Thursday, December 28, 2006

Charlie’s 12 Days of Christmas (Part II)

Man I have so much going on this week. There are so many things I want to write about, I really wish I had made more of an effort to post during the holidays. I don’t want to leave anything out, but at the same time new stuff is going on and I want to get past Christmas. The first section is a list of things I’ve got bouncing around in the ole noggin and then I’ll try to wrap up Christmas (no pun intended…on second thought…yes that pun was intended)

First Things First
**I’m missing my ruler at work. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’ve had it for 4 years and I like it. I neeeeed it!! It’s all metal and wobbly with cork on one side for those times I need it to stick, then slick on the other side for when I’m scooting down the page. If you have seen it please let me know. I’m thinking about posting signs up around my cube farm.

**I’ve got a couple of job opportunities floating around in the Ether and I am in impatience overdrive. One of them I mentioned yesterday and the communication is mostly through email. The other is something local and I’m waiting on a call. Both are killing me. I’m checking my email and calling home to scan the machine every half hour. It’s making it hard to find time to do anything else…like the job I’m getting paid to do during the day…at this moment

**I got several clothes for Christmas that fit now, but I need to lose weight. So do I lose the weight and risk not getting to wear the new outfits or return the outfits and risk not being able to lose the weight that would drop me down to the next size? I’m not worried about the shirts; it’s the pants that are sorta baggy but not too baggy. I spilt a drink in the car the night before while I was wearing a pair of the jeans. I think I mooned half the city as they drove past me while I was pulled over on the side of the road scrubbing the seats of the station wagon.

Christmas Traditions
With this being Fred’s first Christmas we really wanted to set up some of our own traditions and modify others that just wouldn’t work now that we have a 9 month old. The previous years have been all day extravaganzas that started out 7:00 a.m. and last till 10:00 p.m. This was great when it was just the two of us, unfortunately there was no way the baby would be happy that long. No matter what he got from Santa! So instead of making 4 trips back and forth across town, we started early trying to consolidate. This sorta worked, we went to my moms on Christmas Eve and Pops came to our place Christmas morning (we intended to circle back to his place Christmas night but the baby just couldn’t go without anymore sleep). That knocked out 2 places, but it made Christmas Eve almost as long Christmas day once we factored in Church and the Mimi’s that night. Plus we just ended up staying longer at the grandparents on Christmas day and only really saved an hour and a half. Who knows what we will do next year. After 13 hours with only a 30-minute nap, Chief RedFace came calling and he only wanted new toys.

One thing we definitely did right was Christmas morning. We stayed up extra late/early wrapping gifts, opening all of Fred’s toys so he could jump on them the second he saw ‘em, we laid out cookies for Santa, carrots for Rudolph, Lucy wrote a note and took pictures, then we took bites out of the food and snapped a couple more pics just to prove Santa came, I even managed to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas at about the 1:30 a.m mark. It’s weird but as much as the whole staying up till 2 and getting up at 7 part of Christmas kinda bites…it also felt like my final initiation into parenthood. I just kept thinking that I was just one of millions staying up all night so that our children would be able to wake up and believe in the magic of Christmas. When Linus stepped up to the mic and told the Christmas story I just…I had forgotten what Christmas felt like through the eyes of a child. With only 4 hours of sleep under my belt I was practically the first one in the next room to see what Santa left behind…Lucy beat me by mere minutes.

Toys R Us
I have to preface this next part by saying that we go overboard on Christmas. I am very fortunate to be apart of two large families and with that comes the fact that by the end of the day most of the time we can’t see out the back of the car. Part of me feels guilty about all that we receive but even if I did say “Lets back off on the gifts this year” nobody is going to have any part of being told how much they can or can’t buy for their only grandchild. I’m not going to pick favorite gifts I’m just gonna talk about the ones that screamed for attention. If I miss anything it was more from lack of time than lack of enjoyment or gratitude.

Dude Fred got two of the coolest things I have ever seen!! The only thing keeping me from wishing I could go back in time and be his age again so I could get my hands of these is the fact that since he’s part mine and they are part his then they are part mine as well. I’m specifically talking about Pooh and Spidey. It’s a tiny Spiderman that spins his hands around and sings “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and I am playing with it more than he is. I may put it in the bed with us tonight (that’s not weird cause Fred is still there too…look for Fred Vs The Bed Part IV coming to a blog near you this month). Meanwhile as Spidey does his dance and shakes his groove thing, Pooh is riding a freak’n turtle around the room and when he stops all you gotta do is clap ya hands to make him go again. How cool is that!!! If only it had one of those things that made him change direction when he bumps into something. I could just sit there and play with Fred by going all “Clap on. Smack Smack” He also got a train with a removable giraffe, elephant, and monkey, a mega block farm complete with tractor and chicken, a hammer with a soft end so it doesn’t hurt so bad when he clobbers ya in the face (it still kinda hurts a little, just ask Lucy…man he got her right in the lip with the handle), books, DVDs, clothes, balls, phones, bubble blowers… I’m tired just thinking about all he got.

9Months and Still Growing
During my little hiatus from all that is Charlie Blockhead, Fred turned 9 months old. That same week just happened to also be the week he learned to clap his hands together. We practiced for a couple of nights and the next thing we knew he was doing it on his own. Now every time he does anything, weather it’s as simple as sitting up or as complicated as raising the roof (the roof, the roof is on fire we don’t need no water let the hmmm hmmm burn), he expects a standing “O”. In other growing baby news, all he wanted was his two front teeth and baby gets what baby wants. Now that he’s got a set of chompers he is eating better than mommy and daddy. During the day while we munch on such delectables as “Turkey Sandwich with mustard” and “Peanut Butter a la strawberry jelly”, little man has been eating pizza, ravioli, mac n’ cheese, and peach cobbler all week at the day care. Now he’s all into something called Puff Corn that is supposed to be kernel-less popcorn (now in butter and cheese flavors!!). Though they look like Styrofoam peanuts that have sat in the sun for to long, they taste scrum-diddly-umcious. When Lucy isn’t looking we play the old one for you two for me game.

All of this is great, but by far the best-kept secret of the holidays was the fact that Fred apparently knows how to stand up and push his scooter around. While at the Mimi’s Christmas Eve night he received a rolling activity center that folds up and turns into this walker type thing-a-ma-jig. He’s sitting there pushing it along on his knees, when being the lover of all things toy that I am; I figured I better check this new piece of equipment out. I quickly discovered it had a handle and folded it out thinking I’d do it once then a couple of months from now when he needed it I would know how it worked. Well that learning experience has zoomed by already, cause when Fred saw it he just grabbed the thing by the handle, yanked himself up on his feet, and off he went right there in front of the whole family. So many jaws hit the floor you would have thought there was a doctor with a tongue depressor lurking around.

Christmas Crumbs
This is just a few quick notes and then that will about do it for Charlie’s Christmas Spectacular. Maybe tomorrow I will ad a bunch picks and include Halloween since I’ve forgot to post them too.
**What is up with those twisty ties all his toys are packaged with? For crying out loud, I had to get a blowtorch and wire cutters just to get “My tag along puppy” out. By the end of the day I felt like I had been installing a barbed wire fence. By the time I get the darn thing open, Fred’s done moved on to something else and screaming for me to open it instead. Like some type of the assembly line where the shirtless bald guy stands over you ready to strike you with his whip the second your pace dips below his liking.
**How much is too much meat? I ate so much ham I think I may officially be part pig now. At one place since I had already had a big meal an hour earlier, I just piled my plate up with turkey and ham. This way I got the best the buffet had to offer and could use the previous meals as the reason why I couldn’t eat anything more. It would be just plain rude not to eat anything after they spent all day slaving away in the kitchen.
**Finally, I have to mention two classic gifts that will forever be in the Christmas Hall of Fame.
1) Lucy picked my favorite picture of baby Fred and had it made into a mouse pad. That is the coolest, most creative thing anyone has ever done for me and I almost hate to use it. She figured that and told me she had it made for the specific purpose of me taking it to work and I better not hurt her feelings. Man I love the thing. It’s like a piece of floppy art.
2) Broccoli pulled a rabbit out of his hat and got a graphic artist he knows in Iowa to make a Charlie Blockhead collage. Not only did she by sheer luck use orange and blue paint (GO WAR EAGLE GO!!!) she read every blog I have ever posted (all 87 of them), hand wrote them in different angles, added pictures of Lucy, Fred and I popping out from the top and sides, she then had it framed. Every time I look at it I see something new. It also had the unfortunate side affect of causing my ego to expand. Man I have written some great stuff in the past!! I don’t go back and read my old articles so I kept asking, “Did I do that?” I immediately hung it on my wall in the family room.

Well that was a Charlie Blockhead Christmas. If yours was half as amazing as ours, then you had yourself a very merry hoho…I know we did.

Till Next time …Late Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Charlie’s 12 Days of Christmas

Man I can’t believe it’s been that long since my last post. This must be what it’s like for a Catholic not to go to confessional once a week. There is soooo much to ramble about, I don’t even know where to start. I’m just gonna jump in there and try to wrap everything up by the end of the week.

Shout outs
I figure first things first I better give props to everyone that helped make Fred’s first Christmas something legends are born of. Gigi, Nana, Pops, Super Steve, Mrs. Mandy, Broccoli, Mimi, Bobbob, Auntie Molly…Thank you so much for all that you did for us this year. You all really went way overboard with your kindness and love. I know they say you can’t put a value on love, but I think some of you were trying (and got pretty close on a couple of occasions). It’s embarrassing to think of all you did for us and I just pray that you know how much it means to Lucy, Fred, and I.
Notice I left somebody out above? Lucy if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have anything to celebrate. I always knew you were a great wife, but that’s nothing to the kind of mother you have become. I am in shock at how much love you carry inside.

