Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Finding my path

Maybe I am the only one who gets like this. Then again, I don't think I am alone.

I sit at work, on my lunch break, staring into the blank pages of my pocket notebook, wishing for something more. I get so caught up in setting goals for myself and when I look back and assess the goals, I am looking at only 25% of these goal achieved in the time frame I set for myself.

Did I give myself enough time to get accomplished all the things I am accomplished? Were my goals realistic? As I go through them I don't think I am giving myself the time I need for each goal.

Like most people I never thought that I would have taken 2 steps back in my career from 1 year ago. My goal this year was to grow into a larger role, but there were some things holding me back. I have talked to a few people at length about not being able to get beyond that glass ceiling. All of a sudden, in this world, being a middle aged white man is a disadvantage when it comes to moving up the management ranks. That being said, I haven't moved up, because I was holding myself back. Not my manager. Not my wife. Not my dog. Not my social media habit. It was me. It was MY lack of focus that brought me down. It was the constant pressure I put on myself to perform at such a high level, I forgot about the basics of the job that took me there. It was my choice not to go to a 4 year school. It was my choice not to continue on the career path I was on. All of these things have played into the reasons that I am not at the level in my career that I want to be.

So what do people do when they realized the biggest goal they had for themselves has had an epic flaw? Sulk? Yeah, I will for a moment. I mean this IS my blog after all. Most people just sit around and become jaded. Many people in my profession do it, and I have gone back and re-read all my thoughts on this matter. I am slowly becoming a jaded retail worker. It is not hard to do, but it is hard to get out of the funk.

I went over to myspace the other day and pulled up my old blogs from close to 5 years ago. Oh my how I have grown and oh how I have not grown at all. I read the blogs about my first days on my current role 3 years ago, and I was happy to have a job after being unemployed longer than I would have liked. Where did it go? Where did my optimistic view of my job go?

I read my blogs about how people who have worked for my company over 3 years develop a sense of entitlement and they lack the ability to adapt. I saw my current self in the words from years ago. I have become what I didn't want to become. It's easy to remember your thoughts form years past if you write them down.

Having read this, I decided to go back to the drawing board. I ripped my goals out of my pocket notebook and shredded them. I am realigning my goals. I am revamping my personal plan of growth.

One of the major reasons I am stuck is my lack of 4 year degree. I can speak the language of business, I get the concepts, but I haven't the proof that I know what I am talking about. There isn't enough experience in the world that makes up for having a 4 year degree. I know. I have been there. It doesn't matter what I have done in my career, I still haven't finished college. So I am going to fix that. I enrolled to start my undergraduate degree in Business Administration last Friday.

So I hope to start classes in the Winter. My employer has a great program where they pay a considerable amount of my tuition. This leaves me with a bill of $0.00 at the end of the day. Why not take advantage of it?

I am started in the right direction.

My second goal is to get my manuscript, I have been working on, published, and then get paid for it. This goal is my short term goal. It is so close I can taste it.

I am hoping to be able to start researching and put together a presentation to the publishers soon, but editing is the toughest part of the process.

With the end of this post, I noticed I have more pages filled in my pocket notebook that I had ripped out. Maybe I am onto something.

It's time to stop worrying about the past, and focus on making the future I want happen. Sure there will be many road blocks, and wrong turns, but my co-pilot is there with me.

I have said it before and I will say it again. Behind every good man, is a great woman.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Black Balloon Coffee

Pop Quiz hot shot.

Your boss at work has recently gotten on this kick where she likes to make sure you are on-time and they are sitting by the door to the office with a clock and marking you late even if it's just by 30 seconds. It's an exercise in micro management, and it has you scrambling in the morning.

You pour yourself your favorite cup of coffee in your favorite travel mug for the car, and you have a nice packed lunch of left-overs from the night before sitting on the counter waiting for you. You iron your clothes in your underwear and get dressed in the kitchen with your dog looking on with a sense of relief that it doesn't have to wear clothes.

You glance at the clock just as you pull on your pants and tie your tie and all of a sudden, you're late. You remember the last staff meeting where your boss rowed on and on about attendance and the policy if you are tardy.
You run out the door.

