Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"Meet Today's Dad" Article

First of all, many thanks to Rebel Dad for the awesome resource his site represents in terms of collecting and summarizing SAHD relevant media. While reading his site the other day, I ended up visiting the Catherine Seipp piece entitled Meet Today's Dad: A Model to Avoid. I started to read it and then got pulled away to attend to something. Before I got back, my wife sat down at the computer and began to read the article. I ended up coming back as she was reading it from the point where I had left off (therefore didn't see the by-line). We read it together silently. Silently, until my wife asked, "What's his problem?" I told her that it was a woman writing the article. When we got to the sentence, "My ex-husband was a great diaper-changer, but he left when our daughter was just ten months old." We both knew what her problem was. I have to give Ms. Seipp credit though, her gender stereotyping seems equally entrenched regardless of X or Y chromosomes. Her comment about "women and parallel parking" seemed inappropriate and flat out unnecesary. It seems it doesn't matter who's watching small children, attention MUST be paid.

This article further fails to recognize the scores of at-home moms, who are struggling to do their job well. Believe me, they're out there. Just today, I was waiting in a line to make a return, and two boys were standing on and jumping off a bench seat it the waiting area. Mom didn't say a thing until the one boy started dancing - should I say shaking his bottom - in my one-year olds face, and singing "Shaking my butt". While decrying the fact that the "wife slaves away at an office job", Ms. Seipp also fails to recognize that the husbands of at-home moms have been doing this for years. I suppose that if the man works outside the home, Seipp would accuse the man of escaping domestic duties.

It is truly unfortunate that Ms. Seipp's experience was what it was, but to bash an entire group of men who make time for their children is out of line.
Shane had picked out these gourd birdnests for his two Pop-pops for Father's Day. My Mom had been at the shore until this past Saturday, and had not seen it until Sunday while we were all eating breakfast at my parents house. She began to ask Shane questions about it. When she asked where he had gotten it, you could see the wheels turning, but he kept pointing at my Dad. When further pressed, he finally said, "the grocery store without a roof." This was his way of describing the farmer's market.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Bottom Left Molar

Liv's bottom left molar has broken through.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Chez Jason and Michelle

Had a great time hanging out with friends. Kids were pretty well behaved. Almost felt like we were able to have real conversations. On the way home, I think Liv thought that if she could say every word - or pseudo-word - she knew she would be able to stay awake. It was past her bedtime, so I was impressed with how long she made it. But she eventually succumbed (succame?) to sleep.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

father's day

Had Grandma, Pop-pop (Roger), Monica's parents, Drew, and Jess over for a BBQ. Before dinner, the two grandfathers, Shane, and I went over to a car, motorcycle and aircraft show. It was pretty cool. It was just neat to have three generation of Dads (or potential dads) hanging out. Shane's favorite? "The old-fashioned fire truck"

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

defying gravity

this morning Liv decided that she did not want to wear a shirt. I persevered for a while but she kept trying to pull it off, getting frustrated, and crying. finally, I figured "What's the big deal?" Later, I called a good friend to catch up, see how his latest expedition had gone, and plan an escape to the IR stomping grounds for a bit of mountain biking and whitewater kayaking. Not two minutes into the conversation, I noticed that Liv had poop flowing out the top of her diaper onto her bare back. After explaining to John what happened, he told me that I was scaring him and that he was going to ensure that he didn't have any children. I won't write what that method was.

Later, after having changed the diaper, I thought about how that's the easy stuff. The poopy diapers, the food always on the floor, even the occasional vomiting and colds, that's the easy stuff. It's all the rest that's hard. Grocery shopping with two kids in tow. Cleaning a bathroom with two kids constantly trying to "help". Getting two kids to nap at the same time. Finding appropriate disciplinary tools when you've decided that spanking and slapping are not going to be used. Not yelling. That's the class V stuff.

what he said

from gandhi:

Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:

I shall not fear anyone on earth.
I shall fear only God.
I shall not bear ill toward anyone.
I shall conquer untruth by truth.
And in resisting untruth I shall put up with suffering.

going underground?

blogging, on the one hand, is a great tool. i started blogging to make sure that I never forgot some of the awesome and not-so-awesome things the kids do as they are growing up. it turns out, its also been a great way to vent. the problem is that it has become a bit less anonymous than I would like. I love that it's an easy way to share events, thoughts, and feelings with my family and friends. but I have become uneasy with the fact that typing just my children's and wife's first names into a google usually brings up my blog within the first 2 to 5 results. Normally, that would be no big deal. But, recently, there have been a number of situations where I find myself biting my literary tongue. While I want to share these experiences with some, maybe even most, of the three people who read my blog, there are some experiences that shouldn't be shared with some people. As a result I am considering going underground. Essentially, changing the names of the innocent as well as those of the guilty. Although I hate the idea of writing endearing stories about my children and using pseudonyms. It just doesn't feel as special. Decisions, decisions.

they say the darnedest things

Part I:
one of Shane's frequent "I-wanna-be-when-I-grow-up"'s is a stay-at-home dad -- despite his frequest musings that he wants a stay-at-home mom. the other night he was particularly tired and therefore particularly contrary, and as I tucked him in to bed he says, "i dont want to be a stay-at-home dad when I grow up. Or a firefighter. Or an astronaut. Or anything." "So what would you like to do?", I ask. His reply, "I want to stay home with mommy." Great, I'm raising George Castanza!

