Sunday, November 17, 2013

Goodbye for Now Grammy Kay!


I can't believe in just four short days Grammy Kay is going back to Wisconsin after such a wonderful couple months here with us in Florida.  I know that we have all really enjoyed having her here.  Rory especially has loved his time getting to know Grammy.  Grammy Kay would claim that they share a special language that only the two of them are in on.  I personally think they are just seriously silly together and I get a kick out of watching them interact. 

Grammy Kay was the first one to get Rory to smile and laugh.  She also got to see Rory roll over for the first time.  I know she's loved it all and is devastated she has to leave but the timing isn't right and as much as she doesn't want to, it's really the only option right now. 

She worries that Rory will forget about her, and I don't know when babies start to remember things but I am sure deep down Rory will always remember Grammy Kay and her wild antics.  How could he forget the five hundred faces she makes in the span of 15 seconds?  Or all of the winter hats she made for him.  There's no way he would forget watching and dodging Grammy Kay's Little Rascal Motor Cart at Sam's Club.  (Which we still can't figure out why she opted to ride in it.  We feared for our lives.)

We love you Grammy Kay and we appreciate all you did for us!

Comic By Bitstrips

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Forecast Today: Sunny With a Chance of Smiles!

I have to just say it!  I love my baby's smile!  There's really nothing else I need to say in this blog.  His smile makes everything better.  I can wipe away the day's stress by looking at Rory.    I can find complete joy in just watching him smile at me. 

Even when he's screaming and whining and belly aching, because of his literal belly ache I can manage to get him to smile .  I can pick him up and promise him that his batch of brownie mix will be ready soon.  He doesn't know what I'm saying of course but as he's screaming because he doesn't feel good, he can still find my eyes and pull an enormous smile out, just for me.  (It's not a gas smile either.  I know the difference.)

Of course he'll remember soon that even though he can see my face and know he's safe, he still doesn't feel good and the pain will come back.   But  how amazing is that?  How can I love this little guy that I've only known for 3 months, SOOO much? 

My father-in-law, Grandpop-o, as you might remember, doesn't think Rory's smiles are actually real.  He thinks they are just random twitches in his grumpy exterior, because who can make a grump face for 10 hours straight.  Kim tells him that she will kick his butt for saying such things, but I laugh it off because I know my son.  I have seen him smile and laugh.  Sure, he's dramatic like his mother and I, and he may go through a range of 15 emotions all at once, but he's definitely a happy little guy and we are definitely happy parents!

Wait I'm getting off topic.  I was literally only going to write a one sentence blog tonight.  The point was:   I love his smile!

Do you really think that this was a twitch in a grumpy exterior, G-pop-o? 
Comic by Bitstrips

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How I Met Rory's Mother!

Today marks Kim and my one year anniversary.  It's hard to believe that just one year ago today we were celebrating the fact that we had gotten married and had the most amazing day we'd ever had!  (Who knew that just two days later, little Rory would begin to form into the cute little baby that he currently is.)

I figured since this is my one year anniversary and Rory is going to ask eventually, I'd write about how I met his mother.

It all started 7 years ago.  I was a wild 25 year old and I'd just accepted a teaching job in Florida.  One of my fantastic friends from college had moved down with me and we were excited to begin teaching for the first time.  As we walked into our principal's office for the first time since arriving, we spotted a whiteboard that listed the names of all 13 of the new teachers.  I scanned the list because I was nosy and my eyes stopped on one surname in particular.  The name was shared with a famous actress with big boobs.
  "Hmm," I say to my little friend Kimmi Doo.  "I think I'm going to marry that one."
  "Oh?  How do you even know it's a female?"
  "I just have a feeling," I say.
  "Well that's nice," Kimmi Doo says.
    A couple weeks later Kimmi Doo sought out this name on the whiteboard and tells me, "You know that red head?  That's the one you said you were going to marry."

  It was in fact Kimmi Doo who reminded me of this random moment all those years later before my wife and I were about to be actually married.  I guess though, if we're being honest, that isn't the exact moment I actually met Kim.  (Don't ask me why there are so many Kim's in my world.  I'm just surrounded by them by default.)  The first time I truly saw Kim and talked with her was at one of our new teacher meetings that was taught by our lovely reading coach, Sharona. 

  Sharona stood at the front of the media center explaining to all 13 new teachers how a certain reading program worked but before we really got started she threw in a couple icebreakers to get us all talking. 

   "Who has read a book over the summer?" Sharona asks.
    Kim and I both raise our hands.  Maybe 3 more people did too.  Maybe.
  "Oh!" Sharona gasps clearly thinking that out of 13 new teachers, at least more than a handful would be readers.
  "What are your favorite kinds of books?" Sharona asks.
  Some people say they like Nicholas Sparks.  Some people say that they'd rather just read magazines.  (That was Kimmi Doo, and having been her roommate, I know she likes to look at the pictures more than read.)
  "I like Sci-Fi books!" Kim says. 
  "Oh, I do too!" I say.
  "What books have you read recently?"
  "I read about 20 books last night," Kim says.
  "Wow that's good," I say.  "I read the first Harry Potter book this summer.  I didn't want to read them when they were popular.  I just didn't think I'd really be into it.  But I have to say, it was a really good book."
  "I LOVE HARRY POTTER!" Kim almost screams.  "I have all the books that are currently out.  You can borrow some if you want to keep reading them."
  I can hear Kimmi Doo talking to someone.   "I just read an article about the proper way to massage your belly button."
 "WHAT?" a girl named Peaches shouts.
 "Yeah," Kimmi Doo replies.  "It's realy important to massage your belly everyday.  You never know when you'll find lint, or a reese's pieces stuck up in there."
  'OH WOW! GOOD TO KNOW!" Peaches says.
  "What's your favorite book ever?" Sharona asks, almost jigging in the front with all this new conversation about books.
  "My favorite book is..." Kim begins.
  "I would have to say my favorite book is," I say simultaneously.
   "Enders Game." we finish together.
  Time freezes.  Our eyes meet.  Then we start laughing.  "Are you serious?" I ask.
  "It is seriously my favorite book!" Kim says matter of factly.  "I am a redhead and we never lie!"
From that moment on.  We knew we were going to be good friends.  We started hanging out in groups, sharing books, going to the beaches, exploring Florida in general.  We both have fond memories or our first year in Florida.    At some point, Kim started inviting me over and she would cook dinner for us.  There was a time I thought to myself,  hmm, I really could marry this girl! Of course, I was 25, and I had no interest in marriage at that time of my life.  I just wanted to have fun and together we did just that!

 In between then and now we had many ups and downs and truly got to know each other as friends, without fronting and pretending to camouflage what was really there.  We got to experience the good and the raw, the insecurities and the aspirations.  We knew each other so well that when we'd say the first few words of a thought, the other person was right there on the wavelength.  We could tell the other's mood, by a slight gesture or bat of the eye.   I know for a fact that's why we are such a strong duo.  We got to know each other, and love each other regardless of our flaws.

Now 7 years later, we are enjoying our one year anniversary, our brand new little baby,  and watching Ender's Game at the movie theatre on the big screen.  (What Kim's been waiting for, for years!)

I love you baby!  Here is to 75 more years! 

Comic by Bitstrips

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


  Change is hard.  Most people run away when they hear the word change.  Some people try to ignore it with humor, some people use sarcasm, and even other people ask it to try again later.  I, like many, hate it!  It's a hassle, you have to cope with new strategies to achieve the same goals.  Everything becomes brand new again.  It's not fun!

Current Earthquakes:

As some of you know, Grammy Kay is going back to Wisconsin at Thanksgiving and staying there.  It's sad because I know that I will miss having her around to talk to and laugh with... or at.  (I could write a blog solely based on her.)  It's been so great though for Grammy to spend quality time with Rory, and he absolutely adores her!  She can get him to smile at the drop of a hat.  She literally drops a hat like it's hot and he starts giggling and laughing.  We did find a fantastic babysitter to fill in for her, but not seeing Grammy Kay every day is going to be sad.  He won't know what to do, because his new baby sitter is not going to act like a crazy one woman act juggling binkies, making videos, and using five hundred different voice tones in said video.

Rory rolled over for the first time yesterday!  It's amazing and also proof that he is getting bigger and older and I can hardly believe it.  Less than three months ago, he was brand new and so tiny I worried I was going to squish him.  Now he's rolling over and laughing and only waking up once in the middle of the night.  I don't want him to grow up so fast!  I want to embrace this season of his newborn-ness.  I find myself looking at toddlers and my first graders and I think, Holy Crap!  Rory is going to be this age someday!   He is going to walk around and say funny words, and try to crawl in other baby's car seats.  He's going to run around at recess pretending to be a zombie or a vampire and tell his first grade teacher all kinds of things that his first grade teacher does not need to know!

But you know change isn't always bad.  In fact, a lot of good things have come from the changes.  I mean, Rory is the biggest blessing Kim and I have ever known.  We can't even imagine never having had him.  Change helps you grow! 

Would I be the person I am today without the changes that I've endured?  Could I be as compassionate of a husband without knowing how perfect true love with the right person is?  Could I know as fully the kind of love God feels when he looks at me, if I was never able to look at Rory as a father?  Would my mom have ever learned that the only way to kill a zombie in ANY form of zombie movie, show, video game is through a headshot without having lived with us for a couple months?  (and be excited about having figuring that out?)   Change can be good.  It can feel like you are being ripped apart by a tornado, but it can be good.


A lot of my friends have mentioned that they thought I would have changed more since becoming a father.  I sort of see what they are saying if they are only noticing my wit,  because lets just face it, people don't stop being funny.  And yes I still sing all the time, because let's face it, my mom let me watch the Sound of Music when I was little and I was never the same since.  But at the same time, they sort of don't have their eyes as wide open as they think they do.  I've grown exponentially since having moved to Florida.  Even more so, since becoming a father.  For one, I'm always tired. Two, I love this little guy so much.  When he smiles because he sees his daddy walk into the room, how can that not melt your heart? 

Yeah, change isn't always that bad.

Comic By Bitstrips