Sunday, December 13, 2009
It's only natural based on my own personal history as a child of divorce that my first instinct is for the little girl. The entire geography of her existence being ransacked as if someone had broken in overnight and stole those items that mattered the most to her. And essentially isn't that exactly what did happen? Her home was sold, her family cut in half, daily routine shattered. Weekdays with Mom. Weekends with Dad. Who gets her for Christmas this year?
Not once did I think of him in terms other than "How could he do that to her...to them? I guess I didn't know him after all" Best Friend is such a juvenile term. Fred throws it out like a prize at the county fair. Only bestowing it upon those who have earned a special place in his heart no matter how fleeting it may be. Thirty-four year old men don't have best friends do we? We have buddies, the gang, the guys. Still I guess that's what he was...my best friend. After he dropped the bomb everything he knew laid around in him in ruin. Friends like myself were left stunned by the announcement. I never even heard his side. One weekend we were playing golf and the next thing I knew a year had gone by since we had spoken.
Last week we bumped into each other at the Christmas parade. I tried to avoid him, but he pushed the issue by coming up to talk. Good for him. It should have been me that asked how he was doing. Inquiring how he was making it now that things were final. Instead I just responded stone faced answering with phrases like "Same old same old" and "Tell me about it." Letting Lucy carry the awkward conversation. I did manage to say "Merry Christmas". Even as I said it though I began to wonder what his new life was like and how bad things must have been towards the end. Trying to imagine what the final straw was that made him think that there was no repairing his broken home; all the while understanding that once the ink hit the page no one would ever be the same. All my life I have been the victim of divorce, my relationships, my personality, my likes and dislikes, a consequence of divorce....but never the proliferator. It wasn't me who pulled the trigger, I'm just one of the many that got hit by the shrapnel.
When I see my friend again I'm going to do my best to let him know that although I don't agree with what he did, I do hope he's in a better place than he was. That he has my forgiveness. It may not mean much to anyone else, but at least I'll know that I tried to be fair. That I attempted to look past the pain he caused and into the root of why he did it. That if ever he needed someone to lean on, he could still call me friend.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
After finding out that Lucy and I would be taking Fred to the annual Toy Land play which was scheduled to begin the exact same moment as kickoff, a friend left this on Lucy's Facebook page "I'm just curious how you get Bill to do these things and miss football? Ted does not do anything that will interfere with football so guess where we will be today at 3:00????" The answer of course isn't an easy one because for starters how do you respond without speaking against Ted? Another thing that got me was the first thing my machismo did was take offense to the thought that somehow I had been tricked by Lucy to spend time with my family. Needless to say my first comments to this particular Facebook message were deleted before they ever reached the home page. What I didn't say......what I wanted to say was this:
"Please understand that in no way am I trying to speak against Ted. He seems like a great guy, a good man, and a fine father. I don't know what his schedule is like or what issues he may be facing. That being said what I do know is that last Friday I watched the Alabama/Auburn game. Saturday night I watched three games at one time. Flipping between LSU/Arkansas, Tennessee/Kentucky, and some other game that I can't even remember. Sunday I caught the Colts Vs Ravens. Monday night the Patriots faced off against the Saints. Thursday night it was Oregon and Oregon St. Friday night I watched the last half of Ohio and Michigan St. Before Toy Land starts Cincinnati/Pitt will be on and afterward Texas/Nebraska. Sunday night the undefeated Colts play the Titans who are on a hot streak. Given I didn't watch all of these from start to finish, but I did see a majority of each. I don't know if Ted saw all or any of these. I'm not a baseball fan. I don't like basketball. I play a little golf every now and then. What I like is football and while it's in season Lucy is willing to move things around so that I can catch the big games. For me though this weekend's big event doesn't involve the gridiron. It's seeing Fred's face when Darth Vader sits down next to him like he did two years ago. Or when Spiderman swings from the rafters just in time to save Dora from Cruella de Vil like last year. Hearing the cheers when Elmo and Big Bird come skating across the stage causing Tom to slam into Jerry. Sure the game will be on, but I'll catch the one tonight and maybe the one tomorrow. This afternoon though, at least for me the Big Event is being where my son is."
Monday, November 30, 2009
One from our honeymoon (we were married at Christmas time), one with the anniversary of our first date engraved on it, several others representing various favorite childhood characters. The next thing you know we had to have two trees. The white lit silver tree with the shiny ornaments and glitter covered icicles that faces the street for all the world to see....and the "tacky" tree covered in a million blinking colored lights and along with every ornament from E.T to the Tasmanian Devil. This one of course is every one's favorite because though it may not shine and sparkle like the one facing the street, it's covered with the most memories and mementos of our childhood. Then suddenly you have kids and trimming the tree takes on a whole new meaning.
