Friday, May 22, 2009

Fatherhood Friday - Parents are helpless.

Happy Fatherhood Friday all my fellow dads and mom. Let us raise our hands in the air and let the world smell our pits because we all know we shower less now that we have kids. 

What's that? You don't know what Fatherhood Friday is all about? Then head your butt over to Dad-Blogs and check it out. (Girls are allowed in this fort.)

You. As a Parent. Are helpless. 

And I think it's why we panic so much about our children. Apparently panic is an appropriate replacement for not being able to control our little beings. Try as we might to be the "cool and laid back" parents that you see in the movies, every little step in the wrong direction, or bonk on the heads leaves our little hearts to go, "OHAGHNODON'TGETHURT!".

It's the heart strings that are fused to that little miniature flesh-bag. No matter what goes on in life you never want them to feel pain, never want them to struggle, never want them to fail. But of course the only way to learn and get better at something IS by failing. 

Some people take it way too far.

You know those people - the "build a fence around my kid" kind of parents. They're usually really judgemental too. Niamonster was toddling around Target the other day. She slipped and landed on her butt, let out a little cry of frustration, and got back up. I looked up and saw a lady glaring at me like, "how could you let your child fall?".

Really lady? Really? Pecker off.

I can only imagine it gets worse.

Niamonster is only 1 right now so what do I have to worry about? Her falling on her butt... bonking the enormously large bobbly head into things... falling down stairs... etc.

But what about when she's a teenager? Creepy guys on the internet? Creepy guys on the streets? Stupid boyfriends trying to smooze her pants off? Broken hearts? Good grades? Personal image?

Oiy... I'm worried about how much I'm going to worry.

How do I relax?

Well... my faith helps. Raising her to make smart decisions will help. I want to be able to trust her 100% as she grows up. That's easier said then done because I'm not going to be with her all the time as she gets older. Where do I draw the line between trust and smart parenting? Can you full trust a 14 year old?

For now... she can bump.

I'll let her fall. I'll let her bump her fat little melon. When she gets older will I still allow her to get bumps and bruises so she can grow and learn? 

Is it just me or is parenthood just filled with hypothetical questions that can't be answered until the situation happens?

(jesus being a parent is so damn fun)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Introducing BabyK

This is a special Thursday post. 

I'd like you all to meet:

Born May19th.
7lbs. 4oz.
22in long.

Is a perfect mash of her dad and mom.

That bink-bink is normal size. She's that small.

Isabella holding BabyK

That is all.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wacky Wednesday (Insert Number Here) - Babies, Phones, and Poopy Butts

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighborhood... won't you be mine?

Chicken In Pants.

Think that's actually a title to something I'm going write here? You're wrong. Simply... Chickenpants.

Guess who had their baby!

BabyK is officially here and healthy. After around 36 hours of labory stuff that women do when having babies, our bestest friends are now our bestest family. Born yesterday at 10:30ish PM, 7lbs 4oz, 22in long. Isabella and I are headed over there to lay eyes on their beautiful daughter. 

Poopy Butts

My daughter loves to potty on the toilet. Yes, we realize she's only one, but she derives such enjoyment from sitting on the big people's potty and dropper her load off in there as opposed to her diaper. Because seriously, who would want to walk around with pants full of poopies? 

Not me. 

So the first thing you have to think about is the awkwardness that comes from encouraging your child while she's taking a deuce. Isabella and I are very open about our human bodies, but one thing we have always taken as "personal time" is pooping. Doors closed, no one is allowed in, don't talk to me until I'm out. Being in the bathroom when someone is pooping is weird... even in public settings. 

However, this paradigm hits a wall when it comes to Niamonster because I'm not just going to leave her sit there by herself. She'd fall in and probably start playing around. (gross). While we're holding her there, Isabella and I usually look around elsewhere to give Niamonster some sort of privacy while she does her deed. 

Still pretty awkward though. 

The setup is usually that Isabella is the holder while I walk in and out offering words of encouragement. The other day I was tasked to do the holding and realized that I had never done it before. This all hit me like a truck when it was time to wipe her little booty while sitting in front of her. 

Hrm. How does one do this without getting poop everywhere?

I'm not sure how "one" would do it... or how I would do it for that matter - because I got poop everywhere. 

I'm such a nard.

New Phone!

Isabella and I have been with Verizon for... um... 6?5?7? ... well a long time. Anyway, they always call when our contract is up to encourage us to get new phones. So... with the current deals circulating around we decided to finally bite and ditch our old flippy small screened phones for the newest, hottest, and not Apple owned smart phone. (I'll write someday about my aversion to Apple products. If their products were at least half as good as their fanboys proclaim them as, I'd be all over them.)

BAM! The new BlackBerry 9530 - also known as the Storm.

Now, one thing I have learned is that Verizon is very... hrm... "selective" about what operating system they will support on their phones. For that reason, if you do get a BlackBerry from Verizon you'll be running an OS that is about 4 releases old. 

The OS that our Storms came with was painfully slow. (Which you'll read all about if you've ever read a review on this phone.) That's ridiculous, I told myself, that I should run an older OS when there are much faster and better OSes out there. 

Thank God for

Both Isabella and I are running BETA/Hybrid versions of the OS and the difference is night and day. The phone itself is really powerful, why not have a decently designed OS to go with it?

Tough to work when you just want to be home.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Meaningful Monday - It's a great day for a baby!

I'm really starting to hate how fast time really flies lately. I know that is a cliche statement and I know that everyone who has a kid says it... but there is also scientific research that shows that as you get older your brain trains itself to manage time differently. Thus, time flies, because our old ass brains don't want to deal with the day to day crap anymore. 

Remember being young and an hour felt like forever?

Life. They're about to have it.

Isabella and I have these two people in our lives who we are uncomfortable classifying as "best friends". That's kind of an insult to the way we feel towards each other. They're more like an extension to our family. For the fun of this blog (and since no one has a real name here) we'll call them Aunty B and Uncle White Brows. Yes... they truly are an aunt and uncle (as well as the god-parents) to Niamonster. I can't even begin to tell you how lucky Niamonster is to have them in her life. 

Well... almost 9 some months ago, Aunty B and Uncle WB came over and, after taking 6 pregnancy tests (accuracy through large sample size... and no... I'm not kidding it was 6 in one night), told us they were going to have a little cousin for Niamonster.  

I can't even begin to tell you the emotions felt that night. As a guy it's one of those times where if you were alone you would have... uh... gotten a spec of dust in your eye.


9 months later. They're in the hospital and, comparing to the past months, are moment away from being new parents. 

Just like that... I'm going to have a little "niece". Baby M. (or Baby K depending if you shorten it or not).

I can't wait to see her grow up and to see and learn various parenting techniques (cause God knows I'm not the greatest at it)... share stories about babies... having Niamonster and BabyK play around together... have BabyK teach Niamonster how to surf, and to chillax, and throw up the octave on both hands, and to not be such a priss. I'm excited for Niamonster to show BabyK the appropriate way to write lists....... (such a legacy I'll leave).

Now... if we could just get her to come out. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What the heck is up with my posting schedule?

This week... it has been crazy and overwhelming. My apologies for the crazy post schedule especially if you've become very used to my MWF schedule. Next week I'll get things back on track. 

In the mean time I'll quick throw this up. 

If you comment Anonymously, you deserve to be talked to in a snarky and sarcastic tone.

Yup, that's right. And it's exactly why I don't allow anonymous comments on my blog, because I only like being a little bitch on rare occasions and usually on someone else's blog. (I should say I just delete Anonymous posts, unless they're signed with a name.)

In steps Anon over on my beautiful (and sexy) wife's blog.

Now, why was I a snarky ass? 3 reasons.
  1. The post had nothing to do with Celiac disease.
  2. Anonymous
  3. Ignorance. 
Put those three together and you've just turned me into a snarky butthead. 

I hate ignorance.

I'm super ok with "not knowing", but talking to me like you do know... when you know you don't - I have no tolerance for it. It is a quick way to tell a lot about someone's personality. 

Have fun reading... and while you're at it - maybe you'd like to leave a snarky comment for Anon as well. Not that they'll ever come back to her blog to read it - but still... what a great outlet for snarkiness. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Tears

My heart aches.
(June 23, 2008 - May 11, 2009)

I don't care what you believe in... pray, meditate, think about this family. 

They need it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fatherhood Friday - It's the way she laughs

What is it about the laughter? How could anyone have a bad day when a toddler pops open that half-toothy/half-gummy grin and starts giggling like all of the giggles are going away tomorrow?

I know I can't have a bad day with that. 

Happy Fatherhood Friday to all the awesome dads out there. The dads who spend time with their children and make a huge effort to be a giant part of their lives. The dads who treat their wives (or husbands) with respect so that their little ones learn what true love is through observing your actions. 

Here is my nod, fist pump, or hug (yes, I'm a total hugger) to you. Because at the end of a long week - you deserve it. 

Let's talk about...
The baby itch.

I see where it comes from. I'm not saying I'm condoning or even thinking about it right now. All I'm saying is that I am starting to understand why so many couples have kids so close together. 

Niamonster is 1 year old now.

