Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Random Post

So I don’t really have a topic…just some random conversation topics that have taken place in the household over the last few weeks.

In no particular order….

The Notebook

While cleaning up downstairs in the game room I came across a one of the kids notebooks. I flipped through it to see if it was all filled or still had some blank pages left to write on. To my surprise I see a page filled with drawings of…well…male reproductive parts…yep….pages filled with drawings of penises. I immediately flash to a scene from the movie Super Bad wear Jonah Hill’s character as a kid is obsessed with drawing penises. If you don’t know it just search for ’Super Bad Drawings’ on YouTube (warning if you are easily offended then do NOT perform the search).

Then reality hits me that this notebook belongs to one of our little girls (ages 7, 9 and 9). I asked Deanne (tired of attempting to think of a clever nickname) to take a look and she tells me that she drew the penises to answer a particular question regarding an anatomy question that the girls had…I just look at her with a blank look on my face and think….what…you are drawing pictures of penises…I will truly never understand girls…no matter what age…

Bottom line is the girls are asking questions about male and female body parts….sex…Ugh…I don’t know if I’m ready for those questions yet…

The Doctor Visit

I took the girls to Doctor for their annual checkup and to get a flu shot. When the nurse brought in the gowns for the kids to change into, Abbie asked me to leave the room so that she could change into her gown. It kind of hit me…she’s getting older on me and the signs that she’s not my little girl are getting stronger and stronger every day. Allie on the other hand still runs around naked all the time and could care less…these girls are a piece of work.


Winter time means indoor soccer for all four kids. Abbie and Kelsie play on the same team and I really enjoy attending their games. They are both good soccer players and have hit the age where it all starts to come together. Allie is still in the youngest league where the kids all bunch together and follow each other, but she enjoys playing and seems happy and content.

A few weeks ago Abbie and Kelsie’s team played a very good team and got beat in every aspect of the game…it was funny to listen to the two blondes discuss how mean the other girls were and what they were going to “do” to them the next time they played that team.

More Soccer

Abbie scored her first ever indoor soccer goal a few weeks back. Before the game she asked me if we could go to DQ (Dairy Queen) after the game. I told her sure we could…if she scores a goal…sure enough she scores her first goal.

While at DQ Allie asked me where will we go if she scores a goal…I told her and I quote myself, “Allie, if you score a goal, we will go to Disney World”. She has been hustling more and more in the games recently, but believe me the odds of her scoring a goal are very, very slim. So far this year her team has been scored upon 61 times…and her team has only scored 2 times…so I feel pretty safe in my statement with only 3 games left to play.

Girl Drama

The drama of having four girls in one house is…well…let’s just say very interesting and never ending to say the least. It goes something like this…

The oldest girl (Wife / Mom) sets the tone for the entire house…if she’s not happy…no one is happy – plain and simple.

The two nine year old blondes are either best friends and loving sisters or sworn worst enemies. Keep in mind that this love or hate thing can happen in a flash. It’s very unpredictable and you just never know when it will strike.

The little one (age seven) is constantly feeling left out and then lashes out at everyone and anyone…ESPECIALLY when she’s tired…then look out.


I keep joking that I may have to get a second job to support the five kids we have. Well, actually we only have four kids but one (Daren) eats for two. I have never raised a boy so watching them eat is little mindboggling and a little disgusting to me.

I have just recently finally accepted that 10 year old boys just plain out eat twice as much as 40 something year old adults. I have never seen a kid eat like this before…two lunches every day at school then he eats more then me every night at dinner…sometimes we have to remind him to breath since his mouth is usually filled with food.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Children’s Grief Awareness Day

Today is Children’s Grief Awareness Day and yes I am wearing Blue to show my support.

This information is directly from the Highmark Caring Place website


Before they graduate from high school, one child out of every 20 will have a parent die—and that number doesn't include those who experience the death of a brother or sister, a close grandparent, aunt or uncle, or friend.

Children who have had someone die—especially a close family member — can feel the loss forever. They eventually go back to school. They might pick some activities back up. They certainly look "normal." And yet there's still that hole inside.

It often gets worse during the holiday season when the already hard feelings of longing and pain become intensified and when memories of past holidays contrast sharply with the loss of the present holiday.

This is a time of year when the grieving child can feel even more set apart, different from their peers, more alone than ever.

Every school and every community has children who have experienced some type of loss. Even if they keep their loss and experience to themselves, there are many children who are grieving among us.

These children can be helped to not feel so alone. Children and adults together can show their support for grieving children and show their awareness of what grieving children might be going through by participating in Children's Grief Awareness Day.

I can’t say enough about how good the Caring Place was for us. It gave the girls a chance to feel “normal” if not for just a little while and me a place to make sure I was doing the right things. The counselors were very nice and when the girls are a little older I still fully intend to go back and volunteer. It’s very important for people to know that life will go on and things can and will get better. I was so skeptical in the beginning but after attending the meetings I was so glad we all stuck with it. I want other people to know that and to feel that feeling…so today…I wear Blue.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monthly Update

Where to begin…so much stuff going on and so little time to write or blog.

The Kitchen

Well our kitchen is done and we couldn’t be happier. Our contractor turned out to be very unreliable, dishonest and a liar…but we finished the job in spite of him. We still a few minor things to finish, but for the most part I can do that myself…in all my copious spare time.


