Friday, December 12, 2008

Kid Stuff....Twenty-Plus Years Ago

As Husband and I prepare to brave the malls and toy stores in an admittedly-procrastinated effort to complete our holiday shopping, I can't help but to remember some of the better childhood toys I received way back when, as well as some of the other "kid stuff" that helped to shape my generation...I only wish some of these toys were still around today, because they were totally kick-butt! From the obvious to the more obscure, here are some do you remember 's for kids of the 80's....

*The original Transformer toys...Yeah, the live-action movie totally rocked, but you can't beat the original toys...definitely More than Meets the Eye! And do you remember the "original" Optimus Prime????

*G. I. Joe's...Can you still make the rapid-fire machine gun noise with your tongue? (Warning: Author assumes no responsibility for cleaning bills incurred or embarrassment received resulting from attempting rapid-fire machine gun noise in public. Attempt at your own risk).

*Banana-Seat Bikes...Whatever happened to them??...They were stylish and comfortable! Enough said.

*Atari and Colleco Game Systems...Because sometimes realistic graphics and complex soundtracks are of no help when you are trying to get your frog across the road.

*Fraggle Rock...wait for it....wait for it...ok...Cast your cares away - Worries for another day - Let the music play - Down in Fraggle Rock".

*Film Strips in school...Don't forget to press "Play" on the cassette player!

*Happy Meals...I'm talking the kind that came in a box...Eat, then play...Genius!

*Read-Along Books...Sure, the ones that came with records were good...and cassettes were great...but I had a Disney "Lonsome Ghost" book that had a device that, when slid across the page, would read the book to you, complete with sound effects....Way cool!

*He-Man and Masters of the Universe....waking up Christmas morning to Castle GreySkull set up under the tree, complete with the vehicle that had real boulder-pounding that was a Christmas.

*The Garfield Christmas Special...who knew John's grandma was a biker chick? I didn't see that coming!

*Sesame know, when it was good! No Elmo...Mr. Hooper was alive...can you tell me how to get BACK to Sesame Street?

*Reading Rainbow...But you don't have to take my word for it! ;)

*Christmas Trees that were NOT pre-lit...what Christmas would be complete without dad muttering strings of expletives under his breath as he diligently worked to get all of the light strands working on the tree? (Ok, so I am glad I get to reap the benefits of 20 years worth of technological advancements, but I can still enjoy the memories, right????).

Clearly, I could go on and on. But I won't. Feel free to add your own in a comment - I'd love to hear it!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Request...

I am the first to admit that my family is, well, less than traditional. There are obvious reasons for this (I'm from the North, Husband is from the South....) *ha ha ha* .... And there are the "not-so-obvious" reasons.

When I met Husband, he was in the final stages of a divorce (and no, there was no scandal here, sorry....if you want scandal, tune in to Days of Our Lives or C-Span...). While I am sure no divorce is easy, this divorce was particularly difficult, as Husband had grown extremely close to his extended family - so much so that I had the awkward (at the time) pleasure of being introduced to them, in much the same manner as any boy- or girl- friend would meet the parents. In my case, the awkwardness quickly dissolved, as I was accepted into this family unconditionally. To this day, we remain close - clearly not "traditional", but very much family. We now get together frequently with Husband's ex-wife and her family for holiday gatherings and birthdays.

I have chosen to provide you a little insight into my less-than-traditional family because I need to ask something very important of you, my readers....

Several days ago, Husband received word that his ex-wife's grandmother was admitted to the hospital after having trouble eating. Tests confirmed our worst fears. Yesterday, she was transferred to a hospice facility, and no one really has any idea how much longer she really has.

Any prayers or happy thoughts sent their way would be most appreciated. And I would also encourage each of you to take a little time out of your day to truly recognize and appreciate the value of your own friends and families, in whatever forms they may take.

I am thankful for the opportunity to share our view from our corner of the universe with you, and I look forward to providing continued updates, especially those in which I can offer a more light-hearted (and dare I say "random") perspective.

