Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Titanic Anniversary

10 years ago today a mighty vessel set sail hurdling towards an unknown destination. Its crew was inexperienced at best and more than a little naive as to how to handle the new ship. History told them the seas would be bumpy and they would face giant swells followed by death defying plunges toward almost certain doom. Still with one glance thrown across a crowded market place, they knew it was a journey they needed to take. That maybe by taking that first step aboard they would be swept away on the adventure of a lifetime.

10 years ago tonight Lucy and I went on our first date. I've told the story here before of how I insisted it wasn't a date, but merely a chance to see the Box-office Bombshell Titanic. But I was only fooling myself. Had I not wanted a date with Lucy I could have very well have gone by myself. As for Lucy, we all know she's too clever to get stuck on a date with a dud. Her cell phone rang at that pre-determined time. A favor from a friend offering her a way out just in case.

Maybe it was a joke I tossed out. For all I know I could have gotten something in my eye that caused me to wink over and over. It could have been something as simple and subliminal as the scent of oranges I was using to cover the musky odor that had permanently attached itself to that old Dodge Raider I was driving at the time.

Whatever the reason, if not for that first night.that beginning moment.there would be no Christmas wedding, no Fred, no life that either of us would recognize ten years later.

Some of you have seen her pictures, some of you have read my tales about how wonderful she is, but nothing I will ever put on paper could ever describe my Lucy. There's just something about the twinkle in those blue eyes, the angel kisses across her cheeks, and that attitude that somehow manages to come off as strong and fragile at the same time.

On DEC 01, 2001 we were married in a church outside of town and though I was always told it was bad luck to see the bride before the wedding I just couldn't wait. So as the bridesmaids were being gathered together for pictures with Lucy sitting in the middle in front of the church alter .I found myself several feet above peering through a crack in the stained glass. What I saw was not just the girl of my dreams laughing and smiling, as she should be on her wedding day. What I saw was my future in all it's beauty laying a path for me to follow.

There have been more than a few ups and downs. At times the seas were rough and the swells never lasted as long as I wished they would, but as of yet our love has managed to avoid every iceberg that has gotten in the way. Sometimes by going around them, other times we simply tucked our heads, grabbed hold of each other, and barreled right through them.

10 years ago tonight while Jack and Rose did everything they could to get off their sinking ship, Lucy and I began a voyage that has taken us beyond anything ever shown on the silver screen.

Near, Far, where ever you are.stop with me and share a dance in honor of that first night together.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A New Twist To A Grand Ole Holiday

So that was Christmas. Everything's been opened and we all somehow survived. You know you've had a successful holiday season if you don't find yourself standing in a return line on the 26th of December.

We are fortunate to have a large family and even more so that every year it gets larger and larger with new Blockheads being add to the clan every month (more on that in the days to come). I can't imagine being on the downside of a family. If you think about it every family starts with two people who begin a life, have children, grandchildren, etc.until at some point they peak or loose that grandparent that held everyone together and eventually they begin to dwindle back down until in some cases they disappear.

As the Blockheads grow and life spins people off in different directions, Lucy and I decided it was time to set some traditions of our own. We both have surviving grandparents, which we have been visiting on Christmas day since we were too young to remember. With Fred it's different though in that he is lucky enough to have great-grandparents on both sides that are alive and well. This means that while Lucy and I grew up only having to go to 1 or 2 places, Fred could be shipped all around the world and still not run of grandparents to visit. And though they would all love to see him, it eventually becomes too much.

Christmas should be this living, breathing, free flowing, time of wonder and amazement for a kid. A time filled with laughter and toys. Movie marathons with dad and baking cookies with mom. Not deadlines and due dates and having to worry about eating just enough at this persons house so as not to offend him/her but not too much so that you are too full to eat at the next stop and risk offending them.

This year we all sat and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas while making sure to dance with our feet pointed out and our heads pointed down.

This year instead of rushing off at the crack of dawn, we spread the word that Fred would be opening his presents from Santa around 7 am and anyone that wanted could come for breakfast with the baby at 8.

This year cookies were made for Santa and sprinkles were added by Fred.

This year it was Nani's (formerly known as Nana) the day before Christmas Eve.

This year everyone that could come, gathered up in the Edge on Christmas Eve and joined Fred for a drive through a forest full of Christmas lights.

This year Lucy took the day after Christmas off and let Fred play. No schedules, no daycare, nothing but enjoying his new gifts.

This year Pop's, who normally skips the holiday, came to our house for Christmas dinner.

And because of all of this and more, next year will be filled with memories of how great Christmas 2007 was instead of what a hassle it turned out to be.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2-Feet Tall And Bullet Proof

Yes I'm still here. I know it's been awhile and I'm going to do us both a favor and skip the usual excuses. Just going to jump write in.get it write..right.never mind here we go.

This past weekend we made the 4-hour jump down south to see my grandparents. As some of you may know they are getting older and my grandfather isn't walking as well as he has in the past. What made this trip different is that normally when we go, 1,000 other various relatives drag their screaming kids along and we all take turns stomping on my grandfathers last nerve. This time it was just Fred, Lucy, and I. Understandably growing old isn't easy especially if you're used to being 10 feet tall and bullet proof which is the way I always think of my grandfather. Except that now he's having these leg issues and he's not always in the best of moods. What do you do though. He's my pawpaw. My job is to let it roll off my back and enjoy the fact that he's even still around. This past weekend I caught a glimpse of the man he is in my mind and heart.

It took Fred a few hours to warm up to him. Maybe it was that Fred is really into swords, baseball bats and such. My grandfathers cane is shaped like the perfect lightsaber. Soon they began a game of tug of war that lasted all weekend. Fred trying with everything he could muster to yank that walking stick from those giant hands. Maybe it was the simple invitation grandpa made to Fred, asking him if we would like to sit in his lap and color.

They say that impersonation is the best for of flattery and by the end of the weekend Fred soon began walking like the man towering above him. As my grandpa moved through the house bracing himself against this wall or that chair, right behind him some 6 feet closer to the ground Fred made sure to touch the same spots.

Together they strolled through the church building. Grandpa using a walker to move about and Fred riding on the seat using it as a chariot introducing himself to the masses. By the time we left Fred knew that blowing kisses and waving goodbye just wasn't going to be enough.what grandpa deserved was a firm handshake. As those giant hands collapsed upon Fred's tiny fingers it was all I could do to get in the car and travel home.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

One Small Request

Dear God,
        I know that this may seem silly and I probably ask for too much on a weekly basis as it is.but as I sit here on this 6th day of December I feel like I need to make a special request.

Maybe it's selfish.
Maybe it's foolish.
Maybe it will never be granted.

This December I'd like silence.

I've thought about it and though I'm sure you could grant Peace On Earth, I feel a need to ask for more than that.

You see everywhere I turn and everywhere I go I hear the cries of those in despair.
I hear mothers crying over lost children. I hear soldiers fighting for what is right.
Car wrecks and catastrophes abound in this big'ole world you created, and I'm just not sure how much more we can take.

Yes I'm sure we are to blame for our current circumstances.
Yes I know your son will be back someday to save us.
But until then can we just have a month of silence.

Just 25 days of warless, deathless, victimless silence.
Just 25 days to allow us all to hear ourselves think.
Just 25 days to see beyond our own selfish desires.
Just 25 days to feel complete love for each and every part of this beautiful planet you created for us.

If you think about it 25 days is merely a grain in the sands of time. A crumb of what's come before and what remains.

I understand this can't be the way it is forever and I know things happen for a reason.
Come January 1st I'm fully prepared to accept all the mess and the muck of life.

Bring on the high-speed chases.
The fights between races.

Go back to putting us through life's paces.

But for today..for these next 25 days.can we just have time to catch our breath before we run out of it completely.

Can we just have one Holiday Season where we can all look back without feeling the pain that comes from the loss of a loved one?

Just 25 days of silence.
Just to catch our breath.
Just to remember what to be thankful for.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Confessions Of Dropper Offer

One thing about having a two year old or a kid at any age for that matter is that regardless of where you go or what you are doing you always have to bring along a portable toy chest. Now depending on your child and where you are taking it (or him/her whatever pronoun you prefer) you might be able to get away with something as simple as a couple cars in the bottom of the diaper bag or you may just have to bring a separate "bag 'o' toys".

