lots of gifts---check.
lots of cake---check.
lots of green---check.
lots of overstayed welcomes---check.
nonetheless, calli loved everything and everyone.
now that she's actually "getting things" we are enjoying these times as parents that much more. we are so looking forward to all future celebratory holidays... christmas, easter & mlk's b-day.
enjoy the pics.
# 100... here i come!
thanks be to pg for the swift kick in the ass he sent my way letting me know, that i do still have a blog. albeit a very sad and dust laden blog, i do in fact have one.
so i leave you with yet another empty promise of more posts filled with incredible insights that will change life as you know it. i'm sure many of you will be holding your breath-on the edge of your seat-while wiping the beads of sweat from your brow as you wait for my next words of wisdom.
really though, i quit my day job to pursue a passion and i have to say it's moving along quite nicely. i have had to put my head down and just move forward while a serious busta rhymes' playmix pushes me along. i wish i could give more insight but for now all i can divulge is that jp's kicking out some killer logos and we hired the most amazing chef. i have high hopes of creating a blog to accompany this endeavor but don't hold your breath.
i just don't want the parent blog world to think i haven't been thinking about you guys or that i don't have a daughter any longer or any such nonsense. because i do and she is so 2.5 and crazy and i'm still reading you guys on the regular.
brian, i agree! apparently brian's family and ours share similar taste in eating establishments.
pg is still gettin' it done. nice work brother.
and come on, if you can get an f. scott reference in a post about your half naked boys in a sandbox you totally deserve props!
seriously, they take some of the best vacations. except THEY STILL OWE US A VISIT HERE IN AUSTIN. but really, who's keeping track?
need i say anything at about this guy and his ability to capture humor and emotion? by the way x, i think you might make a scary woman in the looks department.
and that's just to mention a few.
life is like a box of... um... well... wet soggy potato chips. somehow the disturbing texture and off putting taste eventually becomes a craving if you eat enough of them enough days in a row.
saturday we hung out with fellow parent blogger and interwebs phenom jonathon morgan, his special lady friend and completely adorable daughter little e. the girls played with a new water toy calli just got and were very cute while the adults indulged in a bit of afternoon refreshment. not a bad way to spend a satruday.
on sunday, after taking calli to one of her favorite parks, we headed over to my sister's house to see the new deck she and her better half put in. the backyard looks great with the new deck and all the new landscaping they did. i was so impressed i fired up the grill and threw on some fajitas and whipped up a batch of killer mexican martinis. another successful day out of doors in central texas.
we know the non-100-degree-days are few and far between so we made sure we didn't let these couple pass us by. it made heading into monday not such a bad thing this week.
sfs -- shoe fetish syndrome
sigh. sigh. sigh.
every morning when i'm getting her dressed all i hear is "conberse. conberse."
don't get me wrong, she has compiled quite the shoe arsenal which includes multiple pairs of vans several pairs of sketchers, sandals, etc... but the chuck t's rule her world.
i recently visited a palm reader and she kept repeating --jimmy and manolo and christian and choo and blahnik and louboutin -- i kept resisting and then i noticed this...
c'est la vie...
i have decided to go against my better judgement and quit my day job, go back to waiting tables full time(something i swore i'd never do again) and follow my passion. more on that at a later date .
the important thing here is that in 24 hours i'll rid myself of any daytime obligations and be able to spend as much time with calli as i please. if nothing else pans out from this decision, this extra time with my daughter makes it all worth while. the more time i spend with her the better my life seems to be. so i feel it's in my best interest to increase that time in every way possible.
so i bid the day job world farewell with a swift kick in the ass and a kiss on the cheek.
sunday marked another milestone in the life of one young callia frances.
she moved, without fuss or fight, from her crib to a new "big girl" bed. after throwing everything she could find into the bed, she promptly settled in much to our amazement. we were certain the process would take at least a week packed with raised voices, tears and many time outs but we were completely wrong. she loves it and tries to climb in it every chance she gets.
