Archives for posts with tag: dad blog

The other night, I was watching a show on military men going through something called “Hell Week”.  These guys were voluntarily being pushed to their physical limits just for the opportunity to try out for the special armed forces, the Green Berets.  (NOTE:  A Green Beret is a legendary forest-lurking, swamp-eating, shadow warrior.)  (ANOTHER NOTE:  A Green Beret in a dark alley would have me running in the exact opposite direction than if the dark alley presented me with a Raspberry Beret.)  If you’re looking for a non-stereotypical depiction of a green beret and what skills they possess, check out the movie First Blood.  After seeing that flick, I could easily pick one out of a crowd of people…as long as they were wearing the signature headband and bloody tank top.

I don’t know what it was.  Maybe fatigue set in.  Or maybe a dram of rum permeated my intestinal wall and ignited a few scattered brain impulses. I had an idea.

What if I could make encourage Smushie to participate in a form of “Hell Week” for babies?  Kind of like a rite of passage from newborn-ness to baby-ness.  If she passes the rigorous physical examination, she’ll get to wear the coveted camouflage baby headband which signals to onlookers that this here is a bona fide Green Beretby.  (Beret + Baby = Beretby.  Still with me? Ok.)  Also upon successful completion of the training, Smush will be given the opportunity to carry her very own AK-47, that will signify to all that the government can’t take away a baby’s rights to bear arms, which is in the constitution.  (There’s nothing like the liberal mind interpretation of the English language.)

The idea is pure genius, as most of my ideas are.  I would be gauging her physical abilities, as well as strengthening her for the exertions of daily life (i.e. sitting up, standing, walking, etc.).  I mean Smush isn’t anywhere near being pushed to her physical limits right now.  She practically lays around all day eating, sleeping, and burping.  Not that I compare my children, but Worm was sitting upright and juggling bowling pins at 3 months of age.  (Ok, slight exaggeration.)  He set the bar and I we have to clear it.  There’s nothing like a little sibling rivalry to coax the best out of us.  (But, it’s ok for my two children to compare themselves to one another.)

Smush’s training program is pretty simple.  7 days of physical (also mental and emotional) endurance.  Since I’m a nice guy, I won’t wake her up at 4am to start training.  She’s allowed to wake up when the sun rises.  Next, she will do:

  • Tummy time until she falls asleep on the pillow or vomits
  • Assisted sit ups until her body fatigues or her arms give out
  • Eat until she falls asleep
  • Upon waking, repeat tummy time and assisted sit ups.  Eat.  Sleep.  Repeat.

Training ends at 7pm every night for Smush to wind down and relax.  In the evening, she’s allowed to chat online with her pals, play cards, or watch TV.  Alcohol and smoking are strictly prohibited during Baby Hell Week.  Visits from family are kept to a minimum to reduce the unnecessary distractions.

…I have to let the cat out of the bag.  Her Hell Week started on Monday.  (I couldn’t wait for the sergeant to approve, if you know what I mean.) And on that day, she did extremely well.  It was fruitful and Smush showed incredible strength and endurance.  She looked strong, capable, and determined.

But on Tuesday, I don’t know what happened.  She slept until 10am.  Woke up to exercise once and then proceeded to drink twice the amount of milk that she had ever previously ingested in one sitting…and napped for the rest of the day.  (She’s already being defiant!  I don’t know whether to pat her on the back or on the bottom.)  The competitive fire was no longer in her belly.  (Doused by the milk, I reckon.)

I think Smushie’s taking me for a fool.  I swear I saw her peeking out at me from the slit in her eyelids.  The rules don’t allow me to wake her from sleep and I think she’s found this little loophole.  If Wednesday is anything like today, I will be forced to put my foot down and cut out the day naps.  Hell Week will go on!

Smushie! If You're Smiling, You're Not Working Hard Enough!

Smushie! If You’re Smiling, You’re Not Working Hard Enough!

Oh boy, here we go again…

The wife decided to kill two birds with one stone and schedule both our children’s doctor visits for the same day.  A 2-year checkup for the Worm.  (I can’t believe he’s made it 2 years.  I pat myself on the back.)  A 2-month checkup for the Smush.

