Wednesday, December 13, 2006

No man, She hit me right here

There is a great scene in the Big Lebowski where the Dude, having been punched in the mouth and told repeatedly to see the Dr., is getting examined. The Dr. tells him to drop his pants and the Dude says "No man, she hit me here." pointing to his mouth. Well my father apparently had his own visit to that very same Dr. today. My dad does not go to the Dr. for anything. He once took a power drill to his toe nail to relieve the pressure after dropping something obscenely heavy on it. Why go to the Dr. when you have a perfectly good drill right here in the garage. While working out one morning he felt dizzy and fainted hitting his head. No Dr. there either, he self diagnosed as just trying to do too much too early. So for him to now go see a Dr. with a sore forearm from his sheet metal job my guess is that it would probably have me in constant tears if it were me. My mom went with him and waited in the lobby for nearly an hour before my dad came out pouting. You could chalk the look up to his aversion for the whole medical establishment but my guess is it had something to do with the Prostrate exam that he had just been given! How could that exam have gone worse?

"So Bing tell me where it hurts?"

"It's my fore arm doc, I think I strained it."

"OK drop your pants and lean over this table."

I imagine my dad laughing at the Dr. when he first told him he was going to give him the exam. Then that nervous laughter fading as my dad looked around the exam room for what he he will stab the Dr. with before he makes his run for it. As funny as this story was to me when my mom told me I was happy to hear that my dad finally saw a Dr. for something, and that this Dr. took this window of opportunity to check some things that men of s certain age need checked. All is well with the test though his arm is strained and needs rest. Right now the Over/Under on the amount of time Bing takes to rest that arm is right at 3 days and I have the Under.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

6 Months

My life is now measured in the milestones of Finn's life. When he was born we were asked the weight and height and various other newborn stats. After a couple of weeks we are asked if he is smiling. Next comes the sleeping question, how long does he sleep? when does he go to bed? do you have a routine? Grabbing for things and head control are measured and then the laughing and babbling start. I am at the point in my life now where the next big milestone is teeth. He does not have any at the moment but all signs point to there impending arrival. Finn gums on anything he can and drools like a rabid dog. Lately he has enjoyed taking my finger with both hands and scrapping my finger nail on his gums. I instinctively feel like this is a bad idea but the kid loves it. He will itch his gums for up to 45 minutes if I let him. I spend my days charting these many other milestones in our lives and each day has it's own ups and downs. Yesterday after a check of our bank account online I was knocked around emotionally. It seems whenever there is a financial issue that comes up in our lives I feel deeply responsible and lose sight of the value in what I am doing at home. I think that if I just went back to work we would be better off, more stable. These feeling washed over me so roughly yesterday that I was worn out and tired. Sleep seemed like the only thing for me at the time. When Kate got home she knew right away that something was wrong with me but instead of asking me over and over what it was she let me know she was there when ever I figured it out myself and left it at that. I did eventually figure it out last night and talked it out with Kate. I know there is value in my decision to stay at home, I know I am not responsible for every emergency that comes up, and I know that there is no where I would rather be then here with my boy. In many ways it was an easy decision to come home while Kate went back to work. Kate is better suited for the working world and I am better suited for raising kids. That is us, that is how we break down as a couple and each couple is different. But this decision has lead to some really tight times and forced Kate and I to be vigilant with our time and money. There is very little margin for error and small variances cause big problems. We have become infinitely better with our money the less of it we make and for all of the belt tightening and penny pinching it has been the right decision. I can't tell you where a man's place or a woman's place is but my place, me personally, my place is in this house with Finn. Cooking and cleaning and changing diapers, I am valuable to my boy and I am valuable to my beautiful wife and that is more valuable to me then anything else.

Monday, December 04, 2006

It's Christmas Time at the Rohl's

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Thanksgiving Conversation

KR: For something entirely different and because of various circumstances--including but not limited to: money, travel distance, personalities and laziness--James and I have decided to stay home on our own for Thanksgiving this year. At first this seemed like a giving up, a sacrifice, a last alternative. But as we stood at the Wal-Mart neighborhood market in the heart of white trash land (more on that later) in front of the rack of spices, trying to remember the four spices we needed for stuffing and pumpkin pie and hadn’t written down, calling out possibilities to the other to jog memory, I was overwhelmed by how great this was. How until this point we had just been playing at being grown up, tagging along to other peoples traditional meals and gatherings that reminded us of the many years before where we had been too little to be of use or too teenage to want to be. Now, as we prepare our own meal, and only now, we have arrived. And I am so glad we have decided to stay home and make this our own. We have four whole days to be at home, to hang out and drink beer and make food and watch movies and see people if we want to. And the great thing is, if anything ends up scorched or underdone or just generally not good, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just us. And that’s great.

To chronicle this day, our first grown up holiday, the practice for the many that are to come, we thought we would offer a log, in conversation style to get at this day. Sound good to you babe?

JR: Sounds great beautiful! Where shall we start?

KR: How about laying in bed this morning?

JR: As good a place as any to start. Finn woke up for good at about 8:00 and Kate asked if I wanted to get up and start the holiday preparations. “Do I WANT to?” You mean as opposed to staying in this warm bed for an hour or so? Sure, I would love to get up honey.

KR: That’s not what you said though.

JR: What did I say.

KR: You said “No not really, how about you wake me up after your done feeding Finn” (v. romantic).

JR: Yes I do have a silky smooth way about me don’t I. Well I got up before you were finished feeding Finn anyway and had a look at the recipe for stuffing. Noticed we were missing a couple of key ingredients like bread, sage, and Thyme leaves. You were also missing some ingredients for your pumpkin pie and Finn had one of the last three diapers in the house on. A trip to the store might be in order. Before we could get a list going the phone rang and we were soon getting ready to meet the Goshows for what may soon be a tradition: Thanksgiving day Breakfast at Pepppy’s!

KR: Peppy’s (despite its 24 hour/7 days a week signage) was not open so we tried His and Hers, a greasy spoon diner that looks the same as it has for probably the last 50 years, including the sign on the door that enigmatically says “no shirt, no shoves, microwave oven.” It wasn’t open either. We then opted for the American classic Denny’s. It was open. We went in and I don’t know about you but I felt a wave of pity for the hostess and the cook looking through the cooking window, working on Thanksgiving morning, watching families enter in waves, making us eggs and pancakes. That was a theme that continued through the morning. Feeling bad for people working, not pancakes and eggs.

JR: You mean Debbie Downer at the grocery store? Yeah she was a holiday treat wasn’t she? For about 5 minutes my favorite guy of the day was 300 lbs. young black man who, seeing my confusion in front of the spices, asked what I was making and then told me I needed Sage not Cumin. He was replaced though by the 70 year old check out lady with bad cleavage, a well worn in frown, and a disposition that makes the soup nazi seem like 13 year old cheer leader. Even when she looked over at Finn sleeping in his car seat with his space boy hat and hand against his forehead there was no reaction.

KR: Yeah and then what did she say when I asked her if she was working all day? Something about not having any family, how she doesn’t matter to anyone anyway?

JR: No I think she said she would be better off if she didn’t have any family, like they are all hooligan ne’er do wells.

KR: Oh, ok well that seems a little less sad, so we’ll go with that. Anyway. She was depressing and you said how whoever the shift manager was should maybe switch her out of the check out line before we have a grinch thanksgiving situation. That Wal-Mart really was smack dab in the middle of that sketchy part of Raymond and Keystone. It showed too. The girl with the skanky tank top and butt-tight jeans walking in when it was about 4 degrees out and the ISUZU truck with the gun shot holes rusted into polkadots parked in that blue diagonal space that isn’t a spot next to the handicap spots at the wrong angle from the rest of the parking spots. You were a little yuppy in your tweed coat and brown glasses.

JR: I was just trying to class up the place a little, bring a little west coast style to the Heartland.

KR: What’s that noise, Did you just let Molly in?

JR: Yeah I let her in.

KR: So that’s not Finn out of his crib walking around?

JR: Could be the mice playing checker.

KR: Go check on Finn anyway, just to make sure he’s OK.

JR: I’ll make the stuffing and get the turkey ready, you make the bread, the pumkin pie, the potatoes (sweet and mashed), and the green beans. That sounds like a fair division of labor.

