Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Track Star!!

This picture has nothing to do with the following text. In fact
you can ignore my stupid grin and just get going, if you'd like.

   Living in Eugene, Oregon, AKA Track Town USA, AKA Smells Like Pot has lots of wonderful things about it. One of those not-wonderful things is the fact that there's a marathon or 5K or half-marathon for pretty much every cause and every holiday every weekend.

   So, you have to do them. They are for a good cause. They fight hunger, or you walk for a cure, or you walk for heart disease. I've never really understood why anyone would be "for" heart disease but I am sure I am missing something. You can even shuffle for a truffle, which, I'm sure is something we should all support.

   Worse, everyone you know except for you has run a marathon. I can't tell you how sickening it is to see 100 status updates one morning that say something like "Can't believe I did it! Another one off the bucket list!" or "Wow am I tired but I sure feel good. Team Beat Insomnia did it!" (there's a half-marathon to fight insomnia. It starts at 2:00 am. I am lying.) or even "Just finished a marathon and I bet my ex Jordan is still on the couch getting fatter." (Get over it, Sam, you just look sad!) These people are running marathons and you're reading about it while eating cereal because you were too lazy to make pancakes. The only thing I've knocked off my bucket list lately is "spend a whole day in your underwear," which was actually kind of awkward because I had to take out the trash. I mean, how do you expect me to do a 5K!? Don't you know that it's five thousand!!

   Wyatt, however, that kid is going to run marathons, man.

   He can run, non stop, for hours. This is not an exaggeration. He's done it after church, running in circles around the gym, he's done it at this courtyard in town where we go to eat Fro-Yo, and just today he did it around the neighborhood.

   Sometimes we go to visit our friend, Marianne. She's not home a lot, but we stop by anyways. She lives at 1933 Roosevelt Street, which is exactly 0.8 miles from our house. Marianne, who has tons of nice stuff in her living room, wasn't there today around 9:15pm during our run, but that didn't matter to Wyatt because he wanted to go "pas," which is his adorable way of saying "fast." He says it all the time. "Mon da go pas!" (Come on dad go fast!) is easily his most used phrase, distantly followed by "oh car broke" (whenever he sees my broken down Buick Grandma which is for sale by the way only $6000), and "oh no ma wor oh no" (we are sad mom is at work). He turned around and ran home, which means he ran 1.6 miles tonight. Which means I ran 1.6 miles tonight. Which means heck yeah. Here, look at the Google Mapping I made:

Google Map of the route we took.

   His first sentence he ever said was "I gon ge goo!" which, loosely translated, means "I'm going to get you!" He yells it and then runs away from me, wanting me to chase him. He literally wants nothing more than to go pas all the time. When he's not going pas, he wants his cars to go pas or his choo choos to go pas. It's an obsession on par with Ricky Bobby.

   We decided to test out this need for speed, and took him to the last All Comers Meet at Historic Hayward Field. Since you might not live in a track-and-field-and-not-deodorant crazy town like I do, an All Comer's Meet is a track meet put on for anyone and everyone who wants to. A couple even have official enough time keeping to count towards things like national meets and Olympic Trial Qualifying.

   Wyatt went, and here's what happened:

We're in the middle of the screen. Wyatt's in the yellow-orange shirt, I am kneeling behind him giving him pointers. "Okay, now, it's a 40 meter race, so don't go too hard and wait for the other kids to get tired, then sprint hard at the end! If you *accidentally* trip another kid, that's all part of racing and winning and making dad proud."

The race has just started! You can tell because Cara put her finger in the screen a little.

What's the big hurry, kid in the red?! It's just for fun and we weren't even trying to win anyways.

   Just so you all know, I wasn't even going my fastest. If I'd wanted to win in that race I totally could've. It's just that my hamstring has been bothering me a bit lately.

   Once Wyatt really understood what a race was, he wanted to do it again, over and over. We would ready-set-go a few of these for him:


   There was also a long jump that Cara filmed. Well, "filmed" probably isn't the right term. It's more like she was "out looking for sasquatch" who is always in a blurry field.


   Thanks for that glorious, one-second video of Wyatt's first-ever-athletic venture, honey!

   He had a great time, and got a participation ribbon for all three of his events!! (Long jump, 40m dash, softball throw). I am usually totally against the whole "everyone gets a trophy" mentality, but I am all for the "Wyatt always gets a ribbon" craze that is sweeping the country. It will only make him tough and strong. Besides, winning isn't everything, if you lost. If you won, well, winning is obviously all that matters.

   Without really knowing it, I've actually been preparing him for races all along. I've spent the summer building up a little obstacle course in the back yard for Wyatt. It's really not much, it just has him running some loops and climbing some things, but he likes trying to do it faster and faster. Watch!


