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October 01, 2004

Driveway Wisdom Vol. 1

Kids in our neighborhood are driveway chalk fiends. They use the stuff by the bucketload and every once in a while they throw out some sort of amazing piece of insight into daily life that brings you to a stop. Such as this:

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Yes. It really does say "We love the crack!"

Don't worry. We don't have 6 year olds strung out next to Courtney Love under our streetlamps. It's obvious by the rest of the writing that the kids didn't finish the "p" in one of many odes to the Green Bay Packers.

I talked to the Poker Widow before I posted this and she gave me the green light. Thanks!

Posted by Jim at 06:40 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2004

"New beds!"

Tosca and Aida have discovered that changing stations make nice comfy beds:

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Tosca likes the one in Jack's room. Sunbeams tend to warm it up in the early afternoon. Aida, not pictured, prefers the changing station in our dining room with it's view through the front windows.

I've yet to figure out which one is still not using the litter box. I know it's some sort of open revolt since Jack's arrival and yet my increased love and attention has garnished me only more poop on the floor around the furnace.

I still have some of the small diapers left from Jack's first few days. Perhaps some Cat Diapers are in order.

Posted by Jim at 10:32 PM

2 people, 1 baby, 4 cars.

Our home now resembles an auto mart.

Last weekend Fabulous Babe got her new car: A Volvo S60 T5. Progress reports so far are pretty positive: Quiet smooth ride. Easy in or out loading of Jack's car seat.

Then there is the other stuff: 12 speaker stereo system? Well that's nice. Stonkloads of horsepower and pickup? Bonus. Gorgeous rims and the really nice low profile Pirelli racing tires? A girl has to have her standards. Quick acting butt warmers in the seats? Manditory.

It's a not new. (We're too old to watch good money go away in "drive off the lot" depreciation.) It's a 2001 that had one owner on a lease. From what I can tell it was his wife's car based on the papers they left in it and the telltale signs of women's shoes.

FB's former ride now sits on our drive awaiting a trip to the car detailer. It's going to be tough to see it go. The first time I kissed her I had walked her back to this car to say good night. If you know anyone looking for a well maintained 1999 2 door Honda Accord with the works let me know. (74K miles and full service records.)

Posted by Jim at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2004

3 Months old!

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Hi,

I'm Jack. Perhaps you've seen me in such films as "Live Birth!" or "Level 10 Diaper Emergency!" When I'm not cavorting naked in a tub or knocking back a bottle of Triple Strength Breast Milk I like to spend my time combing my wavy hair and having strange women carry me around while fawning over me. My hobbies include sleeping, drinking and occasionally letting everyone know my pants need to be changed.

Thanks for stopping by and giving things a read.

Jack

Posted by Jim at 06:52 AM

October 08, 2004

Of birthdays, odd celebrations, dating and weddings...

So Thursday was Farmer Mom's birthday. (Happy Birthday!) I have no idea what she's doing to celebrate but I'm certain that some of the other Home Extension coven members will do their best to make sure the occasion passes eventfully. (I would like to think that her next door neighbor, her spirtual sister, would take her into town for a few Long Island Iced Teas. and a lot of laughing.) Odds are it will be a less eventful.

This is also the anniversary of the week that resulted in Jack. I like to think of it as a celebration of chaos theory succeeding where meticulous planning and methodology failed. Fabulous Babe just shoots me ďThe LookĒ and changes subjects.

This brings me to a question for you, my gentle readers.

Under the guise of providing valuable information for Jackís later years I was going to take a detour for a few days and offer up samples from one of my two works in progress: ďJimís guide to DatingĒ and ďJimís guide to MarriageĒ. Sure to be blockbuster best sellers at some point in the future, you and your friends will get to preview these seminal classics for free, right now. They'll be chock full of the gold nuggets of practicality, observations and insights from yours truly.

