Sunday, March 30, 2008

already at spitwads

Kat is crawling everywhere and, wow, is she quick! Jill tells me that when she is crawling around, has to explore EVERYTHING. And put it in her mouth if at all possible. It seems that she has pulled down several pieces of paper, torn them up and made spitwads. She doesn't spit them out, yet, but Jill has pulled them out of her one by one. Too bad that one piece of paper was covered with Calculus homework.
Kat also has two lower teeth. She isn't really big on showing them, but she is more than willing to bite the hand that feeds her. Let me tell you that those two little fangs are sharp.
I bought a connector cord so that I could download new pictures of Kat. My bad that it was the wrong cord. She has grown so much since I last posted a picture.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

feeling of accomplishment!

It isn't much, but I got some things done this evening before blogging.
Got Kat home safe. A good start to a good evening. This was followed with getting her to take a nap. While she napped, I ate. And fed the dog.
When she woke up, she was hungry. So I gave her daily dose of medicine to her in two oz of formula, followed by a container of carrots. I need to remember that carrots stain clothes.
After she let me know she was done eating by grabbing the spoon and throwing it across the dining room, we played for a while in the living room. While playing, there was an unpleasant incident with the dog which resulted in the dog getting tossed outside. I didn't even have to say anything - she went right to the door. It really wasn't fair, Kat caught both ears and pulled. The bark/growl wasn't nearly as ferocious as it could have been. But Maddie knows that once she raises her voice, she goes outside.
Kat and I played for a while after that. I get the feeling that Kat takes after her mother. She is motivated and determined. She doesn't give up easy, no matter what task she has taken on. whether it is climbing me or climbing the piano bench. She will keep on trying.
After Kat played herself out and I got her in bed, I started picking up the house. I started with Kat toys. Moved on to laundry - taking out one load and loading another. Then I put the dishes from the sink to the dishwasher and picked up random pieces of paper that seem to accumulate whenever I bring in the mail.
Oh, and I play the inside/outside game with Maddie. She is convinced that whatever is happening on the other side of the door is more interesting.
When I find my USB to camera cord I will include several posts consisting of Kat pictures. Until then, you will just have to imagine the cutest little girl to capture her father's heart.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Back in college

Talking to Jill this past weekend, we realized that it has been more than 10 years since we graduated from college. We met in college those so many years ago.
I checked my email tonight and had a message from a guy that lived on my floor one of my years of college, I think it was my junior year when I lived on the third floor of Bartlett Hall at UNI. He copied a group of guys that either lived near me or were my roommates in college. And that started the memories going.
The guy who sent the email is a funny man, with a dry sarcastic sense of humor and he still likes a good pun. In that, he hasn't changed much from UNI. My second most memorable story with Brenton was after a productive evening of drinking on the Hill (all doors lead to the Hill). The most memorable story involves way too much alcohol, a stop sign, and days of stress to follow; but that is for another time (I don't even think Wife has heard that one). Anyway....
After an evening of light drinking (just one pitcher) we went down to Wolter's Mini Mart to get a beef and bean burrito. The ritual, if you want to call it that, was to drink till closing, go to Wolter's and get a burrito and nuke it there. Then we carried them back to the dorms in a coat pocket, put on some obnoxious music and had our snack before calling it a night. On this particular night, I may have been tired or just plain silly, but I stuffed some condiments into my pocket before staggering back up the Hill. Back in Brenton's room, the group who had brought their snacks hung out and ate. Since there wasn't room for everyone to sit, I stood. As usual, there were bad jokes flinging around like barn swallows at dusk, puns flopping like fish in the boat, and, in general, goofyness. Suddenly, Brenton turns down the music to get everyones attention and says, "Hey, does anyone smell MUSTARD?"
We all expected a joke and we waited for the punchline. "I am serious, I smell MUSTARD and it is strong!"
So far, this wasn't a funny joke so we waited.
I happened to look down and noticed that there was a bright yellow streak of.... something coming out from the bottom of my shoe. The bright streak made a line out from my shoe and across the carpet, up the wall and onto Brenton's flag that he had hanging on the wall. I must have been really tired (drunk) because I couldn't figure out what I was seeing.
About then, Brenton noticed me looking from my shoe to the wall. "Kevin," He said, "Did you step on a packet of MUSTARD?" (remember the condiments?)
And there it was. My shoe print. The yellow splat. The sharp aroma. The evidence was irrefutable. I had accidentally dropped a mustard packet out of my coat pocket onto the floor and stepped on it. It must have been the beer, because at the time, this was very funny in a very stupid way.
You had to be there.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No one said it would be this much fun!