Until then, thanks for wading through the serious side of "His2Dads"... You all ROCK!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Little Moments

I don't know how it is for everyone else, but lately it has been very easy for me to sit back, take a deep breath, and live in the moment - knowing that, while there is a lot wrong in the world, everything is as it should be in my life right now.

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted our annual Thanksgiving Dinner - it started out as a group of teachers who were not going "home" for the holiday, and has turned into a gathering of friends and family from all over the city. As it happened, after dinner I found myself in the playroom with our son and my parents. Our son was kicking his mini-soccer ball at Grandma. For her part, Grandma was totally involved in this game, loving this time with her grandson. Unfortunately, Grandma got a little too involved, which resulted in her kicking the ball harder than she intended. As an observer, I was reminded of a cartoon - the ball struck our son square in the face, and he seemed to spin backwards head-over-heels at least 4 times before landing on his back (of course, the 3 glasses of wine I had consumed could have altered my perception...). Grandpa, Grandma, and I all held our breaths in anticipation of the reaction - and we were all shocked to hear giggles in place of the screams we were expecting.

As we laughed about my mother's over-exuberance and innate soccer ability, she asked if I even remembered life before we welcomed our son home.

This was one of those sit-back-and-sigh moments. Of course I remember life before bringing the little man home...but it was so fundamentally different. Everything has changed....literally everything. Things that were once important are all but forgotten, and things that were once mundane are now the highlight of my day.

Last night, my activities included some laundry, grocery shopping, dish washing, and some general tidying-up. Since Husband was at a meeting, it was just me and Bubs. Every step of the way, he was right next to me, often wanting to help. As I was transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer, he was waiting patiently for me to finish so he could close the dryer door. If he didn't feel like the hamper was in the right spot, he would move it to a place more to his liking (even if that place was in the middle of the walkway in the living room). He worked hard, allthewhile chatting away. Even though I have no idea what he was talking about now, I know that someday I will be able to understand him - so I am choosing to NOT wish these moments away. I'm happy to let him be himself - to explore, to help, and to be loved.

I know it is easy to see the bad in the world right now, and it is hard to escape. Take a moment, take a breath, and find peace *grin*

From our family to you and yours,

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Quick Update...

To those of you who know me as "MrJourneyman" as I reply to your posts....

I have changed my "handle" to "JustADad".

In any case, I promise to be the same goofball as ever!

Thanks for your patience as I go through my mini-identity crisis! *grin*

Life Happens.

Hello, friends!

I wish I could tell you that we have not updated our blog because our family ran off to join the circus, or that we are part of a top-secret organization of peace-keeping spies. I'd even settle for being able to say that we were placed in the witness protection program after testifying against an underground crime ring.

The truth, however, may not be as exotic -- Life Happened. Since February, we have been rolling with life's events, even as they have rolled over us. I want to offer my sincere apologies to those of you who visited the site, left comments, or wondered about our absence. You all rock!

Ten months is clearly a long time; I admit I feel a sense of "blogger obligation" (blogligation?) to share with you some "His2Dads Highlights". (Note: While I am anxious to get to the highlights, I have to tell you how much I like my new word....blogligation...the sense of obligation bloggers feel toward their readers to update their blogs...*laughs*....Go Me!). Ok, so on to the excuses...(er, highlights)....

*Husband, a generally normal and (dare I say!) predictable guy, managed to surprise us all this summer. He chose to leave the middle school classroom, trading his 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in for 2nd graders. SECOND GRADE! After 3 months in an elementary school, he says he loves it. I think he is crazy. Certifiable even. Ok, so I admit I am truly afraid of 2nd graders. Really. Don't judge. It's ok if he is crazy...we still love him.

