mother-in-laws: can't live with'em and you can't... well, you don't really have a choice

man-o-man-o-man. my mother-in-law... whew... gotta love her.

i don't mean that from a logistical standpoint either. ie. because i'm married to her daughter i have to love her. i mean it from a this-woman-is-crazy-as-i-shake-my-head-at-her-humph-you-gotta-love-her standpoint. look, it would be easy to dismiss her (i'm pretty sure she thinks that's how i approach her anyway) and just say hello and goodbye and let that be it. but we have a pretty good relationship and every once in a while she'll throw an opinion out there (believe me she can throw'em) that it'll make me think. this type of rare occurrence happened the last time she was in town. twice.

(ok, i'm using my thick south-east texas twang because her's is amusingly thick)

1) "now, you know i was 32 when i had my youngest, right? you're behind."

this statement was in reference to my wife and the fact that she is now thirty and only has 1 child. so, according to my mother-in-law's math we should be knee deep in our second round of poop diapers, recycling baby #1 clothes with thoughts of the 3rd getting us giddy. but my wife and i decided we would wait till our first was at least 3 or 4 before we considered #2. we didn't want to be changing diapers for two babies and we figured if one could actually tell us what was wrong with'em we'd be that much further ahead of the curve. as one would imagine, this type of response went no where. no matter how i try to spin it, we're always going to be behind. but we're sticking to our guns on this one and we feel pretty good about it. i do however, get that ache when i see someone holding a tiny baby. i really miss those days. there's something comforting and warm about that. again, something i swore i would never say when i had kids... bleh.

(again with the thick south-east texas twang because her's is amusingly thick)

2) "i think you're different for the sake of being different."

this particular jewel was one of many interior decorating comments bestowed upon me by one said in-law.

ok, so, i hung this window pane in our study which i got from my folks house. an idea that both my sister and i stole from our mother. now, my mom and sister hung a wreath on theirs but i didn't. (insert in-law) according to my mother-in-law, if i did this, it would allow the white pane to not get so lost on the white wall. i told her: i didn't want to copy what they did-and-that i didn't understand why people would want to in the first place-and-that it looked absolutely fabulous as is-and-i'm always right. she said children take on certain traits (like decorating) from their parents because they're comfortable and familiar and that i just like being different. ok fair enough. i can see that and it made me step back for a moment. i have always been this way. from a very early age. but i haven't wanted to stand out or be different i just didn't want to be the same. who knows why or what any of this means i just know it's too easy to "go with flow". and truthfully, it really doesn't matter. but i guess i should be happy that i have someone to keep me thinking... right? in the end i did agree that something hanging on it would add a nice touch but i prefer things like that to be there for a reason. so we decided i would get a hat from her father and hang it on the corner. i thought that would make for a nice story if anyone ever asked. i like decorative items to be discussions pieces also or at least have meaning other than i got that at pottery barn.

seriously though, can i really trust the opinions of someone who still drinks tab soda?

reader: what did you just say?

me: yes, they still make tab soda.

time out: man's greatest accomplishment to date

the era of time out has begun.

as i mentioned before, the "terrible twos" have set in and the limits of my abilities as a parent are being tested. and when i say tested i'm talking final-chapter-of-any-harry-potter-book-where-voldemort-is-about-2-seconds-from-ending-h. potter-as-we-know-it tested. specifically my abilities to keep my cool and not flip out when i have to tell her for the 37th time not get on the stairs or not stand on the car or not walk on the books or not pull the dog's tail or not --this really could go on for days. so in order to keep sanity in place we have introduced time out.

holy shit! the greatest invention since the wheel sandwich on sliced bread!

my wife used it for the first time on sunday and after two 1 minute stints in t/o she got the idea. when i stayed home with her on monday i threw it out a couple of times and you'd think i was threatening to take her out in the middle of west texas only to leave her to fend for herself till the end of time. she immediately stopped what she was doing wrong to go carry on a conversation with some sorta stuffed whatever that obviously served as a better playmate then me. i couldn't believe it.

hell yeah! t/o kicks ass!


