Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Like to Move It!

Sometimes Sesame Street just gets it right. What an awesome song and message for children.. Can't wait to teach J Bean to dance to this one. I'd love to see an extended version.

Will.I.Am - What I Am

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Summer's Gone..

It's been in the fifties and sixties over the past several days and into the forties at night. I fear the wonderful city summer is calling it for the year. Soon J Bean and I will be banished to indoor areas much more and we'll be scurrying about the city in the extensive underground pedways. We'll still have a great time as we know our way around and have plenty of places to explore. The aquarium and the museums are also great winter diversions.

In memory of a summer passing, check out this amazing child playing "California Dreaming":

Friday, September 24, 2010

Endangered Species?

Check out this article from Newsweek about changing perceptions in masculinity.

"the number of fatherless kids in America has nearly tripled since 1960, and the percentage of men who call themselves stay-at-home dads has stalled below 3 percent." 

I'm surprised at this statistic, I would have thought the Stay-Home-Dads (SHD's) would be a little more prevalent. Kind of a long read, but interesting stuff on males in the workforce and what types of jobs we should be proud to work in.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Inside Voice

I've been feeling pretty confident in my ability to handle most any mood my daughter could toss my way, but this afternoon J Bean threw me a curve ball. The two of us had a pleasant and uneventful trip to the store, but within a minute of entering my daughter spun her head around three times and started to levitate out of the shopping cart... Well, not exactly, but you get the picture. Outbursts happen occasionally and at first I wasn't too surprised that some action, or lack thereof, on my part had offended J Bean. "What's wrong? Is the buckle too tight? Did you want some water? A snack maybe?" I exhausted an extensive list of my own ideas for distraction or redirection and a few from helpful strangers, who probably just wanted their ears to stop bleeding. I attempted several forms of entertainment (including song and a short dance number). I mixed in efforts of soothing, holding, patting and will admit I even gave bribing a try. I tried carrying her and allowing her to walk. All resulted in more crying and most with replies in the vocal range of a pterodactyl. I began to doubt my resolve to finish the errand we had begun.... perhaps she's sick, is the seat pinching her, a bug bite anywhere, what did she eat? After 10 minutes, I was beaten... I grabbed a few more things on the list that were nearby and resolved to return another day. However, before we approached the register, the little one began to calm down and within a few more minutes was basically back to her usual self, albeit with red eyes and tear tracks on her face. We finished our shopping, beat the rush crowds home and had a wonderful evening with VeeVee who arrived home shortly after. I was telling my wife about the antics at the store when J Bean interrupts with an animated laugh and a proclamation of "Funny!" She does this from time to time, seemingly because she enjoys the adult reactions of more laughter, but this time I'm not so sure she wasn't just enjoying the laugh at my expense.

Friday, September 17, 2010


An odd thing about parenthood is how your own relationships change. From your wife, to your own parents, your friends and even potential new friends everything is seen through a new lens. I used to choose my friends because I liked them, now I consider how they will affect my child... do they have children? do they parent the way I do? do they have similar views morally? These and a myriad of other questions come to mind when I meet a new potential friend now.
You may think you could have friends that you just don't want around your child, but is that really possible? Is a person truly a "friend" if you can't invite them into your home or enjoy spending time with them around your family (and have them enjoy it as well)? I know I used to think that was possible, but upon further reflection I've changed my mind. My life is not complete without my family and I don't think I could maintain a friendship with someone I couldn't have around my child, not any sooner than I could be friendly with someone who didn't like my wife. We are a package, take us or leave us but we roll together... I thank my parents for setting that example when I was a child and a friend for reminding me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I was a military brat and moved around with my parents and younger sister a lot as a child, so the choice to put our family into a migratory pattern seemed reasonable to me when VeeVee and I discussed how we wanted to proceed with a new baby on the way a few years ago. Around that time I was in a corporate career within an exciting industry when a corporate buy out led me into a new position in another company within the same industry. It was great to land on my feet, but I was no longer having "fun" at my job, though it was comparable in salary and worked within my career goals. VeeVee and I were newlyweds and we were struggling a little with her job requiring her to travel 4 days of the week, but we were making good money and our weekends together seemed all the sweeter due to the seperations.  Once VeeVee realized she was pregant we discussed our options: one, we could stay in our FL home and both work (she finding a permanent job in the area, though this would certainly mean less money) and we would put J Bean into child care. The second option was for VeeVee to maintain her job while I left mine (since she was making the most money by a long shot) and we would rent out our FL home, move our stuff to my Mom's and use her place as a base between project assignments and I would take care of the baby and handle our property management (we have a few other rentals as well). Dollar-wise, these options were nearly equal, so it seemed a no-brainer and we took the plunge into uncertainty! I left my job, J Bean was born, we moved to my Mom's for a few months then ended up in Chicago where we have the good fortune of living downtown amongst all the city has to offer. We have been very forunate to stay in one place for so long (18 months now) as we were originally anticipating moving every few months for the next few years. We have made some wonderful friends in Chicago and will be sad to leave when the gig us up here but we'll also be looking forward to a new adventure in a new place when we go.

I'm a blogger?

Not sure if I'm ready to define myself as a blogger yet, but I certainly qualify as a Dad on the run. My daughter, I think we'll call her J Bean, is 21 months old and really starting to come into her own in the area of manipulation. I don't mean this in any sinister sort of way, only that if she wants milk in her sippy cup or her favorite movie in with dinner you'll soon find yourself providing these things. At times I feel like an unwitting concierge. J Bean is still in the habit of using one-word sentences for the most part, which can come off as staccato demands from a pint-sized dictator at times... "MILK!".... "MUSIC!" .... "ELMO!"
My wife, hereafter referred to as VeeVee, spends the better part of every weekday in the office but she is close enough for me and lil Bean to visit her for lunch or dinner when she has the time between meetings. J Bean has taken to delaying VeeVee's departures with repeated requests for kisses and hugs when she leaves in the morning and always welcomes her home with both hands in the air and screeches of delight. This ritual takes place consistently with no concern for what we have going on at the moment of Mom's arrival. I've been left holding a bib I was about to put on her or caught random toys as they are dropped or thrown mid-play.