21 Month Check-In (With Months 19 and 20 mixed in)

20131022-095926.jpg

Well buddy, it looks like Daddy dropped the ball once again.  I failed to get your monthly updates written for months 19 and 20.  While I want to blame my lack of effort on the fact that it’s my busy time of year (working 2 jobs and officiating youth sports in my “free time”); or even on the fact that you have not been the most “awesome” person over the last several months (seriously, this whole living with a toddler thing is hard work); to be honest, I just messed up, and I’m sorry for that.  I can’t say I won’t mess up again, but I will try my best to be better.

Now, onto the good stuff…..

What’s New:

We’re inching closer and closer to your 2nd birthday, which blows my mind. I know I keep saying this over and over, but I can’t believe how much you’ve changed since we last checked in.  While I’m around you every day, it’s when I look back over the pictures from just a month or two prior that I really see how much you’ve grown and changed.  You’re seriously independent now.  You do most things on your own, or demand that we allow you to try.

Learning, Learning, Learning:

With Dad gone so much the last couple months we haven’t really had the opportunity to go to a lot of places.  But one trip you took last month was when Mom took you to the National Aquarium in DC.

20131022-120126.jpg

You had such a good time looking at all the fish and all the pretty colors

20131022-120551.jpgDad found it highly ironic that you of all people were playing with the Wheel of Doom.  So, I wonder where the “Benjamin” category is on that wheel, lol.

20131022-122308.jpg

We also found out you love arts and crafts time.

20131022-122331.jpg

Ok, maybe “LOVE” is a bit too strong of a word.

20131022-122319.jpg

Apparently the life of an artist is truly rough.

20131022-124401.jpg20131022-130843.jpg

It’s really awesome to watch you interact with your books.  You love story time. You now have Mommy and Daddy read you 4 different books at bedtime. Your current favorite is, “The Book of Sleep.”

20131022-124422.jpgYou’ve become pretty good at sharing too.  Just the other day when Mommy asked you to share 1 toy, we could see you trying to process the request, and eventually you gladly handed Mom all your toys you were playing with.  You’re really good about that kind of stuff…..

20131022-124411.jpg

Even if it’s after doing something you weren’t supposed to do, lol.

Your vocabulary has really exploded over the last 3 months, and your Mom and I know it’s going to grow even more in the next few months.  You still love the word “NO,” but you have a few new favorites as well.  You’ve become a huge fan of the word “MINE!”  We understand that’s normal and all, but maybe tone it down a bit bro.  We’re starting to understand you and your needs a bit easier as you regularly say “EAT, EAT” when you’re hungry, or “STEP” when you want to go downstairs and play in the basement or go outside.  And you’ve really gotten the hand of signing some words like “please, thank you, and help.”

With all the upswing of new learned skills, there is also a downside, which came in the form of your attitude that has kind of gone in the tank again.  Tantrums are in full effect right now, and unfortunately you have taken to hitting Mom and Dad when you get frustrated.  Thankfully you don’t do this to others (i.e. kids at daycare).  We know it’s normal; it’s just Mom and Dad wish we could help you better work through your frustrations.

Moments to Remember:

20131022-124956.jpg

Dad traveled for the first time on a long trip without you and Mom.  I went to visit your Uncles Mark and Andy and Aunt Sara out in San Diego, CA.  While it was great to be home and see my friends, I have to admit I really missed you guys.  But not to worry, Grammie came down from Boston to hang out with you and Mom while I was gone, and she was a big help……

20131022-130641.jpgWhen she was awake, that is…

20131022-130650.jpg

That’s alright, you quickly clued Grammie in on how things work around our house; if you’re awake, everyone is awake.

20131022-130703.jpgYour #1 fan Auntie J even spent her last free afternoon with you before heading out on her road trip to Utah.  She moved there for a job opportunity.  While we all miss her very much, we are super proud of her for going after her dreams.  She can’t wait to see you at Christmas.

20131022-130730.jpg

Grammie knew how to get right back in your good graces….ice cream

20131022-130809.jpg

Finally, we went to the grand opening of the Stamp Gallery at the National Postal Museum in DC.  We took a picture with another famous Benjamin, or if your Great-Grammie Huff were to see this picture, she would have thought it was you, me and Grammie Lombard (lol, that’s an inside joke for Mom, Dad and Auntie J).

On The Menu:

20131022-130757.jpg

You’ve become a pretty good eater.  You eat most things Mom and Dad give you.  Except on days you outright refuse to eat anything; which still happens from time to time.  You’re still a big fan of apples and pears.  We discovered just the other day that you like pizza too, as you stole Dad’s lunch and ran off with it, eating it in the process, lol, you’re lucky you’re cute.

Likes:

20131022-130744.jpgYou love spending a lot of time outside.  We try and take you to the park as much as possible.  But, you are just as happy playing out in front of the house with all the neighborhood kids too.

