Monday, June 30, 2014

Grandparents Say the Darndest Things!

I don't know if it's just me but when I'm here in Wisconsin I just want to eat.  The grandparents were very happy to oblige.  They were also very eager to say just about anything that came to their mind.   Step aside Bill Cosby!  These Grandparents say the darndest things!
Photo: The first place we are eating in Wisconsin! 
Our very first stop was at Culvers; home of the butter burger and the land of cheese curds and frozen custard.  It's practically a rite of passage if you come to Wisconsin.  This wasn't the only time we'd be frequenting Culvers.

"Okay Grammy Kay," I say, "Can you stop kissing him?  He isn't going to have any skin on his cheeks if you keep at it!"
 "He's my GRANDBABY!  I can do anything I want because I only see him twice a year!"
 "Oh sorry, I didn...."
"OHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Grammy Kay stands up and shakes her golden mane.  "Look at him move the whole high chair!  I thought he was about to fall, but he is DO DRONG!"
"Drong?"I ask.  "Are you dropping the s's in words again?"
"I can do what I want!  He is so strong and independent!  He will be a leader! A fantastic leader!"
"I thought he was going to do something with his hands?" Kim asks.
"Oh, HE WILL!"

Then there was the pizza place.

"HEY HEY HEY!" Grandpa sings into the phone.  "Is this still the best pizza place in Sauk County?"

Aunt Stacy met us for breakfast one morning at the little diner downtown on her way to my cousin Sara's house to help prepare for the wedding. 

"Oh there's Stacy right there," Grammy Kay says, pointing to the parking lot. 
Aunt Stacy catches us sitting at the big table by the window from the parking lot.  She waves.
"Oh wow, I can't believe she saw us," I say.
"Oh yeah!  Stacy has excellent eyesight!" Grammy Kay glows with excitement.
"Really?"  I say.
"Yeah, well I have 20/20," Grammy Kay says, "And Stacy's is even better!"
"You really can't  get better than 20/20," Kim  says.
"And no you don't! You wear glasses!"
"Only cheaters!  I can see 20/20, this way!" Grammy Kay points outward with her fingers.

Stacy walks in and attacks all of us with massive bearhugs and jolly laughter before she sits down and we question her about her eyesight.

  "I don't have good eyesight!" she laughs, "I wear contacts!"
"Your hair is so gorgeous!" Grammy Kay quickly changes the subject, " I love you as a blonde!"
"Thank you!" Aunt Stacy says.
"Yeah!  Now we're real sisters!" Grammy Kay pounds the table and erupts into wild hyena laughs.
Stacy chuckles too, "And your hair is cute too!"
Stacy then turns to me, "Last time I saw her; her. hair. was. not. cute!
Kim gasps. 
Grammy Kay shrugs.
"Well it wasn't, and she knows it!"

The Mexican Joint.

"These margaritas are good!" Kim slurps hers down.
"Yes," Grandpa says kicking his feet back on the table. 
"Would you like to order?" the waiter asks.
"No," Grandpa says, "I like to relax and really let this margarita ruminate first."

Grammy Kay "decided" to make us Taquito's when we told her to.

"So can you make us Taquitos?" Kim asks.  "We're at the store.  Do you need anything?
"OH!" Grammy Kay shouts.  "I have almost all the stuff for it already!  Great idea!"
"What do you need?" I ask.
"Well, I have green onions, potatoes, and I have Mexican Crema.  Can you pick up; the corn tortillas, the chicken to chop up, mole, oh I ran out of oil, lettuce, salsa, sour cream if you don't like the crema, and I think that's it.  I have almost everything except for the things I told you to get!  See ya soon.

Food and Grandparents!  You just have to love them!  Separately of course.

Comic By Bitstrips

Friday, June 27, 2014

Just Keep Driving...

After a little less than 6 hours of sleep we were back on the road again.  It wasn’t so horrible really.  We stopped at McDonalds and got some ultra-healthy breakfast and it seemed to really jazz us up for the trip.  Rory instantly fell asleep and we knew we’d be sitting pretty for a couple hours at least.  Tennessee and Kentucky came and went in the blink of a fiveish hour eye.  We even stopped to picnic at this nice little Subway.  Rory and Bella really appreciated the leg stretch and thanked us with coos and face licks.

