Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th!!!!!!

I am not superstitious.  I did not even realize it was Friday the 13th until 9:30 this morning.  But after I heard the date, my morning all made sense.

I awoke this morning at 5:50 am with the puppy, Lily, crawling all over my face.  She could not stop pacing in our bed.  I didn't think anything of it cause she will do that throughout the night then lay back down and go to sleep.  But on the 233rd lap around the bed, I realized she was shivering.  So thinking she was cold, I grabbed her and tried to cuddle with her to keep her warm.  That lasted 2 seconds because I wanted to cuddle and she hates to cuddle on my terms.  She went back to shivered pacing around the bed.  Thinking she has to pee, I got up, took her downstairs, took her outside in the cold and let her out.  Now I was shivering.  She peed just a little but being 6:00 in the morning I didn't think anything of it.  Not until I returned to my bed.  I climbed in to my nice warm, inviting bed and realized my feet felt wet.  I did not step in anything on my way up stairs?  I then felt the bottom of my bed and discovered why she did not pee very long outside!  Her pee had soaked all my covers, sheets, and mattress...on my side of the bed!  So I did what any normal drowsy person would do...I tucked my feet into the fetal position, tried to ignore it and go back to sleep.  But now my hand smelled like pee from checking it and my feet were still wet and smelled of pee.  So did I do the responsible thing and get up, wake my sleeping bride next to me to start the cleaning process and laundry?  No, I grabbed my pillow and went to the other bedroom.  She was going to find out if I told her or if she rolled in it.  At 6 in the morning I didn't care how she found out.   

Well I was able to drift gently back to sleep preparing for a nice long slumber in a warm, dry bed. Then 5 minutes later Nate woke up.  When Nate wakes up he knocks on his door until everyone else in the house is up.  And sure enough in 2 minutes everyone was awake including my wife asking me why I was in the other bed.  To which I replied, "we are getting rid of the puppy.  I'm done." 

I spend the next half hour stripping the bed, piling pee-soaked sheets and blankets in laundry, pouring vinegar and water on the mattress, soaking up the mattress, and then taking a shower to get the pee and vinegar smell off of myself.  I can't believe how much pee there was.  The puppy is only 4 pounds but probably released 2 gallons of pee on my side of the bed.  I did not realize she went binge drinking last night and never relieved herself before bed.

While I am cleaning the bed, all 3 kids came upstairs because they were all yelling at each other and were sent to their rooms.  But since 2 of them share a room, another fight broke out about who gets to go to the shared room.  I wonder if parents of girls get "quiet time" in the morning as everyone is waking up and sweet to each other.  As a parent of all boys, I hear my first whine within 2 minutes and the first wrestle match/fight within 6 minutes of eyes opening.  There is no such thing as "quiet time." 

After 3 heart to heart talks about not fighting and whining in the morning because you are slowly killing mommy and daddy, Zachary almost misses his bus.  We both run outside and the bus stops in front of our house to make a special stop for him.  He gets on, crisis averted.  I come back inside to find my 2 younger boys taking our special talk (that we had 5 minutes ago) to heart by fighting with each other and making Nate cry.  I grab Drew and throw him on the couch to stop the fighting and walk away only to hear Drew say, "Eww. What is that?"  I look and in front of the couch where I was just standing was what looked like 3 poop stains smeared into the carpet.  I look at my shoes and sure enough there was poop.  Oh yea, I not only get to clean pee out of a mattress but poop out of carpet too!  But after sniffing my shoe, I discover it is only mud!  This is the highlight of my day!  I celebrate!  When I ran out to catch the bus with Zachary I had stepped in mud, not poop.  It was an easy clean-up, considering.  My wife can only laugh at my morning at this point.  To console me, she offers a new recipe of oatmeal, flax seed muffins that contain no sugar or taste.  So much for a delicious breakfast.  To complete my morning, I asked her if there were any toilets that need unclogged because at this point, why not?  The morning did not get much better after I left because once I got to work while changing a patient, I stuck my bare hand in a pee-soaked diaper, accidentally.  This was all before 9:30 in the morning.

So when I heard it was Friday the 13th, it all kind of made sense.

