September 29, 2005

Building Better Men

I had the chance to lead/teach a childbirth prep course for a group of men this evening, as part of a full course offered by the Center for the Childbearing Year (here in Ann Arbor). I had a chance meeting with the midwife that was teaching the course, and we started talking about fathering, and the importance of men in childbirth, and it lead to this. It was a great experience, and one that I hope to be able to repeat.

The participants (which turned out to be three men and the non-pregnant partner in a lesbian relationship) seemed to really enjoy the opportunity to talk with someone that had been in their shoes recently, and to take some of what I've learned and apply it to their experience. I had a great time talking with them, and I really feel like I helped to show them that they can be, and need to be, involved in the birth, and beyond. Men aren't just there to throw footballs once the babies are children, men need to be there to support their partners as they're giving birth, and they deserve to be taught how to best offer support.

I'm no super-dad, but if I can share something with these men, I'm more than happy to. They deserve the chance to be the best father that they can be, and I hope I was able to pass on some of what I've learned. Soon enough, they'll be just as experienced as I am now, and hopefully they can pass on what they've learned, and we can build a better generation of men.

Man carrying babies, men catching their children as their born, men ensuring that their pregnant partners have enough food and water to support pregnancy and breastfeeding, men that are good dads, proud to be fathers.

September 28, 2005

Pictures from the Beach

September 26, 2005


The family is back in Michigan. We had a great time in North Carolina, and I'm really glad we had the chance to spend this time together. The weather was perfect, the ocean was warm, and a fun time was had by all.

I'll get back to posting soon, and I'll get some more pictures up as soon as I can find the USB card-reader for the camera.

September 21, 2005

Pictures from the Ocean

September 16, 2005

Final Prep for Vacation

Today, we do our final preparations for vacation. I hope to post more about this later in the day, but that's on the off chance that I get time. I'm getting ready for a 14 hour drive, while Keleigh and the babies are going to be flying. It's wacky.

We also are having two Grandma visitors today, how exciting! What a great way for the kids to start their vacation.

September 13, 2005

Two Tid-Bits

Yesterday went well, and I feel pretty good about this second phase of my full-time dad duty. There were a couple things from today that I thought might be worth sharing:

"Are you peeing in my shoe?"
As you likely already know, Marion is mostly a diaper free baby. She uses the potty like a good little human, as long as her daddy remembers to watch her for signs that she needs to pee. Sometimes I miss, and sometimes she pees on the floor. Her favorite spot for these missed potty-tunities is under the dining table. It's a good spot, as it's on the hardwood, and it's pretty easy to clean up. It's also pretty easy to spot her heading that way, and to cut her off if I do see her.

Today though, I didn't recognize that she was ready to go, when she sat down on my shoe (It's just like a little potty), and proceeded to pee. That's fun, fun for the whole family. I dumped my shoe out in the sink, and took her up to the bathroom, where both of us had quite a laugh.

What's this button do?
Marion decided it would be fun to try to crawl up on Henry while he was sitting in his bouncy seat. Well, first thing she does is give him a big push in the tummy, which causes him to let out a big-ol-rocket-fart. Everyone needs a big sister.

It's Going Well

The Dad-Alone-With-Two-Kids thing is working out really well, even through day two. Henry and Marion are napping at the same time in the early afternoon, and that's letting me get everything ready for when they do wake up.

Things are good.

September 12, 2005

The Game Plan

Yesterday was the first real football Sunday of the year, and today is the first day that Keleigh goes back to work full time. These are both big events in my life, so I'm putting them together, and I'm gonna make a game plan for today.

The team:
Halfback Henry --------------------------- Middle Linebacker Marion

And then there's me, but I don't get to be in the team photo.

The plan!
If we're tired, we nap, if we're bored, we play. If we're cranky, we go outside (and/or nap). With the help of our hometown fans, we can win this game.

Feel free to call and see how we're doing today.

September 06, 2005

Building A Community

It's just a house, next to a house, next to another house. It's just people, waving as they pass by on the sidewalk, not stopping to comment about the new landscaping (or lack thereof). House, with people, next house, more people. Cars, bikes, kids, dogs, nothing to connect them. And then you start talking. It starts simply, "Wow, those flowers are great," you say, thinking that'll open things up. It does, and soon you're talking about how important it is that neighbors know each other. We can have a community, we can be more than just strangers that pass each other every day.

There are 154 (or so) homes in our subdivision, on five roads, and until I started walking around with Marion on my hip, we knew the people in 2 other homes (about 2%). Walking around with a cute toddler on your hip really gets people talking. Keleigh and I have been going to our neighbor's homes recently to talk to them about the possible development of the land surrounding our subdivision, and that's really helped us to get to know the people. We have names for 19 (over 12%) of the homes now, and I really feel like we're creating a sense of community in our little corner.

Everyone seems genuinely intersted in talking with us, not just about the development, but about their lives, and our lives, and the community. Everyone seems to say the same thing; they want to know more people in the subdivision, but they haven't met many. We would all feel more connected, safer, happier, and more like a community if we would just talk to each other.

Let's get out and build a community. Let's meet our neighbors.

September 03, 2005

Hurray for Deion Sanders

Not my favorite player in the NFL, but Deion Sanders (as well as a few other players in the NFL, and in other professional sports) have put forth a challenge to all pro sports players:

"As citizens of this country, we need to unite to help our brothers and sisters in their time of need. We must all stretch the boundaries of the giving as far as we are able to, knowing we will enrich the lives of others."

He's called for every professional athlete to give $1000 to aid in hurricane relief. In a time when it seems like every team has more and more players holding out for bigger contracts (is there really that much of a difference between $3 million a year and $4 million a year, you're freaking rich either way?!), it's great to see someone pushing the whole system to give money.

Keleigh and I have been deciding how best to offer support, and while we haven't found what we're looking for just yet, we need to get on it. I have some paypal money that needs to head south.

September 01, 2005


Another first, another day, another chance to realize that these babies aren't going to be babies for very much longer. Marion's not even a baby now, she's definatly a toddler. She can walk, she can run, she's a toddler. So the big step recenlty was Marion's first haircut. I didn't cry, as I suppose some parents might, but it was probably because haircuts are such inconsequential things to me. I'm not big on hair, so it doesn't really get to me.

I know that you're supposed to save a big chunk of the hair when you first cut it off, but we didn't really cut off that much. I mean, we saved what we could, but it was only about a half an inch, so it's not much to put in a baby book. All we have is a couple of little fluffs. Granted, we only cut some of her hair (just the bits that were bothering her, getting into her eyes), so I guess that we shouldn't expect to have much.

Now though, it's weird to look at her and to see the difference. All of the other changes in her appearance happened so gradually, but this was a shock.

She'll have hundreds of haircuts in her life, costing us (and her) thousands of dollars. She'll wear her hair long, and then cut it short to show herself that she can do it. She'll dye it brown ("It's not brown dad, it's 'blah-blah-blah'"), she'll put in some red, she'll shave it off ("GI Jane who? Who's Demi Moore?"), and she'll ask me to braid it. I look forward to it all.

And, as a special bonus, you can see one of the molars that she's working on in this picture, on the bottom right (her left)