it really magnified the fact that our "baby" girl was quickly growing into a "little" girl. i felt sad to the point of tears while overwhelming proud at the same time. such mixed emotions constantly tear my heart out, rip it apart, then put it back in my chest with a severe ache. i guess it's good that it's a muscle because with each rip it repairs itself and rebuilds even bigger and strong than before.
i've said it in the past and it still makes me want to kick my own ass but the tired cliche is so right-- they grow up way too fast. if you don't stop to recognize and enjoy the now, it'll pass you in the blink of an eye. it's so incredibly difficult but i love the way she makes me set aside what i think is life to see what life really is.
oh wait a minute...
that's only after she has removed her diaper-gotten poop everywhere-and then put her pj shorts back on but with both legs through one leg hole so it looks like a skirt!
i suppose this was her way of showing me that i should have gotten up to get her the first time i heard her cry out. by the time i made it to her, (at 7:15am) her bed looked like the aftermath of some major ww2 battle where the only invented form of artillery was crap.
it covered her. from knees to elbows to hands to feet and everything in between. and poor winnie the pooh. it looked as though he was blind sided. there's no way that little guy stood a chance.
so we went right to the tub with the kid and right to the washer with everything in a 3mile radius of her bed.
quite the wake up call and more evidence that she, indeed, still takes her clothes off.
i just wonder if she was trying to hide the whole thing by attempting to put her shorts back on.
and to think that some day she'll be a teen. i don't know that i have the strength for that.
i can't believe this.
i want to thank you all.
the hollywood foreign press--
my lovely wife--
speaking of my daughter, i could not have even been considered for this award without her.
what's that? of course i'll explain.
the other day i was getting ready for work and calli was in the bathroom with me. you see, she loves going into the water closet and pulling out all my heavy reading material (because that's where magazines are kept right? at least in our house. for obvious reasons.) and flinging them about the bathroom. that day she started this new game of going in and shutting the door. then i would call out--
and she'd pop out with an ear to ear grin.
--keep in mind i'm in the shower at this point--
i watch her head in for another round except this time the door handle attempts to turn but doesn't open. so i call again and still the same. fuck... she's locked herself in there. and of course i'm in the middle of the cleaning process, soap everywhere, water closet door handle furiously shaking, damn. i did what i could to get out quickly and went to the door. sure enough it was locked. i knocked on the door and she replied--
"who is it?"
"honey, it's daddy. try to turn the lock."
as if she knew what the hell i was talking about. at this point, i envision her reaching into the toilet and drinking from her hand. because that the kind of thing that kid would probably do.
we go back and forth for a couple of minutes and get nowhere. then i think to myself try a key dumbass. of course my keys were downstairs, not that i have a key to these doors but i was willing to try anything.
"calli... i'll be right back don't touch anything."
and again the handle jiggles. i can tell she's getting frustrated. after getting my keys i try to get one in and as expected they don't fit but luckily it only took a simple turn and the door came unlocked. she busted out smiling and laughing while i stood there in a towel, dripping wet, half soaped up, panting.
i'm thinking we may need to add another room onto the house just to display all my parenting awards.
i freaking love this job.
--wait a minute... what the cadbury cream egg is going on here?--
i shake my head and just ask why. i don't get it but for some reason calli has hit this "nakie-nakie" stage that i'd love for her to grow out of sooner than later.
she finished her dinner and wanted to go play. we had just sat down to eat so i was happy to get her own her way so we could enjoy a nice meal among adults. after pulling her out of the chair she promptly asked me to remove her clothes. i obliged not giving one thought to where this could possibiliy go. about four minutes later she came sauntering back to the table in nothing but calli. of course the group erupted in laughter only encouraging the behavior which made it that much harder to get her still so i could get something on her. when i finally pinned her down she flipped out.
