Things You Never Thought You’d Say Before You Were A Parent #2

It’s been awhile, so it’s time for another issue of "Things You Never Thought You’d Say Before You Were A Parent."

Our first TYNTYSBYWAP involves both JSL and NHL.  JSL has this bad habit of headbutting everything and everyone in sight.  Yesterday, he and NHL were playing.  NHL was laying down on the ground.  JSL approached him and headbutted him…. in the groin.  As NHL laughed, I exclaimed "JSL, do *not* headbutt your brother’s crotch!"

Then, just today, I was changing JSL into his PJs.  While laying on the changing table, JSL decided to play telephone.  It’s one of his favorite games.  He holds something – anything – up to his ear and pretends it is a telephone.  This time, however, I had to tell him:  "JSL, your foot is *NOT* a telephone!"

Has your little one made you say something you never thought you would say before you were a parent?

WiiFit Workout: Day 2

Losing Weight and Restarting My (Wii)Workout

A few years back, my wife and I decided that we had enough of our poor eating habits.  NHL was almost one year old and I feared that he would pick up our poor eating habits.  I had tried losing weight before, but never too seriously.  We heard about Weight Watchers from a friend and got some information about the program.  After that, we designed our own weight loss routine loosely based on Weight Watchers.  It worked too.  My initial weigh-in was 255 pounds.  After one year, I lowered that to 188.5 pounds.  That’s 66.5 pounds lost in a year.

I didn’t stop there, either.  The second year, I lost an additional 10 pounds to bring me to 178.5 pounds.  Around this time, people actually began telling me that I looked too skinny.  I had never been told that in my entire life!  I dropped down as low as 173 before my weight slowly began rising again.  I found that my "ideal weight" was around 185-190.

Unfortunately, I began slacking off on watching my food intake.  My weight went up and down as I alternately fell off the wagon and got back on.  I never did reach the commitment levels of our initial effort.  In addition, my diet change was not accompanied by an increase in exercise.

Months back, though, B bought me WiiFit for the Nintendo Wii.  I faithfully followed the excercises for a few weeks, enjoying exercize for the first time.  Then, as often happens, life intervened.  I slacked off and the Wii Balance Board got pushed off to the side.  I had even bought a new yoga mat to use with my WiiFit as our floor was too hard on my back/sides, but that didn’t give me an incentive.

Then, this Sunday, I got my incentive.  During my weekly weigh in (the one part of the diet plan that I followed through on religiously), the scale read 208.5.  I didn’t want to see 210+ on that scale any more and I noticed that my suits were getting tighter.  So this week I resolved to start working out for 30 minutes per day for 4 days per week.

Yesterday, I put the WiiFit disc in the Wii and powered up the Balance Board.  After some trouble with the WiiMote batteries being too low, and the onscreen guide chastising me for being away for 163 days, I took the balance test to find out my WiiFit age.  It was 40!  (I’m only 33.)  Then I began my 30 minute workout.  I started off with Deep Breathing yoga, Warrior Pose yoga, and Lunges.  Then I moved on to Hula Hooping and Basic Step Aerobics.  Rhythm Boxing kicked my rear next.  I couldn’t dodge for my life.  After some Torso Twists, Triangle, a short Run, and Jackknives, I unlocked a new exercise: Jackknife Challenge.  I swear the trainer let me win the Jackknife Challenge, but I was not detered.  I moved onto Spinal Twist and Bridge yoga poses.  Finally, I had my 30 minutes (35, actually).

Now I’m off to do some more working out.  Well, I’m actually off to put the garbage out and *then* I’m off to work out.

Of Wandering Toddlers and Harnesses

I never thought I’d be the type of dad who’d harness his kids.  I’ll admit it.  I always used to look at kids on a leash and think “Boy, does that look demeaning.  What kind of parent would do that to their kid.”  Now I know.  The kind of a parent whose kid insists on wandering off!

Last week, JSL gave us a scare.  We were in the mall picking up some photos.  My in-laws had taken NHL with them to another store and B and I were watching JSL.  When we were done, we started walking off.  I let JSL stretch his legs and walk with us.  He did well at first, but then I saw him duck between some clothes racks.  I quickly went after him, but he was gone!  B calmly noted that the coats were moving.  There he was in the middle of the coats “playing hide and seek.”

Later that same day, as we were leaving the mall, I was getting coats on everyone.  NHL and JSL were nearly all set.  I zipped up NHL’s coat and off shot JSL away from us.  I calmly called him back, but he didn’t listen.  Then I walked after him.  He went about twenty feet down the store, turned down an aisle, looped around, and was going to go down another aisle before I caught him.  Clearly, had I not chased after him, we would have lost him completely.

NHL had always insisted on holding our hands when he began walking.  This was likely a byproduct of his hypotonia causing balance issues.  Holding our hand helped provide stabilization.  Even if he took off on his own, he wasn’t too fast so we could easily grab him.