You really love playing with your trucks now, going TOOT TOOT.  It’s cute beyond words.

But I think your most favorite thing to do right now, is wrestle with Dad.  I’m starting to think the Jiu Jitsu gene is in your blood.  You’ve already got some decent moves kiddo:

IMG_0138

Great smash and pass to get side mount buddy.

IMG_0142 IMG_0141A little knee-on-belly to a north-south transition.

IMG_0143And there he goes for the submission, lol.

Dislikes:

Well, nothing really stands out, but then again you’re a toddler so your moods and likes/dislikes change like the wind.

Adventures:

We kept it pretty low-key recently, but we made sure to squeeze in a least a little family time too.

We closed out the summer by going to a really cool street fair where you got to climb all over some fire trucks.

IMAG0706You weren’t quite sure what to make of the whole thing.

IMAG0719But Mommy was totally into it, lol.

IMAG0704You liked exploring the fire house.

IMAG0721All in all a good time.

IMG_0114

You also had a great time at your friend Nina’s birthday party.  Well, to be honest, you cared more about the pool than you did the party, but you had fun nonetheless.

Like I said before, sorry for falling behind here buddy, I will try my very best not to let it happen again.  I can’t believe you are barely a couple months away from turning 2 years old.  It seems like yesterday we were bringing you home.  Even though it may seem like Dad is stressed out or annoyed a lot of the time, I hope you know how much I love you, and moments like below that I cherish the most.

20131022-130832.jpg

Love, Dad

P.S. – You’ve become the master of the “selfie” I swear, and you have the Blue Steel model look down to an art, lol

IMAG0026Dad’s new favorite photo of you and Mom

IMAG0886Blue Steel!!!

Advertisements

18 Month Check-In

IMAG0632What’s New:
Wow buddy, I can’t believe you’re 18 months old!  I mean, how has it been a year and a half already since you were born?!?  Time is sure ticking away fast.  I know Dad is being a little over-dramatic, but I can’t help it as I watch you grow before my very eyes.  Ok ok, onto what we came here for…..
Well, this month was a marked improvement over last moth.  While you’re still having some “attitude issues,” you were in a far better mood overall.  We embarked on our first family road trip, and while your Mom and I were really nervous about how you would be in a car for 8+ hours a day, you completely surprised both of us by being a complete stud.  Heck, you did better than Mom and Dad; well, at least better than Dad who lost his cool a few times with idiot drivers.
Learning, Leaning, Learning:
We spent a good deal of time at several children’s museums on our road trip.  Your Mom and I are quickly learning these places are great for pit stops along the way, and it gives you something to do to burn up some of that energy.  Plus, you really seem to enjoy learning and playing.
P1020515Here you are outside the children’s museum in Philly.  We all had such a great time.  Definitely the best museum so far.
P1020507You couldn’t wait to get downstairs and start reorganizing the kitchen……
IMAG0699…..just like you do at home
You’ve learned a few new words this month.  While “NO!!” is still your favorite thing to say, you’ve started saying words like, “bubble,” “door” and “ball.”  You also do the “moooo” sound whenever Mommy asks you what a cow says; and it’s over the moon adorable.  I think your most precious skill this month, is the refined kiss you give us now.  No more open mouth, sloppy kisses against our face.  Now, they are pursed lips kisses, and they’re cute.
Moments To Remember:
This, buddy, will probably be the bulk of this blog. because there was so many awesome memories from this past month.  As usual, you spent some good ole QT with your #1 fan, Aunty J!
IMG_1244 IMAG0553You two sure do have a blast together……
IMAG0565…..that is until Aunty J punched you in the face! Just kidding, Mom and Dad just got lucky with this pic, lol
IMAG0634You had such a blast playing in the water on our vacation.  Mom and Dad are so happy you have become such a water baby. Certainly has made swim class a whole lot easier.
IMAG0637 IMG_1347 You got to meet your cousin Cutie-Patootie.  Boy is she ever a cutie pie.
IMG_1364 P1020592You earned your sea-legs on our trip too.
P1020622 Probably the best part of the trip was that you got to spend some awesome quality time with Grammie and Grampy.  They loved hanging out with you so much.
On The Menu:
Chicken noodle soup was still the big winner this month. Although, you did change it up a bit when you preferred eating hot dogs while they were in your soup.  Mom and I just called it Hot Dog Noddle Soup.  Hey, whatever gets you to eat I guess.
IMAG0695You did however enjoy a brief stint with beef ravioli.  Boy was that a mess.
We also discovered a new treat you just happen to be nuts about……
Likes:
…..and that treat is
P1020564ICE CREAM!!!  We were convinced you would only eat a little bit…
P1020575But boy were we wrong!!  You ate most of Daddy’s, and then went after Mommy’s too.  You’re silly kiddo.
IMAG0627Your love for dismantling everything and spreading it all over the place has not diminished at all.
IMG_1380 IMG_1381You really love poking around in other people’s garbage….no seriously, you always head straight for the trash can at other people’s houses.  What’s that all about??
IMAG0687 IMAG0688As I said earlier, you really love the water now.  So much so that Daddy can’t even water the plants without you getting all soaked.  Something tells me you’re going to be a “run through the sprinklers” kind of kid too.
IMG_1367But most of all, your Mother and I were pleased to see that you have developed an enjoyment for spending some quiet time, reading a book…..in the nude.
Dislikes:
Nothing new this month.  You still hate being told “NO!” by us, even though you say it repeatedly to us.
Adventures:
Well buddy, we had a great time on our trip.  You were such a good boy.  Mom and Dad really needed this vacation, and you certainly made it enjoyable.
P1020522 P1020534You were certainly spreading the love around…
P1020539 P1020541And look how well rested Mom and Dad look.
It was a pretty awesome month with you kiddo.  I still can’t believe you are only 6 months away from being 2 years old.  If 18 months went by this fast, I feel like 6 more months are going to go by in a blink of an eye.  But at least, while the time is flying by, it has always been packed full of some kind of fun or adventure.  You certainly do keep us on our toes kiddo….
IMAG0694….especially with looks like this, lol.  Your Mom and I know you will always keep us busy.  I love you kiddo.
– Dad