This week I find myself facing a certain dilemma with Fred involving toys in the car. Being the dropper offer (Lucy the quicker picker upper) I'm in charge of getting him to school alive and making sure he at least pretends to wear a hood long enough for her to kiss him goodbye and close the door every morning. Now to get him out of the house and away from mommy without throwing a tantrum we bribe him. There's nothing wrong with it. We just shake a pair of sunglasses or a set of plastic keys in front of his face and it's all good.until it's time to do the actual dropping off.

This is when I'm faced with having to take the bribe that worked so well to calm him down five minutes before away from him so that I don't end up donating half his stuff to the daycare. Some days he understands, some days he thinks I a just being a jerk. In my defense I'm really nice about it. I don't just yank them away and scream "MINE MINE MINE!!" like he does when he takes my stuff away from me. As I said I try to be nice, but I'm literally taking candy from a baby. So that's why at least once a week Lucy gets an email at work along the lines of "He wouldn't let go of my cell phone..remember to ask for it when you pick him up."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Could Be Worse.....

I hate it when people say this. I'm having a crappy week. The washer/dryer blew up. The car's gotta have a new alternator. Lucy has to work on our anniversary (Dec 1st makes 6 years married thank you thank you). Top it all off I got offered some sweet overtime, but had to turn it down cause I gotta fix the car so I can get to work on Monday. Sure I could take it to the mechanic and get the OT, but the money I made would be spent on his labor costs. Anyway's I got all this going on an then somebody has to open their trap and say "Could be worse.."followed by some long winded story about something that doesn't involve me or my problems.

How is this supposed to help? You want to know what will help? You telling me how bad I have it and stroking my ego.

I want to hear "Wow that sucks" not "It could be worse my friend just got hit by a bus full of pit bulls that got taken away from Michael Vick and then the pit bulls got loose and ate him"

I want to hear "You're just having a bad week. Next week will be better." Not "It could be worse my aunt went sunbathing last week after eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When she woke up her big toe was missing. Apparently she had spilt some jelly on her foot, laid her blanket on a bed of flesh eating ants, one thing led to another and the next thing you know it was goodbye big toe."

The only thing that "Could make it worse" would be to hear you tell me how worse it could be and me getting sentenced to life in the pen on a murder rap cause you're "helpful story" was the straw that broke this camels back.

Oh well!! Guess it could be worse..

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Leftovers (Part II)

"Well sweetie, if you have to ask if you need stitches.then you probably do."

That was Lucy's response to my mumbled question. Mumbled partially because of my fat lip and partially because of the ball of toilet paper I had covering it.

What is it with headbutting that kids find so fascinating. They all do it. At some point slinging your head back like a wrecking ball becomes an adrenaline rush. And like that wrecking ball swinging aimlessly towards some unknown target, nothing is off limits to the headbutt.

"Oh look at that!! I flung my head backwards and landed on a pillow. Yippiee"
"Ha this time I landed flat on the floor!!"
"Broke my daddy's nose with that one. He should have been paying closer attention I guess."
"Daddy why is your tooth buried 2 inches into your bottom lip? Never mind time for another headbutt. Weeeeeeee"

I thought he was supposed to have a soft spot up there somewhere? I look like I just got back from Fight Club (Oh sorry!! Forget I said that. I always get that first rule wrong!!) and he's wondering if he can use his hammer head to create an escape hatch out his room and into the backyard.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Leftovers (Part 1)

It could have been the mounds of turkey consumed. It could have been the complete exhaustion brought on from driving all over Tarnation (yep I just quoted Yosemite Sam) eating meal after meal after desert after meal. It could be that our house is haunted by a ghost only Fred can see. If my knowledge of ghosts is correct (by knowledge I mean everything I've learned from Ghost Whisperer and Quantum Leap) when kids are young they have the ability to see spirits because the haven't learned that such things "couldn't possibly exist".  In other words they haven't been tainted with the poison of what us adults think is impossible. In Fred's 20 month mind anything can happen at any time. There is no such thing as "can't happen"

Ghostly Experience #1: As I said we were all hopped up on turkey, laying on the couch, Fred playing with his bucket-o-toys in front of us. Suddenly he turns toward the dark hallway leading to the back of the house and shouts "NO!!!!"

Weird I know. Then he does it again "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

One more time. "SID NOOOOOOOO!!"

The whole time shaking his finger pointing fist in the air as he scolded the unseen visitor.

It gets freakier..

Ghostly Experience #2: Next day, Lucy at work, Fred and I took a shower so we would be ready for some heavy shopping the second Mommy got home. I open the shower door to the sound of "Hey Guys!!" The exact phrase Lucy uses to greet us every time she comes in from being gone somewhere.

Except it was 4:30.not 5:15...which is the time she gets home...

So I think it's just me hearing things, I shrug it off, and that's when Fred belts out


But Mommy was not there.Mommy was at work...and we were at home.standing naked..... in front of a ghost.... that we could not see!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

2nd Shift Nightmare

Of course it's Thanksgiving week and for some odd reason I've been doing a lot of thinking about daycare. Not you're everyday 6-6 daycare, but those that cater to parents who work at night. Lucy mentioned something about one a few months ago and ever since then images of the place have been swirling in my head like some nightmare alternate universe. It's funny the ways people torture themselves for no apparent reason. When I was kid I used to have a nightmare about my family being kidnapped by a band of Satan never ended well for anyone. The bad part of having such a vivid imagination is that sometimes the worlds you create aren't always filled with rainbows and cartoon characters.

For some reason I got it in my head that the 2nd shift daycare lay along my route home. Everything's dark now at 5:00 and the buildings tend to blend together like images from a Munch painting. I'd pass a not so familiar building and think "there they are". Those poor families dropping their kids off for the night. As I created this world filled with sleepy old widows quietly knitting afghans, I switch and begin the torture process. A buyout at the office doesn't go in my favor, the economy tanks leaving Lucy working two jobs...the only work I can get is at night. We have no choice but to send Fred to 2nd shift daycare. We play with him for a couple hours during the day, but we've got to sleep sometime. Never together at the same place at the same time we develop this continuous argument that travels from phone conversation to phone conversation. And then there's 2nd shift daycare. Dark, empty (not many kids go there at night), just a handful of people huddled together in a large auditorium. Maybe a college kid trying to pay their tuition, barely looking up from their pre-cal book. There are no cartoons on the tube at night so they sit and watch the same Barney video over and over and over till the kids go to sleep more from boredom than anything else. No fun is had. Nobody is excited to be there like the kids that flood the halls during the day. Nothing is learned except life is hard.

The best part is that in a flash it's over. The whole thing lasts a micro-second yet I'm left with a feeling of relief. My life is nothing like anything I could ever imagine. Daycare lasts from 8-5 and there's always time to play with Fred at the end of the day. The rolling argument with Lucy is all make believe and laughter is the soundtrack of my life. Everyday I give thanks for having been given this dream.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blockhead Bits (#212)

Why do kids pants have pockets? Is it to hold their keys? Keep up with their wallets?

Why does a two year old need a watch?

How come nobody at Subway knows the recipe for anything? I'm looking at the picture next to them and I can tell exactly what goes into a steak and bacon.How come they have so much trouble figuring it out?

Have toys always been covered in lead and we just didn't care? How bad could it be? I played in dumpsters when I was a kid and I turned out ok.I like pink cheese..

Is it wrong that I still hold my nose after 570 days of diaper changing?

Is it even more wrong that I'd rather not teach him to be potty trained because changing a diaper is much more preferable than emptying a poop bucket a couple times a day?

Can John Cusack make a bad movie? Here is the preview from Martian Child. We saw it this past weekend:

I understand Buffy is a fictional character but why can't I let go? The show ended like 3 years ago!!! Dang you Sarah Michelle Geller and your recent cover of Maxim!!!

Why do people constantly bring me cookies, cakes, and donuts? My kitchen looks like the desert branch of the Salvation Army.

What is it about me that makes people comfortable talking about infections relating to their privates? Call me when it gets on your elbow, otherwise keep it to yourself.and I mean that literally.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Things We Learn Along The Way

I know I say this every time I mention him, but Fred is changing more and more everyday. Recently I've been struck by  the amazing bits of knowledge he picks up here and there.

