« March 2006 | Main | May 2006 »

April 05, 2006

"Congratulations D!"

I usually don't quote reader mail too often but here's one from a little over a year and a half ago with my reply:

Received: September 15, 2004 5:50 PM


I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your blog.
I'm one of those strangers who stumbled upon the site and keep coming back for a baby fix. :) My niece and nephew (12 mos and 20 mos) both live out of town so I do not get to see them very often.

My husband and I (after 8 years of marriage) are in the process of deciding if this is the right time for a child or not. It is comforting to hear of others who have been or are going through the same process.

Best of luck to everyone!


My reply, sent on September 15, 2004 at 5:50 PM

Dear D.,

Thanks so much for your kind note. The great reward of writing for the website is receiving letters like yours. After a long day of work coming home and finding something like this is a real joy.

Fabulous Babe's sister lives in ****** and when we were in Seattle we were dealing with a situation much like the one you describe: Two nieces for all practical purposes a few zillion miles away. To try and make sure we were memorable is part of the reason I dubbed them with the two nicknames. They may have a lot of relatives but only Weird Uncle Jim calls them Tall Princess and Number Two Billy Goat.

I can't say that there is ever a "right" time to have a child. We really sat down and weighed the pros and cons and in the end the cons simply fell away as selfish and vain. What I can tell you is that the qualms and fears of having a child soon fall away when you realize things like, "Sheesh. Those people on Jerry Springer are doing it all the time in their Trailer Parks. How bad can we screw it up?"

It sounds silly but children are a blessing that it really does take having to come to grips with how wonderful it is. This morning, 10 weeks after he was born, Jack actually recognized me and smiled. I can tell you that the moment played out again and again in my head for most of the day.

D., I hope that when the time isn't "wrong" you and your husband go ahead with having a baby. I was already pro-kid when this started and while it sounds cliché the grass is not only greener but the weeds are inconsequential and it doesn’t need to be mowed that often.

Regards and best wishes,


A reply came September 16, 2004 12:57 PM

Dear Jim,

I would definitely describe myself as pro-kid. My husband has been a little behind me in getting to this point but he is moving to this side of the aisle as well. While we both realize that there is no "perfect" time to have a child we want to be sure that if we go forward we choose the best time for us. Now that I am finished with grad school and have a permanent job one area of uncertainty has been resolved.

I truly appreciate your comments and best wishes.
They confirm what I have been thinking for the past few months.


And now today dear readers…


I'm a regular reader who loves to see pictures of Jack. I always feel a little strange, since I have never met your family in person! Thanks in part to your writings my husband and I jumped into the parenting pool. Our little guy (10 weeks old) was a bit of a surprise -- we had decided that kids were in our future but had not started trying yet. I guess it was just meant to be. Anyway, I thought I would impose on you again and say how much I enjoy reading about Jack and all of the milestones that I have to look forward to over the next few years.

Keep up the good work,


So let's all give a big congratulations on the birth of young master Thomas and welcome D. and her husband to the wild and wonderful world of parenthood.

Congrats guys. I expect pictures.

Posted by Jim at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

"Do you suppose Jack's father is always like that?"

So last weekend we were away in Seattle for the wedding of a good friend of mine. (More on that later.)

As we were within driving distance El Jefe's sister and parents drove down from their home in British Columbia to see for themselves what El Jefe had gotten himself into when he agreed to be a godparent. After much figuring on our end we managed to get something scheduled.

We had lunch Friday with them at the Brown Bag Cafe in Redmond. (Pardon the author for a moment while he rubs his belly softly and moans "Brown Bag" over and over.) We tried to time things so that Jack, handicapped by the time difference, would be reasonable and not too fussy.


Here's El Jefe with his sister, Fabulous Sis. (She was apprehensive at what her nickname might be so hopefully she'll be ok with that.) Watching them talk, with the same mannerisms and speech patterns, was a bit odd. Like slightly disjointed stereo. I kept waiting for them to finish each others sentences but alas, no luck.


Meanwhile, suffering the indignity of sitting next to yours truly, were El Jefe's parents. These are two people blessed with an amazing pair of children and a life filled with joy. If my axiom about parents having the children they deserve needs any proof it lays with these two. They are somewhat like I imagined but delightfully different in other ways. Dad strikes me as a practical joker and Mom looks like someone that could laugh so hard that tears would spring from her eyes.

El Jefe's parents have sent countless little notes of affection to all of us since El Jefe accepted the job of being Jack's godfather. That ceaseless demonstration good will and their generous embrace of love has been simply awe inspiring. From postcards from their vacation in Goa to the small presents that they brought Friday I can't tell you how lucky we are to be a part of their family. Friday was, in many ways, like a good old fashioned Newfoundland Kitchen Party that rolled on with laughter and merriment until the wee small hours.

Lunch was over too soon for all of us on Friday. They needed to drive back to B.C., El Jefe needed to return to work and Jack needed a nap. That didn't stop me from my mission though:


I managed to plant a big smooch on Mom's cheek before we left.

Thanks again to El Jefe, Fabulous Sis, Mom & Dad. Jack is blessed with you as family and lucky to have people as great as all of you in his life.

Posted by Jim at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2006

"Oh well. I suppose it was time for an upgrade."

Jack cracked my cell phone last Tuesday. He had picked it up and was walking around with it when, lo and behold, he dropped it on the floor. One corner was dinged but the damage wasn't too disturbing. He likes to hold cell phones and say "Hello?" a lot so I tend to indulge him.

Sure enough, as reward for my being the patient parent he picked it up, wound up and pitched my cell phone about 15 feet, snapping it in half on Thursday night.


So Tuesday I wasted an hour at the Verizon Wireless store in Woodbury, MN. (I use the word "wasted" but really could use the words "squandered" or "pissed away" or even "gave up a precious hour of my life that I will never have again" because all of them are appropriate.) Every visit we've made to this location has proven to be an eye gouging experience in the past but I went anyway thinking, just maybe, they've gotten their act together. Sure enough my cheerful optimism was rewarded with frustration and a clerk who, in the best tradition of retail staff are simply "filling time" until something else comes along, was as helpful as a bag of rocks to a drowing man. This was our final exchange:

"I have to tell you that you haven't been very helpful today."

"I hear that a lot."

"No doubt."

Realizing that further dealings at the Verizon store would simply lead to more hair pulling I called Verizon directly, speaking to "Brian" who was kind enough to hold my hand through the process, and ordered my new phone. In theory it's "Out for Delivery" which means I won't have to try to hold the duct taped remains of my poor Motorola T720 together anymore. I'll post pics of the new one when it arrives. It's been 3+ years since I got a new cell. I'm hoping it doesn't overwhelm me.

A final word or two to the wise: Old junky cell phone? Kid toy. Cell phone you depend on every day? Out of reach.

Posted by Jim at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)