It isn't until you are 5 minutes from the house that in your haste NOT to get in trouble, you forgot the fabulous cup of coffee and your fantastic lunch. You can't turn around and go back and you quickly balance your checkbook in you head. There is a Starbucks on the way to work. You can stop and get your coffee on the way, and then buy your lunch.
During your quick assessment of your finances, you realize you have enough for coffee or a small lunch.

What do you do? In an effort to feed the hunger pangs, you opt for lunch and decide to drink the sludge the office provides for free. A sacrifice. You're stomach thanks you.

No longer do you have to sacrifice yourself on the bad coffee grenade. Starbucks, the chain coffee shop that you just shunned because their coffee is so god damn expensive has finally given you something you could use.

Enter. Starbucks VIA Ready Brew. What is it? It a micro-ground coffee that you put in either hot or cold water, and it INSTANTLY brews your coffee.

Yes. Instant coffee. But this stuff isn't that Folger's Crystals bullshit. There isn't a shred of chemicals in this stuff. It's real coffee beans.

I can't believe it. The coffee is packaged the same way Crystal light is for your water bottle. I think they should have just put this stuff in a black balloon and had a drug dealer named Tank sell this shit on the street. It's so addicting, it SHOULD be illegal.

There is a wacky wacky side effect. There is so much surface area on the grind of the beans, it gets a TON of caffeine out of the beans. For a hardcore coffee drinker, like myself, to get the jitters after drinking a double serving of 16oz, you know the shit is awesome!

Instant Coffee by Starbucks. I'm sure Juan Valdez is kicking himself in the ass for not thinking of this one. Taster's Choice and Folgers Crystals, you guys always sucked ass, now you need to search for taste.

Thanks Starbucks for this. Now I can stash a package in my locker at work, or in my car, or at home when I feel lazy.

Full bodied and flavorful. Nice work!

*Side note to Starbucks: Please send many many free samples to my house, or maybe just a check for this rousing endorsement. I know you're good for it!*

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Please don't ask me

[Audrey and Addison. The cutest children in the world]

Welcome to my life. You have been here how long? This whole new baby thing has people from all over the world e-mailing me and saying how pretty my baby is, or how cute my baby is, or how gorgeous my baby is.

I want to tell you flat out. I know. I made her. I know how awesome she is. I know how precious she is. I know how adorable she is.

You should be jealous.

Along with this attention I also get the links to their own blogs and the phrase comes right after, "some see how cute my baby is too"

So this leaves me sitting here contemplating. What if I think your baby is ugly? What if this mutant you gave birth to is just that; a mutant. I don't want to comment on how pretty your baby is. I don't want to tell you that your baby is beautiful because some standard social etiquette manual tells me to tell YOU that your baby is cute. I don't want to lie to you.

The cutest baby(s) in the world is(are) MY baby(babies). Audrey. She IS the cutest child in the world. Addison. She IS the cutest baby in the world. Of course you should think so, because its true. No other child can compete to be as awesomely beautiful as my baby is.

No doubt there are a TONS of runner ups, but please don't ask me to tell you how cute they are, because like Simon Cowell, I might actually tell you. If you have to have me tell you how cute your baby is, chances are that it's ugly.

You don't ask a Dad to comment on your child either, they have a serious serious bias. Moms will discuss the cuteness of babies until the cows come home, but Dads will tell you just like it is. They even might do the following cheer. You never know.

Back into the flow.

Life is getting back to normal, for the most part. I guess it's a new normal. I have one more person to give a kiss to as I go back to the soul sucking place that has become my career.

Going back to work has been met with a mixed blessing. Getting to see my colleagues after a 10 day hiatus was awesome. I love seeing the people I work with. What I didn't like to come back to was a monster quota and an empty lobby where the customers were supposed to be and a voicemail box that was lacking new customer's return phonecalls. There are many more things to be said about quotas, but I need to curb my enthusiasm for right now on that subject.

Audrey is back into her routine of floating between my house and her mom's house. I am forever grateful for the custody arrangement I have with her. Although I can't see her everyday, I do get plenty of time with her every week.

The only thing in the house that has been getting neglected is the dog. He is getting fed, watered, hugged, kissed, but not walked. I hope to take care of that today and take him for a long long walk, maybe with the baby so mom can take a good nap.

