Speaking My Language

Dealing with a kid that is learning crawl and stand up is busy. Between her and the dog, I have started to feel like I have become a goalie and chasing them both. One is in the dog water and other eating the leftover crackers. My favorite word lately is “No”. The wife can drop that word on dime, and then I get to watch a 10 month old crawl away and act like she didn’t do it. We also started to use sign language when telling her No. I mostly just say no, when I don’t want to do anything.

I have hearing lost, and I wear hearing aids. Which I am trying to wear a lot more, but at the same time I just forget to wear them. I have had hearing lost since I was a little kid. That’s reason why we as family are using sign language around the house. My biggest fear is that I’ll go completely deaf, and not have a way to communicate with my family.  It’s been interesting trying to learn a language that acquires for your hands. About 80 percent of the time I feel like I’m flipping gang signs.

When my daughter was born, I was hoping she didn’t have any hearing related problems. I honestly wasn’t prepared if she was. Then one day I was like “What the fuck Troy, if you can get through it. So can she.” I was treating it like it was a handicap, instead of thinking that it wasn’t.

I’m slowing learning sign language. It has been difficult to remember to talk and use sign together. Simple things like saying yes and no. I forget to use them or I don’t enforce it.  So I’ve been trying to keep a consistent reminder to use it. YouTube has been the biggest help. There are a lot of resources out there if you want to learn baby sign. The word love in sign has been my favorite. I also do enjoy swearing at people when I get mad, but honestly they have no idea on what I’m saying. It looks I’m just some strange dude playing with his hands. It’s been awesome watching my daughter starting to recognize sign.

Here’s a link that helped me:

http://www.babysignlanguage.com/

 

 

Advertisements

Lessons from Moana

Parenthood is full of lessons. Every day I discover something new about myself. Between early mornings and late nights, seems like I’m stumbling along the way. Frustration is a normal with everything changing. Moana has given me a few life lessons, which I seem to put into my life.

  1. Who are you?

Moana is asking herself who she is meant be. In a way I’m searching for this new dude. As father, I’m simply confused with the lifestyle changes. Watching your kid grow up is a major change to your life. You become more emotional and asking yourself where the time went. Two months, she is barely rolling over and now she is almost crawling. With all that you are changing too. Running on very little sleep, asking yourself how much coffee is left in pot, and when can I shit in peace. Your body could be changing too. Gaining a few pounds or even losing a few pounds. Financial stress could be happening at your household. Either way you look at it, you’re asking yourself “Who have I become”

 

  1. Learning something new.

In the movie, Moana must learn to sail. As she starts to sail, she makes mistakes and stumbles along the way. That’s been my whole experience as a parent. Getting my finger covered in poop, guessing bottle measurements, and trying adjust my lifestyle to their routine. Moana meets Maui who teaches her how to sail.  My teacher was my mother, I have seven sisters. So I learned a lot already. But it’s different when it’s your own child. The only things I can say is keep on learning.

 

  1. Positive attitude.

At the worst of times you need to have a great attitude, even when things start to go bad. I get it; the kid could be cranky when driving somewhere. Take a breather, and relax. Nothing is going to get better if you have a shitty attitude; it’s going to get worse. You’ll most likely just get more frustrated and in turn so will they. I have done that to myself. It’s the worst feeling, I just felt defeated. Not because I was mad, just because I gave into myself. Remember kids grow and can be a pain in your ass. Be happy. And your welcome.

Parenting can be tough. But so is life. It sucks. The strange thing is that it only gets better, I promise that it will. The next time you are watching your kid’s favorite movie or show. Please and try to take a lesson away from it. Unless it’s Caliou, fuck that kid.  Otherwise turn on your favorite movie when the kid falls asleep.  After all, happiness is always key.

Keep on Keeping on

Locker Room Talk: Macrophonic Mc

This guy! A man who has lived a life. He’s dad, Emcee, a hard worker, and a martial artist. I was really glad I had the chance to talk to this guy. The best a part was his honesty. A dad of a son and daughter.  Check him out!

What’s the hardest learning experience as a father?

Whoa! Haha Start with a doozy! I think the most difficult learning experience for me as a father would be balancing my work situation and the relationships affected because of it. I’m gone so much that I REALLY try and focus all my energy on making memories through experiences when I’m off work. It’s a very difficult thing sometimes spend quality time with both kids and the wifie when you have almost no more energy to give. Working out and energy drinks bro, working out and energy drinks.

Who influenced you most as a father?