When a child looks at a Christmas tree they don't see memories of times gone by, they see a thousand toys just begging to be touched. And as you know what goes up must come down. Never was this saying more true than when putting up a Christmas tree in a house filled with wild children. Quickly every parent realizes that every year one ornament must be sacrificed so that the child can feel the quilt of breaking their mother's favorite piece thus stopping all further contact with the tree for that year . We also learn that when it comes to decorating it's all about product placement. Height Plus Heart Equals Happiness. What this means is that instead of scattering ornaments around the tree at random where they can be picked off by any toddler that decides to crawl by, the tree needs to be decorated by importance from top to bottom. Remember that kitty cat your mom gave you as a housewarming gift? Top of the tree. How about that plastic Humpty-Dumpty sitting on a wall? Bottom of the tree. That Miss Piggy ornament your wife has had since she was three? Top of the tree. The light bulb penguin your grandma gave you last Christmas instead of the Ipod you wanted? Bottom of the tree.
First time parents need only look around their house at all the things that are kept on shelves, mantles, and in the top of cabinets to understand that when it comes to kids out of reach is always the best bet when talking keepsakes. The Christmas tree while it may seem like a beautiful work of art that only a Grinch would want to destroy, is actually an open invitation for chaos that your child just can't help but RSVP to. In order to defeat the foe that is grabby hands, remember to attack them at their weakness....they are only 2 1/2 feet tall.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Nobody wants their child to be sick, but at least when it happens Mommy and Daddy can still keep the ship on course. Everything from work to laundry to sleep is put aside at a moment's notice so that all efforts can be focused on getting junior well again. When the coin flip lands on the wrong side and it's the parents that get sacked with a case of the downers, that's when a parent's job really begins. Like zombies with some Mystical Being forcing every step and lurch, we are bent on making sure our little ones are not affected or infected by our misfortune. Wearing surgical masks and sweat pants, baseball caps and our comfy jacket, soccer games are still witnessed, homework is still assisted, and birthday parties are still orchestrated. Leaving us crumpled up in a heap afterward as our family is put to bed with smiles on their faces.
Even as I write this I can't help but stare at the clock and count the hours left until the school bell rings in the beginning of the second shift. My head trying to do complex calculations revolving around how many hours have passed since I last took my cough medicine and can another dose be had before I'm on duty again. Worrying all the while that I've done what the doc insists can't be done by passing this plague on to the rest of my brood. Simultaneously planning dinner and staving off nausea as I lay the ground chuck out to defrost. It's not about me though. What keeps me going...what keeps every sick parent motivated when they feel their worst, is the feeling we get from knowing that their family is safe and taken care of. And honestly that may be better medicine than anything the doctor can prescribe.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
As I said for those with a vivid imagination the ways to end the misery brought on by these flying pests could very well be infinite. Today it seems that Fred may have found his own unique way of taking care of the common house fly. All it requires is a full bladder and the ability to hula. Of course it helps to have a momma as nice as the one he has to come behind and wipe up all the pee off the walls, floor, and ceiling, but it's been several hours now and the fly is yet to make a repeat appearance.
When I heard this I couldn't help but think of my two grandfathers and how they each have shown their love to me time and time again. Whether it was teaching me how to build the perfect ramp for my matchbox cars, or showing me just the right way to shoot a jump shot, or crawling under that old rusted up car and teaching me the joys of fixing a car with your own two hands; they've always made time for me. And while I've learned a lot I think the most important lesson learned was that family time isn't just watching a movie together or playing some random board game, it also means incorporating your children and grandchildren into your daily routine.
This past weekend the sun was out, the sky was clear, and there were leaves all over my yard. It looked like my Saturday would at least for the most part involve a rake in my hand. As I was making my way up and down the yard getting my path made towards the curb, I looked up and saw my son staring from the screen door. It was then that I thought about all those bottles floating down the river filled with tiny scraps of paper and decided I could use a hand. It may have taken longer and we may have left a few scattered about, but those leaves got done eventually and who knows maybe Fred learned a few things too.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
- If you start a book in the Summer and you're still reading it in November....is it still considered a Summer read? Am I wrong to want to put it down until the weather changes again?
- Do I really like Curb Your Enthusiasm or do I just like seeing Jerry Seinfeld every week again?
- If you break a light bulb how many years of bad light bulb luck do you get? A month ago I dropped one while digging through the laundry room. Since then I've replaced the hall light twice, the patio light, the light over the stove, and a couple lamps. Yesterday the tail light in my car went out. I've had that car three years and never a problem. This is the second bulb since Sept. Do I have seven years of this to look forward to?
- How come 3 yr-olds think the word TOOT is so funny? They use it so much it's like I've got a tiny Toot Smurf running around the house. "Dad I want some iced toot to drink!" "I'm toot. Can you bring my pillow so I can go to toot?" "The suns out! Can I go play in the back-toot?"
- How many more loads of laundry am I going to wash before I mess something up of my wife's? Not that I want to mess anything up. It's just not my thing and as careful as I'm trying to be I just know a tragic event is coming.
- I think I'm addicted to tiny boxes of Nerds. I'm thinking about filling my briefcase up with them and hauling a pound of them off to work. Is there a support group for Nerds addiction?
