Sunday, April 25, 2010

Every Rose Has It's Thorn

I'd like to think that the reason the band was playing the classic song by Poison was out of tribute to the bands lead singer Bret Michaels who is currently in the hospital with a brain hemorrhage. Then again they could have just been oblivious to this and played it because it was a wedding and that's the kinda song people expect to hear. Either way it seemed to be the perfect theme to what Mandy and I had been going through the past several weeks. After 12 years together it's reasonable to expect there to be a few thorns here or there, but lately I think we have both felt bruised and battered by our relationship. It didn't have everything to do with the kids or how tired we both were or work stress that seems to be ever present. Money is always a touchy subject but even that doesn't feel like the reason why our connection to one another seems to have short circuited lately.

It was Mo's wedding and things were a little more chaotic than your average wedding. The blessed event was to take place outside and even though the weatherman said there was a 100% chance of severe weather (the typical stuff like hail, tornadoes, wind, rain, lightning, you know...all that end of the world stuff) the groom said during the rehearsal dinner "Come hail or high water, we will be getting married outside tomorrow so you may as well come and watch" Adam was the ring barer, Mandy was a bridesmaid, and Alex was a special attendant....regardless of how badly we were getting along I was expected to make like the happy husband support everyone the best I knew how.

The bridesmaids showed up in rain boots and just when all was lost the sky's parted and the sun came out. It was the perfect weather for a perfect day. Adam rocketed down the isle and spent the wedding trying to knock the arch full of flowers on top of the entire wedding party. When that didn't work he ran through the crowd to sit in my lap....for about 30 seconds. He got back in position just in time for the grooms brother (who at this point had given up on any sense of a traditional wedding taking place) to pick Adam up and hold him upside down as the happy couple kissed for the firs time as man and wife. Later on as the happy couple ran down the isle towards the limo through a see of people holding sparklers, Adam thrust his flaming wand of fire into the groom. Mandy spun him around and he rested it on Steve's leg who stood there having no idea he had just lost his tuxedo deposit.

After all the pictures and polite conversations, there Mandy and I stood together still feeling alone after weeks of peeking up from our respective trenches to take shots at one another before buring ourselves in the dirt again. I forget what brought it on, but the ice melted with a laugh....and then a smile...and then as if upon request the band played the song that led to the dance that helped us find the rose we had been desperately searching for all these weeks. We had finally made our way through the thorns and to the rose in the center of it all. Aren't weddings amazing.....

P.S. Special thanks to the Nani for adopting Alex for the day.

Monday, April 19, 2010

100 MPH With My Hair On Fire

I stole today's title from Jim Turner. I committed the crime because it is exactly how I've been feeling lately. Ever since Alex has been born life is flying by faster than I can blog about. The only way I am going to catch up is to give a quick recap of recent events.

  • Adam had two birthday parties this year. One on his actual birthday March 20th for family and the other on April 10th for friends. The second was at Chuckie Cheese. Surprisingly enough it was actually cheaper than us getting all the decorations and finding a place. The only thing that confused the stew out of me is Adam's fear of Chuckie. Had it been anybody else's party he would have been all over that mouse, but his own and suddenly he's scared to death. Just don't get it.

  • Another thing I don't get is taxes. I heard today that something like 20 years ago only 10-15% of people didn't pay taxes. Now that number is up to around 45%!! I don't know about you, but I'm tired of paying my fair share and everyone else's too. Feeling punished because I have a good job and work hard.

  • Speaking of jobs I got a new writing gig this week. I was offered one about solar panels, but turned it down after the contract didn't go the way I needed it to. It was during that conversation that I was offered another for a company that sales trade show displays. Will link to it once all the loose ends are tied up.

  • The baby is great by the way. Sleeps about 6 hours a night. Doesn't cry too much. The only thing that has us stumped is that we can't seem to find his thing. You know that thing that no matter what is happening manages to calm him down. With Adam it was all about bouncing on my knee and singing. We've tried bouncing, swinging, rocking, singing, patting, petting, riding, and walking....still nothing except of course eating which he must come by naturally because it's all I want to do too.

  • Every time the baby starts to cry Adam hollers at us like a tornado has just landed down the street. This is nuts considering the baby is never more than 5 feet away from Mandy or I at all times. "MOMMY THE BABY IS CRYING!!!" "I can see that Adam. He's sitting in my lap."

  • Alex tends to wake up at 5 and I've been saying for years that I need to be getting up at that time to go to the gym (which I have a free membership to). Still every morning I wake up get Mandy and Alex settled and I'm off to sleep for another hour and a half. Then I stare out the window all day long promising tomorrow will be different.

  • We have spent too much money on Adam. His movies fell over last week and it sounded like the city library collapsed. I think we have gone too far. Considering selling some of his stuff on Ebay so we can buy more stuff so we can sell it someday.

  • Watching Adam blowing dandelions and making wishes has got to be the cutest thing in the world other than Alex holding my hand.