17 Month Check-In

1

What’s New:

In the brief time I have been writing these updates, as well as any other blog I have written, I don’t think I have found a photo more fitting to describe the tone of the article as I have with the above photo.  Boy, this has been a rough month for all 3 of us; and you sir are the main reason why.  So much so, look how late I am posting this update!  I mean, I know I can slack off and be lazy quite a bit, but bro, I nearly didn’t post at all.  Then, I toyed with the idea of saying, “The update for this month is that we let him live; that is all.”

I guess if the above photo tells us anything that is new about you; it’s that you hate the grass.  Why, we have no idea, but we found out real fast one day.

Learning, Learning, Learning:

So, on a positive note, you have shown some pretty cool skill-development this past month.  And who knows; maybe this is why you’re so cranky, because you’ve got so much going on in your head, and you can’t express yourself.

2You’re starting to figure things out.  It’s pretty cool to watch you develop problem solving skills.  Like when you stacked 3-5 blocks for the first time recently; or when you where stacking cups inside one another and you figured out some cups were smaller/bigger, and the order they needed to be in.

3Ok, so you don’t get it 100% of the time, but at least you’re trying.

4

One thing you do really enjoy is taking off your shoes.  It doesn’t matter where, either – at home, in the car, out in public, if the shoes are on, there is a good chance they are coming off soon.  I have to admit, it’s pretty cute.  And it’s cool now that if I say, “Hey Buddy, can you take off your shoes in the house,” you sit down and promptly pull them off.

Moments to Remember:

So even though we stayed pretty quiet this past month, we were able to still do some fun stuff.  Like….well, you and Dad got some good ole quality time together for about 4 days while Mom went up to New Hampshire to visit your new Cutie Patootie cousin.  You’ll get to meet her very soon when we visit.

One pretty awesome day was the day we took you to the Zoo for the first time.  It’s kind of a shame, but Mom and Dad have lived here in D.C. for 5 years now and it was our first time going too.  But, on the other hand getting to experience that for the first time, all together was kind of cool.  The Zoo was cool.  I mean, it’s no San Diego Zoo, but it will do.

5You were showing Mom and Dad what exhibits you wanted to see.

8 6

You really loved the Sea Lion exhibit.  That’s one of Dad’s favorites too!

7You were all tuckered out at the end of the day.  It’s hard work having fun.

9

We shared another Father’s day together, and we all had a good time. Mommy made me the coolest gift.  She went onto Facebook and downloaded every status and picture I posted about you in the first year, and made it into a book.  Daddy was very touched by this gift.  It was awesome to be able to flip through the pages and watch you grow and change.

10You came to the MMA gym Dad attends, and celebrated its 1st anniversary at a big party.  Everyone just loves you.

On The Menu:

Not much has changed this month.  You’re still really into chicken noodle soup, but that’s about it.  You seem to have this habit of not wanting anything, and then throwing it on the floor.

Likes:

11You love playing outside; except on the grass….as we mentioned before.

12

Being silly with Mom is always fun

And of course you love laying down some sweet beats and having a dance party.

Dislikes:

Pretty much everything.  At any given time this could be your face:

13And this happens about 100 times a day, at least.

Adventures:

Not a lot of adventures this month, Buddy.  We visited some friends, some friends visited us.  You got to hang with your favorite Aunt Julie, and you always love that.  I have to say bro, your Mom and Dad are the ones that really had the adventure this past month.  Dealing with a disgruntled toddler is no picnic.  But, like always, your Mom and Dad suck it up, take a deep breath and say we will just try again tomorrow.  It doesn’t hurt that we have “grown up” things to help us get by…..like these:

14 15Alright Buddy, see you on the next go around.