JSL, however, is a little power walker.  Seriously, he swings his arms like he’s power-walking now.  It’s amazing the speed he can get and how silently he can slip off.  So I’m doing when I never thought I’d do and shopping for backpack harnesses.

So far, I have two in mind.  The Eddie Bauer Harnes Buddy looks interesting and is kind of cute.  On the other hand, the SafeFit Boy Backpack with Harness seems a bit more functional, if not as cute.  Any suggestions for giving a little walker the freedom to walk without letting him get lost?

The Charleston Trip, Part 6: Costume Ball and Heading Home

As I mentioned in my last post, G & L had a costume ball reception in addition to the Secret Gardens reception.  When I got back to my room after taking photos at the stables, I got into my costume and proceeded to the parking lot in front of G & L’s room.  There, the guests were arriving.  Everyone had a costume on.  Mine was Aragorn from Lord of the Rings.

After taking a few photos, I was ushered into G & L’s room.  The wedding party members were going to go separate from the regular guests so we could be introduced at the reception.  While waiting, I was handed my mask.  It was nice, but I was afraid that it would mean I’d need to remove my glasses.  Luckily, it fit over my glasses quite easily.  I’m not sure if this was planning on G & L’s part or just plain luck, but it worked nicely.  The mask had only one drawback:  No peripheral vision.  More on that later.

After waiting for awhile, we headed to the reception.  It wasn’t far.  The reception hall was at another section of Middleton Place.  We waited outside while everyone got ready.  It was nighttime and the entire place was pitch black.  Our main source of light (besides the reception hall) was a series of torches lining our path.  I glanced to one side and realized that I was dangeriously close to one of the torches.  Any closer and I’d have had to change my blog name to CrispyDad!

When it was time for us to be introduced, we all donned our masks and the band started playing the Closing Theme from Star Wars.  Yes, G chose this musical selection.  I guess L should be happy he didn’t choose Vader’s March.  It actually worked out very nicely.  The big fanfare at the end came up just as G & L entered the room.

The reception itself was great.  There was dancing, food, music, more dancing.  I even got G to do the Sher (which I mistakenly called the Horah during the dance).  This is a dance often performed at Jewish celebrations.  All of the dancers form a circle and two dancers move to the middle.  They lock arms and circle one another.  Then they break the lock, lock their other arms, and circle in the opposite direction.  One or both of the dancers then goes back to the circle and another dancer or pair of dancers moves to the middle.

G and I had danced this dance at my wedding during which time I spun him so fast that he fell down.  This isn’t as mean as it seems.  G and I have a running gag where I do something and he performs a pratfall.  If I recall correctly, he even met L when he tripped and fell onto her lap.  In any event, I decided not to repeat the G-Toss.  G had other ideas, though and intentionally broke the lock and went flying.

In a nice moment of cultural spillover, there was a Sudden Outbreak of Sher.  Everyone was doing it including an elderly Italian couple.  Due to my participation, I didn’t get any Sudden Outbreak of Sher photos, but I did get these:

I also took a video of my friend doing some rather embarassing dance moves.  Unfortunately, that came out so dark that you can’t see anything.  The blackmail qualities of the video are gone!

All too soon, I realized that I should be getting back to my room.  I had an early flight the next morning and needed to pack my things.  I said my goodbyes and some final congratulations.  Then I got a ride back to my room.  I quickly changed out of my costume, packed my things up as best I could at the time, and went to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up at 3am.  I got ready, packed up my remaining belongings, did a few sweeps of the room to make sure nothing was left behind, and then headed out.  It was pitch black outside and I was barely able to guide myself to the spot where the van was going to meet me to drive me to the airport.  At 4:30am, I met up with the van and got driven to the airport.  At 6am, my flight took off from Charleston, SC to Atlanta, Georgia.

While in Atlanta, I continued a tradition that I started on my trip down:  I picked up some postcards for NHL to add to his photo album.  (He later requested some prints from my trip and has filled up one whole photo album.)  The trip was nice and I didn’t regret not having my wife and kids there.  I missed them, of course, but I don’t think they would have enjoyed themselves as much as I did.  By the time I landed at our airport, I was itching to see my kids.  I had taken a small photo album with me with a few 4×6’s of my wife and kids.  As we neared the airport, I found myself taking out the album more and more.

After getting off the plane, I headed for the security gate where my wife, kids, and in-laws were waiting for me.  It’s a good thing my in-laws were there.  They held JSL and NHL back.  Otherwise, they would have charged past the security line to run to me.  I don’t think airport security would have appreciated that.  Once I got past the security line, though, all bets were off and I was charged by two boys who had missed their daddy.  I gave them both big hugs and we headed home.  It’s fitting that this is being posted on Thanksgiving.  While I had a blast on my trip and would love to go back there one day, I was extremely thankful to be home hugging both of my boys.

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