I have a strange answer for this one….my four stepfathers and my real father influenced me greatly. My mom and dad got divorced when I was 7 (the age my boy is now) & moved out of state to avoid child support payments and I didn’t see him again until the day before he passed. My other stepfathers were sincerely the poster children for abusive, horrible father figures so I learned from each of them how not to be and what not to do. I’m the oldest of 7 kids and I pretty much raised my mom too. haha Growing up was baptism by fire for sure but it made me cherish my family!

How do you balance being martial artist, hip hop artist, husband, and a father?

As for martial arts, it’s in my blood and what I’ve always done since kindergarten so it’s an inseparable part of who I am.

As an eMCee, my family fuels my passion for writing and making music. (There’s a song on my last album, Propaganda, specifically for my son and I plan on dedicating songs on this next one to more of my family)

Being a husband is one of the best things I’ve ever done. My wife actually proposed to me and we’ve been married for 13 years now. She’s given me two of the most amazing humans I’ve ever met and shown me what it truly is to love; she’s as much a part of me as breathing at this point.

As far as being a father, I balance everything else around that! I’m 100% a family man and every decision I make filters through the “is this best for my kids” before I decide. It’s the most difficult and most rewarding job I could ever imagine. Being a father is the most important thing I’ve ever done with my life.

What is the home school experience like?

Homeschooling is, in my opinion, the way to go! My son, Cam, is only 7 but he’s on a 5th grade reading level, he’s doing second grade/third grade math and speaks a bit of Japanese, German, French & Spanish. My almost 4 year old daughter is already learning everyday alongside her big brother and she loves it! (She speaks a bit of Japanese as well)

Did the military help shape you as a parent?

I’d have to say no on that one. My house is about as far opposite from the military as you can get. Haha We encourages individualism and creativity every chance we get and they sleep on their own schedules, for the most part. We also sleep together as a family like much of the world where family is paramount over social stigma. When the kiddos are old enough to want to sleep on their own, they’re welcome to it. They have their own rooms but prefer to sleep with mom and dad.

What is the most the important thing that you want to teach your children?

Love, Financial security, self-control, good eating habits & perseverance are all important but if you don’t have love, you are truly poor.

Raising a boy and girl, what has been the biggest adjustment in the house?

I think I may be lucky because they are best friends. They spend every day together and love each other very much. They fight but it’s rare and never very serious. I know every parent says this but I’m very lucky to have such great kids. The biggest issue is getting them to eat healthy. Haha

What is the most stressful thing as a dad?

The most stressful thing about being a dad is, by far, worrying!! No one ever tells you before you have kids about the amount of worrying you’ll do. I worry about food, I worry they’ll get hurt, I even worry about who’ll they’ll hang out with years from now and the choices they’ll make with their lives. All I can do is my best as a father and try to give them all the tools they’ll need to navigate this messed up world. I have full faith that these two will do great things with their lives because they’re both individually so brilliant and big hearted but that’ll never stop me from worrying.

Any advice for the new dads?

For brand new dads….SLEEP!! This will be your greatest challenge so sleep every time the baby does if possible. Listen to your kiddos when they’re old enough to express themselves. This doesn’t mean just hear them, listen to them. Their dream, likes, dislikes, fears, hopes, everything! They’re your kiddos but they’re individuals that will surprise you with how amazing they can be. Also, worrying about money WILL HAPPEN. I’ve always heard people say, “We have to be financially ready for kids”, well, NO ONE will ever be financially ready for everything that comes with raising a kiddo! Lastly, have fun!!! The more serious you are, the more serious they will be. (That works with all emotions btw)

Instagram:  macrophonicmc

Website: www.cyphercircuit.com/profile/macrophonic-mc

Practice and Routine

Has anyone felt like they just can’t it together? Well that’s me, and the struggle is real. Now my struggle is just balance. Life can be so busy, between work, family and play. Lately I’ve trying to give my lifestyle a shock. I have a few plans I want to knock out before summer time ends. I feel like my life is just cramped, but I’m loving how busy I am. So let’s start the day off.

At 4:30 am I wake up. Barely waking up, get ready for work. Mostly I’m trying chug my pre-work before hopping into my car. Just sitting there vibing to rap music and buzzing off the juice. I arrive to the gym. The only goal is to get buff, thinking about my heroes; Arnold, the Rock, and Tom Hardy. The one thing that they have common is the body, and it’s built of Greek god. Me well, I’m built like a twig with eyes. So fuck it, we lifting heavy and everything. After a heavy lift, and feeling like biggest dude in the gym. It’s time for work.