16 Month Check-In

20130521-111618.jpg

What’s New With You:
It’s been kind of a slow month by your standards buddy. But there has still been plenty to celebrate. While you’ve never been the prototypical baby when it comes to teething (i.e. crying out of control), you still don’t do discomfort real well. Over this last weekend you were SUPER-cranky for Mom and Dad. We were pretty dumb-founded by this because you’ve been in a pretty awesome mood lately. Mommy later spied another molar pushing its way through your little gums. I’d be pissed too.

20130521-114613.jpg

Mom and Dad have been pushing hard to get out of all the boxes still sitting around the house, and you love to dig through them and toss their contents all over the place….so, thanks for that

20130521-112833.jpg

20130521-114630.jpg

You love to explore your new house.

20130521-115635.jpg

You’ve become quite the big helper when Dad is building something or fixing something around the house.
Learning, learning, learning:

20130521-120105.jpg

You’re really getting this whole walking thing buddy. Once you started moving; you haven’t stopped. You still love to climb the stairs, and in fact you still keep Mom and Dad on their toes when you sprint for the stairs and get half way up before we can reach you. You’re starting to show signs of wanting to pull yourself up on furniture, but thank goodness our couches are still a bit too high for you because I don’t think I’m quite ready for all that yet. Your speech patterns are starting to develop too. You’ve learned a couple of words to date. You’ve saying “Uh Oh” for a few months now, but your new favorite word is “NO,” and boy do you love to say it to Mom and Dad a lot….wonder where you learned that from. You’ve also started experimenting with a few other words like “Door, Sock….and Mine.” The last one we’re not super hip on because you are well aware of what “Mine” means.
These are the moments to remember:

20130521-121203.jpg

The last two Mother’s Days you’ve shown a habit of debuting some new/sweet skill that just makes Mommy’s day. Trust me kiddo, keep that going in the coming years; it will only help you in the long run. Last year it was the genuine laugh that pushed Mommy to tears of joy; this year’s trick; giving Mommy a kiss upon request. Mommy was simply over the moon when she asked you for a kiss and you ran up and gave her a big kiss on the cheek.

20130521-121612.jpg

20130521-121643.jpg

Oh, and you know exactly the kind of gifts Mommy loves. Way to One-Up your Dad bro, lol

20130521-122218.jpg

Unfortunately buddy this month had some bummer moments too. You got really sick with a double ear infection and strep throat. Daddy especially loved it when the doctor told him kids can’t get strep throat, right as your results came back as not only positive for strep, but over the top positive. You slept a lot; so much that Mommy and Daddy were really scared. But, once you got your meds, you felt so much better.
20130521-122248.jpg
What’s on the menu:

20130521-122827.jpg

We’ve found out that you love chicken noodle soup…and that’s pretty much all you want to eat. This has proven to be both awesome and trying for Mom and Dad.
Likes:

20130521-124623.jpg

You’re likes are pretty much the same. Walking is your #1 favorite thing to do. But most of all you want to go outside all the time. Mom loves this about you. She loves to be outside.

20130521-124843.jpg

You love to connect with your peeps via social networking. Or maybe you’re the E-Trade baby and we didn’t know it. Can you give Mom and Dad some stock tips?
Dislikes:
You clearly do not like to be told what to do. Certainly you don’t like being to you can’t do something, and you are pretty good at expressing your displeasure about it.
Adventures:
While it might have been a “slow” month, we got in some awesome quality time together. Your buddy FG came to see your new digs and Mom and Dad got to have some “adult conversation” with her Mommies; we needed that. On Mother’s Day you, me and Mommy went over to the garden park by our house for a little afternoon fun. You had a great time playing with all the rocks and branches laying around. You also got your second haircut (ALREADY!!). You have the same hair as Daddy; it grows quickly. You look like such a big boy now. Last weekend we all went to a fun BBQ. It was a friend’s house from church. Mommy and Daddy got to relax and talk with friends, and you had a great time playing with your buddies that were born around the same time you were. All in all, great month Big Guy!