Everything is Safe
I spent one afternoon helping Pops move a safe from his front room to the back of the house. It’s one of those giant gun safes that practically belong in a bank. The thing is so heavy you’d think they set it in the empty lot first and then built the house around it. And he was soooo cool about getting me to do it. He was all “Hey lets go grab some Mexican food and run some errands…then-move-the-safe-and-watch-a-movie” All I heard was food and movie. Next thing I know I’m pushing the 3-ton monster while wondering if I really should have ate that last bowl of salsa. Pops is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, so he could have skipped the food and asked me to move the house instead. I would have still helped and I’m pretty sure he knows that too.

Sticky Situation
Fred went with us to eat Mexican and the next day I noticed something bright red in his diaper. This is nasty and if you want to skip this part I understand….just giving you fair warning…like my favorite children’s book “A MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK”…still reading…okay here it goes.
I don’t normally scan the baby poop for objects. Most of the time I just pull my shirt over my nose and jump in. Poor Fred probably wonders why Darth Vader changes his poopy diapers on the weekends. You know my voice can’t sound the same through two layers of clothes. Also he has something I’m not sure many other baby’s have…he has Man Gas. Not little baby poots that go squeak and cause the baby to chuckle. No Fred farts/poops like a man. Half the time I get accused of the noises he makes cause they are so deep and often rattle the windows. Man Gas alone is not that big a deal but when you have that much force coming from such a tiny vessel and being shot into a diaper that is meant to service normal baby poots…well it’s like dropping a watermelon from a roof and trying to hit a target. Yes you hit the target, but you also get everything around it nasty too.
As I was saying I don’t normally search the remains for debris but something caught my eye. At first I just figured it was a red bell pepper from some of the Mexican rice he had the day before, but then I got afraid it might be blood. I figured I better call in reinforcements. Since Fred likes to “play in the mud” if you don’t wrap things up pretty quick, I called for Lucy. It turns out that sometime in the past couple of days, Fred ate a sticker. We don’t know where it came from, just that it had a ladybug on it. Now that little man is sampling table food, he must have figured it was just another puff-puff. A flat sticky ladybug shaped puff-puff.

My Little Side Project
I completely meant to post at least once the week before Christmas. I had this whole “Year in Pictures” thing planned, but I got sidetracked. I won’t go into details but I am working on another website that might actually earn me some cash. Like everyone one else on this planet I could use a couple extra bucks. I was offered a chance to write for a new website and ended up spending a few days coming up with a couple of posts to serve as my audition. Cross your fingers, I want it badly!!! This will not mean I will quit Charlie Blockhead, I just may only post once or twice a week instead of 3.

Boom Boom Chik-a-bow-wow
I’ve mentioned Fred loooooovvveesss him some Barney. He is The Purple Prince of Peace around our house. He’s got this one song that just burrows it’s way into your brain and refuses to vacate the premises. “Boom Boom ain’t it great to be crazy, boom boom ain’t it great to be crazy. Silly and something something all day long, boom boom ain’t it great to be crazy” Those aren’t exactly the correct words but Lucy knows them by heart and sings them non-stop to Fred. I can never remember the words and end up singing something from NickleBack or 3-Doors Down.
Well last week Fred gave his mommy her first nickname “Boom Boom”. It seems that she may have sang this particular song one too many times and is now fighting her new moniker for all she’s got. You should hear them, “Boom Boom” he says. “No! I am Mommy MOOOOOMMMMMY” “Boom Boom?” “MOOOOOMMMMYYYY” “Mommmaaaaa”
Just to bug her I add the Chik-a-bow-wow to the end cause it sounds like 60’s porn music.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Something really weird happened this morning. I bumped into an old friend of mine while dropping Fred off at the “Hill”. Now this alone is not enough to make an interesting post, but just four hours later Lucy is sitting at her desk and in walks another old friend we had lost contact with over the past five years. What are the odds of that? It’s probably not as staggering a statistic as I would like for it to be, but it’s still pretty odd that both connections would be re-established in the same day.

My half-sister (I hate that term. From now on I’m just going to refer to her as my sister) lives in a big city and it looks like my brother (still in Iowa) will end up in Nashville. I think I’m happy with my tiny town though. I wrote once about how everywhere I turn there is a story from my past waiting to be told. The big city just seems to have too many strangers for my tastes. I can’t imagine doing something as simple as reading the daily newspaper in a larger place. Here we don’t read the paper to find out about the news, we read it to keep up with old friends and enemies. Don’t get me wrong; the front-page headline gets our attention, but the Region section and the Local Crimes report keeps us buying papers. Lucy full admits to reading the obituaries first to see if she has lost an old friend and second to get a heads up on customers who will no longer be making any deposits.
Everybody is connected in this town. Take the two people we found today. During high school I ate lunch with Stephanie everyday. We were part of the same circles; hung out some on the weekends etc…the last night I really spent any time with her was on graduation night. A bunch of us all crammed into a nissan sentra and drove out to some natural land bridge 2 hours away at 1 in the morning only to have everyone chicken out and sit in the car for an hour debating the existence of hungry coyotes and forest dwelling homeless serial killers. I remember I just got the new PM Dawn cassette and I made everyone listen to it. Lucy thinks they sing, “I’d die without shoes” also featured in the movie Boomerang. So today I’m dropping Fred off and there she is. Married, two kids, and teaching at Fred’s daycare. Our kids might even eat lunch together at the high school someday.

Matt was one of the groomsmen at our wedding. We had worked together years back at the same grocery store where Lucy and I met. On Saturday nights would drive out to an old dead end two streets from where my office is now and get drunk while screaming Jimmy Buffet to 20 of our closest friends. It was his truck I jumped out of at just about the 35mph mark. I still have nightmares of dangling off the side while seeing the left rear tire whiz by as I skid to a stop on the hard asphalt. This was not the act of a drunken individual, but merely that of a blockhead who couldn’t tell the difference between 5 and 35mph. I hid it from my parents for 2 days until the pain just got to be too much. My mom made me bite a towel while she poured the peroxide and dug the rocks out of my shoulder. I still shudder at the sound of bacon frying. It was Matt that swore to my mom that I had not been drinking and he did everything he could to help me out. I think his exact words were “I even offered to poor my vodka on him to help stop the infection ma’am.”

After the wedding he moved away and until today I had no clue where he was. Turns out he moved back a few years ago, couldn’t find us in the phone book, and assumed we had also moved. He works for a large company that does business with Lucy’s bank. They sent him over to cash a check today and there she was.

I know there must be a reason people choose to live in cities like New York or LA…but for the life of me I just can’t seem to think any at the moment. In a city of 8 million people do old friends ever meet again?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

SURPRISE!!!!!…you weren’t invited?

We went to a surprise party the other night and as a self-centered individual I have to say that these things put way too much pressure on the invitie (hey it’s my blog I will make up words if I want to).

I’m not even talking about the part where you lie to the birthday girl although that’s a pain in the butt too.

“So I guess I will see you Sunday at Church”
“No remember Tuesday…oh um…wait that’s next week…yea see ya at Church…um goodbye…” Click beep beep beep beep

My problem is I never know who is invited and who isn’t. Last year we got invited to one and thought that several other people did also. Nope. All week we went around asking people what they were getting the surprisie (new word) for her going away party. All week we heard this “What party? I knew she was leaving but nobody told me we were throwing her a party.”

What do you say to that? We went with “I’m sure they just haven’t gotten around to asking you yet.” What we were really thinking though was “Dude it’s Friday, the party is Saturday, and they don’t want you there”

What I hate is keeping it from the rest of the people that may or may not also be invited. We are fortunate enough to be friends with a large number of people who we come in contact with on a daily basis and it kills me to have to not talk about something that we might be able to talk about.

For a regular non-surprise party the usual questions are passed between invities.
“Are you gonna go?”
“What time are you gonna get there?” (I hate to be first or last)
“ What are you bringing?” (This helps gauge what we bring. I don’t wanna be the one bringing a $5 gift if everyone else spent $30. This works with food to. You don’t wanna spend hours slaving in the kitchen if the rest of the crew is popping into Wal-Mart on the way there)

With the surprise party none of these questions get answered. What happens is everyone goes around all week trying to break down every sentence from other potential invities just in case there was a clue as to whether or not they got the invitation.

“So what you guys doing Tuesday?”
“Why? What are you up to that night?”
“Oh I don’t know I was just seeing what you had going on this week.”
“We might be free on Tuesday. Wanna get together?”
Crap they weren’t invited!!! “Nah we better just sit home. I think Fred is coming down with something”
“Oh. Ok. Well maybe later on this week.”
“Cool. Maybe we can get a few people together.”
“ That will be fun. We can do it at our place. I don’t want to make it too big though. I’ll just invite 3 or 4 other people. Talk to ya later” Click
“WAIT!!! WHO????!!! WHO ELSE IS COMING????!!!!”

Monday, December 04, 2006

Fred VS Bed (Part III The Snooze Parade)

I know what you are thinking.
No we have not got him to sleep in his bed the full night yet.
Yes we are still trying.
Yes we understand he is almost 9 months old.

However we did figure out that noise is not one of things keeping us from our goal of being baby-in-our-bed-less.

