two jobs are better than one... right?

about a year ago i decided to step away from the night time work force, join the rest of america and put my college degree to use. i got a day job. at a desk. on my ass. and as i suspected... it sucks. i will say that being home at night has been nice. i love having the extra time with calli and hillary. but, unfortunately, i made more money bar tending and worked a hell of lot less. plus, we had to put calli in daycare as a result. so financially, this move really hit the wallet pretty hard.

--insert second job--

in order to fix this "problem" i took on a second job. bleh.

i started last night and the job itself, i like --it's really easy and the money's great-- and it's in line with the "new path" i've chosen to pursue. (more on that at a later date) but the time i have to put in sucks. i leave the house at 630 am and get home around 1030pm. obviously it makes for a long day. but the two job thing is only temporary. once we get on our feet again and through the holiday season, i plan on going to nights only. this will not only pad the pockets a little better, it will also allow me days with calli again --which i miss terribly-- and give me my sanity back. at least in regards to jobs.

so for now, i'll just bite down and grin n' bare it. that's life, right?


it totally sucks but this time the cliche is true

6. an aspiration; goal; aim: A trip to Europe is his dream.

according to dictionary.com, a "life" dream comes defined as the above example.

i mention this because i had an interesting conversation with a friend --note: he's not a parent-- about "life" dreams and the path someone takes once they have children. basically, he told me about a high school reunion his sister went to in their hometown and the interactions she had with old friends. at the time she was about to finish her phd and held a faculty position at depaul university in chicago. no doubt a respectable position to be in life. i'm not at all slighting that in any way. i just want to get that out there. i know someone will undoubtedly think i'm an asshole by the end of this post. so she went home, went to this reunion and exchanged pleasantries. the typical "how are you ? what are you doing these days?" blah, blah boring shit none of us care about anyway so why do we even bother, conversations. getting to the point, she told them what she was doing and where she worked and apparently the small town friends pretty much disregarded this as oh nice but here are the 75 photos of my children. i'm sure there was a bit of exaggeration thrown in for emphasis on his part. but he couldn't believe how having children can trump a phd and a faculty position at depaul university.

i'm not sure that one out shines the other but when i said it's hard to understand till you have children i got the whole yeah but you can't just live through you kids- there's more to life than children response.

there are certainly things we all admit we would never do or say when we have kids and i cringe every time i say or do these things. truth is, we all do them and the stuff about how you don't understand till you have kids is so fucking true it makes me ill. having a child not only changes everything, it changes everything. i get the whole notion of how we shouldn't lose sight of who we are as individuals but truth be known, once you have a child, your dreams become their dreams and all you want is to see them grow and learn and smile through accomplishment.

i have been acting for about five years. my wife and i moved out to lost angeles and then back to austin and i pursued it pretty heavily for those five years. in the middle of all this i had a child. this didn't stop me from doing what i loved. it did however magnify the fact that acting is definitely a single person's life style. and of course i knew i would be the one to break that. but once i started missing time with calli because i was rehearsing or shooting something i quickly realized i did want to be the exception to the rule any longer. so i made the decision to set acting aside and find a way to have more time with my family.

from the outside it does seem that a child drives many away from their dreams but i can assure you the parents are choosing the paths they take and as crappy as it sounds, you can not and will not understand till you have a child.

now, don't get me wrong, i'm not living some boring life now because i have a kid, i'm just choosing to pursue a different path. acting turned out not be what i am going to do with my life and that's fine. i'm perfectly okay with that. just know that i will die knowing i made that decision on my own. not because i had a kid.


toddler without sleep = crapy demeanor the next morning for dad

i leave for work at a ridiculously early time. the moon this morning --that's what i'm saying, it's so early the moon was still out-- almost made it worth while.

each morning before calli and i get in the car to leave we step out onto the driveway and look at the stars. this morning the moon sat just above the trees, full and lit the entire sky. she couldn't stop pointing exclaiming, "moon, moon, moon". then, when we turned to head for my car, she extended the proper salutation --"bye, bye stars. bye, bye moon." very cute. still, it doesn't make up for the middle-of-the-night-interruptions we have been the lucky beneficiaries of.