KR: Is this where you insert some horribly offensive and categorically untrue comment about women and their responsibilities in the kitchen?

JR: Hey honey, if the apron fits!

KR: How did I seriously end up with you? I had such great feminist potential. So now we are mostly caught up to now. We put the turkey in the oven after calling your mom and getting the info on covering vs. not covering and basting (v. confusing) controversy. Judge for yourself but we put it in, breast up, covered in foil for the first hour and then basted every hour after that, uncovered. We’ll see how it works. What is this crap psycho techno music we are listening to? Not very thanksgiving-ey. Makes me want to poke my eye out while lurching awkwardly below strobe light-type flashing.

JR: Time to skip ahead, how about Nickel Creek “Long Time Coming”

KR: Better

JR: I don’t think I told you but my mom gave us some advice when I talked to her. She said not to get drunk and fight this time.

KR: When did we get drunk and fight?

JR: I think it was an autobiographical piece of advice more then anything.

KR: Oh Yeah your uncle Skeeter is not invited!

This is where the pace picked up and potatoes needed mashing and green beans flashing. conversations continued but where not recorded. TheWe had an amazing meal and a such a great weekend, it was the best Thanksgiving that either of us could remember having.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Chickty China the Chinese Chicken

3 years ago on the day I met my beautiful. A little over two years ago I married her and 5 months ago to the day we had are little boy. For the first time that I can remember I am home handing out candy on this special day and Before this turns into a Bare Naked Ladies song let me tell you what I’m going to do. I am going to keep a running diary of the Trick or Treater’s that come by our house tonight. With out any further ado let us begin:

5:30 P.M. - We are back from picking Kate up from work and Finn is getting his dinner. It has been a rough day for the little monkey. We have 3 large bags of Candy, the good stuff too, Reese’s products and some Hershey’s Kissables, all we need now are kids.

5:34 – The first kids arrive and I can’t tell what they are. They just seem to have some makeup on their faces. I hand them each a candy and close the door only to find out from Kate that I am supposed to let them pick their candy. Really? Is that how it goes? The next kids I will let pick but those greedy little monkeys are still only getting one piece, this is good stuff kids.

5:38 – The second knock comes and it is a 5 and 3 year old. I let them pick and the 3 year old (Lion) says “Thank you”, when I tell him he’s welcome he says “Your Welcome too” Now that kid can have two pieces of the good stuff.

5:43 – We have just been invaded by Ninjas. There was 4 of them, at least I think there was 4, you can never be sure with Ninjas. They were also with some kids that are right on the cusp of being too old for this.

5:44 – Behind the Ninjas were some 12 year old in nothing but ugly masks. Come on kids, a little more effort then this please.

6:08 – A long gap between trick or treaters was broken with some scary vampires and a little princess. The little princess tried to pick a candy but couldn’t pick it up and so she just pawed at them for about a minute until her mom grabbed one and off they went. The little princess can have two candies too.

6:10 – Finn has had an accident and it is all over his onesie. Kate is trying to take a relaxing bath and we thought Finn was taking a nap but instead he is decorating his clothes with poop. I grab Finn and take him back to where Kate is taking her relaxing bath. There are knocks on the door but I can’t get to them. We get Finn stripped and sort of wiped down and then into the tub for a deeper cleaning. I go back to the door for a family that has done nothing more them draw black lines on their face.

6:18 – The Goshows stop by to rest while Ben gets the car. Nia is a princess and Harper is a Dinosaur, well done Goshow kids!

6:20 - More ninjas and Vampires, I think the Ninjas are winning out as the costume of the night as far as sheer numbers are concerned.

6:22 – Josie is now at our door asking for Water. Most kids want the candy but not Josie, she wants water. I tell her she can have some but apparently her mom has already told her no. Dang It! Must remember to say “Ask your mom first”

6:27 – Just had a couple in their late 20’s, early 30’s come, no kids just them. They had a great costumes (Classic jail uniform and witches costume down to the boots) but the dude had a freaking beard! Come on man. Fountain Square, It’s FANTASTIC!

6:41 – Apparently the grown couple has scared away the kids because we didn’t have a soul come by for 15 minutes. A couple of pre-teen boys in Scream costumes broke the drought.

6:43 – Another Family of kids where only the little ones are dressed up but all of them are getting Candy. This is something I didn’t get to pull with just Mark and I. If only we had more brothers and sisters we could have got the candy without all the fuss. The two little kids were so cute though that the more then made up for their ner-do-well siblings.

6:45 – Brian and Liz from Pleasant street stopped by with Nora the fairy for some candy but since they hadn’t been in our house before we gave them the tour. We handed out candy and between stories of Floors and Porch remodels.

7:01 – We just had a mother and her two sons stop by. One son was about 6 and dressed as superman, the other was in his 30’s or 40’s developmentally disabled and dressed as Freddy Kruger. The older son kept reaching out and grabbing Finn’s foot and then letting go really quick. I found myself transferring Finn to my left arm to free up my right hand and placing my shoulder between myself and Freddy. It was an unconscious move and I didn’t think this guy was dangerous at all but you never know. The family got their candy, remarked on how cute Finn was and left with Freddy still lurching out every couple of seconds and just touching Finn’s foot. Finn thought it was hilarious and as they left I realized I had been holding my breath a little.

7:09 – There is a peapod in the window of the front door and nothing else there. It’s COSI! And Tonya and John are with her but COSI! Finn squeals and smacks his hands repeatedly, he likes his Cosi girl a lot.

7:12 – Three little punk rock girls show up at the door looking so cute. They are probably between 4 and 6 and their candy bags are bigger then they are. Behind them are some more ninjas and I realize that the candy bowl is dangerously low.

7:18 – 7 kids come and there is 6 pieces of Candy in the bowl. CRAP, which one of these little monsters is not getting a piece of candy? We pass out the remaining candy and then shut the doors and turn off the lights. It was a good run and we gave away a lot of good candy. The kids will remember this house for years to come, we will not have our pumpkins smashed this year I know it.

7:40 – There is a knock on the door even though the lights are out and the front porch door was shut, it’s Jerry come to talk about the potential development of Pleasant St. I guess the kids stuff is done for the night.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

After taking Mommy to work

You and me, we were meant to be

Yesterday I tried my hand at making Beef Stew and though it wasn't horrible it was definitely not as good as Kate's. I guess the beauty of beef stew is that as long as it's not burned you can't really go wrong. While we were eating our stew, with Finn on the table in his catapult, we listened to "The World's Greatest Love Songs" at least according to some one who posted the songs on Torrentspy. There were some classic songs that weren't bad they were just not love songs. Kate and I laughed as each new track would come up, not exactly the romantic mood I was hoping to create but fun none the less. It got me thinking about what makes a good love song and while I'm not sure the criteria I do know a couple of good examples:

One of the best memories I have as a kid is driving, anywhere, with my parents. The music playing, Mark and I in the back fighting over seat space in the back like it was the Korean DMZ. One of the things that I hoped for and would try to will into being while we were in the car was Danny's Song by Kenny Loggins to come on the radio. If that song came on we were in for a treat. The border skirmishes stopped and Mark and I looked up into the front of the car in rapt awe. My dad would turn up the music, look over at my mom like he was going to cry, and put his hand on her leg to gently tap out the beat. From the back we knew we didn't have money, we knew that he was so in love with her, we knew that we would be OK with these two. This song sums up my childhood more then any other I can think of. What ever song came up next would lead my dad to turn the windshield wipers on and off to the beat, dance in his seat like a roster showing off and make his biceps dance. We would laugh and try to sing along whether we knew the words or not, now that is a love song.

I am not sure what that song is going to be for Finn as he is growing up but I think This is Us by Mark Knopfler and Emmy Lou Harris might contend. When this song comes on I look over at Kate the way my dad looked over at my mom when their song came on. I am filled with joy at how lucky I am, and how heavy the moment is. I wish I could keep the beat with my biceps and make Kate laugh the way my dad made us laugh in the car. I can do the dance, and I know now why he did it. He did it because he had to do something to release those emotions before he started crying and the roster dance was as good an outlet as any.

What songs do you have?