Iíll let you decide which sounds more interesting. Tell me which you want to read first in the comments and weíll meander in that direction for a while. Weíll sashay in the opposite direction after that and just see where things go.

Woo hoo.

Jim

Posted by Jim at 06:20 AM

Spooky Friday Halloween Countdown Vol. 1

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Can I help it if the boy craves the flesh of the living?

Posted by Jim at 06:25 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2004

Saturday...

Pretty lazy weekend here at the ranch. Jack has had the sniffles so we took things pretty easy. Did some yard prep for the winter and filled the trash with some of the worst smelling plant refuse I've ever caught a whiff of.

None the less I still found time to snap a picture that captures some of that Fabulous Babe hotness:

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A few years ago when we bought the Tribute I got a picture of FB in the same pose. Now whenever we get a new car I try to capture the car show moment. I keep thinking I should get a sash that says "Mrs. Redheaded hotness" or something similar but know she would never wear it.

That's the new ride behind FB and Sir Drools-A-Lot. The other day I realized this car is our first automobile with wipers on the headlights. The gadget side of me thought this was nifty, the practical side began to wonder how much the replacement blades will cost.

We did drag Jack to a local pumpkin vendor in a vain quest. The idea, as hatched by Fabulous Babe, was to capture our little pumpkin surrounded by other little pumpkins. Jack wasn't feeling up to the moment and so this was the result:

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Not a happy camper.

Posted by Jim at 11:13 PM

October 12, 2004

Our little germ vector

So it begins.

Jack's snuffles have leapt across the distance and established a beachhead on yours truly. After bothering me most of the weekend they've mutated into a sinus infection.

Jack is of course as fit as a fiddle and giggling while I type this.

The joys of parenthood.

Posted by Jim at 06:41 AM

October 14, 2004

Dating: The Intro.

Dating isnít a science. If it was I donít think I would want to know what they would hand out a PhD for. Itís not something that always goes the same way twice and certainly doesnít follow any logical conclusions.

Perhaps thatís a good thing. Sometimes the strangest things can occur for no reason what so ever with fantastic results. Other times the best laid plans end up making a disaster of Biblical proportions.

Iíve never found that dating someone for the sole purpose of not being alone has ever been successful: at heart itís dishonest and disrespectful. The same can be said for not asking out someone you really find interesting: if you donít ask how will you ever know if they were really as clever and witty as you thought they were?

Iím really one for common sense. (If you havenít figured that out by now consider yourself warned.) You should go out with the sort of people you find attractive and engaging. You should treat them with respect and courtesy and expect the same.

Iíve always believed that dating helps you figure out who you want so that when you find that person they seem to just fit. (Like a comfortable pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars that are all broken in.) When a date is a dud itís not really anyoneís fault. (Ok. Maybe Iím being nice.) Itís just a mismatch and that isnít much of a crime.

So what am I going to write about?

I suppose some of my suggestions will come out. Jackís going to need those later on. Painful experiences will probably also reveal themselves if I can keep them funny enough. (Feel free to prod me via email but let me be the one to post them here in context.) I suppose if he reads this at 10 heíll skip the mushy parts but hopefully when heís 16 heíll actually take notes on the more important things.

As always feedback appreciated.

Regards,

Jim

Posted by Jim at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

Dating: Location, Location, Location

Before you ask your sweetie out try to have an idea of where you want to go. (Get your minds out of the gutter for a minute.) Before you ever open your mouth you have to have a plan. A cunning plan. An agenda!

Why do I say that? Well letís try something. Raise your hands if you know the 5 Pís.

Go ahead. Iíll wait.

Times up. Here goes: Proper Planning Prevents Pisspoor Performance.

Why is this relevant? Easy. Letís try it this way: Which is more attractive to you?

