Ring in the New Year

I couldn’t have planned a better way to ring in the new year than spending a solid week with you. It was a week of learning, laughter and fun. Since this was officially your Christmas time with me. With a tree full of presents underneath patiently awaiting your arrival, you wasted no time in fulfilling their desire to be ripped open. We would ask you which one you wanted to open and you would tip toe around the tree as if you were on safari hunting down a lion and point to the largest package and say “that one daddy!” When I would pull each present out as you carefully picked I would ask you to shake it and try and guess what was in each. Of course each response was “Baby”.

Papa was their to enjoy the moment as well and you didn’t disappoint. On one particular present you must have flipped it over 4-5 times looking for the seam to get your little hands into. It was highly entertaining and cute as we asked you random questions pertaining to Christmas to see how you would process the question while your attention was squarely focused on finding the seem. While opening each present you would see what was pictured on the outside of the box and still guess a Baby was in each one. I thought to myself, what exactly would you have done with 9 babies if I had actually gotten them for you. As it stands you have 4 scattered throughout the house either sleeping, sitting in a stroller or outside in one of your toy cars waiting for you. I did however get you a small princess bed for one of your babies, but you immediately turned it into a sleep over party stacking baby upon baby and covering them up. At times you would tell me to “ssssssshhhhhh, Baby is sleeping or crying” which of course was adorable.

One of your 2 biggest presents was an inflatable giant jumpy, complete with exhausting 20 minute pumping up action. Once aired-up, you ran over to it and jumped for a total of 45 seconds and wanted to get out. Over the course of the week you made sure to get full use out of it, and each time made me smile because you would build up so much static electricity your hair was standing on end but you had no idea.

This week also brought a few first times for you including ice skating and the bungee trampoline. The ice skating was a painful experience for me because I realized it’s hard to skate around the rink bent over and supporting your weight as my calf’s scorched during each stride. It was worth every second though as your little fingers held my hands for support as you gazed and glided on the cold wet ice. It’s times like these when everything slows down for a few seconds and you are truly able to take in a moment that you will never forget. With 2 full laps around the ice and even sometime spent in the middle, I could tell you were ready to get off what you had called the “slippery” stuff.

Just across from the ice skating rink, 2 full size trampolines with attached poles for bungee space jumps. Of course I was a little hesitant because I didn;t know if it would be too scary for you, but you could hardly wait in line as you watched each kid before you shoot up a good 2o feet into the air. When it was finally your turn and you were getting strapped in I could see your legs start to bounce like you were saying “alright, turn this thing on!” Of course your legs were not long enough to bounce you as high as you wanted to go, but with a little assistance from the bungee operator you were overlooking the skating rink and half of the mall. Each trip up you would focus on something else you hadn’t seen. So I think I understand it now, sitting on chubby bearded guys in red suits bad, launching 20 feet into the air good. It makes perfect sense considering my logic is astray at times, good to see I passed that on as well as your good looks.

Two things really stood out to me during this Christmas/new Years break together. The first of which was I into the kitchen and noticed your plush Mickey was sitting up against the wall near the refrigerator like you had accidentally left him there. When I asked you why Mickey was there you had told me that he was in Timeout. Of course my immediate response was to laugh, but I held it in just long enough to find out why, which was of course he according to you, woke up the babies that were sleeping. It made perfect sense to me because when you would sleep, I would have gladly put anyone and anything in timeout for waking you up.

The second was a New Years photo shoot outside in one the large yards near the house. It wasn’t planned by any means, but the pictures, your outfit and the turnout ranks up there with my most favorite pictures of you to date.

Here’s to many more New Years between us and thank you Lia, for making my life complete. I love you more than you will ever know.

A New Year Brings New Stories

They say time flies when you are having fun, and it couldn’t be more true than right now in my life.  Each day seems like an hour as we slowly tick closer to the end of a decade filled with dot com busts, wars, recessions, and me a first time father.  I would have thought all the others were more likely to happen if you would have asked me in 2000.  I can’t really believe I am 35 now, nor will I accept it.

I still feel like I am in my 20’s and probably act it at times too.  No one says you ever have to grow up, and I will stay young for Lia as long as she wants me to.  I will always be there for you to give you a ride on my shoulders, and stay by your side when you are feeling under the weather to make you some chicken soup and watch a movie with.  After all the fun times we have shared together, I have to admit it’s when you lean on me when we watch T.V together, or the end of the day hug when you arms are just long enough to barely touch each shoulder that I think about when we are apart.  I also use your chair as a foot rest and smile each time I see it wondering what you are up to at that very moment.

The other day we were playing with your “Little People” castle you received for Christmas as it seems to be the home run gift thus far.  It was then I was able to see a glimpse of your imagination come into play as you seated all your guests around the table for a meal.  Of course that is before the Land before Dylan came marching into your fairy tale dream and began knocking over your dinner guests as you exclaim “No!” and push his snout away.  You then began to pick them up and re-seat them like nothing ever happened but I could see the cycle starting all over again, because I know Dylan.

You see, The heads of the “Little People” you play with are equivalent to the brain in Dylan’s noggin.  He actually thinks there is a dinner going on and wants to sniff the food on their plates although he doesn’t realize it is just a sticker on the toy table.  When I see this happening, I can’t help but just watch it happen for entertainment purposes.  It’s sort of like popping bubble wrap, addicting and entertaining.  So when he comes in again for a quick sniff he accidentally crashes the entire dinner party leaving all your guests lying on the floor with their feet up.  I think for a brief moment Dylan actually knew what was coming so he quickly got away as you started a scream that was very similar to the tornado alarms in Oklahoma.