By work, I mean it’s time to slay tree. Cutting trees, roping trees, and climbing trees, I’m tree guy. Before I get to do all that, my crew most likely has to hike into site. Hiking a few hundred meters or a simple one or two kilometer, my legs are tired. I thought I did cardio at the gym. Cutting trees can be tiring, so I honestly look forward to going to home. After the tiring day, it’s time to go home. See my kid and wife is the things I crave the most these days.

My drive is pretty calming, listen to podcasts or music. I’ve learned to enjoy the ride home, because it’s one of the few times I get alone. Skip ahead, I walk to the door. I hear screaming, it’s my daughter laughing at the TV. She is watching Moana for the thirtieth time. I am learning the songs, and hopefully going to put a cover album soon. I’m slowing learn “who I am”. Just like Moana. In the evening my little one gets tired, and I get the chance to hold her in my arms. I realized that kids don’t stay little for long. It kind of breaks my heart. Time is so precious.

As I put her to bed, I think about what the next day will bring.  I am only trying to pause time and live in the moment a little bit longer. These are the lessons I’m learning and the struggle is real. So tie up your boots and get grinding. Get the most out of your day, even if you’re tired. Trust me you’ll be happy you did.

Keep on Keeping on

Locker Room Talk: David Kadey

David, is someone whom I grew up with. We played basketball in my front yard, and roamed the neighborhood together. Growing up with him, was pretty sweet. Himself, his brother and all of our friends just chased summer together. Now his wife and him are expecting their first child. He’s a great guy. From this interview, he’s going to be a great dad.

1. You excited to be a father or more nervous?

I guess it’s kind of both, I’m super excited to become a father, but I’m terrified. I haven’t been around to many babies and I want to be a great dad. I’m worried about everything we need to get prepared for and I want to make everything perfect. I’m excited for my wife to become a mom, she’s been ready for a long time and I can’t wait to see that.

2. Did you decide to find out what the sex was for your baby?

We are not finding out the sex of the baby. I want to know so badly, but my wife doesn’t. I even googled how to read an ultrasound to try and sneak a peek. But it didn’t work because I don’t have a clue what the sex is.

3. You playing sports, are you thinking about your kid competing in sports already?

Playing Sports were the biggest thing of my childhood. Going to games Saturday morning, playing all the time, just being active. I want my kids to play every sport they possibly can. Me personally I want my kid to play baseball. My wife wants hockey. Soccer when they are young to get rid of the all the energy. Luckily for us the seasons are apart.

4. Who had more influenced in being a parent?

My biggest influence was my mom. She worked pretty hard to put food on the table and be there for me and my brother. Single mom trying to do everything for everyone, and not even taking a minute to appreciate how good of a job she did on raising us. If I’m half the parent my mom was to us, my kid will have hit the jackpot.

5. What was your first reaction when found out your wife was pregnant?

I actually just wrote my final exam for my second year steamfitter. I found the marks out and she sat me down and told me. I was very excited. We had been trying since we got married in July. She told me I couldn’t tell anyone until the first trimester was over. This feels like an eternity.

6. Any advice for any upcoming parents?

The advice I would give to future dads is when your wife has a craving for something, go get it fast. Whenever you’re out and about call before on your way home and see what she wants. When my wife told me she was first pregnant I though 40 weeks is going to take forever. Now we’re 25 weeks and these last few months have flown by. I would tell people who are expecting whenever there is a sale on diapers, buy them! Well that’s what I did anyways.

 

 

Pro Tip From An Okay Dad

1: Shitty pants When changing a diaper the most important thing is to make sure they are done pooping. Otherwise your day could get a lot shittier. Make sure you wipe their little tush really good and apply diaper cream. Diaper rash cream a pain in the ass. You don’t like your bum itchy pretty sure they don’t either. 
2: Quick draw

When your getting them dresses or undressed. Make sure you got our finger on the trigger when doing so. Triple check that they don’t roll over the edge when putting on pants. For fuck sakes, give them something to keep them occupied. Their is no point getting frustrated when they want to be naked and your trying to dress them. 
3: Suckers are for kids

Always have a soother. Know where they are at all times, because there is nothing worse than a screaming kid who only wants its soother. Common mistake is misplacing them. Remember the brand they like, they are picky little shits. Have more than just four in your house. They will be everywhere that you can’t find when you really need it. 
4: Put that shit on repeat 

When your kid finds something that they love and want all the time. Make sure you know it and have it always. Speaking from experience I know every single song from Moana. Some days that is the ONLY thing that will make her happy. Once you find what they like make their favourite thing your new favourite thing. 
5: Sneaky time

Want sexy time? You got to keep that shit quiet. That includes playing with the chicken or rubbing wood gentlemen. There is nothing more disappointing than having a boner and now having to explain yourself. Practice safe sex. Don’t want anymore running around right away. 

