Thursday, April 27, 2006

there was this game...

that lasted all day and would not end. It is called the "Stop doing that!" game. I'm sure all of you parents of toddlers, those who know people with toddlers, or those who have had the little angels at some point in your life know the game I'm talking about. It can also be called the:

"Please don't poke your sister in the face!", game.

Or the, "How many times do I have to say no jumping off the couch?", game.

This game can also be named the "Hey, don't stick your hand in the toilet when you pee!", game. This was my favorite one of the day.

It is also known as the "If you stare at the sun it will hurt your eyes", game. Which he quickly responded, "But I'm just looking at it. Stop telling me not to look at it!" Smart play. He turned the game around on me in a matter of seconds. I didn't even see it coming.

I'll bet my parents are reading this and laughing about how I am raising myself. I have my doubts, though. I'm pretty sure I was never this good. But, I guess he is learning from me so I had better be careful. I don't want to give away all of my secrets too soon!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

just last week...

a friend of mine, Scott, told me about his new website. It's called SELF by Self (there's a link over there>) and is for artists of all kinds to submit a self-portrait. It can be in paint, pencil, crayon, photograph, digital format, marker, dirt, blood, or whatever you think makes a good self-portrait. Personally, I would not go for the blood format, but I'm sure someone out there will.

I've been thinking about how to do a self-portrait without looking stupid! I'm sure most of you have taken your own picture before, arm extended holding the camera with one hand and a goofy looking grin on your face. Usually these pictures have another person in them and they almost never come out good. A straight up the nostrils or half of a face missing is a normal shot. I guess I'll use a tripod and have a photo shoot with myself. The thought of that is a little vain and creepy, but it is supposed to be a self-portrait. Having somebody else take the photo would be cheating. Plus, if I open up the windows and put on some good dance music for the shoot, I might be able to freak out my neighbors!

Or I could just use this one from 1979:

I know you are all thinking, "Wow! Why isn't that in a museum somewhere?"

Because it's in a much more important place, Coan's room.

To be fair so is his mamma's.

And you thought mine was good?

It's going to be hard to come up with something better than Crayola Stickboy from 1979, but I'm going to try. I encourage all of you out there with any artistic abilities to do the same. You can go to the website for more information. Maybe you will be famous someday and your self-portrait will hang in a museum!

Or maybe it will hang on a wall in your kid's room.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I bought some goldfish...

for my son's new fish tank. His Crawdaddy & Mitzi (they live in Louisiana) used to have a ton of fish! He would breed them for the local pet shops for store credit... so he could buy more he could breed them...and get more store he could buy more he could breed them...OK, I'm getting dizzy.

When Coan had surgery earlier this year (hernias, ouch!) there were these HUGE fish tanks full of goldfish at Children's Hospital. He stood there and watched them, amazed at how many there were. Soon after that I mentioned that I wanted to get him a fish tank since he really enjoyed the ones at the hospital. Crawdaddy had an extra 10 gallon tank and supplies in his garage, so we brought it back on our last visit.

After getting the tank all set up with water running for the time required, Coan and I made the trip to Petsmart for the goldfish! They are apparently good at "seasoning" the tank and they don't cost much. We got a Mommy fish, a Daddy fish, and 4 baby fishes! The perfect pet fish family. It's been 3 weeks since we started the tank with the 6 happy little swimmers.

And then there was one.

The winner is......Daddy fish!! I was told to expect 2-3 of them to ride the great tidy bowl wave into everlasting eternity while the tank water adjusted. I should have known better. I had a fish tank when I was in high school that I managed to somehow turn into a fish graveyard. I finally gave up when I took the tank to college and came home from my sister's wedding to find beer cans in it. I still don't know what happened to the fish. My roommates probably ate them because they ran out of couch cushion change and couldn't buy any Taco Bell. I would not have thought of them as sushi, but maybe that's how they do it in Lubbock.

Hopefully Daddy fish will make it so I don't have to drain the tank and start all over.

there was a guy in Texas...

who decided (with the help of his loving wife) that he was going to quit his job, stay home with the kids, and start an eBay business! Well, actually there was only one kid at the time and he's now almost 3 years old. If you've ever been at home with a 3 year old you know how EXCITING it can be! The newest addition to the family is our beautiful I-can't-do-anything-wrong-because-you-are-my-daddy-and-I-have-you-wrapped-around-my-cute-little-piggy girl, Julia. We'll get to her later.

I'm starting this blog after being inspired by a friend's blog. She's a very creative writer and her stories make me laugh. She has a little boy who does some funny stuff. I've always enjoyed writing but have not done any in a LONG time. I thought this would also be a great way to chronicle the past for my kids to read someday, or use it against them if they ever get out of line!

"Hey Coan, remember the time when you ran around with your diaper on your head screaming? Where's that photo I took? I'll bet your girlfriend will love to see it!"

First let's play catch-up on the past. I was always a part time stay-at-home dad. As most of you know, child care costs are through the roof! We decided to put Coan in part time when he was a baby to save money and so I could work half the day. After about a year of that I found out I could replace my part time income selling on eBay and not pay for child care. I had been selling a few things for my neighbors on commission, but realized my time was better well spent selling for myself instead.

It took awhile to get past the feeling that I had somehow robbed my wife of being a stay-at-home mom because my job was not enough to support the family. She told me that I shouldn't feel that way so I got over it eventually. She has a good paying job with good insurance and has now gone back to school for her Master's Degree in business. She was always a much better student than I was. I spent many years taking classes here and there trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I really love photography. I took one class a couple of years ago but postponed the degree work until Stephanie was done with hers. We only had time for one of us to go and I put my bet on her to finish first!

Studying photography is something I've been able to do outside of a classroom. I use my spare time reading and learning about photography, practicing shots with different subjects and lighting, etc. I will admit that most of the time the subjects are my kiddos. I'm a sucker for them and kids are really fun and easy to photograph! I do get to practice many product shots for my eBay business, but there is not much glamour or excitement in that so I'll spare you the details.

I'll post some of my favorite photos along with the blog adventures. Like this one:

This was taken with my Dad's camera out the window of a rental van at a resort in Nevada.

Now that the past is out of the way, let's move on. Where do you start when describing a 3 year-old boy? Well, Coan is very funny, smart, determined, intense, independent, loves sports (mainly golf right now), hates veggies, and plays hard! When I first started staying home with him full time I had doubts about whether or not I should have quit working at the bank. After a few weeks we settled into a routine together and I forgot all about the jobs I used to have. This was going to be the most challenging (and rewarding) job of my life! Once I had been whizzed on, pooped on, barfed on, screamed at in decibels normally saved for fire engines, then smiled at not seconds later, I realized that I was a lucky dad. Poop and all. He is the best son this dad could have and I couldn't be more proud of him...until he steals my car 12 years from now. I've already accepted that this will happen because of the whole "what comes around goes around" theory. It's the truth and I'm ready for it. Besides, if he does steal my car, I'll just show this photo to his friends and he probably wouldn't do it again.

I know it's a minivan, but I look cool in it!

So, that brings us to the beautiful girl, Julia. What can I say? She's absolutely perfect and beautiful like her Mama. Somebody up there has rewarded me with a wonderful family. I better make sure not to screw it up! I'll start by peeking in on Julia to see how her nap is going.

I told you I'm a sucker.