Monday, September 28, 2009

You're sh!##ing me, right doc?

What Now?

This week I get to enjoy the wonderful experience of the yearly physical. I have started making these visits each year for the past 5 or so, you know, when you hit the early to mid-30's, things start to not look like, act like or feel like they used to when you were younger. I myself would probably have been one of those pig-headed guys who only saw the doctor when I had a major problem, like a dangling limb or severe head trauma. But, I have a paranoid mother and a more paranoid wife that would not let me get anything done until I made that annual appointment. Now, in their defense I must say they only pester me because they care about me and would like me to hang around this floating rock as long as possible. Either that or they have conspired together to pester me so much that I will die of annoyance soon and they will be rid of me once and for all. Hmmmmm.

It is in my best interest to get the innards looked at once a year. My family has a history of high cholesterol and prostate cancer (just found out Dad had it a couple of weeks ago). At my appointment a couple of years back I found out my cholesterol level was on the low side of bad, which is very close to the the high side of good so I don't know what the big deal was. I went on medication and dropped that number like it was hot. Then I got on this exercise and health kick and have lost over 20 lbs. since that appointment and have been off the medication since the first of the year, so I am excited to see where my numbers are now.

Here is where my story gets ugly. A week before I get to be fondled and invaded by a dude, I have to get my blood taken for lab work. This has never been an issue in the past so I had no worries as I checked myself in that morning...oh, except for fasting. I was horse eating hungry by the time I got to the office! I was called in, the nice nurse lady took three tubes of blood, she told me that I needed to leave a urine sample before I left, and then she pulled out the white envelope. I have never seen the white envelope before. It must be some kind of survey or something, you know..."How are we doing, did you enjoy your visit, should our nurses be better looking", that kind of thing. The next sentence out of her mouth would change me forever....

"This is your stool smear packet, it's pretty self explanatory but I can go over it with you if you like."

What the what? Are you kidding me? I am sure she could have gone into the gory details for me, but just hearing the words "stool" and "smear" alone made me throw up in my mouth just a little. I grabbed this little while envelope from her, pissed in the cup, and got the hell out of that place. I had the damn thing open before I hit the seat of my car and started reading.

Now, I too could go into the gory details of this little surprise with you, but I imagine you get the gist of it. I got home and set it on the table. My wife looked at it, looked at me and asked "is that a.......", before she could even finish I said yes and left the room. I could hear her laughing as I marched upstairs and crawled into bed. I don't know what it is about this little test that is causing such a problem for me. I have helped raise two human beings and there is not much that grosses me out anymore. This however raised the stakes...big time!

Well, as I right this post I can say I have completed 2/3 of the test (oh yes, there are three parts!) and I am doing OK. I should finish up soon and be ready for the real fun of the actual physical. Three cheers for getting older!!!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


What Now?

Yesterday the girls' fall micro-soccer season began. Both of my girls love soccer, oldest loves playing soccer and my youngest loves putting on the uniform and the after game snacks. As in past seasons we volunteered to help coach with our friends who's two daughters are best buddies with our two girls, that way they could play on the same team (the oldest girls play on one team and the youngest girls play on another). We showed up a little early so the kids could all meet and talk before the first game. I walked K, our oldest, over to her field and got her set up (which she really doesn't need anymore, but I still like to pretend I am needed in this respect). My wife and I then wait for our coaching friend at the field R will be playing at. And we wait...and wait...and wait. It seems she is running a little late so we gather up the kids so we can get the game going. Just before the first kick she comes screaming in with both of her girls in tow. She recently took a new job and so her being a little late is no big surprise. She looked a little frazzled, but my wife was there to help so I ran over to watch K's game.

At halftime of each of the games my wife and I try to switch so we can watch each girl. I ran back over to R's field to make the switch...that is when all holy hell broke loose. Our friend, the coach, was trying to console her daughter before the start of the second half (the coaches are on the field with the kids in our little league)...and that little girl was having nothing to do with that. It was clear she wanted her mom, she wanted to go home, and she didn't care who knew it. So coach mom ran back onto the field followed by her screaming daughter. And when I say screaming I don't mean just screaming. I mean she was screaming like her hair was on fire. So coach mom is trying to coach, trying to settle her daughter down and trying not to loose her mind. Thinking I could help I yelled across the field to her to see if she wanted me to take over coaching duties. She said no and continued this craziness. Another mother of the team who also knows the coach mom and her daughter tried, unsuccessfully, to calm this child down. Now, I have never met the devil, but I swear it was possessing this little girl at that moment. I even think her voice dropped several octaves and steam started pouring out of her ears while her face turned the shade of a firetruck. I could tell coach mom was about to loose it...and I mean in a big way. I can't imagine what her day was like before this, but if there was ever going to be a chance of a soccer mom coach going postal this was it. As I surveyed the scene I did overhear the devil child say she wanted to watch her sister's game. Thinking fast, for me anyway, I told her I would take her over to watch the other game...and, after giving me a look that shook me to my very core, she agreed. I ran over to the other field and dropped her off with my wife who was watching K's game. She seemed to mellow out and all was good from there on.

After both games my wife went to talk to coach mom and all coach mom could do it hug my wife and cry. I felt so bad for her...clearly this was the topper to a pretty shitty day. As the kids all enjoyed their after game snacks we talked about upcoming games and schedules. Coach mom was coming down some and devil daughter seemed to have been released from her possession. Our next game is tomorrow....might be a good one to skip.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome to the county fair, please don't feed the freaks

Happy Fatherhood Friday and the end of summer!

What Now?

Were I live you know Fall has officially arrived when the good old county fair comes to town. I love just about everything about the fair. I love the ginormous pumpkins people bring in for show, I love seeing all the farm animals, even with the smell, I love the overpriced games you play and have very little chance of winning, I really love the fair food even though you feel like it wants to claw it's way back out a few hours after eating it. I even love the carnival rides, even though I am not much of a fan of heights or fast moving objects that I am sitting in being held in place by a thin band of woven fabric being labeled as a seat belt. It is all good.

The one thing I really don't love about the county fair are the large number of freaks that I get to share my experience with. And I'm not just talking about the folks that work there. You would be amazed at some of the people that attend as well. I don't mean to sound elitist...but some of these people are only a bad choice away from starring in the next episode of COPS. But these same people must be doing better financially than I am because they have no problem dropping several hundred dollars at the fair. Of course that only gets you about 30 minuets of entertainment these costs less to take your family to Disneyland I swear.

While my fear of this crowd caused me to use the kung-fu grip while holding my kids hands walking through this maze of freakness, they still don't hold a candle to the run of the mill carnie. That is a whole different kind of freak in my book. It didn't even faze me when my daughter said the tooth fairy must be keeping busy at the fair since some many of the people working there were missing their teeth. No shit. She would use her time better handing out toothbrushes I said to myself.

The best story of the night was the great ferris wheel ride my wife took with our youngest (little know fact courtesy of Wikipedia - The original Ferris wheel was designed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., as a landmark for the 1893 World's Colombian Exposition in Chicago. The term Ferris wheel later came to be used generically for all such rides.) They got in line and waited their turn. Our youngest is not big on rides so the fact she was willing to ride anything was a big deal. I took our oldest to ride something else and grab some cotton candy. We came back to the ferris wheel about 20 minuets later and my the line had hardly moved. What the hell? It may cost more than Disneyland but the lines usually move faster. So I grabbed a seat and we waited. 20 minuets after that they finally get on. I didn't pay too much attention, but after my wife and daughter got off she had a look of total amazement on her face. "That was the most fucked up ferris wheel ride I have ever been on!" she said.

Instead of shuffling passengers on and off in a systematic fashion, their top notch ride engineer decided it was best to unload the whole wheel, load people on one at a time, give them one spin, and then unload the whole thing again. Kind of like sitting at a stop sign that only turns green for one car at a time until there are no more cars then it's green forever. All told they spent close to an hour in line and on the ride without going around more than once interrupted. At least they got their moneys worth.
ps. Thanks to those to heard my plea for more followers...I have 4 new fans so only 69 more and have my 100...keep 'em coming!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

My 100th post - break out the beer!!!

What Now?

Here it is. The wait is over. The time has come. You are one of the 5 to 7 people reading the 100th post of my blog "What Now?" It is also number 10 on the WND Top Ten list I have had going for the last couple of weeks. Pretty big stuff, eh? What started as random ramblings from a new dad blogger has turned into random ramblings of a dad blogger with 100 posts. Wow, the feelings I am feeling are...well, hmmmmm. Not much different, but I have to kinda make a big deal out of it, right? I mean, when a TV show hits 100 episodes they all eat cake after taping. When someone turns 100 years old the Today Show wheels out good ol' Willard to slap a Smuckers logo on their face. Elementary schools always make a bid deal out of the 1ooth day of school (usually that means my kids bring home 100 pieces of garbage I have to secretly throw away after they go do bed).

So what should be done to commemorate this dad's 100th blog post. I have a few ideas that I'd like to share with you...come and enjoy:

1. Maybe 73 other bloggers can become official "followers" of my blog are bring me to 100 total. I can't tell you how excited I get now when just one more person becomes a follower of my kids call it "Daddy giving seconds of desert night!"

2. My boss could get me a more comfortable chair at work so when I write my blog posts (you know, the real important work) I can do it without jerking around like a fish out of water. I don't know what it is, but I can't sit still for more than 2 minuets these days. I'm like Kramer's girlfriend who had the "jimmy legs".

3. Getting a personal "congrats" message from the President, or at least my favorite blogger currently, Jason Mayo of Out Numbered. Here is a guy I can really relate too. He is the only male in his am I. He writes a blog about him and his do I. He is devilishly am I (Thanks Madonna for helping me with this little tribute).

4. I could be wearing my most comfortable t-shirt and jeans sipping on a ice chilled glass of my favorite beer, Pipeline Porter, while my wife, wearing her sexy camisole and boy shorts, pops peanut butter filled pretzels into my mouth with Jimmy Buffett or Dean Martin playing in the background. Oh wait, that's heaven I'm talking about.

5. Maybe my sweet, darling daughters will, for just a little while, get along, clean their room, eat their dinner, brush their teeth, make their bed, do their homework, feed the dog, set the table, not watch T.V., get themselves dressed, stay in bed and everything else my wife and I ask them to do without saying "why?" afterwards. Oh wait, this is reality I'm talking about.

Instead of holding my breath for any of these things to happen, I'll just pat myself on the back, pack up for the day and go pick up my girls from school. To my 5 to 7 faithful fans, I hope you have enjoyed reading my first 100 posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Until number 101....


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WND Top Ten - Back to high school

What Now?

Almost there..the end of my WND Top Ten list and my 100th blog post. So, number 9 on the list got a lot of reaction when I first posted it back in July. It goes into my feelings about my 20th high school reunion and I think there are two sides of this issue for most folks my age. The first side can't wait for the reunion and to catch up with old friends. The other side would rather shove a hot poker up their ass before they would go. This has a lot to do with the kind of experience you have in high school. I myself had a great one, and I looked forward to the event and when it was all said and done I had a great time. I was lucky enough to attend my wife's 20th as well a month later. I think she actually fell somewhere in the middle....kind of wanting to attend but not super excited about it. I told her we should go, she would have a good time.....and about an hour into the first event I thought she was going to kill me. From a weirdo ex-boyfriend type trying to pawn his daughter on us to the snobby bitch breaking into every conversation like we wanted her there it was bad. The food kinda sucked too so there went my enjoyment! Fortunately she rallied and it ended up being a great time. The jury is still out on if we'll make her 30th or not.

The 20th Reunion

This post is number 80 for me and my little blog. To be honest I started this blog with no real idea of where to take it or what I wanted it to accomplish. There were time early on that I just about walked away. But, thanks to the encouragement of my wife, the computer dork and currently my sugar mama, I continued. And I am very glad I did. Being a part-time-stay-at-home dad does have it's many adventures, and what a great outlet to talk about them. I have met some other great dad (and mom) bloggers out there in the interweb and have become a big fan of their blogs. This technology really is amazing. As a good friend of mine said recently "I think this Internet thing just might catch on!"So, to mark this mini-milestone I thought I would talk a little bit today about another milestone in my life, my 20th high school reunion. My god, how could this be happening now? It seems like not too long ago I was going to my 10th. Since that time I have moved back to my home town, changed jobs twice, had two kids, lost about 30 pounds and settled into my new role as PTSAH dad. The only thing that is the same is my marriage to the most wonderful woman on earth (I love ya crouton!).I have talked to several people much, much older than me about the big 20th reunion and they all say it will be so much better than the 10th. No one will showing off, name dropping, job bragging, big timing like at the 10th. People are more real, they have families, they really are there to see old friends and tell old stories. To be honest I really enjoyed my 10th and have been looking forward to the 20th. There is however some nervousness I am feeling the day before I see people I haven't seen in over a decade.I am terrible with names. I can meet someone for the first time and forget their name 5 seconds later. How the hell am I going to do with people I haven't seen for years? How many "Hey buddy, hey champ, hey dude, hey lady" intros will I be able to get away with before I just freeze? I dug out my yearbook to try and cramp for this reunion exam, but that will only help if everyone looks the same as they did 20 years ago...fat chance. I can hold out hope for big ass name tags I guess, but if they don't have those I am screwed.I really should be no big deal. My wife thinks I'm a total dork for even worrying about it. She is my ultimate back-up plan for social events like this, introducing herself to everyone right away to get a name. It works pretty well, unless she forgets...then I really look like a fuck up. "Uhhh, Mrs. Whatnowdad, this is....uhhh, O shit...there is so-and-so, please excuse me!"What I am really excited about is the family picnic. Here I will get to see what the offspring look like, and try to imagine if they are anything like their parents were back in the day. Will the nerds have nerdy kids? Will the alternative/punk/goth parents dress their kids up in black? Will the hicks ride in with their kids on horseback. Will the jocks be tossing the old pig skin around with there kids? Will that one really hot chick from 3rd period science have a really hot 21 year old daughter and will they be wearing matching bikinis? Is that last one pretty sick? Probably...but you gotta wonder, right?And what will everyone think of my kids? Do they at all resemble what I was like as a kid, or are they more like me now? Maybe a good cross of both.After the weekend I'll give a full report on all the activities as I'm sure there should be some nuggets of entertainment to share.Until then....

Monday, September 14, 2009

WND Top Ten - Gross is in the eyes of the beholder


The number 8 post on my "What Now Dad?" top ten post list is gross, or at least that is what I would have said before having kids. Since that night when my wife gave birth to our first child I can tolerate things that would have made me hurl like I did back in college after drinking a half rack and eating a 3 day old burrito. As a parent you develop a immunity to lots of grossness that happens around or on you almost daily. I remember changing that first diaper at the hospital. No one told me that instead of regular old human poop your newborn will unleash a title wave of black goo sure to make even the strongest of dads wretch! After 7+ years of daddyhood I can now say that just about any body fluid, or solid, barley fazes that the first sign of getting too old?

Oops, I crapped my pants!

The other night at 5am I was woken up to the sound of someone puking their brains out in our bathroom. I stumbled my way to the door to see our oldest with her head in the toilet and my wife holding her hair back. My wife made an excellent puck friend for her sorority sisters so she knew exactly how to handle this situation. I went back to bed, my wife followed shortly and K grabbed a blanket and slept on the bathroom floor.The next day K was treated to endless runs to the bathroom to take care of the runs she was feeling out of the other end. Unfortunately for her, and us, she has yet to experience the issues this kind of illness can have on your bowel control, thus...SHARTING! I was amazed that when describing K's issues with a friend they had never heard of the word shart. It's a simple combination of the words shit and fart, and is used often in our house, mostly as means to disgust or humor someone.I don't know when in human development people start to figure out that when you have diarrhea, and you also fee like you have to pass gas, that it's best to make your way to the toilet or risk brown streaking your underwear, pants and very possibility the chair you are sitting on. I know there are still some adults that have problem with this control, not first hand of course..I don't shart, let me tell you a funny story now.Friends of ours were telling us about their 9 year old son who refused to wear underwear. Even while playing sports he won't wear it, a jock strap or cup. After a long, hot baseball game the son ditched his clothes in the laundry room and headed upstairs. Our friend went in right after him to discover a rather large dirt trail in the seat of his uniform pants. She called him down and asked if he was feeling ok? He replied "I was just playing really hard out there mom!"Sharting is never fun and for the child who experience it for the first (and in my daughters case over the last couple of days, 7th) time it can really be a head trip. Speaking of trips, this morning I almost tripped over one of her freshly soiled pairs of that is a wake up call.As I wrap up the post my daughter, on her way downstairs, just informed me that the "area" that her poop comes from looks a little purple, while her sister's looks reddish. Nice!


Friday, September 11, 2009

WND Top Ten - Let's Talk About Sex Baby

What Now?

It's Friday and I am feeling good. For the #7 post on my What Now Dad top ten list I bring you SEX, or at least my view on the subject at it pertains to parents. I think sex is a very important element to a good marriage and in order to have a good sex life you need trust, communication and good old fashion lust. My wife is probably just like a lot of moms out there who can pick apart their own body and the flaws they think they have. In my eyes my wife has never been sexier, and when it's Business Time we can really put on a show. I know for a fact that the sex we have now is 100 times better than when we first started dating....and that makes WND a very happy boy. Enjoy this post and your weekend!

The Sex Post
For my post today I have decided to weigh in on the hot topic of sex. My number 1a favorite activity that happens in bed. In my previous post I talked about my number 1b favorite, sleep. But, come on...I'm a guy. Do you really think they are that close in my ranking system? Well, I guess that depends on the day. And today sex is my number one topic! Specifically my views of the sex lives of married parents. It seems like this is a topic that every parent blogger, married or not, will discuss at some point of their blogging lives. There is a very good reason why I have decided now was my and easy readership. I mean really, who will pass up the chance to read a blog titled THE SEX POST? Whether you are getting some, not getting any, getting just enough to get by or getting more than Kid are gonna read this post. I just have the awesome responsibility to do the subject justice. And since it is Fatherhood Friday over at Dad Blogs you could not ask for better timing. So why the all caps, very obvious headline? Well, while I keep a total anonymous profile, there are members of my immediate family that do read this blog, so Mom, how about you stop right here and skip over to one of your scrap booking sites. It will be better for both of us if you do.OK, so what is my well thought out, very detailed, original view of the sex lives of married parents???SEX IS GREAT!Now, for those of you who are looking for a little more thought, a little more detail, a little more original (I'm talking to the women reading this post) please read on.Sex is the fabric that holds a marriage together. Sure, there are many other things that are also important...most of which don't come to mind at the moment, but sex is the glue, the staples, the duct tape (we could go off on some strange fetish with that one, but I digress). When I was first dating my wife up to about, oh, say seven years ago before our first child was born, I was way more into quantity instead of quality. Don't get me wrong, I think every time my wife and I have had sex it's been great, but this is the male perspective so take that with a grain of salt. I wanted it all the time. It was like I was having my own personal contest with Wilt Chamberlain or something (although his count was with different women, but again, I digress). It took the birth of my two children and the amazing patience of my wife to teach me that quality is what counts when it comes to sex. I don't have to tell anybody with kids that sex gets put on the back burner every now and again. This is something that women understand instantly, but for men it takes a while, like years.So how did I enter the temple of enlightenment? Did I take a seminar or consult a therapist or even better yet, read a great blog post like this one? I don't really know, but what I do know is that I am much happier with our sex life then I ever have been, and that includes when we did it like bunnies back in college. I don't know if it's age, the fact both of us is eating better and working out more, or just the inner peace I have, but you just can't touch the sex we have now. I can't even really find the proper words to describe it..but in the words of Def Leppard's classic Pour Some Sugar On Me....

"You got the peaches, I got the cream - Sweet to taste, saccharine - 'Cos I'm hot, say what, sticky sweet - From my head, my head, to my feet

Do you take sugar? one lump or two? - Take a bottle, shake it up - Break the bubble, break it up - Pour some sugar on me"


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

WND Top Ten - Accomplishment

What Now?
Number 6 on my WND top ten post list of all time is my favorite post because it talks about the single biggest accomplishment I have ever achieved personally. It also marks a real turning point in my life and how I now go about every day and how I feel about myself. Someone said that if you can run a mile you can run a marathon...and I am living proof!

The Story Of My First Marathon

This story starts off with a beautiful day, perfect for running. I was excited, nervous and really ready to get this thing started. At 7am the gun goes off and away I go with 300 fellow nut jobs. I felt strong and was going to be my day. I made sure to stop at every drink station, I mixed in a little walking, but not as much as I did during training. Things were going great. After 10 miles I was at a sub 10-minute mile pace. WOW. I felt like I could back it up a bit and still make my time goal, sub five hours. Miles 11 to 15 went slower. The major hill was during this stretch, I walked a little more and at the turn around I grabbed some cookies and took an extended walk. I was still in great shape for my time goal, all I had to do was bring it home. It was just past mile 15 that it hit me…the hamstring cramp…OH SHIT! I had the same thing happen after my 10 miler a couple of weeks ago. This was no ordinary cramp…this felt like a sniper had shot me in the back of the leg. Damn….what now. I stopped, because I could not move forward anymore. I straightened out my leg, because to bend it would only increase the pain. There I stretched it and rested. After the same thing happened during training I was able to loosen it up enough to walk for about a half mile or so. I would not stop here. I started to walk, stopping every few feet to straighten and stretch. After a bit I was back in the race. Walking for a good while then able to start running again. I was off my pace, but still able to get under that 5 hour mark if there were no more delays. At the 20 mile mark I had another delay. The cramp was back, and worse. This was bad. 20 miles was the longest I had ever run during training, and my body seemed to be telling me it was not going any further than that. Again I stopped, straighten my leg and stretched. This time it was closer to 10 minuets before I could start walking again. It was about this time that B came riding up to me on her bike…my guardian angel. She herself ran the 1/2 marathon with her sister, my sister and a good friend from high school. She wanted to make sure I was doing OK, I told her I was not. She rode with me while I walked and tried to run more. After a few strides of running I could feel the hamstring tighten up. Stop, walk. Now the chance to get under 5 hours was out the window unless things changed dramatically with my leg. I drank more fluid. B got me some salt tablets. I stopped to stretch more. Mile 21 and 22 pass and no sign of my leg getting better. Time to switch to goal B…just finish. I told myself before the run I wanted to get under 5 hours, but if that was not going to happen then finishing would be good enough and there would be no disappointment. Well, at this point in the race I am disappointed, but only with my leg. My wind felt great, I was feeling strong mentally. There was nothing that would have slowed me down except my damn leg. This was something out of my control and I just had to suck it up and keep moving forward, even at fast walk pace. With about 3 miles left the rest of my support crew was there cheering me on. My kids, my parents, B’s family…wow. I was excited to see them all, but was not expecting the emotion I felt. I gave some high fives and kept going….not saying a word for fear of opening up the flood gates. Pretty soon I could see the finish, it was about a mile or so away, but I could see it. I was past the 5 hour mark by now, but it didn’t matter…the finish was in sight. With about a 1/4 of a mile left I started to run again….everyone has to cross the finish line running right? Wrong. My leg quickly reminded me that it had given up at mile 20, and that my mind was not going to make it do anything it didn’t want to. Stop, straighten and stretch. The finish line was a stones throw away and I was not moving another step until my leg was ready. That is when it hit me…emotion so strong that I could not hold it back. Tears started to flow. My family was cheering me on, urging me to cross that line, and I was a mess, both physically and emotionally. B was at the finish line waiting for me. My sister was next to me telling me I could do it. Finally, after what seemed like forever, I stood up and started walking No longer able to run. My body would not allow that. I walked across that finish line with my head up and a true feeling of accomplishment inside. I did it. I finished a marathon. Something only 10 months ago I would have never even considered. A volunteer handed me my medal, the announcer read off my name..I did it. I really did it. B was there with a big hug..god I love that woman. I can’t imagine what those last 6 miles would have been like without her there. My parents, sister, nephews, nieces, in-laws and friends were there with congratulations and you did it and way to go. Wow. I was able to compose myself enough to thank them all, and to soak up the moment. Until yesterday the longest running race I had ever done was 7 miles. Until just over a year ago the longest running workout I would even consider was no more than a mile or two, my legs hurt too much to do much more. Now I can say I am a marathon runner. Now I can say there is really nothing I can’t accomplish if I really set my mind to it. Now things are different and will never be the same. As I write this my legs hurt like they have never hurt before. I am looking forward to taking some time off from training and just resting. Then, after a little rest and a little reflection it’s time to choose my next goal….stay tuned!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

We return to the WND Top Ten - Sleeping Perfection

What Now?

I'm back with #5 in my own personal What Now Dad top ten post list. I have gone with a post that describes the bed time routine of my wife, who, admittedly goes through this insane ritual and still does not sleep that great. I now know what her nights are like as I myself, a champion among champion sleepers, has had a few restless nights. One new item to add to her list includes propping a magazine in the window at just the right spot to block out any light coming from the outside street light located about half a block away. Oh, and it's just the light that is not getting blocked by the two massive trees we have in our front yard, oh and the closed blinds too. That is some persistent light that she has to wonder she has a hard time sleeping!

Sleeping with the bionic woman.

When reading the title of this post there is a chance you might think I am writing about something else...something sexual. Before you get too excited please rest assured that this is about sleep, and nothing more than sleep. It should still entertain you, but I didn't want your hopes built up and then squashed like a bug. So with that, here goes...

I am one of those people that has no problem whatsoever sleeping. I fall asleep fast, stay asleep all night, and wake up refreshed and ready for the day (for the most part). My wife on the other hand is the complete and total opposite. It takes her forever to get to sleep, she will wake up at just about anything (to be explained further) and mornings are, let's just say a little rough on her.

Her pre-bed routine goes a little something like this:

1. Make sure all lights are out, including, but not limited too nightlights, street lights, flash lights, lighting and lightning bugs. And I mean out! If you think that closing a door of a bathroom with a nightlight is sufficient, you are so wrong.

2. Make sure the white noise is on and set at the proper volume. In our bedroom the bedroom fan serves this purpose. To control the volume the door to the bathroom must be no more and no less than 6 inches open. Stray from this measurement will only require trying again.

3. Make sure all 6 pillows are in their proper place. I think she could have double this amount, but then I would be sleeping on the floor.

4. Make sure the door to the girls room is open the right amount. This is close to the 6 inch rule for our bathroom door, but there is a little more flexibility here.

5. Make sure the TV is on, but at a low volume, until she is close to sleep. If she is in control of this I get to watch some fat chick cooking and not being able to hear what she is talking about. If I am in control I can watch what I like, but still not hear.

She may also need a little "self-medication" help in the form of a Tylenol PM, but that is only in extreme circumstances. If all five steps are taken care of then it should only take an hour or two for her to drift into dreamland. If any of the above steps are changed while she is sleeping then the chances of her waking are high and it will take another couple of hours for her to get back to sleep. When you throw in visits from our youngest at 2am you can guess what the result is.

I try to skimp on some of the steps, but like the title says, I sleep with the bionic woman. Any flicker of light, variation in white noise or doors open or closed any more or less than the desired amount will be like a blaring alarm to her and will be required to be fixed. The woman has the thinnest eyelids and most sensitive hearing of any one person I know.

Fortunately for me, as I mentioned before, I sleep very well. So even with all the prep that needs to happen I can get the winks I need without much fuss. I love her to death, but I will never understand her sleep issues, thank god!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cancer, really?

What Now?

So I am going to take a little blog post break from counting down my top ten WND posts. Last week my Dad had his physical and his level of something I can't remember was a lot higher than his last physical so they wanted to do a prostate biopsy to check for cancer. My Dad's dad has prostate cancer later in his life so the chances were pretty decent that my Dad might have it too. I really didn't give it much thought, not because I don't care about the health of my Dad, but because cancer isn't something that really happened in our family at such a young age (I can now say 60 something is not old since I am close to 40).

So tonight my Mom called to tell me the test came back positive. "What does that mean?" I asked..kind of knowing but not really wanting to. It means there is cancer there. Cancer, really? Talk about your head filling up with more thoughts than you can process. Now, before I get too deep into this I have come to realize that in the world of cancers, prostate cancer is like the minor leagues. And when caught early, like in my Dad's case, it is very treatable. Hell, I even learned that eventually every man will get it if he lives long enough. Now that is crazy shit.

So, before I was calmed by all this my thoughts are about my Dad, his health, me, my health, human mortality...damn, I didn't want to think about this stuff, not now...not ever. Like I mentioned before I have never really had to deal directly with this stuff in my life so I really don't know how to react or what to think. I'm not an idiot, I know that everyone has to deal with death...but I also know it can never be easy.

I am fortunate in my family to have many health care specialists in it. Right away we had names of great doctors for my Dad to call. As my Mom said, he is more concerned with the treatment than the actual cancer at this point. Both my Mom and Wife have made me feel at ease with this news and for this I am so thankful.

Not the most uplifting blog post in the word, but I know it will have a good ending....stay posted, I'm sure I'll be talking about this more down the road.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

WND Top Ten - Got a question?

What Now?

Number four on my What Now Dad top ten post list is a personal favorite of mine, and I know most parents can relate. My 5 year old is the question queen, and there is no one who is safe from her and her inquiries. We flew to Hawaii and for all 6 hours we were in the air I don't think she stopped asking questions to take a breath. The best two questions from her to date goes a little something like this (and they both have to do with moose...go figure):

Question #1

R - Daddy, I don't like that moose head in Bruce and Kathleen's house.

Me - I know you don't R.

R - Daddy, if Bruce and Kathleen move they will have to take the moose head in their house with them, right?

Me - Right.

R - Why?

Question #2

R - Daddy, I don't like the moose mascot at the pool.

Me - I know you don't R.

R - He is scary.

Me - I know, but what are you going to do when we go to Disneyland?

R - Why, do they have a moose too?

Questions, Questions.
Am I the only Dad that feels like he fields more questions in one day than Alex Trebek has over his whole career on Jeopardy? My kids, especially my youngest "R", can weave a web of questions that after a while has my head spinning so much that I feel like driving my car straight into the next stop sign. I love how curious they are, and I love being able to answer their questions and fill their heads with information....but there are times I just want to say "please stop asking me questions and let me be!" But then I am reminded that in the not so far away future the questions will be asked less, and less and maybe even stop. That worries me more than anything else. So, what is your next question?