Double Check The Playbook

When you are packing your gym bag, you grab shoes, shorts and extra shit that you need. See I thought it was the same thing when packing the diaper bag. That’s a huge negative. I felt like I was getting ready for a four day hiking trip. Between bottles, diapers, blankets, and soothers I thought I had it all. Trust me, you need extra of everything.

The first time I went out with my daughter by myself, I felt like it was going to the weirdest thing to do. Why, you might ask, because I’ve never done anything like this. So the first place we go to is to look at dirt bikes.  We packed up the diaper bag, hopped in my truck and off we went. I decided we should stop at Yamaha and KTM. Well the Yamaha stop went off without a hitch.  As we started the drive to KTM, I smelt something nasty. Good thing KTM, wasn’t that far away. The smell got stronger as we got closer. We parked, I unbuckled the car seat, and the poop fumes crawled up into my nose. I am trying to be calm and cool as I walked through store. A salesman approached us; I felt this nervous feeling go through me. He said “Anything I can help you with?” In my mind I thought to myself “this is a shitty diaper and I don’t want to really talk to you.” I quickly walked by him without saying anything. The poor dude, I felt bad. But I had business to attend too.

Well this weird, the fucking men’s bathroom wasn’t equipped with a change station. This situation just got a bit shitter. But that’s how we roll, prepared for anything. I make a station on the counter, and started changing the diaper. Then I ran I out baby wipes. “Fuck me, I didn’t check” I whispered under my breath. Okay, okay, back up plan. Let me just grab some toilet paper, and soak it in warm water. All the sudden the door came open. It was a fellow dad. I asked him “Hey man, could I grab some baby wipes” Like a low key drug deal, he slid me some wipes. Lesson learned, pack extra shit. Also pack stuff for yourself too.

After that mess, we started to look at dirt bikes and sleds. Between the car seat, and diaper bag I slowly became tired. It almost felt a sled pull drill. Don’t drop the baby and hold the twenty pound diaper bag for an hour. But it’s about the gains bro. You got weights right there. Curl for the girls. Just don’t drop the baby.

Keep on Keeping on

 

 

Locker Room Talk: Jack Taylor- Mr. 138

A guy I know could simply be the best scorer on the basketball court. He has the NCAA for the most points in a game. We share something in common, shooting hoops, went to the same camp and also he’s a dad. Jack Taylor is a friend of mine. We went to a basketball camp together, and roomed together. I’d say he’s best basketball player I personal know. Maybe the second best dad next to me. A good friend, good husband, an honest dude, and overall great dad.How did basketball influence as a father?

Now that I am a father, I am making a conscience effort to apply what I’ve learned on the basketball court to my role as a father. Because quite honestly, being a father and a husband is more difficult than being a basketball player. But it’s more rewarding, too. Everything I have learned through the game of basketball (hard work, leadership, selflessness, etc.) I am using to raise my daughter.

Did you find out the sex of your daughter?

Christina and I didn’t have any sort of gender reveal party. We decided to make it a surprise. It was worth the wait!

With holding the NCAA scoring record, do you hope children break it?

I feel pretty confident that I am going to the grave with that record. Maybe in 25 years I will have a son or a daughter that goes to Grinnell College and breaks Dad’s record.

How do you balance work, being a dad and your faith?

Balancing my priorities in life is difficult. When things get hectic, I always remind myself of my priorities in life. For me, this is how they rank: Christian, Husband, Father, Work.

What’s next for you? Kids, basketball, career?

The future for me definitely includes more kids, God willing. I am done playing basketball, as my ACL-reconstructed knee can’t handle much impact anymore. I may coach my kids someday, but for now I am not going to coach. I became a Christian in college, which has become very rewarding and important in my life, and I would like to start a church in my hometown of Black River Falls, WI in a few years. A church that reaches men, a church that makes faith real instead of dry tradition and church appearances.

Would you say that your more of the hands on parent or is your wife?

My wife, Christina, stays at home with Abigail. We are convicted that we are ultimately responsible for Abigail’s upbringing, not a daycare or a school. We are blessed to be in a position financially for Christina to stay home while Abigail is young.

Any advice for upcoming dads?

 My advice to young men and future dad is to embrace fatherhood. Like boys, so many of us are scared of responsibility and commitment. Fatherless homes are one of the biggest problems in this country. When us young men decide to give our lives to and serve our wife and children, it’s not only rewarding but it’s what we are called to do as men.