February 28, 2012

The Year of Amazing: Resolutions Update

Back in January I made a big stink (you know, the kind that's so relentless that it actually impresses your wife) about how 2012 was going to be an amazing year, and I set forth a list of challenging goals. We are nearly two months into the year of amazing, and I thought it'd be a good idea to update everyone on my progress (plus, calling myself out publicly adds a little pressure to get it done). 

So here is my Resolutions Update:

1. I am going to lose 20 pounds.
So far I've lost 5.5 LBS, which is a nice start considering Frito-Lay keeps discounting Doritos in every grocery store within a 75-mile radius of my house. It's a cruel game. Well played, Frito-Lay. Well played.

2. I am going to run a half marathon. 
I ran my first 5k a few weeks ago and my legs didn't fall off. I also learned that my stride falls in perfect rhythm with the Simple Plan classic, "You Suck at Love" (thank goodness my stride doesn't fall in line with this song). I have a 10k scheduled for this weekend. And it will all culminate on May 6, when I plan to be one of the most celebrated Cinderella stories at the big dance this year (The Flying Pig Marathon). To show their support, my girls even made me these armbands for me to wear when I run (see above). They made my heart melt. I will treasure them forever, and will always remember them as my resolution armbands.

3. I am going to take part in a flash mob. 
I'm still looking for more Dads to participate in this one. If I can't get enough Dads, I'm going to open it up to everyone because I'd rather do it than not do it. I promise this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It will also be quite awesome. Click here to contact me if you're interested no matter who you are.

4. I am going to find a way so that all three of my kids can sit on my lap at the same time and get a photo with all three of them smiling at the same time AND with all our eyes open. 
I'm convinced this is impossible. 

5. I am going to read my kids The Little Prince. 
We are on Chapter 4. We'd be further along except that some people who visit frequently keep my children up past their bedtime. I don't want to call these people out publicly, so, to hide their true identities, I will give them silly aliases, like Nonni and Poppi.

6. I am going to beat Andy Uhl in Scrabble. 
I keep trying to challenge him, but he keeps running from me. Is it because he's exhausted from chasing after his two 21-month-old twin boys and nearly 4-year-old daughter every day? Unlikely. Is it because he's providing web coding for his wife's amazing mom blog? I doubt it. Is it because he's training for this upcoming softball season? Perhaps. Is it because he knows that I know that "Qi" is a word and will drop it on him like a hammer? Well, Andy Uhl, here's what you need to know.

7. I am going to get rid of my blue sleeping pants that sport a giant hole in the crotch (much to the chagrin of my wife, I'm sure). 
Mission accomplished. I can only hope that they are now safely in Sleeping Pants Heaven, where there are other long-forgotten sleeping pants to mingle with.

8. I am going to pitch a Life of Dad book to agents and put myself out there. 
The proposal is finished. One sample chapter written (with a few others started). Now comes the hard part. Wish me luck.

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February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Stress in 6 Easy Steps

Valentine's Day used to be an easy, predictable process handled in 6 steps:

  1. Forget it was Valentine's Day.
  2. Panic because I didn't get my wife anything.
  3. Offer to make it up to her by walking around the house shirtless for the evening.
  4. Offer to never walk around the house shirtless for the evening ever again.
  5. Clean the house as much as possible, doing little things she's been asking me to do for weeks1 like replace the light bulb in the basement or replace the light bulb in the basement or, seriously, replace the light bulb in the basement.
  6. Rub her feet and not complain while we watch "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood."

Now that we have kids, Valentine's Day is a little less predictable, but still plays out in roughly 6 steps:

  1. Pick out Valentine's Day cards for kids to sign and hand out to classmates, teachers, cousins, friends and Santa Claus (doesn't hurt to get in good with him early in the year).
  2. Argue over who gets to use the cards with Tinkerbell on them and who has to use the ones with the "other fairies" on them.
  3. Leave room to get a drink, come back and all cards are magically gone. Find out they have been "hidden" in a very secure and secretive place.
  4. Find all Valentines shoved in mailbox.
  5. Also find gas and electric bill in mailbox. Open it. Look at cost. Become depressed.
  6. Wish it were like the olden days when I forgot about Valentine's Day.

When comparing the two, I have learned that one this is for certain: Valentine's Day induces a lot of stress. Stress about gifts, about cards, about hoping for forgiveness because you thought the card you got your significant other counted as a gift. I'm convinced the stress of Valentine's Day is 95% responsible for my receding hairline (the other 5% is credited to the Reds bullpen).

But I'm lucky and here's why:

I may not good at buying gifts and it's pretty clear that I'm a terrible foot rubber, but I am good at one thing: Being completely in love and devoted to my wife and family. My wife knows there's nothing I wouldn't do for her (except replacing the light bulb in the basement, perhaps) and she knows that I try hard every day, not just on Valentine's Day, to show her how much I care. Bringing her water at bedtime. Getting the kids washed up for dinner. Letting her stretch out on the couch comfortably while I set up shop on the floor. Not shaving so she can have a little extra time in the bathroom. Picking my nose less frequently. These are the things that you do for your Valentine, the things that really make life just a little better.

It's what I'll continue to do for the love of my life, and what I'll do for my little Valentines too. It's just what good husbands (and good dads2) do.

And, because I don't want my wife to walk away without anything special today, I will offer up this ultimate Valentine's Day gift to her that I know she'll appreciate.

I admit it: I like Tori & Dean.

1 And by "weeks" I mean "much, much longer than weeks."
2 They also threaten any boy living, dead or undead who attempts to give a Valentine's Day card to their little angel that says anything other than "Your friend, Aiden" or "I'm scared of your Dad, sincerely Pete."

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