Growing Up

Cleanup in aisle five

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So there we were in the clearance aisle at Target – you know, the one near the entrance that has a bunch of stuff for a dollar – looking for a few new inexpensive toys to satisfy Brooklyn during this weekend’s five-hour car ride to Ohio. I was perusing the selection, trying to decide what would make a good car ride toy, when I heard trickling water. It took me a minute to realize that we weren’t anywhere near a water fountain or anything else that should have trickling water. I looked at Brooklyn who looked back at me with a sheepish grin and that’s when it hit me; the trickle of water was running down the front of the cart that B was sitting in and I was pushing.

Moments before "the flood"

Horrified, I looked up to see if anyone has noticed the pooling water at my feet. Thankfully, no, or at least they hid it pretty well. So we made a bee-line for the children’s clothing section to pick out the cheapest pair of pants we could find, and it just so happens that one of the things we were there to buy in the first place was new undies for B, which we already had in the cart. We quickly checked out and headed to the bathroom where I changed her into clean undies and pants and then we swiftly walked out of the store hoping to go unnoticed and feeling sorry for whoever gets that cart next.

That was last night’s adventure and it wasn’t B’s fault at all. She has been potty trained for months and does a great job of telling us when she needs to go. She probably told me 20 times while we were in Target that she had to go potty, but I didn’t listen. I was hoping she could hold it until we checked out since they don’t let you take merchandise into the bathrooms. Alas, I pushed the envelope too far and the dam broke.

By now, if you’re reading this, you’ve realized that I’m back. August 11, 2011 was the last time I posted on this site and it’s hard to believe it has been a year and a half since then. But I’ve made the decision to start it up again for a couple of reasons.

For one, a couple of days ago Carrie and I were trying to remember how far along she was when I started the blog a couple of years ago. It was fun looking back at the posts from her pregnancy and the first few months of B’s life. So much has happened in the year and a half since I stopped posting that I wish we had those memories to look back on as well. So basically, I’m starting it up again to serve as a digital journal/scrapbook/photo album of Brooklyn’s life and our job parenting and raising her.

In the backyard

Secondly, through a friend’s link on Facebook, I stumbled across an amazing post about what it means to be a dad and the power a dad has in a child’s life. Apparently it was written in 2010, but it might as well have been written yesterday as I had never seen it before. It’s still perfectly applicable and a good reminder for all dads. Reading through it, as well as other posts on the guy’s site, I realized how much I missed sharing the stories of B growing up and of the joy it is to be parenting her.

As for B, she’s full swing into the questioning stage where everything we say is met with endless “why?”s. Carrie gets tired of it because she hears it all day, everyday. I like it because I can just see the gears spinning in her little mind as she tries to learn and understand new things. My time with her is precious because I only get to see her for a few minutes in the morning, about an hour after work while we eat dinner and then I put her down, and on the weekends when I’m not out of town for work.

She’s also little miss independent, wanting to do everything herself. “I do it?” she always says. She carries her little stool around with her all over the house so she can climb up onto the kitchen chair, reach something on the counter, climb onto the potty by herself, etc.

She’s infatuated with grandma and grandpa (“gamma and gampa”) as she calls them. We’ve been fortunate enough to have seen them quite a bit over the past few months, so she’s getting nice and spoiled. If we forget to pray for them, she always reminds us. We’re going to visit them for Memorial Day, so she has been talking about it all week.

So anyway, that’s where things stand right now. I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting, especially in the next few weeks as I’m finishing up the Michigan football season preview magazine for Lindy’s Sports again, but I’ll try my best. And I don’t think I’ll be going back to the Wheaton Target anytime soon.

Brooklyn Visits the Big House

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Last weekend, Brooklyn got her first taste of Heaven on earth when we stopped in Ann Arbor on our way home from a trip to Ohio. Even though I didn’t actually go to the University of Michigan (although I did get accepted), most of you know I’ve been a die-hard fan my whole life, and my family used to take yearly trips to Ann Arbor for a weekend each fall when I was growing up. I grew to love the university as much as the football team and have been dreaming of the day I could take my kid(s) to visit.

Brooklyn and I at the Big House

It certainly didn’t have the same feel as a college football fall Saturday, but the couple of hours we spent on campus gave Brooklyn (and Carrie, who is a Notre Dame fan) a glimpse of the greatest university in the world.

We started out with lunch at Zingerman’s Deli. It’s an amazing restaurant in the Kerrytown district of ann Arbor with way too many sandwiches to choose from, and lines down the block on college football Saturdays. Carrie was lusting over the the massive amounts of cheese they sell, but she can’t have it because of Brooklyn’s GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). But anyway, the food was amazing as always and Carrie loved it. Brooklyn just slept the whole time.

After Zingerman’s, we drove into central campus and went to Moe’s and MDen to find Brooklyn a floppy hat since it was so hot and sunny. We found a good one and then walked the diag before Brooklyn started to get fussy, so we then went to the Big House to get some pictures. It was Brooklyn and Carrie’s first time seeing the mecca of football stadiums and it was the first time I’ve seen it since the renovations added a new press box and luxury boxes to either side. It looks amazing and the only thing missing was the scoreboards, which are being replaced from the old outdated ones to widescreen HD video boards.

Brooklyn and I at Zingerman's

Before we got back on the road, Carrie had to feed Brooklyn, so we were parked in the Crisler Arena lot right next to the Big House. The next thing we knew, a UofM golf cart pulled up about 50-feet away, right where we had been a few minuets earlier getting pictures, and the basketball coaching staff got out and walked into Crisler. Too bad we weren’t still standing there, or Brooklyn could have met Coach Beilein.

It was a short visit, but I’m glad both Brooklyn got to see campus and the Big House, even though she’ll never remember it. At least I got pictures to show her someday and I got the indoctrination started!

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