Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Life Update

Somebody asked so it seemed worthwhile to address it here. Wifey and I are still married with plans to stay that way. Haven't been talking about her or the the kids because they are not here. They went home to see family then Kiddo #2 got sick which extended the visit considerably. Kiddo #2 is better (at least for now and well enough to travel anyway) so they are coming back here in a couple weeks. Wish it would get here faster as I miss them a lot.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Odds N Ends

Got a post on the Malay Emergency in the pipe but am too scatter brained to write it today. It's my Friday so that is good.

Saw this lovely piece on the Drudge today.

911 Dispatcher Tells Woman About To Be Sexually Assaulted There Are No Cops To Help Her Due To Budget Cuts

 Thoughts in no particular order. 

- I don't know where this gal lived but Josephine County is pretty rural. If a cop needs 30 minutes to get there all they can do is take a report and maybe clean up the mess. Rural people are pretty much on their own anyway.

-I would be interested in  having a conversation about what a Sheriff's role is with the Josephine County Sheriff. Personally as a Sheriff I would answer the important calls myself if nobody else was available.

 - Budget cuts at the state, county and city level are a reality. That means fewer cops in many places. I have issues with a few things some cops do but generally they are good people doing their best and are certainly a force for order in our society. You had better accept that you are becoming more and more on your own. Get ready for it.

  -AMERC wrote about the 5 principles of patrolling today. Good stuff. Sort of like Priorities of Work the 5 P's of Patrolling are solid guidelines to stay within.

  -Project 870 might be taking a significant jump both to the side and forward tomorrow. At the risk of counting my chickens before they are hatched I will keep the details to myself till it's done.

 Well I'm going to put some work into our bags. Have a good night,

Ryan   

 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kiddo #2 Update, IFAK's, Chechen's and Big Fun

I am happy to say Kiddo #2 got out of the hospital today. Still on antibiotics but them being able to go back home with family will be nice. Still got some stuff going on but the situation is getting better.

Turns out the bombers from Boston are Chechen nationals. Chechnya is a pretty interesting country which offers some very valuable lessons. Got a post in the cue about it.

That whole bombing mess was a good reminder to have serious first aid gear with you as much as possible. Personally there is an IFAK in my everyday bag. Something to think about anyway.

Anyway I'm feeling a bit under the weather today. Probably going to turn in early to try and kick this bug.

Later

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pic Post




Fearless, Pretty cool but a scary thing for parents.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Family Fire Team Complete

Kiddo #2 was born this morning. 7 pounds 13 ounces, 19.5 inches long all the right numbers of fingers and toes. It looks like this kid has some will to live because she is taking to nursing just fine which is great. Walker seems to like her which is good. She also seems to be a solid sleeper which is good. Time will tell on both of those things of course.

Anyway figured I would let you all know so please forgive me if correspondences are delayed or whatnot. Posts are scheduled for awhile which should help things. There are a few more entries to our EDC contest that helped a lot here.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Big Life Update: Fireteam TOR Almost Complete

Wifey and I are expecting another kid. #2 is coming to come see us this winter.

It is bitterly ironic to me that people who have their stuff together and want to have kids so often have huge problems but folks who really don't want to have them do it on accident. I know a couple who had a heck of a time with their first kid and have been trying to have another for about 2 years. On the other hand folks in a dysfunctional situation with the wrong person can have unprotected sex one time and get knocked up. Thankfully we are very awesome lucky in this area so it isn't an issue. (Clearly this is a testimant to my strength and machismo;)

Anyway that is what is going on with us.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Don't Be A Sheep

Sometimes I seriously wonder about people. I remember hearing some time ago about a parent and kid who went shopping at a big box store. I don't remember the details but somehow they ended up in the security office with the kid, who I think was 7, in his underwear. This went on for hours. I really wonder what this Dad's deal was and why he let any of this happen. I couldn't find the story but found one about a man who was "forced to pull down his pants" in Walgreens.

Somehow this topic came up between Wifey and I recently. Off the cuff I said that my response would be "F#*$(@ you, I'll kick the #*$) out of you if you don't get out of my way." Wifey nicely said I am a bit grown up to talk that way and that "I'm leaving" would get the same affect across. In any case the point is that minimum wage retail store security goobers are not on the list of people who I must or will take any flack from. They don't get to make me go anywhere or detain me and their medical insurance isn't good enough to lay a hand on me. The idea of letting some buffoon touch my kid is even more ridiculous. Just not on the list of things I am going to let happen.

