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Showing posts from December, 2012

Happy Newfangled Year!

It's been a busy week since my last post. 
The kids have been sick this entire time. We've had visitors and made visits and one of them had to go get a chest x-ray (negative) and a flu swab (also negative). To say nothing of Christmas and the madness that comes with it. 
And there has been snot. So. Much. Mucous. 
I don't normally do resolutions. But this year, I find myself tempted to make a few (growing out my beard until Kelly's birthday a la Whisker Wars or giving up Facebook for awhile--mainly to prove Kelly wrong that it is possible--top the list). And we'll be starting at a new gym at the same time as all the "I'm going to lose weight" folks who will be gone by Valentine's Day. In 2013 I already have signed up to do something that scares me--first triathlon. And I'm trying to be more patient with the kids. I'm hoping to volunteer some. 
I'm not really one to evaluate the year that has been either. But, lately, it feels like eac…

Dad plays nurse

I have a new respect for Munchausen syndrome the last couple of days. There's a horrible duality to having a sick child.

I've never been so sad about seeing someone else's suffering than having 2 small ones feeling so ill. But, at the same time, I've never felt so useful and delighted to be a parent. It's sort of a mix of the best and worst.

Luckily for us, up to now they've only had stuffy, runny noses that they would mostly play through. A little minor teething pain here and there.

Cole got it first. He'd been fine all morning, went down for a nap, then woke up with a lethargy that is rare to see in a toddler. He just wants to lay on the couch, not eating or drinking, looking pale and feverish, grumpy, answering questions with a simple "uh huh" or shaking his head no.

Leda has the same coughing and snot, but at least a healthy appetite still and wanting to drink plenty of milk...even if it just makes her cough more.

Both of them don't want t…

Guns, gun owners, & respecting firearms

It's been a week since I've blogged. Kinda busy with my mom in town. A lot going on in the world making it difficult to put parenting in perspective, too. My initial reaction to what happened in Newtown was that it's a big, scary, crazy world out there. We send our kids out into it anyway. Frankly, an assault rifle should be the least of your concerns. There are a thousand deadly things waiting outside your door each day to harm your children. Get over it.

Ok, maybe not "get over it." I want the government to regulate the airline industry and make my bus driver pass a test to drive a bus. We can do all we can to make life as safe as possible...but safety is an illusion.

That's the real debate we're having in America right now, isn't it? Civilization and what it looks like.

Guns aren't the problem. People are the problem. Something to upset both my pro-gun and liberal friends there. If you're a gun owner who keeps your guns locked away, transpo…

Formula-feeders have rights, too!

Both my kids were breastfed. Let's get that out of the way upfront. Though neither were what you'd call rip-roarin success stories in the way that many breastfeeding supporters would have you believe.

I'm not ready to jump on the "angry nursing mothers" bandwagon. My son was definitely a different story than my daughter who was in the NICU for a month. A NICU, mind you, that had to wheel screens over to the bedside area along with uncomfortable visiting chairs for mothers. There was a pumping room. Yay?! They were Nazis about tubes and parts and bottles and storage though. Not exactly the squishy happy feeling and bonding you so desperately want with your new baby...who is in the NICU to begin with.

Cole was a happier story. Great support from dedicated lactation staff at the hospital. He made it until Kelly had to go back to work. Then there just wasn't enough in the freezer for me to continue using as a SAHD. Bring on the formula.

Not every baby is destined…

Grandparents are awesome

Cole has been using the 4 (yes, 4) large boxes--sent by my mother ahead of her visit--as a fort all this week. We're down to 3 now, actually, because one of them is a gift for Leda that was taken to the basement for assembly. One of them is marked "fragile" but I'm hoping not-so-much because it's been loved a little hard.

Parents like grandparents, too. They watch the kids so you can go take a tour of the gym you're thinking about joining without having to drag the kids along. Nobody wants to wheel a stroller onto the pool deck or into the locker room or keep toddlers busy while discussing membership rates.

They give you a welcome excuse to finally use the extra passes that came with your zoo membership.

They babysit so you can go on a date night. (Mmmm, margaritas!)