I had to attend a work conference out in Seattle in the early part of October. Again, Seattle is the only city that I travel to where the weather is crappier then the Burgh. It’s not real cold, but it just rains ALL the time.

Crazy Fall Weekend Schedule

On every weekend in the Fall we had 3 outdoor Soccer games and 2 outdoor Dek Hockey games…from mid October on we also had 3 additional indoor soccer games…it was really crazy their for a few weekends.

Class Reunion

In mid-October I attended my 25 years high school class reunion. It was actually the first reunion that my class has ever “officially” had, and it was a blast. Seeing some people that I hadn’t seen in 25 years was just a fun, fun night. I had a lot of friends in high school and Facebook has allowed many of us to get reacquainted over the years, but seeing everyone in person was truly a great night. I just hope we don’t wait 25 more years to do it again.

Indian Princesses

The second to last weekend in October I took all three girls on a weekend campout to Deer Valley for Indian Princesses. All three girls had a great time. The weather was perfect and all of us had a really nice weekend. Being the only Dad with three girls at the campout was a little exhausting for me, but well worth it.


The kids got their report cards last week and we couldn’t have been more pleased. ALL four kids had a great first term. I was really anxious about Allie since she had so many issues / struggles with her first grade teacher last year at our old school. Her report card was fantastic. Her complete attitude, approach, yearning to learn and reading levels has skyrocketed this year and it’s because she loves her teacher at her new school. Instead of remarks on how her attitude needs to improve and she needs to listen better – the remarks were how well she listens, participates in class, shares with other kids and tries her best.

It’s a complete 180 and I have NO DOUBT it’s due to the fact that she doesn’t have that Bitch of a teacher who yelled all the time from last year. I personally feel bad for all the kids that Miss Bitch has taught…continues to demoralize. What stinks is that one of my friends whose daughter is in first grade this year back at the old school has Miss Bitch and is seeing very similar behavior from his daughter. It upsets me how much influence one horrible teacher can have on a small child in their very formative school age years.

The other three kids all did very well on their report cards. Not a single ‘C’ in the bunch between the three of them. They are all playing an instrument as well. At any given time you can hear the trumpet, saxophone or violin and in some instances all three playing at once. With all the changes and adjustments these kids have gone through in the last few years, we feel very, very fortunate to have such good “normal” kids. Things could be totally different and don’t think for a minute that we don’t think about that and appreciate our four amazing kids.

Niagara Falls

Last year “D” (still need to come up with a good nickname) and I went to Niagara Falls, just the two of us…and we had a blast. It’s off season so it’s not crowded at all. We both agreed that we have to take the kids up here…since it’s basically Vegas for kids…so this year we did. Last weekend the six of us went on Friday and stayed the weekend, and had a great time. We did all the amusements, the water park in the hotel and of course the main attraction (the Falls). We all had a great time…it was a really good weekend away for all of us.

That’s it for now…for those of you wondering what’s going on and how we are all doing I will seriously try to write more.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Move, Merger and the Mayhem

The Move

Well we have moved into the new house…and what an experience it was and continues to be. We bought the house in the beginning of May and decided to redo the kitchen. That turned into redoing the family room, powder room and the game room.

To make a long story short…I hired a contractor who had done excellent work for us in the past. Well, turns out the contractor is going through a messy divorce which translates into a messy job. Unfortunately, his personal issues carried over into his business handlings and things were very tense for a long period of time.

No work was getting done on the new house. Our move date was approaching fast and the house was NOT in move-in condition. The contractor wouldn’t return phone calls or show up when he was supposed to. The workers who did show up were asking us to call the contractor because they wanted to get paid. It seems that their paychecks were bouncing and they were fed up with him. We ended up contacting the workers directly and paid them ourselves. We moved in with half of kitchen cabinets installed and no running water in the kitchen.

The Merger

Everyone keeps asking what’s taking so long with the unpacking well…merging two houses together….basically we have two or more of everything. Where do you put it all? Not having a finished kitchen hampers the decisions on what to keep and where to store it.

What couch to use, what furniture, which chair, which table, what about the these shelves or this thing or that thing etc. Fortunately for us (me and D) we seem to agree pretty easily about what to keep and what to give away, but it still takes time. You never truly realize how much “stuff” is accumulated over the years until it has to be moved.

I do feel good about all the stuff we have donated to Goodwill. I have been making weekly trips to Goodwill and some of the stuff is in awesome shape and I’m glad that it will go to people who can use it.

The Mayhem

Four kids…two adults…a half done kitchen with no running water…just an FYI…I would NOT recommend it. I know that someday we will look back and laugh about it all…I just can’t wait to that day is here.

The good news is that everyone seems to be adjusting very well. Two of the kids started a new school and the anxiety level was pretty high, as to be expected. I am very happy to report that things are going well on that front. New school, new friends new things to learn…all in all the girls handled it great and they have met many new friends and really like their new school and teachers…that was a huge, huge relief for me.

All four kids are all getting along very well, which in itself is very cool. Not that they didn’t get along well before, but they realize things aren’t ready or done at the house and have really pitched in and been very understanding with the entire situation.