i got to work and immediately took note of how swollen my eyes felt. the computer screen seemed to be fueled by some sort of radio-active matter it was so blinding and i could feel the onset of new additions to my lovely flock of crows feet forming. after combing my mush of a brain, it hit me like a month supply of nodoz. the past two nights calli has been in and out of our bed a couple of times each night. that's why i've been draggin' ass. however, i'm not sure what's going on. according to my mother, she slept both nights straight through when she stayed with her.

how does this happen?

why does our house & her bed make the difference?

is one full night of sleep too much to ask for?

if it's teeth, why didn't the try to come through when she stayed in houston?

i can ask no more question.

there are never going to be answers.

she will forever make my brain hurt.

it doesn't make sense.

nothing makes sense.

i can't think this early without a proper nights sleep.

even with coffee.

it's too much.

sleep is very important.


very important.


being young and free is nice but give me my kid back

it's been a long time since hillary and i have been alone for any extended period of time. almost two years to be exact. we left houston sunday evening and drove for 3.5 hours in silence. well, we weren't silent but we sat there with only our conversation to get us all the way home. it's not like we made some effort to spend time with just our sweet words for one another it just happened that way. the next thing we knew were home and we had not turned on the radio once. just ask any couple that has been married for more than 8 years and they would agree that's a serious accomplishment.

that trip kicked-off our day and a half mini-vacay without calli and i have to say, it was awesome. the 36 hours we had to ourselves gave us a moment to step back and breathe. leaving calli in houston may have been tough but i don't think either of us realized how much we needed it. we didn't do anything special we just hung out. i was off yesterday and hillary was "sick" so we ran around town like young carefree kids. it hasn't been just us since we found out she was pregnant. it felt like we were 25 again. and really, who doesn't want to be 25 again.

but, in the end, i just want to see my daughter again.

damn curse of a parent.

we must all be masochist to actually beg for the direct and indirect abuse we receive as a result of being parents.


omg... it's finally working

oh, what a beautiful morning!

it started out a bit slow. the wife and i had a late night. too much heroes if you know what i mean. it took us a while to drag our lazy asses out of bed and when we finally got around to it, the first thing we saw was a bedroom with clothes and bags and crap everywhere. (we're going to houston this weekend for a couple of family birthdays.) we got caught up in the night and didn't finish packing. we did our best to get it all done before calli woke up and we did an alright job but we ended up running a bit behind.

i finally found my way downstairs --suitcase, backpack, calli's bag & hanging clothes all in tow-- somehow got a pancake going for her and after i shoved everything in the trunk of the car i made it back inside. calli sat patiently waiting for her breakfast and when i set the pancake down she offered up a "wank ooo".

"holy shit, what did she just say?"

this came about with out any prompting, begging or embarrassing pleading on my part. it was as if the clouds parted and a shard of light from the heavens illuminated our child as she delivered those two words i have been begging her to say for months now. i couldn't believe this. i found myself whistling zippity-do-da to this cute little animated bluebird perched on my shoulder as i floated out of the house into the car and into traffic that couldn't phase me.

finally. finally, all the hard work has paid off. she is learning and we as parents are getting through to her. we are not failures. people will not hate our kid.

oh, what a beautiful day!


my daughter's normal? cool...

i have recently learned two new things. i have recently confirmed two things.

1. my daughter is possessed.
2. playing music for a child in utero really works.

all drama aside, my child is not possessed but she has exhibited traits of one who may be possessed a couple of nights in the past week. she would wake up in the middle of the night screaming. crazy screaming. holy shit what's happening screaming? we figured it was probably the canine teeth trying to come through, which by the way, we were told are the worse. unfortunately that is not the case so we still have that to look forward to. it's actually a sleeping disorder, my diligent researching wife found, called confusional arousal. the child is still asleep with eyes open or closed and does not recognize anything. and the more you try to talk to them and comfort them the worse it gets. of course we learned this the hard way, after the fact. she started moaning then it continued to build to thrashing around hitting pieces of furniture and throwing whatever she could get her hands on. the first time this happened, we were able to put on the backyardigans --this show at 1am when you're half asleep quickly produces a small amount of vomit in your mouth-- and she snapped out of it. this time however, the colorful singing adventurers of the backyard would not be able to save us from hurricane calli. she proceeded to send books across the room at nolyan ryan speed while scratching and pulling at my face in the midst of my futile attempts to calm her. this went on for 45 min before we gave in and let her massively destroy the living room. as i slumped in a chair, surrounded by defeat a light bulb went off in my head. and that's when the second confirmation set in.

