Friday, November 30, 2007

Shout outs...

To Mamma Cindy:

I'm thrilled you enjoyed the comments, but please, no tears! As a computer teacher, I can say that any form of water near your "old machine" might actually be "bad" for it...which, I say selfishly, would be bad for me because you wouldn't be able to post any new material for me to read!!! (ha ha)... I tip my hat to you (using my LEFT hand, of course!)...

To Mommy Kalisekmet:

A new artist I am pleased to "meet", a fellow Reisling fan, and, most importantly, the first person I have ever met to use the word "nascent" in a sentence...I even had to look it up!!!!!! NICE!!!

To "Ohmommy":

As life gets "busier", keep that Syrah on hand! Thoust will undoubtedly find much comfort in thy glass *grin*

Happy Holidays - you ladies rock!

Thank Goodness for Babies!

For the past three years, my partner and I have hosted a Christmas party for close friends and family (which usually turns into about 70 people!!!). This year, however, with the arrival of our son, we have opted to forgo the event in an effort to keep a few coffers in the old wallets. This decision, of course, has not been extremely popular with some of our friends, as they look forward to the chance to come together in the spirit of the season to raise a glass to peace. Ok. Let's just be honest here. Glasses are raised so often that inevitably someone is dared to: jump into the pool/start a bonfire in the fire pit and burn anything in sight/eat the rest of "x" mixed with "y" (note: "x" and "y" in this occasion are always two items that should never under any circumstances be paired, except under this particular dare). I think you get the point. And, being teachers ourselves, most of our friends are also in the field of education - this is an important point....

Yes, there is some tom-foolery that traditionally occurs, but here is a little secret of which most people aren't aware: educators, when given the opportunity to let their hair down privately, are about the most wild group of people you may encounter....I know, I know, now you are picturing your favorite teacher from your elementary years standing on a couch in someone's living room, more than a little inebriated, singing love songs to a half-eaten sandwich made of sour kraut and Christmas maybe it's just best if you cling to the innocent images of your favorite teacher you had prior to reading this post and forgive me for spoiling those happy thoughts of yester-year...

Anyway, canceling this event was a let-down to our friends, but people were quick to step up to the plate and arrange parties of their own to keep the proverbial yule log on the bonfire. As such, invitations have started to trickle in, each with their own special seasonal twist...the most recent requires all attendees to find and proudly don the most ridiculous, over-the-top holiday sweater and, of course, arrive with the beverage of their choice...

And pause. I am suddenly glad that I am a papa. I am 29 years old, but I have always been an "old soul". I have officially entered into the realm of parenthood, and therefore have an easy "out" for these events. I don't know what it says when a grown male would rather spend the evening speaking jibberish to his 4-month baby than listening to jibberish from his 30-year old friends...All I can say is thank Goodness for Babies!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Unexpected Inspiration

In case you were wondering, I am completely new to this whole "blog" thing. And, as a new blog writer, I can admit to placing quite a bit of pressure on myself to produce something that is worth reading, in turn forcing me into a writer's block. And yet I am in love...

I love the possibility of connecting with new people, maybe from around the block, and maybe from around the globe...

I love the opportunity to share ideas that may otherwise be left to collect dust in the nooks and crannies of my brain...

I love to challenge my ideas and my ways of thinking, because through this challenge I hope to never become "so comfortable" that I forget that not everyone thinks like me...

and, of course, I love to write about those things most important to me - my partner, my son, my job, my beliefs -these things inspire me- because I am so very proud of my family and of where I am in life, that I feel they deserve to be "shouted about" from the highest electronic mountaintop possible.

But I found a new inspiration the other day, and I must admit it was quite unexpected...I have been searching for a way to pull up random blog entries to read (and not blog entries with "random" in the title...frustrating!). Anyway, the best I could do was type in different subjects into my trusty "Google Blog Search" that I might be interested in reading about. Well, during this quest, I happened upon a blog entry that caught my attention. In it, a mother described a recent trip to the mall to see Santa with her son and her daughter. After getting a chuckle about a certain reaction to the mall Santa, I decided to read other posts by this author.

Needless to say, I spent the next 30 minutes reading previous posts and reflecting upon this stranger's experiences. And the crazy thing is, while I was instantly drawn to the reality and the truth that this mother shared, I was able to find something I wasn't even looking for, nor even knew I needed: affirmation.

Sure, nothing this mom said had anything to do with me directly -- that's just the point. In reading about her experiences, her joys, her sadness, I found I was able to relate to so much of what she was saying. It's nice to know that, even at our lowest of lows or at our highest of highs, we are never alone. There is always someone, somewhere, who is needing that glass of wine or that parenting manual just like you...

