Monday, July 31, 2006

Baby Fred’s 4-Month Update

This has been the quickest year of my life so far. It’s like I’m scared to go to bed at night because I know that the next morning Fred will already be a year old. The little guy is changing more and more by the day, so I figured I better do an update now before the list gets too long.

The biggest change is the noise level in the house has dramatically increased. I’m not talking about crying, he just likes to hear himself talk. I wonder where he gets that?
He just sits there and belts out these high pitch noises. The daycare thought he was in pain. They put him in an excersaucer and turned to take care of another baby, all of sudden he just starts hollering for all he’s worth. You know what he did when the girl came running back to check on him?? He laughed at her! Yep, we’ve got a wild one on our hands!

Fred now refuses to lie down. No crib, no cradle, no couch…unless he can sit upright, he’s not going to be apart of it. Put him in the jumper, the excersaucer, the boppy, the backpack, just don’t put him down. Although he can’t sit up by himself yet, the first chance he gets to pull himself into a sitting position he takes.

Baby had his first cold this month. We had been trying to get him to sleep in his own bed for a couple of days, when a cough started popping up every once in a while. The next day our air conditioner went out and it got up to about 85 inside and 102 outside. The cough got worse. By Sunday morning it was so bad it was waking him up during his naps. Luckily, our doctor will see patients on Sundays so we decide we better go before it turned into something worse. After some tests and a chest X-ray, it was only a bad cold. The one thing we did learn though was that the saddest place in the whole world is a doctor’s waiting room on a Sunday afternoon. You could see the worn faces of the other parents as they thought about how this was they’re day off and Monday morning was just 15 hours away.

We have added two new weapons to our arsenal, the excersaucer and the jumper. Fred loves both, plus these handy dandy tools let mommy and daddy eat an entire meal at the same time without having to hold a baby. Our living room now looks like a baby Gold’s Gym.

Up until last week, thanks to Lucy, Fred had only tasted breast milk. Well, this week we started introducing “real food”. Applesauce has been a hit so far, after the second bite he grabbed the spoon and was feeding himself. The bananas are going to take some getting used to, but I can’t stand them either so they may never be his favorite. The funniest thing is the juice. It’s like he’s Mr. Short Term Memory. He sees the bottle, grabs it, take a swig, realizes it’s not milk, spits it out, sees the bottle, grabs it, takes a swig, spits it out, sees the bottle…

So I think that about covers it. Once upon a time he was just a baby that cried and pooped all day. Now he’s a loud, crib sleeping, cold fighting, excersaucer’n, applesauce eat’n, banana hate’n, blessing to the Blockhead family.

I forget what life was like before.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Fred Writes Blog

Daddy said he's had a rough week and asked that I write this weeks blog. I tried to tell him I can't talk or write, but he said I could use pictures. Hope you like.

This is my aunt Lafonda. She is trying to tell people how much she can't stand babies. Notice how she is tickling my ear? I think somebody is a lie teller.

This is a picture of my two dads. They walk alike, they talk alike, what a crazy pair. Grampa cracks me up. Just one look at his face and I almost busted a rib laughing so hard.

I think daddy just pee'd in the pool!

My kitty is soooo strong instead of mice, she catches cars.

All this hard work has worn me out. Daddy is such a slave drive. Finally Super Mommy swooped in an saved the day.

Monday, July 24, 2006

An Itawamba Adventure

The funny thing about life is that you really just don’t know where you may end up from one day to the next.

Sure you can make a good guess that since you’ve had the same job for the past 4 years, excluding the odd vacation day, chances are you’ll be at your desk come 8:00 a.m. Monday. For those of us who are control freaks and must have everything happen at a specific moment in the day and not just “whenever” or “sometime”, we try our best to plan life out to the minute. It’s funny that we are the most shocked when all this planning just doesn’t come out the way we want it.

It could be that we set the alarm in the dark, and since it’s kinda new, it goes off at the wrong time. I’m always caught off guard when the baby spits up on me as I’m walking out the door.

My point is, you never really know what is around the next corner or where it will take you. This weekend it took us to Itawamba, Miss. Specifically to a no named fish restaurant, some 2 hours from our house and the rest of civilization.