I heard recently on the TV that bill collectors threatened to take some woman's kids away from her. That should set off the "this guy is talking out of his behind" bells but hey, some folks are smarter than others. How would I answer that "get a couple guys, come to my house and try it."

I think protecting your kids is something that is hard wired into us. Also assuming you don't start shooting random people in the street or murder an old woman who goes to say hi to your kid I do not think it is a bad thing. Protecting your kids is part of a parent's job.

However having the will is only part of it. Will in and of itself doesn't make anything happen. You have got to be able to back the will up with action. You have got to have the skills to fight and the muscle to make it work. Also having weapons and the ability to use them is pretty darn useful if things get really bad.

 If this isn't a reason to train aggressively I do not know what else is.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Facebook Shaming Your Kids

Some mom decided to facebook shame her kid and it made the news. It seems to be pretty comparable though less dramatic than the dad who shot his daughters laptop with a .45.

Am I the only one who thinks these parents are doing something terribly stupid albeit probably well intentioned?

Somewhere along my meandering life I heard a phrase "praise in public and admonish in private." In my brief experiences leading men and a lifetime of having all manner of relationships I can say this is just really great advice. (I am not saying parenthood and leading soldiers are the same thing but some elements are similar) The one time I have really chastised (vs a normal correction) a soldier in public I regretted it. I realized later that I let my emotions get the better of me.

Now this is not to say I do not believe in correcting children. Quite the opposite in fact. The thing is that whenever possible I believe in doing it in private. If that Dad had done the exact same thing giving the speach and shooting her laptop with is wife and daughter in their yard I would think it was reasonably acceptable.

There are multiple issues in play. Kids are stupid. My toddler Walker who should probably be named Curious George or Attilla the Hun is a little terror. At some point closer to 2 than fifteen kids become capable of some level of self control and awareness. A 15 year old might make stupid decisions but they typically know those decisions are at least somewhat stupid. The phrase sinking to their level comes to mind.

I really do not think it is impressive to outwit or mock your teenager. Again they are stupid. Being mature and not sinking to their level is part of a parent's job. I think it is important that even if you have to punish them they can see that you are actually on their side. To varying degrees kids will rebel or be little jerks or otherwise test boundaries. These days some or all of this will involve multi media. I believe they should be held accountable for their actions but in the right way.

For the sake of full disclosure I have a child but not a teenager.

Am I completely off base on this?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stay At Home Mothers

A girl I know that just had kiddo #2 brought up the idea of staying at home with them.  That got me thinking and talking about this topic. I thought an update might interest some of you.

In case you didn’t know Wifey has been at home with the kid since he was born. It has worked pretty well for us and while he drives her crazy occasionally she likes it. We know what he eats for meals, because she feeds it to him. We know if he hit his head, because she was there. No worries about him being abused or neglected or whatever else happens in daycare. There is lots of one on one time to play and try to teach him words and all that stuff. Studies consistently show that a stay at home mother is the best situation for a kid’s development and all that stuff. I don’t think anybody will seriously argue against that point.

So far it has turned out to be a very good decision for her to stay at home with him and I don’t see a reason that would change. Mothers staying at home and raising their kids has been, as of the last few decades, going the way of the Dodo bird. I don’t know why exactly.

There are two fundamental questions when it comes to momma staying at home with the kids. The first question is does momma want to stay at home with the kids and where dad is with the whole thing. A simple enough question really. The best part is that there is not a right or wrong answer. Some women have interests and goals outside of the home and that is fine too. While the women’s lib fantasy that a woman can have a big important career and balance a marriage and children could be debated it doesn’t matter. If she wants to work then that is just fine, I’m not the Taliban.

The second question is whether the family can make the numbers work to afford for momma to stay at home. This is a more complicated one and will be addressed at more length. For momma to stay at home the family needs to live off what dad makes. To back up a second this means dad needs to be in the picture and that there is a cohesive family unit which today is sadly not a given. This is one of those things that is simple but not easy, sort of like how the way to lose weight is to eat less. This is really where the hypothetical meets real life. 
To paraphrase Ronnie Coleman, a champion body builder, “Everybody wants to be strong, but they don’t want to lift the weight.” Lots of folks talk about staying at home with kids but it doesn’t happen. The reason is that with only one income you will not be able to do what you could if both partners were working, especially if both are capable of more than menial labor. To say it another way; living on one income means a more modest lifestyle than you could otherwise have. For a lot of people that is a hard pill to swallow.

