Saturday, September 25, 2010

Not a Common Situation

Happy Saturday! I'm the fortunate receiver of a child who woke up earlier than I wanted her to. It doesn't bother me, because it means that her and I get to hang out during a time where she's usually a little more cuddly than normal. Lord knows her daddy loves some cuddling.

I never give my wife enough praise.
She really is an amazing and thoughtful woman. Being a stay at home mom, she doesn't really have "loads" of stress. Sure, the child can be a toolbag from time to time, but she doesn't have to deal with the stress of excelling at work so that you don't lose your job. My family is completely dependent on my salary and if I were to lose my job... yikes.

I'm not overly concerned about it, but I know that any parent who works has that healthy fear.

Isabella takes good care of me, though. She knows that I have a slightly more demanding job, which usually requires longer hours - sometimes into the night. Whenever that happens she is usually the one who gets up and closes the bedroom door while she tends to the kid while she lets me continue to sleep. It really is a gesture that means a lot to me... especially when I was up until 3am the night before.

Sometimes she need the late night too.
The silly girl rarely goes out by herself. It's not that she can't, it's just that she doesn't want to. She's a big time family girl because that's one thing she never had when she was little. Having all of us together brings her loads of happiness. Often times she is so worried about the "family" portion of life, that she forgets about the "Isabella" portion of life.

She's a fantastic mom... so much so that all I can say is Niamonster is healthy, smart, compassionate, and coordinated (sometimes) little girl - having a mom that can nurture that is amazing. All to often, though, she's ONLY mom.

Sometimes I make her go out with friends at night just so she can have a small glimpse at herself outside of the "mom" world.

Last night she went clubbing.

I first have to brag because during dinner she was pondering what to wear to our friends birthday party at a dance club. We came to the conclusion that we should probably run to Target to get her a new shirt that was "boobie enough" but not too "boobie". But when I got there I started getting really excited about her being a hot piece at the club - so I was on a fast kick to get her a whole new outfit.

Check out this hot outfit-

Yeah - I got skill.

I haven't heard the stories yet...
But from a text message I got last night she had been hit on at least once (I mean... wouldn't you?). What's funny is that most normal guys would probably get jealous if they found out their wife was getting hit on by some creeper at a dance club - but not me. It makes me feel awesome for two reasons. 
  1. Because I know she's hot and really can't blame the other guy.
  2. For as much as I tell her how beautiful she is, I know she'll think it's biased. But if some stranger tells her how beautiful she is and flirts with her - that means something. (weird... I know)

I'll get up early every weekend morning!
I can't make her go out. I can't make her want to go out. But I really wish she would do it more because while I really freaking love the "mom" side of her, I don't want her to lose the "Isabella" side of her. I like to make her feel pretty and MORE than an awesome mom. She's a hell of a individual too!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm a sensitive little boy.

I'm one of those people who cracks jokes about things that make me uncomfortable or uneasy. The more difficult and challenging the situation, the funnier I become. Wrap that into a poorly timed delivery and often times I come off as a real jack-hole.

A good example of this was when my wife was about to go under the knife to get a fairly large abscess take out of her. At the time we didn't know what it was... endometrioma, a small alien, or, God forbid, cancer. I liked to call it her little alien love child - and then suggested that next time she keep her legs closed when getting abducted by aliens.

Now thankfully my wife loves me enough and gets me enough that she actually finds my nervous and poorly timed jokes slightly funny. It's one of the reasons I married such a wonderful woman.

However, there are things that I cannot take lightly. Things that I will never crack jokes and I will never be receptive to jokes, laughter, or humor.

My insecurities

I'm not talking about the insecurity of having a fat ass or a head of hair that makes it look like I'm sporting a 1980s curly trailer mullet... I'm talking about the insecurities that sit on the core of your soul... the ones you know you have but don't want anyone else to see.

My biggest insecurity is the fact that I have little confidence in being able to classify myself as a good father and/or a good husband.

