Category Archives: parenting

Mediocre Parenting Lessons From The Movie Labyrinth

I love reading these types of posts from other bloggers & I love coming up with them myself, so I decided I would take a bit to see what Parenting Nuggets one of my favorite movies growing up had to offer! Creatures, Babies, Monsters, David Bowie, David Bowie’s Hair, & David Bowies stretchy pants have a lot to offer in the way of mediocre parenting advice.So here we go.

1. “I wish the goblins would come & take you away! Right Now!” Yeah, that’s right, I started with it! The day I’m writing this post happens to be a snow day so no school on a Monday = me borderline kidding, borderline seriously asking David Bowie to appear & take these kids away to the castle. Although I’m pretty sure after about 3 hours of Minecraft YouTube tutorials & knock down drag out fights over the iPad he would just bring them back!
2. “It’s not fair!!”  “You say that so often, I wonder what your basis for comparison is?” I remember saying this to my parents & I remember the explanation. “This isn’t fair dad!”  “No its not! A fair is where you go to see a bearded lady & the worlds smallest horse!” Life’s not fair kids, welcome to earth.
3. “It’s only forever, not long at all”  I try to get this across to my kids often. Fight, bicker, call names, but your family is your family forever. My rules may suck & you may in fact “NEVER TREAT MY KIDS LIKE THIS!” but like it or not I’ll be your dad forever.
4. “If you so  much as set a foot in the Bog Of Eternal Stench, you’ll smell bad for the rest of your life” Seriously, how does so much stench come out of such small kids!?! BO, Socks, Farting, Laughing so hard at the fact that they farted that they fart again, burping the alphabet, & my personal favorite… “Skid Marks” These are not the things that Mr & Mrs Cleaver dealt with, no one told me about this part!
5. “I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, & do exactly as I say.” Really though, that’s all I ask! This one statement sums up my whole parenting strategy! Is it really to much to ask of me to never have to really get on to you kids but that you be so scared of me getting upset that you never do anything wrong!?
6. “Things are not always what they seem in this place. So you can’t take anything for granted… quite often it seems like we are not getting anywhere, when in fact we are. So the way forward is sometimes the way back…”     Heh, will you listen to this crap? This actually comes up in my life a bunch. How may times am I giving a lecture or a stern talking to only to get tongue tied or say something stupid? The worst is when I say something while talking to the kids (as they are getting in trouble) that is also an inside joke of my wife &  I  only to hear her snickering from the other room.  Example is song lyrics. You know how hard it is when I holler at the kids “Stop What You’re Doin’!” only to hear her laugh at me because we both know that we are both thinking the lyrics to the Humpty Dance by Digital Underground!
Okay, stop what you’re doin’, cause I’m about to ruin the
image & the style that you’re used to. I look funny but yo
I’m makin’ money!

Not Even Jenny McCarthy Believes Jenny McCarthy Anymore!! {The Great Autism Flip-Flop}

I need to charge my phone!

   When I read about Jenny McCarthy or see her speak on TV I sometimes feel like I should be watching the trailer for a bad scary movie! The deep movie guy voice comes on.. “In a world where crazy is used as currency… One woman is the richest in the land…” It’s not to hard to find out how I feel about her, her views, & the super harmful misinformation she spreads without any facts or real knowledge to back it up. I hadn’t heard from her in a while & we try to keep clear of The View as well but someone just posted this on my Facebook & I was pretty….well see for yourself! “Jenny McCarthy Abandons Her Controversial Position On Vaccines”
   Really? Really!?! Come on now. I’m sorry but when I saw this I really had to check twice to see if this was something Jon Stewart posted or maybe a satire news site like the Onion but nope! You spent the last 7 years spouting anti vaccine propaganda & being the driving force behind an organization that scares the crap out of me!
   Her preaching her crazy then flipping on it reminds me of a guy I used to know! He had something similar going on in his life…

  Man! That really happened! You can really just do almost anything you want when you are a celebrity & have some money. Crazy! Anyway…I’m pushing my soap box back under the table! I know I’ve got some of you who are anti vaccine & maybe even a couple McCarthy fans (I’m sure she has done some good things, I don’t know of any but it could happen) but its just an issue I’m passionate about, I’ve spent to many years working in ambulances & the ER to not be vocal about something that I know saves lives!