The baby has had a stuffy nose for a few days, but no fever which is fab. I have become quite proficient at using the little blue sucker thing to get all the snot out of her airway. I should produce an instructional video.

Anyway, I am working on a new podcast, it's been a while since I got a new one out, but I think you understand my break.

Now, in other news, I am setting aside a good chunk of my day to write more of my book. Just getting a little closer to my dream.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back to work

Well it's time to put it on.

I haven't had to wear a tie for over 10 days. I have not had a care in the world for 10 days. I haven't turned on my work BlackBerry for 10 days. I haven't talked to anyone at work for 10 days. I haven't been a productive member of society for 10 days.

That all changes today. I head back to work. I need to make money for my family. I have one more week off coming here in October and then I don't get time off again until after January 1st. The holiday season is coming very very fast.

So when I head back into work again, I will be blasting psyche up music. I need to re-focus and hit the sales floor hard. I have a monster quota to make up. Today I am going back to the sales rep I was before September 9th. I am no longer handing off sales. I am going to push them down your throat. I am going to find them in places you won't expect to find them.

I am back. I don't want to go back, but if I have to, I will out sell your ass!

Friday, September 18, 2009

This is how it has been the last few.

[taken with Jenn's phone, first night home, once it all calmed down a bit]

I don't have much to write today, so here is a picture.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Calming down

[Proving her Uncle Keith's theory that every child is born a Browns Fan.]

Things are finally starting to calm down a little. Yesterday was full of activity, but that will all start to change.

Over the past few days I think my mother-in-law was getting the feeling that I did not want her here. She has been in town since Wednesday, and to say I don't want her around would be the biggest false in the world. It's like saying Kanye West has manners. It's just not true.

Since I started to date Jenn way back when and her parents moved back down to Kentucky, her mom always whispered in my ear as we said good-bye, "Take care of my girls"

She was referring to her daughter and Audrey, but now, the girls are now three. In my house I like to cook. It's a stress reliever, and when my mother-in-law said that she would come over and cook breakfast, I said no. I wanted to cook. You are MORE than welcome to come over and eat breakfast with us, I love to cook for people, but please, my kitchen, my rules, my breakfast.

I don't think she understood. When I said, no I can cook it, I think she heard, "We don't need you". Mother's have a natural ability to care for their young due to the fact they know their children a whole 9 months before anyone else. They know their habits, their comforts, and their mannerisms. Fathers have to learn. A Father learns to love their child by caring for it. Jenn's mother is a caring machine. She wants to help. She wants to be there. She wants to feel needed. I understand that. I get that. But I needed her to relax and let me "take care of her girls".

Many feel that cooking is a hassle. For me, it's a stress relief. If I am having a bad day, expect a pretty good meal. If I had a wonderful wonderful day, expect a good meal. If my day was so so, expect twinkies and grilled cheese.

So yesterday, among the hustle and bustle, I told Jenn's mom to sit down, put her feet up, and oh look! A baby. Relax today. May this be the last Sunday morning in the next 5 years where you don't need to make breakfast. Let me do my thing. To say she looked comfortable would be like saying the look on your face when you are constipated is a happy one. For the 20 minutes it took me to make breakfast she squirmed. She wanted to jump up and help, but she stayed put. It was fantastic. I cooked breakfast, served the troops, and cleaned up, all the while she relaxed on the couch and played the role of Grandma very very well. I will say she was a bit mad when I did the dishes. In her house the cook doesn't clean up, the people who eat clean up. Not in my house. I was in a zone. I was done, I cleaned up while Mom enjoyed being a Mom and Nana enjoyed being a Nana. I need to have a purpose. If my role is to make sure mommy is comfortable and stress-free, then that is what I am going to do. I get my baby time when everyone else is gone.

Life is perfect for the day. Grandparents played the role of Grandparents, and I played the role of Dad, and my lovely wife, played the role of Mother pretty damn awesomely.

Today it is going to get a bit more low key. The in-laws go home. Audrey is back in school and back to her normal routine. I am sitting here sipping a cup of coffee while I punch out a blog and watch the Today show on NBC.

Life has been great. Stressful, wonderfully stressful.

