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Gone Baby Gone

March 20th, 2015 No comments

For the first time in 6 years there isn’t a crib in our house and it’s pretty freaky.

crib

This crib has been a staple in our house for so long that I barely remember life without it. When we bought the crib we made sure to get one that also converted into a daybed which is how it ended up. Teaspoon graduated to his own bed at 18months shortly before Cheeseburger was born and then Cheese stayed in the crib/daybed until this past week when we decided it was time to upgrade. Now Teaspoon has a new futon for his little pimp palace and Cheeseburger gets the single bed. Poor dude has a lifetime of hand-me-downs coming.

If you know anyone looking for a crib we have all of the pieces (i think) and it’s a pretty sturdy piece of craftsmanship. What you’ll get with this model that you can’t find in Babies-R-Us is the artistic design of multiple teeth marks from both kids trying to gnaw their way out.

Here’s a quick flashback to when we bought it in 2009.

My wife teared up when I took it apart while my thoughts were more along the lines of “Thank GOD I don’t have to put this back together again.”

 

 

Categories: Fatherhood

Surviving Pittsburgh’s St Patrick’s Day 2015

March 17th, 2015 No comments

I can’t recall too many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Pittsburgh. Not because I may have been up to my waist in green beer but it’s not something I ever celebrated unless my family was in town. My dad would give me the “get your ass down here and have a cigar with me!” call and who can say no to those kind of demands?

Steel City Time Machine

Last year was the first time I flew solo and that ended… well it was a freaking blast! I knew I wouldn’t be able to relive the adventures of a single dad on the town but I was hoping to experience the parade with my boys. Mother nature put the kybosh to those plans with the rain but what did happen made up for it in so many ways.

Lunch with Pho-Friends
Mario, my childhood altar boy partner in crime and his wife Jennifer were in town for the Maroon 5 concert. Since we had the kids and taking them to bars is frowned upon apparently, we met up at my favorite place in the Strip District to eat – Vietnam’s Pho. I had the Pho Dat Biet (Beef eye round, well done flank, tendon, brisket, beef tripe & beef balls noodle soup) which was once again soul warming and everyone else had… ummmm pho probably. I was too busy with my bowl.

Mario and I haven’t seen each other in over a year so this was a much needed reunion to get caught up. Little did I know we would need more time and the adventure wasn’t over.

The South Side Shite Show Spectacular
I dropped the family off and headed back down to Mario’s hotel to pick them up and shuttle them over to the South Side to visit one of his cousins. If you’ve never driven in Pittsburgh before, this is NOT the weekend to learn. I insisted on driving them over and it was a good decision, people were fall down face in the gutter drunk and all regards for rules of the road were out the window.

I have lived in Pittsburgh for 17 years and this was the very first time I’ve been on the South Side for St Patrick’s Day weekend. Most call it amateur drinking day and I can see why from the college kids barely holding each other up at 4pm to the dude passed out in a shopping cart. This is a 100% people watching spectacular and I suggest checking it out at least once in your lifetime. Yeah you might be all hoity toity grown up now but you know what, these people were having fun so take time off from yelling at people to get off your lawn, pull up a chair and watch the magic.

I will give the local police credit, they had a really strong presence and no one seemed to reach the level of belligerent. No one touched my car so I say that’s a win also.

Mario and crew invited me out to dinner at Nakama which was a few blocks away. That’s right, I’m getting Pho and Nakama in the same day. I like where this is going! At dinner Mario served me a spirit I sadly admit I tried for the first time that evening. It was warm sake and it was freaking gooood. In all of my travels to far away lands in search of great beer, I have never tried sake. In fact Mario is the first of my friends to drink it that I’m aware of and let me tell ya, wooooooooo buddy I want a sake set.

  Nakama Cooking

We continued our conversation from lunch over a few drinks and I took a second to think about how far the 2 of us had come from our days of tormenting our teachers since Kindergarten. How many obstacles we’ve overcome to get to this point and how special our friendship is. Then I had a sake burp and we both forgot WTF we were talking about. In fact I probably just made all of that up. I was too busy watching the chef at the table next to us try to set a drunk girl’s green wig on fire.

Green Beer. Green Jello Shots. Green People.
After the South Side I headed home and dropped my car off. Thinking this could be the end of my night I started chilling beers when my buddy Eamon made the call for a night cap at a local bar within walking distance. I’m still in DAS BOOT so it didn’t matter the distance, I was hobbling there.

Green Jello ShotsI have always said that there is a time and place for every beer and this night I had no problem with pitchers of green Yuengling. Not long after we arrived, we were joined by my friends Dudders and Ginger who were wrapping up their night as well. The night was about good times with good friends and being thankful for having awesome people in my life.