20130521-130435.jpg

12 Months: What a Year it’s been

Even as I type this, I have to admit that I am really struggling on the direction of this post.  All signs point to how much I want to pile on myself for slacking on my writing….no, slacking is too kind of a term at this point; downright laziness is more like it.  But honestly, what is that going to accomplish?  This forum is supposed to be about Ferris, not me.  I have a whole other blog site where I can freely beat up on my short-comings.  So, enough about me, and more about the boy.
I simply cannot believe our baby boy is a year old.  My wife’s favorite way to get out of talking about a topic is to say, “I can’t. I can’t process this right now.”  I always get on her for it and say that it’s total cop-out, but now I can finally say I feel that same way.  I simply can’t process that Ferris is 1 year old.
When I last checked in he was barely 6 months old, and while that was not that long ago, it feels as if it were ages ago.  I often describe this last year to people that I can’t believe he’s turning 1, but it feels like he’s been around for years.  It’s the weirdest feeling.  How can you feel like time is flying by, yet feel like it’s dragging on at the same time?  Become a parent, that’s how, lol.
Lately many people have asked me what this year has been like.  It’s been a pretty even mix of people with kids vs. people without kids who inquire, but I think most of them have very similar reaction to my honesty about how I feel about these last 12 months; because it’s not always that nice.
Prior to Ferris being born I had these grand ideas of parenthood, and what kind of parents I thought the Wife and I would be. We are both smart and funny (well, the Wife is smart, and I’m funny), kind, loving and caring people, so naturally I knew we would be the greatest parents to ever walk this Earth.  While I would have never claimed that raising a kid was going to be a walk in the park, I knew for sure that we would rock it out with no problem, because we’re good like that, and our baby would be just like us.  And for the most part we were right; our baby is like us.  It just so happens he has some of our other traits we didn’t really recognize we had.
Ferris was a super fussy baby.  The first 3-4 months were some of the hardest days of my life, and for the Wife it was even worse as she was home with him all day long, with no relief until I came home from work.  Unfortunately Ferris was born with reflux issues, and to top it off he hated napping.  All of this led to a cranky and tired baby almost every day.  Tack all that on top of two exhausted parents, who live in a shoe-box apartment, and are frustrated, and until recently were really comfortable in their own selfishness…give it a quick shake, and what do you get?  Instant negative environment, that what!
crabby2crabby1
But, through all the struggles; through all the fussiness; through all the trips and falls (us, not him), there were plenty of awesome moments to pull us all back together.
One particular moment stands out whenever I think about all our good moments.  It was right before Ferris turned 4 months old. The Wife and I took Ferris on a day trip to visit one of the Wife’s coworkers who had not met him yet due to being home-bound after surgery.  On the car ride home Ferris was doing pretty good, which was a feat in itself as he hates the car seat, and the Wife was riding in the back seat with him.  She was kind of being down on herself, saying how she feels like she was not doing a very good job as a partner, or as a Mom.  I tried my hardest to dissuade that line of thinking, but I knew there was only so much I could say since the Wife was struggling with some post-partum issues, like many women do.  At one point she was talking to Ferris and saying how she was going to try harder, and that point she started crying.  When I asked what was wrong, she said, “Nothing, he just laughed for the first time”….a real laugh! This was one of those moments that you say, “This makes it all worth it.”
cute
As I have said in earlier blogs….way earlier blogs, lol….it wasn’t always fussiness and stress.  At about the 5 month mark we started to see signs of Ferris becoming a little person.  He started expressing joy for things he liked, and was very adamant about the things he didn’t enjoy; like tummy-time.  Man, did he hate tummy-time.
We also learned around this time that Ferris is very adaptable.  This is probably the main thing that helped the Wife and I ease some of our anxiety about taking Ferris places in public (because of the prior period of super-fussiness).  And what a place to show us how cool he could be, but the airport during a busy travel day.
We took Ferris to San Diego to see family and for a little vacation.  To say the Wife and I were super nervous about taking our baby into a crowded airport, then on a 6 hour flight with nowhere to go if he had a meltdown is an understatement.  But just when you think you get this kid pegged, he completely surprises you.  This kid was a total rock star; cooler than the other side of the pillow even.  And it’s been the same every time we’ve traveled this year; which has been a lot….much to the chagrin of our bank account.  Looks like the boy is going to be just like his Mom and love to travel.
Much of our travel was due to holidays.  This was especially fun for me because for the last 5 years the Wife and I have not been able to join our family for the holidays due to me working retail, and having to work the day after Xmas and Thanksgiving.  But more importantly because we got to celebrate the holidays with Ferris as part of our family now.
This past year has dragged on, yet gone by in a blink of an eye.  While I have been writing this post I keep finding myself breaking from the writing and start flipping through the photos of Ferris from this past year.  I see this little, fragile person who arrived on this Earth late one night last January, then I see him get a little bigger; a little less fragile, but even now as I stare at a picture I took of him on my iPhone of him being silly yesterday, I still that little baby who fit in the nook of arm because he was so small.  I see that little boy who I welcomed to the world and promised I would take care of him forever, and never let anything hurt him.  And somehow I think I will always see him this way.
cute2cute3
I totally get it now, what people told me about the way you love will change when you have a child.  I used to be pretty defiant (shocker, lol) about the whole statement, “You never know how to love until you have a child,” and I still am because that is unfair to people without children, and frankly I have always known how to love.  Also, to those who said that I would “really” learn how to love someone other than myself when I had a kid, I still disagree with you too, because I loved my wife long before Ferris showed up, and every day I love her more than I did the day before.  My wife is my world.  However; what I will say is true, is that since Ferris arrived I now know what it looks like to see my heart outside of my body.  I love this boy so very much, and cannot even imagine life without him.  Like I said, it feels like he’s always been here.
Well kiddo, it’s been a pretty crazy year since you showed up.  We’ve had some awesome highs, and some trying lows.  I watch you grow and learn every day and am amazed at how you’ve changed in such a short time.  I am so proud of you, and I am so proud to be your Dad.
I’m sorry I didn’t live up to all the high standards I set for myself.  I know I stumbled as a partner, and as a Dad…a lot.  I didn’t live up to all the promises I made, and that makes me sad.  I wish I had done a better job at so many things, but when I see you smile at me, or when you laugh while you crawl over to me and climb all over me, or any of the other silly stuff you do when we play, it makes me feel all better because I know you don’t care about any of that.  You love me anyway, and in that I see your Mom in you, because she looks at me like that too.  For all my short-comings and failures, you still think I’m pretty cool.
There is one promise I have kept, and I’m pretty happy about it. And that is that I love you more and more every day.  And that I will always love you and your Mom.
I love you buddy, and I always will,
Dad
cute4