*Not to be shown up by Husband, I decided to jump on the "major change" bandwagon myself. Unfortunately, when I jumped, my footing must not have been the best. I decided to leave the middle school classroom to become a middle school administrator. After 2-1/2 months, I arrived at the realization that the long hours and added stress were not as fun as they may sound. I made the difficult decision to resign that position and return to the classroom. Besides, I didn't really like having my own office or the freedom to use the restroom whenever I needed anyway (or something like that). But don't count me out of school administration yet...Retirement is a LONG way off - I may hit the gym so the next time I decide to jump, I can land in a comfortable seat on the bandwagon of change.

*Our son? Yeah. Sometimes I think he is sitting in the driver's seat of that change bandwagon. When I last posted a message, he was a relatively quiet baby who still relied upon Daddy and Papa for putting food in his belly and moving from point A to point B. Now? Here's what I can honestly say to you...he is not mobile. Oh no. He is more like "Oh-My-God-Catch-Him" mobile. To top it off, the boy can eat. I can only imagine what his teenage years will mean for our grocery bill. Overall, though, we wouldn't change a thing (except I am thinking of adding 6 inches of sand to our floor just to slow him down a sounds crazy now, but just you watch - just like "blogligation", "sandfloors" will be all the rage...Everyone will be doing it! The picture is a rare example of what he looks like when he is neither moving nor eating...

Ok. So we are back. We were gone for awhile - but remember, Life Happens.

Feel free to leave a comment to say hi! We look forward to hearing from you.

It's good to be back!

Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

He's got good tastes!

Our son is an American Idol freak. We had an inkling that something was up last week, but last night, his fanaticism was confirmed.

Husband and I are by no means eager to expose our son to the black hole that is known as television. Between his daddies and his grandparents, our son spends his time eating, playing, napping, and being read to and loved on by any given member of our household. The television may be on in the background, but usually we work to keep him occupied with something a little less 'brain mushing' than the boob-tube - take, for instance, a rousing session of baby-talk or peek-a-boo...

Husband and I, however, do enjoy a few "quality" (ha ha) programs, and American Idol is near the top of our list at the moment. So last night, husband and I were going through our nightly "settling in" procedure, preparing ourselves for a little AI action before bed. With dogs in crates, teeth brushed, and son in pajamas, all was looking promising as we prepared to enjoy (and, let's just be honest, criticize) the candidates' performances of 60's era tunes.

Husband turns on the television and DVR box at 8:20 (hey...there will be no commercial watching if we can help it!)...just as I am laying son down to sleep. As soon as the intro music comes on, son's eyes open and the fussiness commences. I pick son up and gently attempt to rock him in my arms, but to no avail. Son simply won't have any of it, and he fights to see the television. As soon as the first song starts, son is instantly calm (and glued to the television). As the first commercial break ensued, the fussiness resurfaced...husband couldn't fast forward fast enough! Again, a new song, and again, a calm baby.

By the third song, son was fast asleep and husband and I were left scratching our heads. I guess if our child is going to be addicted to something at 7 months, there are worse things that could capture his interest! I don't know if husband and I could stand to watch Teletubbies or Barney as we attempt to relax the day away!

Our son - his first words will probably be something like "that was just horrific" in Simon's trademark British accent...

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Over the past few days, I have had a lot of "quiet" time in my classroom, as my students have been completing their state-mandated high-stakes writing assessments. There is only so much "desk organization" a person can do while students are quietly working...