You've got to understand that, to me, I suck at playing this game. I'm the poor uncoordinated fat kid that can't catch, can't run, and can't jump - AND always gets picked last in the game of fatherhood.

So what sparked the thought for this post

As some of you may know, I own my own business doing application development. With assisting around the house while my wife recovers from getting knives jabbed into her, I have had to displace some of the time that I normally dedicate to completing this very large project due in about a week. The time has now caught up to me and I'm in "uh oh" mode... which means I need to be balls-to-the-walls this weekend.

...which also means not spending lots of time with my family.

...which also means that I suck as a dad and husband.

To boot, we were originally going to drive down to Indy to visit some friends for the weekend and I would have been really screwed.

When I told my wife what had to happen this weekend... she did the thing that you're not supposed to do when I'm explaining that I'm going to have to work most of the weekend... when I'm admitting that I suck...

...she laughed

That's not funny.

"Because we were originally going to spend all weekend down in Indy... and then since we aren't going I was just expecting that you'd be spending time with us."

That's still really not funny and thank you for further rubbing in why I hated telling you to begin with.

I don't know why I'm so insecure about it. My kid smiles and my wife hasn't left me. I guess I must be doing something right.

But are you doing it "right" when you know there are so many things you do "wrong"?

Oh well, I'll finish my project this weekend and we'll have that much extra money in the bank for it. Maybe I'll buy her something nice. How wonderfully middle class is that?

Oh... happy Fatherhood Friday! Haven't badged this is a while. This is a community of a bunch of great dads. Go check them out! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

This post is not for the squeamish. It's a poo post.


This post is not for the feint of heart, it is not for those who cannot and do not find poop or the act of pooping hilarious. If you just got done eating, maybe wait a few hours before continuing on... if you're thinking of eating a Reeses peanut butter cup soon, think about passing on this post... if that chocolate fudgy bar is calling your name right now, I guarantee it won't be if you finish reading this post.

"But why?"

Because this post is about poo... and not just the cute little nuggets of gold that my 2 year old drops, but about the rancid death  blobs that come sneaking out of mine.


Then let's continue.

Coming up on Father's day, I love taking some time to reflect on who my child is and what she has done for me even though she may not know it or understand it yet. I'm proud of her accomplishments, be it as small as they are to me - I know they are monumental to her and her fervor and determination (and sometimes full on frustration) are things that make me so happy that she is my daughter.

I also like to take time to look at her and analyze her looks and personality traits that clearly come from me. It's fun to see little pieces of me in her - fun to see that what I have created (well... I guess all I did was plant the seed - check out Isabella's blog if you're actually interested in the creation part of it.).

Now that Niamonster is over the age of 2 we have started potty training - and we've found another trait that she clearly got from me.

Pooping on public potties does not and will not EVER happen. 
("you're kidding, right?")

Public toilets are the devil. They swim with bacteria and viruses from every man-ass that's sat on them. Women don't understand because they "hover". They have this crazy ability to take a deuce and never touch the seat - maybe it's the low center of gravity... maybe it's the hips... maybe it's because men have turds that are the size of small children... I don't know - we just can't hover like the girls.

Even if I tried - I get stage fright. The fear of having some crazy STD transfered to my butt mounds or other nether-regions, makes me tighten up like a scared squirrel.

Finally - I hate the fact that other people are in there and are usually listening very intently on what's going on behind the locked and mysterious door number 3. Pooping is my private time - my time to reflect on life, who I am, and what I'm trying to become. Having someone invade that privacy by peeing in the urinal while I'm in there... or... god forbid, sit in the stall next to me, is akin to Voldemort sneaking his way into Harry's mind through Legilimency - only my butt doesn't have the ability to practice Occlumency.

There was one time that I was forced to make a life or death decision. You see, I have something called Celiac disease. In summary, if I eat anything with gluten (wheat, oat, barley, a few others), it destroys my small intestine. (This is different then gluten intolerance because intolerance doesn't kill, only cause rumbly tummy and discomfort... Celiac is an auto-immune disorder, intolerance is not.) If, somehow, gluten finds its way into my system, my body goes on this crazy flush cycle to get everything out in the fastest and most painful direction.

We were driving from Indiana to Wisconsin on a return trip home and the start of the trip had a few signs of "uh oh" in my tummy. I thought we would be ok, so off we went. Well - it caught up with me - and my body decided to run the colon cleanse without my permission. So I had two options - shit my pants - or find somewhere in the middle of farm country Indiana. I was a ticking timebomb and my wife (and my pants) were going to be the victims of a terrible nuclear, shit filled fallout. I had no choice... we had to stop at a Walmart that we thankfully found... and I had to... HAD TO!

So in I rush to the store's bathroom, slam open the door like Flack busts in on CSI:NY only to be punched in the eye balls OF SOMEONE ELSE'S EXCREMENT! AGH! Timebomb, timebomb, NEXT STALL!!!

Jump out of used up stall one, to the next one - TP... check - turdless bowl... check - quick quick wipe the seat off... oh god - piss on the seat - whatever... wipe if off I'll shower later - drop drawls.... and KAPBLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPTPPTPTPTPTPT. (ahhhhhhhh)

Kids? Voices? Oh shit... uh... uh... don't make a noise... I hear them walk into the first stall, and hear "EWWWWW" (hahaha... stupid kids found the turd bowl - I'd laugh if I wasn't trying to pretend that I was not there.) Then I hear the little shits walk towards my door. [Door is closed, buddy, probably means someone is in there... don't you] {rattle rattle} "What the hell - it's locked" [No shit it's locked genius - someones in here... why isn't he moving away... why isn't he trying the next stall.]

The next thing I know this little 7 year old kids head is staring at me. STARING AT ME FROM UNDER THE STALL!!! WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON!!! He smiles, laughs, and walks out of the bathroom with who I can only imaging was his brother. "Hahaha... that dude was totally pooping."

They never used the restroom - it was like satan called them up from the depths of hell just to walk into the bathroom and torture me... they were there just to stare at me pooping.

As if that wasn't bad enough - I now have to wipe. Which brings me to another point of why I hate public restrooms.

The toilet paper. 

See, at home - we have quad-layered, double quilted, fuzzy comfy bears who LOVE to caress my ass clean.

Public restrooms have this:
1/2 ply, diamond encrusted, dagger paper - now with NO ABSORBING power.

They call it quilted - but those aren't quilts, those are devil marks solely there to remove layers of sensitive skin. And this paper doesn't wipe, it smears... so you have to use over 9000 sheets which I'm pretty sure doesn't remove the poo - it just spreads it across your crack so thin that it LOOKS like you got it all out.

After using the butt tissue engineered by the lord of hades himself, I stand up - look at the damage (pretty impressive, actually) - and I flush...

And the bowl fills... and fills... and... oh shit.

I ran. I ran like a little girl - and I didn't care that the bowl probably overflowed and decorated the floor with my artistic expression. I was done.

This is a perfect example of why I NEVER poop in public restrooms. EVER!
(and to that little kid... I hope karma pays you a visit someday)

("shank... wasn't this about your daughter")

No. Get off my back. It was about pooping. But let's bring it full circle anyway.

My daughter, bless her soul, is the same way. She HATES public restrooms. Cries and screams just like I want to when I am forced to use one. I've never made her use one yet, but my wife (who doesn't quite understand the emotional destruction that public restrooms can cause) will sometimes make her. And, if she's as much like me on this topic as I think she is, is dying a little more inside every time.

Someday Niamonster will read this and ask what the words "shit" and "ass" mean - because daddy has a potty mouth even though she doesn't know (yet). And then I'll put my arm around her as she looks at me and says, "see dad? you do get me"

Love you baby girl. Don't ever think you have to force yourself to do what daddy had to do once. I'm always there for you and will always drive you to where you should be when you make a doody - the comfort of your own home.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Art Swap 2010

So a wonderful person (and father) who I've had the pleasure of meeting online, setup this really awesome virtual event called Art Swap 2010. If you're a twitter-maniac (or even if you just have an account) check out the hash-tag #ArtSwap2010.

