Fatherhood: May 9th, 2018

Here’s a few of the things I have learned about my daughter in the few weeks since she turned two.

1: If you stub your toe and exclaim “Shit”, your two year old will constantly repeat said word at inappropriate moments, making you feel like the worst parent ever.

2: You can spend longer than ten minutes “dumping” imaginary buckets of water in the sink or bathtub.

3: Farting is just as funny to a two year old girl as it is to males of all ages.

4: Falling asleep requires clutching one of Daddy’s earlobes in between your fingers. When the Kung fu grip starts to relax, it’s time to place toddler in her bed and RUN!

5: Lastly, (for now) if you have a sore back and move stiffly in the presence of your toddler, they will parade in front of you exaggerating your motion.

Bonus: Even bald Daddies can have their hair styled by a two year old.

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Spell a Day – Feb 5th 2016

Forgiveness of self. Sometimes one of the hardest things to do in our life is forgive ourselves for decisions we made. If I have learned anything from my day job of dispatching, is that sometimes, you just have the make the best decision you can at the time, with the tools and knowledge you have at your disposal. Hindsight is always going to reveal a new plan of action, but that plan may not have been something to consider without the benefit of hindsight.  Have any of you made decisions that you came to regret later? Perhaps there is a toxic relationship (lover, friend, coworker, or relative) that you harbor guilt, anger, and/or resentment towards yourself over. Time to let go of that negativity in your life. Even if you cannot salvage the relationship in anyway (and you may not really want to) you cannot continue to beat yourself up over it. You are only harming yourself.

I use the example of my biological father. Now “sperm donor” as he has been called by my older sister and I because of his never really acting like a father figure, is a narcissistic sociopath. (Thank you Criminal Minds). Everything, every act/every word/every event, is designed to inflate his ego and self importance. Throughout my life he has popped in and I thought for sure this time would be different, that we would have a healthy father/son relationship. Each time I was crushed one way or another when he let me down. I think that is part of why I struggle sometimes to interact with my son. I am not wired very well in that respect. I have taken cues from my father in law and brother in law who are great with their kids and tried to learn to do better. I think I learn something new all the time.

I held onto a lot of anger and resentment for my father and later my stepfather that I think I have finally begun to let go of. I am far from perfect, and never will be, but at least it doesn’t send me into any sort of blind rage like it used to. I hope my children never have cause to think of me in the same light as I have pictured the ‘father figures’ I grew up watching.

Do you harbor any of these feelings of guilt, anger, or resentment from a relationship gone sour? Let it go Gentle Readers and enter the next phase of your life with a lighter heart.

Spell a Day – Feb 3rd 2016

springcleaning

Anyone else feel like this? That’s right Gentle Readers, we are on the downhill to Spring. Grab your sage oil and spearmint oil, mix those up with a little water and spritz your house to dispel the buildup of the long winter months.

I have a further complication to my cleaning efforts this year as my wife and I are expecting our second child the end of April. Going to be a big adjustment from the three of us and two dogs, to adding a newborn into the mix. We have done a lot of prepwork on the nursery. Now it is just the mental preparation. This is really happening. I have been listening to Macklemore and Lewis’s song, Growing up, every day. I think it has become my mantra so to speak. “Who am I, if I’m the person you become, if I’m still growing up.”

I’ve done a lot of soul searching, working on my temper and I think I have made some progress. I think fatherhood is going to settle me down more this time around. I cannot wait to walk out of my work in July and take 8 weeks or more off to enjoy with my newborn and my son.

Until next time Gentle Readers, don’t procrastinate your spring cleaning, or we will ahve to call it summer cleaning.

Spell a Day – Jan 22nd 2016

Good evening Gentle Readers. Well, it isn’t quite February 14th, but today’s topic is love. Specifically about drawing in the kind of love you want and your ideal partner. I guess this is so you are ready on Valentine’s day. I’ve never presumed to know if Aphrodite wants to hear our pleas for love or not, but it appears today is a day to reach out to her. Have you ever made a physical list of the qualities and traits your want your ideal partner to possess? I never was so formal about it but I knew some things I did not want.