Becoming more superstitious,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

Friday, August 16, 2013

Lean in 13 - Day 2

I am sore.  I woke up sore and it am still sore.  Thank you Motrin.  I knew I would be sore going into a new workout routine but did not realize how much.  I can still get up steps so I consider that a win.  The other side affect I was not expecting was how good I feel about doing this program.  I  am so happy to be doing a strict program of diet, exercise, and supplements that is a proven system at will give results.  I can look past the soreness to the end goal of a healthier, sexier me.

Day 2 Diet and supplement routine:

7:30: MNS color pack, 3 catalyst, 2 ThermoPlus

7:30: workout

8:00: Meal replacement shake, 2 MNS white packs

10:30: 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

12:30: MNS color pack, 3 catalyst, 2 ThermoPlus

1:00: grilled chicken salad

3:30: Muscle gain shake

6:00: zucchini spaghetti

8:30: bw3s naked wings, 2 Carb-ease


Today's exercise routine gives you a break from the hard workout from yesterday but still not letting you off too easy.  The program calls for a 30 minute moderate intensity (70% effort) workout.  I chose to do a 30 minute jog.  I don't know if I could have done much more because my legs were already sore from the interval workout and leg exercise from yesterday.  It was the perfect choice to give your body a rest from intense strain but still raise your heart rate through cardio and workout the entire body.  I feel so accomplished to do the jog and even happier to have it out of the way.

I wanted to touch on supplements briefly.  Many people think "Health is all about diet and exercise only so why supplements? As long as I eat right and exercise I will be fine."  I thought this way too for a long time.  And I do believe you will be "fine."  But why not be excellent and give your body proper nutrition that you can not get from the foods we eat.  The following video really helped me understand "why supplements?"

I will try to document some product highlights so you can see why I am taking these supplements throughout this challenge.

-The Joyful and Tired Dad

Lean in 13 - Day 1

Lindsey and I started a new challenge today that is going to transform our bodies and life and I wanted to share my journey with you.  I was tired of dieting on and off and working out inconsitently with no plan when I went to the gym.  I did not know what worked or did not work.  I figured if I felt tired after the gym and sore the next day than I must have done something right.  But I had no direction.  I had worked out with a trainer in the past but nothing stuck with me.  I needed a new challenge that would incorporate diet and excercise together.

The new challenge is called "Lean in 13."  It is part of an Advocare challenge plan that includes eating guidelines, work-out regiment, and daily supplements. 

I started the challenge with a pre-challenge 10 day cleanse.  I needed to clean out my "lint trap."  A dryer will dry your clothes adaquaetly but if you clean out the lint trap, the dryer is going to be the most efficient and dry your clothes with less energy and faster.  Your body collects toxins (the lint) throughout our life through the foods we eat and the even the air we breathe.  So first I needed to clean out the system.  I did the Advocare 10 day cleanse with great results.  Even though it is not a "weight loss" program, I still ended up losing 3 pounds in 10 days!  And the best part of the cleanse, is that it was gentle and uneventful.  No lengthy bathroom visits and upset stomachs.

So today marks the first day of the Lean in 13 plan: 8/15/13.  Here is the break down of my supplement, diet, and excercise routine.

Supplement and Diet:

7:30: MNS "30 minute before breakfast" color pack, 3 Catalyst, and 2 ThermoPlus

8:00: Meal Replacement Shake, and 2 MNS "white" packs

10:30: 1/4 cups almonds

(11:00: workout)

12:30: MNS "30 minues before Lunch" color pack, 3 Catalyst, and 2 ThermoPlus

1:00:  Grilled Chicken Salad - 8 ounces grilled chicken, lettuce, onion, celery

3:00:  Muscle Gain Protein Shake

5:30: Zucchini Spaghetti - zucchini, organic marinara sauce, grilled chicken

8:00: Celery with natural peanut butter


The Lean in 13 program follows a specific workout regiment to maximize results and allow the body to "burn" fat using a 3 day "Burn phase" and 1 day "Refuel Phase" pattern.  Within the 3 day "Burn Phase" day 1 and 3 include interval training and weight lifting and day 2 is only moderate intesity cardio.  Day 4 the "refuel phase" is light cardio to recover.

So day 1 consists of interval training and weight lifting.  At 11:00 I started my interval training with a run outside.  I now know the difference between a jog and a run!  I would always jog in the past but not on this program. 

