Saturday, May 27, 2006

2-Month Baby Fred Update

Wow!! Fred just turned 2 months this week and life is moving along at the speed of light.
Things are just happening way too fast. So I thought I would take a second and list all the wonderful things that are going on.

*Lucy started back to work this week and Fred went to stay with Aunt Amy. She wasn’t his aunt when the week started but they became so close we have upgraded her from friend to relative. Like it or not she is now part of the family.

*We’ve had some issues regarding daycare recently and by what can only be described as a blessing from God, we finally landed in a very good place. We put ourselves on the waiting list as soon as we found out Fred was coming. Two weeks ago a very good friend offered to do the job for less money, but had to cancel at the last minute due to extenuating circumstances. By this time we were already off the daycare list and somebody had taken our spot. We searched high and low, and with one phone call were able to move from the bottom of the waiting list to the top. He is now going somewhere closer and will be spending the day with several friends he sees twice a week already. Thanks to everyone who prayed that this would work out.

*Lucy started to work on Monday, but didn’t really start until Thursday. She’s an assistant bank mgr. and due to security issues, she was locked out of her computer. So she spent the first part of the week filing and dreading the mounds of work that waited just out of arms reach.

*Fred finally knows who I am. I know this sounds funny but I didn’t think it would ever happen. Now when he hears me, he smiles real big and begs for me to hold him. Let the fun begin.

*Halleluiah!! We are getting more sleep. The baby is only waking up once a night. We are even taking turns so that we each get to sleep all night every few days.

*My baby has eyebrows!! He just found out they were sitting there all along just waiting accentuate his moods. He likes to sit and bounce them up and down. He goes from mad, to sad, to surprised, back to mad. This is ssooooo much to watch.

*See boy. See ball. See boy kick ball. That’s right!! We are one step closer to being the parents of the starting field goal kicker for Auburn University!!! War Eagle Baby!!!
Now I know technically he is just kicking the inflatable ball on his exercise mat, but you have to crawl before you can walk.

*Baby got back. He is at 15lbs now!! That’s double what he weighed when he was born. We are already putting stuff up that he can’t wear anymore.

*Goodbye formal living room, hello playroom. We are quickly coming to the realization that the toys will never stop coming in the door. His room is already full with baby stuff, but now there are wagons, blocks, trains, pretend houses, and no where to put them. So we had to make a sacrifice and since we never sit in there anyway… goodbye formal, hello fun.

*Finally, Fred is getting his shots today. Nobody is looking forward to this, especially not Lucy. Momma hates to hear her baby cry and Daddy hates to hear Momma cry.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I Know a Secret.

Somebody told me their secret this week.
We were just having a normal conversation about life and ROAR the giant secret leaped out of the bag.
This new bit of information came as such a shock that I actually got watery eyed for a minute.
One thing is for sure I will never see the person in the same way again.

I know what you're thinking. Did somebody come out of the closet? Is somebody having an affair?… No.
This is a good secret. Somebody I know is helping somebody and nobody knows.

I was completely floored when I found out. What got me the most was this person has been doing this for so long that they just group it in with the things that fill their daily routine. This person cuts the grass, takes out the trash, pays the phone bill, then takes a few minutes and ...somebody’s life is different.

Man I wish I could tell, but what makes this such a great secret is that the person who told me has no idea how powerful the information is. I’m afraid if I tell, the person might decide to stop out of modesty.

Just know that one day if you’re lucky enough, you will meet this person in Heaven.

Monday, May 22, 2006

So Here's to the J's!!

Couple Friends are extremely hard to find.

I gotta like him. He’s gotta like Lucy. Lucy’s gotta like her. They gotta like us. We gotta like them. They need to live close. Kids have to get along. Salaries have to be similar. They don’t want to eat McDonalds every weekend. We can’t afford Red Lobster for every meal. Do we call them? Do they call us? Is it our turn to have them over? Didn’t they just come over here? Is he funny? Can they cook? Do they like what we eat? Do they like board games? Is he a jerk? Does she think I’m a jerk? Do we all have to be in the same place at the same time for the dynamic to work? Can the guys go to a game and the girls go shopping?

We are talking planets aligning, pulling triple 7’s, Haley’s comet type luck that must occur for a successful couple friend connection to be established.

This week we are loosing the J’s.

We met them at a weekly devo a few years ago and it turned out that they only lived a block over. Since then we have become the closest of compadres. We’ve shared dinners, movies, cranium all-nighters, cross town moves, football games in the rain, a house full of puppies, and multiple pregnancies.

The J’s are moving to Michigan.

We all know that long distant relationships don’t work. Sure, there will be phone calls and emails sent. They may come back and we may go up there…but just like that girl who once promised to call every week and return next summer, life gets in the way and things never seem the way they once were.

The planets realign, triple 7’s are pulled once again, Haley’s comet comes back around, and new friends are made.

So here’s to the J’s!! Two of the nicest, kindest, funniest, most sincere individuals we will ever have the privilege of knowing. They are blessed to have each other in life and we are thankful they shared part of it with us.

Monday, May 15, 2006

100 Reasons Why I Love Lucy

She’s kind.
She’s pretty.
She’s funny.
She’s smart.
She’s very quick with a joke.
She’s full of love.
She’s the definition of grace.
She’s a hard worker.
She’s the reason I am the person I am today.
She’s confident.
She’s got eyes bluer than the ocean.
She’s as fragile as rose.
She’s got an iron will.
She’s able to put up with a blockhead 24-7.
She was the most wonderful mom even before we had Fred.
She’s my best friend.
She’s the most exciting person I have ever met.
She’s got a smile that could convince me to step into on coming traffic.
She’s very competitive.
She never gives up.
She always finds the best in those around her.
She cries during greeting card commercials.
She laughs at herself and other people.
She cooks a mean chicken parmesan alfredo.
She is never satisfied.
She can be the class clown one minute and the principal the next.
She has really good taste in men.
She like animals.
She can multi-task.
She watches Kung Fu movies with me even though she hates them.
She can remember someone’s name regardless of the time spent with them.
She is a faithful Christian.
She never takes out the trash.
She constantly puts up with my insecurities.
She’s is the sexiest girl I have ever seen.
She does not lie.
She can remember a gazillion church songs.
She is a good listener.
She sings to Fred everyday.
She likes to read.
She keeps a journal for Fred to read when he is older.
She doesn’t mind that I hate to dust.
She knows I will never quit biting my nails but she tells me to stop everyday.
She is very good at budgeting.
She can make you feel like her best friend in 5 seconds or less.
She makes homemade meatballs and spaghetti.
She forgives.
She is willing to trying anything at least once.
She loves the beach.
She is very happy with her life at the moment.
She misses me when I’m away.
She goes out of her way to help people.
She’s got tiny little freckles on her face.
She’s got this laugh that gets in your head and becomes the soundtrack to your every thought.
She cries when she sees dead animals on the side of the road.
She can take care of herself.
She would eat frozen burritos every meal if it would give Fred the life she never lived.
She remembers the past and uses it to make a better present.
She can wake up at 5:00 AM to go yard sale shopping, but barely makes it out of bed at 7:30AM so she can be at work at 8:00 A.M.
She likes to make fun of strangers.
She makes the most of what she’s got.
She smells like roses.
She is very patient.
She likes to lay in bed and watch movies on rainy days.
She likes to build tents out of sheets and kitchen chairs in the living room.
She’s a smart shopper.
She buys me ice cream even though she knows it puts me in a sugar coma.
She has never seen The Predator or Indiana Jones.
She’s the reason I wake up in the morning and rush to bed at night.
She likes scary movies.
She does not take no for an answer.
She can quote every line of The Goonies.
She doesn’t believe in dinosaurs.
She likes to make lists.
She likes pizza and hot wings better than steak and potatoes.
She doesn’t let Fred cry himself to sleep.
She likes surprises but always tries to ruin them.
She has to have a stocking every Christmas.
She doesn’t want flowers on Valentines Day.
She always needs a new purse.
She likes to act out SNL skits. “In A Van Down By The River”
She watches cheesy Lifetime movies.
She never throws anything away.
She is helping to plan her high school reunion.
She likes to hold hands.
She will never be able to watch Bambi or The Lion King again.
She is always prepared for any baby related disaster.
She doesn’t wear too much make-up.
She looks better now than she did in high school.
She likes to take longs walks around the neighborhood.
She sleeps best when it’s cold.
She doesn’t like to watch the news cause it’s too depressing.
She would rather stay home with me than go out with friends.
She once talked me into driving 9 hours to the beach after working a 10-hour shift on a holiday weekend with no hotel reservations.
She never looked more beautiful than that morning after we slept on the beach all night.
She knows she is spoiled and makes no apologies for it.
She is already planning our second child.
She deserves more than I will ever be able to give her.
She is already wondering what to get me for Fathers Day.
She is the fulfillment of every wish and every dream this blockhead has ever had.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Just A Swing’n!