If you make a list of what you want and what you don’t want, then you have a road map to go out and find your ideal partner that will enrich your life forever. According to the Huffington Post and New York Times, divorce rates are going down and we could soon see 2/3rds of marriages lasting the long haul, instead of the scary 50% I learned about growing up in the 90’s. This trend seems to be because of people marrying later in life (mid twenties) and that we are past the rough start to the evolution of Marriage being the Male Breadwinner and Female housewife into the more equal partnership it is for many of us, including myself.

I have a beautiful and amazing wife who is truly my best friend. Probably the best possible outcome for a complete geek like me.  I wanted to share a little poem I wrote about her on this day of trying to draw in your ideal partner.

My Wife
The love of my life
My rock, my soft place to land
My beautiful wife

Of all the cliches
I could rattle off them all
There’s one simple truth

Without her I would be lost
My world revolves around her
Her voice, her laugh, her wonderful smile
Without them I’m a ship tossed
Upon the waves of a storm’s anger
No hope, No joy, crushed on a rocky isle

Somehow she manages with my OCD
She even tolerates my oddities
She finds humor in my eccentricities
Though the how is a mystery to me

The love of my life
So smart and beautiful
My lifelong partner

Together we are
Stronger than we are apart
I know that I am

 

So how about it Gentle Readers? Do you have your ideal partner or are you still looking? Feel free to share your stories or hopes in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

Spell a Day – Jan 20th 2016

Count-Your-May-Blessings.jpg
Image from Lil’Lunas.

It is a good lesson to learn to always be mindful of the blessings in your life. Sometimes we get so hung up on the negative we forget about the good things we have. Today’s spell is about making a blessing jar. Even if you don’t believe in magick and spellcraft, this is a good idea to do.

Take a jar of any reasonable size. A quart mason jar should be sufficient. Near your jar you need to keep a pen and some sort of paper. An assortment of little colored Post-it notes would work wonderfully according to Natalie Zaman (the contributor of this spell). I have to agree, the different colors would look pretty in the jar. So, each day you need to write down something you are thankful for on the little notes. Roll or fold it up and place it in the jar. When the jar is overflowing, take them out and read them one by one to remind yourself of the blessings in your life.

Now, you can do a lot of things from here with your blessings. Recommendations include writing them all down somewhere like a journal. You can also release it into the world through a cleansing fire. I would probably end up blogging my list for all of you first, which I am sure would be terribly boring to read through.

I have a little poem to share with you all on the topic.

Blessings
My blessings abound
A wonderful home, good job
Loving family

My cup overflows with joy
Laughing with my young boy
Over the antics of his friends
I hope this never ends

I adore my beautiful wife
She truly is the love of my life
I cannot begin to count the ways
She brightens each of my days

I’m thankful each day
For the blessings in my life
Son and loving wife

Spell a Day – Jan 4th 2016

Today is a day for letting go they say. Apparently only 4 days into the year is a good time to re-evaluate your resolutions and let go of what may be causing you to abandon them already. I would think we could last longer than 4 days, right? Pay no attention that I am a week behind still on these posts.

Take a breath today and realize that there are always going to be struggles in life. There are always going to be ideals, fears, or even people holding you back. Charles R. Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.” I think those are some powerful words to think about as we move forward into the new year.

When you let others control your reactions you become a passive observer in your own life. That is no way to live. So today, make a list of what is holding you back from your dreams and goals in life. You can do this mentally, or you can even write them all down. Spell a day suggests burning them to set them free and remove the energy from your life.

I have a different philosophy on this one. Once you have your list, figure out how you are going to change those things. If it is a particularly toxic habit (smoking or over indulgence in food) do something about it. Take a class, join a support group and STICK WITH IT.

If it is a draining and monotonous job that you feel is killing your very soul, first be thankful you have a job. There are those who would like to have a soul crushing job if it at least paid the bills. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot find something fulfilling to pursue in your career and leave that job to someone else. This might take years of planning and hard work, especially if it involves going back to school for training or certifications/degrees. That is perfectly fine. You just have to find your passion and chase it. Or maybe you can leave the office behind the moment the work day is done and pursue a hobby or other pursuit that will bring joy to your life.

If it is a person or group of people in your life that are holding you back from enjoying life, then take a hint from Olaf, my second favorite snowman (Frosty is still #1) and
Olaf-let-it-go
(Image borrowed from google, they are stickers you can purchase here.)