I chose the intermediate level which consists of 30 minutes of interval training.  This is what I did:
Minute 1 is 50% effort - a walk
Minute 2 is 70% effort - a jog
Minute 3 is 100% effort - a sprint
This was for 30 minutes, so 10 circuits of this 3 minute pattern.  I used the app: "Interval Timer - For Fitness and Workouts" a free app (on apple app store) that you can setup to buzz at each interval to cue when to switch to the next minute.  It was one of the hardest workouts I've done in a long time.  But after I was finished, I felt amazing.

After the interval training, Lindsey and I did the weight lifting portion.  This is what I did:
5 body part sections, 2 sets each: Chest/back, biceps/triceps, shoulders, legs, and abdominals.  Repeitions and weights depended on the "burn" of each set.  I did the set until I felt the muscle burn then did 2 more.  The total time probably took 15 minutes of weight lifting.

So total of 45 minutes of a workout and my body was spent.  I knew I had worked out.  I knew I achieved max burn in the muscles and max heart rate with the cardio interval training with the ultimate goal of maximizing fat burning and metabolism boosting.

Today is Day 1 of 13.  Currently my weight is 179.6.  I took my measurements as well. 

If you are interested in this program here are some links to the different parts of the program:

Lean in 13 Program -

Advocare Products/Supplements -

My hope in documenting this process is 1) keep myself accountable and 2) Use my body as an example for others to see there is hope for them to reach their fitness/weight goals and to live a healthier lifestyle.  Keep in touch to see my journey and results.

-The Joyful and Tired Dad


Friday, August 2, 2013

A Trip to the Toilet...I mean Water Park.

I took the day off today to surprise the kids with a trip to Zoombeezi Bay before they go back to school in 2 weeks.  Zoombeezi Bay is a water park attached to the Columbus Zoo.  The night before, the children were up till about 9:30-9:45 which is way past their normal bedtime.  Now any normal kid would take the opportunity to then sleep in the next day because they would be missing out on much needed sleep.  But our kids hate us and never sleep in.  So we compensate by putting them to bed earlier because we know they will up at the same time regardless.  So last night, I beg and plead with them, "Please, we have a big day tomorrow.  You are going to want to get plenty of sleep.  Please oh please sleep till 8 tomorrow."  At this point I'm on my knees pleading with them, "You need your sleep.  Mommy and Daddy need you to sleep.  Everyone of your friends is sleeping in this summer.  You will be left out and socially rejected in school if you don't do what your friends do.  Please bend to peer pressure in this area.  Please sleep in."  They woke up at 6:30.  I go in to their rooms and they explain, "We thought you meant stay in your room till 8."  With large dark bags under their eyes and with 1.5 hours of sleep missing, we start our super fun happy day!

We leave Nate with a babysitter and take the older 2 with us to the zoo.  Nate is 3 and sucks.  Now please don't get offended by that statement but their are times when he is very hard and their are other times when he is sleeping.  We wanted to have a special day with the older 2 without yelling and chasing a whining 3 year old who is always either cold or hungry or both.  Dublin movie theater has banned him from returning until he is 10 years old because of our last attempt at a "family movie."  He spent more time watching the people in the row behind us than the movie or attempting to escape to the lobby when no one was looking.  But he did manage to eat 15000 calories in 1 two hour movie.  Anyway, we leave him with the babysitter and wish her the best of luck.

