The $2,000 Bunk Beds – Part Two

I did it. I clicked purchase on the beds. It was at that very moment that I started to feel that this was not the right option. Chalking it up to buyer’s remorse, I did my best to shuffle it off. Instead I focused what I long knew what was going to be the hardest part, taking apart the beds that I had built my children.

Hovering around the mediocre level of carpentry, it is a passion more than it is a skill. However, I wanted to do something for my kids as they outgrew their toddler beds. I found plans, modified them to bring out aspects of each child, and I built them. They were not perfect, but they were perfect for them.  The joy and surprise on their faces when I put each one together filled my heart with joy.

But the day had arrived, and I stood there, in the silent room, looking down at the beds. Stripped down to the naked wood that I had built them from. I could hear the kids down the hall, playing with the heavy box that had arrived. I knelt down and began to take the beds apart. Making it even more difficult was that I put these together without the intent of having to take them apart. So, not only did I just have unscrew some screws and bolts, but I had to take a circular saw to my children’s beds to get them out the door. There must have been some extra sawdust in the air.

The beds were apart, and the project was underway.

As the time came to take the beds out of the house Zoey and David walked into their room. They saw that their beds had been taken apart. “Bed not there anymore” are the words that ripped through my soul. Kati did an amazing job and changed the mood. She turned taking the parts of the bed out of the house into a game. The laughter and screams of joyful competition filled the house.

But what would happen next would start the spiral of costs for this project.  Come back tomorrow for more. Missed part one? Read it here.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

A Recap: Why I started this blog, and what has brought me to where I am now. (Part 2)

With the birth of a tagline, my resolve surfaced.  Any guy with a penis and a decent sperm count can be a father, but it takes a real man to be dad.  Let me take a moment to go into depth on this.  A guy gets a girl pregnant, they may choose to get married or not.  But as the pregnancy progresses, the mommy-to-be works, cleans, cooks, and does the millions of other daily tasks, meanwhile the father-to be goes on with his life, might check-in at an appointment or two, and boasts to his other male friends about his virility.  Then, one day the little one decides “it is time” and comes into this world.  Often, the mother is there alone while the father is out and about, or (even worse) there but distant.  Then it comes time to take the little one home and the mother takes some time off of work, taking care of the child while the father goes back to his life.  In some cases, that is when the check writing begins (child support or otherwise) and the distance starts.  What does it take to be a dad?  Pushing yourself DAILY to do what you can for your wife and child.  Making it to all that you can.  BEING THERE.  As a dad, you realize that you are not just the bank account, you are a parent, a husband and a mentor.  You are the only shield that exists to protect your wife and child from the cruel world that exists outside.  Here is how the story goes for a dad.  Guy gets a girl pregnant, if they are not married, then the get married.  The Mom-to-be stops going to work and focuses on the health of her and the child.  Meanwhile, the Dad-to-be steps his game up.  He starts cooking, cleaning (after all, so many of those cleaning agents can be detrimental to the child’s health), pampering the mom-to-be, tries to make it to EVERY appointment, and basically bends over backwards.  When the day comes for their little one to come into this world, he is there, he is focused and he takes those final few steps to become a man. As their child is born he shuffles the coil of boyhood and firmly takes his position as “Daddy”.

Simply put, a boy can be a father, but only a Man can be a dad.  A dad should not have any issues in showing fear, pain, joy or compassion.  It should be able to be perceived that his family comes first, above and beyond himself. Furthermore, what is the point in having your wife work, when 80% of the income she earns would go to daycare?  I am not saying that a women’s place is at home… but what I am saying is that if you are in the place to make some sacrifices such that your wife can stay home and take care of your child, then sack up and do it.  Sure, I would love to have lots of things, but what I do have means more to me than any item.  I have a wife that is doing an awesome job taking care of our daughter, and a daughter that makes life awesome.  I know that there are cases (thanks to this awesome economy that we have in the United States) that this cannot be done.  I am not here to bash the guys that cannot make this happen.  I am also not here to say that the dad cannot be at home… that works too! 

I AM A DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and if you do not like my point of view… please feel free to challenge it though civil discourse, or… just stop reading.

The Long Update, part 2, life begins… like a nightmare

Once Zoey cleared the birth canal, instantly the room behind me was full of people.  They were calling for Peds, the NICU, and doctors.  Little Zoey was taken back to be cleaned up, and as I turned to look, my wife’s eyes met me with fear.  I then see that my beautiful wife has not stopped bleeding.  I was caught in a whirlwind of emotions.  I could hear the doctors behind me talking about Zoey, catching random phrases like “I do not know what this is” and “Who do we need to call” and at the same time I saw a team of three people desperately trying to stop my wife from hemorrhaging.  The world seemed to stop for a moment as I took it all in, things around me were moving so slow.  I was locked in the most intense and fierce eye contact that I have ever experienced with Kati, and I could hear our beautiful little girl crying… and I felt useless.  They stopped the bleeding in due time and they brought Zoey back to Kati… and life seemed to resume its crazy pace that is the fresh hell of labor.  It was mentioned that they were going to take Zoey to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and a doctor would talk to us in a moment about what was going on. 

I want to take a moment to mention that the midwives and the staff that we had in labor and delivery were phenomenal.  Their treatment of Kati, Zoey and I was overwhelming in all the right ways.  Back to the story…

They took Zoey away from us at 8:55am and rushed her to the NICU.  A doctor came up and informed us that there were some deformities that required Zoey to be in the NICU, and that she would not be meeting us in post partum.  He did not give us many details, and we would find out that this was because there were not a lot of details to give.  Shortly after he left, we broke down.  Even the thought of this moment right now is bringing me nearly to tears.  All I could think about was my wife laying in that bed and our daughter being taken someplace, and all I could hear was the crying of my wife as she sobbed “I just want my baby, where did they take her, what is wrong” over and over again.  After awhile the midwife that helped deliver Zoey came in (I realize now that she was giving us the space that we needed).  Kati was still shaking continually from the delivery, and I had begun to control my tears (okay, I was sobbing like a baby, I have no shame in admitting that).  The midwife stated insistently that I SHOULD leave and go check on Zoey.  Even though her job was to take care of the well-being of my wife and daughter, she knew EXACTLY what we both needed.  So, upon her ever-so-stern request, I was taken away from Kati off to the NICU to go see our little girl.

Long weekend, Long Day, Long night, hello 2012…hello – Part 2

We had an awesome time hanging out with everyone.  There is (apparently) this laugh that only comes out when I am talking to, playing xbox with, or hanging out with my brothers.  Once you add my father to the mix, you are completely amplifying that laugh.  There was cards, and stories, and a ton more of getting caught up.  We had all the men (yep, this includes their little boy) downstairs having a good time. We were even able to reach my little brother on the phone and were able to talk to him and get caught up a little.  We had football on, cribbiage being played and we watched my little nephew play trucks.  There was also gifts!  The outfits that my wife received fit her perfectly and look amazing on her.  I was able to get some new jeans ( going through the trying to lose weight, clothes need replacing, not willing to buy new clothes until I lose the weight, thing).  My little nephew was given the Black and Decker workbench, and that whole experience was awesome!  The boys continued to play down stairs and I am not sure what all the girls had going on upstairs…. But all I know is that my step-mom made pepperoni bread, hummus, and this awesome sauerkraut dip… then it was dinner (HUGE pan of lasagna, a pan of eggplant parmesan, bread, salad and dessert).  Even though we just recently had seen my brothers , my niece and my nephew, it was amazing to me how much my beautiful little niece had grown.  I was able to hold her a few times… and much as I experienced last time… I found myself in heaven.  So, much that I came to the conclusion that whenever our little girl comes, I am even more so looking forward to holding her.  I was also shocked at how fast and well my little nephew continues to develop.  There were words that a mere week prior her was not speaking clearly that he was now saying!  He is also an amazing little boy, and he melts my heart every time that I see him. 

We never got to dessert, we all were completely full of awesomely goodness, and we had to regretfully call it a night at 10pm (2 hour drive home).  There is a chance that we are going to go back up later this week to hang out again… just because that is what awesome families do. So we said our goodbyes and headed home, stomachs full and hearts overfilled.  We were able to make it home around midnight and set our plans for my day off, some shopping, the parade, HGTV’s dream home (it IS nice to dream), hand out with my mother, oh AND I was going to try to fix my Jeep.  A week or so back my Jeep decided that as it was warming up on a freezing cold (and for me that is a VERY cold day, I mean come on, I wear shorts and flip-flops in the snow…) to overheat and cause all of my antifreeze to come pouring out.  Some work and time later, I figured that I would try to flush the system before getting to the dreaded water pump.  It seemed that it was the thermostat being gunked up causing this.  So, we got up on the day after New Year’s Day (late) went shopping and I guess that EVERYONE in RVA decided to go shopping as well.  We missed both the parade AND the HGTV Dream home.  We loaded up into too cars, my wife in hers and I in my Jeep (just had a feeling) and on the way to my mom’s house (again, where we were going to hang out, I would have access to a hose and not be working on my Jeep on a street) my water pump failed, Jeep overheated in the middle of traffic and shut down a few blocks from ANY parking lot or safe place to leave it while figuring out towing arrangements.” Awesome” I think is the ONLY “G” Rated word that came out of my mouth for the next several minutes.

Unlocked Doors – part 2 – Sacrifice

Of the few definitions that sacrifice has, the one that would most resemble how it would be used when it comes to the sacrifice that a man would make and boys tend to shy away from is;
The surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
It is not easy to be a man. There are days that I just want to say home, spend time with my wife and enjoy the time that we have before we have our little daughter under our feet (since she is already in our hearts). But, part of my sacrifice is getting up early in the morning and going to work. Working hard each and every day so that my wife does not have to work. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, my wife (dual bachelors degree and all) wants to be a stay at home mom, and I support that 110%. Now, I am not saying that her job as a mother is going to be a cakewalk. I honestly believe that even if I work 60 hours a week, that her job will be much harder, and much more important. In the essence of time I will have to save that for another speech.