Friday, November 2, 2012

Kenadie's first Halloween

Wednesday was Kenadie's first Halloween. It's not a big deal to most, as Halloweens come and go and she's too little to really enjoy the wonder that is dressing up and begging people for candy. The wife agreed that I get to choose one costumer for our baby, the last I'll ever have a say in, so Princess Leia it was.

When I got home that afternoon Kelly had the photography studio set up and was clicking pictures of the little one. Below are a couple:

She actually seemed to enjoy the costume, at least for a while. We arrived at my brother in-law's and met with friends and family to hand out candy to the multitudes of kids who came from far and wide to collect candy in his neighborhood. It was a warm evening so we sat in camping chairs as kids climbed up the stairs and showed off their costumes.

Some kids were a lot of fun, as they hammed it up in their attire. One kid gave us a his best Spider-Man pose, and other declared their awesomeness while dressed as the Avengers.

Overall, it was a fun night, but we couldn't stay long as having little ones don't allot staying up late. So we packed up the car and went home and put her to bed.

I'm looking forward to finally taking her by the hand and walking her from house to house. Maybe I'll implement a Halloween tax, like my dad did, and take ten percent of her candy. Then again, I don't need to eat candy

"There is nothing funny about Halloween. This sarcastic festival reflects, rather, an infernal demand for revenge by children on the adult world." - Jean Baudrillard

Friday, July 27, 2012

Alone with Kenadie

Last night the wife went on a much needed girls night out with some friends for wine and Mexican grub while I was in charge of the wee one. So the wife came home from a meeting that afternoon, brought out all the items I may need, and wished me luck. Kenadie was asleep, but of course she woke up almost right after Kelly left.

First it was time to feed, a joyous moment that is normally handled by the wife, but it was my turn to spoon feed Kenadie. My daughter is not a patient eater by any means, and if you're not immediately inserting food into her mouth while she's in the high chair she will let you and the rest of North America hear her displeasure at this. It was a messy affair, with her taking her bib and wiping food all over her face. Still it wasn't that bad and she laughed at me making weird sounds to keep her from fussing.

My mother recently informed me that when I was a baby I would scream with rage if I had any sort of hunger pain. Kelly now blames me for all of Kenadie's food tantrums.

Next up was some reading time, and her and I sat down, I plopped in a Baby Einstein DVD and put it on repeat play, a feature built into the disc (Disney knows what they're doing). I broke out a pop up book and started reading to Kenadie the adventures of Elmo competing in a race, when I heard the baby start grunting as if she was bench pressing a Fiat. Oh dear, she's become little Miss Poopie Pants.

The ritual of the diaper change was about to commence, and it does give me a sense of pride that I can change the nappies like the best of them. Ok maybe I'm not super nanny, but I have skills. I place her down and get her all ready. She had a tepid look, but with some silly noises and me doing my best Weird Al impression as I changed the lyrics of various songs to reference pooping, she laughed and got ready to get all clean. I was done wiping the nastiness off her when she let out a cackle, which in turn she her peed. Ye gods. I close up the once clean diaper as quick as humanly possible and let her do her thing. After another diaper change she was ready to hear more stories about Sesame Street characters doing Sesame Street things, such as visiting the desert and going to a carnival.

I put her in her jumper and she played a bit while she watched her Baby Einstein DVD, something she gets fixated on. After hearing that play over and over again I decided I wanted to commit genocide, but she was enjoying it so I suffered through.

I gave her her last bottle of the day, but it was my time to be Mr Poopie Pants. I figured the wife would be home soon, so I waited, but as the clock ticked it was apparent that if she didn't arrive soon it would be a mess of biblical proportions.

I put Kenadie in her excer-saucer and placed her outside the bathroom door, but had it cracked open enough that I could keep an eye on her. It was surreal sitting their doing my business as she just stared at me with a blank expression. I felt awful having her witness the terrible event of her dad crapping in the toilet, but she wouldn't remember it in a few hours, but she may recall it in regression therapy years down the road, before she decides to have her name changed.

After more playing with the toy piano, more reading and more of the DVD, that was produced by Satan, it was getting time for bed. Another diaper change took place, and of course she peed as I was doing it. She was an exhausted one, but it was the first time I ever put her to sleep for the night by myself. See putting Kenadie down for the night is an art. It takes the skills of a brain surgeon and the patience of Gandhi. I make my way up the stairs, gently put her in the crib, and turn on the various devices such as noise maker and monitor. Right as she was cuddled looking peaceful in slumber my dog decided to bark at invisible ninjas and woke Kenadie up. She decided she wanted nothing to do with this sleep business.

I picked her back up, turned off the fan, noise maker, and monitor, and took her downstairs. After a few minutes of being cradled in the rocker, and listening to that miserable DVD, she was sound asleep again. I took her back upstairs, placed her in the crib, turned on the necessary equipment, and left her to slumber.

I went back downstairs and sat down in my chair, picked up a book, and started to ponder my time watching her solo. I really don't understand how in the hell single parents manage. I know I can be a good father, but I wonder if it's only because I have my wife to help, otherwise I'd be as incompetent as Congress is at managing the country.

"Children wish fathers looked but with their eyes; fathers that children with their judgment looked; and either may be wrong." - William Shakespeare

Monday, April 9, 2012

Four months

Four months ago the wife and I welcomed our first baby into our lives and little Kenadie took her first breath. I've written at length the emotions and adrenaline surrounding that fateful day, and really, I don't have the skills as a writer to truly express all of what was going on in my head and in my heart. Our little bundle came to us and we couldn't be happier. Remember your first love in high school, when you swore you would never love anyone more than your sweetheart, but then you meet your spouse, and you promised them that no one will take up more of your heart than them, and suddenly you're faced with a little baby in your arms, and you suddenly know the meaning of love and sacrifice.

Having a baby is not all wine and roses. It's hard work, it demands you function 100% on very little sleep, can strain your marriage, and you see your bank account dwindle to next to nothing, but as they say, nothing good comes easy. Yes the work is worth it, and I don't have to keep telling that to myself to keep me sane. It's those little moments that make it so much fun, as Kenadie lies on my chest and fights sleep and she gives her glowing smile when you're making silly noises. There's no substitute for a healthy, happy little one. Nothing can match it.

And now, as she fusses and poops and demands attention I find myself happy to give it to her. She's my daughter, and everything is about her.

"Anything I've done up till May 27th 1999 was kind of an illusion, existing without living. My daughter, the birth of my daughter, gave me life." - Johnny Depp

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

There's No Place Like Home...

April 3, 2012 was a scary day for North Texas.  What started out as a normal day turned into a nightmare for some.  My alarm went off @ 4:30a.m. as usual.  I got up, got ready for work and headed into the office.  Erik took Kenadie by to my mom's house and he headed into work @ 7a.m. All is going swell until it starts to get dark outside and we hear that some severe weather is approaching the DFW metroplex.  We think of it as a normal spring storm that may or may not have some hail and it will all be over in 30 mins.  I call my mom to tell her to keep an eye on the weather just in case something severe may happen.  All of a sudden, the alarms at work went off and the man over the PA announced that we all need to take cover in the designated tornado safe areas.  We all went into the conference room away from any glass windows.  We all sit, wait and wonder.  I was a nervous wreck as we are watching online as the tornadoes hit Arlington, Lancaster, and were headed towards my mother's house.  My baby girl was with her and I was more worried about them than myself.  I just felt helpless that I couldn't be there with her in case something bad happens.  I knew though that if Erik and I couldn't be with her, she was in the best hands possible.  I call my mom and she has Kenadie in her car seat drinking a bottle with the crib mattress over their heads in the closet.  I was giving her a play by play of what was happening.  There were reports of tractor trailers being thrown 100ft in the air like toy Tonka Trucks.  It was scary.  The man on the PA system came back on and told us "We are now clear to return to our work areas".  We all asked, now or not?  The alarms were still going off, so we weren't sure.  They repeated it several times and finally we went back to our desks.  About 30 mins later, the alarms went off again, and we went into the conference room.  The second storm was coming in our direction.  We waited it out until the storm passed and then returned to our desks and went home.  I was so happy to pick up my little angel and know that she was safe from mother nature's wrath.  I get home and Erik and I look at the news and hear that another town, Forney was hit pretty hard.  I know a lot of people who live in Forney.  The day after, they reported between 12-15 tornadoes developed yesterday and so far no deaths were reported.  Lots of Angels were watching over DFW yesterday.  This could have ended up a lot worse than it did.  As I crawled into bed last night I said a prayer for all the people that lots their homes.  It really makes you realize what is important in life and to treasure each day that you are alive on this earth and to treasure the people you have in your life.  I love my family and friends, I am glad we are all ok. 

Link below is footage of the trailers:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Democracy, or at least the Texan flavor of it, was in full effect last night as I attended a school board meeting regarding the rezoning of our neighborhood. I entered by my lonesome and took a seat, but saw many fill in, so much so that the school board members brought out extra chairs as it soon became standing room only. Residents from my neighborhood showed up in the dozens to voice their concerns about their kids possibly going to a less than reputable high school, and there was another community facing the same issue.