We had planned our midday stop in Metropolis Illionois, because who wouldn’t want to stop and see a giant Superman?  Apparently lots of people, because there were plenty of people meandering and taking pictures with the Giant Superman, including this cute little old lady who was turning 95.  She was dressed up as SuperWoman and as cute as could be.  She thought Rory was darling, but really took more of a liking to Bella, then again I don’t know how many other people lift their dog up so they are posing in a Superman body cutout. 

The Supertown was really impressive.  Every business had super in its title:  Super tanning, Super Center Bank,  Super Nails, and the list goes on.  I thought it was pretty cool.  I may have mentioned how cool it would be to live in a place called Metropolis.  Kim just batted her eyes and pretended not to hear me.  The only thing super unimpressive was the Superman Museum.  It was highly overpriced but then again aren’t all touristy areas like that?  The Super Dairy Queen did have an amazing Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie that was to die for.  Icecream is Kim’s Kryptonite but even she went for it!  SOOO SUPER GOOD!

Sooner or later we had to say goodbye to Metropolis and get back on the road.  At around 5:00 Rory gets into his third and final hissyfit of the whole Wisconsin trip.  He really has done a fantastic job!  Kim starts singing the “Rory Roo” to the tune of “Ohh –e- oh!” from the Wizard of Oz.  I couldn’t blame her for trying because it worked when he was younger. 

 “Quick!  Get Chris Tomlin going!” I shout.  

“Okay,” she says connecting her iPad to the car speakers. 

Rory’s favorite song “Never Once” starts blaring through the speakers and Kim and I join in with loud harmonies and occasional discord.  The most amazing thing is that Rory is always pacified with worship Music.  In church, Rory is a little worshiper; throwing his hands in the air, singing his lungs out and always content during the music.  I know babies like music, but Rory isn’t 100 percent content by all songs.  Just the praise songs.  I really think that somehow spiritually Rory can either feel God through the music, or he remembers the beautiful melodies’ of heaven and is soothed by it.  I personally find it so unique and amazing.

A couple hundred miles later, after stopping at a creepy gas station where everyone was named Betty Jo or Sue Ellen and this one gas station attendant named Betty Jo was commanding my dog to stop barking at her through the window, we stopped to picnic one last time at a KFC/TacoBell where we all took a much needed stretch and chicken inhalation break.  Except for Kim, who ate a bean burrito which I’m sure was just as good. 

We wanted to stop and stay at a hotel with a swimming pool but every place along the way either didn’t have a pool or well didn’t have a pool and so we just kept pushing through and finally pulled into Wisconsin around 10:30.  I immediately rolled the window down and inhaled the cheese smell. 

“We’re finally home,” I say.

Wouldn’t that have been just the perfect way to end this entry?  It was perfect!  But then Kim says, “Well, yes for a couple weeks and then we’re off to New York and New Hampshire and Massachussets…”

I blocked the rest out because honestly I was extremely tired and we still had an hour and half left to drive before we got to Grandpa and Grandma’s house.  They were up and waiting for us on their deck at Midnight.  Now that’s what I call dedication.  We hugged.  We kissed.  We plopped down on the bed and fell right asleep.

Man.  Another great ending!  But no… around 2:00 Rory woke up in a hot mess of a crying spat.  I sent Kim to bed because at least one of us should get some sleep.  I rocked the little monkey, I cradled him, I stuck him right in front of the fan.  And then I woke up the next morning with no memory of how either of us got into our beds.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

And We're Off to Wisconsin...Again and Again

The four of us were totally ready to leave at 4:00pm for the long journey to Wisconsin.  We’d finished our VBS week with a wrap up at church, picked up our subs from Publix, said goodbye to our favorite deli lady, packed the car full, strapped in the baby and the dog and were pulling out of the driveway.   Kim was singing a tune about how the garage door was closing because you know by now that if she didn’t, I was going to be asking ten minutes later if I remembered to close it and have to drive back to make sure.

We’d driven a whole two streets when I couldn’t feel my wallet in my back pocket.  So I went back home, looked in the house and found it in the car.  Grr.  Here we go again.  We pull out of the driveway and are on our way.    We’d gotten a whole five streets away when I couldn’t remember if we shut the garage door when I went back in to look for my wallet.

“I’m sure you did,” Kim says.
“But I’m not positive.  I have to go back,” I say.
“I figured.”
It was closed. 
“We need some gas.  Should we stop at Wal-mart?” Kim asks.
“I’d prefer to stop at the gas station heading out of town.  It’ll be faster.”

Of course once we arrived at the gas station all the pumps were covered.

“OH MY GOSH!” I scream, “Well, here we go back into town to find another gas station.  Is God telling us not to leave?” I ask.
“No!”  Kim says, really wanting to get out of town, “He is protecting us from something on the road.”
“Hmm,” I say.  Well that’s very positive.”

45 minutes after we tried to get out of town we finally did and things seemed to go fairly well from that point on.  I expected Rory to be crying for most of the trip but really he only had  
three bad fits.

“Rory please stop!” I grumble.
“He’s just overtired,” Kim says. 
“Well why won’t he fall asleep then?  I’m getting a headache, and he’s been crying for an hour!”  I whine.
“Umm, it’s only been 15 minutes.  I’ve been timing it.  And his earlier fit was for 4 minutes, then he passed out.”
“Hmm,” I ponder,  “It feels longer.”

Getting out of Florida seemed the longest, but passing through Georgia took quite a while too.  The best part was that most of our driving was through Rory’s bedtime and he just slept through everything.  My whole goal was to get through Atlanta before stopping to rest because ain’t nobody  got time for that traffic.  However, since we left so late in the day I was worried that I’d be able to stay awake and actually utilize the quiet driving time.  Luckily my friend and Pastor is a 5 Hour Energy Spokesmodel and he assured me that I’d not only physically feel awake but I’d also get the best mental clarity that you could buy for 3.50 a bottle.    I have to tell you that almost instantly after downing the sickly sweet pomegranate nectar my eyes completely focused and I was as alert as a ninja assassin.  It was so fantastic, until my chest started burning.  I texted Tim and told him something must be wrong.  He was great enough to call me back and let me know that the burning was natural and of course necessary.  In the end, he was right because we ended up sailing through Georgia and into Tennessee before I was ready to quit for the night.

Kim will you go in and get the room?” I ask.
“Sure,” Kim says with a touch of Zombieitous near her eyes.
When the four of us pile into the room, we see it’s a decent size for 40  bucks but the bed is, and I’m being generous, a double. 
“Umm?  Did you tell them you were travelling alone?” I ask.
“Well, she didn’t ask,” Kim says sitting down on the bed.
“Did you tell them you had a husband and a dog that all sleep on the same bed?”
“Well, she didn’t ask,” Kim says laying her head back on the pillow.
“Did you tell them you had a baby and a fancy twin sized bed wasn’t going to cut it?”
“Well, she didn’t ask,” Kim slurs and then begins to snore deeply.
“I should have done it myself!” I harrumph. 

It wasn’t a good night’s sleep, but eh, we only have 13 more hours to drive the next day.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Totally Legit or Old Wive's Tales

To Cut or Not to Cut: 

When is the right time to cut your baby's hair for the first time?

I've heard from a Nun that you have to wait until after one year because if you don't the magic that is inside a baby's head will be deactivated.  I've also heard from our fantastic Hairdresser, who has already trimmed Rory's hair twice, that it doesn't really matter because your hair will be what it is no matter what you do.  She also says that in some Asian cultures babies get their heads shaved at 4 months and they still have full thick hair.   So what do you think?

How Much Blood is Too Much Blood:

  When is it appropriate to freak out when your baby's lip is gushing blood?

"Oh my gosh!" I scream.  "Did you see that?"
"Yes," Kim says calmly as the baby literally screams bloody murder!  Well, murder of the lip.
"He just fell over like a freaking tree!  OH MY GOSH!  HIS LIP IS GUSHING BLOOD!"
"Umm, settle down," Kim says.  "It's barely any blood." 
"I am helping!  But settle!  People bump their lips.  It's not a big deal."

So what would you do if you saw all that blood?  Freak out or remain calm?

Will The Baby Be Riding Dirty: 

Will the baby cry the whole time on our massive road trip?

So we're taking a big road trip this summer and we just have no clue how it's going to go.  Rory's 10 months, going on 11.  He is a good baby and usually goes right into Zen mode in the car, but we are talking thousands after thousands of miles.  Can a baby really handle the drive and chill out or will he be screaming his head off?  When should we leave?  Bed time?  Break of day?  So many questions?  What are your experiences?