How this worked: You signed up, you were given some random person's name - a different random person got your name - and then you did art and sent it along - and in return you get art.

This made me get off my butt and flex a college degree that I haven't really touched in 6 years. (Art degree, you ask? Yes... Art major turned programmer - bask in its glory).

So here was the painting I did (please excuse the HORRIBLE lighting and cell phone camera shot):

Today I just got my art and holy man was I excited... BEHOLD! A BOX!

Wait... what's that... CH? Chicago? no... Chatenooga?.... no no... Montana? (they're weird like that)... definitely not... that looks like... HOLY CRAP! IS THAT A COUNTRY CODE? (quick and speedy googley search because I'm geographically retarded...)

Let's get down to getting this open. Cut a little tape here, a little tape there...

Oooooh! Bubbly!

Wow - this this was really packed well for overseas travel. (What is not evident is the surgical like precision I used with my scissors to get it open without damaging the art.)

Whoa! This is amazing. The color... the composition... I wish I was half as good. (please don't scroll back up to compare, it would shame me.)

So, to my overseas art buddy - you're an awesome artist. Thank you for my new wall art which I will display proudly.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another business trip out of the way.

I don't wear ties. Ever.
As I work my way slowly up the corporate ladder, I find myself having to hop in a plane in the name of business more often. First trip was out to Seattle and the second trip was to Vegas.

I love to travel and see new places and absorbing all of the sites and sounds that are not familiar to me. On top of that, I absolutely love to fly. Ever since I was a little wee lad I have been completely fascinated with airplanes and flying. Before my vision went to crap, I wanted to join the Air Force and be a fighter pilot. Alas, I'm blind as a bat, so commercial "fighters" will have to do just fine.

There is just one small issue when flying for business.

I'm alone.

Oh I may have a few co-workers with me and I know that I will always have plenty to do while at my destination necessitating my businessness (oh yeah, I just made that up), but when all is said and done, the bed just isn't as warm without my wife next to me and my child relatively close.

Actual phone, not actual size.Technology is really awesome in how it just explodes. Take for instance that I am writing this blog post while travelling over 600mph at a leisurely 41,000 feet above the very solid earth. I also love the fact that I am and can always be connected to my family, even if it is through a digital medium.

However, it's a double edged sword.

I'm sitting at a conference and my phone does it's little vibraty thing. I pick it up because I'm in the midst of fighting fires at work and dreading the update from the product manager (or is it project manager... I always forget). But there is no email, there is a message from my wife - it's a picture message. I first read the caption and see "Cheese DaDa" only to see the picture load to punch me in the emotional daddy face. There is my beautiful little girl with the cutest grin.

My first reaction is "awwww", but immediately follows the, "Holy crap I miss them."

I never used to be a HUGE sappy face, but three things in life have progressively changed that.
1. Almost getting my head blown off.
2. Getting married.
3. Having a child.

Since those three things happened I tend to wear a few more of my emotions on my sleeve.

Imagine if you will, thousands of alpha males all getting their nerd on, absorbing all the knowledge and information they can... and my sappy ass is fighting back tears in the 10th row.

Yeah... it was that awesome.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I was yelled at by multiple people.

I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but I know that I don't post as often as I used to. Blah blah blah work, blah blah blah new house, blah blah blah family. I know you've heard it all before, so unless you think of me as a classic record that you love to spin up on your turn table just to hear that fantastic lick again and again (which I doubt you feel that way), I'll stop talking about it.

I look at that more like a Black Eyed Peas song... "I gotta feelin'... " Yup - you're welcome I just put that song in your head for the rest of the day.

What I didn't know was that people actually get pissed at me for not writing in my blog, as though I'm doing them a disservice for not keeping them up to date with the on-goings of my life. You know, you could just come over for a beer and experience it. But alas, if reading is what you must do - then who am I to deny attention.

Yes... I whore attention.