We go to the zoo first cause the water park is not open yet.  We go to see the new Dinosaur Island at the zoo only to find out you must pay to ride in the boat.  I turn into a 65 year old man complaining about the racketeering operation they have at the zoo charging for every little thing when in the olden days your admission ticket was all you had to pay to ride the rides.  But the boat ride was broken, so "good bye parental guilt," I don't have to feel bad about not spending extra money on my children at a ride that should have been included in the admission fee.  We stop by the oragatan...orangetan, orangatan, orangutan...large orange monkey.  Drew thinks its a horse, which makes us all laugh.  We also discover that Drew is the most high strung, jumpiest kid ever, especially around fake dinosaurs.  When looking at a fake dinosaur, we had many "Drew watch out!" moments which would send him screaming and jumping out of his shoes.  It means years of therapy later, but hilarious at the time.  Worth it. 
We finally make it into Zoombeezi Bay at 10:30 when it opens.  Side note: at the time, our kids have now been up for 4 hours when some of their friends are still sleeping in.  Just thought I would throw that in...for pity.  The weather is relatively nice at 75 degrees but its still the morning and warming up.  We first go to the large tube ride and ride as a family, which Drew did not like but Zachary did.  I then convince Z to go with me on the Cyclone ride which he is very fearful because my wife called it the most extreme ride at the park.  Some kids see this as a challenge, Zachary sees it as a warning.  But with much encouragement get up the stairs, get to the top after waiting in line for 20 minutes, get in the tube, and as we are about to go... he asks to get off and leave.  But at this point, I tell the worker "just push us" and we go.  He survives and I ask him how he liked it and his response, "It was awesome."  "You want to do it again?"  "No."   Next we do the Dolphin Riders water slide as a family and are enjoying our family time.  We have a good morning and break for lunch. 
During lunch I make some water park observations.  Is there a dress code at a water park?  I know the dress code is swim suits but is there a definition of swim suits?  I saw 2 women wearing either large black fishnet lingerie or it was a large black doily over top of their swimsuits.  I did not see the point because it did not protect them from the sun or cover up their bodies.  The only point I could see would it would make their tanned skin look like they were grilled on a charbroil grill.  I did not know the Burger King was a "look" this summer.  I also saw a teenager who was wearing underwear and athletic shorts.  It was not a swim suit but street clothes where he took his shoes and shirt off and jumped in.  But the best was this other teenager who I can only imagine was planning on going to the zoo only today but was convinced to go to Zoombeezi bay by her persuasive friends who were planning on going the water park and met her at the entrance.  This was their imaginary conversation, "Hey girl!"
"Heeeeeeeyyy! What are you doin here?"
"We're goin to the Bay.  You?
"I'm here for the dinosaurs."
"Why dont you come to the Bay with us?"
"Cause I just came for the dinos, I didn't bring a suit."
"Girl, that never stopped you before.  Remember J.R.'s party?"
"You're right.  I don't need a suit.  Lets go!"

So she was walked into Zoombeezi Bay, took her shirt off and went to her first water slide.  She was literally wearing bedazzled jeans and a bra, soaking wet.  No joke.  It was hilarious.

After lunch, we noticed it started getting colder and colder and colder.  The dark rain clouds moved in and blocked the sun.  So what do you do when it gets cold and rainy?  That's right...the wave pool! Yea!!  We take the boys to the wave pool and it is now freezing.  It went from 77 degrees to 70 degrees in 20 minutes.  And have you ever gotten into a cold pool when its cold outside.  That's the worst feeling, stepping out of the pool into the cold air.  Well imagine that feeling over and over and over again cause that is what a wave pool does to you.  You're in the water, then out of the water, then in, then out.  The water was warm but the air was freezing.  I was like, "ahhhhh warmth, EEEEEE cold, ahhhhh warm,  EEEEEEE freezing" over and over again.  Drew's lips turned blue but he refused to leave.  It was so cold, even peeing in the water did not warm me up.  Not me peeing, but Lindsey.  There was a large time and temperature display at the wave pool and I told "natural water warmer" if the temperature drops to 69 degrees we are leaving.  She agreed and I watched that temp display like a hawk as arctic wave after wave beat against my goose-bumped body.  With every tick, I expected that 69 to show up to end my misery.  And just when I had had enough it 71.  Just when I thought God was messing with me, He came through.  The lifeguards blew their whistles and everyone had to leave the wave pool.  I never got a clear explanation to why but I could only come up with 2 reasons since there was no lightning: 1) too many people had died of hypothermia or 2) some kid dropped a Baby Ruth in the deep end.  I hoped it was the latter because that is hilarious.  I am just sorry I didn't think of it earlier.  It would have been really easy to drop a deuce, swim away, and blame the nearest 3 year old.  I knew we should have brought Nate.  It does kind of make you feel weird when you swim with a turd.  You know people pee in the pool and you don't think about it cause its invisible, victimless, and hard to pin on the perpetrator.  But with a dookey, you can't ignore that and you legitimately feel like you are swimming in a huge toilet..with waves.  When someone poops in the pool, pardon my french, but literally, "sh!* just got real."

And with that wonderful experience, we leave.  It was a good time but because everyone laying on the lounge chairs looked like they were getting ready for a fall bonfire dressed in sweatshirts and drinking hot chocolate.  Not a good pool day.  But the kids had a great time and Zachary was asking to come back tomorrow.  But tomorrow we have a fun day planned at the Ohio State to follow.

