Saturday, May 23, 2009

10 years and counting . . .

("The Frog Prince")

In case you readers don't realize it, this is Mrs. LIAYF. I wanted to take a moment to let my husband know just how lucky I am to have met, and married, him.

Today is our 10 year anniversary. On this day, 10 years ago, I stood at the entrance to the chapel sanctuary without any fear, hesitation or doubts. I looked down the long, long aisle to my very best friend in the world, he flashed me a smile, and I knew I had chosen right.

Or, maybe he had chosen me.

It's not that easy to find your soulmate. You kiss a lot of frogs - not that I was the type to kiss lots of boys, ahem, but you know what I mean. You get dumped on and you dump on others. And you are not always the person you aspire to be in a relationship. But, one day you meet someone who just rings a bell in your soul, and you open up, and you fall completely, head over heels in love.

Cliche? Don't I know it. But, I must have chosen right. Because he chose me too. Despite all my faults and flaws, my princess personality, and my tendency to want things my way, the very, very hard times we have had, he loves me fully and completely. He is a wonderful husband and an even more amazing father (as all of you can probably tell). I am truly the luckiest girl in the world.

Honey, I hope we have many more 10 year milestones together. I am so grateful you are mine!

(Now all your guy friends can make fun of you!)

10 Years Gone By - My, Oh My!

Honey. Ten years ago today it was a sunny, beautiful, 85 degree May afternoon in the Northwest. We said our "I do's", and the sun hasn't stopped shining on me since.

Happy Anniversary! I look forward to your sweet smile for next 40, and well beyond.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Few Miles West of Expected

You know the old saying about ‘When pigs fly’? Well, pigs still can’t fly, but because of pigs neither can we. To Mexico anyway. Yes, because of the whole H1N1 Swine Flu virus, our originally scheduled flight this coming Friday to sunny, warm, beachy, breezy, fun-filled Mazatlan was cancelled by American Airlines. Unbelievable. Now I am stuck with a whole case of face masks and nowhere to use them. Great. Just great.

Ok, all kidding aside, the truth is we were not going on this trip anyway. Not after all the reports that came out of Mexico. Plus my parents, who were scheduled to travel with us, were going to have to cancel for non flu related reasons anyway. We were just waiting patiently to see if American would cancel so we could get a full refund on the flights. I had a great poker face, and thankfully they folded.

Sure, the whole news blitz about the possibility of a global flu pandemic has died down considerably, but in reality there was no way we were going to take our little guy to a place where they still don't have a good reason why the outbreak was so much worse, and more deadly, than it has been elsewhere. One of our worst fears would be to be stuck at a foreign hospital, where we don’t speak the language, with a sick or injured Lukas. No, we were happy for the refund thank you very much.

If you have deduced that this left the parents of an energetic two year old, who have not been on a real vacation (see: not visiting family) in 2 ½ years, and who also would have been celebrating a milestone anniversary during that trip, with nowhere to vacation. . . .you are right on the money. Yes, it was a disappointment. However, the cancellation happened a couple of weeks ago, at the height of the flu scare, giving us enough time to come up with alternate travel plans.

We still had credits towards a timeshare – a gracious gift from my parents – to use, but finding an opening which corresponded to a manageable flight within our vacation time frame was a challenge. In the end, what we came up with seems ideal. We will be spending next week on Hawaii’s Garden Isle, Kauai.

Better yet, we are staying close to a place called ‘Baby Beach’, apparently named so for it’s perfect conditions for toddlers. Just what the Doctor ordered.

Help me out readers. Since this will be our first extended trip with our son, what have you found to be the best things to pack to keep toddlers occupied and interested, but take up the least amount of space? And, if you happen to have visited The Garden Isle before and know of any good places to frequent, please pass them along.

In the mean time, I'll be packing.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Secret Plan

I present to you Exhibits 'A' and 'B' in secret plan to drive my wife insane.

(Exhibit A -opening without reading instructions)

(Exhibit B - opening by shear force)

Actually, this is so secrect that I just discovered it myself. Now that I ponder it, I'm sure it's just a small part of a much larger husband centered conspiracy aimed at. . . . well, I haven't been let in on what the goal is yet.

But I'm sure it's going to be big!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Blogger by Any Other Name

I was amazed the other day when I looked at the calendar. Did you all know it was 2009?? Yeah, me either. Wasn't it just the other day that the year 2000 seemed so futuristic and far off?

And, to celebrate it being 2009, I decided to shuffle my mental to do list so that I could actually catch up with those of you who have not (like me) been planted firmly in the year 2005. That would be the year before Twitter was created.

Yes, I have now joined the throngs of people living the Tweet Life. DingDingDing! You are correct. I did just make that up. How'd you know??

Anyway, the first thing I needed to do when setting up my Twitter account was to choose a user name. To my surprise James was taken. What's with that? I was stumped. LukeIamYourFather seemed too long. I'm pretty sure no one would send me messages if they had to type that each time.

So I thought hard. What would best describe me right now? It didn't take long to decide to go with something with the word Dad in it. But what?

Maybe I could go with a mood. Mellowdad? Or a personality trait. DeadpanDad? Perhaps an age related moniker. OldDad or even OldNewDad?

Then again, I thought it better to just stick with a 'place' related name. Something close to home. I thought about going regional with NWDad. But that didn't seem to nail it quite right.

I needed to get even closer to home. I asked myself, "What defines Seattle?" Well, we have Ferries. Ok, not that there is anything wrong with it, but I wasn't going with FerryDad. No, I needed something even more Seattle than the Ferries. Let's see. . . .what defines Seattle? Grunge. Microsoft. Starbucks. Losing Sports teams.

It was all to much to ponder, so I simply settled on SeattleDad. Let me know what you think? Look for me to start using this moniker elsewhere as well. And, if this post hasn't discouraged you from it completely, you can always follow me as SeattleDad on Twitter.

I'll look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cat in the Hut

Cleaning the cat box is a thankless job. Those of you who are cat owners need no further explanation. I think the only thing worse would be being a dog owner. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs. I'm referring to owning a dog in the city, where you have to follow behind them with a plastic bag on your hand waiting for nature to call. Not for me.

In fact, grooming anyone but me to do the dirty task of cleaning the cat box may very well subconsciously be the real reason I wanted kids. So, when Mrs. LIAYF and I saw the new concept Omega Paw Self Cleaning Litter Box the other day on there was no hesitation. We immediately had the same impulse to purchase it.

Although calling it 'Self Cleaning' may be stretching the truth just a bit since you do still have to physically roll the thing and then remove the waste from the sliding container, it is still a HUGE improvement over standard cat boxes.

To briefly sum it up, somebody finally applied the laws of physics to a litter box. You just roll the box onto its side, where a grated container catches the clean stuff, then roll a bit further and the clumps fall neatly into the slide out bin. Very slick. What I can't figure out is that since Einstein was a cat owner, why wasn't this available 50 years ago? He must have had a cat-door.

I nearly tripped making a cat-quick move toward my wallet. But I landed on my feet, with my hands on the keyboard.

The shiny, new, unsoiled cat box arrived a couple days ago. . . .and was promptly made into a fun-filled toddler fort by an excited Lukas.

Mrs. LIAYF and I took a few pictures, and laughed at this for a minute or so. Only until we realized that Lukas absolutely loves to play in his sandbox. . . . . .

I guess we will have to be extra diligent about steering him clear of this play house from now on.

Those aren't SAND TOYS!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mommy's Day - Guest Post Edition

Hi Mommy,

Daddy tells me that today is Mother's Day. I guess that is more than fair since every single day with you, including today, is Lukie's day. Daddy also says I should tell you some of the reasons I love you so much.

Let's see. I love you because I run my fastest to greet you every morning and you never fail to scoop me up with a smile a big as the sun, giving me my very first hug and kiss of the day. Life is good.

I also really love how you sing to me all the time. Your voice sounds pretty. And you always read me as many stories as I want, as many times as I ask for them. Daddy just gets tired and quits.

And I love you Mommy for making sure that I always have yummy things to eat, and healthy too! And after I finish my dinner you will always give me a cookie and dance around with me. That's really fun.

Did I mention how I love to spend time with you on the weekends. You always play with me as long as I want you to and also teach me exciting new things, like which cool rocks to pick up, how to make plants and flowers grow, and even how to cover up worms so they are back safe at home.

Most of all, I love you for being the best Mommy ever. How did I get so lucky?

I love my Mommy!

Love Lukas.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Don't Get Mad, Get Perspective

The thought struck me the other day that Lukas is nearly 2 years old, but I have yet to get mad at him. Don't get me wrong, I have had my moments where I was plenty frustrated at the course with which certain child raising situations have played themselves out. Who hasn't been at that point after a long day, perhaps working on very little food or sleep?

But for me, those situations have not manifested themselves into my getting mad, or angry, at my son. So far, no matter how trying a situation has been, it has been very apparent to me that none of them have been any attempts by my son to push my buttons, or act out in a way that he knows he shouldn't, but does anyway.

Given that, how could I be upset with my little guy for being tired, or not feeling good, or wanting attention when it may be inconvenient for me?

Mrs. LIAYF and I have gone out of our way to try to give Lukas the communication skills, the proper rest, and the attention that a toddler requires to mitigate the frustration level that comes with the day to day struggles of someone who is trying to learn the ways of the world. And he has shown us that he is a genuinly good boy, who is kind and generous not only with us, but with other kids he encounters as well.
What I am wondering from those of you who have been there before is, is it too much to expect that I can maintain this perspective with Lukas for the forseeable future? Or does the point inevitably come in all toddlers where they discover all the right ways to test your patience, ultimately resulting in your being mad more often than you are comfortable with?
I think I know what your answers will to be, but am curious to hear your perspective anyway.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Root of My Sore Back

Wanna know how I spent a gorgeous Spring Sunday here in Seattle?

Sailing the brisk waters of Puget Sound? No.
Hiking one of the thousands of scenic Cascade trails? No.
Casually biking with my wife and son along picturesque Alki Beach? No Again.
Taking my son to one of many fun-filled neighborhood parks to soak in the sunshine? That would be Nada.
No, this would be exactly how I spent my Sunday afternoon. . . .

This behemoth of a root system was hidden under an approximately 10 inch diameter Pine tree stump which also happened to sit directly on the spot where Mrs. LIAYF and I wanted to place a brand new tree. Luke's tree!

Lukas provided plenty of physical as well as moral support. In the end, it was all well worth it because along with a fairly sore back for yours truly. . . .

We ended up with a beautiful Japanese Maple where the stump used to be.

Tell me readers, how did you spend your Sunday??

Saturday, May 2, 2009

R.I.P Frazier

I've been patiently waiting. And watching. Biding my time. Honing my skills. Because I knew this day would come. That you would return. And that when you did, the victory I had been deprived of would finally be mine.

Of course, your age and diminished skills were glaringly apparent as you sat there all fat, slow, and ready to yield. Given that, I made yours a merciful and quick death blow.

Be Afraid?? HA HA HA HA!