Our Sunday was great. Browns on the T.V. Baby in Granparents' arms. Dinner on the grill. Oh yeah, and my awesome bottle of Autographed Bourbon from Four Roses Distillery. Thank you Granddaddy Michael and Jim Rutledge, Master Distiller from Four Roses!

[click on the photo of bourbon to learn more about the wonderful bottle of bourbon I have!]

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It felt like something was missing

During my childhood, my Grandpa was the father figure of my life. He was there when I wan learning how to do yard work. He was there when Audrey's Mom and I split, and was supportive of me the entire way. He made sure me and my brothers never went without because Mom was working hard and trying to make very little go a long way. Grandpa was there when I started to fall in love with my wife now. He helped clear the road to my divorce, to this day I am grateful for his love and support. . He knew that Jenn was the perfect person for me. He always liked to see her.

It wasn't long after Jenn and I were dating when we decided to go to Chicago with another friend of ours to see the musical Wicked.

The play was awesome. After the play, I checked my phone. A ton of missed calls, no messages.

I was scared and I walked back to the hotel to call my Mom back. I knew the news I was about to get was bad, but I had no clue on how bad it was.

That evening, Grandma was starting to have a heart attack. The concerned husband my Grandpa was called an ambulance. Grandma was unconscious by the time the medics arrived. My Mom's dog, who has been a dear companion of my Grandpa [he lived right next door to me my whole life] was scared, and was trying to protect my Grandma. Grandpa, bless is soul, got down on the floor with the dog and held her down as the medics shocked my Grandma back to life.

No one knew that my Grandpa was having a heart attack himself. My mom was away so once the medics loaded up Grandma, the neighbor too the dog and my Uncle was on his way.

Like my Grandpa has done so many times, he closed the front door to get into the coat closet. He placed his hat, and coat on his chair and closed the closet, and he was gone.

No one knows how long he was there before my Uncle got there. It wasn't long. He called another ambulance, and he got the neighbor who valiantly performed CPR on him until medics arrived.

I was 6 hours away in Chicago. I broke down on the phone with my Mom. It was the first time Jenn had seen me cry. I felt her hand on my back. Without thinking, she was packing up the room, and was getting ready to drive back to Cleveland.

By the time we got on the road, I learned Grandpa was shocked back to life, and was on life support. It was something he was dead set against, but the only medical power of attorney was laying in an ER bed next to him, fighting for her own life.

They were gonna keep him alive until I got back.

Jenn and our friend Char drove all night to get me back. I said good bye, and then he was gone. Just in time.

Last night little Addison visited Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma was sitting in her chair, excited to see her new Great-Grandbaby, and Grandpa watched from the urn on the shelf.

This is the first Great-Grandchild born since we lost Grandpa. I miss Grandpa holding his Great Grandchild on his knees as his bright blue eyes looked on.

I could feel him with us last night, but it still felt like something was missing.

My wife took my hand and squeezed it as we drove away.

"He's always with us"

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The thing that isn't in a baby book.

[Waiting to get discharged]

Well, Mommy and Addison came home last night.

I should have been happy. Instead I was in a very very foul mood.

Maybe it was my emotions catching up. Maybe it was exhaustion from the up and down roller coaster of having a child. Maybe it was the 4 and a half hours of waiting to be discharged because Addison was a little jaundiced and they would not allow us to leave without a doctor's appointment. Maybe it was because when Addison was released, Audrey was finishing school and I could not be there to get her and my very gracious mother-in-law was there instead.

I am terrified that Audrey is going to think because I was with the baby, she was not as important.

Maybe my foul mood was attributed to the fact that I had a house full of people. Those people were my sister-in-law, mother-in-law and my 2 year old terror of a niece. To say terrible 2's would be an understatement. I more appropriate description would be that of an indoor tornado in potty training mode with a penchant for creating chaos and havoc in a 3 bedroom condo.

This particular 2 year old has a habit of making my dog restless, because the dog is restless it forces me to calm him down because of course you can't tell a 2 year old to calm down. My mother-in-law has a built in reflex of cooking [for which I am grateful] but also has a habit of commanding you "hold still" or "lean back a little" or "get a good one of her face" in order to get that good [read: bad] photo for the virtual shoebox.

But here is some advice for anyone wanting to welcome in a new family. This is to the extended family. When I say this, I think of Will when I say this.

If you want to be there when the new family comes home, sit down, shut-up, and if you can, get out of the way and make food.

My frustration level was at an all-time high yesterday. My mother-in-law was offering to do this, offering to do that, which in theory is a heartfelt thing to have happen, it gets really annoying and considering my short fuse yesterday, I almost blew it.

In my house, I love order. There are certain things that happen. This is this, that is that, and when you come to my house, sit down and shut-up. Seriously. Nothing wrong with being out of the way. The only thing I wanted to have happen yesterday was for Jenn to feed the baby, take a shower, eat a little, then go to bed. She needed to rest. These next 2 weeks, she needs to have time to recover. She just pushed a 9 pound baby out her vagina. Let her chill the fuck out. It was 11pm before everyone left and I got time to myself with the baby. Sitting there and telling her how to sit, or to say that the furniture in my house isn't good for her to sit in because it's so low is not a good way to relax her. I am sure she is going to sit whichever way is comfortable for her.

So to the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends: If you want to be there, great, these are the rules. This is MY house. You have been a parent before me, and though I appreciate your practices, let me find my own way. I am blessed with instincts. Let me use them. Oh yeah, and stay the hell out of the rooms we are not in. My bedroom and dog cage is not a playground.

Ok enough ranting. I am in a much better mood today. It really isn't as hard as I made it out to be yesterday. My in-laws are great. My mom is great. My sister-in-law is great. When all I wanted was quiet and the commotion to end, I couldn't very well tell them to get the fuck out of my house. That's rude, although can be used in extreme situations.

More photos to come. A clean bill of health from the doctor today.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oh yeah, I blogged it.

9-9-09. Words cannot describe this date. It's the ultimate accessory. Everyone can say that they have a cool birthday, but now I have a trump card.

I know there have been many babies born on their father's birthday, but how many have a birthday of 9-9? Let alone in the year 2009?

How many can say their child was born 9-9-09 when it was 9 days late?
How many can say their child was born on 9-9-09 after being 9 days late and weighed 9 pounds?
How many can say their child was born on 9-9-09 after being 9 days late and weighing 9 pounds and being 19 inches long?
How many can say their child was born on 9-9-09 after being 9 days late and weighing 9 pounds 19 inches long and it still be their 29th birthday?

Not many.

I am one of those few. Many call it destiny, fate, or maybe God's will. I call it the natural order of things.

Last night I got to hold my new daughter for the first time. I can't even begin to describe the feeling. I posted about how I felt anxiety over loving two children. You were right. It just grows. I had no idea.

Yesterday I got to watch my wife fight through pain I can't even fathom, to give life to a child she has only known by her kicks, pokes, and jabs for the last 9 months. I am in awe. I watched her turn into a mother right before my eyes, and I don't think I blinked. My wife is my hero. What an amazing thing to experience. It is what I think watching the Cleveland Browns win the Super Bowl would feel like.

Last evening I sat on the couch, while mom and baby slept, with Audrey's head in my lap while she slept, crying like a little school girl. All the emotions caught up with me. Finally. Babies don't sleep as well as I did last night.

This morning I woke up at 5am, wide awake for no apparent reason. Sleep is a precious commodity these days and here I am wasting it on posting a new blog before I start my day.

The words escape me this morning. I have written and written this post over and over. I have over 17 pages in my moleskine with my emotions, thoughts, views, and observations throughout my day yesterday. All I can muster are these few words.

I logged into Facebook yesterday. For those following my updates there, I am sorry. Facebook and Twitter were not friends. Everything came in out of order, or very very late. My phone hasn't seen as much action as it did yesterday. I had distribution lists set up. With every update it instantly went out to about 30 friends and family, including some very very anxious grandparents in the waiting room. Not long after they got the message, twitter got the message, but Facebook was apparently jerking off in the bathroom most of the day.

When I logged into Facebook I was met with hundreds upon hundreds of status updates, wall posts, and messages my phone had not gotten yet. I stayed up pretty late reading every one of them. Thank you so much. You have made my 29th birthday even more special.