I know it will take months to get everything sorted, situated and organized to my liking. It’s hard (maybe pathetic is a better choice of words) to feel sorry for myself when every day on the news is yet another story about all the flooding that hit the east coast and some folks have lost everything. The boxes in all the living areas are just about gone…the next monster will be the garage…which looks like a disaster. We are slowly but surely getting there.

So for now, in between the soccer games, the dek hockey games and swimming practices we unpack a box or two at a time. The house is coming along, everyone is happy and healthy and things are progressing nicely. There is truly never a dull moment around the house…and yes I complain about it…but I don’t think I would want it any other way…we have four kids who constantly keep us moving, they are social, active and in the mix of things…all in all…things are going well…

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Old Yeller

No not the Disney movie about the dog…this is more about me and my attempt to not yell. First and foremost…I am a yeller…Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes this is a bad thing. I have really, really tried to tone down and stop yelling and over the last few years I have seriously reduced what I yell about and when I decide to raise me voice.

This past New Years…my New Years Resolution was to not yell anymore. I did pretty good for a few months, but lately I have been yelling a lot. I have been yelling at the kids, our subcontractor in charge of remodeling the kitchen at the new house, custom service representative…you name it.

The problem is this…no one listens to me if I don’t yell...NO ONE!

Hearing Issue

My kids seemed to have this weird hearing issue / condition. Apparently they can only hear what I’m saying when I yell. I have had their hearing checked out and every time the result is good.

I don’t believe it’s a speech thing either. One of my best friends is a speech therapist and doesn’t believe that there are any speech type issues so I default back to their hearing…and yes I am being very sarcastic.

If I ask them to do something like, put away their toys, pickup their room, put clothes away, straighten up etc…something of that nature it just seems to get ignored. When I ask a second or third time (the level of my voice raises with each request) it’s like they can’t hear me or don’t understand what I am saying. It’s not until I YELL at them TO PICK UP YOUR STUFF NOW that anything seems to happen. Then the frantic efforts to pick everything up as quickly as possible kicks into full gear.

Not Just the Kids

But what I have noticed is that it’s not jus my kids that don’t listen…no one does. Customer Service types, Contractors, business types…no one seems to respond or act upon a request until the yelling starts…and to be honest it really, really pisses me off.

To the point that anytime I actually get good customer service I make a point to tell that person that I appreciate the time and effort that they gave me. It’s a real problem. I honestly believe that not too many people give a crap about how they treat you until the yelling starts and the threats to go some where else come into play. And what’s even more disturbing is that I have fallen right into the trap.

I am not shy about voicing my displeasure when I get bad service. So when I receive poor customer service at a place like Best Buy or Lowes I have no problem in requesting a Manager immediately. Answers like “its store policy” or “the company’s policy” are understandable, BUT that does NOT give the stores employee a right to treat me like crap. So when I tell the person behind the counter that they are extremely rude and very disrespectful in a very loud tone so other potential customers can hear me, that is the only way I seem to get an immediate turnaround and an offer to rectify the situation.

Do NOT get me wrong or misinterpret the situation here…I am NOT difficult to deal with as a customer. BUT I expect a certain quality of courtesy when making a purchase and if you are going to be rude to me – I will gladly make my purchase somewhere else.

Getting Better

Honestly the kids are getting way better at listening. Well, after we (the Parental Figures) sat them all down and explained to them that we are not going to ask them repeatedly to pickup their things anymore. Instead we are going to ask once and only once, no more repeat warnings. After that the leftover stuff gets collected and not…and this was the key, NOT thrown away, BUT collected and then given away to Goodwill…I was amazed how well they started hearing.

They knew we wouldn’t throw away their stuff, but they know I take stuff to Goodwill because I have taken them with me when we donate things. I have explained to them how this helps out others who are not as fortunate as we are. Well the thought of giving away their toys, games, electronics stuff to Goodwill seems to be working so far. Now if only I could find away to get others to hear as well…

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Time

I don’t know why but lately I have been thinking / reminiscing about my childhood. If I had to guess I would think it has to due with my upcoming birthday and the summer season.

Just curious what others recall about summer…here are my thoughts…

The Summer Season


- green…the grass, trees, plants, flowers and vegetables etc

- the sun

- kids paying outside

- fireflies

- lights (from neon signs to billboards) they just seem more vibrant in the summer

- blue skies

- the beach


- the birds chirping

- an outdoor radio (the radio always seems to sound better outside)

- the hum of the air conditioner

- thunder

- the intensity of the rain

- kids playing


- suntan lotion

- food on the grill

- chlorine from the pool

- fresh cut grass

- corn…yes corn…I love the smell of fresh corn


- walking barefoot (on the grass, the street, the driveway ,on the beach)

- the heat from the sun on your skin

- air from the fan blowing on you

- the coldness of a popsicle, Italian ice or ice cream

- the “freshness” of everything (fresh picked veggies and fruit)

- the stiff feeling of clothes that were washed and left to dry on the clothesline

People just seem friendlier in the summer…happier…more easy going. Some of my best memories from my youth are during the summer months. Hanging out with friends, picnics with family members, baseball games and the feeling of being free.