- Is anybody reading my posts at Daddy Outpost? I can't track the stats, so I need comments.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Just this week we opened up Chutes and Ladders for the first time. This the same game of Chutes and Ladders that sat neatly wrapped under our tree around this time a year ago. In our defense we knew that at almost three years old son Fred wasn't quite there, but the idea was that we'd start stocking up on classic games that he would be ready to play as the year went on. Candy Land, Memory, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and Elefun also got delivered last Christmas. Several of these were a huge hit right off the bat..... others have mysteriously disappeared. The games aren't missing because Fred wasn't old enough or smart enough to play, but more so because he doesn't feel the need to comply with some unknown persons idea of how he should play the game that was given to him.
As I mentioned this week I got the idea that a good ole round of Chutes and Ladders would be the perfect way to spend a Tuesday night. For those who have forgotten the basics; you get a board with 100 squares, a spinner, and 4 characters. Ladders take you up, Chutes bring you down, and 3 yr olds don't care about anything else other than this. A typical game may take you 15 minutes. Our game lasted 45. It could have gone on all night, but after putting up with Fred switching characters three times, constantly taking turns that weren't his, riding every chute and ladder regardless of what square he was on, and attempting to play the game upside-down while hanging off the edge of the couch....his mother and I finally admitted defeat.
The lesson to be learned of course is that when consulting with Santa on what would make the perfect Christmas gift it's important to also remember that regardless of what is given, everyone including Mom and Dad should be old enough and be prepared to be patient enough to play with it.
Monday, November 02, 2009
According to the New York Times "In offices, churches, hospitals, college dorms and schools — and even at yoga classes and in apple orchards — the fear of swine flu is turning age-old rituals on their head. What used to be O.K. is not anymore, as the flu has ushered in new standards of etiquette that can be, in turns, mundane, absurd and heartbreaking." As the dad of a 3 1/2 year-old and the husband of very pregnant wife, I can say that anytime my family goes out in the public the thought of canceling because of the swine flu enters my mind. I know some will accuse me of overreacting, but as they say better safe than sorry right? Yes it means we may miss the occasional birthday party or church service, but the way I look at it is that since I obviously can't trust others who are sick to stay home than the responsibility falls onto myself to ensure my family is not exposed.
When it comes to the Swine Flu how far is too far? Certainly we shouldn't cancel Thanksgiving and even Santa himself couldn't stop the retail stores from ushering in Christmas. Still though I'm not so sure I won't be doing some extra recognisance work this year before attending the latest round of Greedy Santa. I'll try to make it casual "So who's coming?" and keep myself flexible "As far as I know we will be there". I'll ask questions at the first sign of a cough or sneeze, "Wow that sounds rough. Have you gone to the Dr. yet?". I'll be vigilante "So is your son/daughter feeling better today?" And what happens when the inevitable does happen and we end up sharing the night with somebody who is sick? I'll secretly set the alarm on my phone to go off and fake an emergency.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Yesterday with Fred in attendance we were blessed with imagines of a very healthy baby boy. Although the question of what we were having wasn't as important to Fred as "How are we getting it out of Mommy's belly?", he still managed to jump up and down when he learned the big news. This of course was expected, however what we didn't expect was how others would react. Of course everyone was excited and positive, but for some strange reason a different kind of question seemed to follow within minutes of the big reveal. The words weren't always the same: "Were you wanting a girl instead?" "Is Lucy sad it's not a girl?" "Since you are having another boy are you going to try a third time just in case?", but the meaning was always there in the subtext. Were we sad not to be having one of each?
There are questions that are automatically asked whenever somebody announces a big event. The first time your family hears you tell the person you are dating you love them you can bet "When will the question be popped?" is on the tip of every one's tongue. The moment the ring is on the finger you get "When is the big day?". I know you just walked down the alter, but what we are going to need now is a brief press conference on the subject of when your first child will be born. Now that you are pregnant what is your preference: Boy or Girl? The quick answer to this of course is that all any parent wants is a healthy child. It doesn't stop though and eventually gets to the point where that's not enough and they force you to declare what team you are on. "In general I want a healthy child, but that being said if I have to pick (and let's get this straight you can tell by the way they ask you with their beady eyes and fixed stare that you have no choice but to pick) I guess I would like a ___". Now that the sex of Baby#2 has been told to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere, I have to say I'm really shocked at the intensity of this line of questioning that suggests that deep down inside we are crushed by the thought of having another boy and we must unburden ourselves by admitting it once and for all. I'm not the only one that has noticed this.
My cousin who is coincidentally expecting daughter number two the exact same day as our second child, told me that one person dared to ask "How did your husband take not having a boy? Is he going to be okay with it?" Okay with it!?! How do you answer that? "Sadly after hearing the news that he was again denied a son, the last I saw he was running down the freeway ripping at his clothes and screaming something about hating his genes" After all that's really what they want to hear anyway. As for my family though I can honestly say that while a girl would have been nice, all I really want is a healthy happy baby that will follow in his big brothers footsteps by becoming every parents dream come true.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This week I made the mistake of catching up on the latest ep. in front of Gigi. Of course this was also the week where they tossed out F-bombs like they were pieces of candy being thrown from parade floats. I guess the reaction I got was similar in the sense that the crowd was up in the air waving their arms and hollering. The 1st one I acted like I didn't notice, the 2nd one caused me to turn the volume down a bit, by the time the 8th one flew across the room I began to feel like the lawyer of a man everyone knows is guilty, but still deserves a decent defense. Here I am watching a show I like for the B story line in which 4 classic television characters come together to do something they swore would never happen and not caring about what else is going on, suddenly I'm pleading my case to jury that has already made up their mind that I deserve to fry. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I understand her distaste for what was being presented. I just wish this time around the funny would have out weighted the foul and hadn't left me feeling less than the Master Of My Domain.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
It's probably not as bad as I'm making it out to be, but honestly I caught him yesterday telling Nani to look out for Monsters on her way home. There's been a couple times when he's asked for an escort to the bathroom. By the time we leave his nightlight on, the hall light on, his TV on, and he flips the on switch to his trusty triceratops flashlight....he's not really sleeping in the dark anymore. So you can see why we were more than just a little hesitant to believe that there was a monster in his closet.
