sorry for the no show, but I was feeling really unmotivated to write and stretched a bit thin by work, M, the relationship with HG, and searching for a new apartment. Guess I just needed a mental break from it all. Kind of going into the Man Cave to shut down and regroup.

So, I figured it best to give you some bullet points on where things are with M and me so that everyone is up to date.

M (the most important subject) - She's doing fantastic. Her vocabulary is expanding by the day and her curiosity about the differences between men and women continues to grow. The other day she decided she wanted a penis. So in the middle of our crowded lobby she asked "Daddy, can we go the penis store and buy one? I want a penis." The old ladies in the lobby didn't seem amused. TOO BAD. We have tons of summer plans including the beach with friends, beach with family, Disney World in July, and some trips to the mountains. Should be a fun summer but I'm sure it's going to fly by.

M's Mother - We may have finally hit the amiable state. While finances will always be somewhat of an issue, she's actually been a bit forgiving there lately and we haven't had a serious fight in weeks. We've been able to pull of a couple switches in nights without a problem and haven't taken any pot shots at each other. While I'm going to have a hard time every really trusting her, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this to continue. It can only be good for M.

Hot Girl and I Are No Longer - BCD is back on the market. HG and I were communicating a lot better and getting along but ultimately the problems I talked about earlier were just too great to overcome. While in theory she was OK living the life of a "normal" person, ultimately she wasn't comfortable with anything but a high end lifestyle, which is not how I want to be or to raise M. To me, having money is a good thing (of course) but choosing to buy or do expensive things just because they are "exclusive" or expensive just doesn't fit my value system. The split was amicable though. Now the trick is to find a woman in NYC whose value system fits this. Seems easy right? You have no idea how hard that is here. NYC really F's people up. Wish me luck. Going to try the online thing to start but ultimately I think through friends is the way to go.

New Apartment - I struggled with this one because I don't want to stretch myself financially, but given some of the concessions M's mother has made, my alimony payments are done (WAHOO!!!), and that M is outgrowing her tiny little room (only 8 x 8), I wanted to find a place bigger where she can have her own space. After and exhaustive search and several "just missed" opportunities, we settled on a place just two blocks away. You have no idea how competitive the rental market in NYC is. You have to practically show up with your entire financial picture and check in hand and take a place as soon as you see it if you like it because if you don't, the next person will. We're spending a little more than I want but to keep M in the same neighborhood, to give her a nice big room, and honestly being too tired to keep looking, I'm cool with what we found. Moving sometime in July.

So kiddies, those are the highlights. I'll try to be more regular both with checking up on everyone else as well as my own posting. As This Daddy said after my last hiatus, I have a duty to keep everyone informed. Enjoy the day everyone!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Funny Little Girl-isms

M LOVES stuffed animals, kitties and doggies especially. Practically every week she gets a new one from her mother or me. Not that we're trying to spoil her or anything. It just that she loves them and honestly, they aren't that expensive. For $10 a week, M having a new friend is fine with me.

Her current favorite at Daddy's House is a orange striped tabby similar to the one in the picture named Tigger. The real Tigger is actually my mother's cat. Orange body, white tummy, face and paws, and HUGE. Not just big, HUGE. Tigger weighs upwards of 30 lbs and is the most docile, sweet cat I've ever been around. He spends most of his days on my parents' bed sleeping (great life, right?) and is M's absolute favorite animal in the whole world. When we visit my parents, M plays with Tigger the entire time: that is, she lies on him, puts hats on him, feeds him with her hand, and follows him everywhere. The little guy is a great sport about it.

Her stuffed Tigger looks almost the same. He's SO fat that his head is 10 sizes too small for his body. M likes to pretend that he's the real Tigger. Even better, when we Skype my parents on a weekly basis, she makes them bring the real Tigger to the camera so she can talk to him and shows him her play Tigger. Adorable.

Last week, M's Mommy bought her a stuffed doggie. Pretty non descript doggie really but cute. We've gotten to the point where the animals travel back and forth between houses and as we collect more, the bag to carry them gets bigger and bigger. And there's no end in sight :)

So I asked M what her new doggies name was and she answered...



No idea where that came from. Somehow appropriate though given it was a gift from her mother.
This weekend's new addition was a sea lion from the Bronx Zoo (a DEFINITE must see for those visiting NYC with kids. Phenomenal). The sea lion's name...Four. Again, huh?
Funny thing is that when M goes to bed, we must have 10 different stuffed animals in her bed, and some of them are bigger than her! When I go in to check on her, I sometimes have to dig her out from under the pile. Too funny.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Today's Little Girl Observation

I have lunch with Miss M every Tuesday without fail. It's a nice time for us to get together since I haven't seen her since either Sunday night or Monday morning, depending on the week. Usually we go to Johnny Rockets, a 50's style burger chain only a couple blocks from her school. We have our regular seat, a big couch with a coffee table right in front of a flat screen TV that plays ESPN all day long. SCORE for Daddy! She loves it because she can run around as much as she wants, she gets fries (her favorite), they give her crayons and paper, and we always have the same nice waitress who takes care of us (Brianna). JR's has become our Tuesday spot.