Ferris is California Dreaming

I simply cannot wait for Ferris to get old enough so I can explain to him how lucky he is in his roots.  The boy has no idea right now, but he has the best of both worlds in his blood…thanks to his awesome parents (shameless parent-plug, lol).
 
The Wife is from, and grew up in the New England area (Boston).  I have had the opportunity to visit the area many times, and to tell you the truth, I love the area.  New England is so beautiful, and it is all around a stark contrast to where I grew up (we’ll get there in a min).

New England has all 4 seasons every year; some longer than others.  It is so nice in the Spring (all 3 weeks of it, lol), but the Fall is probably my favorite.  The foliage is nice, and the weather is just starting to get a bit cooler than usual, or as the Wife calls it, “Puffy Vest weather.”  The woman loves her puffy vests, I swear.
 
Of course the summers are overly warm, but it is far more tolerable than the ungodly heat and humidity we suffer through every year in D.C.  So for all this niceness there is still a steep price to pay; and in New England that price is known as Winter.  The winters seriously suck a-hole in New England.  Hell, it is so damn cold if you go outside during the winter in New England your a-hole will pucker up so fast to try and not lose any of the remaining body heat you have, that you may not see it for a few months.  Again, in stark contrast to where I am from.
 

butt-clenching cold…that’s what it is

So where is Ferris’ Dad from you might be thinking?  Heaven; that’s where…also known as San Diego, CA.  The reason I said the seasons of New England are in stark contrast to where I am from is because we only have one season in San Diego, and that’s the season of Awesome.  I bet you didn’t know Awesome was an actual season, but it is.  Go visit San Diego and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  It’s like a secret season, much like our beloved In-N-Out Burger on the West Coast has a secret menu.
 
That’s it people! That’s all you need in a menu. You don’t have to complicate awesomeness…..just let it happen. Greatest burgers IN THE WORLD!!

I’m dead-serious people; the weather in San Diego is nothing short of perfect.  You may pine for the changes in season, but all I have to say about that is celebrating Christmas in shorts and flip-flops is pretty cool.  And don’t even try and drop that “Dreaming of a White Christmas” stuff, because to that I must remind of the origins of that song…it was written by Irving Berlin while he was kicking in L.A. on a beautiful, sunny, December day.  That’s why the song says “dreaming” and not “experiencing,” lol.
 
All day, every day

Anyway, I am digressing like crazy over here.  The reason why I’m babbling on about this is because the Wife and I recently took Ferris on his first trip.  For some reason we had the insane  notion that at barely 5 months Ferris was more than ready for his first plane ride, and what better destination to test this theory than a trip to San Diego, CA.  That’s right, we decided to take a 5 month old who can barely muster up enough happiness to not fuss for about 2 hours a day, on a non-stop 6 hour flight across country.  What could go wrong, right?
 
To be fair, the trip wasn’t actually born out of a masochistic idea to cause ourselves utter grief, but actually because my bro was getting married, and I was in the wedding party.  So, I “had” to be there, and the Wife wanted to come along too, and since we heard that people kind of frown upon leaving your kid locked in a kennel for a week, we decided to bring the almost 18 lbs ball of fury with us.  So just to clarify on kennels; dogs yes, kids no…trust me, we checked.
 
The Boy has no idea how close this almost became a reality….damn child-endangerment laws
I believe it is fair to say the days leading up to the trip the Wife and I started getting less and less sleep as our attitudes changed from, “This is going to be fun, taking Ferris to San Diego.  We can show him all around where we first met, and where his Dad grew up.  And, we can introduce him to all his Aunts and Uncles in CA,” to something more along the lines of, “WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING!?!?!?  He’s going to be a monster on the plane.  People are going to try and throw us off the plane because he won’t stop crying.  How are we going to adjust his sleep schedule???”
 
