Two-Year Hiatus, Over

March 2018.  That was the last time either of us contributed anything to this site.  March 2018 was also over a year after we had our second child, and he has yet to grace the banner graphic with his cherubic little face….which should be unsurprising, given that we blew right past his first birthday without much of a second thought.   And on that note (and on second thought), we pretty much blew past his second birthday, too.  

The last time I added anything to this site, my little girl was slurring the word “horsey” every time she climbed onto my back… now she is in preschool and says things like “Mom, what is the unknown?” and “Jude is ruining my life!”  Also, she mentioned the other day that she is a “bagina designer,” and she makes replacement “baginas” out of paper and thread, and can glue them onto you.  My little entrepreneur is a wellspring of hidden talents.  Please keep her in mind should you lose (or otherwise render inoperable) your bagina.  I’ll bet the farm that you cannot beat her prices for a designer bagina.  

Since the last post:  I got a new job working for a large healthcare organization; my wife got a new job doing quality assurance testing and programming for surveys and is on the cusp of getting an even better one (come on sugar mama, daddy wants to home school); my daughter started preschool and ballet; my son discovered how much fun it is to have a penis; he also discovered he loves to tell (show) everyone how much fun it is to have a penis; my best friend and beloved dog passed away; my wife’s sister adopted a dog and it found its way into our home (net change in quantity of dogs over 2-year period = 0); I also started, but have not finished, building a fence for said dog; my kitchen is also still not finished; I did finish laying down new floors…but then a few days before Christmas our septic system backed up, flooded our home, and now my new floors are gone; my wife and I finally got to see Cirque du Soleil (fu@$ing incredible)… and I’m sure some other noteworthy stuff happened that just slips my mind at present.  I mean, surely there had to be more to come out of almost two years, right?  It’s not always just the same old routine on repeat, right? 

Towards the end our daughter could tell he wasn’t well, and would cover him with her favorite birdy blanket before listening to his chest with her stethoscope.

Good.  So that brings us to January, 2020.  The first-floor renovation fiasco, the never-ending mire of searching for time to work on it, arranging for the family to be away long enough to actually make progress without having to set up and then tear down, only to 50% of the time wind up contracting one (or more) of the many novelty new viruses and bacterial infections that are wont to multiply and mutate in the petri dish that is preschool… well, it drags on.  Sure, some progress has been made, and I can still see the finished product in my mind… but my imagination is no consolation whatsoever to the wife and children who are left living in this unfinished mess of splinters, fumes, and for a while there almost two decades’ worth of accumulated human waste and un-flushed refuse (btdubs: the people from whom we bought this house showed us a “receipt” for when they had the septic serviced shortly before we closed on the home… clearly it was not a receipt.  Looking back on it, it was an estimate on which someone had penciled in a $0 balance in order to make it look like a statement for services rendered.  LESSON: don’t trust anyone.  People are all twats).  I may not say it often enough… in fact, I know I don’t say it enough, but I am forever grateful for the patience and compassion that my family gives me.  Every bit of it is undeserved, and their unfathomable tolerance of my bullshit is what keeps this house from becoming as broken as it looks.  

SO here is where we are at: I am not going to be the one who replaces these GD floors.  We filed an insurance claim for the flooding and have a contractor doing it.  Normally, I would take offense to anyone else doing the work on my house, but after the headache of trying to lay floors over multiple days the thought of having a whole crew come in and do it all at once seems like a dream.  That leaves me with the time I need to un-fu@k the garage, which to-date has still not ever recovered from the day we moved in.  On that day we packed it floor to ceiling, wall to wall, and then over time unpacked boxes and moved stuff from there inside, or from there to storage, or from inside back to the garage, little by little, never reaching the point at which it could become a functional space.  If it were a commercial job site I would have been shut down by OSHA on day one… to use some of my power tools I often have to stand on top of piles of project pieces, or reach across still more piles of project pieces, and those piles are often a little bit unsteady.  I look forward to the day I can work on stuff without silently negotiating with the powers that be on which digits I’d be willing to lose in a mishap.  