ďUm. Wanna go out Friday night?Ē

Or

ďI was thinking that Friday night we could go to that little restaurant in Cedar Knoll that we like and then head over to the river walk for a concert by this swing band that is in town. Desert is a trip to your favorite DQ.Ē

No contest. The second answer has description, color, verve. The first has the appeal of a poorly wielded club by someone with a brow ridge as thick as a 2x4. Heck, after reading the second sentence I feel like going out with myself. (Alas I am unavailable.)

Even a routine evening can be presented in a fashion that offers similar appeal:

ďI was thinking that after this past week nothing would suite us better than to stay home Saturday night, make popcorn, snuggle under the thick blankets in the basement and knock out a few hours of Tivo we have saved up.Ē

As a species we need to hear things, consciously and unconsciously. ďI love you!Ē is grand but something like ďI love how you always keep the toilet paper spindle fullĒ actually conveys not just sentiment but appreciation and sentiment. Remember the phrase itís not what you say but how you say it? Itís critical.

Itís with a heavy heart that I must confess my own inadequacies. While growing up I actually suggested, looking for a place to carry on some heavy smooching, that we go park behind the UPS building. How romantic was that? Certainly brings a romantic tear to your eye doesnít it?

Iím actually not sure which is worse: the fact that she said ďYes!Ē or that I actually wound up there more than once. No doubt that if I were able to go back in time right now I would do my best to bean my younger self in the head with a trout for being such a toad. What a nimrod. *sigh*

In the end itís all about proper planning.

On this you have to remember that dating is like real estate: Location, Location, and Location. If you donít have a great plan for the occasion you are never going to see an increase in equity in the event. Heck if you really set yourself up with a stinker you can expect to see your initial investment collapse in a flurry of chores, grocery store trips or even God forbid, a passionate night of folding laundry. Ugh.

Try it yourself. Part of this effort of mine is that you experiment on your hapless loved ones. Pitch an occasion for just the two of you in different ways, the Neanderthal first and then the Impassioned way second. Letís hear what works for you.

Posted by Jim at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

An interesting proposal...

I had a very interesting thing happen yesterday. Someone who found the site got in touch with me and wanted to see if I knew anyone that fint a certain description. The reason? They might have an opportunity to appear on a television show and, if selected, have a chance to win some serious money. See if this fits anyone you know:

A two parent family with at least one kid where the father stays home with the kid(s) during the day.

Yup. They need a stay at home dad.

If you know someone that fits the bill please email me or have them email me. I've traded emails with the producer a few times and they check out. It's legit. If there's enough interest I'll post more details.

I should add that Fabulous Babe has watched the show a few times. It's an American import of a successful British television show... (Hint hint.)

Posted by Jim at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2004

Spooky Friday Halloween Countdown Vol. 2

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Today is a gentle nod to Christopher Reeves career. One of his last movies was the remake of the 50's horror movie Village of the Damned. The movie is about a dozen children with mysterious powers. (Such as being able to act in a really bad movie.) By the last reel the dead adults are being stacked up like cordwood and the town is getting a makeover via that great Biblical cleanser, Fire.

Spookiest thing in the movie? The kids eyes.

Posted by Jim at 06:20 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2004

More Proof of Future Sideshow Employment Vol. 1

At the age of 3 months, 2 weeks and 1 day I noticed that Jack is now wearing clothes labeled "9 months".

Just think. In only a few scant years you'll be paying admission to see Jack performing next to a bearded lady and some guy that eats glass!

Posted by Jim at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)

Dating: Last call at the Singles Bar

It's funny how your late twenties can transform you. One day you're footloose and fancy free and the next you suddenly you realize that it was last call at the single's bar and you got stuck with the bill.

For some people this isn't a problem. The site of their friends marrying off, having kids and embracing the suburbs is no big deal. For others it's the beginning of a descent into an anxiety filled swamp, a swamp where there seems to be no safe exit in the arms of someone who cares.