Yesterday he went to the counter, pulled down the bag of Oreo's(double stuffed of course), got one out, twisted it open, and started licking the center out like a pro!! I didn't teach him this (kinda wish I had, but I'm not there every second of the day). I think the GiGi had something to do with it.

I was on my way to the bathroom the other day and he says "Pee Pee dadda" Now the Dr. told us last week that normally 19 months is way too early to start potty training, but considering he witnessed Fred do a dook, grab a fresh diaper and the pack of wipes from the diaper bag, then proceed to hand them to Lucy, the guy reconsider his theories on when to potty train. Santa is bringing Fred his own potty this year.  Not the one Santa uses, but one that's close to it I'm sure.

Puzzles are great for kids. Not the like jigsaw puzzles. I'm talking the big bulky circles and animal shapes that normally fit into holes cut into pieces of plywood. They work as blocks and learning tools and occasionally they are turned into balls (though we try to avoid using them for that purpose). Suddenly he knows the chicken block goes into the chicken hole and the duck block goes into the duck hole. He'll even make the animal noise as he puts them in there.

It's no secret Auburn is my team. War Eagle. War Tommy Tuberville. War my boys in orange and blue taking it to the tide after this coming weeks much needed rest. This is something I'm determined to  pass down to Fred though it was a major shock to see him run to the coat rack and scream for his Auburn  cap when after being asked where it was.

All we do now is play cars and throw balls. Big cars, little cars, red cars, blue cars. Cars you ride, cars you push, cars that go by did he learn to switch the car around when it's his turn to roll it back? How did he learn which end is the front? I never took the time to show him "Fred look. We turn the car around to face the other way then we push" He just does it. 

High Fives we had to teach. Saying thank you (tanks is his version) was something taught. Taking his socks off, holding them to his nose, and pretending they stink was something taught. Suddenly he's timing his burps to escape the same time as mine. Something's are just born into them I guess.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Who We Are

We hadn't had a night to ourselves in so long that we jumped at the slightest hint of an opportunity. Some random friend mentions "Hey if you want us to keep Fred some night so you two can go to a movie, just let us know" I understand that sometimes people say things to be polite and we all let things slip just to keep the conversation rolling, but offering parents of a 2 year old (technically a 19 month old) a night on the town isn't something you say out loud without truly meaning it. It's like offering a homeless man a free meal. He's going to take you up on the offer cause you said it and in his mind why would you offer if you didn't intend to follow through.

In this case the Gigi offered and like that homeless man that hadn't had a steak in twenty years we jump on the invitation for a night of freedom. Being a parent in a lot of ways is like being a zoo keeper. Zoo keepers don't get to sleep late. There are animals to be fed and cages to be cleaned. Sometimes the creatures jump through the hoops when asked, sometimes they look at you like your the dumbest amphibian on this planet. A zoo keepers job is never done and at the end of the day you can't help but detect the slightest aroma of poop on him.

Before the baby we were book readers, movie watchers, back rubbers, stay up all night playing board gamers. We did what we wanted when we wanted too no matter the time of the day. After the baby those days became things of legend. Stories of our adventures all begin with the phrase "Remember when we could...."

Well this weekend we got a chance to relive those days and....we hated it. It started at the restaurant where every family in town showed up with their clone of our Fred and sat all around us. Kids laughing at their daddy's. Mom's begging them to settle down. Chicken nuggets being begged for. The idea of a romantic dinner for two resembling the good ole days kept being interrupted by flashes of the way we were now. Just like the car had felt empty with only two people inside, the dinner table felt odd without the high chair sitting next to it.

Yes the movie was nice, but again the silence of the car and the echo in the house afterward were deafening. It's not that I don't love my wife and her I. It's not that we didn't have stories to tell or things to talk about over dinner. The food was fantastic, the movie amazing, the time together's just that it felt...incomplete. Sure we joke about having a kid can sometimes be a struggle and how it's the most exhausting thing in the world. We kid about how we would kill for a night for just the two of us...and once we got our chance, it was all we could do not to go get the little guy the second the waitress laid the check on the table.

We used to be book readers, movie watchers, back rubbers, stay up all night playing board gamers...we used to be.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween '07'

Fred was well enough to go to school and even hit a couple of places for Halloween. I've seen some cute frogs in my lifetime, but by far he's the cutest.



Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Yes I know I spelled it wrong, but it seems to fit considering we've never been through it before. The yard sale this past weekend went fantastic and after letting Fred play outside all day Sat. as we sold our old junk, there was only one thought that kept going through our heads the moment the fever/vomiting kicked in Sun. night "We Broke Him!!!" 

After a night filled with two rounds of clean sheets for our bed and only 4 non-sequential hours of sleep, Fred leaping up at 6:30 a.m. begging to play was a blessing. The Doc gave him a shot, let us know that a temp of 105 though dangerous isn't something to be too frightened of, and sent us on our way.

Fred is fine and will be back to normal in a couple of days. This may not even put a damper on his Trick and Treating. I do need to speak a moment (cause that's all the time I've got) about the shot they gave him. I don't know if it was some type of steroid or mind altering drug or what, but my baby changed. By changed I mean my hyper normal 1 1/2 year-old turned into something out of a comic book. As if bitten by a radioactive spider he instantly gained super speed, a enhanced vocabulary, out of this world strength, and the ability to stay awake for days at a time without touching head to pillow. At one point he ran so fast he literally split in two and started playing catch with himself. I'm thinking about faking his illness just so I can get a shot to keep up with him.

Normally we play a standard zone defense. Lucy takes one end of the room/house, I take the other, and we bounce him back & forth as he comes near us. Always keeping him in "play" and never letting him stray out of sight (or out of bounds as we call it). Since new-monia arrived we are playing man-on-man and still getting dunked on left & right. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Charlie Blockhead: The Missing Post


I remember when I wrote this post. It was a boring night at church (yeah I said it! I wasn't all into what was being said that night!!! I don't have to like every sermon. I'm not the church stenographer. I don't have to memorize every word!!). Anyway's there was a pencil, a visitors card, and an idea that demanded my without further ado I present the Missing Post:

Daycare Blues
Well it finally happened. Daycare used to be a place where Fred would gladly be dropped off and with a big smile and a kick in his giddy-up he'd practically knock down Mrs. Jackie down jumping into her arms. As of last week though drop off time has become the hardest part of my day. He cries when I leave now. Monday it was just a whimper and I wrote it off to him just being sleepy, but by Wednesday it grew into a full blown cry. It's a parents instinct to grab their child the second the tears start.not to turn and walk away. I suppose I should call and check on him after I get to work, but the comfort of lying to myself and assuming the tears stopped once I left the room is much more preferable than the knowledge that they may not have...

Not sure when I wrote this post, but when I put on my winter coat for the first time this season there it was in the front pocket. Although he doesn't cry much anymore, on those rare mornings when he does.I still tell myself he stops the moment I get in the car.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Whole Sordid Affair

Last weekend I was faced with the fact that I was 4 posts behind over at my paying gigs and I had zip in the way of anything electronic to do my writing. Friday night I realized I had no choice but to find a way to write somewhere over the weekend and hope I could find time at the 8-5 to type it on Word and send it to my blog boss.

So there I am Friday night and most of Saturday, pen and pad in hand going about it the old fashioned way. It was hard, nasty, and my hands hurt by the time I was done, but I got my goal accomplished. Then something funny happened. As you know I got everything back up and running Saturday night and Sunday when it was time to put on my freelance hat (ooh that's a great idea!! I need a freelance hat!! maybe something with fishing lures all over it!!) I was a little hesitant to use the computer.

Now I know this sounds silly but after the week of torture we just went through, thinking we had lost all of Fred's pictures along with everything I had ever written I felt that I had been wronged by my computer. That my best friend in the world had some unforgivable crime (much like a spurned love) and I wasn't ready to let it back in.

Lucy has expressed the same sort of mixed up feelings. There's this object that we love so much and yet now that we have it back we are a little hesitant to get near it. I've even gone as far as leaving the pen and pad next to the monitor as if I'm attempting to remind the computer that I don't have to have it and I can always find somebody else.this has to be the weirdest dysfunctional relationship ever!!



Monday, October 22, 2007

Back-Up And Still Running

When I last posted you may remember my words were "There's an ebb and flow to my alter ego and I feel a ground swell coming so you may wanna check in everyday for new stuff."