Monday, October 23, 2006

I told you he loves Aunt Brigade

Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm Part of a Play Group now

On Wednesday morning after dropping Kate off at work I went to a play group with Johnnie History. For those of you uneducated yokels (Jesse) a play group is of parents, usually moms, that get together to have their kids play together while you practice talking with other adults. This play group was at the Kaufman's, whose son Atlas is one of the Fantastic Four. Actually all four of the wonder kids were there for this play group, they should really thin about renaming this group to recognize that fact but some of the other parents of not so Fantastic Fourish kids might get offended. Anyway I felt really odd there at first, like I was an imposter and any minute one of the moms was going to make me leave. We ate muffins and watched the Super Baby who is 10 months old, potty trained, and knows sign language. I listened in on a conversation about the best techniques for putting a 2 year old back to bed and took some notes on the sly. I think that is part of the gig, to learn form each other and share what you know but just in case I didn't want anyone to see me and laugh. I like play group, it is a lot different from any group I have previously been a part of but I think it is a sign of things to come for me.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A post delayed

Here is something I wrote after my friends Jesse and Carly got married but had not posted for reasons to strange to get into. Anyway :

It is Monday morning and I have had a great weekend. I got to see a lot of family and friends, I got to go to the Press Room with 6 of my favorite guys, I played basketball (albeit poorly due to the previous) with my dad and brother, and my best friend got married. While I didn't keep a journal here are my favorite parts fleshed out a little more:

Kate, Finn and I flew in to Phoenix where right off the plane we were met by my mom and dad and Mark and Kendra. This is the first gate greeting I have experienced since 9/11 and it is so much cooler then the baggage greeting. That sense as your walking through the tunnel that any second you are going to see someone special. It seems that while Kate and I were well greeted Finn was the star of that skywalk and was promptly whisked from my arms by my mother. We were all flying on the same flight into Santa Barbara from Phoenix, hence the gate greet. My parents flew in from Portland and Mark and Kendra drove to the airport from around the corner. Not exactly the "Meet me at the Eiffel tower" or "On top of the Empire State Building" but it was a scene worthy of any Audrey Hepburn movie none the less.

The next morning we met up with Jesse at the Tux shop to make sure our gear fit for the wedding. I was the best man and I used the measurements from my wedding two years ago so I was a tad nervous about the fit. All for naught though as the tux fit like a champ. Both Mark and Kyle had some trouble with their suits but they were quickly fixed and we were off to La Superica for some tacos. Here is one of the reasons I love SB. It has 5 or 6 great places to get what your looking for to eat. You want Mexican I can give you at least 10 places that are infinitely better then the best hole in the wall joint in Mexi-Indy. Right off the plane I had an In and Out burger, the next day I had a Chubby's burger. Anyway the rehearsal went good and soon we were getting ready to hit the Press Room for a Pint or 6. There was the classic crew of Mark, Kyle, Adam, Dave, Rodney, Jesse, and myself and some new classics in Troy and Ben. Sitting in the window of the Press Room laughing and bending the elbow made me feel like I still lived here. We then headed to the Rhino for some poker, and by Rhino I mean Jesse's apartment. Cigars were smoked, hands were played and Kyle tried to rip off the Groom.

Nothing helps get you over a wicked hang over like some basketball so we hit the courts reeking of cigars and beer. Those that didn't drink the night before were now all of a sudden all-stars but it was still a lot of fun. Back at Jesse's we got showered and suited up. I tried to tell Jesse that today was not only a day for him but for us as well to have direct outlet to show him how much we loved him by getting anything he needed but we both teared up and had to abandon the conversation. It's two hours before tip off and I am already having to fight back tears, this is going to be a long day. Luckily waiting at the ceremony was the antidote to my tears: the wedding coordinator. Since this person is also Carly's Aunt I will spare the tirade and only say that the phrase "I want to stab her in the throat with this plastic fork!" was heard more then a time or two. The ceremony was held overlooking the harbor in Softball Park (I really should know the name of this place but I don't so word association will have to do) and was beautiful. Jesse was swaying like an old Muhammad Ali doing kareokee but he made it through 3 sermons like a champ.

Being a part of Jesse's wedding was huge for me. The enormity of the whole event is more then I can put words to because Jesse that special to me. There is a line in the Toad song "Brother" that fleshes it out a bit. This will get a little mushy and I apologize for that but my boy got freaking married so deal with it, anyway this is the lyric:

so much has changed and so much has happened these years
but still I find that you
are waiting here
we have a bond that nothing can change
and still I find
a peace of mind whenever I hear your name

There was Barcelona Bar-B-Que for the reception though the aforementioned wedding coordinator saw too it that I didn't get too eat much of that. After the wedding all of the parents of us boys (kyle, aaron, adam, mark, james, and jesse) met for Coffee to congratulate themselves on getting all of their sons married off. It was a bizzaro Jane Austen moment that was just as beautiful to watch as the wedding was. Around that table were the people that had shaped our lives the most. Not just our own parents but our friends parents as well. It seemed like they should have presented with plaques or some other token of our appreciation but I know that their kids around that table was token enough. It was a thick moment, rich with the flavor of jobs well done. If any of you are reading this, Thank you! you did well, you did very well.

Sunday found us waking up at the camp to pack up to leave. More time with Family and friends was icing on a wonderful cake and I as sit here a day later remembering and writing I am acutely aware of the special people in my life. Congratulations Jesse and Carly, thank you for allowing the rest of us to participate in your love, and thank you for shining the light on the love that lead both of you there. I love you guys.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Friends even more then family

For the past week Kate, Finn and I have been lucky enough to have my two aunts here with us. My mom's sister and my dad's sister hopped on a plane in Portland, OR and came to visit, teach, and play. That seems rare to me, would anyone else's family do something like that? Well they did and it was a great time. We snuck into the garden where Kate and I were married, toured Union station and snuck into a train car room, drove to Parke County to take in some Covered Bridges and eat great fudge. They baby sat Finn and paid for Kate and I to go out to dinner. Usually you have to pay your babysitters but these ladies had a different economy. Through it all I realized that I really liked hanging out with my Aunts. There was a lot of laughter through out the week and some great tips for cooking a roast. Thank you Aunt Brigade, you made our week. You are both such amazing, strong women and I love you as much for being family as I do for being my friends.

A helping hand starts with a question

This happens to me a good number of times, enough to cause me to think about it for a second. While trying to do something I thought was helpful I ended up offending, or at least mildly annoying. I think I am getting to the bottom of this though. The key lies in the "Something I thought..." So many times I will see what I think is a need and then formulate how I can help with that. Now there are many times when I get it right but too often to be ignored now are the times when I don't. I guess the obvious solutions to just ask what I can do but how often do we really know what would help, or even admit we need any help. I need to take that chance more often though. You know what they say "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Friday, October 13, 2006

Finn Loves Aunt Brigade

On Monday Afternoon of this week my Aunt Jamie and Aunt Bum arrived from Oregon for the week. The only sisters of both my mom (Jamie) and my dad (Bum) riding into town on Aunt Brigade. It has been such a wonderful week so far and I couldn't be happier that I am off of work for this time. On Tuesday it was mine and Kate's 2 year anniversary as well as Aunt Jamie's 37*th birthday. We decided that birthdays come before anniversaries so we made dinner and a cake and celebrated Jamie's day first. On Wednesday we explored the downtown mall and showed Aunt Bum where Kate and I got married at the White River Gardens. There was a back gate open and very nice woman let us peak in without paying once she heard I was married there and My Aunts were visiting from Oregon. Finn was shockingly short on Camo outfits so Aunt Brigade fixed that and decked him out in some pants, socks, and shirts. In the little camo pants there was a surprise in each pocket for our dinner that night. Kate and I got to go out to a fancy restaurant for dinner and an even fancier one for dessert with the money found in the camo. I think I'm coming around to their point of view on the camo. Finn, like Kate and I, has been spoiled these past couple of days by Aunt Brigade. He has been a little sick but they have taken such great care of him. Poor guy is in for a sad week next week when it's just me and him again. We are going to go check out some sights downtown today and meet up with Kate who is getting photographed for a possible inclusion in the December issue of Indianapolis Monthly Magazine. I think everybody should have an Aunt Brigade.