Every night we lay Fred down in his crib and we turn into mime’s.
We tiptoe through the house. Turn the TV way way down so we can barely hear it. If we have to go outside, the doors are gently eased closed so as not to make their usual banging noise. The phone always gets answered on the first ring when baby is sleeping. Conversation is kept to a minimum and a game a charades breaks out every time somebody needs something from the other person.

Saturday night we took Fred to his first Christmas parade. It runs right in front of the Mimi’s and we were sure he would love all the fire trucks and clowns etc. The whole family on Lucy’s side comes over that night and though Thanksgiving was only two weeks ago a ham is cooked and everyone acts like it’s been ages since we last ate together. After the food and a little college football (go Gators!!!), it’s time to step out on the front porch and enjoy the parade/ pick up all the candy that is thrown.

It gets pretty loud. The fire trucks lay on their sirens; air horns are going off, kids screaming for candy. Clowns, cheerleaders, Santa Claus, horses, motorcycles…I could go on describing the parade but you get the idea. So anyway Fred is wrapped up like Randy from A Christmas Story and I think he is having a wonderful time. I can’t see his face through all the scarfs and head gear, but I hear Lucy ooohing and ahhhing to him so to me it looks like he is having a blast. Apparently Lucy thought so too since she kept bouncing and oohing/aahing the whole time. The parade was half over when Lucy shifted him around and realized he was asleep. An entire parade passed within five feet of him, he never woke up. I flush the toilet and you’d think I was in there shaking him.

So this is where we are at: Doors closing, television up so you can hear it, phone ringing, people talking, and a head hitting a pillow are just some of the things that will wake Fred up. Fire trucks beeping, police cars blaring, horses, motorcycles, a full high school band, kids screaming, and cheerleaders shouting put him to sleep.

Good yaaaaawwwwnnnnn Grief!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

5 Years Ago Today…

5 Years Ago Today…
I was a nervous wreck
5 Years Ago Today…
My life was just beginning
5 Years Ago Today…
Christmas trees decorated with white lights surrounded me.
5 Years Ago Today…
My grandfather gave me the book “Why I’m a member of the Church of Christ”
5 Years Ago Today…
Family from five states came together.
5 Years Ago Today…
Lucy never looked more beautiful.
5 Years Ago Today…
I remember the weather as being perfect but I’m not sure what the temp was or if it was raining or not.
5 Years Ago Today…
I made a promise in front of 200 people
5 Years Ago Today…
Fred was nothing more than an idea, a hope, a dream, a twinkle in Lucy’s eye.
5 Years Ago Today…
I remember saying ‘on that day in February when the sky fell down and I could not breathe; you lifted me up and you were my breath”
5 Years Ago Today…
Old grievances were put aside and 26 years of hard work was rewarded.
5 Years Ago Today…
I stood hidden behind a stained glass window and watched as Lucy’s picture was taken.
5 Years Ago Today…
Lucy dropped a piece of chocolate cake down into her cleavage just as the cameras flashed.
5 Years Ago Today…
A group of people trashed my white explorer.
5 Years Ago Today…
My brother gave a speech over a glass of punch.
5 Years Ago Today…
My grandmother revealed for the first time to Lucy that she was wearing a wig.
5 Years Ago Today…
I ate the best cheese straws I have ever tasted.
5 Years Ago Today…
Life moved so fast it blurred my vision and everything began to glow.
5 Years Ago Today…
A church youth director created a winter wonderland.
5 Years Ago Today…
Lucy lost something that meant a lot to her (her last name you pervert)
5 Years Ago Today…
Promises were made that are still being kept.
5 Years Ago Today…
I stood in awe at what was being lead down the isle in front of me.
5 Years Ago Today…
At the North Village Baptist Church in Central, Al. an average Joe leapt far beyond his dreams and married a blue-eyed angel.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Family Ties

I come from 2 separate large families that really have very little in common. I don’t know how to put their differences into words without offending anyone so let’s just leave it at “they are different”. If you start with my grandparents and count your way down to grandkids, there are about 26 people on my mom’s side and close to 35 on my dad’s.
That’s a bunch of people!!! What it means to me is that I’ve got a free room to stay anytime I’m in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and on the off chance my brother decides to settle down there, Iowa. It also means that we are never truly in the same place at the same time anymore.

Back when the number of family members on each side was in the teens, you could always count on seeing every cousin, aunt, uncle, and future/temporary boyfriend at grannies during that holidays. After a big meal my mom’s side always settles down to a game of Taboo or OutBurst. The kids would be running the loop that started at the entrance to the living room, straight to the back of the house, up the long dark hall, into the dinning room, and back to the living room entrance. I ran this same path when I was kid as I suppose my mom and her sisters did when they were growing up. After 30 odd years if you look close enough the floor is probably a little lower in places. Kind of like tire tracks through fresh snow. Sooner or later though the turkey would start to knock people out and eventually the driveway would be free of the traffic jam that sat there hours earlier.

My dad’s side is a little different. My grandfather is a preacher and like most preachers, he moves around every few years. As my grandparents moved from tiny town to tinier town, at some point they began to leave their children behind. They lost one in Montgomery, Al., two in Jacksonville, Fl., etc...until now nobody lives within four hours of them. This means that when everyone gets together it’s never really the whole family, but merely bits and pieces of families. My dad may bring my half-brother but not my half-sister. An aunt may show up, leaving the husband and kids behind. No matter who arrives, two things are always for certain; 1.There will be people sleeping in the floor cause nobody wants to pay for a hotel room and 2.Everyone disagrees with some part of everything going on. He wants to eat this at this time. She’s ok with the time, but not what we are eating. We all wanna go someplace, but not the same place, and if he doesn’t want to go then I’m hanging out here with him even though I really don’t like the weather channel. It’s a big, loud, chaotic mess of babies, teenagers, and parents acting like teenagers cause they are back home with granny and grandpa.

When we all get together, there is something about those 2 separate homes that makes us all act like kids again. It’s the same on both sides. You are not only walking through the door to you’re grannies house, you’re being transported back in time to when you were 5 and asking for ice cream for dinner.

The main thing both sides of my family have in common though, is that 2 people that love each other deeply and will never part from one another founded them. In an age where some marriages barely last a month, theirs is the stuff of legend. Through them generations upon generations of people were born and brought together.

This is a marvelous and special thing, to be apart of two such large families…but nowadays I wonder about what will happen when the core no longer exists. Nobody likes to think of death, but I can see it occurring already. We just can’t all seem to meet at the same place, the same time anymore. Cousins and nephews are being lost due to the lack of time it takes to try and contact every member of the family. Hellos are sent, I love you’s exchanged, births are announced, and weddings are all communicated through the core…Granny and Grandpa. If I need to know how my cousin and his new baby are, I don’t call him. I call granny. It’s just easier to get the info on everyone at one time rather than make myself promises to call each person individually once a month and then feel guilty when I let it slip my mind. Besides what is there to talk to about when you don’t see one another any longer?

One of the things I worry about most in life, and trust me I worry about a lot of things, is that one day ten years from now I’m not going to know where those cousins, aunts, uncles, and future/temporary boyfriends are. There will be nobody to spread the word, just a bunch of puzzle pieces scattered across the countryside never quite reflecting the portrait that once existed.

Confessions of a Professional Sidekick

For the past few years Thanksgiving has also meant inventory at the plant so I’d only get to be off 2 days and then it was up 3 stories on a scissor lift all day for the next 4. The schedule changed this time around and I was blessed with 4 days off. Lucy had to work on Friday, got a 24-hour stomach bug on Saturday, and went Christmas shopping on Sunday. The daycare was closed Friday so it was just us guys, Saturday Fred and I destroyed the house while Lucy slept, and Sunday (since she took the baby with her) I was left to try and rebuild. Needless to say my role in the Blockhead household took on another larger identity.

I was a comic book geek growing up and to this day I find myself salivating every time the newest movie or comic themed show hits the airwaves. Before Lucy came along I was spending $30 a week, $120 a month, $1440 a year. Today they are all in the attic crammed in about 3-4 boxes. Even to this day I find myself day dreaming of swinging through the skyscrapers of New York or stalking my prey along the streets of Gotham. I guess that is one of the reasons this blog is called The Adventures of Charlie Blockhead. I could have gone with Blockhead or…I don’t know… something more related to my life as a new dad. The thing is, everyone’s life is an adventure and the thrill of writing my story three times a week is more fun than I could have imagined. And just like every story mine has a hero…but it’s not me; I’m just the narrator. Comic relief. A Sidekick.

I once was a normal, run of the mill, dime a dozen, frat bro. I didn’t go to church, barely went to school, drank too much, played too hard, I was anything but extraordinary. Then out of nowhere a hero emerged complete with a costume and superpowers. The costume being her grocery store uniform and …well… as for the superpowers…those blue eyes could melt the coldest of hearts. Over the past tens years she has continuously swooped in to save the day at the last minute. Money, career, house, marriage, baby, religion, love…without her I may not have any of these. If that wasn’t enough after the past weekend there is no doubt she is the real star of Charlie Blockhead. Taking care of the baby for two days, then cleaning up afterward only reinforced who the main character in my life is.

If you think about it, all the great ones have sidekicks. Hardy had Laurel, Abbott had Costello, nobody knew Ed McMahon till he sat down next to Johnny Carson…me I’m proud to say I’m probably Robin to Lucy’s Batman. She’s not a blogger. She’s too busy behind the scenes doing things I routinely try to avoid; like laundry. Together we are a team and more often than not I’m always there lending a helping hand, taking the lead when I need to, trying my best to pull my own weight, but most of the time I’m just a stand in until Lucy swoops in and fixes what once went wrong.