   My intention with this was actually to work on a few things: Counting (when he does the slalom at the start), shapes (I have him run around a circle, square, or triangle and say the shape each time), putting his face in the water (he's afraid to do it when in pools), climbing and jumping (he is hesitant if there are no cushions), and running under hammocks (self explanatory). There were other things I wanted us to do, like color or make animal sounds, but he just likes the "go pas" ones, so that's what it's turned into.

   Cara's always been afraid that Wyatt will love baseball, because she finds it so boring. I've always been afraid that he'll love math, because then he'll be so boring. Now we are wondering if he's just going to be one of those runners, who just runs all the time and doesn't really know how to throw a hatchet like all the other kids. Still, we're glad he's happy going pas and having fun.

My mood: Actually quite tired from that run. My hips kind of hurt. Ugh.
Wy's mood: Not at all tired from that run.
Cara's doing: Well. Not sleeping great, but that's mostly due to the fact that I am taking up the drums.
Listening to: Third Eye Blind

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Big Announcement!!

   Yeah okay let's get this over with we're having another baby.

   I thought about mustering up some excitement and throwing down lots of my trademark double exclamation points!! and trying to build up some suspense or something, but that wasn't going to work. Let's face it: This new one isn't going to be our first one, and that means you aren't going to be as excited.
   My parents already have their first grandkid. My brother and sister already became an aunt and an uncle for the first time. Wyatt's cousins already have cousins. Now it's just more of the same old same old.

   But!! We can still make this exciting!! I'm talking about photos and updates and pinterest and fruit and all kinds of good things!! Here's what I mean.

   Spend half an hour on Pinterest (which my wife does like 6 times a day), and you'll see that pregnancy announcements and gender announcements are A HUGE DEAL. You have to let the world know how cute and artsy you are and how happy you are to be having a baby and also that you are going to be the best parents evar!! So, we've got that covered:

   These are 6 images that appeared on the first page of searching "Pregnancy Announcement" on Pinterest. Let's see what we've got:

Can't spell. Is that ring both an "o" and an "a"? Just trying way too hard here.

Whoa! I don't want to see people making out unless it's me and a steak. Also, walking around on those shoes must've been stressful.

Um, hmmm. Well, so, I guess anyone who can recognize those feet knows who this girl is and that she's pregnant. Angela?

Ah yes, the chalkboard with arrows and colors. Classic.

So, wait, boy + girl + tree = 3? I don't get the math on this one. Maybe it's boy tree girl plus sign three?

And this one!! Okay, actually that's really funny. You guys win.

   As you can see, there's a lot of pressure to pull this thing off right. People need to get excited for you and also know how wonderful you are, all at once. A while back, Cara and Wy and I were bored and decided we'd get a head start on this whole "baby announcement picture" thing. These were the results:

This is the creative process at work.

We realized people would take this the wrong way. WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?!
True story: We had a friend take these photos. The friend is actually a photographer. The friend didn't want us to use his name because he didn't want anything to do with these things. Thanks, Jake!

We figured we'd make a few with some random dates, just hoping to get the due date right. Notice we didn't put down any years or anything.

What fun we were having.

Our try at the whole mathy thing. Because there'd be four of us. I guess I forgot to add a tree in there somewhere. During this photo-shoot, someone actually walked by and said "What does that even mean? Are you having a baby or something." I politely replied with "MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS AND DON'T LET THAT DOG POOP ON MY LAWN!" (It wasn't my lawn.) (She didn't have a dog.)

It's not... you know, Cara ...  the baby's not going to be in my belly. Why are you doing this?! You know I've had body image issues ever since we were pregnant the first time around. It changes you.

What is with this belly obsession!?

Do you get it!? Cara drinks water, dad drinks whatever's in that bottle and we're not telling but it's probably just used for cooking anyways, and Wyatt LOVES milk.

Here, we gave Wyatt a bag of chips and said "spell out "I'ma big brother!" or something" and then came back a few hours later.
   So there you have it. The secret's out: Not only are we pregnant, but we aren't photogenic, clever or going to be featured on any pinterest boards.
   Now, I'm sure you have a ton of questions, so let me answer them for you.