Catch up conversation is the order of the day since she'll have been at her Mommy's for 24 - 36 hours at that point. She tells me about play dates, any fun games she's played with her Mommy, what stuffed animals are talking to her, or anything else that comes to mind. Today she was particularly excited to tell me about a show her mother took her to Easter Sunday: a live Nickelodeon presentation of Dora the Explorer, Kai-Lan, and Backyardigans. I learned all about what each of them did and where they live ("Boots the monkey lives in a tree! He's a nice boy! " : )


Afterward, I take her back to her mother's which is also close, just a 4 block walk. It gives us time to talk more, pet doggies, point out which trucks are silly (today we saw a truck with pictures of ice cream, popsicles, and lollipops on the side!) and just to chat more.

Today's conversation was particularly fun:

"Daddy! Look! It's a booooger!" she shrieks proudly showing me her index finger. Keep in mind I'm carrying her at the point. NICE

"That very good baby. Flick your finger so it goes on the sidewalk"

"Ok Daddy!" trying very hard but not successfully. "It's stuck" squenchy face.

"Try again baby"

"I put it here" she says...and wipes it...on the shoulder of my shirt. EWWWW.

"Uh, baby, I'd rather you didn't put it there. Can you take it off please and put throw it on the ground? We don't put our boogers on people. We get rid of those by blowing our nose into Kleenex"

"It's a present for you!" she says proudly. "You take it back to Daddy's House!"

"And just where would I put it Sweet Pea?"

"You put it in Daddy's chair!"

"Oh, and then what would I do with it?"

"You look at it! Silly Daddy."

Ah, the joys of parenting :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

OMG!!! Talk About Uncomfortable!

You know, not much makes me uncomfortable when it comes to discussing the human condition. I grew up in a somewhat conservative Catholic home where things like sex just weren't discussed out in the open. My parents did talk to us about it, but it was never in the forefront and was one of those things that was to be discussed "not around other people." That's ok. Given how, where, and when they grew up, I get it and it was totally fine.

As I've gotten older and exposed to more life, my views have gotten more liberal, especially when it comes to sex. Not that I think a person shouldn't respect themselves and others in their sexual behaviors, but just in that sexual discussions and sexual preferences are nothing to be ashamed of. I fully expect to have these discussions with my daughter when she's older and actually look forward to it.

I just didn't expect to have one this weekend...

Miss M is a little over three. She's in the wonderful phase of physical self discovery. She's fully potty trained but still needs a little help wiping, pulling up her pants, etc, so when she goes potty, I usually stand in the doorway in case she needs me. She's very independent, so usually it's "Daddy, you stay there!" while she goes.

Last night as she was doing her last potty before she went to bed, she decided to have a closer look...down there. Totally cool, she does that occasionally, but this time, she REALLY went for it. Pulling both sides of her little self apart, she bent over to have a close look. Even I had a tough time not pulling an uncomfortable face!

After a short inspection of the "magic girl spot" she looked up at me and asked, "Daddy, what's that?"

Running through possibilities of what to call it (thinking the clinical name just wasn't appropriate for right now), I opted for "Well, baby, those are your special girlie parts."

"Special girlie parts?" she said inquisitively, tilting her head to the side while still exposing herself in all her glory.

"You want to touch it Daddy?"

Ok, THAT one I wasn't expecting. Even Daddy is uncomfortable now. Composing myself I say,

"No thank you honey. That's yours. No one else should touch it but you."

"Ok Daddy. I like to play with it." OH MY GOD!

Daddy takes a deep breath and says,

"Ok baby. It's yours to play with. Just make sure when you do, you're by yourself, ok?"

"Ok Daddy."

And just like that, we've had our first sex talk. Is it SUPPOSED to happen this early? Wow...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mission Accomplished

So we had the meeting between HG and Ex on Wednesday with the Child Therapist there to mediate. First thing I can say in this whole process that went exactly the way I would have scripted it. Prior to the appointment, I sent an email the CT and outlined what we'd like covered and what would be appropriate and what was off limits:

  • HG's experience with kids;

  • Ground rules for communication and/or conflict resolution

  • How the other is discussed when talking to M

OFF Limits

  • HG's and my relationship

  • HG's personal life away from M

I also mentioned that if Ex demonstrated an ability to stay within boundaries over time then maybe we could broaden the relationship, but until then we'd like to keep the discussion M focused to avoid any conflict. CT agreed to mention this as well.

So, CT brought up each topic, Ex pontificated about her greatness as a Mommy and spouted a lot of crap about how she was totally an agreeable, honest person and only wished us the best. HG and I occasionally nodded or gave a SHORT response but mostly we let CT guide the process. Ex talked for most of the time, as expected. Whatever. All I heard was the Charlie Brown teacher voice. Remember that? "Wah, wah-wah, wah, waaaaaah..."

