Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy 100th Post!

So, we have arrived at another milestone - here it is the 100th post! WOW - I can honestly say I don't know if I expected that fourteen months after starting to write my thoughts, feelings and experiences of being a divorced father that I would still be doing this.

I have been thinking a lot about what will happen with the blog as time goes on and more importantly what would or should occur with the blog. Obviously this whole thing started out as a way for me to get out my feelings and to get some type of cathartic release. Now, I feel it is morphing into something different or maybe I want it to.

I have been talking with Laura about how much of my own personality I should share and I think that while I have been pretty straight forward with who I am - both good and bad. I have also tried to keep most of my "post" to my time with the kids or my thoughts and feelings as a father. Understand, I know there has been a couple of post that were off those topics but I have really tried to stay on that track with minor exceptions. Because I have been unemployed it has given me a chance to think about a ton of things that I really had not considered in a long time. Things like - who am I and what do I value. It's funny - maybe it's even a midlife crisis in someways - but you never really take stock of the small changes within yourself until you are forced to stop, slow down and really see what has been altered. For me - what was altered is what I chose to give up. The things that I chose to rid myself of and not place in as great a value as I once had. Understand - these things are choice and all of us make them, don't we? All of us make the decision to give up or no longer place as much importance in avenues of our life that we once did. When you become a parent you change everything that you want and desire for what you feel is best for your children - don't you? When you get into a relationship you alter those things in you that maybe corrosive to your relationship - don't you? If you didn't - I know that I did and am very happy to say that giving up some things we not then or now and issue as I believe you become something for different - not better or worse but different - for those around you because you want to give to them and I accept this.

I have been watching the stats on who is reading the blog and from where and I am honestly humbled. Recently the stats for the past week were (by country and number of viewers): United States 248, Iran 8, Canada 4, India 4, Germany 3, Australia 2,
Italy 2, Singapore 2, Argentina 1 and China 1. It is amazing to me that anyone would be reading this but the fact that there are people in Canada, Iran, India, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Argentina and China are reading my blog is amazing and I really am so overwhelmed by that thought - thank you.

So - now the question is what will the blog become? I am hoping it will become more about my life, my thoughts and feelings, my experiences, my desires, my views and many if I am lucky, my growth and my salvation into becoming a better man.

Ten things that you may not know about me - (1) I love politics and read anywhere between 11 - 20 blogs each day on the national and international politics. (2) I love to read but I sometimes struggle staying on task with just one book. Currently I am reading Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall, Monster by Walter Dean Myers and Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides. (3) I have sixteen tattoo's - none of which can be seen when I am wearing clothing. (4) I really love to cook but tend to make food that is way to spicy for others to enjoy. (5) I love documentary movies and watch what Laura calls "stupid shows" on television (Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Hardcore Pawn, National Geographic). (6) I never thought that I would be a father and since becoming one I can't imagine NOT being one. (7) I love doing things for others. (8) I love being around and working with kids. (9) I am growing to like my new "hometown" of Adrian but . . . miss the place of my birth; Monroe. (10) I can't wait to hold Ethan but am truly worried about being a good enough father for him.

So - what will occur with or happen to the blog is really unknown to me at this point but you know what, that's wonderful isn't it? I am open to the future that is ahead of me while still knowing that I must hold dear all the terrific things in my past that got me to where I am today. Happy 100th blog entry to "both sides now . . " and I pray for 1,000 more!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Share Something HAPPY! ! !

OK - clear violation of my "post standards" here . . . but as my "update" post really did not contain any "pictures" thanks to the whole "laptop" crashing thing I wanted to share some "happy" moments that I have not posted yet:

Knoah and his friend "snickers"!

Jacob . . . . being fun and silly!

Hannah Noel . . . . the "monster"! ! LOL . . .

Jacob and I . . . . playing at Michael's Crafts (funny thing is . . . they never asked us to leave either!).

Hannah, Knoah (yep . . . passed out! er, ok, asleep), me and Jacob . . . having an "early St. Pat's day" celebration!.

Laura and I standing in front of Poseidon at COSI in Columbus.

Jacob . . . his first "Lion's" game day! ! He was like six days old!

Yep . . . that makes me pretty happy - enjoy!

Mario Brother's . . WE . . oops . . Wii and a baking extravaganza!