   How did this happen?!
   That is not a question I am going to answer. This is a family blog. Well, it's a blog about a family. No, it's really a blog about a dad who needs attention. 
   Are you going to change the name of the blog?!
   To what? "My Kids Is Special!!?" That doesn't even make any sense. You should be embarassed for even suggesting that.
   You should be embarrassed that you can't spell "embarrassed" right. Those aren't my questions, Grant. I have questions like "When will-
   - "When will I get a new little plushy batman drawing for the new kid?" Great question. I probably need to update Wyatt's anyways to reflect his age and sensibilities. We don't know if the new kid is a boy or a girl yet, so the plushy image could be Link or Spider-Man if he's a boy, and Zelda or Samus if he's a girl.
   You are awful at this. At least you answered the question about the gender. When is the soon-to-be-forever-screwed-up-by-this-blog kid coming?
   The "doctor's" tell us it's coming in December, but I think I know my own body and have a good feeling about late August.
   Ugh. Are you going to find out the gender in advance?
   Probably. But not because of ultrasounds or anything. We have a neighbor who has visions about these sorts of things. He accurately predicted that Wyatt would be a boy and he'd be super cute and he'd grow up to be a rock star, so he's pretty reliable. He also knew in advance that Hillary was going to run for president.
   Ugh. How's mom doing?
   Yeah great fine who cares what else?
   Have you thought about names at all?
   Yes. If it's a boy, probably Link or Spider-Man. If it's a girl, um, can you trade those things in for boys?
   What, you don't want a baby girl?
   No no no, it's not that at all. I'd love a baby girl. I don't want a middle or high school girl. Those things are terrifying.
   Aren't you a teacher?
   Yes and if the girl's knew how scared I was of them and their drama they'd have all the control.
   Okay let's wrap this up.
   Well, I'm in charge of this blog. I ask the questions around here.
   No, seriously, I've been asking questions for like 15 minutes.
   Wait, what? Seriously?
   Yes!! That's been your whole gimmick!
   Are... are you sure that's right?
   Well, now I guess we've switched and you are asking stupid questions.
   How did you do this? Are you like a spy or something?
   You keep asking questions. And if I were a spy I obviously couldn't tell you.
   Okay. Got it. You can't tell me. I'll just have to do some digging on my own some other time. 

   I need to be moving on. I can't just sit here and entertain all day. I've got important things to do like mail a few more wedding thank-yous. Let's wrap this up.

My mood: ecstatic! Also, I can't believe any of you would read this far!!
Wyatt's mood: kind of understanding what's going on but not really!
Cara's mood: Sleeping okay these days!!
Listening to: The Shins.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Auntie Ashley Got Married, so Wy Got Dressed Up!!

I don't know if you've heard the biggest news in Eugene, but Wyatt's auntie Ashley got married!! What a perfect opportunity to dress up all adorbs!! Hope you can handle this (but you probably can't).

Just after getting dressed at home and seeing how stinkin' cute today was going to be. Don't worry, the room is very clean in the background, no need to check.

Well, this is pretty fun.

The groom and groomsmen in the background. Kirk, Wyatt's new uncle (pronounced "Kowik") gave all his groomsmen and none of his brothers-in-laws sweet longboards as presents.

Strolling to a his business-school presentation in a half an hour.

He actually found this photo-shoot setting on his own...

... and promptly struck some model poses

Holy crap this kid is cute.

No big deal, just cruisin'.

Wy on a longboard while the wedding party preens for the camera. If only we had some video of his first time trying to longboard!

Here's some video of Wyatt's first time trying to longboard:


Look out, Tony Hawk!! It's crazy that I have to mention you because no one know any other skateboarders except for maybe Kirk he might know a couple.

My mood: proud of my genes!
Wyatt's mood: working on that balance.
Listening to: Neil Diamond

Monday, June 23, 2014

I'm A Failure!!

Sure, I might seem like a good dad way back in January. It's all a mirage.

I really thought I'd be the best dad ever. It was in the cards for a while. It's pretty clear now, after 2.5 years of trying this, that I might not even be in the top three dads ever.

There are just so many things that Wyatt can't do that I thought he'd be able to do by now. Can't read, can't poop on the potty, can't count to ten without some help, can't tie his shoes, can't say "andromeda," doesn't know how long a mile is, can't do a pull up.

Ugh. That's a long and complete list of failures so far. He hasn't even been discovered by any talent agencies or booked his first commercial. Not that'd he be any good at it. He'd just stop whatever cute thing he was doing, stare at the camera and walk closer to it, and finally put his hands on the lens.

Sure, he's done some interesting things. He has started a car. The keys were already in the ignition when we were playing around, and he just grabbed and twisted them. He can unlock Cara's iPhone, navigate to the camera, and take videos or pictures. He can turn on Netflix and choose the show of his choice. He has put on his own shorts a couple times.

And he's pretty good at dancing. And picking his nose. (Two skills he gets from his dad)


I guess I have a lot to work on this summer. Now that school is out and I am home for a couple long, glorious months ever, I have some goals for the special little kid:

1) Potty trained.
2) Consistent sleep schedule
3) Eating what I make for him or nothing. None of this whining for pancakes all day like he gets when mom's at home.
4) Able to count to 10 on his own, and none of this one two pee po fi crap, either.
5) Exercise every day, and no TV as many days as possible.
6) Abs. Total 6 pack abs. Just like his dad.
7) Write at least two blog posts. (This last one was originally a goal for me, but I think he can do it!!)