Father’s Day 2011


It was good day. We went out to a park and had a picnic…something we started doing before the kids were even born. I don’t recall exactly when we started going to this particular park but I would guess 11 or 12 years ago. It’s about a 45 minute drive through some scenic and rustic neighborhoods in the Burgh. As in with most places in and around the Burgh their just isn’t a very direct route to get from point A to point B. I complain and get frustrated every time I have to drive out to this park…but it’s always a good time after we get there.

The reason we started going there in the first place was because it was closer, driving distance for Jen’s Grandparents. It’s funny how things have changed over the years. Jen and her Grandmother are no longer here and even the old pavilion is gone (I wrote about that last year - A First, the Middle and Endings)

The Attendees

The picnic goers have changed and so has the pavilion but the tradition go on. The very first time we went it was Jen, me, her parents, her brother and her Grandparents – the seven of us. Yesterday it was me, the girls, (MENTAL NOTE – I need a nickname for my new bride), Jen’s parents, her brother, her Grandfather and his lady friend and her son – the ten of us.

Now some might think it would be weird or awkward…such an interesting mix of people…well this is one of the reasons why I wanted to write this entry…it wasn’t…not at all. It was such a cross family and non-family representation of people yet we all had a good time. Granted this was not the first time we had all met or gotten together but that is the point that I am trying to make.

Life goes on…it does. Yesterday could have been awkward, a disaster, filled with long periods of silence. Instead it was just the opposite. It was a good day spent with people who choose to spend some time together and just enjoy the afternoon for what it was worth.

My Rambling Point

I guess what I am attempting to say is don’t be afraid to do something different. Don’t be afraid to break out of the norm and just go with it. What’s the worse that could have happened yesterday, no one really has a good time so we all eat and then take off? Instead it turned out to be a really nice day.

Had you asked me five years ago to pick the attendees for the picnic yesterday I would have been very wrong in my selections. Even for someone like me, who has to plan out everything, sometimes you just need to go with the flow.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Radio, Jr. High and Bikes

Radio and Jr. High

Let’s start in the same order as the blog entry title. Last weekend the weather here in the Burgh was fantastic. Low 80’s in the daytime and high 50’s at night. Swimming during the day and just enough of a slight chill to wear a sweatshirt in the evening…in my opinion…absolutely perfect weather.

After a long day of swimming, running errands, playing and making a great dinner on the grill and while the other kids were taking their showers, it was just me and my youngest daughter on the deck. We were watching the sun starting to disappear for the night and just hanging out. The radio was on and it was of course set to the all 80’s station.

As the tunes played…Journey, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Styx, the Police etc…the tunes were good…for some reason it brought me back to Jr. High School and the dances my school had. I thought about how life seemed so hard and difficult back then. I remember the girl I had a crush on, the attempts to play it cool, the all so "important" things in Jr. High.

Then Allie put her head on my shoulder and snuggled in close next to me and everything was right in the world for those few precious minutes. It was just a real nice little moment…


So I did something last night that I haven’t done in a long, long time…and it was awesome. I rode a bike.

The kids have been asking…pestering…nagging me for weeks to get my bike off the wall where it hangs upside down in the garage and ride with them. Well, last night I finally did. I haven’t ridden that bike in 14…15 years…it’s an old fashioned 10 speed bike. I was surprised that the tires were able to hold air and not all dry rotted away.

I have to say it was awesome…as a kid I rode my bike everywhere. Some of my bike trips were pretty impressive if I do say so myself. We lived in the country and nothing was close by so trips on bikes were miles and miles. I know one day I logged 40 miles round trip.

The wind hitting your face…the feel of the pedals…crouching down to be more aerodynamic…standing up to pedal when going uphill…I love the feel of riding a bike…gliding downhill and the freedom of just coasting brings me back to being a kid again.

I use to push myself as a kid…how far could I ride, how fast from place to place etc. I would time myself on trips to places and see if I could beat that time the next day. I knew what houses had dogs in their yards and what dogs would chase you and what ones wouldn’t. I use to plan my trips so I knew when certain people would be outside, whether it was people watering their flowers, or girls sunbathing by their pools. I rode my old bike everywhere.

The day I got my drivers license…was the day I stopped riding my bike…that is about to change…I may not be able to go out on long bike rides anymore…but now I get to enjoy riding with my kids. Seeing the smile on their faces as we all rode together and the wind blowing in their hair…it was another cool little moment. I want to keep finding these little moments and save them in my mental album.

For now...It’s time to ride again…

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Fresh Air Fund

This is a first for me…..

Someone from the Fresh Air Fund Organization contacted me about mentioning this on the Blog. I checked it out and it looks good and legit.

I have never participated nor do I have any affiliation with the organization but the idea looks good…so here is the info in anyone is interested.



From their Website…

What is The Fresh Air Fund Friendly Town program?
Summertime is Fresh Air time for thousands of New York City children growing up in disadvantaged communities. The Fresh Air Fund is an independent, not-for-profit agency providing free summer experiences to inner-city youngsters in need. Through The Fund’s Friendly Town program, close to 5,000 children visit volunteer host families each summer in rural and suburban communities. Fresh Air children stay for two weeks or more in over 300 Friendly Towns across 13 Northeastern states from Virginia to Maine and Canada.