Personally I don’t really mind it. I have run the numbers on what we would be able to save and invest and otherwise do if Wifey worked and they were pretty attention grabbing. However it is not worth it to me. I certainly wouldn’t mind a nicer vehicle or whatever but at the end of the day it is just stuff. How much do some bigger numbers in some electronic accounts really matter?

 For other folks the math simply doesn’t work. That is a more complicated discussion. Sometimes it just doesn’t, especially if Dad is a part time non union janitor or works for minimum wage. Unless you are willing to live REAL CHEAP that won’t work. However I would say if he is making more than 30-40k or so a year (or course cost of living is a factor, 30k in Manhattan, Kansas is a lot different from Manhattan, New York) income probably isn’t the whole issue.  What gets a lot of folks stuck is that they have a debt load which can’t be covered by one income. It could vary from rent/ mortgage to credit cards and vehicles or whatever which just can’t work with one wage earner. This is yet another reason to stay out of debt. You can radically change spending habits tomorrow should the need arise, it sucks to go from steak and lobster to spaghetti or rice and beans but it can be done. However money that has been promised is baring default, not an expense you can change. This is, more than most folks will admit, the reason the numbers just don’t work. Either they can’t drop their living expenses due to it being locked in obligations or they choose not to for whatever reason.
When I hear folks say it is impossible to have a parent stay home with the kids I want to ask what their cars are, what sort of toys they have and where they went on vacation last. The answer is that yes, it may well be impossible to buy a nice new car or two every couple years, have their toys and vacations on just one of their salaries. However all that stuff is a choice, not a given. I am not sure if they are unwilling or don’t even consider it but usually the answer is that yes, they could afford for her to stay home if they changed their lifestyle.

On the plus side having a wife at home helps with expenses or at least it can. Home cooked meals instead of eating out all the time, stuff like that. The possibility of having one car or an older one that will just go to the grocery store, etc is legitimate. She doesn’t need professional clothes or have those types of expenses. One of the biggest places a second income goes is daycare. Daycare for two or more kids adds up in a hurry. The bitter irony is many wives are working for a tiny salary once daycare is considered. Their real take home is just a few hundred dollars. I would submit to them that cutting that amount from their budget is pretty doable should they be so inclined.

I don’t want to get anybody down or poke at however you choose to live your life. You are free to make whatever choices you want.  All I want is for folks to know that having mom stay at home with the kids is quite possible if they are willing to make a few sacrifices. It is quite worth it to us and Wifey will stay at home until the kids (planning on getting Walker a battle buddy) are in school then she will likely start some sort of job.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Building Food Storage in Small Spaces

My long time friend Maggy dropped me a line the other day. She has been on hiatus from our sister blog for awhile as she has been busy having a kid. Anyway she has relocated to a very small apartment (she said the size of a postage stamp) and is looking to rebuild some food storage that got eaten up. She asked my advice on small spaces noting that under the bed was full of baby stuff and thoughts on stocking up beyond ‘if you need one buy two’ plan. Here is my sanitized and slightly edited reply to her:
First of all it has been awhile so I want to congratulate you on the kid and all that stuff. I am happy for you guys. Next there are two separate issues: space and stocking up.

For space: I am really not a huge fan of under the bed. Been there and done that, it just didn't work great. The issue with it is that stuff under there tends to stay under there and not get used, because it is a pain to get to under the bed. Not an issue for a water filter, a case of rifle ammo and some MRE's but for food you want to rotate regularly it is problematic. In my experience if accessing and thus rotating stored food is hard folks won’t do it. If you don’t somewhat regularly rotate food the whole storage thing doesn’t work so well.

I would say first to be more organized in the kitchen (example instead of having 3 drawers of tupperware and other crap have 1 or 2 organized ones) to get the most of the space you do have. Throw away any junk and organize the rest. This should free up some space. Next I would say to look at other shelving/ storage areas in your place. Wifey and I did this with success in the RV. Having a cupboard full of food in a different place isn't ideal but we have to work with what we have available.

Another idea to free up some space is to use small quart or whatever sized containers for staples, rice, beans, flour, etc and keep those in the kitchen. The big bags could then live in a closet or someplace a bit less accessible as you don't need to access them daily, just to refill the jars/ tupperware things.
Really it comes down to prioritization. Thinks we decide are important tend to happen and those we prioritize lower often stall out when they meet any resistance. If you start from the perspective of “I am going to fit X amount of food in my residence, where is it going to go” instead of “How much food can I conveniently fit in the kitchen as it is organized now, without adjusting anything?” there answer is going to be very different.

