May 30, 2005

Here’s one way to pay for the babies

Why didn’t I think of this A woman has decided to sell advertising space on her baby. We’ve got two babies on the way and we could make some serious cash with double the advertising space available.

If you have a business out there, let’s talk.

May 27, 2005

Simple Pleasures

Today I shared a moment with the woman who was driving the car next to me in traffic as we both realized we were both singing to Maroon 5‘s “This Love” on the radio. We smiled and sheepishly looked away – slightly embarrassed by being caught rocking out in the car – but my smile stayed long after the song ended.

That’s what this world needs – more Maroon 5 and less road rage.

May 25, 2005

I’m a little bit country…

I spent the first 8 years of my life living in a small country town, population: 500 (which is now a thriving metropolis of 2,800). Because of this upbringing, I was influenced by country music as a youngster. In fact, my first live concert was seeing John Denver at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Since then, I have turned away from my country roots and embraced a wide array of music. Over the years I have had my Heavy Metal phase (my mom hated AC/DC’s Back in Black), my decidedly Pop phase (I have far too many Mariah Carey CD’s), and even a short-lived Rap phase (I saw MC Hammer in concert as well). In between I was influenced by the music my mother played in the house. I vividly recall songs from the Doobie Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Donna Summers, Pablo Cruise and Boz Scaggs, to name a few.

In recent years I have enjoyed crossover country musicians like Shania Twain and Faith Hill. However, it took Carrie Underwood to make me a Country Fan again. I admit, I’m smitten with the small-town country girl on American Idol. While I have watched the show since its inception, this is the first time that I have voted for someone. I have been phoning in my votes for the past several weeks – never wavering, always voting for my girl Carrie. The past few weeks I was greeted by a message from Carrie when I got through (“Hi, thank you for voting for me, Carrie. Tune in tomorrow night at 9:00/8:00 Central to see the results”). Tonight, I was rewarded by Carrie winning the competition. I must say, I felt a certain amount of pride knowing that my votes may have been the ones that put her over the top.

Now, I guess I’ll have to buy her CD. Yay Carrie!

May 24, 2005

His car’s in the shop

Driving home in rush hour I notice the license plate frame of the car to my left reads “Sometimes Naughty, Always a Lady.”

As I passed the car I glance at the driver. It is a middle-aged man with a beard.

May 22, 2005

Late night shopping

Last night I had to make a run to the grocery store around 10:30 at night (after all, you can’t have home-made peach cobbler without vanilla ice cream!).

As I stood in line to pay, I noticed that everyone in front of me had, like me, only one or two items. It was interesting to imagine just what brought these people to the store for that item. They were…

1) Teenage boy with a small bottle of Elmers Glue.

2) Young man with a package of lunchmeat.

3) Young man with a package of toilet paper (Now, we KNOW what brought him in.)

4) Young man with a twelve pack of Budweiser.

5) Teenage girls with box of Cocoa Puffs and a gallon of milk.

6) Me with the vanilla ice cream.

If we all got together with our one item, that would be some party. (The glue guy could come because every party needs one of those.)

May 18, 2005

Things I don’t understand

In no particular order

1) People who don’t wear their seat belts

2) Blonde, female singers

3) Donald Trump Mania

4) The OC

5) Diet soda at fast food restaurants

6) People who still use their checkbooks to shop

7) The Wiggles

8) Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy (Hang in there Honey!)

9) How my wife can fit two big babies in her belly

10) How I can love those little guys soooooooo much.

May 15, 2005

Peace, Love, Believe, Hope, Dream

As Andrea and I wrapped up the finishing touches on the nursery, we found a wallpaper border that spoke volumes for what I envision for Swee’Pea and TheMonk. I am four weeks, at most, from being a father and all I think about is these two precious souls that I will be meeting soon. I am now, more than any other time in my life, acutely aware of who I am, and who I will have to be once these gifts are born. I am ready to be a father. I’m ready to foster joy, encourage dreams, give unconditional love, share hopes, know peace and teach an unadulterated belief in themselves.

I’m aware of the influence I will have on these children – good or bad. I know there will be hardships but I also know each moment will be special and not to be taken for granted. You see, impending fatherhood has given me a real sense of my own mortality. My father died when I was six years old. While I have vague memories of him I believe most of my memories are created through photographs that I have seen over the years. I do, however, remember how he smelled. To this day, whenever I smell something that conjures up the image of my father, I feel comforted.