(Total aside that has nothing to do with this... have I even ranted about how I hate telling people months past a year old? I don't tell you that I'm 320 months old. I want to give you her age... not a math problem.)

Uh... Oh yeah so Niamonster is 1 year old and since turning that blessed year old she has decided that she wants to drink almost all liquids out of a straw, she wants to walk, she wants to talk with big people words, and she wants to feed herself. 

Try to do any of this for her and you have just cursed yourself with a little girl's temper tantrum. Gee... I have no idea where this "do it yourself and don't help me" mentality came from...

... it must have been her mom.

She's so grown up.

She's a toddler now. She's less like the little cute adorable cuddly mooshy goo-poosh... and more like a whiny screaming scratching howler monkey. Still really cute, but you've got to catch her first.

You get really used to having that little ball of foof just hanging out in her little rocker chair as she tries to reach up and swat at the little hanging toys. Remember the good old days when you used to cheer when she pulled the ring and the song played. Now you can't get her to stop pressing those *** **** buttons on that ******* Winnie the Pooh train!! 

There in lies my "enlightening" as to why so many parents have multiple children so close in age. You WANT that cute little baby back. Having a baby means constant needs, love, attention, love, cuddling, needs, and love. 

Having a toddler means, "hey.. no...come back here, please love me STOP SQUIRMING AWAY! I'm just trying to hold you. Where are you going now?... AGH! NO! Don't touch... what? what did you just baby-say to me? Are you cussing me out? I may not be able to understand your words but I sure know when I'm getting cusse... don't put that in your mouth... yes I'm talking about that. I can still see it in your hand. Yes, that piece of paper... I see it... don't put that... no... don't d... AGH! Stop crawling away you're going to choke on it... ugh... ISABELLA!!!!"

Still not going to have one so soon.

For as big as a pain as she can be (grumble grumble miss independent)... I still love every single minute that I spend with her... I mean... Come on... this is awesome!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wacky Wednesday... uh... 12? - Socially crazy

From my Monday post I'm sure you all know the story behind selling my 2005 MINI Cooper S. 

Well, seeing as how this is "Wacky Wednesday", let's talk about how wacky my brother has gotten about it. 

First, I should give you the background that he is a big Marketing dork. It has always been a running joke about him being in marketing. 

You see... I'm a developer. I write the code, architect the application, design the flows, the UIs, the "sexy bits". I create the product that makes the money. Developers generally have a distain for Marketing folk because they swoop in like vultures, take your product and slut it out to the world using phrases like, "We did this... " or "We created that..."... almost as if they were any part of the sometimes months-long process to create kick ass applications. It's prentious. You didn't do shit.

Unfortunately, they're a necessity since most developers, myself included, aren't the most "socially apt" people around. So... (sigh) I guess without them the product wouldn't get sold... as much.

I mean no offence to people in marketing... I have nothing against you - we do need you... it's... it's... aw nevermind.

Anyway (wow I totally busted off on a rant there... sorry), so - my brother has been looking for an outlet to do some social networking experimentation and he was enlightened by me selling Claire. He wanted to take selling Claire under his wing as an experiment to see what kind of craze he could create (if any at all).

He wanted something kitchy and viral. So he decided on the "man loses last shred of bachelorhood... blah blah blah" and created the theme "MINI Cooper vs Mini Van". Odd you think? Somewhat... I agree. Seeing as how it's all crap - because selling the MINI was my decision.

What, you might ask, has this crazy brother done?

I'm tempted to almost call this "too much". But he's running the experiment... I'm just a pawn. Then again... as of right now 389 Twitter followers aren't lying about the potential "viruality" of this.

So... want to take part in the "joke"/"experiment"? Join up on those groups/blogs/twitters and make yourself known. 

I do just want to say that most of you, since following me, have gotten a good sense of what I'm about - I do hope you notice that a lot of this is quite farcical. 

My wife glues her fingers together on a regular basis. I'm starting to get concerned.

Finally - Cuteness overload. My daughter and her first time with sand.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Meaningful Monday - Happy Tears... Really

I once had a baby and people called me a freak.

Yup. That's right. People told me I was a freak when I told them I had a baby. This baby came into my life in March 2005. My first new car. A 2005 MINI Cooper S. I named her Claire. 

I remember being quite timid about the whole process. I was fresh out of college and I landed a very nice job straight out. I wasn't tied down to any sort of girlfriend or stuck to any responsibility. It was just me. I was making plenty of money and I wanted my dream car. 

I asked my father to join me in this process because he was, and still is, the one guy I look up to for everything in life. I remember sitting at the dealership and picking out options skipping over some just because they would be "nice to have" but not necessary. 

My dad stopped me as I skipped over the upgraded stereo system. 