I’m guessing at this point you probably think I am being completely irrational in my way of thinking.  Probably something like, “Goodness this guy complains a lot.  How difficult could this kid actually be?”  To that I say come on over sometime, the Wife and I could use a break to step out, but then I’m afraid the experience may permanently cause you to forsake the idea of having children, lol.
 
I know I make it sound like dealing with Ferris is nothing short of soul shattering pain, but please know 90% of this is said in jest….but he can be a very difficult baby at times, especially when he goes through one of his fussy-phases (which he is in right now).  The Wife and I drove ourselves crazy reading all kinds of horror stories about babies whose sleep is all thrown off by cross-country travel, and seeing how he is already a spotty sleeper, it scared us to death.  But, then the boy goes and does something that just catches you off guard and surprises you.
 
I am already a nervous flyer…hell, let’s be honest, I’m nervous in general.  I’m the guy who gets super antsy in crowds of any kind.  To quote one of my favorite movies, Clerks, “You hate crowds!  I know, but I love gatherings; isn’t it ironic.” So basically the airport is one of my most loved and loathed locations of all time.  The obsessive people-watcher in me is in heaven whenever I am there, but the nervous/agitated person is going crazy, and the latter is usually the one that wins.  So to have the boy and the threat of a baby-meltdown with us was putting me on major tilt.  And that in turn put the Wife on edge because she could see the ticking time bomb that is her husband.
 
You know this kid did at the airport?  Nothing, that’s what; he just chilled.  It was completely unlike him.  I think we completely underestimated his fascination with “new things” that we were in awe as he did not fuss once during the whole process.  He usually does not tolerate being strapped to either one of our chests for very long, but this kid just hung out for like 2 hours while we did everything from checking in at the ticket counter, to going through security and eventually waiting at the gate.  Security was another example of bizarre-world; everyone there was so helpful.  Security is usually one of my most feared areas in the airport as they are usually super-rude – but not this time.
 
And it didn’t stop there either.  Ferris was super well-behaved on the entire flight out to San Diego; he even slept for a good chunk, which we were convinced was not going to happen.  The kid was having such a good time being “well-behaved” that he just kept the whole thing going all the way up to arriving at the house we were staying at in San Diego.  Even after we landed in SD, it was a miracle he remained calm through getting our bags, getting the rental car, and then driving to our lodgings.  But the cherry on top of this entire trip was that Ferris’ sleep schedule never got messed up once.  The boy adjusted coming and going beautifully.
 
Honestly, I believe somewhere in his newly developing mind there is a far better understanding for what’s “actually” going on than we give him credit for.  I’m willing to bet he took one look at us in our nervous state of panic and said to himself, “This might be the thing that makes my parents jump off a cliff.  So, since I’m pretty fond of them, I’m going to play it cool and give these poor saps a break for once.  But, when we get back from this trip…it’s on like Donkey Kong.”
 
I guess I should talk about our time in San Diego, even if just for a little bit.  The trip was a lot of fun, and well-needed for me and the Wife.  It felt so good to visit home and see my friends.  It also felt pretty cool to introduce our son to our friends and family who are still out there.  Ferris was obviously the star attraction.  When I wasn’t tied down with wedding activities the Wife and I tried to take Ferris to some of our favorite spots in San Diego; none more important (at least to the Wife, that is) than the beach.  Ironically, the Wife isn’t even from San Diego (as I am) and she LOVES the beach.  I’m kind of indifferent to it…crowds and all.  Anyway, Ferris looked awesome in his beach gear.  The next trip out there will be even better as Ferris will be quite a bit older and we won’t be so beholden to being somewhere where he can nap so frequently.
 
Ferris will be taking another trip come September when we head to the Wife’s home of Boston.  This is one lucky boy, having parents from 2 really awesome cities.  We can’t wait to show him around Boston too.
 
Ferris was such a champ the entire trip, which was a load off for his Mother and Father.   Looks like it’s never too early to feel the effects the laid back life-style of good ole San Diego.  The boy was born in Virginia, but he’s clearly a California boy.
No matter where I go, this where my roots will always be