  • Work....well let's just say there are issues and I'm looking to better myself. I was always told nobody could blame you for trying to make life better as long as you are respectful of where you are now.

  • We are currently working to expand Adam's horizons. Gigi took him to see Mickey Mouse and friends in Hunstville a couple weeks back (don't ask him about it unless you wanna see how Woody did his lasso and possibly see Adam take off across the room like a helicopter). I've taken him fishing twice in the past month. Mandy is teaching him to wash clothes and dishes. Tonight he helped me cook dinner. It's too easy to simply sit your kid in front of the TV and let him veg. Gotta pull out the flash cards and teach him some stuff.

  • I absolutely love my iPod. May sell my soul for an iPad someday soon. Need to find away to make some iMoney so I can afford some more iTech. iCarumba!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Can You Pass The Screening Process?

This hopefully won't come off as being too snobby, but if you really think that I believe my daycare is run by a bunch of Socialists than no doubt your opinion of me will worsen this week. We are thankfully to the point in our new journey with Baby Alex where we can begin to become functioning members of society once again. Last Friday we hit up a local T-ball game, went to Church Sunday, and will be going to the big C this Saturday morning. With this new found freedom comes a very intense, sometimes disappointing decision making process that could (and probably has) left some with hurt feelings. What I'm trying to say is that in order for someone to get close enough to hold or touch Lex they must pass a screening process.

Not a full blown physical mind you, but for all that would like to touch, hold, or coo in our baby's face you need to be aware that before the opportunity arises you are being scrutinized for signs of infection. Sorta like the image you see when you are watching a movie and they change things up by giving you the robots perspective. We are RoboCop-ing you. Now we are not going to jump the gun so don't be afraid to approach. We love our friends and family dearly and in no way want to shun anyone....however if you sniff too much we hear you....cough too much we step back from you...if you talk about having to miss work because your child had a fever we fear you.

We will be subtle if we can. We will be intentionally vague about our plans to attend an event before hand as we sort out the guest list and their recent medical historys. We will do our best not to be rude, but we will be RoboCop-ing you.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Socialism Of Bunny Foo Foo

Easter is a time of rebirth, renewal, rejoicing. Spring is in the air. The flowers are in bloom. The sound of lawnmowers getting back to work fill up neighborhoods all over the country. Is there a better time of the year to teach kids about Socialism? You know what Socialism is right? As one dictionary puts it Socialism is "an economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels" Now of course I don't believe that this theory is what will keep America the awesome country it is for years to come, but I do fear that regardless of what I want our kids could already be learning the so called values of Socialism if others get their way. This brings me to today's Easter Egg hunt.

What could be wrong with an Easter Egg hunt right? Eggs are brought, eggs are hidden, a dozen or so kids are let loose to charge through the playground looking for eggs, everyone gets ice-cream afterward . Super fun!! Well....sorta. First off each kid is asked to bring 6 eggs with a prize inside. Second they don't just hide the eggs, pull the trigger, and let the kids have a good time, first comes the lecture. You see everything needs to be done fairly so that nobody gets their feelings hurt once the dust settles. So the lecture goes "Now remember boys and girls everyone wants to have a good time finding eggs. Right? Right, so it's important we don't hurt anyone's feelings. What we are going to do is go out and find all the hidden eggs. Some of us may end up with more eggs than others. If you don't find a lot of eggs don't be sad it will be okay. If you find a whole bunch of eggs remember how fun it is to share. Once all the eggs are found we will count up each basket and make sure that everyone comes back in with 6 eggs. Then we can get the candy inside. Won't that be fun?"

To a 4 yr-old who is already hyped up on chicken nuggets and Kool-aid, this does sound like fun because though the lecture lasted 2 minutes they only heard four words...find eggs get candy. It's true. I was standing there and saw it on his face. He was dreaming of plastic eggs filled with Skittles. Thankfully I didn't have the heart to tell him that since they were going to be spreading the wealth once the hunt was over anyway, he may as well enjoy his time more productively by doing something like say sleeping off all the nuggets he just inhaled. Better yet put the bucket down, go to the potty, grab a cool sip of water, and get in line for your six eggs once everyone has done all the hard work for you. I mean either way he's still got a handfull of Skittles at the end of the hunt. At least my way he's not so busy gasping for air from all that running that he can't enjoy them right away.

I can say all of this now that the hunt is over because my child found about double his limit and not the other way around. Then again I would hope that had his basket yielded zero eggs I would be adult enough to teach him that the way things are supposed to work is that nobody gets anything for free. Only through hard work and determination can you actually achieve your dreams. By simply waiting around for someone to give you your share of the eggs not only do you not appreciate what you get, but your dreams will all ways be that....pretty clouds floating just out of reach. This is the way that things are supposed to work....yet tomorrow is pay day and for some reason somebody named FICA needs my money more than I do.