This past weekend was a blur.
Finals Friday night. Term paper/presentation Saturday. Saturday afternoon I was able to take my Scuba Renew class so I can dive in FL in April. Saturday evening a bunch of us from class got together in Walford to cut loose. Well, as much as I ever cut loose, anyway. And we grilled out which was wonderful. I found myself driving home at midnight after an evening of drinking. I had to stay that late to sober up before driving. Sunday at the crack of dawn, I throw my gear together for the pistol match I help put on each month. I was so tired that I fell asleep around 1130. At a pistol match with competitors shooting at the three stages about 20 yards away. Slept for 2 hours. People who saw me said I was OUT, oblivious to everything.
The first time I saw Kat after Friday when I left for work was Sunday at 5pm. She sounded horrible. Her chest rattled like the ford fairlane I had in college. And for the first time that I can remember, she didn't smile when she saw me; she was just miserable. I told Wife that Monday, Kat is going to the DR to see what is going on. Sunday night was miserable with Kat yowling and coughing all night long. Wife got the worst of it.
Monday, I ended up working til 9pm, made for a long day. When I get home Wife tells me that Kat has RSV and we have lotsa medicine to give her. The medicine must have helped cuz Kat slept for 6 hrs Monday nite. But Tuesday morning (my morning to take her to daycare) she was miserable and fought me about everything. Knocked the medicine dispenser across the room. Then knocked the bottle nipple full of medicine into her eyes, which made her scream. Then she was inconsolable. Except for Wife, Wife calmed her down. I was exhausted and running late for a meeting at work so Wife pushed me out the door as long as I promised to pick up Kat from daycare after work.
So I pick up Kat, NBD. Then I try to give her meds while feeding her supper. The howling starts all over. Once again, she won't calm down. When I try to put her down, she howls louder (which is amazing, the hearing aids are already turned off!). After about an hour of crying (me and Kat) Wife comes home. Within 10 minutes the crying is done. 10 minutes after that, Kat is asleep.
Exhausted and emotionally drained at 815, I go to bed. Wife, who is just as exhausted stays up to work on her program.
I cannot wait to see what today brings.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

long week - and it ain't over yet

It is 1030 pm on Thursday evening and I am listening to my daughter scream in the bathroom. I cannot tell what she is unhappy about, but she is making sure I know that she is unhappy.
Kat has been sick all week. Wife has midterms, I have finals and my term paper due on Friday. I got 4.5 hours of sleep last night. Wife got 7 hours of sleep Tuesday night after getting 4 hours of sleep Sunday and Monday night. The second time in our marriage where wife really yelled (screamed) at me happened Tuesday morning, I was late, she was exhausted. Work is work. If they didn't pay me, I wouldn't go back. I have a hack job done on the paper, I am not happy with it. I can turn it in as is, but I am not happy about it. I have no idea what types of problems will be on the final over 16 chapters. These are the best days of my life.
This too, shall pass.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dog and Kat

Well, it has happened a few times this week. Early in the week, Maddie was overlooked and Kat was put on the floor. A back was turned and when we looked next, they were nose to nose.
They got along remarkably well. Maddie wants to lick Kat's face. I think the runny nose contributes to that. Kat wants to grab handfuls of Maddie's fur. Fur is soft and, well, furry. Since that evening, we have let them both loose and watched them closely. Since Maddie doesn't like to have her fur yanked, she tends to stay just out of arms reach. Maddie will stay close enough that she can get the pink tongue on Kat's hands and face periodically.
Maddie staying out of reach motivated Kat to learn to crawl. The first time I saw her crawling, she was chasing Maddie. Kat would take a step, Maddie would step away. So Kat takes another step closer to Maddie, who moves another step away. OK, it isn't the fastest crawl you have ever seen, but it is a start.
The same night Kat crawled, she also pulled herself up to standing in her crib. Wife had set Kat in crib and went to make a bottle. When she came back, Kat was standing in the crib, looking out through the bars like a little Konvict Kat behind bars. She has pulled herself up several times since then.
She is growing up and getting mobile. We will need to childproof the house soon.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pictures of Kat

Kat is getting bigger.

Every week, Mom comes and takes pictures. Well, really what she does is a Win/Win for her and us.

Mom comes every Saturday to get her Kat fix. This gives her a chance to see how Kat is growing and what new little thing she is doing. I know I am amazed at the changes that happen each day. Mom gets a weekly snapshot of what is changing.

At the same time this gives me a chance to go to school and not strand Wife at home taking care of Kat all weekend long. Wife usually has 12 to 16 hours of homework to do and Kat really doesn't care. Kat wants attention. So with Mom coming, Wife can devote time to school.

We really appreciate Mom coming up. It makes schooling much easier for both of us.