The bouncy seat is just one of 50 pieces of furniture in our baby arsenal. There’s the bouncy seat, papison swing, crib, cradle, bassinet, walker, high chair, car seat, and baby gym/tent. All of these are designed for one purpose and one purpose only…rest. Not for the baby but for Mommy and Daddy.
Now some will try and tell you that these things are good for exercise or they can be educational, but that’s like frosting on cake. Nobody wants the cake part it’s just there so we don’t look like a bunch of fatties for eating a bowl of frosting.

Also, if there were anyway for the above list to become available in “adult” sized models well that would just be the most awesome thing ever!!

I can just see myself kicking back in a giant swing listening to the sounds of the rain forest and staring at fake birds and butterflies circling overhead. Better yet I want my own bouncy seat except instead of a fake aquarium, I want a real one! With a real sea horse and turtles and I would hire a midget to scuba dive in it and fight an octopus. I’d call it the Bouncy Couch and instead of some cheesy elevator music it would play Jimmy Buffet and would serve buckets of fresh crab legs at the touch of a button. Man that would be the life... Just sitting back, getting bounced around while listen to Buffet, eating crab legs, and watching a midget fight an octopus.

I Know What You're Thinking Daddy

3:00 A. M. Wednesday:

“Hey Daddy. What are you doing?”
“You gonna put me in that rocking bed thingy aren’t you.”
“Buuuut Daddy, I was sleeping really good with you in that chair with the handle on the side.”
“Yep, here we go. Just like I thought.”
“ Don’t forget passy!”
“Good Daddy. Now hit the what-cha-ma-call-it that makes the bed feel like I’m sleeping on the clothes washing thing-a-ma-bob.”
“What are you doing now Daddy?”
“Oh your eyes are getting heavy. I know what you’re thinking. You think I’m gonna take a nap. Poor sleepy daddy.”
“I’ll tell ya what. I’ll just lay here with my eyes open and be very quiet so you can go to sleep.”
“Oh nothings wrong Daddy. You’ve just been asleep for a long time and I wanted to see if you were ok.”
“How long have you been asleep Daddy? Oh about 3 of those minute things”
“No, I’m ok. I’m just gonna lay here and watch these teddy bears dance in a circle.”
“Daddy how come the teddys don’t get dizzy? I am afraid they are gonna hurl on me, Daddy.”
“Daddy, I’m bored with this game. Surely you know I’m not gonna go to….”
“WHAAA!! Daddy wake up!! I am talking to you!! Rude, rude Daddy.”
“No!! I said I am tired of the teddys and passy has no taste! How come it’s not grape flavored or somethin’?”
“Ok Daddy now you are getting me steamed.”
“ I know, let’s go watch Conan. I hear he’s got Jeff Goldblum on the couch tonight.”
“Whaaa… Oh hey Mommy!! You were over there the whole time?”
“Oh, so you wanna go watch Conan? Ok.”
“Daddy is such a poor listener.”

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Blog Fog

This past week has been such a blur. We’ve had storms, birthday parties, Fred’s been waking up at weird times of the night, and to be honest the Angry blog took some of the wind out of my sails. I don’t want to dwell on it too much, but it was a very hard thing for me to write. I wrote it 3 days before I even posted it. I just kept it on file at work and kept going back to read it. Like a band aide on your leg, you’re gonna have to rip it off eventually and it might take a chunk of hair…but you can’t just leave it there forever.

It was something I felt I needed to put out in the ether. Every time I would go to delete it, I’d stop at the last second and promise myself to come back to it later. I even began saying things to members of my family like “I’ve got this blog and yes I know you think some of my stuff is fun, but this one is rough” or “Be aware that part of the reason I write the blog is to help other dads who might be going through the same thing. That means sometimes I may post things that seem harsh but are actually just me attempting to be as honest as I can about the new daddy thing”

So I posted it.

Things really have been busy for us the past week. We had a daycare all picked out, but due to some hidden concerns about the whole baby: babysitter ratio (which was about 8:2) we decided to go a different direction. Fred will now be taken care by an individual instead of an institution.

Anyway that captured every brain cell I had for 2 days. Lucy was supposed to go back to work but got a last minute pardon from the Governor. Unfortunately it was only for an extra week and then it’s back to the daily grind.