The problem is that from the moment you notice youíre one of the last singles the formula kicks in. What formula you ask? This one:

MS = SUM(L+DthC*PP(F+F))

Translated: Your mental suffering is equal to the sum of your lonliness and desire to have children multiplied by the combined peer pressure of your friends and family. (ďWhen are you going to settle down?Ē and ďDonít you want to have children?Ē were always my favorites.) Itís got some variables but thatís the heart of it.

Hereís what you have to realize: its hogwash.

Not all of it. Thereís certainly some truth behind the feeling in flux bits. Thatís normal. The abnormal part is to let it change your outlook or personality. Biological clock ticking is fine but a maddened quest to get married and have babies with little regard to your well being is nuts.

Iím often asked where ďgoodĒ single men in their thirties can be found. Iím always amused by this because the question seems to indicate that Iím dialed into the single men in their thirties hotline. I suppose itís a compliment. Were I really swift I would market a duck blind for single women to lay in wait, ďOooh. Look! Check the guide! I think thatís a Well Groomed Single Corporate Analyst!Ē

Hereís my advice for meeting someone. Itís pretty easy: Live your life. Most everyone Iíve ever dated Iíve met through simply doing what I would normally. Be it a classmate or someone you run into at a store the odds are that the setting of your meeting is a shared experience you both enjoy. If youíre out with friends and the person catching your eye is out with their friends then right off the bat you know theyíre active enough socially to HAVE friends.

Moping at home while laying around in your sweats saying things like ďWoe is me!Ē and playing your Cure albums over and over is the fast path to becoming either a crazy old cat lady or one of those guys you steer your kids away from at the mall.

Itís a lot like game theory: You have to play to win. Getting out of your home and doing things you enjoy dramatically increases your chances of meeting someone. You would think itís obvious.

The key to being stiffed with the bill at the Singles bar is to realize that itís a one time tab and that the next bill you pick up for someone besides yourself might be a twosome. Really.

Posted by Jim at 10:39 PM

Low Moments in Parental Photography Vol. 1

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"Yo! Dad! Down here! On your left! No no, your OTHER left."

Posted by Jim at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

Laughing and smiling

Jack's discovered the motor control for sticking his tongue out now. Every once in a while he'll get a wild hair and begin wagging his tongue around like an outboard motor propeller. (A talent I keep telling him will make him ever so popular later on in his life. I usually get a scolding look from FB when I say it.) When we laugh at it he smiles and just does it all the more.

Jack's also reacting now to our copying his behavior. If you mimic his actions or sounds Jack smiles and makes even more effort. This can lead to extended "conversations" and some entertaining video camera footage. Fabulous Babe got her first dose of this the other night.

The drooling continues at a waterfall like pace. We still have no signs of a tooth actually emerging but, like everything else, I imagine we'll simply wake him one morning to find a full set of choppers.

The transformation from crying, pooping, sleeping larva to little person is a miracle to behold. FB told me last night that when she went to put his pacifier back in his mouth that he looked at her and just began smiling, giggling and wiggling with glee. I could tell that Jack's reaction really landed home by the tone of FB's voice.

The other night I was dressing Jack for bed and got this:

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A peering curiosity. You can see him stare sometimes and try to figure things out. Fabulous Babe held him up to a mirror the other night and in trying to figure out his reflection he cocked one eyebrow just like yours truly. He's aware of the constants of his surroundings but now he's trying to dope out the specifics.

When Jack cries the moment of fear you experience is that it isn't one of the usual suspects: exhaustion, need for a diaper change, hunger. When I pick him up and carry him, hold him close and talk in his ear and he settles down I know a moment of peace like few others. His comfort and security in my arms will quiet him down and that feeling is like nothing else I have ever known. That base knowledge that he will always need me to be that rock of support and love is simply amazing.

Posted by Jim at 11:12 PM

October 22, 2004

Spooky Friday Halloween Countdown Vol. 3

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The house has apparently been taken over, "conquered" if you will, by a master race of giant space spiders. It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume hapless Minnesotans or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the Spiders will soon be here.