One thing about Fred is that he doesn't give up. Most of the time this is a huge annoyance that I reluctantly take full credit for passing down to him. This time however it was us that was determined to put the "Monster In My Closet" business to bed fast before it became a nightly event. We persisted, we promised, we kept at him. "There are no monsters in your closet" and all we got back was "UN HUH!"
Finally after an hour of attempting to break down the wall between what is real and what is a make believe old man dressed up like a zombie, Fred gave an explanation that we just couldn't ignore "Well if it's not a monster than a toy is trying to get out of my closet". So with that I did the only thing I could do.....I opened the closet......and out jumped a very unhappy cat that had been trapped for a very long time. Needless to say every night before bed, just to be sure, we check the closet just in case any monsters or kitty cats are hiding inside.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I'm not proud of it and I've definitely didn't do any favors for my already skyrocketing cholesterol numbers, but my meal choices this weekend have consisted of: 1 jumbo pork BBQ sandwich, two sausage breakfasts, 1 round of grilled pork chops, and to make matters even worse (for the pigs, not for me) I attended my first greased pig competition this afternoon. I must say that growing up in Alabama I'm used to hearing redneck jokes that revolve around rusted up cars in our front yard been there)and going cow tipping (done that). Yes I have spent many a weekend hanging out in some field having a good time with all my buddies (those were the days)while making sure not to confuse my bottle of Mountain Dew with my Mountain Dew bottle I spit my dip in. Still I'm no Hillbillie. I mean it's not like I live in Mississippi. That being said, after 34 years of staying in the same state I now officially feel more like a true Alabamian. Maybe it was the sight of 20 kids chasing 3 full grow greased down pigs around a mud covered field surrounded by chicken wire and bleachers (not just a couple of bleachers, but like a full circle of sold out seated bleachers) or maybe I just got caught up in all the cheers and hurrahs that exploded every time a little piggy broke free and tried to run home....whatever it was for the first time in a while I did away with my snobbish, better than some trailer folk attitude and laughed my butt off. Yes it was barbaric and yes my inner PETA was screaming that something was not right about the moment, but as I walked out of the park and saw the winning pre-teen champion riding in the back of her parents brand new Toyota Highlander hugging her prized slime covered swine I couldn't help but be filled with a renewed love of my state. I don't know if they were supposed to give it to her, but this 12 year-old She-Ra literally picked up a full grown oiled up pig and sat it on a bail of hay after which myself and all in attendance admittedly became more than just a little afraid of her. The more I think about it her pigtails did look a bit more...unique compared to the rest of the girls I've seen.
In closing though I must say that this has not been all my fault, instead I present to you that I am actually a victim of some odd pig casualty related destiny. Tonight as we went to hang out with friends at our favorite sandwich shop I was determined to stop the slaughter of swine and instead ordered a nice healthy-ish turkey and cheese sandwich...only to be served a ham and bacon hogie...yes I could have seized the day, stood up for all of pig-kind, and demanded justice in the form of my original order, but hey who am I to argue destiny....besides who can say no to bacon!!!!
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Last week we the Blockhead family took our annual trip to Gulf Shores for a little fun in the sun and left our newest family members behind hiding underneath the azalea bush that runs along our front porch. I'm of course talking about our newest set of kittens from our outside cat Socks (don't ask what happened to Slippers you don't want to know and I don't want to tell you.) The yet to be named triplets arrived just a few days before our trip down south and since Nani, Pops, and Mo were each coming by at least once to check on Bottons; a quick peek to make sure all were well was only a minor inconvenience at best. After all who doesn't like kittens....okay Pops doesn't, but at this point the only people that can say no to Fred is myself and his very pregnant mommy. Anyways right off the bat we started getting reports that Socks was moving the newborns at least every other day.
Nani found them where we left them, Pops located them on the other side of the porch underneath a rose bush, Mo found them practically around the corner in another flower bed all together, and the day before we were to return it seemed that Socks and her new flock of furry felines had fled the coup all together. Never fear we found both mother and baby and baby and baby cradled safely together beneath our outside fridge (Outside Fridge perfect for keeping your Gatorade cold during the Summer and your kittens warm during the Winter. Get yours today!!! Now available in Katnip scented). All this moving though left me with more than just thoughts that it would be soooooo cool to put a GPS on Socks and see where she went, but more seriously a complete understanding as to why she felt the need to keep running for cover every night in search of safer surroundings. After all I do it every day....
