Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tribute to Maw Maw

This past week, we said good-bye to another loved one. My wife's grandmother has passed. She was an amazing little lady who was such a delightful conversation each and every time we saw her. Gunner enjoyed her goofiness and laugh as much as the rest of us.

This post is for Maw Maw Great (the name she gave herself of course...not too light on the modesty there....) from the little redhead boy who loved her.

Their epic first encounter....
Showing how Great-Grandparenting is supposed to be done....
Loving that laugh....
Wishbone tug of war....oh it got intense....
Goodnight kisses....
So much joy....so much fun....

Monday, April 13, 2015

With a Kid, Things Just Keep Coming

"I could think of nothing more fun than coming home and playing with my kids," a quote from my father. "Having kids is what it is all about," a quote from my boss. "I don't work all day to come home to you pooping in my arms," a quote from me. Clearly, my generation views parenthood slightly differently than the ones before me.

But seriously, twice in the last two weeks, my return home from work was a super cute baby, super excited to see me, walking across the room to say hi to me, being lifted in my arms in a loving embrace...then the bomb drops, the stank booms out, and my wife says "if you don't want to change the diaper, don't make him pooh." How does my arrival make him pooh? And do I have that effect on other people? I hope not.

But also in these last couple of weeks, we had Easter, my brother's birthday, Gunner's baptism, and a visit from his uncle, aunt, and cousin from Oregon....busy times but great fun. It is amazing with a baby how it seems like every couple weeks, there is a developmental milestone or a special occasion where how the kid reacts or copes is a somewhat big deal. As a parent, it is cool to wonder if your kid will take off his shoe and throw it at the priest or deacon when he pours freezing baptism water on his head. As a neutral observer, it's just a kid throwing a tantrum. Point: Parents. I love being able to say "I warned you. Never piss off a redhead ginger. Good luck. He hates you now", or "Great throw boy! Next time, bend your knees for more power and bend your back on your follow through for more accuracy". Every moment is a teachable moment.

For us, first came Easter. We went to the beach with friends. Gunner was great. Pool time, beach time, Easter egg hunt...just a relaxing good time.


Next came my late brother's birthday which was made a extra special with visit my brother, his wife, and son as it was their first visit since Gunner's arrival on this planet. Gunner's cousin Carter is 23 months and future baseball superstar. So it was nice for Gunner to be able to "play" a little stickball in the yard. "Play" is the only way to describe a stickball game involving 23 and 13 month old kids. I find it amazing how families change and evolve over time and there is always comfort when you can hold on to some of the pieces you hold dear. It isn't easy but there is no calm like it.

Last came Gunner's baptism. He was a little older than most kids at baptism, and mass ran a little later than scheduled, and the deacon rambled on, and we were well passed time for his nap, so it was safe to say that our child needed that exorcism and saving! He wore his white mostly feminine outfit well, managed the mass quieter than some loud girl in the front of the church, but the baptism ceremony, he was not having it. Anointing oils, no thank you, strange man rubbing oil on his chest and back of the head was a little too creepy for his liking. Luckily, he was so tired that he passed out asleep in my wife's arms half way through. He even barely woke up when the water was poured on his head and it was not a drop but a Niagara Falls rush. Good news, we made it through the ceremony, original sin is now gone so suck it Adam and Eve, you ain't bringing Gunner down with you!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Life with a 1 Year Old

At his 1 year mark, Gunner had not taken his first step. But before his 13 month mark, he is now a walking machine. Every chance he gets, he his pulling himself and taking off. He is spanning multiple rooms, turning corners, and moving around obstacles without touching them. It is impressive how quickly it happened. He now even has targets. If he wants to go outside, he walks to the back door and points. If he wants to hear a book, he walks to his bookshelf and pulls down all the books. If he wants to play with a certain toy, he walks to his toy shelf and pulls out the toy. He has officially graduated from baby to golden retriever.

In addition, the many people who responded to the fat baby jokes I loved to tell with "that chunky baby will thin out when he starts walking" are correct. Gunner is putting in a shift when he walks. Crawling is work, but walking is bossy. After 30 minutes of walking around the house, Gunner is sweating more than a Norwegian in Dubai. Watching Gunner all day is like a fitness reality tv show; he wakes up, eats healthy, exercises constantly until he is so tired he breaks down to tears, and goes to sleep again to start the cycle all over with the highly anticipated weigh in at the doctor's office keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

With the new found excitement of walking, Gunner has also decided to start trying to communicate more. He attempts to mouth words or letters or sounds, not well, but the effort is appreciated. He has learned to point and grunt, and to me, that might as well be talking. My brothers and I grew up with that similar language. I'm laying on couch watching tv and my brother walks by the remote, point and grunt. Oh I get it. Cat is trying to steal the dog's food, point and grunt. Like that song on Sesame Street, point and grunt. Gunner does the point and grunt all day long and it is awesome. Words are rarely ever needed and often wasted or misused anyway; point and grunt.

 Some time at the lake...
Some playtime at the levee...thank goodness for nice weather...


 Easter Weekend in Santa Rosa Florida...first thing when we arrive and go to the the beach: pass out...
 Point and Grunt....