Monday, December 29, 2008

Sing Me A Song About Tacos

Ever since his first big boy haircut several weeks ago (Sadly the curls are off. Once Santa thinks you are a girl it's time for a change) Fred has been going through some changes that don't all revolve around his appearance. The most interesting of which is his increased vocabulary. Suddenly he's adding words and phrase to his repartee that I never thought I would hear him say.
  • "Not a commercial Daddy! I don't like commercials!" "Sorry, but not everything we watch is TiVo'd"

  • "This meal is delicious! These are my favorite!"

Everything now seems to have a musical quality to it and follow a verse of some sort.

  • I like tacos tacos tacos. I like tacos tacos tacos. I want some tacos pleaseeeeee

  • I want to watch Wall-E in my roooom in my roooom. I want to watch Wall-E in my rooom

  • I need to PeePee PeePee PeePee. I need to PeePee please take me right now. Gotta go to the bathroom and PeePee PeePee PeePee

Oh and every time we are in public he starts singing Happy Birthday to some random person. He's so convincing that people actually believe it's that persons birthday.

  • "Happy Birthday Mommy! Happy Birthday Mommy! Happy Birthday to you!"

Too bad I can't seem to get him to do that last one whenever we are at a resturant. I love free birthday cake.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

He Said What This Christmas!!!

Welcome to Charlie Blockhead and Happy New Year!!! I'm so excited about this coming year and all that it may bring (a new baby is even being discussed/planned for the later half of really just depends on who you talk to...I say discussed and Lucy says planned. So there you go...) I'm also completely stoked because this very post you are reading right here is number 3-0-0 for the ole'blockhead and though I haven't been posting much lately, I feel a second wind coming on strong. First and foremost I gotta get Christmas behind me. So without further ado here is the obligatory Christmas post. Hopefully I'll get some pics up before the end of the week.

  1. Please no more presents! I tired.
  2. I want my hat....I want my apron....Daddy....I want to cook.
  3. I am tired of waiting on Santa!
  4. A kiss to the forehead of Uncle Brock.(Technically not a talky but as they say actions speak louder than words)
  5. You're not Mommy. You're Mommy DooDoo.
  6. Daddy we don't say Mommy DooDoo no more!
  7. Christmas is over! No more lights? No more presents?
  8. I don't want to go to no more stores!
  9. I think he just ricocheted that bouncy ball off that baby's head.(Charlie)
  10. I don't want to see Santa. Santa you stay way over there and I stay over here...I WANT A MICKEY MOUSE RACETRACK FOR CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Things I Take For Granted

Freedom Love Peace Silence Chocolate Laughter First Smiles First Words First Loves.Toys on Christmas morning. A McDonalds on every corner. Java Chillers. Tivo. Not having to wash your clothes at a 24 hr laundry mat in the middle of the night. Planes Trains And Automobiles.Family, Friends, and football games.Long distance phone calls to the ones we love.Warm sunny days doing nothing but reading a book by the pool.A job that pays all the bills and leaves extra to save for trips to the zoo. Time. Sausage balls. Quiet nights in a room lit by the soft glow of a Christmas tree. Coloring with your favorite child. Chinese Food. 299 Charlie Posts. Double Quarter Pounders. The internet. Health, Car, and Home insurance. Pecans dropping from a tree in the back yard. Good teachers and a fantastic daycare. God, Grandparents, and Good Fellowship. Kitty Cats and Puppies. Central Heat and Air. Long days spent fishing along a river bank. A few hours alone on a golf course. New sweaters and old sweatshirts. A good couch perfect for afternoon naps. Time to live and not to work.....Lucy, Fred, Nani, Gigi, Broccoli, Granny, Grandpa, MawMaw, PawPaw, Pops, Poppa, and Mo.

The one thing I plan to to do this coming week....enjoy life and remember all I have been blessed with.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ornamental Disaster

I'm feeling really guilty about not posting much lately, but the holidays are simply taking their toll. This year just seems to be more chaotic than most and with that comes tons of stress. I thought that cutting back on my freelance work would help ( I now just write for PetSource.Org), but other things have take that seems that we are so busy getting ready for Christmas that we are forgetting to celebrate it. Today I heard Lucy wish a few people Merry Christmas and it occurred to me that the phrase had not entered my vocabulary yet this year.....then there are the outside decorations.

Since Lucy and I were married on December 1st 2001, we long ago decided that on each anniversary instead of a gift for each other we would buy something new for the yard. A few lighted trees, some twinkling snowmen, this year we added a great looking sleigh which we painted black and white. The plan was too position the reindeer we bought last year to look as if they were pulling it....but then the rainy season started and our deer seem to constantly be laying down on the job.

We don't normally have a rainy season, in fact up until a month ago my part of Alabama was in the midst of a drought. After 3 straight weeks of wind, rain, sleet, and snow the Drought of '08' is officially history. As a consequence the wind simply cannot help itself from leveling everything standing in the front of the house included the above mentioned deer and lighted trees. The ground is simply too wet to anchor anything into the ground and what we have ended up with is a neighborhood full of lazy Santa's and sleepy Snowmen. If I didn't know better I would swear a band of Christmas hating teenagers had taken a beating to the entire community.
Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Help! I've Been Lincoln Logged And Can't Get Up!

If you've got kids than you know the joys of walking through the house barefoot only to discover that Batman's Bat-a-rang actually does make an effective weapon if used properly. What may seem like tiny harmless bits of plastic suddenly become appendage altering landmines placed around the house in some type of shotgun pattern. The result is you begin to walk differently. Instead of long strides you learn to march like a soldier except you never let more than the tips of your toes touch the ground. Pretty soon you become so used to trying to avoid ending the life of what was otherwise a very nice foot, that you begin to walk like this every where you go. People at the mall see you walk past like Elmer Fud sneaking up on that Wascally Wabbit and instinctively they understand you are with Toddler.

Over the past couple of years I've had the misfortune of stepping on Legos, Hot Wheels, action figures, tiny trains, sunglasses, and every Happy Meal toy produced since 2006. You could say I was a connoisseur of toy related foot pain. I've been hurt by the worst and lived to tell...until we got the bright idea to introduce Fred to Lincoln Logs. What was meant for building is really just a tube full of wooden bats and pin cushions. Nothing and I mean NOTHING has ever hurt more than stepping on those tiny wooden Lincoln Logs while making my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. But what is a guy going to do throw away every toy that his son has just because they have almost sent him to the E.R. twice? Yes....but I had his permission. After stepping on one of the little #$%&#'s himself he cried "Take them away Daddy!!! Please take them awwwaayyyy"

Leftover Turkey

As you no doubt noticed I took a break from blogging to clear the spider webs from my brain and recharge. Here are some pics from the Thanksgiving Holidays. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Watching For Curve Balls

Being the brother of a former little league baseball star and a close person friend of a friend of Josh Willingham, I've heard enough about curve balls to tell you exactly how they operate. I've been told that the first thing you learn is that they start off looking like your typical pitch. As if in slow motion the pitcher begins his windup, the arm comes back, slowly extends forward, and you immediately think "Hey no problem. I got this one." Then suddenly as you swing with all your might instead of the sweet sound of wood meeting leather....the balls dips and falls just out of reach.

I've been thinking a lot about curve balls lately and how they relate to so much that is happening with myself and those around me. Speaking strictly from my own recent experiences I can tell you that it's almost too easy not expect today to be just like yesterday and tomorrow to carbon copy the days before.....we all enjoy our routines, but the fact is that we become so used to their existence that when something outside our daily expectations does occur it often leaves us still staring towards the fences looking for the ball that has long passed us by.

As I mentioned I'm not the only one that has seen a curve ball slip past them and change the way they see the world recently. And just the same I hope I'm not the only one that understands regardless of where we end up and what situation we find ourselves in, there are still things to be thankful for no matter how large or small. I think the trick is to remember that no matter what goes wrong you still get another chance to step up to the plate and take another swing.....who knows maybe this time you'll get the pitch you want.

To all those who have been caught off guard by a well placed curve ball, Happy Thanksgiving from Fred, Lucy, and Charlie. You are in our thoughts.......