Since 1877, more than 1.7 million inner-city children, living in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods, have experienced the joys of Fresh Air experiences. The Fresh Air Fund is primarily supported by the generosity of thousands of contributors.

Follow the links above for the complete information.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


So I have written a couple of new entries and for some reason have not posted them. As weird as this my sound one of the reasons why I haven’t posted them is because I am…well…happy.

I have this theory…and I have many theories on life in general, that no one wants to hear about people who are happy. Sounds kind of crappy but no one really wants to hear how happy and great you are doing – it only makes them feel worse about themselves. What people really want to hear about is how bad and miserable things are so that they can feel better about their own life. Okay now that sounds absolutely horrible so let me attempt to explain a few things.

Pick your favorite recording artist. Think of the some of their best songs…are they the happy songs or are they the songs about some trial or tribulation. For me it’s a no-brainer…I like sad songs…songs with a meaning and a purpose. Whether it’s about love or loss I like songs that invoke a feeling and take me to a different place.

Not ALL songs have to be sad, I don’t want to give people the wrong idea, but I think most artists do their best work when they are sad. When they feel wounded, open vulnerable, and they just let it all hang out and express what they feel in their work.

I really like Sheryl Crow. Look at her albums (showing my age here…) sorry look at her CD’s. When she was single her songs where good. When she was happily dating Lance Armstrong her songs were…well….bad. After her and lance broke up her song quality improved greatly. Pick a band or performer and you can more or less find out when they were heart broken (awesome songs) or when they were all happy and content (songs sucked). The Counting Crows, Springsteen, Mellencamp, Depeche Mode, U2…it more or less works with any artist.

As it stands with now things are good. The six of us are adapting and learning how to all get along with each other. There are issues, but for the most part things are good. We are trying out new things like a written down copy of “Da Rules” which each child signed. So now it’s funny if one of them breaks a “rule” the other kids tell them about it…

Life isn’t always how you think it will be…but it’s important to make the most out of it and right now I feel very lucky and fortunate…what is unfortunate for any followers of the blog is that you probably don’t really want to hear about all that…ha….

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Title

Well I have a new name…the winner is

Inside Bill’s Head

Along with a new title I obviously need a new blog description.


I was a widower. I am now a remarried man. I am a husband, a Dad and a Stepdad. I lost my first wife to an Anaplastic Astrocytoma grade 3 / 4 brain tumor in 2009. It was 22 months from diagnosis to her passing away. Our daughter’s were 4 and 6 at the time.

I am now remarried to a wonderful woman who also happens to be my best friend. She has two children from a previous marriage. Now it’s the six of us starting our new journey together...the updated Brady Bunch meets Modern Family type of household. We are all different in our own little and not so little ways, but together we make a nice uniquely blended family.

I am attempting to keep things as “normal” as possible... for all six of us. My hope is that this blog helps out other people. We are all getting use to becoming a new family and dealing with the changes, the challenges and the new responsibilities involved in merging two households. If my ramblings, rants and thoughts can help someone else out…that would be good.

The Purpose Behind the Blog

Their seems to be plenty of material out there for woman who have lost their husbands, but not so much for men who have lost their wives. I also want people to know that things will improve and get better. Life will never be the same as it was before, but it will get better. If someone would have told me that 12 or 18 months ago I would thought them to be a fool…it does get better. I want people to read this and hopefully find some sort of encouragement that things can and will improve.

Everyone has their own way to cope and deal with things. There is no set schedule, no time frame, no period as to when and how long one will feel a certain way. Don’t let people tell you when and how to feel…follow your gut, instincts, mind and heart…only YOU truly know what’s best for you. I am not saying don’t listen to others. Listen and hear their advice, their words but keep in mind that no matter what other people say or think only YOU truly know what’s going on in the deep dark places within your mind and heart. It will be a rollercoaster ride. Their will be ups and downs along the way…just try not to get too far in any one direction.

My Journey

Our (me and my girls) journey has been filled with challenges, some of which I have tried to share on this blog…others were kept private since they were either a little too personal or too painful to share. It’s not the things that you plan for to handle it’s the little unexpected gotcha’s that are hardest to deal with.

I have dried my share of tears from little cheeks, wrapped my arms around my girls and given the biggest hugs I can supply. I have tried to listen, comfort and explain things to the best of my ability with empathy and understanding. I have tried to put myself in their shoes (my girls) and think about how scary things are in this big, big world. But most of all I have tried to supply them with as much love as possible so that they KNOW we (All three of us) would make it through this…TOGETHER!

I Refuse

I said it before on this blog…I flat out REFUSE to let this be the defining moment of their young lives…FLAT OUT REFUSE!!! I will not allow them to forget their mother and how much she loved them, but I want them to understand that it’s okay to move on as well. We all have to go on…finding a proper balance is the key. It’s a fine line to walk…VERY FINE…many times…with them…with friends…with family…and with woman who I love now…my wife. I feel very fortunate to have met someone who cares so deeply for my girls. The love, caring and compassion she shows them is awesome.

I do hope this blog helps other people. I hope others who stumble upon it, read it and find at least a very small glimmer of hope…and start to think that it will get better.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A New Title

Time to Change the Name

So it just dawned on me that I need to change the title of my blog. After next week I will no longer be single so “Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad” doesn’t work anymore.

