Let’s Do This Thing

…We’re going for it. If you’re falling behind on reading my posts (the same way I’m falling behind on writing them), you might have missed my last two, wherein I talked about the need for me to go from full-time stay-at-home-dad to full-time SAHD and part time wage-earner. As much as I love contributing financially to the family, my work experience before, during, and after college has consisted of various levels of food service and/or retail; noble professions to be sure, but I’m tired of them, my wife’s tired of being a restaurant widow, and the boys would probably like to keep our current arrangement of seeing each other over the weekends.

A couple of years ago, I began aspiring more than ever to earn enough money to keep things nice and stable without having to stand at a counter and feign interest in how someone’s day is going, like I do when my wife comes home from wherever it is that she goes.

While my education, ambition, and a handful of skills said that I could do something new to earn a little scratch, the reality of nearly two decades of work experience and the challenge of learning a new job while taking care of twin babies said something different:

I think they were being sarcastic.

Still, while researching work-from-home jobs, I came across Rev, an online transcription service that pays people to transcribe audio files it uploads onto its site. I took the entry test, got accepted*, and was able to start listening to recordings of people and typing them out for money. Only I didn’t.

Even something as simple as transcription seemed too challenging to leap into, what with still working at the store and doing the parenting thing. It was also partially the fear factor of starting something new when real time and money were at stake.

When Kat accepted her new job in D.C., we decided to try things with me as a full-time SAHD. It’s a job I’m fairly good at, and, unlike my previous jobs, it allows me to exercise my own brand of dictatorial control without HR always getting involved.

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“For the last time, refer to them as ‘valued team members!’ No more of this ‘discontented rabble’ nonsense!”

It’s doable, but it doesn’t give us as much wiggle-room or ability to save as we’d like, so we decided it would be best for me to bring home something more useful to the family than anecdotes about the day’s trip to Target. (Spoiler: I forgot the one thing I went for.)

Which brings us back to the transcription thing. We did the math, and based on two trial weeks, it seemed like a viable option. By then, I had actually applied for a weekend job at a nearby grocery store, a job I subsequently interviewed for and was offered.

*deep breath*

I respectfully declined. I haven’t declined many job offers before, and to roll the dice on this new thing was pretty…well…dicey.

Yep, we decided to go for broke (insert uncomfortable laugh here) and give the “me doing a job I like” thing a whirl. I’ll get more into the five w’s of the job in my next post, and it will be a while before we see if this was a huge mistake or not, but we’re at that now-or-never point of trying something new. It’s something that might not be as lucrative as other prospects, but which can potentially pay off in other dividends, like work-life balance, mental health, and…well, that’s really about it.

For now, we’re 90% excited and optimistic, and only 10% WHAT THE HOLY [EXPLETIVE DELETED] WERE WE THINKING??? Given that this, right now, is the happiest I’ve been with my life in a  long while, I’m really hoping we can make it work out. Well, I know we can make it work out, I hope we do make it work out. The fact that we physically work out so rarely gives me cause for concern.

*I’ll discuss this in better detail later, but I want to emphasize the point that I am not an employee of Rev, but am classified as a “contractor,” self-employed and, unlike my last job, able to come to work in my boxers, if I want.

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Empty quiet house…

K and the boys are off in the other Washington visiting friends and family in the area, and I decided to take a few vacation days to relax and get some work done at home that I can’t always manage to when I’ve got toddlers…toddling, and what-not, right under foot.
Between work, home in general, the twins in particular, and all the other bits and pieces that account for my time, I have been missing a lot of sleep and failing to get things that are important to our family (like home maintenance) and things that are important to me (like writing) done. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up to only a little behind this week!
That said, my emotional stages regarding this “stag” time have been surprisingly inconsistent. They have gone something along the lines of:
• Oh my God, I can’t wait until you people get out of my hair.
• You’re leaving tomorrow? Already?
• OH MY GOD, I can’t wait until you people get out of my hair!
• I can’t believe they’re gone…
• This house is really empty and quiet…
• THAT WAS THE BEST SLEEP ANYONE EVER HAS EVER HAD EVER!!! STAY AWAY FOREVER!
• This house is really empty and quiet…
• *has panic attack trying to decide what to do with all this time*
• I can strut around with the TV up and vacuum at midnight and not bother anyone! This is awesome!
• NO, THIS WAS THE BEST SLEEP ANYONE EVER HAS EVER HAD EVER!!!
• My purpose seems a little less purposeful…
• That was a good run; a good lonely, lonely run.
• This house is really empty and quiet…
• I’m staying out late with beer and cigars and grilling under our open windows and IDGAF! Time by myself rules!!!
• Who did I cook all this food for?
• *has panic attack trying to decide what to do with all this time*
• At least I can finally get some writing – my sole catharsis – done!
• *has writer’s-block panic attack*
• This house is really empty and quiet…

It's not all drudgery when they're here...

It’s not all drudgery when they’re here…

Priorities

Wait for it…

I’m going to try to paint a word picture that does justice to the outing the boys and I took to the nearby beach park the other day.

We arrived at Dash Point Park with little to no fanfare and I unloaded the boys from the van without incident.

Now, as you might or might not know (depending on if you read this blog, which I guess you do or you wouldn’t be seeing this), M likes to wear stuff on his head*, to the extent that he puts things on by himself and wears them around the house. *refer to figure 1.1

Figure 1.1

Figure 1.1

“The way I wear my hat? No, they can’t take that away from me.”

When we got to the beach, M decided that due to the bright sun, he’d probably better wear some head protection. Actually, I’m not sure if he thought that at all, but he still grabbed one of the beach pails I’d brought and plopped it down right on top of his head.

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“Mother, Mother Ocean, I have heard you call…” Ladies and gentleman, Jimmy Bucket.

OK, sure, whatever. He’s worn buckets in the past, this was no different other than the fact that we were in public and that there was a little shovel on the handle of the pail. Hey, whatever floats his boat, I figured. He’s happy wearing a pail and spade on his head, I’m happy for him.

He wore the bucket through the parking lot, down the beach, and up to the water. He wore it as he picked up pebbles and handed them to me. He wore it while C ventured out into the water just a bit.

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He wore it when the first wave hit.

In this part of the Puget Sound, the waves aren’t usually much to speak of, at least not on a clear, sunny day with no wind. I’m guessing that the big-here-small-everywhere-else waves that began crashing into the shore were from the wake from a freighter or something. Wherever they came from, a series of waves started “crashing” into the shore, scaring the absolute living crap out of the boys.

By the time the second wave hit (none of them even reached far enough up the beach to touch us) I was running up the beach, a crying, panicky boy under each arm.

Once we were at the top of the beach and out of “harm’s way,” I played with the boys at the little playground there as they calmed down, then put them in swings facing the water and pushed them for quite a while so that they could see the water calm down and smooth out.

I took the boys out of the swings and did have to coax them a bit…

“No.”

They climbed over and played with some driftwood logs, and I finally got them down to the water again.

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They were calm for the most part, especially M, surprisingly. C stayed pretty tense and seemed actually mad at the water.

“Curse you, mighty Poseidon!”

“Umm…he said it, mighty Poseidon.”

It was a pretty mundane outing except for one thing: As I was trotting up the beach away from the water, the boys sobbing hysterically and holding on to me, I had to set M down to get a better grip on him. In so doing, I knocked the bucket off of his head, and it bounced about six inches away from us. Without missing a beat, M – who I hadn’t grabbed up again – stopped, turned around, took a few steps back towards the water, grabbed his bucket, slammed it down on his head, turned around and came back to me, arms out, still crying. I was obviously busy and the boys were upset and everything, so I didn’t get footage of M’s risk-life-and-limb devotion to his hat, but I’m including what I think is a pretty accurate recreation:

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Things Are Awesome

Been a while since I got any sort of update for the family and friends and anyone else who’s paying attention. I’ll try to keep it brief yet concise and stick to a reasonable amount of pictures.

So, yeah, the boys turned 1 on the 12th of April. One. Wow. It seems like only yesterday that we were exhausted, panicky messes questioning our ability to raise two healthy, well-adjusted boys. Wait…actually, that was yesterday, but it was also a little over a year ago.

We made it, though, 365 days of ups and downs, like ships in a stormy sea of parenthood. We’ve come a long way – all of us – from those early days, when we had no clue what we were doing and sleep was a novelty. We now consider ourselves among the parenting elite, celebrating each milestone the boys reach and waving them in people’s faces like a “Good Job!” sticker on a second grade book report.

Since last we left our heroes, they’ve started waving (sometimes grunting out possible salutations), pointing at things (that’s the finger referenced in the title), getting around almost exclusively by walking, getting down steps, running toward the street the second our backs are turned, refusing to eat, showing defiance, screaming and weeping over their mother when she’s in the room as though she’s going off to war, doing things they know are bad just to get a reaction, and often producing gross giant man turds instead of gross baby slop-shit.It’s la vida dolce, at least compared to a year ago.

Anywho, I think the most judicious way to describe the goings-on here is with pictures and the boys’ own words:

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Swings are awesome.   2015-02-14 16.20.09

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Pickles are awesome.

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Chairs are awesome.

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Piggyback rides are awesome.

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Tupperware is awesome.

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Riding toys are awesome.

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Mommy’s sippy cup is awesome.

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Mommy’s awesome.

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Water tables are awesome.

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Hiking is awesome.

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Killing it at peek-a-boo is awesome.

Killing it at peek-a-boo is awesome.

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Lawn chairs are awesome.

Rocking horses are awesome.

Rocking horses are awesome.

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Tulip festivals are awesome.

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Mega Bloks are awesome.

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Sharing is awesome.

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Snack cups are awesome.

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Cupcakes are awesome.

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Not really, no, they’re not.

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Blowy balloon cage things at Wiggleworks are awesome.

So are these things.

So are these things.

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Never mind, chairs suck.

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I’m going to sit on foot stools instead. Foot stools are awesome.

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Getting to wear dad’s hat is awesome.

Wrasslin' is awesome.

Wrasslin’ is awesome.

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Mega Blok storage bags are awesome.

Family is awesome!

Family is awesome!

Something Webbed This Way Comes

If you’ve known me personally or kept up with me on Facebook, you probably know about our roof ducks.

We hadn’t been living in our current house for very long before we’d start noticing – from time to time – one or two mallard ducks sitting on the roof of our house and occasionally on the roof of our neighbors’. It was cute. I dubbed them “roof ducks”, we went on with our lives, and that was that.

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Only that wasn’t that. That wasn’t that at all. That wasn’t even on the same bus as that.

No, the ducks seemed to like our roof. Their visits became more frequent, and their numbers grew. Now, I love birds, and birding, and bird feeders, and ducks, and whatever, and I love them more than most people probably do. So I was surprised myself when I started to get annoyed with the ever-growing flock that was hanging out on my roof twice a day.

See, that was the first problem: the ducks began arriving (and still do arrive) twice a day, once between 7:40 and 8:30 a.m., once again between 2:45 and 4:00 p.m. Yes, that precise, and yes, that frequent. Now, this might not be more than a novelty, an oddity of the natural world mingling with suburbia. The problem is the noise.

Because a few ducks landing on your roof at 8:00 a.m. isn’t particularly loud if you notice it at all.

But a flock – say, half a dozen and up – sounds like this:car

Seriously, these animals are able to be borne by both water and air, but they’re defying physics somehow, because when they land on my roof it thunders. Ducks are like the Avengers’ Hellicarrier of the animal kingdom.

Now, there are a few large fountains and many ponds in our neighborhood alone. There are also a few areas of protected marshland, including a large parcel in the adjacent state park. The neighborhood across the street has two moderately big lakes in it (hence its “Twin Lakes” moniker), several retaining ponds, and, oh yeah, WE LIVE ON A POINT OF LAND SURROUNDED BY THE PUGET SOUND!!!

It's like that old rhyme: "Water, water everywhere, so please get off of my roof and go hang out in that water."

It’s like that old rhyme: “Water, water everywhere, so please get off of my roof and go hang out in that water.”

I might be able to make peace with the fact that a nomadic tribe of clomping ducks likes to kick it on my roof, noise notwithstanding, if it wasn’t for the time of day. The morning visits come when the babies are just down for their naps, and much, much worse, when I am simultaneously taking what I call a “solidarity nap”.

The noise has woken them up, woken me up, kept me up, and given me some pretty messed up dreams.

I started going outside when the ducks would arrive to scare them off, hoping that in time they would learn that they are not welcome here.

At first, the noise of the front door opening was enough to send them scattering. They got used to that, so I started shouting at them. When that wore off, I took to throwing rocks, but stopped when I realized that my throwing ability was probably at least partly to blame for my always being picked last for teams in middle school.

Finally one day I dug out one of the few relics of my youth that I still have, a Super Soaker FPS 2000, which is a handheld water cannon that could probably double as a crowd control device.

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“This is the best damn gun made by man. It has extreme sentimental value. It’s miles more worthy’n what you got…I call it ‘Vera’.”

Yes. Water. The duck’s only weakness.

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“It burns!!!”

The gun worked, and still mostly works, but I do feel a bit silly going outside in sweats or pjs to spray ducks on my roof with water.

One look at that bed-head and the neighbors are going to think I'm some sort of weirdo.

One look at that bed-head and the neighbors are going to think I’m some sort of weirdo.

Even the Vera is only a short-term fix. The ducks are starting to get used to it and only those who actually get hit are leaving.

What does one do when one has an infestation of water fowl? Bird spikes, fake owls, ribbons, etc. won’t do because the HOA won’t allow stuff on the roof. A real gun is out of the question, as duck corpses and bullet holes littering our roof would be problematic.

I’ve looked up pest-control companies, but their only solutions again come back to stuff on our roof.

The worst thing – the absolute worst thing – about this whole ordeal is that I’m pretty sure this is all deliberate.

The ducks numbers, audacity, and dire warnings are all growing. I see the way they look at me. They aren’t the looks of wild ducks. There’s intelligence there. Evil, spiteful intelligence. I know a threatening look when I receive one.

"SOOOOOOON!"

“SOOOOOOON!”

Did you read that in Donald Duck’s voice?

"SOOOOOOON!"

“SOOOOOOON!”

You did that time.

I think that that guy’s the leader. I have dubbed him Stripe, after his resemblance to the gremlin leader in “Gremlins”.

You have to really want to see it.

You have to really want to see it.

What should I do? I’m seriously asking. I’ve Googled this very problem and all that came up was a picture of the Ghost of Christmas Future pointing at my tombstone.

I need to know that I’m raising my boys in a world where they need not fear marauding gangs of algae-feeding poultry.

Most of all, I need my naptime back.

A Brief* Update With Photos**

*really long   **all the photos ever

It’s been a while, so I’m going to spare you the “update” and just cram a big fat sack of adorable down your throats.

Seen the boys lately? Nine-months old

Seen the boys lately? Nine-months old, almost 10 as of this writing.

C

C.

M being somber...

M. Wait for it…

There's the smile!

…there it is!

When we last left our heroes, we were wrapping up the holidays:

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The fam came by to visit me at work one day. The sign was coincidental, advantageous, and awesome.

As families go, we're the best one ever.

As families go, we’re the best one ever, so just stop deluding yourselves.

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Between mobile babies, company, and all the hullabaloo during Christmas, Jack had to get resourceful when it came to naps. He’s normally a sleep-in-designated-sleeping-areas cat.

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IMG_3807Between mobile babies, company, and all the hullabaloo during Christmas, Jack had to get resourceful when it came to naps. He's normally a sleep-in-designated-sleeping-areas cat.

ICYMI, the boys are advancing every day. Part of the reason for the delay and format of this post is because it’s hard to keep up:

We keep moving further from purees as we introduce more and more people food:

"You know how you hate that 'more of it on you than in you" joke, dad? Think it."

“You know how you hate that ‘more of it on you than in you’ joke, dad? It’s stuck in your mind like an earworm, isn’t it?”

"You've been feeding me the freshest milk ever when aged milk is so awesome???"

He likes cheese. He can stay.

Not everything's a hit.

Not everything’s a hit.

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"What about comfort food?"

“What about our comfort foods?”

Of course familiar items remain on the menu, like hoodie drawstrings...

Not to worry! Favorite and familiar items remain on the menu, like hoodie drawstrings…

...spoons...

…spoons…

...each other...

…each other…

...play mats...

…play mats…

...and can Koozies.

…and can Koozies.

Sometimes, distracting babies by pretending the spoon is a plane or car, or by dazzling them with a display of grade A daddery is necessary to get them to eat.

Sometimes a little sleight of hand is required to get them to eat. Pretending the spoon is an airplane or choo-choo, or holding a spoon in your mouth, for example.

Take a good look, pediatric psychologists; this is what killing it as a parent looks like.

Take a good look; this is some grade-A daddery.

Sometimes we bust out the heavy guns: U.S.S. Enterprise spoon. Do the nacelles light up? Uh, yeah. You don't want to look like a loser with non-lighty spoon nacelles.

Sometimes we bust out the heavy guns: U.S.S. Enterprise spoon. Do the nacelles light up? Uh, yeah. You don’t want to look like a loser with non-lighty Enterprise-spoon nacelles.

Both boys have been standing with support for a while now, and C is starting to let go and stand for a few seconds.

They've been pulling ourselves to standing for a while now, but it bears mentioning again.

They’ve been pulling ourselves to standing for a while now, but it bears mentioning again.

See "cat sleeping in duffle bag," above.

See “cat sleeping in duffle bag,” above.

As hard as we’ve tried to keep the boys contained to one room at a time, the layout of our house makes it difficult. Many of their escape attempts are at least somewhat successful.

It started with shaking the gates, smacking them, checking for weaknesses...

It started with C shaking the gates, smacking them, checking for weaknesses…

...and before we knew it, he had found gaps and sprung himself.

…and before we knew it, he found weak points and started to spring himself with some frequency.

When stronger barricades were installed, they were simply toppled.

When stronger barricades were installed, they were simply toppled.

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Adorably toppled.

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Sometimes a little teamwork is needed…

Fun babies having fun:

Of course, sometimes they're more about the production side of food.

M likes to help in the kitchen…

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She’s laughing here, but she stops when she realizes they lifted her rings and credit cards.

We discovered laundry baskets not too long ago.

They discovered laundry baskets recently.

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If making paper pirate hats and playing on the floor with infants is wrong, I don't want to be right.

If making paper pirate hats and playing on the floor with infants is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

The fun of cardboard boxes was discovered around the same time...

Fun with cardboard boxes was discovered around the same time as the laundry baskets.

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I thought C was narcissistic, but turns out reflection-smooching is a thing.

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Our anniversary was pretty low-key this year. The boys picked B.J.'s, and I think we all had a pretty good time.

Our anniversary was pretty low-key this year. The boys picked B.J.’s, and I think we all had a pretty good time.

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I spent way too much time writing and deleting dialogue between these two in this pic. Let’s just say there was some disagreement about pizza toppings. Oh, and the appropriate hoppiness of IPAs.

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She: “Cheers, yes, thanks, OK, let’s go.” They: “You mentioned a frozen cheesecake pla-oh MOM, c’mon!”

Sometimes a bamboo wok spatula is just a bamboo wok spatula.

Sometimes a bamboo wok spatula is just a bamboo wok spatula.

Wrestling over this walker toy thing. I wish that more photos had come out...

Wrestling over this walker toy thing. I wish that more photos had come out…

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Reading/singing from/with "Frog Trouble", a sing-along book of original kids' songs by real artists.

Reading/singing from/with “Frog Trouble”, a sing-along book of original kids’ songs by real artists.

I think it speaks for itself.

Hard to believe…

Outings:

We’ve begun taking the boys to play areas that seem to be in every shopping mall these days, as well as to parks and other places where they can get exercise and play. C is very much about crawling all over, climbing, and taking other people’s stuff. M is more about finding one spot to play and chilling, which means he is often under my arm as I chase down his brother.

Upon first realizing that he is free...

Upon first realizing that he is free…

"Ima go crazy."

“Oh yeah…”

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He climbed higher (note the grown man's hip) but by then I was in a crouched baby-catching position.

He climbed higher (note the grown man’s hip) but by then I was in a crouched baby-catching position.

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They chased away another little kid so that they could play with this spinny wall thing that they didn't even know how to work. Jerks.

They chased away another little kid so that they could play with this spinny wall thing that they didn’t even know how to work. Jerks.

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Anne Geddes has really lost her touch...

Anne Geddes has really lost her touch…

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Again with the fake ferries...

Again with the fake ferries…

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mandatory "whale of a good time" joke

[mandatory “whale of a good time” joke]

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"Do I follow you around ant take pictures when you're at your job?"

“Do I follow you around ant take pictures when you’re at your job?”

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We had nice enough weather recently to take them to a nearby park for some sun and fresh air.

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Unfortunately we were there on Opposite Day, so don’t read too much into the smiles.

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Even the kitchen has been baby-proofed and opened for exercise and exploration:

The kitchen was also recently opened up for exploration, with their very own cabinet of unbreakables to not break.

They even got their own cabinets and drawers of unbreakables.

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Baby Proofing 101: Don't leave floor-level major appliances open.

Baby Proofing 101: Don’t leave floor-level major appliances open.

Coincidental: The first witnessed standing of C without pulling himself up on furniture or something.

Coincidental: The first witnessed standing of C without pulling himself up on furniture or something.

Speaking of furniture, C also started climbing on that...

Speaking of furniture, C also started climbing on that…

...and even getting himself down without falling (sometimes).

…and even getting himself down without falling (sometimes).

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Just cute babies being cute:

Some of these are repeats, but I’m not sorry.

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They’re right to look concerned; this two-seat shopping cart didn’t seem all that safe. Convenient, though!

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A moment for M:

If you look back at a lot of the posts on this blog, I talk about and/or you can see in pictures M’s bent neck and big round head, both as a result of torticollis. He’s come a long way since birth, and even though they both have, I’m very happy because he had an extra hurdle to jump. Although each boy has developed different abilities at different rates, M has mostly caught up to C on physicality and was even climbing stairs first. He’s also starting to hand things over when asked, deliberately stack and unstack (not knock over), is a proficient clapper, and I’m pretty sure I saw him flipping off someone at Target the other day.

"If my dust gets in your mouth, don't worry, it's edible."

“If my dust gets in your mouth, don’t worry, it’s edible.”

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"I'm happy. I know it. Well, I know what to do next!"

“I’m happy. I know it. Well, I know what to do next!”

Maybe you can't tell here, but this kid dropped or tried to drop each of the little wooden milk bottles back into this vintage truck when I would hand them to him. He's done the same thing with other toys. No word on when we'll stop having to pick up after him.

Maybe you can’t tell here, but this kid dropped or tried to drop each of the little wooden milk bottles back into this vintage truck when I would hand them to him. He’s done the same thing with other toys. No word on when we’ll stop having to pick up after him.

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“My work here is done.”

Guilt and Depression

A few days ago, somebody sent me this article by Jenny Chen for The Atlantic. You should really read it, but I’ll sum it up by saying that more and more they are linking adult depression with childhood guilt.

Every once in a while – especially since I started dealing with and learning about emotional disorders – I find out that something I thought was unique to me is actually more common than I thought. When I read this piece, I had one of those “holy crap, it’s not just me” moments that are always a bit of a relief while being another thread to follow.

Throughout my entire life, there have been those actions – either taken or not – that for whatever reason left an indelible splotch of guilt on my conscience. I’m pretty sure everyone has those: that mean thing you did that you never got to apologize for or that time you were told to do a math problem in front of the class and couldn’t. The difference is, most people don’t think much about those things. I think about them. All. The. Time.

Worse, most of the things that I feel guilt or shame over are nothing more than minor mistakes or things that I was too young to have known not to do them. Granted, there are plenty of things from my adult life for which I feel this persistent guilt over, but even then, some things are so petty I shouldn’t even remember them.

What kills me is that there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about this. Therapists like to make with the “get over it, not your fault, no one else cared so neither should you” advice, but I already know all that and still have these feelings. On top of that, I have actually gone to people and apologized for things I’ve done or attempted to make amends in other ways, but it doesn’t erase that guilt, and has sometimes added to it because I’ve dredged things up for other people or because I now feel bad that I still feel bad. It doesn’t make much sense, I know, but cyclical b.s. is the name of the game with my mental health.

Maybe the craziest oddest thing about this is that I have had people tell me that they don’t even remember whatever it is I feel bad about, or they’ve told me that I’m forgiven. Other times, when I should otherwise feel like the burden should be gone, it’s not. I should note, too, that with very, very few exceptions, none of these guilty memories were the result of someone else doing or saying something; I go all Libertarian when it comes to shame and take care of it myself.

I think about these things at some point pretty much every day, and if one pops into my head, it usually begins a montage of real and imagined douchebaggery. These fun little trips down memory lane have done everything from ruin a decent afternoon to triggering panic attacks. I see why this seems to lead to or worsen depression; it’s a heavy burden to feel awful about so many things, especially when so many are minor, imagined, or irrelevant.

As I continue to face, learn about, and struggle with depression and other emotional issues, pieces like this are threads that are coming together to make a tapestry of my psyche. This tapestry will probably end up looking like a collaboration between H.R. Giger Jackson Pollock.

Again, please check out this article by Ms. Chen: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/childhood-guilt-adult-depression/384176/

Fits and Starts

Last night I came to a realization: almost every other dad/parent blogger out there has kids older than hours ours*. Their stories, while often entertaining, educational, and inspiring, are often hard to relate to on a “molecular” level. Kids are a challenge, wacky, and worth it. OK, I get that, but I can’t yet share stories of adventures of school, funny things they’ve said, how they react to each other, etc. I can pretty much just post pictures and update on milestones, poop/eat/sleep, etc.

That said, I feel a lot better about the neglect with which I’ve treated this blog; obviously it’s a challenge for every new parent to squeeze time in for writing.

All that said, since I’m trying to divide this between babies and mental health (and other topics as they peak my interest), and with those being such fluid topics, I’d like to do better on posting. To that end, I’ve been working more on jotting down notes, reminders, and ideas as they come to me for later use. This has always been one of my biggest challenges. I always think “I’ll remember that, how could I forget such a great idea?”

So I’m not going to sweat my stalls as much and remember what my moniker means and why I have it. The only distraction isn’t laziness (although it pops up), but babies and work and other things that come between anybody and their writing.

*First, this was proofread by two people. Second, technically, TECHNICALLY, those children ARE older than hours. Months or years even.

Sacrifice

These days we have three things (outside of work) that we would like to get done on any given day, and each day we are forced to choose what will be accomplished and what will be sacrificed.

After jobs and time with/for the boys, Kat and I each want to get the following things done: get a decent amount of sleep, do things (look for better jobs, blog, etc.) that are in the long-term interest of our little family, and chores/daily responsibilities.

The problem is that after work and kids, our time is so limited that we usually need to pick which things we won’t get done.

Want to spend a while searching for jobs with better schedules and/or pay? Go for it. Oh, but then you might end up staying up late, and then you’ll be all crappy the next day. So maybe go right to bed and get a good night’s sleep. If you do that, though, keep in mind that the carpet will still need to be vacuumed and the lawn will still need to be mowed when you get up. So maybe you get the house in shape a bit, but gosh, that guest post someone requested you to write for their blog will go unwritten. But how good can your writing be if you don’t get more sleep?

The cycle has been continuing ad nauseam for, oh, about five months now.

How do we decide what’s a priority at any given moment? When is the long-term investment more important than the in-your-face, really should have been done a week ago item? And when is it worth sacrificing sleep, or is it ever, considering how much we lose already?