Important in all of this was CT being very adamant that Ex and I are the parents and any conflict, communication, decisions are to stay with us. There should be no contact between HG and Ex unless I am first informed. HG will get a say with me because I trust her, but the two of them shouldn't discuss/fight about any issues. Of course, HG has ZERO desire to have a direct line of communication so that's totally cool with me. Why should both of us suffer needlessly?

The point of this meeting was so Ex would have been given the courtesy to meet the woman who is going to spend significant time with her child...TOTALLY legit. Of course, it accomplished a second point: after we got out, HG called me and asked "How in the world did you stay married to that woman for so long? She never shuts up and only talks about herself. Is it always about her?" BINGO!!! WE HAVE A WINNER!!! Sad thing, besides us having to share a child of course, is that when I met her she wasn't like that. Not sure what caused the complete narcissistic delusional break from reality, but it gets worse and worse as time goes on.

My big fear was a total cat fight. I wouldn't expect HG to participate...she has way too much grace and poise for that, but Ex has no "off switch" and pushes people past places they never thought they'd go. I assured HG that I'd step in (or CT would) if this happened, but she just didn't want to deal. Who can blame her? Don't get me wrong, she's no wilting flower and can run intellectual circles around Ex, but no one can handle the craziness. Fortunately we didn't have to go there.

In all seriousness, I'd recommend a meeting of this sort for any shared custody co-parents who are introducing a significant other to their child. It established firm ground rules for communication, gave Ex the courtesy of meeting someone who appears to be headed toward being a significant figure in her child's life, and set the precedent that that type of behavior should be reciprocated. It's SO hard to take the high road when your Ex is such a douche bag, but you know, it helps to defuse some of the douche baggery before it even starts, which can only benefit Miss M.

All right kids. Have a GREAT weekend!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yes, I'm Alive

Hey kids. Long time no talk. Between all that I had going on the last few weeks with finding Miss M a school, the Ex's financial hi jinx, re-establishing things with Hot Girl (that's going exceptionally well), and my job, I've been either too tired, too busy, or just too plain lazy to write. So, in honor of "I'm Alive," a picture of Baby Alive. Nothing like a doll that sh*ts all over your house. Who thinks of stuff like that?

Anyhow, here's the latest:

We've enrolled Miss M in school. One of the more expensive ones unfortunately, but for what she needs (strong language focus), the proximity to my apartment (literally, a 300 yard walk), and the fact that Ex agreed to foot half the bill, it was the best decision given the options that were available to us. What tipped it over the edge for me was that Ex also agreed to pay her own nanny care going forward. Saves me a TON of money and given that she offered it, I have to say I'm appreciative.

I'm not sure if Ex offered this because she knows I'm on to her and her finances or just to be nice, but given that it's a big step in the right direction, I figured I'd not look a gift horse in the mouth. Baby steps, right? We sat in front of the child therapist and discussed all the school options, including costs, so this gave me an opportunity to lay out my whole financial picture. I decided not to get into "accusing" Ex of anything and to just focus on my side of the street. Seems she heard me and is giving me breaks here and there. Yup, guess there's a person in there somewhere.

Hot Girl and I have also been getting on extremely well. After my post The Dilemma a few weeks ago, I decided to take a brutally honest path and just tell her EVERYTHING I was thinking. Have to say, she took it like a trooper and what transpired was a couple weeks of very long talks. The result though: we both feel like the other is the best friend and our communication is more open than ever. Honestly, I've never had this in a relationship before. Ex and I were never best friends. Huge step for both HG and me. While we have some differences, we have mostly the same values when it comes to family and kids, we're willing to sacrifice personal things for those values, we laugh a lot, and the sex is still phenomenal. Can't ask for much more than that, right?

So, after more discussions with her, my parents, my friends, and my shrink, I decided it was time...to reintroduce M to Hot Girl this past weekend. We did it at the playground with tons of other kids and parents around just to keep it low key. They got along great (as expected) and after I said, "M, we have to go upstairs and get dinner" she looked at Hot Girl and said "You want come to my house for dinner?" How could we refuse that? The next morning, M woke up, came into my room and said "Daddy, [Hot Girl] go to zoo with us today?" Can't say no again.

So, with that, we've decided it's also time to introduce HG to Ex. One of the things we agreed to in child therapy was that when the relationship got serious enough that the new boyfriend/girlfriend would be spending significant time with M, we'd arrange a meeting. Just to keep it neutral, I requested we do it at the therapist's office, so tomorrow at 1 PM is the big intro! I'm a little nervous as Ex has a propensity for saying inappropriate things at just the right moment and for being confrontational. HG and I have decided that if this occurs, she'll just defer to me and I'll take care of it. Seem the best way to handle things, right?

So, overall things are pretty good. Have a little financial relief which was drastically needed, M has a new school, and HG is in the picture for the foreseeable future. Next up...I need to get to the gym. Daddy is getting a bit pudgy. One thing at a time, right?