Call me an over protective parent, but I'm constantly looking over Fred's shoulder to see who he's playing with, how they act towards each other, what they are laughing about or what language they are using. In some cases I don't intervene, but inevitably I find myself on occasion saying the tried and true cliche "I don't care what your friend is doing; I'm telling you not to." As a parent it's my job to steer my child away from trouble, from places that might get him hurt, from doing things that could lead to bad habits down the road (like saying My Goodness instead of My Gosh which is one step away from My God). Just like Socks as a parent I can't help but want to do everything in my power to keep my babies away from the things in this world that are bent on harming them.
Once it was all said and done, for the moment Socks and the triplets (we are thinking Inny, Minny, and Moe for the names)settled into a nice new bed I made for them on the back porch. As for Fred we are getting back to the basics; saying our prayers everday, using words like Sir, Ma'am, Thank You, and Please, less TV and more reading, he's even begun to sing along with us at Church.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Lucy accidentally decided to take up gymnastics recently and an attempt at the splits sent us running to the ER. We can talk about it now, but 8hrs sitting watching those around us suffer from drug addiction, spousal abuse, attempted suicide, and self inflicted gunshots wounds to the face left us with a definite since that our momentary fears aside; life was no where near as bad as it seemed to be at times.
Socks has had kittens again and it appears that I may have to do something I swore would never happen....spend money on an outdoor animal. Although the thought of donating our hard earned cash to something that could just as easily disappear the next day has always seemed logical, I'm not really ravishing the idea of feeding 3 others because I was too busy being a cheap skate.
We've taken inventory of what we have left from Baby#1 and it looks like this next time around all we will need is a new stroller/car seat (which we bought this past week at Dittos), a bouncy seat (also bought this past week at Dittos), a playpen, and a crib. Lucy is spending all her days puking and all her nights catching up on the work she missed because of it. We have decide on first names and now are debating middle names. No hints though for now all you will get from us is Baby #2.
Monday, August 10, 2009
I've been thinking a lot about this past year lately and how things will be different as we get closer to the March due date. Remembering Fred and I hitting golf balls into hurricane force winds last September while vacationing in Orange Beach, Al. Thinking about that 2-hour canoe trip I took last month up Shoals Creek. I'd never even been in a canoe and there I was all by myself in the middle of nowhere. If anything had gone wrong I'd have literally been up a creek without a paddle. Lucy and I driving around town with the windows down after Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist. Each memory fills me with a calm that I keep coming back to when work seems to be more than I can handle.
When I think of my unborn child I get this same sense of calm. Like I've arrived at the right place at the right time. Like God has lined things up just so and blessed me with the insight to understand the miracle that is swirling around me. Maybe that's why I'm not writing as much lately...I'm too busy making sure I don't miss a moment.
There's a John Mayer song that goes:
I'm writing you to
catch you up on places I've been
You held this letter
probably got excited, but there's nothing else inside it
didn't have a camera by my side this time
hopping I would see the world with both my eyes
maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm
in the mood to lose my way with words
Monday, August 03, 2009
We live in a modest 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, that while not a mansion fits us fine. I've always thought that one of the most interesting things about a home is that the more rooms you have, the more you feel the need to pile them high with things you don't need. For example before Lucy moved her office in there, our front room was a beautiful living room with couches, a love seat, and a complete entertainment center....that nobody went into because the big screen is in the backroom along with the computer, another more comfortable couch, and the fridge is closer.
Before Fred we had a Guest Bedroom, a Master Bedroom, and additional bedroom that Lucy was/is using as a walk-in closet. In came Fred out went the Guest Bedroom. You can understand why this really wasn't that big of a change (unless you were a guest and got sent to the Ho-Tel Mo-Tel Hol-i-day Inn)in terms of the way the house was being used. Now while the announcement of Baby#2 isn't really the shock to the system that brought on mass fits of panic as did the first trip into the Parenthood, this visit easily makes up in storage issues what it lacks in first time jitters.
The best example of this decorating dilemma involves the litter box which is currently being kept in the...you guessed it....future room of Baby#2 (which I like saying better than calling it an IT). There's no room in the kitchen, Lucy uses the front room for clients and has people in an out all day (doing Real Estate stuff you perv!), the bedrooms are out of the question as nobody wants to go to sleep smelling that (clean or not), the 1/2 bath is more 1/2 than bath....this leaves the den or the Full Bath. Like the bedroom the den is no place for what that cat leaves behind (scooping only buys you a few moments cause he likes to hold it all day and hide around the corner waiting for it to be fresh again) and Lucy says no to the Full Bath. Which leaves....you're guess is as good as mine. I'm thinking about taking it up with the United Nations.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
In case you haven't guessed or heard through the grapevine, Lucy is pregnant. In some ways I'm still in shock. 3 days after I got the news I asked her to take another test just in case the three she took days before (two of which were at the Dr's office) were incorrect. Not because I didn't want a child, more so because it's one thing to plan an event and another thing for it to happen exactly the way you had hoped.