Lucy’s dad, Pops, has a girlfriend, KK, and she was giving a surprise birthday party for her mom. Pops thought this would be the perfect time to show off baby Fred. So, being a sucker for a free meal and somebody who owes a lot to his father in law, we signed up for the road trip. Pops in his ultra cool 2006 Corvette and us in tow in the what-a-wagon (a 2003 Ford Focus wagon; what a wagon!)

The last time we left town on a road trip, we forgot food for the baby…this time we forgot diapers. With Tuscaloosa still fresh on our minds (see “HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION”), we panicked. We couldn’t turn around, because that would mean we’d be later than we already were. The question was could we really chance having only one diaper? Finally we decided that since we had to stop and pick up the birthday girl on the way, we’d just confess our sins and run out to buy a new pack before we headed to the restaurant. We stuck with this plan and sure enough, we were able to break away without much time being wasted.

The surprise party was pretty uneventful. Dinner was great, the birthday girl had a good time, and of course Fred stole the show.

However I did learn a few things on the way:

Whenever you are going to a birthday party being thrown by your father-in-law, do not tell him that the no-named restaurant he picked looks like it has a stripper pole and a stage covered in chicken wire inside. Nobody but you will think this funny.

The Itawamba Times is the only newspaper in the world that cares anything at all about Itawamba County. I know this because they list this fact underneath their name on the front page of the paper.

There are wild dogs roaming the back woods of Mississippi and although they are in plain site, people refuse to acknowledge their existence. Does this make them less deadly? I’m guessing so simply because no matter how many times I said “There’s a wild dog across the street” no one would look up. Since I am the only one that locked eyes with him, I was merely left with a snarl and show of teeth.

The teenagers in Belmont, Miss. like to hangout in front of the City Hall building at 9:00 on a Saturday night. I can’t figure out if this is because they are so dangerous that even the law is afraid of them…or if we just got lucky and didn’t have a break down somewhere in the middle of Children of The Corn Eight. I swear one of them looked just like Malichi!!!

Finally, there is something magical about driving down a back road, somewhere not listed on the map, the windows down, and the radio up just a hair. Not so soft where you can’t hear the tune, not so loud it drowns out the sound of your wife and child snoring in the back seat. It’s almost enough to make you forget how much money you are wasting on gas.

See ya around the next corner,
Charlie Blockhead

Thursday, July 20, 2006

An Open Letter To Mr. Osment

Actor Haley Joel Osment was hospitalized early Thursday after he apparently lost control of his car while heading to his Los Angeles-area home, authorities said.
Osment, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as a boy who could see dead people in "The Sixth Sense," was driving a 1995 Saturn about 1 a.m. when the car collided with a brick pillar and flipped, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Greg Sisneros.

Dear Mr. Osment,

I recently read the article above about your car accident on Cnn.Com and was relieved to hear that you survived such a terrifying ordeal. I have always been a big fan of yours going back to your days on “The Jeff Foxworthy Show”…man he’s one funny guy…I bet he just sat around drinking beer and tell’n them Redneck jokes all day…can you get me his autograph?…um…what was I talking about?oh, that’s right, as I was saying, I hope you are healing and nothing was badly broken.

The reason I am writing was to discuss a possible business transaction between the two of us. Now I know you’re a big movie star and you won an Oscar and you see dead people etc. etc. but I think I might just have the thing you need most right now. I, Charlie Blockhead, am willing to help you replace your beloved 1995 Saturn.

That’s right!!! For only $30,000 a like new 2003 Ford Focus Station Wagon can be yours! I’ve watched enough of Access Hollywood to know you motion picture types like them fancy, schmancy, “antiques”, so trust me with only 20,000 miles this baby is a classic. It comes with electric windows, cd/mp3 technology, one touch channel switch’n, these robotic arms that shoot over the windshield whenever it rains, and best yet…it’s got air condition’n for those hot Los Angeles days. It’s a pretty silver color (I got it that way so it always looks clean from a distance) and plenty of cargo space to hold all them awards that have obviously left you with thousands and thousands of dollars. Heck, I’ll even autograph it for ya,

So in closing, please think about my offer or at least get with Foxworthy about making one of them made for TV reunion movies. Them Growing Pains folks did it and you ain’t no better then them. Are ya?