Steph and I bring both kids to the doctor’s office.  As I sit in the waiting room, I look over at one child and think to myself “Wow, This girl has got a jovial attitude, plus a great appetite to boot.  She’s growing.  She looks healthy.  The doctor is going to love her.”

I look over at my other child who is dripping snot all over the floor and trying to cough up his left lung for us to see.  I think to myself “Oh my god.  He’s sick and miserable.  I can see all of his ribs.  The doctor’s going to think we’ve stopped feeding him.  We (I use the term ‘we’ loosely.  I really mean Steph) are going to jail for neglect.”

It’s obvious where all of our efforts have been focused.  (Can you guess who our new favorite child is?)

Smushie checks out great.  According to the NIH, here’s where we are with her development:

  • Physical and motor-skill markers:
    • Closing of soft spot at the back of the head (posterior fontanelle)   (SO SHE’S GOING TO BE HARD HEADED, HUH?)
    • Several newborn reflexes, such as the stepping reflex and grasp reflex disappear  (WOULD HAVE BEEN COOL TO MAKE A HUMAN MARIONETTE OUT OF HER.  TOO LATE NOW.)
    • When on stomach, able to lift head almost 45 degrees  (IF I WAIT LONG ENOUGH, SHE’LL EVEN SHOOT MILK FROM HER MOUTH)
    • Less flexing of the arms and legs while lying on the stomach  (BUT SHE’S STARTED DOING A BIT MORE FLEXING IN FRONT OF A MIRROR)

    Sensory and cognitive markers:

    • Beginning to look at close objects  (EVEN GOES CROSS-EYED FOR THE REALLY CLOSE STUFF)
    • Different cries means different things  (SHE CRIES FOR RED WINE AND CHOCOLATE TOO)
    • Head turns from side to side with sound at the level of the ear  (DOG CLICKER TRAINING WORKS ON KIDS TOO!)
    • Smiles  (ALL THE TIME!  BEAUTIFUL!)
    • Responds to familiar voices  (RESPONDS TO CURIOUS GEORGE’S VOICE THE MOST.  THANKS WORM.)

The Smush is on track and passes her tests with flying colors.  Worm, on the other hand, brings about a host of questions from the doctor.  Since most of communication is unspoken, I will translate the literal dialogue into the real interpretation conveyed.

Doc:  “He hasn’t gained any weight in the past 6 months.”   (“You are feeding him, right?”  Let me just make note of the signs of neglect in my records.)

Me:  “He just doesn’t have an appetite for food.  He can go days without eating.”  (“He asks to eat M&M’s and ice pops every day.  I say no.  So he starves himself to spite us.”)

Doc:  “Our charts also show that Gavin has shrunk 2 inches since we saw him a week ago.”  (“What the hell are you doing to your son?  He’s reversed growth!  Another sign of neglect to add to my records.  People like you shouldn’t be having kids.)

Me:  “I think the assistant may have written it down wrong.  He’s not 3 feet tall.  He’s only 34 inches.”   (“Your nurses are roughly estimating an important developmental data point in my son’s life.  Don’t you understand? Every quarter inch counts at this age!”)

Doc:  “Since Gavin is quickly falling off the chart due to his lack of physical growth, do you want to consider our nutrition counseling?”  (“You obviously can’t feed your son properly.  We’d like to get child services involved and send your son to an orphanage where the state will do a better job of raising him.”)

Me:  “We’re going to try some new foods with him and see if it helps.”  (“I think we’re going to hide out in Mexico until this all blows over.  Maybe we’ll live off the grid and pay for things in cash to keep child services from pinpointing our whereabouts.”)

We may have to take the easy way out and disappear from the authorities until Worm fattens up.  On the bright side, at least I’ll get to use the fake mustaches we have leftover from Halloween…

We're Going to Live In The Woods?  That Sounds Like Fun!

We’re Going to Live In The Woods? That Sounds Like Fun!

Worm, I promise you’ll get to love your baths.  Right now though, just try to imagine you’re on the sunny sandy beaches of Jamaica with the warm ocean water lapping at your feet…

Where's My Damn Mai Tai?!

Dad, If This is Jamaica, Where the Hell is my Rum Punch?!

May 2011

30 days ago today (It sounds better written this way.  Trust me.), I decided to make an unprecedented move towards growing facial hair.  Not feeling like the man I once was, it was time to do something so primitive, so testosteronically charged that in the span of one month I would cement my position as dad, man, and leader of my family.

