October 28, 2006

500 posts

This is my 500th post. Now, it’s not really my 500th post because when I switched over from blogspot I deleted a bunch of very sporadic posts but it’s close enough and it has caused me to think about how this blog has evolved over the years. The earlier posts were pre-kids. Pre-pregnancy, even. But now, this blog is, unapologetically, a daddy blog. I have made a conscious decision that my posts will be about fatherhood, parenthood, or the kids. I do this because, for me, this has become a tool for me to document my journey of fatherhood and will allow my children a glimpse into this part of their lives.

But it can also be a tool to let them glimpse into my life. How do I see the world? What is important to me? What other areas of life deserve to be looked at in an irreverant way? Lately, I have avoided topics that shed light on me. And maybe I should change that.

Adding to this, and I try not to give this too much thought, but there are now other readers to this little corner of the blogosphere than family, friends, and my in-the-future children. I still find it a little amazing that between 300 and 400 different people read what I put up here on a daily basis. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think that was a little cool. Which leaves me to ask each of you reading this, “Why do you keep coming back?” What is it that you like about what I write here? Would you be interested in more about me and a little less about my kids (because, frankly, I don’t see the main focus changing away from TheMonk and Bri.)? I’m just curious.

Finally, this is relevant because I am contemplating joining Fussy’s little NaBloPoMo project for the month of November. To do this there is no way I could write soley about TheMonk and Swee’Pea for 30 straight days. I’m going to give it a try and we’ll see what I can throw up here that will be both appealing to read and fun to write. If it becomes too much of a chore then we’ll see. Of course, to help me, I’m going to break out Maggie’s book and see what I can come up with.

Here’s to the next 500 posts.

Update: Upon further review, it appears unlikely I will be able to post every day due circumstances beyond my control. Mainly, life. So, I will post as often as I can. How’s that?

October 27, 2006

Eat Mor Chikin

There is a new, fancy mall opening up near our house. It has been highly anticipated – not so much for the shopping but for the restaurants that will be there (think, Cheesecake Factory). The mall officially opened up for business today and as a promotion, the local Chik-Fil-A restaurant announced that the first 100 people to spend $25 or more at this mall would win a year’s worth of free meals at Chik-Fil-A upon proof of purchase.

I wasn’t really thinking about this promotion but I wanted to see how the new mall was looking so I drove by this morning on my way to work. I noticed that only one store was open – and it happened to be a Starbucks. Not one to pass up the chocolately goodness of a Starbucks Mocha, I decided to stop in. Once in line, I overheard people talking about making $25 worth of Starbucks purchases so they could get their free Chik-Fil-A. Seizing upon the moment, I bought a travel mug along with my mocha and headed over to Chik-Fil-A.

I was number 99 out of 100 to receive my free meals. How many breaded chicken sandwiches can one have? We’re about to find out.

October 23, 2006

A picture is worth a thousands words

Thank God too. Because I cannot think of one word, let alone one-thousand words.

So I’m falling back on the old standby… Cute pics of my kids. Check ‘em out.

A sample…

Swee'Pea Pouting

October 22, 2006

Raspberry Kisses

The song Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle is a song played at so many weddings. It makes me cry every time I hear it. Every time. I can’t help but think of Swee’Pea as I listen to the words. And as I have listened to this song lately I have begun to think how this song might have been written for my little boy. So, I changed the lyrics, while thinking of TheMonk. If you’re not familiar with the song, it might be hard to imagine the lyrics in context, but if you do know the song, hopefully you’ll recognize that these lyrics match those of the original.

In my life there’s a special joy
It’s holding the hand, of my little boy.

As I play by his side in the light of the morn
He laughs at Daddy while I smile wide
And I thank God for all of the joy in my life
But most of all…

For Raspberry Kisses and big hugs to share
Trying to tame the curls in his unruly hair
“Can you teach me how to throw it daddy straight and true”
“Thanks for the bike Daddy. I love you.”
And for all that I thought being a father would be,
I didn’t count on… Laughter every morning and raspberry kisses at night.

Sixteen years old today…
Wanting the car keys and he’ll be on his way.
Growing up right before my eyes
First learning his colors then becoming so wise
Becoming a man in this great big world…

But I remember…
Raspberry kisses and big hugs to share
Trying to tame the curls in his unruly hair
“You know how much I love you Dad, but if you don’t mind.
I’m gonna go and hang out with my friends this time.”
And for all that I thought being a father would be,
I didn’t count on… Laughter in the morning and big bear hugs at night.

Where went all the time?
In the blink of an eye it was by.
Once my little guy
Now ready to say good-bye.