Part II:
Yesterday, I took the kids down to the lake after naps. We swam and played for almost two hours. While we were there, another dad came down with his two boys. Two older kids were there and played well with Shane. My beautiful wife saw us there on her way up the hill and stopped. While I was sitting on the bench and having a real adult conversation with this other father, watching my children playing in the sand and interacting beautifully with other children, watching my wife and her beautiful smile and laugh talking with another mother, and just soaking in the beauty of the lake and the surrounding grounds, I thought, "This is perfect. This is a slice of heaven." Later, at dinner, I relayed these feelings to Mon, gave her a kiss, and reminded her how beautiful she is.

After I took Olivia back for a bath, Shane and Mon were still at the table. Shane tells Mon, "Mommy, you are so beautiful." "Thank you, Shane," she says. "You are so beautiful, that's why I want you to be a stay-at-home mom." I guess I'm just not good-looking enough to be a SAHD...

Sunday, June 13, 2004

bottom right molar

Liv's erupted today. We're up to 11 teeth. 9 more to go, and we're good for a little while.

Friday, June 11, 2004

growing daily...

...more quickly than I can type. Liv just asked, "Mommy go?"

Monday, June 07, 2004

liv's growing vocabulary

liv is speaking very well. sometimes she gets real chatty and while you can't understand a word she's saying, you get the sense that she thinks she saying exactly what she wants to say. saturday morning, Mon was changing her diaper and playing "where's the baby", liv was repeating clear as a bell "where's the baby" and "there she is". she tries to say her full name, but does much better with livvy. its fun to watch how she experiments with intonation and word length. for instance, sometimes "please" comes out as "bez" (so fast that the "p" becomes "b" or as "peeeeez". other words include: thank you, nane (for Shane), go, da (for down), ba (for ba, bike, book), ha (for hat, hot).

Little Sponges

Despite the recent trip to the beach, I am not refering to the kind of sponges that live on the ocean floor. Nor their artificial counterparts. I refer here to the remarkable absorptive powers of the growing human brain. We feel we have been doing an age-appropriate job of shielding our toddler and pre-schooler from the insanity occurring in the Middle East. We don't watch the news when they're awake. Even when our "commerial-free" radio station pumps the daily body count into our car's speaker, we try to turn down the volume. But the other night when going to bed, Shane, who was very over-tired and very upset anyway, told Mon, "I am sad because all of our soldiers died." Can't we find a sensible way to end all this madness?

On an equally innocent but less depressing note, Thursday night, when I was putting Shane to bed at the shore, he says to me, "I looked everywhere and can't find a lady to marry. How will I ever get married?"

World's Largest Sandbox

Spent a great two days at the shore with Nonna and Pop-pop this past Thursday and Friday. Liv had been at the beach last year but likely doesn't remember it. Shane is an old pro. This year, as soon as we got into N&P's place and she could see out the sliding glass door to the ocean, Liv started bouncing in Nonna's arms. Mon was bummed to have missed that. We didn't need to ask what Liv wanted to do. After a quick coating of sunscreen (or as Shane says "sun cream"), we all hit the beach. It was great. The weather was incredible on Thursday. Not too hot, no humidity, beautiful sunny skies. Even the Atlantic was relatively warm for this time of year. Shane quickly took to floating boats and chasing them down as the got ravaged by the (relative to them) large waves. Liv was no less expected, and loved to be in the water, but needed to be holding a hand or two whenver the whitewater crossed her legs. As she got more used to it, she would run in and out on her own, but never allowed the waves to touch her unless she had a hand to hold.

Quick lunch. Naps. Went back out and hit the beach again. Flew kites. Rolled in the sand. Lounged in the water. Liv chased sea gulls -- I think she really thought she would catch one. I have never really been much of a beach person, and couldn't understand the appeal. Now that I have children, I get it. The kids have so much room to roam. Even after dinner when we went out for ice cream, Shane could walk ahead safely, and feel like master of his own domain. With the exception of leaving Mommy at home (actually work), it was the perfect day.

Friday, the weather turned. Cold and windy. Shane didn't mind. Liv did -- she's still a tough cookie (we'll blame the teething). And me, thinking we didn't need too many inside toys. Fortunately, Nonna was there. She designed a few hours of fun around an old deck of cards and a bucket.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Shane's First Date

[placeholder: details to follow]

Finally getting back to this (06.13.2004): Aunt Jess took Shane to see his first movie at the theater. We were a little nervous that he would have some trouble sitting still for the entire film. But as we watched him bouncing with excitement as he marched through the rain to Jess's car, he seemed like such a big boy. According to Jess, he was a very good boy, even while standing in a line for popcorn and drinks that would have given his line-averse dad a coronary. He was so wide-eyed is seemed as if he was trying to savor the experience with every sense. As far as the movie, like the rest of the nation seems to be, Shane was mesmerized by Shrek 2. Thanks Jess -- I know this was very special to him!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

finally got my computer mounted on my road bike to see how truly out of shape I am. to not steal the kids' thunder, I have (foolishly?) created another blog. no real editoral content, just technical data on my rides and a subjective note about how I felt. it's there if you care. the name ochspeed is a marriage of ochsner -- my old steel road frame -- and litespeed -- my newer ti road bike. thinking about unloading the litespeed as things get a bit tight financially. interested?
Memory Joggers
Has it been a week since my last post? Time flies. Still too busy to truly flesh out some of this stuff, but getting thoughts and moments down b4 they vanish in the hinter lands of my grey matter.

Sat: S: "Mommy, there's poop in that bag."
Mon: S: Mem Party behavior
Tues: All: What a morning.
Wed: L: sits down with Happy Birthday Miss Spider, says "Happy"