"Son, this is your dream car. Make it yours."

So I did. Every little thing about her was exactly what I wanted. At the time it was well within my budget and fit my lifestyle to a T.

April 05

I started chatting more with the most amazing girl in the world. She loved Claire as much as I did and we spent countless hours simply driving around and purposely getting lost. My wife, at the time, lived in Chicago so Claire and I spent many nights driving back and forth between our cities. Things got more and more serious with Isabella and I until eventually...

"It's a huge get together for MINI Owners"

Along came MINIs on the Dragon (or MOTD). MOTD is an extended weekend where MINI owners from all over the country gather at Deals Gap, TN at a road called the Tail of the Dragon. 311 curves in 11 miles... and we're not talking about your sissy curves either. MINIs, known for their amazing handling, tear up the dragon like it's nothing. 

Isabella and I planned a trip in 2006 to head down to MOTD and chum it up with a lot of MINI owners that we had met online. 

Little did she know that the purpose of me wanting to go to MOTD had nothing to do with MINIs. 

On May 5th, 2006, I got down on one knee and asked her to stay by my side forever. (You can read even more about it here.)

We went back the next year and got to know even more cool people, and hooked up with the Milwaukee MINIs too.

I would spend lots of free time thinking of little home-brew things I could do to her. Connecting an aftermarket amplifier without rewiring the whole car, hooking up an AUX input without buying the expensive add-on, even doing tests with different air diverter designs. 

I also spent lots of extra money on her too. Upgraded engine bits, new brake systems, etc. When I wasn't spending money on Isabella or necessities - it usually went to the Claire fund. 

I had always told people that I was going to hang on to her until she pooped out, which with as ridiculously anal I was about keeping her clean and in good healthy shape - was going to be a long time. 

funny how my plans aren't always what's best.

April 19, 2008

My life got flipped upside down. Everything that I was came to a sudden halt and I no longer cared about me, it was all about her. 

I'm not talking about Claire anymore... I'm talking about her.

My baby. My actual baby. There was no purchasing agreement. There was no picking out my options. There was just her big blue eyes struggling to stay open while getting used to a world that was so bright. 

My money. My life. My Everything. Is Yours.

Suddenly I was finding myself enthused about something totally different. I was (and still am) constantly excited about being a father. Constantly trying to find new ways to better myself and connecting with people that have similar interests in being good dads. I went from North American Motoring to Dad-Blogs. I went from Helix Minisports to Baby's-R-Us. 

Suddenly there was no longer a Claire fund, it was replaced with the Niamonster fund. 

So why am I paying for you anymore.

It hit me a month ago and I've been thinking about it ever since. Isabella and I don't live outside of our means... we live right at them. Rarely is there a month where we are socking away savings. And that's bad. 

It especially hit me with Isabella's latest "unknown" with her medical condition. (If you read her blog... which you should... you know what I'm talking about.) I was thinking about what would happen if suddenly we had huge medical bills or some other act of unknown that would hit us with a big financial burden?

While pondering finances I looked out my window and into the garage... and I saw Claire. I have a weird love for that car... but not as much love as I have for my family. 

I knew it was time to let go.

I had to say goodbye. It made absolutely no sense to pay as much as I am a month for that car loan when it is nothing more then a machine that gets me to and from work (and the occasional date night). There are so many things that I want to save for... and buy right now for my family. I want a big fat down payment on a house... I want a car seat that works better for Niamonster... I want to look at my finances every month and not have to "juggle" sometimes. I want another kid sometime in the not so distant future.

Niamonster deserves it. 

The quickest and best way is to sell Claire. 

You know it's best. You feel it's best. It still sucks.

Wussy mode engaged. This weekend wasn't easy. I spent a lot of the nice hours of the day washing and waxing her to a super shine. Cleaning her interior twice over. Making sure everything is in tip top shape. I took pictures. I wrote up a description. 

I held Isabella's hand, said a little prayer to the big guy upstairs and clicked "Publish".

The Moral of the Story is...

I guess I wrote this for 3 reasons. (I need a list to make me feel better.)
  1. Therapy - I know that sometimes talking or writing about a difficult thing makes coping and coming to terms with it easier. So you just subjected yourself to my therapy session - you're like my shrink only you just did it for free.
  2. Moral - It's not a sacrifice if it's something you want to do. There is no need to hang on to past things if you know that it's only going to impede the better future things. I always have to remind myself that I'm only 26. I often times forget that and think that I'm way older.
  3. Know anyone who wants to buy an awesome car? (You knew it was coming.)

I'd do anything for this family.

And if selling what was once my passion means good things for my family - then I'd do it a million times over. 

This is my passion. This is my life.

What else could I ever want?