Late is the New On-Time


Earlier this year I had a grand idea of starting a Dad Blog.  This idea is nothing new to the blog universe, but it was for me.  You see, my Wife was pregnant with our son, Ferris; the first child for both of us.  Now, I must admit our son’s name is not actually Ferris, but for the purposes of this blog it will be, plus it gives me a chance to pay homage to one of my all time favorite comedies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, because honestly I think that is exactly how the Nug is going to be when he becomes a teenager, but more on that in later posts.
I mentioned I had this idea of the blog earlier this year to emphasize how long it has taken me to get around to starting it.  Ferris was born in mid-January, and we are now in late March, and I am just now typing my first words on this topic.  To be completely honest, I can be a bit lazy, but not this bad.  It has really has taken me 10 weeks to finally muster up the energy, motivation, and just sheer focus needed to start something that doesn’t completely revolve around the 12 pound monster that lives in our apartment now, and has utterly absorbed our lives.
Trust me, that is not in the least bit an over exaggeration.  The Wife puts it perfectly when she says to Ferris, “Where has the day gone?  Oh yeah, that’s right, you have sucked it away.”  Well, she’s also referring to something else, but you get my point.  I’ve come to realize that during the pregnancy I never gave the amount of time and attention this kid would require on a daily its full respect, but I believe no new parent ever really does.   One positive note out of all the time sucked away during the past 10 weeks is that it has also given me time to experience things; get really immersed in being a dad.  Plus, it’s given me a lot of material to write about.
So, here we are 10 weeks late, but here is my letter to our newborn son:

WELCOME TO THE WORLD BUDDY!!!  Your mother and I are so happy to finally meet you.  There are so many things we can’t wait to teach you. 

Your mom is a very smart lady, and your dad….well, he’s pretty swell.  To be completely honest upfront, you will most likely get 95% of your intellectual knowledge from your mom.  But that last 5%, well that’s where I come in.  The knowledge I bring, while small in comparison to your mom, is in my opinion some of the most valuable knowledge a boy needs to become a well-rounded man.

While I may not be as book-smart as your mom, your dad excels in some very, let’s say, very specialized areas.  Here’s a list:

#1 Sports – As your dad I am charged with teaching you any and everything about sports. I’m going to teach you how the Slider revolutionized the game of baseball; how to throw a tight spiral, and how to properly wrap-up and tackle; how to drain a 3-ball on that sucker playing loose and not respecting your perimeter game, or how to drive it to the hole and dunk on that same joker in the paint; you’re gonna learn the beauty of the triple deke and slapping a one-timer into a goalie’s 5-hole; I will even teach you how to lace in that nice corner kick on a lazy goalie in the net.

#2 Movies – Your dad is a movie fanatic.  You dad will introduce you to the best that cinema has to offer.  You will learn what it means to make someone an offer they can’t refuse.  You will also learn such other valuable things like how one ring can rule them all, as well as how you’re so money and you don’t even know it.  But most importantly, and I stress MOST, you will know of the way of the Force….and the Shwartz, lol.

With that comes the art of quoting movies.  Learning to quote movies at the right time and the right place is an art form my friend.  Trust me when I tell you this, there is ALWAYS a movie to quote in any situation, and don’t let anyone (your mother included) tell you different.

#3 Manners – Boy, if I can stress anything to you it’s this, your dad is a stickler for manners.  Nothing irks me more than a kid that acts unruly in public, and even worse the parents that just act like they don’t see it.  You will not be allowed to act up in public, throw fits in the store, scream “NO” when your mother or I request (that’s putting it nicely) you do something.  Just so we’re clear, if you ever hear us “ask” you to do something, know that there really is no choice; do it, or pay later. The same applies when we are at the dinner table; manners are non-negotiable.

 Now, your mother might try and chime in on this and say that your father’s table manners are less than stellar, but trust me, everything I do is well within the bounds of acceptable behavior…..when you’re older that is.

#4 The Art of Telling a Joke – Your dad does not “toot his own horn” very much, but one thing that I know for sure, I’m pretty damn funny.  Your pop can spin a good tale or two.  It’s all about timing my boy.  Whether it telling a simple joke, jones-ing on your friends, or telling a story, it’s all about timing kiddo.  Eventually, when you have mastered the art of timing, I will teach you the single greatest line you can use in any occasion…“That’s what she said!”  Ahh hell, who am I kidding?  I’m going to teach you that from Day 1, lol.

#5 The Bro Code – This is for you and me alone to speak of.  If nothing else, you will learn of the Bro Code. You will learn the hallowed code of all men that is passed down from father to son, from generation to generation.  This is not optional son.  I urge you, never break the code.  The consequences could indeed be dire.

Well buddy, that’s about it.  Oh wait one more thing.  In all seriousness, your mom and I will give you the greatest gift of all, and that is the knowledge that family, and the love of family is always first.  Will we always agree? No.  Will we always get along and like one another? Certainly not. But we will always love each other, and be there for each other in times of good and bad.  And kiddo, you have no idea how much family you have waiting for you to love you to pieces. 

So yeah, that’s the letter to my boy.  Is it as cool as the dad on the Google commercial that sends his daughter emails from the time she was born; no.  But you know what; this is me, and I’m cool with that.
Our Ferris is a pretty lucky kid.  He doesn’t appreciate it yet; hell, he doesn’t appreciate much right now.  All he knows is breastfeeding, poopy diapers, and crying like nobody’s business.  Like I tell him, he’s so damn lucky he pretty cute.
Until next time.