Posts Tagged ‘
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
We’re not a family of beach bums. We’re the opposite; whatever the opposite of a beach bum is.
In other words, we like to go where the crowds aren’t and where the weather isn’t very hot.
Fortunately, my wife’s family is in Sacramento; which gives us a good and necessary reason to travel out there once a year.
This weekend, that’s where we will be flying. With Jack’s 2nd birthday coming up on November 16th, this is the last time we can take advantage of him getting to fly for free.
No doubt about it, I’m very excited to take a week off from work and travel to one of my favorite spots in America.
But of course, I’m looking at this from a realistic perspective. A “vacation” with a nearly 2-year-old where we’re flying cross-country is not exactly a vacation for me.
I don’t mind being a glorified version of a stage hand while my wife catches up with her family and gets to see Jack, after over a year since last time.
Even the plane ride with Jack doesn’t intimidate me much. After all, I survived it last year when he was much more high maintenance.
The only thing that worries me is where he will sleep. It’s a really big deal to me.
If he doesn’t get good, consistent nights of sleep while we’re out there, I will turn into the Incredible Hulk.
(Not the updated Avengers movie version, but the 1978 Lou Ferrigno TV show.)
I don’t like me when I’m angry. When Jack doesn’t sleep well, neither do I; then I turn into a monster.
Jack still sleeps in his crib and he has outgrown his Pack N Play.
So one option is to put up some safety rails alongside a twin bed once we get there.
Another option is to buy a cheap or used Pack N Play as soon as we arrive, but A) I don’t want to have to worry about that after getting off the plane and B) I don’t want to spend money on something I may not be able to bring back home.
The best case scenario is we find a friend or family member who has a Pack N Play that we can borrow while we’re there, but no luck on that so far.
I guess this dilemma took the back burner in the midst of planning not only the trip out there but also Jack’s birthday party for that side of the family.
But here we are, days away from leaving, and I don’t have closure with this.
To dissect why this causes so much turmoil and unsettledness for me, it is because it’s my job to get Jack to sleep for all his naps and bedtimes. That’s one of the things I do! I’m very proud of that skill.
Without me getting him to sleep, it’s a world suspended in chaos. Bad things, man.
Getting Jack to sleep is something I’m an expert on. But without the appropriate place for him to fall asleep, I can’t work my magic.
The world is coming to an end.
To be continued…
Add a Comment
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
Is there such a thing as “free time” after becoming a parent? When can a new mom or dad find time in the week to just simply chill out together in peace and quiet; or even more difficult, be able to participate in their beloved hobbies that reflect who they are as individuals?
Other than daddy blogging, I also enjoy playing guitar and writing songs (though that hardly ever happens anymore). But the hobby that is a bit less sporadic in my schedule is simply exploring, whether it’s via hiking or mountain biking.
In his book, Daddy Dates, author Greg Wright perfectly describes why “exploring” is a solid hobby of mine:
“It’s the way guys operate. Exploration amps us up. There is this moment when curiosity rules and you get kind of jazzed and you think, ‘I wonder what’s in there, this is so cool!’ You’re going to figure out how to get around that mysterious place because you’re motivated by some instinct of discovery.”
While in California last month, I found a few 90 minute nuggets where I could slip away virtually unnoticed, amidst all the family. I snagged a mountain bike from my mother-in-law’s garage, then went exploring along the Sacramento River.
I ended up accidently discovering the neighboring 15 acre community of Locke. The Chinatown, settled alongside the river, was built in 1915. These days, it resembles a closed down, but kept up, exhibit at the Epcot Center. I read on Wikipedia that most of the original Chinese population of the town moved out to Sacramento and that today only 10 Chinese-Americans remain residents there.
See, that’s the cool kind of find I’m always looking for when I go exploring. My favorite part of the expedition was finding a Buddhist church. In Thailand, Buddhist temples were everywhere, but never a church. Weird and cool.
As far as finding and/or making time for myself and my hobbies, it takes creativity. There’s that strategic balance of being a good husband, a good dad, and still getting some “free time” anyway I can. Even now, as I write this, it’s 11:08 on a Monday night- my wife and son are sound asleep; I’ll be waking up at 6 AM to get ready for my “real job”.