Most of these pictures come from Mom. She does a much better job of picture taking than Jill or I.

The last picture is Kat trying her Hermione Granger pose on the broom. I am sure she will be in Ravenclaw or Griffendor when she grows up.


It is surprising what can motivate people.
I think it is always internal. A person has to motivate his or her self.
But what does it take to trigger that motivation.
Sometimes it is someone teasing. Or questioning your motive. Or being asked a challenging question that makes you think hard about the answer. Or realizing that you are dissatisfied with your situation. That you want more and you realize that you yourself are the answer.
Today was one of those days.
Joking comments were made. Teasing in fun. Then a question was asked that meant a whole lot more to me that the person asking it. It was a strange moment. My mind raced. It has been racing all afternoon.
This was one of those situations that made me sit down and think and write. What do I want and how do I achieve those goals. Identify the gaps, prioritize them, and determine actions that will help me bridge the gaps.
If it is to be, it is up to me.
I don't always like that saying. I know that it is true though. If you want something, anything, then you have to take care of it. Nothing happens until the dream and the desire is bigger than the comfort couch you have been slouching on. Once you clearly define the dream and the desire is overwhelming, nothing will stop you from realizing it. Keep the dream in front of you. Do whatever it takes to keep the desire burning hot. Make sure the goals are clear, defined, and have a date.
Someone once said to me, "Good is the enemy of Great."
What does that mean to you?

Parenting assumptions

I love Kat. I may be overwhelmed by her at times. OK, most of the time. It is still sinking in that I am responsible for growing a person. ME. I cannot even organize my desk at work. And I am supposed to grow a responsible adult? This should be interesting. Anyway.
I love spending time with Kat. Last night she fell asleep curled up in my arms on my lap. She looked so peaceful. I held her til Wife came and got her and put her to bed.
On Tuesdays Wife has class in the evening. So I take Kat to daycare and get to pick her up after work on Tuesdays. I get to be primary caregiver for an evening. It is fun. I feed her and play with her, change her and put her to bed. (although tonight she did NOT want to take a nap. she fought her nap til she was really hungry, then after she ate she STILL did not want to go to sleep. her eyes are all red rimmed and she looks so tired)
During the day today a work acquaintance asked if I had plans this evening. So I told him about how I get to pick up Kat and spend the evening with her. Feed her, play with her, spend the evening with her. I kind of talked about it a bit, how much I enjoy it and how I was looking forward to my evening with her.
The co-worker looked at me and said, "Oh, I didn't even know you were divorced."

I thought this was pretty strange. Then I thought about what it means that people think this way. Is it that unusual that a dad looks forward to spending his evening with his daughter? Does an evening described taking care of Kat need to imply that there is no Wife/mother in the picture? That I am a single dad or that I have joint custody of my Kat?
I went on to explain that Wife has class on Tuesdays and that this is one way I support her schooling.
But I still think it was a strange reaction.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

School lunch program

Yesterday, I had class. Operations Management in the morning and Business Strategy in the afternoon. For OpMan we took a plant tour of Penford Products, courtesy of Lonny G. It was pretty interesting. 10+ years ago I used to deliver to that plant when I worked at Fastenal. Anyway, it was 1030 when the tour got over. About half the class decided we would go to lunch at the local Mexican diner. When we got there at 1045 we found that they didn't open until 1130. We knew we were early but didn't want to go anywhere else. Looking around the back, I found the owner, his wife and daughter were there getting ready for the days business. I told him that there were a dozen people out front who wanted to snack on chips and drink and would rather not drive away. He quickly agreed to open and soon we were seated at a group of tables pushed together, eating chips and drinking 'ritas.
These are people that I have been going to school with for the last 18 months and with a couple of exceptions, I hadn't really talked to any of them. Soon we were talking about our families, where we worked before, why we were in school. One couple, taking their classes together, were celebrating their five year anniversary that day. He grumbled that they were spending it in school. Someone mentioned that they had celebrated their 40th birthday by working all day and taking their final exam last September. I had celebrated my 40th by taking two midterms the year before. Another classmate related a tale of her anniversary last fall where, after a long day of classes, when she got home her husband swept her off to the casino for a night of entertainment. Though she was very tired she had a good time. Michelle stated that her spouse was QUITE ready for her to be done with school. We all heartily agreed. All of us and our spouses are ready for us to be done with school.
In that two hour lunch, I laughed 'til I cried, got to know some really good people and a bit of their backgrounds, talked about Wife and Kat, talked about marriage and money and children, and just had a really good time. While I am ready to be done with school, I am glad that I have gone through with it. I REALLY appreciate the Rock for picking up the tuition. All in all, I wish every school lunch could have been that fun.