Friday, June 27, 2008

Jen Made Me Do It


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tectonic Sleeping

Useful co-sleeping tip #8: Introduce change slowly.

When moving kids from one sleeping location to another, we did everything gradually. We started to talk to our eldest about moving into her own room months before we officially did it. She slept in there a couple times before the official switch but she still preferred the toddler bed so we didn't make a fuss. Everyone was sleeping well in our bedroom Pangaea. Suddenly, our eldest was playing with her dolls and talking about how the big kid doll was ready to sleep in her own room, so we struck while the iron was hot and she moved into her own room that night. The princess sheets which my forward-thinking wife had purchased made the change special. There have been no complaints so far, except from us.

While the eldest was ready for the change, the little one was not quite ready for the toddler bed so the change was made even more gradual for her. First, she dozed next to me in our bed. Then I placed her in the toddler bed and she cuddle against my arm. I extracted my arm to whimpering which was calmed by a hand on her tummy. Finally I snuck out of the room, as slowly as a tectonic plate, so that I could avoid the squeaky floorboards.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not that Kind of Sublime

" ain't hard to understand, this ain't Hitler's master plan, what it takes to be a man..."
lyric from Same in the End by Sublime

I admit to rabidly enjoying Sublime in my adolescent years, despite the knowledge that the lead singer overdosed shortly after cutting their best seller. As I've listened occassionally throughout the years, I skip over more and more tracks because of profanity and general vulgarity. However, this lyric struck home upon my last listening. Perhaps even as a worldly teen, I was subconsciously aware that manhood was important and Sublime conveyed the sense of frustration. Every man should know how to be a man, it seems so basic. Yet even the lead singer couldn't find the manhood he needed and sought refuge in fleeting pleasure.

God rest his soul.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

14 Weeks with Reliv

Health: So far, my allergies are mild. My nose often leaks like a sieve by the time I finish mowing the lawn. Granted, it is early in the season so I am curious about what the future holds.

Business: My first week completely off. Things have been crazy with home improvements and the shift to summer scheduling so I haven't done much else. I had my first technical trouble when the website was out of commission for a few days and a customer needed to re-order.

I am starting to see how word-of-mouth actually works. Friends are asking how business is, and family is mentioning it to other friends. Business is teaching me patience and persistence. I won't necessarily see fruits for a while, or ever, but the longer I keep at it, the better my chances get.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Can I Be a Witness up in Here?

A co-worker that I barely know approached me today and asked if I had a Bible. Unfortunately, I did not have one at work. However, he said if I didn't have one that he was going to call his wife and ask her to look up the quote that he couldn't remember. I was initially flattered and somewhat proud of being known for my faith and approachable about the topic. Then I realized that there were at least two dozen people in my room, and he didn't want to ask anyone else for The Good Book. That was a sad realization.

I pray the Lord will make me (and my pride) diminish more, so that He may work more fully through me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Welcome Available Lighters

Welcome to my little home on the web, fair travelers from Available Light and all long-time readers. My main concern on this blog is figuring out authentic manhood in this crazy world, especially a father's place in family life. I try to approach my other interests from this direction, but my interests vary widely so cohesion is not obvious. Feel free to peruse my labels to learn more about Natural Family Life.

I have noticed that many other bloggers occassionally do a "Hello World" post and ask their readers to leave a comment. Please leave a comment and introduce yourself, I love meeting people. As an incentive, I am running my first blog contest ever. I will pick one random commentor to receive a copy of My Grandfather's Son, the book which I recently reviewed at Available Light. If you don't want to be in the contest, please say so in your comment.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Embarassing Parenthood

I just read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein for the first time. Now, I do remember having the book read to me at the public library when I was little, and I am pretty sure it was featured in Reading Rainbow, so the story is not new to me. However, since this is the first time I ever read the story on the other side of parenthood, I was surprised by my overwhelming emotional reaction to the book. I read it as a bedtime story to my two lovely girls and I wept for the brief interval of time where I can help form them as young Christian ladies.

More surprising to me than my emotional response, was how I understand the Tree much better now. As a child, I guess I pitied the tree and sympathized with the boy. I simply expected that the Tree enjoyed helping the boy so the Tree was happy. Now I know that the Tree did enjoy helping the boy, but that the Tree suffered as the boy grew since the boy grew further away. I guess The Giving Tree taught me the lesson of love which I only absorb intellectually from the tree of the cross. Successful love, like successful parenting, involves suffering. The better I do my job of raising my daughters into mature, independent ladies, the more I will miss these years of providing everything for them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Trying for a Boy

I was finally asked the dread question by an old neighbor who I hadn't spoken to in years, "Are you going to try for a boy?" He didn't listen to my response beyond the word, "Yes" so I don't know what he thinks about, "At least three or four times." I think I handled the first test well. I hope I can develop more eloquent answers in the future. Perhaps I should avoid answering all together if I want to get into real conversations. Maybe I'll go all Socratic and respond with a question, "Why is that important?"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cubed Off

Available Light has a link to an excellent piece explaining the rise of cubicles. As someone who has worked almost exclusively in cubicles, I found it interesting to learn their history. I was dumbfounded to hear that someone thought they would improve information sharing. I am always amazed at the contradictions of modern corporations. How does anyone expect to have sharing of information when moving from job to job within the company is encouraged? Who is around long enough to learn any information when even the walls of your office space are not permanent?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

More Voices

I am always intrigued by Great NFP Battles when they arise. They are often a chance for me to practice charity and, sometimes, to find differing opinions within the sphere of faithful Catholicism. I hope I can learn from the two new additions to my Women's Blogs: And Sometimes Tea & Building Cathedrals.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I Wish I Wrote This

David Warren succeeded in writing the piece that I wish I had written on oil prices. The soaring prices make me so thankful that God directing my home-buying such that I nearly eliminated my dependency on oil back when it was merely $2.19 per gallon or so. I forget the exact price because, quite frankly, I have more important things to think about than the price at the pump.

Reading Thomas

Although I don't often read autobiographies, a dear friend gave me her copy of "My Grandfather's Son" and suggested that I would enjoy it. Though I am old enough to remember the general facts of Clarence Thomas's appointment to the bench, I never really had an interest in the politics or the man embroiled in them. However, his story is both interesting and educational.

Clarence Thomas has a clear recollection of his tumultuous life from living in a shack near a swamp through college activism to political intrigues. He not only narrates the details of his own life; he realizes that his life is a whole. He illustrates the connections between incidents in his life with an understanding light. Though racism was a formative part of his life, he demonstrates the strength that comes from meeting the challenge. As politics continues to be more dominated by whining, I am thankful for the story of a man facing the challenge of integrity, failing, and learning to be a better man by incorporating the difficult lessons taught by life and by a loving grandfather.