Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Extreme Home Makeover: Charlie Blockhead Edition

It's funny how fast and sudden life changes. Last week I mentioned all the painting I had done around the house and promised to provide pics. While I had every intention to get those on the site I had no idea that the title I had picked out "Extreme Makeover: Charlie Blockhead Edition" would take on more meaning than I could have ever imagined at the time. Just two days later I would be surprised by a call from Lucy saying that she had driven by the office and noticed my car had been wrecked. I remember running out of the office to what would surely be a life changing (or at least budget changing) event only to find myself moments later amazed at what was waiting outside. Looking back I definitely say it was life and budget changing, only the news I received didn't involve any type of hit and run accident. In fact the whole thing had been planned for months and actually occured five weeks before.....

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:

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

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

Brock's Best

We were at the store a few weeks back and decided at the last minute we needed a cookie fix. We grabbed the first thing we saw only to have Fred point out to us when we got home that he wanted some of Uncle Brock's cookies. If he hadn't of mentioned it I would have never made the connection, but sure enough it appears that my little bro has a side business he's not telling folks about. Here's a closer look at Brock and "Bud":

Monday, July 13, 2009

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Remember those essays we used to have to write the first week of every school year? I didn't mind them so much, after all it's not like the teacher even knew who you were before you stepped foot in her class. Who's she to say that there's no way you could've took a hot air balloon expidition to the South Pole? Anyways that's what today's post is all about.

After I decided to not Live Life Like A Porpoise, I managed to get a ton of stuff done both fun and from the Honey Do List. The first of each week was spent remodeling Fred's room and our master bedroom (pics to follow this week). The fumes hit Lucy and I hard; after I painted Fred's room I got a sinus infection, Lucy got hers after I painted our's. We spent the 4th at Granny Beck's where we had our usual Chinese Thanksgiving. This year I even managed to learn how to make Curry Chicken and Sweet/Sour Pork (not the chicken nugget kind, but the real deal). Plus we had some recession fireworks (not much flash cause we got no cash) that shocked Fred to the point that you would've thought we were standing on top of the Empire State Building watching them explode over the Brooklyn Bridge.

By the end of last week with only four days left I called it quits and enjoyed the rest of my time. A couple fishing trips, an afternoon spent watching Dave Matthews Live In Concert, a surprise 30th B-Day party for Lucy, a little book reading time, plus I pulled the old bike out of the shed so I could keep up with Fred as he pedals up and down the street (he's past the point where I can keep up on foot).

Overall I learned a couple important lessons: 1# Even if I had 2 months off I'd still never get everything done and 2# I never get sick of hanging out with my family and that even includes the GiGi (just don't tell her I said that). Enjoy some pics of from what turned out to be the two best consecutive weeks of my life:

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Life Without Porpoise

As many of you have no doubt heard, the company I work for has decided to shutdown this week and next. What this means is that unfortunately I'm midway through an unexpected two week vacation, and that believe it or not I started out having a horrible time coming to grips with. First of all lest I come on as some arrogant snob who doesn't know just how well he has it, please understand that I am extremely grateful for everything I have and that I can't imagine how much harder others who have it far worse are handling things. Still the shutdown has definitely been a wake up call. The first day I was a total wreck. I literally walked right into a door, spent the day babbling like an idiot, and generally just felt out of place in the world. I know myself enough to realize if I had been laid off and Monday had been my first day out of work, I'd of been up at the crack of dawn, resume in hand, and hitting the bricks looking for more work. That's the rub though, I have a job....they just don't need me there for 10 more days.

Immediately I found myself wondering what does a work-aholic do when there's no work to be had? Whatever the answer may be, I was sure the way it wouldn't turn out is with me sitting around like a fat whale catching up on Day Of Our Lives and eliminating an entire bag of Oreos.

I'm proud to say that going into the 4th day of my isolation, I've managed to stay even busier than I likely would have been had I gone into the office everyday. I've set the alarm for my normal 6:00 A.M wake-up every morning. Monday I cleaned out Fred's room, ran errands, grabbed a quick bite, and by 8:00 that night had transformed the once nursery into a Big Boy room. Tuesday I jumped up ran a couple more errands, hit the driving range, put the finishing touches on Fred's room, and got to spend a great afternoon with Lucy. Wednesday I was up at the Dr's office (sinus infection), took care of a couple more errands, cut grass, and managed to be done in time for Fred to get home from school. Next week I plan on painting our bedroom Monday/Tuesday and then getting some R&R (playing a little golf, getting some fishing in).

Basically what I've learned is that though I may be a work-aholic, I'm not limited by where I work. It's got nothing to do with who I work for or what my career is, it's about how I'm no longer that guy that enjoys laying on his hump all day watching the world pass me buy. As an 8 year resident of various cube-farms I've often wondered what outsiders did with their days...and now I know they stay active, they get things done, and they never stop working towards their goals which is exactly what I myself attempt to accomplish during my typical 8-5. A life with purpose means you don't live life like a porpoise and for my own sake I hope that's something I never turn into again.