Movember, the month of mustaches, was my opportunity and I seized it with gusto.

I’ve never grown a mustache before.  Ever.  So when the first week of Movember passed and I had nary a hairy, I got nervous.  I questioned my self and doublechecked my secret compartment for the dynamite and a pair of grenades.  What was wrong?

Then, the type A personality kicked in.  I needed to set some goals and direction for my ‘stache.  Things took off from there.

The ultimate goal:  The Magnum P.I.

The Pinnacle of Facial Hair Perfection

The Pinnacle of Facial Hair Perfection

Lofty, yes.  But Tom Selleck’s perfectly coiffed mustache became the sex symbol of the 80’s.  It was the star of the show, and poor Tom was forever standing in its shadow, both literally and figuratively.

A Distinguished Look From the 1930's.  The Clark Gable.

A Distinguished Look From the 1930’s. The Clark Gable.

Wanting to give my mustache some time to blossom into greatness, I waited another week.  I sprouted a few more follicles and excitement set in.  It was time to break out the tools.  I sculpted my whiskers a little at a time and, lo and behold, a more Clark Gable look presented itself.  Not bad, I thought as I tugged at my soup strainer.  A veritable rebirth of the 1930’s actor…only this time in Indian.

I could deal with that.  I slicked my hair back and completed the dashing look for a week or so.

Then last week, I was feeling a bit frisky.  Too frisky.  I got a little loose with the razor and uncovered a pre-millenium Eddie Murphy mo.  (It came out of the blue and I’m still reprimanding myself for the cuts I did and did not make.  On the plus side, when I need a laugh I just look in the mirror…)

I’ve got to give props to the men that sport a lip curtain.  It takes work and effort to maintain.  You can’t just put a baseball cap on it and roll out the door.  A mustache desires your attention like a supermodel desires a Big Mac.  You must cater to its whims and fancies.  It’s the center of attention and draws people in like a religious cult.  That being said, the added effort is worth the reward.  I got more looks from men and women in the past 30 days than I have all year long.  “Wow, you’re interesting to look at!”, “Stop looking at me.  I’m uncomfortable with your oozing manliness.” “A brown Clark Gable?  He’s way more handsome than the original!” and “Are you one of ‘those’ movie stars?” are the words I read from onlooking eyes.

Since I had such a good time being able to tickle my tongue for the past month, I may just drag this prodigious pushbroom on my profile just a little bit further into the year.  I’ve finally become the man and father for Steph, Worm, and soon Smush, to look up to.

Gavin – 19; Dad – 10 (I’ve reclaimed my manhood and dadhood!)

The Only Thing That Could Make This Picture More Manly Would Be A Mounted Deer Head On the Wall.

The Only Thing That Could Make This Picture More Manly Would Be A Mounted Deer Head On the Wall.

Worm wants to grow up too fast.  I want to revisit my youth.  Using a little fairy dust and internet magic, Worm and I were able to switch places for a day.

It was so much fun!  Some genius invented underwear with a built-in toilet.  I didn’t have to interrupt my cavorting just to pee or poop.  Even when full, it still hugged my body and accentuated my curves.  (I’m not sure why this idea hasn’t caught on for adults.)  It was awesome!  I bounced all over this huge springy pad in one of the bedrooms.  When I got tired from bouncing on it, I could use it to sleep on!  Brilliant!

I drooled on the couch.  I pulled wipes out of a magic box.  Every time I would pull one out, another one would appear in the same exact spot!  I screamed as loud as I could until my throat hurt.  I pulled the pots and pans out of the kitchen drawers and beat them until my arm got tired.  Why these toys were stored in the kitchen, I’ll never know.  I pretended not to listen to anyone and couldn’t find it in my body to stand still and act out some semblance of politeness.  I farted in front of my family a few times.  When I pointed blame at the dogs, we all laughed about it….every…single…time.