At least I have a sense of who my father was. My younger brother was only a year old when he died and, I’m sure, has no real recollection of him. I can only imagine how hard it must be to have no memory of your father. I have always done the best I can to be there for my brother but I know that there is no substitute for the real thing.

And that has got me thinking about my own situation. I so badly want to be there for my children. I want to see their first smiles, their first steps, hear their first words, hear them say “Daddy” for the first time. I want to see them play sports, play music, or just… play. I look forward to seeing them grow up – a series of milestones that include baptisms, first communions, first days of kindergarten, graduations, marriages and grandchildren. I want them to know how much their father loves them and that I will always be there for them – in a way I, nor my brother, never had.

When I was younger I often wondered if I would know what it is to be a father. Not having a father role-model made me scared that perhaps I wouldn’t be up for the task. But now, I know better. The love I have for these two beautiful babies leads my thoughts and my actions. Love comes first and I know that love is enough to start.

The rest I’m just gonna have to figure out.

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May 4, 2005

Baby News

We had a doctor’s appointment today. Andrea is doing great but her belly is now the size of someone who is 10 months pregnant. Andrea told the doctor about a sharp pain she feels on the left side of her belly when she applies pressure to a specific spot. The doctor surmised it’s painful due to ligaments attached to her uterus being stretched beyond what one would normally expect. Ouch.

The rest of the visit was a good one. The babies are still high up and the cervix is still closed. The doctor shared with us that he wants us to get to 38 1/2 weeks before we have the babies but would be thrilled if we got past 36 weeks. Right now we are at 32 1/2 weeks. That means we have six more weeks (at the most) until the babies are born. For so long I’ve been equating our weeks as months and somehow “2 months away” sounds a lot further than saying “8 weeks away.” Now that we’ve reached 4 to 6 weeks until parenthood, it makes it even more real and exciting.

The only down side right now is that Andrea has a virus and it’s making her miserable. We’re talking about her leaving work in two more weeks but I’d support her if she wanted to stop now. She’s a trooper though, so she just might stick it out. Of course, the longer she waits to take off before the babies are born, the longer she can stay with the babies before returning to work.

On that note, I found out today that the Y will let me use my sick and vacation time if I use the Paid Family Leave (which will pay me 60% of my salary) to make my paycheck “whole.” This means that I won’t have to use all of my sick time to stay home with the babies for the 7 to 8 weeks that I was hoping to. Isn’t it great we leave in a time where fathers can take time off to be with their babies I feel very fortunate.

May 1, 2005

Fashion to the Stars

The fashion show was yesterday to benefit our Y. It was my job to meet with our celebrity guests and go over their duties prior to the show. The event was outdoors and the runway was about 4 feet off the ground. The guests will be treated to entertainment while they eat lunch. Umbrellas have been erected to protect guests from the sun but, unfortunately, the umbrellas block the view of the runway – they will have to be removed prior to the actual show. We have a full schedule before the show begins, however, and our celebrity guests will be assisting with our live auction. This will happen during lunch.

As I mentioned, it was my job to go over the last minute details with our guests. Brittany Hogan, Miss California 2005 (and Miss USA First Runner-up)is the first to arrive. She is dressed in a tasteful skirt/suit and is clutching a small bag that, no doubt, holds her crown. I introduce myself and as we begin to talk, it becomes apparent that she is really down to earth. We go over the script and then I show her the runway and where she’ll be seated.

As we head back inside, I am informed that Brody Hutzler has arrived so we go to meet him. I ask Brittany if she has met Brody before and she replies “He was one of the judges at the Miss USA pageant.” I laugh and say, “Well now you can ask him who he voted for!” As we approach Brody he is dressed in a striped shirt with a lightweight blazer/jacket. He is wearing stylish faded jeans with Chuck Taylor-type shoes. I make the introductions and start out by saying “Brittany wants to know if you voted for her, Brody.” He laughs and says that’s highly confidential information but he’d give Brittany all the details later, hinting that he found some of the other judges’ view interesting.

After going through the script with both of them we head back outside as I escort them to their seats. On the way, Brittany comments on how she likes Brody’s outfit. I sarcastically add, “Yeah, Brody, thanks for dressing up for us.” He looks at me, realizes I’m teasing him (this is a fashion show, after all) and replies defensively while laughing, “Hey, they told me they had an outfit for me but the pants didn’t fit.” “So, the high water look isn’t for you, huh” I said. “Noooo.” replies Brody.

“Well, don’t worry Brody,” I reply “The runway is eye level and the umbrellas will still be up when you talk so the only thing they’ll be able to see are your shoes.” We glance down at his Chuck Taylors and laugh.


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