May all your summer days be filled with fishnet over shirts, bedazzled jeans, and highly chlorinated pools,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kids and Swimming

We are halfway through the summer and like most families, we have lived at the pool this summer.  I made some observations today at the pool that I would like to share with you.
I came home from work today and my wife gave me the "I'm done with children today" look.  You know the one.  The look that means you'd better do something about it because I am about to transfer my wrath from them to you, so for your sake, you'd better save yourself and fix it.  So in the name of self preservation, I gallantly stated I would take the children out of the house and take them to the pool leaving her with a couple hours alone.  I know, I'm a hero.  So I took the kids and we went to the store first to pick up some chips and grapes for dinner at the pool.  Chips so they will eat something and grapes so I don't feel guilty about only giving them chips for dinner.  On our way out, I'm checking out and Nate announces that he has to pee.  So I take them all in the bathroom and Nate refuses to use one of the toilets cause there is already pee in it.  He uses the other and takes all his clothes off.  I then realize he has decided to poop instead because he is climbing all over the public toilet like a set of monkey bars, naked.   He then proceeds to change his mind again, and only pees.  On the way out, he is very adamant about washing his hands and being clean which is understandable.  What I don't understand is after he washes his hands he then proceeds to touch everything he sees on the way out to our car including every vending machine, ice machine, grocery cart, and dirty car in the parking lot.  I believe a child is only clean 30 seconds after a bath or washing his hands because inevitably they will touch something they are not supposed to that is most likely covered in bacteria or feces.  Purell has made a fortune on this fact.

Well we go to the YMCA indoor pool and the kids grab their goggles and jump in, while I carry in the stuff like a pack mule with 2 bags, towels, puddle jumper, and clothes they have stripped off on the way to the water.  The older 2 go off on their own and I stay with Nate the 3 year old.  My plan is to stay here as long as we can to give mommy enough time to cool down, so when I return, she is not mad at me.  And its a time killer till bed time.  I thought we would swim for an hour, then eat some dinner, then swim for another couple hours till bedtime.  So Nate and I are swimming around, and 15 minutes later Nate announces, "I'm hungry.  I want dinner."  So much for 1 hour of swimming.  So when I tell him to wait, the whining begins.  Luckily we were close to rest time and everyone had to get out.  So we ate dinner at that time which took up the 10 minute rest time.  We get back in and swim around more when I see Nate get out on the side of the pool and pull out his penis.  I run up to him and stop him from peeing on the side of the pool in front of a family.  I tell him you need to pee in the pool like mommy but he apparently can only pee in the pool or on the side of the pool.  So I take him to pee in the bathroom and while peeing in the toilet he turns around to tell me something about the shower that is behind him, peeing on everything but the toilet.  But he was in his bathing suit so it was OK.  And it wasn't our bathroom.  So we go back to pool and on our way back, I see Drew standing under the water spout with his pants pulled down, letting the spout hit his bare butt.  I stop him and tell him to pull his pants up while a mom who saw the whole thing is dying laughing.  But the best part is as I am having a "keep your pants up in public" talk...again, I turn around to see Nate with his pants around his knees doing the exact same thing Drew was doing.  This is now the second time Nate has dropped trough.  He might as well just go skinny dipping at this point.  It seems like at a pool, "the monkey see monkey do" way of thinking is a must.  I am just glad the 8 year old did not see this happen cause you know he would be the third person in line to try the water spout enema trick.  But after I give the younger 2 a good talking to, I see Zachary, the 8 year old, frog jumping the floor fountains and delaying a little too long which looks like he was giving himself a nice bidet washing.  I have no idea why my kids are the ones that enjoy washing their butts at the public pool.  But what made me laugh was the 6 year old girl who was right behind Zachary trying out the bidet fountains.  Another example of "Monkey see, monkey wash his butt in public." 

After this we had no more incidents with dropping trough or washing their nether regions, and we had fun.  Nate only made 4 trips to the bathroom.  The other funny thing that happened was Nate wanted to wash his goggles, so he got out of the pool, opened a bottle of water and poured that water into them.  When I told him to just use the pool water, he got back into the pool and proceeded to drink pool water out of his goggles. 

So next time you are at a pool and you see boys drop their suits or stay a little too long over the fountains, please give the Dad a break.  At least he got them out of the house and avoided Mom's wrath.

I wonder how tight I can tie those swim suit draw strings,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Things I've said this week.