And so, I began to think about "thinking"... Given the time, it is amazing what the brain can come up with to fill the "boredom". So, as my students were occupied, I allowed my mind to wander. Over the course of about an hour, here are some of the "obsessions and/or captivations" on which I contemplated:
  • "Lost" - As we spent the entire day on Sunday "catching up" on Season 3 of Lost, it occurred to me that perhaps the title does not refer to the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815, but rather, to the audience that is trying to keep up with each new twist and turn of the show itself...
  • RV's - We are so fortunate to have been able to join some close friends on several RV excursions. I can't wait until we are able to purchase our own RV so that we can provide our son with the opportunity to explore "whole new worlds"...
  • The Cabin - My aunt and uncle built a cabin in the mountains of Montana over 30 years ago. Some of my earliest memories are of the time I spent at this magical place - and now, in a little over a month, I will be introducing my own son to the cabin (and, as such, will finally feel a little old!)...
  • Post Secrets - I'm not sure I have ever visited a more dramatic website. Some of the secrets will make you smile, while others are disturbing or sad. However, they all simply and distinctly human. Think the opposite of people watching -- thought reading...
  • You Tube - Only for the videos in which people are singing. If I could add one "ability" to my existence, it would be the ability to sing. There are so many talented people out there, and I love listening to them share their gifts...
  • Google - I often wonder how we made it through life without the power of Google. While it has tremendous educational potential, I enjoy Googling people I know. Give it a shot - you never know what you might find!
  • Do-It-Myself Projects - Our home is filled of D-I-M outcomes, some of which even look good! I'm ok with wood laminate flooring and paint, but clearly need some more work when it comes to cabinet refinishing. Oh well, maybe I'll start on them again soon...

I am sure I have many, many more obsessions and captivations. In fact, these were just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. However, now that I have shared, I would love to know what interests you. Please leave a comment and share - I love hearing from you!



Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Case of "BASE"

Recently, I have come down with a case of "BASE" (not to be confused with "Ace of Base", which I came down with briefly in the 1990s). BASE, or "Blog Avoidance Syndrome - Extreme", hit me over a week ago, and I am just now making my recovery.

There are relatively few symptoms associated with BASE; in fact, I myself experienced only one such sign - I could not bring myself to log in to my own blog, nor could I manage to read any of the amazing blogs that are out there. It's been a rough week, but I am glad to be back in action.

As parents of a 6 1/2 month old, we have had a relatively busy few weeks. When we first welcomed our son home, I was in awe of the power of the swing. In only three months, it seems we have 'graduated' to our next magical object - the walker. Husband and I decided to make this purchase after our recent trip to Florida, where our son got his first taste of the freedom of the walker.

Let me tell you, this has been one of the best $35 purchases we have made yet as parents. Of course, we are getting our first glimpse of what our son's mobility will do to our own lives, and have been forced to tell our son that he is forbidden to crawl or walk for several months since we made this purchase. Our dogs and cats have had to re-evaluate their nap spots, of course, as our son seems to lack the finer skills of braking or turning. But all in good time!

My mornings and evenings now consist of gently pushing my son away from me in his walker, whereby he "laughs" and tries to run me over (repeat this process at least 700 times, and you have a pretty good idea of my life). Let's just hope than when driving lessons come, I will have come up with a "new" way to teach our son...

We also experienced our 6-month check up last week. This time, husband was able to accompany us to the doctor. If you read my earlier post about our son's first round of shots, you can well imagine how I was using husband's presence to my advantage....

"I'm so glad you are here this time. You get to be the one to hold our son down while he
gets his shots. You will finally know how I felt."

(Ok, so maybe I was a little bitter....) Let me just take this moment to say that bitterness never pays off. Oh, it might feel good at the moment, but it always comes back to kick you in the butt. Now don't get me wrong...the last thing in the world I want is for my son to be in pain. I was simply expecting husband to experience what I went through during our last visit to the doctor's.

Bitterness put on a big ol' boot, and landed a square kick right to my bum. Our son barely fact, he almost laughed. Yay for the little man! On the outside, I was the proud papa I needed to be, but on the inside, I have to admit I uttered a little "hmph" at the situation...But I knew how to put things right in my world....I took 2 lolipops on our way out! So there! If husband wouldn't share in my "pain", I would at least get double the enjoyment from my Dum-Dums!

It's funny how the little things in life have such a big effect! *grin*


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Stop Growing!

This past Sunday, our son celebrated his 6-month "birthday". 6 months! When he arrived in our home, he was 4 months old...I am not a math teacher, but logic dictates that he has been with us for 2 months.

This, however, is simply impossible. Here's why. In 2 months, our son has gained teeth, rolled over, started cooing and making other various noises, steadied his head (ah, the bobble-head days!), started eating "solids" (yum...rice cereal mixed with green beans...), sleeps through the night, holds his own bottle...the list goes on and on.

I know many adults who can't make their beds more than 3 times in a 2-month period, let alone achieve such a major series of milestones! I mean, our tree has been undecorated for 2 weeks now, and I haven't touched it since....there it stands, in the corner of our living room, ready to be disassembled and packed away....*sigh*....Clearly my son is more advanced than I!

Which brings me back to last Sunday. In honor of the 6-month event, husband, son, and I stayed home all day and "quality tested" the sofa and love seat and television....all day long. I haven't spent a day like that in years...but, thanks to HGTV and TLC, we watched nothing but home improvement and house flipping shows for hours and hours and hours, while son "quality tested" his walker, his bouncer, his daddies' laps, etc.

Anway, sometime after lunch, husband and I decided that even though he wasn't fussy, our son might enjoy a bottle. I pushed pause on the old DVR (a miracle machine!) and wandered into the kitchen to prepare said treat for son. Taking a risk, I decided to go all out - for the first time ever, I made a full 8-ounce bottle of liquid gold for the kid (we hadn't made it to Sam's Club, so we were forced to use the real-deal...Enfamil, baby - the non-gassy formula!).

I returned to my spot on the couch (which still was in need of quality testing) with bottle in hand, ready for the squirming and the "playing with the food" to commence. Husband handed me our son and pushed "play" (again...magic!).

Just as I was getting comfortable, adjusting son so that he could "quality test" the television with us if he so chose, the commercial break started - and son started feasting. Husband decided to take a bathroom break, and since the commercial was that Jeep commercial where the animals jump into the Jeep and sing with the driver (dang funny stuff), I decided to let the commercials play.

Ok. Our son is NOT going to college. Husband and I are putting our foot down now, based upon this little, seemingly insignificant story. Nope - no higher education for our advanced boy. The commercials were just finishing as husband returned from his bathroom break...and son, well, let's just say he let us know he was still in the room by expelling a loud burp. Looking down, husband and I were shocked to see that he had drained his bottle dry. Our son can roll over, he can sleep through the night, and, apparently, he can chug. (In fact, I am relatively sure he downed that 8 ounces faster than my college roommate could drain a can of Pabst....).

So, perhaps you can understand now why higher education is not in our son's future?



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Abe Lincoln: Healer or Dealer?

Ask any elementary student to name some presidents, and they will likely be able to name at least two: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Clearly, in life these two individuals had dramatic effects on the growth of our nation. As a result of their commitment to our country, their legacies live on today. Both Washington and Lincoln are memorialized in everything from city and county names to historical monuments and national currency.

I submit, however, that today there is more to Mr. President Lincoln than any of us has ever realized. In fact, old 'Honest Abe' currently has quite a dark and sinister side, and I am here to expose him for what he is: Abe is nothing more than a dealer - enticing young, unsuspecting 'clients' (and their parents!) down a path of "need" and "want", from which I fear there is no return.

Let me explain. During our recent trip to Florida, we ventured into the local mall for some after-Christmas shopping late one evening. Being the amazing parents we are, husband and I failed to bring the stroller with us, and we resigned ourselves to carrying our son and his diaper bag (a crucial component in any outing) in and out of stores for the next two hours of our lives.

After about 5 hand-offs (or switcheroos...from baby to bag, back and forth)...husband and I had decided that those were 5 of the longest minutes of our lives. Something had to be done if we were to survive. I found the nearest bench, and, after making sure my family was safely seated and protected from the dangers of shopping in a mall without the appropriate equipment, I went off in search of help. My parting words to husband were, "if I am not back in 10 minutes, start a fire and use our son's favorite blanket to send smoke signals for help." The first 3 minutes of my journey were uneventful; however, on my 4th minute, I resisted the temptation to visit the comfort of the haven Starbucks, turning instead down the aisle to the left. It was there I came face to "handle" with the answer to my prayers.

There, in the middle of the aisle, was a row of strollers, each in the shape of a small car, complete with steering wheel and fake instrument panels. I crawled toward this mini-parking lot, hoping that I had not come across some sick mirage. If nature had indeed been playing a cruel trick on me, at that moment, I vowed to spend the very last ounce of energy I could muster to drag myself back to Starbucks, where at least I could welcome my shopper's demise with a non-fat, sugar free caramel latte in hand. When my fingers made contact with the cold, germ-infested metal handle of the first stroller, my energy was renewed; I swung my arms up in victory and jumped (if I had only frozen in mid-air, a passerby may have mistaken me for a Toyota commercial of the 1980's). As I landed, I knew time was fading. I again gripped the handle firmly and pulled back, eager to be reunited with my family.

After I re-connected my arms to their sockets, I frantically tried to "un-stick" my cart from its position. Near tears, I dropped back to my knees, downtrodden, giving up all hope for a pleasant mall-shopping experience. As I turned my head back towards Starbucks, I noticed a subtle glint along the floor. There it was, right there in front of me - it had been there all along, and I just had not seen it before. The front of each cart was secured to a small track, running the length of the mini-parking lot, reminiscent of the hitching posts of the old west.

At about that time, Grandma came around the corner and saw me closely examining the stroller/locking-track system. "What a great idea!," she exclaimed. And with that, her hand was in her wallet; in no time at all, she produced a crisp, new five-dollar bill and began to wave it towards me. As I reached for the bill, I paused, momentarily locked in a gaze with the man facing me. I could have sworn I saw President Lincoln actually wink at me as my hand made contact with his paper existence. It was at that point I knew I would be making a deal with the devil. I inserted the bill into the receptacle post at the end of the stroller lot, and instantly heard a single click erupt from the locking mechanism on the stroller nearest me.

Minutes later, car-stroller and I were back with husband and son, who had begun to gather scraps of paper and lollipop sticks for kindling. After wiping every last piece of the stroller down (twice!) with our disinfectant wipes (hey, we aren't dumb!), we propped our 5-month old in the seat with blankets. We even found a place for the diaper bag to hang, conveniently accessible while still secured to the handle.

For the next hour and a half, our son cooed, screamed in enjoyment, and was more alert than he has ever been, watching everyone around him while he was pushed from store to store. Life was good again, but at a cost.

And so to you, Mr. Lincoln, I say thank you. If it hadn't been for you, we would never have been able to give our son his first taste of rented strollers. And now our son is clearly addicted. While I could be spending tonight with a glass of wine and some very good blog reading, I am sure I will end up at the mall, searching for the strollers that will again pacify our son.

As a warning to all you new parents out there, I am posting pictures of our son's first "trip" in a rented stroller. Beware of Mr. Lincoln - he may seem like he only wants to help, but he surely has very selfish, sinister plans about which you are not supposed to know.

Addiction or happiness? You be the judge.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

From Auntie Mame to Uncle "Meme"

*Yikes* I am worse than my students - I was tagged before Christmas to complete my first ever meme, and I am just now getting to it! Of course, I am honored to have been tagged, but please bear with me if it is a little sloppy.

BusyDad is one of the best bloggers I have ever read. You absolutely have to visit his blog and leave him a comment (heck, tell him I sent you!). Anyway, on with the show....

Here are the rules:

Link to the person who tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 facts about yourself.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here goes:

1. I love the outdoors (in fact, I am an Eagle Scout!), but I can't squish most bugs or gut a fish. I remember hiking across a bridge when I was in Scouts, hearing several loud pops as I walked. Looking down, I discovered I had stepped on a few beetles. It totally grossed me out, and to this day I get the heebie-geebies thinking about bug squishing. I like to fish (although I haven't done it in years), but when I catch them, the only thing I can do is take the hook out and let them go unless someone else is there to "take care of it". If I have to get rid of a bug, I have been known to grab just about any aerosol or long-handled object, but I would prefer just to relocate them to somewhere outside.