I got sick for a day due to a very late dinner at a questionable Mexican restaurant. I still have the jingle “GOTTA GO GOTTA GO GOTTA GO RIGHT NOW” bouncing around in my head.

We went to a Curious George birthday party and a college graduation party all in the same day. Both had cookies and cheetos.

So you see I really just haven’t been near the computer much. Which is a lie cause the truth is I’m looking at the blog everyday and I read about the Angry man…and I wonder if it should have been posted…

The good news is that I have been writing blogs in my head all week and they should start popping up fairly quickly for the next few days. I’m also a little concerned about weather or not anybody is reading my stuff. I’ve started a campaign to get visitors. I know that just because I’m not getting many comments doesn’t mean it’s not being seen.

Oh well if you’re out there give me a shout about “The Angry Blog” it might help me get past it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Angry Blog

I tend to have a good time. I think I laugh more than most. However, my job does require me to get a little sharp with people at times. I know for a fact that there are some in my circle of friends and family that think I have a short fuse. Truth be told when it comes to somebody criticizing my immediate family...I can get very angry. Considering some of the things that I have lived through, it must seem a little odd that I don’t have an anger problem.

My parents divorced when I was five and I remember things that happened. Angry things. I pull the band aide away from time to time and jab at the scar so I won’t forget how bad the cut hurt.

My mom raised 2 kids by herself, while my father moved around and moved on. We were dirt poor and anger was just part of it. She eventually married an angry man. Sometimes a violent man. A man who was sick everyday I knew him. I lived with this old, sick, angry man for 10 years and when I was shot out the other end of the tunnel…something was different. I respected him. I hated him often, loved him always, but never thought I would understand him like I did towards the end. I could be the biggest jerk you have ever met and all I would have to do is tell you a few stories and you might forgive me right then and there. He died from cancer a few years ago and thankfully by then we had found our father/son bond very much alive. I don't condone everything he did...but I understand it. He never understood my annoying habits or odd quirks...but he respected the person I had become. I know this because he told me.

My career choices have been magnets for those angry at the world. I repossessed furniture for a few years. Collected past due medical bills from cancer patients and those far less fortunate than myself. I once worked for a man I now refer to as "THE DEVIL" and this is after being a Christian for more than 2 years. I have a very good job at the moment. My life is filled with more blessings than I care to think about or have room for on this page.

I talk to my father every week now. I love my half brother and sister as if they had grown up in the room next door. I am not angry about how his part in my life turned out. I have spent some time lately thinking about how much I love my son and how excruciating it must have been for my mother and father. The decision to end things must have been like continents ripping apart. I have tried to imagine how gut wrenchingly miserable my parents must have been to decide divorce was the only solution.

I'm not writing this as a complaint or to whine about my past. I have read a lot of blogs since finding out I was going to be a dad. None of them mentioned anger. I had thought up until last weekend that maybe I was the only one that felt he was failing miserably at being a new dad.

So I decided I needed to right an angry blog. A painfully honest blog about what a dad goes through when it's 3:00 in the morning and he can feel the cracks forming in the foundation. The feeling of anger that that is born from lack of sleep and loss of control. The sudden slap in the face when you realize that after 30 years of doing whatever whenever, an 11-pound baby is your new boss.
Fred is 6 weeks old this week and I know people say the first few weeks are hard but I never new of the desperation. The feelings of being at the complete mercy of a baby that can only communicate through cries, screams, breathe holding, and scratching. There are times when Lucy and I have both felt that we could take no more and begged for things to be silent for just 30 seconds. It is in those moments that I feel the anger. That I raise my voice a little more than I should. I change my tone towards Lucy and small things turn into 100 lb weights. The lack of sleep gets to you and makes you crazy. I know for a fact that I will never loose control over my actions. I have seen the consequences of being the angry man. I know that story leads to a lonely hospital room.

This week I learned that sometimes every new dad feels like he is losing ground. I am not the only one who gets scared cause your wife has been with the baby all day and you want to pull your own weight by letting her sleep but the baby's been crying for an hour and you have to get up for work in 4 and so your upset and wife is upset and baby is still crying and the animals are going nuts cause everyone is yelling and you just changed his diaper 5 minutes ago how could he need another one and he won’t stop screaming!!!!! These are the times you take a breath and remember you are just living out 1 day and hopefully there are 100's more to come.

Sometimes every dad gets angry. It's what happens while you’re angry that decides what kind of father you are going to be.