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Four Little Toothbrushes

Four little toothbrushes all in a row,
Which one was in his mouth I'll never know.
Four little toothbrushes all soaking wet,
How they got that way I haven't figured out just yet.
Four little toothbrushes surrounded by bubbles,
One little boy looking like he just commited some trouble.
Four litte toothbrushes one of which was mine,
Looks like I'll be buying a new one before morning time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Can Dance If I Want To!

I never danced at my prom....never even went....I think I hung out in the parking lot with a bunch of other geeks making fun of people going in and out secretly wishing I was one of them. The only time I ever danced in college was after I had taken a trip to Boonesville population me. I remember our whole wedding as one long dance from the moment they hit play on the CD of songs we spent months hand picking. The soft steps of Lucy walking down the isle. The two of us jumping up and down once we finally made it home as we tried desperately to get all the bird seed off of us. As far as something choreographed and planned....I'd never committed to it. Till I got the call one afternoon.

It was a couple months before the wedding and I was desperate to help in any way I could think. They got the idea from some show on TLC and more out of a feeling of obligation Broccoli wanted to make sure I knew I could join in. Ever on the look out for possible hurt feelings he added that he didn't think I would say yes, but wanted to include me just the same. Now I'd like to say that sometimes you do things not because of personal gain, but for what others can gain from your actions. Truth be told after the first practice my reasons did change to something more along the lines of "This is my gift to you on your wedding day". I wish I could say that was the reason I called him back immediately after saying no in the first place....but the truth is I'm just too stubborn for my own good and I wasn't about to let somebody tell me they didn't think I would do something. The way I saw it I had been robbed of my ability to make the decision for myself by having it included with the request. So because of stubbornness and later because of what it would mean to him...and because it had been so long sense we had bonded over anything....I agreed to dance. Not just dance, but practice.

I practiced in the living room while Fred begged me to quit. I practiced at the office on my way back from the copier. I met the guys in the group and practiced after church on Wednesday nights at a Ballet studio downtown. I ran through the routine at all hours of the day all the while keeping it a secret from as many people as possible in order to ensure it's shock value. Until finally after all the I Do's and I Love You's had been said...the DJ stopped the music and the dance began. Click here to see the Brothers Blockhead Live For The First Time!

P.S. I'm the one in the second row on the far right corner of the the screen. Hey nobody said I had to be good.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The One Thing You Should Never Say At Church!

I'm still trying to catch you guys up on all the wedding stories and before I post the video (yes there is a video!) I wanted to tell you about THE ONE THING YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY AT CHURCH! I always find it funny how stressful those moments before a wedding can be. The Bride and Groom are running around making sure everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing. The photographer wants everyone to stand here, the wedding planner demands everyone be as this place at this time, everyone is wondering why they didn't just elope.

It's in these moments of mass hysteria that some of the funniest lines are said out of exasperation. For example......

We were less than two hours from show time and the Nani was desperately looking for something that Broccoli just had to have. As I mentioned the groom is being tugged, pulled, and twisted in every direction and the last thing he has time for is for something to go missing. Now Nani decided she had a pretty good idea as to where the meaningless item was, but didn't want to run all the way out to the car and it not be there. So she began describing to Broccoli where she thought it was except it was in something she couldn't quite bring herself to say out loud.

"Where is it?"
"In the trunk of the car"
"Where in the trunk of the car?"
"In that box!"
"What box?"
"The box in my trunk!"
"I'm telling you I want to know exactly where it is so I don't get all the way out there and waste time digging around! Which box?"
"The square one!"

Finally out of desperation Nani said what she had been trying to say all along.....
"You want me to get the Box of Whoop Ass?"

Now in her defense Whoop Ass just happens to be the name of the company that made the Bobble Head dolls Broccoli had made up of each of the groomsmen, but still the fact that she said that in the middle of church is something I will never forget.

Speaking of Bobble Heads, here is me with mine:

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Will The Best Man Please Come To The Microphone?

What a loooong week it's been. The new job took a few twists and turns that nobody would have ever predicted hence I'm just now getting to talk about Broccoli and Brooklie's wedding which took place allll last weekend. I'll be sharing stories for a few posts yet to come, but I wanted to start with a true highlight of the entire best man speech. Hope you like it!

"Living in a small town as we do at least once a week I run into somebody that knows both Brock and I, yet have never made the connection that we were related. When it does click, their response is always the same: “You’re Brock Beck’s brother (arms showing off imaginary muscles), but you’re so (arms making a large stomach motion)” In fact many of you today are probably just now discovering he has one.

As far as brothers go it’s no secret Brock and I are completely different. While over the years we have gone our separate ways, we’ve always done our best to stay in touch and believe it or not we do have a lot of things in common.

We both love our mother very much! The reason we are who were are and have what we have…in my case a beautiful wife, a fantastic son….your new life with Brooke which you’ll share with all here today to see the two of you come together…we owe it all to the sacrifices she made so we would have better future.

Other things we have in common: While growing up Brock played many sports from Basketball to Baseball and…I went to hockey game once.

You may not know this, but growing Brock and I shared the ability to make ourselves invisible of course we could only activate it the instant we heard the sound of a lawnmower being cranked.

Believe or not we both enjoy reading….no wait that’s just me…. We enjoy a nice pair of cowboy boots….no not really … I’ll just move on.

More importantly one thing we definitely share as well as the other men in our family is the ability to marry well. I don’t know how we do it but all of us from Grandpa Beck To PawPaw Hamm have somehow managed to find women who are not only beautiful but have ammmmmaaaazzzing amounts of patience. Women who have proven time and again that they are willing to follow us around the world and back based on the promise that one day we will settle down and devote our lives to making them happy. Which brings me to why we are here today…..

Brock as your older brother I feel I need to let you in on one the great secrets of marriage. No matter what happens from this point forward the most important thing you can do as a husband is cherish. Cherish every night spent alone with your wife, every long drive to see your family for the holidays, every second of laughter and moment of sadness. Brock and Brooke as we stand here today surrounded by friends and family we wish you all the happiness in the world and that you both realize how lucky you are to have found one other."

Monday, November 03, 2008

Excuse Me While I Adjust To The Time Change

I know everyone is just dying to hear about Broccoli's wedding that took place this past weekend, but so much took place that it will take me a few days to sort through it all. Plus I start the new job in morning and I've got all kinds of prep I've got to do in terms of how exactly my schedule is going to pan out (who thought that not calling your mother and wife every morning at 8:10 and 8:30 would be such a big deal). Hopefully I'll have the speech I gave and a video or two to share with you by the end of the week. For now I want to talk time change.

I know I talk about how insane the notion of changing the clocks is every year, but this time it has scarred my family for life. The below conversation took place this afternoon as Lucy was picking up Fred after work in what is now night time:

"Mommy why you not pick me up till dark outside?"
"Oh baby, this is the same time I pick you up everyday."
"But it dark out....Where's the moon?"
Scrambling for a way to let Fred know she didn't forget him while at the same time describing the demon time change she cleverly came up with "The moon is right there! Mommy would never forget you! You see when it starts getting cold outside the sun goes away and the moon comes out sooner!"
"Ooooooh ok!"

Thankfully he was happy with her answer although you just gotta know he was thinking we forgot him today.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Now A Break For Our Sponsor: TANG!

I bring you this break in our normally scheduled wedding, new job, fatherhood talk to bring you a word from our sponsor: TANG!

Actually I just needed a break so I could rant about the existence of NASA. I understand the importance of a thousand satellites circling the globe allowing me to keep up with the World Series of Backgammon on my cell phone, but other than that do we really need NASA for anything else? I mean couldn't we use the trillions of dollars being spent everyday to see if the Red Planet is just like Val Kilmer said it would be on something like finding a cure for our massive homeless problem? I mean we literally have people living on the streets and yet we constantly spend gabillions on shuttle launches so we can figure out why space smells like chicken-fried steak. Furthermore I could care less about the moon and truly believe that it's main function is serve as a nightlight for those too cheap to spend five bucks to make their kids feel safe at night and to give dogs something to howl at after a long day of playing chase their tail. To the upcoming president elect all I ask is that you forget all about the planets, space aliens, and the final frontier and please focus on finding intelligent life here on Earth instead. Then again considering our choices come November 4th maybe I should be asking somebody else....

Now I take you back to blah blah blah

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

But Baby It's Cold Outside....

No this isn't a post about how Lucy has a habit of asking me to step out the side door and into our adjoining laundry room to put the clothes in the dryer at 11 o'clock at night even though I've got nothing on but a pair of boxers and a smile. The title comes from the new sentence we are constantly saying to Fred every morning as we try our best to get him to wear pants to school.

I'm really wondering how people handle more then one, because lately our one is not wanting to do anything we ask him to. "Wear this please." "NO I WANT TO WEAR MICKEY MOUSE!" "Let me help you get in the car so we can leave sometime before the end of tomorrow." "NO I DO IT!" "Please put on this very expensive outfit so you won't embarrass us at Uncle Broccoli's wedding." "I WANT TO WEAR ELMO!"

At this point after several conversations with Broccoli I have no doubt he could care less what Fred wears to the wedding. In fact I think he could run down the isle naked and he wouldn't care (Fred not Broccoli....then again he probably wouldn't care about that either.....Broccoli not Fred). Which is good because we may have to wait to the last minute to put the thing on him and if he gets away from Lucy then it just very well may happen.

"But Baby It's Cold Outside..." is what we are constantly saying to Fred as the reasons why he can't wear shorts all day and all night. Bribery doesn't work, forcing him doesn't work, so far begging is only doing a so so job. Knowing full well we are simply dealing with a miniature version of ourselves, Lucy and I are trying to remain patient as this stage hopefully passes us by. Yet all the patience in the world can't make us stop cringing whenever it's time to get Fred to do something he doesn't want too.....on a some what related note I can no longer remember what we did with all our spare time before we had a child. I remember getting married, then sleeping, then......saying "Because I said so!" over and over again. Was I in a coma?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Look Out For That Fork In The Road!!!!

Here comes another turning point.....a fork stuck in the road....time has grabbed me by the wrist and is directing me where to go....

No I'm not announcing the end of Charlie Blockhead, in fact due to some major changes just over the horizon I may have more time than ever to post. After almost 6 yrs with Anderson Press Inc, I was recently offered a supervisors position at Whitesell Corp. Thanks to a mysterious envelope containing an advertisement for a job already filled and featuring nada in the way of a return address, I have somehow found the next step in my path to the top of the corporate ladder. With only the words "Apply Now" written in pencil at the top, the no named sender somehow convinced me to send in my resume. It wasn't until half way through the interview that I realized it was for a supervisor's position and not a lonely account analyst's job.

Though I'll miss a ton of things about Anderson Press including the great discount I got on coloring books, the new job is 3 minutes from home and Fred's daycare compared to the half hour trip I'm used to. This means more time at home and more time to spend posting. We'll save on gas, food, and the new job comes with a paid country club membership....yes I'm bragging a little, but I'm ultra excited.

Of course with any new job major challenges come with the change in atmosphere. New employees to get used to. New software to learn. New goals to reach for. I've been around long enough to know it won't be easy at first, but eventually I'll make the job my own and get the hang of things. For now I'm mainly focusing on Broccoli's wedding, wrapping up the loose ends at Anderson Press, and getting Fred to wear his official ring bearers uniform which may take a visit from Mickey Mouse himself to pull off.

If you're reading this ye ole mysterious mailer of classified ads....your good dead will not be forgotten and will be passed on to another very soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Have You Met My Invisible Child?

It's funny to think about all the things you never thought you would catch yourself doing in those pre-child years. Saturday Lucy and I went to a wedding shower for Broccoli (only 3 weeks away!) and Fred spent the night with the GiGi (I know two weekends in a row!). Once it was all over and we had stopped for a double cheeseburger and tots at Sonic, we headed home to enjoy some quiet time. Within minutes of walking in the door, Lucy was on the computer and I was curled up on the couch. I remember being a teenager and as most teenage boys do I dreamed about a time when I would have a girl all to myself with nobody around to stop us from doing what boys and girls do....never once did those dreams involve me falling asleep watching a Spiderman Cartoon marathon. Funny enough when I woke up at 1 A.M. she was on the other couch and had apparently dosed off watching the second half of Spidey. I don't remember saying to myself "Hey a Spiderman Marathon! Coool!" I honestly think that Fred has gotten us so used to watching nothing but cartoons that I just didn't realize there was anything else on.

Parenting is a thing of balance. Let the kid get his way too often and he gets spoiled and refuses to do what you say. Get too strict with him and you rob him of the joys of childhood. After battling our out of control child for a couple days last week I found myself arguing with a person that had been out of my sight for at least two hours Thursday morning. Fred and I went back and forth all morning through getting dressed, on the way out the door, and up until the point that I turned him over to those beautiful people at the Hill. When mom called a few hours later it hit me I had continued the argument during my drive to the office and had been talking out loud to my invisible child since I dropped him off. I still lost the argument.....

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

When We Were Young And Infinite

Lucy and I try to get out sans child at least once a month. Now that Fred is older he has discovered the joys of staying away from home and being able to get away with absolute murder. Typically our nights alone follow a distinct path: A long drawn out goodbye to Fred. The type you might see on if you were on the Love Boat and heading out into the great wide open. People tossing handkerchiefs, blowing kisses, and waving goodbye until their loved ones are out of sight. Followed by a quick change of clothes, dinner at a restaurant that we'd never take Fred to not because he would misbehave, but because they are often so tiny you wonder why they would try to put a Chili's in a bathroom closet, a nice long stroll around Target, followed by both of us falling asleep on our favorite couches.....I just screams old fogies.

Last Friday things were a bit different thanks to my new friends Nick & Norah. It could have been that we were inspired by a theater full of giddy teenagers or that it had been so long since we actually sat down together to watch anything remotely romantic we simply discovered what had been missing....whatever it was, at some point during the couples adventures through the streets of New York, Lucy and I remembered what it was like to be 17 again. We held hands and we laughed. We ewwed and awwwed at the right moments and pretended to be like the carefree teens giggling all around.

After a brief trip to Target afterward (had to have the soundtrack!), we left our disguises on and drove around town listening to our favorite songs, singing along loud and proud, and did something we hadn't done in quite some time.....we enjoyed each others company. Not to say we don't love one another deeply, but after day in and day out of acting like some one's parent it's hard not to treat everyone like they are two year's old and out of control. In that car covered in the glow of the dashboard lights, we drove down the city streets listening to our own playlist and remembering the infinite memories of our life together. And in the morning as we picked Fred up and prepared for the inevitable battle over "Who he thinks he is all of a sudden!", we did our best to remember the night before while silently making promises to keep those teenage costumes we donned hours early in hopes that they might be wore again more often.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Foot-In-Mouth Disease

Lately I've had more than my share of foot-in-the-mouth moments and since I haven't proven what a giant blockhead I truly am in a while I figured I'd lay it all out for the world to see.

Scene: The Office
Situation: Discussing the new changes I've made to Charlie with my mother on the phone
Foot-In-Mouth Moment: As I was discussing the changes I mentioned that she should really check out some of my blog buddies, specifically Weird Girl. It's no secret that Weird has been trying to get pregnant for several months now and recently she even did a post entitled "More Trials With My...." anyways I can't even bring myself to type it....just click over there and read about it. Trust me she's hilarious. Anyways I'm telling my mom she should read Weird when the words "One of her most recent was is called Let's Talk About My (Rhymes with Delores)". Which soooooo was not the title and sooooo not something I ever wanted to say in front of my mother. It only made it worse that I was in an cube farm full of eager ears just dying for some gossip.

Scene:The Living Room
Situation: Officially Jumped On A New Band Wagon
Foot-In-Mouth Moment: SEC football fans are no doubt aware of the huge rivalry between Alabama and Auburn. Families have split, marriages have ended, employees have been fired all due to which side of the feud they fell on. My entire life I have been an Auburn fan "War Eagle". My wardrobe contains no less than 6 Auburn shirts, a pair of Auburn sandles, various hats and as every father does I have passed this tradition down to Fred. Well being an Auburn fan was easy when they were good, but this year they stink. To make matters worse Alabama which has traditionally sucked is now on a major upswing with no signs of slowing down. I had been keeping it a secret that I was debating on sneaking across the border to party down with the enemy (especially after that win against Georgia) for weeks, but I slipped and made my intentions official. As Fred was leaving a message on his Nani's cell phone, searching for something to keep him talking I said the unthinkable "Say ROLL TIDE!!!" which of course is the enemy's mating call.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome To Golfers Anonymous

Hi. My name is Charlie Blockhead and I'm a bad golfer. It's taken me a long time to stand here today and admit that I have a problem, but like with what happens in other cases where addiction is involved my eyes have been opened thanks to an embarrassing moment that I may never live down.....I was beaten by a 90 year-old man who had not picked up a golf club since 1997.

Ok so he wasn't exactly 90 years old and in my defense I did have Fred with me thus my parental instincts only allowed me to keep one eye on the ball so that the other could make sure he didn't accidentally fall into a water hazard or get beamed in the head because he doesn't know that the word Four has another meaning. Still while Fred wasn't that big of a distraction and even ended up paring a couple holes himself , I simply meandered my way from hole to hole with what amounted to a golf bag full of wet noodles. All of this of course occurring on my 33rd birthday.

I have yet to beat anyone I have ever played, so I got myself a ringer...or so I thought. He said "I'd love to play golf with you my handsome, intelligent, charismatic grandson and my cute as a button, long haired, genius of a great-grandchild. I have to say though it's been 10 years since I last played and I might be rusty." To which I replied "That's ok Rusty. I'm not that great either. Forget keeping score, let's just have a good time." All the while relishing what I was sure would turn out to be my first victory on the green links.

Obviously things did not turn out the way I had intended. Yes it is true that while he had not played in over a decade, what I did not know was that my dear grandfather was hustling me. As I learned just moments after he crushed his first 350+ drive down the center of the fairway, my grandfather who spent his entire life working from sun up to sun up with only mere minutes of sleep to get him through one day and on to the next had actually considered turning pro only to give it all up of the love of family.

Therefore it is with much pain and sadness that I come before you today, hat in hand after being spanked by Grampa Woods, to tell the world going to beat that old man if it's the last thing I do!!!!! I WILL GET YOU RED BARON!! YOU HAVE DECEIVED ME FOR THE LAST TIME!!
While I go practice my chip shot (as well as my tee shot, bunker shot, fairway shot....) enjoy some pics of Fred and his great-grampa aka Grampa Woods.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sideways Pop-Tarts

Now that Fred seems to have an opinion about every thing from what shirt he wears to The Hill to the proper way to stack the growing legions of stuffed animals (Baby Bear, Baby Bunny, Goofy, Mickey, Poo Bear, Eeyore, Dolphin, Pablo, Tasha, Tyrone, Blanket Bear, Frog, Tad...all of which must be in his bed before he can go to sleep) as a control freak myself, we seem to be having a constant battle as to just who's way is the right way and who's way things are going to get done. I feel for poor Lucy in that it's a common joke between women that their husband is simply another child to take care of, yet at times it's like I've fallen asleep and woken up in the middle of a round of "This is the way this gets done/This is the way I do it/But that's not the right way to do it/But this is the way I get it done" and I can't seem to find an end to it. A game which is started at a moments notice and involves such trivial things as getting into the car properly, the right way to play with a Slinky, and how to brush your teeth.

Only many times what I consider to be trivial, is actually a major deal with Fred in that it's important to him to learn to do things himself. In some ways I miss the little baby we once had that required our constant attention to survive, then again as I meet him on the couch every afternoon at 5:30 for a half hour of The Mickey Mouse Club House I can't help but smile as my little boy decides that eating a Pop-Tart sideways is exactly the way it should be done. In fact as I join the masses headed for work at the Cube Farm every morning, part of me screams for a chance to be different from those surrounding me from 8-5.

Who knows....maybe they taste better sideways.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Night The World Came Alive

He'd heard the word almost every hour on the hour during the weeks leaving up to the trip. If asked the little boy would scream on command "TO THE BEECH" , yet his parents could never be sure just want the word meant to him. Although he'd been there the year before, he was a different person now. No longer a baby, half as tall as his momma, the two year old he had grown into was in a lot of ways seeing the world for the first time.

It was late when they arrived, but with an enthusiasm that mirrored that of the young boy between them Mom and Dad couldn't wait till daybreak to see the place they had been dreaming about countless nights since they last left. They wondered how he would react to the waves crashing against the sand.

Much like the word strawberry meant nothing to him until he tasted the fruit or the word banana lacked significance until he was able to hold one in his hands and pull back the layers; the beach was nothing more than something he had learned would guarantee a smile on the faces around him when it was spoken.

The night was perfect for first time beach combers. A sky filled with the twinkle of a million stars and the brightest moon ever to have lit up the night made it impossible to tell if what he was looking at was a dream or a new found reality. The sand felt cool on his toes as he began to notice a squeaking noise with each footstep as if somewhere behind him several windows were being washed all at once.

With a gentle breeze coming from the right and no fear of the darkness that surrounded him, the little boy looking at the great big ocean for the very first time and could only utter one word. So silently that if they had not been paying close attention they would have surely missed it, mom and dad heard their first born say what they too were thinking at that very moment..."wow"

As the three of them stood there staring across the waters of the Gulf on that cool ocean night, the world and all it's trials became extinct. All the heartaches, headaches, and hard times that filled the spaces in between that moment and the last time they stood on the sandy shore a year earlier became trivial and meaningless. All that mattered to the mom and dad were those two hands that were clamped tightly between them. And all they could say was the same word uttered by the little boy with the long curly hair who was in a lot of ways seeing the world for the very first time...."wow"

Friday, September 05, 2008

Wiggle'd Out

I've suffered through Barney for an entire a year sometimes five times a day. I managed to enjoy Blue's Clues simply because it gave me a rest from Barney. I welcomed the Wonder Pets Tuck, Linny, Ming Ming too since I have this weird thing about talking animals that just makes me laugh every time and the Wonder Pets look real (at least to me). I love the Backyardigans. Know most the songs by heart and have my favorite episodes that I keep on TiVo. I even laugh out loud at the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse every time Pete dresses up in a disguise and the gang is clueless as to who could be underneath. (Um maybe it's the only person on this show not wearing a sheet over his body?) But I can't stand.....I despise....I HATE THOSE ##@$@! WIGGLES.

I don't like Jeff, I don't like the sleepy purple one, or the fake guitar playing bug-eyed one, or the red one with the sideburns who loves fruit salad, or even Captian Feathersword. Still they seem to hold a special place in Fred's heart and make him smile so I must suffer for a half hour everyday. (Notice I didn't include a picture...I can't even stand to look at them online)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Welcome Back Mr.Green Jeans

As a kid I remember waking up every Saturday morning and catching the latest episode of everyone's surrogate grandpa Captain Kangaroo. Although I don't remember specifics of the show I do recall that groovy mustache the Captain was sporting and some type of kangaroo hand puppet that looked like it was made from a baseball cap. Another part of the show I remember is the one and only Mr. Green Jeans. Again I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but I'm pretty sure that it was Mr. Green Jeans's job to keep the Captain's garden nice and ...uh green I guess.
Well after 25 years, the late Mr. Jeans is now back in my life and showing me the path to keeping the planet clean. No I'm not talking about the Captian coming out on DVD (although that would be soooo awesome), I'm talking about Fred and his dislike of wasted energy. For some reason the kid hates to have the lights on. It doesn't matter what you are doing or who's in the room, if there is a light to turn off he's the man who'll make sure it's off.

This is great and all until you finally find those ten minutes of privacy you have been begging for so you can curl up on the couch and finish the last and most crucial page of your new book, only to left in the dark the moment you get comfortable. So you get up,tell him you were using the light, get seated, open your book, and the dark once again. So you get up, tell him you were using the light, get seated, open your book, and the dark once again. Pretty soon you find yourself in a constant loop involving sitting, standing, telling him to stop, cutting on the light, and attempting to sit again, only to guessed it..... left in the dark once again.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Brothers Blockhead

Broccoli's getting married in a couple of months and as the Best Man I'm responsible for giving a speech, just as he did when he was the Best Man at my wedding. I know I've still got a couple of months but I've been kicking over ideas.