2. I almost became a Catholic priest. Yep. I attended a small, private Catholic college for my undergraduate degree, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I met many amazing, truly "good" people during my time there, and through knowing them, my faith was transformed. I was in the pre-seminary program for 2 years before I was able to reconcile my faith with the reality of who I was (and am)...and while I have parted ways with the church due to some personal, irreconcilable differences on teachings, my faith remains a strong part of my "inner me".

3. I love road trips. Three years ago, without any planning, husband and I jumped in our little car and drove north through Nevada to Tahoe, and then over to California and up the coast through wine country, looping through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and western Montana before making our way back south. It was one of the best trips of my life....And, as a result of these types of trips, we are motivated to purchase an RV within the next 5 years so we can provide our son with these amazing opportunities for exploration.

4. Two of my favorite jobs have been in Airport Security and in Hospital Housekeeping. After my first semester of college, I dropped out because I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I took a job cleaning hospital rooms and labor and delivery rooms from 3 p.m. to midnight. I loved the sense of accomplishment, and didn't even mind cleaning up after a birth (I developed a whole new respect for women!) - I remember turning on soft music, cleaning a patient room after they had been discharged, and watching the snow fall in the lamplight outside.

After I returned to school a year later, I took a job as a pre-board screener at the local (small) airport. This was a fascinating job, both before and after 9/11. Once Jack Hannah (from the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom shows) screamed at me and made a big scene because I wouldn't let him get on the flight with his big pocket knife. On another day, before 9/11, an 85 year-old woman kept causing our detectors to alarm...I told her I was going to have to pat her ankles with the backs of my hands, to which she replied "Oh would you please? I haven't had a man touch me in years!"...I promptly turned about 3 shades of red. Finally, shortly after 9/11, I was called to the ticket counter to search a random "checked luggage bag", which belonged to two elderly woman. As I was searching the suitcase, one of the women turned to the other and said "he's going to find our brother." I thought it an odd comment, but proceeded with my search. As I was finishing, I lifted the false fabric bottom found in most suitcases, only to find a big ziplock baggie. I took the bag out to see what it was...and discovered it was the cremated remains of their loved one. There are many more stories (I can't tell you how many cats/dogs I have seen through an x-ray machine, as well as the, um, personal items people choose to carry with them...*sigh*). Yep. Two of my favorite jobs!

5. We took a "Field of Dreams" approach when it came to adopting our son. Husband and I seriously began discussing children about 2 1/2 years ago. At that time, we started classes for foster-to-adopt, but soon found ourselves caught up in our own graduate programs and less focused on children. However, we did begin work on a nursery. Over the course of the next two years, we looked at several options to welcoming a child into our family, but were never able to complete any program or afford any alternative. However, the nursery was finished last year. We didn't know how we would become parents, but we "just knew" we would become parents. As it turned out, we became daddies not because we went through some program to "find" a child, but because a 3-month old baby boy and his mommy "found" us. We were approached privately by a virtual stranger. And, as a matter of faith - we believed it would happen. Call it faith. Call it luck. Call it random chance. But our son is without a doubt the BEST thing that has ever happened to us.

6. Reality TV can easily become as addicting as those tortilla chips with a "hint of lime". There are very few reality tv shows that I don't find entertaining (ok, not a big fan of any MTV reality shows other than the old Real World and Road Rules stuff). With summers off, husband and I really enjoy Big Brother....but my absolute favorite reality show may not "technically" fall into the "reality" category...I am a "Ghost Hunters" fanatic. I certainly would call myself a skeptic when it comes to the paranormal, but for some reason I can't get enough of this show! But since I am the only one in my household who will watch this program, I have had to broaden my reality television palette....I am looking forward to watching my second episode of "The Biggest Loser" tonight, I can't wait for American Idol to start, and have heard through the grapevine that a new Big Brother season is being added, slated to begin this February. And don't even get me started on my non-reality favs....Lost, NCIS, Pushing Daisies....then there are the shows no longer on...Will and Grace, Reba, Friends, Frasier....What did I do before DVR???
*sigh* Perhaps I need help? Maybe I will find a reality show about a support group for tv watchers....

