29 February 2012

New Experiences

You know, when all is said and done, there just aren't many experiences that can beat the sheer joyous surprise...

...blossoming from your mouth as you discover, for the very first time...
...that wondrous creation called the sandwich cookie.

Little Man is now a jabbering ball of sugar induced energy running at near light speed around the kitchen searching for another, while being chased by the Furball, who is near frantic for crumbs. Once he collapses, I'll have to give him a bathe and throw the dog outside to burn off his own sugar high...oh, but it's worth it.

28 February 2012

Question of the Day #2

Why, with all of our chemical prowess, our plethora of deodorizers, our plentitude of sanitizers, can we not successfully kill the poopy diaper smell oozing out of  a toddler's emptied, cleaned and sanitized diaper pail?

26 February 2012

Question of the Day #1

Why, when we can send men to the moon and communicate instantaneously with anyone anywhere in the world and build hydro power dams bigger than mountains, can we not design a barrier sufficient to contain a 14 month old boy in one safe area long enough for me to wash the danged dishes without having to string suds all over the place as I race to save him (or the dog...or the house) from his latest unstoppable explorations?

25 February 2012

Four year old reasoning

My kids go to a Daddy's Day Out preschool program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This year, Princess' birthday falls on a Saturday, and Mommy is going out of town for a week starting Sunday.

Now, as a reasoning adult, throwing a birthday party at her preschool for my newly minted four year old Princess on Thursday sounded like a great idea. Then on her actual birthday, Daddy would make a birthday cake while Mommy took her out for a girls' day out. It seemed to make sense as we worked it out.

To a four year old, not so much. She keeps expecting another full fledged birthday party with all her family and friends coming in to celebrate. And I can understand that, because we've always made a pretty big deal out of their birthdays. Of course, this year, things didn't work out that way. The grandparents are heading to Florida for vacation, where we were planning to join them, and celebrate Princess' birthday. But Sweetheart's new job requires her to be out of town, so we had to cancel vacation.

I almost think I'd rather have the birds and the bees talk with her than keep trying to make her comprehend that sometimes life changes and things don't work out the way you want them to. Like when you have a frosting malfunction.

But on the bright side, once she saw her butterfly (yes, that's actually what it is...or at least what it's supposed to be) she perked up a bit. And since she loved her butterfly, I figure this is a pretty successful birthday celebration.

22 February 2012

Pizza Night

I love cooking with my kids. Even more, I love cooking with the whole family.

Last night Sweetheart wanted pizza, and I'm really trying to convince the short ones that they CAN actually eat vegetables, so I concocted this little cutie. I must admit, I'm kind of proud of it. Princess insisted on the smiley face. I think I'm getting pretty good at them.

And the best thing is that I was able to keep their focus on the cute little smiley face and not on the fact that they were eating an entire meal with a full serving of dairy and roughly two full servings of fresh veggies. And not a single leftover in site.

20 February 2012

You Know You Have Toddlers When:

We've all gotten the "You know you're a 'blank' when..." Emails a hundred times at least. But I figured I'd go ahead and add my own two bits here. And as you laugh, remember, this is my life.

You know you have toddlers when:

You start wearing shoes in the house to protect your feet from stray legos.

You tell your vertically challenged spouse, "Don't worry, eventually they'll grow up and we can move things back onto the lower shelves so you can reach them yourself again."

You tell your spouse, "Don't worry, Sweetheart. If the dog food doesn't hurt the dog, surely it won't hurt the kid."

You wake up in the night to go to the bathroom and as you're walking back to bed you realize you're singing the Octonauts song."

While you're doing your taxes, you realize the kids are outside playing and you're sitting at the table watching Chloe's Closet by yourself.

Or, you tell your daughter to hush so you can hear the Octonauts creature report. (Hey, that goofy little show is educational!)

And my personal favorite, the one I'll tell everyone on his wedding day:

You find yourself saying "Son, please spit out the dog poop!"

15 February 2012

I found this post in my my box as a draft. I guess I got distracted when I had to leave for the appointment with my transplant hepatologist. I figured I'd go ahead and leave it as is and just finish it.

8 Feb

So here I sit, slurping up coffee after a pretty sleepless night. Two more hours to go before I finally find out what's going on with my liver. It's been months since I first found out something was wrong. Months of anxiety. Months of mood swings. Months of waiting while one doctor after another did lab tests and ultrasounds and hesitated to use the one clear diagnostic tool at their disposal, a biopsy. After all, they aren't the ones waiting to find out what is happening in their bodies. Ah well.

Months of introspection. We've known since day one that the likelihood of whatever is wrong being terminal is high. The main question seemed to be how long would I have. Recently, we were given hope that it might be a relatively benign diagnosis. Only to be reminded that, due to the markers they found, the terminal diagnosis will probably still come...just later. I don't know what to think about it anymore. I just need to know.