For those of you that decided to keep me at my word, you no doubt found that I had not kept my promise. The reason behind the disappearance isn't because of lack of time (although I am now busier than ever due to reasons you are about to discover) but because my hard-drive crashed. Crashed isn't even the right word...more like disintegrated. Now I've had nightmares, but the thought of waking up to discover that every single picture and video I have ever taken of Fred was gone is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy (I actually do have a worst enemy by the way...the CHANDALIER!!!)

It's our own fault really I mean sometime around month 3 and month 19 we just lost track of time and never thought that all our memories could be vaporized in a heartbeat. Thankfully though after a week of begging and pleading with whomever would lend an ear we were able to retrieve them all and now have what is essentially a brand new computer. New bigger badder hard-drive, new virus detector (the hard-drive crash was due to a mechanical problem not a virus), and all new programs to learn. Please if you haven't done it yet STOP RIGHT THIS INSTANT AND MAKE A BACK-UP DISK!!!

Thankfully we are fully back-up and running and I'm even caught up on my paying gigs for the moment. I'm going to try and get back to my regularly scheduled 3 posts a week, but I may need this week to get some things done in order to be back to 100%.

Till then I leave you with a look at how much Fred has changed from month 1 to month 19.

Charlie Blockhead

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pits and Pieces

I know it seems like everytime you pop over here lately I've moved the furniture around, but I promise this is the last time. And I know I promised more beach photos, but haven't delivered....they are coming. The design I had for Charlie went kaput several weeks ago and I just ended up having to pick the first one I half way liked. Now today I have found this awesome father/son forest adventure rainbow whatever you want to call it look and I'm completely in love with it. This will be the last change I'll be making for awhile barring another tech breakdown. Part of the reasons behind the lack of posts is due to the fact that everytime I thought about Charlie I couldn't focus on anything other than the crappy design.

Things are still ticking away pretty smooth at the sites I'm currently being paid to write for. Recently I've gotten a fair amount of attention over at Log Homes Journal and Repellem is getting more hits by the week.I had a couple of articles come out in the local papers and I've got two or three deals that if they hit may lead me to being able to quit the 8-5. Still I'm begining to worry that they are taking away from Charlie and like most things in life I'm realizing I need some balance. Charlie hasn't been as deep or as thought provoking as it was at one point and some of that is due to only having time to jot down whatever I can discuss in the shortest amount of time. There's an ebb and flow to my alter ego and I feel a ground swell coming so you may wanna check in everyday for new stuff. Fred is growing faster than I can write and I've got some stories that need to be told before they are lost to time. Oh and look for more video. I've got a great one featuring Fred feeding the ducks down at the park.

That's all for now. Give me a shout and let me know what you think about the new design!!

Charlie Blockhead

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Gotta Get Back In Time

I woke up Saturday morning wondering what year it was. Lucy had gone into work for a half day leaving Fred and I to go at it alone for a few hours. With one foot still in my elementary school years myself, Fred is slowly catching up to the cartoons I like. Batman, Superman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; they all have new shows out and instead of out in the yard cutting grass more weekends than not I'm hovering around the tube on Sat. mornings.

After Fred/I played a round of Lego My Ego (there were only a couple waffles left and I finally talked him into a banana) I clicked on the tube to find the Care Bears bouncing around the clouds. So we watch after all I'm into the nostalgia and next comes new ep's of Strawberry Shortcake! I get bored, let Fred watch, open a mag. only to find they are remaking Knight Rider...for a second there I thought it was 1985!! My only question is "Where's the beef?" oh that's right the Noid stole it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Beach Buddy Videos

As promised here a couple videos we took at the beach and the petting zoo. I'll be posting more pics thoughout the weekend. Enjoy!!



Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Vacation Realizations

Very quickly into our trip to Orange Beach I began to ponder things I had never spent much time thinking about before. Since it was an 8-hour drive down there and another 8 hours back, both with a sometimes-screaming Fred in the car; I had plenty of time to think.

WE DON’T PAY THE DAYCARE ENOUGH-This is the first time since Lucy’s maternity leave ended that we had been with Fred 24 hours a day for 9 days. Yes we typically spend all weekend with him, but we always know that come 8:00 Monday morning he’ll be shipped off to school for the day. Now I love him more than life it’s self, but WOW keeping up with an 18 month old for that long without some me time is killer.

FRED IS CHANGING TOO FAST-It literally felt like we came home with a different kid. He was flying kites, petting goats, jumping in the pool. Now of course the GiGi tried to spoil him rotten and that has some to do with this change, but most of it is him just being a sponge. He’s soaking up everything he sees/hears and rocketing it back at us as fast as he can.

I’M IN A RUT- I sorta knew this, but you really never realize how many things you do at the exact same time everyday until you quit doing them. From trips to the bathroom to dinnertime, I apparently time everything I do based on what time I did them the day before.

WE HAVE SATELLITE RADIO- The salesman never told us THE EDGE had this and I’d never had a reason to hit the AUX button until I hit it by mistake on the way down there. Now we only get to enjoy 1 of the 6 months of free service it apparently came with.

TODDLERS ALWAYS DO THE UNEXPECTED- We got up to head down there at 3 A.M thinking Fred would sleep 75% of the way, WRONG!! He stayed awake the whole time!! He was in such a greeaaat mood when we got there. Another example of this is what happened on the balcony. Not the balcony looking out towards the beach, I’m talking about the one looking over the parking lot going towards the elevator. We were all placing bets on what he would throw over (cause we all knew something would def. be going over). The short story he is that he was naked cause of a rash and yadda yadda I turned to see him peeing off the front balcony down onto the glass ceiling of the first floor lobby. No people that wasn’t rain coming from above…it was Pee Pee.

I know, you are wondering where the pictures are. They are coming along with a couple of videos. I'll get the best ones posted a few at a time the rest of the week.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Vacation Resolutions

I’m not the type to make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never kept one more than a few days. It may have something to do with the holiday only lasting 2 days from work at most. I find it hard to get behind anything that starts NOW!! without any prep time. At the stroke of midnight tonight I’m giving up biting my nails!!! Ding. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! YEAH!!!!!!! Confetti drops. I kiss the wife. Nail biting stops….that’s just not me.

I need to warm myself up to a resolution. That’s why I make vacation resolutions. They all start with “When I get back from vacation I’m going to…..” I’m not talking a 3-day weekend here. I mean a week spent away from work vacation. The kind where you get to read and watch sunsets like the one we just came back from (more on that as the week goes on). So enough babbling here are my 2007 VACATION RESOLUTIONS:

  • I WILL START WAKING UP AT BETWEEN 5-5:30 A.M. I’m tired of rushing around at the last minute and would like to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee or watch the news before the rest of the family wakes up.
  • I WILL QUIT BITING MY NAILS This is just something I have to add and may never be able to quit, but I’ll never quit trying to quit trying.
  • I WILL STOP WATCHING SO MUCH TV I’d like to limit myself to ½-1 hour a night. Even if it means getting Tivo or watching things later on the net.
  • MORE TIME WITH FRED He’s a toddler now and if I’m not careful he’ll be turning 16 soon. Today we are going to feed the ducks with the bread we had left over from last week.
  • LAUGH WITH MY WIFE MORE Notice I didn’t say laugh at my wife more.
  • LESS TIME SPENT ON THE WEB I goof off a bunch in my journeys around the web when I should be doing research for my other two sites.
  • MORE ORGANIZED I’m starting this weekend by cleaning out the magic shed (I call it that because it’s got like 30 years worth of tools and assorted objects all piled to the door. Before entering all you gotta do is say what you want out loud and be prepared to look as long as it takes)
  • I WILL LOOSE WEIGHT Goodbye double chin and XXL shirts. Goodbye pregnant belly that only gave birth to acid reflux and mass quantities of gas.

There you go. I’ll let you know just how long I can keep them up. Oh and check back tomorrow for Vacation Realizations in which I’ll explore the question “Do We Pay The Daycare Enough?”


Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Pirate Looks At 32

It's been two years since I've had a week long vacation. That is if you don't count Fred being born last year. No I'm talking about a week of beach chair sitting, book reading, movie watching, all day at play vacation. The way I see it I've got 9 days with nothing to do but play with Fred and love my wife.

This has been a fantastic year for us so far. Suddenly I'm a paid writer for an environmental site, a log homes journal, and have even gotten a few stories in a couple local papers. In December of 2006 the dream of being writer only existed in the far reaches of my conscience. I was happy just being Charlie Blockhead. Now I'm Charlie Blockhead Freelance Writer. Yes I still have the 8-5 and my main priority will always be family, but it's nice to get a taste of a dream you never thought possible.

Over the past few months I've turned into a web head. Always on the computer during my spare time. Writing on my lunch breaks so I can play with Fred in the evenings. Staying up till Midnight researching the next story or writing the next post. After 9 months I think I've earned a myself a I'm falling off the grid.

Just for a week or so. I've got beaches to comb and sand castles to build. My batteries are low. Today is my first official day of vacation, my 32 birthday, and I desperately feel the need to shed my skin. I'm spending too much time worrying lately. Wasting too much time on things I can't control.

Don't worry I'll be back in a week or so with new pics of Fred and Lucy. One thing I plan on doing is getting up before sunset, finding the perfect spot on the beach, and with journal in hand I'm going to write whatever comes to mind.

See You Soon,

Charlie "Life's A Beach" Blockhead


Monday, September 17, 2007

A Few Fast Freddy Facts

Little man turns 18 months on the 20th and it’s been a while since I devoted a post completely towards him. There’s just no way to keep track of all the hilarious stuff he does or all the changes he’s going through. Here are a few things that he’s done that have just about killed us the past few weeks.

Bath/Pool time would not be complete without a dozen toys floating around demanding his attention. Submarines, boats, ducks, whales, frogs all of this and half the time he plays with a rag and a cup. Still when he heard me taking a shower the other day he couldn’t help but peek in and notice I didn’t have any toys. Next thing I know he runs in and starts throwing various plastic toys in just so I wouldn’t get bored.

Just like his momma, the boy is quick with a look and a comeback. Though most of what he says is still gibberish, he says it with passion and all attitude. After Lucy took after him for throwing corn across the table Fred rolls his eyes, looks at me, and starts tipping his heard in her direction as if to say “Hey buddy. Hey dad. You wanna do something about your woman? She’s gettin on my case here and you’re busy putting away a pork chop. Wanna tell her to simma-dow-na?

I don’t listen to much hip-hop and I always heard that once kids start faking like they have a stutter it gets in their heads and they can’t quit. Out of nowhere Fred has starting rapping his love to me. “D-D-D-D-Dad-Dad J-J-J-J- Juice”

After Tiger pulled in $11.2 million bucks for 4 days of golf I’ve got plans for Fred’s future, but I can’t deny he’s got an arm on him. Any and everything he touches has the potential to turn into an aerial assault weapon. From a ball to a Playdough container to cheese to toe nail clippers, if it can be thrown he’s launched it at us lately.

We cannot keep him off the phone and he’s no sucker for a fake one either. We’ve given him old cordless phones, a couple toy cell phones, phones that dial out and make noise back, but he knows the real from the decoy. He likes to pick them up say hey, bye-bye, and slam them back down. Hand him a fake and he chunks it.

Let the potty training begin!! All weekend every time he did a dirty, he’d walk up to one of us, grab our hands, and lead us to his changing table. Land of no more diapers here we come!!!

He’s learning new words everyday and loves animal noises. Ask him what a cow says and he goes “MOOOOOO”. A sheep and you get “BAAAAAAA”. A snake and he’s “HISSSSSS” at you. Ask him to say bye-bye and he simply waves.

We’ve also been taking some great pics lately. Enjoy!!



Monday, September 10, 2007

Something About Mary

Her name was Mary. The first and only time I saw her she was walking past in the required teenage uniform of blue jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers. She stood out from the crowd gathering around the consession stands not because of her beauty but more so the odd look she on her face. A look that suggest she'd lost something and was busy  having an inner debate as to where it was last in her possesion. Her face twisting to the left and right as she eliminated possible scenerios in her mind. She was simply minding her own business happy to be in her own world amoung the other students goofing off outside the football game.

Me...I was sorta in my own world too. Standing hold the evenings assortment of camera bags and bleacher seats. I'm not too comfortable around the public and at that moment while Mary was lost in thought I too was scanning the crowd for nobody in particular as I waited for Lucy to return from a trip to see an old friend in the press box.

Teenagers are notorious for their bad attitudes and evil tendancies towards one another. There she was just minding her own business when a particularly large girl ran her over as if she were reinactinting something she'd obviously seen a hundred times in the movies. Shoulder to shoulder, the two collided. Mary completely unaware of the power struggle that was currently taking place and her oppent keen to the fact that she'd already won it.

With a clap the larger girl's empty soda bottle bounced or possibly dropped to the cement.


With her reality too slowly coming back to her Mary did as she was told and then just as quickly....caught my eye. As she glanced at me I saw my own high school face staring back from 15 years before. That face that said "Look at him/her. They'd kill me. It's just a bottle. No big deal. Just another day...just another scar nobody will see." Then she was gone.

I couldn't let it end there. As if I had been lassoed by a rope thrown way back in 1991 I had to do what somebody should have done to me. After about 5 minutes I found her alone again or possibly still, coming around a corner. Again she caught my eye, but this time I kept her attention.

Why did you pick up the bottle?

I don't know. I wasn't even paying attention. It happened so fast. What could I do?

You could start by telling her she was an a#@hole! You're better than that and the second you forget it so do the way I'm Bill

Hi. Bill...I'm Mary...Thank you.

Have a nice night Mary. It's been very nice to meet you"

And just like that with a handshake and smile Mary dissappeared into the crowd.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Double Edged Sword.

No this isn’t another post about the toy recall, though in case you missed it they just issued a third list. Today I’ve got a question that has been screaming in my mind for close to month now and it’s finally found it’s way to my finger tips. I need talk about anonymity.

Now obviously my name’s not really Charlie Blockhead. I created the secret identity as a way to free myself from the constraints of possibly hurting or offending anyone that would eventually stumble across my little blog. That was 183 posts ago and I’m gathering up a nice group of readers. I’m averaging about 150 visits a week and though some blogs get that an hour I’m fine with my little corner of the Internet. Part of getting the word out is making sure everyone knows that I’m writing. I mention it to friends, I send out emails, I’ve got the Myspace page now….at some point I decided that I didn’t like screaming into an empty room and I had something to say people needed to hear.

This brings me to my current problem: Many of my reader’s know me and it’s starting to affect what I post about. I find myself changing things to make them less in your face or offensive. I’ve started eliminating story topics cause they might hurt somebody’s feelings. I’m essentially creating a censored version of what this site once was. Am I a jerk? Probably. Have I done things in the past that others might not like? Definitely. Should I cater to those that might get their feelings hurt or may not appreciate my point of view? That’s the toughie…if I’m telling a story about something I heard someone say and I add that it was borderline racist should I just keep that to myself? If I do doesn’t that go against everything Charlie Blockhead is? A blatant, honest, good, bad, ugly, not always fair view from a first time father. I can’t help but feel bad if I hurt someone’s feelings, then again is it worth essentially censoring my own thoughts? Closing up Charlie is not the answer. He/It means too much to me.

Maybe the answer is to create another site where I’m just as rude as I can be and not tell anyone. For when those times I just can’t help but state my opinion regardless of how it may effect others, I could just post on this secret site and scream in the empty room till I’ve got it all out of my system….who knows maybe I’ve already done this.


I've Seen Fire I've Seen Rain

We made the tri-monthly trip to Grannies over the Labor Day Holiday and as much as it pains me to say at times it actually felt like I was going through labor. After all the chasing after Fred, snapping at nephews, and constant eating I looked and acted pregnant. I learned a few things about Fred (surprisingly I thought I knew everything about him) and life in general:

  • Apparently Fred is the reason we can’t keep chips in the house. My household is hopelessly devoted (please don’t slip on the Grease reference) to Lay’s potato chips. For some reason the bag is always empty and Lucy/I are lefting blaming one another. Fred sees chips on Grannies coffee table, calmly reaches in, grabs a handful like a pro, and the mystery of the disappearing potato chips is solved.
  • Somebody is letting him watch Spongebob Squarepants.