So in review; first organize the kitchen and then consider using other available cupboards and such outside the kitchen. If it is important, and food is important, then you can find a way.

Restocking on food: The buy 2 cans/ boxes/ packages when you really only need one plan is good. It lets you stock things you are actually eating in better varieties than say buying a case of chili and a case of stew.

The thing is that nobody, except maybe Redacted (her significant other and my longtime friend who doesn’t have a name on here, or I can’t remember it) and he probably did it because he is lazy, wants to eat chili for a month in a row. Far better to have 6 cans of chili, 3 cans of stew, 3 cans of clam chowder and 6 meals worth of pasta with both red and white sauce, etc.

One good way to give your food storage a sort of jump start without getting sucked into too much of any one thing is to get a good baseline of staples. A 20 pound bag of flour, 20 pounds of rice, 10 pounds of corn meal, 10 pounds of beans, a big bag of pancake mix with a large jug of syrup, some peanut butter, jelly, oil and spices and you can eat for a pretty long time, especially since you can cook. That stuff just about doesn't go bad (you can't store a ton of it just in bags but if you cook at all a big bag will get used up well before it would go bad). It doesn't cost a lot and in a pinch you could eat off it for awhile. Maybe do that to get the ball rolling and keep up with the need one buy two and pretty quickly you will accumulate a lot of food you will actually eat.

FWIW the one shelf stable food we probably can't stock enough of in my house is pasta. It is cheap and easy and can be used a lot of ways. Cook a package of pasta, maybe do up some meat and veggies (or not) and toss it in some sauce and you have an easy dinner. In my observation one of the biggest ways for a plan of staple cooking to break down is getting busy. If you get busy and don’t have some reasonable options to get dinner on the table in 15-20 minutes with minimal hassle it is going to be convenience foods or pizza. Pasta is great for this.
Also we eat a lot of rice and I have cereal for breakfast most mornings so we usually have a dozen or so boxes of whatever has been on sale recently.
I hope this gives you some ideas. Feel free to hit me up with any questions it may bring.
-Ryan
If you have anything to add please do so in the comments section.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Guns and Kids

For most of my gun owning life I have been in homes without small children. This meant that securing firearms was not of any particular concern to me. In college I got a locking steel cabinet to keep guns in because I had roommates and well, we drank a lot. Mostly I did not want some random person at one of my roomies impromptu gatherings to stumble into a gun and through idiocy or malice do something dangerous. However except those times I just kept whatever the defensive flavor of the week was out or in my nightstand.

As I have stopped having roomies and my gun collection grew I have kept weapons around the house for defensive purposes. We had a gun or two in every room we really spend time in at our place in Alabama. Fast forward a couple years and insert a toddler. The topic of guns and kids stopped being theoretical about the time he was able to move around.

Since my kid can barely shove food that is put in front of him into his mouth the odds that he could load a weapon are about 0% but I figure it is better to be cautious now while we have some time to figure out workable plans.

To me the obvious solution to firearms and small children (prior to the age where they can mentally understand firearms and be trained which, depending on who you ask is somewhere between 3 and 21) is to either lock guns up or have them under my direct control be it on my person or next to me.


I got a small lockable case for my carry pistol. Small enough to easily fit into my overnight bag if need be. The long gun that has been following me around lately is a folding stock AK. I needed a way to keep it secured. A big case would be kind of a pain as the only ones I have are 4 feet long and bulky. Though I will keep my eye out for one just long enough for my AK's new more compact folded footprint. My solution for the AK was to take a long lock and run in through the ejection port and mag well and lock the thing.

These solutions cost about $20 total. When I am back home we will need to put considerably more thought and expense into firearms security but that is a post for another day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hard Truths

If you grow up, get a skill (degree, trade, whatever), get married to a person you have known for awhile, then have kids your odds of economic and social success are pretty high. If you do things in the right order all, don't spend more than you make and ideally stay married (this is where knowing someone is so huge) things will go resonably well for you. However if you mess up this order in any way the odds of success and stabilty drop. The more you mess it up the worse they get. I am not coming at this from a moral angle but a practical one. It is just cold hard truth. I know more than a few people who have intentionally or otherwise messed up the order. I really hope it works out for them (and for some it does) but it is definitely a lot harder road.

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