Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Adventures of Charlie Blockhead #100!!!

I’m a blockhead. What can I say? Should I act any different this week than in previous weeks? No. I fully intended on posting yesterday, but I had a thing in the morning and it caused me to miss my lunch break. I usually write on lunch and after the baby goes to sleep at night. However, last night was American Idol and I had to write a recap. I did come up with something and actually stayed up late working on it. Then at the last minute my virus detector freaked on me and I was left with nothing to show for the late night except for a bad taste in my mouth. That may have been more from the chocolate sunday Pop-tart than anything having to do with the blog.

Since this is Issue#100, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to a long list of people. First off, Lucy without you and Fred not only wouldn’t there be anything to write about, I wouldn’t have a life worth living. Everyday you shock me, amaze me, and inspire me with your love, tenderness, and most of all your ability to look past my blockheaded-ness. Just when I thought we had it made, the two of us in our nice home, the world at our finger tips…along came Fred and made our previous life feel like a pebble compared to what we have now.

Jim “Genuine” Turner started out as just the author of one of the first blogs I began reading. Thanks to him and a few others, I was inspired to start Charlie Blockhead. Over the past year not only has he taught me the ropes, but he’s also recently put some extra income in my pockets by bringing me aboard as a Blogger-For-Hire. I thank him at least 3 times a week, but still it’s not enough. Thanks buddy!!

Adventure Dad, TuTu Boutique, Poop-and-Boogies, Sara and the Goon Squad, Terri, and the rest of my Blockhead Buddies. Thank you for all the support you have given me and hopefully the links we share will only grow stronger in the coming year.

Weird Girl and Cubicle Dad, I know we just met but I’m loving everything you do. You’re a perfect match for this site and you have great voices that leave me wanting more.

This next one goes out to my biggest fan and comment provider. Amy M. You blow me away with the things you say sometimes. You have been around since day one. Lucy and I just want you to know how much we cherish your friendship and that you/your family are one of the reasons we came back to HP. We just came across a comment you left and that had somehow slipped past us. It was concerning the Church move we faced mid-year and simply put, you spilled your guts all over the post. I don’t know how we missed it or what you must have thought when we never said anything to you about it. Just know that the reasons you gave were the same ones that brought us back. Thank you for your never-ending honesty.

I know it seems like I’ve just given my acceptance speech for the Academy Award for best ‘butt-kisser in a blog or internet format’, but this site has been a dream come true and has lead me down paths I never knew where there. No matter what happens from here on out, where I go, or what life throws at me, I’ll always have Charlie to turn to and remember the first year of my son’s life. He’s turning 1 on March 20th and I’m itching to start putting video up of him. It’s one thing to see his picture, but just wait till you see my little man in all his craziness.

Thanks again to all my friends and family, readers and fellow bloggers, teachers and fellow dads. This birthday toast is for you!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Charlie Blockhead!!!!!

That’s right ladies and gentleman Charlie’s turning 100 this week!!! To celebrate everyday I’m going to be posting my favorite pictures, updating old stories, listing my favorite posts, talking about old friends, and linking to new ones.

Now you are actually reading blog number 99, but it just didn’t make sense to kick the week off on a Tuesday when I could celebrate all week. Check back everyday this week and you will see new stuff. Who knows I may even get new furniture and change the drapes.

This is important; no birthday is complete with out well-wishers!!! Leave me a comment and let me know who you are. I just put the site meter up last month and I’m getting about 100 hits a week. I wanna know your name, your site, and anything you gotta say to the Ole Blockhead.

I know I haven’t been around much lately, but things have really picked up for me on the freelance side of life. I’m still doing American Idol everyday, this Wednesday will mark the end of my substitute run over at Just Baby Names (everything from Jan 25-31 is mine), I landed a gig over at starting very very soon, and I’ll be writing for Freight as well. Plus I’m looking into a monthly column for a weekly mail-out that goes to EVERY SINGLE HOME IN MY 4 COUNTY RADIUS!!!! Plus Plus I’m being considered for a few things concerning my day job.

I promise that no matter what, I will not give up on Charlie. Especially now that the freelance thing is taking off, I’m not going to forget the one the brought me to the dance. I started this blog to talk about life as a new dad and also as an open letter to my son. I’m not going quit until he’s thirty and begging me to move on.