My free time often translates as “time when I’m the only one awake,” as well as, “time during which most normal parents would be asleep if they had the chance.”
I’m one of those people who functions strangely well on less than six hours of sleep each night. If I wasn’t, The Dadabase would be on life support right now.
Add a Comment
baby blog, blogging, Buddhist, California, Chinatown, dad, daddy blog, Daddy Dates, Epcot Center, exploring, hobby, parenting, Sacramento, Thailand, time management, weird | Categories:
Home Life, Nostalgia, Storytelling, The Dadabase, Writing
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
Ever since he was born last November, Jack has never been afraid of anything. In fact, things that should scare him to the point of crying are actually the things that make him laugh. On the other hand, when people try to make him laugh by being silly, he just sort of gives a blank stare, as if to say, “What? That’s all ya got?”.
Just to be clear on what doesn’t scare Jack, I often speak to him in my Freddy Krueger voice while making my Freddy Krueger face, saying things like, “How’s this for fine dining?” while feeding him his bottle. Or during playtime and he’s crawling on the floor I’ll chase him while crawling myself, again in Freddy Krueger mode: “Come here, son. I eat babies for breakfast!”. And he grunts with delight.
One particularly fun and unsafe game I play with Jack is when I throw a thin blanket over him. As he tries to remove it, waving his arms, he looks like a generic ghost from Scooby Doo. It usually only takes a few seconds for him to reappear and as soon as he does, he’s always laughing.
With that being said, we finally found something that scares Jack. Recently we ate at a restaurant meeting some friends for breakfast. Oddly enough, the place we ate was adjoined to a PetCo pet store. So we decided to check out the live animals for some Saturday morning entertainment.
Jack loved the dogs, birds, fish, and even the smelly weasels- or were they ferrets?
But on our way out the door, we realized we had totally missed the cats when we had entered the PetCo. As I held Jack in my arms, walking closer to the caged cats that happened to be at Jack’s eye level, he started crying a different kind of cry than I am used to hearing from him. It wasn’t “I’m hungry” or “I’m tired.” Instead, it was the rare “I’m scared! Get me out of here!”.
In particular, there was a black cat with green eyes that started creeping toward Jack. Though in a cage, it really freaked him out. To be fair, the cat truly was a bit creepy; all panther-like and whatnot.
The fearless and adventurous Indiana Jones was known for being terrified of snakes. Looks like the equally daring Jack has found his weakness in the feline form.
Add a Comment
*These pictures were taken at a random mini-amusement park in Lodi, California; the same city that was featured in the 1969 song “Lodi” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, containing the lyrics, “stuck in ole Lodi again.”
1969, animals, baby blog, California, Creedence Clearwater Revival, daddy blog, fear, Freddy Krueger, funny, Indiana Jones, Lodi, PetCo, pets, Scooby Doo | Categories:
Growing Up, Nostalgia, Storytelling
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Though Jack has been attending day care for a couple of weeks now, I still have been wondering what it would be like when he would be exposed to another little boy about his age and size, in a different environment. I had these preconceived ideas that it might be difficult for them to get along, fighting over toys. I envisioned myself cringing, just waiting for the moment when one of them would smack the other in the forehead with a wooden block or a Matchbox car.
I guess I forgot that infant boys don’t have that much testosterone, yet. Fortunately, Jack’s first encounter with a buddy wasn’t at all as I bleakly imagined it. While in Sacramento last week, we visited Jill’s childhood friend, Paula; she and her husband had their first child just a few months before Jack was born.
It was funny to observe Jack and Evan (Paula’s son) playing next to each other from the same toy box. Several times they reached for the same toy, then they would both simultaneously back off from it, as if to say, “No, it’s cool. You go ahead. You saw it first.”
If only we lived in a world with “baby subtitles,” where we adults could translate what our children are saying to us and each other.