The whole process has gotten me thinking about our childhood together and how we were close once....then the 5 year's that separate out ages intervened and left us strangers. The Broccoli I remember will always be this buck toothed kid who scurried under a recently parked car to get a tennis ball and suffered 2nd degree burns on his leg as it came into contact with a very hot catalytic converter all because I sent him after it. He'll be the guy who to this day laughs every time he sees me holding milk because in his mind's eye he's looking at a teenage Charlie who busted three gallons of milk on the way back from a simple walk to the store (the third one I help over my head and actually screamed aloud "Bet I won't drop this one"). Broccoli was the kind of brother that tried to tell mom that the 2 inch bleeding wound on the top of his head happened at school and had nothing to do with me throwing a rock at him as hard as he could (I still say he zagged when he should have zigged).

Of course all of this was before cars, girls, fraternities, jobs, college, family, and way before Fred. Somewhere amongst all that life, Charlie, he....I.....we lost touch. Sure we still saw each other when our common denominator brought us together (mom), but long gone were the days of playing hide and go seek at granny's or walking up to PJ's corner for a hand full of Jolly Rancher sticks.

The result is that now with me being 32 (at least for another month) and him at 27, we tend to be more like pen pals at times. Neither of us understanding just how we came to be the person we are or what makes up the inner workings of the other's day. While I'm busy researching tomorrow's article, struggling to make it through the 8-5, and teaching Fred to poop in the potty....I assume he' I a life I know nothing about.

My opinions are different, the pages of our shared history seem to written in my own hand writing, and the things I remember about growing up (Cody the 3 legged dog) , he can't recall. Though we will always be brothers, at times it seems we are friends out of circumstance rather than choice. As he prepares to recite those words that lock two souls together like an invisible (and hopefully invincible) pair of handcuffs, I too am making promises. And while I can't help but think he's still out there zigging while I'm zagging, I know that as our lives progress every once in a while our paths will cross and once again we will be those same two kids who used to spend all weekend in our rooms under a homemade tent of sheets, chairs, and clothes-pins watching old Godzilla movies.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Multiple Choice Existence

I remember being part of the "Married With No Child" club and being amazed at how long it took my "Married With Child" friends to get anywhere. They would bring their kids over, we'd let them run around the house for hours at a time, and as we were turning off the lights to go to bed we'd see them out there still trying to load eveything back into the car after spending a half hour in our driveway.

I thought the reasons behind this had to do with the amount of baggage that constantly swirls around a kid like the moons of some chaotic planet. Now that I have a two year-old I understand that it's got more to do with a power struggle taking place than a simple inventory check. Fred has decided that Mommy/Daddy's way is not always the only way to do things. Suddenly the phrase "I Help!" though it may flow from the tongue in a mere micro-second, can lead to tens of minutes staring into a dark closet searching for that elusive shirt of choice.

That shirt doesn't have Blue's Clues on it, this shirt isn't green, that's shirt just isn't up to his standards, that one doesn't appeal to what his sense of Casual Friday's should consist of. Everything is a multiple choice question and more times than not the correct answer is D) NONE OF THE ABOVE. And while letting them make their own decisions is inevitable and good for them, it does get very frustrating trying to find out where the thin line between "Let me make up my own mind" and "Just do what I say so we can move on to the next thing" is located.

I admit that the constant ticking sound in my head reminding me that my day is often timed down to the second, gets so loud at times that I forget that the life of toddler is more "This is what I'm doing now" and less "Look at all I've got to do today". In my defense telling my boss that I'm late for the second time this week because I suddenly found myself in a twenty minute debate over whether or not wearing your pajamas to school even if it means taking them off, getting a bath, and then putting them back on isn't something that I wish to share though simply blaming it on traffic only results in his retort "Should have left sooner"

As much as it pains me (and my schedule) to admit it though maybe turning over some amount of control is a good thing. Deciding what you want can be difficult at times even at the age of 32. So maybe by letting him make his own choices while still maintaining a certain level of control, Lucy and I are actually preparing him for a future of in which the correct answers aren't always A,B, or C. Sure to some it may seem like we are spoiling the child and sparing the rod, but then again when it comes time to make the hard choices in life he potentially could be more prepared to make the correct choice due to years of practice all leading back to that day in August of 2008 when he was allowed to pick out the T-shirt of the day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What Does Disney Have Against Parents?

In case you didn't notice (and thanks to all those that did) I took a week off last week due to some freelance stuff I was trying to get a handle on. I'm currently writing for and so that's about 10-12 articles I'm doing plus a couple posts here every week. Before I get into today's rant about how Disney hates parents, I want to also mention that my buddy Jim over at Genuine is back to posting regularly so give him a click (not that he needs more traffic than he already gets) and check him out. He's been through some stuff and is busy adding a new coat of paint to his life. Now on with the show.....

Why is it that Disney hates parents and insists on tormenting our children with the thought of Mommy or Daddy biting the big one? Fred's at the age where TV isn't just a bunch of pictures flashing across the screen and instead he's aware of a story or idea that is being protrayed on screen. So lately Family Time has included several Disney classics. While he doesn't typically sit through the whole thing his attention is captured for an hour or so at a time and this allows us to split the movies up into 2-3 night segments.

The more I watch these so called classics the more I getting the feeling that Disney seems to think that the only way to produce a children's classic is to kill of one of the parents in order to jump start the plot. Think about all those great cartoons and then think about how they really get going.

In The Lion King, Mufasa is killed by heynas. Bambi's mom kicks the bucket in a forest fire. Nemo's mom got ate by a bigger fish. Aladdin's mom is dead and you don't find out until the second one that his dad is a con artist who ran off like a gypsy. No word is mentioned about Andy's dad in Toy Store and Buzz's dad turns out to be the nefarious Zorg destroyer of the universe. Oh and where is the Little Mermaid's mommy? She's dead of course.

I mean what is the deal? And on a side note why does everybody remember The Fox And The Hound as this cute little kids movie? We just watched it last week and the hound is out for blood as he chases the fox through the woods. That's not cute that's violent. So what's the answer you ask? Simple. The Fast Forward button.

Sure this will someday have us answering Fred's questions as to why Bambi's mom abandoned him when he needed her the most and how come Simba's dad never came back from that walk they took, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it....maybe they were still there in the background all along and couldn't help their children because it was their destiny to grow into the animals they are by the end of the movie. Sure it's a lie, but it's better than Dumbo's mom got locked in a cage for protecting him.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Who Rock's The Potty? I Rock The Potty!!

We've been trying desperately to get Fred potty trained and finally our efforts are paying off. He's excited about it, he feels a bit guilty when he forgets to go, they are helping out at the hill, I dare say we are just months away from being a pull-up free household.

After two years of changing, wiping, holding my nose, covering my eyes (mostly when they get rang up at the check-out line) we may be just about to move to underwear. AAHHH underwear....washable, reusable, relatively cheap underwear. Nothing says I AM MAN like holey worn out barely there underwear. Wear them like a hat, put them on the cat, keep them on for days, I don't care I love underwear.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Screen Doors And Spinning Monkeys.

We are at the point in our parenting adventure where you truly never know what Fred is going to do next. Whether he's getting in trouble at school for putting a chair on a table, climbing up on the table, and then standing in the chair or yelling "Get in the hole!!"whenever he gets within 100 yards of a golf club, he always seems to be up to something. As a kid we all had those miniature wind-up toys with the little white gear on the side you twisted till it clicked. That click was the universal signal that meant it was time to put the jumping football, flipping monkey, or chattering teeth down and watch it go Willie-Nillie all over the place.

A two year old is like that in a lot of ways. Except that instead of turning a white plastic gear, you give him gummy bears. Oh and instead of a two inch flipping monkey, you end up with a laughing, crying, kicking, squealing manic who knows the word NO only in the sense that he expects you to listen to him when he says it, but looks at you like you're quoting Othelo when you say it.

This past weekend somebody wound our monkey up and sent him crashing through a screen door at his Uncle Broccoli's engagement party. While nothing was hurt and nobody left the scene bleeding, in the midst of the sideways glances and looks of horror from those who were dressed as if future President Obama himself were about to make an appearance, I couldn't help but laugh at my like boy as he dusted himself off and shrugged his shoulders as if to say "Ok, now that I've broken something let the real party begin!!"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Color Me Bad

One thing they never tell you before you become a parent is that you better be careful with the child while you are flying solo or you'll be in just as much trouble as he/she is if something is destroyed, mangled, or in my case changes color.