She would never dream about putting our lives out in public for the world to see. She’s too busy to take the time to do anything that may seem as bragging or patting herself on the back. I pray I don’t come off as unappreciative. That she knows how much I love and cherish her. Is she aware that she has become the voice of my conscience? The person I think of before making even the minutest decisions? The one I desire to be around even during the worst of fights? Without her I’m just a blockhead, but together...we are a dynamic duo.

Friday, November 24, 2006

100 Things I’m Thankful For In No Particular Order

1 The duck shaped toy holder that suctions to the shower wall
2 Pizza (all kinds)
3 Baby Wipes
4 The ability to read
5 Post it notes
6 Jimmy Buffet
7 The twinkle in Lucy’s eye
8 Completing each other’s sentences
9 Barney
10 Playpens
11 Pigpen
12 An 8-5 work day
13 Jesus
14 Old men who like to tell stories
15 Fred’s new tooth
16 Sunrises at the beach
17 Mars Hill Daycare
18 Having more Love and less Hate in my life
19 Oxy-clean
20 Free coffee at work
21 My marriage
22 TV
23 Bottled water
24 Lazy Sundays
25 Stormy Saturdays
26 Baby Fred
27 DVD Recorders
28 Vanilla Wafers
29 Inside Jokes
30 Freedom
31 Woodstock
32 Pillows
33 Leftovers
34 Mail
35 Cat Litter
36 My yard
37 Fred learning how to talk
38 Lucy watching out for me
39 Pork (all variations)
40 Long drives
41 My shortcut home
42 A wife who puts gas in my car
43 A car to put gas in
44 Heroes (real and imaginary)
45 People who decorate their yards for Christmas
46 Not having to be one of those people
47 Old timey newspaper stands that trust you to only take 1 paper but have no way to stop you from getting all you want…which I do.
48 Toilets
49 Toilet paper
50 Finding free food stuck in a vending machine and being able to shake it loose
51 The little prayer Lucy whispers to Fred every night
52 Puffs
53 Desktop Calendars
54 College football
55 Big thangs of tea
56 Kitty cats
57 Movies where things explode and nobody talks
58 Arm chairs that raise up at movie theaters
59 Muppets, puppets, and fraggles
60 ColdPlay
61 Best of cds
62 Spell-check
63 Thick socks
64 Moments where you think it’s going to be a poopy diaper but it’s just a wet one mixed with a smelly poot
65 Fred being able to hold his own bottle
66 Lucy washing my clothes
67 Cinnamon rolls on Sunday mornings
68 The shape of Lucy’s body (meow!! Hubba hubba!!)
69 Saturday Night Live skits
70 Bean day at work
71 Parents (grand and otherwise)
72 Toys that dangle from carseats
73 Friends that are just as broke as we are
74 Acid reflux medicine
75 Photos
76 The way Lucy and I make fun of each other
77 Fred playing with his reflection
78 Insurance
79 Prayer
80 Paperback novels
81 Chip clips
82 Leaf blowers
83 Carports
84 Hats
85 reruns of Scrubs
86 New episodes of Lost
87 All you can eat Chinese buffets
88 CD burners
89 Cheap shoes from American Eagle
90 Flocks of birds making weird shapes in the air
91 Jumper cables
92 Forgiveness
93 Forgetfulness
94 Curling up with Lucy on the couch while Fred sleeps in his own bed
95 Scary movies
96 Watching TV in stereo
97 New music Mondays on
98 My blog
99 The chance to oneday print every post and read them back to a teenage Fred

100 Having everything I ever wanted without ever knowing I wanted it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fred VS Bed (Part II Baby Without Fear)

Things had been progressing pretty well for a couple of days. Each night Fred was spending more and more time in his bed then we took two steps back…well it was actually 2 crawls forward…either way he still ended up back in our bed.

The pain from teething had subsided enough to allow him to sleep more comfortably and us too for that matter. I think we may have almost been ready to go the full night. My alarm woke little man up Thursday morning and a deal was made: I would watch Barney with him for 30 minutes while I ate and got ready, then I would take him to the bedroom and Lucy would keep on eye on him.

He’s crawling all over the bed, going from this corner to the next. Crawling under covers, really making Lucy work for it. He is in the middle of the bed when he drops a nuclear bomb in his diaper. The shot was so extreme it exploded out the top. Lucy didn’t realize it at first since he had a gown on, grabs him to get him changed, and gets poop all over her hands. Now he is in middle of the bed, covered in poop, she turns to wipe her hands at the exact time I walk in the room. Fred “Baby Without Fear” sees me, jumps from the middle of the bed, and gravity does the rest. Lucy barely misses a foot, I barely miss an arm, but the hard wood floor caught his whole face. It almost knocked him out.

This was his first major fall and being new parents we were clueless. We wanted to call an ambulance but calmed down enough to simply rush him off to his pediatrician. The knot above his left eye was huge and after a brief discussion with the Doc about how it would sound like rice crispies if anything had been cracked, x-rays were taken, and we were sent on our way home…where we were told to watch him all day and night just in case. Meaning back to the bed with us. Friday night came and with it the pain of teething. Looks like this is going to take awhile…

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fred VS Bed (Part I)

I have blogged about this at least 6 times before, but this is it. Fred is going to learn to sleep in his own bed. We are serious this time. No turning back. Nothing can stop us…except he is teething so the first night he only slept for 3 hours before we brought him in with us. Tonight we are shooting for 3 ½ hours.

Here is a classic example of why he must learn to love his baby bed:

We are all lying there (including buttons the cat). Adam is curled up facing Lucy, drinking a juice bottle and barely awake.

“Lucy, we gotta get him into his room. This is good for nobody.”

“We will. We just gotta easy him into it.”

“Well if we ever wanna give him a little brother or sister, he can’t be in here much longer.”

The instant Fred heard “brother or sister” he spun around and slapped me square in the face. He eyebrows furrowed deep and those squinty little eyes said it all:

“LOOK HERE MISTER!! I am the only baby in this house and this is MY bed YOU’RE sleeping in. You BETTER be nice to me or I’m gonna get CHIEF REDFACE to put something on you AJAXS won’t take off!! And if you think another BABY is coming in here to mess up the SWEET DEAL I GOT GOING, YOU GOT ANOTHER THING COMING.”

So now we are definitely trying to get him in his own bed. Before he learns to walk and I wake up with him standing over me in the middle of the night.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Whispers of the Fog

Lately I know it seems like my posts have skewed towards the depressing side of life. It just feels like we have been taking a beating over the past few months. Unexpected bills, unexpected heartache, just in time for the holidays. If not for Fred I’m positive life would be a much darker place than what it appears at times.

I wrote The Fog a month ago. At the time I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to talk openly about the death of our beloved cat Sassy. I’m probably not going to go into much detail even now. The only reason I bring it up is because on October 9th we were a family of six. Equally split between gender and species. Lucy, Sassy, Booboo. Charlie, Fred, Buttons. 3 girls, 3 boys, 3 humans, 3 pets. By November 9th that was no longer the case. Last week we lost Booboo the outside cat that had followed us home after an evening walk 5 years before. She survived cold winters, hot summers, thunderstorms, and snowfalls. She was our furry little shadow.

We had been planning the yard sale for sometime and had even put an ad in the paper for this past Saturday. She disappeared mid-week and the family next door found her on Thursday. They were kind enough to put her in a tiny box so we were avoided the nightmares of Sassy that still replay in our minds on a continuous loop. I may never discuss what happened to Sassy on this site…there are too many details each wrapped in barbed wire so that they pierce the heart whenever spoken. We went forward with the yard sale, and then we closed up shop.

The stress became too much. Life has been making too many demands. Our most recent loss sent us into shock wondering if we had finally hit rock bottom and fearing what was next. So at 12:00pm Saturday, we closed the door to our house and started trying to recharge our batteries. No contact with the outside world for 2 days. The only people we spoke to were our parents (just can’t shake that GiGi). No going out with friends, no housework, nothing but getting adjusted to our new family of 4. 1 girl and 3 boys. The balance gone, echoes of the past month swirling with the wind outside, beating against the house. We even skipped church on Sunday. I’m pretty sure God understands our absence, because those two days were just what we needed. We did nothing but watch TV, sleep, and best of all…enjoy our baby boy. We laughed and played and chased him all over our home. Buttons ran through the house chasing his tail, got in on the chase for Fred, and received more love than ever. He lets Fred pet him now.

On Monday, just like that morning a month ago, the world was covered in white. The first fog since Sassy had passed. And just like last time we began picking up the pieces and enjoying the simple things in life…the sound of a baby calling for his momma…the laughter from a joke between mom and dad…the twinkle in Lucy’s eye.

PS Don’t forget to vote on Fred’s first word !!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Friend In Need

As any parent can tell you, there are only so many hours in the day. Blogging is a hobby (maybe someday a money making one thanks to these people ) so I barely have the time to write my own besides visit somebody else's. Thanks to AdventureDad ,I came across Atomictumor the other day and I immediately made it one of my places I visit daily.