--how in the hell could i expect her to live with clothes on? here, let me claw your eyes out.--
of course she got over it in no time but really, i don't understand why she's loves having her clothes off. and frankly, from a dad standpoint, i don't like it one bit.
if ya gotta itch... scratch that shit.
you get it girl. daddy loves you!
apperently my o'lady was on a roll with the camera and caught this wonderful shot of calli.
i know it's hard to believe these two pics are of the same little girl but i guess one of these is a fair representation of her mother and the other her father. you decide which is which.
our life together started many years ago and what i knew at the tender age of 14 could not have been truer. i wanted nothing more than to know who you were. i have come to find that learning who you are has told me more about the person i have become; a pleasurable, unexpected outcome. in an attempt to explain how you have helped me grow and shown me life i stumble. a situation foreign to me. you know me as never being at a loss for words but expressing exactly how a person like you makes a person like me feel comes harder than i would like. none-the-less, let me try.
when i look at our daughter, the entire world makes sense. i'm not sure that i'll ever know the exact question asked to me but i do know for certain that she is the answer. i look at her, and i get it. a strong sense of completeness. a feeling only you could have helped me achieve. for that i owe you everything. the constant state of awe that little girl puts me in makes life worth living, and again without you that would have never happend. outside of you and i maintaining our relationship, she stands as our greatest accomplishment to date. my proudest moment.
peaks and valleys seem to be the theme for many relationships and ours is certainly not immune to this. however, with that said, i think the tops of our peaks supremely tower over the depths of our deepest valleys. even though we may run across low times we always bounce back and grow immeasurably from them. it's a continuous learning process and we know the importance of not trying to figure everything out at once and laughing along the way.
i recently had a conversation with a guy at work and he wanted to know the opposite of home. i told him in a word it would be lost or discomfort. after i thought about that i realized that's how i feel about you.
... you're home.
happy 9th anniversary
your loving husband
so, thanks to this wonderful addition to the english lexicon i have been able to piss my wife off by referring to her glass of wine as "mommy juice". for some reason she doesn't think this is as funny as i do. she's afraid it'll come out at the wrong time and she'll look like some kind of lush.
uh... honey... if the stemless bordeaux glass fits...
anyway, to get to the meat (no pun intended. you'll see what i mean later) of this story, calli ended up in our bed the other night. as you can see from the photo above, mama and daddy partook in a weeee bit too much of mama's "mommy juice" and didn't get around to ahem... uh... um... cleaning up their mess. once calli began her morning hoot and holler around our room in an effort to roust us out of bed she took notice of our night stand. she slowly crept toward one haphazardly discarded condom wrapper, picked it up and exclaimed-- "daddy medicine!"
and there you have it...
insert our precious, well behaved and oh so polite daughter.
calli has recently studied, dissected and perfected the way in which we spit when we brush our teeth. apparently it's a very dramatic moment and has drawn enough of her attention for her to remember and reenact it. the only problem is that she doesn't keep this in the bathroom. nor does she restrict it to the normal teeth brushing times of the day or night.
she likes to walk around the house and in a moment of complete randomness, stop, bend over slightly, clear her throat with steam engine force and then actually spit. i'm talking backwoods-overall wearing-hillbilly hawking. i have to commend her on her conviction to the moment because she doesn't even budge when the loog lands right atop her foot. she simply giggles and goes right back to her conversation with whatever version of potato head she has created.
it so funny we can't control ourselves.
to watch her stop without any prompting or cause or reason and deliver such a display, makes me wonder where her little mind is.
i miss my daughter and wife. sleep is hard without them under my roof. i just want to be certain they're safe.
without my arms around each of them...
...i sleep restless.
"oh, you know little mikey. he'll only eat peas if they're 76.5 degrees-on the elmo plate-at the old wooden table in nana's front room-while watching thomas the tank engine-every other sunday-of odd months. isn't that cute?"