I for one welcome our new Arachnid Overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted Blogging parent I could be helpful in rounding up small children to ensnare in their enormous spider webs.

Heh!

It's been waiting in the garage since November 3rd of last year for just the right moment. (I bought it for 60% off at Target.) Sure I almost killed myself on the roof tonight, but that's 8 feet of inflatable Arachnid Overlord! I'm hoping to pick another couple up this year on clearance.

It just needs a web and a skull or two.

(Fabulous Babe spoke with Mrs. Racetrack last night and just before hanging up suggested we need an exterminator.)

Posted by Jim at 11:25 PM

October 24, 2004

"I'm a scary lion!"

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Well. Ok. Maybe just a cute one.

That's our Jack. King of the Jungle.

Posted by Jim at 11:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2004

Home, Not alone...

Yesterday I got a phone message from Fabulous Babe: Jack's not feeling well at daycare.

FB was in a huge meeting yesterday and couldn't get away. I called the Spa to see how he was doing. (Snuffly and not happy unless he was being held.) I called the doctors, got an appointment and hit the road.

First I got Jack, who was a snotty wreck. Then we headed over to the doctor. (The whole time I prayed there wouldn't be diaper emergency as I forgot the bag.) Doctor Molotov poked, prodded and looked around and thinks it's an ear infection. We leave and head to the pharmacy where it's a 20 minute wait for the antibiotics. Finally we get home.

And the crying began.

Not just crying. Screaming. A throat ravaging scream that made Jack raspy. Snot and tears flowed with equal abandon and holding him did little to make the difference.

It lasted until 6:30.

I spent the entire time walking and holding him. (Eating some pizza on the fly.) By nightfall I had a raging migraine and my left ear was ringing.

FB's meeting continued today so I'm home with the little punkin. He's passed out in a bouncy chair right now and has been snoozing for a couple of hours. Odds are he needs it.

Posted by Jim at 10:56 AM

October 28, 2004

Well at least HE feels better

Two days later and the boy is well on the road to recovery. He's still not 100% but he's getting there.

Proof?

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This was our Smiley Guy when I brought him home yesterday. He was laughing and cooing and carrying on so I hauled out the camera to try and capture the moment. Perhaps it is his spiffy new hat. (A fine and appreciated gift from El Jefe.)

For those of you interested in such things that is in fact a Lionel Train box next to the car seat.

I on the other hand am miserably sick with whatever Jack had/has. I'm betting I caught it when he sneezed into my mouth Tuesday. Ah the joys of parenting. As I type this I have a temp of 101 and am going back and forth between sweats and chills.

FB remarked this morning that I actually look as bad as I feel which is the sort of comment you can only expect from the ones who love you. It might be that she's still annoyed about last night. Crawling into bed, coughing and wheezing, sneezing and sweating I told her that I didn't care how powerful her urges I was forbidden fruit. "You keep those hands on your side of the bed!" The withering look I received made it very clear that I had nothing to fear. Shortly after the Sox won the series I slinked off to the guest room so she could have a night of sleep free from a husband determined to cough up a lung.

Posted by Jim at 07:08 AM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2004

Spooky Friday Halloween Countdown Vol. 4

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It's alive! It's ALIVE!

You would be screaming that too if you had the diaper change I had last night. Woof. Between the medicine Jack's taking and the sinuses draining our son's diapers should be a bad John Carpenter movie. They're something out of an H.P. Lovecraft story: "That Which Lurked in the Diaper Genie".

Jack wore his Pumpkin outfit to daycare today but I didn't get the shot of it I wanted for today. (I went into work very early this morning.) Look for it tonight.

I'm still sick. My voice is so deep I sound like Barry White crossed with James Earl Jones. I should be hosting a late night lovers radio show and playing a lot of Commodores.

*bleah*

Posted by Jim at 06:40 AM