Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby Loves to Dance

So I had to tell you, I am a little over 19 weeks and I can feel Oliver kicking and rolling around. The crappy part is he likes to sit on my bladder and loves loves loves to kick it every chance he gets. I knew I was going to have to go to the bathroom a lot but this is a little rediculous. I'm wondering what the last couple of weeks are going to be like.

Speaking of him rolling around, Oliver must also be close to my stomach. Each time he rolls it feels like I was sucker punched - without the pain. I am almost nauseaous every time he's there. That made me remember that in the delivery room the nurses give you a vomit bucket because you're about ready to hurl for half the experience. I have a feeling that this time it might actually happen....

Ahhh, love my little parasite!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Someone Else Who Gets My Way of Parenting

I have to pass along a blog that I read called "MetroDad." His blog is listed along the right hand side of my page so you have to check it out some time. I love this guy; he is funny, straightforward, and just gets it when it comes to parenting. I know that I am not the greatest parent in the world but there are some things that I feel my kid needs to know. MetroDad couldn't have said it better in his latest blog:

Use Your Words: How We're Raising a Nation of Pussies!

Walk into any playground or classroom in America and the most common phrase you'll hear parents and teachers say is "Use your words!"

I hear this phrase EVERYWHERE. Essentially, it's a mantra that enforces the idea that children should never hit or push one another. Nonviolence should be practiced at all times under every circumstance. And there is no problem that cannot be solved by open communication.

Want to know what I think? I think it's a bullshit mantra that only helps raise the next generation of pussies.

You want to know what I teach the Peanut? That actions have consequences. That one must always take responsibility for one's own actions. That words are sometimes not enough. And that, frequently in life, people need to be taught tough lessons.

Don't get me wrong. My daughter is a sweetheart. She's kind. She's caring. And she's extremely empathetic. I don't encourage her to go around indiscriminately hitting people. However, I do teach her not to take shit from anyone. Whenever another child pushes her, I tell her to politely tell that child that you don't like being pushed. But if he does it again, she has my full permission to shove his ass to the ground as hard as she can.

I guess the parenting mantra I'm trying to reenforce with her is, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Because I'm such an easy-going guy, people are often surprised when they hear my philosophy on this subject. Last week, I was at daycare with the Peanut when an older boy came over and grabbed a toy out of the Peanut's hand. When she kindly asked for it back, the boy pushed her. The Peanut then turned to the boy and said, "Please don't push me. I don't like being pushed."

The boy's mother witnessed the whole thing and gently admonished her son, saying that it wasn't nice to push one's friends. What does the kid do? He hits the Peanut and pushes her again! Before the boy's mother can do anything, I calmly turn to my daughter and say, "You know what to do, kiddo."

The Peanut immediately runs up to the boy and shoves him so hard, he falls down on the ground. Predictably, he starts bawling his ass off. The mother looks at me with shock and yells at me, "how can you tell your daughter to push my child?"

I calmly reply, "My daughter very politely asked your son to stop pushing her. You yourself told him to stop pushing her. And what does your son do? Not only does he push her again but he also hit her. Do you think your way was working?"

At this point, I turn to the boy and say, "Are you ever going to push the Peanut again?"

Still choking back tears and clinging to his mother, he says "No. Never."

Five minutes later, the two kids were hugging each other and playing in the toy kitchen.

I don't know why, as parents, we've become so overprotective of our children. We coddle them. We hover over them. We don't allow them fail or to learn life's lessons on their own. And most importantly, we fail to discipline them. It's almost as if we're afraid of doing so.

As I said earlier, the most important lessons I want to teach the Peanut are that (1) actions have consequences, and (2) you should always accept responsibility for your actions. Somehow this seems to have faded from our nation's consciousness.

Look around us and you'll see adults everywhere who no longer hold themselves personally responsible for anything! From the adult who sues for wrongful termination because the employee manual didn't say that Xeroxing your bunghole was against company rules to the politician who blames his embezzling funds on the fact that he had an undiagnosed allergic reaction to mangoes, you'll notice that we've become a nation of pussies.

Don't you think it's because we're raising our kids to BECOME pussies?

Back when I was a kid, you learned your lessons the hard way. If you mouthed off to the wrong guy, you got your ass kicked. You sucked it up and walked it off. Nobody gave a rat's ass about your self-esteem or your gentle demeanor. You made a decision and that decision got your ass kicked. That's an important lesson to learn in life, don't you think?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do You Want to Know What We Are Having?

We finally had our second doctor’s appointment this morning and I was kind of nervous because I was curious if my placenta had reattached to my uterus or if I was going to have problems later on in the pregnancy. It turns out that the placenta has in fact reattached so I was relieved that I had been careful enough to endure that happened. I have to admit there were a few times when I wasn’t as cautious, like when we were at the Nevada County Fair and they guys were trying to break up a fight. Lucky threw Kate at me so I was holding her away from the crowd while they did their thing. But that’s another story for another time.

Lucky went to the appointment with me so he got to be there when the technician told us what we were having. Want to know what we are having?

Drum roll please…….

We are having a BOY!

I am 18 weeks and 4 days with a due date of January 15th. All of our family and friends are going to be in town so this kid better be on time!

Lucky is telling everyone the name so I will put it here. His name will be Oliver Quinn Joseph Barnard. Don’t make fun of the two middle names, we were going to name him just Oliver Quinn but after we found out it was going to be a boy we were waiting for the doctor and Lucky asked me if we could put Joseph in there as well. Joseph is a middle name tradition on Lucky’s real dad’s side of the family and I can’t resist any genuine family tradition so in the name goes. Check out the ultrasound pics below. I know that they can look like blobs to some people but I promise that ultrasound technology is far more advanced than it was 10 years ago and the pictures are clearer.

Here is a profile view of the whole baby. He has both arms out in front of him but you can still see his little nose

Watch out, he's looking at you. Can you see his eyes and nose?

The technician thought we needed a picture of the little guy's toes. I guess with Lucky as the father one can never be too careful. Yes, there are only five. We thought it was too early to see if there are claws or fangs but we noticed that it was lacking horns. Maybe they come later....

This one might be a little X-rated but for all those that may have had a question about the gender...

We’re Back from California

Ahh, glad to be back home in Seattle but sad to leave California. We had a fun time the last two weeks but living off of nothing has to end sometime. Why do they call vacations “vacations?” Why don’t they call is “time to be as busy as possible before we have to go back to work and work for a living?”

Man, we were so busy that the most relaxing times was when we were driving to our next destination. Check out this itinerary:

Friday, 11pm Decide that this is the perfect time to leave for Auburn, CA. Drive 15 hours, rest for an hour, and get into Auburn at 3pm the next afternoon.

Sunday Drive 10 hours from Auburn to Newport Beach

Monday Hit Huntington Beach and hang at the ocean with Bree, Lucky’s sister

Tuesday Drive 2 hours from Newport Beach to San Diego

Wednesday Drive to La Jolla and hang at the beach

Thursday Lucky drive back to Huntington Beach for tattoos and come back to San Diego at 6am the next morning

Friday, 9am Leave for Newport Beach with Kyle, say goodbye to Lucky’s grandparents, pick up Anthony in Huntington Beach and drive another 10 hours to Auburn

Saturday Orchestrate massive reunion in Grass Valley for Lucky’s friends Sunday Hit up church, Nevada County Fair

Monday Go to the South Fork of the Yuba River with the kids

Tuesday-Friday Hang out in Auburn/Grass Valley while Lucky tattoos and watch the kids

Saturday, 9am Leave for Seattle and get to Renton in 12 hours

How can it take us 15 hours to get from Renton to Auburn in the middle of the night yet only 12 hours to get back in the middle of the day?? I have no idea. You’ll have to make your own decisions about that one. I do have to say that Kate was amazing on our trip and whined only about 10 minutes the whole time in the car. The whining was actually more of a sad face with big fat tears coming down because she was tired of being in the car. It was really sad to watch because we knew what she was going through and couldn’t do anything about it. For all those getting ready to go on a massive road trip with kids, a portable DVD player is a Godsend. Without the player we would have never stayed awake all night driving to Auburn and Kate wouldn’t have been as good as she was. That and Lucky and I would have never finished season 3 of Lost. We have had that season for a good month or more and never had time to watch it together. Now we only have one more season before we are caught up completely….

In Auburn we stayed with Will and Amanda and their twin boys. They boys are about a month younger than Kate and hard to tell apart when they are running around always getting into things. My mom was right when she said two kids were fine to watch but throw that third kid into the mix and all hell breaks loose. It was crazy when all three kids were together. Braen and Holden are used to fighting each other to get what they want and Kate, being an only child, is used to not having to share with anyone and only fighting with her parents. Not this time. She was beat up and had toys taken away for the first 5 or 6 days until she learned (sort of) to fight back. It wasn’t pretty. There were many times when all of us wanted to backhand her for whining and crying when one of the boys would touch her leg or something and don’t get us started about what she would do when they would take something away from her. Braen and Holden are the cutest, sweetest boys but when the three of them got together they were terrors.

At the Grass Valley Reunion on Saturday I met so many people it was mind blowing. It was quite amusing to put faces to the names and stories that I have been hearing about for years and then hear the same story told by someone I just met. Everyone was really nice, I had previously met more people than I realized, but I felt really comfortable with a select few. The hard part was keeping my eye on Kate and she always wanted to take her shoes off and go into the stream with the other boys. She was so dirty by the time we left that we immediately took a shower when we got back to the house. It was fun for the 7 hours we were at the park but tiring all the same and we all passed out the instant we sat down on the couch.

I definitely need a vacation from my vacation. Oh well, we had fun and that was what we set out to do.

Here are some pics of our trip:

Kate for most of the trip in the car.
Aunt Peggy with Kate and Caden

Daddy and Kate playing at Huntington Beach.
Bree and Daddy burying Kate.
Kate at the Yuba River.

I'll put up some more pics later but my computer is being a pain right now.