As soon as he was out of your peripheral it was out of sight, out of mind.  Although you didn’t turn green and start smashing things, I think next time I will not let Dylan test the waters just to be on the safe side.

Due Dylangence

Let’s see… it’s been a year now since Dylan has plagued entered my life and it’s time for his annual report card. Now that he is a year old, it’s time to reflect on the damage he has done by chewed up hats, shoes and random things around the house. He has curtailed most of his damaging ways and has taken up new hobbies like watching TV, chasing squirrels, and falling asleep while giving him a bath. Of course these are things he enjoys doing when he is not at one of the 4 dog parks I take him to weekly.

I will say he is a gentle giant with children and a helluva best friend to me. He has finally grown into his paws and somewhat out of his goofy stage. Around the house he is connected to me with an invisible 5-10 leash. Although if I am anywhere near the kitchen, he is within inches of me for obvious reasons.

Now that he is fixed he is not trying to mount everything in sight, which is a huge relief because it’s hard enough trying to explain to the neighbors what he sees in a fire hydrant. He has calm down a bit and knows when to stop when he starts playing rough.

I will say that the most annoying thing about him is when he steps on your foot. It actually feels like a stack of dictionaries concentrated on one area of your toes or foot. What do you expect, he is a hefty 115 lbs now. Although it’s belated… happy birthday Dylan. And when you made your birthday wish, I truly hope it was for a smaller appetite… you’re eating me out of house and home bro.

Resting in Peace


It appears Dylan was the victim of a drunk crib accident that had a wood alcohol level of 5.3. Dylan is survived by his owner and his owner’s daughter. No funeral arrangements have been made since that money was spent on feeding him and replacing things he inadvertently broke as a 110 lb. Baby Huey. We ask that you please respect our privacy at this time and not respond to our Craigslist ad entitled “Free to a good home: Needy 4 legged garbage disposal “.

It was a somber day for me, although I heard laughter and cheering coming from the other room, most notably from my tennis shoes and the TV remotes. As you can see in the photo, it appears that it also caused swelling to “his boys”. Believe it or not they were that size even before the accident.

Dylan, Clifford same difference

As a proud father of a beautiful girl, I am also the reluctant parent of a baby brown hippo. Dylan has now surpassed the 100lb. mark. When he eats, he takes more than he can possibly chew in one bit so that the other 45 morsels fall from his mouth a few at a time with each chew. I sometimes always question his reasoning . For example, there are 150 other more comfortable places in the house to take a snooze, yet he prefers to try and sprawl out in his hamster cage.

It was a remarkable and proud moment the other day when he lifted his leg to pee for the first time instead of his sissy mini squat. Of course that proud moment was short lived as he proceeded to eat some cat poop nearby just seconds afterwards. At times I see flashes of brilliance, other times I see a four-legged Rain Man. “Course, three minutes to Dog park.” “Three minutes to Dog park.”

Sunday Sleep-in

Dylan Chair

I decided after working almost all day yesterday that I was going to forgo church this morning and “lazy day” it and sleep in a little. Just as I am slowly waking up I feel a weight on the side of my stomach that I don’t remember feeling when I went to sleep last night. Since I am facing outward and sleeping on my side I slowly roll over and realize Dylan is sleeping on his side, facing me with his paw just above my hip. It’s then that I realize that he is sort of spooning me.

I quickly jumped out of bed and exclaim “Dude!”, as I’m sure any other straight guy would do. I then begin to tell him that I don’t care if he grows up to learn the piano, wear flamboyant outfits and glasses and change his name to Elton (not that there is anything wrong with that), but I will support him regardless.

I do realize that he is only 5.5 months now, and he is learning about his body, but does he really have to mount every male dog at the dog park? I mean come on, I’m sure Ang Lee is not currently scouting talent for Broke Ridgeback Mountain. Needless to say, Dylan will now be sleeping in his blue chair; which I’m sure he will outgrow in about 10 more minutes.

Devil in disguise

Dylan Couch

Objects in picture are larger than they appear. What can only be described as pie plates next to his head are in fact his paws. Yes, this is the infamous Dylan. I was fortunate enough to capture this still image of him before the shutter snap awoke him from his slumber. Up until this picture was taken, he was sort of like a Bigfoot myth since every photo of him was a blur. He does exist as I have the dog food and horse scale receipts to prove it. Although he is only 5 months old, he is already 69 lbs. and STILL growing. Initial estimates put him at 110-125. Well my friends, we are now talking anywhere between 130-140. I’m really not worried about his size since I wanted a large Rhodesian to begin with. Also, the fact that he is very good with Lia and walks gingerly around her is great and was my biggest concern.

You see, Dylan is a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Part lion hunter, part counter surfer and part couch potato. He is as sly as a hippo, and until recently, just edged out my pet rock on intelligence. With catatonic like reflexes, he lets treats bounce of his head when thrown to him. I must say he is wising up quickly though, and has recently learned the art of distraction. For instance, he knows if he goes and grabs a shoe out of my closet, I will grab the shoe away from him, say “No!” and return it back to my closet. Now the other day, same scenario happened except I was eating some cereal and as I returned Dylan had a milk mustache and then had the audacity to lay down before I got back and acted like nothing ever happened. You see, he is getting smart..but not smart enough to realize that lapping tongues, and spoons edging around the bowl make sound, and sound travels.