By coincidence this guy lives about 3 hours from me in Oak Ridge, Tn. and is living everyone's worst nightmare. I copied this next part from his "about me" section, I just didn't want to incorrectly describe his situation:

"GAC, my 29 year old wife, the mother of two young children, and a frequent writer here is in dire condition. The root cause is unknown, but she is in critical condition at an ICU here in Oak Ridge, TN.While this is happening, I'm hijacking what is normally a once a day, write whatever kind of blog and turning it into a journal and a vigil for her. This began on October 30, became serious on November 2nd, and became critical on November 3rd"

He posts like 5 or6 times a day and though some may see it as depressing, I think it is one of the most moving and uplifting things I have ever come across. The love this man has for his wife is amazing, spiritual, life's the kind of love I have for Lucy and most people dream about. Through this daily journal to his wife, you can feel his tears and hear his pleading for her to come back to him. Please take a moment to pay him a visit and let him know he is not alone.

Let’s Walk and Talk!!!

It has finally happened, baby is mobile. He started crawling close to two weeks ago and he is bored with it already. At first he was simply moving around in a little circle, but now he is a baby with a purpose. The second you sit him down he aims in the direction of the nearest thing he can pull up on and launches himself towards it. We have to be extra careful now because like most babies he enjoys standing while holding on to mom/dads fingers except after a few seconds he lets go and tries to go it alone. Pretty soon he will be chasing down buttons the cat and trying to ride him like a pony.

Now for some time there has been a running debate as to whether or not we are actually hearing words and not just baby babble. Right off the bat at about 4 months you could hear the goo-goo’s and gaa-gaa’s all during the day. For the past few weeks those sounds have started coming out more and more like words with a purpose. This is where we are stuck; how do we decide when an actual first word has been said? So far the choices are as follows:

1) “Hey”, Fred has been shouting this for over a month, the problem is whether or not he is truly intending on saying Hey or if it’s just a new noise he learned like his surprised noise that goes ”Haaaaaaaaa” accompanied with a shocked look on his face. He has also started growling; at first we thought he was really constipated but now we think he may have learned it from the cat. Anyways the question remains, “Is this his first word?” Yes sometimes he says it when people first walk into a room, but sometimes he just says it.
2) “Dadda”, I would soooooo love for this to be his first word, but I run into the same problem as above. He makes the noise regardless of if I’m in the room or not. He has said it while looking at me, but he also said it to his reflection in the mirror the other day. “Is this his first word?”
3) “Momma Momma” There is no mistaking this one. With out a doubt he is calling for Lucy. He has only been doing it for 3 days and he only does it when he is upset. Once he starts he doesn’t stop until she picks him up. You should see her face light up every time he does it. There is no doubt it makes both of them very happy. The only problem with this choice is that 1) and 2) exist. If either of them are to be considered his first word and not some random noise than as much as she would like it to be, choice 3) cannot be the first word. 1) might be the answer, but again without directing it towards somebody it becomes just another goo-goo gaa-gaa. And let’s not forget that option 2) wouldn’t necessarily hurt my feelings.

So in order to get some type of neutrality here, I’m asking you the reader to be the tiebreaker. I know a ton of people read this site and now I need your help. Leave me a comment and decide “Fred’s First Word”. Once a week or so has passed, I’ll do an update and announce the winner.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Time Traveling

Daylight Savings time took into effect a couple of weeks ago and I’ve yet to set the clocks back in the house. At first I was just putting it off out of laziness. We’ve got a ton of clocks. Then the more I put it off the more I liked them to be an hour ahead.

You see, once you have a baby every second becomes a thing to hold on to. You begin anguishing over the moments wasted doing things that used to be of importance. Watching TV, reading, going to the movies, yard work, all become things that you put off in order to spend more time with the family. So all week long every time I look at the clock instead of thinking, “Man!! It’s already 4:00 pm. The day is over.” I think, “Man, It’s already 4:00pm…no wait it’s only 3:00pm!!!! I’ve still got the whole afternoon.”

I know it sounds weird, but I feel like I’m traveling back in to time so that I can make the most of the hour I just wasted.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Politics of Potluck

I’m really funny when it comes to eating out. Specifically when it comes to buffets. My rule is like foods only. I will not eat at a buffet if it does not share some sort of nationality. Chinese buffet: beef and broccoli, sweet and sour chicken, won ton soup, like foods equal ok to eat. Italian buffet: pizza, lasagna, spaghetti, and garlic bread, again like foods equal good eats. Mixed buffet: turnip greens, tacos, pizza, fried catfish, and sushi, no common country of origin equals a sprint to the nearest bathroom.

Now the only time I bend this rule is when it comes to potlucks. You know what I’m talking about. Even if you’re not religious and haven’t had a chance to enjoy the food and fellowship of a good ole southern style potluck dinner, you’ve probably experienced close to the same thing at family reunions. The only difference is that more than likely you’ve spent your entire life sharing meals with the family and even if the food is nasty you know what to avoid and what to request that person to make in advance. Can’t do that at a church potluck.

So you get in the gianormis line that stretches from the pulpit to the picnic tables out back and you spend the next half hour taking baby steps while making small talk with the person in front of you. You finally get to the start of the food table and you quickly realize that the crowd is so thick you have no way of knowing what lies ahead further up the food chain. You have two choices: A) make your way through the line adding small amounts of this and that while counting on there being that amazingly tasty something special that you just know you’re going to want to load up on. The down side being that special something may not be at the other end and you’re left with tiny amounts of mediocrity. Or B) load up at the beginning of the table and forfeit any room on your plate for that must have item. This is usually the quickest way to get out of line and will surely allow you time to find the perfect seat right next to all your friends, however you have to really be careful on what you load up on or you are going to have a plate full of nasty and nothing to do but choke it down or dine with Ronald McDonald afterwards.

I always seem to take choice A). Not necessarily because I’m waiting for something better just over the horizon, but because I’m always looking to try new things. So right from the start I have doomed myself to having to choke down some type of chicken casserole that smells delicious but tastes like my cousins odor eaters. It’s either that or I immediately start the quarantine process. Say for example I mistakenly thought the green mashed potatoes would be a nice treat, but found out differently once I took the first heaping spoonful. Now not only have I wasted valuable property on my plate where something more fulfilling could have been built, but I also have to give up a quarter of the green beans to the left and macaroni to the right of the disaster. Whatever portion the green mashed potatoes touched is off limits. Now I’ve had to give up half my plate simply because I got caught up in all the hussle and bussle of the potluck.

Finally there is one sure way to survive the potluck without having to make too many choices and avoid a case of ecoli. Meat. Turkey, chicken, ham…always load up on meat. Add a couple rolls and call it a day. Even if for some reason something other than meat catches your eye and turns out tasting like run over turtle, you can always make a sandwich out of the meat and rolls.

So remember meat/rolls good, tacos and tapioca on the same plate bad.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


The old gang got back together this weekend for a cook out at the Gigi’s. There was a massive bonfire thanks to Vermont Steve and Lucy grilled halloweiners. With so much going on I forgot to bring my camera. I did however manage to take a few pictures. Hope you enjoy.

This one is black and white. I was standing in front of the card tables filled with buns, mustard, ketchup, three kinds of chips etc…Off to the right four of the moms are standing around laughing at a some odd joke about the latest moronic thing a random husband had done. It’s pitch black outside and the woods are as dark as a coalmine. To the left, not up close, but about twenty feet away there’s a guy wearing a corduroy jacket, jeans, and sneakers. You can tell from the way his hair has that messy yet stylish look and by that jagged beard covering his face that he’s a musician or an artist of some sort. He’s kneeled down in front of tree next to a little girl. She not just any little girl, she’s the kind of girl you see in commercials for fabric softener or in flashbacks where the grown up Gwyneth Paltrow type imagines herself as a child. She too has a coat on, but the sleeves are too long and her tiny fingers barely stick out of the edges. Her hair is pulled back and her face is lit up like the sun. At first you think the source of the light is coming from the tiki torch next to her, but then you look closer. There close to the ground, just barely sticking its’ head out from behind the man’s knee…is a tiny white kitten. Then you understand the light is coming from her smile and has nothing to do with anything as artificial as some oversized matchstick.

This one kinda caught me off guard. I was mingling about, being a good host and sorta bumped into it. I used black and white again; color seems to take something away from the imagination. The first thing that catches your eye is the fire. Shaped like a teepee straight out of the old west, you can almost feel the heat coming off it. The structure practically takes up the whole image. Logs, sticks, smoke billowing off the top. For some reason there is Christmas tree mixed in and for a second you wonder how that got there. In the background you see what you can barely make out to be a pond and more trees surrounded by darkness. Above are glowing embers from the blaze floating towards the heavens as if they are stars being born and beginning their journey into outer space. Then just off to the side you see what separates this from just another picture of a bonfire. A little boy standing behind what has to be his daddy. His hair is shaggy and at the moment his eyes are huge. One arm is extended out resting on the back of his father. The resemblance is to close; same eyes, same shaggy hair. The little boy is amazed. Dad is squatted down dangerously close to the fire in what appears to be some type of pose. One hand is gripping his jacket and he is using it to shield his eyes from what has to be the heat, the other hand extending towards the flames like Superman about to leave the earth behind. You wonder what he is doing thrusting his hand into the bonfire. That’s when you squint and see the stick…and at the end of the stick you glimpse the hot dog covered in flame and smoke. The son watching over the shoulder of his hero as he performs what has to be just the latest in a series of heroic deeds.