I'd like to say "Thank You" to the mother/blog author who offered me a little unexpected inspiration. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Check her out...

Happy Journeys!

Monday, November 26, 2007

'Tis the Season

Ah, the holidays....growing up, this was always my favorite time of year. Of course, I have always been very close with my family, and this season just gave us an excuse to get together and share a lot of laughter (sure, there were arguments too, but those just come with the territory when a fundamentalist grandmother starts in on her liberal daughters and grandchildren....Good Times!)...

Anyway, now that I am "all grown up" with a family of my own, I was excited to start creating some holiday magic. As it turns out, that magic MUST be found only at the bottom of a glass or five of your favorite wine (mine would be riesling). My partner's mother and sister came in for Thanksgiving. On their own, they were marvelous. However, when you add their incessant craving for shopping to the mix, watch out! To be fair, we do live in a city centered on tourism, and therefore one might understand their need to "see the sights," and rid their pocket books of a few dead presidents while at it.

Being the non-shopper that I am, I did try and reason with my partner, promising him that I could get a bunch of house-work done while he took his family out shopping. On the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday. With like a billion people. But my feeble attempts were to no avail, as he made some "logical" excuse about my need to spend time with the family.

So here is where I found my holiday issue. While in a large mall, our son managed to soak himself, rendering his very cute holiday outfit un-wearable. To top it off, the water I had placed in bottles in the diaper bag managed to succeed in its efforts to escape bottle-prison, and thus saturated everything in the bag, grandma's video camera, and the extra formula while still leaving a large pool on the ground under the stroller. Did I mention that there were at least a billion people in the mall that day? partner and I were off to find the nearest restroom, which was, of course, at least 5 miles away.

When we reached our much sought-after destination, we were excited to find that this mall provided 2 family restrooms (as you can imagine the looks we get when we take our son into the mens' room and there is NO baby change table...*sigh*). So, yes, we were thrilled to see 2 family restrooms; however, both were occupied. Minutes before we arrived, woman-kind must have received a signal to use the restroom as well, as what seemed to be thousands of women had descended upon the womens' room. We thought that there had to be someone famous in there - maybe even the entire cast of Days of Our Lives - to attract such a large number of ladies at the same time (ha ha...just kidding...sorry about the stereotype!). Apparently two women weren't fans of the show, though, because they jumped ship and headed to the family rooms. We arrived just after they got in line.

By this time we have a fussy baby in wet clothes, a drenched diaper bag still leaking into the stroller, and two very frantic daddies trying to make sense of it all. We were second in line, as we assumed that the two ladies in front of us were a family and needed to use the restroom for some family-related bathroom use. But what they say about "assuming" is true; when one of the family rooms finally became available, in stepped ONE of the women.

Ok. Wait a minute. Clearly I must have misunderstood the purpose of the "familyroom" concept. Here it is the holiday season, we are three very distressed people just looking for a little dryness, and there are two women who blatantly decide to cheat in the fundamental bathroom rules of order?

Eventually, we did make it into the familyroom, and we were able to salvage enough "dryness" to piece together a suitable change of clothes for our son, and we were able to sop up the remaining water and ultimately reclaim a sense of control over our lives. But only AFTER waiting for two cheaters.

And so, to those two women out there, where ever they may be, I'd like to say one thing:

"Happy freakin' Holidays!" and the teacher in us would add "Next time, it will be to the back of the line for YOU!"

I need another glass of riesling :)


Friday, November 23, 2007

Our Corner of the Universe

Clearly parenthood isn't easy. Apparently, there is no parenting manual that new parents are given when they bring a new life into their home. And, even though it may be a very good idea, as of now no parenting courses or tests are required before people can become parents. In fact, no planning or preparation is required at all for most people to enter into the realm of parenthood.

Enter two men who, after some serious research, more classes than they'd care to admit, and several major "road-blocks", suddenly found themselves thrust into the roles of "papa" and "daddy" to one very adorable 3-month old baby boy. And, after only almost 2 months, we are here to say that clearly parenthood isn't easy. But it is absolutely the greatest thing either one of us has had the opportunity to experience in our entire lives.

This blog series is dedicated to the journey of two men and their baby. There is no great "master plan" for topics...but, as I am usually a very reserved individual, I look forward to the opportunity to share my thoughts with you, whoever you may be! So whoever you are, welcome to our corner of the universe. We wish you well on all your life's travels!