So here I am almost a week to the day that I learned I was the father of two and already subtle changes are taking place (and not just inside Lucy). Fred who proclaimed he'd rather have a cheese pizza when he first heard the news, is bragging to all who will listen of his new position as Big Brother; our inability to keep a secret ensured that just about everyone we know has heard the news; and the question on the tip of every one's tongue is "What kind do we want?"
The answer to this of course is the same for every expectant mother and father regardless of how many already make up their brood; a healthy child free of any complications is what we all pray for. Besides that I think for now I'm more focused on prepping myself for the journey that lays ahead. The late night feedings, the constant crying (I've gotten used to Fred just telling us what he wants), another round of diapers, of first foods, first steps, potty training. Plus let's not forget that Fred isn't headed off to college to live in a dorm somewhere. Some of his best first times are yet to come; reading his first words, writing for the first time, first day of kindergarten, first day of show and tell......each of which will also be our first time as well.
Speaking of firsts in case you are curious a new baby is what got me started on this whole blogging thing. I remember sitting there in front of my computer on my lunch break March 7th, 2006 wondering if I had anything to say that would compare to the dozens of other Daddy bloggers out there. Here's the result:
Three years and some months later that check list is being written a second time, I should be smarter....I should be wiser....and I guess in some ways I am....but the truth is that the same mix of excitement and trepidation is still there. Thoughts of how things will be, what will we name it, what will it's personality be like, sneak up on me at all hours of the day making it hard to focus on anything for too long. The one thing that is different....the one thing that is guaranteed to make this second go around easier is that under all the fear, excitement, curiosity, nervousness, and worry lies the simple fact that I'm a good dad and we are good parents. We are not the best, we are not the worst, but we know it and everyday we strive to do better than the day before. Regardless of what lies ahead this confidence and our faith is sure to make all the difference when it comes time to welcome our new baby into the world.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I am a waiter eager to accept my customers latest order
I am a television programmer strategically plotting what the viewing audience will enjoy most
I am a plumber who is called at all hours to figure out what was flushed or why it won't
I am a lover of every purple dinosaur, every imaginary friend, every rabbit brother and sister, every talking dog, penguin, moose, and whatever, every super hero duck, hamster, and turtle, every Spanish explorer, animal rescuer, and maintenance man.
I am a pool boy
I am a Sunday school teacher
I am a tryer, a doer, and sometimes a failure.
I am a reader of rhymes and singer of verse.
I am a chauffeur, taxi cab driver, and a couple of times I've rushed through town as if in an ambulance.
I am a race track designer
I am a Nascar racer who always comes in second place
I am a memory keeper.
I am a provider, a giver, a receiver, and lucky guy
I am a married far abover
I am a I will pull your pants down right here in front of everyone and spank that bottomer
I am a surgeon adept at placing a band aide at just the right angle so as to stop the pain
I am a beautician who can't get promoted past the hair washing station
I am a computer tech
I am a teacher of words, learner of slang, and discourager of terms
I am a craftsman who can perform miracles with elmers glue, a pair of scissors, and a paper sack
I am a go to your roomer
I am a too busy to write a post today blogger
I am a carry of all thing precious, wiggly, and upset
I am a painter of rooms, colorer of pages, and drawer of doodles
I am a do as I sayer not as I doer
I am a dentist always on the look out for easier ways to keep teeth in better shape
I am a finder of things to do while waiting for the doctor to call our name
I am a kisser of booboos, spanker of bottoms, and giver of high fives
I am a getter of way more than I ever deserver
I am a no matter how big the fight we can work it outer
I am a struggler, a survivor, and warrior
I am a architect of towers that never last
I am a husband, a father, a son, a lover, a best friend, a brother, a believer, and hopefully a teller to all those who I am thankful for-er.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
As I mentioned magazines have been on my mind. After thinking over all the different types we've subscribed to over the years, I was surprised how you can literally trace my growth as a person based on what found it's way into my mailbox. Lucy and I had our first date on 12/27/97. At the time I lived in a fraternity house and Playboy may as well have been the local currency. It was everywhere. Stacks and stacks piled up in closets, bedrooms, covering coffee tables. It was openly discussed and critiqued on a daily basis.
After Lucy and I moved in together I didn't bring Playboy with me. I was however one of the many that signed up for Maxim the first year it came out. Actually if you look at my credit card statement from that time I signed up for more than just one harmless magazine. There was People, Details, GQ, Men's Health, Premier, Stuff...I can't remember if I had a crush on a magazine sales lady or what, but they just kept offering and I kept subscribing.
As the years went by I found I didn't care how to pick up women in a bar using various forms of grunts and hand gestures even though Maxim assured me would work....and I couldn't afford to dress like anyone in GQ....or buy any Stuff other than what I could get at a yard sale...and I never exercised...so I put away my crush for the magazine lady and stopped getting magazines all together. Until that is Entertainment Weekly offered to fill my Pop Culture needs on a weekly basis for the low low price of 10 cents an issue.
I was baptized close to 5-6 years ago and went through an intellectual phase in which I felt I needed to read as much as possible about every political, social, medical, statistical movement there was....this lead to Harper's. A monthly dose of left wing propaganda mixed with some poetry and a touch of "exclusive" fiction from today's most deep thinking writers. I soon learned that my desire for more knowledge couldn't over come my distaste for pages upon pages of words without pictures.