It could have just as easily happened to Lucy and I'm sure there's been a couple of times when I've come in to find that Fred has scarred the house or car is some way....I just don't remember them now. In my defense I was not on the computer during the time the destruction took place no matter what she says, though I can't really remember what I was doing so I guess you could say that was up to interpretation.

I don't have pictures because A) I've got a cold and didn't think about how funny it was as I scrubbed red crayon off the wall of our hallway at Midnight and B) I had thought that once I got all of it off the coffee table that I would be home free....I had yet to turn on the light in the hall at that time so....

Lucy was good about it. As good as she could be. Fred only got a stern talking too by Lucy as he went to bed, mainly because when I came around the corner and saw a red coffee table instead of a yellow striped one I went straight into damage control. I think that's when he must have snuck past me and decorated the hall.

If only he had drawn a smiley face or wrote I Love U Mommy! I could have done something cool like put an empty frame around it, but I felt sure nobody was going to appreciate a bunch of zigzags other than of course Fred.

Either way the most important thing is that I got it all off and now we have a very clean coffee table as well as several clean spots in the hall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

G-O-L-F Spells Grief

The smarter Fred gets the more we have to spell things out in order to not trigger that part of every kids brain that tells them that if they repeat something enough we will give it to them.

Those of you who have spent any time with us know that we often sound like we are practicing for the National Spelling Bee. Except that I’m a little slower than Lucy and often times Fred figures out what she is trying to say before I do.

“Hey dad I bought some B-u-b-b-l-e-s’es for you guys to play with outside.”

“What did Fred get at Kate-Kate’s party?”

“Are you and Pops going to play G-o-l-f in the morning?”

G-O-L-F has become a very popular word around our house lately especially since I start writing a blog about the subject next week. It’s actually two sites and I’m sharing writing duties with another writer, but that’s off topic. I’ve taken Fred to play a few times now and since I need to know what I’m talking about I’ve been watching/reading all I can on the game. Anytime he hears the word, whoever said it has to go outside and play with him for half an hour.

Another word we spell is M-c-D-o-n-a-l-d-s. All he wants to eat is C-h-i-c-k C-h-i-c-k’s

Then there’s M-i-l-k, which we are trying to get him to drink less of.
“He needs to take a B-a-t-h” This one usually sends him running the other way in the same fashion as the cat when he hears the V-e-t word or when I see the U-t-i-l-i-t-y B-i-l-l.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Swimming In Circles

Fred started swimming lessons last week so everyday from 5:30-6 we can be found lounging out by the city’s public pool. When we first started kicking over the idea of Fred learning to swim a couple of things immediately came to mind. 1) We are talking about my son so do we really want him to learn how to swim when walking down the hall without tripping over his own feet is still a problem? I mean I’m 32 and I still fall all the time. 2) Our idea of swimming lessons involves people in red one-piece bathing suits ala Baywatch with whistles around their necks which they use to keep in the kids in order.

Neither of these assumptions or (in the case of one-piece bathing suits) images were any where close to what actually takes place and it all went down hill from the moment he hit the water. After a brief info session from the Lifeguard that started and stopped with the phrase “Only 1 parent in the water with the child at one time. Everyone else must stand behind the fence” (Again I would have liked to have heard something about in case of rain, here’s what we do if somebody begins to drown, or “Hey look! This certificate means I’m a licensed lifeguard and not a teenager simply looking to get a good tan”) we were told we could get our child into the water….little did we know the only things the class would cover is when it’s ok to get in the pool (5:30) and when it’s imperative we leave the pool (6:00). So Fred hits the water with a leap from the edge, into Lucy’s waiting arms, and immediately moves to the top of his class. See again we were under the impression that actual lessons would be given, but were immediately informed by the Guard (more like a security guard at this point and only there in case somebody decides to steal a nerf ball from the Muscle Shoals Park and Rec Department) that he looked awfully big to be 2 and that they normally save jumping in till the last day of the two week class.

So basically we are renting a pool for half an hour for 10 days at a cost of $2.50 per day which in today’s economy is pretty cheap until you realize that we could visit the same pool for free from 1-5 and learn just as much.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Editor In Chief

Being as this is my 270th post I thought Iwould take a second to talk about my biggest fan and the role she plays in creating Charlie. Of course I am talking about none other than the fabulous Lucy Blockhead. For those of you who don't know we have been joined at the hip since our first date way way back on December 27, 1997. Since then she has brought more joy into my life than I can ever imagine. During that time we've definately had our share of struggles. Like that two week period my arm started swelling and I developed a grapefruit sized knot under my arm. Of course we thought it was cancer, but thankfully it turned out to only be a clogged sweat gland. Then there was the day I just chunked my job of two years without having a clue as to what I would do the next day. This isn't about the hard times though, this is about your's truly Charlie Blockhead.

Charlie really just started out as a way for me to express my fears at becoming a new dad. Two years and some months later it has lead to a pretty good part-time job (this is where I plug the freelance site I'm writing for Petsource) and at least twice a week the adventure continues to move forward.

What you may not know is that eventually I'm going print this entire blog and have it published. All 270 pages in counting will someday be bound, numbered, and given to Fred as a way to know just what made his dear ole dad tick (though it may also make him wonder why his mom stuck around for so long).

Since this is essentially like writing a 270+ letter to your son and such an important task, it's nice to have somebody around to help keep the tone of the posts in check. This is where Lucy comes in. She is the first to tell me when something shouldn't be discussed (like wondering if your child's future will involve a life of crime) and when I've gone too far (I once wrote a post about what I think of those who come forward at church too often, which was immediately deleted). She is my Editor In Chief and on this momentous occasion as I celebrate the big 270 I just wanted to make sure she knows that as with the rest of my life I'd have nothing if I didn't have her first.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Spaces In Between

It's been a while since I got all reflective and posted about something other than the latest adventure, but something about spending time at Granny's always leaves me looking inside and promising to make changes in my life. Then again after spending four straight days in a house full of 15 people, my inner voice may just be dying to be heard.

More and more I find myself yearning for the weekends. I guess I just thought that somewhere along the way the constant sense of amazement that comes with being a father would wear off. It's just the opposite though. The more time I spend with Lucy and Fred the more time I want. In school I'd spend all day daydreaming about the beach, girls, and what I could be doing if I wasn't stuck in a class room. Now 15 years later I spend my works days doing the same thing, except of course the only girl I daydream about is Lucy and what I could be doing is playing golf with Fred.

Except for Broccoli and Nani, I don't get to see the rest of the family much more than a few days a year. During the times we do get together it's like we try to pack a year's worth of family time into 48 hours. We laugh, we cry, we fight. We storm out of rooms declaring it's time to go back home and enter those same rooms moments later praying it never ends. It always does though....

And as is the case today, after all the suitcases have been packed and everyone has called to say they made it home, I'm left wondering what I can do to make those feelings last. Saddly though the answer of course is nothing. It's just that simple.

The truth is that the reason family time is such a powerful force is because it's only given out is small quantities. A weekend by the pool here, a trip to Chucky Cheese there. I'm convinced that if somehow I could cut out everything that required my attention, found a way to live life without worrying about money, food, a roof over our heads, and was able to give 100% of myself to spending time with Lucy, Fred, and the others....I'd take it for granted and never understand what an amazing life I have.

For me it's the spaces in between the 8-5, the time spent working to provide for my family, and the trips to Granny's that makes them so special. It's the spaces in between that keeping me coming back to work every morning. Rain or shine. Monday thru Friday. Daydreaming about beaches, girls named Lucy, and what I could be doing with Fred.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Freddie Meets Wall-E

We've been debating taking Fred to the movies for several months now and we were waiting for just the right one to test out our theory that he could make it all the way through without having to skip the last half. Wall-E came out this past weekend and it's seemed that the timing was right.