This one is my favorite. The bonfire is there at the top edge casting a wide glow on what you can barely make out to be people on the opposite side smiling and enjoying themselves. The image is a close up and not much else can be seen. It’s a boy laid sideways just inches from the camera lens. The eyes of the baby tell the whole story; half open, half closed, a passey in his mouth. A few seconds later you know he will be fast asleep. Wearing a jacket with a hood positioned just so, the fire is casting a soft glow and thick shadows all around him. His hand…four tiny fingers and a thump barely raised as he gently rubs his daddy’s face before dreaming of what lies among the stars above. This one took my breath away and I hung it on a wall close to my heart.

Baby Butt-Kicking

I read several (and I mean several) books geared towards teaching petrified young men to be confident, capable daddies. I learned about changing diapers, how to hold the baby, how to exercise the baby, how to make the baby cry so you can cut in line while your in the returns line at Wal-mart. All very important things. What they never mentioned was how as the baby grows and begins to learn to use his arms/legs more effectively he is going to start beating you senseless.

For example: I know I read at least a dozen times about how soft the baby’s head is and how you gotta be careful with the soft spot. All I heard was “Watch the soft spot” “Be careful with the soft spot” “The doctor is checking his soft spot”. Soft spot my butt!! Everyday. Everyday!!! Fred rams that little noggin right into my nose, mouth, eye and he never feels a thing. I’m searching for the tooth he just knocked out and he’s already reaching for Barney. Lucy got hit in the same place 3 times in a row the other night. He’s all “Oh mommy I love you soooo much. Thank you for picking me up and tickling my tummy. WHAM!!! WHAM!!! WHAM!! HAVE A SLICE OF FOREHEAD SISTER!!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”

And those finger nails. It’s like my wife gave birth to Wolverine or something. We had to throw out the playpen because he sliced his way through the side like it was butter. Do you know how embarrassing it is walking around with an eye patching looking like you decided to wear your Pirates of the Caribbean costume the whole week of Halloween because your baby cut you from cheek to hairline? We have to clip them in his sleep for fear that he’ll go all Tasmanian Devil if we tried it while he was awake and looking us in the eyes… or in my case eye.

We finally manage to dodge the head butts and Freddy Krueger fingers, just in time to get kicked in the crotch with both feet at the same time. The two of us lying on the couch together watching the ball game. Dad and son enjoying a moment of bonding. Suddenly the little guy flips back into a handstand, curls up, and stomps my winker out my butt-hole. Again, I’m trying to find my marbles that I swore shot out and rolled under the couch; Fred’s done grabbed the remote and turned it into a popsicle. Nobody wants to change the channels with a slimy, sticky, drool covered remote. The whole point of being on the couch is to avoid being up and doing things that will cause you to have to wash your hands.

What is up with hand washing?!? Lucy’s all “Wash your hands”, “Did you wash your hands?” “Can you take this out, put this up, and grab the baby? Oh and wash your hands”
I was coming out of the bathroom at church and this smarty artie seven-year-old screams “Ummmmmmm you didn’t wash your hannnnnnndddssssss.” I said I was about to and the brat said, “Use soap!” Normally I don’t like to be bossed around, but with the eye patching making it hard to see and my bruised manhood making it hard to stand, I figured he might go an tell my baby to finish the job.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wishing In One Hand

Thanks to all our friends that sent their sympathies after reading the last post. I know it may not always show by the comments, but I have a lot of readers and I appreciate everyone of you. Life can be a very cruel thing sometimes. Take this past week for instance. We had just started seeing through The Fog, laughing again, and getting back to our old selves. We had like one day of “ok so I feel pretty good” and then WHAMO!!! The next thing we know our heads are in a toilet and we were thankful we got them there. Here is how life decided to torture us next.

I haven’t vomited in 9 years. Where exactly did my body decide to break this streak? At home maybe, where I am at my most comfortable? Nope, I had to chunk it at work where the roars of my displeasure rang out like a steel triangle across the open range at suppertime. I can imagine my coworkers popping their little heads up over the cube walls searching for the source of the nastiness. Like prairie dogs searching for the source of the unique sound.

Lucy was sitting in a business meeting surrounded by bosses and bosses bosses and bosses bosses bosses, when suddenly she bolted for the door and managed to find a garbage can down the hall somewhere. If that wasn’t bad enough, she had to stop three times on her way home to do it again…in the rain…on the side of the road.

So like I said we were happy to finally have our heads in our home toilets.

This lasted for 4 days. After the first day we quit getting sick every few minutes, but lets just say things then took a turn in a different direction.

It was during all of this that many prayers were said and wishes were wished for.

We wished Fred didn’t have to go live with GiGi for 2 days. She loved it and I think he had ice cream for dinner a couple of times. What a big help she was!
I wished my body would quit aching like I was on the rack during a “more authentic than usual Renaissance Fair exhibit”
Lucy wished she hadn’t had soup for lunch.
I wished we could actually enjoy the empty house so we could do what married people do best…me watch football in one room and her a Lifetime movie in the other.
I wished my stomach would quit begging for food just so is could have something to make me get sick again with. I only ate 1 chicken nugget all day Friday.

On the fourth day most of the drama was over, Fred was back at home, though we were sore and still not too keen on the idea of ever eating again; Lucy and I were feeling better.
Fred made that grunt and put on his serious face that means there’s trouble in his basement. Since Lucy was still nauseas, I took the task of changing his diaper.

One thing you should know is that as a man and a father, the word help is practically one of the seven words you can’t say on TV. You won’t hear it much and when you do you’re shocked and amazed. In this case though I think I had a valid reason to “break the glass” and scream for reinforcements.

It wasn’t the fact that it was such a vile, radioactive diaper; I can handle those any day. Just pull your shirt over your nose and jump in. What sent me screaming for my wife like a man on fire searching for a puddle was that as the diaper came off and Fred lay there in all his poop…he grabbed a big handful of it!!!! This alone is enough to sound the sirens, but it got worse…you know where things go once they get in the hands of a baby don’t ya? Straight to the mouth.

That’s when I started the help me sirens. HELLLLLPPPPP MEEEEEE!!!! Help Help
Help Help Help Help Help Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess it’s true, when you wish in one hand and poop in the other you should always know which one will be filled up faster.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Fog

I haven’t and may not write about the great loss that Lucy and I had to endure last week. I will say that Fred is perfectly healthy and all is well with my friends and family. However, something tragic did occur. Last Tuesday. That will affect the three of us for sometime.

I think we just got caught off guard. Too used to things going our way and forgetting that in each life there are days when you wonder how you will ever make it to the next. Like a fog the pain begins to form around you slowly until all you see and feel is emptiness. You scream into the gray clouds for anyone…someone to make things better or take you back to a time when another choice could have been made…

As far as how we reacted, I can only speak for myself. I stopped talking. It seemed silly and embarrassing to be grieving so much over what others might consider simply another day in the life of. I took a day off work and just lay on the couch covered with my grief. Snuggling up to it and peering out around the edges whenever the phone rang. When I did speak to someone other than Lucy, the words were dull and seemed to trail off at the end. I would open my mouth and the fog would quickly choke me until I once again fell silent. For a week I have gotten up, gone to work, come home…I have continued on with all the day to day routines that make up my life…except I have done them in silence. Moments with Lucy and Fred being the only times when any reaction or sound could be heard from me.

We decided to stick with plans made months before and went out of town last Saturday. Nothing special just a short drive through the country to a crafts festival/ yard sale we have been going to every year as far back as I can remember. It was there that we began to see breaks of sunlight and feel the numbness slowly going away. Then just as the day was about to be over, a chance encounter…a one in a million coincidence blinded us to all that we had fought so hard to get past. The fog returned.

By chance I woke last night and just happened to peer out the window. Maybe I was being a bulldog, ensuring that my home and those in it were safe from the evil that surely lay in the shadows of the pine trees or lurked in the cars driving by. Whatever the reason; all I saw was fog. It was as if the pain and loss had become too much for Lucy and I to bear and that it simply burst through the very walls of the house covering the whole world in white. It was there when I woke up this morning…the fog. It lasted all day today. Through my drive to Fred’s daycare, on my way to work, coming back tonight as I write this.
Except for some reason, today for the first time I began to speak again. As if the fog had really come from inside me and by seeing it all around I was able to begin the process of filling the empty space inside with something other than pain and sadness. I still hurt, still fight the tears during some parts of the day…but not all day.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Costume Calamities

I know Halloween is a few weeks off, but I’m trying to figure out what I’m going as this year. My office usually dresses up and it’s a great excuse to break the monotony of cubicle life. The last couple of years my choice of attire has been a little too subtle though.

I was really big into Smallville so I thought it would be soooo cool to come as Clark Kent/Superman. I have the blue Superman T-shirt that came with my comic book geek membership, so my costume was basically me wearing a flannel shirt over that. I left a few buttons undone around the collar so people would be able to see the top of the red “S” that Superman has on his chest. I remember thinking “Easy Costume. Creative. This will be kinda neat.”
Maybe I didn’t leave enough buttons undone at the top of the shirt. Maybe I should have put more jell in my hair and perfected that signature curl in the middle of my forehead. I thought that ripping off my glasses and suddenly standing straighter with my chest puffed out would be a clear sign of who I was. Regardless of why, nobody caught the fact that I was wearing a costume. By midday I decided that I should stay true to my superhero roots and not revel my secret identity.