That's a long list, but that's okay, because this summer will never end!! I'm telling you, guys, I just have this feeling that it's going to be July forever and school will never start again and I'll never have to go back to work but I think they'll keep paying me because September never happens.

My mood: denial
Wyatt's mood: not poopy in the potty, that's for sure!!
Listening to: Disney Soundtracks

Sunday, May 4, 2014

New Feeding Rituals!!

We've always been pretty informal when it comes to feeding Wyatt. When I say "we" I really mean "not Cara" because she actually likes to sit down at the table and have a good meal and talk and stuff. I just think we should get food in our bellies and get back to watching reruns of White Collar.

Here's a tip: when the special little kid is eating, he's going to make a mess. So, if eating outside isn't an option, just leave everything on the kitchen floor, in a bowl, as if the kid were a pet. At more advanced stages, it looks like this:

No clothes, no napkins, no carpet to ruin, just some cereal on a stool. And the dishwasher is already ready to be loaded already!

Sometimes Wyatt is eats really quiet and takes a long time. Any seasoned parent knows that silence is a very unsettling sound, but I am not a seasoned parent so I go with it. When I realize something's probably up, it's way too late. A few days ago, I gave Wy some Psgetti and then decided to use my valuable time elsewhere. When I returned, after having not supervised Wyatt eating pasta with tomato sauce for an extended period of time, well, things actually couldn't have gone much better:

Holy meatballs did I dodge a bullet. Sure, he ate almost nothing, and just played with his food the whole time, but he basically washed his dishes for me and contained the whole mess in one space. We'll attribute this to the fact that I've raised him well.

Now, you might be looking over these meals and thinking "Wow that's a lot of carbs there, Grantly, don't you think you should throw something green in there?" Funny story: I went grocery shopping, and returned from Costco with several days worth of food: chicken, bison, salmon, lasagna, pasta and pasta sauce, cereal, brownie mix, milk and cheese. After preparing a feast for the first night, Cara comes home from work, ungrateful as always, and asks "Do we have any vegetables?" I thought for a second, and then said "No. Um, buying vegetables didn't even cross my mind."

Because I'M A MAN.

My mood: hungry
Wyatt's mood: bored with his food
Listening to: The Zombies

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mobile Sandbox!!

   Whoa! This was unexpected!! I made a quick, kind-of-spontaneous trip to by some soil for our planter boxes and berry bushes, but wasn't able to lay the soil for a while. Guess what resulted?! That's right!! A giant sandbox on wheels!!

Well, it's not sand, obvs, because we aren't planting our veggies in sand, so don't freak out on me about my soil choice, but sheesh did Wyatt love playing in that dirt.

Nothing makes a man feel like a more accomplished father than having his son all dirty, smiley, and happy to play in the bed of his truck, while that man crushes Candy Crush and hums some bars of Frozen.

Who knew that spending 30-some bucks on dirt could feed our plants AND feed Wyatt's imagination?! I did, but you didn't so now you ... do ... wait...


That... that was fertilized dirt he was playing in. And then eating. And then licking me. Does that ...huh. So, I guess that means that I am still a really great dad and we shouldn't dwell on this anymore but just remember how happy he was and how awesome it was and goodbye.

My mood: not at all disgusted
Wyatt's mood: not at all clean
Listening to: not at all Frozen

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wyatt Loves The Ocean!!

He's saying "Come on, let's go play in the water!" We'd just played in the water for like an hour.

   Oh man you guys, I had no idea. I mean, we've been to the beach before, as you've seen a couple of times, but never before had Wyatt been so in love with anything. Like, ever.

   On our trip to Santa Barbara, among other places, we spent half the day at the beach. Once Wyatt realized that you could be in the water for 15 seconds and still feel your toes, he realized that the water in California is more fun than the water in Oregon. And he never wanted to leave.

He would've run straight in, as far as he could, if we'd let him.

His face was like this the whole time. Look at that cute little face!!

Just some boring sand time with no water that he frickin' adored.

Oh yeah Cara was there too. We decided to all wear collared, blue shirts.
   He laughed so hard and smiled so big the whole time!! I bet his jaw hurt!! And the whole time he was thinking "What great parents I have to bring me here and let me play!!" Because we really are great parents. I mean, just watch this video of him rolling down the teenie-tiny sand dune:


   That probably happened 15 times total. All of this sand climbing and rolling, ocean chasing and laughing is probably what lead to him falling asleep as he kept playing.

   Okokok you get it, this was great and he had fun and everyone was happy. Can we talk about something else now? Like, elephant seals?


      Cara and I were laughing so hard because that scene reminded us of our bedtime ritual.

My mood: can't sleep
Wyatt's mood can't sleep just long enough to keep me from sleeping.