His life will change today.
He’ll make a promise to love her more everyday.
Watching him all dressed up – so very handsome.
He looks at me and smiles and say’s, “Hey Dad, What’s up?”
I say, “I’m just so proud of my Baby Boy.”
And he comes over…
Gives me a big bear hug with his mama there
Trying to tame the curls in his unruly hair.
“Thanks for everything Dad. I love you so.”
“How’s my tuxedo looking? It’s time to go.”

Oh for all that I thought being a father would be,
Those big bear hugs and raspberry kisses -
I couldn’t ask God for more, man this is what love is.

And I know I have to say goodbye, but I’ll always remember.
Those big bear hugs and raspberry kisses.

October 19, 2006

High Steppin’

Something clicked inside TheMonk this week.

Perhaps it was the beautiful weather.

Maybe Jupiter was aligned with Mars.

Or it could have been the sight of one little Swee’Pea walking about.

Whatever the reason, TheMonk took his first steps tonight.

We were playing together. TheMonk standing at the exersaucer while I sat on the floor about two feet away. Suddenly, TheMonk turned to face me. I could tell by the look on his face that he was contemplating history. I held out my hands and beckoned with encouragement. “C’mon, Monk! Come to Daddy!” He let go and then leaned toward me, his feet staying anchored to the ground. He fell forward like a giant (okay, a little) sequoia. I caught him, wrapped him in my arms and praised his effort. “Good job, Monk!”

I then re-positioned him and beckoned him again. This time he took a step and, once again fell into my arms. He laughed as I kissed his chubby cheek and showered him with praise. Again, I re-positioned him to try again.

This time, he looked into my eyes and I smiled an encouraging smile. I held my hands out so he would feel safe. He looked at me again, wanting reassurance that I was going to be there. “C’mon, Monkey! You can do it!” And then he did. He took three little steps with his little chubby legs and dived into my arms.

I scooped him into a large hug as Mommy and myself yelled “Yay!” TheMonk was so proud as he laughed out loud at his accomplishment. His little body shook with laughter then he melted into my arms. I kissed him again.

We tried a few more times, but he was clearly done trying for the day. As he went off to play I couldn’t help but think how quickly my little babies have become toddlers.

October 18, 2006


We’d put it off long enough.

Secretly, I’d hoped we could keep it going for the next 18 years. I mean, why mess with a good thing? The thought of going through the inevitable made me sick to my stomach and I tried to think of reasons for why we shouldn’t go through with it.

There’s a chill in the air. It’s not a good time.

The cat’s not ready. I don’t think we should.

The Padres lost. Now’s not a good time.

But finally, we’d run out of excuses. It was time. And, truth be told, we’d already started the long and difficult process a week earlier. The success we’d seen from that only reinforced our belief that we could no longer keep up what we knew had to change. I knew it. Andrea knew it.

And that is why we took away the binkies.

Now a week earlier we had taken them away during the day. TheMonk, we knew, would have the most trouble adapting to this but he didn’t seem too troubled without his binky during the day. The next step was nap and bedtime and this weekend we took the plunge. Oddly, it was Swee’Pea who refused to nap all weekend long. She chatted all nap long talking to TheMonk long after he had fallen asleep. By Sunday afternoon I almost lost my nerve. I almost pulled out the crack binky and gave my kid a hit the pacifier she so obviously wanted. But I didn’t do it.

And guess what? They survived. No more binkies. They’re not really babies anymore.

It kinda makes me sad.

October 17, 2006


If there is one thing that Swee’Pea does that is proof she is my daughter is the girl loves to talk. She starts talking the minute she wakes up in the morning and keeps on talking right up until sleepiness finally wins the battle over a flapping little mouth.

And one thing I really admire of the girl… She doesn’t let a little problem like not knowing many words keep her from talking.

Although she is adding words to her vocabulary at a dizzying rate. Between her sign language words and her verbal words, she is finding it easier and easier to communicate. She will tell you she wants something and she’ll even sign the word for something if we have trouble discerning what she wants. Her favorite snack is flavored corn puffs and it’s the cutest thing in the world to see her say “PUFF”.

And then there’s her ability to imitate sounds. She says back words at an amazing rate, sometimes even repeating phrases as we talk to her. And sometimes she imitates less desirable sounds…

After a full breakfast, TheMonk and Swee’Pea play with Mommy in the playroom. After bouncing TheMonk up and down on the large stability ball, Mommy puts him down on the floor. As TheMonk sits down he emits a huge burp that echoes across the room (“Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrp!”). (Which is, unfortunately, also proof that TheMonk is, indeed, my son)

Suddenly, a little girl who is playing by herself nearby looks up, opens her mouth and says… “Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrp!” Mommy, unable to hide her smile, breaks out into a laugh. Swee’Pea, seeing Mommy laugh, joins in. And just for good measure adds one more “Burrrrrrrrrrrrrp!”

That’s my girl.