The Adventures of Charlie Blockhead has not only given me back a hobby I missed dearly, it has turned into my friend, companion, confessional booth, a place to proclaim my love to Lucy, a sounding board for my doubts, and a place to kick myself for being such a doofus. It lets me shout, kick, scream, and cry without judgment or expectation, more importantly it lets me brag about the single greatest gift I have ever received…my son Fred.

In keeping with the celebration I couldn’t think of a better way to kick the party off than by re-posting my first blog. Enjoy:

“Baby Fred where are you!!!Baby's room painted...check.Floors good and clean...check.Crib, cradle, swing, and rocking chair put together and safe...check check check check.House ready to be shown to the millions and millions of future visitors....check...sorta.Baby Fred......still not ready....oh ok we can wait......we'll just pass the time by watching TV....or ummm I know!! I can cut grass.......let's rent a thumps twiddling... TV's boring...grass not no good...BABY FRED WHERE ARE YOU!!!!!This is torture.....”

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fred Vs Bed (Part IV: My Doctor’s Excuse)

I know what you are thinking…”Fred Vs Bed Part 4!!! You are telling me you have a 10 month old still sleeping in your bed every night?” Just to get you caught up on the progress or lack there of, in order for there to be a Part 4 there first had to be a Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. None of which ended with Fred in his bed.

So what do we have to say for ourselves now? Simply put, we have done all we know to do. We’ve tried the whole “Put him in the bed and check back in 5,10,15, 20 minute increments” and all this lead to was him getting sick all over the place. That I’ll have you know was at the 3-hour mark.

We tried easing him into to it by having him take all his naps there. This didn’t work because he’s not with us all the time and he started to think he was being put in it for the night even though it was the middle of the day. We even tried going cold turkey and just letting him cry it out without going in there. The next day his voice had lost some of it’s sparkle and left us scrambling for a better excuse other than “we just let him scream for two hours”

All this has lead up to us talking to his doctor during last week’s 9-month check up (he turned 10-months on Sat. 20th). Care to guess what she said? Leave him alone about it. You heard me. Get him used to sleeping in the living room by himself and then after a few months, easy him to another room. He will work it out all by himself.

This was the best news I had heard in awhile (besides my American Idol side project. Plug.Plug), because we finally have something to tell the hoards of parents that look at us like they just found out our really names were Fred/Velma and the reason we never invite anybody over is because our talking dog likes to tug on their faces while shouting “AH HAH!!!” Notice I said Velma and not Daphne. That catholic school skirt gets me every time. Back to the point, finally we can say we have a Doctor’s excuse.

No longer will we be forced to hang our heads in shame while other parents chuckle at our supposed miss-fortune. From now on we can sing loud and proud “BACK OFF!! WE HAVE A DOCTOR’S EXCUSE!!!”

I know all of this sounds like I’m exaggerating because let’s face it that’s what I do best, but I really think that some parents get a sick thrill from listening to us talk about going through this. You should see their faces light up just before they ask, “So…How’s that bed thing going?” “Hey buddy, have you got the bed to yourself yet?” “Speaking of last night, did you guys get Fred in his room yet?” It’s all I can do to just not punch somebody in the face…ok I’m not much of a puncher…I’d probably just call them a curse word and hide behind Lucy…and cry when we’re black balled from Church ‘cause I went off on an Elder.

The real Jeckle and Hyde of the situation is that, yes at night I do want Fred to sleep in his own room and not have to hold him while we stay up. We’d both like to do other things at that time of night, like clean or read or write a blog…but come morning the whole thing flip-flops. I don’t wake up feeling put out about having to share my bed with someone besides my wife. I’m not overly cranky about the baby lying on my arm all night. The truth is that watching him wake up every morning…looking at this new person take in the world on the morning of his 300th day…that smile as he sees you there anxiously awaiting for him to acknowledge your presence… not only do I forget about what kind of sleep I did or didn’t get, I lose track of the rest of the world entirely.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cereal Killer

I was flipping through the channels the other day…ok that’s a lie, let’s start over and this time I promise to be honest…I was watching Superman and the Legion of Superheroes last Saturday morning and noticed that Captain Crunch has had his treasure stolen again. What is up with this guy? Every 6 months he’s all “I’ve lost my treasure and only you can help me find it”. Why do I get the feeling that he’s also having the same problems with his mustache comb, wallet, decoder ring, and where he parked his boat last week when he stopped in for a quick drink at Sugar Smack’s?

