Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Walk The Line

Those who are around me day in and day out know that I am not an angry person. Very seldom do I just jump the gun and end up in a rage. The fact is that I often go to extremes to avoid arguments. Not because I don’t want to disagree or I’m afraid to stand up for myself, but because I hate the consequences. For example when Lucy and I argue, no matter what level the shouting gets eventually there’s an end point that comes after a couple of hours. The fight is never mentioned again and we move on.

Arguments seldom work that way when dealing with the rest of the world and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find spot at which I have every right to draw the line between “take a deep breathe let it pass” and “I’ve had enough”. No matter what side I end up on I’m the one that ultimately faces the consequences. Either I suck it up and pound at my soul for not standing up to the person I feel has done me wrong or I wind up regretting my offensive strike of tongue because now things may never be the same between the opposing side and I.

Recently a family member chose not to attend Fred’s first birthday party and for that matter never acknowledging it even occurred, not because they lived hours away or had a prior commitment, but because of mild discomfort and an aversion to cats…so I jumped across that line I had drawn. I pulled up anchor, raised the red flag, and launched a volley of cannon fire towards the person that I feel did Fred wrong.

The result? Though I’m sure I did not put a dent in their defenses, they will not be given the opportunity to disappoint again or for that matter to participate. Part of me does hope that in the months ahead the situation changes, but I wonder if that’s simply me pounding away at my soul. You see once you stand your ground it’s hard to let go of what caused you to stand up in the first place.

Fred Gets Dirty

Fred is just days from changing classes and leaving the newborns behind. It would have happened sooner, but two people have to leave his next class so that there is room for him and Max. Max is Fred’s best friend and we were told they wouldn’t be separated. Which is just another reason we love the folks at the Hill.

I was dropping off Fred at the Hill Tuesday and the teacher across the hall stopped me.
“I hope you don’t mind that Fred got a little dirty yesterday”
“I don’t guess so. I just wish somebody would have said something. We didn’t notice until 10:00 last night”
“Oh…(odd pause and scrunched up face) well he was just dying to go outside and I would have wiped the dirty off his knee, but we all got in a rush at the last minute.”
“His knee? OH NO NO!! I thought you were talking about his outfit that had poop all over it….(silence…crickets chirp chirp)…um he loves to go outside take him as much as you want”

Still I have a feeling she thinks we don’t look at our kid until 10 at night.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Fred’s Actions Speak Louder Than His Words

The great thing about having a baby is that you truly never know what they are about to do. Since Fred is just now learning to talk and can only say a few words (mostly bite bite, bah bah, dad dad, and HEY!!) when something does come out of his mouth the results are pure gold. Here are three very classic moments from this weekend:

** The kid goes through milk like we are filling his bottles full of air. He practically chugs the whole thing in one gulp. Friday night I gave him a full bottle, walked out of the room for a few minutes, and when I came back it was empty. I picked the little guy up and said “Is this empty bottle the one I gave you five minutes ago?” without missing a beat I get a face full of “BBBBBUUUUUURRRRRRRPPP…Heh heh”

**Abby and Adam have been spending tons of time together. He likes the older ladies. Abby is just across the hall during the day at school and she lives down the street from us. We have all gotten together and decided that since Abby has recently begun saying his name in her sleep, that an arraignment should be made and a contract be signed. Saturday morning at Abby’s second birthday party, her mom Amy decides to make it official. With video camera in hand she asks Fred, ‘Hey Baby Fred!! Are you ready to be Abby’s future husband?” Fred looks dead into the camera and projectile hurls all over the place. It seems all the bouncing on the inflatable slide mixed with the milk and pizza I had just given him may have done a number on him. Amy quickly recovered with, “Typical male response to commitment”

**I’ve been trying to teach Fred to sound like an elephant. It’s simple you close your mouth, stick your bottom lip out, and blow really hard. The resulting “PPPPHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhh!!!” sound makes the perfect elephant. Fred wanted no part of it. Then while at church Sunday night, Fred waits until just the right moment…the exact second the preacher makes his point…and you guessed it “PPPPPPHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhh” except it sounds more like “PPPPHHHH!!!” as in “Whatever dude” I got the evil eye from Lucy for that little trick.

Friday, March 23, 2007


After partying till 11:00 Saturday night, Freddie was pretty wiped out come Sunday, although it was the fist Sunday morning he didn’t sleep during church. Times are a changing. We just took it easy around the house and at the last minute decided to invite Abby and her folks over for dinner after church. Lucy and I were kicking over the idea. Yes we just had a huge party the day before, but the house was clean, there was food left over, and the ball pit just looked empty without somebody to help Fred splash around in it.

