Since the inception of TRS in 2000, I have written about life "on the road". By plane, train, or automobile, I tell the story of trips; but the real story in each one is about the journey, not the destination. On March 15th, 2008, Daddy's Little Speed Bump was born. 21 months later, Speed Bump Number Two arrived. I thought it fitting to create a place, with a Road Scholars theme, to share this new journey.

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Entries in First Year (24)



Today my wife and two daughters brought me lunch at work. I had a Bacon Western Cheeseburger from Carl's Jr. That's not at all relevant to the story except that I have very few pleasures in life that have not been robbed from me by one of the female members of the household. The Bacon Western Cheeseburger from Carl's Jr. is one of them. 

During the visit, my wife discussed with me (again) the idea of getting the girls' ears pierced. This has been a recurring topic in the family ever since before Kaitlyn was born, and my position has not changed. I am all for pierced ears--as long as I do not have to care for them. My sister got her ears pierced when she was way older than my girls, sometime in elementary school. It was hell on earth. Eventually she let the piercings heal and until fairly recently that's how her ears remained. I'll never forget the day--months after she had let the piercings lapse--we were home watching TV and my sister, who had been fondling the lobe of one ear for awhile, was suddenly holding the stud of an earring. Though she had removed the earrings long ago, a stud remained covertly embedded under a layer of skin. After all the gastrointestinal trauma, hospital visits, and infections we've endured over the past three years, that's stress I don't need.

At 1:17PM I received the following pictures via text message.

I wish I could tell you how the story unfolded after lunch, but I wasn't there. Luckily Kaitlyn is becoming quite the animated story teller, and she was there. Tonight, after I finished caring for her ears, I documented her account.

Obviously she hasn't seen Spaceballs yet. 



Home At Last

Yesterday at three O'clock, Alyssa finally returned home after a ten day stay in the hospital for a MRSA infection in her lymph nodes. All of your prayer, concern, and encouragement was instrumental in getting us through what can euphemistically be described as ten days of hell. I've already shared in detail the chronology of Alyssa's treatment, but that was just a snapshot of all that was going on, posted in the intermediate moments between hospital visits and sleep.

As a way of saying "thanks" for all the support, here's some anecdotes from the last ten days that will give you a sense of the bigger picture and some insight as to how I was able to stay sane (and married) during this experience.

If I had a dollar for every time my mom tried to take a still photo and took a video instead, I could pay the hospital bill in cash...and afford a real tie.

Mail Call

Since Jen and I took separate cars to the hospital the day Alyssa was admitted, we now had one vehicle permanently parked there. To alleviate this, I had my mom follow me home in Jen's car and let Kaitlyn ride with her. During the entire ride, Kaitlyn kept bugging Grandma Daisy asking "Where'd Daddy go? I can't see him." "He's in the car in front of us" Grandma Daisy would tell her.

Once we turned onto our street, Kaitlyn wanted to get the mail--a favorite part of her daily routine. I continued in my car to the house. When Grandma Daisy noticed there was no number on the mail key, she was impressed that Kaitlyn could tell her "it's number ten". It is indeed number ten, and I was confident that Kaitlyn would share this with Grandma Daisy. After all, it's part of the routine. I watched from the driveway as they appeared to struggle and it occurred to me that there are two sets of mailboxes and thus, two number tens.

Now the daily mail routine includes Kaitlyn stating matter-of-factly, "two number tens! On the left?"

Yes, it's the one on the left.

Locked Out

About two years ago one of our exterior door knobs needed replacement. While I was at the hardware store I found a knob that is always unlocked from the inside. For some reason, this sounded like a great solution to me, though now I cannot for the life of me think of one reason why. The device has been nothing but trouble as everyone, including myself, walks outside without giving a second thought about whether or not the door is locked.

The other night, Grandma Daisy was home alone with Miss K. The Cinderella DVD she ordered finally arrived, so Kaitlyn was sitting on the couch watching the movie and eating Rice Chex (usually we don't allow eating on the couch). Grandma Daisy stepped out back to make a phone call. When she tried to come back in, the door was locked. She tried shouting to Kaitlyn, but all she could see was a little head on the couch, engrossed in the movie and moving a spoon from the bowl to her mouth.

I installed one of those wireless keypad garage door openers shortly after installing the doorknob from hell for just this sort of situation. Unfortunately Grandma Daisy couldn't remember how to work it. She tried once again to get Kaitlyn's attention. This time K heard the pounding on the door. She set her bowl down, slid off the couch, opened the door, then ran back to the couch. My mom, embarrassed at having to be let back into the house by her two year-old granddaughter, was astounded at how nonchalant Kaitlyn was about the procedure.