“Oh I forgot to turn the TV off during lunch”

“Don’t worry it’s not bothering us, besides Fred hasn't met Spongebob yet”


“Hmmmm it seems the daycare has expanded it’s video collection"

  • The elderly can say whatever they want to whomever they want whenever they want and could care less if it is politically correct, inappropriate, or rude . They can get away with this because they know you know they are old and no matter how much you'd enjoy screaming at them you just might give them a heart attack. Like a 'get out of jail free card' in monopoly, the 'just might die at the drop of of a hat' card is just as powerful.
  • though some may not consider pork rinds a proper meal for a 17 month old, they sure keep them quite long enough to eat a sandwhich.
  • one baby vs. one pre-teen is an unfair fight in favor of the pre-teen. two babies vs. one pre-teen is an unfair fight in favor of the babies.
  • there's nothing like a drive through the rain soaked country side with a baby asleep in the back seat, a beautiful girl in the front seat, and the sounds of james taylor whispering "sweet baby james" to make you forget why you only see some relatives twice a year.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Return Of The Flash

I just don’t seem to be posting about my favorite person anymore. Fred has turned into the coolest thing I have ever been a part of in my entire life. He doesn’t cry. He’s not whiney. He plays. That’s what the little guy does and he’s the best at it. I’ve never been the type to catch the spotlight when I walk into a room, but boy does my son know how to light up a room!! Take last Friday night for example.

The Gigi works at a retirement home (I prefer old folks home, but they don’t seem to like being called old folks Lucy calls them Littles) and part of her job is to organize different activities to keep them alive (entertain them). So last Friday night the whole place plus a few fraternity/sorority members turn out for an old fashioned sock hop. Root beer floats, moon pies, a boom box blasting the oldie goldie tunes of the 50’s 60’s, and there in the center of the room lies a dance floor.

Of course Fred spent the night running up and down and sideways around the joint. Bopping from one poodle skirted granny to the next, completely unaware that just outside the walls a major storm was taking place. Lightning, rain, the whole bit. Except none of it could be heard over all the noise the party was creating. So just to set things up Lucy and I are way across the room watching Fred dance around a couple of grannies when


The thunder clapped so loud the lights blink and 15 old men fall to the floor grasping their chests (ok nobody fell out just adding to the story). Out of nowhere Fred throws pack his arms, screams OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH!!!, and kicks those little legs into light speed….going nowhere in particular. He’s just running like his life depends on it and his arms are too slow to keep up. He doesn’t care where we are at he just knows he’s not going to be where he was the next time whatever that was decides to blow up again. Suddenly he trips and falls flat on his face, but his legs are moving so fast they somehow scoop him up and carry him to the end of the room straight to his GiGi!! Nobody’s run that fast in that place since the whole all you can eat prune disaster of 1995!!


Thanks To The Perfect Stranger

I have a new stepfather. I’m pretty sure I haven’t mentioned that here before. It’s not my place to blab all the juicy details about where he came from or how they met. As a soon to be 32 year- old, my days of finding a father figure are over and it’s not like she (mom) needed my approval to get married. It was no shock when they made the big announcement sometime back that they were getting married, but I was a bit thrown off that this guy I’d only seen a few times now held such a permanent spot in my family. Admittedly we are not the same family we once were. Broccoli is off traveling the country and is just as likely to be here in town as he is in Las Vegas from one day to the next. Lucy and I are all wrapped up in being parents and enjoying our small town lives.

That left mom….with what an empty apartment and a good book?

So mostly due to my own all encompassing self centeredness I know literally a few sentences about this guy. They are as follows:

  • He likes to fish
  • He has a pool
  • He used to be retired but now works
  • Whatever he does he’s the only one at the plant that can do it
  • He loves my mother more than any man has loved her ever before (at least from what I’ve seen. I can’t very well describe my mom/dad’s relationship pre-six years old)

Over the past few weeks my mom has been in and out of the hospital (nothing serious) for some minor surgery. What at first was meant to be minor surgery lead to her being rushed to the E.R a week after and passing out as she was being wheeled in. Over the past three weeks she has been back three times do to complications. What’s amazing about this whole situation is that I’m not the one who was there for her. Don’t get me wrong I was there when I could be, but somebody else had the situation in hand. Somebody who makes her laugh. Somebody who holds her hand at night. Worries about her when she’s sleeping. Somebody who though he may be a stranger to me, is exactly what my mother has been looking for all her life. The Perfect Stranger.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Myspace Is Your Space

I admit it…I broke down and created a myspace account. At first it was only to gain access to American Idol info, then Lucy up and mastered the workings of site management hence making my site look like crap. Thankfully she souped mine up for me and now I’m all cool looking. Don’t worry though this doesn’t mean I’m ditching Charlie. I’m actually using myspace as a giant billboard for this site. So go on over take a look at both sites and if you have your own site lets all just be friends.

The Twister That Is My Life

I hate to miss a week here on Charlie, especially after coming off a week when I spoke nothing about my family and everything about social issues. Then to top is all off here I am running behind again. I’m going to do my best to catch everyone up, but life is happening faster than I can keep up with at the moment.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Home Of Your Nationally Known Blogger

I did the story a few days ago containing the complete list of Mattel Toys that were recalled...well today this was being shown on CBSNEWS.Com:

That sound you hear is my ego morphing into Godzilla.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stand Up To Virginia Tech President

I don't normally touch on social issues here on Charlie, but everyone needs to know about the current issue at Virginia Tech. Dave Matthews and several other artists are getting ready to do a concert as a tribute to those students/families affected by the massacre which occured several months ago. According to the school website "The concert is being offered by these inspired musicians as a gracious gift to the Virginia Tech community. It’s about a celebration of spirit. It’s about showing the resiliency and strength of our community known throughout the world as Hokie Spirit."

The problem is that amoung those set to perform is rapper NAS. If your not aware of NAS he frequently raps about violence, drugs, and gang related issues that go against everything that the other artists will be celebrating on this day.

That being said the president of the university does not seem to care what kind of music is being played on his campus and has even gone as far as saying this is a non-issue. Therefore Bill O'Reilly is calling on us all to send an email to Mr. Charles Steger and let him know this is a very poor decision. I've sent my email, please send yours.


Dr. Charles W. Steger
President, Virginia Tech
Office of the President
210 Burruss Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-6231


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Complete Mattel Recall List

Several parents have been asking me if I knew where to see the whole list and Fred himself had a couple on it, so I thought it would be helpful to put the entire list together in one place. In case you have no clue of what I'm talking about Mattel has recalled over 10 million toys over the past two weeks due to lead based paints being used.

Below is the list along with the item numbers for each:

B2632 Polly Pocket! Polly Place Hangin' Out House

B3158 Polly Pocket! Polly Place Treetop Clubhouse

B3201 Polly Pocket! Spa Day

B7118 Polly Totally! Polly Place Totally Tiki Diner

G8605 Polly Pocket! Quik-Clik Boutique

H1537 Polly Pocket! Quik-Clik City Pretty Playset

H1538 Polly Pocket! Quik-Clik Sporty Style Playset

H3211 Polly Pocket! Totally Zen Playset

55503 Polly Pocket! Happenin' Pet Station

B2631 Polly Pocket! Polly Place Magnetic Additions Assortment

B3203 Polly Pocket! Activity Lunchbox

B3204 Polly Pocket! Activity Locker

B3207 Polly Pocket! Collectible Lip Gloss

B3209 Polly Pocket! Collectible Make Up Powder Puff

B3210 Polly Pocket! Dip N' Dive Pool

B3396 Polly Pocket! Birthday Surprise

B7078 Polly Pocket! Dazzlin' Pet Show Divine Dogs

B7082 Polly Pocket! Rick's Magic Show

B7125 Polly Pocket! Sweet Treats

B7127 Polly Pocket! Birthday Mailbox

B7128 Polly Pocket! Stretch Polly Disco Lamp

B7129 Polly Pocket! Jewelry Box Purple

B8478 Polly Pocket! Polly Magnet Bus

B9521 Polly Pocket! Collectible Caboodle

B9522 Polly Pocket! Activity Lunch Box Pink

B9523 Polly Pocket! Activity Locker Orange

B9525 Polly Pocket! Polly Glitter Puff

B9578 Polly Pocket! Collectible Caboodle Purple

B9929 Polly Pocket! Fashion Boutique on the Go

C0504 Polly Pocket! Birthday Mailbox Pink

C0505 Polly Pocket! Jewelry Box Yellow

C1341 Polly Pocket! Disco Lamp

C1342 Polly Pocket! Disco Lamp Purple

G8602 Polly Pocket! Mermaid Stars

G8606 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Playset

G8612 Polly Pocket! Snow Cool Hotel

G8614 Polly Pocket! Quick Click House of Style Playset

G8615 Polly Pocket! Polly by Me Totally Beadiful

G8616 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Penthouse

H1553 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Movie Time Playset

J1659 Polly Pocket! Pollywood Limo-Scene Vehicle

J1661 Polly Pocket! Pollywood Dial A Style Lila

J1662 Polly Pocket! Pollywood Dial A Style Lea

J1670 Polly Pocket! Stick N' Style

J1681 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Rockin' Theme Park Playset