Finally after about a half an hour of kicking it around, Lucy said “Fred do you want to have Abby over to play tonight?” and…now this is the gosh honest truth…the baby looked up at Lucy, crawled to the coffee table, grabbed the cordless phone, and handed it to Lucy. I know there are skeptics out there (NANA!!) but I say the boy knew what he was doing.

Lucy stayed home Monday and picked up a bit while Fred chilled at the Hill. Later that day she took cupcakes for everyone and Fred had another party!!! Complete with presents from all of his second mom’s that love him sooo much while we are away at work. They are practically family the way they look out for him.

Tuesday was his official birthday and everyone took the day off. We slept in, I got to read a little, we went to lunch with Nana, bought a wagon for Fred (one of those giant wagons with the seats back and cupholders), then met the Gigi for cookies back at home. We blew bubbles and took turns escorting his high-chair-ness around the block. He loved it so much we decided to walk about 6 blocks to our favorite deli, pick up some dinner, and meet Pops back at the house. Finally we celebrated one last time with more cake and another round of Happy Birthday. We must have sang that song at least 50 times that day alone.

All day Lucy and I couldn’t help thinking back to the day Fred entered our lives….how hard that first week was. Fred took a giant gasp of fluid on his way out and had to be kept in the nursery for several hours. Then he developed jaundice…though he was born at 7:56 A.M. Lucy did not lay eyes on him outside of the operating room until 3:00 PM that afternoon…up until that point I thought that was the hardest part (at least for me)…having to tell her yet again that they couldn’t bring him down yet…trying to act convinced that he was fine while not knowing why it was taking so long…telling her hour after hour “It will just be a little longer. I promise”…..

The jaundice stuck around and we were only allowed to see him every few hours, and only then so he could eat … then the last day the time he was spending under the lights was increased and we were given minimum visitation…since Lucy was relatively fine they moved us to a smaller room…goodbye fold out couch and additional room…hello recliner and misery…misery caused by waiting five days to take our newborn home…misery from not sleeping well partly from the chair I was left with and partly from worry…misery from knowing that with after each passing day I was losing time at home with son and wife….those were the hardest days of my life.

Now look at us!! One year later and I’m the happiest guy in the world. One year later and my boy is strong!!! One year later and I still feeling the pull of time as it steals another day from us. One year later and I’m a new man completely head over heels in love with his wife and son.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I cannot even believe I am sitting here writing about my little baby turning 1!!! Lucy and I…ok mostly Lucy spent the entire month of February planning for his party on the 17th and in a flash it was over in two hours. Up until this event we really had no idea how to plan for a birthday party. We invited about 50 people, bought every kind of soft drink and punch you could think of, invested trillions and trillions of dollars in toys for the kids and prizes to be given away, had a grill delivered to our house just in case folks wanted to stick around afterward, and even had a banner made announcing the big event. The party was fantastic!! Sure it wasn’t as warm as we would like and half way through it got so cool we brought the party inside. So what my camcorder died and I missed some of the Birthday song (we did the whole candle/cake thing again on his actual birthday which was the 20th and I got it that time). Big deal nobody from my mom’s side of the family showed up (more on that one later). It wasn’t about how there were no decorations up an hour before the party and we ran out of time before we could play any games (instead we gave away door prizes).
The party was about Fred and that kid had a blast. 45 of his closest friends/relatives showed up and the boy was in heaven. He was laughing and squealing and crawling all over the place. His best bud’s Max and Abby had him in stitches. He got a kids pool full of 350 balls, shoes, trains, stuffed monkeys, books, a ride on fire engine, an airplane, a 3 in 1 sports center, a giant caterpillar…at one point he crawled away from the present opening and literally fell asleep in half crawl. He was scooting across the floor and just fell passed out right there with his butt up in the air. Two minutes later he was back up and playing with his favorite aunt Molly.
Then right there in the middle of the party as if he could feel the heat from the spotlight upon him, Fred did the most amazing thing. He just got up and started walking to people. First he practically ran to the Gigi, than back to Lucy, then me, on to Nana. Since then there’s been no stopping him. I’m afraid he thinks every time he runs to somebody they are going to give him a gift…and I’m okay with that. So much so I’m keeping the left over door prizes by my side so I can pop one out the second he starts running.