Yours truly,
Charlie Blockhead

Do You Smell That?

Well, It’s happened. The poop has a smell.
Everyone said the day would come, but we never thought it would happen to us.

“He’s a breast milk baby. Their poop doesn’t stink.” We were quick to tell people.

We were wrong.

Has it always smelled?
Has his cuteness blinded us to the most oderific of all odors?
Does this mean he’s not as cute?

Diaper changes used to be filled with giggles and coo’s .
We would change him even if it wasn’t necessary, just so we could see his face light up and roll around in all his nakedness.

Now we wait till the last minute and bring a clothespin to cover our noses.
Plus the fact that we both know it’s just gonna get worse only makes us dread the inevitable noise that signals a fresh bomb has been dropped.

That’s something else…we used to call them poopies or dirties; now they are bombs in every sense of the word.

We used to share in the diaper changing duties, now possession is 9/10’s of the law.

I’m thinking about buying stock in Lysol.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Finally we are back from the July 4th holiday. This is the only time of the year that we travel out of state, so we try to cram as much fun as we can into the 3 or 4 days we are gone. There is sooooooooo much to talk about so I’ve broken it all down into mini-blogs and hopefully by the end of this week I will be done talking about it.

It really was a wonderful time for us this year. Another benefit of having a new baby is that they have a way of breathing new life into these holidays we have grow to take advantage of. Fred changed a bunch over the past few days and after experiencing fireworks, swimming, a long car ride, sleeping in a new bed, and meeting my new grandparents and great-grandparents all for the first time, who can blame him. I’m working on getting new photo software so I will have to wait and post pictures in a couple of weeks. So with out further ado, I present “A BLOCKHEAD FAMILY VACATION!!!”…


I only get to see my dad and half-sister once a year. If it were up to me, we probably would have drove all night. I know you can’t plan for what a baby is gonna do, but I try desperately. This time I got it right. Up at 2:30 and on the road by 4:00. Lucy thought I was nuts but she understood how important this weekend is for me. All the prep work was done the night before. The car was packed to the brim (we were only going for 3 days and would be on the road half of 2 of those. Any longer than that and we would have had to rent a cargo van), the house was spotless, cats had enough food, car was gassed up…I had it all planned out. We weren’t sure how Fred would do once we got on the road. The last thing we wanted was to get to my grandparents and have him be all fussy because we didn’t bring something from our arsenal of baby distracters. We got the bouncy seat, his own toy suitcase, playpen, Moses basket, 2 pillow, 4 bags of misc. items (makeup, diapers, gifts, etc.) and a suitcase into the trunk of my Focus Station-wagon. I couldn’t see out the rear-view mirror but who needs that anyway.

Roll Tidey Bowl!!

Tuscaloosa, Al. is famous for a lot of things. Number one on that list would be their college football team The University of Alabama Crimson Tide!! In my state you are taught from birth that you are a fan of one of two state teams: Alabama (Roll Tide!!!) or Auburn (War Eagle!!) This heated rival has caused families to split down the middle, people have been murdered, and employees to be fired. I personally am a War Eagle and am proud of it.

Thanks to an interesting pit stop at a Cracker Barrel, this city will now forever hold a special place in our hearts for a different reason…that’s where Fred went trough 4 diapers and 2 changes of clothes in under an hour.

Meals on Wheels

It was some time shortly after our breakfast that baby Fred decided he was ready for his. This is probably the best time to mention that Lucy had been feeling that “I know I forgot something but can’t think of what” feeling since we had left the house at 4:00a.m. At 8:00 exactly she remembered…moo juice.

Just let that sink in for a minute.

We remembered clean underwear, socks, tooth brush, bibs, an extra passey, the breast pump, Winnie The Pooh, church shoes, music for the road….BUT WE FORGOT FOOD FOR OUR BABY!!!!!!!

So with only one bottle of milk, Lucy was forced to pump in the back seat while we zipped along I65 at 85mph on a holiday weekend. You should have heard her as she kept demanding “DON”T YOU DARE PASS THAT CAR OR LET ANYONE PASS US EITHER!!”