I wrote for a pet website for a while so friends and family got the chance to laugh at me while I scoured the pages of Cat Fancy looking for juicy fodder. It seemed like with every new assignment came another niche mag. Golf Digest. Log Cabin Monthly. Of course the moment Fred was conceived we signed up for Parenting. Since we had a child who demanded to eat everyday we thought we'd better learn to make something other than spaghetti hence Family Circle. US Weekly gives us the sort of Garbage-Can-Gossip that EW thinks we are too mature for. Plus Fred even gets a couple in hopes that they will someday keep him quiet during church. We even get one devoted completely to foods made by Kraft. All I can figure is at some point we really must have loved mac'n cheese.
Looking back you might think that things have gone down hill after I let Maxim go, but honestly they have several things in common. They are both full of glossy images that I'll never get to touch in real life, they both cause my jaw to drop and a little bit of saliva to run out of the corner of my mouth, and they both are full of plastic things that are never as good as they look in print. Honestly the way I see it Family Circle is better because A) I got a better chance of experiencing some of the things described in the articles and B)Lucy never complains when I oogle over chicken tetrazzini .
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Like last week during vacation bible school, right there in middle of the puppet show he decided to stand up and show the crowd how well he can do flips. He did 3 before I was able to stop him.
The next night he ran as hard as he could, caring less of where he was going, and managed to look up just in time to see the support beam hit him dead center between the eyes. It's been a week and he's still got two blackeyes.
Monday night he slept in his Spiderman costume. At 3:30 that morning he woke us up because he'd had an accident and gotten it all wet. It took us half an hour to convince him to change clothes.
One thing we are learning is that spanking may be useful at times, but in the end (no pun intended) it really doesn't have any long lasting effect. I think it's because during the normal course of the day he somehow manages to hurt his own self at least two dozen times, so us adding a couple of licks turns out to be nothing compared to what he's already been inflicted on his poor knees and elbows. To get to Fred you have to out think him. Pull out some logic and blind him. Dazzle him with your common sense and wisdom.....and if that doesn't work distract him with a distant prize that can only be obtained by listening to Mommy and Daddy. And even then he can't help but be who he is......the kid that out of the blue decided yesterday that it would be fun to chant "Let's get naked!!" over and over while we stood in line at Wal-mart.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Thankfully somewhere along the way God through his infinite wisdom manages to cloud your mind. Those moments spent pulling out your hair as you stare at your child in disbelief just moments after he emptied the entire contents of the bathtub (water and all) onto your newly tiled floor, fade from your memory and somehow become funny stories you can't wait to tell to all of your friends. Maybe it's some form of selective memory brought on by the constant shock and awe that comes from having a child. It could be that the insanity that seems to swirl around your child finally manages to consume you as well.
I like to think that God knows that the only way people would ever decide to have more than one child and thus continue the furthering of the species would be to simply edit their memories so that when they do look back they only see the good parts. Kinda like movie previews in reverse. Instead of that time your child screamed in the middle of church that somebody wasn't praying right....you see how excited they get when they learn they get to go to Sunday school. You forget that night you were scared to death because he had a fever of 105 and wouldn't quit throwing up....and remember the first time he learned to potty by himself. You only see him lying their sleeping peacefully and not the hours of threatening to make his life miserable if he didn't take a nap.
Now I'm not sitting here saying that we are actively trying to have another child...honestly that would be way too personal for even these pages....what I am saying is that lately my mind isn't what it used to be. When I look back at those first few months when we had Fred I don't remember the fear of not knowing what I was getting into. I don't see the pain brought on from having to spank him for the first time. I don't remember how much I disliked having to share my bed or change dirty diapers or waking up at all hours of the night to give him a bottle....all I see are moments I'd like to live through again....all I see are previews.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
No doubt though if given enough time more than likely some where down the line the thought "Man that kid has a lot of hair" will pop in and out of your mind. The answer to this is both the reason I'm writing today and also something that has been on my mind quite a bit lately. You see all that hair blowing in the wind. That hair is thick! Those just aren't a few bunched up strands of long brown hair being tossed around. That is a birds nest of curls, tangles, and knots that must be combed good everyday and not voluntarily either.
Now allow me to step away from the hair thing for a moment. Check out the color in those cheeks. That pinkish hue which occurs after a child has played his heart out all day. A look that only comes from running too, fleeing from, jumping off, climbing up, and tripping over everything in his path. He had that look last year when this picture was taken, two days ago after playing in the yard, and tomorrow after driving his mother crazy all day.
What's my point you ask? It's this....how can this child who has all this hair on top of his head which constantly serves as built in insulation locking in and ensnaring everything that gets caught in it....how can this curly headed boy with so much energy continuously pumping through his veins so much so that his faces pulsates heat like a mini-gasoline heater....how can this child think that he is so cold at night that even with the thermostat set at 70 degrees, a sheet, a quilt, and a comforter placed gingerly on top of him, plus a set of flannel pajamas covering him from neck to toe...how can he still be so cold that his insists on wearing a toboggan to bed!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Come here Come here Come here Come here k-ear k-ear k-ear k-ear COME HERE!