I did run into some problems, though.  I couldn’t get food out of the fridge.  The door was too heavy.  I wasn’t allowed to take the car keys and go for a drive.  I couldn’t go swimming in the pool by myself.  I just wanted to be left alone for a few minutes, but privacy wasn’t allowed.  I tried to hide in the nooks and crannies of the house, but seeing as how I wasn’t strong enough to move any furniture or climb up the bookcase, I stood there as still as possible in plain sight and willed myself to be invisible.  It worked about half the time…I think.  My bike was too big and I had trouble chewing the skin off of the grapes.  Why is the TV remote so darn big?  I couldn’t even hold it with one hand.  I did try to rub two of them together to see if I could make fire, but they got taken away before I could set them ablaze.  Being so close to the ground, the air heavily reeked of feet and dog butts.  And worst of all, I had to be in bed by 7:30pm.

It’s a good thing that after the stroke of midnight I will be back to my old, old self.

We are the September 25th ManBabies photo!  You can also vote for us on the website if you like!

Worm, Be Gentle! You Don’t Know Your Own Strength!

Related Links: – If you’re up for a good laugh, check out some of these photos!

It’s sushi and tacos and Cracker Jack!

It’s a San Diego Thing…

It’s baseball season and the San Diego Padres are our home team (until some businessman buys them and moves them to Hawaii).  I must admit, I’m not a huge baseball fan.  I don’t watch it on TV.  I don’t have a fantasy team.  I don’t even understand half of it.

But, that doesn’t stop me from going to a game or two during the season.   Especially when we get free tickets!  Petco Park is a great place for families, kids, and kids with families.  It’s a fairly new venue and dare I say that the Park is classy for a baseball stadium.  You can get the standard stadium fare (beer, pretzels, peanuts, cotton candy, slushees, etc.) and you can get gourmet fare (local brewed beer, shrimp burritos, fish tacos, sushi).  There’s even a gluten-free stand for those that wish to partake!  Plenty of food to choose from for your picky little eater!

Also, there’s a little field at the back of the stadium called “Park at the Park” with a kid’s sized infield and lots of space to picnic and just hang out.  It’s geared for families with kids that can’t sit still long enough to watch an entire baseball game.  Parents can set their kids loose in the 2.7 acre space and then kick back and watch the game on the big screen.  Just bring a lawn chair.  There’s enough space (about 2.7acres) in “Park at the Park” for the young’uns to run bases and wear themselves out.  These tickets are $5 each and if you’ve got a toddler like I do, he’ll probably like this much more than being confined to one seat for 3 hours.

Worm enjoyed his first visit to Petco Park.  It was a warm, sunny San Diego afternoon.  I think the immense size of the stadium structure with all the people amazed him.  He even let out a few drops of saliva on my leg in his excitement.

Worm ate nachos!  Worm ate burritos!  Worm I drank beer!  Some nice Padre girls even came over to make sure Worm was happy!  He even finagled some free schwag from them!  (Is ‘free schwag’ like saying ‘space meteor’?)  A fun time was had by all, for almost an hour.  Luckily, it was a short game.

Worm, You Gotta Look at the Camera!

If you’re looking for Padres information:

Padres Home Page

The problem with adults is that we place too much emphasis on stuff that doesn’t matter.  We’re free to dole out punishment against kids for a ridiculous number of things that have nothing to do with the big question “How does this affect my life?”

In the news today is an article about a young lad who is a basketball fan, Patrick Gonzalez.  Patrick is a huge fan of the Spurs’ Matt Bonner.  So much of a fan that he had a picture of his favorite NBA star Bonner shaved into his head.  (By the way, the picture is awesome!  Check it out here.)

Gonzalez faces an in-school suspension by Woodlake Hills Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, which he attends.

Matt Bonner himself chimed in on the controversy:  “Couldn’t you just move him to the back of the class?” said the red-headed 3-point shot ace. “Then nobody would see it; it wouldn’t be a distraction. Otherwise, the nicest thing a fan has ever done for me is ruined.”

So, obviously Bonner is touched with the gesture from a fellow redhead.

The part that bugs me is where the school decides that punishment for a haircut is worth taking away a child’s education for a week.  “It’s distracting.”  says unnamed foolish school official.  Oh yeah, you mean more distracting than the pregnant girls, drugs, and weapons that circulate through the halls.  Right!

But, don’t you think that making a big stink about a haircut is more distracting?  Maybe we should force every school-aged child to get a crew cut to attend classes.  There wouldn’t be any distractions then.  Right!

Just another day in America, where haircuts, pictures of girls kissing, and art are more dangerous than guns.

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