* Even though she has a 32 year old son, my cousin, I think this number is still correct.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Day Three - The rhythm of things

Finn is in his swing struggling to get free of the lose blanket around his arms. The ticking of the swing like a metronome is lulling both him and I but he is fighting it with all his little strength. There seems to be a rhythm to the day that I find myself dancing to almost unconsciously. Drop off Kate eat-play-sleep, have lunch with Kate eat-play-sleep, go get Kate from work eat-play-sleep. There is a rhythm to moving around the house while he sleeps too. Grabbing something in one room and bringing it to another and then grabbing something there that goes somewhere else. It almost seems choreographed and I am following the foot prints on the floor.

Some things I learned yesterday:

* Turn off the ringer in the living room if Finn is sleeping up there. The phone rings and he wakes very angry.

* Finn will eat a 9 ounce bottle if you let him but he doesn't need too.

* Just because I just changed his diaper doesn't mean that the horrendous smell in the library is not Finn. He can reload quickly.

* Making a bubble beard for Finn in the bath is fun for me and for him.

* Finn loves to play with the baby in the mirror. He thinks that kid adorable! (picture above)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Day Two - settling in

Finn is asleep in his swing and has been for an hour and a half. I have a warm bottle for him when he wakes up having learned from yesterday. I waited to warm the bottle until after he woke up and he was an angry elf. That boy likes a little snack when he wakes up or else he is going to vocalize his frustration. I met Kate for lunch yesterday and brought Finn up to her office to show him off. Finn was smiling and flirting with each and every person that came up. That kid knows how to work a room, especially a room of ladies. He had the turn and smile, the eyebrow raise, and the "I'm so happy I might just poop" face going yesterday and he was mixing them up Greg Maddux in his prime. Once we came home he slept for a couple of hours and finished a couple of things around the house. There is a new economy of time with Finn that I have to get used to. You need to get everything ready to go before you feed him or else you lose a good 45 minutes. It's also easier to get things done outside of the house, like the library or post office, then it is to do things around the house. That is something I'm going to need to get better at, but luckily for me I have two great teachers coming next week. The elf is starting to stir so I better bring him his bottle.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Apple Picking

Kate's Sister Meg is down from the great Northern Twin Cities and we went apple picking this past weekend. It was a fun time of watching Kate and Meg nail each other with apples and listening to Heather teach Finn the difference between Assonance and alliteration. That boy is going to be wicked smart when those McGrail girls get done with him. I imagine Heather taking Finn for a weekend and having him come home quoting Graham Green and correcting my grammar. We loaded up the RV and went to Stuckey Farm, where we went two years ago to pick apples for the center pieces at our reception. There are a couple more pictures up on Flickr.

Day one - Stay at Home Dad

If you haven't heard already I am no longer gainfully employed. I turned in my two weeks notice on Wednesday and through a series of bizarre circumstances I was asked not to come back into the office. I still get paid for the two weeks I just don't need to come in. It was a shrewd but good decision made by the company that could not have worked out better for me. Kate started work this morning and we were going to have to juggle some child care for two weeks. Now I am home with Finn, getting paid for it for at least a week and a half, and enjoying every second so far.

Before Finn was even born Kate and I talked about staying home vs. working and which of us would do which. I wanted to stay home with Finn and do odd jobs on the side, while Kate wanted the interaction of the workplace. We didn't know when and how that would materialize but the past week Kate got a call from the company she temped for before Finn was born. The moved offices to downtown Indy, about 1/2 a mile from our house, and wanted Kate to come back.

I know that it is going to be hard being home with Finn. There will be loneliness, boredom, a vacillating sense of self worth and more. I think I am as ready as I can be for that. I know that it will be harder then I could imagine and easier then I thought depending on the day. I'll have to learn to raise a child, manage a household, shop for groceries, cook........ I'm ready to learn though, I'm ready for this new job, this new challenge. Today I am ready for it, ask me again in two weeks when I am no longer being paid for it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Late Night trip to Wally World

Towards the end of my 1-9 PM shift I got a call from Kate. She was having dinner with her parents up in Cicero and was still not feeling well so she wanted to stay up at her parents house instead of driving the hour back home. Since her parents house is just as far away as home I drove up there after I got off. Finn had been crabby for the later part of the evening but was asleep when I got there and after watching the 11 PM Sports Center I called it a night as well. I heard Finn wake up and Kate get up to feed him but feel back asleep. It seemed minutes later when I heard Finn awake again. Kate said this was the third time he has awoken and could I get him this time. I turned a lamp on and Finn was grinning at me wide awake. I was so tired and wanted to sleep but he was such a happy baby I quickly dissolved into a cooing, babbling dork. I started to change Finn's diaper and saw there wasn't a clean one in the Crib diaper holder. I asked Kate where the diaper bag was and after climbing up stairs to get it I saw there wasn't a diaper in there either. This whole time Finn is giggling and kicking his arms as if this is the funniest thing he has seen in his four months of life. His current diaper is soaked so it has to come off and I grab a wash cloth and fashion it into a crude diaper held into place by his onesie and load Finn into the Car seat and head out to find 24 hour place at 3:45 AM. Finn is talking away in the back of the car until the heat kicks in and he falls asleep. There was nothing in Cicero so we headed South to Noblesville and the Wal-Mart Super Center. My personal decision to not shop at Wal-Mart was now put to a huge test. I have no idea where another place open at this hour will be so I say forget principles I'm tired. There is a certain class of wierdos shopping at Wally World at 4 in the morning and I got the chance to chat with one of them while waiting in the one checkout line. She told me about her husky son and how his metabolism is not the same as his older brother. She had about 6 outfits picked out for him and some shampoo. I wanted to ask her why these items were necessary at this hour but I just nodded and smiled. Finn was awake again and happy as could be. He flirted with the checkout lady, lifting his eyebrows as he smiled at her and I thought she might give the diapers to me for free. I took Finn into the bathroom and took off his wash cloth, that was wet already, and put a fresh diaper on him. He fell asleep again on the ride back to Kate's parents and I left him in his car seat sleeping as I climbed back into bed. It was almost 5 at his time and Finn would be up for good in another 3 hours. As I write this he is napping peacefully in his swing, the rhythm of the swinging creaking out his control over me. And tired as I am I love it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It is officially Fall

I had my first Starbucks pumpkin spice latte of the season and it was just as tasty as I remembered. Kate and I are in a "no spending mode" right now so there hasn't been many luxury items in the last couple of months for either of us. Yesterday in the mail I received my whopping $5 check from Pine Cone research for the monthly survey I fill out for them. (This last one was on beer, I tried to get them to send me samples on that but they wouldn't. Sure I get the samples on toothpaste but not the beer, what a rip off.) Anyway I took my big check to the bank and cashed it for Lincoln. Abe and I drove over to one of the six Starbucks close to my work and I traded him for a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte. The air had a chill in it and the wind seemed to whistle through the door as I left with my frothy beverage in hand. There was something right and true about that beverage and this day, and as I sipped my first taste I was transformed. Gone was the weariness of work and the coming cold. I think I smiled as I sipped the coffee. Smiled like a little nancy boy with new ballet shoes. I can't even wait for the peppermint mocha that comes in November.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Let's watch those hands Finn!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pleasant Street Dinners

Our friends the Beelers had this idea to have folks in the neighborhood share a dinner once a week and have it rotate between each of the families involved. There are 7 families with 24 people total. The first dinner was last night at the Beelers house and it was fab-u-lous. We had corn chowder, cesar salad, and Carrot cake for desert. There were kids as far as the eye could see and tagging in and out of parents taking turns eating or talking and watching the kids. We sat out on the porch and watched the day fade as kids rode bikes and played kitty cats. I am nervous for the time when it's our turn to make the food but I'm looking forward to the next one quite a bit. The idea is that you don't have to stay if you don't want to, bring your tupper ware and grab some food to go where ever you need to be, but for one night of the week, for 6 out of 7 weeks you don't have to worry about dinner. Well done Beelers, agree with Ben G on this, "best idea ever!"

