I’m BAAAACK!




I’m BAAAAACK! Well, sort of…As you probably DIDN’T realize, my last post was Father’s Day of 2012, the 1 year anniversary of starting 1FD. I took a bit of a hiatus for a few reasons. Mainly, the self-induced urge to try and post every day, coupled with the redundancy of posts between this blog and my Facebook page was getting very…BORING, for lack of a better word. Although, a lot has changed in the last few months. My son turned 2! And, we have another baby due here in the next few weeks. Reading some of my old posts, along with reading all of your hilarious blogs has reignited that excitement of the exhilarating, yet exhausting days that lie ahead. So, you may see me pop in from time to time with some new observations and the never-ending string of questions for all you smart and sexy parents. It was all your advice and anecdotes that helped me laugh my way through the most frustrating times of being a new dad. Here’s to an AMAZING 2013!!!

TIME TO CHANGE AND HEAL!

Thank you once again, little buddy:)

Ever since I can remember, I was known as the funny fat kid. I would go on some crazy diet and lose weight, but then I was really just a “skinny-fat” funny kid. This has been going on for over 20 years. About 4 years ago, I was in what I considered to be the best shape of my life. I weighed 185 lbs, I had 12% body fat, I was strong, and I could run for miles. Then, I had an injury. Nothing major, just a busted wrist. But, it was the beginning of my next downward spiral. I let all those good habits and hard work get spoiled by bad habits and laziness. My past time became grilling out and drinking beer. I put on 30 lbs. For these last four years, I’ve gotten back in the habit of exercising. Not as much as I should, but at least I’m moving again. But, the grilling and drinking have kept these 30 lbs right where they don’t belong, hanging around my mid-section. I realize now that I haven’t been motivated by being healthy. I’ve just been focusing on losing a few pounds, not eliminating all these factors that are keeping me fat and unhealthy. Poor me, right? Maybe this is just how I’m supposed to be. Tired, sluggish, achy, hung-over, overweight, shameful and guilty because I just can’t do what I know has to be done. Complete failure. Again. (I think I see a pattern here)

I just happened to catch a video my sister posted on Facebook of a broken-down Veteran named Arthur Boorman. (See my last post to view video) By the end of the 5 minute clip, I was literally crying in my garage. Here was a man who was told by Doctors that he would never walk again. As he sprinted down the road toward the end of the video, I lost it. This man literally took his life into his own hands, and basically said f**k you Doctors, I’ll do this myself. 
This man overcame the seemingly impossible. Yet, I’ve let a few pounds and a case of beer stand between me and true health and happiness. Here I am, trying to show Jake that his mother and I live a healthy lifestyle. We don’t sit in front of the TV. We get outside. We run, walk and bike. Then, I put him to sleep at night and have a steak and a beer (or 6). What a f**king hypocrite. Again… guilt, shame, failure. (I think I see a pattern here)
After viewing Hungry For Change, I had ordered a copy of the DVD, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, the story of Joe Cross. Joe literally DRANK his way to health and happiness. But instead of beer, he drank fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days, rebooting his entire body and ridding it of disease (and about 70lbs).  
The DVD sat on the coffee table for two weeks, still in the wrapper. Jake was lumbering past the coffee table one morning and spotted the box. He uttered two syllables that literally felt like a punch in the stomach. He pointed at the cover and said “DA-DA?”
I had to wonder, which version of Joe did Jake think I looked like!? The fat one, or the skinny one? I owe that boy everything. Those two syllables changed the direction of my life. 
Since then, I have experienced and entire shift in paradigm when it comes to my health, and our future as a family. I don’t just need to change. I HAVE to change.
I lost my Mom at the age of 55 to lung cancer. 55. At 55 years old, Jake will hopefully be headed off to college. We’re working on baby number two. He or she won’t have even graduated high school yet. The thought of me being in the ground by then is terrifying. 
Inspired by Arthur, I started doing yoga a week ago. Yoga is about strengthening and healing the mind and body. That’s exactly where I need to begin. I also wheeled all the beer out of the house. Gone. And today, I begin step two of my very own transformation. I have started a 10 day reboot program, inspired by Joe Cross. I am essentially eating like a Vegan, and juicing at least one meal a day. No meat, no dairy, no refined sugar. Ten days is nothing when you think of the alternative. This program will help reel in my eating habits. Not too mention when I’m done, I won’t have taken a sip of beer for three weeks. Bad habits BUSTED!
Will I stick to my guns this time? There’s no choice. I’m doing this for my wife and son. Most importantly, I’m doing this for me. My self esteem. My confidence. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin for once since I was a kid. I want to meet my children’s children. Finally, I want to look back fondly at the funny fat kid, smile, and wave goodbye. 

What A Little Big Boy!

I can help too, Ma! Now let’s talk allowance…

I’m trying not to be “that parent” that documents every mundane little bowel movement their kid has, and post it as though they’d just taken Gold in the Olympics. But I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t think that every single thing this kid does is REALLY F**KING CUTE!

There’s still approximately a 80/20 time ratio split between Mama and I. Mama, spending ~80% of the time with Jake while I’m at work. I hope that makes sense. I can’t even talk about Math, I’m so bad at it:)
So by the time Daddy/Son day rolls around, I’m stoked to see how much Jake has changed in such a short period of time! His vocabulary is ever-expanding. A friend recommended the Your Baby Can Read  program to us last month. It’s basically a Rosetta Stone for babies. Even spending a a few minutes a day with it has made a huge impact. Jake is recognizing words like Hi, Eyes, Cat & Dog immediately upon seeing them. Without prompting, he will either say the word, point to the object, or make the corresponding sound to the word. It’s so cool to see him making those connections! Not to mention, it kills me to hear him say “MMEEOOOOW” with an almost Southern Drawl. So funny.
Our Pediatrician was right again when it came to Jake walking. Mama and I were a slight bit concerned with the fact that he wouldn’t take more than a step or two up until this last month. The Doctor said that once kids realize that they can get somewhere much faster by walking than crawling, they’ll take off. Boy, was he right! It seemed as though one morning Jake literally hit the ground running! Now, he rarely crawls unless it’s for something close by. 
This is all so bitter-sweet. I can not wait to see the story of this little person unfold each day. But it’s a little sad knowing that he’s changing so fast! That’s why I document every mundane little bowel movement…:)
Yes, he still has that same “passy”:)

Bloggin’ Ain’t Easy!

Good Lord, it seems like forever since we’ve talked!
I’ve been too busy dealing with life to sit down and write about it! Again, the 60 to 80 hour work weeks, coupled with Mama J working on my “off days”,  I feel like I have just enough time to eat, poop, and sleep!
Never mind that. Baby J has since transformed from a babbling blob into the semblance of a little person! Random mumbling has turned into a list of almost 40 words used on a repeated basis! Concepts of numbers are starting to click. And for some unknown reason, this kid is a little gear-head!? 
Anything with a motor or wheels is a “vroom-vroom”, and I mean anything! I pulled a pressure washer out of the box. Jake immediate says “vroom-vroom”. The strange thing is, He’d never seen me or anyone else use one. If he’s in a car, he needs to steer. If he’s on Gwampa’s tractor or 4-Wheeler, you have to tear him away from it. 
I am the farthest thing from a gear-head. I pay to have my oil-changed. So it really is a mystery to me. How do our kids develop these interests? Drums and music, I understand. Baseball, I understand. Jennifer Love Hewitt, I understand. Pooping in public, I understand. 
But how in the fudge did this kid pick this up!? Help me out here, parents! 
I’m gonna totally steer this vroom-vroom into the women’s dressing room!

The Power of "DA-DA"

BUSTED you little raccoon!

Jake said the word “Dada” 38 times in a 17 minute car ride, give or take a few. I started counting at 5. 

He wakes up crying out of a sound sleep…”DADA!”
He slams his finger in the kitchen cabinet… “DADA!!!”
I yell “NO JAKE!” when he almost yanks the center speaker off the TV console. His response… “DADA!?!”
He throws in just as many shout-outs to Mama, but I can hear “DADA” from a mile away. 
It’s an amazing responsibility to know that you can be a child’s healer, their voice of reason, and their security blanket, all at the same time. It’s also the warmest feeling you can imagine. 
Go ahead little buddy, Dada’s listening…

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MO’MO?

It was a typical Daddy/Son morning. Jake and I ate breakfast. We fed the pony (“Honna” in Jake language). And, we went for our morning stroll around “Da ‘Hood”. The weather was perfect. Birds were chirping. All the neighbors waved HI! Jake returned their greetings with a “Hey-O”. 
Our day was going along swimmingly, until… Upon arriving home and retrieving Jake and his accessories from the stroller, I instantly noticed one thing missing. The most important thing. MO’MO!!!! 
My heart raced. Jake looked confused as his head swiveled left to right, searching for his favorite companion. I nearly panicked the moment I knew Jake realized… “WE F**KING LOST ELMO!!!” 
I promised Jake everything would be OK as I quickly transferred him into the car seat. He was fitful and  starting to boil over. We had to retrace our route, and quickly! The thought of some neighbor’s dog defiling Elmo in his fuzzy, red behind made me dizzy. How could I ever explain to Jake how his Dad let that happen to his bestest friend ever!? I let my guard down. Our machine had failed! He would never forgive me, nor would I forgive myself. 
I can’t even EATS without my Mo’Mo!!!
I shoved those thoughts aside as I stepped on the pedal, revving the car up to nearly 15 miles per hour! I prayed that Elmo would return to us, unscathed. My eyes scanned the streets and sidewalks. My senses were on full alert. I refused to lose this fuzzy f**ker on my watch! 
Just then, God himself intervened… I spotted that stuffed little bastard lying on the sidewalk where our last turn toward home would have been! “I FOUND MO”MO BUDDY!!!” I exclaimed to Jake! He yelled out ‘M’MOOOH!” I jumped from the car, after putting it in park of course, and hot-footed it over to the lifeless, little baby-calming aid. I checked Elmo for any signs of forced entry or bird shit. He was in pristine condition. Just a bit overheated from baking on the pavement. Crisis averted. 
It was a quiet, content ride home. Jake was so traumatized from the event that he gulped down a bottle and fell fast asleep with his arm around his best pal minutes after hitting the crib. 
Wait until after 7pm tonight. I think Daddy’s going to gulp down a few bottles himself!:)

I Get A New Kid Every Week!!!

You know how when you’re with someone every day, you don’t really notice them losing weight? But, if you run into them once a week or so, they look so different, you’d think they had their ass Lipo’ed!?

No, Jake didn’t get Liposuction. I’m talking about his personality!!! These last few weeks have been nutty. Other than my full days with him when Mama’s away, I only see Jake a few minutes a day before one of us passes out. Of course, I hear about his antics and triumphs every day. Although, they don’t really click until I get to hang out with him for a while.

Just since our last male-bonding blast, Jake has developed SO MUCH as a little person. I can tell that he’s really grasping words and concepts now. If I grab the car seat, he says “CAH”, and points to the door. When we pull into the driveway, he says “HUM”. When we go to feed the horsey, he points and says “HUSS”. I have to remind myself that he’s always listening! I dropped something during lunch and blurted out a “Shit!”. From behind me I hear “SHITH”. While shopping yesterday, Jake pointed out Elmo from a quarter mile away. “M’MO!”. It’s frightening how fast these little devils pick up on things! (And I can see how Marketing Execs create brand-loyalty, those sneaky bastards!:)



A new development that just occurred in the last few days, he has two new best friends! His bunny and his piggy. They are inseparable! If Jake’s sleeping or cruising in the CAH, one of those two stuffed companions must be present at all times! Very cute. Today it’s bunnies and piggies. Fifteen years from now, I can only imagine what animals he’s going to be chasing. My bet’s on the “kitties”, if you know what I’m sayin’!?

"WTF HAPPENED TO ALL YOUR POSTS?"

I’M TRYING!!!

A few of you have been POUNDING my mangina lately, asking if I’ve thrown in the towel on the blog page? 
The short answer is…no. The truth is, the last seven weeks have been filled will 60-80 hour work weeks, some 24/7 Daddy Daycare action on my off days, and a bout of bronchitis for a little extra flavor.
Work, eat, sleep, poop, cough, repeat! I’m like a baby with a job:)
I promise we’ll talk soon! Thanks for sticking around!  

Will Matt Damon Be Responsible For Our Next Child?

The Hereafter
Lately, the question keeps coming up more and more, “When are you having number 2?” Those words alone stir up the same feelings of both excitement and fear as when the question was first raised, “When are you two having a baby?”
Yes, I said fear. I tend to fall a bit toward the analytical side, to put it lightly. I can talk myself out of almost anything if I think about it long enough. Sometimes it’s a matter of brains vs. balls. When the Wife and I were trying for baby number one, my brain constantly juggled thoughts around my head like lottery balls. “What if” questions like… Will I be a good Dad? Will the baby be healthy? Will my wife be healthy? Will there be complications? What about college? Will we have enough money? Am I responsible enough? Am I too selfish? What the f**k am I getting myself into!?
The list was never-ending. In my mind, I was already playing out consequences 18 YEARS down the road! Deep down, I knew the answers to all those questions. Everything would be fine. Just breathe dummy. More balls, less brains…
Yet still, with the mere thought of trying for number two, the lottery balls started rattling again.
Yesterday, Jake started getting cranky just as Matt Damon’s film, The Hereafter was starting. I put Jake in the “Sideways Sleeper Hold”, and let him fuss in my arms a little while I watched the opening Tsunami sequence. It was so powerful I could not take my eyes off the screen! I popped the pacifier in his mouth, he calmed down, and now I was rapt with attention!
Onto the scene where Matt Damon, a psychic medium, is reading for a distraught husband who had recently lost his wife to disease. Damon is seeing this man’s wife, and repeating the most intimate details of their circumstances to the widowed man. After losing my Mom at an early age to Cancer, and seeing the pain my Dad went through, this scene was bitter-sweet to watch. I was practically tearing up as I saw this man starting to cry as he heard such comforting advice from his lost love.
I just happened to glance down at Jake, assuming he was out cold. What I saw were two of the sweetest little eyes staring right back at me. He had been watching me the whole time. Now all I could do was stare back at him. I whispered a long, gentle “shooooooosh”into his ear, and his little eyes slowly closed.
The emotion was almost overwhelming. The thoughts of losing my own parent followed with the absolute feeling of love as I held a living, breathing miracle, my own son, in my arms.
What if I had let my own fears and insecurities prevent that moment from ever happening!? 
After experiencing such a miracle, I think this is the only question I should focus on: Why would two parents whom are physically, emotionally, and financially capable of having another child, not try?
Two years ago, I couldn’t imagine having child. Two years later, it’s hard to imagine only having one. 
Hmm. Maybe Dads get “Baby Fever” too?:)