Sunday, June 21, 2015

On Father's Day

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You've been a father for 11 years. What do you think about that? 

I feel old. And I'm still not very good at it.

What do you mean that you're still not very good at it? 

I still lose my patience too easily. I have a hard time making myself be interested in things my kids are interested in. 

Think back to when Cole was born. What did you think about becoming a father? 

To be honest, I remember it, but I don't think I had any deep thoughts about it. I was just initially like, "Okay, we've got a kid now. Let's see how it goes." And then it was just a lot of work, taking care of a baby.

Have you ever had that big "I'm a father!" moment? 

I don't think I ever had a big "I'm a father" moment. Just little moments. Like the first time he fell asleep on my chest or the first time he ate solid food and then all the little moments where he started to become a real person with a real personality. But they were all just little moments building on top of each other rather than one big grand reveal.

What is the most difficult part of fatherhood? 

Patience.

What is the most gratifying part of fatherhood?

When they choose to want to spend time with me and give up their own time.

Which is harder - being a husband or a father?

Being a father. Erin is an adult who behaves mostly rationally. Kids do not, and it doesn't matter how rational you are, they won't suddenly become more rational.

How do you feel being a father of only boys and how does that affect your parenting? 

In some ways it makes it easier because similar approaches work for all three of the boys. I don't have to differentiate as much. They have similar interests and similar activities and similar gross behavior. Sometimes I wonder if I had a girl how I would treat her differently or the same as the boys, but it's mostly just theoretical because I don't know.

What advice would you give to an expecting father?

I had a hard time connecting to the kids as babies, so my advice to a new father if they have that same problem would be to just be patient and keep trying because for me they became more real as they got older.

Massanutten 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rylan at 7 Years Old

Massanutten 2015
Rylan at Seven Years Old
  • favorite color: pink
  • favorite food: macaroni and cheese
  • favorite dessert: frosting with cake on top
  • favorite thing to do: play with friends
  • favorite video game: Luigi's Mansion
  • favorite subject in school: lunch
  • favorite book series: Heroes in Training

What is the meaning of life?
  • To get rich

What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • an archaeologist

What makes you happy?
  • having fun and seeing my parents

What are you afraid of?
  • black widows (No more afraid of being in the dark alone, Mom)

If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
  • The nicest mom ever

What is the funniest word?
  • supercalifragilisticexpialafoot

What is the hardest thing to do?
  • mind control

What is the easiest thing to do?
  • walk

What is the best thing in the world?
  • my parents

What is the worst thing in the world?
  • living in sewers

What makes you mad?
  • mad parents

What is the meaning of love?
  • getting married

If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
  • pay charity

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dear Lawn-mowing Men, Is It Really That Hard to Cover Up? (A Parody)


Dear Lawn-mowing Men,
Okay, I'm just going to say what everyone's thinking.
What's with all the controversy about shirtless lawn-mowing?
I mean, seriously.
Is it really that hard to cover up?
Here's the deal: Strangers don't want to see your areola. (Yeah, that's it.)
I don't get what part of that is offensive.
Look, I get it. I've mowed the lawn, so I totally understand that covering up can be a pain. At first, it's fine, but once the temperature hits 90 degrees, the sweat starts dripping down your back, pooling between your butt cheeks, and the whole lawn-mowing thing becomes a chore.
I've been there. I get it.
I've mowed the lawn in the spring, summer, and fall; in North Carolina's heat, up and down Kentucky's hills; while dying from allergies. One time, I even borrowed my parents' lawnmower so I could mow the tiny yard of the house I rented in college because my neighbors had begun ostracizing me and my roommates.
But, I still managed to keep my naked nipples covered while pushing the mower around the yard.
Really, is it that big of a deal?
I totally get the importance of normalizing lawn-mowing and spreading awareness that we are keeping our lawns healthy. Which, of course, is more important than anything.
I totally feel you. And I'm with ya.
But let's stop pretending that you're fighting a stigma that doesn't exist. Around here, when you tell someone you mow your lawn, you get compliments and praise. It's not California, where you really shouldn't have a lawn at all because you're in the middle of the worst drought in 1200 years.
Here, things are completely different.
And, if anything, there's unfair stigma on people who don't mow their lawns.
The truth is, unless you're Hugh Jackman, I don't want to see your naked boobs.
That doesn't mean I'm sexualizing lawn-mowing. It means that a naked male chest, to most people in our culture, is a sexual thing.
(Sorry. It's true. Whether there's a kid attached to it or not.) 
And, at least in my opinion, unless you have a perfectly sculpted chest and magnificent six pack, no amount of lawn-mowing is going to change the fact that the chest is still considered a 'naked part' in our society.
Yes, you are doing your household chores. Yes, it's hot. Yes, it's natural.
But you know what?
Your urine is a great fertilizer, but I don't see you flashin' your penis around.
Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm ignorant. Maybe you're just trying to prove a point, and I just don't get it. We all mow our lawns our own way, and I love that. I really do think it's a beautiful thing that all lawns are different.
So, for what it's worth, this is just my own truth: I would really appreciate not seeing your naked parts. (Again, unless you're Hugh Jackman. Then by all means, mow your lawn without a shirt. Or even better, mow my lawn without a shirt. Everyone elseI'm sorry.)
So, go ahead.
Mow the lawn at the park, at the mall, in front of the church. Or hire someone. (I have.) Xeriscape your lawn, for all I care. (Seriously, you go bro.)
But don't hate me because I don't want to see your naked chest.
Sincerely,
A Fellow Lawn-Mower Who Just Doesn't Get It