Yesterday morning my wife gave me Cleveland Browns PJ pants, because everyone needs something to open on their birthday.

Yesterday, at 6:33pm, the ultimate birthday gift arrived. As my brother Keith said last night, she came just in time for cake and ice cream.

Before I go any further I must announce the winner of the Baby Pool and Side Bet.
[The official scorecard for the Baby Pool and Side Bet]

Kasey Crabtree. A friend. Someone I would have never met had it not been for Twitter and Positively Cleveland putting me up on a follow Friday. A weekend DJ for WNCX. A totally kick ass chick from Cleveland, is the winner of our baby pool.

Her guess was 18:39 or 6:39pm. Addison arrived at 6:33pm.

Congratulations to Kasey. She will be winning a t-shirt from CLE Clothing Co.

Now because this post has gone on long enough. Here are some photos from yesterday, minutes after our little girl came into this world.

[Thanks again George, got a ton of comments on it!]

[Addison I would say about 1 minute old]

[Mommy and Addison, snuggling]

[Mommy and Addison are catching their breath]

[The 3 most important ladies in my life!]

[Chubby little lady, 9lbs 11oz 19 1/4 inches]

[off to bed with some fresh big sister PJ's]

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another e-mail from my mom!

My mom was on the radio this morning, and she shared a story with all of Cleveland. Thanks mom, a here is another guest post.

Hey Adam!  What is your favorite number????     Trapper Jack was looking for "9" stories this morning, so of course I had to call in!  

Here is the story I told on the radio:Today is my son's birthday.  He was born at 3:33AM (add 'em up = 9).  He graduated high school in 1999.   On 9-9-99 he turned 19.  He wanted to do something special so he decided he wanted to go to the local maternity ward and give $99 to the baby born closest to 9:00.  However, the hospital would not allow him to do it because of privacy laws. 

But his year, on 09-09-09 he turns 29 and his baby daughter is going to be born today!  She is 9 days over due!  I'm betting she will be born at 3:33PM or perhaps 9:09pm. 

The baby's older sister was born on March 6th…..what's that date?  3/6 ….gee add 'em up =9!!!!! 

Put THAT on your blog!

The baby is coming

I am not going to lie. This post was not written this morning. I wrote it when I had time to write it.

Today is the day. It's 9-9-09. I am 29 years old this morning. 1 year shy of base camp. Today my wife is embarking on a journey that will forever change her. Physically, mentally, and although we are not huge church goers, spiritually. She is giving life to a child today, something I know nothing about and can never do. I am in awe of mothers everywhere.

I would be telling you a lie if I wasn't a fit nervous, excited, and petrified. My wife is about to go through THE most painful experience of her life, and I am going to be a glorified cheerleader. My wife is doing all the work. I'm just the spectator. I can sit and be comfortable. I can get up and pee when I feel like it. She is giving life. Everything in my life now seems to have the volume turned down.

With new life comes new concerns with my ability to parent. My biggest fear is for Audrey to feel forgotten. That is the last thing I want to have happen. I am sure it will not, but nonetheless the concern is in my brain. Many say that it would be nerve wracking if I didn't have that in my head. I would tend to agree.

My mission in life is to be the Dad to my children, that my dad never was to me. I saw him every other weekend for most of my life. Part of that was his choice of career, part of that was apathy. Did he care? Maybe? Did he make it known? Nope.

Many might say this is a cynical view to take, as I bitch and moan about not seeing my daughter because of work. Maybe it was the same with my dad? Maybe, but maybe not. The summer before last I saw my dad for the first time in close to 4 years. He made a surprise visit to Cleveland. He stopped at my brother's house. I saw him. I cried. After he left, I e-mailed him a few times. Still to this day I have not gotten a response back. He has seen his grand-daughter once in the last 5 years. He might not even see the new one we are about to welcome. He sends Christmas presents every year, but there is only so far that goes.

I try very hard to be there for my daughter. Be there on days I am not required to. Be there because I want to be there, not because social responsibility requires me to be there. I don't want to be a dad who just writes a child support check and thinks that that is enough. It's not.

With a new life comes new love. A part of me is scared of this love. How could I love another child as much as I love the one I already have? I haven't known unconditional love until Audrey was here. I haven't known what true love was until Audrey was here. How could I take all of this emotion and split it between two very very equal wholes? The anxiety of waiting is killing me. I don't know what to do with myself.

