December 30, 2004


Nutmeg, our cat, is by most accounts a pretty spoiled kitty. She gets treats for scratching on her post, letting us trim her claws when they get too sharp, or just being really cute. The treats we give her are crunchy, “tartar control”, turkey flavored treats – and she has been happy to get them.

Until this week.

Our good friends Chris & Christy had dinner with us last week and brought a Christmas gift for us and for Nutmeg. She got a catnip pillow, a feather on a stick, and a bag of soft chicken and cheese flavored treats.

I first gave her some of these treats a few days ago. Nutmeg quickly learned the difference between the treats. Now, she closely inspects them to see if they are the yummy, soft chicken and cheese or the boring, crunchy turkey. It’s quite a sight to see her turn away from the crunchy ones and walk away – as if to say, “I don’t do crunchy.”

I guess once you’ve had caviar, it’s hard to go back to Cheese Whiz.

December 26, 2004

Happy Kwanzaa

Today, I attended my first Kwanzaa ceremony. The first symbol is Umoja or Unity and as I watched Patrice, our guide, discuss the history and meaning of Kwanzaa to the children gathered around her, I realized just how important it is to learn about culture and those that came before you. As I approach fatherhood, I know that I want that for my children. I want them to know where they come from. I want them to know about their black history, their Mexican history and everything in between. That way they will be one step closer to being a united world than what we have right now.

Happy Kwanzaa.

December 25, 2004

Happy Birthday Jesus

The church we attend does not yet have a facility so mass is celebrated at the local high school gymnasium.

As the end of midnight mass came near, I glanced up into the rafters of the gym and noticed a mylar balloon that had floated to the ceiling.

It read, “Happy Birthday”

Merry Christmas everyone.

December 24, 2004

Bumper Sticker Wisdom

Seen on a car this Christmas Eve…

“When God said “Love your enemies,” I’m thinking He probably meant, “Don’t Kill Them.”

December 21, 2004

So much for paying for college

I called a well-known child development center (i.e. daycare) near where we live today to inquire about infant care. I explained we are having twins and I need to know about local programs – especially cost.

After hearing about their 1:4 staff to infant ratio and their individualized curriculum for each infant, she got to the cost.

“Are you sitting down” She asked. (It’s never a good thing when someone is about to quote you a price and they are concerned whether you’re sitting or standing.)

“The cost is $245 per week per child – but you would get a 10% sibling discount on the second baby.”

I thanked her but I don’t really remember much more of our conversation. The number FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE kept running through my head. Per week. Fifty-two weeks per year. Over $24,000 a year.


December 20, 2004


My brother and his wife Liz just had a baby boy. My conversations with my brother have centered around parenthood since he is experiencing it for the first time and I’m trying to take notes on all of the nuggets of wisdom he has learned so far (most of the tips have centered around changing diapers but I hope there’s more to parenthood than changing diapers – perhaps not).

Inevitably, we compare his experience with what I’ll encounter when I have two. I get a little nervous feeling when my brother says things like…

“Dude, you are so screwed.”

December 12, 2004

A Glimpse of the Future

December 8, 2004

Family Ties

Thomas Dow entered the world today to meet his parents Benjamin and Elizabeth. Thomas was a little eager and arrived a month early but with much excitement. Little Thomas weighed 5 lbs. 10 oz. and was 19 inches long and is perfectly healthy.

I spoke to my brother today. He called to tell me the good news at about 9:30 a.m. The joy in his voice was so strong that I too felt some of that joy that comes with being a parent for the first time. I am so happy for Ben and Liz. I am so happy for little Thomas because he has two great parents. I am happy for our family because Thomas was named after my father – more than 27 years after his death – and will bring gentle reminders of a father, husband, brother and son lost too soon.

As you know, Andrea and I are expecting twins in June. But today is one of the few days where I haven’t thought much about that. Instead, my thoughts are with my younger brother and his family. I am proud to see the type of man he has become and I’m even more proud to know that he is going to be a great father – something he didn’t have himself growing up.

I’m sure he’ll teach Thomas the important things like what the Infield Fly Rule is, or when to go “All In” in poker. But I also know he’ll be great at the little things – reading a favorite children’s book over and over again, building spaceships out of Legos, or snuggling on the couch while watching a ball game.

Thomas, you are one lucky kid. I’ll be sure to tell you that one day.

December 5, 2004

Sign of the Times

When I was a kid, I used to hate it when it rained on the weekend, because I couldn’t go out and play after a long week at school.

As I got older – into adulthood – I hated it when it rained on the weekend because then I couldn’t go out for a run or go to the beach after a long week at college or work.

Now, as an adult I hate it when it rains on the weekend because I can’t mow the lawn.

Sometimes being a grown-up sucks.

December 4, 2004

Running in Circles

Andrea’s friend Karla is visiting us this weekend. Karla lives in Denver, Colorado where the temperature is near absolute zero right now. So, today she HAD to go running on our warm California beach. Andrea, being pregnant, obviously could not run with her. So, I was recruited to run with her and I willingly agreed. That was before I saw that it was raining icicles at our “warm” California beach.

As we got out of the car, raindrops began to fall. We ran through the dry sand towards firmer sand along the water line. Snowgirl didn’t seem bothered by the deluge of subzero rain that was cascading on the beach as we trudged along through wet sand. About 3 minutes into the run, it began to pour. Hair product began dripping into my eyes and my clothes began to stick to my body. My legs began to tighten up as I tried to keep up with Mountain Girl. As she reveled in more oxygen than she’s had in years, I tried to calculate a way to get out of this Arctic wind. I appealed to whatever good sense Karla has in her by asking if we could cut down our 30 minute run to 20 minutes.

She agreed, and in a few minutes it was time to turn back. We headed back towards the car and I started to play mind games to distract me from the numbing pain and cold that had taken over my body. The Snow Queen started running zig zags back and forth in front of me so I could keep up with her. Finally, I spotted the point where we had started. She decided to keep going and I left the Winter Woman to finish her run alone.

I made it back to the warmth of my car to find Andrea all warm and toasty sitting in the car waiting for us. She laughed as she saw me looking like a wet dog. As I got into the car, I told her:

“You Colorado women are crazy.”

Next Page »

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: