Friday, May 30, 2014

Letter to Pillow

Dear Pillow:

Pillow isn't really your nickname, you can thank your sister for that one.

It seems you're being pretty difficult as you're enjoying your stay inside Hotel Mom in womb number 1 (see what I did there? Get used to it, I am mastering the art of Dad jokes). Everyday I get to hear your mother bitch about how you're kicking some random organ or your pressed up against her lungs and she can't breathe, blah blah blah. When you come out, you'll realize how often she complains and bitches and cries. You'll get used to it.

Unlike your sister when we had an inkling she was going to be a girl, you are going to be a true surprise. Each week my opinion changes depending how moody your mother. If she's acting bat shit crazy, you're a girl. But the bat shit craziness has been pretty few and far between, so you might be a laid back dude. And with the way your mom clenches in pain because you punt her in the kidneys, I have aspirations of you being my meal ticket a really good athlete. But if you're a girl you can also be a really good athlete as well. No sexist dad here.

Once I was on a plane to Las Vegas with some friends for a bachelor party and I made a joke that we had a woman pilot and the flight was going to be delayed because she is going to pull the plane over to fix her makeup. A woman sitting next to me asked, "are you serious?!" And I replied, "oh no, planes can't pull over." Then she called me disgusting and said I was unbelievable. It was the most awkward flight ever. Moral of that story is don't ever let anyone hold you back because their view of the world is skewed. Also, don't ever repeat anything I say in public.

I hope you like sports. Mainly football and the Dallas Cowboys. I know in the letter I wrote to your sister, I told her " So that means no crying, diaper changing, or being hungry during the Cowboys game." That will hold true for you too. Your sister knows when I am watching sports (right now she refers to every sport I watch as baseball) so she knows to leave me alone or wait until a commercial. I expect you to do the same. Oh and this applies any time Cops is on as well.

You are going to be the new baby of the family. I hope your sister continues to treat you the way she has been once you get out. You've probably heard her kiss your mom's belly and tell her she loves you. She's even been practicing putting you to sleep - since she didn't know if you're a boy or a girl, she did both.

She will end up being your best friend and you will be hers. You will both have each other to bitch about your mom being weird. She will blame you for stuff she did and you'll do the same. And I'll have two kids to blame for stuff that I did like who ate all the Oreos. I'm excited for you because I hope you'll love Vietnamese food as much as me and your sister. But if you end up having a boring appetite like your mom, that would make her happy too. And both your mom and I are hoping you're a decisive one because right now nobody in this family is willing to make a decision for dinner.

You're coming into a family that always says 'I love you' and will always begin and end our days with a kiss and a hug. Sometimes a big family hug. We'll always hold your hand to cross the street and carry you when your legs are too tired to walk. Your sister will ask you what's wrong and try to make you feel better. I'll ask you what's your deal and try to make you feel better. Your mom will try to talk your ear off about talking about your feelings and then make you feel better. Either way, you'll be loved.

We can wait to meet you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Letter to the Baby

Dear Baby:

You have no idea how much your life is going to change. You have been the center of our world for the past four years. I think the longest amount of time we spent away from you were the three days your mother and I went to Las Vegas for my job. And you know what happened? You got a sibling. You've been the best birth control. Busting through our closed bedroom door at the most random/inopportune times you instilled an incredible amount of paranoia in us. But that's okay because considering how fertile your mother is combined with the strength of my army, you would probably have 4 siblings by now.

Before you were born, I wrote you a letter and asked you to not be a crier. You ended up being the most sensitive kid alive. But you seem to cry the worst when you accidentally hurt someone. Your guilt just consumes you. That sensitivity is what makes you so special. You're caring with your random requests for a family hug and trading kisses on the cheek. You can sense emotion in other people and your funny quips such as, "don't be mad, we have Oreos" seem to lighten any mood. It's a perfect mixture of your mother's ultra sensitivity and my sense of humor. Your sense of curiosity can be annoying but it's refreshing. I find it hilarious that the little things in life are amazing to you like catching rain with your tongue or sporks. You think sporks are the coolest thing ever and I don't blame you one bit.

You're going to feel like you are an afterthought when Pillow comes out. We might pay less attention to you, we might yell at you for singing too loud when Pillow is asleep. Don't take it personal. All new babies have a "breaking in" period when they first come out. We have to adjust. We have to remember how to do things. We have to think about all the things we screwed up with you and not do those things. But I guarantee we won't forget to hug you and ask you every day "are you happy?"

I will do my best to walk to the park with you so you can play at the playground. I will make sure to throw you on the bed at least four times every day. I will be more patient when you freak out because you can't find the toy poop that came with your latest Barbie doll. Yes, you wanted a Barbie doll that had a dog that pooped everywhere. And it happened to be the smallest pieces of poop ever. And you threw an insane fit when you dropped the poop and couldn't find the little brown Tic-Tacs.

Seriously, little pieces of poop.
I just ask you to be patient with us, especially your mother. She's going to struggle the most because she's going to have to spend so much time with Pillow at the beginning. She's going to need time to adjust. Trust me, it was hard for me when you were first born. It was a competition for her attention. But you're her best friend and best friends don't take it personal. Just be a good big sister and help whenever you can. Your brother/sister will soon become your best friend. And then you can make them find all those stupid pieces of poop.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Start of Summer

The unofficial start of summer for our family begins when the local splash parks start spraying. It started a couple of years back (2011) when we happened to drive by a park and said "oh, that place looks cool."

The Wifey went home and did her research and came up with a list of all the splash parks (or also known as spray parks or splash pads) and the goal was to visit a new location every week. We only visited two that summer; weather and distance ended up limiting our options.


Our favorite one is Ridgewood Park in Dallas near Mockingbird (off of Fisher Road). It's the least crowded and in the best shape. We didn't get to visit it last year because it was under complete renovation and opted for the Lake Highlands North location. Not our favorite; it gets crowded and the splash pad is not in very good shape.

This year the forecast was dry and it seemed like a great opportunity. We have a tradition of going to get breakfast tacos from Good 2 Go Taco, and then to the park. It's fun for the Wifey and myself watch her go crazy and spend time at every water station.

So on Saturday morning me and the Wifey were up to get everything ready. Actually, the Wifey had been up since 3AM; she can't sleep ever since I knocked her up. I usually wake up to the gentle glow of Candy Crush from her iPhone screen.

But that morning the Baby refused to get up. She has always been a late riser and could sleep until noon if we let her. But that morning was different. The mere mention of the work 'park' gets her up and out the door. But I had to carry her, still asleep, and put her in the car seat.

She slept the entire time during breakfast. We had an inkling something was up but figured she was just tired since she didn't nap the night before and stayed up way too late.

We went to the freshly renovated Ridgewood location - the spray park was unchanged but a new playground was added. We figured if that doesn't wake her up then something is definitely up. Sure enough, her mood didn't change. She refused the water and the slides.

As I carried her back to the car, her head on my shoulder, I could feel her stomach begin to tense up and then memories of the Baby spitting up appeared on my shoulder. Except it wasn't milk spit up but straight vomit. Luckily she hadn't eaten anything and it was just straight stomach acid and water. But the damage was done. The white trash guy in me had to drive home without a shirt.

So we went home, got some pedialyte pops and let her sleep it out. The Baby is normally a momma's girl and usually clings on her. But when she's sick, she prefers me. I don't know, maybe it's because I give off more heat and I am a great cuddler. But she will usually just lie down next to me and sleep. So after 4 hours of straight sleeping, she woke up, perfectly normal. And the first thing she asked when she started to feel better, "can we go to the water park? I didn't get to play this morning."

Friday, May 23, 2014

White Trash Girls and Tornado Sirens

"Can we go to the park?"

That is the question I get hit with everyday from the Baby. There could be tornado sirens screaming and our iPhones blasting that crazy emergency broadcast and the Baby will ask if she can ride her scooter to the park. It's a little annoying to be asked everyday. I don't mind going but I wouldn't mind being lazy after a long day at work.

The park isn't far from our house, which is really convenient - it's about a 10 minute walk. The Baby will put on her helmet and hop on her little scooter and roll herself in front of us. She does a good job of stopping so she can literally smell the roses so we can catch up (or more so that the Wifey can catch up) and then she'll be off again.

The Baby will 'race' us to the park - it's not much of a race because when we start beating her, she tells us to stop so we can start the race all over again. The Wifey and I will sit at the bench while the Baby plays by herself, dangling and hanging from the bars.

The playground seems to be a local hangout for the white trash kids in our neighborhood. To be fair, it's just one white trash girl - she's probably about 12 or 13 but all she does is cuss and talk about how she's going to whoop someone's ass. She bullies everyone that hangs out at the park. And I just cringe listening to her because that could be the Baby. I am sure this girl is really nice around her parents, she's probably a great student, but her alter ego comes out at this park. Maybe her parents never took the time to talk to her or they were too lazy to go to the park with her. I want to tell her how trashy she is but she's pretty mean and I am afraid she might say some hurtful things to me. I'm even bullied by her.

I worry that the Baby will get bullied. She's so sensitive and tiny compared to everyone else. She wears weird clothes, she talks to herself, and she doesn't mind playing by herself. On our walks, she will pick flowers for us. She even picked the tiniest flower she could find for the baby inside the Wifey's belly. "It's a small flower because the baby is small," the baby told us as she handed us a flower.

Shit like that makes you a prime target for bullies. It's probably the fatherly instinct coming out in me; my paternal desire to always protect the Baby from everything negative in this world. But I won't always be at the park and I definitely can't beat up a 12 year old girl (I mean, I can guarantee you that I can physically beat up a 12 year old girl; I'll probably knock her out with one punch. It's just that, legally, I can't beat up a 12 year old girl) that is picking on the Baby.

I just have to hope the Baby can put down her freshly picked flowers and defend herself. Or maybe even avoid the situation all together. I just don't want her to ever lose the innocence and joy of simply going to the park.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

That's Not Good

Shit is about to get real again. Literal shit. Exploding diapers and weird yellow poop. Ever since the Baby pretty much potty trained herself (parent of the year), the only I time I see any crap, other than my own, is when the Baby forgets to flush and leaves her floaters. But that's all going to change soon.

We are a little under 4 weeks to the arrival of 'Pillow' and I am not the least bit prepared. When the Wifey was preggers with the original Baby, she never once took part in the 'nesting phase'. But I found myself cleaning stuff and organizing things and getting us somewhat prepared. And that was during the time I was working a full time job and taking an insanely idiotic 24 credit hours at school and trying to go pro in Call of Duty. But now, I am just not feeling it. And these last few weeks have been a marathon of washing clothes and cleaning baseboards and organizing things and I really want no part in it.

Every day the Wifey will send me messages like this:

Emotion/Compassion are lacking in my response. It's the incredible amount of fear I have in accepting the fact that we're about to have another living creature in our house. It sends a cold, cold shiver up my spine to think about two screaming voices in the backseat; heck, it might be three screaming voices depending on the mood the Wifey is in. I can imagine the car being filled with a chorus of screaming and yelling and my pathetic sobbing while 'Let it Go' from the Disney's Frozen soundtrack blares from the car speakers. I will call it a Symphony of Conflicting Emotions. I will call it my future.

I just hope Pillow doesn't come sooner than later. And if he/she does, I am pretty sure I can get my mindset adjusted as soon as I hold our newest addition and I can respond with something better than "that's not good."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An Attempt at Mother's Day

My family never went out of our way to recognize these holidays, or any holiday for that matter. It was a combination of being poor and our culture. It's not like we didn't appreciate our parents - we just didn't feel the need to exemplify it on a particular day. We would have our family dinner at some restaurant but for the most part it was just like any other day.

Fast forward to now and the past four years that the Wifey has actually been a mother and I still haven't learned the significance of the day. Actually, I know full well the significance of the day, I just don't know how to express it. Maybe I over think the actual execution - I could go the cheesy route and make a necklace out of elbow macaroni. Or do a finger painting of the family. That would let the Baby get involved and she would understand the fun that is Mother's Day. I thought about getting some supplies together and making paper dolls and writing a reason why we love her on each one. Not bad ideas. But then I worry that my masterful creations would find itself on the fridge and covered with the countless number of Save the Dates and announcements and just get lost in the mix.

I could just splurge and get her something good. Maybe a spa day with her best friend. She loves spa days, she loves her best friend, and she gets to get away from me. But then I have this gut feeling that she would feel guilty for spending time away from her family on Mother's Day while she is getting pampered and relaxing. And then she would be mad at how much it all cost for a spa day.

Or maybe the fact that I am not good at recognizing Mother's Day is the fact that it's the realization that I am celebrating a MOM. It's the confirmation that we are actually growing up and she's no longer the Wifey, she's no longer my hot girlfriend, but an actual mom. And I have to celebrate her mom-lyness with mom things. It's the realization that short jean skirts and boots are being replaced with mom jeans and those Skecher shape up polio shoes.

It's the understanding that I have to share my best friend with someone else. It's the sinking feeling that the twenty year olds who would stay out way too late and play in the rain and roll down grassy hills just aren't the same anymore. Sure, I noticed it when getting out of bed becomes a task and my bones creak just as much as the springs in my mattress.

Or maybe it's because I miss my own mom. And I feel guilty because I never celebrated her for everything she did for our family. Seldom a thank you for all the times she did her motherly duties without a single complaint. Like the time she made 300 croissants the morning of a third grade project about Canada that I didn't tell her about until the night before. Or the very first day I ever had a license and I thought it would be cool to do a 3 point turn for no damn reason whatsoever and ended up flooring it in reverse and destroyed some old lady's tree as she was working on her garden. As I told my mom what had just happened, I thought to myself, I am the first person ever to get and lose their license on the same day. My mom gave me the "disapproving, I am burning your soul with my eyes" look, she walked over to the woman's house and faked her bad English so much, the old lady just agreed I would only have to replant the tree.

But I've finally come to the understanding that I am not celebrating the Wifey's Mother Day in place of my mom's but I should be celebrating Mother's Day for the Baby and the family. The Baby needs to understand that there's a day every year where you can truly thank your mom without ever thanking her. The Baby needs to learn the excitement of secretly creating crappy macaroni art all in preparation for Mother's Day. Because even though I still have a hard time coming to terms that my hot girlfriend is still an actual mother, she will always be the best mother to our family, Skecher shoes or not.