Some possible new titles…

- Bill’s Blog
- Inside Bill’s Head
- Bill’s Modern Family
- My New Modern Family
- My Version of Modern Family
- Remarried Widower
- A Remarried Widower’s Take on His New Modern Family
- From Three to Six
- New Beginnings
- From a Widower to a Modern Family

Any of the above still seem better then “Inside the Head of a Widower with two little girls who is now remarried and the father of two little girls, a stepdaughter and a stepson”, but I need to think it through a little more.

Any comments or feedback is welcomed…I’m leaning towards either “From Three to Six”…sounds kind of cool to me… or “A Remarried Widower’s Take on His New Modern Family”…keeps the old blog theme or simply “Bill’s Blog”…which is simple, but also kind of boring.

Mother’s Day 2011

A Year Later

What a difference one year makes. Last year Mother’s Day was the lowest of the lows. Worse then the kid’s birthdays and even worse then Christmas after all it’s a day dedicated to one person…Mom. Last year Mother’s Day was rough on all of us. I can vividly recall thinking to myself that I had to make it through this and be strong for the girls, but I had reached the breaking point. My ability to remain strong and positive was dangerously close to caving in. I was a wreck on the inside even though I put on a smiley face and appeared okay on the outside.

This year Mother’s Day was very different. The girls were much happier. After all in a week we start a new journey as a new family. The wedding is one week away. I will be marrying one of my best friends. I’m also getting a stepdaughter, and a stepson, the girls are getting a stepsister, a stepbrother and a stepmom…or as the girls like to call her…Mom.

I have said this before that during a session at the Caring Place Abbie told one of the counselors that all she wanted was someone to call “Mom” again. She has that now and it makes a huge difference in her well being...a huge difference.

It’s a weird line to walk sometimes…I don’t want to disrespect the memory of Jen. I will never allow the girls to forget her and at the same time I do not want the woman whom I am marrying to feel slighted or second best, yet another thing in life that the parenting books don’t prepare you for. As we start our new journey as a family of six…I have no doubts that it will lead to some pretty interesting blog entry material.

At the end of the day as twilight was taking away the sky Abbie asked me to go with her to Mom’s tree. Abbie and I went out to visit Jen’s tree as the sun was setting. We talked to Jen. We talked about some of the special memories we shared together. We talked about what Jen was doing now, where we thought she was, if she watching, if she could hear us talking to her. We talked about cancer, dying and moving to a new house among other things. We shared some tears…we shared some hugs and we held each other and I told Abbie that it would be okay.

She got very upset and asked me what if I got sick, what if I got cancer, what if I died. I told her that I go to the doctor’s office once a year to get checked out and that I’m not going to let that happen. So here is what many people don’t get or simply don’t understand abut kids who lose a parent. Kids who lose a parent are always thinking about “what if my other parent dies”. Who will take care of us, what will happen to us? They need that extra reassurance that things are going to be okay. They need to feel safe, secure and loved. They need the reassurance…they don’t just crave it…they NEED it!

It was a bittersweet day. As I tucked her into bed she whispered in my ear that “we would be okay because we are strong and that we will make it through this”. I smiled and kissed her and told her that she was absolutely right – “we are strong and we will make it through this”. She also said that she was happy to have someone to call Mom on Mother’s day. She is an amazingly smart and strong little kid…

Dinner Conversation

Interesting Questions

How do you explain the news of Osama bin Laden’s death to a couple of smart, curious kids? It’s not as easy as you might think. This was a surprising topic of conversation at the diner table between me and my two girls. Keep in mind they are 6 and 8 years old…I was rather impressed…

Went something like this…

Kiddos: Dad, was Osama bin Laden a bad man?

Me: He was a bad man.

Kiddos: Is that why we killed him?

Me: Well, we didn’t “kill” him. The military…do you two know what the military is?

Kiddos: Yeah, it’s the army.

Me: Well, it’s more then just the army (and I explained the concept of the military and armed forces to both kids).

Me: The military had to find him so that he wouldn’t hurt any more people.

Kiddos: Well does that military get rid of all “bad” people.

Me: Good question, no they do not. But this man tried to hurt many people that live in our country and he even went as far as to have a plan that hurt and killed a bunch of people.

Kiddos: You mean the attack on the Twin Towers.

(I had no idea they even knew about the 9/11) Yes, he was one of the people that came up with the plan to attack the Twin Towers.

Kiddos: Well, I’m glad he’s killed…aren’t you Dad?

Me: Well, I’m glad that he’s not hurting any more people.

Me too, I wish they would get rid of all the bad people.

It just struck me…a little funny. What a different world we live in now compared to when I was a kid. This is one of those conversations that you don’t really prep for. In what book is the chapter on how to talk to elementary age kids about global terrorism and getting rid of terrorists – or the threat of terrorist attacks and retaliation?

It makes me feel good and proud to have such curious kids who can ask intelligent questions, but also makes me sad for the state of the world that we live in now. Kids shouldn’t have to think about things like terrorist and be glad that they are dead…as I cleaned up the dishes from dinner…just make me a little sad for the world that these kids live in know as compared to when I grew up.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Quick Venting Session

Okay…I get it….or at least I think I do. I can see the confusion with letters RSVP. I think I get why many don’t reply back when asked to…it’s because many people genuinely don’t know what RSVP means.