when my wife was pregnant we wanted to find some soothing music to play for the baby and we decided on sigur ros's () album. for the last month of hillary's pregnancy she would put the head phones on her belly and play the cd. she never got past the first song out of boredom but it didn't matter. every time we place that song, calli stops what she's doing and falls into this trance. it's actually kind of surreal. i guess the womb is the safest place to be and the song takes her back there.

so, i got the cd put it on and she stopped. instantly. mid-yell-n-flail. turned toward the television --we don't have a stereo so i had to use the dvd player. desperate measures call for...-- and just stared. after a moment she crawled to get her "towel" (commonly known as the blanky) and curled up in hillary's lap. 3 plays later and she was ready to go back to bed. she slept fine the remainder of the night.

i wish there was a way for me to contact the band and explain to them how life saving their music is. and i don't mean that on some crazy fanatical level. i really mean it's life saving. i really felt like calli could have injured herself but when the first note of the first song on the cd played she went to another space and time. it's truly bizarre to watch.

talk about hard f*#king work. and to think that we chose to be parents. it's a damn good thing she's so unbelievably cute.



i comb through quite a few parenting blogs throughout the week and i have to say, there are some truly talented writers out there discussing the day to day we all go through as parents. these blogs make the commiserating process a hell of a lot easier. although i'm sure my parents would say something like "we used to actually have friends we knew and could see and talk to and blah, blah, blah". and they're probably right, again... as per usual. but that doesn't change how things work today. so, i have "friends" and i may not know what they look like (in person) and i may not even know where they live and i certainly don't know what their banana-nut bread taste like. then again how much of that matters when all i want is to find someone who's talking about how their kid also screams no and slap them in the face too.

that's not to say i don't have friends i see on a regular basis, because i do. lots of them for that matter. and we do cry together about how hard things get and how much we love these little rascals regardless of how big a turd they can be. and yeah some them do cook and the shit is damn good. my point being, the internet has opened this whole other world that helps the understanding process when it comes to the challenges of parenting. the problems may not get fixed but there's comfort in knowing that someone in chubbuck, idaho didn't sleep last night either.

which brings me to my real point. i ran across this posting about the loss of a step-parent. I have always associated the term step-parent as one who "steps-in" when the biological parent cannot or chooses not to be a part of a child's life. for the most part this statement (technically) is correct but everyone knows there's more to it than that.

i grew up with step-parents. in fact i had two step-dads from age 2-28. not at the same time but two during those ages. it all changed when i turned 29. my step-dad, who had been in my life since i was 10 came to me and asked if i would allow him to adopt me. i remember thinking, i'm nearly 30 years old and if this man still wants to claim me as his son after all the shit-fire i put him through then i would love to be his son.

we had a nice adoption ceremony on valentines day 2005 and a great party for friends and family and then my wife and i changed our last name. an overall very cool process. and i have to say as much as i didn't think it would change much, it did. i knew that i could always rely on him as a parent but as a step-child with an absent biological parent there was always this void. once i became adopted the void was filled, much to my suprise. there's been this feeling of completeness. i'm not trying to be mushy and induce tears but it's ture.

so when i read the post about how this woman lost her step-dad it really hit home. step parents are not just stand-ins. they are life's soldiers serving as the stable element a child needs to feel their way through the day. i can't imagine what my life would be with out my father (step-dad) in it.


i will enjoy the fact that my kid is growing up/i will enjoy the fact that my kid is growing up/i will enjoy the...