Talk soon everyone!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm So Angry I Could Puke

OK kids. Today's post is going to be nothing but venting. Ex has done some F'd up things but this takes the cake. Why I'm surprised I have not idea. Given her track record, I should have seen it coming.
I posted the other day that I was going to have to renegotiate our support agreement due to my decrease in income. I'm down 35% from the year we drew up our agreement, so legally I'm entitled. I've suspected for a long time that Ex was doing significantly better than she was letting on. Today, I found out how much. See, she moved into a new apartment last week. She told me she had found the incredible deal and that it would give M much more room and would be a better environment. Great! I really am glad for the both of them. What got under my skin though, was when I saw the apartment. By Manhattan standards, it's ginormous. Given what Ex tells me she's making and what I'm paying in support, I just couldn't see how she could afford it. Turns out that she can't.
See, in Manhattan, you need to earn about 40x your monthly rent in order to qualify for a rental. Sick, I know. That's why people live in such small places and a lot of the times can't afford to buy. Total scam. So, I was wondering how Ex could pay for this...so I Googled the building. A realtor has the exact same apartment listed in her building for...get this...$5,200 per month! Not per year, per month! At that rate, Ex would have to be earning over $200,000 per year to qualify. She tells me, as recently as yesterday, that she's earning $60,000. NOT POSSIBLE! How the hell does she think she's going to get away with this and how stupid does she think I am? So, not only am I due a decrease due to my income dropping a huge amount, hers apparently has more than tripled without a word from her. I'm going broke and she continues to collect a ridiculous amount of money from me each month. I'm thoroughly disgusted with her.
On top of this, the private school thing continues. Miss M so far has been rejected by two schools (who could reject my baby? grrrrr....), accepted by two, and we're waiting to hear from 3. The two she was accepted to: $14,000 per year and $20,000 per year!!!! I can't afford it, I really can't. The deadline to accept offers is next Tuesday and I hadn't heard from the other 3 so I decided to call. One of the schools, which Ex seems to be really against because it's Catholic, told me that they left two messages for her last week for us to come in for the final phase. Ex conveniently never let me know about this. This school costs $6,000 per year. That I can swing.
In an argument I had with Ex yesterday over money (of course), she failed not only to tell me about her new found financial success but also didn't mention at all that the school had called her. Even worse, she got pissy with me when I told her that I can't afford the $20,000 a year school which is, of course, her first choice. With the short time, the Catholic school can't get us in until next Wednesday...one day AFTER the other schools have to hear and take a none refundable deposit of $5,000. So, do I bet on the Catholic school or do I pay money for a school I know I can't afford? SO shitty on all levels...
My daughter lives with me half the time. Ex and I have equal shared custody. Per our agreement, neither parent is considered the "custodial parent" except in that I pay support. All decisions have to be mutual and consensual. This is a TOTAL breach of all of this. What's worse, Ex apparently doesn't care that I can't afford to care for her daughter as long as she gets to live in her palatial apartment and spend gobs of money.
Trust me, I'll be the first to congratulate Ex if her business takes off and she makes a ton of dough. It's her lifelong dream and can only make my daughter's life more comfortable when she's with her mother. To do it at my expense, regardless of the financial straights it puts me in, however, is irresponsible, dishonest, and disgusting. I really feel like I'm going to throw up.
We have an appointment with the therapist next week to discuss all of this. I'm going to try and remain calm but it's going to be really hard. Wish me luck friends and most of all, wish me calmness and composure. I'm going to need all the help I can get. Thanks.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Coming Up for Air

Hi everyone. Sorry I've been absent for almost two weeks. Needless to say there's been a lot going on and I've been too tired to write.
The school search for Miss M continues. Ex and I have been getting along pretty well during this process. A small blow up happened in front of M which made her cry though. Of course, it was about finances and the cost of schools. We haven't resolved it yet, but once M started to cry we both backed off and gave the little one a hug. Sucked. Poor baby has no idea what's going on and our behavior didn't help. Still, she's doing well all things considered.
We've visited 7 schools and like a few. M has to get accepted of course, which isn't an easy feat in NYC. It's very competitive. We tried to pick schools that didn't have that type of selection process or competitive atmosphere (we're talking 4 year old kindergarten after all), but each did want to meet M and have her play with the current kids there for an hour or so. She did great with her outgoing personality and seemed to really have fun. Now we're just waiting to hear back. Keep you fingers crossed.
The second thing going in is finances, which of course is related. When Ex and I put together our financial arrangement, I was making about 40% more than I am now, so the child support and alimony is set up to fit that. Now, with the economy, the demise of my sector of finance, and my company slowly going out of business, I've burned through most of my savings and can't afford to pay that for much longer. I've tried to discuss this with Ex but she's not hearing me. At the same time, her financial situation has gotten a lot better. She picked up a business partner who's putting private equity into her company and it looks like things are taking off. She's since moved into a more expensive apartment, made several big ticket purchases, and done quite a bit of traveling. I, on the other hand, am up to my eyeballs in debt.
So, she's making more money, I'm making way less. Just over 18 months into our agreement, it seems to make sense to readjust things before I go broke. I've discussed this with my therapist who's agreed to try and mediate something so that we don't end up in court. Looks like that's coming to a head next week. I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck there because I'm really going to need it. I have not doubt that if we go to court that there will be a reduction in what I pay, but why pay lawyers to get this done? Hopefully she'll be reasonable. One can hope, right?
That's the latest folks. Keep an eye on me. I could use the help.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today's Beautiful Blogger Awards Go To...