I know I don’t talk about it much, cause honestly my job is far from anything glamorous or even mildly interesting. I basically work in a cube farm with 50 other rats all trapped in the same maze looking for bits of cheese or in my case donuts.
After my secret costume from the year before, I was determined to be less creative and more obvious. I was reading Dilbert everyday and the similarities were just too much to pass up. I decided Dilbert would be a nice fit for Halloween ‘05’.
It was barely even a costume. Blue kakis, white button up, red/black striped tie, and my glasses. I used a safety pin to make it look like my tie was curled up and even changed my name on the ID badge I’m required wear to Dilbert. Again nothing. NOT ONE PERSON NOTICED MY TIE STICKING IN THE AIR ALL DAY!!!! Another year, another costume wasted on the zombies around my office.

What these last two Halloweens have taught me is that dressing as a nerd is just not enough of a stretch for me. We all know the jokes where people say, “Hey you forgot to take your costume off from last year” or “Halloween was two months ago. Why are you still wearing that mask?” Well apparently I this is literally true in my case.

I was thinking maybe this year I’ll be Peter Parker. I could wear jeans, a red T-shirt with a flannel shirt over it, opened up just a bit at the collar so you can barely see the red, and I could have a camera around my neck all day… naaaahhhh people would get that in a heartbeat. I don’t want to be too obvious.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I-O-WA, I-O-WA. It’s Off to Work I-Go-Wa

My brother is moving to Iowa for 3 months. After slaving away as a salesman for the yellow pages in Nashville, he accepted a job selling lights to ballparks through out Tennessee. In order to be properly trained, they are moving him to Iowa just until he gets a lay of the land.

I know jack-squat about Iowa. At first I thought it was where those giant potatoes from the grocery store came from, then I realized that’s Idaho. I think the most fascinating thing about Iowa is that there is nothing fascinating about it at all. It is the forgotten state. The one people always forget when they attempt to name all 50. When you think of New York, you think Times Square. Alaska = Icebergs. Hawaii = 5-0. Vermont = Syrup. Wisconsin = Cheese. Iowa =…. nothing.

He’s trying to make it seem like it’s no big deal, cause he’ll be back in 3 months. To this I say empires have crumbled, marriages have started and stopped, and WWE championships were won and lost in less time.

It took 5 minutes to find out I was going to be a dad.
4 Days to bring Fred home for the first time.
3 months to get the hang of being a good dad.
2 seconds to say I do.
And one night to know I had met the love of my life.

In the past 3 months my mom was married, Fred went to the beach, we changed churches, and my brother left for the nothing state. None of these things could have been predicted in August.

In 3 months he might meet a new love, marry an old one, win the lottery, move back in with my mom, buy a dog, join the army, or decide Iowa is that place he was meant to spend his life. Either way I hope he knows that until the day he comes back home for good…Iowa = My Brother.

Be careful out there Broccoli.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Grand Theft Blockhead

I was having a pretty good morning. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. The bees were buzzing. The garbage trucks were garbage truck’n.

Dropped off Fred at the daycare. I’m the dropper offer. Lucy is the picker up. Ironically I’m usually running late so I’m the quicker dropper offer instead of her being the quicker picker upper. Anyway, I pass him off to Mrs. Jackie. Gave a high five to some random kid doing his dancing thang as he led his mommy to class. Life was good. I was the man. The man with the plan so watch out Jack cause I’m a doing my thang!!

I’m be-bop’n along, jump in my car, about to cruise into work…and I remembered that Fred doesn’t own a front facing blue car seat.

Now you may ask why this is important. Well you see, in the backseat of the car was a front facing blue car seat. Not the back facing brown car seat that is normally there.

Did Fred get a new car seat and I just wasn’t told? No
Did I just imagine that there was a front facing blue car seat behind me? No
Maybe I woke up in a different persons body and they owned a front facing blue car seat? No

I be-bop’d into the wrong car, closed the door, and was just about to try and crank the darn thing. In my defense it was the same kind of car as mine…just a different year and color and a couple of spaces closer than mine…with a spoiler and sun roof and shiny new rims.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

6 Month Update Part Deux

One thing I really love about the site is the ability to plaster pictures of my favorite person all over it. This is what he looked like 6 months ago.

This is what he looks like now. War Eagle Baby!!!!!

What feeding time used to look like...

What feeding time looks like now.

At first things got off to a rocky start...

But thanks to God and our wonderful friends...

Life has turned into one great big carnival ride!!!!

All this blogging has got us beat. So good night for now and don't let the bed sharks bite ya!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

6-Month Update

I am the worst about doing these updates. Fred actually turned 6 months on Sept 20th, but we have been absolutely swamped lately. I’ve barely had time to post anything. I can literally see my life passing in front of my eyes. It’s really a constant struggle balancing the fun things and the not so fun things that go on each day. Yes the yard needs mowed, but then I miss the baby playing in the floor with blocks. Sure he is cute taking a bath every night, but the kitchen is a wreck. I just wake up each morning like a kid at Christmas, searching for the next gift under the tree.

Playtime: This has just happened within the past few days. He is playing by himself on a pallet in the floor. At first we were sitting behind him letting him dive into a mountain of toys, but as of this weekend it’s clear he wants to be down there by himself. He spent 3 hours at Sandy the Squirrels place drooling over such delectables as blocks, baby cell phones, and plastic balls. During church he is starting to try and squirm his way into the floor. This does make life a little easier since he doesn’t require being held all day, but it sure is breaking his momma’s heart seeing little man grow up.

1st Foods: We started out slow with the basics applesauce, pears, and a little white grape juice. Then we moved on to prunes (his fav), carrots, bananas (hates them), now the doc has cleared him to eat mushy table food. He doesn’t have teeth yet, so we cream everything up. In the past week he has licked all the flavor off a Bugle, turned a vanilla wafer into a soggy piece of bread, devoured some mashed potatoes, got slipped a piece of fried catfish, and the GiGi gave him a spoonful of ice cream (bad GiGi) which he begged to have more of and was denied…after another bite.

Girl Crazy: He is still addicted to Barney. Not just any Barney, but Barney Rocks. 20 minutes into it there is this 4 year old that sings to her Teddy Bear and you should see the boy turn red while grinning from ear to ear. When she exits stage right she also takes his attention with her and we have to rewind. I have no idea what Barney does during the last 30 minutes of the tape.
He has also caught the eye of a few teachers at the daycare. There’s Mrs. Jackie, though it’s more of a grandma thing, he has her wrapped around his tiny fingers. She even calls in to check on him if she has to be out sick and calls us when he is out sick. In the afternoons Lucy has to pry his fingers away from Mrs. Mandy the college girl that takes pictures of him on her phone and shows everyone “The cutest baby in the world”. I never had his luck with women…I only caught Lucy cause I asked her out after she had just come from the optometrist and everything was still blurry.

Babble: He started, then he got sick and stopped, now he’s better and back with a vengeance. All day he tries his best to say something. So far he may have said: bottle, baby wipe, hey, and nope…we are not going to declare the first word until it is something cute or momma/daddy.

Bath time: He loves bath-time!! I think he smears the food all over himself just to ensure a trip to the tub and not a washcloth wipe down. We have to drain the water out just to convince him it’s time to move on to something else. You should see him in there with frog, turtle, crab, killer whale, and the yellow submarine. Though he loves all those toys, his favorite of course is the free mini hotel shampoo bottle.

Formal Playroom: There is a pretty large formal room in the front of the house with a big picture window that looks out across the neighborhood. It was filled with antique furniture, knick-knacks, an old timey sowing machine; you know formal living room stuff. We never went in there. Neeeeeevvvvvveeeeeeer. So we put all the fancy furniture in storage and turned it into a giant playroom. Complete with E.T./Cinderella/King-Kong movie posters, my prized Charlie Brown and Snoopy collection, and every toy in the house. Little man can watch Barney till Baby Bop grows up and we adults can relax on the couch. Who knows, I may even attempt to read a book again.

Zerberts: Since he was born Fred has been getting at least 6 zerberts a day. We just can’t resist those cubby cheeks and his little belly that pooches out. Well now he’s going everywhere slobbering on any and everybody attempting to issue a sloppy payback. Sometimes he’s successful and a slight THHHHHPPPPPPPP noise is made. Other times your just left feeling like you just got slimed.

So that’s about it for now. Everyday is another thing he learns and another Adventure for me Charlie Blockhead. Stay tuned. It’s just the beginning.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Thorn in My Paw

We recently put the cats outside cause they kept having territorial issues with the baby. I once swore that I would never do this to my pets, but they went on a three-week crime spree and we just couldn’t take it anymore. The final days were filled with hairballs on the kitchen counter, sofa, and vases being knocked off the mantel.

Anyway they love it outside. They still have all their claws and were always running outside every time the door opened anyway. Occasionally they will try running back inside, always at the most inopportune time. We used to be late to Church cause we spent fifteen minutes trying to get them back in, now it’s cause we’re trying to get them back out.

So there seems to be rash of coyote sightings recently a few miles from the house. It has almost made us want to bring them back in…almost but not quite. The house is cleaner, the baby can play in the floor without fear of being jumped on, no more walking funny due to a cat always being under your feet.

Buttons got a thorn in his paw last week and the vet suggested bringing him back in for a few days. I love Buttons and Sassy dearly, but I don’t see how we will ever have an inside pet again.

Lucy was coming back from lunch today and got the scare of her life. As she reached into the backseat to grab her purse, something big and gray moved in the cargo area of the station wagon. She screamed, shrank down in the front seat, and did her best not to wet herself. As she sat there silently wondering what to do with what she just knew had to be a wild coyote (maybe a baby one), she realized she had no choice but to see what was roaming the in far reaches of the wagon. She peered around the edge of the cushion, one hand on the door handle ready to lunge into the parking lot if need be, and there the vicious animal sat.

