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Showing posts from August, 2013

The car ride to daycare (or anywhere) is much better without socks

According to The Kid, the best way to ride in the car is barefoot.  I would say this is genetic if The Kid wasn't adopted, and my mom would be ready with stories as proof. Almost 40 years later, she still likes telling stories about me stripping off my clothes at Johnny's Market in Vermontville.

For the past few months, she's been obsessed with taking her shoes and socks off the moment I put the car in gear for our drive to daycare, if not sooner. At some point, Gladys put The Kid's socks on her hands, which means she has one sock on her right hand most of the ride in. It also results in the occasional mid-level fit when you try to put her shoes and socks back on before entering any building.
I've done a number of things to keep her socks on since. Switching shoes worked for a day. Bringing her favorite stuffed animal only helped keep her footwear on until we left the parking lot of our building. Singing her favorite songs will get you an enthusiastic ovation, san…

Where is Billy Ray in all this Miley Cyrus mess?

After Miley Cyrus thrilled some and revolted millions with her act at Sunday's VMA's, a friend commented that he felt bad for her father Billy Ray for having witnessed his daughter's provocative scene. I believe he compared Billy Ray watching Miley's performance with going to a strip club and finding out it's your daughter on stage.

Before I go any further, let me get a few things off my chest. Yes, Robin Thicke deserves heat for his part and yes, it is a commentary on America's permissive rape culture.  This clearly points out the double standard we have for our daughters and sons. And lest you think this controversy is all just pop culture nonsense and we need to focus on the impending war in Syria, I think your argument is short-sighted because of the messages pop culture sends our daughters about their worth. Regardless of how hard parents try, pop culture does matter for at least a few years to impressionable teens.

Moving on... a part of me wanted to ag…

Turning STEM to STEAM and a missed opportunity

Thursday, I decided to head over to the Model D Speaker Series event, which was addressing art in education.  I went because the panel looked interesting and it was part of a concurrent discussion with Rapid Growth Media, another publication of the Issue Media Group, so I was hopeful there would be some excellent ideas flowing from the discussion.

I was not disappointed with the ideas. Art instruction as an integral part of education helps children learn problem solving, math and self-expression. I was heartened to hear the phrase, "turning STEM into STEAM" for the first time, because the arts have been out of our national discourse on education for far too long.

When the discussion turned to how to get elected leaders to start recognizing that art in schools should be encouraged rather than cut, my mood shifted.  A well-intentioned panel was talking about the need to just show people good art, point out the economic benefits artists bring to a city and maybe they will unde…

Camping with a teething kid

When we booked a weekend camping trip at the Interlochen State Park, Gladys and I were looking for a relaxing family weekend.  We ended up with a ton of sand, a new tent and a bunch of cute memories.

The majority of the camping trips I've been on have involved rain, including the weekend jaunt Gladys and I took last year before we knew The Kid was on her way.  It threatened rain the entire weekend, so Sunday morning when the sprinkles started, we decided to throw everything into the car and head home.

As Gladys was unpacking the car and corralling The Kid, I started pitching the tent. I was in the home stretch when we realized we left the rain fly out to dry and packed it away later, but not with the rest of the tent.  As a result, it was still in our closet in Detroit.  Which is why we decided to buy another tent. As a bonus, I've pitched two different tents the past two years in the dark.  It's a skill I think deserves a place on my LinkedIn profile.

We ended up leav…

A day at work with Papa

Keeping shoes on The Kid is a harder task than you might think. As soon as you put her in her car seat, you can hear the Velcro rip open and you know it's only a matter of nanoseconds before a shoe is tossed overboard.

In an ill-conceived attempt to keep her distracted from removing her shoes, I decided to throw her favorite doll, named Tiger, into her car seat. By the time we arrived at daycare some 15 minutes later, her shoes were thrown across the back seat of my car and Tiger was thankfully laying next to her car seat.

Because The Kid didn't realize Tiger was missing, she did not protest when we left Tiger in the car.  

On a whim, I decided Tiger could spend the day with me and we could prove she spent the day with Papa through photos. Sure, The Kid is too young to understand now, but in a few years, she'll think these photos are great.  At least I hope she does!

With the 10 or so photos I took, I plan on making a picture book for her this Christmas. And if I travel a…

To my daughter, today is your parent's wedding anniversary

To my daughter,

Today is the fourth anniversary of your Momma and Papa getting married. It's a day we both cherish because it solidified our commitment to build a family of our own together, which lead to us adopting you. 
I know someday you'll ask us what our wedding was like (I still owe your Momma a more fairytale-like wedding than our trip to Toledo), and you will wonder how we met (pub crawls are not necessarily bad things if you keep your wits about you). What I hope you ask me is when I knew your Momma was special. 
I was certainly intrigued the night I met Momma. She had a sharp sense of humor, beautiful eyes, a smile that still captivates me and she made me feel completely at ease. But it was the night after the pub crawl that I knew she was someone extraordinary.
First of all, I felt no hesitation in texting her the next morning, breaking every dating rule that I'd heard from friends the previous few years. We then hopped on the phone that night and spoke for al…

Toddler teeth are sharp, I have the bite mark to prove it

Most days, The Kid is absolutely adorable and today was no exception. But sometimes adorable comes with a price, especially when she is frustrated.

Gladys was getting ready to take her to the Detroit Zoo, while I was getting ready to study for the class I'm taking and visit Grandma as she recovers from a broken rib and pneumonia. While Gladys was getting dressed, I was trying to occupy The Kid so Gladys could get ready interruption free.

The Kid and I had been chasing each other around our apartment for most of the morning, so I made the choice to leave the baby gate down. Instead, I thought I would just get in her way when she decided to run down the hall. I positioned myself so two steps in either direction would completely block her path.

Foolishly, I thought she'd find it a fun game. I took one step over, she grabbed my leg and laughed.  She tried to run around me, so I stepped over to block her path. I received a laugh and a slap, which I interpreted as playful. The thi…

What would The Kid think if I backed out now?

I'm currently taking the last class I need to complete my Master's in Training and Development. Although it does not relate directly to the work I do everyday, I am so close to finishing the degree that it hardly makes sense to stop now.

For class, we went to the Base Camp Challenge Center in Flint, MI today.  After a few team building exercises, we strapped on harnesses and helmets to start climbing around 20 feet above ground.

Beau, our facilitator for the morning, noted that I'm probably not really afraid of heights, I am probably more afraid of falling. Regardless, dangling above the ground is not my preferred activity.

Instead of wringing my hands, hoping to get out of the activity, I decided to be one of the first people on the course. The butterflies in my stomach were flying high, and I could feel a wave of nervous energy crash into me as I clipped my harness onto the first wire. My feet were becoming cold.

And then I asked myself, what would The Kid think if I ba…