J1687 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Dress N' Drive Lounge Playset

J1695 Pollyworld Theme Park Party Quick Click Doll and Fashion

J4169 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Polly Doll

J4170 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Crissy Doll

J4171 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Lea Doll

J4172 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Shani Doll

J9305 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Costume Art Lea

J9306 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Gift Shop Lila

J9648 Polly Pocket! Twirl and Swirl Beauty Case

J9965 Pollyworld Dial a Song Polly Fashions

J9966 Pollyworld Dial a Song Polly Fashions

K3460 Pollyworld Rockin' Tour Bus

H1554 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Pool Party Playset

H1532 Doggie Day Care Coco

H1533 Doggie Day Care Sparley

G4461 Doggie Day Care Lula and Baby

G4462 Doggie Day Care Crockett and Baby

G4464 Doggie Day Care Taffy and Baby

G4459 Doggie Day Care Snack Time with Cookie

G4460 Doggie Day Care Diaper Change with Ginger

H1530 Doggie Day Care Ice Cream with Ranger

G9703 Doggie Day Care Puppy Park with Dixie

G4457 Doggie Day Care Dream House Nursery with Honey

G4458 Doggie Day Care Bath Time with Beau

J9472 Barbie and Tanner play set

J9560 Barbie and Tanner play set

M1253 "Sarge" toy car sold alone

K5925 "Sarge" toy car sold in a package of two

J1944 Batman Magna Battle Armor Batman figure

J1946 Batman Magna Fight Wing Batman figure

J5114 Batman Secret ID figure

J5115 Batman Flying Fox figure

J4142 One Piece Triple Slash Zolo Roronoa figure

33662 Elmo Light Up Musical Pal
33663 Ernie Light Up Musical Pal
33664 Big Bird Light Up Musical Pal
34658 Elmo Stacking Rings
39038 Elmo Tub Sub
39054 Sesame Street Shape Sorter
87946 Elmo Keyboard
90267 Ernie Splashin' Fun Trike
90609 Elmo Collectible
90611 Cookie Collectible
90612 Zoe Collectible
90613 Ernie Collectible
90614 Big Bird Collectible
90745 Construction Playset
93068 Elmo Boom Box
93107 Action Fire Engine
93307 Press N Go Elmo
93308 Rev & Go Cookie Monster
93492 Cookie Saxophone
93493 Elmo's Guitar
93615 Splash Tub Puzzle
93780 Music And Lights Phone
B7554 Count To Beat Elmo
B7888 Shake, Giggle & Roll

B7987 Elmo in the Giggle Box
B7989 Silly Parts Talking Elmo
B9620 Dora's Talking House
C6908 Dora, Backpack, Perrito Figure Pack
C6909 Diego Figure Pack
C6910 Swiper Figure Pack
C6911 Boots, Tico Figure Pack
G3825 Dora Talking Vamonos Van
G5112 Sing With Elmo's Greatest Hits
G9717 Giggle Doodler
H2943 Grow with Me Elmo Sprinkler
H3343 Cousin Daisy
H3344 Birthday Dora
H5569 Elmo & Pals (Elmo, Cookie, Ernie)
H5570 Elmo & Pals (Elmo, Zoe, Big Bird)
H4187 Dora Figures in Tube
H4628 Water Fun Tote
H8236 Dora 3 Pack Figures in Tube
H8237 Blue 3 Pack Figures in Tube
H8238 Sponge Bob 3 Pack Figures in Tube
H9124 Chef Dora
H9125 Bedtime Dora
H9186 Giggle Grabber Ernie
H9188 Giggle Grabber Oscar the Grouch

J0338 Diego Talking Field Journal
J0343 Go Diego Go Antarctic Rescue
J0344 Go Diego Go Deep Sea Rescue
J0345 Go Diego Go Mountain Rescue
J0346 Go Diego Go Talking Rescue 4 X 4
J5935 Giggle Grabber Soccer Elmo
J5936 Giggle Grabber Chef Cookie Monster
J6537 Sesame Street Giggle Toolbelt
J6762 Queen Mami
J6763 Royal Boots and Tico
J6765 Prince Diego
J7983 Sesame Street Tub Pots & Pans
J9518 Sesame Street Giggle Drill
J9692 Dora's Talking Pony Place
K0617 Twins Nursery
K3414 Diego - Talking Gadget Belt
K3571 Go Diego Go Mobile Rescue Unit
K3580 Fairytale Adventure Dora
K4139 Go Diego Go Dinosaur Rescue
K4140 Toucan Motorcycle Rescue
L0305 Dora Figure
L3194 Surprise Inside Diego Eggs
L3215 Sesame Street Elmo Jack-In-The-Box
L3488 Sesame Street Birthday Figure Pack
L3507 Sesame Street - Super Boom Box
L5202 Birthday Dora
L5813 Diego Tub Trike
L8905 Pablo & Pals
M0351 Dora Figures Dora & Kitty
M0352 Dora Figures Diego & Bear
M0524 Go Diego Go Talking Gadget
M0527 Sesame Street Giggle Doodler

M0732 Dora's Talking House
M2051 Let's Go Rescue Center
M2052 Fairytale Castle

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fred Vs Bed (Part V: The Final Chapter)

I’ve been meaning to do an update on the Fred Vs. Bed situation. It’s been a loooong time between Part IV and this is the latest/last chapter. I’m not going to link to them all since you guys are smart enough to use the handy dandy search engine on the right of your screen. Just going to jump right in there and lay it all out for the world to see….

Fred is still in our bed. I know it’s been 17 months. I know he needs to learn to sleep in his own room. I know he sleeps in a cot at daycare and he would sleep on the couch all night if we let him….so what’s the major mal-function? It’s a two part problem really.

Part 1: His allergies. Since he was a wee babe he’s always had some type of minor cough or breathing issue. So much so that we give breathing treatments a few times a week (which is better than everyday, which we did for a while in the early months). He takes a couple kinds of medicine everyday in addition to the breathing treatments, but it’s nothing serious enough to mandate an alternate lifestyle. The doctors all say Buttons the 20lb cat isn’t a factor or anything else for that matter. They all agree it’s just an allergy issue that has a lot to do with the dry weather and constantly high level of junk in the air. He still plays outside like any other kid. Still runs around like a chicken with his head cut off. Still refuses to sit still and enjoy a moments peace. The only difference is that occasionally he gets a little wheezy and may have a bad night of coughing every now/then. Hence getting him in his own bed is complicated by the fact that the coughing scares us and wakes him up.

Part 2: Lord help me I still like him there all night. Some parents will say they can’t stand their kid in their bed, but I’m not some parent. I sleep better because I don’t have to worry about what’s going on in the other room. If it’s too quiet I pray he’s not having trouble breathing. Too much cough I worry if he’s getting any rest at all. I love Lucy, but Fred + My Bed=Peace of Mind.

So again comes the question: What should a blockhead do? Take it day by day that’s what. I’m no longer going to worry about how his sleep habits compare to those other kids his age or the looks I get when the “perfect” parent finds out about our current little hang-up….because truth be told it’s not that big of a hang-up and there are no “perfect” parents.

“Did I just hear you say Fred still sleeps in your bed? My Lance has slept in his bed since night one!! How could you let him still do that?”

“Well he’s got this cough thing…say isn’t that you Lance over there kicking that old man’s cane out from under him?”

Lucy and I have a fun loving, cute as a button, never in a bad mood, laugh a minute, roller coaster of a baby boy, and everything else is just part of what makes the world go round. Sooner or later Fred will conquer the bed and when it happens I know it will be the most minor of all his coming achievements.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Jenny Jenkins Where Have You Been?