--and your own parents can typically dredge up some moment in your toddler life where you gave them hell when it came to eating. but still, in spite of all this, i never thought it could be as difficult as it is. right now. with my daughter. who refuses to eat anything.
ok, correction, she'll lick ketchup off just about any food item. she won't actually consume any part of the food item but she’ll definitely get every bit of the ketchup. I figure, hey, tomatoes are considered both a fruit and a vegetable so she's good. right?
everything i read or hear says it's just a phase. it'll pass. but when your in the moment it sucks ass and all i want her to do is eat something without some major exchange of tears and yells and emotions from all parties involved.
is that too much to ask?
a lot= one day off from both jobs and 3 days a week leave the house at 630am return around 1030-11pm. i'm pretty used to it. no big deal. it's just where we are in life right now. you gotta do what you gotta do. right? it'll all be worth it. some day. i know it. probably.
the only real problem is how much this keeps me away from the house. i see calli in the morning when i'm gathering my shit for the day and she's eating breakfast and that's it. it sucks and i feel like she notices. and really, as of late she been kind of a turd too.
it seems her entire vocabulary consists of the word no and she flings it around with such force it could be classified as a deadly weapon.
i usually come downstairs and try to talk to her about what she's eating and typically get 7 no's and then a nice whack in the face while giving her a kiss on the forehead. it sets my day up nicely and it takes all i have not to deliver a swift blow to the throat of every dumbass i encounter.
this morning, however, was different.
last night ended particularly late.
i work nights at a high-end local restaurant and we're pretty popular with the hollywood crowd. celebrities eat there on a regular basis when in town. last night we were lucky enough to have aly & aj in house with about 25 of their friends. i couldn't have pointed them out if my life were on the line but apparently they're a big deal. so this lasted a while and i finally crawled into bed just shy of midnight. 530 came a little to quickly and as the alarm hit my ear like a cathrine tramell ice pick it took all i had not to drop kick it out the window. but, as i was getting ready i heard the sweetest raspy morning voice.
calli wanted to stop by and give me a squeeze and a kiss on her way to brush her hair. absolutely adorable.
once i made it downstairs i went to greet her and she let me hug her again and graciously accepted a peck on the cheek while smiling.
iz tsaddy. iz tsaddy.
the day was perking up. as i left the house she said good-bye, smiled and blew me a kiss.
even though i am far beyond tired--and i have to work tonight--and i have another double tomorrow--and brunch on sunday--and then monday night--and my day job week starts again on tuesday--and then... this made my day.
for the rest of my life.
so much for avoiding one of these things. my cyber-buddy piper thought enough of me to include me in her last round of tagging. i got the hit last week and have been hiding from it ever since. but i figured what the hell, i'll humor her request and complete this thing. thanks pipe.
here goes nothing. this better set my karma straight!
Name one thing you do every day:
consume copious amounts of caffeine
Name 2 things you wish you could learn:
Name 3 things that remind you of your childhood:
the smell of pillsbury orange sweet rolls
roller skating rink
the electric company
Name 4 things you love to eat but rarely do:
med rare cowboy cut rib eye
key lime pie
pasta with vodka sauce
Name 5 things/people that make you feel good:
70 degree afternoons at the park with my daughter
a glass of wine with my wife on the couch
christmas eve with family
cutting the grass
well, i guess that wasn't so bad. the bruising was minimal and i'm only slightly out of breath. if i'm not mistaken i think i'm supposed to tag a certain amount of people with the same "meme", but i'll be nice and just hit up my fellow dad-blogger in vegas, jason. keep an eye on his site to see what he has to say.
with all that said, i received an email from my wife this morning telling me to check out a post by this great blogger i follow out in vegas.
Jason does some awesome work with his little space in the intewebs, and each week he does a bow (blog of the week). low and behold, this past week, he featured --drum roll please-- little ol' me. when i saw this i got all warm and fuzzy and felt thankful for the many great people offering up advice, anecdotes and just plain commiseration on the joys of raising kids. i couldn't thank jason enough for trying to send people my way. if you haven't been to jaosn's site get your ass over there... yesterday.
much thanks to jason and to everyone else taking the time to let me amuse you with with all my parenting joys and follies.