So, after being gifted with the Beautiful Blogger Award by Scott at This Daddy's Blog, I revealed seven things about myself that you all didn't know. The next step is to bestow this award to some of our cyber friends. Here are a few newer ones I've stumbled on that I really like:

  1. Brittney at Unexpected Surprises - She amazes me as a young 20's single Mommy doing this whole thing by herself. Her ability to stay true to her ideals and trust in God I find incredibly inspiring.

  2. Swati at The Single Mother Chronicles - Incredibly insightful, smart, and always positive, she always gives me something to think about and includes touching stories about her little girl.

  3. That One Mom at Only Parent Chronicles - She is a widowed mother of two who has some really funny and touching things to say. If you haven't read it, her post 100 Random Questions Answered By Me... do, it is really great.

  4. The Divorced Guy at The Diary of a Divorced Guy - Dude, all I can say is I totally relate

  5. That Darn Girl at, well, That Darn Girl - A witty, smart, and definitely sexy nurse who also gives us the occasional boob shot. THANK YOU.

  6. Sarah at That's What She Said! - She's a worker at a juvenile detention center in the Midwest. Proof that not all of us are in it for the buck.

  7. The Girl Next Door at Next Door 2 My Ex - Because, just from the title she deserves an award!!! You've GOT to be kidding!

  8. Lauren at My Life, Incomplete - She's a leader in the Single Parent CyberWorld who provides great advice and support for us all.

  9. MaddisMomma at Little Miss Maddie Moo - Moo is a such a cutie pie! Right in the middle of the custody/visitation battle (still), MaddisMomma really reminds me of how hard that process was and how to handle it with grace.

  10. Mon at Holistic Mama - She does it the natural way. For a guy living in the Big City, I find that completely fascinating.

So, new awardees, if you choose to accept this, the typical way is to post the above award in your blog, tell us seven things about yourself we don't know, and then bestow this award on 10 new blogs you've stumbled across that you find interesting and worthy of such an honor, and inform them!

Best of luck!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm a Sugar Doll! And Ten Things You Don't Know About Me

Well, it looks like I'm a lucky boy again! Our friend D. A. Wolf over at Big Little Wolf's Daily Plate of Crazy has bestowed on me the

As D.A. describes it, the Sugar Doll is bestowed for delightful and thought-provoking writing. Nice to know my griping has had a positive effect on someone! What started out as a place to vent has turned into so much more.

Nothing comes for free however, Apparently I'm supposed to start a list of Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me, because, after all, aren't we trying to get acquainted? And then I need to find one or more other writers to share the pleasure of receiving the Sugar Doll Award. I'll do that in a post later this week. Mucho research to do!

So, without further to do, here's me in a nutshell. They are different form when Scott over at This Daddy's Blog gifted me with the Beautiful Blogger Award. Thought you kids could use some new material:

  1. I don't drink alcohol at all. Not one drop for many years. Suffice it to say, I had enough to last a lifetime and my life, as well as everyone else's around me, just goes better that way.
  2. My father is the guy in the world I admire the most. Not because he was hugly successful in life, monetarily at least. It's because he's a guy who has always done the right thing by people and his family, regardless of the personal impact. If I'm lucky, I'll be half as good a man. We're best friends and I'm so grateful for that;
  3. I rarely read books, newspapers, etc. but if I do read , it's online. For some reason, reading the printed page puts me to sleep but the computer does not. If I have a lot of work reading to do and I can't get the document online, I many times will do it standing up or pacing around my office. Drives my co-workers crazy;
  4. For a guy who lives in THE most densely populated zip code in the country (10021, look it up) I hate crowds. WTF? Put me in the woods with a lake and no people and I am at peace.
  5. I can drive a fork lift and can weld, seriously. Not bad for a white collar geek. In all honesty, I'd rather be working with my hands;
  6. I never believed in the Easter Bunny...NEVER. How the hell is a little bunny supposed to carry all those baskets around the world in one night, especially since no one said he was magic? And what the hell do bunnies have to do with eggs anyway? Even at 4 I thought this was stupid. An Easter Chicken maybe, if it were magic and could fly super fast, but a bunny? Come on...;
  7. I was engaged prior to Ex, about 11 years ago. V, my then fiance, broke it off 5 months before the wedding. Broke my heart and took YEARS to heal. I still consider her the one that got away.
  8. Accents on women drive me CRAZY in a good way: British, French, Southern, Russian, whatever...just TALK!
  9. My freshman year in college, after much philandering, I was CONVINCED I had a serious STD (yes, sexually transmitted disease). I went to the team physician and showed him my business. He was a very old, crusty country doctor who had been the team physician for all the Virginia Tech athletes for 25 years. He looked at me over the top of his glasses, squenched up his face and said "Boy...you always wear them tightie whities? Cause you got the worst case of jock itch I ever seen! You gotta let your boy breathe!" To this day, I'm strictly a boxer guy.
  10. When I was four, my Dad took me to K-Mart for Big Boy Day. We'd spend Saturdays looking at the sporting goods and would maybe buy a toy. Afterward, we'd go to Burger King and get burgers. One of my fondest childhood memories. One particular Saturday, I ordered a Whopper Junior because Dad got the Whopper. I felt like such a man. Half way through chewing the first bite I tasted the most disgusting thing I ever had in my mouth. We opened the bun and in it was a half rotten slice of tomato. To this day, I can't eat raw tomatoes. Ketchup, marinara, salsa, yes, but never just a plain sliced tomato. Makes me gag.