My wife is probably just getting into her room at this point. Wish us luck as we embark on a journey of discovery today.

You have your boarding pass.
Audrey has her backstage pass.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

All Access

Since this morning, I have been working on a ton of stuff. Getting the carpet vacuumed, cleaning the kitchen, and over all burning off of nervous energy. One thing has been on my mind all day. Well actually from quite sometime. What can I do to make sure Audrey isn't left out?

I have a really great thing planned for Audrey and her new sister that is coming soon. My friend Kasey calls me a rockstar all the time, so I decided to take the theme and run with it.

I want Audrey to feel important. Although I will have to divide my attention around more now, I don't want her to feel less important. So I am making it a point for her to be at the hospital when Addison is born. So to make it even more special, the graphic design artist that my wife is, went to work.

Everyone has a t-shirt that say they are a big sister.
Everyone has stickers.
Everyone has signs.
Everyone has something.

Audrey has a backstage pass, entourage, and driver.

I have bestowed upon Audrey the power of being a big sister. When the baby is born, the first visitor will be Audrey. No one will be allowed in the room until Audrey has her 5 minutes with her new sister. No friends. No grandparents. No other family. No pictures on Twitter or Facebook. Audrey is first. Then everyone else.

I want her to feel the pride when I walk out to the waiting room when the baby is born when she is the only one who can walk down the hall to visit the new baby and everyone else has to wait. I want everyone to notice the VIP pass she has around her neck and comment and give her a hug. I want everyone to understand that Audrey is a rockstar. I want everyone to notice how important she is.

With that being said, everyone knows how special their mother is. My mother is no exception. I never realized how special she was until she e-mailed me this afternoon.

Here is the contents of the e-mail with ZERO editing:

Ok…..so as you know….. the last time I got a Happy Meal at McD’s I got a teeny beeny baby Frog! Well….Saturday I got another Happy Meal and this time I got a little American Girl book for a doll named ………are you ready for this???

ADDY!!! How funny is that? So there’s this whole McDonald’s thing going on…..Gee, could it be that Daddy used to work for McD’s ……. OR does Dr. McDreamy have something to do with it….since the McAdams girls named their daughters Grey’s Anatomy names…… Izzy and Addison! Oh…..my mind is working overtime!

Like I said, she's special. Just a little backstory, frogs were the theme for the baby's room and Isabel is the name of my niece, which is Wifey's sister's baby. My wife's maiden name is McAdams, thus putting the "Mc" theme in everything.

I will keep you all posted on Twitter which then feeds into Facebook tomorrow.

I've been away.....

Before you get all mad, I had a good reasons to be away for so long. I have been losing focus.

Since last Wednesday, I have been hyped. We have a date for the arrival of baby. Between last Wednesday until tomorrow, 1 week later, my wife could have gone into labor at any time. With every vibration of my 2 BlackBerrys I sat on the edge. Was this going to be the phone call, text, instant message that will mark the arrival of labor pains, or a goodbye to my wife's water. All of these things would warrant my immediate departure from work.

These things never came. My mind was elsewhere at work. My sales goals are untouched. Out of the huge goal I have sitting in front of me, I have barely made a dent in them. I haven't tried. My mind was pre-occupied. Understandably, but it doesn't help. It was on Friday when I butted heads with a manager I usually have a good relationship with. That's when I really freaked out. It was 4 days into the month, I had almost all zeros on the board when he looked at me and said, "you are better than this". He had a look of disgust on his face. His #1 sales guy, was in the crapper. I have lost focus. My drive was gone. My ambition was gone. I was ready to see my new child.

My managers are pretty understanding. They didn't hassle me too much, so I unplugged from the blog, I unplugged from twitter [not cutting myself from that too much, but reduced my input], and unplugged from full time Facebooking. I needed to focus on my family and career choice.

This is the reason for me being a recluse from my blog.

I have a ton on my brain as a result. I am in the process of scheduling out some posts because I'm pretty sure I will not have time to do blogging for the rest of the week.

While I was away, some great things happened. I won some stuff and got fan mail.