After the party was over we grabbed a bite to eat with Gigi & Scuba Steve, Fred passed out in his high chair. We all thought that would be the end of our little party animal for that day. WRONG!! The second we walked in the door he was up and playing again all the way till 11:00 that night.

(To Be Continued)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I’ve Got The Music In Me

Since this week seems to be all about Fred (who is having his first birthday party this Saturday. More on that next week), I have to mention that he started dancing during the sick-cation. The kid can barely take two steps without falling on his butt, but that’s not stopping him from shaking his moneymaker every time the mood hits him just right.

All it takes is a clap and a foot tap. He grins real big, gives you a little wink, and starts bouncing up and down. This week at Church we had him waving his arm in the air like he was conducting the song. I’m telling you, the kid has talent in his blood. His Great Uncle Joe Beck won a Grammy a few years back.

Onstage at BMI Nashville during the Christian Music Awards are BMI Director Joyce Rice, EMI Music CMG Publishing President Eddie DeGarmo, Song of the Year writer Joe Beck, Songwriter of the Year Bob Herdman, "Three Wooden Crosses" writer Doug Johnson and BMI Executive Vice President Del Bryant. Photo by Steve Lowry

Freddy The Flash

Have you ever seen an 11-month-old on steroids? Imagine this knee-high tornado gathering up every toy, pet, remote control, book, magazine, and knick-knack in the entire house. Always hovering near a wall or chair. With super-human strength, the blur of destruction is able to lift and throw baby furniture with easy.

Freddy The Flash ran rampant through our house for three days. Refusing to be held or be put down, Freddy just wanted to hover two feet off the ground no further than three feet away. Sure he was the funniest and cutest tornado around, but a tornado all the same. If we were lucky he would land briefly and give us a giggle or a wink and then SA-WISH!!! He was off again.

The Sick-Cation

I had a horrible cold last week and Fred was running a fever so we both called in sick. Lucy wanted to go straight to the Dr. but since his fever was only at 101 and dropped I managed to talk her out of it. I’m very anti-doctor. By Friday night he had this horrible wheeze going on and I spent most of the evening trying to convince myself that it wasn’t pneumonia.

By Saturday morning the fever was gone and two new teeth had arrived. Problem solved, nothing to stress over. Then Saturday night he jumped back up to 101.9 and woke up Sunday in a very bad mood. The wheeze was much worse. So we did what we should have done Friday (see I can admit when I’m wrong) we took him to the Dr.

I think I have mentioned before that the doctor’s office on a Sunday is a special kind of hell full of angry moms and very very sick kids. Nobody just volunteers to go on a Sunday because of a case of the sniffles.

The result was a slight ear and respiratory infection; we got off lucky if you look past the x-rays at triple the cost. No pneumonia. Some bad news came though, Fred was put on steroids and couldn’t go to school till Wednesday due to having to have breathing treatments every four hours.

Lucy and I split up the time home so it wasn’t so bad. Sure he refused to take a nap or eat or sleep or be put down or be picked up. Yes he cried and whined a ton and had some legendary diapers, but all in all even the bad days are good days when it comes to spending time with the little guy. After it was over and time to resume our normal routine, it was obvious that though it wasn’t all fun and games…nobody really wanted to venture back out into the rest of the world and risk losing what we had going on at home.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I Scream When Asked To Put Down The Ice Cream

It happened again…I’ve been found guilty of over-reacting when it comes to food. Recently I practically strung Lucy up by her toes if she didn’t tell me where she was hiding the OREOS….this week I almost ended up on the couch cause she tried to get me to put down the carton of Nutty Buddy I was trying to devour in one setting.

“Um sweety…don’t you think you’ve had enough of that?”
“Uh…what?…Oh I just started eating it.”
“Baby that was half an hour ago and I still don’t understand why you have to eat it straight out of the carton.”
“Leave me alone!!! I’m trying to relax for the first time all day!!! This is good ice cream!!! It’s got vanilla and chocolate swirl and peanuts and chunks of waffle cone!! It’s my friend and it loves me!!! How would you like it if I told you to quit talking to your mom everyday??!?”
“Excuse me? I know you are not telling me I can’t talk to my momma just cause your fat butt has decided it wants to start dwelling only in rooms with double doors!”
“I…I love ice cream…please help…the only way I can stop is if you just come over here and take if from me…I have…no…self…control.”

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Goodin Goodin Goodin Grief Freddy Blockhead!!!

As Fred quickly approaches the holiday of his birth, he is discovering new little nuances that fully solidify him as a Blockhead in training. Little habits and oddities are being created while others of the past are laid aside.