(See the original breastfeeding post here.) 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Michael at 36

Massanutten 2015


Michael at 36 Years Old
  • favorite color: yellow
  • favorite food: chicken tandoori
  • favorite dessert: salted caramel gelato
  • favorite thing to do: read
  • favorite game: Open Face Chinese Poker
  • favorite subject in school: recess
  • favorite book: The Name of the Wind

What is the meaning of life?
  • family

What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • retired

What makes you happy?
  • not having anything to do

What are you afraid of?
  • losing my family

If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
  • that our kids grow up happy

What is the funniest word?
  • naartjies

What is the hardest thing to do?
  • motivate myself

What is the easiest thing to do?
  • be lazy

What is the best thing in the world?
  • answer cannot be posted on this blog

What is the worst thing in the world?
  • being sick

What makes you mad?
  • being lied to 

What is the meaning of love?
  • forgiveness

If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
  • travel

Eli is Ten

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Eli at Ten Years Old
  • favorite color: red
  • favorite food: burritos
  • favorite dessert: cheesecake
  • favorite thing to do: play video games
  • favorite video game: Pokemon (DS)
  • favorite subject in school: writing
  • favorite book series: Percy Jackson

What is the meaning of life?
  • To return to Heavenly Father

What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • a geologist

What makes you happy?
  • When I hear a funny joke. Fat llamas.

What are you afraid of?
  • Spiders.

If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
  • A billion dollars.

What is the funniest word?
  • ukulele

What is the hardest thing to do?
  • Fly

What is the easiest thing to do?
  • Breathe

What is the best thing in the world?
  • my parents

What is the worst thing in the world?
  • monsters

What makes you mad?
  • When my brothers are mean to me.

What is the meaning of love?
  • getting married

If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
  • buy my own company
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Six months late...Here's Cole at 11!

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Cole at Eleven Years Old
  • favorite color: green
  • favorite food: kadu
  • favorite dessert: dirt cake
  • favorite thing to do: playing video games 
  • favorite video game: Greed for Glory (on the kindle)
  • favorite subject in school: scholastic pursuit
  • favorite book you read this year: Septimus Heap 


What is the meaning of life?
  • To learn

What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • Lots of things. Anything that makes me rich.

What makes you happy?
  • Lots of things. Doing something special that I don't normally do, like going somewhere with Mom or Dad.

What are you afraid of?
  • witnessing someone die

If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
  • I really don't know...To be perfect? I guess?

What is the funniest word?
  • foot

What is the hardest thing to do?
  • fly without a plane or wings or anything like that

What is the easiest thing to do?
  • breathe

What is the best thing in the world?
  • my parents

What is the worst thing in the world?
  • Satan

What makes you mad?
  • Lots of things. Getting into arguments with anyone.

What is the meaning of love?
  • to marry

If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
  • Buy a mansion and a limo and a whole bunch of video games, and then donate 25% of what I have left to research on curing ebola.
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Goofballs

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