Par 3

With the Masters kicking off this past week, I honestly think this is worst time in sports. Mostly due to Basketball, football, and hockey has either ended or playoffs are about to start. The hype around Tiger Woods is unreal right now.  But as a father it’s the best time though. Spring is here, which means I can finely take my kid out and start exploring. This has been a crazy week for myself.

 

This upcoming week I’m head back to school for a course. Its funny though, cause I played basketball at this college. I feel like returning for one more shot. This must have been what Michael Jordan must have felt like when he returned to the Bulls. I am honestly confused about the process, but you have trust the process. Wonder if the Sixers trust the process to win the NBA championship?  I think they have good chance at winning the East; on the other hand there is Lebron James.  Studying after class is usually what crushes me, but now I am going to approach it head on. No easy day.

 

I played in first spring league game. Not bad, 16 pts, 5, ast, 1 blk. Its not a terrible stat. I’ve put up better though. Another guy whom also started spring is Johnny Manziel. Is the dude back, or just a dude who is really good playing at a low level? I think he could make a comeback though. Myself, I’m excited for the education part of school this time. Not just balling out of control, just improving me and my career. Maybe I’ll even take some jump shots at the gym. It’ll be strange to walk the halls, cause last you were there it was like 10 years ago.

 

It’s been a wicked past few days; my kid is growing and getting over a chest infection. Why do kids get sick so much?  We have watched a few movies and I have discovered troll hunters, sweet fucking show. One thing I have to have to say, now that I am dad. I have started to watch a lot more cartoons. Most shows I grew up with. I have watched Dragon Ball Z and My Hero Academia. It’s been awesome though. The kid has become a lot more cuddly and needy. More cranky episodes, and of course me trying to sooth a kid when then they only want their moms. This upcoming week is going to be full struggle and a reward. I can’t wait honestly.

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Upsets and Cinderella runs

With Loyola losing to Michigan, it ends there like a Cinderella run. It kind of makes me angry, just a little bit with them losing. Like if my kid walks in into the corner of a table or the couch, should I be angry with myself? Or do I just say walk it off kid? It’s a tough choice. Either way you’re stuck with calming your child down and hiding the tears from your wife. Because lets face it, if you fuck up, you might die.

Moving on from that baby stage to that toddler stage can be big a problem. They become little people, with personalities. My kid touches everything, licks everything, and gets mad at me for no reason. It’s more of sports agent at this point. Trying to understand what they want, but they cant really express that due to a lack of words. “Like dad I want more of this and need more attention.” Can you imagine if Odell Beckham Jr. was like “hey coach, I want the franchise tag?” But could express it through moans, groans and angry fits. Oh wait; NY giants could trade him with that attitude. Oh, Dez Bryant, what now?

When I come home from work, I’m tired. I have one rule that I was to obey by. Pick up your kid no matter what. My dad did it, so now I do it. No matter how tired I am. I always pick up the kid. I know it can be shitty at work, but when you come home remember that there’s a kid that loves you no matter what. It’s sad that some people don’t really pay that much attention to their children. Get off the fucking phone, Facebook isn’t going anywhere, Instagram don’t give a fuck about you.

If you didn’t become what you want, or who want, there’s time, trust me. It is never to late to become a better dad, person, lover or just overall person. Just put practice in. It’ll pay off. Look at Cleveland Cavs, looking good for the playoffs, and Yankees looking good too. Just keep your head down and grind it out. You’ll always be a superstar to your kid. You may never have gotten to be an all star, MVP or even medal at anything. Parenting doesn’t give participation medals, it’s either be good, or be shitty. Don’t fuck up when its time to show up. Just keep showing up and grinding. If you got to get help to get you there find it and use it. Either way I love being a dad and the adventure is always up and down. But damn, it’s damn rewarding.

