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My Youngest Turns 4

1 Mar

The day started this morning very much like how it started 4 years ago: I rolled over in bed to find my youngest son Dodge curled up asleep on my wife’s chest.  Today is his birthday and he still smells new.  The day Dodge was born I swaddled him up, took him to Kate, and we showered him with kisses in the delivery room.  Later, I laid down with him on a couch and we napped together while Kate recuperated.  This morning, we laid in bed together as Kate finished getting ready for work and I marveled at how much he had grown…seemingly overnight.

20130301-163926.jpgDodge has been and still is a kid who knows what he wants and will do what it takes to get it.  He’s stubborn like that.  He knows he’s cute and he bats his eyelashes, uses his baby voice, and nuzzles you to get candy and cuddles.  Sweets rule as his favorite but grapes and peas are a close second.  He is genuinely cuddly.  Seriously, I have never met a kid that likes to cuddle as much as Dodge.  He loves music…I mean LOVES music.  He begs to have the radio turned up in the car, loves music class with my mom, and plays on his many pianos during playtime.  He also sings, still very quietly, but there’s an entertainer blossoming in him.  He loves to dance…in fact he invented a thing called “hand-dances” for when he’s in the car or doesn’t have enough room to jump around.  He has freckles on his face that make him look like he’s always smiling…but then again, he’s always smiling or making a silly face.  He toots a lot.  Sometimes he just toots a few times in a row when he walking…constant supply of gas back there which Kate says is proof he’s my son.  He’s caring, you can see he cares for others around him and plays very well with his friends and family.  He gives AMAZING back rubs!  He does this thing where he kneels on your back and scooches back and forth using his weight for leverage.  It’s amazing.  He has block feet like mine, eyes that light up a room, a voice as sweet as honey, hair that tickles his forehead, and is so full of love it might kill you from sweetness.  Last year he asked on the way to a wedding if there would be love.  Kate and I told him yes and he replied, “Oh good…I LOVE love.”  He loves love.  What more could you want in life?

20170226_161250As I finished getting ready for work this morning he stood at the bottom of the stairs with a box of cookies in his arms to take to his class.  He called up to me, “Dada, I’m going to go sit down on the couch next to the cookies.”  I said “okay” and didn’t realize what he meant.  He meant that he wanted to gently place the cookies down and make sure they were comfy and then sit next to them like a friend.  When I came downstairs and saw him talking to the box of cookies, hugging them, and tickling them I almost cried with delight.  He then said, “I’m going to carry the cookies so they don’t get scared and they can sit next to me in the car.”  I agreed.  He talked to the cookies the whole drive to school and even sang to them as we listened to one of his favorite songs on the radio.  He carefully carried them inside to his class.  Then, one of his classmates came running up to him and took the box.  He got visibly upset and I thought for sure he was going to cry…but instead he went over to this little girl and said, “Shhhhh…the cookies are sleeping.”  She handed them back to him and he carefully placed them on the table where I can only assume they were devoured moments later.

Tonight we will have a dance party because that’s what Dodge wants to do.  He doesn’t want to go bowling, or go to an arcade, or do anything like that…he just wants to dance with good music.  He didn’t ask for anything gift-wise other than love and a cake.  He is like no other kid I have ever met…

…and I’m so glad he’s mine.  Happy birthday D-Man.  Boom-boom.


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Lice To The Max!

12 Feb

Max has lice.  Show of hands…who just got the creepy crawlies up their neck.  Yeah.  There are bug living in my 5-year old’s hair…and laying eggs.  When you put it like that, it’s friggin disgusting.  However, according to the CDC “an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.”  That means, and this is my own stupid math, about 25% of kids under the age of 10 will get lice…or 1 in 4 kids if you prefer to think of it that way.  Max has come home from school before with that note telling parents that someone at school has lice and we should take precautions.  Well…today, that’s my kid.  Your kid gets the note because my kid has the bugs!

Great.

Lice CombInstead of going to work, my wife and I got to get that weird lice shampoo and a lice comb from the pharmacy and got to work preening him.  I made the executive decision we were buzzing Max’s head.  He had been intentionally growing it out and it looked cool…but it smelled since he hates to wash his hair and we battle him on it every night at bath time or when I make him shower with me.  He said he didn’t want to do it and so I backed off.  Its his hair.  His hair with tiny bugs crawling along his scalp and laying eggs.  Gah!!!  Creepy crawlies for me.  Lice has nothing to do with being dirty, having unclean hair, or coming from an unclean home so I actually congratulated him for having such clean hair that the lice wanted to make it their home.  Then I asked him if he wanted them to stay for a while, get itchier, and not be able to go to activities -OR- buzz his head and make them move out much faster.  He thought about this long and hard.  He was leaning towards the buzz cut but he hates clippers.