daughter turning 2 = having to be a parent... for real this time

apparently my daughter has turned two. why do i know this? well... pretty much because she has become a turd extremely hard to deal with over the past... oh, i don't know... 3 fucking days. she has only been two for three days and it's already happening.

at first i found this hard to believe. when i called my wife between jobs the other day and she said she hit the "terrible twos". i shrugged it off as she's tired or her last two teeth were coming or whatever but not this whole "terrible two" bullshit. then i saw it with my own eyes.

slapping, kicking, pulling and that was only the dogs. she responded to everything with an adamant round of no-no-no, screamed when i tried to touch her and would not stay away from the damn stairs. if someone hadn't noticed her on the stairs she would make some noise till she received acknowledgment and then your eyes would meet and she would smile. like-- "hey, look at me and by the way, this is my middle finger for your authority." whomever was close would go through the motions and pull her off as she flailed and screamed no. the whole display was rather embarrassing. but isn't that what thanksgiving is all about? family.

when i step back and look at the entire situation i feel sort of bad for her. it seems that with this age comes a strong push towards independence. i think that's what makes it so "terrible". they want to do everything on they're own but can hardly do anything with out you. it makes for a pretty lethal combination if you're not in the proper mind frame.

and to think... up until now i thought i was parenting.


21 november 2007


two years have come and gone faster than i could have ever imagined. happy birthday to you.

there's so much i want to say but i don't really know where to begin.

well... how about --- you're freakin' crazy. out of everything, this has got to be my favorite. i love to watch you grab life by the balls and just go-go-go. it must be some trust thing you have for your mama and me but you don't give a damn and somehow know we'll be there to catch you. you do what you want-when you want-how you want and it's hilarious to watch. i promise i do all i can to make sure you never lose this.

not only are you a complete nut, you are absolutely the sweetest thing. people love being around you and i know you occupy a special place in many hearts.

i'm not gonna lie and say that things have always been a bowl of chubby hubby, in fact it's been a bowl of soggy dog crap a couple of times, but never have i not loved my life in the last two years. not to get all sappy-pappy but you get me out of bed each morning. i know that no matter how shitty the day's been i can go home to you and-the clouds part-and-the rain stops-and-your halo shines bright-and-birds sing-and you get the point. i can crawl around on the floor with you and nothing else matters. i couldn't thank you enough for that.

you're a special little girl calli. i can't wait to see what you do next.

i love you and will always be here for you.

happy birthday callia.



birthday party 2.0: done

well, the second birthday party has come and gone and from the responses i received, i have to say it seemed to be a success.

we went with a dance party theme. no particular era just dance in general.

we through up a slew of gaudy metallic decorations, plugged in couple of colored lights and a strobe, put out a dance floor and compiled the best dance mix from the last 4 decades you've ever heard. we hit the brick house, dropped it like it was hot and definitely brought sexy back. the kids seemed to have a pretty good time. there wasn't much dancing, sadly, but what could we have expected with a bunch of 2 year old kids? plus , i left out all of calli's toys and that was obviously a mistake.

i'm afraid this theme will be hard to top but we do have a year to try and out do ourselves. between now and then, i have to figure out how to get a trapeze, shark tank and that really cool ball-cage-thingy the guy on the motorcycle rides around in in my living room.

any suggestions?


typical motherly response

after calling my wife a sap from getting so emotional over an old post she read by dooce, she sent me this response and i love it.

i know... it's like this strange weepy over-emotional person has taken over my body when i wasn't looking. i wasn't ever like this before calli came into the world. i can hardly listen to country music at all anymore... i've gone haywire.

freakin' kids man... they make you crazy.


poop and sleepless nights: the two guarantees of parenthood

1am conversation between my wife, my daughter and me in our bed.

c: "water-water-water-water."
c: "water-water-water-water."
w: "calli... baby... shhhh
m: "why is she screaming?"
w: "she wants water."
m: "i'll get it."
c: "water-water-water-water."
w: "it's ok baby, daddy's getting you water."

all the way downstairs in the kitchen i hear her. again, it's 1am.


w: "shhhhhhh..."
m: "here calli. here's your water."
c: "milk-milk-milk-milk."