Triple Double Russ Face

 

When your kid is settling into a new place, they tend not to sleep though the night. That’s not good news for you as a parent. Instead its filled with “I’ll get the baby” or “fuck me, I need sleep”. It’s painful but it’s parenting. They don’t give out medals for it. Waking up at first I was just angry, just looking like Russell Westbrook after he dunks. Curled lips, and a pure frown. It’s a good look for me.

 

With Cleveland Browns signing Jarvis Landry, did they get a whole better? Now do I draft him in fantasy? I’ll leave that question up to you. Like him, I want a home of my own. Seeking to buy a house is no easy task. Especially when you’re not rich, and housing is expensive. It’s a learning curve. It’s like big, small, how many bedrooms, and how many toilets do I really want to clean? What happens if you take the biggest shits in the house? These are my thoughts when I walk through these show homes. It’s nice knowing that you’re looking for one, and planning a better future for your family.

 

Lets talk upsets for a second; like I get surprised that my child just outsmarted me on a simple task. Like turning on my Google phone, it’s weird that she figured out an IPhone, so smart. Lets be honest, it’s an apple product. It’s not hard. But she figured out my phone completely. Kids theses day. Next thing she’ll want is to listen to mumble rap and shit rock music. I’ll be trying my hardest to have Mobb Deep, Nas, Tupac, Mike Stud, Travis James Band, Tragically Hip, and Johnny Cash playing in the background, I promise. Now no one predicted that Loyola IL would make it to the Final four, let alone make it out of the first round.

 

With the ponds melting and grass slowly coming through, that means basketball is coming to an end, and baseball is starting. With spring season starting, I’m excited for the first time in a long time about baseball. AAU basketball is also starting. With kids come the loud mouth parents. I guess in closing, don’t sleep with your mouth open; nobody likes slobber, just asks my wife. Get up at night share the duty of a kid. Learn to love the sleepless night because they need you. Then one-day they won’t. To be honest, it’s a fear of mine.

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/

 

 

Away From Home

Well these last few days have been interesting. I went out of town to work. I learned a few things to say the least. I think the hardest thing about work away from home is watching your child grow from your phone. They are always learning and discovering things every day. When I got home, I felt sort out of the loop. I wasn’t gone very long, but still.

The first thing I noticed is the love you get from your kid when you come home. As soon as she saw me, a giant smile came across her face. I felt at home. She giggled and was just happy that I was home. The first thing we did together was play. We rolled around on the floor, and ate snacks. It’s the little things that make us happy. I was honestly just trying to enjoy the moment.

I took a step back trying to take it all in not knowing if the routine has changed at home because kids grow up so much and so fast. Things change quickly, and you can get lost. I had no idea my daughter was sitting up in her crib and playing with her blankets. She sits there just relaxing and getting herself ready for to sleep for the night. A simple few days away can change a lot of things. Lucky in my case, things didn’t change much. So ask your partner if any of the routine changed, because there’s no point in fighting about it.

Enjoy your time with your family. One thing I’m starting to learn is plan stuff for that time. Make that time exciting.  But really try and challenge yourself. I’ve been to trying to read, workout, being present more. I am trying to spend less time on the phone, spending more time on the floor playing with my daughter. We went to Pet-A-Plooza this weekend; it was busy with a lot of people. Not really my thing but hey, if my family likes it.  So really make the time count. Just by you being home and present, could change how your family relationship could go. So take the time. What’s the worst that could happen?

Once the time has ended, and you start packing your bags, remember that work is work. Be prepared to miss your family. But really take in that last moment. Back up your partners’ decisions while you’re away. Facetime or even just a phone call could change a bad day to a good day. Don’t text; make the message from your voice. Saying goodnight to your kid over the phone makes the world a better place for your kid, it really does. I remember when my dad was overseas, and I would count the seconds in head until my mom would pass the phone to me. It changed my day just hearing his voice. Time is precious, so take everything in and appreciate it.

Keep on, Keeping on

 

 

 

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

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