Canine Capers: 

When does your dog and your baby start working together against you?

I've heard so many differing theories on babies and dogs but so far Rory and Bella are the best of friends, just like the classic Disney Duo, Tod and Copper.  (Am I watching too much Disney these days?  I doubt it.)  Anyway some people just don't think babies and dogs mix.  Others say there's nothing better.  Now Rory has been known to feed some of his puffs to the dog and the dog does an excellent job cleaning his face after meals.  At times it seems the two of them seem to have conversations together.  Should I be worried with this symbiotic relationship or will it all work out for the best?
He's a Shoe In: 

Do babies really need to wear shoes when they learn to walk so they don't become clubfooted?

My mother thinks that Rory is going to be a clubfoot because we let him walk around without shoes.  She swears that only shoes will save his sole!  I stand firm that only Jesus can do that.  So we don't make him wear shoes.  But, I do suppose there will be a time that he has to learn how to walk in shoes because I mean he has to go to school someday and or walk around at Disney World, so what's your take?  Please don't let the cat get you're tongue.  What do you think?
Seriously Where Are The Rabbits Hiding: 

 How many times can a baby rabbit poop in a day?

That's pretty much it.  I just want to know how many rabbits are in your baby's diaper?  The other day I had to change 8 rabbit poops.  I think one an hour.  Really was annoying, mostly because they reek.

When is the right time to take the Binky away?  IE, pacifier, paci, plug, monkeybutt, froglegger, plastic shish-kabob.

As you know, my wife thinks he NEVER should have been allowed to have a binky but I think its great.  But if you've read any of my other entries you already know my take on binkies.  I want to know what you think.  When is the right time to take it away?

Comic By Bitstrips

Monday, June 16, 2014

Skyping With Senior Citizens

I have to tell you that technology is such a blessing for my wife and I!  It's not easy being so far away from our families.  More than a thousand miles in fact, and tucked into the hillsides of frosty snow covered lands makes it hard to travel too often. 

Skype has been our lifeline to Rory's grandparents.  It helps that it's so gall-darn easy to use.  You just sign in and push call.  It's so simple in fact that at 10 months old, Rory now knows how to call Grammy all by himself.  Interestingly enough, it's too complicated for some of our seasoned relatives. 

Case Study 1- Grammy Kay: 

"Can you see me?" Grammy Kay asks.
"Uh, no," I say.  "I only see your living room."
"OH!" Grammy Kay shrieks, "It's my tablet.  It always does this strange thing.  Hang on!"
"Oka...." I begin.
"YEP!" Grammy Kay shouts.  "I got it!"
"No, you're upside down," I say.  "Good try."
"Hmmm," Grammy Kay ponders.  "Oh I know!"
"There you go!" I say.
 "Well good Lawd!" Grammy Kay says, "I wish you weren't so blurry."
"Interesting.." I begin to say.
"What about me?" I ask.  "Do I get stuff too?" 
 "Umm, you already got stuff when you were little.  Now it's Rory's turn.  But I miss all three of you so much!"

Case Study 2- Wisconsin Grandpa and Grandma

"Hmm." Grandpa says into his cell phone.  "Can you see us?"
"No." I say.
"Well, we see you."
"That's strange. Did you push the video button?"
"What's that now?" Grandpa says.
"Push the video button." 
"I don't see a button." Grandpa says.  "Do you see one Joanne?"
"Well... (imagine a really long conversation about which buttons to push.)"
"Yeah, I don't know.  Let me call my computer guy.  He will patch us through."
"It's really not this hard.  I don't understand why its so complicated for you guys to push a button." I say.
"I'll just call my computer guy. I should have known things were going to go downhill since Y2K."

Case Study 3 - Grammy D

  "Ummm all we get is a blank screen," Grammy D says over the cellphone.  "Bob can't figure it out either."
  "I don't understand why none of our parents can figure this out," Kim says,  "Ask Lindsey.  She is a young college graduate.  I'm sure she can figure it out."
"We asked her already.  She has no clue."

Months later.

"Finally!  I didn't realize all I had to do was push the camera button."
"Heaven help us!" Kim says.

Case Study 4- Grandpop-o and Hailmony

"HI ROORY!" Hailmony says with excitement.
We listen as singing, laughing, and Rory oogling occurs.
"Yay!  You guys can actually use Skype.  How refreshing," I say.
"Amen," Kim and I say together.