The kids arrived on Saturday morning for another "fun" weekend (25 - 27 June)! The kids came ready to play - Knoah bringing matchbox cars with him and Hannah arriving with a suitcase full of toys - stuffed and rubber animals! Jacob on the other hand just wanted to play a new Wii game that Laura had - Super Mario Brother's Wii!

After playing with "speedy" the turtle for a while we began enjoying just seeing each other. Hannah helped me make Macaroni and Cheese for lunch and we then all went into the "garage" which has been converted into a playroom with all of the toys that the kids own.

Since moving out of the apartment I rented in Clinton I have been living with Laura in Adrian. I should confess that since December when we learned we were going to have a baby we had been "discussing" moving in with each other so that we could raise Ethan. The truth is that the same week that I lost my job I had already started moving so - WOW! ! Yeah, it's been hectic for me and the kids and AMAZING that Laura has been so wonderful and understanding.

It is difficult for me to be in this position and honestly - it really does play on your pride but - I know that it isn't going to be permanent. I also know that no matter what happens in the future that I have to continue to work to be a better person.

Hannah and I began dinner - Hamburgers on the grill and decided that it was time to do some "baking". We made a batch of brownies and a chocolate cream pie for desert.

Saturday night finished with a nice dinner with everyone sitting at the table eating - something I am really enjoying - and then we watched to movie Gnomeo and Juliet. Which was awesome but also has a really cool story for us. Months ago before the movie came out the kids and I were at Frenchtown Square Mall and the local theater (Phoenix) had these window clings advertising the movie. Knoah seen them and thought they were just way to cool. So - I began talking to the theater manager about them and asked if I could buy one of them. She chuckled and after taking one look at Knoah she smiled and told me to just take one - so; Knoah got his pick of gnomes which now graces a window in the garage / playroom!

Knoah's . . . . . . Gnome! ! LOL -

Knoah and Hannah "helping" to make Saturday night's desert.

Gnomie and Juliet was a really fun movie that - if you have not seen it, you should - continued the line of "adult theme" references in kids movies that helps keep your attention. Some cool Shakespeare references (beyond the obvious) along with a few funny references from Brokeback Mountain - "I wish I could quite you", Robin Hood / Lassie / The Lion King - "what are you trying to say, Timmy fell down the well, Mustafia, little John . . .who". Along with an obvious lift of the Matrix fight scene! And - yeah . . . there is a "oh, that's a big hat" observation that has a bit of a double meaning. Overall - I really enjoyed the movie and the kids were ready to go to sleep as soon as it was over.

Sunday we made a breakfast of cinnamon rolls and than began a day of play. Mostly we played together and had fun with the playroom / garage, speedy and of course the new thing that Jacob fell head over heals in love with - Super Mario Brother's Wii. Jacob, Knoah and I played together for a long time which was AWESOME - except that Knoah seems to enjoy killing those he plays with and is fond of resetting the game whenever he is not winning!

Dinner saw us having spaghetti and garlic bread with your choice of brownies, chocolate cream pie or banana nut bread for desert. We then had a nice bath and headed to bed at 9:00.

Monday morning I got up early so that I could surprise the kids with breakfast - brownies (yeah, I have been in a baking mood) and cinnamon rolls. After breakfast we played games (Wii, SpongeBob Bowling) and then finished up getting ready for the trek back into Monroe to drop the kids off to there Uncle Franklin.

Overall - it was, like it always is, terrific to spend time with Jacob, Hannah and Knoah. After taking them back to Monroe and talking with there uncle Frank and driving away I realized - I will always miss them every single second that I am away from them. The good news - - just a few more days and I am with them again! Better news; thanks to Verizon, I get to txt them everyday!

So - it was back to the house and to watch Laura and her Mom as they continued to paint animals on the walls of Ethan's room! I would LOVE to post pictures of the creatures that they have painted on the wall (Orangutans, Monkeys, Alligator, Giraffes, turtle and a tree . . . ) but . . . :-) Laura is excited to share those photos with everyone on Facebook so - I will wait until after she does that to share them.

Anyhow - back to looking for a job and to trying to be the best Dad that I can be. Enjoy. :-)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Father's Day Weekend 2011

Happy Father's Day Cake

There are so many things that I want to write and discuss about not only being a Father but about what this Father's Day means to me. But, honestly, right now I am feeling that I am not in the place I want to be to put all of my thoughts and feelings down and to share them.