 What got me is that if you wanted to speak, you were required to show up at 5:30, fill out a speaker's card, hang around for an hour while the board meets in private, then have your chance to voice your concerns. I missed my chance to express my views through interpretive dance, but alas there were many others willing to step up to the plate for the community. Passion was abound as many showed respect to the board, but made their pleas to have their children go to an exemplary high school.

After hearing a lot of Indian men speak in broken accents, some middle school kids took to the mic and did the needful. Upset that their middle schools are closely integrated with the high school, they were not pleased to be told they'd be going somewhere else. One kid even noted to the board that at the beginning of the meeting we made the pledge of allegiance, but if his choice was taken away, the board was taken away our liberties. A round of applause ensued.

After the board heard all of what they allotted to hear, they later discussed the issue with a planner, and it was apparent that even if our community wins this round, this issue may come up again next year, and the next, and the next. It was apparent, to me at least, that this was an issue that wasn't worth fighting for, as the only choice I could make was move my family into a better area that's not threatened with zoning issues.

It sucks as a big part of the reason we moved into Castle Hills North was because of the schools, but now that it's apparent the school district could give two shits about the premiums we pay to them through our taxes and educational fund, it's best to cut our losses and move on. There are better home values offered in North Texas.

Monday, March 5, 2012


As you all know, Erik and I decided in 2010 to build a beautiful home in Castle Hills North.  We were so excited, we were able to make it our own and pick out all the custom upgrades.  We love our home and were so excited to raise our family in it.  Last week on our neighborhood website, there was an ongoing forum regarding rezoning Castle Hills North to go to The Colony Schools.  Since we don't have school age children we weren't sent the notice in the mail like all the other residents who had children attending LISD schools.  Part of the reason why we chose Castle Hills North was because our kids would go to Hebron High School, which is Exemplary.  The Colony High School is not.  Now, we are not at all happy about this and now want to move.  Our children's education is most important to us and we want the best for them and The Colony High School is not what we want.  No offense to The Colony HS, but I have been in that school many of times working with my Step fathers business.  There are lots of kids that wear their pants down to their knees and lots of violence occurs at this school.  I refuse for Kenadie to bring home one of those boys one day.  I know we have lots of time until Kenadie reaches High School, but we pay top dollar in property taxes to live in this elite neighborhood.  All the cities around us are cheaper, we would much rather live in another neighborhood and not pay the high property taxes for a home in a neighborhood where we can't get our children the proper education that we see fit.  Now, we have taken the big step while the market is still good for buying and have put that For Sale sign in our front yard.  The neighborhood is still wonderful and we will miss our home dearly, but it isn't for us anymore.  Let's hope we have luck in selling. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Date night

It's been a couple of months since Kenadie was born, and the wife and I have done little if anything for ourselves. I try to get a few moments of gaming and watching movies in ten minute increments in, but I haven't really spent any quality time with the wife other than watching bad sitcoms and taking care of the wee one at some unholy hour.

It was time to indulge ourselves, and indulge we did. We went to a premier steak house and ordered accordingly, along with some real crab cake that wasn't fried. It was a mountain of crab in some lobster sauce. We partook in the best cheesecake I've ever had, light and fluffy, with butterscotch dripping off of it and flavored with pralines.

Watching my wife consume an alcoholic drink was a treat. This is a woman who hasn't really drank in almost a year, for obvious reasons, and she ordered an extra dirty vodka martini, straight up. She was buzzed about halfway through it. I drank the same, the first martini I've had in months, and it was a pleasure to revisit one of my favorite cocktails. Of course I had to order a bloody Caesar as well.

After consuming what seemed like seventeen thousand calories, we still would've done it again in a heartbeat as it was one of the best, if not the best, meals we've ever had. As much fun as we had having some time to ourselves, we couldn't help but miss Kenadie. We were only gone for a couple of hours, but it seemed weird seeing an empty car base for her seat when we drove to pick her back up.

The wife and I went inside my mother in-law's to pick up the baby, only to find she slept through the entirety of our meal. We probably could've taken her after all, but it's a crap shoot as to whether she'll be hungry or not. It may not have been a good idea considering all the smells in that joint might have made her hungry, and she's opposed to us eating a hot meal. Oh and she's a baby, so she poops a lot.

Even though the meal was excellent and the company even more so, I can't say I let myself enjoy a lot of it with Kenadie not being present. I guess this is parenthood.

"Being a father, well, I don't know if this is a change, but it makes me want to get out of here faster. Get off the clock. Just 'cause the baby is my reason for living, my reason for coming to work."  - Richard Dean Anderson