An Open Letter To My Children On This, Our 5th Day Snowed In Together

To: The leadership of the “KIDS” tribe of the Hibben Home

From: Dad aka ‘Hey You’ aka ‘Dude’ aka ‘Momma…I mean Dad’

Date: Sunday, Dec. 8th 2013 @7:40PM After receiving the call that school is cancelled tomorrow

Dear Sirs,

   I have just been notified that school will NOT be in session tomorrow & as a result of this as well as the thick ice that is on our street we will be forced to co-habitat in this house without the possibility of ‘Me Time’ for, I believe, the 5th day. I say I believe because I have lost count at this point & it feels like it’s been 100 years.
   As this situation is unavoidable due to my wife, your mother’s, mandate that I not “Endanger The Children’s Lives” by taking unnecessary trips to wal-mart I have come up with a few simple terms that will make for a truce that I know both our people’s can live with so that peace & harmony will be enjoyed by all.

The Treaty Of Squatting Kid Creek

Terms:

  • If kids awake before sunrise or, more importantly, before Dad-Rise the kids CAN play Minecraft, watch ‘Netflix Kids’, play iPad games or any other Parent-Sanctioned activity as long as that activity meets the following requirements: It Doesn’t Wake The Parents!
  • Pop Tarts, OJ, & Multiple Cereals will be made available to your people but NO, I repeat NO, Rice Crispy Treats may be touched. 
  • This land we share overflows with resources: iPad, iPod, TV, Netflix, Wii, & 2 iMac Computers. These resources must be shared by your people & not fought over because someone is putting lava on someone else’s house in minecraft or another obvious act of war.
 Violation of these terms will be viewed as an ACT OF WAR against Dad & you will be retaliated against with the full force of the Parental Arsenal.
  I know if these terms are agreed to & the members of your tribe abide by them we will all live in peace. With a bit of understanding & you three steering clear of my room so I don’t get woken up before 6:30AM I know we will not end up like the Donner Party…I’m looking at you middle son…I WILL cook you rotisserie style!
4″ Of Snow & 16 Degrees Outside! Fun…for about 7 minutes

Dean loves him some snow angels! 

The Photographers Kids! {Taking Pictures Of Aspies}

     For couple of professional photographers you would think that we would have awesome family photos all over our home! I mean really, pictures is all we do 7 days a week 365 days a year! Nope! The last photo with all four of us in it was about 4 years ago. Not only is it hard to pay someone to do what you do for a living but it’s also that fact that after taking thousands of photos a month you have a style you like. All that being said it adds a layer of difficulty to the task when you are dealing with any kid with special needs, I’m sure you all feel me there! You learn to love the picture of your little one looking off into space as long as there is a good smile or making that face that they always make! That’s my style anyway, we have never been a fan of the Wal-Mart Portrait Studio ‘Turn Your Head To The Right & Smile’ style of photography. I hate that stuff! We did a promotion this fall where we did a massive amount of families in 30 min intervals in a pre-set scene. It was awesome! So why not throw our family in there, set the camera, & have someone push the button! (We have tried the timer function before & NOOOOOO way is that worth the trouble!) After seeing the end result as well as some others we snapped while warming up to do the family portrait I got to thinking how much easier it is now days than it used to be!
     I have photographed Jayden for a long time & we have photographed other kids on the spectrum, parents like it because they know I’m not going to get impatient or upset because I know what it’s like working with autism. It’s either a very slow stand offish process or a very high intensity in your face process! Either way they are some of my favorite shoots. I got to thinking, what have we done to work up to having Jayden take an amazing photo every time you point a camera in his face!

This was a fart sound induced smile!

  • The camera is always around! In one form or another we always have a camera & are shooting photos! After it becomes the norm then the camera is not some scary thing or a big deal at all.
  • Showing the picture! My own kids, sessions with kids on the spectrum, or even NT kids all the same I show them their picture! Let them see the end result & how great it is! Positive reinforcement!
  • No forced looks or smiles. This is actually easier for families on the spectrum because they are not so hell bent on an everyone smile & tilt your head to the left photo! Call it lifestyle photography, call it photojournalism, what ever just take it as it happens. That’s when the real smiles come. Then it’s just a matter of a stolen glance your way that’s captured to make an amazing photo. 
  • Snap, Snap, Snap! I can go into a session with NT kids & come out with 700 photos & work that down to 60 amazing images. I pay my mortgage with photography & my camera cost me more than my first cars combined so maybe you shouldn’t shoot 700 but always take a ‘Better To Much Than Not Enough’ mentality when it comes to shooting pictures. You can always delete the blurry ones & the ones of the back of their head!