I will share this - The kids stayed with me the 18 - 20th and during that time we played, told each other scary stories, had s'mores, baked a cake, made brownies, played with the new pet turtle, played the Wii, played clue, played with the new bubble wand, went to Madison School Park and generally had a great time being with each other.

Sunday night I made dinner and baked a cake for Father's Day. The kids gave me an awesome t-shirt, sleeping pants and an amazingly adorable outfit for Ethan. Laura gave me a terrific picture frame.

I know that there are a ton of things in life that I am not but the one thing I am proud of is that I am a Dad. I love my children more than anything on this earth. Not too long ago a friend of mine pointed me to a quote from the movie Mrs. Douptfire and I have fallen in love with it:

"In regards to my behaviour,I can only plead insanity. Because, ever since my children were born, the moment I looked at them, I was crazy about them. Once I held them, I was hooked. I'm addicted to my children, sir. I love them with all my heart. And the idea of someone telling me I can't be with them, I can't see them every day.. .It's like someone saying I can't have air. I can't live without air, and I can't live without them. Listen, I would do anything. I just want to be with them. I know I need that, sir. We have a history. And I just... They mean everything to me. And they need me as much as I need them."

So - I have a real "post" from Father's Day and maybe sometime I will share it but . . . today has been a "blue day" for me and I know that sharing that post would do nothing but share that "blueness" with others . . . . and why? I would rather share this:

Jacob, Me, Hannah and the silly boy; Knoah.

Knoah, Jacob and Hannah . . . . The greatest children on this earth.

Hannah's Father's Day Letter to me.

"Dear Dad, You have been the best dad for me for ten years. Today I have to say you ARE THE BEST DAD IN THE WORLD. HAPPY FATHERS DAY"

Happy Father's day to all "Dad's" . . . and if you have any advice to offer on how I am to get used to the time's I am not with my children . . . please, consider letting me know, k? Thx.

June 2011

Hannah, Knoah and Jacob

Nearly caught up! ! ! Yeah! ! !

June 3 - 5th, 2011

What a fun weekend we had. Although we stayed at home we had a great bomb fire, played a new game called "Zumba", watched movies and even did Hannah's nails!

We had such a great time. Laura even made an desert with the kids of chocolate and snickers bars! I wish I could recall the name of it but I can say - it was gone pretty quick!

Knoah . . . . making "dinner"

June 10 - 14th, 2011

Yeah . . . we had an "extended" vist and had so much fun! We did art work, arrainged a play area in the garage (with ALL OF THE TOYS), did a bombfire with s'mores and hot dogs, played Wii, worked on the flower garden, caught a snake, played football, caught a frog, played golf and even went to Lincoln School Park in Adrian to play with a friend of our's (Michelle) and her dog Roxie.

Overall - We had a great time . . .

Knoah . . . Helping Decorate!

Knoah, Jacob, Me, The "snake" and Hannah.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

April 2011

Continued update of monthly visitation:

April 1 - 3d, 2011

The kids and I spent the weekend just "hanging out" and moving things trying to get situated. We found a new place in Adrian, thanks to Laura, that the kid's fell in love with - Frosty Boy . . . so, Ice Cream was had by all. We also enjoyed going to Tressel Park for a nice walk.

April 7 - 10th, 2011

We continued the simple enjoyment of being at home and then having ice cream thanks to Frosty Boy. Jacob helped me as I put his soccer goal together and the four of us played outside the majority of the time during an extended visit.

April 15 - 17th, 2011

The kids and I continued to enjoy playing with each other at home as I continued to work through getting all of my things (including the WAY TOO MANY toys that we have) situated. Kids are excited about next week as it will be an extended visit thanks to spring break!

April 22 - 27th, 2011

Long extended visit for spring break! Yeah - it was so awesome to have them with me for so many days in a row. We played at home - a whole ton of Wii along with soccer and other outside games.

April 29 - May 1st, 2011

We had a terrific time at the Tecumseh Art Walk on Friday and then went swimming at the Lenawee Family Christian Center on Sunday. The kids had a great time as did I.

Here we all are having fun and enjoying the "water slide"!