My belly is full and fat right now. My stomach's dear friend, Alton Brown, from Food Network had a recent episode of Good Eats where he described the science of the tongue, specifically how sodium has this beautiful knack of blocking the bitter receptors on the tongue. It's not wonder he adds kosher salt to all of his yummy sweet treats.

His recent recipe included baking your bacon for 30 minutes, then sprinkling a mixture of brown sugar and pecans (combined in a food-pro of course).

Needless to say, both Isabella and I just had major food-gasms.

I own a house now.

How fun to write such a simple plain sentence about a crazy huge experience. I've taken the next step in my life to put myself in the hugest amount of debt ever. I was explaining to Isabella the other night how the house is more expensive then she and the kid put together right now. (I say right now, cause Lord knows the kid is just going to progressively get pricier).

I've heard stories about how generations before us never took us loans out to pay for their houses. Yeah, well, houses used to be 10-20k. Now the prices are 10x that so I'd love to see someone who saves up hundreds of thousands. Although, how fun would that be to slap down a suitcase packed with bills.

Do you accept cash? Cha-ching!

I'm leaving for Las Vegas on Sunday night. I'm actually pretty scared about it due to the hype that goes along with it. All the movies, tv shows, and slogans lead towards the "sin" aspect of the city. Well, I'm not saying I'm an angel, but at the same time I've got my morals and my religion. So you can understand the conflicting feelings I'm having right now of "YAY VEGAS!" and "STAY AWAY HOOKERS!"

Yeah, I know. All the glam and porn and xxx and gambling is all hyped to the max because it's what sells, and I'm sure it's just a normal city with one block of craziness - but... whatever.

I'm going there for a reason though so it should keep the porn off of me. My work is graciously sending me to the MIX2010 conference. There's going to be a lot of good sessions going on, so I ggguuueeeessss I'll stay a little sober.

Until next time... stay beautiful.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy New Year - Let's get busy!

I know I'm coming in a solid 18 days late, but Happy New Year!

Before I start firing off about the specific thoughts in my head, I would like to take a small moment and go over how you should pronounce the current year. If you have read this somewhere else, please feel free to skip to the next section. However, if you're one of those people who isn't quite sure how to say the current year when speaking to others, please take a moment and indulge yourself in this community service message.

We have grown accustomed to saying "Two-Thousand and..." for the past nine years. If you shortened it, I'm sure you've said, "Oh [number]" as in "Oh-nine". This, however, should be erased from your memory for the next 90 years.

To start, I'd like you to say out loud (or in your head if you're in the office and people would think you a freak.) (unless they already do... then out loud is fine) (and probably expected)(... freak)


How did you say it? Probably "Eighteen Ten", which is exactly the correct way of saying it. Let's try another:


Now how did you say that one? If you said "Nineteen Ten" then you're doing great. Let's do one more:


This one is tricky. If you said, "Two Thousand and Ten" then I should smack you in your little melon head. Why in god's name would you purposely add 2 extra syllables to the pronunciation of the current year?

The correct way to say this year is: "Twenty Ten". Look at that amazingness! Only 3 syllables and a consistency through the ages.

Now you won't look like a colossal douche-bag when you say the date to your friends.

You're welcome.

But that really isn't the point of today's post...

Let's all beat the crap out of our kids.

Straight up!

Punishment is never a fun topic to talk about, especially with friends. We all have our own ways and our differing opinions on the topic and sometimes it even gets to the level of religion or politics when the discussion comes up in a group setting.

I like the generalize the crap out of people (helps my little mind understand oddities), so I've come up with a list (squeee!) of the typical groupings of parents with their ideas of punishment.

- The "my child is an angel" parent.
No, no your kid is not. All kids are hellions with spacklings of cute. I've seen your kid scream and cry when he doesn't get his way. What you're doing is raising a child who is destined to victimize themselves throughout life and demand that all things should be handed to them while in turn they think that they are flawless.
Expert Level: Your child is a full blown narcissist.