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Shakespeare on the porch

Last night in the Near North side of Indianapolis there was a little culture on New Jersey street. With full wine glasses and plates of cheese and grapes we read through A Midsummer's Night Dream. I wasn't sure what to expect when I got the invitation but it was a lot of fun. From the Hillbilly Puck to the suicidal Hermia everyone added their own little touch to their characters. Bottom was played flawlessly by Kipp and even the small part of Fairy stood out with the signing of Elizabeth. I read the role of Lysander and in less then 3 hours we had finished the play. It was a lot of fun and such a beautiful night on the front porch.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Long time, No post

Sorry for the huge gap in posts for the two of you that still read this blog. For the last three weeks I have been working 1-9 PM and sometimes 11AM-9PM. It is our busy time of the year here and work has been brutal. The mornings are spent with Kate and Finn. Sometimes I will take Finn so Kate can take care of some errands. During the FIBA Championships my new neighbors J&T recorded the the games and Finn and I would go over there and have coffee and some basketball. Once I get home from work I am pretty fried from the emotional draining work day and not really in the mood to write anything. So here is a quick recap of the past couple of weeks:

Crazy busy at work starting August 21. During the Weekend of the 25 and 26th we had Fab 4 Less in Fountain Square. Kate and I had volunteered for that but there was an abundance of helpers so we just hung out at friends houses on the street. That Sunday we went to Kate's parents to spend the day on the lake with some friends from the hood. Great day of swimming and some great kabobs. On Labor Day weekend we went to Minnesota to visit Kate's Sister Meg and her husband Mike. We helped them unpack at their new home and also got to spend some time with some High school friends of Kate's ( including the illustrious A). Finn has been growing like crazy and is pretty cool. For those of you far away I don't want to make you feel worse but is as cute as they come. He laughs now, especially when you try to kiss his neck. If you put your finger in front of his mouth he will start talking so you can make the wah wah wah wah wah sound. Actually right now while your reading do this too. Take your finger and tap against your mouth as you say Ahhhhhhhh. Now picture my little cute man Finn doing this. It is hundred times cuter and funnier than that. He smiles at everyone, cashiers, construction workers, the hateful neighbor across the street, anyone. This weekend Finn and Kate are in Iowa visiting Grandma Weezie. They drove out with Tom leaving me at home to work.

Well that is all the news, I will get in here more often and get some new pictures up as well. Thanks you Kendra and Debbie for still reading this, if anyone else stumbles upon it thank you as well.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Oh by the way......

I don't know if I mentioned this or not but I have a son. His name is Finn. Just thought I would bring that up in case you weren't aware. Yeah that's him to the left, my son, Finn.

Yeah I got the memo, I just don't care

I think I have career ADD. I don’t know if there is such a thing but if so I might have it. Tough to be sure about these sort of things though, you don’t want to just go around self diagnosing serious illnesses like this. I am caught between wanting to stand out and do great job, being the best at not only my job but filling the cracks in other areas of the department as well and doing enough to be just OK. I seem to fluctuate between the two with increasing frequency lately. I just had to do a self evaluation for my yearly review and I found the whole process mildly amusing. I found out that it doesn’t matter what I say in this review or what my managers say either since I already received my small raise, which was decided upon at the budget meeting the year before. Without any monetary value to this process I’m really not interested. Also I found out that the scores on the reviews are essentially predetermined. There are 4 possible ratings you can get in each of the categories. SE – exceeds expectation, FM – fully met, AQ – acceptable with qualification, and LA – less then acceptable. Turns out that the powers that be will not accept any more then 2 SEs no matter what the manager puts. So the raise is predetermined before the year starts, and the scores are predetermined before the review starts all that is left is the fancy words that they write in each of the sections. I’m not interested in nice words, it might be the Ritalin talking here but that my backside has had all the smoke blown that it can handle. Really there is no benefit to being great, the only benefit is in not sucking so bad that you get AQs or LAs. Yet even knowing that I still find myself trying to really make a difference. That pesky career ADD comes up out of no where and I’m filling out my TPS reports in button downs and slacks. I need a higher dose Dr., the current prescription is just not cutting it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mates and States

With Kate and Finn in Texas I have a lot of time on my hands and instead of doing something productive I have edited these pictures with the states that Kate, Finn, and I have visited. To the Left is Kate's map. Below is Finn's and mine is the last.

I'm kinda sad tonight

Kate and Finn are in Texas visiting her grandma and grandpa and knocking out Finn's 11 state in 10 weeks. That has to be a record, where can we look this up. Anyway I am missing them a bunch tonight, not just them though, my parents are in SB having a BBQ with old friends and I wish I was there. Or I wish I was in AZ with my brother and our friends there. Or I wish there was something going on here but between vacations and theses writing nobody is around to do anything. So alone I sit in the living room, having watched a movie where the guy gets the girl, playing games on the computer and missing the people I love.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A letter to my boy

Dear Finn,

Last night you laughed for the first time. It wasn't just a smile, you have been doing that for a couple of weeks now, no this was a laugh from deep in your gut. You made your mommies night with that laugh and made me joyful to the point of tears for hearing it, and jealous to the point of tears for not being the one to see it. We were in Southern Kentucky, on our way home from a weekend of visiting Auntie Em and Uncle Logan in Tennessee. It was getting dark and we were stopping for dinner at Cracker Barrel because we had a gift card there and no money for anything else. We were feeling tired and poor and little sorry for ourselves and then you laughed. Then you laughed again and we were spry and rich. You made our night Finn, you did what nothing else good have done for us at that moment. The thing is you have been doing that a lot lately. Earlier that day we had lunch with Logan's parents and you smiled and flirted with Logan's mom and then went to sleep when our food came. Sweet, beautiful, angelic, such a good baby. We hear it over and over when we are with you and it never gets old. You are such an amazing little one Finn. You have already brought healing and joy, seen 10 states, and caused an international stir on Wall Street at the tender age of 9 weeks. I can't wait to see what else you have in store, while I enjoy each and every new moment with you. You laughed last night Finn and once again reoriented my world in a few seconds. Thank you. I love you. I'm so proud of you.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Last night we watched us some TV at home and then later with friends and the two shows we watched I really liked. It wasn't sports, or some cop drama with brief nudity but rather a show about dancing and another abour Fashion Design. When Mark and Kendra were here visiting Finn Kendra got Kate hooked on the show So You Think You Can Dance. Well fast forward a couple of weeks and now I am really enjoying the show too. I know the names of the dancers and their speciality, I watch in agonizing anticipation as Ivan the Hip Hop Dancer tries his hand at Contemporary (a noble effort but not good). Living with Kendra for a year had an interesting effect on me. I remember Jesse, Mark, and I going to the movies to watch some fruity dance movie and not wanting to admit that we all kinda liked it. Now I will admit that I really like a dance show. The afore mentioned Ivan will probably be voted out this week because people are much tougher on Hip hop dancers struggling in other genres then they are with Contemporary dancers struggling with Hip hop.

The other show of the night was Project Runway and that is just great TV. From Tim Gunn imploring the designers to "Make it work" to the lovely Heidi Klum this is an entertaining show, especially while drinking tasty Woo Woo cocktails. I thought that if I watched 3 hours of TV a week it would be a basketball game, or at least Sports of some kind, but my life now is dance and fashion. I am becoming more and more like Mark everyday.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Adventures and worry

Kate and Finn are on their way to New Jersey today and I am a little worried about them. I know they are OK and all but it's not easy working while they are off on their adventure. While I work and worry you should read this.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Morning with Finn

During the week I think about the chance to sleep in once the weekend comes. It is the yearning for things like sleep and time with family that help the week to pass. Now that there is a Finn here sleeping in is not what I think it's going to be. I did sleep later then I would if I was working by 30 minutes but I also went to bed 2 hours later then I would have if I was working so she don't add up. This morning Kate got a call from her dad to come finish up the week long process of getting our cars registered and insured. That left me with a wide awake and very happy Finn for the morning. We chatted about the Vegas and Orlando summer league, I agree with Finn that the Long Beach Summer League is a joke with only 4 pro teams involved, and had a contest to see who could make the silliest face. He always gets me with the one the picture up on the right. We then went to the living room so he could nap while swinging and I could check up on my corner of the internet. Nap finished Finn woke up unhappy with the temperature of the room and told me as much. We clothed him up and walked to the neighbors to take in the morning humidity. We are now back at home waiting for mom to come home and a bottle to warm. Finn is back in the swing patiently waiting for the afore mentioned bottle. It is odd how the idea of sleeping in helps me get through a work week when the real joy is morning like this with my boy. I guess I hope for the small and glory in the divine.