Ok kids. Be on the lookout for my list of Sugar Dolls, coming up soon!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Do I Say Something?

That picture has nothing to do with today's topic. Guess guys just like monkeys. We identify, you know?

Last Friday night, Ex and I switched nights. Earlier in the week, she told me that she had a work trip to go on and wouldn't be able to take her usual Friday with Miss M. She asked for the following Thursday (tonight) in exchange for last Friday. No problema I thought: means I get so see Miss M 3 nights in a row (Wed, Thurs, Fri) on a week when I usually wouldn't have her for the weekend and only miss out on a Thursday when I get home from work late anyway.

I had a couple things to switch out though to make it work: I have a standing every other Friday night appointment with my personal therapist. LOVE this guy. He understood and changed the appt for me. Also, since it was Valentines weekend, Hot Girl and I were going to get together Friday night after my appt and spend the weekend together. She understood, as always, and we caught up Saturday around lunch time for the rest of the weekend. The plan was that I drop of Miss M at her mothers at 9 AM Saturday morning.

So, we arrive at Ex's place and...no Ex. I asked the doorman if he had seen her that morning (he starts his shift at 7 AM) and he said no. Strange. I'm just about to call Ex when she comes running in the front door. "Oh, sorry I'm late." Funny thing is, she's wearing jeans, obviously hadn't slept all night (I was with the woman for 6 years, you get to know these things), and she was carrying a sweatshirt that said "xxxxx Athletics" with the xxx standing for the college where Married Guy she's having the affair with went to (same guy she cheated with while we where married). I'm pissed, seriously, but didn't say anything.

She asked if we could come upstairs so that she could give me some paperwork for Miss M's school. We did. I was totally silent except with Miss M. When we got there, M ran into her room and Ex asked, "Is something wrong? You seem tense."


I kept my composure, said nothing was wrong, hugged Miss M, and left.

Here's my issue: switches WILL happen, I get that. I was TOTALLY accommodating on juggling the schedule a few weeks ago when Ex's father died. Why wouldn't I be? Here though, she blatantly lied about a work trip so that she could see Married Guy. Set aside for a minute that he's the guy she cheated with...I juggled my schedule, my therapist's, and Hot Girl's FOR THAT?

Should I say something? I really feel I need to.

Here's the thing: we're getting along really well right now...not buddy buddy, but the private school application thing is going as smooth as I could possibly want. I really don't want to rock that boat. At the same time, she needs to respect my time and tell me the truth when it comes to reasons for switches. She KNOWS that I'll jump at any chance to see M more, but switches involve other people as well, who also deserve respect.

What do you think people? Do I say something and if so, how do I approach it?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Little Doctor

Hi folks. Sorry I was away for a while. With the long weekend, Valentines Day, and a nasty stomach bug, I've been out of touch with the world for a few days. It started Sunday afternoon after Miss M came over. We played with the flowers Daddy bought her, Skyped my parents so they could see her, and played outside with one of her friends in our building. I was feeling a bit queasy at that point but it didn't get worse until later. (Don't worry, I'll spare you the details).

By the time evening rolled around, I was good and nauseous. If I'm really sick I would have M's mother come get her but this time it felt like a stomach thing that I get every once in a while and it was close to bedtime so I wasn't worried. Normally when my stomach is acting up and have Miss M, I suck it up so she doesn't worry and has a good time. This time, I couldn't play that. We put in one of her favorite movies and I laid on the couch.

"Wassa matter Daddy?" asks very scrunchy concerned face.