- The "if I ignore it, it goes away" parent.
Go ahead, turn the TV up louder. If you can't hear it, it must not exist. Maybe stay at work extra late so you don't have to deal with it when you get home since they'll be asleep. Turn your back in the store and pretend that it's someone else's kid (pretty sure the clinging to your pant leg is a total give-away though). Your child will be lucky if they grow up at all.
Expert Level: You leave your kid at the store.

- The "my child fell down the stairs" parent.
Calling DCFS, calling DCFS, coming DCFS - we have a "person" who isn't worth the dirt I walk on. In all seriousness, if you've ever purposely and intentionally hurt your child to the point of injury, consider not being a parent anymore, cause I'm pretty sure I just stopped considering you a human.
Expert Level: Let's not go there.

- The "threaten with no follow through" parent.
Now this one I see a lot of, and I understand that you have to pick your battles wisely, but I'm focusing on the parents that ONLY punish this way. Maybe it's the hope that the threat will be enough to properly train a child. Here's a little news flash: It's not. Kids are smart. Wicked freaking smart. And they can totally tell when you're full of shit. Then, they'll start manipulating situations so that you threaten them, and they play "hurt", and then they still get their way. You're training your child that warnings in life don't apply to them.
Export Level: "High Voltage" signs excluded your child.

- The "emotional rage" parent.
These are also pretty common (at least when I was growing up it was common). The child (remember, they're all hellions) goes off and does something sassy or stupid that really pisses you off. Then, in the whirlwind of rage you fly off the broom handle you rode in on and unleash the fury of pent-up aggression from all aspects of life through a wooden spoon or a belt or the hand soap in the bathroom.
Export Level: Screaming and anger no longer faze your child.

Obviously this is satirical...

... but I'm sure we've all crossed the borders of some of these here and there.

I have this feeling, though, that the general thought of discipline and punishment is becoming more of a taboo and I can't help but feel a little sad about that. Why WOULDN'T you punish your child? To not punish your child for their stupid and out of line actions only exacerbates the pussification of America. I don't know if you've noticed but we've become some pretty hard-core sissies lately.

Humans are stubborn to learn and quick to forget.

Think about the times in your life when your outlooks and views and actions throughout life really changed. During that period of change, was it emotionally easy? No, probably not. The emotionally and psychological turmoil was, no doubt, the reason for the change. But kids to don't the "hard-knock" life, as they say. They don't have bill collectors knocking down their door, or the lawman watching their every move. They don't have great responsibility to get food on the plate and shelter over the head. They pretty much play, eat, sleep, and poop... and if you're lucky to have an older kid - go to school.

That is what discipline is for... to, in a small way, create emotional and psychological turmoil in their own heads so that they don't do that dumbass thing anymore. But you have to understand that the turmoil is not going to be something you create, it has to be created in their head so that it burns an image onto their memory. As a parent, what you have to do is create a situation in which that turmoil gets conjured by them.

It's age specific too. Any kind of punishment or discipline for a 6 month old is a waste... they don't have the mental capacity to understand any sort of reasoning behind your actions. A full on spanking for a 1.5 year old is pretty worthless because they don't have the mental capacity to understand what the meaning behind the swat is. They can't create the turmoil from the action - all they create from that is fear. But a timeout - a removal of what they want to do - that creates turmoil. Spankings for a 3 year old actually mean something, because they "get it" and why you're doing it.

But it's not easy...

I recently gave my 1.5 year old a timeout. And she cried a mournful little wail from the timeout step that she was sitting on. Not only had I removed her from the situation she was in (I believe it was pulling all the DVDs off the shelf to create a little musical tap dance stage), but, to her, I had also abandoned her as I was walking away.

I hate that cry. I hate it because I know I'm the one who created the situation for her to feel smitten. But I'll never stop disciplining her for the things she shouldn't do. I would be doing her a disservice and ultimately taking away the opportunity for her to be a better person as she grows up.

Look at me writing like I actually know what I'm talking about. Maybe someone needs to spank me... anyone?... anyone? I need spankings!