By the end of the trip I was applauding her ever time she walked by. After all she may have been on vacation but her body was working overtime.


So the first night everything was kinda quiet. Fred did his best to get back into some type of schedule and ended up sleeping most of the day. This meant he didn’t really make eye contact with anyone unless they were giving him a bottle.

Saturday he got up early and I was sitting there enjoying a big breakfast of bacon and eggs, when my dad walked in. Most fathers and sons resemble each other but it’s different with my dad and me. It’s as if some mad scientist back in 1975 figured out a way to clone humans and he used my dad as a test subject. Subtract 20 years and a mustache from him and you would have my identical twin.

Fred saw this right away and when my dad walked in to see his grandson for only the second time ever (including the day before)…Fred let out the loudest happiest laugh we have yet to hear. It was like he had two daddies. He started squirming all over the place and looking back and forth at the both of us. The more my dad was around, the crazier he got. I have never seen him act sooooo excited to meet anybody. Speaking for my dad I can say it was the perfect hello anyone had ever given him.

A Chinese Thanksgiving

My grandparents have spent a large portion of their lives as missionaries though out Thailand. When I was Fred’s age they lived very close by and this meant that while most kids would come home to find a plate of mac- n-cheese, roast, and green beans waiting…I found my loaded up with chicken curry, fried rice, beef pepper steak, basil pork, or if I had a cold… the nasty of all nasties…lemon grass soup. It literally had grass in it. Oh and chicken bones…not chicken, that went into something else…just the bones. One whiff and you were either miraculously cured or forced to convince everyone you were never sick to begin with.

Like most preachers, my grandparents move a lot and as a result I only get to eat homemade Chinese food once or twice a year. I mean really Chinese food. Not a buffet filled with warmed over frozen vegetables. Real down and dirty, take all day to cook, full of broccoli and basil, hot and spicy, sweet and sour, eat with chop sticks, make you think your in a hut in the middle of a rice field; Chinese food. I must have gained ten pounds in one day.

Imagine your favorite food and then picture only being able to eat it once a year. By the end of the weekend I swear I was speaking Tai…Lucy says that was just gas though.

Baby’s First Nightmare

Maybe it was that he had never slept in his playpen before.

Maybe it was a delayed reaction to the car ride.

It may have been that Lucy had been ingesting large amounts of Sprite since the water out of the tab was like baby oil.

I suppose it could have been all the new faces mixing together with new smells and different noises.

Whatever the cause, at 3:30 A.M. on Sunday July 2nd Fred had his first official nightmare.

Boy was it was a doozie. I’d say more, but it was as if I had one that morning also.

If you think back to where you were on fateful morning, you might remember waking up suddenly or putting a pillow over your head for some reason and you can’t quite remember why…well it was Fred screaming for relief from some unimaginable terror.

A Love Explosion

The trip back was pretty uneventful. No pit stop poop-a-thons. No nightmares. No one got flashed by Lucy, as she continued pumping every 3 hours. Just a nice quiet drive home.

There is a church a couple of blocks over and every year they put on a huge fireworks show. We live close enough so we don’t even have to leave the front yard to hear the music and see the colors in the sky. We just pull up a lawn chair and enjoy the night.
This has been a tradition for the last few years. Go to Granny’s, come back and watch our own private fireworks show. Just the two of us standing in the grass, watching the streams of color shoot up from over trees and rooftops.

This year was different …we pulled into the driveway, gave some attention to the pets, and high five’d each other cause we had cleaned house the day before we left town.

The clouds had been threatening to break loose all day and you’d think that rain might spoil a fireworks show…but as I stood there with my lovely wife and brand new baby (happy to be out of his car seat and trying desperately to look at everything all at once)…I couldn’t help but thank God for all the blessings he had provided me this year.

As the green, pink, and blue sparks danced across the sky, I imagined my dad still making his way down the interstate, my grandparents peering out their bedroom window, and we were all staring up at that same nighttime light show. For just a second… just half a second, as the pictures were painted above us by some unknown artist…we became awed by the beauty as if we were still Fred’s age.