It has been an interesting experience, I'll admit. God can use any situation to work on your life. Months of wondering whether I have a terminal disease or not have given me a different perspective on life. I've noticed I do things differently than I used to. I'm not a perfect man by any stretch of the imagination. But now I find myself spending more time snuggling with my daughter, just to snuggle. Or holding my son so he can take a nap in my arms instead of putting him in his bed. Just so I can enjoy listening to him breath.

15 Feb

Well, the appointment went great! I am in the 2-5% of people with the marker for primary biliary cirrhosis who don't have the disease. At least not yet. Odds are that I'll develop it at some point in the next decade, but since I have to be tested every 6 months for now on, it will be caught early if it pops up, and be easily manageable. My liver is still off a bit, and I have to make some lifestyle changes, but I'll do that gladly.

It's so easy to take life for granted. We get settled in our ruts and go through life like a mule with blinders on.

I've always been afraid of change, but in the last few days I've found myself embracing it. I'm getting more organized. Finding new recipes to surprise the family with. Sneaking around to make chocolate covered strawberries for Sweetheart on Valentine's Day. Getting down on the floor more to play with the kids.

Now that I know my prognosis and can get over the anxiety, everything is a bit more focused. I've got a pretty long way to go before I'm the man I want to be. But I'm danged well gonna make the most of the trip from now on!
You know, I really don't understand some folks. It seems like people can't express and opinion anymore without being extreme and insultingly elitist.

My Sweetheart just asked me if she was destroying my manhood. She had seen that the Duggars are saying that any woman who doesn't rely financially on their husband is destroying the husband's manhood. That she's disrespecting him by being self sufficient.

Lord have mercy! Where do people come up with this kind of stuff??

Now, regardless of the opinion of many "Christian Elders" in the media these days, I am an actual, believing, conservative Jesus filled Christian. When we married, my wife and I entered into a covenant with God. Not a contract, not a compromise, not a temporary relationship and not a master/slave dogmatic harem either. We became part of a union centered on God. Anyone who enters my home and looks at my family will know we serve God. Not because we tell them so, or have signs up on the door or anything so overt. Our goal is simply to live an example. We aren't perfect at it. Oh, some days we're not even good at it. But we keep trying. Trying to be an example of Christ to everyone around us. We're not called to evangelize anyone, or to beat anyone on the head with our Bibles.

And my job sure is not to tell anyone else that they're living wrong. The Bible is pretty clear that judgment belongs to God, not me. So I get a little upset when people say stuff like this. I know every stay at home dad takes a lot of bull because of their choice to be the primary caregiver, but I don't understand why.

My Sweetheart LOVES her career. And I can't fully express how proud I am of her and her work. She's highly respected in her field. There are only a handful of people with her level of experience. Not many folks can say their lover is integral to the actual saving of lives which would otherwise be lost to cancer. She makes a huge difference in our world.

But to be a proper wife, she should give up saving lives, take off her shoes, get pregnant and start cooking?? And that is supposed to boost my manhood?? Good grief!

I have two beautiful children and a very happy wife. That tells me I'm one heckuva man. And knowing that I'm caring for my family in the way God has led us to believe is right for our family boosts my manhood. My daughter knows when she falls down Daddy will be there to pick her up. My son runs to me with a big grin, knowing Daddy will grab him up and put him on his shoulders so he can see the world from on high. My wife has a special twinkle in her eye when she looks at me. These are the things that boost my manhood.

01 February 2012

What a Woman!

You know, it's easy to take people for granted. You get used to someone being there and you don't always say thanks. I try not to do that. I hope I say thank you enough.

I'm sitting in a hospital bed, sore from a liver biopsy and itching to go home. My Sweetheart on the other hand, is carrying the boy and chasing the girl on her way to get me a mocha. What a woman!

My beloved has sat beside so many hospital beds and in so many doctors' waiting rooms. She has patiently changed dressings and made up medication dosages. She has corralled the kids in their most hyperactive states so I could be wheeled back to surgery knowing my family would be there when I got back. She says she has no maternal instincts, but she has tended the kids with patience and love when I've been too sick to.

I became a Stay At Home Dad so she could have the freedom to pursue her career to its fullest. She's now moving into higher management after being heavily pursued by headhunters due to her excellence in her industry. But even now, she chose a position which requires minimal travel so she can be available if I absolutely need her.

The funny thing is that when we met, she told me she was shallow and selfish! I laughed then and still laugh now. Never in my life have I met a more giving, caring, selfless individual. Never have I met someone with more complexity and depth of personality. I learn knew things about her every day, and rarely learn something I don't love.

I don't know what I did for God to bless me with such a truly wonderful wife, but I thank Him for her every day. And after watching her run around this hospital room for 9 hours chasing a 1 year old and a 3 year old, while answering her phone and sending emails because she couldn't take the day off, all because she doesn't like to leave me at the hospital by myself, I think I'll be making sure I thank her more often as well. What a woman!