It seems all the guys are having problems keeping their hands on their belongs. Lucky is always chasing after his Charms, Barney has turned into a klepto at some point during the past 50 years and is obsessed with Fred’s breakfast (Why not his dinner? Have you seen the size of those ribs that man eats?), the crook is still swiping Cookie Crunch from the cop, and to this day the Trix rabbit still says he is being framed. Personally I think the Bush Beans talking dog is behind the whole cover-up, but the only one I know that might be able to crack the case it Tony The Tiger and he is so hopped up on sugar his state of denial has become legendary. I mean come on; even two year olds know that life is not grrrrreaaattttt all the time.

Stand By Me

It’s official…WE HAVE A STANDING BABY!!! We were in the tub a couple of nights ago and one minute Fred was trying to attack the cat (bath time is the only moment of the day when Buttons will let the baby get near him. Maybe I have a cat that is a germ-a-phobe and he is afraid he will catch something from Fred) the next thing I know he’s standing in the water all by himself (the baby, not the cat).

I gave it a few seconds and then shouted for Lucy to come quick. She comes running down the hall thinking the baby had fallen, only to find Little Man just laughing it up in the middle of the tub all by himself. He got so excited he pee’d all in the bath water. What a great night that was.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Beautiful Music

Lucy and I are lucky enough to go to a church that values children of all ages. There is a cry room behind the auditorium and a nursery downstairs, but most of the time you will find these empty.

Sure sometimes it gets loud with all the cries, squeals, and roars (Fred likes to let out the occasional “I AM BABY!! HERE ME AS I PARTAKE ON A MIGHTY CHEERIO” roar). The Church just considers this a sign of growth and families coming together to learn of the power of God.

Sunday a new sound got added to the mix of voices lifting our spirits to God, babies crying to be put down, and the occasional snore from an elderly man. It was a sound that given another time or place would have just been considered gibberish.

As we started the song and Lucy began to sing in Fred’s ear, he too joined in. No he can’t say but a few words. There just must have been something about the sound of everyone’s voice rising and falling around him that made him feel as though he needed to the same.

We thought it was a fluke after the first song, and then as the second began so did Fred. As we sat there surrounded by friends and family, we made not the slightest effort to still his voice. We simply smiled, laughed, and thanked God for this new music we are so grateful to have been blessed with.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Silent Observer

The lot is empty except for a few stray cars.
If anyone else is in them, the darkness hides their faces.

The backseat is hot from the vents blasting at a level that is too high.

A rock anthem plays in the background, while the baby lays in his car seat oblivious to the location of his current nap.
Daddy is near by. That’s all he needs to know to feel secure.

Time slows down during those brief moments of silence.
There in the dark waiting for her to come back.

She doesn’t know it, but I can see her there.
Through the front glass of the store.
Smiling that smile that causes a chain reaction inside everyone it comes in contact with. Making even the angriest of individuals feel like they must at least try to attempt something that never quite compares.

Her hair is done up just right and the green of her shirt goes perfect with the blue in her eyes. She’s a ways away, but I know what she is saying.
I know her words and how lovely she makes them sound.
A simple “Hi” almost sounds like another language coming from her.
Reminding you of some place you have never been but always meant to journey.
Some place happy.

The silence that currently envelopes me only adds to her beauty.
It’s if I’m watching a silent movie star, performing her art right in front of my eyes.

The baby stirs and I hand him his juice.
He sighs as if he can also see the painting playing out in front of me.
Just beyond his field of vision.

She’s leaving now and I jump out of the car.
She flashes that smile thinking I’m eager to help.
It’s her I’m running towards.
The groceries in her hand may be heavy, but it’s my heart that's full.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

“Scare the Be-Jesus Out of Me” Elmo

The little guy got an Elmo TMX from his Auntie Molly during the Christmas Holidays. You know how it works. You press the button and the Muppet laughs his butt off. The new TMX (Extreme Tickle Me Elmo) version has Elmo rolling all over the place. One minute he’s on his feet, the next on his tummy pounding the floor, and somehow he manages to stand up again. It’s truly a piece of artwork.