Camping, Special Needs Style {The Good, The Bad, & The Exhausting }

When I was a kid I was a Boy Scout. In fact, though I hate the politics & intolerance they show today, I’m very proud to say that I’m an Eagle Scout! Nothing would have made me happier than to load the kids up & head out into the back country for a week long backpacking trip but for two major reasons that just not going to happen. 1.) I’ve got 2 kids with special needs. 2.) I’m 31 & Fat!
Zion reeled this monster in all alone!
He was so proud of himself but stood
over me to ensure I didn’t hurt the fish
while I was getting the hook
 out to set it free!
Jayden is not into it & while we will with out a doubt be doing some fall day trips, camping is just not his thing! So he used the time to go on a date with Samantha to a nice restaurant. Our NT son Dean is ALL ABOUT IT! He wants to camp, shoot, hunt, fish, catch bugs, & is convinced that a spear I made him is all he needs to take on a bear of any size! Zion, our 7 year old middle son, is an enigma though. Zion was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder & Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder but now that he is older we are just not sure. Isn’t that the way it goes! When we had him evaluated he only talked to my wife & I. Teachers, family, & others only got a bit of chatter but not much. Now that he is more open to talk & really be observed its getting more obvious that somethings going on. Meltdowns, hand ticks, counting, repetitive tasks, & some of the most irrational fears & neuroses I’ve ever seen. It all adds up to….me having indigestion a need for Tylenol! 
All that being said he REALLY wanted to go camping! Really? Camping? A kid who changes cloths 4 times a day because he got a drop of water on his shirt. Really? Camping? The kid who refuses to eat food after a fly lands on it because he learned about flies & how they throw up to eat so there is no way he is eating microscopic fly puke! Really? Camping? The kid….wait…(my wife just went in the restroom to throw up! I know she is about the hurl because she turned on the sink because, even after 5 years of being married to me, she still insists that there are things we don’t share. Oddly enough, all of the things we don’t share happen in the bathroom & vomiting is one of them! That includes kid vomit…we don’t share…apparently it’s all mine!) Okay where was I….oh yeah. So I’m shocked Zion wants to go camping but what the heck, lets go I said. 
It was almost 100 degrees at around 5:30 when we got there but we tuffed it out. We fished, explored, ate hot dogs cooked on the fire, & even shot their first Red Ryder BB Gun. (and no one shot their eye out!) At about 8:30 I realized we were all running thin. You could ring us all three out like a wet rag & I’m sure the smell was awesome! At 9:30pm after an hour of my best negotiating they loaded up in the car, in their under-roo’s, in pitch black, & I used a small flashlight to breakdown the campsite so we could go. I had to stop 3 times during the breakdown to get 2 grasshoppers & 1 moth out of the car after hearing Zion meltdown. With everything loaded we got about half a mile down the road & had to stop one more time because of a killer mosquito flying around that Zion freaked about. Then it was finally on to sonic drive in for a bottles of water & then home to let mom take care of us!! It was so much fun even with the last hour. I hope you enjoy the photos I’ve included to document our adventure.
P.S. Don’t worry about Samantha, though she’s not feeling well she will be okay! I, on the other hand, will probably be in some form of trouble after she reads this post only to realize I’ve documented her porcelain prayers 🙂 I’m in so much trouble! 😉

Be Very Very Quiet…

How about I shoot YOUR eye out!
Fishing our hearts out!

I roast children!! 

Probably in the top 10 all time dad moments! Epic Fatherhood Win!

They were super impressed how fast I started the fire! I was super impressed how well I
was able to hide the fire starter log under the sticks!

Exploring 12 acres of awesomeness. Lots of screaming because of bugs but awesome! 

He hit the target dead on first time! Thats how I’m telling the story…I wont mention that after he did he threw the gun & ran to the target to see. We are still working on safety but thats why dad loaded 1 BB at a time!

Did it rain? Did we go swimming? NOPE! Thats all sweat! Time to go home!
The nasty aftermath of Oklahoma Heat & being up at 10PM

I didn’t want to do that thing where you forget how much something sucked because you only
remember the good parts so I snapped a pick of me so I would think carefully about it before
another last minute camping trip in freakin’ August!