Look up RSVP

From Wikipedia.org
In the context of social invitations, RSVP or Rsvp (or either of these with a period inserted after each letter) is a request for a response from the invited person. It is an initialism derived from the French phrase répondez s'il vous plaît, meaning "Please respond".[1] Some ambiguity can exist as to which invitees the request applies to.

SO….this explains A LOT of the confusion for me….Stupid friggin French….it’s always there fault…somehow…someway it’s always nice to place the blame on the NON-committal French.

From Dictoinary.com
verb (used without object)
1. to reply to an invitation: Don't forget to RSVP before Thursday.
2. a reply to an invitation: He sent a lovely bouquet of flowers with his RSVP.
3. (used on an invitation to indicate that the favor of a reply is requested).

I don’t really know the abbreviation means (French Blah, blah blah)…maybe in the future I will use the “Jersey” version. YFCOW – You F’ing coming or what? That way at least the folks I invited back in NJ who haven’t responded will understand.

Believe me I have been guilty of forgetting to RSVP for a kid’s birthday party a time or two, BUT I ate least called or emailed the parents and apologized.

This is NOT a kid’s birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, or Putt-Putt Golf, pizza, ice cream and juice etc. This is a wedding. The caterer needs to know how much food to prepare. How much cake to buy, drinks to prepare, how many tables to setup…you get the idea.

If you don’t RSVP and show up to the event please don’t be offended if we ask you to stand during the reception, oh, and not eat or drink…but thanks for taking part in our special day…after all we took the time to get invitations, carefully and painfully go over the guest list, negotiate back and forth as to who we invited to our small intimate affair. Stuff the envelopes, put the stamp on all the return envelopes, mail them…all we asked was to RSVP by a certain date.

Okay, I feel better now…sarcasm and humor always makes me feel better…that and making fun and picking on the French.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Been a While

I have been horrible about writing lately. I want to…I really do…I tell myself that I will but then don’t. For the past two months on the nights when I can write, I find myself falling asleep on the couch watching the Pens game or a movie that I have seen a hundred times.

Random Things / Thoughts / Updates…

o I am very glad that winter is over and that the time has changed. I just hope that Mother Nature gets the memo soon…I NEED Spring to arrive and STAY here in the Burgh.

o My girls played indoor soccer this winter…it was a very cool experience…they did awesome. Their team went 0-12 – yep, lost every single game they played. Yet, they went every week and really enjoyed it. I am very proud of both of them.

o I can see changes in both the girls. They are getting bigger, older, and more mature. In some ways I am happy and grateful, in other ways I am scared as hell. They are my baby girls and seeing them get bigger and bigger is very satisfying yet somewhat frightening.

o How can these kids drive you so crazy at times…yet look so angelic when they sleep.

o I really wish the work week was four days and we had three day weekends…or at least twice a month. The amount of errands that need to be done on the weekend takes way, way too much time.

o I am getting married next month…and I am very excited about that. As are the girls…it will be nice to start a new chapter as a new family.

o A household of six (2 adults 4 kids) will be interesting and challenging…but it will be good for all six of us. In some weird “cosmic” way I really think we all need it.

o We found a house…they accepted our offer …we close week before the wedding…Have I mentioned that I can’t really focus unless my life is in overdrive…

o Things are good…they are. I still catch myself every now and then feeling sorry or a little blue…but with all the bad things happening in the world I do feel very fortunate.

o I am not a spiritual person, I don’t consider myself a particularly deep thinker, but with all the things that “I”….well “we”….have been through I am grateful to be in such a good position.

That’s it for now…a couple of folks sent me some nice messages…asking what’s going on and how we are doing…I PROMISE to write more often…I do.

It’s never as dark as it seems…and if someone had told me that 1 year ago I would have just said yeah, yeah whatever. Well folks, I have been there…trust me it will and does get better. We (the girls and I) still have our moments and I know that we always will, but the key is how you handle it.

Never underestimate your own abilities…you never know just how strong and wise you really are until times of absolute vulnerability...the hard part for me is allowing myself to be vulnerable. Be strong for your little ones…they will appreciate it so, so much.. Okay that was a little too deep for a Monday…

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It’s Always Something

Chaos in the Morning
Mornings during the week are, well let’s just say a little crazy…well actually more like organized chaos in the house. I have two girls who are easily distracted to say the least. One is a so-so morning person, the other is a total NON-morning person and I am also a total NON-morning person. If morning started at 10:00 then I would be able to handle it…well maybe 10:30.

Getting two little girls up, dressed, fed, hair brushed, shoes on, teeth brushed, lunch made, back packs prepped, water bottles filled and ready for the bus is always quite a spectacle. This past Tuesday was a little different…

Tuesday Mayhem at the Bus Stop
Yesterday my youngest daughter tells me at the bus stop that she doesn’t feel well…the conversation went something like this

Daughter: Dad I don’t feel good
Me: You will be fine
D: No, I really don’t feel good, my stomach hurts
M: You’re okay
D: My belly hurts (with teary eyes)
M: I’m sure you will be okay once you get to school

NOW, keep in mind that the other kids are at the bus stop along with other parent figures…

D: Dad, I don’t feel good, can we go back home
M: I’m sure you will be okay.
D: (Crying) I just want to go home
M: Hey look here comes the bus (I’m thinking ah, saved by the bus)

And then the vomiting started…hit the street…splattered all over my shoes, pants etc…what a great way to start out a Tuesday morning. I had already looked at my daily calendar previously and knew that I have a day booked with meetings.