If all this sounds spoiled, it maybe is a bit...but it's well-deserved. Most of the grandparents are a day's drive away. Visits are infrequent. It's nice to have them as special occas…

Arrogant athletes

No, I'm not talking about the NHL lockout, NFL touchdown dances, or NBA antics. This is a rant about the technique-obsessed everyday exerciser.

Forgive the Romper Room reference, but maybe I'm just more of a Do-Bee than Mr. Don't Bee. I can talk much more extensively about my background in running, but I'm finding that one of the first hurdles to triathlon training is the off-putting way that the sport is filled with drill, schedule, and good form dictators.

Oh, it's present in the running community don't get me wrong. But one of the beautiful things--there are many negatives--about the spread and popularity of running has become the lack of attitude about back of the packers mixing with elites. There are still many who insist that the folks completing a 6.5 hour marathon aren't really "racing." But the snob factor is the minority. And a newbie will find far more training programs geared to completing than qualifying for Boston these days. Chalk i…

Nostalgia, Christmas, and traditions

As I sat in the car before doing the weekly Friday night grocery shopping, I was listening to this review of books on NPR full of poetic imagery and beautiful narrative. The first few books in particular caught my ear for their use of language. They reminded me of my own childhood and some of the happiest memories that stick after 20 or 30 years.

This was ironically timed to a discussion Kelly and I were having about the small moments of child memory and how often the most pleasant remembrances are unintended. It was a larger chat about the holidays, gift giving, grand attempts at tradition and what is meaningful.

I doubt either of my sets of grandparents intended to make my favorite memories so simple. A trip to the lake in Grandpa's boat, for instance, would probably be a better candidate. But instead, I get all nostalgic about the smell of coffee, bacon & eggs, sleeping in the crack between my grandparents' pushed-together beds watching Underdog at about 6am. On the oth…

Why gay marriage is really about marriage neutrality

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the potentially landmark cases against both DOMA and California's Prop 8. I congratulate my LGBT friends and am glad we're a step closer to gay marriage across the nation. Of course, we still have the sticky problem of whether the Court will go ahead and rule on the Full Faith and Credit issue. Will newly legal marriages in Washington, for instance, now be required to be recognized in Alabama?

What I really want to discuss today, however, is that I don't really care whether gays get married or not. And that is the real victory for family life in the United States as we move forward. Get married. Don't get married. It's none of my business. It's none of the government's business, really. The big story here is that we're moving closer to marriage neutrality. However people choose to pair off and be a family should largely lead to equal treatment from our government and be a non-issue.

I'm not anti-marriage. …

Sign me up

By the time you read this, I will have registered for my very first triathlon. Exciting! More like that feeling somewhere between terror and hope. I'm both quietly confident of my ability as an athlete and simultaneously scared of trying something new. But that's a good thing. What would the point be in doing something easy?

Just today, I was complaining that triathletes are sort of a high-strung bunch. I maybe take back some of what I said about there being a higher ratio of jerks than in marathoning. By nature, triathlon leaves newbies with a lot of questions...questions I think a lot of marathoners have but keep to themselves. Or the pressure is a lot less maybe? If you fail at running, you're walking. If you fail at swimming or biking, you're drowning or falling on your ass. Perhaps the stakes are raised a bit.

But still, I think triathlon could be a little more welcoming. It's full of people obsessed with gadgets (usually expensive) and athletes who take the …

Small triumphs

Here's to rescuing your kid for bedtime when he's stuck between the end table and the couch in a very uncomfortable butt-down, feet-up position.

Here's to being 75 people away from 9,000 readers.

Here's to trying to type a blog post while the other one is asleep on your left arm preventing use of letters on that half of the keyboard...the W is sooo far away!

Here's to somehow a little boy getting dropped off at our house recently. Where our baby went, we have no clue. This one is smart, opinionated, does what he can by himself, and likes to kick adults out of "his" chair.

Kelly brought him to the museum on Sunday and it was a non-stop run from exhibit to exhibit. Pressing buttons. Demanding that we follow, keep up, and enjoy what he was enjoying. The trains, the baby chicks, the tractors...I remember when he was too little to do much. He couldn't climb the stairs to get in the vehicles or see over railings. Now, his eyes just peak over when he uses th…