Sometimes is life weird coincidences just spring up out of no where and you get that freaky “How did that just happen?!?!” feeling. Before Saturday I had no clue who Jenny Jenkins was. Never heard the name, didn’t know she had her own song, couldn’t have told anything about her picky attitude or that she was/is most likely a nudist.

Fred/I were watching Nick Jr. when I look up to see Lisa Loeb with her classic school girl dress and horn rimmed glasses singing about Jenny Jenkins’s distaste for color. The song goes:

 Will you wear white
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear white, Jenny Jenkins?
No I won't wear white
For the color's too bright
I'll buy me a foldy-roldy, tildy-toldy
Seek-a-double, use-a-cozza roll to find me
Roll, Jenny Jenkins, roll
Will you wear green
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear green, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear green
It's a shame to be seen
Will you wear blue
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear blue, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear blue
For the color's too true
Will you wear yellow
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear yellow, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear yellow
For I'd never get a fellow
Will you wear brown
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear brown, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear brown
For I'd never get around
Will you wear beige
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear beige, Jenny Jenkins?
No, I won't wear beige
For it shows my age
Will you wear orange
Oh my dear, oh my dear
Will you wear orange, Jenny Jenkins?
No, orange I won't wear
And it rhymes so there
What will you wear?
Oh my dear, oh my dear
What will you wear, Jenny Jenkins?
Oh what do you care
If I just go bare

Except for the image of a naked girl needing a foldy-roldy, tildy-toldy, Seek-a-double, use-a-cozza (the song was written by Jerry Garcia so there you go), I never thought another thing about it….until 6 hours later when I reading a randomly selected paperback copy of Harlan Coben’s “Just One Look”. I’m reading along, the father’s giving his kid a bath, reads him a book, and suddenly the father bursts out with…you guessed it Jenny Jenkins!! I immediately threw the book across the room and would not speak of it the rest of the day.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Baby Fred Einstein

Fact: Fred and I were alone watching My Friends Tiger And Pooh

Fact: Fred got up walked down the hall and came back within minutes

Fact: Fred’s bookshelf is lined with 10’s of Golden Books none of which can be identified by simply glancing at the row of golden spines along the shelf.

Fact: Fred selects a book and brings it back to me in the living room

Fact: The book Fred had chosen…..Winnie The Pooh and Tiger Too

Fact: My 16 month old is smarter than yours.


Monday, August 06, 2007

On The EDGE Of Insanity

You remember my/our Edge right? The brand new copper colored car that only has 1800 miles on it and is less than 4 months old? The one that makes us feel young, cool, and delayed the inevitable purchase of a mini-van? Well some jerk backed into it Saturday while Lucy was working at the bank. Oh it gets better, said jerk neglected to tell anyone and took off. Now I can’t prove who did it, but I do know that I’m in love with the color of my brand new car and very seldom do people just pop into a bank, do their business, and exit never to return again. Thus I now have my own personal Moby Dick. By judging where the Edge was hit and the paint that was left on the bumper. My Moby Dick is a White Pickup Truck with a very bright shade of Orange on its front or rear right bumper.

Like the book says “All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab(Charlie Blockhead), were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick(The White Pickup). He piled upon the whale’s white hump(White Truck’s Orange Scarred Bumper) the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it”


Thursday, August 02, 2007

He's Got The Music In Him

Ever since he was first conceived Fred’s been getting his grove thang on whenever and wherever possible. While Lucy was pregnant you could literally sit there and watch her stomach shifte from right to left. I was always afraid that if I looked to hard I’d see the slightest hint of a face trying to peer through the layers of skin (see there I just went too far and now I’m going to have a nightmare about faces coming out of my stomach). The second he learned to stand on his own he started this bobbing up and down thing.

Eventually he moved on to throwing his head side to side and now that’s sorta evolved into some major head-banging that always makes me think of Wayne/Garth jamming out to Bohemian Rhapsody. Last week was the annual W.C. Handy festival celebrating the life and music of one of the all time jazz greats. There’s music being played at at least a dozen different spots around town each day and we took Fred to a couple. His most recent move is rolling his arms around and around each other (like during the “roll-em and roll-em in the pan” part of bakers man) plus he’s mastered the “If you’re happy and you know it” foot stomp. So basically at any given time no matter the source of the music (a TV commercial, the jack-in-a-box winding up, people clapping) he’s likely to bust out with any combination of head-bang, clapping hands, foot stomp, or drop it low.

There’s a concert in a near by park, half the town is there, and The Mark’s/Us decide to take the kids to the show. Fred did all right in his stroller for about half an hour, and then once he’d had enough we let him run around in our general area (with us never more than a few steps behind). Well what can I say about what happened next…the boy knows no stranger. After failing at snagging a sub sandwich which was sitting in some dudes lap, Fred wonders up to this elderly gray haired black gentleman…and busts a move right there for everyone to see!!

He was rolling them arms and getting low. He started slinging that head around and stomping those feet. It was if he had suddenly been possessed by a demon and was trying desperately to shake it out!!! There are some images that stick in your head till the day you die and for me the sight of Fred jamming out with that old black dude is firmly pasted next to the sight of Lucy on our wedding day.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007


It’s amazing how much the inside your fridge evolves during the course of your life. Back in college I had a mini-fridge and all it could hold was 2 six packs of wine coolers and a bottle of Boones Farm (turned sideways). Once I moved out on my own I never seemed to have enough food to account for the regular sized appliance. However back then I could fit an entire pizza box in it thus saving myself from having to wrap the left over pieces in foil (I’ve never been able to figure out how to use plastic wrap) or heaven forbid Tupperware (just something else to eventually have to wash).

Getting married requires that food be in the house mainly due to the fact that women are not born with the ability to eat nothing but frozen burritos and week old pizza for months at a stretch. That and romans in a cup should never be the husband’s answer to the wife’s “Honey what are we having for dinner tonight?” So the wife comes in and the shelves get filled but not over-filled mind you, just a few things on here and there. Oh and the married man has condiments. Single man just eats everything plain unless he remembers to get extra packets of mustard/ketchup from McDonalds.

Once baby comes along getting something out of the refrigerator turns into an Olympic event.




“Ok it’s never on the bottom shelf, so I’ll look top first.’

“No No that was too easy. Second from the bottom…..crap!”

“Second from top has got way too much on it. Wait!! I think I just saw the bottom of it from through the top of the second shelf!!!”

“Alright!! Now I know where it’s at…the time is ticking though!!! My commercials almost over and my sandwich is still missing jelly…I may just have to settle for a PB instead of a PB&J”

“Let’s see…what if I take the juice container and slide it to the right, put last nights leftovers on the bottom, move the two gallons of milk (whole for him and 2% for us) where the food was, oops don’t wanna smush a grape (top shelf cause baby can reach them everywhere else), tea pitcher goes to the left, cake icing fits in the door (same reason as the grapes), and maybe just maybe I can reach back between the OJ carton and two liter of Coke, grab the top of the jelly, and go over the top of the drinks…..yes TETRIS!!!!!”



Monday, July 30, 2007

Scenes From An Italian Restaurant

With the way the sun was shining combined with the cool breeze coming across the back of the restaurant it was easy to forget you were 800 miles inland. Still though if you closed your eyes it wouldn’t have been too hard to smell the salt coming off the ocean. There were a few tables outside scattered about in no particular order. Red umbrellas opened up to give refugee from the glaring orb perched just above the horizon. Who knows if it was because the band wasn’t too well known or if there was some other main attraction drawing the usual crowd away from the normally busy hot spot. Whatever the reason we were glad it was going to be a private concert. With two kids in tow, each of us agreed that the fewer people around the better when it came to eating out.

After the pasta came amidst the swells of the guitar, nothing was left of the meal except a few scraps of garlic bread and hints of marinara. Empty glasses all pushed to the center of the table in hopes little hands wouldn’t be able to reach them. With a whisper and a dash the scene transformed from an evening out with friends into a slow motion dance recital. With her pastel dress twirling around her, time seemed to stop for everyone as we watched the little girl next to the stage sway to the music. With a band in her hair to keep the brown locks back and a smile created for her father, the glow from Princess ZoĆ« was enough to make the sun jealous and decide to turn in for the night.