You don’t need toxic people in your life. Even if they are “blood”, sometimes it’s better to cut ties than to let them continue to drag you down.

What do you need to let go of in your life in order to achieve your dreams in 2016? Share in the comments gentle readers. Sometimes just putting words to what is holding you back takes away its power over you.

2016 is here…

Hello Gentle Readers. I thought in the midst of everyone’s New Year Resolution posts I would just add my own commentary.

2015 was a rollercoaster mixed with a hurricane. It came and left in a hurry. My literary and blogging goals stalled out for much of the year. I did manage to put a novella into the hands of a new friend for editing. She also took a look at my first novel and found some much needed grammatical and word usage problems that have made my work better. I failed to participate in NaNoWriMo, but that’s alright. The pressure would probably make me give up anyway.

On the fatherhood front I assisted my son’s baseball team and coached football. Coaching sports when I am clearly not a sports person was an experience in learning. The kids all seemed to have fun and we made it through the season without too many problems. My family will also be welcoming a new addition sometime in late April (if all goes according to plan). The prep work on the nursery has been tiring, but in a good way. My wife and I have decided to not find out the gender until the birth. This appears to be a growing trend according to our doctor. This new chapter in my journey as a parent is overwhelming at times. As of December 31st, we had “crossed the finish line” as our doctor says. Now if there is any premature labor, the baby is viable to survive. That means my family is definitely going to have an 11year old, and a newborn. The greatest part of these doctor visits has been hearing the heartbeat of a little person I helped create. We are also far enough along that I can feel the baby move and kick.

I have become obsessed with the Mackelmore and Lewis song, Growing Up (Sloane’s Song). I usually start my drive to work with it on and it is the last song I play before I pull into the drive at night. It has been my motivation to become a better person for the sake of both of my children. This means working on my temper and getting myself in better shape. I know, everyone makes resolutions to be healthier in the new year. However, I have managed to lose just over 30 pounds in the last 6 months. My goal is another 20-30 the first 6 months of this year. This will put me lighter than I have been since junior high. I have been quite pleased with my self control because I was warned that husbands typically put on some “sympathy weight” when their wives are pregnant. I have managed to stay constant the last two months.

I am also ecstatic over the new home office I am setting up in a spare bedroom in my home. I just have a carpet remnant to put down, and a corner shelving unit to buy or build (pending approval from my wife on design) and then I can really get to work on my literary endeavors. The space will be conducive to working on any project requiring some privacy and space to spread out notes/reference materials. There is even a section where my son (and future children) can work on homework or arts/crafts, without interfering with my work.

I suppose it is time for a few goals and resolutions for the year.
1 – I want to finish the rewrite/editing of my first book so that the improved second edition can be released.
2 – I want to self pub my novella (still in the editing phase).
3 – I want to finish, edit, and self pub my the second book in my Family Heritage series this year.
4 – I would like to make some major progress on my high fantasy (think Tolkien) series. I have the skeleton of a realm, deities, antagonists/protagonists. Just have to finish plotting and then get to work fleshing out the stories. I haven’t quite figured out if it will be a series of short stories/novellas, or if each set of characters will end up in their own full blown novel. Since they will also overlap I have to make sure my outlines are complete for consistency.
5 – I plan to get myself down in weight before summer. I have at least the 20-30 to lose that I want to, so from there I will evaluate what I still can lose healthily.
6 – I want to blog at least once a week, if not more often. I will be looking for topics to discuss. As part of this I want to do at least 2 book reviews a month. I need to get a submission page setup for anyone interested in having me review their work.
7 – It would be nice to put together a book of poetry as well. I have a notebook almost full and a thumb drive with a few dozen from when I was younger. Just not sure if I have enough that would be of interest to others. The ones I have blogged here have received favorable reviews so perhaps there is potential in others as well.
8 – I want to bring down and gain a better handle on my temper. I am not a homicidal maniac, but there are times where a cooler head would be a better face to present. I have noticed my son picking up some of my habits and I hope that if I can break my cycle, I can help him to not struggle like I have.

I wish everyone else luck with their goals for 2016. This year has an extra day in it (Leap year and all). I think I am going to need it. HA HA! Until next time Gentle Readers.