Friday, July 07, 2006

All things grow, all things grow

Each evening I participate in an exercise of making the city bigger. The larger the buildings become the closer I am to home and to Finn and to Kate, my Kate. When I walk out the door of my office the thoughts of work and the day are left on that doorstep and I immediately start thinking about how many stops, turns, cars, miles it is until I get home. I thought the anticipation to see Finn would be the biggest tug but it is not, it is still Kate. I think that is probably selfish more then anything, she chose me, Finn didn’t. Finn doesn’t even recognize who I am. He knows my voice for sure but not me. By the time he has a choice in the matter he will already have grown accustomed to me. But Kate knew me and still made the choice. As I get to the exit and I can no longer see the tops of the buildings without straining, my heart and foot are heavy with anticipation. I get to see my beautiful soon, to grab her and kiss her and hold her and hear her voice confirm for me that I am home.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

One Month and all is well

Finn had his One month Dr. visit today and here is what we found:

  • He weighs 11 pounds 4 ounces
  • He is 22 1/2 inches tall
  • He won't get Hepatitis B any time soon
  • He eats a bunch and that is why he is gassy and cries hysterically some times at night
  • The fact that he is gaining weight is a good sign that he isn't sick (Kyle concurred on this diagnosis and will have sage advice like this on his new website

It is always good to know that your kids are healthy and that things that you are seeing and hearing are completely normal. Next appointment has a lot of shots coming his way, daddy might not be there for that one.

New clubs, same old swing

I got a little bonus at work and with a little of that money I bought a starter set of Golf clubs. I have a couple of bags of clubs but they are older then I am and I wanted to get something with not as much rust. Yesterday I got my first chance to go out golfing with my new clubs and it was a rough start. First I went to the driving range to get a feel for the sticks and every shot was a wicked slice to the right. Kate gave me a couple of tips “Arms straight back, not like a baseball bat!” “Butt down like your sitting on a stool” which helped and I was off to the course. We had a foursome of my father in law Tommy, his neighbor Bill, Andy who we picked up at the course, and myself.

The first hole I teed off last and promptly forgot all of Kate’s advice and sent a screamer into the parking lot. I took a drop and had a good enough second shot to be up with the rest. The next hole was an equally bad drive and I wanted to cry. What the hell was I doing here with these guys, I suck at golf and I am just holding them back. They wish I would do the proper thing and fake an injury so they didn’t have to suffer through my horrendous hacking. At one point Bill told me I had the swing of a professional, a professional basketball player. Good Times! After sucking it up for the first 4 holes I finally got a leg up on the mental game and just said screw it, “You suck, so what, just have fun and try to get better.” From there on I started hitting the ball a lot better. I followed a short drive to the right with a 200 yard second shot to the green with a makeable putt for birdy. I limp wrested the putt and finished with a Par and then put the ball back where it was and sunk the same putt.

Meanwhile as I was getting a bit better everyone else was playing surprisingly bad. I was the worst one out there for sure but not by far. Bill is a good golfer that suffered from rust but knew how to talk the game. He would say things like “Let go of it wind!” when you sliced it, or “Looks like your dancing” when you got to the green. He made our fourth, Andy feel at home by saying something apropos one each of his drives. Andy was a 6-4, early 40’s black man with an African accent. He had a cart while the three others of us walked and he would speed ahead to find each of our balls. After 4 hours and an 18th hole at twilight we left the course tired and happy. It was a fine way to spend and evening and there were plenty of great shots to look back on fondly.

Monday, July 03, 2006

8 AM bottle rockets

It seems it is tradition for the Gnome household to shoot off bottle rockets in the early mornings through out the July 4th holiday season. People complain every year, like I did this morning, but it is their right to do it. Wars were fought so we could shoot off our boom booms when ever the hell we want to. When I think of my grand father in WW II or my dad in Vietnam I know that was in the corner of their mind, an unalienable truth that they were fighting for: the right to make loud noises early in the morning to show we love this country. I mistakenly thought that if I pointed out that each time one of those bottle rockets explodes over my house my month old son jumps and starts to cry that they would move to the back yard. I am never one to impede anyone's right to their early morning rituals, I was just wondering if we could move the festivities 40 feet away. Well I was lectured on rights and told that I should call the police if I didn't like it. It was actually just one of the Gnomes, Richard, that was angry with me for trying to stifle his boom boom joy. Chris the kid and Terry the one who did such a marvelous job mowing our lawn when the mower broke seemed to think moving to the back yard was not too much to ask. It seems they are all afraid of Richard though and so stood their ground, only Chris looking at me with an apologetic nod to Finn who was in my arms. I reached out a hand to Chris and gave him a slap-shake-lean gangsta shake and told him we were cool. I knew this was out of his hands and wanted to let him know I understood. As I walked back across the street he shot of his last two and told Richard he was done. Richard came out and shot of some more to prove his point but stopped after that and went in the house. I want to be mad at him but he is so obviously ravaged by alcoholism that it is hard. I told him he was a good man as I left, partly because I believed it and partly because I hoped it.

Her first miracle was tonight

It's 1 am on Sunday night, or Monday morning depending on how you count it, and Finn has just gotten to sleep. He was super worked up tonight for some reason and would not calm down to eat. My saint of a wife tried to feed him as he screamed and then thought to use a bottle. That calmed him down enough so she could go from the bottle straight to the source. Kate really is amazing with Finn. She continues to sooth him and laugh with him even when he is screaming for what seems to be no apparent reason. Those times are very seldom and we know that we have had a very nice and mellow time of things so far.

Monday, June 26, 2006

House Update: Back Porch

Here is what we have done with the back porch. We need to prime and paint it but other then that it is finished. My dad and brother did the lions share of the work and the finished product is more then Kate and I had hoped for. I think the bathroom is on deck now and upstairs is in the hole.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bath Time

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

House Update: Garage

This past week I was off of work to spend some time with my new son, my family, and work on a couple of projects at home. The first one we did was run power to our garage so that we can hook up the garage door opener and install some motion lights to keep the bad guys at bay. First we had to dig a trench from the back of the house to the garage so Mark did that. Then we had to thread the PVC pipes with cabling to protect it from the elements so Mark did that as well. Next we wired up a couple of outlets and lights in the garage which I supervised but Mark did entirely. Last we hooked up some lights on the outside, and by we I of course mean Mark did it. After it was all said and done Mark called up his boss in AZ and asked what a job like that would cost if they were billing it. Suffice to say I’m glad that I don’t live in AZ and that Mark is my brother because I don’t have an extra Grand laying around to do a job like this.

It was really cool watching the whole process. It is quite a simple job when watching Mark do it and he told my neighbor Jerry and I stories the whole time he was working. I will get pictures of the job up later tonight.

They are hard to find

He loves bellies
He loves bellies,
originally uploaded by gylcol.
I dropped Mark and Kendra off at the airport this morning for the second time in 12 hours. There was typical bad mid-west weather in Chicago that delayed their flight for 6 hours. They chose to take the early flight this morning instead of laying over in Chi town. They were here visiting Finn and helping with the house for the past week and it was so great having them here. I often miss my brother at specific times (basketball games, when I hear a certain song) but last night when I dropped him at the airport I had a deep sadness. Seeing Mark with my son and my friends, watching him work on the garage wiring it up, and seeing the way him and my dad worked on our back porch, moving in a poetic rhythm, made me miss him deeply even before he left. He is wonderful man and I wish he lived here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I've changed, my life is just a reflection

“Your life is going to change!” You here that over and over again as people find out that your having a baby. They all mean different things by it but usually don’t elaborate much. There comes a point where you get tired of hearing that phrase, not because you don’t believe it, but because it just seems so vague and charged at the same time. Well I have noticed a hundred different ways in which my life has changed already, and I agree with John when he says:

Before Cosette was born, I had way too many people tell me that a kid would change my world. I’m still not sure that’s true. Maybe I’ll think differently later, but right now I could really care less about the ways Cosette might restrict my freedom or time or energy. I don’t think my world has changed, but rather that Cosette has changed me.