For most of the visit, I imagined in my head what their conversations were like as they were playmates:
“So, you’re Evan? Yeah, my mom has talked a lot about you. Actually, I’ve seen a lot of your pictures on Facebook. There’s this one where you’re wearing one of those taxi cab driver hats. My mom got me one of those but I kept taking it off because I can’t stand having stuff on my head. It makes me itch.”
“Yep, I’ve heard of you too. I wonder why our moms are laughing at us right now. I’m hungry. Let’s eat. Wahhhhh!!! Waahhhh! Ehhhhh…”.
“Okay, sounds good. Bluhhh!!! Mehm-mehm-mehm-mehm…”.
Being that Jill and Paula grew up together and remain friends despite the long distance and that they still see each other at least once a year when we fly out to California in the summer, I think it’s safe to say that Jack and Evan will grow up knowing each other too. Even if that means just one actual play date a year and in the meantime their Mommies pointing to a Facebook picture, saying, “Look, here’s your buddy.”
Jack has made his first friend.
Add a Comment
babies, baby boy, California, Carlos, childhood, daddy blog, Jack, mommy, playmates, Sacramento, subtitles, testosterone | Categories:
Growing Up, Home Life, People, Recaps, Story Bucket, Storytelling
Thursday, November 25th, 2010
Week 1 of Jack’s life.
In the Season One finale of dad from day one, I promised an interesting plot twist. So here in this premier of Season Two, I’m letting everyone know my own meaning of the phrase “Sweet Home Alabama”.
As I explained in due date, a common trait of ‘80’s sitcoms was that a family was introduced to an outsider who suddenly moved in their home, therefore creating a new sense of “normal”. An exception was Just the Ten of Us, where the Lubbock family moved from the state of New York (the setting of Growing Pains, which it was a spin-off from) to California. Dad from day one will be combining both of those plot devices: the newcomer and the new setting. Next Saturday morning, December 4th (on the 4th day of Hanukkah- for any Jewish readers out there) we will pack up our PT Cruiser and Element for the 2 ½ trip (not counting baby delays) from Nashville, TN to the small mountain/valley town of Fort Payne, AL (pop. 14,000 not including illegal immigrants) where I was raised.
Something that makes this really interesting is when I am asked: “So do you have a job lined up?” Nope. That’s part of the reason we are so briskly making the Hometown Migration- so I can search full time for a new job during the whole month of December while living off leftover paychecks and savings. Despite having nearly five years of career experience involving sales, doing trade shows, hiring, and training, I am not naïve to think that a new job will magically appear the week we move to Alabama.
However, I have this belief that as a follower of Jesus Christ, God knows I will make a lot of noise and commotion honoring Him before and after He answers my prayer. And since I believe that glorifying God in all things is the ultimate meaning of life, I am confident that at the right time, God will provide for me so that I can provide for my family. As Jesus put it, when a child asks his father for bread or fish to eat, his father doesn’t give him a stone or a serpent instead. I love that example.
In Fort Payne, we will be living less than three miles from not only my parents but also my sister and her husband. We know that this quiet town will not only be the right place for Baby Jack to grow up, but also the most practical place for my wife and I to care for him- to be able to watch him grow up slowly, as compared to seeing him only a couple of hours a day in a big city life. There is no mall in Fort Payne; only a Super Wal-Mart. There are oddly no Italian restaurants, which will be difficult for Baby Jack, my wife, and myself who all happen to be a quarter Italian and need marinara sauce and garlic bread in order to function properly. And sadly, for my wife, there is no Starbucks: I think the nearest one is about an hour away.
A lifestyle without malls, Italian restaurants, and Starbucks is precisely what the three of us need. Because despite leaving all those so-called conveniences behind, we will be able to slow down the pace of life to the speed it needs to be. My wife and I are extremely happy about the move. In a sitcom it’s pretty normal for each new season to bring about new characters on the show. New characters, new city, new plotlines, here we come.
Add a Comment
American Baby, baby, California, Christianity, dad from day one, Fort Payne, Hanukah, Hanukkah, Honda Element, illegal immigrants, Italian, Italian food, Jesus, Jesus Christ, moving back home, Nashville, parenting, sitcom, Sweet Home Alabama, TV shows | Categories:
People, Spirituality, Storytelling, The Dadabase