For example: Last Sunday we were at the grocery store and after he practically bit my finger off when I gave him a piece of cheeseburger the sample lady was passing out (ah the sample lady. We have one store here in town that offers a different food on each corner of the food section. Where else can you eat an egg role, frozen fried shrimp, rotisserie chicken, and some gummy juice filled gushers all for free?), so we decide we better feed him and headed out for some Chinese food. It’s a family restaurant so they are cool enough to include pizza, chicken nuggets, and some plain noodles for the kids. Like is our normal routine, we wipe off the table in front of Fred and put his food there so he can feed himself like he likes it. Not this time though. Nope the only he would eat is if I laid my hand out palm side up, he would then take a piece of food, put it in my palm, close my hand, wait a few seconds, open my hand, and then feed himself. He did this for like half an hour. Lucy and I laughed so hard I had to pass on my customary 3-trip buffet attack strategy and only ended up going twice. (Yes I’m still having over eating issues)

Within the past few days he’s also started making this Goodin Goodin Goodin sound. He knows how to say Dad, Hi, Boom Boom, and Ma Ma, but now all we seem to be getting is Goodin Goodin Goodin.

Yesterday I was changing his diaper and he started blowing air like he was about to whistle but couldn’t figure out what to do with his tongue. I got distracted with what I found in the diaper and apparently didn’t give the correct response cause he never did it again.
Say what you must about babies being babies and the whole learning new stuff thing, but I think this is more than that. I think he’s got more of me in him than his mom would like to admit. Need some proof? Try calling my house and being surprised to find Kermit the Frog answering the phone. I just found out that I do a pretty good impression and can’t stop practicing just in case the Henson family calls looking for a stand in.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I was over at Sarah and the Goon Squad the other day and she had this post about her daughter saying that she had a big butt. She put the famous picture of the two girls dancing on a large booty from the video Baby Got Back (ah Sir Mix-a-lot how we love thee). It really got me thinking about how funny it is that what used to be considered slightly obscene rap music has now turned into songs we sometimes sing to our children. The other day out of now where I burst out with ‘I wanna zooma zoom zoom in the boom boom’. I thought where on earth did that memory come from (chances are from a commercial. Did you catch the newest Wendy’s commercial? In the background “Blister In The Sun” by the Violent Femmes is playing. Am I wrong but I thought this song was about….how shall I say this…I thought it was about having a good time with yourself! Is Wendy’s trying to tell me that after I’m done having a good time with myself that one of their juicy hamburgers will hit the spot?). Fred got a kick out of the song so “zooma zoom zoom” away I went. Lucy can quite regularly be heard saying “The roof the roof the roof is on fire! We don’t need no water let the hmmm hmmm hmmm” now I know that the ending of that is up to some interpretation, but the way I heard it is the reason we always go ‘hmmm hmmm hmmm’ afterward. Oh and I may have been singing ‘Are you down with OPP? Yeah you no me!!” the other day. To get around the whole “I’m a Christian and shouldn’t be talking crudely thing” we simple change the meanings so if ever asked OPP means Outside Play Period or Our Purple Pajamas. Are you down with Our Purple Pajamas? Yeah you know me I like the color purple (the actual color...I’ve never seen the movie). I wonder if twenty years from now Fred will be singing “Lips of an Angel” or ‘Runaway Girl’ by Ludacris to his kids?

Mother’s Days

The Gigi and the Nana both had birthdays within the past week. Lucy and I just want to say thank you to each of our moms for all they have done for Fred. Regardless if it’s giving us a break so we can do something together or helping out with meals when we are just too worn out or just being there playing with Fred, we want you to know just how special you are to all three of us. Fred is beginning to take his first steps and we know someday soon both of you will be walking around with him wrapped around your legs…I just hope your not too old and arthritic to do it. Hahahahahahahahahahaahaha!!!!

The Walk Around

It’s official!! Fred took his first steps over this past weekend. He was holding on to something and just went right after his Gigi. Of course I wasn’t there to see it, but she had just had a birthday so maybe he saw it as a once in a lifetime chance to give her something money can’t buy. So far he’s taken a couple of more and I’ve been there for those. Monday night while I was in the kitchen he crawled up behind me and pulled himself up using my pants leg. I slowly turned and shuffled out of the kitchen with him holding on just slightly and laughing his head off. When I stopped he just kept on going in between my legs and back around ready to go again. These are the greatest of great days Lucy and I are living in.