I can see the changes in me in the way I drive. Coming home from the hospital was a slow steady operation in deliberate movements. But I think the biggest change was played out this morning as I set my alarm for 6 AM so I could have time with my boy in the morning before going to work. On my best days I get up 20 minutes before I have to leave and at worst I am up seconds before I leave the house. This morning though I woke at the alarm and started to get ready so that I could grab Finn and hold him. Kate fed him while I got dressed and then she handed him off to me so she could shower and eat herself. Finn and I read the paper, we skipped the whole mass murder part, cover to cover. He seemed to think the new luxury boxes at the Field House were silly but he likes the chances of some young ball players in the draft today.

The point is I’m changing. I’m different because of Finn. As great as my friends are they don’t hold a candle to sitting on the porch with my boy in my arms and Kate sitting next to me, staring out at the neighborhood. I know that will change sometime but I’m excited to see that change as well. Finn has me ready for change, he has me anxious to see what today brings and tomorrow holds.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

4 days gone

It is day 4 of life for my little Finn and right now he is crying hysterically as the nurse is getting some of his blood for tests. She is here on a home visit to check up and Kate and Finn and the last thing she has to do is get 5 drops of blood for some test. I am in the room next door fighting the urge to yell at her to stop and demand that she leave my house and never come back. I know she is being as gentle as she can and it can't be fun to go around and make babies cry like that. He has already stopped crying now that she is done and is finding solace in mommies breasts.

The latest crying not with standing we are doing very well at home. Kate is so great with Finn and can sit and watch him for hours with the same blissful smile on her face. The feedings are going well and Finn has been getting himself to sleep after eating so that Kate and I get really nice 2-3 hour sections of sleep through the night. When it is time to feed Kate wakes me up to get Finn and get him ready. She then feeds him and passes him back to me to soothe him a little, change his diaper, and get him burritoed up and back in his basket. I don't get the incredible experience that Kate gets when feeding him but I am getting my time to bond and to take care of my son as well. It is such an amazing experience to come into a room and say something to him and watch his head turn toward me because he recognizes my voice. I want to pick him up and squeeze him when he does that.

Right now he is wrapped up and in my arms as I type this out with one hand. He is staring up at me wondering what I could be doing that is better then watching him, you know what he's right, I gotta go.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A wink and a Smile

We are now home from the hospital and doing well. Kate is up and moving more and more and Finn is cuter then words on this page could do justice. Thank you all so much for your congratulations and kind words. We felt so much love reading all of your messages and Finn wanted to give you a little wink to say thanks him self.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

and then there were three

His name is Finn Michael Rohl and he was born at 9:41 Wednesday May 31. He is 8lbs 11ozs, is 21 inches long and I cut the his cord. Me, the one that faints getting a flu shot or gets dizy when Mark talks about his surfing accident. I watched him come out, I cut his cord, and cried in amazment at my wife's strength, my sons beauty, and my incredible good fortune. His name is Finn Michael Rohl and I love him so much.

Baby Update

A Quick update for those of you interested:

We Got to the Hospital at 6 AM, got into a room at 7:30, and got the party started at 9:30 with the first dose of Plutocin (sp?) at 9:45. Kate went until 5:30 PM with a contraction every other minute until they got to frequent for her to handle and got an epidural. She is now resting and laughing with her parents, her sister Heather, and me. She is 6 CM dialated as of 7:45 PM and she has great feeling in her legs and looks beautiful still. More to come..........

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The night before

This is my beautiful the night before our 6 AM induction appointment. Kate is 1.5 CM dilated as of 3:30 PM Tuesday May 30. That means that some time tomorrow or Thursday our son will be here. Pray for us if that is what you do, think about us if it isn't. We are excited and scared, ready and unprepared. I have been in a glass case of emotion since our Dr. told us we were ready. I'm going to be a dad, soon, and I'm going to be a good dad too.

NCAA Championship here I come

Sunday afternoon Kate and I were at the Indy 500 with her Dad and his co-workers. We got a call Friday night asking if we wanted to go. Now I’m not a car guy, let a lone a race car guy but getting a chance to see one of the premier sporting events is something I like to do. It was hot on Friday and going to be hotter on Sunday so I was sure that Kate wouldn’t want to go sit in the baking sun with 300,000 other people for 4 hours but I thought I would ask anyway. Not only did she want to go she was excited.

Tom picked us up at 9:30 and we made our way across town to the Brickyard. Traffic was brutal for the last 5 miles but we had a great parking spot two blocks from the track. We loaded up coolers of water and beer and hoofed in with the throngs of people. We were on Corner 1, 16 rows up. Kate got light headed just before the race started so we walked down behind the stands to this shaded grassy hill and sat down. She had some water and some food and sent me back to the seat to catch the start. It was amazing! When the cars came around that corner at 215 MPH I could feel it reverberate through my whole body. I jumped up and cheered with the rest of the folks caught up in the pomp and circumstance. I went back down with Kate and ate some lunch with her and then she came back up feeling much better.

The finish to the race was incredible and as we started to make our way out I thought about the sporting event I have seen since moving here to Indy:

The Indy 500
20 basketball games (including Reggie Miller’s last game)
5 Football games (including the devastating playoff lose to Pittsburg)
1 Dodger game in Cincinnati
2 Minor league baseball
1 minor league Hockey

A nice run by any standard, marrying Kate was the best sports fan decision I have ever made.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

With the diagonal stripes you can't even tell

Seriously, How Hot is this?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

New Subscribe Feature

I know a number of you have signed up with the brilliant BenC and his email that lets you know when this blog is updated but I have also added an email update of my own. It is located on the right hand side under the previous posts. This feed will give you the text of the post in an email so that those of you that are behind a curtain of web monitoring can still get any updates that you might want. I realize that it is incredibly arrogant to post this but there is a baby coming and those pictures could end up here, you don't want to miss that do you?

A little give and take

So at today’s appointment Kate is having Minor contractions. So minor in fact that she is unaware of them all together. We will go in on Tuesday for the Dr. to check if she is dilated at all, she didn’t check today. The baby is testing well on his NST though he was a little slow to wake up this morning. So to reset the timeline if Kate is dilated at all on Tuesday we schedule an induction for around Thursday of next week. If she isn’t then we will check again on June 6th and regardless of where she is in the process we will set up a time to check into the hospital. So we are looking at either June 1st or June 8th as the check in time.

That means we have to make sure we have the hospital bag ready to go. We have PJs and robe for Kate and a change of clothes for me. There is a Baby boy sack to bring the little dude home in and various toques, shirts and blankets. For massages we have a tennis ball and lavender lotion. I’m not sure what else is in that bag but for those of you who have been through this what should we make sure is in there that we might not think of?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Thank you AZ family!

This afternoon I got to go to Best Buy armed with a small plastic card that equaled a little more then a digital camera, a case, a 512 Mb flash card, and extra batteries all because some dear friends and family got together and turned their hard earned money into a little plastic card for me. So now we have a camera to post pictures of stuff like the baby's room and Kate's belly. (those are the two most requested things) There are some pictures up on Flickr but when the baby comes most of the baby pictures are going to be labled for friends and family only so you will need to create a free logon at Flickr and let me know what it is so I can add you. Until that time please enjoy these photos of the baby room Kate put together for Finn (that's what I call him)

Just some Male

Kate had her appointment this morning and I tagged along for moral support. I saw how they did the Fetal Non-stress Test and watched as our sons heart beat increased and decreased as he moved. Then our Dr. came in and talked to Kate, not us, just Kate. I know that Kate is the focus of this whole thing but “I don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal. I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” There was even a time when talking about the drugs used to induce labor when the Dr. said the same thing is produced by the Male’s semen without even a glance in my direction. Seriously she couldn’t have at least given me a wink or something. It was like she was making sure not to offend Kate by inferring that I might be that “Male”, making sure that she kept the options open just incase I wasn’t really the father.