a quick plug

we live in austin, texas for those who may not know. also for those who may not know, live music is a big thing here. so big in fact, some call the town "the live music capitol of the world". don't really know if that's true but a night doesn't go by where you couldn't catch at least a dozen worth while bands playing somewhere in town. anyway, it's an aspect of the city we really love. especially in regards to raising our daughter. it seems that every weekend you have the opportunity to put your kids in front of some great live music. i know in the town where i grew up this wouldn't be an option so i feel lucky that calli has a chance to experience this.

we're quickly approaching calli's 2nd birthday and this year we are going with a dance party theme. it's turning out to be quite an undertaking but i think it'll be really cute and fun in the end. which brings me to my point about the live music.

i was working on the play list for the party last night --the usual suspects, you know snoop, gwen, jt...-- and i was adding some children's music when i realized how lucky we, as austinites, are to have someone like joe mcdermott living and playing in our town on a regular basis. he's this great musician with punk roots who the kids absolutely adore. you need to go and down load all his music and try your damnedest to get to austin to check him out. your kids will love forever for it. plus, we all know how much we could use a break from the backyardigans and the likes.


veteran's day '07

this day doesn't normally stand out to me. generally it comes in as a punchline to some joke about a guy like me ever being in the military. but today, since i'm stuck at work, i've thought about it a little more.

it is weird that a guy like me was ever in the military and when i do mention it to people it really throws them for a loop. especially when i tell them i served for 7 years. 4 active duty air force and 3 texas air national guard. i didn't take part in any war time situations but there were real life scares while i was stationed in kuwait.

when i look back on my time in the service i smile. i did a ton of go growing up in the military and learned quite a bit about who i am. i used to think i joined out of confusion and a willingness to shock the norm but now when i look back i think i made a much smarter decision than that. i knew i would never make it in the college world right out of high school so this was by far the best decision for a person at my age and position in life.

calli will never know me as that person but she will know of that person and i'm certain a lot of that person will shape the girl/women she will become.

so for that i salute all the men and women who have served and myself ---proudly.


oooohhh that's right, i am married

it may sound cheese and mushy but i'm married to my best friend. we met in middle school, stayed friends over the years and have now been married 8.5 years. easy enough. how could i forget that, right? well, i did and another issue has come up in which i said i would never let this happen when i had kids.

it seems this list (of things i would not do as a parent) continues to grow at a pretty alarming rate. it's actually quite embarrassing. i've never eaten so much humble pie in my entire life as i have in the past 2 years. i guess it comes with the territory sort of like poop under the fingernails.

"i will never tell people they'll understand when they have kids."
"i will never have conversations involving nothing but poop diapers."
"i will never let my child sleep in my bed."

the list could go on but for the purposes of this post i will end it with:

"i will never forget that i'm married".

for the most part this has not been an issue. but since starting this second job, i haven't been around the house much. and the time i have, i'm usually thinking about calli and wanting to see her and hold her and kiss her and... you get it. so, this issue became painfully obvious when my wife had to point out to me how i mentioned i was sad about my daughter leaving for the weekend but not her.

if you look to the left i have a sidebar feature that allows me to update what i'm doing at any moment-anywhere-anytime through twitter. (i'm still not sure what the point of this is other than because i can but that's neither here nor there.) i updated this this morning, mentioning how i was sad about my daughter leaving and as you can see i had to go back and include my wife in a seperate update. that was more or less for her benefit and it gave me a good laugh but it did make me think for a moment.

i realized that as of late i had been unconsciously giving all my attention to my daughter. i think it's easier to assume my wife knows how i feel and my daughter must be shown. this makes sense to me but by no means is it an excuse. i really felt bad. but this does seems to be the case in many relationships. i will however do what i can to see that this doesn't happen again.

mainly because i don't want to deal with all the "what about your wife" emails.


busy busy busy second job-head is spining-so tired-what day of the week is it?

well, i had my first shift out of training last night and holy shit i got my ass handed to me in pile of mole sauce with a side of whipped black beans.