The only thing is…well you see…it’s kind of…it’s scaring the crap out me and the baby! Ok not so much the baby. Sure at first every time you pressed Elmo’s giggle box, Fred would take off like Scooby Doo running from the swamp monster. His little legs practically spinning in mid-air as he tried to get away. Now he’s used to him and Elmo is just another part of the bionic family. (There’s Bionic-Spiderman, Bionic Pooh, and Bionic Tiger. All able to roam around like little demon possessed robots)

My problem with Elmo is that when activated in the standard “standing” position, he’s a cute giggly toy. This all changes when Elmo is tickled while lying down. I don’t know why but Elmo hates to be tickled unless he’s standing. When you press his stomach while in the horizontal position (him not you) he lurches up like a zombie out of a decades old gravesite. If that wasn’t bad enough he does it without saying a word until he’s back on his feet. I’m walking along closing the house up for the night, turning off all the lights, checking the locks, when I accidentally bump something in the floor. All of a sudden I’ve got the evil dead after me screaming “TICKLE ME!!! TICKLE ME!!!!!”

How do you explain to your son that the reason he can’t play with his new toy is because it makes you pee on yourself?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Holiday Leftovers

"Well I got my 2 front about a college football playoff system!"
Poor guy just didn't get anything this year.

Fred's new buddy OOGA

Freddy The Snowbaby was very happy soul.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Charlie "AmericanSuperStar" Blockhead

Last week I mentioned I was working on a couple new gigs that I was hoping would pan out pretty soon. Well the really cool one did and here's the scoop!!!

Your's truly is now the official (paid!!!!) writer for American Super Stars !!! Thanks to my pal Genuine , I'll be posting the greatest and latest American Idol news five times a week the only way I know how (really jerky sounding). This has been been a dream of mine for awhile now and I'm still in shock it has finally happened. I know it's not the pulitzer or the New York Times, but in my mind I'm an official journalist.

The new season starts up next week so do me a favor and take a peek. Oh and one more thing! Just so you don't get confused and accuse me of making all this up, everything posted this year is mine. I know it says "by americansuperstar" and "by IdolStar", but it's me through and through. I promise to keep doing Charlie Blockhead and look forward to hearing your thoughts about the new site. Happy New Year!!!!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I-OWE-A An Apology

A few months ago I wrote about how my brother Broccoli was moving to Iowa for some on the job training. It seems (as I often do) I may have put my foot in my mouth and said some negative things about the state. I don’t want to go into all the details, but I may have referred to it as the “nothing” state. Recently it has come to my attention that I may have hurt the feelings of a few readers who shall remain nameless (it was Erin) and since this person (and Broccoli) took the time to create a fantastic Christmas gift for me I figured I-OWE-A an apology.

So here it goes:

50 Fast Facts about Iowa
**Ripley's Believe It or Not has dubbed Burlington's Snake Alley the most crooked street in the world.
**Strawberry Point is the home of the world's largest strawberry.
**The state's smallest city park is situated in the middle of the road in Hiteman.
**Scranton is home to Iowa's oldest water tower still in service.
**Dubuque is the state's oldest city.
**Crystal Lake is home to a statue of the world's largest bullhead fish.
**Rathbun Dam and Reservoir is the largest body of water in the state.
**Spirit Lake is the largest glacier-made lake in the state.
**West Okoboji is the deepest natural lake in the state. Its depth is 136 feet.
**Imes Bridge is the oldest of Madison County's six bridges.
**Iowa's longest and highest bridge crosses Lake Red Rock.
**Elk Horn in the largest Danish settlement in the United States.
**At 16 miles, East Okoboji is the longest natural lake in the state.
**Kalona is the largest Amish community west of the Mississippi River.
**The state's lowest elevation point (at 480 feet) is in Lee County.
**The Holliwell Bridge is the longest bridge in Madison County.
**Francis Drake was 66 years old at his inauguration and Iowa's oldest governor.
**Iowa's oldest continually running theater is in Story City.
**The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art houses the largest collection of Grant Wood artwork.
**Fenlon Place Elevator in Dubuque is the world's steepest and shortest railway.
**Wright County has the highest percentage of grade-A topsoil in the nation.
**Quaker Oats, in Cedar Rapids, is the largest cereal company in the world.
**The Saint Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville is the only basilica in the United States situated outside a major metropolitan area.
**Clarion is the only county seat in the exact center of the county.
**Dubuque is home to the only county courthouse with a gold dome.
**Cornell College is the only school in the nation to have its entire campus listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
**The Sergeant Floyd Monument in Sioux City honors the only man to die during the Lewis and Clark expedition.
**Maynard Reece is the only artist to win the Federal Duck Stamp competition five times.
**A bronze life-sized sculpture of a Norwegian immigrant family (circa 1860) is located on a six acre restored prairie site located at the east entry to Lake Mills on Highway 105.
**Iowa's only operating antique carousel is located in the city of Story City.
**Knoxville's National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum is the only museum in the country dedicated to preserving the history of sprint car racing.
**Iowa's only fire tower is situated in Yellow River State Forest.
**Sabula is Iowa's only town on an island.
**Herbert Hoover, a West Branch native, was the 31st president of the United States and the first one born west of the Mississippi.
**Mamie Doud Eisenhower's birthplace is located in Boone and includes a restored frame house, complete with summer kitchen and original furniture from the family.
**Van Meter is the hometown of baseball's Bob Feller, an Iowa farm boy who went on to greatness with the Cleveland Indians during the Golden Age of baseball.
**Born Donnabelle Mullenger in Denison, Oscar Award-winning actress, Donna Reed, started her career at the young age of 16.
**Born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, John Wayne was the son of a pharmacist and grew up to become one of Hollywood's most popular movie stars.
**Meredith Willson, who played with the famous John Philip Sousa and the New York Philharmonic before launching his career as a famous composer and lyricist, is a Mason City native.
**Glenn Miller, noted trombonist and orchestra leader, was born in Clarinda located in Southwest Iowa.
**The town of Fort Atkinson was the site of the only fort ever built by the U.S. government to protect one Indian tribe from another.
**Campers and motor homes are manufactured in Winnebago County. They're called Winnebago's.
**Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are 100% formed by water.Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
**The highest double track railroad bridge in the world, the Kate Shelley Bridge, is located at Boone.
**Iowa is the only state name that starts with two vowels.
**The famous actor John Wayne was born in Winterset on May 26, 1907.
**Iowa State University is the oldest land grant college in the U.S.A.
**Decorah hosts Nordic Fest a three-day celebration of Decorah's Scandinavian heritage.
**The National Balloon Museum in Indianola chronicles more than 200 years of ballooning history.
**Sheldon High School Summer Theatre, the only high school repertory in Iowa and one of just a few in the nation presents a different play for each week in June and July

There I hope you can forgive me. I also hope you think I really read any of them cause I just copied and pasted them from another website and have no clue what they are about.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Dear Abby

Dear Abby,
I think I owe you an apology. It seems I have misinterpreted your actions. I see you almost everyday in your classroom at the Hill across from Baby Fred’s. You are usually getting settled in at the activity table. You know me from church and your parents are good friends of mine. Still I guess maybe I assumed too much. Each morning on my way out of the daycare, I see you sitting there with your pretty blonde hair and blue eyes…and that one little arm stretched out holding up a fruit-loop just for me. Who am I to turn down such a tempting offer? It would be just plain rude if I didn’t accept.
It wasn’t until this past Sunday that I realized my mistake. As you sat in front of us asking for your socks to be taken off, I noticed you were given a bag of cheese nips. Again I am not a rude person so I’m not going to very well just reach over and take one. As you sat there, staring at your bag of cheese nips, our eyes met…and you…you said “NO MINE!” and hid the bag from me. Oh dear Abby what have I done? All this time I thought you were offering me a tasty bit of fruit flavored cereal…only to realize you were simply showing me you had one. I apologize…

Charlie Blockhead

I really don’t like cheese nips anyways and you were wearing tights not socks.