Well Meatloaf said it best, "1 out of 4 ain't bad."  (Disclaimer: Due to any hardcore meatloaf fans, this is an abbreviated and slightly changed version of the famous lyric.)

Comic by Bitstrips

Sunday, June 15, 2014


So we were catching up on Sister Wives last night, which is a really fantastic show if you haven't watched it.  The Browns might not follow all of societies norms, but they are such an amazing family!   #talkaboutafathersdayparty.  As I was saying, there was an episode where Meri has a birthday and Kody keeps saying, "Happy Birthday" every two seconds.  Sound like anyone you know?  #ilovethebrowns

Kim:  But, you are not ever having another wife!
Josh:  Well, probably not, but what if it's God's plan?
Kim:  Nope! 
Josh:  You can't say no to God, or you'll end up in a whale or something.  But seriously, could you ever imagine me being able to put up with another wife?
Kim:  Oh.  (belly laughing)  Yeah.  (more extreme laughter) That's probably true.  I'm like fifteen women. 
Josh:  (deleted thought)

Anyway... as I was saying.  Kim, being that beautiful and wacky wife I love, has been saying Happy Father's Day to me  all day in every other phrase she spouts out.  #awesomeness

You know, I always knew that I loved babies but I never knew how much I'd love being a father myself.  It's literally the best thing in the world!  Rory is so amazing whether he's just snuggling up next to me, attacking the blinds, or climbing Mount Bella.  I just love every stinking thing about him! (Even his 6 poops today #notexaggerating #happyfathersday #ilovepooptalk)

I know I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, but it makes relating to God, the Father, so much clearer.  I can understand the love that He feels for me because He has given me a real-life tangible example.  Oh Gosh, I can't even handle looking at Rory's little face.  He is so precious!  #lovehim

Kim and I are constantly thanking God for this amazing blessing and privilege!  We might sometimes pray for a little calm, but they say if you don't ask, then you will never receive.  Even with the non stop action we really couldn't be happier.   #lookatthosecheeks  #thankyoufather  #mywifehateshashtags


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Did You Know?

Did you know that when yogurt is sneezed out of a baby's nose that it looks identical to blood splatter that occurs when a baby faceplants and bites their tongue?  I have to say I have learned tons of new things in Rory's 10 months on this earth.  I don't always like the circumstances, because let's face it  Rory's first bloodshed was freaking scary!  I instantly transformed into worry mode and prayed that his new teeth were okay and other things I won't mention here due to ridiculousness.  I really have been trying to stay calm with life's craziness because I know it's a way to show God that I trust Him and believe that He has not only my back, but also Rory's.  

Sometimes, last Sunday in particular, I'm completely on top of my game because at church Rory took a  big spill and the masses were surprised at how calm Kim and I were as first time parents.   It's honestly a phenomena but Kim  things that it's partially because as teachers we see a lot of the spills and issues up close and personal.  Clearly, it's different when it's your own kid, but the years of  practice have helped us determine what's a real problem and what's not.     Then again, ten minutes after Rory's spill, he found an uncovered outlet and Kim ran and screamed like I'd never seen before.  She was positive she heard a zap and reported all of this in a high pitched squeak.  None of Rory's hair was standing up and he wasn't crying.  In fact, he was kind of laughing.  If there was a zap, which I don't think there was, it wasn't that bad.  Needless to say, the outlets are now covered. 

On a more serious note I do try to plan ahead but as I watch Rory walk around the room or wrinkle up his nose and make snorting noises I can't  quite imagine him getting any older.  When he comes running to me and motions for me to pick him up and settles into that crook that only he could fit perfectly into, I can't picture him being in school or becoming a teenager someday, but I know that's kind of what time does.  It ages and changes you, never waiting or slowing. 

I sometimes think of all the things that life will offer him; some are wonderful and other will hurt him.  I pray with all of my heart that they won't injure him and that he will somehow pass through  the thorns and thickets without any scars or scratches.  I want him to always be that happy, smiling, baby who knows exactly who to go to when he falls down.   I want to be able to cure any problem with a hug and kiss and most importantly that he knows he can always come to Daddy for anything.

I love you, Rory!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Paid Off

As of today, Rory is completely paid off.  It's really nice that the hospital no longer owns a Rory arm and maybe half a thigh.  He is all ours!  And boy is he excited!