i could not believe how crazy the restaurant got. not only was it my first night i worked cocktail as well. that may not sound like much, but during the week, they serve the full menu in the lounge. i had 8 tables in my section and it was about 8 too many. i'm not one who usually struggles in these types of situations so the unfamiliar territory through me off. the bar couldn't get a drink made in under 10 min and the guest wouldn't wait longer that 4. it made for a deadly combination. i remember stopping --clearly when i had no time at all to stop-- and thinking "damn my mouth is dry... i think i'm gonna throw-up". yeah. that bad. like any situation, i made it through it, eventually, able to look back and learn. sorta. i guess more or less what not to do.

i'm back at it again tonight. in the same section. i'm sure it'll go better than last night but i'm not counting on a smooth flight. still i have to push though and get these growing pains behind me. plus the freakin' money is ridiculous and it's all for calli. right?


bye, bye penny... i'll miss you

everyone knows i'm not much of a pet person. although it seems i should be from the way i attract every animal within a five mile radius. but, i think it's pretty much due to the fact that i'm lazy. i don't' really want to keep up with a pet. there's this whole responsibility aspect that i have no desire to be a part of. hell, every plant i've owned has died within about a week and i would really hate to see what i might do with an animal. i'm still floored every morning i wake up and realize i have a kid. it's that whole half-asleep-what's-kicking-me-in-the-head-holy-shit-i-have-a-kid thing. as of right now, things seem to have worked out fine and that in itself amazes me. i thought for sure she would be ruined by now.

get back to me when she's a teen.

anyway, i'm feeling a little sad today because my mom is having to put one of our family cats down this afternoon.

from what i can remember, we have always had cats around the house. for some reason my folks loved to rescue cats from workplace parking lots, the grocery store or some random location where a cat should not have been in the first place. penny happened to be an offspring of one of these particular finds.

she was born when i was in high school so she's been around some 15 years. her health is pretty horrible right now and it's been falling for quite a while. we all know this is the right thing to do but that doesn't make it any easier. i may have bitched about her over the years --pretty much because i had to shovel her shit on a daily basis-- but i'm realizing today she meant something to me.

this has made me step back and think of her which made me think about how i did enjoy having her around. you see, i spent a lot of time grounded in high school and she made me feel not so alone while i got to know the inside of our house. really well.

i truly will miss her.

on a side note
it seems that with kids come pets and i won't be "that" parent who denies their children pets if they really want them. but i can assure you the type of pets i'm willing to own (and take care of because that's how it works) are not many. right now, it's fish. i don't see that changing any time soon.

sorry calli.


baby bunch halloween 2.0

we have this great group of friends who all have kids around the same age and we call it the baby bunch. we hang and let the kids run all over each other, swap illnesses and you know, bound on that the rug-rat level. well, this year marked the 2nd halloween that we all spent together. and i think it's becoming a tradition. pizza, beer, cookies and all other things halloween. the host of the event tried to extend the invite to a hand full of other couples with kids but they all bagged on us and we ended up with the same group as last year. but i have to tell you, we seemed better for it. the only other non-baby bunch attendees were my folks, my sister and her better half. but the four of them are at everything anyway. i have a very young family so my friends always love having them around.

i'm not quite sure i can honestly say "another successful halloween down". i will say however, we made a giant leap in the right direction compared to the constant crying from the moment calli donned her costume that we experienced last year. but to claim victory would only be a lie. she did enjoy herself --for the most part-- and we were able to contain the crying to small isolated moments. the moments between the wagon and the front door. the most important moments.

she hopped out of the wagon and made her way up the driveway and as soon as she saw the generous person handing over the treats she turned running back to the wagon adamantly exclaiming--

"no! no! no! no! no!"
"calli... why are you saying no?"
"no! no! no! no! no!"

so much for the candy i would enjoy for the next month and a half. as a parent, this is one of the best times of the year. i can indulge in all the candy i would never normally buy without any of the guilt. i think we managed about 6 pieces in all. pretty much a bust if you ask me.

the rest of the baby bunch seemed to have a solid grasp on the door to door concept. my daughter, not so much. she happily sat in the wagon while her paypaw pulled her up and down the streets. i will say she looked damn cute doing it.

over all, the event went well. but next year we are not going out like this. there will be blood, sweat and tears lost between now and then to get this down. i will not have these other dads reaping the rewards of pimping their kids out for the sweet-tooth satisfaction more than me. again.

baby bunch halloween 3.0... here we come!