at the time we lived in a 700sq ft apartment and she was confined to a 7x5ft space in a 15x12ft room. no way in hell you're keeping me cooped up like that for a month. everything moved so slowly and then (Fast ship? You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?) it all hit the fan at 1am monday morning november, 21 2005 with yet, another trip the er. fyi-- pregnancy complications are a bitch and i wans't even carring the damn thing. finally after many test and zero sleep they moved us to a real room deciding to keep her around for additional testing. fast forward to dinner time same day. in walks dr. baby taker only to interrupt an enjoyable viewing of elizabeth and to let us know we were down to two options.
option 1: let them go ahead and take the baby out 8weeks early in the next 45 minutes
option 2: let them go ahead and take the baby out 8weeks early in the next 45 minutes
wife response: tears
my response: crap in drawers followed by a second round of crap in drawers
next thing i know i'm holding my 3lb 15oz daughter in between cell phone calls to friends and family. when "they" say your world gets turned upside down "they" have no idea the severity which loads that statement.
from there they transported callia to the nicu in the downtown hospital where she would live for the next month. without a doubt the toughest time in our lives. the bright side however, was meeting the mcg's. another couple with a premature daughter; giada. we bonded instantly and we've been friends ever since. amazingly enough the girls are inseparable. it's as if they were communicating from one tiny bed to the other the entire time. i have a great set of pictures of them here.
obviously when it comes to prematurity we don't mess around. that's why we feel the march of dimes is a more than worthy cause. along with the mcg's we have created the super-duo know as "nicu naughties-- being bad for the greater good". now, this isn't a ploy to get you to donate a month's salary to support these two wonderful girls and the mod mission but if you have a spare moment, hop on over to our page for a look see. they're also on myspace. and the page rocks.
so, that's our journey up till now and we wouldn't change a thing.
when i think of what i like about austin in relation to parenting, the first thing that comes to mind are parks. holy shit this town is infested with parks. just about every neighborhood has at least one if not more. in my little corner of southwest austin there are three within walking distance and a few more just beyond that. now, not all the parks are flashy with crazy playscapes and water features that your kid will naturally gravitate toward and certainly require a clothing change before the drive home. but, i have found that sometimes it's nice to have place where she can run free and i don't have to constantly lurke 6 inches behind her making sure she doesn't fall off some bridge linking a sunken ship with a dragon. with that said the parks in this town kicks major ass.the following photos are of a park in our neighborhood and one of our downtown park that sits right on the colorado river.
not only are the parks boss, just bummin' round town is extremely kid friendly and also fun for the adults. downtown plays home to great coffee shops where kids are cool to hang and there's also a fun and educational children's museum. outside of down town are districts that also make it easy to have fun with kid in tow. in additon to that we have two major univertities here, the university of texas and st. edwards university, both are nice for for killing an afternoon. the first of the next two photos is from a day we spent walking around the soco district. a very hip area of south austin. many claim this as the last vestige of "old austin". a time and place when hippies still ran the town. before progression moved in with it's construction cranes and urban living spaces. the second is from an afternoon on the campus of st. edwards last spring getting photos among the bluebonnets.
austin's undoubtedly known for it's hipsters due to its live music scene. this has been the case for years and that vibe doesn't seem to be going anywhere. hence the self applied slogan "keep austin weird". and honestly i don't think anyone wants the town to lose this either. it pretty much makes austin, austin. so naturally, if hipsters have kids then there kids will too be hipsters. insert the kiddie live music scene. this aspect of the town caught us off guard. the thought of taking kids to live music shows makes perfect sense in a town like this but it never crossed our minds. that kind of thing just doesn't go on where we're from. but this part of the living here has been so much fun. the following photo of edan (from flailing my arms) and calli took place at a joe mcdermott show during acl fest(austin city limits festival). side note: music festivals are huge in this town and generally include a kid friendly stage.
i hope you've enjoyed the little tour of our town. seriously if you get a chance you should come check it out. by far one of the cooler cities in the us.
also, i'd love to hear about and see some your favorite places where you live. if you read this go back to your corner of the interwebs and post about it.