October 15, 2006


We play on the floor, both TheMonk and Swee’Pea climbing all over me. We laugh and giggle as we roll on the floor. Both TheMonk and Swee’Pea take turns crawling on my belly where I buck them like a Bronco as drool flies out of their mouths.

Suddenly, I am above them and Swee’Pea assumes the summersault position (head on the ground, feet on the ground, butt high in the air) which is my cue to flip her onto her back. She giggles with glee as she lands softly. TheMonk, having witnessed this scene, decides for the first time ever that he too wants to summersault. He too assumes the position and waits for Daddy to flip him. He laughs out loud and immediately scampers up to do it again.

Before you can say Acrobat, both TheMonk and Swee’Pea are scrambling up to do a summersault while Daddy does his own scrambling to keep up. Swee’Pea, the experienced summersaulter, is elegant and deliberate in assumming the position. TheMonk, on the other hand, is pure boy. He plops his head down so quickly that his forehead actually slides forward a bit as he sticks his little rump high into the air. He is good at this and if I don’t get there soon enough he will start to push off with his little feet trying to complete the summersault. He shows no fear as his little body goes tumbling out of control. He laughs hysterically – so full of joy it’s impossible not to join in.

Finally, we are all tumbled out. TheMonk and Swee’Pea both lie on their backs looking up toward the ceiling. I lean down and give them kisses before they go off looking for something else to do. As I watch them I try and burn what just happened into my memory so I don’t forget how really wonderful having these two in my life can be.

October 9, 2006

Baby Steps

You’re standing, holding onto the couch. I am seated on the floor about four feet from where you stand. I hold out my hands and beckon you with my fingers. “Come to Daddy.” I tell you.

You look at me, uncertain and a little frightened. But you also trust me so you align yourself up to face me. You look directly into my eyes as I raise my eyebrows and open my eyes wide as if to encourage you even more.

You take a breath and, suddenly, you are off. You throw out your arms as if you’re coming to give me a great big hug. Your eyes get wider and your smile breaks out into a laugh. Your little legs take stiff little steps that get more and more hurried with each step you take. By the third step you are almost running and your laugh has a hiccup-like quality that is both infectious and tinged with pure joy. As you near me you dive at me and I scoop you up into my arms and I smother you with kisses. You are so proud of yourself and you continue to laugh.

“Good job, Bri!” I tell you. You snuggle against me as you catch your breath. Within moments you are ready to try again and we begin the process once more.


It is moments like these that I sit on the fence of pride and sorrow. It is inevitable, my little girl, that you will grow up. One day, running into your daddy’s arms won’t have the same appeal as it does today and for that I am sad. But, at the same time, it is so wonderful to see you grow and learn and know that I get to play a part in everything you do.

You see, my Swee’Pea, your Daddy adores you. Your smile warms my heart and your laughter is a special sound that always conjures up such joy. I sometimes sit back and watch you from afar and I see you thinking and learning and taking leaps into the unknown and it makes me so proud that you are figuring these things out. Now and then you’ll involve me in your learning – which is so special to me. For example, you hold my finger with your little hand as you walk around the room. You are not quite ready for me to let go and I’m not quite ready for you to let go so we walk around the playroom exploring together – a little girl and her father sharing a moment the father will never forget.

Your tight grip on my finger is symbolic of what our relationship is and will always be. I will be there for you when you need me my precious one. I’ll offer the support you need to reach out and stretch. I’ll be there to encourage you to take the step into the unknown. And someday you won’t need to hold on so tight. One day you’ll take those steps without a thought of Daddy and you’ll head out and explore on your own.

But I will still be there.

I will watch from afar, ready to be there, ready to catch you but knowing that you will be fine. It’s what Daddies do for their little girls and I just want you to know that you’ll always be my little girl.

October 3, 2006

It’s better than chocolate

Okay, internet, why didn’t you tell me how kick-ass awesome this parenting thing is? I mean, you hear all about the crying, the pooping, the lack of sleep and you think, “Damn, maybe this having kids things is a bunch of crap.”

But then… THEN… you actually have these little ones and, okay at first they’re kind of a pain – I mean they DO cry and they DO poop (boy do they poop) – But THEN, they get cute as hell. And THEN they start saying words and THAT is just so cool. But wait, it gets even better. The next thing you know you walk through the door and the kids go bezerk! They shriek and smile and yell out “DADA!” as they crawl over and smother you with love. You get kisses and hugs (and an occasional eye-poke, but it’s worth it) and your entire totally crappy day spent dealing with self-involved adults who have no idea that you would rather be home with the two most beautiful little beings in the entire world is so worth it.

How come nobody told me about that? It’s okay. I forgive you. Because you couldn’t have done it justice anway. But damn, this parenting thing is awesome!


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

Join other followers: