Category Archives: her blogness

Site updates and super blogging events that don’t really belong anywhere else……

Guest Post: Dada’s Sentimentality

Sentimentality time… you’ve been warned…

Brittany visiting her dad at work, circa 2004.

You know, 12 years ago, we had our first child. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have many memories of that time, as, quite literally I was working around the clock to protect the world from the bad guys. I never gave her a bottle, never had much time holding her, never changed a diaper, or fed her food. It sucked.

You know, I don’t even know how SHE feels about being robbed of the experience. Never having a father for all of her “firsts”, or who was home on holidays, or was awake at 3 in the afternoon, or who regularly made an appearance at meals. And I have never wanted to ask her. I am not sure I want to know, because at THIS moment in our lives, she things I am pretty cool, and I’ll take that any day. I am sure this time next year, as a teenager I will be “past it” but right now, I like things the way they are.

Tonight, I watched my 1 year old, at her first big outing, at a rock concert. Watched her sing, and dance, and laugh and smile, and watch the concert with an awe that only a baby could have.

I made a promise when our 2nd child was born, that I would be there for her, for every minute of the important parts of her time of discovery.

Mr. Mom

I did everything I could, I changed diapers, I got up in the middle of the night to give her a bottle, or to rock her to sleep. Hell, when the wife went back to work *I* was the primary caregiver for about 4 or 5 months. To this day, I take on the chore of making sure everything is in order for her, for the next day. I’d like to think I did a pretty good job, but as a man, it’s hard to tell these things. She HAS acquired my tastes in food, music and TV, so that’s something, right? πŸ˜‰

This is when it hit me… Getting her things ready for tomorrow, and… I no longer have to prepare baby bottles, because she has mastered the art of the sippy cup. Every night for the past year I have made up 8 baby bottles, by cleaning them inside out with a brush, cleaning the nipples out with a brush then steaming the whole batch in our steamer to sterilize it.

All of that.. gone now… she doesn’t need them anymore… then it sunk in.. she doesn’t need ME anymore.

Amelia and her dad in Star Wars mode.

She eats mainly regular food, and that organic junk (so no more mashing or grinding food). She can drink out of a cup (so no more preparing bottles), she can walk, and play, and sit, and stand… all on her own.Β  Suddenly I have gone from “caregiver” to being relegated to “spectator” in my child’s life.

Why am I saying all of this? All of those moments are special, if you are lucky enough to be part of them, treasure it…. if you are a husband, and the wife asks you to make up a bottle, or change a diaper, or hold the baby while she cries, do it, and be proud that you were part of it, because those moments come to an end all too soon.

After what I USED to do for a living, I quite enjoyed the Mr Mom duties, and I am quite sad because in a little over a year, it has practically all come to an end.

I guess, what I am saying is, I wish she would have stayed “helpless” just a little while longer. Part to make up for lost time with my first child, part because it’s been a long time since I felt “needed” it was nice to be the most important person in someone’s life again, and part because I just didn’t want to let go. I didn’t know what to expect coming into this, but she has evolved soooo quickly, I don’t know how to feel about it, and suddenly… here I am, the permanently disabled, ex-lawman, who 3 times this week had a migraine brought on by his bad neck that totally immobilizes him… and nobody needs me…

Don’t feel bad though, it’s all good, I am proud of my accomplishments, both out in the world, and here at home… it’s just an observation of how fast the world moves.

Quality time with the girls at Barnes & Noble

Busy!

I’m pretty sure I say this every year around this time but every year it seems more and more true….I’m busy. Busy, busy…..bussay!!

Brittany has been running with the cross country team since August again and having a wonderful year. Yesterday, she had her best time ever coming in at about 10 minutes under her very first time last year – we are all so proud of the progress she’s made! Next week is the regional meet just outside Dover – after that, we’re done for the year.

Swim team started up again in late September so we’re just getting in to the swing of things there but it’s another two nights a week out of the house…..Brittany is in a different school this year and that means a different swim team but so far, so good….the team and the parents seem to be much more enthusiastic, so that’s exciting.

I started back to school again in early September….taking three classes. A biology class on campus and a history class and “Women’s Studies” both online.

Biology is kicking my butt….I really thought it’d be a breeze considering where I work and junk but holy crap….I forgot how BASIC everything would be and that’s crap I don’t need to know on a daily basis….I’m plodding through, though: test #3 tomorrow!

I decided to take the history class online because the last time I took one, it started at 7:30 at night – I get up at 5:30 – and wasn’t over till 10:00. the guy wasn’t exactly thrilling so I was usually falling asleep by the time we got a break at 8:45. However…..this is not the type of online class I’m used to….there is very little input from the instructor other than approving (or not approving) of the work we post for the week,,,,,I don’t really dig that. It doesn’t help that most of our work comes from a text that has “the major problems with America” in the title. Ya know, it just doesn’t really do much to inspire me…..

Women’s Studies. I just knew that this class would be the bane of my existence for this whole semester. I wanted to take this because ultimately I want to get into bio-ethics and figured this would be a good base course for that road……I expected a hard way to go and considering it’s a secular school, I expected to be surrounded by argumentative, teenage a**holes that may not really disagree with my position but just like to argue. Yeah, nothing like that….I mean everyone has their view – I was surprised that a lot of them actually share my views – but it’s a respectful group, the teacher is wonderful and as we go along, I’m learning that I’m actually more of a feminist than I ever would have thought. Yeah, it’s not all about killing your babies and sleeping around and I’m okay with the rest of it. Not ready to sign up with the pro-life feminists, but I get it a little more now ;^)

Well, signing off…..I go in to work super early on the days that I have class on campus and tomorrow is one of those days………Happy All Saints Day to all and Happy NaBloPoMo!!

It’s that time of year again!!

Yes, you heard right- it’s that time of year again!! NaBloPoMo officially starts again tomorrow and even though I know I’m just asking for trouble……I’m going for it. As it is, I had a crazy long day today – Cross Country Champs at Belmont all afternoon, then trick-or-treating tonight…..I’m wiped out! And Brittany is the one who did all the work!!! In any case….tomorrow in November 1st…..be there, or be square πŸ˜‰

Late for July

I had wanted to start off July 1st with a bang and get back to posting every day like I did in November and December of last year…..obviously, it didn’t happen.Β  Not a huge deal, I just wanted to get the writing going to get myself ready for the Blogathon.Β  But yeah, didn’t happen.

Not that I had anything in particular that I wanted to write about or anything….first full week of work after 5 days off, I was actually kind of numb by the time the first rolled around….and right now I’m just happy with this three day weekend and looking forward to the days I have off next week….I was thinking of even adding a few days on there but then this morning it occurred to me that I might try to get an extra day around Blogathon weekend….have to check the schedule when I get in on Tuesday.

Anyway, I’ve started making little notes for myself here and there about things that I want to write about during the Blogathon but I could always use some ideas might even put together a 20 questions or start working on a ‘101 things about me’ kind of thing so if you have any questions you’d like to see me answer during the ‘thon drop me a line πŸ˜‰

Laundry Room

We had a nice laid back day today with a quick trip to Sprawl-Mart and a few little chores around here, including a load of wash.

This building is older than that of our last apartment and has a lot of neat features that I’m sure everyone else considers rather droll but I like just the same….like this giant laundry room right in the basement! Not a 15×15 room, four buildings away!!

I’m easily pleased πŸ™‚

Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star.Β  Bless this house and all who inhabit it.Β  Fill us with the light of Christ, that our concern for others may reflect your love.Β  May Christ Jesus dwell with us, keep us from all harm, and make us one in mind and heart, now and forever.

Amen.

Every New Beginning…

We just finished watching Part Two of Doctor Who “The End of Time”….not as awfully sad as I thought it would be. I did love David Tennant, but I guess the way they did it this time wasn’t as bad as when Christopher Eccleston left. It just occurred to me during the show how when David Tennant appeared as the 10th Doctor, I never considered the possibility that he might one day not be The Doctor anymore….but isn’t that the way? You just never know when someone will have to move on.

I’m just happy I made it through the show.Β  I remember several years ago, I lamented the fact that every time I tried to watch any show or movie on TV, I fell asleep.Β  No matter what.Β  If I just sat still long enough to watch an hour long show – even a half-hour! – I would never see the end of it.Β  That’s when I started knitting.Β  I figured something to do while I was trying to watch the show would get me though it….and that worked for a looooong time.Β  But yeah, not so much anymore.Β  I’ve dropped too many stitches….even when I’m not watching TV!

I’m just tired.Β  All the time.Β  I can’t sleep for any good length of time and I am miserable if I nap and have to do something afterwards.Β  But any activity that has me sitting still for more than ten minutes at a time will leave me snoring.Β  It’s an awful feeling.Β  I’m at the point now when I just have to get up and move around in order to make it through a show…..something I give Brittany a hard time about…..every time a commercial comes on, she gets up and starts bouncing around….I’m starting to think she’s got the right idea!

I think I just need a good long break from everything.Β  Either that or some serious anxiety pills!!

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

Greetings From Asbury Park!

I just had to laugh….when we pulled into the parking lot at the boardwalk, the first thing I saw was this champagne bottle and cup sitting in a parking spot, presumably left there since last night. I immediately decided that I had to take a picture of it…..it wasn’t until I got this close to it, that I discovered it was in fact a Slurpee cup – lol πŸ™‚

On that note, I hope that you all have a very happy and prosperous 2010 – God bless all of you and your families abundantly!!

Remember us, O God;
from age to age be our comforter.
You have given us the wonder of time,
blessings in days and nights, seasons and years.
Bless your children at the turning of the year
and fill the months ahead with the bright hope
that is ours in the coming of Christ.
You are our God, living and reigning, forever and ever.
Amen.

Happee New Year!! πŸ˜‰

Things I *REALLY* Enjoyed In 2009

My very first March for Life – on January 22nd, 2009, Bill and I headed down to Washington, DC earlier than I would normally leave for work.  We drove down and went to the Mass that was celebrated by Cardinal Rigali and concelebrated by Fr. G.  It was an amazing experience ant I think the thing that surprised me most about it was the number of young people there!  Seems like if the media even has anything to say about it, all they every show are pictures of people who can barely get around anymore.  But there were more school kids – from K-college! – and young adults there than anything else.  It was fantastic and we can’t wait to go again in 2010!!  (Visit the March for Life site for more info πŸ™‚

Spending time with Fr.G. – I just lucked out this year and everything fell into place; I got to spend a ton of time with Fr.G. this past year. We got in the habit of sharing a meal now and then even before he was transferred to his new Parish. Everything from the Make Every Person Count campaign to my St.D’s Photo-shoot to Bible Study – I think the Gospel of Luke with be my favorite book of the Bible forever…..and remember…..if Jesus had been more like Mr. Rogers, he never would have wound up nailed to a cross πŸ™‚

Brittany’s Cross Country Days I know, right? First of all, I never ever would have thunk I’d be the mother of a sports kid. I mean yeah, it’s not like I’m a “soccer mom” and considering swimming and cross country, while still team efforts are decidedly more solo competitions so I still feel like I’m encouraging independence, and not a clique mentality. Anyway, I really enjoyed the meet days out at Belmont and even the practice days. We developed a nice camaraderie with the coaches and we watched Brittany grow from not wanting to go to the second practice, to only wanting to do it for a month….and now to “I can’t wait for Track to start!”. She took an amazing 5 full seconds off her official times from the first meet to the championship and even more impressive…..she got me to start running!!

Catching up with old friends – Yes, I have to admit it.  Thanks to FaceBook, I’ve caught up with a lot of people I’m sorry I ever lost touch with.  And been reminded that there’s probably a reason certain people don’t stay in your life.  I’m glad to have you all in my life – God bless you all!!

The Concerts in Pennypack Park – What a great time!!  This is another one of those things that I’d always heard people talking about, always seen advertised and frequently said “We have to go to that!” but never got around to it.  Well this summer, we did and went to almost every show.  We had a ball each and every time – brought dinner and drinks with us and just spent the whole evening in the park once a week listening to whatever cover band was there….from Stevie Ray to Springsteen, the Pennypack Concerts rocked πŸ˜‰

Make Every Person Count – This was just a wonderful opportunity put forth by Cardinal Rigali to reach out to members of our Parish in the interest of better meeting their spiritual needs and addressing their concerns for the Parish. I am forever grateful to Fr.G. and MLB for inviting me to co-chair the committee πŸ™‚

The Polish Festival – One of those time where we really didn’t know what to expect….but Bill, Brittany and I all went out to Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine in Doylestown, PA for their big Polish Fest over the two weekends around Labor Day – it was awesome!!  All kinds of music and crafts and the food…..!  I don’t have a drop of Polish in me but I grew up in a very Polish neighborhood (so I am a big fan – lol!) – this was truly something I can see I going to each year……I’m even considering volunteering this year πŸ˜‰

An Awesome December Snowstorm! – Yes, until about two weeks ago, I totally forgot how much fun it can be to play in the snow.  The grand total for the snowfall here in Philly was 23.2 inches and – whoo-hoo! – it fell on a weekend πŸ™‚  Brittany and I want out walking while it was still snowing and the next day – which was cold and beautiful – we went out wandering through the park and “sledding” on the edge of our coats.  I am snow’s new biggest fan πŸ™‚

So despite 2009 being the longest, most draggiest year I can remember in a long time and me having plenty of reason (notice that’s singular ‘reason’!) to be cranky on a general basis….I had a lot of fun this year.  Road trips and projects keep me happy….now I have to work on my “want to list” for 2010 πŸ˜‰

Dashboard Jesuses and Rearview Rosaries

I don’t have an honest-ta-goodness Dashboard Jesus. I just don’t. Something about it that just seems off to me…visions of VW vans with big flowers painted on the sides and a cheap little plastic Jesus mounted on the dash with double-stick tape and a “Jesus is my co-pilot” sticker covering up a rusty spot on the rear bumper. Not cool, man.

I do have a Rosary and a Scapular hanging on my rear view mirror, though. I always have one of each with me at all times, but really, ya never know. And I have had Rosary emergencies. Mostly when praying over at the abortion mill….I have – more than once! – had occasion to loan my Rearview Rosary to someone. And each time I do, it feels more special when I put it back….like each time someone else uses it to pray, some of their prayers go with me πŸ™‚

But yeah, this is as close as I get to a Dashboard Jesus. It’s a beautiful Divine Mercy statue that Fr.G. gave me a few months ago. I love it and I keep it on my desk at all times. It was one of the very last things I packed when we moved earlier this month and was back on my desk as soon as it was assembled….even before my computer was set up!

Nevermind “Dashboard Jesus” – this is my Desktop Divine Mercy!

Yeah, I think I need another long weekend……or six….

Please, call me Joe!

We had a wonderful time tonight πŸ™‚

Brittany, Bill and I met Fr.G. at a wonderful neighborhood seafood restaurant for dinner and caught up on everything and WOW did we have a good time! The food was great and it was so good to see Fr.G. again….or Father-Please-Call-Me-Joe*.

It’s one of those things that I’m just never sure how to deal with. Like one of my teachers from high school….whenever we e-mail each other, he always signs his first name…but even after all this time, he’s still Mr. Mister*. And truth be told, it’s not that I don’t want to address him by his first name, I just still….I dunno….really, because it’s been long enough and I’m certainly old enough to able to address other adults by their first names.

But anyway….yeah….as we were going into the restaurant, Fr.G. asked that we just call him “Joe*”. Now, knowing full well my lack of success when other people with titles ask me to address them by their given name – I sort of stuttered that I would need some time to adjust to that but now I’m worried that I’ll wind up doing as I do with others and just sort of….avoid addressing them directly. And it’s not like I call him “Fr.G.” every time I speak to him, he’s just “Father”.

Really, it makes sense, I suppose. I mean we are on more friendly than official terms now, though I still consider him to be my Pastor….my mentor, even πŸ™‚ And if you’ve read my entries from the past few days, you know what a major role he’s played in my spiritual well being and that makes it even harder to contemplate to call him by his name……but between friends, I’d be uncomfortable if he were to address Bill and I formally and not in fun, ya know? I’m making too much of this. The first time I actually manage to call him “Joe*” without hyperventilating, I’ll wonder what I made all the fuss about.

Vianney!He gave us a bag of goodies for Christmas, too….among all the treats was an audio recording of Vianney, the show we had gone to see at his new Parish a few weeks ago. And each one of us – Bill, Brittany and myself – gave a collective “OOH!” when we saw that πŸ™‚ It was a fantastic show but I wasn’t able to hear a good bit of it that night….no problems there, just my developing deafness…..so I am happy to be able to hear the whole story now. And Bill and Brittany just enjoyed it so much – yeah, surprised me, too! – that they want to hear it again!

He got a new car…my car! The 2010
LaCrosse that I’ve been drooling over since the fair in September and it is a beauty – midnight blue with spiffy blue accent lighting around all the trim inside and oh-so-comfy seats. And yeah, I blame him for me wanting the darn car to begin with cuz I loved the old LaCrosse he had and then he goes and gets this one!! Ah well….at least I got to ride in it πŸ™‚ It doesn’t count as “envy”……I’m happy he has one – very happy – but I still want one of my own! It’s just….coveting :-p

After dinner, Bill drove Brittany home in my car and I rode with Joe* here to our new apartment. He came in and we visited for about an hour, he checked out all the tank critters and patiently watched as Brittany counted out how many Littlest Pets she has now and scratched Katrina on the head when she came out for five seconds to investigate what was going on. Then he blessed our new home and we said goodnight.

And now I’m going to bed. I’m processing a lot of things and my ears are humming…..at least I think they are……I can’t tell anymore.

Saint Thomas Becket once wrote: “We must strive to keep our eyes on him whom God appointed high priest forever, and to follow in his footsteps. For our sake he offered himself to the Father upon the altar of the cross. He now looks down from heaven on our actions and secret thoughts, and one day he will give each of us the reward his deeds deserve.”

Lord Jesus Christ, may we ever keep our eyes on you, the source of our life, and the summit of all truth.
Teach us how to save those who are lost, protect those who are in danger and defend all that is true.
For you are Lord, for ever and ever.
Amen.

*Names – like “Joe” and “Mister” – may have been changed in order to protect the innocent πŸ™‚

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