7. As a young elementary student, I was one of about 10 students in my entire school to participate in a weekend day-camp at the local university. During camp, we played all sorts of games and got to eat lunch with college students. It was a great experience, and a memory that I have held on to with fondness and pride. About 5 years ago, I was in the car with my mom, when during our conversation, I mentioned what an honor it was to have been selected out of my whole school to attend that weekend day-camp. My mom was silent for a moment, and then she burst into laughter. I was confused, so I asked her what was so funny. What she said next was worse than trying to tell me that there was no Santa (which there is!).... She explained that while, yes, I was indeed selected from my entire school to visit the local university, it wasn't exactly a "day camp." Apparently, some graduate students had observed all of the PE classes in my entire school, and from those observations had selected the 10 most un-coordinated students at my school to participate in a study. After gaining parental permission, the college students sent personal invitations to me and 9 of my fellow un-coordinated peers to the university, at which point they video taped us "attempting" to do things like play baseball, skip rope, and many other "fun games" - (why does the "Island of Misfit Toys" keep popping into my mind?) Mom then told me that, if I really wanted to remember it as a camp, then perhaps I should refer to it as "Coordination Camp"....You know, self esteem is really over-rated! ;)

There you have it. Seven random facts about me. Mission accomplished. Sort of.

BusyDad tagged me, so he is out. He also tagged Monica at "Ya...About that...", who in turn tagged Ohmommy at "Classy Chaos".... So, while there are a gazillion blogs out there I have yet to discover, I am only going to tag one person....But she is totally worth it! I am tagging Cindy from "A Day in the Life of Cindy"... She writes from the heart, and is very passionate about her beliefs.

I'm sorry it took so long to respond - but a special thanks to BusyDad for tagging me....I had fun!


Monday, January 7, 2008

We're Baaaack!

Happy New Year, Dear Readers!

I apologize for the long break between posts....I did not have internet access during our trip to Florida for winter break, and therefore have fallen terribly far behind in my readin' and writin' *sigh*...

Our son's first Christmas was awesome. Although, I must admit, he really couldn't have cared less - but we had a great time as new daddies putting on a first Christmas. After spending Christmas at home, the three of us boarded a plane for Florida. More than a little nervous about flying with a 5-month old, we managed to make it through security despite their completely ridiculous rules about liquids and powders in carry-ons (and I used to work in airline security!). Our son was asleep before we boarded the plane, and didn't wake up until after we exited the plane in Florida....completely perfect! Of course, coming back was another story, but there were at least 5 other babies on the flight, and he was not the worst by a long shot! So traveling was good, but I am SOOO glad to be home!

Anyway, break is over and Monday has hit hard. This morning, I jumped in my car to head to work (*ugh*) only to find I would be heading no where battery was dead. A battle of wills ensued...Me versus my Mazda. Despite repeated attempts to jump my car, along with no small amount of various pleas and begs and promises of ultimate detailing and fresh oil, my 2007 Mazda emerged from our battle victorious. And I had to ask mom for a ride to work.

My own body has even chosen to deny me any sympathy. A harsh reminder that I am no longer in control of my own day, a gargantuan cup of recently consumed coffee is reeking havoc on my smaller-than-average bladder, and I can do nothing but count the ticks of the clock until the bell rings and I am free to use the restroom. *double sigh*

So now, with my work all caught up, my students working on projects, and my bladder gently reminding me of its existence, I can get caught up on some blog reading. I also plan on getting to a special blog "meme", as BusyDad requested oh-s0-long-ago. Thank you, dear readers, for your patience. Send me happy thoughts as I contend with the Mazda dealership and a full bladder. And from our family to yours, we wish you the very best in the new year!