What I won:
Not sure if you remember, but I won a Cleveland's a Plum t-shirt from Alexa from Cleveland's a Plum. I am forever grateful for this! Thanks again Alexa.

But there is something going on in the blog world that 2 bloggers from Cleveland were recipients of. Brand About Town selected 2 of my favorite Cleveland bloggers to be Gap Brand Enthusiasts. That basically means they get a bunch of free shit from Gap and get to throw a party to give it all away. Sometimes they send you so much stuff, that the awesome bloggers they are get to give stuff away to their readers who didn't get invited to the party.

For a long time I have been following Chef's Widow, who is the wife of Cleveland chef Jonathon Sawyer of the Greenhouse Tavern. Her blog has become one of my stops in my daily routine blog reading. Her adventures of moving have been hilarious, and her insight of what her husband's success in the culinary world by being named Bon Appetite's top 10 Restaurants in America. When she got her free stuff from Gap to give away, she threw a party for her restaurant. She gave all the stuff to her staff. She thanked them for being there for her.

So when she had a ton of left overs, she gave it away to us, the readers.

I am glad to say that I won!! I won a pair of Gap Jeans! First a t-shirt, now some jeans. How awesome!

So thank you Chef's Widow can't wait to try them on!

Don't worry, I will get photos of my Cleveland blogger prize pack!

What I got from a Fan:
Well a good friend of mine who is NOT a fan of blogs, but IS a fan of my podcast recently visited me at my day job. He walked in and gave me a package. I quickly opened it and out came a t-shirt.

George is the drummer of a Cleveland metal band Morality Check. They will be making an appearance on the podcast soon. George and I go way back. He went to high school with my older brother and he and I have stayed in touch throughout the years. I have been to his house many a night rocking to Guitar Hero with a bunch of other friends. My avatar is awesome.

So when I saw George that day in my store handing me a package with a t-shirt, I was interested as to what would be on the shirt. He often makes fun of me for blogging as much as I do, but not in a malicious way, just in jest.

I laughed when I saw the shirt.
How awesome is that?! Thanks George! Can't wait to have the band on my show!

If you haven't already, make sure you get your times in for tomorrow's side bet on the baby pool. Make sure you read the comments and see what everyone else has said! Also, if you would like to stay updated, I will be twittering I'm sure during the labor. Follow me on Twitter to keep in the loop.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Welcome to the side bet.

This morning Wifey and I went to the doctor. Still sitting at 3cm dilated. We are officially 1 day over due for our bundle of joy.

We scheduled an induction date if the baby decides that she doesn't want to come before.


My birthday.
So You Think You Can Dance Season Premiere.
The date my wife is going to be induced.

So here is the amendment to my contest.

If you have played the first contest, your guess is still the same. But you are still eligible to enter this contest.

When we check into the hospital on 9-9-09 at 10:30am, the first contest is null and void.

Here is what we are going to do on 9-9-09. All rules are the same. If you need a refresher, check em out here.

It's closest to the time of birth without going over the time. I will convert all times into 24 hour times, like 0001 for 12:01am or 1305 for 1:05pm. If you all guess the same times, then you are both going to get a t-shirt.

It's the side bet. If you haven't already, you still have time to guess on contest 1.

Get on it!

Who needs Michael Symon or Jonathon Sawyer when you have me?!

So what does an impatient Dad do while he waits for his wife go into labor?


Who needs Michael Symon or Jonathon Sawyer when you have me? I take that back. We all need them, but when you aren't going to venture to their fine restaurants, what do you do?


Last night I decided to cook a summer staple in my house. Burgers! The variation we had was a play on the Royal Red Robin Burger, the Bar Symon Burger, and Napoleon Dynamite's osbession with tater tots.

The burger was stuffed with cheddar cheese, and bacon. Topped off with an egg, sunny side up, and served on an English Muffin. It was amazing. It was also breakfast for dinner.

Wifey wanted a vegetable, and I wanted more cheese. That's how we came up with the broccoli and cheese. I have a Napoleon Dynamite fascination with tater tots, so that topped the whole dish off.

I apologize for not having something more interesting to talk about, but once this child is born, there will be endless streams of stories. Right now. I am having hard time concentrating.