See just like the Micro-Machine Man taught you. I can do it with Fred's name too: Fred Fred Fred Fred Fred Fred F-ed F-ed F-ed FRED!
If you think about it after their child turns three every parent should be given an honorary Auctioneer's degree that would allow them to just jump up and take over whenever they please.
"Can I get a dollar dollar dollar. Got two got two got two. Can get I a five a five....what? Mama I'm sorry but this is my auction and I'm the only one that can run this microphone...oh hey there little buddy I didn't see you there. Yes I know owls are brown. Yep that baby has orange on. Now don't starting calling me Doo Doo that's not nice. On second thought maybe I do need a break so as I can get a glass of water....I concede the microphone to the lady with the little boy who just broke that lamp."
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Admittedly I can be some what of a food snob. For years I boycotted Subway because they didn't have a clue how to make a sandwich and kept asking me what to put on a Spicy Italian when it was their idea to put it on the menu in the first place. Lucy likes it so eventually I just accepted who they were (and I hate going to more than one place for dinner). Then I was anti-Burger King for a whole year because they told me that if they had to give me free food because they messed up my order than they would have to do it for all the customers whose orders they got wrong (which would obviously teach them to get the #@$& thing right in the first place and we can't go around expecting people to learn from their mistakes can we). I lifted the ban because of the invention of the Chicken Fry which was simply too tasty of an idea to ignore.
Back to my point though....if the food is good I'll pay more for it. For example a $20 steak cooked to perfection is a gift from above. A $16 plate of Chicken Marsala with angel hair pasta and fresh vegetables is to die for. I'll even go as far as to say $10 for a fat eat it with a knife and fork double bacon pepper jack and mushroom burger is a steal. Some foods are good no matter what the cost and some foods should only be served at a minimum cost. In this case lobster. When I think lobster I think giant just pulled out of the fresh coastal waters of some local bay boiled with some corn on the cob and potatoes cry because it's so good once in a blue moon LOBSTER. NEVER have I EVER thought man I got 3 bucks and an empty belly. I think I'll go get me some lobster. I wish you could come, but $2 dollars won't get you something this good. No you need to go find you another .99 cents. If you bought your last lobster dinner with money you found in your couch cushions, I hope your insurance premiums are paid up.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
We live in an older house which was built in a time when only one person (the woman) did anything. Since only one person (the woman) was going to be in there, then only one person (the woman) needed to fit in there. Fast forward 45 years into a very different future and what you have is a meal made with love and mutual respect i.e. by a man and a woman. At first it was a task, but eventually we got the hang of it.
One, two you cut down there while I fry down here
Three, four I'll empty this while you load that
Five, six I spilt the spaghetti let's all pick up sticks.
Growing up I remember a joke about how to tell if an elephant had been in your refrigerator (footprints in the jello). Truth is all these years later as I stare into the far reaches of our icebox I have learned that it wasn't really an elephant after all, just a large footed monkey looking for the grape jelly.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
- Why does my cat only want attention when I'm getting ready for work and not the day before when I barely left the couch?
- How much more of a man do I need to be in order to feel like I deserve to eat at Hardee's? I mean come on already we get it. You have big hamburgers and your customers like to eat cheese paper. Back off already.
- George Carlin hit the nail on the head when he joked that the entire history of the world could be traced back to the need for more stuff. Eve wanted stuff. She wanted the apple. Nomads roamed the world collecting stuff. The Pilgrims came to the New World for more stuff. They fought the Revolutionary War because the British were trying to claim the stuff for their own. Ever week I go to Target to get more stuff and once a year we sale all the old stuff we no longer have room for.
- Does anybody out there really like butt bread? I mean other than ducks.
- What is it with the Mini-Statue Of Liberty yard statues? I'm as patriotic as the next guy, but this is one trend I don't get. How about just putting a flag up.
- Honestly who are the Adam Lambert fans? Are they listening to the same thing I am every week?
- Who cares that KFC will soon have grilled chicken? The last three times I've gone there they've been out of everything I ordered. Do they really serve chicken at all? Maybe they should change their name to Kentucky Fried Potatoe Wedges, cause that's all they seem to be making plenty of.
- Can I not see things in 3-D because my eyes are bad or because I know that the 40-foot tall alien that is "shooting at me" is not really real.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Among the words/phrases that Fred has begun throwing out there recently are:
- Crap-this one is all me as I've even caught myself saying it at church
- Stupid-this one got him beat within an inch of his life
- Oh My Gosh- this one has been altered some what and now comes out Oh My Goodness
- What am I going to do now- I think Lucy says this on a regular basis
- Well (pronounced Whale)- the moment Fred is bored with the conversation this is his clue that he's moving on
- I'm the boss- this one disappeared for close to a year, but now for some reason has reared it's ugly head once again.
- I can't do it- another phrase that is heavily discouraged
- Your my best friend- this one gets thrown around a lot and typically gets bestowed on whomever is spoiling him at the moment and not telling him no all day
- We going to do it after later?-this one is automatically thrown at you the moment you tell him no.
- Okay but after later?- comes after the no to the question above