“Meow. Meow.”

Apparently Buttons had jumped through an open window and fallen asleep in the car. To add insult to injury, she had to call and explain to her boss that although she was sitting in the parking lot, she was going to be late so she could take her kitty back home.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Meals on Wheels

Lately we have been eating in the car a lot. It seems that at least once a week Fred falls asleep in the car seat on the way home from somewhere. I’m thinking about adding a fold out picnic table to the back of the station wagon.

Babies hate it when people eat at the same time. Mommy can eat and Daddy can eat, but Mommy and Daddy can’t eat together.
Whenever we plan a meal we always wind up in this fierce negotiation involving what everyone’s role will be.

“If I cook it, will you watch the baby?”
“If I watch the baby do I get to eat first?”
“Ok I’ll cook and you can eat first, but you have to clean up the kitchen.”
“I’ll see your eat first and clean the kitchen and raise you a feed the baby”
“Fine, I’ll cook, you eat first, you clean the kitchen, I’ll feed the baby, then you give him a bath?”
“Bet and then you put him to sleep”

Sometimes he fools us. He will sleep right up until one of us puts the fork in our mouths and then he’s up and ready to play. We are thinking about switching to all plastic eating utensils. It’s like we are eating with tuning forks or something.

If we both do the cooking, then we fall back to who wants to watch what on TV.
“I gotta see Studio 60 tonight, so anything before 8 is mine and after that it’s all you.”

If nothing comes on the tube, it’s all about who had the worst day.
“I should eat first cause I got yelled at by a customer today.”
“So did I. Mine used several words I cannot say if front of Fred”
“Mine too, but I hung up on him”
“Ha I win!!! Mine was in person!!!”

It’s so much easier to just sit in the car instead of waking him up and forfeiting the golden silence. Last weekend he conked out and we drove down to a park along the river. Nothing says romance like chicken nuggets, waffle fries, and the smell of dead fish coming off the riverbank. We almost shared a kiss, but forgot that the sound of a mommy hand holding a daddy hand also makes a noise that only sleeping babies can hear.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Toast to the Future; A Glance Towards the Past

I don’t know what loneliness is. I mean I know what it is, but I don’t know what it feels like anymore. I am a parent, a husband, a friend, an employee, a coworker, and a member of a local church, part of a blogging community none of these roles leave much time for being by myself. I mention over there à in my “about me” section that I have played several different parts in this lifetime. Nobody stays in the same place forever. You grow up, leave home, get out of college, get married, move a couple of times, have a kid, change jobs…you shake off old clothes and try on new suits every so often.

You leave people behind.

It’s not intentional. You go to work everyday, make great friends, change jobs, and you don’t see the same people anymore. Situations change and people move in different directions.

I left home sometime during the year I turned 19. Nothing major brought this on. It was just time. I was in college, member of a fraternity, there was an open room, yada yada yada, I moved out. I left my mom, brother, and stepfather alone to fight the constant war. I’m not letting some major secret out the bag here. Life at home could be a major hell sometimes. I loved my stepfather, but that love came from distance and the end of being apart of the daily arguments over the insignificants.





I still loved my family, they just got misplaced somewhere between class, girls, and skipping class with girls. I never stopped to realize that just because I had left didn’t mean they weren’t still fighting battles. I remember an episode of Growing Pains where Mike is watching Gilligans Island and he suddenly flips off the TV, waits ten seconds, and flips it back on. He is shocked to find out that although the Gilligan is still there, the story progressed regardless of whether he was watching it or not.

The lives of my brother and mother continued long after I left that house. Eventually they moved on as well. My stepfather passed away, my brother moved on and eventually left town, and my mom…my mom was living by herself in a one-bedroom apartment for the first time ever.

I think single life was a shock to her system at first. Something she had always thought of but never experienced. It must have been like waking up in a foreign country where nobody speaks English. You’re not quite sure how you got there, nothing makes sense, and you don’t know if you should be scared or amazed by the new surroundings. My brother was close, so the apartment wasn’t always as empty as it could be. He got a dog. She kept the dog after he finally left town. I know it was hard, but I like to think that those years were also filled with moments of great relief. The kind of relief somebody else might feel after working a hard day and finding dinner already cooked.

After awhile though the lack of conversation and those empty rooms must have been as bad as the marriage that brought her to that place. This is all a guess, because like I said, I had moved on; married the girl of my dreams…I am never lonely. I imagine that the silence became just as loud and infuriating as that man that once stomped through the house bare-chested and full of hot air.

My mother is getting married on Monday. My opinion has kind of been up in the air since I found out. One day for/next day not so for. Then my brother said this “I’m 25, single, and living in a big city. I go to these clubs and let me tell you single life is not easy. I can’t imagine what it’s like at her age.” This is what set my opinion in stone. I had never really tried to imagine her life at all past the point at which I moved out/on. Once I got past the thoughts of “What I wouldn’t give for half an hour of me time”, I couldn’t help but compare how full my life is now with how empty that apartment must be.
So regardless of whether she wants to make a big deal of it or not, I’m praying that it is a major big deal. Life is meant to be led happily ever after.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bless Thee Yee Purple Prince of Peace

When you first find out that you are about to have a baby, you automatically start evaluating your feelings on what makes up a healthy lifestyle. You begin to comb over your own childhood in hopes of learning what went right and what was a disaster.

Did my parents let me eat too much candy?
Did they push vegetables on me?
Did I spend too much time playing and not enough time learning?

It’s not really an evaluation of you’re mom and dad. Honestly, you know in the end no matter what happened they did the best they could. It’s not as if a handbook pops out between the baby and the placenta. The fact is the new baby is going to need rules and positive habits. And what is the past good for if not for learning from the mistakes/successes of those that came before you.

I watched a ton of TV when I was younger. I mean 10 hours a day up until I got my first car. Even then I would regularly choose to stay home and watch the new episode of the Simpsons, rather go out to some party where I only knew the 4 people I came with. I was a major homebody. I did the partying thing in college like everyone else, but to this day I find it hard to cut the tube off. Just last week I made sure to get the Fall Preview issue of TV guide so I could map out my new TV line up. I literally sat down with the little pull out showing what and when everything is going to be on and planned my evenings. Shows with a W are going to be seen at that time and R’s mean I will be recording those shows in the bedroom. How crazy is that? Not crazy enough? Ok how about this…I will even record the shows with a W just in case something comes up and I miss 5 minutes in the middle of what I’m watching.

So when we found out Fred was on his way, I said “He will not be like me. He will not be a slave to the tube!!!”

Now as we are quickly approaching his 6mth birthday, I find myself struggling with this more and more. I mean for crying out loud the little guy loves Barney. I mean he LOVES BARNEY. Mouth open, no blinking, passey falling out of the mouth, forgets to breath loves Barney. So we borrowed a couple of videos from a friend…and now anytime we need 15-30 minutes of baby free time so dishes can be washed or dinner can be ate… we just hit play on the VCR and the Church of the Blessed Purple Dinosaur magically silences the entire house.

We are starting to feel guilty about this, but it’s like finding a way to add 2 more hours to the middle of the day. In those 30 minutes while the baby hears about “banonos and upples” we get enough done to free up entire weekends. How can something that feels so good be so wrong?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

We Got the Beat. We-Got-The-Beat!!! YEAH!!!

So it was about a 6-hour drive back from the beach and Fred was amazing.
He slept, he played, he ate, he drank, he laughed…but he did not cry.
That’s right!!! 450 miles, 2 stops, and no tears. Un-freak’n-believable.
We got 15 miles from home and just knew we had it made. Nothing could stop us now!!!

But maybe someone could.

A full days worth of tears combined with the pain of being strapped into a car seat all day forged a tantrum we are seldom witness to. Chief Redface had returned.

So what do you do? You’ve been away from home for four days. You’re tired, irritable, the legs need stretching, you gotta go to the bathroom…but that sign says Muscle Shoals 15 miles. Normally that’s an easy answer. You man-up and push forward, ignore the pain, pee in a bottle, and get home!!

Babies don’t know how to man-up. They just throw tantrums.

Redface almost got us this time. We were in the car and far away from our tried and true happy baby tools. We were at our weakest moment, all was thought lost. Lucy was begging me to pull over even though we were only 10 minutes from home…when a flash of brilliance crossed my mind. In an instant I saw Baby Fred bouncing at home in his exersaucer, he’s been there too long and is starting to cry just a little. There is a Barney video playing in the background and out of desperation, I began to clap to the beat. Baby Fred calmed down.

Over the noise of the road/crying/Rascal Flats, I scream “CLAPPPPPPP!!! CLAP WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT!!!”

Lucy, who at this point would have probably made armpit farts if it would have worked, starts banging her hands together with all her might. It worked at first, but it just wasn’t enough. In a show of expert driving ability, at 65mph I adjusted myself so my left knee could steer and began clapping/singing “WE WILL, WE WILL, ROCK YOU! ROCK YOU!!!” “WE WILL, WE WILL, ROCK YOU! ROCK YOU!!!”

And the crying ceased. We stopped clapping and the crying started again. We were now forced to play Redface’s wicked game.

As we drove the final few miles home, we felt the stares from the people in the other cars as they drove by the maniacs clapping as if their lives depended on it. I can almost hear them say “Hey that guy is driving with his knee!!!! Drive past!!! Drive past!!!”

We were bruised, battered, and our hands hurt for the next three days, but we made it home and that’s all that counts.
Until we meet again Mr. Redface...until we meet again.