Super Dad
I got my oldest daughter on the bus and took my youngest daughter home. I cleaned her up, got her clothes changed, set her up on the couch with a bucket next to her. Hugged her, gave her a kiss on the head said “I love you kiddo” and told her it would be okay and she needed to rest.

Then I sent the “Where is Bill” email to work…I had to stay home with a sick kid. I still managed to participate in two conference calls. I answered and sent emails…I was totally in the zone. Check on daughter, threw in some laundry, emails, check on daughter, emails, calls, laundry, it was a routine but I still managed a good productive day of work and took care of a sick little one.

By the end of the day I was beat and feeling a little run down myself so I went to bed early. But not before I folded two loads of laundry and put them away. Had each girl take their bath and shower and pick out their clothes for the next day. I set the table for the morning breakfast – all and all I felt a little smug…like Super Dad.

Not So Super

The next morning everyone is up…we are actually like 5 minutes early before we have to leave for the bus stop and all is well. Until I tell the girls to get their coats on and let’s go to the bus stop. That’s when I noticed that “Super Dad” forgot one BIG thing…I forgot to wash my youngest daughter’s coat and the remnants from the previous day were still present.

NOW what…if I say something she will freak. If I don’t and one of the other kids notice she will be all embarrassed. If I do nothing then I feel like a horrible Dad. So…I grabbed a wet paper towel and told her that she had dirt on her jacket and wiped it off…and was a little dumbfounded when she said “ok Dad thanks for getting that”.

It just amazes me that no matter how much you get done…there is always something else to do…it’s just nonstop…okay...I feel better now...just needed to vent a little. Now I have to go wash puke off of a coat...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hello 2011
Well we are almost a full month into 2011 and I have yet to write an entry and boy have I heard about it…which I guess is a good thing. The fact that people want to know what is going on with me and the girls is very flattering and the interest and concern people express by sending me emails is very…well cool.

Okay, here it goes…2011…and honestly I have a ton of stuff to write about.

I have made some serious, big, huge, monumental…pick a word and insert here…decisions in the past month. These may come as a complete surprise to some of you, but to others it will hopefully come across as a natural progression.

Decision 1 – Selling the House
I have decided to put my house on the market. Believe me deciding to sell my house was very difficult for me. I love my house, I mean absolutely love it. I love the wide open floor plan, the layout, the room sizes, the finished game room, the deck, the neighbors and most of all the spectacular view. A house search is never easy. So many places look great on paper then you see it in person and it’s completely different. It took me over 6 months to find a house the last time. I hope it doesn’t take that long this time.

Why Now

Well, honestly the reasons are many…Abbie doesn’t like going into the office because that is where Jen’s hospice bed was and that’s where Jen passed away. I have to admit that sometimes I catch myself not wanting to go in there either. Jen’s personal touches and decorations are everywhere and that is not a bad thing, it just makes it hard sometimes on all of us.

This will be hard for many to understand, but it’s time to go…it’s time to move on…it’s time to find a new beginning. Now, keep in mind that the thought of moving makes my stomach turn. I hate moving…HATE IT!!! I have accumulated so much stuff and it seriously took us over 2 years before the last box was officially unpacked. I am NOT looking to packing and moving, but it needs to happen for ALL of us.

Decision 2 – Getting Married
This will come as a shock to some of you, but I am getting married. The person whom I have been dating for the past 6 months is someone who I have known for 5 years. It’s also someone the girls have knows for 5 years and who is also one of my best and closest friends. It feels awesome to be happy…it really does.

She loves me and the girls and it has been great for all of us. Whenever she comes over the excitement and joy on the girls faces is amazing to see. I can be the best Dad in the world but there are just certain things that I can’t give to the girls. The pure happiness, comfort, confidence and encouragement they receive from a positive and loving woman is one of them.

That being said…I am also totally smitten. When I’m around this person, well…I just want to be a better person. She brings out the best in me and it feels really, really good. I can only imagine what some people will think and say when they read this…to that all I can say it this. When I told another one of my best friends what I was thinking. He said to me that I know that you (meaning me) don’t do anything unless you have thought about it, rethought about it and considered all the variables multiple times.

I like to think I have…and I am not making light of the situation either. Life is short…too short…and I am very happy…she makes me extremely happy…and to be honest it’s a great feeling.

We have challenges ahead…selling the house…buying a house for all of us, the girls changing schools…no one said it would be easy…but when is life ever easy…I have more to write…but that is for another entry….

Inside Bill's Head -- Previously Known as (Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad)

In August of 2009 my wife Jennifer passed away from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. She was only 38 years old. She left me and our two little girls Abbie and Allie to continue life’s journey.

I promised her that I would NOT become angry and bitter about what happened...in order to do that I am attempting to write to express my thoughts and feelings.

This site is a place where I can express my thoughts, feelings and rants...