apparently i'm obsessed with the notion of kids growing up and moving on but i can't avoid it. it keeps popping up in my life. so i continue to comment on it boring the few readers i may have and for that i apologize. clearly it doesn't bother me enough to stop writing about it so for that i apologize as well. and i also apologize for apologizing so much.

last night was the first time calli has stayed the night away from us with someone other than a grandparent. she stayed with my sister and her fiance. now, she didn't stay very far away, they spent the night on my parents side of the duplex we own together --i know, yes we did what many would consider to be a completely ludicrous thing and went in with my folks on a piece of property. but that's a whole other story in itself. jut know that it has worked out great-- since my mom has equipped it with all the essentials for housing a toddler. but that doesn't change the fact that she did not sleep in her own bed and we did not see her for 14 hrs. don't get me wrong, i totally trust my sister and i trust her better half even more for that matter, (his mother owns a daycare) it's just that having your child sleeping in a place where the overseers only experience in child rearing would be having a dog, makes you sleep a little lighter. actually i slept like shit. but that seems to be part of it. every thing's fine-she had a great time-no broken bones-or chocking incidences-i'm worring too much-i should have known it would be ok-and so on. with this behind me, i think i'll be sleeping much better next time. it's a building process.

the real test comes next weekend when we head to our hometown for my mother's 49th birthday and my wife's grandfather's 90th birthday. we agreed to leave calli there with my mom when we return to austin. i think this may have been more a selfish move on my part but none-the-less we agreeded to it. so, we'll be coming home on sunday and my mom will be up on tuesday, which puts us nearly 48hrs and 190 miles away form calli. i do think the down time will be nice but at the same time she was gone last night for maybe 14hrs and only 25ft away and i slept like shit. this is exactly what i've been bitching about. the whole growing up thing. it seems normal,sleep overs with the grandparents or aunts and uncles, i just didn't realize this would be starting so soon. all of a sudden she doesn't need us 24/7. i know something can be said about her building these bonds and frankly, having hillary to myself is not so bad either but it doesn't change the fact that it's hard letting go of so much. i guess it has to start sometime.

so we continue to watch our baby turn into a little girl and enjoy the fact that she has so many people in her life we completely trust who want to spend so much time with her.

*i'm quickly realizing that i'm not obsessed with any notion but rather slowly understanding what being a parent is all about.


dead set and won't take no for an answer

it seems parents only talk about how their kids get older- change-they can hardly keep up-blah-blah-blah. i get just as tired of hearing this as the next guy but bottom line --it's true. they grow up so fast and you want nothing more than to sit and watch tv holding that warm bundle knowing you're all they need in life. as much as i loved those days --i think i'll long for them more as calli does get older-- her crazy personality is so much fun right now.

it's wild to see the independence start to set in. she only wears the clothes she picks out and when she makes up her mind about something there's no changing it.

a few weeks ago after a bath she put on a nightgown and then had to put on shoes. she wasn't going anywhere but still she had to have them. so she went to sleep with them on and asked to take them off in the morning. no big deal just a normal thing. who knows why but that's how it went down.

on our way home from the park the other day she put on her favorite pair of elton john sunglasses and wore them proudly. so proudly she wouldn't take them off. she got in the tub and when hillary took off the glasses to wash her face she flipped out. i mean real-tears-long-silent-open-mouth-breath-intake-prior-to-scream flip out. so she quickly washed her face and as soon as i got the glasses back on she stopped. pretty amazing. she definitely knows what she wants. thankfully she let me take them from her when i went to put her in bed and she hasn't asked for them since.

not quite sure what prompts these ideas but damn it's fun to watch.


calli's first airshow

i mentioned before that planes are one of calli's favorite things right now. every time i pull out the laptop she comes over and begs -- airpane, airpane. then i'm subjected to viewing stock photos of random planes for the next 15 min. so, when we heard the air show would be going on in our hometown we had to go. lucky for us my folks had super cool-super exclusive vip passes. free lunch and all.

we got there and she seemed to have died and gone to heaven. she loved everything about it. the noise, the flying, the pilots even the annoying hearing protectors she hated at first.

the weather could have been better but form the most part the air show went down in the books as a complete success.