I probably didn't help when I told her "she let's the dog in all the time."


It's been quite some time since Kaitlyn used a high chair, certainly not since Alyssa started eating baby food. While my mom's been here, she made the observation that Kaitlyn is a little short to sit at our dinner table. She improvised a booster seat with a pillow and K got a pretty big kick out of it. Wanting a more permanent solution, I took Grandma Daisy to Babies R Us yesterday and she bought a perfect little It's a booster seat...and a BRAND NEW CAR!pink booster seat. When we got home, my mom made a big deal about having a surprise for Kaitlyn. As we unveiled the major award, Grandma Daisy said, somewhat dramatically, "it's a booster seat!". In my best Rich Fields voice, I jumped right in with "and your very own BRAND NEW CAR!"

Now every time Kaitlyn sits down at the table, she says "look, Daddy, it's a brand new car!"

It's A Clean Car...And A Healthy Aquifer

I knew a storm was brewing, but I didn't care. I've been driving Jen's car for nearly two weeks now and I just couldn't take it anymore. The car needed a good cleaning inside and out. With near 100 degree temps, high humidity, and a Foursquare Mayorship at the hospital, I just didn't have it in me. So I sprang for the $16 for the full service car wash.

As I pulled into Costco to refuel my clean ride (for the third time in a week), a strong wind kicked up and blew leaves, dirt, and the smell of rain through the air. By the time we left Babies R Us, it was pouring. If Alyssa coming home didn't put me at ease, knowing that the city of San Antonio can still count on me to raise the aquifer level by washing my car tells me that all is right with the Universe.

Here's a photo chronology, with captions, of the last ten days. Enjoy, I'm going to celebrate with another Guinness. 



Alyssa's Return To The Hospital

Updated on Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 1:16AM by Registered CommenterSean Genovese

Updated on Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 10:47AM by Registered CommenterSean Genovese

Updated on Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 10:24PM by Registered CommenterSean Genovese

Updated on Monday, September 13, 2010 at 9:28PM by Registered CommenterSean Genovese

Updated on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 11:17PM by Registered CommenterSean Genovese

Updated on Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 11:55AM by Registered CommenterSean Genovese

Updated on Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 1:27PM by Registered CommenterSean Genovese

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and words of encouragement while we deal with Alyssa's recent infection. As most of you know, I collect mugs from my travels: one mug for each state or country visited. Only rarely do I use a mug from my collection. This week I have decided to invoke the luck of the Irish and have been enjoying my morning coffee out of the Ireland mug I bought while in Lurgen two years ago for my grandmother's burial. Call me superstitious, but it worked for Nana for over 80 years. So here's to the fighting Irish. Let's kick the infection's ass.

Click to read more ...


Pictures From Jessica

Honorary Road Scholar Jessica visited last weekend and spent much of her time snapping photos of the girls. Here's the collection she put together.


How I Know My Girls Are Telepathic

It turns out that my daughters can talk to each other; even though one of them can't yet talk. Here's how I know.

When One Sleeps, The Other Awakens

Oh look, it's time for daddy to eat!It never fails. Within minutes of one girl laying down, the other awakens. It's like they have little transponders built in. When the head contacts the pillow a signal gets sent "dee-deet-da-dee-dee-dee-Daddy is alone Daddy is alone WAKE UP! If they're both awake and one goes down, the message changes slightly to "STAY AWAKE Daddy will be alone!".

Alyssa Always Knows When It's Time To Eat

Whether it's a no-brainer like the toaster oven dinging (anyone can figure that out) or the knowledge that a pizza delivery is imminent, the child always knows when it's time for mommy or daddy to eat. She can be the happiest baby on the block or sound asleep, but when dining is about to occur she's, as K would say, "AVAKE"!

They Always Know What Buttons To Push

I'm going to sleep, Issa is on duty.Sometimes this works to my advantage. For example, when there's a program on and daddy gets pulled into a dirty diaper, Kaitlyn always hits the pause button on the remote control. Other times, say at 5AM, she knows which button on the TV will turn on the a reasonable volume (for waking the dead). Or there's Issa who, at 3AM knows how to push daddy's buttons by staying quiet just long enough for him to get back into bed, put his head on the pillow, and start to fall asleep. If she's not telepathic, then she has a camera mounted in my room. And that's just freaky.