Even with the complete lack of acknowledging my presence it was a cool appointment. She talked about who would be in the room when the baby was born and when she said “I will put him right up on your chest when he comes out” I almost started sobbing like Kyle when American Idol ends each year. The emotion snuck up on me and bravely fought it back so as not to lose respect in front of the Dr. that hates me anyway. There are a lot of things lately that have that effect. I start to think about things like the car seat or music that I want to play for him and tears well up. It is sudden and powerful, and I know that the closer we get the harder it is going to be to fight it back.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Rambling but informative

Kate has been having a hard time getting and staying asleep yesterday. She wakes up really tense and unable to get back to sleep. She will often go take a bath and that helps a bit. It is odd to wake up in the morning with Kate's wet hair in my face when we both went to bed and her hair was dry. So far she hasn't woke me up but I would hope that if she did I would help out by giving a back rub but I don't know. I'm kinda selfish when I'm sleeping and I might just put my hand on her back and fall back to sleep. I have read that this is Kate's body getting her ready for the baby to come and so I know that soon Kate's body will be getting me ready by waking me up. We have another appointment tomorrow to see if the baby still raises his heart rate when they poke him and to see if Kate is dilated at all. Kate says I have to use the right words like dilated instead of the term Ripe. But the Dr. is the one that came up with the word ripe not me so I don't see why she is so upset with me. I guess since it is her body I'm talking about I should just do what she says and not argue. Any way we will see how Kate is doing and what the time line is if we can. My guess is nothing will have changed and they will say see you next week. Kate has been taking her blood and checking her Keytones (see honey I know how to say it, it's just more fun making up words like "Tetons" to watch you laugh at me) and the numbers are good. Last night Kate had a Brawt with a bun, potato salad, and two brownies. Definitely not on the Diabetic diet and her number was still well below the target. We are not sure why her body wasn't processing sugars a month ago but now it seems to be breaking them down just fine. Our Dr. says it's because of the adjusted diet but Mandy says she probably doesn't really have diabetes. Either way she is doing well but the baby is really really big. For the last three weeks Kate's weight hasn't changed but the baby is getting large. Kate thinks he's 10 pounds right now but he's probably around 8 pounds at the moment. Well this was a disjointed rambling post but at least it was full of good information right? Word is there is a birthday gift coming that may or may not equal a digital camera. If so you might see some pictures of the bitchin baby room and Kate in all her belly beauty. Fingers crossed

Friday, May 19, 2006

It's Fantastic!

Seriously how sweet are these playoffs this year. From the emergence of Bron-Bron to the fighting in Miami, these games have been close and hard fought. I got Punked by the Lakers in the first round. They made me think they could win that series when they went up 3 to 1 and came home for game six. Then Ashton came out hamming it up and laughing while pointing to the cameras. You got, I got Punked! If you ever loved the NBA and left because of the selfish play of the last 6 or so years these playoffs are your invitation back. Stars like Nash, Lebron, Chauncy, and Brand remind you why you loved basketball. Steer clear of Miami games though, watch the west coast games and that Cleveland-Detroit series. It has been very hard for me these playoffs not getting to watch many of the games. We don't have cable so I read the games more then anything. Even reading them seems different this year. I think we will look back on these playoffs as being among the best of all time. There are still many games to play before that can be decided but I like what I see (read) so far. NBA action.........It's FANNNNNTASTIC!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

2 maybe 3 weeks

Kate had an appointment today to see if she was "ripe" enough to start inducing her. She is at 37 weeks right now and the baby is getting ready to come out one way or the other. He sometimes looks like he is going to come straight out the center of her stomach. She wasn't ripe enough I guess so they will check again on Monday morning. It really is coming down to it, and it should be any day now. I have included a picture of me holding John and Tonya's baby girl Cosette just so you can picture what a great dad I'm going to be. She was squirming and crying at me but she was still so damn cute while crying that I didn't mind.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gmail is the new I love you

My wife is not technologically challenged or anything she just doesn’t care. A computer online in the living room with a connection to the outside world goes completely unnoticed and untouched for days at a time, so this morning when I saw “Kate Says” on my gmail box I felt a giddy rush of joy. I couldn’t even move the mouse to click on it fast enough as I wondered what would compel Kate to cast off her techno-indifference and slum it a little bit in my world. Baby Beeler that’s what. Our friends checked into the hospital last night, 2 weeks past their due date, to have the baby persuaded to come out. “How now, Tubal! what news from Genoa?" Kate asked. While chatting away with Kate on this wonderful medium I was struck byt just how differently Kate and I view the computer. The idea that Kate could have a conversation with me with a few simple clicks and doesn’t is almost impossible to understand. It is easy, and fast, and easy. But Kate does not see it that way. Not that she thinks it difficult, she doesn’t think about it. If she wants to talk she calls, she doesn’t get in front of the computer, the computer never even enters her though process. It is funny how “I love you” sometimes sounds like keys tapping on a keyboard that doesn’t mean anything to you, but does to the person on the other end.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

It's the little things sometimes

One of the biggest differences between my great job in Santa Barbara and the dumb one here in Indy is illustrated well in the birthday card. When I was in SB and a card went around everyone dropped a line or two in there. Some were funny, some were heartfelt, some were cheesy but the effort was made to personalize. Here when a card goes around everyone just signs there name and passes it on. The don’t need to know who the card is for or to take some time to think about it they just sign their name and get back to the mindless tasks before them.

There are so many big things that separate good companies from bad ones but sometimes it is these small things that get to you because they sneak past your defenses. This morning I am really missing Softshare and the folks there. I miss Esse and his machine gun sounds. I miss commiserating over Laker Losses with Len, and talking baseball with Troy and BenO. I miss the cards that meant something and people that you cared about. I miss being excited to come into work.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

There must be more then this

"Are you looking for a spiritual encounter or a spiritual family?" That is the question that was presented to us last Wednesday at our New Deal leadership meeting. Good question I think but I didn't have an answer that night. After ruminating on it for a week I think I might be closer to an answer. At first I thought that a spiritual family was what I wanted most out of church but more and more I am seeing that for me that is not true. I love the connection and the intimacy but I want an encounter more. The two go hand in hand for the most part and elements of both lead into each other like a tightly woven rug, but if I had to choose, if I was forced I want to see God, I want the encounter with something bigger, something other.

This is actually kind of a surprise for me because what drew me to the church we are at now was the community, the family aspect. Friendship blossomed out of shared pain and joy. Connections were forged through common struggles and successes and the makings of a family started solidifying right before our eyes. Kate and I went from strangers in a strange land to friends, family, locals. The thing is the people we are close to and care about do not go to the same church we do, some of them wouldn't go to church even if they held the local wrestling matches there. The spiritual family aspect comes from something bigger then the church that we attend, it is life shared together come what may.

So this morning while playing basketball I thought about the question with each pick and pop. Every dribble was a question and response, rapid fire, in my head, every shot was a test of theories. I lost all three games but I left happy and lose. Feeling like I was learning something, coming to some new realizations inside. I'm not sure what to do about the New Deal but I like the questions that are bouncing around.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I've had questions without answers

I am not enjoying church at all and I don't want to go anymore. There I said it. Now maybe this cloudy malaise will get caught in another jet stream and blow away from me. Probably not though, I think it is my storm to weather at the moment. This isn't what I thought Church would look like for me.

For the past couple of months I have been looking forward to church the way I looked forward to dentist visits as a little kid. I knew I had to go but I couldn't think of the reason why. Don't get me wrong I am still a Christian, I completely believe in the tenants of Christian faith if not the way they have been lived out over the years. I see the value of Church service and the institution of the Church but sometimes it all seems so boring to me. Kate and I are part of Church Plant from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in downtown Indy called New Deal. I like the idea of this plant but the realization of that idea just seems to be the same old thing. Being a child of the Vineyard this whole Presbyterian thing is very different for me. Most of the time I am scanning through my bulletin trying to see how many minutes are left until I can leave without raising any eyebrows.

I'm not sure how to reconcile the idea (which I like) with the practice ( I don't like) just yet and most the time I feel like I am being selfish or that I am looking for something akin to a momentary high like Lenin's opiate for the masses. Other times I feel like I longing for something that I know others are longing for as well.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Birthday Bar-b-que

This past thursday was my 32 birthday and it was a great time in the square. Kate invited over a bunch of our friends and we grilled burgers and brawts in the back yard. There were kids running around, pregnant ladies galore, and some tasty Gin and tonic provided by Carrie and Nathan that went over really well. There are more pictures here.