We planned the entire day out so that he'd be at his best when the movie started at exactly 4:30. Lucy ran him around the park during a local festival in the morning, I stepped up to the plate and hit a home run with a two hour nap, and then a good lunch made for a really great mood for Fred. So how did it go? Well if you subtract the fact that he stuck his hand in a urinal that hadn't been flushed in God knows how long (I made sure the water was hot for that particular hand washing). Add points for getting there just as the previews were starting. Subtract a point for forgetting that the previews lasted half an hour. And then sorta erase the parts where he shook the crap out of the empty seat in front of us and the fact he/I watched the last 20 mintues (which were about how long the previews lasted) from the entrance ramp. Overall I'd say it was a roaring success!!!

Fred loved the movie, didn't get scared during the Journey To The Center Of The Earth preview (which was an idiotic thing to put in front of a G rated movie to start with! I mean you've got an entire room full of 2-4 year-olds and you decide a scene where T-Rex is trying to eat a kid is ok?), and most of all impressed his parents with his ability to eat half a bag of popcorn. It was such a great success that our next movie just may be this one.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

America's Next Top Model

Lucy found this contest hidden in the depths of this month's Parenting magazine. The winner gets flown out to New York for a cover photo shoot. Check out the pics we submitted and click on the "recommend & rate this" lines to show your support. The contest isn't based on total votes, but the support couldn't hurt. Vote here!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Entertained To Death

What with the trip to Memphis, all that was Father's Day weekend, and the new freelance work I've picked up combined with all the regular up's/down's of life....I've been stock piling a pretty good stack of entertainment just in case I ever decide to slow down.

My DVR is packed with such movies as:
  • Blades Of Glory
  • Disney's The Kid (love Bruce Willis!)
  • The 300
  • Hot Fuzz
  • Ocean's Thirteen
  • Batman Vs. Dracula
  • The Game Plan
  • The Good Year

This is just the movies! Mixed in are episodes of:

  • House
  • Law & Order: SVU (5 Episodes!)
  • The Spectacular Spiderman
  • Greensboro (Awesome new show)
  • Extreme Home Makeover(100th episode!)
  • Plus the usual assortment of kiddy shows like The Wonder Pets, Backyardigans, Max & Ruby, etc...

Then there are the books that I keep picking up and taking home to collect dust:

  • Brother Odd (Dean Koontz)
  • Freak-O-Nomics
  • The Husband (Dean Koontz)
  • Peace Like A River
  • Boomsday (The story of a blogger who convinces Washington that they can save a ga-billion dollars by giving incentives to Baby Boomers in return for commiting suicide at the age of 75)
  • One Mississippi
  • The Historian
  • Plus an entire bookcase of paperbacks I was given late last year and the Entertainment Weekly I go running to the mailbox for every Friday

All of this and 60 free music downloads that Lucy and I have received recently. For some reason I just can't say no to a good piece of Pop Culture and so at the moment I find myself drowning in a sea fun. Maybe you can help ole faithful reader. If you see something I listed above that totally stinks, drop me a line so I can scratch it off my To-Do-When-There's-Nothing-To-Do-List.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers, Sons, And Daughters

It's hard to imagine a Father's Day weekend packed with much more fun than a night on the town alone with my lady, a round of golf with just us guys, a couple passes around the chinese buffet, an afternoon of lounging, and a light dinner at the local sandwich shop.

Walk'n In Memphis

Finally I'm back. I knew it would take a few days to catch up, but the week turned out harder than I thought. Thanks to all of you who kept asking me where I was and when they could see the pics I promised. Gigi/Steve surprised us Sunday morning and got to go to the zoo with us. Plus little man was the star of the show as we made our way down Beale Street late Saturday afternoon.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Out To Lunch

Taking Fred to the Memphis Zoo this weekend. We are taking 3 days to soak up the sites, sounds, and of course the food. I'll post some pictures late next week once I get back in the groove. In the meantime check out the two new blogs I got hired for last week: and (look under blog called Scribbles N Bits).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Bald And The Beautiful

This past weekend saw another moment in Blockhead history as I went and had all my hair shaved off. Now some of you may think this is absolutely the dumbest thing I have ever done, but it's nothing compared to why I had to shave it off to start with. You see the reason I no longer have hair is because I decided I wanted a faux hawk. Not a full mohawk mind you, just a tiny faux one. The reasons behind this could be as simple as I'm completely addicted to Top Chef and there's this guy Richard Blast that is rock'n one or they could be as complex as having to do with feeling very old lately and wanting a change of some sort (I'm also on a diet which is an obvious attempt to acquire the flat stomach that time forgot). Unfortunately the hawk only lasted a few hours because I'm cursed with curly hair and the dang thing wouldn't stay straight.

For those of you who can't quite picture me without hair here is the before and after:

Funny how a new haircut can may you look different (or in my case like a woman). As you can guess I got a ton of feedback from friends and coworkers so I thought I may as well list my favorites:
  • Do you still like Black People? (From a black person so don't send me hate mail)
  • Did you get your hair cut at the same place as the cat?
  • Wish I had the balls to do that...on second thought I'm glad I don't.
  • What day do you leave for Basic Training?
  • Can you move a little to the left, the glare off your head is making it hard to see
  • WoW! You are taking this Charlie Brown thing to heart aren't you.
  • WHAT DID YOU DO!! (From Lucy and most everyone else)

With all of these attempts at humor at my expense flying overhead, I've had time to craft a witty comeback: "My flux capasitor ran out of Uranium and I barely had to steal some so I could get back to 1802 and save the Doc. The radiation caused my hair to fall out, but lucky for him I was able to time a lightning bolt to hit a clock tower thus sending me back in time." What do you think? I know it needs more work. I gave it a shot but missed it by

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On Second Thought Let's Just Have Feetsa

"Fred what do you think about having a new baby brother or sister?
"Do you want a baby sister?"
"I know you like pizza sweetie, but wouldn't you like a new baby?"
"Ummmm NO!!!"

"But if you were to get a new baby brother or sister you would let it sleep in your room wouldn't you?"
"Ummmmm NO!!!"
"Where would it sleep then?"

There you have it. We tried, but we can't very well have a baby that is only allowed to sleep outside. I guess this means we'll just have to wait....and that we'll probably have feetsa for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And The Winner Is......

The contest to give our bald kitty Buttons a new nickname ended Monday at midnight and the winner is......Literal Dan....and The J's. See Lucy and I couldn't agree on which nickname was the best so we decided to have two winners. Sorry Dad Stuff, but hey you still came in a close second. My favorite Senor Wrinklebum was given by Dan and I've been using it since the second it was submitted. Lucy on the other hand can't help but laugh every time she thinks of Buttons as Fluffy. So there you have it Senor Wrinklebum and Fluffy.

I'll be contacting both winners this week and we'll get together on what prizes you would like to be sent your way! Thanks for all the great ideas and who knows maybe we'll do this again soon.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Re-name Our Cat!! Win A Prize!!

With Memorial Day coming up this will probably be my last post for the week and I thought it would be cool to do something different. As you all know our cat was sorta accidently shaved last week due to a miscommunication on my part. Now that the initial horror has worn off and Lucy has had a chance to pick her mouth up off the floor, we thought it would be cool to give it a nickname.

So far we have come up with:
  • Baldy
  • Velvet Elvis
  • Mr. Biggles-worth
  • Wrinkles
  • Mr. Kitty No Hair

As you can see we obviously need some help. So here's the deal leave me a comment containing what you think Buttons the cat's new nickname should be and if you're the most creative I'll send you a cool prize! As for the prize it could be anything from a slinky to a pop up book to a slightly used Rubics Cube. Contest ends Monday at midnight so leave your suggestion now!! Oh and here's a picture of our bald kitty:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Maynard And The Great Northern Bear Adventure

Lucy's boss Maynard is going bear hunting this weekend in Canada and I'm more than just a little stumped by the whole thing. First off it's not like hunting Bambi in the backwoods of Alabama. Passports, copies of birth certificates, and changes in currency were just a few of the things required for the great trip up North.

Now I'm not going to go into how I'd never be able to hunt yet don't have a problem eating meat, yet I will say if I was to pick up a rifle and play Tribal Provider you can rest assured I wouldn't be going after anything that could eat me if I accidentally grazed it's shoulder instead of catching it between the eyes. I mention between the eyes cause I know I'd never be able to sneak up on a bear in the first place and the only way I'd be able to get a shot off was if it was heading straight towards me.

I've read that the best way to protect yourself from a bear attack is to lay down and play dead. Then again I've also heard the tales of those classic clips from movies such as Faces Of Death which circulated the video stores when I was a kid. I remember one buddy telling me the clip he saw involved a dude sleeping in his tent and being eaten by a bear.....if playing dead is the answer than that shouldn't have happened.

For some reason that scene from Deliverance (squeal like a pig if you know the one I'm talking about) also flashes in my mind. Just thinking about clomping through the woods 1,000 miles from civilization (otherwise known as America) with nothing but a rifle and a hunting knife to help ward off all the pot smokers, puck heads, and wanna be unibombers that have snuck over the border to formulate a plan on "saving America from itself" makes me think that Ned Betty may not have had it so bad after all. I mean at least he was in Tennessee.

I can just see ole'Maynard clopping through the woods, camo head to toe, face painted to match the surrounding trees, one hand on his gun and the other on a Bud Light just in case it starts to get dark out. Once he makes it back I'll make him tell me all about his exploits and give you guys an update. Good Luck Maynard.

Things Heard Around The House

Lucy ”I don’t have anything to wear”

Charlie ”Why don’t you just put on that outfit you wore to the funeral yesterday?”

Lucy ”That was a wedding!!”

Charlie ”Oh. Ha. For some reason I thought somebody had died”

Lucy while driving “Out of the way you stupid granny”

Fred “Stupid Granny!! Stuuuuppiiidddd Grannnnnyyyyy!!!!”

Charlie while driving “Move you moron.”

Fred “Moron! Moron!!”

Charlie “Get down from that chair and leave that stuff alone right now!”

Fred “NO!!!”

Charlie “Get down now or it’s Time Out. Do you want Time Out?”

Fred “Yes”

Charlie “Oh…uh…Too bad. Now get down or no Time Out for you!”

Pops "Fred since you like those sunglasses so much Pops is going to let you have them"

Fred "These are my glasses Pops" As in: They were mine the second you let me put them on.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sunshine In The Clouds

They say that everything teaches us a lesson no matter how big or small. As Christians we are taught to believe that it is not up to us to understand why things happen, but to merely offer up our lives in faith to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is through him that all questions will be answered, all mysteries will be solved, and all hope shall live. With this in mind sadly I’m writing today to tell everyone that our beloved Sunshine passed away in her sleep Friday morning. Though we only enjoyed her company for a week, we did everything we could to let her know that for once in her very short life she was a part of a family.

With her passing comes the perfect opportunity to do something we may have neglected as parents….explaining Heaven to Fred. Instead of changing the subject, in the days to come when Fred asks where the new kitty went he will be told of a magical place where everyone loves and there is no sorrow. Thank you to all those that shared our excitement in getting a new kitty and in our belief that she is now in a better place.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

Well we finally did it!! Just like elections in years past and more than likely the one coming up (I’ve switched back to McCain) the majority vote in our “Should Fred Get A Kitty?” poll was completely ignored. Since Sassy and BooBoo left us over a year ago, we’ve constantly found ourselves in a debate on if the time was right to bring another bundle of joy into the family…and as you’ve probably guessed by now the answer was no so we got a kitten instead.

Something just flipped a switch inside Lucy and she decided that this Mother’s Day a new kitten would fill every hearts desire. We started looking online, then scanned the pet stores, and finally settled on an itty-bitty kitty from our local shelter. Our trick to picking a pet is if you can give it a name in the first 10 seconds of seeing it and with storms raging all around, Lucy took one look at the gray girl in the corner of the cage and proclaimed her Sunshine!!! That’s right we got Sunshine On A Cloudy Day In The Month Of May.

According to the lady at the shelter somebody just dropped her off in a box one morning before they opened and she needed some attention. We took her to the vet last Friday and though she has a couple of minor health issues such as worms and an intestinal parasite, the Doc assured us that within weeks she be as good as new.

With any new addition to a family (especially one of the Blockhead variety) come a slew of changes. Because Buttons our 8 yr old long hair barely gets along with Fred and because Fred is one lean mean house wrecking machine, we decided the first thing we needed to do was give the kitty her own room. After all every girl needs her space. With a brand new litter box (cleaned twice a day of course), an open window to the backyard, and her own bed full of tiny mice, Sunshine lives in our bathroom….I know that last part sorta killed the mood, but in order for us to ensure Buttons wouldn’t eat her and just until the two get used to each other we have to keep them separated most of the time (mainly during the day while we are working to feed everybody).

Fred loves her of course though he keeps going all “Lenny And The Baby Bunny” on her and we have to watch how close he holds her. He’s even added her to his list of things he must do every morning before he leaves for school. Splash water all over the floor during bath, run around naked with a towel over his head, watch a short episode of Curious George, kiss mommy, ring the doorbell, say “I love you Sunshine”.

Buttons on the other hand has had a bit of bad luck. First off he loves to sit in the bathroom window, but since that’s Sunshine’s room he’s forced to spend his days elsewhere. Second though we are trying to give her kitty chow, Sunshine loves to eat his adult food. He’s paying her back for this though by switching to her food. So the adult cat is eating kitty chow and the kitty is eating cat chow. Last but certainly not least I sorta had all his hair shaved off….not on purpose mind you! We took him in to get all his shots caught up and nails trimmed so Sunshine would be less at harm and I sorta said, “I need the works. Nails trimmed, bath, shots, everything.” How was I to know that in the month of May in the very hot state of Alabama that “everything” to a vet meant shaving all your cats hair off. Lucy was convinced she had been given the wrong cat and then later tried to explain to the vet "My husband doesn't know you shave cats!!!"

Before I leave you with the before and after pictures of Buttons, I wanted to pass along a couple notes on the Freelance writing front. The Best Of Blog awards I’m still the Project Mgr for are into the final stages so go over and vote for your favorite blog and as of tomorrow I’m the new blogger for I should start writing by the end of the week so check me out. It’s been a few months since my lost blog job ended and I was getting more than a little discouraged but it looks like I’m back in the saddle.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Fears Of The Father

It was one of the highest slides he’d ever seen complete with metal steps and a little dip in the middle. I did the typical help him up the steps thing except this time instead of waiting for me to sit down behind him, he just took off. ZIIIPPPPP down he went so fast all I could do was watch from above and pray. The slide was a foot of the ground. Just high enough for his momentum to swing his feet under and send him face first into the gravel. As I shot down to scoop him up and wipe away the tears I was met with a scream joy and the request to have another turn.

I’ve thought about this over and over. As parents we have taken on the task of teaching our children how to make it through this world safely. “We do not touch the stove!! It’s hot! No sir! Outlets are not toys! We hold hands in the parking lot.” These are just things that will eventually lead to our child having common sense. “The stove is hot. It will burn me. I shouldn’t touch it. There are cars going everywhere. I better stick next to Mommy and Daddy.” More and more lately though I’m discovering that there’s a fine line between teaching children the value of making smart choices and passing down our own fears.

I hate heights. Not sure why. Always have. Always will. I never climb anything higher than I am and Lucy always has to hold the ladder while I clean the gutters. I don’t climb trees, I don’t jump out of swings, I don’t sit on top of the monkey bars. Does this mean Fred should be taught that these things aren’t fun? Of course not. Lucy hates bugs. Big bugs, little bugs, bed bugs. Common sense teaches Fred to not scoop up a bug and eat it. Our fears teach him to scream every time he sees one. This is just an example, but you get my point.

If he’s afraid to put his hand on the eye of the stove, I as a parent have done a good job. If he’s 15 and afraid to cook cause he might make something that tastes bad, then I’ve passed on my lack of confidence.

On the next trip up the slide I stayed close, but I didn’t climb the steps. As he sat at the top of the slope and looked around the playground, I waved and made sure that he knew no matter what happened I’d be at the bottom to catch his fall. Trying hard to resist the urge, I didn’t rush up to help him down or slow his pace. Instead I told him he could do it and I was right there waiting on him. “Don’t be scared little guy. I’ll be right here the whole time”

“ZZZZIIIPPPPPP One more time Daddy?!?!”