You’ll look like Isaac.” Said Kate, referring to one of his best friends.

Buzz it!” Max said, and I did.

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Now he looks older than he did before and considerably more Midwestern.  This is Kansas, where the buzz cut still roams freely among the prairie unaffected by the styles & trends of major cities.  Seriously Kansas, I’ve lived here 7 years and I’m getting fed up with the buzz cuts and brown shoes.  Spice it up a bit!

Lice_0Kate volunteered to stay home with the boys so I could go to work.  I went about my morning and dammit if I couldn’t stop scratching my head and checking the mirror.  Ghost lice.  Are you itching right now?  Imagining those tiny dirt-like bugs crawling along your scalp?  Laying those white eggs that stick to your hair?  Itching.  Scratching.  But most of all…the feeling that something is MOVING along your scalp!!!  Yeah, you’ re welcome.

All hair from the buzz cut was contained and is getting tossed.  All sheets, stuffed animals, clothes, etc. are getting washed in hot water.  Everything is getting vacuumed.  Dodge (my 2-year old) is getting the lice shampoo as well.  So is Kate.  So am I.  My mom, dad and I survived my sister having lice for weeks when I was little…Kate, dodge and I will survive this as well.  Lice only live for 1-2 days after falling off a person’s head…so we can kick this thing over the weekend or so!  The list of things to avoid are:

  • Avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities
  • Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair ribbons, or barrettes.
  • Do not share combs, brushes, or towels. Disinfest combs and brushes used by an infested person by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
  • Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person.
  • Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that an infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry-cleaned OR sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.
  • Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay. However, spending much time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.
  • Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

What has me worried is Max took a nap in my bed the other day.  Getting the creepy crawlies again.  Pleeeeeeease let this be confined to my son.  First sign of itching I’m shaving my head…like, bald shaving.  Its just hair…it’ll grow back.  I’m buzzing Dodge tonight too I think.  Kate does not want a buzz.  I have brown shoes…at last I’ll finally fit in out here in the Midwest…

…and it’s all thanks to lice!

Special lice shampoo & Max's new buzz cut

Special lice shampoo & Max’s new buzz cut

Dodge getting lice shampoo...just in case.

Dodge getting lice shampoo…just in case.

Dealing with lice in your home?  Here are some helpful links:

lice-penny

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What a Toddler is Thankful For

23 Nov

This week at school the teachers asked Dodge (my 2 year-old) what he was thankful for.  I didn’t make the list.  His words, verbatim, were…

“um… pigs… and my bed, my blanket, space shuttles and Mommy.”

Dodge Gates

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My Two-Year Old Has Surgery

7 Oct

Today my two-year old, Dodge, has surgery for an inguinal hernia.  I know it is a common surgery, but I hate the idea this little guy being under anesthesia and feeling pain.  He’s my little snuggler.  Please keep him in your thoughts today…he’s tough as nails and has sharp elbows!

Screenshot_2015-10-05-10-44-17

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Back To School

17 Aug

While putting in 10-14 hour days at the office isn’t my definition of a “fun time,” I do appreciate the fact that it is a change of scenery that affords me perspective on family, parenthood, and my children (2 and 4) I might not get if I were home all day with the boys.  My wife Kate, however, spent the summer home with them…and we agree they are gremlins.  Adorable, sweet, loving, terrifying gremlins.  They have grown up so much and are sooooo sweet!  But don’t turn your back on them…they’ll eat you alive and they always travel as a pair.  I’m not sure if we fed them after midnight, maybe they were exposed to bright lights, and we definitely got them wet since we spent the summer at the pool…but whatever mogwai was left in them has turned to full-on terrifying gremlin as they decimate the small town of Kingston Falls that is Kate’s and my sanity.

We have looked forward to today for a while, Kate more than me.  Today is the first day of school!  For both the boys and Kate.  Everyone is out of the house!!!  We took those gremlins to get haircuts yesterday, bought them school supplies, drenched them in soap, polished them up and…tada!  Cute little boys again!  So please, help me congratulate my wife Kate…she survived the summer and didn’t go crazy despite the constant barrage of…

“Ma! Mama! Ma! Mama! Maaaaaa! Mamaaaaa! Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! Maaaaaaaaa…!”

“WHAT?”

“Watch me!”

<sigh>

School’s back bitches…and I know one Mama who’s stoked to be back at the head of a college classroom.

BackToSchool

Dodge & Max heading to their first day of school, Fall 2015

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