Somewhere in between all the pops and crackles, I could swear I heard my heart burst with love.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Sting of a Good Nights Sleep

The past week has been one of hard choices and silent rewards around the Blockhead house. Fred is now weighing in at just under18 pounds and as a result he is out growing things at an alarming rate. The car seat limit is 20lbs so it’s on the verge of having to be swapped for the next size up. The swing no longer puts him to sleep like it used to. Ever since he discovered the joys of sitting in an upward position (he can almost get there by himself), lying on his back is a big no-no. These are just minor secondary tools in our ever-changing utility belt…the biggest cause for alarm has been that he no longer can fit in his bassinet. He’s simply too big for his bed.

So our choices were A) sleep in the bed with us or B) learn to sleep in the crib in his room.

A)Is a sure fire, works every time, guaranteed way to get him to sleep. Two seconds next to momma and he is out like a light. The downside is that momma doesn’t sleep cause Fred smacks her in the face all night. Either that or whenever something in the bed moves, she wakes herself up thinking the baby is about to be rolled over on.
B)Not only allows momma to sleep all night (in case your wondering the boot is still on), but also thanks to the handy dandy monitoring system we still feel like baby is in the room with us. Plus this method requires at least a 30 minute routine of giving baby a bath, putting on his pajamas, feeding him a bottle, and having a story read to him all before he even gets into the bed. That’s almost an 1 hour of solid family time every night!! The only negative…and this is a major negative to some people…he screams his lungs out until he falls asleep from exhaustion or we cave and pick him up.

So we could either not get any sleep at all or have him sleeping in our bed until he’s 18 …or we can teach him to sleep in his own bed and still manage to catch a few winks ourselves.

It was a hard choice to make to start with and now that we are on night 3 of option B, it is just getting harder. Everything and everybody in support of this method insists that after a week the little guy will just pass out as soon as he hits the pillow. He does seem to be sleeping better once he actually falls asleep. I just hope that the end of the week we aren’t still wondering if we are just making a big mistake.

Entertainment Weekly

My subscription to EW is running out this week. Ending in a big “double issue”. That’s just code for “we are taking a week off” These are always devoted to lists nobody gives a crap about. “Special Double Issue!!! The 50 Greatest Product Placements!!” “EW Special Edition: The 25 Most Awesome Movie’s That You Could Care Less About!!”

I think we severely over use the exclamation mark in this country. If you’d like another example tune into next weeks blog entitled “100 Greatest Overboard Uses of The Exclamation Point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I’ve been fooled into believing that I couldn’t live without this magazine for the past several years. After all how do you truly have any entertainment without being told what should entertain you. That all ends this week. Recently I’ve found where true entertainment comes from. My family.

Superman Returns came out next week and I was dieing to see it…that is, I was dieing to see it for about 15 seconds every time I saw a promo for it. In those 15 seconds you’d be amazed at what ran through my head.

*Yea that would be cool…Fred will love it.
*Fred can’t go to movie, he’s only 3 month’s old.
*We could get a babysitter.
*He’s already at daycare all day.
* It’s just a couple of hours. I guess we could go. It’s not like we’d be gone all day.
* So it’s settled we’ll go next Saturday…we’ll get up watch cartoons, give him a bath, clean house, show him how to play with his new baby gym…then we’ll just leave for 3 hours.
* We’ll still have Sunday to spend with him.
* We’ll go to Church, eat lunch together, cut a little grass, take a nap, visit with grandpa, go back to Church, go eat dinner with friends…what was it I was wanting to do?

So I have decided to subscribe to Lucy and Fred Daily. It even comes with a few free gifts that nobody else can offer.

Rumors of My Death

Wow. I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to post again. My virus detector ran out a couple of weeks ago and I had to order a new one. The problem is I ordered it snail mail and it took forever to get here.

I really appreciate all you readers who have been asking where I have been. It’s nice to know somebody is reading this besides Lucy and my mom.
The good news is that although I have not been able to post, I have still been writing every day or so. You should see a ton of new columns within the next couple of days, including how things went on our trip.

So sit back, get comfortable, and make sure to read everything that has happened the past few weeks. Baby is changing faster than I can write about him.