The DJ started playing videos on the in-house system around 11pm and we watched in amazement at the ridiculous videos that are apparently still being made. Who on earth approved these and how can I get in on the action? Don’t ask me what the songs were because I have no idea (some hippity hoppity gangsta rap songs about derrieres) but they’re big with the dance clubs and the old dude with silver hair at the bar trying to twerk anyone with a pulse.

2 years in a row I went into the day without a plan and it turned out amazing. The old project manager in me usually needs to know what’s going on at all times so to just wing it was a new and relaxing experience.

Birthday weekend with the Wonders, Stroker Ace and Marty McFly

February 24th, 2015 No comments

Back To The Future AlmanacThis is heavy, Doc!

A Back to the Future themed birthday? GREAT SCOTT!  OK it wasn’t really but felt like it and I’m not complaining. While I didn’t get too much quiet time with a 4yr old and soon-to-be 6yr old running around I was able to take over the TV and enjoy a marathon of:

There was going to be a glorious showing of Flash Gordon but Google Play only has that to buy, not rent. Come on guys get with it!

Google has been bugging me as a cord cutter. The Roku stick YouTube app is absolutely miserable user experience, you can’t pay for Play with your mobile provider unless you’re on your mobile device (should be able to use as form of payment across the board) and every movie should be able to rent, not just buy. Yeah they cost more to rent than say RedBox but to buy is more than Amazon DVD.

Where were we? Oh yes.

The weekend was pretty mellow. There were plans for Saturday night dinner at my favorite pizza shop, Slice on Broadway, but due to incredibly sloppy snow weather we cancelled plans and ate at home while I dined on a 6pack of Weyerbacher Merry Monks.

So what comes next? More craft beer? brewing? podcasting? dad blogging? Who knows. Whatever it is, if I put my mind to it, I can accomplish anything. Right McFly?

Back To The Future Cake

This is how we do Super Bowl Sunday

February 1st, 2015 No comments

Teaspoon and Daddy

I’m kicked back in my favorite watching Pearl Jam and TWiT videos on Chromecast.

Teaspoon is next to me playing his WiiU and screaming at people running him off the road on Mario Kart 8.

Close to us is my youngest, Cheeseburger (a.k.a Little Thor, a.k.a Pickle Sandwich). Red t-shirt, blue shorts on backwards, little kid chucks without shoelaces and on the wrong feet, hands and face coated with Doritos cheese.

My wife is laying on the couch watching Gossip Girl on her phone.

In the oven is a rack of St. Louis style ribs, homemade mac n cheese and 2.5 pounds of chicken wings.

SuperBowl 49 Dinner

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

 

Snow Day

January 26th, 2015 No comments

Teaspoon Snowball“Pittsburgh may get between 2 and 8 inches of snow”

And then it happened… *bloop* *bloop*  *bloop* *bloop**bloop**bloop* *bloop**bloop* *bloop**bloop**bloop**bloop**bloop* *bloop**bloop**bloop**bloop**bloop*

BREAKING NEWS: SCHOOL CLOSURES!

The force had awoken in Teaspoon and he shot out of bed at 11:30pm. He knew what I was about to say but wanted confirmation. “Yes son, you have a snow day!”

As a “historic” winter storm slams into the east coast and dumps close to 2-3 FEET OF SNOW on NYC, Philly and Boston, we were blanketed with 6 inches of snow. Now this isn’t a “uhhh that’s not a lot of snow.” post or a rant about the annual Pittsburgh freak out inflated by local media making a flurry seem like the end of the world. No, this is about how times have changed when it comes to dealing with these interruptions into the flow of the family circus.

I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can work remotely if needed. In fact, if your employer provides you with a laptop there should be no reason why more places don’t do this. It takes the pressure off of parents trying to juggle an alternate schedule. Those stuck in bad situations don’t have to risk anything to make it in for one of Paul’s boring slide shows (Hello Google Hangouts) and employees have better morale knowing that they’re taken care of.

Today was my first time working at home with the kids here. I shoveled snow, made breakfast, took a shower and jumped online to start my work day. I guess this is what it’s like for people to go to the gym before starting their day. The kids watched TV, did some homework and played outside while trying not to kill each other. I fixed lunch and shipped them outside once again so I could get back to my reports and get my master plan in place. When they finally came back in there was one thing on their mind… A NAP. Could this day get any more perfect?

I put my headphones in and zone out while beautiful sounds of snoring came from the living room.

I admit, I miss being a stay-at-home-dad and having moments like this every day but I also appreciate them a heck of a lot more.

Categories: Fatherhood, weather