"Daddy doesn't feel well honey. His tummy is upset"

"You sick???" face even scrunchier than before

"Yes baby, Daddy is a bit sick but he'll be ok. Let's watch the movie and then we can go to bed"

Very pensive and then "Wait Daddy! I fix you! I get my doctor kit!"

And off she ran to her room to get the kit I bought her to keep her from being scared of the doctor. Needless to say, since she knew it was my tummy, OF COURSE, she poked and prodded it which only made it feel worse, but who am I to spoil her fun, right?

After a very thorough (and painful) exam, my little doctor asked "Daddy, you better???"

"A little honey. You're a very good doctor"

"Thanks Daddy! You take kitty. Make you feel better" and she gave me the stuffed kitty that she carries with her everywhere. I could just melt.

Daddy feels A LOT better. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Quotable Weekend

A couple weeks ago I posted Ten Movie Quotes To Get You Through Life and it made me think, "Self, what if I do this as an occasional Friday feature? The crap is already written, I just have to find it." So I figured I'd try it today and see how you kids like it. Each week I'll post 10 quotes (movies, writers, speeches, whatever) and readers, if you have one you love, post it as well.

This week we start with an easy one: National Lampoon's Animal House. John Belushi and cast were obnoxious and funny before people were ready for it. They set the bar for juvenile humor going forward. I love this movie.

10. Otter: Ah, she broke our date.
Boon: Washing her hair?
Otter: Dead mother.

9. Hoover: They confiscated everything, even the stuff we didn't steal!

8. Otter: He can't do that do that to our pledges.
Boon: Only we can do that to our pledges.

7. Clorette De Pasto: Dad! Mom, Dad, this is Larry Kroger. The boy who molested me last month. We have to get married.

6. Marion Wormer: You can take your thumb out of my ass any time now, Carmine.

5. Bluto: "Christ. Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join the fucking Peace Corps."

4. Larry's evil conscience: Fuck her. Fuck her brains out. Suck her tits, squeeze her buns. You know she wants it.
Larry's good conscience: For shame! Lawrence, I'm surprised at you!
Larry's evil conscience: Aw, don't listen to that jack-off. Look at those gazongas. You'll never get a better chance.
Larry's good conscience: If you lay one finger on that poor sweet helpless girl, you'll despise yourself forever... I'm proud of you, Lawrence.
Larry's evil conscience: You homo

3. Katy: Boon, I think I'm in love with a retard.
Boon: Is he bigger than me?

2. Babs: Greg, honey, is it supposed to be this soft?

1. Dean Wormer: Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

School Daze?

Miss M turns 4 this coming October.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the New York school system, that means that if we want to send her to private prekindergarten, we should have completed and submitted applications sometime back in 2004. Seriously?

Every city has its competitive parents and school snobs but NYC has to be in a complete other universe for this kind of stuff. VERY few public schools in Manhattan are places you'd send your child if you could avoid it. When Ex and I split, I moved into a neighborhood that actually has a very good public school and we agreed to send M there. Of course, the rents in that neighborhood are 25% higher than non-good school 'hoods. They get you one way or another.

Here's the trick though: pre-k (4 year old kindergarten) is NOT mandatory in the state of NY. Kindergarten for that matter either. That means the schools don't have to offer it. The school is our 'hood does, but only has a certain number of slots, thus you have to apply and cross your fingers. Because siblings of kids already attending the school have first priority, Miss M has about as good a chance of getting in as I do of winning the Powerball. In normal economic conditions this wouldn't have been a problem, but because a lot of people have lost their jobs and pulled their kids out of private school, public schools are ridiculously overcrowded.

Ex and I now have to find a back up plan, which means applying to private schools which have already closed their application process. Luckily, the overcrowding of public schools means there are private spots, but of course, that comes at a price. The least expensive private school we can find is about $7000 a year. The most expensive (you can bet Ex wants us to apply there but no chance I will do that) is $27,000! For a four year old!!! Can you say ridiculously stupid! The name of the school says it all: The Towne School. That extra "e" has to be good for at least $10,000.

Here's what I don't understand: how can the education be THAT much better at 4 years old? I went to private school up until high school and was somewhat ahead of the other kids by the time I got to the 9th grade, so I get it to a point, but $27,000? And it gets up into the $40,000's as the kids get older. Manhattan is another planet.

So, Ex and I get so spend A LOT of time together. FUN, FUN! We're getting along marginally better these days, mainly because we've had minimal contact but that's about to change. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm going to have to meditate on patience and tolerance a lot, both for dealing with Ex and the snotty private school people.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I'm Getting Married to the Perfect Woman

I found her.

The woman of my dreams.

I was searching the web for my dream girl and there she was.

Delectable, taunting me with her very presence.

She's the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.

I know what you'll all say:
  • You're still early out of divorce
  • You don't know her AT ALL
  • What's the rush?
  • Shouldn't you at least go on one date with her?

But I say...DON'T try and talk me out of it.

I know it's quick but when you know, you know.

I love her.

She's sexy, provocative, has a FANTASTIC sense of style, and so incredibly intelligent and intuitive that she knows EXACTLY what a man wants...