TL/DR (or for those who prefer picture books): the past two years as told by our phones’ cameras…

Our little ghost boy

It’s been just over two years since we became parents.  In that time we have watched our little girl turn into one of the most sassy little angels on the face of the planet.  We have documented just about everything she does, from giggling to walking our dog.  There must be a few thousand photos of her in my iCloud account, alone.  Multiply that by about another 1,000 times and you’ve still got just the tip of the mountain of baby girl memories captured by family members over the past two years.  Seriously.  She’s like a minor celebrity.

IMG_4890
Our little angel at her second birthday party

We have a son, too, you just might not be able to figure that out by looking through our photos.

In fact, we held our daughter’s second birthday party just one month before my son turned one.  We rented a pavilion by a small lake at a park and invited family.  It was not a huge deal, but it was something, and we got loads of photos from the event.

IMG_5026
Deer-shaped cookies, a deer cake, deer artwork, and a big ol’ floating 2. 

Just one month later on my son’s first birthday, New Year’s Eve, we did nothing.

In fact, I think we were asleep by 9 o’clock.  Poor little guy didn’t even get a cake.

 

Of course, part of the reason behind this was that we had just moved into a new house.  We closed on the 22nd of December, but allowed the sellers to stay in the house through Christmas so they wouldn’t have to spend Christmas in a hotel room (I know, I know. We’re practically ready to be canonized for our generosity).  This pushed back our move-in date to just before our son’s big number 1, and we were exhausted.

 

Sorry, bud, but at least you have a new house?

At any rate it is a house that has much, MUCH better insulating properties.  We’re actually able to keep it above 60 in the winter now, so you’re welcome for not needing to worry about hypothermia anymore, little guy.  Happy birthday.

(Aside: while the insulation might be much more effective, just about everything else is going to need replacing/updating in the near future.  Stay tuned as we post about redoing our home on a shoestring budget, most likely fueled partly by need and the rest by Pinterest)

IMG_6094
Little guy, sometime somewhere after his first birthday… we think.

What really kills me about this is his persistent happiness.  I thought our little baby bird was a sweetheart, but it turns out I had no idea what a sweetheart really is until my little boy came along.  He is all smiles, all the time.  He coos, he giggles, and he lights up when he sees me.

And just look at that f**king dimple!

What kind of parents would let such a kid breeze right past his first birthday without so much as a smash cake?

In our case, the kind that want to overturn mountains in order to correct such an oversight.

While I believe that the willingness to work hard for everything is a value that must be learned and appreciated, I also believe that entering adulthood under a mountain of debt is not exactly the best way to get started.  Our currently accepted debt-funded college approach to releasing our children from our homes into the real world is just unreal and unsustainable.  What a ridiculous way to set our kids up for a miserable life of indentured servitude, right out of the starting gate.

So while I think that nothing should just be handed out, lest we raise a generation of sluggish leeches, I also believe that a firm foundation is a necessary part of a peaceful and rewarding life.  I’ve been meaning to write a more intensive post on the importance of saving for college/trade school/a house, but as go first birthdays, so also goes the actual writing of an intended post: prioritized somewhere behind sleep.

If you are a friend or family member and you want to throw down on some shared-guilt gifts for a sweetheart’s much-belated first birthday, you are most certainly welcome to do so.  If not, don’t worry about reading on.  The post pretty much ends right about… now.

Continue reading “Our little ghost boy”

My Little Angel

I had to spend most of last week and the weekend away for various reasons, and it always pains me a little to leave behind such a critical piece of who I now am.  The day after I left, my wife had over some family members to keep her company, one of whom is actually an amazing photographer and graphic designer.  So what did they do? An impromptu photo shoot.

Getting pictures like this when I’m on the road gets me fired up and ready to take on the world.  Just figured I’d take this opportunity to share my happiness with you.

These are actual photos taken of my heart.

Photo credits go to Raquel Miqueli of @raquelmiquelidesign

DSC_5746DSC_5778-2DSC_5772-2