Thinking back over this week, I realize I say some of the craziest, weirdest things I never thought I would say in my life.  But once you add 3 kids, let alone boys into your life, you find yourself capable of saying just about anything.  We have all heard of the TV show, "Kids say the Darndest Things."  Well they should release a reality show following the typical day of a parent and name it: "Parents say the Darndest Things."  But I also realized this show would be the parents saying the same thing, multiple times to each child multiple times.  So here are some things I've said just this week alone.

-"Zachary and Drew, please don't pee outside.  Go inside to use the bathroom."

-"Nate.  I told your brothers to go inside to pee.  Please pull your pants up and pee inside.  And next time, dont pee in front of the neighbor girls."

-"Nate.  Don't lick the baseball."

-"Drew.  Don't lick it.  I just told Nate not to.  Why would you do it too?"

-"Zachary.  You are almost 8.  You know better not to lick the baseball especially after I told each of your brothers not to do it.  Why do you think it would be funny the third time around?"

-"Drew, please put the puppy down." (this has been said 1265 times in this week alone.)

-"Why would you pick her up, Nate, when I just told Drew to put her down?" (while I was saying this, Drew picks the puppy up again.)

-"Please eat your dinner.  You can't be done, you haven't eaten anything yet.  Oh, your belly is full.  No you can not have dessert now, you just said your belly is full.  How come there is room for dessert but no room for your entire dinner?"

-"No Drew, I didn't realize I was the worst baseball player you've ever seen.  Thanks for your words of encouragement."

-"Zachary, please do your homework.  Zachary, did you do your homework?  Ok, stop watching TV and go do it.  Zachary, focus, do your homework please.  Zachary, did you finish it?  Oh, haven't started?  Please do it now.   Zachary, over here.  Woohoo, over here.  Do your homework.  Did you do all of it?  OK go finish it then.  Oh, forget it."

-"Drew please stop whining.  I don't speak Whining, so I don't understand you.  You have not said one word to me today in English.  It has only been in Whining - the native language of the 5 year old."

-"Nate I am not going to sleep next to you tonight.  I need to go wash my eyes."

-"Drew, How much candy have you had tonight?  From that whiny 'NO!' I will take that as a lot."

And my personal favorite:
-"Nate that is not a tootsie roll, that is the puppy's poop.  Thanks for bringing it to me, now go wash your hands."

Please forward this to any NBC executives you know, I have a show to pitch,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

Friday, February 8, 2013

Merry Christms, Happy New Year, and Happy Valentine's Day Too

(This was supposed to go out with our Christmas card, but it went through rigourous editing and 331 drafts till it reached this final masterpiece, and it missed the deadline to go out in the mail. Actually, I just finished it. So to save on stamps, here it is: the traditional christmas/valentine day card.)

Dear Friends and Family,

As we come to a close of another year, so comes the inevitable Christmas letter. So here is my attempt to catch you up on the Allen family in 2012 and not bore you at the same time.

Zachary (age 7) is now a first grader and riding the bus every day. He has more freedom and independence than he has had before, much to our dismay. We constantly remind him he is in first grade not twelfth. He is now getting more involved in extra-curricular activities… and so it begins. He now does cub scouts, Kids wow (a church program), and basketball and last quarter it was flag football. To save on gas, I’ve asked the coaches if he could stay at home and join practices by Skype. So far, no takers.

Drew (age 4) is now in Pre-Kindergarten which is the last year of preschool. He spends most of his time at school with his best friend Ashley and if he had it his way, most of his time out of school too. They are very cute together but worrisome when they began holding hands and talking about marriage (but with no kissing because Ashley said that’s too slobbery.) When I begin to worry about him growing up too fast, he always puts my heart at ease by punching his own butt and trying to work the word “poop” into every song he hears.

Nate (age 3) began preschool this year. As he would say, “I whide da buth to cool cause I watt da key key o ba doo bu teetah taco me.” And as you can tell, he qualified for speech therapy at preschool. He rides the bus to and from school, but is barely able to look out the window because he is a little peanut and his backpack is as big as him. His favorite past time is annoying his brothers and getting away with it because he is too cute and knows it.

Mark continues to work in Westerville as a rehab manager and is the primary bread winner. Lindsey has started babysitting 2 little kids twice a week and contributes to our family finances as primary bagel winner. We continue to grow closer in our marriage and continue to learn how to raise 3 boys with each passing year; loving every minute or yearning for the sweet release of death, depending on the day.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New year. (and Happy Valentine's day)

Be blessed,
The Allen's