Beautiful isn't she?

Have a great weekend everyone. Go Saints!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!!

So I'm proud to say that I received my first Blog Award yesterday!!! My buddy Scott over at This Daddy's Blog graced me with the Beautiful Blogger Award. As the fine print requires, THANK YOU SCOTT. I am honored, especially to be called "beautiful" by a hetero dude. That is a man comfortable with his sexuality. If you haven't checked out Scott's blog, I'd encourage you to. While we've never met in person or talked through more than blogging, he's a guy who's perspective on family I totally identify with. TOTALLY devoted to his wife and four kids, fully able to admit when he's wrong, and funny to boot. Great job Scott. Keep it up.

So, here's the fine print on my award:

Thank the person who nominated you for this award and insert a link to their blog. DONE
  1. Pass on the award to about 15 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are great! That will be an ongoing process. My plan is to give out awards once or twice a week until I've fulfilled my commitment.
  2. Contact the other bloggers and let them know they have been chosen for this award
  3. Say 7 things about yourself. SWEET! My favorite topic...ME!

So, let's see what I can say about myself that's fun and interesting:

  1. I drink more coffee daily than any person should consume in a month. Mostly espresso. Strangely, I have no problems sleeping;
  2. I couldn't name a song in the top 100 across any kind of music at any point in the last 5 years. Just no interest whatsoever;
  3. For a big city finance guy, I'm kind of an anomaly. I'm mostly a liberal Democrat, especially on social issues.
  4. All things considered, I'd be more comfortable living in a cabin in the woods, wearing cowboy boots, and driving a pick up truck than living in Manhattan;
  5. I grew up playing soccer and actually trialed with Liverpool in England when I was 17. At the time, drinking beer and chasing skirt was WAY more important so obviously that didn't go so well. I did have fun though. Still, it's simultaneously one of my proudest accomplishments and biggest regrets;
  6. I just ate an entire Toblerone. Damn those things are good! ;
  7. My little Miss M is the absolute love of my life and even though my life isn't what I pictured, it's perfect because I have her. I wouldn't trade my time with her for anything.

So kids, there's some of me in a nutshell (literally). Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Weird but True

Lacking any single Daddy news today, so I thought I'd keep in light.

Here are a few excerpts involving bad parenting or relationship disasters from The New York Post over the last few weeks. Makes me grateful for my life. As they say, it could always be worse. Some of these are truly scary.


Talk about criminal child abuse!
A Tennessee woman was busted after getting her 11-year-old son to commit armed robbery at the financial-services office where she once worked.
As Angela Evans waited in the getaway car, her son walked in with a stocking mask over his face, held a gun to a woman's head and took $80.
Evans gave him $20 as his cut of the proceeds.


Divorce doesn't apply only to people.
Keepers at a wildfowl sanctuary in southern England have recorded only the second "swan divorce" in 40 years.
Bewick's swans are famous for mating for life. But Sarandi, a male bird, returned from his annual migration to Russia with a new partner, leading officials to fear that his girlfriend of two years, Saruni, hadn't survived.
But then she showed up with a new boyfriend.
Now all four birds are swimming around the same lake, carefully ignoring one another.


In most places, they'd just call this gold-digging.
New Hampshire cops arrested a man and woman after the man called to complain that he'd paid the woman for sex but she refused to go through with it.
Both the 22-year-old woman and 32-year-old man were hit with charges related to prostitution.


She caught him sleeping for eternity with another woman.
A widow in St. Petersburg, Fla., is suing a cemetery after she went to visit her husband's grave adjoining her own plot and found another occupant with him.
Lucille Rembert said she started to cry. "I said, 'Oh no, not again,' " she told The St. Petersburg Times.
The same thing happened in 1995.


It was love that moved him -- and his livestock.
Dick Kleis, a farmer in Zwingle, Iowa, used more than 120,000 pounds of manure to spell out a special message to his wife, Carole: "Happy birthday. I love you."
For anyone with a large field and a desire to create a similarly sentimental greeting, he has this advice: "Any manure will work. But the good, soft, gushy, warm stuff works the best."


This is what divorce "This Old House"-style looks like.
A woman in Washington state whose husband was leaving her got back at him by allegedly rewiring his power tools to deliver a powerful electric shock when he used them.
She was arrested after he was knocked to the ground while using a 220-volt table saw.


Think your family's bad?
A Sicilian man went to a police station to ask that he be arrested -- because he didn't want to spend New Years Eve with relatives. Cops declined, because he hadn't committed a crime.
So he went to a nearby store and stole some candy and chewing gum. This time, he got his wish.


It's not the starch that makes these sheets stiff.
A Spanish inventor has infused bedsheets with Viagra so randy rompers can absorb the sex-enhancing drug through their skin rather than popping a pill.
"It started as a joke after we saw a study that said businessmen get little sex because they are too tired from work," said sheet maker Pep Torres.